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ProEngineer for Product and Industrial Designers

Text based on ProEngineer Wildfire 5

Copyright 2010 by Sean Kerslake


ProEngineer is a registered trademark of Parametric Technology Corporation

Printed in the UK

ProE4D
This manual is aimed at Product and Industrial Designers. The focus is on creating
unique forms rather than engineering elements. The text addresses theories and issues
underlying the ProEngineer functionality rather than blow-by-blow tutorials, in this way
the designer will become a considered and flexible user able to resolve tricky forms
rather than a simple operator able only to follow simple tutorials.
Although it is based on Wildfire 5 the techniques and theory in this manual can
generally be applied to other releases of ProEngineer and even other CAD packages.
Videos

Certain sections of this manual are backed up with videos posted on Youtube. Where
you see the above icon look up the proe4dvids channel on Youtube and watch the
numbered video.
Appearance
Some screenshots may look different to your installation of ProEngineer as there is a
level of customisation applied to the software, few people use the software with the
factory defaults see the Customisation section.
Abbreviations
2D two dimensional
3D three dimensional
COS Curve On Surface
CTP Curve Through Point
Ctrl keyboard control button
LMB left mouse button
MMB middle mouse button
ProE - ProEngineer
RMB right mouse button
VSS Variable Section Sweep
WF Wildfire

Glossary
Curve in CAD a curve is any line regardless of whether it is straight or curved!
Normal 3D perpendicular in all directions to a surface
Perpendicular 2D at 90 to one and other
Planar flat, 2D

Software Version
Abbreviations and Conventions in this Book
Conventions
Abbreviations
Glossary

Intro
002: What is CAD?
005: Design Intent
007: Symmetry
008: Interface
009: Viewing the Model Using the Mouse
010: Manipulation with Modifier Keys
010: Graphics Area Interaction
010: Toolbars
011: Dashboard
011: Common Dashboard Controls
012: Browser and Model Tree
012: Insert Here
012: Feature Modification
012: Geometry Selection Methods
012: Smart selector Filters
013: Toggling
013: Pick from list
013: Solid surface or edge selection
013: Curve/Edge chain selection

Level 1
015: Sketching
015: Internal
016: Independent
016: Datum Plane
016: Setting up the Sketchplane
018: Sketching Environment
019: Geometric Constraints
021: Good Sketching
023: Creating Dimensions
024: Base Features
024: Extrusion
026: Revolve
028: Blend/Loft
028: Number of Vertices
029: Start Points
030: Swept Blend method
031: Symmetry
032: Sweep
033: Variable Section Sweep Method
035: Engineering Features
035: Round (Fillet)
036: Variable Rounds
036: Failures

036: Chamfer
037: Hole
037: Placement surface
038: Placement references
038: Primary reference
039: Offset References
039: Linear
039: Coaxial
039: Other combinations
040: Point
041: Shell
041: Varying thicknesses
042: Partial shell
042: Negative offset

Contents

Contents

042: Reference Geometry


042: Degrees of Freedom
042: Normalcy
043: Datum Points
043: Reference Combinations
043: Sketched Point tool
044: Offset Coordinate System Point Tool
044: Planes
044: Reference Combinations
045: Axis
045: Reference Combinations
045: Datum Curves
045: Sketched Datum Curve
046: Curve Through Points - CTP
046: Projected onto a surface
046: Edit Features
046: Mirror
047: Model Symmetry

048: Pattern
048: Simple patterns
049: Direction
049: Axis
050: Axis pattern, equal spacing
050: Curve
050: Fill
050: Reference
050: Suppressing Instances
050: Pattern regeneration time
051: Assembly Patterns
051: Copy and Paste
051: Creating datum curves from edges
052: Managing the Model
052: Build a robust model
052: Parent/Child Relationships
052: Create then Modify
053: Failures
053: File Management
053: Working Directory
054: Version files
054: Associativity

056: Base part


056: Default Constraint
056: Initial Positioning
057: Allow Assumptions
057: Interface
058: Primary constraints
058: Secondary constraint
058: Angular offset
059: Fix Constraint
059: Constraint Conflict
059: Sub Assemblies

Level 2
061: Curvature
061: Spline
062: Use Edge Tool
063: Mirror
064: Swept Blend
064: Boundary Conditions
065: Patterns
065: Patterns with geometry control
065: Driving dimensions
065: Incrementally varying features
067: Radial pattern
068: Incrementally changes
068: Rotational symmetry radial pattern
069: Advanced Rounds
069: Transitions
069: Conic and C2 fillets
069: Full round
070: Failing Fillets
070: Intent Chain
071: Curve Thru Points - End Conditions
072: Tweaking
072: Curve Attribute
072: Curve on Surface - COS
073: Variable Section Sweep
073: Trajectories
073: Section
074: Sketchplane
074: Sketchplane Control Settings
075: X trajectory
075: Surface Tangency
075: Mathematical Control of the Section
076: Relations - Mathematically Controlling
the Model
076: Creating Relations
076: Trajpar in VSS
079: Draft feature
079: Silhouette Trim

Level 3

Contents

055: Assemblies

082: Advanced Assemblies - Top Down


Design and Data Sharing
082: Bottom Up or Top Down Design
Methodology?
082: Modelling in Assembly Mode
083 Part Activate
084: Master Models
084: ProE Skeleton Model
085: Parent Child Relationships and Circular
References
085: External References
085: External Geometry example
085: Copy Geometry Method
085: Merge Part
087: Assembly Operations
087: Component Operations
088: Assembly Features
088: Mirrored parts
088: Patterns
088: Regeneration Time
088: Un-patterning
090: View Manager
090: Explode states
091: Cross Sections (xsec)
092: Style States
092: Model Analysis

093: Skeleton Based Surface Modelling


093: Definitions
093: Surface Display
094: Splines continued
094: 2 point spline
096: Form Analysis
096: Surface Classification
097: Over building
097: Curve/Surface Continuities
098: Surface Normals
099: Midplane/Symmetry Continuity
100: Analysis Tools
100: Eyes First
101: Analysis Toolbar
101: Zebra Stripes
102: Curve and Section Analysis
103: Trimming and Merging Surfaces
103: Merge
103: Trim
104: Extrude surface Cut
105: Integration with solids
105: Solidify
105: Copy/Paste Edges and Surfaces

113: ISDX: Interactive Surface


Design Extension
114: Curves
114: Point Definition
115: Point Attachment
116: Curve Editing and End Conditions
117: Surfaces
117: Boundary Blend Surface
117: Blended Surface
117: Lofted Surface
118: Surface Tangency
118: Surface Trim
119: Trace Sketch
120: Direct surface edit
121: Examples: Scoops and Bulges
122: Scoop Example
125: 5 Sided Example
129: Mouse Example
132: Surface Model Checklist

Engineering Drawings
134: Engineering Drawings
135: Getting started
135: Interface
136: Views
137: Geometry references
137: Angles
137: Scale
138: View Types
139: Creating a Cross Section (xsec) View
140: Adding section arrows
140: Crosshatching
140: Detailed View
140: Line display
140: Multiple parts on single sheet
141: Multi Sheet Drawings
141: Locking elements to views
141: Deleting unwanted lines
142: Detailing
142: Axis
142: Driving or Driven Dimensions?
142: Driving Dimensions
143: Driven Dimensions
143: Formatting Dimensions
143:Text in Dimensions
144: Overwrite Dimension Text
144: Notes

Contents

106: Boundary Blend Surface Feature


106: Chain selection and trimming
107: Boundary conditions
108: Boundary influence
109: Leader/follower Workaround
109: 3 Sided Surfaces
111: Construction methods for 3 sided
boundaries
112: Offset surface feature driven by sketch

144: Model Associativity


145: Dimensioning to a symmetry plane

146: General Assemblies and Bill of


Materials
146: Creating a Table
146: Table selection
147: Add BOM Repeat Region
147: Programme the repeat cells
148: Add BOM Balloons to the Drawing Views.
148: Explode States

Customisation
150: config.pro
150: config.win
151: tree.cfg
151: syscol.scl
151: Template files
151: Mapkeys
152: [drawing standard].dtl
152: Toolbars

Introduction

Introduction
CAD
Features based modelling
Design Intent
Symmetry
Interface
Viewing the Model Using the Mouse
Manipulation with Modifier Keys
Graphics Area Interaction
Toolbars
Dashboard
Common Dashboard Controls
Browser and Model Tree
Browser
Model Tree
Insert Here
Feature Modification
Geometry Selection Methods
Smart selector Filters
Toggling
Pick from list
Solid surface or edge selection
Curve/Edge chain selection

Introduction

CAD
Computer Aided Design is the use of computer software to create a virtual
representation of a real life form. The three dimensional (3D) model and environment is
simulated on a two dimensional (2D) screen. The use of shading or hidden line
wireframes allow us to interpret this 2D image as a 3D form.

The 3D form is built up of separate features, these entities in the 3D space have
parameters to describe their form and position relative to a default point or relative to
other entities. This is parametric modelling. Other modelling approaches include;
freeform modelling (Rhino, Alias), explicit, direct or non-parametric modelling
(Spaceclaim, CoCreate) and haptic modelling (SensAble)
Fundamentally, this is not an intuitive process, if we were going to create a 3D
representation of a concept then we would probably start with a lump of modelling foam
and cut and sand away material to produce our model, we visualise the whole rather than
the parts. Starting with an empty space and visualising the intersection of primitive
volumes to slowly build up the model (sometimes in a very roundabout way!) does not
necessarily come easily.

Introductio
on

nd Z (hence 3D) are described


d
u
using
the Ca
artesian Co
oordinate
The thrree dimensiions X, Y an
System
m 0,0,0 a dimensio
on for X, a dimension
d
for Y and then a dime
ension for Z.
Z You
will rare
ely have to
o interact with
w
these coordinates but you must be awa
are of this concept.
c
g
Featurres based modelling
A mode
el starts witth a base fe
eature, say
y a cube, an
nd then dev
velops by c
creating furrther
feature
es which eitther add or subtract vo
olume from
m the base feature, say, subtractting a
cylinder from our cube to cre
eate a hole.

nising how your


y
intend
ded design can be broken down into
i
these primitive elements
e
Recogn
is the key
k
to succe
essful CAD modelling. In mainstrream CAD packages these primittives are
generally sketch based fea
atures, that is, they start with a 2D sketch
h which is
ped into a 3D
3 form. The
T
sketch forms the cross
c
sectio
on of the fe
eature.
develop

Introductio
on
ure creation
n methods are:
a
The primary featu

001

usion: A 2D sketch is
s developed
d along a lin
near path to a specifie
ed distance
e to
1 Extru
create a 3D form.
2 Revo
olve: A 2D sketch is rotated arou
und an axis
s through a specified a
angular distance to
create a 3D form.
3 Swee
ep: A 2D sketch is developed alo
ong a non linear path to create a 3D form.
4 Blend (Loft): A 3D form is
s created by
y blending multiple 2D
2 sketches
s
yed by defa
ault with no
o perspectiv
ve this ca
an make them look dis
storted
Models are display
when in
nterpreted by our normal visual perceptual cues. This
s default se
etup is to sa
ave
process
sing power on the PC graphics ca
ard.

Introductio
on
ctive can be
e applied to
o a model at
a any time
e and allows
s you to be
etter visualiise how
Perspec
the model may loo
ok in real life.
l
Creating some simple eleme
ents and co
onstruction lines
esult in perrspective viiew can als
so be a usefful basis for 2D hand
and printing the re
hing points.
sketching with corrrect vanish

Desig
gn Intent
n Intent is the intellec
ctual arrangement of features, geometric
g
rrelationship
ps and
Design
dimens
sions to ens
sure predicttable regen
neration of the model as it is dev
veloped. With
W
robustly
y captured design inte
ent exploiting the pow
wer of a parrametric mo
odelling sys
stem, a
model maintains
m
its desired characteris
c
stics and is less likely to
t fail when
n edited.
ough refere
ences and dimensions
d
and later through
t
Design Intent is primarily captured thro
predefined parametric relatio
ons within and
a
across models and assemblies.

er the abov
ve image. If I were communicatin
ng this partt to a third party, I wo
ould
Conside
describe a rectang
gular pad in
n the middle of the an
ngled surfac
ce and two holes drille
ed into
that pad.
ctangular pad is one element
e
and
d the holes in the pad are a anotther. Each of
o these
The rec
elemen
nts have the
eir own dim
mensions to
o describe them and th
hen dimens
sions which
h place
them re
elative to th
heir parentt element.
D
t
the
feature
e. Position the feature
e.
Rule: Dimension

Introductio
on
d is placed on the ang
gled face a distance frrom the side wall and a distance from the
The pad
bottom edge. It is
s then x mm
m wide and
d y mm high
h. If its pos
sition chang
ges I don't want its
size to change.
es are x mm
m and y mm
m from the edges of the pad. If tthe pad mo
oves the
Similarly, the hole
y in the sam
me place on
n the pad. These
T
two last statem
ments are my
m design
holes need to stay
n intent nee
eds to be captured in my referen
nces and dimensions.
intent. This design

ove image shows two dimensioning scheme


es for our part.
p
Both have adequ
uate
The abo
dimens
sions to pro
oduce the fe
eature in mind.
m
But iff I try and move
m
the p
pad using th
he
dimens
sions on the
e left the de
esign intent will collap
pse - I will have to cha
ange all the
e
dimens
sions to ach
hieve my go
oal.
mension sch
heme on th
he right corrrectly captures my de
esign intentt and I can move
The dim
the pad
d simply an
nd quickly without
w
effe
ecting the general
g
characteristics
s of the form
m.
ering design intent as you model becomes yet more im
mportant as models become
Conside
more co
omplex and
d the conse
equences off changing one dimension becom
me more dramatic.
Getting
g into good habits earlly on will sa
ave you tim
me, frustrattion and failed features.

Introductio
on
etry
Symme
In Indu
ustrial/Product Design, many of the
t
productt we design
n or work w
with are sym
mmetrical
- one half of the product
p
bein
ng a mirrorr image of the
t
other. In the design process
s, models
veloped, mo
odified and updated many
m
times. Having to
o make a c
change to one
o
side
are dev
of the model
m
and then make identical changes to the
t
other is
s not an effficient way to work.

ackage give
es us some powerful to
ools to captture and maintain
m
The parrametric modelling pa
that symmetry. If a model is fundamen
ntally symm
metrical the
en this can be capture
ed in the
s such that any change
e to the oriiginal side of
o the model is autom
matically
modelling process
ed in the mirrored side
e. Consider the placement of the
e model relative to the
reflecte
fundam
mental datum planes and
a
use one
e of them as
a the symm
metry plane
e. Maybe even
e
rename
e it as such - CL is a common
c
ac
cronym for centre line which can later be migrated
into eng
gineering drawings.
d
evel 1: Edit Features: Mirror
See: Le
See: Le
evel 3: Top Down Design

Introductio
on

Interfface

002
0
m, ProE sho
ould be a re
easonably easy
e
interfa
ace for any
y Windows
s
In its current form
enced opera
ator to navigate. Few
w people use
e the softw
ware out of the box, there
t
are
experie
lots of ways
w
of cus
stomising the
t
look and
d behaviou
ur of the intterface. Yo
ou will notic
ce that
some of
o the image
es in this book look slightly different to you
ur installatio
on. See the
Custom
misation section.

s show its Unix


U
roots and have a few eleme
ents which are unique
e. Some
The sofftware does
non Wiindows behaviour wh
hich might catch
c
you out:
o
ng the softtware cu
ustom configuration filles and fold
ders (see C
Customisattion) will
Startin
be igno
ored and the software will run with the facto
ory defaults
s (imperial units, etc.) if you
start up
p ProE by double
d
click
king a file in My Computer. Use the shorttcut icon on
n the
desktop
p or Start Menu,
M
then
n open you
ur files from
m within Pro
oE.
hing windo
ows altho
ough you can have multiple mod
dels open at once, don
nt switch
Switch
betwee
en windows via the Wiindows tas
skbar or Allt Tab the
e window w
will not be active.
a
Use the
e Window drop down
n menu to switch
s
betw
ween open models.
m
Cttrl A to acttivate a
window
w which has
s lost focus.

Introduction
Right click menus so much functionality can be accessed through right click (RMB)
menus but you have to be able to get to them! The usual momentary right click is used
for geometry selection (see Selection), press and hold RMB to access the RMB menus.
File management knowing where stuff has gone, which files to keep, which to discard
is very different to most Windows software (see Managing the Model)

Viewing the Model Using the Mouse


A three button mouse is required to interact with the model in the graphics area. On
common mice the centre scroll wheel doubles as the middle mouse button MMB. The
three options for viewing the model from different aspects are spin (tumble), zoom and
pan.
Spin to spin or tumble the model three dimensionally simply press and hold the MMB
and move the mouse. In the default interface setup you will notice the blue/red/green
spin centre in the centre of your model this is the point about which the model will
spin.
A more controlled way to spin the model is to turn off the spin centre (top toolbar or
permanently through your configuration file see Customisation) and then the model
will spin about the cursor position on the model.
It is possible to carry out all your view manipulation one handed with just the MMB and
the scroll wheel if you get used to the way the zoom works the cursor position on the
screen dictates the centre of zoom the cursor is pointing at the element you are
zooming in on.
One handed view manipulation zoom out from the current position, spin the model,
zoom in on the new area of interest. Consider the cursor position on both zoom in and
zoom out this replaces the need to pan the view.

Introduction

Manipulation with Modifier Keys


Pan - Press and hold the middle mouse button + Shift + move the mouse
Turn - Press and hold the middle mouse button + Ctrl + move mouse horizontally
Zoom - Place pointer over focused geometry area + spin mouse wheel
or Zoom - Press and hold the middle mouse button + Ctrl + move the mouse vertically

Graphics Area Interaction


A lot of functionality can be accessed in the graphics area via context sensitive RMB
menus hover over different graphical elements and check out the different RMB menus,
e.g. RMB on a control handle (white square) to access options.
Other graphical elements will give different control - LMB on arrows to change direction,
drag handles, double click dimensions to modify. Experimentation is the key to finding
different methods of controlling your model.
The MMB can often be used as a shortcut for the OK button to complete a feature or
operation. On some operations it will also toggle through the tasks needed to complete
the feature.
The ESC key can be used to abandon a feature at any point in the build and avoid the
annoying Are you sure? prompt
Toolbars
RMB on any active icon to control toolbars - see Customisation

10

Introductio
on
Dashboard
eatures are controlled through th
he Dashboa
ard. This area
a
has bu
uttons, inpu
ut
Most fe
window
ws and men
nus which control the fundament
f
als of the feature.
f
Inp
put boxes
highligh
hted in yellow have fo
ocus so be careful
c
you put inform
mation or re
eferences in
n the
right bo
ox. Watch out
o for hidden buttons which loo
ok like inerrt icons e.g. theres a very
useful button
b
whic
ch equally spaces
s
axia
al patterns.
oard Controls
Common Dashbo

o Surface? Annoyingly, some features


f
de
efault to sollid Extrusion, Revo
olve Solid or
and som
me to surfa
ace Varia
able Sectio
on Sweep,, Swept Blend
Y
design
n intent can
n be robusttly captured
d in the fea
ature by usiing the
Depth control. Your
appropriate depth
h control ratther than le
eaving it on
n the defau
ult Blind
e (protrusiion) or Remove (cutt) materia
al? Like mo
ost options, this can be
b
Create
switche
ed at any time.
odel Tree
Browser and Mo
ault the Bro
owser and Model Tre
ee columns
s reside to the left of tthe graphic
cs area
By defa
use the
e tabs at the top of the
e column to
o switch be
etween the two.
s the initial column on startup an
nd is used to navigate to through
h your
Browser this is
king for a pa
articular file
e use the Preview
P
op
ption at the
e bottom
folders and files. When look
right off the folder window. Use
U the RM
MB menu to
o set a folde
er as the W
Working Diirectory
see File
F
Manag
gement.

11

Introductio
on

s column shows all the element in the curre


ent file in c
chronologica
al order
Model Tree this
features in a part file, partts in an assembly file, etc. The red
r
arrow a
at the end of
o the list
ow, it show
ws where the next elem
ment will be
e placed.
is the insert arro
e Insert Arrow
A
can be
b placed at
a any posittion in the m
model tree to insert
Insert Here the
feature
e or parts ea
arlier in the
e file historry in the Model
M
Tree > RMB > Insert Here or
simply drag the arrrow to the
e desired po
osition se
ee Managin
ng the Mod
del
ation
Featurre Modifica
The RM
MB menu on any item (feature, sketch,
s
refe
erence geom
metry, patttern, etc.) in
i the
Model Tree will the options Edit and Edit
E
Definition. Editt Definition
n will take you back
into the
e items build process and allow to
t redefine all elementts of the ite
em.
ves you quick access to the item
ms driving parameters
p
and allows
s limited dirrect
Edit giv
editing in the grap
phics area. The curso
or shape will change to
o a triangle
e if an entity is
dragable. Double click a dim
mension to modify, Ctr
rl G to rege
enerate the
e model.

Geom
metry Se
election Methods
s
hod for sele
ecting eleme
ents of a model
m
is to select
s
them
m with the mouse
m
The primary meth
d
in the
t
graphic
cs area. As
s your model becomes
s more com
mplex, this process
p
cursor directly
become
es more pro
oblematic as
a many fea
atures exist in the sam
me place orr are hidden by
other fe
eatures. Here are som
me strategiies for selec
cting geom
metry. Also rememberr items
can gen
nerally be selected
s
by
y the identitty in the mo
odel tree.
Smart selector Filters
As yourr cursor mo
oves across
s the model, the defau
ult action is
s to highligh
ht the mostt valid
geomettry in the current conttext, a tool tip will also indicate the
t
name o
of the item. Once
highligh
hted, this can
c
be selec
cted using the LMB. The
T
Smartt Filter list bottom right
r
of

12

Introduction
graphics area can also be set to a specific type of geometry say reference geometry or
surfaces.
Toggling
Press and hold the RMB in the graphics area to show the context sensitive menu. A
momentary RMB click will allow you to toggle through all items under the cursor at that
position. Keep the cursor still, toggle to the desired item, LMB to select.
Pick from list
The context sensitive RMB menu will also give you the option Pick From List, again,
showing all the items at that position in the graphics area.
Solid surface or edge selection
Solids can be broken down into surfaces, edges and vertexes. On occasions you will
need to select these elements individually, e.g. you may need to copy or offset a solid
surface. To select all solid surfaces; pick the solid > pick a surface > RMB Solid
Surfaces
The initial selection will select the whole solid, if you then scan over the solid the edges
and surfaces are highlighted. What is highlighted is very dependent on the existing
geometry.
Curve/Edge chain selection
You will need to collect (chain) a number of consecutive edges together for feature
trajectories and surface boundaries;

select the initial 'anchor' curve/edge

whilst hovering over the selected segment press and hold shift

look for the 'one-by-one' tool tip

continue to hold shift and select the segments you need for the chain.

remember you can momemtary RMB to toggle through the selectable segments

also look for a Tangent Chain to be highlighted

13

Level 1
Sketching
Base Features
Extrusion
Revolve
Blend
Sweep
Engineering features
Reference Geometry
Edit Features
Managing the Model
Assemblies

14

Level 1

Sketc
ching

003

ven, feature
e based mo
odeller, you
u will spend
d a lot of tim
me in the 2D
2
In any sketch driv
ducing a su
uccessful, robust sketc
ch to drive your 3D fo
orm
sketching environment. Prod
sign Inten
nt and traditional geom
metric relattionships su
uch as
requires a good grasp of Des
ndicular, tangent
t
an
nd parallel.
perpen
ding a lot off time in th
he sketching
g environm
ment, it is w
worth custom
mising
As youll be spend
the ske
etcher interrface accord
ding to your style of modelling
m
see Custo
omisation

etches for your


y
featurres can eith
her be; inte
ernal to (embedded within)
w
The 2D driving ske
e. Some sk
ketches hav
ve to be intternal the feature or a sttandalone, independent feature
ction sketch
h for a swe
eep for instance.
the sec
Internal
mpler featurres such as extrude and
a
revolve it is gene
erally quicker, and cre
eates a
For sim
tidier model
m
tree to
t create th
he sketch within
w
the fe
eature.

Ex
xpand the ffeature in the model

tree to find the intternal sketc


ch. RMB on
o the sketc
ch icon for direct conttrol over the sketch.
he feature > RMB (in the graphics area) > Define Internal Ske
etch
Start th

15

Level 1
Independent
Independent sketch features, which are selected whilst creating a feature, have a number
of advantages for more complex geometry and feature creation methods such as sweeps
and blends; you can visualise the form before creating the feature though the 'wireframe'
sketches, if the feature fails or is deleted you do not lose the multiple sketches driving the
feature.
Datum Plane
A new model will, by default, already have some Reference Geometry (see Reference
Geometry) existing in the 3D environment to use as foundations for your model. The
brown/black rectangles are Datum Planes 2D planes which are infinite in two
directions.
Setting up the Sketchplane
When creating most sketched based features there are three common setup consideration
which can be summarised as:
1. Sketchplane
The Sketchplane is the flat plane surface or datum plane on which you are going to
draw the 2D driving sketch underlying your feature think of it as the piece of paper in
your sketch pad. By default the sketch applied to the positive side of a datum plane
(the brown side) or surface (the outside). Flip the Sketch View Direction to apply to
the alternative side.
2. Sketch Orientation
When you put your sketch pad on your desk you make a conscious decision to place it in a
landscape or portrait orientation. Or, if you are adding to an existing sketch, you will
rotate the pad so the existing sketch (or the existing features in our CAD model) is in its
natural orientation. This is the purpose of the sketch orientation option.
You will need a surface or datum plane which is perpendicular to the sketchplane to select
and face to the top, bottom, left or right. This decides the dominant horizontal (+ve X,
pointing to the right) and vertical (+ve Y, pointing up) vectors in your sketch. If you
orient your model before starting the feature then this orientation will, if possible, be
assumed as the sketchplane orientation.

16

Level 1

Angle datum plane (used to


orient sketch) as sketch
reference

This option is very easy to ignore by accepting the system generated orientation but is
invaluable when needed. Creating text on a part is an obvious example where the Sketch
Plane orientation is significant.
In the above image, you can see the dominant geometry is rotated. An angled datum
plane was used to rotate the sketchplane relative to the world coordinate system, the
horizontal and vertical constraints are relative to that plane. The rotation of the sketch
driven feature can then easily be varied by changing the angle of the datum plane and the
sketch will follow.
Sketch > Sketch Setup (useful icon to add to your Sketch toolbar see
Customisation) to change the sketchplane or sketchplane orientation.
3. Sketching References
As with any parametric element, the position of your sketch on the sketchplane needs to
be formalised through dimensions and geometric constraints. Sketching References are
the entities from which dimensions can arise and with which geometric relations can be
formed. These references will show as brown dashed lines or, in the case of axis, vertices
and datum points, a brown cross.
By default, the system will arbitrarily choose enough references to position your sketch in
X ad Y - commonly two perpendicular datum planes. But to build a robust model you
must ask yourself if these are the most appropriate references (see Design Intent)? The
Sketching References dialogue box can be accessed any time during sketching to add or
delete references - Sketch > Sketch References (useful icon to add to your Sketch
toolbar see Customisation)

17

Level 1
dinate syste
em, point or
o perpendicular axis can
c
be chos
sen alone a
and will gen
nerate
A coord
both ve
ertical and horizontal dimensions
d
s. Otherwis
se choose a vertical an
nd a horizo
ontal
perpendicular plan
ne (surface
e or datum plane) ed
dges can be
e used, butt are more likely to
onsumed by
b other fea
atures.
cause a failure as they are co
our initial curves
c
to th
hese references, partic
cularly if th
he part is sy
ymmetrical, to
Snap yo
reduce the numbe
er of dimensional cons
straints.
hing Enviro
onment
Sketch
Once in
n the sketch
hing enviro
onment, you
u need to finish
f
your sketch
s
and click the Done
D
tick
icon to exit the sk
ketching environment. If you sav
ve whilst in
n the sketch
hing environment
you will only save the sketch
h and not th
he part file - this can be useful to
o import into other
es or parts. You can create
c
referrence geom
metry whilstt in the skettching enviironment
feature
see Reference
R
Geometry
y.
s or splines
s) which mu
ust be Reso
olved befo
ore it can
A Sketch is a set of curves (lines, arcs
d to genera
ate a solid. The Intent Manager
r constantly
y resolves tthe sketch as you
be used
add currves to it. To
T be resolv
ved, a Sketch must contain
c
eno
ough dimen
nsional and
geome
etric constrraints to fully describe
e the curves
s.
etric Consttraints
Geome
These constraint
c
ts can be accessed thrrough the constraints
c
flyout too
olbar in the
e
sketch
her toolbarr

Make two entities perp


pendicular

Make a lin
ne vertical or
o two
vertices vertically
v
alig
gned

Place poin
nt at centre of
o a line

Make a line horizontal


M
h
o two
or
v
vertices
horiizontally alig
gned

Make two points or line


es coinciden
nt
Make two lines paralle
el

Make
e on entity ta
angent to another
M
Make
two vertices symm
metric
arou
und a centre
e line

al
Make two entities equa

o be constrrained - the
eir position and charac
cteristics de
escribed an
nd
All entitties have to
formalised. This can
c
be achiieved throu
ugh Dimensional or Geometric
G
c constraintts.
sional consttraints show
w a linear or
o angular distance
d
be
etween entiities. Geom
metric
Dimens
constra
aints are mo
ore fundam
mental than this and describe the
e characteriistics of the
e relative

18

Level 1
position of entities. Always sort out your Geometric Constraints before your
Dimensional Constraints. They are more robust and better capture your design intent.
The Sketcher Intent Manager will automatically assign Geometric constraints as you
sketch - do not allow constraint to be assigned if they go against your design intent. As
with dimensions, geometric constraints can be selected and deleted
Sometimes selection can be a bit tricky, the coincidence constraint is a good example,
particularly when you get one on top of another. If you cannot highlight a constraint by
hovering your mouse over it, then whilst in the correct position either; RMB menu (press
and hold RMB) > pick from list - this will show all entities under the mouse pointer, or,
toggle through all the entities in that list with a momentary/quick RMB click until the one
you want highlights then LMB to select.

Constraint Definitions
Vertical - a line oriented vertically or two points vertically aligned
Horizontal - a line oriented horizontally or two points horizontally aligned

Vertical line

Horizontal line

Two points vertically aligned

Perpendicular - 2 curves at 90 to each other - this could be line/line, arc/line, arc/arc


Coincidence - puts two entities in the same place. Two points, a point on a line, two
lines, two arc centre points (concentricity).

19

Level 1

Perpendicular
Endpoint connection

Coincidence

Tangency fundamental to any industrial/product design modelling - at the point they


meet, two entity are travelling in the same direction - line/arc or arc/arc. Effectively a
smooth transition between two entities.

Equality - make two entities equal - lines equal length, arcs equal radius. Above
right all fillets are equal.
Symmetry Centreline - using a centreline as a construction line, you can constrain two
points, commonly curve/line endpoints to remain equally spaced each side of that
centreline.
Parallelism - make two lines parallel
Midpoint - constrains a point to always be half way along a line

20

Level 1

Good Sketching
Creating a robust and successful sketch as the basis of most of the common ProE features
is a crucial step on the way to a successful model.
Overview:

Create Curves to scale

Apply Geometric Constraints

Apply Dimensional Constraints

Modify Dimensions

These are the suggested steps for creating your sketch:


Step 1: Start in the right size sketching area by using the sketcher grid and zooming
in/out to make the graphics area the same size as your intended sketch.
This will avoid problematic bit by bit scaling through modification of dimensions in the
sketch once it is completed. Large movements of entities will often result in extreme
distortion of the sketch.
Step 2: Using Lines and Arcs (rather than trimmed Circles and Squares) starting from
one point and create the sketch in a continuous line.
Trimming circles and squares can often result in end points becoming disconnected so
causing open loops or ending up with lines on top of lines. Starting from one point and
switching from line to arc as you work around the loop will ensure good connection.
Step 3: Create the sketch to the correct proportions. This will avoid lots of resizing work.
Drag points and entities to approximately reshape the geometry. Snap entities to sketch
references.
Step 4: Apply geometric constraints. Connect the sketch to the sketching references and
use geometric constraints before dimensional constraints to fix its shape and proportions.
This will minimise the number of dimensional constraints.

21

Level 1
mensional constraints
s. It is good
d practise to
t try and leave the sketch
Step 5: Apply dim
o grey, wea
ak dimensio
ons. This ensures all dimensions
d
s have been
n considere
ed and
with no
checked
d.
he dimensio
ons. Using
g the pick ic
con, simply
y double clic
ck a dimension to
Step 6: Modify th
modify it.
sing the pic
ck icon you
u can drag a box aroun
nd all of yo
our dimensions to sele
ect them
Also, us
and the
en pick the Modify ico
on to list all the dimen
nsions for easy
e
modification. Unc
check the
regenerate option as this ma
ay cause dis
stortion as each dimension will b
be updated as you
c
Ro
ound up/do
own your dimensions as
a you go - do you rea
ally want your part
make changes.
47.632mm wide or
o 42.973de
egs?
ures using the sketch analysis to
ools
Step 7: Resolve sketch failu

ethod of cre
eating robu
ust sketches is by no means
m
the only way, e
everyone develops
d
This me
their ow
wn techniqu
ues which suit
s
there style
s
of worrking and ty
ype of mod
dels they bu
uild, but
its a go
ood starting
g point.

22

Level 1
Creating dimensions

Although dimensions will automatically applied to your sketch by the Intent Manager,
these may not always be appropriate for the proposed design intent. Creating new
Strong dimensions will override the Weak system generated dimensions. To create
dimension start the Dimension tool and use LMB to select entities and MMB to place the
dimension.
Picks

pick a straight line to show its length

pick two parallel lines to show the distance between them

pick two non parallel lines to show the angle between them

pick an arc to show its radius

pick an arc once, pick it again, then MMB to shows its diameter

In the sketch driving a revolve it can be more robust to show the dimensions as diameters
across the centreline rather than the default radii. Pick the edge defining the diameter,
pick the centreline and then pick the edge again, MMB to place the dimension on the
centreline.
Where you place the dimension will have a significant effect on what dimension is created,
with an angular dimension, do you want the inside or the outside angle? If you select two
points as below, do you want the horizontal, vertical or absolute distance between them?
Place the dimension where you would draw it in a conventional engineering drawing.

Modifying the sketch


In the Model Tree, RMB the sketch icon and choose Edit Definition to enter directly into
the sketching environment. This option can be accessed for a standalone sketch or an
internal sketch which can be found using the expand sign on the parent feature.
RMB > Edit gives you quick access to the sketch with out entering sketcher and allows
limited direct editing in the graphics area. The cursor shape will change to a triangle if an
entity is dragable. Double click a dimension to modify, Ctrl G to regenerate the model.
23

Level 1

Base Feature
es
f
crea
ation metho
od for creatting our
In this section we shall look at the four common feature
orms. These are Extrrusion, Re
evolve, Sw
weep and Blend.
B
Features that describe
d
initial fo
volume
es in ProE can
c
generally either crreate or sub
btract mate
erial. They can also generally
be used
d to create constructio
on surface features.

usion
Extru

ment of a sk
ketch along
g a linear pa
ath, adding
g or subtrac
cting
An extrrusion is the developm
materia
al. Start th
he feature and
a
select an
a external sketch or RMB in the
e graphics area >
Define
e Internal Sketch to create an internal
i
ske
etch.

Driv
ving
ske
etch

3D developmen
nt

Depth Control
Use the
e RMB men
nu via the depth
d
drag handle in the
t
graphic
cs area or th
oard
he dash bo
control to change the depth control. Ch
hoosing an appropriatte depth co
ontrol which
h robustly
capture
es the desig
gn intent

cified distan
nce
Blind spec
ymmetrica
al specified distance
e, half each
h side of the sketch plane
Sy
d surface of
o the two previous
p
options is parrallel to the
e sketch pla
ane
The end
24

Level 1

o Next continues
c
until next ge
eometry
To
Through Un
ntil can pass
p
throug
gh other geometry to selected
s
re
eference
d surface of
o the previo
ous two options is trim
mmed by th
he selected
d reference if its a
The end
curved surface the
en the end face will be
e curved to
o match

o Selected
d as Blind but distance defined
d by selecte
ed referenc
ce
To
d surface with
w
To Selected will be parallel or trimmed
d dependen
nt on selectted
The end
reference

cts all featu


ures in the model as
s the model grows the
e depths
Through All intersec
grows
ashboard > Options drop down
n menu also
o allows you
u to develo
op the featu
ure from
The Da
both sid
des of the sketch
s
plan
ne with diffferent deptth control options.
o

25

Level 1
m
into each
e
other as a single
e volume, so,
s if its
Intersecting solid features will simply merge
onvenient, you can us
se a datum plane with
hin a solid or
o extrude tthrough and out the
more co
other side of a sollid.

Revolve

etched secttion internal or external - rotattes through


h 0 360 a
around an axis
The ske
which must
m
be on the same plane (plan
nar surface or datum plane)
p
as th
he sketch. The axis
could be;
b a centre
eline drawn
n within the
e sketch, an
n existing straight edg
ge or an axiis.

etch must, logical, be on only on


ne side of th
he axis, oth
herwise you
u would be
The ske
sweepin
ng two volu
umes aroun
nd the axis 180 appo
osed.

26

Level 1

Either; whilst in sketcher, create and select a centreline, select the centreline, RMB >
Axis of Revolution
Or; in the Dashboard, Placement > Axis > select an edge, axis or curve on the same
plane as the section sketch plane.
The revolve has similar Depth Options to the Extrude which refer to the angular
development of the revolve rather then the linear development.

27

Level 1

Blend
d/Loft
end or Loftt (more generic CAD term)
t
form has multip
ple 2D secttions which are set
The Ble
apart (parallel or non paralle
el) from eac
ch other, th
he CAD sys
stem create
es a solid by filling
g
betwe
een these crross section
ns. The res
sultant solid then has a controlle
ed cross
in the gaps
section at the poin
nts along itts developm
ment where
e the sections (sketche
es or edge chains)
are pos
sitioned, be
etween the sketches th
he system makes the best fit.

ures followin
ng this construction method
m
in ProE
P
are the Blend, th
he
The primary featu
d the Boun
ndary Blen
nd Surface. The simple Blend function sttill
Swept Blend and
languishes in the Menu Man
nager interrface so herre we shall discuss a s
simple blen
nd using
wept Blend
d. The Swe
ept Blend requires a trajectory but
b we shall not consider its
the Sw
influenc
ce at this point
p
(see Level
L
2 > Swept
S
Blen
nd..conttd).
a two main issues which
w
need addressing when crea
ating a blen
nd feature; number
There are
of verttices in eac
ch section and
a
alignme
ent of the start
s
pointts.
x (plural: ve
ertices) the end po
oint of a currve or the point
p
where
e two curve
es or
Vertex
edges meet
m
er of Vertiices
Numbe
In the example
e
be
elow, a circle has been
n blended to
t a hexago
on. The edges which join
j
the
two sec
ctions and represent
r
t
the
volume are joined from vertic
ces on one section to vertices
on the next.

28

Level 1

a in the ab
bove left ex
xample, the
ere are an different
d
nu
umber of vertices in the two
But if, as
sections (a circle has
h no verttices) then the system
ms needs to
o be told wh
here to con
nnect the
t
In this case the ciircle has be
een split intto six arcs therefore
t
c
creating six vertices.
points to.
he number of vertices is to creatte a Blend Vertex, th
his is
Another option to equalise th
u to conne
ect two poin
nts from th
he
essentially a pointt on top of a point which allows us
on to one po
oint on the segmented
d circle. Th
his gives a different fo
orm again.
hexago
P
Start Points
In each
h of the sec
ctions one of
o the vertic
ces is desig
gnated as the start po
oint. These
e are the
first points to be joined betw
ween the se
ections, the system then moves logically aro
ound the
ach point in
n turn.
sections joining ea
e final form. This can be seen in the two
Where your start points are placed decides on the
ere the start point has
s been mov
ved in the second
s
mod
del giving a very
images above whe
nt form. De
ecisions concerning nu
umbers of vertex's
v
an
nd start poin
nt positions
s is very
differen
much based
b
on yo
our Design
n Intent.

29

Level 1
Swept Blend method

Review the dashboard setting protrusion or cut? Also, this feature defaults to surface
geometry not solid, change the setting accordingly.
Select Trajectory sketch, datum curve, edge or edge chains which exist before the
feature construction. The Trajectory needs to start at or before the first section and
extend to or past the last section. Go to Dashboard > References for Trajectory
details. Notice one the end of the Trajectory is labelled with an arrow indicating the start
end you need to select your sections starting at this end.
Sections edge chains or sketches. Dashboard > Sections - the default setup is to
create sketches internal to the feature.

The more robust method is to select existing

edge chains or create external sketches, this way you have two advantages; you can
visualise the solid beforehand and you dont lose internal sketches if you lose the feature.
Sections > Selected Sections > Insert > select your section > Insert > select next
section. Check the alignment of the Start Points in each section, drag to a new position
if need.
Blend Vertex select the appropriate section > Sections > Blend Vertex > drag the
vertex to the appropriate position on the section - a Blend Vertex cannot coincide with
the Start Point.
Trajectory

Number of vertices

30

Level 1
e
be
elow, the ed
dge of the model is us
sed as the trajectory a
and three different
d
In the example
sections are place
ed along the
e trajectory
y.. To create the sections in the appropriatte
ns along the top edge you will ne
eed some extra
e
datum
m planes. T
The sketche
es are
position
Datum
m Sketches
s on Datum
m Planes created
c
nor
rmal to the
e edge see Level 1 >
Refere
ence Geom
metry

etry
Symme
If your model is sy
ymmetricall and one of
o your blen
nd sections resides on the symmetry
plane then your need to ensu
ure that the
e resultant volume me
eets the sy
ymmetry pla
ane
T
will ens
sure a smooth transitiion across the
t
symme
etry plane when
w
the
normal, at 90. This
pt Blend an
nd Level 3 > Midplan
ne/Symme
etry
part is mirrored. See Level 2 > Swep
nuity
Contin

31

Level 1

Swee
ep
pment of a 2D sketch
h along a no
on linear pa
ath resultin
ng in a 3D fform with a
Develop
constan
nt cross sec
ction
ketch, datum curve orr edge chain
n
Trajecttory pre existing sk
Section
n must be
b created internal to the
t
feature
e but can re
eference to (using the Use
Edge tool in Skettcher) exis
sting sketch
h or edges
ain issue wh
hen creatin
ng simple sw
weeps is th
he placemen
nt of the se
ection relative to
The ma
the patth it is to th
he trajectorry.

a
exam
mple two id
dentical circ
cles have be
een swept along the s
same trajec
ctory
In the above
the cen
ntre of the circle
c
remains the exa
act same distance from
m the trajec
ctory at every point
and the
e cross secttion remain
ns normal (at 90 to) the trajecto
ory at everry point.

he same tra
ajectory and
d section, two
t
very diffferent form
ms have be
een created. The
With th
form crreated on th
he inside off the trajec
ctory is selff intersectin
ng the volume of ma
aterial is

32

Level 1
overlapping itself. If the width of the feature is greater then the radius around which it is
being swept (see above sketch) then the volume will be self intersecting.

Poorly resolved
self intersecting
geometry

Trajectory

Variable Section Sweep Method

For a constant section sweep we shall be using the Variable Section Sweep tool from
the Base Features toolbar.

VSS > RMB in graphics area > Constant Section

Review the dashboard setting protrusion or cut? Also, this feature defaults to
surface geometry not solid.

Select your trajectory select either a sketch or chain of edges.

If your trajectory is a made up of a number of curves or edges - a chain - do not


use Crtl pick to collect the curves/edges - see Geometry Selection Methods >
Curve/Edge Chain Selection

Only select a single trajectory

RMB menu > Sketch or Sketch icon in Dashboard

33

Level 1

Section
No visible datum plane is created, the sketchplane is simply represented by the yellow
xy vector reference lines. By default the plane is created normal to the end of the
trajectory. Tumble your view to make sure you can visualise the sketchplane position
and orientation.
You can use an existing section or edges by using the Use Edge function in Sketcher.
Remember to consider whether the section/edges plane is normal to the end of the sweep
trajectory.

34

Level 1

Engin
neering features
f
s
ketched based feature
es modify existing
e
geo
ometry thro
ough the
This set of (generally) non sk
on of simple
e edge or surface
s
refe
erences. Ro
ounds (Filllets) and C
Chamfers will add
selectio
or subtract material, Holes and
a
Shells
s subtract material.
m

Round (Fillet)

es an edge or chain off edges with a ribbon surface hav


ving a tang
gential relattionship
Replace
to both parent surrfaces. Material is add
ded betwee
en two surffaces which
h meet at an angle
an 180, orr subtracte
ed between
n two surfaces which meet at an angle morre than
less tha
180.
ault, the rib
bbon surfac
ce has a circ
cular sectio
on and has a tangentia
al relations
ship to
By defa
the two
o adjacent surfaces.
s
T
This
could be
b a single radius alon
ng the length of the ch
hain or
the radius could vary
v
in size along the chain.
c
The system auttomatically creates a chain
t
is a ta
angent rela
ationship be
etween edg
ge endpointts. In the e
example be
elow only
whilst there
one edg
ge was sele
ected but a chain is fo
ormed of the three tan
ngential edg
ges.

Featurres Management - iff you have multiple ed


dges or chains which h
have a common size
fillet then manage
e those edg
ges under one
o
feature. Hold the Ctrl key to
o 'collect' th
he edges
R
menus
s on the dra
ag handles (as above)) for differe
ent
you want to fillet. Use the RMB
s. Make sure you expe
eriment witth the dash
hboard options.
options
s
a sub
bsequent ed
dge withou
ut holding Ctrl
C
then a new Set off edges willl be
If you select
created
d. Each edg
ge Set has unique parameters. Manage
M
Se
ets through Dashboar
rd>Sets

35

Level 1
ble Rounds
s RMB (o
on the radiu
us drag han
ndles) > Ad
dd Radius to create a
Variab
variable round with
w
multiple
e control po
oints. Drag
g the new radius
r
to an
ny position along
ge chain.
the edg
es points where multiple edges
s join witho
out tangenc
cy, when an
n edge beco
omes
Failure
tangentt to a surfa
ace requirin
ng the fillet to become
e infinitely big/small,
b
p
pushing a variable
v
round too
t
hard. Try
T reordering the rou
und features
s. Try variables radii..

Cham
mfer

Replace
es an edge or chain off edges with a ribbon surface. Similar
S
to a Round (Fiillet)
except the referen
nce edge is replaced with
w
a flat rather
r
than a radius se
ection surfa
ace. You
cannot create a va
ariable chamfer.

By defa
ault the flatt is created an equal distance
d
fro
om the edge
e into the ttwo adjacen
nt
surface
es. This can
n be changed to be un
nequal usin
ng distances
s or a dista
ance and an
ngle.

mfer Trans
sitions see Level 2 > Rounds
s and Chamfers
Round and Cham

36

Level 1

Hole

008
al of a cylin
ndrical volu
ume of mate
erial around an axis normal
n
to
Remova
the refe
erence surfface.
s can be a parallel, fla
at bottomed
d hole, or itt could be a hole with a
At its simplest this
m profile driv
ven by a sk
ketch, or it could be a standard hole whose profile is specified
custom
by a sta
andards ag
gency such as ISO or ANSI.

Referen
nces in this example:
e
Coaxial top surfac
ce and
central a
axis
Radial top surface
e, radius from
m
central a
axis and angle from verticcal
datum plane
Conical conical su
urface, top
surface a
and angle fro
om vertical
datum plane
Cylindriical cylindrrical surface,
bottom ssurface and angle
a
from
vertical d
datum plane

ment surfa
ace - the su
urface you are going to
t 'drill' the
e hole into c
can be either
Placem
planar, cylindrical or conical. The hole axis will be
e normal to this surfa
ace.
s
you want to 'drill' into is not planar, cylindrical or conical - e.g. a complex
If the surface
3D surfface - or if the hole ne
eeds to be at
a an angle
e to the placement surrface then you
y
will
need to
o create a datum
d
plane in an app
propriate orrientation to use as th
he placement
surface
e. This could also be a plane at the
t
hole depth drilling
g outwards
s. For a complex
3D surfface you co
ould set up a plane at the approp
priate orientation abov
ve the surfa
ace as
the prim
mary refere
ence for the
e hole.
e
be
elow;
In the example

a datum po
oint was created on th
he surface at
a the hole position

an axis was created through


t
the
e point and normal to the surface
e

37

Level 1

the datum plane (to be


b used as the primarry reference
e) was then
n created th
hrough
the point and
a
normal to the axis
s

the axis an
nd the plane
e were then selected as the hole
e references
s to create a coaxial
hole

Placem
ment referrences most
m
of the process can
n be carried
d out in the
e graphics area
a
using th
he drag handles and RMB
R
menus. Use the
e Placemen
nt drop dow
wn box to change
c
from Liinear to Ra
adial place
ement. The
ere are man
ny differentt combinatiions of refe
erences
for plac
cing a hole experime
ent with dra
ag the drag
g handles over
o
different entities.

s the placement surface. This is the most


Primarry reference - this is not always
significa
ant referen
nce in placin
ng the hole
e. It could be a plana
ar, cylindriical or con
nical

38

Level 1
surface, or it could be an axis or a point. Depending on what you choose will dictate
what other references are required.
Offset References - defining the position of the axis on the placement surface - access
via RMB menu or Placement drop down. Different types of positioning references will be
required according to what type of placement reference you have chosen
Linear - dimension from X and Y references - these must be perpendicular to the primary
reference. Surface/plane as placement reference
Coaxial - the hole axis is aligned with an existing axis. Crtl pick axis and surface/plane in
placement box.
Radial/Diameter - the hole axis is placed at a radius/diameter from a reference axis. It
also needs an angular dimension 'around' the axis from a chosen plane which is parallel to
the hole axis. Surface/plane as placement reference, change Type to Radial/Diameter,
axis and perpendicular angle surface/plane as Offset references.
Other combinations:
Planar placement reference - positional references could be linear, coaxial, or
radial/diameter.
Cylindrical placement reference - this will require a linear reference (1) to place the
hole along the cylinder and a plane parallel (2) to the cylinder axis to give an angular
reference. Placement surface (3).

39

Level 1
al - this req
quires the same
s
refere
ences as a cylindrically
c
y placed ho
ole. The lin
near
Conica
reference will tran
nslate the distance
d
alo
ong the ang
gular surfac
ce.

ced to a surface) is ch
hosen as the primary reference
r
Point - if a point (datum poiint referenc
then th
he hole axis
s will be norrmal to the
e surface th
he point res
sides on a very useful
exception which doesnt
d
need
d a planar reference.

40

Level 1

Shell

ature removes the internal volum


me from a solid
s
leaving a specifie
ed wall thic
ckness.
This fea
Selecte
ed surfaces of the solid
d are generrally remov
ved to creatte an openiing to the internal
void, alternatively
a
y you can create
c
a clo
osed shell.
c
be a prroblematic feature
f
if th
he solid has complex geometry. Sometime
es you
Shells can
will hav
ve to think of a work around
a
to achieve
a
you
ur design in
ntent. Classic problem
m areas
are fille
et surfaces fillets witth a radius less than the shell wall
w thicknes
ss or complex
transitions can cause shell fa
ailure.

o
in model tree the shell feature offfsets all solid surfaces
s which prec
cede it in
Shell order
the model tree think
t
carefu
ully about the
t
order in
n which you
u place the shell. The
e bottom
e has been removed in
n the below
w example, the cylindrrical cut is s
shown place
ed before
surface
and after the shell feature.

ng thicknes
sses the default thickness is applied
a
to all surfaces unless they
y added
Varyin
to the Reference
R
es > Non default
d
thic
ckness listt each surface in this list can be
assigne
ed its individual surfac
ce.
41

Level 1

Partial shell you can exclude surfaces from the shell process through Options >
Excluded Surfaces. Use with caution, think logically about whether the resultant surface
set can be offset
Negative offset - although the offset surfaces are commonly generated internally, you
can flip the thickness direction to create the offset surface on the outside of the part.
See also Level 3 > Thickening and Offset Surfaces

Reference Geometry

When you start a new part file it generally contains at least three datum planes and a
coordinate system. These features do not form part of the solid model but are there as a
reference or foundation for model features. Further reference geometry may need to be
created to establish a reference or foundation for subsequent features where no suitable
reference exists - remember, everything has to be fixed in the 3D space.
Degrees of Freedom (DoF) the freedom to move in a direction which has not been
referenced to another entity. Can the entity be moved in any direction or rotated?
Objects in our 3D space have six degrees of DoF sliding along or rotating around the X,
Y or Z vector.
The reference geometry you create has to referenced in space such that it has no DoF.
You will not be allowed to complete the feature until all the DoF have been resolved
until it has been fully constrained. How many references or constraints are needed to
place your new reference feature is dependent on what sort of geometry it is and what
you are constraining it to.
Normalcy - the term normal is generally used instead of perpendicular or orthogonal to
describe a curve or axis being at 90 (in all directions) to a plane or surface.

42

Level 1

Datum Points:
- General Point Tool
- Sketched Point Tool
- Offset Coordinate
System Tool

Datum Plane
Axis
Datum Curves
Sketched Curve
Coordinate System

Datum Points a recognised position in space


General Datum Point Tool simply select individual or Ctrl select multiple references to
position the point. Notice that this feature can contain multiple points (New Point option
in the points list) helping you keep a concise model tree.
If you simply pick a new reference without pressing Ctrl, the system will automatically
start a new point. Do not create Datum Points on edge vertices or curve end points,
these can be selected as points directly.
Datum Point Reference Combinations
Constrained to other references:
On a surface/plane with linear positioning references to other entities, i.e. two other
surfaces/planes
On an edge/line positioned relative to the end of the edge/line or relative to another
feature in the model or at the intersect of the curve and another feature
On an axis relative to another reference, an intersecting reference or a linear distance
If you need to attach a sketch to a curve or edge passing through the sketch plane then
you could create a point at the intersect of the curve/edge and the sketchplane. This can
then be selected as a sketch reference
Sketched Point tool not commonly used but useful if you need some regular order to a
set of planar points using construction lines in the sketch can help position the points,
e.g. setting points on a pitch circle diameter.

43

Level 1
ol very us
seful for co
onstructing a point clo
oud, a
Offset Coordinatte System Point Too
set of 3D
3 points re
eferenced in X, Y and Z to a coordinate sys
stem. Simp
ply pick a coordinate
system and pick in
n the table to create new
n
points.. Hover ov
ver the X, Y or Z vecto
or around
the point to drag it in that diirection.

P
Planes
although it is
s representted by a fin
nite rectang
gular graphic, this plan
nar
feature
e is infinite in two dime
ensions the
t
graphic changes siize accordin
ng to the extents of
the model. The datum plane
e has a brown positive
e side and a black neg
gative side.
g becomes more
m
considered you may need to control w
which is the
e positive
As yourr modelling
(Normal) side of the Datum
m Plan; Da
atum Plane
e dialogue box > Disp
play tab > Normal
et the size
e of the graphical
Directiion > Flip. In this wiindow, you can also se
represe
entation of the plane very usefful when yo
ou start getting a lot o
of planes in your
model
m Plane Re
eference Combinatio
ons
Datum

parallel offfset from another


a
plane/surface

normal to a plane/su
urface

through an
a axis/line//edge/point

angular offfset from another


a
pla
ane - must be combin
ned with th
hrough
axis/line/ed
dge

st setup in the
t
above list is worth
h expanding
g as it is es
ssential for more comp
plex
The las
setups. A Datum
m Plane can
n be set at an angle to
o another plane
p
or surrface by first
ng a curve,, edge or axis
a
for the
e plane to go
g through
h as the axis of rotatio
on for
choosin
the ang
gular increm
ment. Then
n choose a Datum Pla
ane or plan
nar surface
e which is parallel
p

44

Level 1
a
of rotation as the
e angular offfset or zero
o reference
e. Although
h the offsett
to the axis
reference has to be
b parallel to
t the rotattional reference it doe
es not have
e to be on the same
ow example
e, the frontt top edge (1) is the rotational
r
re
eference an
nd the
plane in the belo
top surrface (2) is the offset reference.
r

A
Axis
a refference line
e of infinite
e length
C
ions
Axis Reference Combinati

Through a point/verttex/curve/e
edge

Normal to
o a surface (doesnt ha
ave to be planar)
p
or Datum
D
Plane
e

Axis canno
ot be set att an angle to another entity

ample of co
ontext driv
ven proces
sses; Crtl select
s
two
One axis creation method is a good exa
cting Datum Planes, click on th
he Axis too
ol. An axis is created instantly att the
intersec
intersec
ction of the
e two plane
es without the
t
need to
o enter or exit
e
the tooll interface.
m Curves
Datum

S
Sketched
D
Datum
Currve altho
ough this ha
as been pre
etty well co
overed in th
he
Sketch
hing section
n, it is wortth mentioning that a sketched
s
cu
urve does n
not have to
o be a
formal closed loop
p, it could be
b collection
n of closed, open and intersectin
ng construc
ction
urposes oth
her than cre
eation of so
olids.
curves used for pu

45

Level 1

Curve Through Points CTP if you have the ISDX free form surfacing license
then use that to create 3D construction curves - it is quicker, easier and gives more
control see Level 3 > ISDX. If not, then the CTP tools is still a very powerful feature,
but it does still languish in the old Menu Manager interface. The points in the title do not
have to be Datum Points, they can be edge vertices or curve end points.
Start the CTP feature
CRV OPTIONS > Thru Points > Done
CONNECT TYPE > Single Point > select points/vertices/curve ends though which the
curve is to pass
Done > OK
For setting end conditions see Level 2 > Curve Through Points

Projected onto a surface - although there are many options to create a curve on a
non planar surface, one of the simplest methods is to project a sketch. Common
scenario for this setup is to create a trajectory for producing a sweep along a surface.
Create a Sketched Datum Curve on an appropriately placed plane or planar surface,
select the completed feature, Edit > Project, select the surface to project the curve onto.
If the projection is across multiple surface patches then Ctrl select all the surfaces.

Edit Features
Edit Features exploit existing geometry to create new geometry with different levels of
variation. We shall look at the Mirror and Pattern functions and the ability to Copy and
Paste features

Mirror

To create a mirrored copy of a feature simply select the feature, select the mirror tool and
then select the plane about which the feature is to be mirrored. The mirror plane can be a
datum plane or a planar surface, a surface in the original feature is also valid.
46

Level 1

Dep
pendent orr

Indep
pendent?

You will notice tha


at two different icons (as above) are used in the mode
el tree when you
mirror features.
f
D
Dashboard
d > Option
ns > Copy as Depend
dent will b
be ticked by
y default
if it is possible
p
to create an associative
a
e mirrored feature one
o
which w
will update to follow
the orig
ginal. If yo
ou cannot create
c
a Dependent co
opy then try
y grouping the feature
e with its
constru
uction geom
metry and mirroring
m
th
he group.

01
11

Model Symmetry
y

A very powerful method


m
to capture
c
Des
sign Inten
nt is to mirrror the entire model trree.
Select the
t
model name
n
at the top of the
e model tre
ee and then
n selecting the mirror function.
This is more robus
st than mirrroring a se
election of features
f
as it mirrors a
all the elem
ments
needed
d to create the
t
mirror geometry. This an as
ssociative mirror
m
(Dep
pendent) as
s all the
constru
uction featu
ures are mirrrored.

47

Level 1

Patte
ern

012
To crea
ate multiple
e instances
s (copies) of
o a feature
e or feature
es in a regu
ular pattern
n you can
select the
t
items and then use the patte
ern tool. Pa
atterns can be linearr - line or grid,
radial - referenced
d to an axis
s, follow a curve
c
or fill an area bo
ounded by a sketch. At their
st level they
y are very quick and easy
e
to setup but can be taken tto a very high level
simples
of comp
plexity. Th
he more com
mplex Dimension patterns will be
b considerred in Leve
el 2.
t
direction and cha
aracteristics
s. Instance
es can be
All pattterns need references to define their
created
d in a one or
o two direc
ctions a liine or grid for linear patterns,
p
a single or multiple
m
concentric circles for a radiall pattern.

c
firs
stly define the
t
type of pattern, th
his will then
n dictate wh
hich
The dashboard controls
ed. If a patttern type is greyed ou
ut it is not
direction reference boxes are displaye
c
geo
ometry. The number of
o copies in
n each direc
ction is also
o
applicable to the chosen
displayed.
mber to use your RMB
B menus as well. Once
e a leading feature ha
as been sele
ected,
Remem
the functionality can
c
be initia
ated from the
t
Pattern
n icon or th
hrough the RMB menu
u. The
s
can be
b activated
d through the RMB menu.
major steps
n pattern an individua
al feature or a Group of features
s - Ctrl pick
k the relativ
ve
You can
consecu
utive featurres in the model
m
tree > RMB > Group
G
> RMB
R
> Patttern.

Simple
e patterns - Directtion, Axis, Curve, Fill
F

48

Level 1

ucting thes
se patterns you will on
nly see a black dot to represent the
t
As you are constru
position
n of the ins
stances, the
ere is no prreview.
surface to signify
s
a dirrection for one
o
or
Directiion simple grid patttern, choose a plane/s
two directions. Th
he patterning direction
n is normall to the cho
osen references. RMB
B options
erence and Direction
n 1 Referen
nce, dashb
board boxes
s for numbe
er of
Directiion 1 Refe
instanc
ces.

nify the cen


ntre of rotation. The driving
d
insta
ance could be on a
Axis - choose an axis to sign
elative to th
he axis.
planar, cylindrical or conical surfaces re
mension is the
t
angula
ar placemen
nt how many
m
degree
es around the
t
axis
First dirrection/dim
betwee
en each insttance. A ra
adial patterrn does nott have to co
over 360 , the numbe
er of
instanc
ces and the angular increment dictates the arc covered
d.

49

Level 1
cond direction/dimens
sion is the radial
r
placement th
he radius distance from
m the
The sec
axis. Multiple
M
insttances in th
his direction
n will create concentriic rings
attern, equal spacin
ng a very
y useful, but not very well adverttised button
n which
Axis pa
automa
atically equally spaces
s the instan
nces around
d the chose
en angle.

Equa
al spacing
f
the driving insttance does not have tto be on the
e curve.
Curve - choose a sketch to follow,
ment with the
t
settings
s in the Opttions menu.
Experim
hoose a ske
etch as a boundary to
o fill. Lots of
o different options forr fill pattern
n,
Fill - ch
increme
ent dimens
sions, distan
nce form th
he boundarry hours of
o fun!
ence if yo
ou modify a feature which is the driving instance of an
n existing pattern,
p
Refere
say a fiillet on a pa
atterned ex
xtrusion, an
nd then patttern the ne
ew feature, it will follo
ow the
existing
g pattern it is autom
matically referenced to
t the unde
erlying patttern.
essing Ins
stances if
i you click on the blac
ck preview dots for an
ny pattern you
y
can
Suppre
suppres
ss that partticular insta
ance in the
e pattern.
e the num
mber of pattterned insttances can very quickly
Pattern regeneration time
h of these in
nstances ha
as to be reg
generated every
e
time the model is
increase and each
ed. Unless you have a very powe
erful PC you
u will find that
t
regene
erating pattterns can
change
take up
p a lot of tim
me. Try su
uppressing the pattern
n while you are workin
ng on otherr features
pick the
t
pattern in the mod
del tree > RMB
R
> Suppress
vel 3 for methods
m
to reduce patttern regeneration tim
mes.
See Lev

50

Level 1
mbly Patterrns
Assem
Any ass
sembled pa
arts can be patterned in the asse
embly - line
ear, radial, reference or
o fill.

e
ab
bove the bo
olts from a reference
e pattern - they are re
eferenced to
t the
In the example
pattern
ned hole in the part file
e.

Copy and Pas


ste
You can
n use the Copy,
C
Paste, and Pas
ste Special command
ds to duplicate and pla
ace
feature
es, geometrry, curves, and edge chains.
c
You can copy and
a
paste ffeatures witthin the
same model
m
or be
etween two different models.
m
Wh
hat you are
e presented
d with at the Paste
stage is
s very much dependen
nt on what was Copie
ed.
ng datum curves fro
om edges - by pre-se
electing edg
ges you can
n create a copy
c
as a
Creatin
datum curve eithe
er as an ex
xact copy or
o an appro
oximate co
opy this w
will approximate a
o tangent curves
c
as a single continuous currvature spliine curve. Whilst in th
he paste
chain of
interfac
ce you can extend the
e Chain of Edges.
m
fo
or Pasting solid features:
Two methods
When you
y
use Edit > Paste, the system opens th
he feature creation
c
too
ol, so you can
c
redefine the copie
ed feature.
y
use Edit > Paste Special, the
t
system allows you
u to replace
e the origina
al
When you
references with th
he new ones.
51

Level 1

Managing the Model


Build a robust model
Don't worry too much about how long it takes to build a model, more importantly,
consider how long it will take to modify it - again and again and again and..... When you
do modify your model, will everything update nicely or does the whole thing fall over and
fail? Things will fail, you cannot consider every likely development.
Don't be afraid to test your model, change dimensions and see what happens - make sure
you save it first! The ability to develop the model is the real power of the parametric CAD
modeller, but many people do not fully exploit this power and put up with under
developed models due to poorly managed models which fall over with the smallest
change.
Parent/Child Relationships
Just as you could not exist if your parents did not exist then one feature which is
referenced to another feature cannot be resolved if the reference feature ceases to exist
or is fundamentally altered. Features have parents and children and you should always
consider those relationships when making modifications to your model.
You cannot reference one element to another unless that element exists earlier in the
Model Tree. Change the position of the Insert Arrow by dragging it or using the RMB
> Insert Here option in the Model Tree to create elements earlier in the file. Or simply
drag elements up and down the model tree naturally you will not be able to position
elements after Child references or before their Parent references.
Ultimately you will want to make changes which cause child features to fall over, but
thats OK as long as you understand where the conflict is and how to resolve it. Generally
its as simple as picking an alternate reference in a sketch or reselecting an edge for a
fillet. Sometimes failures occur because references assume new identities and not
because of the change in the geometry.
Create then Modify
Features are very easily redefined. If something didnt turn out as you wanted or fails
then you do not have to delete it and start again you simply go back into the feature
creation process and tweak the parameters.

52

Level 1
es
Failure
If the fe
eature you have creatted cannot be built or your actions have efffected anotther
feature
e, i.e. youv
ve fundamentally chan
nged or rem
moved referrences, then a warning
g
messag
ge will give you the op
ption to undo the changes or co
ontinue. Iff you contin
nue, the
effected
d features in the Mod
del Tree will turn red and be sup
ppressed. T
They are no
ot delete
but the
ey are taken
n out of the
e build, RM
MB > Edit Definition
D
to sort out the failure
e.

File Manageme
ent
ng Directo
ory
Workin
This is the defaultt folder for opening an
nd saving files. It is also the fold
der that Pro
oE looks
n it initially starts up for
f configurration and customisat
c
ions files (s
see
in when
Custom
misation). A default installation
n will use My
M Docume
ents as the
e Working
Directo
ory, its wo
orth changing this to a dedicated
d folder dire
ectly on the
e hard drive
e C:\
operties on the Windo
ows start icon for Pro
oE,
Create a new folder on C:\, RMB > pro
change
e the Start In folder to the newly
y created fo
older on C::\ Put any configuration and
custom
misation files
s in this folder, this will ensure they are con
nsidered when the sofftware is
initially
y opened.

ct folders in this folderr. Through the Folder Browserr, you can use
u the
Create any projec
RMB menu
m
to set project sub folders as
s the Work
king Directory. In th
his way new
w files
will sav
ve to the prroject folder and files will open frrom the pro
oject folderr.

53

Level 1
Version files
Each time you save your model, ProE will save a complete new file with a version
number after the file extension, e.g. if I saved the file bracket.prt three times I would find
bracket.prt.1, bracket.prt.2 and bracket.prt.3 in the working directory. This allows you
to track changes and revert to previous build states of a model. The highest version
number file is the most recent.
To delete version files of the active model either use the File > Delete > Old Versions take care not to pick All Versions. Or simply use My Computer to find and delete the
unwanted files. This is a useful process to record in a Mapkey and place in the top File
toolbar see Customisation.
Associativity
First you create your core part files. From these you create assembly files and drawing
files. These subsequent files, .asm and .drw, do not contain the original part files which
are used within them. Each time they are opened or regenerated they will be rebuilt or
redrawn according the latest version of the part file.
For this reason it is good practise that you keep all associated files together in one folder
and if they are associated to another file only rename them in ProE not in My Computer.
To rename a file; open the file and any associated assembly or part files > RMB on the
model name at the top of the model tree > Rename. This will rename the file and reorganise any references in associated files.

54

Level 1

Assem
mblies
p
you
ur model represents ex
xists in reality in seve
eral parts as
ssembled or
o
If the product
moulde
ed togetherr, then it is most appro
opriate that these parrts are mod
delled as se
eparate
part file
es which arre then brought togeth
her as an assembly
a
o part files
of
s.

ained in an assembly file is; the names of tthe part file


es and
Importtant: All that is conta
position
nal informa
ation about how they fit
f togetherr.
erred (or stored in any
y way) to th
he assemblly file, whatt you see
The parrt files are not transfe
is simply an image
e (instance
e) of the part file in its
s current state - if you
u open the part file
ange it then
n the assem
mbly will ch
hange. The
e assembly is associatted to the part
p
files
and cha
- it cannot exist with
w
out the
e parts files.
s in the ass
sembly are referred to
o as Compo
onents. The assembly file
The parrt instances
extension is .asm
m

It is good
d practise to
t keep all associated part files in the same
e folder

as the .asm file.


s
bring different parts (or mu
ultiple intan
nces of the same part)) into an
At this stage, we shall
bly file and position th
hem relative
e to each other
o
with constraints
c
s such thatt they
assemb
have no
o degrees of
o freedom
m (DoF) ie. they can
nnot not sliide along or rotate aro
ound the
X, Y orr Z vectors the six degrees of freedom
f
forr a part in 3D
3 space.
m Planes +ve and -ve
e
Datum
All datu
um planes and
a
surface
es have a +ve
+
and -v
ve side, the positive side is brown
n, the
negativ
ve is black. The +ve side
s
of a so
olid surface
e is the outs
side - the s
side you can
n see.

55

Level 1
erefore norrmal to the surface aw
way from th
he positive
e side.
The positive direction is the
ed to be aw
ware of this
s convention before ap
pplying con
nstraints
You nee
p
Base part

A existing
Add
g Componen
nt to the Ass
sembly
A
Add
a Manik
kin to the As
ssembly
C
Create
a new
w Component in Assem
mbly Mode

e Add Com
mponent ico
on to bring an existing
g part into the assembly. Be log
gical
Use the
about which
w
part of
o your pro
oduct to ass
sembly firstt - if you were assemb
bling a car you
would probably
p
sttart with the
e chassis and not the steering wheel.
w
This is the base part.
See Lev
vel 3 > To
op Down design for creating parrts in Assem
mbly Mode.
Defaullt Constraiint
Firstly, make sure
e the base part
p
is fully
y constraine
ed. The base part can
n be simply placed
by using the defa
ault placem
ment consttraint this
s will align the
t
default planes (xz
z, yz, xy)
p
to the default planes in the assembly
a
environmen
e
nt. RMB in the graphiics area
in the part
>Defau
ult Constraint

ng
Initial Positionin
When you
y
first briing a part into the ass
sembly, pre
ess the Ctrll and alt bu
uttons toge
ether and
use the
e MMB or RMB
R
to mov
ve that parrt to the approximate position an
nd orientation
relative
e to the parrent part.

56

Level 1
Keep it simple and logical
Think about how the components might be assembled in reality, which references would
be aligned - screw holes? edges? cylindrical axis? If you run out of fundamental geometry
then use Datum Planes
A rule of thumb is; you generally need at least three constraints to place a part. There
are exceptions to this rule e.g. aligning two pairs of axis which are perpendicular to each
other will constrain a part.
Allow Assumptions
If two even vaguely cylindrical components are aligned via cylindrical surfaces or axis then
the system may apply the Allow Assumptions options. This allows a components to show
as fully constrained with just two constraints and ignores the angular position around the
axis. Unless your part is a clean revolve, it is likely that the angular position is
significant.
Think about your references
To begin with, generally try and constrain a part to only one other part this will make
modification of the assembly a lot simpler. If you are putting a wheel in a pair of bicycle
forks, the wheel should only be related to the forks, not to the frame or the planes in the
assembly environment.
To test how robust your assembly is, reposition the base part and see if everything follows
it or if the assembly fails. Any squares next to a component name in your model tree
mean a part is not fully constrained. A small square over a large square shows that
that part is constrained but its parent isn't - therefore it still has DoF via its parent. If you
can move or rotate a part using Ctrl + Alt MMB/RMB then it is not fully constrained. A
component which is not fully constrained is referred to as packaged.
Interface
The Constraint Type box is by default set to Automatic, in this mode the system will set
a constraint type based on the geometry you select. Use this mode unless you have a
tricky setup which requires you to predefine a constraint. Most simple assembly tasks
should be achievable in the graphics area through geometry selection and the RMB menu,
MMB to complete the operation.
The Placement window lists the constraints as they are created, the primary and
secondary settings for that constraint and the references chosen. Pick in a reference box
to pick an alternate reference, RMB a constraint to delete.

57

Level 1

Constrain
nt type boxx

straint Type
e
Primarry constraints - Cons
This is the first ele
ement of th
he constrain
nt descriptiion, the con
nstraint typ
pe
s
of the chosen
c
surffaces or pla
anes facing in the sam
me direction
n. Two
Align positive side
axis coincident - in the same
e place.
c
surffaces or pla
anes facing in opposite
e directions
s.
Mate positive siide of the chosen
Insert a pair off cylindrical surfaces are
a made co
oncentric the same as aligning two axis
but som
metimes the
ere is no ax
xis.
dary consttraint
Second
This is the offset element
e
of the constra
aint and controls how far apart the referenc
ce
es or planes
s are. RMB
B on the wh
hite square in the grap
phics windo
ow to switc
ch
surface
secondary constra
aint type.
dent in the same pllace
Coincid
Offset at a spec
cified distan
nce from ea
ach other
Oriented satisfy
fying the prrimary cons
straint (ma
ate or align
n) but floating. Their distance
s dictated by
b another constraint, maybe the
e alignmentt of an axis
s.
apart is
ar offset
Angula
If you want
w
two parts at an angle
a
to each other;

Align the appropriate


a
e rotational axis edg
ge or datum
m axis

Constrain the positio


on along the axis

w assumptions if it ha
as been app
plied
Untick allow

This leaves
s one DoF - rotation around
a
the axis

Use Crtl + Alt and MMB


M
and ro
otate the pa
art to appro
oximately the correct angle

58

Level 1

Within a ne
ew constraiint (RMB > New Con
nstraint), select
s
the two surfaces/planes
which set the
t
angle these need to be parrallel to the
e axis

An angula
ar offset co
onstraint will be generrated.

nstraint watch you dont misttake this co


onstraint for the Defau
ult constraint, the
Fix Con
Fix con
nstraint will simply loc
ck the part in its current position in the 3D e
environmen
nt but
will nott create any
y relationsh
hips betwee
en it and th
he other parts. This co
onstraint is
s used for
temporrary placem
ment of a pa
art.
Constrraint Confllict
Take ca
are not to have
h
two co
onstraints controlling
c
a
the same alignment.

a
exam
mple, the cy
ylinder axis
s is aligned
d with the hole axis. The rotatio
onal
In the above
angularr position of
o the part is
i set by the alignme
ent of the fllat at the to
op of the cy
ylinder
with the flat in the
e top of the
e hole nottice there is clearance
e between tthe two surrfaces. If
set or coin
ncident the
en there wo
ould two constraints trrying to
the surrfaces were set to offs
position
n the vertic
cal height of
o the part the axis alignment
a
a
and
the face alignmen
nt - one
would be
b pulling against
a
the other. Thiis might be
e OK as long
g as the dim
mension arre
compattible, but if one of the dimension
n changes then the coiincident constraint cannot be
satisfied and the assembly
a
w fail. The
will
e constraint for the pa
arallel align
nment need
ds to be
ut floating.
simply oriented - parallel bu

ssemblies
Sub As
Large assemblies
a
can very quickly beco
ome difficult to manag
ge, sections
s of an asse
embly
may be
e repeated, other sections may more
m
natura
ally be bettter manage
ed separate
ely
these are
a all reaso
ons why yo
ou may crea
ate subass
semblies. Any assem
mbly file ca
an be
brought into anoth
her assembly file as a subasse
embly, it is
s not a spec
cial type of
bly.
assemb
59

Level 2
Curvature
Splines
Sketching tools
Swept Blend
Dimension patterns
Adv Rounds
Curve Through Points
Variable Section Sweep
Relations and parameters
Draft
Silhouette trim

60

Level 2

Curva
ature
y, a smooth
h curve with
h a constan
ntly changin
ng radius passing thro
ough
Spline basically
control points.
onsider the
e best appro
oximate cirrcle radius that
t
passes
s through a point on a
If we co
comple
ex surface
e or spline curve, the
e reciprocal of the rad
dius (1/r) off this circle
e is the
curvatture of the surface or curve at th
hat point. If
I a surface
e is nearly p
planar (flat) then a
point on it will hav
ve a very la
arge approx
ximate radiius - 1/r will give a low curvatu
ure. If a
e is has a ve
ery tight be
end in it the
en a point on
o it will ha
ave a very small approximate
surface
radius - 1/r will give a high curvature
e.

a
imag
ge, the set of spines radiating perpendicular from th
he spline cu
urve is
In the above
the Currvature Plot - the lon
nger the sp
pine, the hig
gher the cu
urvature tthe shorterr the
spine, the
t
lower th
he curvaturre.

61

Level 2

Sketc
ching too
ols
s
Splines

ve use of th
he spline tool is essenttial in the generation
g
of good quality models with
Effectiv
complex surfaces.. The mostt common mistake
m
wh
hen using splines is pu
utting too much
m
pline and no
ot letting th
he system calculate
c
th
he smoothe
est transitio
on
control into the sp
betwee
en the minim
mum numb
ber of pointts. In the image below
w the curva
ature plot is
s
improve
ed by reducing the nu
umber of co
ontrol pointts in the spline curve this will then
t
translatte into a sm
moother surface.

s
MM
MB or choos
se another tool to
To use the spline sketch tooll, place points in the sketch,
complete. See Lev
vel 3 Surface Mod
delling for setting end
d conditions
s and more
e
sion of splin
nes.
discuss
dge Tool
Use Ed
The abiility to copy
y, and therefore refere
ence to, ex
xisting edge
es or curves
s as part off a
sketch creates a more
m
robust, associative model if the exis
sting featurres are mod
dified the
dates accorrdingly.
related sketch upd

62

Level 2

hain and Lo
oop options
s are useful for selectiion of multiple, adjace
ent elements. The
The Ch
~ symbol show
ws the refere
enced curv
ves. Once created,
c
the
e curves ca
an be treate
ed as any
ement they can be Trimmed,
T
Divided, Filleted,
F
ettc.
other sketched ele

Mirror
Another way to crreate associativity with
hin a sketch is by Mirrroring ske
etched elem
ments
e. Whilst in
n Sketcherr, the Centreline tool is most qu
uickly acces
ssed
about a centreline
through
h the RMB menu.

t
items to be mirrorred you can
c
drag a box around
d multiple ittems for se
election
Select the
or use Crtl
C
to collect items. Activate th
he Mirror tool
t
and sellect the cen
ntreline.

63

Level 2

Swept Blend

As the name suggests, this feature mixes elements of the Sweep and the Blend. The
form is primarily a Blend, the form from the initial blend feature can then be influenced
by the required trajectory. Review the Blend section in Level 1 for the basics.

In the example above there are two solids generated from the same pair of sections at
each end of the form. The selection of a curved rather than a straight trajectory shows
how the form is influenced by the trajectory.
Boundary conditions

In the above example the initial section in the blend is a chain of edges from an existing
extrude. In this case a marker will be present which will allow you to set a tangent (in
this case) or normal relationship to the existing geometry. RMB on the marker and
choose Tangent, choose the reference surfaces for the tangent relationship as prompted.
Now there is a smooth transition from the existing solid to the new solid.

64

Level 2

Patterns

019

Patterns with geometry control - Dimension Patterns


The simple patterns introduced in Level 1 restrict you to having identical instance over the
extents of the pattern, Dimension patterns will allow you to individually control the
geometry and position for each instance. With this extra power comes the need to think
more carefully about how the driving instance is set up and the references chosen in the
pattern. The form of these patterns is dictated by the direction references you setup linear, radial or curve.
Driving dimensions
As with any other features, a pattern requires references. The important concept to
understand with Dimension patterns is that you choose parameters (dimensions) which
place the original feature to describe the direction or nature of the pattern. The chosen
dimension also indicates the positive direction, if you want the pattern to increment in the
opposite direction you need to input a negative figure.
For a linear pattern dimensions which place the original feature are selected to indicate
the 1st and 2nd pattern directions. These references are placed in the two Dimension
boxes - Direction 1 and Direction 2.
Incrementally varying features
One of the more powerful elements of the Dimension pattern is the ability to
incrementally vary the geometry of each of the pattern instances. Multiple dimension
parameters can be added to each direction to vary geometry.

65

Level 2
In the example above, a revolved ellipse is patterned along a curve on a complex surface.
The length and the width of the ellipse decrease in each instance. The initial setup for the
pattern needed some consideration as the sketch plane needed to rotate to allow the
ellipse to flow with the curve.

the curve was projected onto the surface from a sketch

a point was created a short distance from the end of the curve this gives the
dimension which specifies a direction along the curve

a plane was created through the point and normal to the curve - this is the
perpendicular reference for the sketchplane

an axis was created through the point and normal to the surface

a second plane was created through the axis and normal to the first plane - this
is the sketchplane for the ellipse

all the features except the curve are grouped and the group is patterned creating
a number of identical instances

66

Level 2

D
1 box for the Dimens
sion patterrn, the dista
ance of the
e datum poiint from
In the Direction
the end
d of the currve is the main
m
driving
g dimension
n. Watch your
y
directio
on remem
mber
pattern
ns default to
o the positive direction as dictate
ed by the dimension,
d
if the pointt was
dimens
sioned from
m the furthe
er end of the curve the
en a negative increme
ent dimensiion will
be need
ded.
a
Y dimension of the
e ellipse we
ere also Ctrl selected and added
d to the Dir
rection 1
The X and
box. These are giiven small negative in
ncremental changes to
o reduce the size of th
he ellipse
ach instance
e.
with ea

on Pattern
Radial Dimensio
The driving dimen
nsion for a radial
r
Dime
ension patttern (below
w) is the an
ngular dim
mension
al feature.
placing the origina

mensioning scheme fo
or a radial Dimension
n pattern must be ca
arefully considered
The dim
see below.
b
The default line
ear placem
ment of the sketch in th
he left imag
ge will confflict with
the radial pattern.. The modified dimen
nsioning sch
heme on th
he right will produce a
sful pattern
n.
success

67

Level 2

Incrementally changes - In the above example an extrusion has been patterned around
the axis of the base cylinder. This pattern has then been altered so that as each instance
of the original extrusion is created, the height dimension, the diameter dimension and
the distance from the axis dimension are adjusted. They are all included in the
Direction 1 box.

Rotational symmetry
In the example below the part has been created within a 60 degree segment, the
features were then grouped and the group patterned as an Axis pattern. Remember the
two enclosing datum planes act like mirror planes and the sections must match and all
surfaces must be normal to the planes.

68

Level 2

Advanced Ro
ounds
Transittions

At some point, fillet edges will


w meet each other in the model, the fillet s
surfaces wiill have
blended tog
gether th
his is the ro
ound trans
sition. Pick
k on the Trransition ic
con in
to be b
the das
shboard, select
s
a highlithed transition on
n the modell and, depe
ending on th
he
geomettry, you ma
ay be given
n different options
o
for the shape of the tran
nsition.
a
C2 filllets
Conic and
By defa
ault the fille
et cross sec
ction is a ra
adius. Filletts can also be created
d with Coniic
(ellipse
e, parabola,, hyperbola) and C2 curvature
c
continuity
c
y ( see Level 3 Surfface
Modellling) sectio
ons giving a smootherr transition into their adjacent
a
pa
arent surfac
ces.
Choose
e the appropriate sectiion in the Sets
S
window
w.
Full round
c
a fillet on two parallel
p
surfface edges to such a size
s
that it consumes the
If you create
parent surface bettween thes
se two edge
es it is referrred to as a Full Roun
nd. Selectt the two
p
the Fulll Round option.
o
parallell edges > pick

69

Level 2
Failing Fillets
Round features will fail at some point, if they do, you could create the fillet completely or
partially as a ribbon surface features - Round > Options > Surface. Then use what you
have as a starting point for the fillet surface using surface modelling techniques see
Level 3 > Surface Modelling.
Intent Chains
When selecting edge references for a round feature, either toggle (momentary RMB) or
RMB > Pick from list and you will find Intent Edges edges which define the design
intent. This edge chain or collection of edges is identified by the surrounding features and
not by the edge identity.

In the example above, three Sets were created containing a single Intent Edge reference
in each Intent Edge in Set 1 includes the four vertical edges, Set 2 is the top loop and
Set 3 is the bottom loop.

Above left is the initial result. If the driving sketch is altered to produce the section as
above right, then the design intent captured in the Intent Edge references is
recognised and the round edge chains are redefined accordingly. If you had chosen
individual edges then the rounds would have failed when the section was changed.

70

Level 2

Curve
e Throug
gh Pointts CTP
P end condition
c
ns
h
the IS
SDX free fo
orm surfacing license then
t
use th
hat to creatte 3D consttruction
If you have
curves - it is quick
ker, easier and gives more
m
contrrol see Le
evel 3 > IS
SDX, if not ..
onditions curve end
ds can be set
s Normall, Tangentt or Curvatture Contin
nuous to
End Co
other geometry.

Dbl click the


t
Tangen
ncy option in the feature window
w to open the Tangen
ncy
Menu Man
nager

Select the curve Starrt or End

on of geom
metry you want
w
to relatte to
Select the classificatio

o Curvature
Select the level of relationship Tangent,, Normal or

etry you want to crea


ate a relatio
onship to
On the model, select the geome

o set the cu
urve flowing
g into or out
o
of the p
parent geom
metry
Use the Fliip option to

d condition needs to be
b set to Ta
angent beffore it can be increase
ed to Curva
ature
The end
continu
uous

71

Level 2
king once
e the end co
ondition ha
as been set,, the level of influen
nce of that end
Tweak
condition on the curve can be adjusted.

ck the Twe
eak option,, the length
h of the currve end dirrection vec
ctor can th
hen be
Dbl clic
adjuste
ed to chang
ge how far into
i
the currve the end
d conditions
s travels.
s
Curve Attributes
Planarr curve itt is sometim
mes necess
sary to use a CTP rath
her then a s
sketch to produce a
planar section, usually when you are sttruggling to
o set approp
priate end conditions.
gh your currve may go though po
oints on a common pla
anar surface
e this does not
Althoug
make the curve planar, it is still mathem
matically a 3D curve and
a
can cau
use issues, for
g normal bo
oundary con
nditions to the referen
nce plane.
examplle, creating
C
dialogue box: Atttributes > Quilt/Su
urf > Done
e > select tthe reference plane
In the CTP
or planar surface
des on a curved surfac
ce you can use the
Curve on Surface COS if your point set resid
same Attributes
A
setting abo
ove to create a curve on surface which can still have set
s end
conditio
ons. Unfortunately, th
his curve ca
an only be applied to a single surface patch
h notice
the surrface bound
daries in wireframe vie
ew. Use a projected sketch to c
create a cu
urve
across multiple su
urfaces.

72

Level 2

Variable Section Sweep - VSS

022

A standard swept feature (created under the same function) has a single trajectory and a
constant (unchanging) cross section. The Variable Section Sweep (VSS) has an initial
cross section which is which is influenced (distorted) by either; being referenced to
multiple trajectories, or being controlled by a mathematical function see Relations
section.

The major characteristic of this feature is a precise control over the section at any point
along its development. As the section dimensions change along the forms development,
you cannot use an existing section or edges for the VSS section as it would then be fixed
to those references and not be able to distort. As you cannot reference to a start or end
section this would not generally be used as a continuation from, or a fill between existing
features.
Trajectories

there is no limit to the number of trajectories, but they must be tangent chains

the primary controlling trajectory is the Origin trajectory

the resultant form cannot extend beyond the start or end of any of the chosen
trajectories

Section
The dimensioning scheme must be carefully considered which dimensions are fixed and
which are allowed to vary. Alter how you describe the section through geometric
constraints and dimensional constraints and consider the effect on the form. In the three
examples below, the initial section is identical but develops into different forms according
to the different dimensioning schemes which dimensions are locked and which are
allowed to distort.

73

Level 2

Dimensions of the section may vary but not the fundamental geometric elements.
Reference to existing geometry with care references need to be satisfied.
Sketchplane
You need to visualise a coordinate system (xyz vectors) travelling along the Origin
trajectory with the XY vectors representing the sketchplane, the Z vector normal to the
sketchplane.
The sketchplane is initially created relative to the Origin trajectory. Its placement is
greatly effected by the relative form of the chosen trajectories and which is the Origin.
Two elements which are controllable are the plane orientation and the XY orientation
within that plane as the form develops imagine an infinite number of sections distorting
and rotating along the trajectories.
There is a need to experiment with the combination of setting in terms of origin selection,
section alignment and vector control.
Sketchplane Control Settings
1. Normal to Trajectory the sketchplane is always normal to a specified trajectory
i.e. Z will remain tangent to the Origin trajectory.
The XY orientation in the sketch will rotate around the trajectory unless controlled by an
X trajectory see below

74

Level 2
2.

Normal to Projection the sketchplane remains normal to a specified plane i.e.

the Y vector (sketch vertical) remains normal to specified plane.


Z (vector normal to the sketchplane) rotates about Y to remain tangent to the Origin
curve when projected onto the reference plane.
3.

Constant Normal Direction the sketchplane remains parallel to a specified plane

i.e. Z remains normal to a specified plane.


The XY orientation will rotate around the trajectory unless controlled by an X trajectory
see below
X trajectory - with Normal to Trajectory and Constant Normal Direction the
sketchplane plane will rotate around the trajectory. By selecting an X trajectory, the
sketch X vector (horizontal) will always point toward to X trajectory.
Surface Tangency
Dashboard > References > Trajectories > T checkbox
This will highlight references to adjacent surface edges in the sketcher and therefore allow
you to set up Tangency to those surfaces over the length of the sweep
Mathematical Control of the Section
VSS has a unique parameter called Trajpar which can be used in a mathematical
equation through Relations to control section parameters. An interesting and often
queried example of the use of this parameter is the Bent Spring form. See Relations
section on how to produce this form.

75

Level 2

Relations - Mathematically Controlling the Model


All model parameters have an identity; RMB > Edit a feature in the model tree to show
all the feature parameters in the graphics area.

Info > Switch Dimensions will show

you the parameter identities


These identities can be used in a mathematical equation to control the model. This can
control can be at the Sketch, Part or Assembly level. This is a powerful tool for robustly
capturing Design Intent and controlling the models behaviour, eg. you may want to
maintain a number of hole centres equally spaced along or around the parent feature.
Depending on your maths skills, you can take this control as far as you want using
traditional operators and functions in equality or comparison controls, e.g. d2 = d10/2
or d5 = d2*(SQRT(d7/3.0+d4))

or

IF d1 > d2, length = 14.5, ELSE , length = 7.0,

ENDIF
Creating Relations
In the Sketch, Part Or Assembly: Tools > Relations to enter the Relations dialogue
box. When in sketcher, the parameters will change to IDs. When in part or assembly
mode, pick the features (model tree or screen) to show their IDs. Pick those IDs on
screen (or simply type them) to include in the equation.
User Defined Parameters
Through Tools > Parameters you can also create unique parameters which can then be
used in Relations. This gives you the power to control dimensions, say a general
clearance value, across multiple features or parts with easily modified central control.
If you Edit a dimension and enter a Parameter name, an equality Relation will be
automatically created to relate to dimension to the Parameter.

Trajpar in VSS
Trajpar is a unique parameter which is used in the Variable Section Sweep function and
is related to the Origin Trajectory length. This parameter varies from 0 to 1 as the
sweep develops along the trajectory. Trajpar would therefore be 0.0 at the beginning of
the trajectory, 1.0 at the end of the trajectory and 0.5 half way along.

76

Level 2
an therefore
e be used to
t control th
he sweep section
s
with
hin a relatio
on. For
This parameter ca
ould increas
se a dimension from 1
10 to 20 ov
ver the
examplle, (dimn) = 10+(trajpar*10) wo
length of the traje
ectory, (dim
mn) = sin(3
360*trajparr*10)*10 would
w
produ
uce a sine wave
w
0 times ove
er the lengtth of the tra
ajectory.
form 10
ple: 'Tradittional' telep
phone cable
e
Examp

023
0

nnot produc
ce this form
m with a He
elical Swe
eep as it wo
ould need tto be a linea
ar
You can
trajecto
ory, so this method us
ses a VSS and
a
Trajpa
ar
ate a curve which reprresents the path of the
e cable
1. Crea
2. Startt a VSS, leave the dashboard se
etting on su
urface rathe
er than solid
d and choo
ose the
curve as
a the trajectory. Ente
er sketche
er.

77

Level 2

uct a simple
e short line
e attached to
t the end of the traje
ectory as ab
bove. Notice the
Constru
dimens
sioning sche
eme there is no linear dimensio
on to the horizontal
h
or vertical sketch
references as thes
se would ha
ave to be maintained,
m
, there is simply a leng
gth of the line and
e horizontal reference.
an anglle from the
gle (sd5) will
w be controlled by th
he relation: (angle) = (360*trajjpar)*30 - ignore
The ang
the *30
0 for the moment.
m
par = 0 at the
t
traj sta
art
trajp
trajp
par = 1 at the
t
traj end
d
ore;
Therefo
- at the traj start the angle (sd5) = 0 deg.
d
w
along, trajpar = 0.5,
0
angle = 180 deg..
- half way
- at the traj end the
t
angle = 360 deg.
30 means th
his happens
s 30 times over the le
ength of the
e trajectory
y - 30 coils.. This
The *3
produce
es a spiralling surface
e following the
t
trajecto
ory.

ce is then used as the trajectory for a consttant section


n sweep.
The outter edge off the surfac
Hide the spiral surrface on a constructio
c
n layer.

78

Level 2

Draft feature
e

e is common
nly understtood with re
espect to mould
m
tools. It will add or
The Draft feature
ct material to a group of surfaces
s to create a draft ang
gle.
subtrac

ature has fo
our elemen
nts:
This fea
aft surface
es - those surfaces to
o which matterial will be added orr subtracted
d
1. Dra
2. Dra
aft hinges
s - the edge
es about wh
hich the surfaces will rotate - the
ese do not have to
be adja
acent to the
e draft surfa
aces
3. Pull direction
n - in the above
a
scena
ario, eitherr the chosen
n vertical e
edge or the bottom
e indicates the
t
zero de
egrees vecttor - vertica
al
surface
4. Dra
aft angle

79

Level 2

Silhouette Trrim

025

w
referen
nce to mould tools, this process is useful for finding yo
our split line on
Again with
complex surfaces
y
solid surfaces
s
select
s
the solid,
s
then select again to pick an
n individual surface
Select your
> RMB
B > solid su
urfaces.

Copy and Paste to create a Surrf Copy fea


ature of the
e entire

quilt

ature - Ediit > Trim


Sellect the Surf Copy fea

Sellect a plane
e/planar surface parallel to your split plane

Cho
oose the Siilhouette option
o
on the dashbo
oard

Cho
oose which side to kee
ep

a
imag
ge the trimmed surfac
ce edge was
s then used
d as the sw
weep trajecttory for a
In the above
horizon
ntal curve as
a a basis fo
or the split surface.

80

Level 3

Top Down Design and Data Sharing


Assembly Operations
Assembly Features
Mirrored parts
Patterns
View Manager
Model Analysis
Skeleton Based Surface Modelling
Analysis Tools
Trimming and Merging Surfaces
Boundary Blend Surface Feature
3 Sided Surfaces
Offset surface feature driven by sketch
ISDX: Interactive Surface Design Extension
Curves
Surfaces
Surface Trim
Trace Sketch
Direct surface edit
Examples
Scoops and Bulges
Scoop Example
5 Sided Example
Mouse Example
Surface Model Checklist

81

Level 3

Assemblies - Top Down Design and Data Sharing


Bottom Up or Top Down Design Methodology?
Most projects will involve individual part files brought together in an assembly. In the
introduction to assemblies we looked at bringing existing part files into an assembly
environment. Any interfaces between parts (e.g. hole centres, mating edges) were
considered individually at the part level. If any changes were made in one part it is only
through a good awareness of the implications of those changes that we ensured the parts
still fitted together in the assembly.
This is referred to as a Bottom Up approach to designing. In reality we see a product as
a whole, an assembly of parts, from the top down. Two key methods to move to a Top
Down design approach are;

creating and modifying your models in the assembly environment and directly
referencing geometry from other parts in that assembly

importing geometry or whole models to a part file whilst maintaining associativity


to the remote part

Modelling in Assembly Mode


Working on your Part files (or Skeleton models) from within the assembly allows you to
work on parts in context. You can directly reference to other parts and the Skeleton
model and you can generally visualise the whole product.

Use the Create a Component icon on the right toolbar to create new part files as your
product develops. If your part is to be built on references from other existing parts then

82

Level 3
e default co
onstraint placement,, its position in the assembly is
simply assemble it using the
ng parts as it would be
e in reality..
now controlled by the existin
ctivate
Part Ac
RMB th
he part nam
me in Mode
el Tree > Activate
A
You are
e now in pa
art mode bu
ut with the assembly still
s
visible and availab
ble to referrence as
you cre
eate feature
es and mod
dify your model. In th
he speaker example below, the
dimens
sions and position of
o the powe
er and volum
me knobs are
a controlled by the speaker
s
body.
e created in
n the assem
mbly and as
ssembled with
w
the De
efault constraint,
The parrt files were
the features are th
hen created
d relative to the axis and
a
faces in
n the speak
ker body.
ore if the sp
peaker body changes, the knobs change an
nd clearance
es etc. are
Therefo
maintained. The knob diame
eter is conttrolled by a clearance dimension from the speaker
s
w
is a sk
ketch refe
erence in th
he revolve,, along with
h the axis a
and the end
d face.
body which
RMB an
nd Activatte the assembly name
e at the top
p of the Model Tree to
o return to
assemb
bly mode.

ed with caution as
s soon as yo
ou create re
eference ac
cross mode
els you need to
Procee
think ve
ery carefully about mo
odifying or delete associated file
es referen
nces can sta
art falling
over an
nd solving issues can become
b
pro
oblematic.

83

Level 3
Masterr Models
If we lo
ook at the relationship
r
ps and interrfaces betw
ween the diffferent elem
ments of ou
ur
productt, the Design Intent, and consttruct those at the asse
embly levell as a basis
s for our
part de
esign then the
t
parts will always follow this assembly
a
frramework
k or skeleto
on. This
framew
work could simply
s
be as
a simple as
s a few refe
erence poin
nts and a co
ouple of sk
ketches
created
d in the ass
sembly file, or a complex surface
e model which describe
es the merrged
assemb
bly. The sk
keleton mod
del can be a formal Pr
roE Skeletton Model or simply an
a
ordinarry part file assigned
a
as
s the skeletton or mastter model. It could be
e in the ass
sembly
or external from the
t
assemb
bly.

e
ab
bove, the master
m
model on the le
eft contains
s all the ma
ajor surface
es and
In the example
curves which defin
ne the part interface edges.
e

It was
w importted, trimme
ed, thickene
ed, etc.

entually mirrored with


hin the thre
ee major pa
art files. Th
he master m
model then
n drives
and eve
the fundamental geometry
g
in
n the part files.
f

S
M
Model
ProE Skeleton

84

Level 3
al ProE Sk
keleton Mo
odel is crea
ated via the
e Create a componentt icon in the
A forma
assemb
bly file and is inserted at the top of the mod
del tree. Itt has a couple of imme
ediate
advanta
ages:

it does nott show up in


n a BOM

it does nott contribute


e to mass properties
p
s

ore it can be a transparent fram


mework partt on which to construc
ct your geo
ometry.
Therefo
s and Circ
cular Refer
rences
Parentt Child Rellationships
Conside
er very care
efully any references
r
you create across parrts in assem
mbly mode. If you
activate
e a part earlier in the model tree
e, all the latter parts re
emain in the assembly
y. Make
sure yo
ou do create
e unsound or circular references.
nal Referen
nces
Extern
Another very powerful metho
od utilised in a Top Down
D
appro
oach is to reference ex
xternal
etry to the current mo
odel. By brringing an image
i
of specific
s
geometry from
m one
geome
model into
i
anothe
er we can build
b
feature
es (and ma
aintain an associative
a
relationship) based
on thatt parent mo
odel. This does
d
not have
h
to be undertaken
n in the ass
sembly.
gnificant fea
atures to be considere
ed are Cop
py Geometry and Merge Part.
Two sig
nal Geometry Examp
ple
Extern
If you consider
c
the example assembly below
b
which is the handle and grrip section of a
power drill
d
casing.

85

Level 3

create drilll_grip.asm
m

created Ne
ew Compo
onent drill_
_grip_skel.p
prt as a ske
eleton mod
del

created Ne
ew Compo
onent case..prt Defa
ault constra
aint

created Ne
ew Compo
onent grip.prt Default constra
aint

activate drill_grip_sk
d
kel.prt, crea
ate referen
nce surface and curves
s

activate case.prt,
c
im
mport surfa
ace and currves from drill_grip_sk
kel.prt as Copy
C
Geom featture

thicken su
urface, crea
ate offset pocket
p
for grip,
g
fillet ed
dge

activate grip.prt,
g
import surfac
ce and curv
ves from drrill_grip_skel.prt as Co
opy
Geom featture

create offs
set curve fo
or grip clea
arance, trim
m surface

thicken grrip, fillet

w
to cha
ange the fo
orm of the handle, ma
ake changes in the sk
keleton mo
odel,
If you want
these changes
c
will then migrate throug
gh any ass
sociated models
m
- in tthis examp
ple, the
case and grip parts. The m
master mo
odel does not have to be a forma
al ProE skeleton
e the source
e for the drriving geom
metry.
model, any part file could be
G
Method
Copy Geometry

p
file ind
dependentt of the ass
sembly
Open the part

Insert > Shared


S
Da
ata > Copy
y Geometry
y

86

Level 3

Deactivate the Published Geometry Only button

Click on References

Use the File Open icon to find your reference model

Decide how you are going to align the reference model in the current model
through the placement window generally use the Default constraint

Click in the Surface Sets, Chain or References window dependent on what


geometry you want to copy from the external model.

If the reference model is already open then through the Window drop down menu go to
that model window, otherwise a window will open showing the external model. Resize and
move the window out of the way and leave it open until you complete the process. Select
the geometry you want to copy.
Merge Part
Insert > Shared Data > Merge/Inheritance > find the reference part and assemble
appropriately. This process allows you to import an image of a whole part into the current
part file and maintain associativity.

Assembly Operations
Component Operations
You may see reference to Boolean operations in generic CAD discussion - union/merge,
difference/cut, intersect. These operations use intersecting volumes in the assembly to
alter intersecting part files.
Edit > Component operations.
Cut Out - cuts one part with another. Multiple parts can be selected.
Merge - merges one part into another.
Options:
Reference - references the second part to define its geometry. When the referenced
part changes, the merged or cut out part changes.
Copy - copies all the features and relations from the referenced part into the current part.

87

Level 3

Assembly Features
In a manufacturing environment many operations are performed to parts once they are
assembled, e.g. drilling holes or machining surfaces in a welded fabrication. It is
important to remember that although ultimately these features will change the shape of
the part they do not exist at the part level. Therefore do not detail them in a part
drawing, detail them in the assembly drawing. Assembly modelling features can only
subtract material.
Assembly Features may be either Datum entities (Axes, Planes, Points, etc.) or
subtractive solid geometry (Holes or Cuts). All the normal functionality is available extrude, revolve, sweep, blend, etc.

Mirrored parts
Through Create Component you can create a new part as a mirror image of an existing
part in the assembly with full associativity. A single mirror feature will show in the new
part file. Again, you have the option to break associativity to the original part and import
all the features.

Patterns
Regeneration Time - the instance count does not have to be very high before a pattern
significantly slows down the regeneration time of a model, if your driving instance is a
group of features this issue can be further confounded. Also, you cannot add features to
the group once you have created the pattern (although you may be able to create a
Reference pattern).
88

Level 3
Using neutral features to reduce regeneration time can be useful;

create the instance feature[s] in a separate part file

use Merge or Copy Geometry to import the single instance (or even a pattern)
into the current model

the features do not now have to individually regenerated

Or you could also pattern the surface set and then solidify;

Seed/Boundary surface selection > copy/paste (See Level 3 > Copy/Paste

Surface Edges)

pattern the surface set

solidify the driving instance

reference pattern the solidify

This means the features which generate the surface set are not regenerated with every
change and features can be inserted with the original list of features.
Un-patterning
A useful process to be aware of is the ability to be able to explode a pattern into
individual, editable elements. The pattern instance has to be a Dimension pattern of a
Group you cannot return the instances to a pattern once un-patterned. RMB on the
Pattern Group and use the Unpattern option.

89

Level 3

View Manage
er

ew Manager combine
es various useful tools
s which mo
odify how a model or assembly
a
The Vie
is displa
ayed. Various different display states
s
and effects can be saved a
and activatted at
any tim
me to assistt visualisation of the project.
p
de states
Explod

sembly does
s not effectt the applie
ed constrain
nts, it is sim
mply a temporary,
'Exploding' an ass
g of the com
mponents to
t enabled easier visualisation off the
controlled remote positioning
d how they
y fit togethe
er.
separatte parts and
M
> Explode tab
t
> New
w
View Manager

Click the Properties


P
button and
d then the Edit
E
Positiion icon to control the
e relative
position

c
Sett Active to enable a listed explod
de state
RMB and choose

RMB and choose


c
Exp
plode to de
eactivate all explode states and rreturn to th
he
constrained
d state

90

Level 3

plode position window


w will first re
equire a reference wh
hich controls the directtion in
The exp
which a part will be
b dragged - the defau
ult is to sim
mply pick an
n edge or a
axis. Then choose
the parrt to be dragged and drag
d
it to th
he required position. Ctrl
C
pick multiple obje
ects to
move together. Explode
E
Lines can be
e created to
o link refere
ences and indicate how
w parts
ether.
fit toge

S
(
(xsec)
Cross Sections

ct at a defin
ned cutting plane can allow us to
o better visualise
Removing part of the produc
d particularly how asse
emblies fit together. For an asse
embly, you will
internal detail and
n assembly
y datum pla
ane to defin
ne the cutting plane.
need an

View Man
nager > Xs
sec > New

Choose you
ur cutting plane
p

RMB and Set


S Active to activate
e a xsec in the list

RMB and Visibility


V
to show cross hatching
g

Edit > Red


define > Hatching
H
to
o change th
he cross ha
atching style - spacing
g,
angle, etc.

91

Level 3
Style States
A Style state can be created within an assembly file via the View Manager which assigns
different view states shaded, no hidden line, hidden line or wireframe to different
components in the assembly. Therefore you could have the outer casing as wireframe
and the internals as shaded.

Model Analysis
Useful tools through the Analysis > Model drop down menu:

Global Interference will show any overlapping volumes in an assembly its


always tricky checking hidden elements in a complex assembly.

Mass Properties will give you the volume/weight of a component or assembly.


The figure for volume is likely to be shown as an exponential figure in the modelling
units eg. VOLUME 8.5010447e+03 MM^3 - in this example, move the decimal place
plus 3 places to give 8501.0447 MM^3

92

Level 3: Surface Modelling

Skeleton Based Surface Modelling


Surface modelling is often portrayed as a black art, this may be so in the analysis of
how a form is broken down into elements, but the functionality used to build those
elements is actually quite simple. What is needed to build a successful surface model is a
good grasp of 3D forms and how surfaces join and blend into each other. You need to
understand basic geometric relationships normalcy, tangency and eventually curvature
continuity. You also need to know what a spline curve is (Level 2) and what
curvature is.
Then you need to do lots and lots of practise!- tackling lots of different forms is the only
way to be successful at surface modelling. Reverse engineering easily available items
your mouse, phone, etc. is often a good way to practise.
Definitions
Surface - a non solid construction feature with no thickness
Surface Patch - an individual boundared area with no other edges intersecting it
Surface Quilt - a number of patches joined together having common edges
Surface Display
Whilst viewed in wireframe display mode:
The one-sided outer edges of a surface feature are displayed in green.
The two-sided inner edges are displayed in purple.
Therefore a quilt will be displayed as a number of purple lines inside a green boundary.
Watch out: If you have two surface outer, one-sided edges sharing a common position, it
will look like a single green outer edge rather than a purple two-sided inner edge. There
are in fact two edges on top of each other. The surfaces need to be merged into a single
quilt for the edge to change to a purple two-sided inner edge.

93

Level 3:
3 Surface Modelling
M

036

Splines continued

You will need to perfect


p
yourr use of spline curves before gettting into su
urface mode
elling,
o Google sp
pline curves
s and sift th
hrough som
me of the m
more technic
cal
make the effort to
details!
2 pointt spline
As men
ntioned in Level
L
2, try
y and minim
mise the lev
vel of contrrol in your c
curves and allow
the sys
stem to gen
nerate the smoothest
s
transition between
b
the control points. Starrt your
spline with
w
just tw
wo points, only
o
add po
oints if you need more
e control:
1

94

Level 3:
3 Surface Modelling
M
a
exam
mple:
In the above

create the spline with


h two contro
ol points

set the end


d conditions
s, in this ca
ase, tangen
ncy (1) to centrelines
c
(2). Your spline
s
may be related to existing geom
metry

s
and enter the Modify
M
tool
select the spline

show the end


e
point ve
ectors thro
ough the co
ontrol points button (3) these show
the curve end
e
directiion and degree of inffluence into the spline
e

drag the co
ontrol han
ndles to ad
djust the sp
pline shape

turn on the
e curve plo
ot (4) (and
d adjust the
e scale) to visualise
v
th
he curve
smoothnes
ss

s
ends can be sett tangent to
t other enttities and rreferences but,
b
Within sketcher, spline
ngly, canno
ot be set pe
erpendicular. You ca
an also add
d a dimensiion to the end
e
annoyin
point of
o the spline
e specifying
g its end ra
adius, this gives
g
you the chance to fine tune
e a G1
relation
nship from a spline to an existing
g entity. In
n the image
e below, the
e spline on the left
flows ta
angent intto the arc with
w
an equal radius giving a smo
oother transition on th
he curve
plot.

2
n also add an
a angular dimension to the end
d of a spline
e as in the right image
e above.
You can
This do
oes require an extra pick
p
when adding
a
the dimension:

n tool
dimension

pick the ze
ero reference line (1)

pick the sp
pline (2)

pick the en
nd point (3
3) of the sp
pline where
e it connects to the ze
ero referen
nce line

MMB betw
ween the tw
wo to place the angular dimensio
on

95

Level 3:
3 Surface Modelling
M

Form Analysiis
sfully break
king the mo
odel down into areas to
t be created individu
ually is one of the
Success
trickies
st stages in the planning process.
o
sharp edges and, more im
mportantly, identifying
g edges wh
hich will
Hard Edges obvious
start as
s hard edge
es and then
n be filleted
d a ribbon
n surface with
w
high curvature bettween
two oth
her surfaces
s.
m curvaturre (below) it is gene
erally better to break the model down at
Areas of uniform
s, dramatic
c changes in
n curvature
e
obvious

Disapp
pearing ed
dges (above) edges which grad
dually merg
ge into the parent surrface
ce Classific
cation
Surfac
Surface
es within a model are often class
sified accord
ding to their aesthetic
c importanc
ce in the
final product and therefore
t
h
how
you sho
ould proportion your time.
t
The ffundamenta
al outer
es which are
e most prominent in a product are often cla
assed as the A surfac
ces surface
those which
w
need most aesth
hetic consid
deration, e..g. the top surfaces off the compu
uter
mouse.. The surfa
aces which are genera
ally hidden but may sttill be seen by the user, e.g.
the botttom of the mouse, are classed as
a the B surfaces. Th
he C surfac
ces are the
en the
internal, always hidden surfa
aces which need no ae
esthetic con
nsideration.

96

Level 3:
3 Surface Modelling
M
b
Over building
There is
s a tendenc
cy to build surface boundaries as
s they existt in the fina
al form, this can
mean the opposite
e boundary
y edge pairs
s are very different
d
in section an
nd have to work
w
o blend to their partne
er. This is more
m
likely to cause riipples and fluting in th
he
hard to
surface
e. In the ex
xample belo
ow, the right hand surface is a trimmed rec
ctangular surface
which avoids
a
the section
s
disttortion seen
n in the leftt hand surfface.

/Surface Continuitie
C
es
Curve/
How cu
urves conne
ect at their shared end
dpoint or ho
ow surfaces
s connect a
along their shared
bounda
ary is generrally expres
ssed as G0, G1 or G2
2 continuity.

ntinuity: Positional
P
co
ontinuity. Two
T
curves that share an endpoint, two surrfaces
G0 Con
that share a boundary are G0 continuous. A hard
d edge existts at the bo
oundary.

97

Level 3:
3 Surface Modelling
M
ntinuity: Tangential
T
c
continuity.
s that share
e an endpo
oint, two surfaces
Two curves
G1 Con
that share a
ary are G1 continuous
s when they
y are travellling in the same direc
ction where
e they
bounda
meet. There will be an abrupt change in curvaturre/radius ac
cross the bo
oundary.
ntinuity: Curvature
C
c
continuity.
T
Two
curves
s that share
e an endpoiint, two surrfaces
G2 Con
that share a boundary are G2 continuous when th
hey travellin
ng in the sa
ame direction and
he same curvature vallues where they meet.
have th

i
abov
ve the surfa
ace bounda
aries are alll in the sam
me place, allthough G1
1 doesnt
In the image
have a hard edge to its highlights as G0
0 does, it still
s
has a more
m
abruptt transition than G2
relation
nship.
ce Normals
s
Surfac
Our primary tool for
f interpre
eting 3D forrms and analysing surrfaces is our sight a shiny
en as a series of shadows and highlights for our perce
eption to intterpret
black object is see
s
objectt.
into a solid
eet resting on a curved
d surface. At the poin
nt the shee
et contacts the
Imagine a flat she
e there is a line, a vecttor, which is normal to the flat sheet perrpendicularr, 90 in
surface
all direc
ctions. This is the surface norm
mal at thatt point.

98

Level 3: Surface Modelling


Light hits the surface from the light source at the incident angle, the direction it bounces
off at (the reflection angle) is dictated by the surface normal an the point it strike the
surface. This dictates what light reaches our eye and therefore what is seen as highlight
and what is seen as shadow. Look up Bumpmaps to see how greyscale images can be
used to adjust surface normals in 3D rendering to simulate surface textures.
Midplane/Symmetry Continuity
As discussed previously in Level 1: Design Intent, if your model is symmetrical then it
will generally be quicker and more robust to model half of it and then mirror the whole
model - at least to the point where it becomes asymmetrical.

The golden rule to achieve continuity across the symmetry plane is that all curves and
resultant surfaces which meet the symmetry plane must be normal to the symmetry
plane. If this condition is not set, then there will be a crease along the symmetry
split line.

99

Level 3: Surface Modelling

Analysis Tools
Next to creating a product that works, the designer is hoping to create a form which looks
good some might suggest this order of importance should be reversed! Although this is
straying into a subjective and often contentious area, there are certain rules which are
generally agreed upon such as surface patches having smooth boundary transitions.
Therefore as we are building our model we need some real time indication of what the
product will look like in reality and some deeper analysis tools to assist in fine tuning the
form.

The CAD model will ultimately be comprised of a collection of surface patches which will be
stitched together into a quilt, the quilt will have hard edges between which will be areas
where the patches join with a smooth transition these patch boundaries should not be
discernable in the manufactured product.
Eyes first
The first analysis tool to use on the model surfaces is the same one with which the
consumer will judge the end product the eyes. The standard rendered image (before
any photo rendering has been applied) can give a very good impression of the surface
qualities but generally not with the default graphics setting which are set low to minimise
graphics card processing. To set the quality to a level appropriate for surfacing:

View > Display Setting > Model Display

Edge/Line tab > Edge Quality > Very High

Edge/Line tab > Options > Smooth Lines

Shade tab > Quality > 10

Shade tab > Shade > Small Surfaces


100

Level 3: Surface Modelling


This process is a useful one to record with a mapkey if you do a lot of surface modelling
see Customisation
Next we need to consider the highlights and shadows. The default grey colour with
diffused lighting does not give a high contrast between the highlights and shadows,
changing the model to a dark shiny colour and turning off the default ambient light will
better highlight abrupt changes in curvature.

Analysis Toolbar
RMB on any active icon and you can show the Analysis Tools toolbar. Certain surface
and curve analysis tools can be either used as a one off analysis or they can be applied to
the geometry permanently (Saved) with live updates to display changes. Saved analyses
can be removed at any time via the Delete icons.

Zebra stripes
The Reflection Analysis tool is another analysis tool which replicates reality. Next time
your in a carpark, look at a car with a dark gloss paint finish and consider the way the
reflections of edges in the environment break across the body panels.

This tool applies a

mirror surface to the model and places it in a room with black and white stripy walls, poor
continuity across boundaries will show as breaks or kinks in the reflected stripes.
Analysis > Geometry > Reflection to apply, you will need to experiment with the
various settings to get a suitable analysis.

101

Level 3: Surface Modelling


Curve and Section Analysis

Level 2 > Curvature introduced the use of curvature analysis to show the smoothness of
a curve. Perpendicular spines (Normals) show the degree of curvature at that point on
the curve or the surface cross section. A sudden spike in the curvature (as below) will
ultimately show as a highlight on the resultant surface. In the example below the G2
boundary connection influence needs to extend further into the following surface to reduce
the tight curvature at the junction.

Deselect all curves and surfaces before start either the Curvature or Section tools, this
will ensure you can select multiple elements for analysis. If you do have multiple analyses
displayed at once be aware of the scale setting in each, individual analysis will look very
different if the scale setting is not equal.
In the section analysis you will need to select a plane to which the cross sections will be
parallel. Use the window controls or graphics area drag handles to alter the section
direction and spacing. The curvature tool is most useful when tweaking curves in ISDX.

102

Level 3: Surface Modelling

Trimming and Merging Surfaces


As we shall see, overbuilding is one of the most important strategies in surface modelling.
The overbuilt surfaces will eventually need to be cut down to the final form by simply
trimming back to a single sided edge or created a double sided edge at the intersect with
another surface.
These tools are selection specific pick your geometry and the icons (right Edit Feature
toolbar) will highlight when appropriate

Merge if multiple surfaces are intersecting you can create a double sided edge
at the intersection of the surfaces and decide which portions of the surfaces to discard.
This will result in a Quilt formed by the merged patches. Merges will often fail if the
intersecting surfaces form an ambiguous trimming edge apply some logic to the
intersect.

Trim removing a section of a selected surface using either an intersecting


surface or datum plane or a curve on the surface. Toggle the direction arrow through
the dashboard to one side, the other side or both sides of the trim line. You can also
create a Thin Trim to take out a section based on the trim edge very useful for creating
clearances in Top Down Skeleton models.

103

Level 3: Surface Modelling


Extrude Surface Cut

Using the Trim process above is probably the most intuitive choice for manipulating
surfaces but is generally not as quick and simple as an extrude cut, a single feature with
internal sketch to remove a section (1), split a surface into two parts (2) or remove a
Thin (3) section. Toggle the direction arrow (4) between either side or both sides of
the sketch or use the Thin (5) option to remove a controlled offset from the section.

104

Level 3: Surface Modelling


Integration with solids
The Solidify command will perform various operations dependent of the selected
geometry watch out for the cut option on the Dashboard. Again this tool is selection
specific.
A number of surfaces enclosing a volume can be used to form a solid - all the individual
surfaces need to be merged as a quilt first. The volume can also be closed by the
intersection of a solid. A surface can be used as a cutting plane through a solid. In the
example below a revolve was used to produce the dimple this protrudes through the
back of the product so the excess needs to be trimmed.

A copy of the inside surface was generated before the revolve select (see
Geometry Selection Methods) the inside surface > copy > paste

After the revolve, select the surface Copy feature > Edit > Solidify > Remove
Material icon in Dashboard > toggle cut side

Copy/Paste Edges and Surfaces


Create curves from edges copy/paste one curve, then extend the chain once in the
dashboard by Ctrl selecting further curves or edges.
Paste surface excluding holes Dashboard > Options > Exclude surfaces and Fill
holes - either individual loops or select the surface to fill all holes.
Seed/Boundary surface selection can be useful in for selecting a large number of
surfaces. Pick the surface at the centre of the group of surfaces, Shift pick the surface
which defines the perimeter of the group.

105

Level 3:
3 Surface Modelling
M

Boundary Ble
end Surfface Fea
ature

oundary Bllend surfac


ce is fundam
mentally a rectangular surface created by
y
The Bo
blendin
ng, common
nly, two pairs of oppo
osite curves connected in a loop. Creating a
bounda
ary surface with two or three bou
undaries (in
n a continuo
ous loop) is
s possible but
b can
cause issues if you
u want to progress
p
to a solid - se
ee Level 3: 3 Sided S
Surfaces

3 1st direction curves


Internal curves

3 2nd direc
ction curves
s

unction mus
st
Curve ju
be non-ttangential

o pairs of opposite
o
boundaries arre blended into each other
o
(through any
The two
interme
ediate sectiions). Thes
se two blen
nds are then 'averaged
d' out to form a single
e surface.
There can
c
be as many
m
sectio
ons as you like in each
h direction. The 'corne
er' connecttion of
the first direction curves to the
t
second direction curves cann
not have a ttangential
nship - the curve at th
he corner will
w then be travelling in the same
e direction and will
relation
not satisfy the nee
ed for curves in two blend
b
'directtions'. The
e corner jun
nctions do not
n have
dpoints, the curves ca
an be conne
ected at an
ny intermed
diate positio
on.
to be on curve end
w
to sett up bounda
ary conditio
ons (tangen
ncy, curvature continu
uity) in a ne
ew
If you want
surface
e with an ex
xisting surface then th
he surfaces have to ha
ave a comm
mon bounda
ary either use
u the con
nstruction curve
c
or the
e edge as the boundarry for the n
new surface
e.
n Rule: All curves or edges
e
to be
e used as your
y
surface
e boundarie
es must be robustly
Golden
related to each other at the same
s
level required in
n your surfa
ace bounda
aries.
ming
Chain selection and trimm
urface boun
ndary shoulld consist of
o four boun
ndary chain
ns. It may tthen have internal
Your su
cross curve chains
s. Each cha
ain could be
e a single curve/edge or a numbe
er of curves/edges
d together - see Geom
metry Sele
ection Metthods for Chain
C
Selection
chained

106

Level 3:
3 Surface Modelling
M
MB menu viia the white
e circle bou
undary end marker allows you to
o trim the chain
c
to
The RM
a selectted intersec
cting curve
e or edge. This is usefful for simp
ply tidying u
up your boundary
selectio
on or to ma
ake adjustm
ments when
n the system
m automatically exten
nds your su
urface
feature
e.
Boundary condittions
t
bounda
ary conditio
ons where a surface meets
m
anoth
her feature,, simply RM
MB the
To set the
conditio
on marker and choose
e the appro
opriate leve
el position
n, tangent, curvature or
normal. The syste
em will makes an assu
umption ab
bout which entity you wish the su
urface
ary to relate
e to check carefully that it is th
he right one
e. If there is no obvio
ous
bounda
reference the boundary will turn
t
pink and you will be promptted (in the text area) to select
ended referrence. Inte
errogate the
e Constraiints window
w to check the referen
nce and
the inte
the leve
el of relatio
onship.
ul tool in the Constraiints window
w is the Display drag
g handles tick box. This
T
A usefu
allows you
y
to alter how far in
nto the surfface the inffluence of the
t
boundary condition
extends
s.

mber, a bo
oundary rela
ationship ca
an only be as high as the lowestt level of the curves
Remem
which form
f
that boundary.

107

Level 3:
3 Surface Modelling
M

Boundary influence
b
se
eparate feattures where
e a G1 or G2
G relationship exists there is
At any boundary between
nt/child or leader/follo
l
ower relatio
onship creatted the child or follo
ower surfac
ce has to
a paren
deform to satisfy the bounda
ary conditio
on, the pare
ent or leade
er remains unchanged
d. At this
wareness an
nd analysis of 3D surfa
aces and not your use
e of the sofftware
point it is your aw
ecides on th
he quality of
o your surfface model. Constructting curves
s so they flo
ow into
that de
each well and pos
sitioning boundaries so
o the follow
wing surface
e flows naturally from the
w only co
ome with a good awareness of su
urface form
ms and lots of experimentation
leader will
and pra
actise.

e
ab
bove seems
s to be flow
wing smooth
hly into the
e existing
The currve on the left in the example
edge, the spine an
nalysis show
ws otherwise. This slight increase in curvature will prroduce a
a the resulltant surfac
ce boundary
y. The exam
mple below
w looks at th
he result
distinctt highlight at
of using
g multiple or
o single pa
atches and the resultin
ng boundarry influence
e.

108

Level 3:
3 Surface Modelling
M

ove right im
mages show
w three diffferent constructions off the form on the left - the
The abo
first two have the bulge cons
structed us
sing two surrface features and the
e third has the
c
as one fea
ature with one
o
internal curve (stiill creating two patche
es). As
bulge constructed
one fea
ature, the surface
s
still has to sep
parate into two
t
patche
es at the intternal curve
e, but
both pa
atches defo
orm to give a smoothe
er, balanced
d transition
n across the
e boundary.
gh it can giv
ve a betterr result join
ning patches together as one featture, do no
ot take
Althoug
this too
o far. You are
a better splitting you
ur quilts intto areas wh
hich naturallly group to
ogether
with a similar
s
leve
el of curvature.
Leaderr/followerr Workaround
If you have
h
to hav
ve a leader follower situation acrross a boun
ndary and itt causes a poor
continu
uity section across the
e boundary (as in first and second image ab
bove) then you
might try
t creating
g a ribbon surface
s
on the
t
bounda
ary before creating
c
the
e two surfaces and
then us
sing this as the reference for the
e boundary condition.

109

Level 3:
3 Surface Modelling
M
on surface using
u
a VSS
S can also be
b useful fo
or draft ang
gles.
Setting up a ribbo

i
abov
ve, the main surface is
s tangent to
t the botto
om ribbon s
surface which is a
In the image
VSS (N
Normal to Projection
n) which ha
as a 2 degr
ree angle rather
r
than normal to
o the
base plane.
ed Surface
es
3 Side
You will regularly meet situations where
e the skeleton which forms
f
the b
boundary of your
ed surfaces
s are comprrised of 1, 2, 3, 5........ curves ra
ather than the recomm
mended
propose
4. You need to re
evisit how a boundary blend surfa
ace is cons
structed beffore you can decide
t
situattions.
how to deal with these

c
a surface with 3 sides (as above) you will have 2 curves in
n one direc
ction and
If you create
one in the
t
second direction. The pair of
o curves wiill converge
e at one end, at this point
p
you
are tryiing to blend
d over a dis
stance of ze
ero. The sy
ystem has to fudge tthe surface
e.

110

Level 3:
3 Surface Modelling
M
onvergence
e will cause
e ripples in the surfaces. This is OK if the model is going
g
to
This co
no morre than an appearance
a
e model and
d not a soliid represen
ntation of yo
our product. If you
are going to creatte an offsett surface fro
om it thic
cken, shell, offset th
he converge
ence may
p
There could
d be a lot of
o modelling
g time and features in
nvestment between
b
cause problems.
creating
g the surface and mov
ving to a so
olid to then
n have to ch
hange the o
original surrface and
deal with the cons
sequences.
ethods forr 3 sided boundaries
b
s
Constrruction me
Trim ou
ut the conv
verging corn
ner and rep
place with a 4 sided pa
atch. Notic
ce the shap
pe of the
trim to make the UV isoline
es in the ne
ew fill patch
h blend as naturally
n
as
s possible.

strained by visualising
g surfaces in their end form. Can
n the surfac
ce be
Try nott to be cons
overbu
uilt and trim
mmed back
k?

111

Level 3:
3 Surface Modelling
M
eature driv
ven by ske
etch
Offset surface fe
The Offfset functio
on is another feature which has multiple us
ses depende
ed on whatt
geomettry you pre
e-select and
d what optio
ons you choose in the
e dashboard
d. Select the
surface
e you want to offset, iff it is the su
urface of a solid then select the s
solid then the
t
surface
e on the solid. Edit > Offset
n is to creatte an offsett copy of th
he whole su
urface. If y
you want to
o offset
The deffault option
an area
a defined by
y a sketch then you need
n
to sele
ect the Exp
pand option
n in the das
shboard

hen select or
o define th
he sketch which
w
contro
ols the offse
et area.
Through Options you can th
er whether you want the
t
side surfaces to be normal to
o the sketchplane or the
t
Conside
surface
e. You cannot use the
e text tool in sketche
er for the offfset sketch
h - create th
he
sketch using the text
t
tool th
hen create a second sketch
s
whic
ch traces th
he edges off the
originall sketch.

112

Level 3: Surface
S
Mod
delling: ISDX
X

ISDX: Interactive Su
urface Design Ex
xtension
n
s PTCs version of a freeform
f
m
modeller
which
w
sits in
n ProEngine
eer. Skeletton
ISDX is
curves
s, surfaces
s and surfa
ace deform
mation feattures exist within a single Style feature.
Althoug
gh the Style feature has
h its own feature tr
ree and parent child rrelationship
ps are
formed, the chron
nology of the
t
feature
es in the tre
ee is not sig
gnificant.
e mode (below). Fourr pane mode (icon in
The interface can be viewed in single or four pane
ost useful when
w
manip
pulating 3D curves which are tricky to visua
alise in
top toolbar) is mo
w point.
from a single view

se with whiich you can


n setup currve attachments and
d end cond
ditions, and the
The eas
dynam
mic updatin
ng of all ge
eometry as you interac
ct with curv
ves on scre
een makes this
module
e very powe
erful. Unlik
ke generic freeform
f
modellers these relation
nships once
e set are
fixed an
nd will upda
ate as relatted geomettry is developed.
unctionality can be fou
und under RMB
R
menu
us. Select or
o hover ov
ver an entity
y to give
Most fu
appropriate RMB menus. Allt, Shift an
nd Ctrl are useful mod
difier keys w
with most
nality.
function

113

Level 3: Surface
S
Mod
delling: ISDX
X
s
Curves

Free points plac


ced arbitrarrily in 3D space
Planarr points placed
p
on th
he active plane/planarr surface
COS Curve on Surface points stay
y within one surface patch
p
indica
ated by the first pick
hift when placing a curve point to
o snap to an existing
g entity, als
so use shiftt to
Use Sh
detach the point. RMB > pick soft po
oint to togg
gle through underlying
g entities. You can
snap to
o a datum plane
p
but you may hav
ve to snap to its graphical bound
dary and th
hen drag
the point to the re
equired pos
sition. It ca
an take a bit
b of experiimentation to choose the right
s appropriate for the required
r
end/boundary
y conditions.
reference which is
o complete curve crea
ation and crreate furthe
er curves, MMB
M
again
n to return to select
MMB to
tool. MMB
M
is generally a quick option to
t complete
e or repeat operations
s in ISDX
cross patc
ches as a COS is res
stricted to a single patch you willl have to th
hink
COS ac
carefullly about ho
ow you crea
ate a curve across multiple patch
hes, particu
ularly if you
u want
end con
nditions to adjacent fe
eatures. Yo
ou could eitther; project a planar curve onto
o multiple
patches
s, or; creatte separate COS curve
es and conn
nect the end points ac
cross the pa
atch
bounda
aries.
D
Point Definition

Empty circle
c
point attached to
o a curve/edg
ge
Empty Square
S
po
oint attached to surface
Cross point attach
hed to vertexx or intersectiion point
Filled ciircle - Free Point
P
Yellow line
l
- tangen
nt bar end cconditions

114

Level 3: Surface Modelling: ISDX


Point Attachment

050

In the above image, the curve in the right image needs to be G1 to the two adjacent
edges. Two issues to watch out for;

Dont attach to the vertex at the end of the edge (X point marker left image
below) you cannot create a geometric (tangent in this case) relationship to a
point.

Make sure you attach to the edge and not the underlying construction curve you
wont form a loop for the surface.

Shift > attach to the edge > RMB > Pick Softpoint to ensure it is the edge and
not the curve.

Edit > drag the point (should be an open circle) to the end of the edge to form a
loop with the trimmed edges

115

Level 3: Surface
S
Mod
delling: ISDX
X
nd End Con
nditions
Curve Editing an

ck a curve or use the Curve Edit icon to enter the ed


dit environm
ment, simply drag
Dbl clic
the points to adjust the curv
ve all conn
nections wiill be mainttained. Poin
nt > Pointt
ment and used
u
the nudge tool to
o move a po
oint by controlled incrrements. RMB
R
Movem
menus to add or delete
d
pointts.
ncy conditio
ons on curv
ve ends and
d surfaces is
s fundamen
ntal to succ
cess in
Setting up tangen
t
tangent marker, h
hover over the
ISDX. Select the end point of a curve to display the
y condition remembe
er it has to have an
markerr and RMB to select a tangency
appropriate relatio
on to estab
blish an end
d condition. Dragging the length
h of the end
d marker
es the influe
ences into the
t
curve.
change

116

Level 3: Surface
S
Mod
delling: ISDX
X
ces
Surfac

052

Internal Chains

Boundary Chains
C

t
same principles
p
fo
or creating surfaces in
n ISDX as in
i the core ProE functtionality
Follow the
curve
e skeleton structure,
s
b
blended
4 sided
s
surfac
ces, 3 sided
d surfaces e
etc. Bound
dary
selectio
on is differe
ent:
Boundary Blend Surface

ctrl pick th
he 3/4 boun
ndaries (3 sided
s
surface issues still
s
apply) selection order is
irrelevant

ndary is a chain
c
then ctrl
c
pick th
he first elem
ment, switch to shift to
t pick
if one boun
the chain, return to ctrl
c
to selec
ct further boundaries

hen collecte
ed after moving focus to the Inte
ernal Chains
internal curves are th
window

ed Surface
e
Blende
Single primary
p
curve in one direction, single
s
or mu
ultiple curv
ves in secon
nd direction
n

mary curve
Select prim

RMB > Cro


oss collecttor > selec
ct cross currve[s]

Lofted Surface
ck multiple,, unattache
ed section curves
c
in on
ne direction
n
Ctrl pic

117

Level 3: Surface
S
Mod
delling: ISDX
X
ce Tangenc
cy
Surfac
By defa
ault the sys
stem will es
stablish bou
undary conditions acco
ording to th
he underlying curve
conditio
ons:

b
- G0
position common boundary

tangent/n
normal G1
G

curvature
e continuous G2

e, double click
c
the surrface or RM
MB > edit definition
d
in the ISD
DX model
To edit the surface
tree. Either
E
RMB or pick the
e middle of the bound
dary mark
ker to togglle between
positio
on (G0), ta
angent (G1
1) and curv
vature con
ntinuous (G
G2) connec
ction if th
he
controlling curve conditions
c
a
allow.
f
the le
eader to the
e follower surface,
s
the
e follower surface chan
nges
The arrrow points from
shape to
t satisfy ta
angency co
onditions. RMB
R
> Flip
p Leader on
o the arrow
w end allow
ws you to
(if relattions allow)) reverse th
he leader/fo
ollower order - this ca
an have a significant effect
e
on
the form
m.
ce Trim
Surfac
Use of MMB make
es the surfface trim operation
o
very quick and
a
easy

start the trrim tool

pick the su
urface to triim > MMB

pick the triimming refe


erence cu
urve[s], surface, plane
e > MMB

pick the po
ortion of the
e surface to
o delete > MMB

118

Level 3: Surface
S
Mod
delling: ISDX
X
S
Trace Sketch

se enginee
ering an arrtefact from
m orthograp
phic photos
s or using s
sketches as a
Revers
guidelin
ne for profile curves is
s facilitated
d in ISDX with
w
the Tra
ace Sketch
h functiona
ality.
Images
s can be ap
pplied to datum planes
s or planar surfaces, scaled,
s
rota
ated and po
osition in
the model space to
t enable th
he generation of profille curves.

he yellow markers
m
to a known dimension, enter
e
the dimension in
n the Fit bo
ox and
Drag th
the ima
age will be scaled acco
ordingly. You
Y
may ne
eed to creatte flipped copies of yo
our
images as they arre by default applied to
t the positive side of surfaces/planes this
s can
h if you are using three orthograp
phic images
s.
cause a mismatch

119

Level 3: Surface
S
Mod
delling: ISDX
X
dit
Direct surface ed

ol can be used to edit surfaces fo


or purposes
s of genera
al modelling
g as well as
s make
This too
subtle tweaks
t
to smooth
s
outt problem areas.
a
The history
h
of surface edits is mainta
ained
during future rege
eneration, so
s if the parent surfac
ce is modifie
ed, the surrface edit is
s
ed to the surface during regenerration.
reapplie

c
for coarse orr fine adjustment
Adjust the number off rows and columns

Define how
w you want the points to move re
elative to th
he surface normal to
o the
surface, no
ormal to a plane,
p
free,, etc.

Select indiv
vidual points, Ctrl pic
ck multiple points, sele
ect whole rows or colu
umns.

Avoid disto
ortion of surface edges
s - RMB menu on edg
ge control lines and lock the
edge.

ementally move
m
the control points
Use the dashboard Nudge contrrols to incre

F
to ch
hange the characterist
c
tics of the d
distortion away
a
Experiment with the Filter
from the dragged point

120

L
Level
3: Surrface Modelling: Examp
ples

Exam
mples: Sc
coops an
nd Bulges

t
a lot of
o experienc
ce and expe
erimentatio
on to develo
op strategie
es for more
e
It can take
complex surface forms.
f
The above exa
amples are generally overbuilt
o
an
nd trimmed
d
es, identify the approp
priate bound
dary condittions when creating th
he curve sk
keleton.
surface
See bey
yond the su
urfaces as they
t
exist in
i the final form, look for their natural
develop
pment.

121

Level 3: Surface Modelling: Examples

Scoop Example

055

Imagine in this classic scoop form, the U shaped perimeter cut through the main surface
and then the internal surface is peeled back away from the parent surface, this surface
remains tangent to the main surface via the attached edge.
The form is symmetrical so is modelled to the symmetry plane and then mirrored
therefore ensure normalcy to the symmetry plane in all curves and surfaces.

1. Extrude surface cut to create the initial cut out. Ensure both curves ends (1, 2) in the
driving sketch connect normal to the symmetry plane.

122

Level 3: Surface Modelling: Examples

2. peel surface boundary curves. Mid curve (2) sketched on symmetry plane, long
curves (2,4) could be sketches, CTP or ISDX curves have G1/2 end conditions to the
main surface at straight edge of cut (1), short end curve (3) normal to mid plane.

3. peel surface. Surface (2) constructed from above 3 curves and straight edge of cut
(1) Boundaries G1/2 to parent surface (1) and normal to symmetry plane (3)

123

Level 3: Surface Modelling: Examples

4. Ribbon surface curves. COS on peel surface (1), end normal to symmetry plane.
End curve on mid plane (2), both ends G1/2 to parent surface and peel surface

5. Ribbon surface. Created from the previous curves with boundary conditions on all
boundaries - normal to symmetry plane, G1/2 on other 3 boundaries. Merge the three
surfaces and mirror. Notice continuity across symmetry plane.

124

Level 3: Surface Modelling: Examples

5 Sided Example

056

This cowl form needs to be normal to the base (symmetry), front and end planes. But
this form has five sides not robustly achievable with our blended surface, there are
many overbuilding/trimming routes to tackle this surface.

We shall look at a classic route illustrated above which creates an extra curve/edge
allowing two four sided surfaces. As you build consider every end relationship what
you are attaching the curves to and every end condition normal, tangent or
curvature continuous.

125

Level 3: Surface Modelling: Examples

1. Initial curve set simple sketched datum curves - ensure you have curve end normalcy
where needed

2. Construction curve to enable initial 4 sided surface CPT or ISDX free curve - again,
consider end conditions

126

Level 3: Surface Modelling: Examples

3. Initial 4 sided surface boundary blend or ISDX

4. Trimming curve ISDX COS, projected curve or simple extruded surface cut. Make
sure the curve is sympathetic to its opposite blend curve.

127

Level 3: Surface Modelling: Examples

5. Trim initial surface to create second surface boundaries

6. Second 4 sided surface some tweaking of the trim curve is likely to be needed. If you
cant create appropriate boundary conditions you will have to revisit your construction
curve end relationships and end conditions

128

Level 3: Surface Modelling: Examples

Mouse Example

057

This model develops the rudimentaries of a classic 3 button mouse. The starting point for
the model is a skeleton part from which geometry will be shared to the component parts.
Two rectangular bounding box sketches (1) on the mid and base planes give the extents
of the model, all section curves will be referenced to these sketches as the model
progresses, additional reference elements can be added to these sketches at any time.
These sketches allow the fundamental dimensions of the model to be tweaked quickly and
simply see video

058

Now the model moves into a single style features where most of the fundamental
geometry will be generated. The major top/bottom split curve is generated as an
intersect curve (2) from two extruded surfaces. As there is no extrude in ISDX this was
a Blended Surface (one curve in each direction - see ISDX > Surfaces) using the base
and mid section curves (3) and their relevant bounding box edges (4).

1
2

The mid and bottom curves (5) were then generated relative to the intersect curve to
complete the 4 boundaries for the base side surface (6). Keep your surfaces simple to
start with and then add control as it is needed in this case an internal curve (7) was
need as the surface need to bulge out very slightly in its mid section.

129

Level 3: Surface Modelling: Examples

The top surface (8) is an overbuilt rectangular surface trimmed with a COS (9). This was
a Blended surface again 1 curve in 1st direction with 3 Cross curves in the 2nd
direction. The section curve on the mid plane had to be built in two parts (10) as it is
used for both ends of the ribbon surface unlike the standard Boundary Blend
functionality, ISDX does not allow a curve to be selected twice for different boundaries in
the same surface.
8

10 midplane section curve split in two

The ribbon surface between the trimmed top surface and the bottom side surface is
generated from the resultant curves, surfaces boundaries and trimmed edges. In this
case another internal curve was required to control the surface. This gives the

130

Level 3: Surface Modelling: Examples


fundamental surfaces for the various parts. The skeleton model also needs any
boundaries where these surfaces are to be split into the various parts, this ensures that all
parts fit together at the various complex boundaries. In this case, where the top surface
is split between the palm rest area and the button, two extruded surfaces (1) are
generated to form intersect curves.

The model now has all the elements required to start building the individual part files
bottom, top, left and right button. The part files are created and assembled with the
default constraint, using the Copy Geometry function the relevant curves and surfaces
are copied into each part. The surfaces are then trimmed and generally manipulated, the
clearance between the parts is produced by generating offset curves or surfaces from the
base geometry.

131

Level 3: Surface Modelling: Examples

Surface Model Checklist


Dont overcomplicate your build strategy;

Dont put datum points on top of curve endpoints or surface corner vertices these
are already selectable points

Is your proposed section planar? Then use a sketch rather than a CTP

Minimise the control in curves and surfaces use two point splines and minimal
surface section curves only add control if really needed

If you have to use a CTP for a planar section (you may be struggling with
appropriate end conditions in a sketch) then make sure its Attributes are set to
Quilt/Surface you will not be able to set boundary conditions to the reference
plane if attributes is set to Free

An Extrude > Surface > Cut with an internal sketch is generally much neater and
quicker than trimming with a COS

If you cant apply the boundary condition required work logically through the
underlying curves and trimmed edges

If your going to risk 3 sided surfaces then ensure they will thicken asap so as not
to be caught out later on otherwise get rid of the convergence point.

Do as much fine tuning work on your surface form and quality as possible before you
move the model on to a solid (thickening etc.) or before your start sharing the master
surfaces across other parts. Inevitably, identities will change, references will be lost and
child features will fail as you fine tune your model.

132

Engineering Drawings
What makes a good engineering drawing?
Getting started
Interface
Views
Line display
Multiple parts on single sheet
Multi Sheet Drawings
Locking elements to views
Deleting unwanted lines
Detailing
General Assemblies and Bill of Materials
Explode States

133

Engineering Drawings

Engineering Drawings
At some point as the designer, you will have to formally communicate your product to a
third party, engineering drawings are still the accepted method for documenting and
formalising your design if there is an issue with an item supplied by a sub contractor, a
clear engineering drawing will quickly resolve the issue. Be aware that standards exist
(ISO1101, Y14.41) which are moving toward eliminating the traditional engineering
drawing in favour of detailing the 3D model.
What makes a good engineering drawing?

Plan the sheet layout to best communicate the part

Use half views for symmetrical parts to save space

Use section views to show internal detail

Use detailed views for relatively small detail

Check all dimensions and annotation for clarity and ambiguity

Always ask the question will someone else be able to visualise the 3D form?

and is the design intent clear the from the given dimensions?

Make sure it adheres to the accepted standard in your organisation

You will need to create a .dtl file in your default Working Directory folder to set up your
drawing standard see Customization
Engineering drawings will be split into three main areas:

Views

Detailing

GAs and Bill of Materials tables

All model views in the drawing file are associative, i.e. there is no linework stored in the
drawing file, each time you open the file the views are recreated according to the current
state of the associated model. If you change a dimensional value in the model or in a
view, the system updates other drawing views accordingly.
Remember; keep the drawing file and any associated part files together and only make
name changes within ProE see Level 1 > Managing the Model.

134

Engineering Drawings
Getting started
When you open a new drawing file (.drw) the New Drawing dialog box will open, select
the associated model part or assembly. You are then given three options to set up the
drawing sheet.

Use template - drawing templates automatically create the views, set the desired view
display, create snap lines, and show model dimensions based on the template. Although
this is a high level of automation, to work successfully the orientation and placement of
your models has to be carefully considered.
Empty with format this applies an .frm file to your drawing to set up a border and
table. Table cells can be automatically filled in by adding parametric labels such as
&model_name or &todays_date
Non parametric labels - &first_or_third or &drawn_by will force a prompt for
information as you start the drawing. You can create your own .frm files
Empty for a quick and informal engineering sketch then you can start with an empty
sheet

Interface
The top left options switch the ribbon style toolbars to access specific functional areas.
The generic top right drop down menus will also change to contain some drawing
specific functions. RMB menus will be context sensitive to reflect which toolbar is active
and what entities are selected. Drawing sheets and views are listed in the Drawing Tree
in the left column.

135

Engiineering Dra
awings

ons will use


e the cascading Menu
u Manager structure ffor setting up the
A lot off the functio
feature
e. The men
nus expand downwarrds as you make choic
ces, make s
sure you work
w
back
up thro
ough the me
enus as you exit the menus.
m
o for sele
ection prom
mpt window
ws and read the text area
a
below the top too
olbars for
Watch out
guidanc
ce. Watch out for me
enus and se
election pro
ompt windows getting hidden beh
hind the
main graphics win
ndow. You will also no
otice the grraphic upda
ate is not ve
ery dynamic, zoom
t update the screen.
in/out to

Views
s
View windo
ow,
Most off your interraction whilst creating views will be via the Drawing V
double click a view
w to access
s the Draw
wing View window
w
rela
ative to tha
at view. Work
W
through
h the left hand Category list to create your view.

a either General
G
vie
ews which are
a unrelatted to any other
o
view or Associa
ated
Views are
views with
w
projecttions from or
o portions of existing
g views, you
ur first view
w must therefore be
a Gene
eral view.

136

Engineering Drawings
Layout toolbar > Model Views > General View > select a position for the view
View orientation
There are three options for defining your view orientation;
View names from model if you have set up views in your model via the Orientation
icon then these can be selected from the list
Geometry references usually the quickest way to get the view you want. Pick a
planar surface or datum plane to face in the specified direction. Remember its the brown
positive side of a datum plane which faces the specified direction.
Angles useful for setting up isometric views:

set the model to an appropriate orthograhic view

select vertical from the Rotation reference

enter 45 in the Angle value

apply

select horizontal from the Rotation reference

enter 35 (precisely 35.264) in the Angle value

apply

Scale - make sure you set a view scale to make best use of the sheet area.

137

Engiineering Dra
awings
T
View Types

e Layout > Model Vie


ews toolba
ar are:
The primary view types available in the
al a view that you orient
o
and is
s not depen
ndent upon
n any otherr view for itts
Genera
orientation.
o
hic projecttion of an object
o
as se
een from th
he front, top
p, right,
Projection an orthograp
or left.
Detaile
ed a view
w that you create
c
by ta
aking a porrtion of an existing vie
ew and scaling it for
dimens
sioning and clarification purposes
s.
Auxilia
ary a view
w created by
b projectin
ng 90 to an inclined surface,
s
datum plane,, or along
an axis.
ying how much of th
he model is visible
Specify
Using other
o
option
ns in the Viiew Prope
erties > Vie
ew Type window,
w
you
u can speciify how
much of
o the mode
el is visible in the view
w, as shown
n in the nex
xt figure.

138

Engiineering Dra
awings

s
the entire
e
model
Full shows
y the portio
on of the model on one
e side of a datum plan
ne. Select a datum
Half shows only
a the cuttting plane, flip the arrrow to select the half to keep.
plane as
n remove
e a section from long thin objects between
n two points
s and move
e the
Broken
remaining sections close together. In the
t
view window you need
n
to deffine a Firstt and
d Break Line but its not particularly intuitive how the
ese lines arre defined. In the
Second
above example,
e
click and hold LMB at a point on
n the bottom horizonttal line and drag the
cursor vertically
v
u to define
up
e the First Break Line
e. A point further alo
ong this line
e is then
chosen as the Sec
cond Break Line.
o
the porrtion of the
e view that is containe
ed within a boundary
Partiall shows only

ng a Cross
s Section (xsec)
(
Vie
ew
Creatin
A cross
s sectional view
v
is ofte
en needed to
t clarify internal deta
ail dimens
sion should
d not be
applied to hidden detail, dim
mension the cross section. A perrpendicular datum plane in
g plane to allow a pro
ojected view
w to be sho
owed in
the parrent view is used as the cutting
xsec.

139

Engineering Drawings
To change an existing projected view to a cross-section, use the View Properties >
Sections options. Either pick an existing xsec (which can be created in the model file) or
create a new planar section.
Adding section arrows - arrows are needed in the parent view to show the position of
the cutting plane. Pick the xsec view > RMB and choose add arrows > choose the view
to which to add the arrows.
Crosshatching highlight and double click the crosshatching to give Menu Manager
options for spacing and angle adjustment for the crosshatching. For crosshatching in a
GA use the Pick, Next and Previous options to toggle through the part files.

Detailed View
A new view which magnifies an area of an existing view.
Layout toolbar > Model Views > Detailed View
Pick a point on a line in the parent view to show the centre of the detailed area. You are
prompted to draw a spline curve to represent the extents of the detailed area DO NOT
start the spline tool from the sketch toolbar, just start picking points to show the area.
MMB to finish the spline, pick a position to place the view, change the scale accordingly.

Line display
The line display Hidden or No Hidden Line setting is by default controlled by the
global setting in the top toolbar. This setting can be controlled independently within
each view through the View Properties window. Orthographic views should always
show hidden, isometric views are generally not shown with hidden line detail, their main
function is to show the general form and hidden lines would clutter the view.

Multiple parts on single sheet


If you want to split your sheet into areas and details multiple parts then:
Layout toolbar > Drawing Models > Add Model

140

Engineering Drawings
Then use the Set Model option to switch active models. Create a details table for each
model.
Multi Sheet Drawings
If you cannot include enough adequately sized views on a sheet to fully explain your
model then add sheets to the engineering drawing. The new sheet will show in the
Drawing Tree and at the bottom of the graphics area:
Layout toolbar > Drawing Models > New Sheet
wysiwyg
What you see, is what you get your file will print (to paper or .pdf) as it is shown on
screen. Turn off display of reference geometry (planes and csys), switch to hidden line.
Always do a test print and then fine tune the drawing. Although hidden lines show in grey
on the screen they will print as the standard dashed lines.
Watch the ProE print defaults, when you hit the print icon in the Publish toolbar the
system default is to print Based on Zoom, that is a screen dump and not 1:1. Change
the setting in the ProE print window Publish toolbar > Settings > Model tab > Plot >
Full Plot.

Save the print setting to your default Working Directory as a .pcf file.

Locking elements to views


Poor generation of tangent lines or overlapping parts in assemblies can cause the loss of
edges or general anomalies in the linework which may need to be repaired with sketched
lines use the right hand sketch toolbar. These sketched lines will need to remain in
relative to the view if the view is repositioned.
Select the curve > Edit > Relate > Relate to View
Deleting unwanted lines
Common situation is when you have a mirrored part with normalcy across the symmetry
plane or merged surface patches at G2/curvature continuous - this will create
tangent/patch edges which should not be there as there is no abrupt change in radius.
Also, stray, random lines can be created if the system cannot fully resolve the geometry.
Layout toolbar > Format > Edge Display > Erase Line

141

Engiineering Dra
awings

Detaiiling
w have som
me views which
w
best c
communicate our form
m, you need
d to show the
Once we
physica
al size of the elements
s in that forrm and, by carefully deciding
d
how
w you dime
ension
the form
m, commun
nicate our design
d
inttent - dime
ension the
e feature an
nd position
n the
feature
e see Lev
vel 1 > Des
sign Inten
nt
Axis
oning any arcs
a
we nee
ed to show axis. Select an indiviidual
Before we can start dimensio
v
view orr Ctrl select multiple views:

m
> Sho
ow Model Annotatio
on > pick th
he Axis tab
b > select individual axis or
RMB menu
use the
e Tick All button
b

g or Driven Dimensiions?
Driving
Your model is pac
cked with pa
arameters, the Drivin
ng Dimens
sions. The
ese could all be
ed to your sheet
s
as th
he drawing dimensions
s but this generally
g
prroves to be
importe
ineffecttive in communicating
g the Desig
gn Intent. It is generrally quicke
er to create
e your
own Drriven Dime
ensions.
g Dimensions - selec
ct an individ
dual view or
o Ctrl select multiple views:
Driving
m
> Sho
ow Model Annotatio
on > pick th
he Dimens
sion tab > select indiv
vidual
RMB menu
dimens
sions or use
e the Tick All
A button

142

Engiineering Dra
awings
n Dimensio
ons simila
ar to creatiing dimensions in Ske
etcher
Driven

ate toolbarr > Insert > Dimens


sion New
w Referenc
ces
Annota
o select the elements, e.g. length
h of a line, distance be
etween two
o lines, radiius of an
LMB to
arc
o place the dimension
n
MMB to
Drag th
he projectio
on lines, dimension lin
nes and dim
mension tex
xt for best clarity
Picks

pick a straight line to


o show its length

arallel line
es to show the distance between
n them
pick two pa

pick two no
on paralle
el lines to show
s
the angle betwe
een them - MMB pick position
for inside or
o outside angle
a

pick an arc
c to show itts radius

pick an arc
c once, pick
k it again, then MMB
B to shows its
i diameter

er dimensio
on fails or is
s created with
w
an X an
nd Y elemen
nt then
Hint: If a radius or diamete
k and make
e sure the plane
p
of the
e diameter is parallell to the scrreen its ax
xis is
go back
norma
al to the scrreen. It on
nly has to be a fraction
n of a degre
ee off parallel and the
e circle
become
es an ellipse.
ensions - make sure your dimension are a suitable height and font
f
style
Formatting Dime
ximum clarrity. Eitherr; pick the individual dimension,
d
RMB and enter the
for max
Properrties windo
ow. Or; dra
ag a box arround all th
he dimensio
ons, RMB a
and enter th
he
Properrties windo
ow.
n Dimensio
ons - throu
ugh the dim
mension Pro
operties > Dimensio
on Text tab you
Text in
can add
d text to th
he dimensio
on.

143

Engineering Drawings
Overwrite Dimension Text - on Driven Dimensions you can change to manual
control of the text by replacing the @D with the option @O. This will overwrite the
dimension text, e.g. 3 holes, 5dia.

Notes
You can also use Notes to add comments and information to your sheet or to detail
features. In the example below, a note to detail the hole is neater then applying the
dimensions to the section view.

Annotate toolbar > Insert > Note


Set the Note attributes (watch the text area for hints) in the Menu Manager > Make
Note
If you are using a leader pick the geometry to attach it to. Remember you can use MMB
as the OK option to finish each step.
Once you have entered the text, Enter twice to complete the Note
Model Associativity - Notes can be associated to dimensions in the model as above.
When the Note window appears, use Annotate > Switch Dimensions to show
dimensions IDs. Insert & followed by the dimension ID in the Note text. Annotate
toolbar > Parameters > Switch Dimensions will also show the dimension names. Use
Text Symbol for special symbols.
144

Engiineering Dra
awings

sion names can also be


b found in the part file. RMB > Edit on a feature in the
Dimens
Model Tree to sh
how feature
e dimension
ns in the grraphics area
a. Drop do
own menu Info
I
>
Switch
h Dimns
o a symme
etry plane
Dimensioning to
etely symm
metrical then
n you can robustly
r
communicate
e the design
n intent
If a parrt is comple
and sav
ve space by
y using a half view and dimensio
oning from a centre lin
ne.

You will need to have a datu


um plane as
a the sym
mmetry plane. RMB a
and propertties for
p
file. Re
ename the plane CL and
a
set to Datum
D
Tag
g Annotatiion. This
the plane in the part
ow you to use
u the plan
ne for dime
ensioning in
n the drawing.
will allo
s in full vie
ew and the
en change the
t
view vis
sibility to a half view
w.
Create dimensions

145

Engineering Drawings

General Assemblies and Bill of Materials


Once you have a General Assembly drawing of your assembly file you will need to create
a Bill of Materials (BOM). You could simply create a table and manually enter text and
manually create balloons but this could be difficult to manage in the event of changes to
a large project.
The parametric associativity means we can link a table to the current state of the
assembly if the assembly changes, the drawing views change, the table cells and the
balloons update.
To create an automated BOM in ProE we need to:

create a table

define a simple repeat region

enter the report symbols

update the table

Creating a Table - for a table in the top right corner, expanding downwards and
leftwards with four columns; No., Name, Qty and Material:

Table toolbar > Table > Table


Menu Manager > Descending > Leftward > By Num Chars
Select the upper, right corner of the drawing sheet border as the start position of the
table. A series of numbers are displayed these represent the column width in terms of
number of characters. Select a number to define a column width, continue selecting to
define the four columns (column and row sizes can be modified later). MMB to finish.
Create two rows by number of characters as before - MMB to finish.
Table selection hover the cursor over different areas of the table to select cells,
columns, rows or the whole table (near the corners).

146

Engiineering Dra
awings
t
header cells indiviidually and through th
he propertties box (do
ouble click
k the
Select the
cell or select and RMB > prroperties) add text to
o define the
e columns. Define the text
justifica
ation of the
e columns to
t align in the
t
centre of
o the cells..
OM Repeatt Region
Add BO
The deffined area of
o the table
e which exp
pands and contracts
c
in
n response to changes
s in the
assemb
bly is the Repeat
R
Reg
gion. Cells
s in this are
ea can be associated to paramete
ers in the
model. In our table, the who
ole row under the head
der row will be the rep
peat region
n.
t
row > RMB > Ad
dd Repeat Region
Select the
ct the table
e and then reselect it, you will no
otice the repeat region
n highlights
s.
Deselec
amme the repeat cells
Progra
t
cells decides which
h parametters are applied to the
e cell.
Reportt Symbols added to the
Dbl clic
ck a cell to
o assign the
e Report Symbols:
S

pt > index
No rp
Name - asm > mbr > name
e
r > qty
Qty - rpt
Material - asm.m
mbr.ptc_material.PTC_
_MATERIAL_
_NAME
aterial will need to be
e assigned in the part file: Edit > Setup > Material before
b
it
The ma
will sho
ow in the Repeat
R
Reg
gion.

147

Engineering Drawings
To stop multiple instances of a part being displayed separately in the table; Table toolbar
> Data > Repeat Region > (menu manager) > attributes > (select the Repeat
Region) > no duplicates.

Use the Update Table icon in the Table toolbar to show the

current part information.


The interface is not very good for editing repeat regions or correcting mistakes, for
example creating one repeat region on top of another. The quickest method to sort out
issues is to delete all repeat regions and start again!
Add BOM Balloons to the Drawing Views.
Table toolbar > Balloons > BOM Balloons > Set Region > Simple > select the region
> Create Balloon > Show > By View and then select the appropriate view of the
assembly where you want to place the balloon labels. Reposition the balloons
appropriately and change the attachment locations through the right-click menu - it is
generally clearer if the attachment is to a surface rather than the default edge.

Explode States
Showing an assembly in an exploded state can help visualise the components and how
they fit together. This type of view would commonly be shown in an isometric orientation.
See Level 3 > View Manager to create your explode state in the assembly file. Then
Drawing View window > View States > select the predefined explode state from the
list.

148

Customisation
config.pro
config.win
tree.cfg
syscol.scl
Template files
Mapkeys
[drawing standard].dtl
Sketcher Customisation

149

Customisation

070

ProE is used in such a broad scope of industries and applications that the factory setting
were never going to suit everyone, to address this there are many ways to customise the
appearance and operation of the software.
Remember you can always return to the factory defaults by moving the configuration files
out of the start up folder before starting ProE.
RMB > Properties on the start up icon for ProE and you will see it has a Start In folder
specified. The system will look in this folder on start up for any configuration files that will
customise the appearance and operation, it is usually best to set this to a unique folder if
you are going to create a set of configuration files.
config.pro the first file ProE will search for in the Start In folder. Created through
Tools > Options this file is also viewable and editable in a simple text editor. There are
hundreds of options available, enter a keyword in the Option box and use Find to search
for associated options, use the wildcard * to see the whole list. Save this file to your
Start In folder. Some useful options are:
template_solidpart c:\[start in folder]\default.prt
template_designasm c:\[start in folder]\default.asm
mdl_tree_cfg_file c:\[start in folder]\tree.cfg
display_axes yes/no
display_coord_sys yes/no
display_planes yes/no
display_points yes/no
spin_center_display yes/no
pro_unit_sys mmns
spin_with_silhouettes yes/no
display shade
sketcher_auto_create_refs 0/1/2
sketcher_refit_after_dim_modify yes/no
sketcher_disp_grid yes/no
sketcher_blended_background yes/no
system_colors_file C:\[start in folder]\syscol.scl
drawing_setup_file C:\[start in folder]\ [drawing standard].dtl
pro_format_dir c:\ [start in folder]\ptc

150

a
icon > Comman
nds to ente
er the interrface Custo
omize
config..win RMB on any active
window
w. Drag and
d drop icon
ns and drop
p down men
nu options on to or offf the interfa
ace.
Also customise yo
our toolbars
s and variou
us other intterface options as welll. This win
ndow is
s if you want to custtomise yourr sketch too
olbars, ente
er sketcherr first.
contextt sensitive so
Save co
onfig.win in your Sta
art In folde
er. You can
n also creatte custom icons for Mapkeys
M
see below.
b
odel tree ha
as some ve
ery odd facttory setting
g eg. not showing pa
art
tree.cffg the mo
feature
es in the ass
sembly model tree. Use
U the Setttings icon at the top of the Mod
del Tree
to enter the tree Filters
F
Win
ndow, custtomise the display opttions, save the Settin
ngs File
S
In folder and po
oint to in co
onfig.pro
in the Start

w > Display Settings > System Colors cus


stomise you
ur interface colours,
syscol.scl View
a
point to
o in config.pro
save in the Start In folder and

Notic
ce the conffig.pro optio
on

er_blended_
_backgroun
nd yes/no this stops
s sketcher changing
c
to
o a black
sketche
backgro
ound.
ate files you can crreate your own defaullt .prt, .asm
m and .frm
m (drawing format)
Templa
files. Create
C
yourr own layers, saved views, etc. Point
P
to the
e files with the config.pro
options
s; template_
_solidpart c:\[start in folder]\default.prt and templatte_designas
sm
c:\[starrt in folder]]\default.as
sm

eys any sequence off keyboard and mouse


e inputs can
n be record
ded and ass
signed to
Mapke
a shortcut key(s) and/or a to
oolbar icon. Tools > Mapkeys
M

072

151

[drawing standard].dtl while in the drawing environment, File > Properties >
Drawing Options to set up your engineering drawing settings. Save in the Start In
folder and point to in config.pro

Sketcher Customisation Suggestions


Toolbar RMB > Commands > Categories: > Sketch to customise your Sketcher
toolbar. Rearrange your icons to suit your habits, remove rarely used icons to tidy up
your interface, add useful icons for quick access.

Useful additions:
Options access grid snap, grid size, constraint defaults
Sketch setup change sketchplane orientation
Sketch References add or remove refs

config.pro options:
sketcher_disp_grid

yes

- using the grid as a guide to approximately size sketches

can save a lot of time in resizing


sketcher_refit_after_dim_modify

no - stops the annoying graphics area resizing

every time you make a change to the sketch


sketcher_set_grid_x_spacing - set your own grid size to suit your common model size

152