23 Replies Latest reply on Jan 23, 2015 3:33 PM by Brian McEwen

    Smart dimension in separate planes

    William Fraine

      Hi,

       

      I could really do with some help please. I am trying to smart dimension between two points in the x,y,z planes separately but it will only allow me to smart dimension the resultant dimension which is not helpful. Does anyone know how to go about this or have any suggestions to help me please?

       

      Kind regards

      Billy

        • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
          Glenn Schroeder

          William,

           

          Maybe I'm just slow today since it's Monday, but I'm afraid I don't understand your question.  If you're using the Smart Dimension tool and clicking two points I'd expect to get the distance between them.  Could you explain more about what you mean?  A screenshot, or posting the model, might help.

          • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
            Brian McEwen

            If you put construction lines on the points they should be easier to control.  Then you can pick which lines to use to get your X, Y, Z. 

             

            By the way is this a 3D sketch? Or are you dimensioning from one 2D sketch to another? Either way construction lines will work. But there are different Relations you can use for each.

            1 person found this helpful
            • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
              William Fraine

              So here is the model (could only provide a screenshot). I am going to be varying the position of the 4 front corners on the left panel within 10mm respectively in order to vary the 5 distances between the points I have made on the panels. The issue is that I want to vary the positions of the 4 corners in the x y and z directions separately (using smart dimension so I can create a design table for various simulations) and then get x and z readings for the 5 measurements (which I can use the measure tool for).

               

              Glenn - I hope this makes more sense now you can see the model

               

              Brian - if I made the construction lines in the x y and z directions and smart dimensioned to the 3 separately would this edit the position of the corners respectively? Thanks for your advice

               

              Naveen - I need to use a design table to synthesis 100s of different alignments so editing them separately would take too long. Thanks anywayscreenshot 1.pngscreenshot 2.png

                • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
                  Glenn Schroeder

                  Knowing it's an assembly is a big help.  It looks like the distances between the points is controlled by the distance between the panels, so you need to create Distance mates between the panels.  You can use surfaces of the panels for the mates, or if you want to mate between the points, then create the points in each separate part file and use them for the mates.  You could then create a design table using the mate dimensions to control the different configurations.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
                    Brian McEwen

                    """"""""""

                    So here is the model (could only provide a screenshot). I am going to be varying the position of the 4 front corners on the left panel within 10mm respectively in order to vary the 5 distances between the points I have made on the panels. The issue is that I want to vary the positions of the 4 corners in the x y and z directions separately (using smart dimension so I can create a design table for various simulations) and then get x and z readings for the 5 measurements (which I can use the measure tool for).

                     

                    """""""""""""""""""""

                    William -

                    I'm still not totally clear on your explanation, but here are a couple other thoughts:

                    * You may want to look at using a Design Study instead of configurations. I don't know exactly how it works with Simulation, but I believe it can do something like this. In a regular SolidWorks Design Study you pick some dimensions and vary them by an increment and the study will create all the separate instances - to compare some goal (eg minimize mass) in your case not sure what the goal is.

                    *You are moving the 2nd rectangular panel and you want to track certain points fixed on the rectangle? Consider putting the points in at the part level instead of an assembly sketch. The sketch points can even be turned in to Reference Geometry Points to make them more accessible.

                     

                    """""""

                    Brian - if I made the construction lines in the x y and z directions and smart dimensioned to the 3 separately would this edit the position of the corners respectively? Thanks for your advice

                    """""

                    * With your 2D sketch you can only control X and Y, and currently you are only controlling the points in the sketch I assume, not the panel position.  But you can mate objects to sketches - so if you want one sketch to control the position of the panels and the points you can do that with mates.  (you would need a 3D sketch to control Z, but may be easier to control Z with a separate mate) Or you can use all independent mates.

                  • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
                    William Fraine

                    So my project is modelling the gap and flush between the two panels, that being x displacement and z displacements respectively. This is a basic synthesised model of the gap and flush between car door panels and will get more advanced with use of manufacture tolerances etc in time.

                     

                    Brian and Glenn - I have found that using mates doesn't allow you to edit the x and z displacements separately it only allows me to edit their resultant displacements which is my original problem. Is there a special mate you can use? I have tried advanced mate to no prevail.  Also, this only works on the vertex's because it won't allow me to select the points on the edge of the panel since they are in the respective sketches and you cannot mix.

                     

                    I am going to finally try and consider the option of construction lines on each vertex and see if there is anyway around this issue, otherwise Solidworks may just not be appropriate for the project.

                     

                    Thanks for your help so far guys

                    Billy

                      • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
                        Glenn Schroeder

                        "Brian and Glenn - I have found that using mates doesn't allow you to edit the x and z displacements separately"

                         

                        Have you tried creating a sketch in your assembly, with the distances set with dimensions, and mating your panels to the sketch entities?  I don't see why this wouldn't work.

                          • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
                            William Fraine

                            Glenn - How do you mate the points in the assembly sketch to the edges of the panels? Also when I try to mate the points in assembly mode it will only allow me to edit the resultant distance between them as I say using the advanced mate tool, is there a different kind of mate I need to be using? Thanks

                              • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
                                Brian McEwen

                                See image. I fixed one rectangle part, drew sketch (on assembly front plane) from one corner, mated 2nd rectangle to the sketch. (2nd rectangle has a few other mates to make it parallel.) This is just one quick idea. Should not need any advanced mates for this as I understand it.

                                 

                                sketchmate.JPG

                                 

                                Do you use SolidWorks 2014 or later? Relevant just for model sharing.

                                  • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
                                    William Fraine

                                    Brian - Is the right hand rectangle fixed in position when you edit the x-dimension and it moves the left hand rectangle? Did you just create the 2 construction lines and the point in the x-y plane sketch? Did you create this all in part mode?

                                     

                                    I use Solidworks 2012 as that is the latest software on the University systems.

                                     

                                    I have attached a photo to try and explain the project a bit clearer, it shows the gap and flush which I wish to achieve. I want to simulate lots of different scenarios of gap and flush between the 2 panels by adding tolerance (about 10mm) to the positions of the 4 front vertex's on the left hand panel and keeping the right hand panel fixed. Creating a design table in assembly mode once the initial dimensions have been set should be able to edit the x y z dimensions of the 4 vertexs which will alter the 5 point measurements (see photo above) which measure the gap and flush (I want to seperate this into x distances and z distances to do so).

                                     

                                    Brian you're image shows what I am trying to achieve in 2D, is it possible to do this in 3D as in my image above.

                                     

                                    Explanation of project.jpg

                                      • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
                                        Brian McEwen

                                        I think I'm beginning to see the problem.   Are there any constraints on the 2nd (moving) panel?  That is do we know some surfaces are parallel, or can the panel move freely? They can be at any 3D angle to each other? If they are constrained it is much easier.

                                         

                                        You may want to review some SolidWorks Tutorials (eg Assembly Mates, and 3D sketches).

                                         

                                        Brian - Is the right hand rectangle fixed in position when you edit the x-dimension and it moves the left hand rectangle?

                                        Yes.

                                         

                                        Did you just create the 2 construction lines and the point in the x-y plane sketch? Did you create this all in part mode?

                                        On the previous image (not the one below) I made the sketch in the Assembly. It can be in any plane you want, I just used the one parallel to the rectangle surface. One trick is Do Not attach (in the sketch, using relations) it to both parts. Just attach to some fixed point (could be to assembly origin, or to the corner of the fixed panel ) and then mate it to the 2nd panel.

                                        -----------------

                                        Here is a new approach. Using a mutlibody part with a 3D sketch controlling both panels. This could also be an assembly. I think the 3D sketch is a bit more robust in a part.

                                         

                                        Looks like you need 6 dimensions (not including the size of the panel) to control the orientation of the 2nd panel.

                                         

                                        multibodyapproach.JPG

                                        This may be a little tricky to follow just from the image.  This is without your measurement points included. I would probably add those in a separate 3D sketch. Also could put in a design table to control the 6 dimensions.

                                          • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
                                            William Fraine

                                            No, there are no constraints on the moving panel as of yet. Eventually there will be constraints limiting the vertex's to only being able to displace 10mm in any direction as to represent tolerance in the brackets. However, none of the surfaces will be parallel when I have randoms created its position, as this is more realistic to actual car manufacture.

                                             

                                            I really appreciate the help Brian, I will look into the sections you have suggested.

                                             

                                            "One the last image I made the sketch in the Assembly. It can be in any plane, I just used the one parallel to the rectangle surface. One trick is Do Not attach it to both parts. Just attach to the fixed part (say to the corner with a coincident relation) and then mate it to the 2nd panel."

                                            Do you mean mate the new coincident point with the vertex on the moving panel? When I tried this earlier it only gave me the resultant distance, not the seperate x y z displacements. Sorry if I am missing the point here.

                                             

                                            From the image you have shown there it looks like you have pretty much created what I have spent hours trying to get my head around haha, I'm a beginner with Solidworks and am slowly picking bits up as I go along. Is it possible that you could send me the model you have created in the image above if you still have it please so I can inspect it and see more clearly what you are talking about?

                                             

                                            Once again I can't thank you enough for your help. Billy

                                              • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
                                                Brian McEwen

                                                First - Note I edited the passage you quoted, tried to clarify a bit.

                                                "When I tried this earlier it only gave me the resultant distance, not the seperate x y z displacements."

                                                If you go point to point with sketch dimensions it is going to give just one dimension, the shortest distance between the points (what you are calling the resultant distance). Don't go point to point, on at least one end you need something to orient the dimension (select a surface, a solid edge, a sketch line - that is along an X, Y or Z direction) - or add an actual line (or construction line) along the distance you want and simply dimension that line.

                                                 

                                                I can't send you the SolidWorks model because you are on 2012 and I am on 2014. I'll attach the eDrawings file (you can download the newest eDrawings viewer). This .easm file is the assembly version. I used the same controlling sketch for the multibody and the assembly version. There are 3 parts in the assembly - 1st is the 3D skeleton sketch in its own part (red). Then the 2 panels. Essentially I solved the problem completely in the standalone 3D sketch. Then mated the panels to it.

                                                Then I added two 2D assembly sketches for the measurement points (purple).

                                                Also on the panel sldprt I added the 3 example measurement lines in a 3D sketch (green).  At the vertex of the green sketch lines you have your measurement points. You can use these to make an Assembly based sketch where you dimension the xyz. I found it easiest to use two 2D sketches (purple), one covers X&Y, the other covers Z (and Y again if you want) (in my case Z is normal to the fixed panel surface). The dimensions in the measurement sketches will all be Driven - so you can attach to both panels at the sketch level, no mates needed.

                                                • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
                                                  Brian McEwen

                                                  Billy,

                                                  Since you said you have 2014 now... I'm attaching the experimental model I made.  I set the parts as virtual, so it should all be in the one assembly file. 

                                          • Re: Smart dimension in separate planes
                                            Glenn Schroeder

                                            "Glenn - How do you mate the points in the assembly sketch to the edges of the panels? Also when I try to mate the points in assembly mode it will only allow me to edit the resultant distance between them as I say using the advanced mate tool, is there a different kind of mate I need to be using? Thanks"

                                             

                                            Mate the panel edges to the sketch points with simple coincident mates, then adjust the spacing by editing the sketch dimensions, or setting different values for the dimensions in the sketch for different configurations.