18 Replies Latest reply on Sep 6, 2014 11:43 PM by Josh Killalea

    Design table chaos

    Jason Parker

      I've been struggling building some design tables for a 150# RF flange.  It's more of a learning test than anything with using design tables.  I've been watching videos and reading on the tutorials, but they typically work around pretty simple parts, where a dimensionally correct flange with holes, etc. is a little more difficult to tie all the dimension data to the design table.  I'm probably doing things wrong, so please let me know!  I've been able to build formulas that will apply the right amount of holes with the correct clocking based on the "ND1" value,

       

      On a cut or extrusion, since there's no "dimension" available, how do I assign the dimension a name?  d2@boss-extrude1 I think needs to be changed to my "RFLEN" so I can tie it to the design table, but I can't figure out how to rename it.  I can't rename it in the Equation manager, it simply won't let me ENTER out after changing it.

       

      Like I was saying, this is my first try doing something a bit more complicated than a box.  Those are pretty easy to do this way

       

      Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!  We have tons of schedulable data for our industry, and this would be a very good way to build the geometry, so I need to learn these!!!

      SW Equation table.jpg

       

      SW Design Table.jpg

        • Re: Design table chaos
          Jason Parker

          So I might of figured out a solution, but I haven't imported the design tables yet.  I'm having excel do the formulas and pushing the raw number to the respective cell... I'll update if it works

           

          newer design table.jpg

          • Re: Design table chaos
            Jerry Steiger

            Jason,

             

            Double click on the feature in the feature tree or the graphics window. The dimensions will show up in the graphics window, including the extrusion depth. As I recall, a slow double click on the extrusion dimension will rename it.

             

            Come to think of it, the initial double click may actually be a single click, depending upon how you have your options set. Or I could have the whole thing a bit twisted, since I hardly ever use equations and design tables.

             

            Jerry S.

            • Re: Design table chaos
              Jamil Snead

              To clarify Jerry's advice a little bit: If you have Instant 3D turned off, then you can double click on the feature in the graphics window or the feature tree and then the depth (and start offset if applicable) will appear in the graphics window. You can then single click on the dimension and the dimension properties will show on the left side. You can rename the value in the "Primary Value" area.

               

              If you have Instant 3D turned on, then it would be a single click on the feature, and then a right click on the dimension.

               

              dimname.PNG

              • Re: Design table chaos
                Glenn Schroeder

                You can also name a dimension in the Modify box, either when first setting the dimension value, or you can bring it up later by double-clicking on the dimension.  This name will then be used in the design table.  In the screenshot below, click in the cell that says D1@Sketch1 and enter whatever name you want.

                 

                name dim.png

                • Re: Design table chaos
                  Jason Parker

                  Ah you guys are awesome!  Thanks!

                   

                  I watched a video that mentioned the 2nd row needing to be blank, but when I imported the schedule with the second blank row (SW 2014 SP4) it said no fields were able to be imported, then removing the blank line it at least started reading the table.. I still haven't had it work right yet on import, but I assume it's because I don't have all of the parameters tied to the Design table, and my formulas need to be moved (Thanks Jamil!).  Definitely a learning process, and I've learned annotation while creating the part saves a LOT of time. 

                   

                  Back at it this morning!

                    • Re: Design table chaos
                      Jerry Steiger

                      Jason,

                       

                      Because I don't use Design Tables very often, I find the easiest way to create them is to first generate several configurations of my part that have different values for all of the variables that I want to change. Then I use the auto-create to generate a design table. Now I can add more configurations or change the way the values are created with formulas.

                       

                      Jerry S.

                        • Re: Design table chaos
                          Jason Parker

                          I didn't; know that was possible, THAT looks like the direction I'd like to go.  I've already built a base model, and doing multiple configurations is pretty easy, auto generation of the Design Table would at least lay a roadmap, and from there I'd be able to just populate the fields.  I suppose using a complex part to dive in to design tables was sort of foolish on my part, but it made the most sense for something like a 150# RF flange. I was pretty proud of myself being able to build a butterfly valve with lugs and hole counts based off parameters, so I figure while I might as well go one step further! haha

                           

                          I've modelled with AutoCAD for 25 years now, and 2 months of Solidworks makes me never want to go back!

                            • Re: Design table chaos
                              Glenn Schroeder

                              I'm glad you like SW.  I just wanted to add that there is another option similar to Jerry's suggestion.  If you've already set up several configurations like he suggested, and insert a Design Table, if you select Blank instead of Auto-Create you'll be given a list of parameters to place in the Design Table.  You can Ctrl+select which ones you want included.

                                • Re: Design table chaos
                                  Jason Parker

                                  Dang, I wish I'd of done this first.  When I let it Auto-Create the table, it left out some pretty important variables.  I'm hoping I can simply add them in when I get to 8,12, 16, and 20 holed versions.

                                   

                                  When I let it build the Design Table for me, all of the cells are prefixed with '= and then the value.  Is there a way to not have this required?  It makes copy/paste from different fitting tables pretty much useless.

                                   

                                  SW Designtable2.jpg

                                  • Re: Design table chaos
                                    Jason Parker

                                    This tip is awesome!  Thank you!  I deleted the previous table and did another "Blank" schedule.  This allowed me to include equations with formulas applied and even nested the formula in the Design table for me.  (Still don't know why mine didn't work, but I'd blame formatting.)

                                    Design table 3.jpg

                                      • Re: Design table chaos
                                        Josh Killalea

                                        i haven't ready every reply here but see you are getting a long way. i have made propably fair to say hundreds of these things now (including an ansi 150 flange) and here are a couple of things i do to make my life as easy as possible.

                                         

                                        first create a part with at least 2 configurations that work 100% the way you want them to. so when you switch between the 2 configs you get the exact models you want.this means that all the things you want to change in each new configuration will appear in the list when you create your design table.

                                         

                                        insert your design table. i use the auto create and delete the hand full of extras solidworks puts in them automatically like colour etc. if you select blank and then pick them there is a chance you might miss something so make sure you select the show un-selected items next time box. you might need it. otherwise you have to close your part and reopen the DT to get them back.

                                         

                                        i then delete the columns i don't need and arrange the remaining columns in an order that makes sense to me. at this stage i copy the sheet to the second sheet in the exel file. and link all the relevant cells to each other from the first sheet to the second one. the reason for this is if you put a formula in the cells in the first one SW will often delete them for you by putting the calculated number back in there next time you open the DT. so if your formulas are on the second sheet and the first sheet is referenceing them SW won't delete that and you don't have to keep redoing work over and over every time you open your DT. that is very important when starting out with these things. (doesn't hurt later in the game either. lol )

                                         

                                        on the second sheet i do all the calcs on the first 2 configurations. so for example you can calculate the angle of the hole offset by (360/hole qty)/2, calculate config names based on your data in your sheet e.g. DN100 ANSI #150 FLANGE and have each row update with the next size via a formula in the cell and so forth. you really can go nuts on that second sheet. it doesn't matter what you put on it or how you format it. you can still name your column headers so it makes sense to you when you come back to it a month later etc. all you have to do is make sure the right numbers are displayed in the right cells on the frist sheet.

                                         

                                        when you are happy with the first 2 configs, go back to your fist sheet, make sure it is right, then close the DT. make sure your configs still work. if everything is sweet all good, if not go back to the DT and make the changes required. but make sure the changes are made on the second sheet not the first.

                                         

                                        once both the original configs work 100% with your DT, go back to your DT and on the second sheet and enter the rest of the data you need there for the remaining configs. the beauty of this is that now, you should only have to enter a hand full of data manually then drag down on the cells to fill the rest of the data with formulas. this rapidly improves the time it takes to do these things and with a bit of practice it is often faster to do a DT and save the part to your library then to model the parts individually each time. even if you would only model a new part once every now and then.

                                         

                                        hope that makes some sense. if i think of anything i missed then i will come back an post it later.

                                    • Re: Design table chaos
                                      Dwight Livingston

                                      Jason

                                       

                                      I agree with Jerry, create an extra configuration and create your configuration specific dimensions before you add them to a design table. Note that once you make an extra configuration, you get a configuration control in the dimension Modify window (see image). Choose "This Configuration" when you edit. Then the dimension will be included in a design table auto-generation. If you already have a design table (we include one in our template), you are still good, because SW will offer to add the dimension to the design table next time you open the table (edit: right, what Glenn said).

                                       

                                      Dwight

                                      Capture.PNG

                                • Re: Design table chaos
                                  Jason Parker

                                  Ugh part 2.  With the '= prefix, I can't do any formulae in Excel.  Anytime I link the value it errors.  (Not a whole number obviously.)  I think I'm going to have to dumb down the formulae to raw numbers.  Has anyone been able to perform them in cells or otherwise?

                                    • Re: Design table chaos
                                      Jamil Snead

                                      I think the = sign comes from the fact that those are global variables. Is there a reason you made them global variables? It seems like if they are values that change in different configurations then I don't know if global variables are what you want.

                                      • Re: Design table chaos
                                        Jamil Snead

                                        Actually I don't think it is due to global variable specifically, but just any equation in general. I'd suggest getting rid of all those global variables and equations and instead use excel to calculate those values within the design table.

                                          • Re: Design table chaos
                                            Jason Parker

                                            The only global variables are the IF statements.  The rest are set to "This Configuration" in the Equation Manager.  Can you 'null' a formula in Excel so when it's linked to Excel SW ignores it, or treats it as an equation instead of trying to import it as a static value?

                                             

                                            What's bugging me is the design tables don't look anything like the Help file or the tutorial videos I watched,  They format like the first design tables I linked, but when SW generated this one, all these weird formatting issues came up.  I don't see the '= mentioned anywhere in the help files, and none of the columns had the @equations at the end.  I'd of never gotten them working without the tips given here!