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Managing Large Assemblies in CATIA V5

Pat Coulehan
Application Consultant
July 13, 2006

Agenda
Discuss different options available for
working with large amounts of data in
CATIA V5
Discuss techniques for designing in
context when working with large
assemblies
Discuss new functionality when creating
drawings from large assemblies

What Do all these options do?


Many options available in the contextual
menu of the product

5 Ways of managing data in CATIA V5


Show vs. No-Show
Node Activation vs. Node Deactivation
Activate component vs. Deactivate
component
Visualization Mode vs. Design
Mode
Load vs. Unload

1. Show vs No-Show

A tool to hide unwanted


geometry

Show

No-Show
Advantages: Improves Graphic Performance, Geometry still editable
Disadvantages: Ignored by drafting workbench, not used in DMU applications, used to
measure mass properties

2. Activate Node Vs. Deactivate Node


Manages graphic representation
Node deactivation No graphic
representation at all is loaded
Hide/Show Hide graphic
representation of specific elements in
model
Node Deactivation Hide graphic
representaton of entire model

Activate Node vs. Deactivate Node

Red Axis

White Axis

Advantages: Better graphic performance, create/update assembly constraints


Disadvantages: Loaded in memory but geometry not modifiable, not used by drawings
ingored by DMU applications

Node activation / deactivation


Use contextual menu
Activate/Deactivate Node
Select a part instance

Activate/Deactivate Terminal
Node Select a product
instance. All parts under the
product will be
activated/deactivated

Options for Node Activations


Sets initial behavior when loaded into
CATIA

DEMO

3. Activate vs Deactivate Components


Dont confuse with Node
Activation/Deactivation
Hides the graphic representation of the
component

Activate vs Deactivate Components

Activated
Component

Deactivated
Component

Advantages: Better graphic performance, Can be accessed by knowledgeware


Disadvantages: Loaded into memory, cant update or edit geometry, ingnored by DMU
applications and the drafting workbench

Activate vs Deactivate Components


Can use contextual menu, not recommended
Use rules to have CATIA automatically toggle
component activation

Activate vs Deactivate Components


Using a Rule to control
the activation of a
component

DEMO

4. Visualization vs. Design Mode


Improves performance by not loading
the mathematical data of the part into
memory, only a visual of the geometry
is loaded into memory.

Visualization Mode
First Time a part is loaded into CATIA using
visualization mode:

CATIA creates a lighter version of the model and


saves it to the hard drive.
Because it creates this light version the first time,
it takes longer to load.
Successive loads of this model, read the light
version, which results in a quicker load time and
better performance

File type .cgr CATIA Graphic Representation

CGR Files
Not Downward Compatible (Cgr files created
in V5R14 cannot be read by CATIA V5R13 or
lower)
Upward compatibility

Files are upward compatible.


However, in V5R14 cgr files were optimized
Recommend rebuild the cgr files if upgrading to V5R14

Sharable

Set storage directory to server


Also called Released Cache

Accessing Visualization Mode


Tools+Options
Activate Visualization Mode
Turn on the Cache
Requires a restart

Additional Options
Cache Location Place CATIA creates and saves
the cgr files
Read/write to the local cache first
Read/write to the released cache last
Released cache setup by administrator.
Should be read-only

Cache Size sets a limit for the size of the cache


directory. If limit is exceeded, cgr files are
deleted, with oldest being deleted first, until
directory size is below maximum size.

CATIA uses timestamps to see if the cgr


represents the latest version of the part.
If not, a new cgr is created.

Cache Location
Recommend not using the default location

Default Cache Location


C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\DassaultSystemes\CATCache

Sample File Location


C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\CATIA\Oil Pump drive.CATPart

CGR File Location


C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\DassaultSystemes\CATCache\cgr\#2\Documents and
Settings\userjcosta\My Documents\CATIA\Oil Pump drive.CATPart.2004-04-22-15.45.42.cgr

Windows Limits: 255 characters for file name, including


directory. Typical file uses 193 characters and filename is
only 14 characters long.

Cache Options

Cgr Options
Save lineic Options CGR saves wireframe geometry

Cgr Options
Loads only a subset of the cgr file
Loads the entire cgr file when needed
Only works for cgr files built in V5R14 or higher

Cgr Options

Note: a cgr file is only updated when the CATPart it


relates to is modified, so making changes to these cgr
options does not automatically update the cgr
document. Delete the old cgr file and then CATIA
will generate the new file

Loading in Visualization Mode

Loading in Visualization Mode


Tesselated data

No Part History

Document
Name

Visualization Mode

Instance Name

Design Mode

Tesselated image

Quality of tesselated image controlled by accuracy


parameters. Tools+options General-DisplayPerformances

Visualization Mode
Advantages
Use

less memory than Design Mode

Better Performance
Loads faster
Perform

Clash Analysis
Perform Section Analysis
Retrieve Inertia properties

Visualization Mode

Perform Clash Analysis

Visualization Mode

Perform Section Analysis

Visualization Mode
Retrieve Inertia properties

Cgrs must be created with this


option on. Otherwise, the inertia is
calculated with the default density

DEMO

Visualization Mode
Disadvantages
Cannot

edit the geometry


Cannot use to Design-in-Context
Cannot use Assembly constraints to
position
Some measurements are approximate.
Accuracy is based on the tesselation of the
cgr file
Ignored by drawing documents

Switching between design and


visualization mode
3 methods to convert from visualization to
design mode

Use the contextual menu- only option


available with this option turned off
Double click on the geometry or specification tree
Open the specification tree of the part

Must use contextual menu to switch from


design mode to visualization mode

Can only switch from design mode to


visualization mode if the cache is turned on

Switching between design and


visualization mode

Use the contextual menu (right mouse button)

Multi-selection is available

Only way to switch from design to visualization mode

Switching between design and


visualization mode
Double click on the geometry or
specification tree

Double click

Switching between design and


visualization mode
Open the specification tree of the part

Expand the tree

Switching between design and


visualization mode
CATIA automatically switches to design mode
when it needs to access the geometric data

Based on options
To update the assembly
For Design in Context

Always
When creating a drawing

Automatic switching between design


and visualization mode
Update the Assembly
Recommend keeping this option turned off
for large assemblies
Advantage

Only the components which are manually


loaded into design mode are updated.

Result: much better performance

Automatic switching between design


and visualization mode

Update the Assembly

Constraints cannot be updated in visualization mode,


automatically switch to design mode

Automatic switching between design


and visualization mode

Design in Context

Case.1 is in visualization mode


Create a sketch in screw CATPart
Sketch references geometry in Case.1
Case.1 automatically switches to design
mode

DEMO

Automatic switching between design


and visualization mode
Create a drawing

A component must be in design mode to be


processed by a drawing
Several options available to manage large
assemblies

Drawings and visualization mode

Before creating a view, CATIA displays a


preview

Stay in Visualization mode

Converts all components to design mode

Previews quickly

Takes longer to preview

Optimizes memory consumption

Uses more memory

Recommended for large assemblies

recommended for small assemblies or


individual parts

Drawings and visualization mode


To create a view

Loads only the necessary components


into memory
Uses less CPU and Memory
Takes longer to generate the view
recommended for Large Assemblies

Loads all components into memory


uses more memory and CPU
Generates view more quickly

Drawings and visualization mode


View Generation Mode

Exact
Recommended. Try this first

CGR
Uses the CGR to generate the views.
Tesselated view, not as accurate
Uses less memory
Takes longer to generate

Drawings and visualization mode


View Generation Mode

Approximate
Uses less memory than cgr
Is faster than cgr
Set LOD to control accuracy

Raster
Generates the view as an image
Quickest
No dimensioning available

Drawings and visualization mode


View Generation Mode Summary
Exact

CGR

Approximate

Raster

Memory Usage

Maximu
m

Less

less

minimum

Generation Time

Short

Long

Long

Quickest

Create all views

Yes

No

No

No

Create Dimensions

All

Some (No
radius/diameter
s)

Some (No
radius/diameter
s)

None

Associative dimensions

Yes

No

No

N/A

Dressup Elements available

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Improving Graphic Performance in


Visualization Mode
Tools + Customize

Add two commands to a toolbar


Affect Dynamic movements only
Not persistent

Improving Graphic Performance in


Visualization Mode
Dynamic Level of detail

Varies from 0 40.0


Higher number = better performance

Dynamic Pixel Culling

Varies from 0 to 40
Higher number = better performance
Objects disappear when zooming in, reappear
when zooming out

Dynamic options only for current CATIA


session
Use defaults from settings at next login

Improving Graphic Performance in


Visualization Mode
Dynamic Pixel Culling

Improving Graphic Performance in


Visualization Mode
Dynamic Level of Detail

Improving Graphic Performance


Options can be set under tools-options

DEMO

5. Unload Vs Load
Whether or not component is loaded into
memory
No visualization
No Geometric information is loaded
Only thing visible is a node in the
specification tree

Load Vs Unload

Load

Unload

Options for Load Vs Unload


Sets initial behavior when loaded into CATIA

Load/Unload component
Use contextual menu
Can unload Parts and Products

Load vs Unload
Disadvantages

Not Graphically visible


Not used in DMU
Not used in Drafting
Cant update
Cant be accessed by knowledgeware

Advantage

Not loaded into memory


Can see the assembly structure

Why is this Useful?

Load vs Unload
Use when designing components in the
context of a large assembly.
Components being designed only need to
reference data from several of the
components in the assembly
Load these components
Unload everything else
Significant performance improvement

Load vs Unload
2 components loaded
227 components unloaded

Summary
Norm
al

Hidde
n

Node
Deactivated

Visualizatio
n

Unload

Deactivat
e
compone
nt

Loaded in Memory

Fully

Fully

Fully

Limited

No

Yes

Display
Performance

Norm
al

Faste
r

Faster

Normal

Faster

Faster

Visible in Show or
No Show

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

Visible in drafting

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

Create Assembly
Constraints

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Update Assembly
Constraints

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Calculate in
interference

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

No

Calculate Mass

Yes

Yes

No

Depends

No

No

Take Measures

Yes

Yes

No

Approxima
te

No

No

Geometry Editable

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

Summary Which mode to use


Hide/Show

Temporarily hide model


Hide a partial model

Visualization mode

DMU Analysis
Creating Drawings

Node Deactivation

Update BOM
Update Assembly constraints

Unload

Design in context

Deactivate Component

Using knowledgeware rules

Design in Context
Best to use a skeleton model to drive design

Manage Design Changes


Skeleton model
PartA

Without a Skeleton Model

PartB

PartC

Build a design loop


Difficult to control changes
PartB

PartC
PartA

Content of Skeleton Model


Any information that will be shared by
multiple components
Geometry planes, lines, surface etc
Parameters radii of circles, lengths, etc
This information will be published
Access to this file should be restricted.

Skeleton Model Content


Tools+Publication

Geometry
Parameters

Setting up the options


Allows external references
Displays dialog box before
creating external links
Strongly recommended.
Increases stability of models

Design in Context
When designing, use the
geometry/parameters as if it were in the
active part.

The data is copied into the active part with a link


to the original data

Green Gear and link =


Design in context
Green P = External
Geometry is published
and updated

Updating External References


These external links can only be updated in
the context of the current assembly.
If out of context, links will not update

Brown Gear + Lightning


Bolt = Out of context

Changing the context


Change the context using the contextual menus
Only works if all external links are published
elements

Modifying the skeleton model


Change the skeleton model, and the changes
will propagate down to the design in context
models
Modify the geometry in the
Skeleton model, and the Design in
context models will need an update

The Yellow P indicates that this


geometry needs to be updated in
the part

Modifying the skeleton model

Making the change in one location, the


skeleton model, modified 4 components

Design in Context Summary


Use Skeleton Models
External geometry can be geometry or
parameters
Only work with Published Geometry

DEMO

THANK YOU!
Recap
Improve

Graphic Performance

Good = Hide Component


Better = Deactivate Node, Visualization Mode
Best = Unload unneeded components
Improve

CPU Performance

Unload unneeded components


Use

Deactivate component via


Knowledgeware
You can only modify geometry when it is
fully loaded and activated