[4]

Table-Top or Toolpost Shaper

[3]
[10] Like what you see?
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Here's a "working" concept of a small shaper. The design goal is for it to work in the lathe via a toolholder in the toolpost or, on a small table-top fixture. The main use will be for cutting fairly small keyways in pulleys or gear bores. I'm also using this project to learn Fusion 360 after many years of Alibre CAD.

The design is based on the classic Whitworth "Quick Return" slider/shaper mechanism. This is the first time I've used a CAD program for all the conceptual diagrams. I did not use a pencil or notepad for hand sketches like I usually do. I used pencil/paper only for a handful of trig problems and also to calculate the position, torque and speed of the slider rod given the small gear motor that was selected for the project.

This diagram is no-where near what it will finally look like. This diagram only shows the mechanical model to prove-out the basic design. My design goal was to have a shaper that had an adjustable stroke up to 3.25". Fusion 360 has stress analysis and simulation abilities and this conceptual model was used to verify the range of motion and stress areas. The computer model actually "works", in that the motor shaft can be turned and all members move accordingly. It was a fun little project to learn Fusion 360.

For reference, in this model, the slider rod is 8.5" long. The block that holds the slider is theoretically pinned in this model as is the motor and the plate that the assembly is mounted on.
Shaper Concept.JPG

The gear motor will be here in a couple weeks along with a fresh supply of small bearings. I'll work on the model until I'm happy with the "final" design and then I'll build it. Most of the components you see are in their final form but, the enclosure, clapper box and self adjusting mechanism is not even started yet. That will be pretty cut-and-dry.

I'll post a few more pictures at various milestones as things progress.

Ray
 

Comments

#3
I have a slotting attachment for my #2 Brown & Sharpe mill, it uses a simple adjustable stroke crank; for the tool you are planning, why over complicate it with the quick return motion? For the limited work it will be doing, it would likely not really save very much time in cutting.
 
#4
I have a slotting attachment for my #2 Brown & Sharpe mill, it uses a simple adjustable stroke crank; for the tool you are planning, why over complicate it with the quick return motion? For the limited work it will be doing, it would likely not really save very much time in cutting.
The real goal was to learn Fusion 360. This project had the right mix of simplicity and complexity to learn a new CAD package. Aside from that, the Whitworth mechanism is a classic and historic mechanical design. I'll make a working/functioning model just for grins.

Ray
 
#5
Ray C,
Tell the truth you just want just want to annoy the Jones don't you?
 
#6
There are some old plans floating around on the interwebs of a very small shaper for mounting on the cross slide of a lathe. It uses a scotch yoke design, not a whitworth mechanism and had a fixed stroke. I can't find them right now, but the concept looked quite neet. I have a small gearmotor and some vague future plans to build one to mount on the lathe. I thought about using a milling attachment, such as the one sold in kit form by MLA to mount it on, giving it vertical movement as well. Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
 
#7
Looks like a great, fun project. Eagerly awaiting updates!
 
#8
Here's a "working" concept of a small shaper. The design goal is for it to work in the lathe via a toolholder in the toolpost or, on a small table-top fixture. The main use will be for cutting fairly small keyways in pulleys or gear bores. I'm also using this project to learn Fusion 360 after many years of Alibre CAD.

The design is based on the classic Whitworth "Quick Return" slider/shaper mechanism. This is the first time I've used a CAD program for all the conceptual diagrams. I did not use a pencil or notepad for hand sketches like I usually do. I used pencil/paper only for a handful of trig problems and also to calculate the position, torque and speed of the slider rod given the small gear motor that was selected for the project.

This diagram is no-where near what it will finally look like. This diagram only shows the mechanical model to prove-out the basic design. My design goal was to have a shaper that had an adjustable stroke up to 3.25". Fusion 360 has stress analysis and simulation abilities and this conceptual model was used to verify the range of motion and stress areas. The computer model actually "works", in that the motor shaft can be turned and all members move accordingly. It was a fun little project to learn Fusion 360.

For reference, in this model, the slider rod is 8.5" long. The block that holds the slider is theoretically pinned in this model as is the motor and the plate that the assembly is mounted on.
View attachment 269933

The gear motor will be here in a couple weeks along with a fresh supply of small bearings. I'll work on the model until I'm happy with the "final" design and then I'll build it. Most of the components you see are in their final form but, the enclosure, clapper box and self adjusting mechanism is not even started yet. That will be pretty cut-and-dry.

I'll post a few more pictures at various milestones as things progress.

Ray
Absolutely very interesting I'm amazed that you can do that in the learning phase I'd like to learn Fusion 360, but I have no idea where to start, just looking at it scares me. I was over 40 before I new how to turn a computer on.
 
#9
Great project Ray. I'm in for the ride.

I didn't know the Whitworth mechanism by name so looked for some animations. Below are two variants that show how it works.


 
#10
Absolutely very interesting I'm amazed that you can do that in the learning phase I'd like to learn Fusion 360, but I have no idea where to start, just looking at it scares me. I was over 40 before I new how to turn a computer on.
Hi Bob, nice to hear from you again.

If you are comfortable enough with computers to use a word processor (such as Microsoft Word) to make drawings or presentation software (such as Microsoft PowerPoint) then, with a little practice, you can learn to use a CAD program. For Fusion 360, someone from this list recommended a YouTube instructor named Lars Christensen. He does about the best job of teaching to absolute beginners.

I had previous background first with SolidWorks then with Alibre CAD. When I was running my own consulting business, I purchased/used Alibre and many of the additional add-on packages. Learning the first one is a little tricky but after that, it's really not hard to learn others. In the past, I've taken a good handful of training courses and at times, paid hourly for 1:1 instruction to be able to complete certain tasks.

The point is, do not be discouraged because I was able to do this while learning Fusion 360. I had a good running start.

Whitworth Quick Return... An absolute classic mechanism that is typically used as a study case in the 3rd or 4th year of "traditional" mechanical engineering school. The mathematics that describe the motion is... well... really cool. Whitworth was educated but I don't know if he possessed the math background to accurately describe and predict the mechanism's motion. If he did, then he gets a gold star next to his A+. -Take that back... 2 gold stars.

Ray
 
#11
Hi Bob, nice to hear from you again.

If you are comfortable enough with computers to use a word processor (such as Microsoft Word) to make drawings or presentation software (such as Microsoft PowerPoint) then, with a little practice, you can learn to use a CAD program. For Fusion 360, someone from this list recommended a YouTube instructor named Lars Christensen. He does about the best job of teaching to absolute beginners.

I had previous background first with SolidWorks then with Alibre CAD. When I was running my own consulting business, I purchased/used Alibre and many of the additional add-on packages. Learning the first one is a little tricky but after that, it's really not hard to learn others. In the past, I've taken a good handful of training courses and at times, paid hourly for 1:1 instruction to be able to complete certain tasks.

The point is, do not be discouraged because I was able to do this while learning Fusion 360. I had a good running start.

Whitworth Quick Return... An absolute classic mechanism that is typically used as a study case in the 3rd or 4th year of "traditional" mechanical engineering school. The mathematics that describe the motion is... well... really cool. Whitworth was educated but I don't know if he possessed the math background to accurately describe and predict the mechanism's motion. If he did, then he gets a gold star next to his A+. -Take that back... 2 gold stars.

Ray
Hi Ray, thanks, and nice to hear from you also, Back in the days of DOS3. I was in my mid 40's studying the final stages of my marine engineering at Sydney university, trying to come to terms with computer techniques, the subject had just been introduced into the course. We had to learn to write a program that performed some engineering functions in basic. I was struggling. A kindly instructor talked me into buying a commodore 64, which was on a run out sale at that time. It didn't take long before I was fascinated with this newfangled toy. the things it could do. By the end of the year in the final exams I topped the class in computer techniques, I as hooked.

After completing the courses, the company sent me out on one of their new modern ships that had computers on board. Facing the challenge, the next time I came home on leave, I bought a new PC and started learning, I soon bought QB4 and got right into it, I also got into Multiplan and started learning spreadsheets About a year later after I taught myself to write a 3rd party user program in multiplan the company changed over to Lotus 123, which became standard on all ships.

Another learning curve, and before I new it I had changed over all the routines I had set up on the ship from multiplan to lotus. Then a program, that produced voyage reports on the engine performance, that had been supplied to us by the shipbuilder, crashed. It didn't take me long to figure out that it had been written in some form of compiled basic, but one that QB4 could not get into. I also found that the problem was in one part of the program that set the report number, it had done and printed report #99 but could not move onto #100. the program produced this massive spreadsheet and printed it out in A3 format. So I reckoned that I could redo the program in Lotus 123 so that it looked exactly like the original. It took quite a while, about a month in my spare time after testing and fixing a few bugs. Then we were able to send out report #100. The original programmer had simply failed to allow enough space for a 3 digit number. I made sure I allowed for up to 4 digits. By the time they needed 5 the ship would be in the scrap yard.

A couple of years later I retired, but I kept in touch with the new CH Eng. for quite a few years and he informed me that he still used the program.
However since retiring some 25 years ago I've done very little computer work and when they introduced windows, and stopped DOS I just gave up. The learning curves were becoming too hard. so that's what scares me. I know that once past that learning curve I'll be fine, it's just getting started.
 
#12
Back To The Whitworth motion, it is a great system and so efficient. I'll be following yr build and would like to build on my self, as I can see a need for it.
 
#13
Hi Ray, thanks, and nice to hear from you also, Back in the days of DOS3. I was in my mid 40's studying the final stages of my marine engineering at Sydney university, trying to come to terms with computer techniques, the subject had just been introduced into the course. We had to learn to write a program that performed some engineering functions in basic. I was struggling. A kindly instructor talked me into buying a commodore 64, which was on a run out sale at that time. It didn't take long before I was fascinated with this newfangled toy. the things it could do. By the end of the year in the final exams I topped the class in computer techniques, I as hooked.

After completing the courses, the company sent me out on one of their new modern ships that had computers on board. Facing the challenge, the next time I came home on leave, I bought a new PC and started learning, I soon bought QB4 and got right into it, I also got into Multiplan and started learning spreadsheets About a year later after I taught myself to write a 3rd party user program in multiplan the company changed over to Lotus 123, which became standard on all ships.

Another learning curve, and before I new it I had changed over all the routines I had set up on the ship from multiplan to lotus. Then a program, that produced voyage reports on the engine performance, that had been supplied to us by the shipbuilder, crashed. It didn't take me long to figure out that it had been written in some form of compiled basic, but one that QB4 could not get into. I also found that the problem was in one part of the program that set the report number, it had done and printed report #99 but could not move onto #100. the program produced this massive spreadsheet and printed it out in A3 format. So I reckoned that I could redo the program in Lotus 123 so that it looked exactly like the original. It took quite a while, about a month in my spare time after testing and fixing a few bugs. Then we were able to send out report #100. The original programmer had simply failed to allow enough space for a 3 digit number. I made sure I allowed for up to 4 digits. By the time they needed 5 the ship would be in the scrap yard.

A couple of years later I retired, but I kept in touch with the new CH Eng. for quite a few years and he informed me that he still used the program.
However since retiring some 25 years ago I've done very little computer work and when they introduced windows, and stopped DOS I just gave up. The learning curves were becoming too hard. so that's what scares me. I know that once past that learning curve I'll be fine, it's just getting started.
There's plenty of hope for you Bob. You know and understand the unforgiving nature of computers and grasp the fundamental concepts of how a program runs. That's half the battle. Obviously, you use a computer with a mouse and run browser software to communicate here. That's the other half the battle. The skills you need to acquire are A) learn a new set of procedures (similar in nature to using a spreadsheet program like Lotus 123) specific to the commands of Fusion 360. B) Learn how to manipulate graphical images starting with a 2-D drawing and extruding it into shapes.

Here's two video links from that fellow Lars. You must watch them in this order because in the 1st link, he backtracks and gives a piece of information about how to use the mouse to control the display. The second link point to a series of three videos. Watch them in order of part 1, 2 and 3. I would not try to obtain Fusion 360 yet. Just watch these videos and if you have a positive impression, then, download Fusion 360 and try to do the exercises with him.



As for the mini-shaper... This weekend, I'll take a real stab at designing it. Will post images when I'm satisfied with it. The little 60RPM 35 Watt gear motor won't arrive for a couple more weeks. I'm not planning to take shop pictures or post ongoing shop work but, as time permits, that will be happening in the background.

Ray
 
#14
Ahhhhh yes. Another soul seduced by the Fusion side. ;)
 
#15
Ahhhhh yes. Another soul seduced by the Fusion side. ;)
Hi Mike...

Fusion is pretty good. I watched various YouTube videos for a couple days then, did the exercises shown in the videos above. Since Alibre is also parametric, going to Fusion went much smoother than initially thought. There's a handful of things I'm still getting used to. I can't tell you how many times I've started to create sketches and bodies but forgot to do it in the context of a new component. I think the UI should be refactored so it's not so easy to make that mistake. For example, there should be an option such that every time you create a new sketch, it optionally asks if you want to create a new component. Also, managing the history timeline seems awkward at times. Hopefully I'll whip the lumps out pretty soon.

All in all though, it's a pretty darn slick tool and I suspect it will dominate the field in terms of adoption rate very soon -if it hasn't already.

Ray
 
#16
Hi Mike...

Fusion is pretty good. I watched various YouTube videos for a couple days then, did the exercises shown in the videos above. Since Alibre is also parametric, going to Fusion went much smoother than initially thought. There's a handful of things I'm still getting used to. I can't tell you how many times I've started to create sketches and bodies but forgot to do it in the context of a new component. I think the UI should be refactored so it's not so easy to make that mistake. For example, there should be an option such that every time you create a new sketch, it optionally asks if you want to create a new component. Also, managing the history timeline seems awkward at times. Hopefully I'll whip the lumps out pretty soon.

All in all though, it's a pretty darn slick tool and I suspect it will dominate the field in terms of adoption rate very soon -if it hasn't already.

Ray
I consider myself moderately skilled in CAD. I really, really like Fusion 360, but I can't figure out why Autodesk did what they did with components and the history. It just isn't that intuitive. I think a couple more of Lars' videos and some more projects might make it click. Gotta stick with it I guess!

Really looking forward to seeing this project come together! Thanks Ray!
 
#17
I consider myself moderately skilled in CAD. I really, really like Fusion 360, but I can't figure out why Autodesk did what they did with components and the history. It just isn't that intuitive. I think a couple more of Lars' videos and some more projects might make it click. Gotta stick with it I guess!

Really looking forward to seeing this project come together! Thanks Ray!
Components... I get it and like them a lot. Nice easy containers where the origin, sketches, extrusions etc are all stored for a fundamental/atomic piece of the overall assembly. The problem is that it's very easy to start making sketches and bodies for a component but forget to "Make New Component" and then the sketches and bodies get tossed into to the global pool of the main page. -Not the end of the world to corral them into a component folder but, a pain in the butt nonetheless.

The timeline... When putting the pieces together, it takes a lot of intermediate steps of moving things around and making Joint constructs. The final product is all you need in the history. Most of the intermediate assembly steps are white noise but, if you try to delete one, it sometimes jazzes-up the final product. I would like to have an assembly mode and be able to turn off history tracking and not permanently lose all the past history. It would be nice to have a button to press to intentionally force a history epoch to be made during assembly mode. This way, you're just creating history snapshots of things that are significant.

As I become more comfortable with the program, I'll probably become active with their User Community Forum and make suggestions. I suspect though, I'm not the first guy to think of this and make the suggestion.

I had no time this week to mess with this and right now, I'm whooped. I'll pick it up tonight or tomorrow morning.

Ray
 
#18
There's plenty of hope for you Bob. You know and understand the unforgiving nature of computers and grasp the fundamental concepts of how a program runs. That's half the battle. Obviously, you use a computer with a mouse and run browser software to communicate here. That's the other half the battle. The skills you need to acquire are A) learn a new set of procedures (similar in nature to using a spreadsheet program like Lotus 123) specific to the commands of Fusion 360. B) Learn how to manipulate graphical images starting with a 2-D drawing and extruding it into shapes.

Here's two video links from that fellow Lars. You must watch them in this order because in the 1st link, he backtracks and gives a piece of information about how to use the mouse to control the display. The second link point to a series of three videos. Watch them in order of part 1, 2 and 3. I would not try to obtain Fusion 360 yet. Just watch these videos and if you have a positive impression, then, download Fusion 360 and try to do the exercises with him.



As for the mini-shaper... This weekend, I'll take a real stab at designing it. Will post images when I'm satisfied with it. The little 60RPM 35 Watt gear motor won't arrive for a couple more weeks. I'm not planning to take shop pictures or post ongoing shop work but, as time permits, that will be happening in the background.

Ray
Ray,thanks for the kind words of encouragement, I'm sure your right, it should be well within my grasp. I've been overwhelmed with events in the last year and a half, things should improve soon and I'll get myself out of this hole. And get on with doing things. I'v probably only had 20 hours total on my new lathe in almost two years.

Nearly two years ago my other half had a very serious stroke. Fortunately I saw it happening so was able to call the ambulance, again fortunately they weren't too busy and were wheeling her into the ER within 30 mins. And again fortunately the local major hospital has a clot retrieval expert who was on duty and again not very busy. So the procedure was quite successful and the prognosis for a full recovery was good.

Things were not be, and although early recovery was on track we fell into a hole after about two months. The doctors were puzzled, altered her meds but to no avail, then last September, She had a bad turn, not another stroke, but very unwell.

just as the ambos were wheeling her into the ER she had a cardiac arrest. they stabilizer and sent her off to the IC unit. where she had a number of arrests. but as she was all plugged in, they were able to recover her quickly. These arrests had the doctors puzzled because she was not considered a heart attack risk,. So after some tests they discovered a faulty nerve junction in the heart, which they say was not only causing the arrests, but also caused the original stroke.

A fairly quick procedure called Ablation fixed it and since then she has been making good progress. She is now walking, talking and generally getting back together, last week passed her driving test. The only remaining hold up, is her left arm and hand still have a fair way to go, and now may never fully recover. Other wise she is doing pretty good, even hoping to get back to work by the end of the year.

It has been a pretty tough two years, but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.

I have had more time on my lathe in the last two weeks, than the previous 6 months. Al I have to do is figure out why I cant post pictures and I'll get some progress shots up.

About a year or two ago the fusion 360 people were giving copies away to bonafide students and retired hobbyists. So I grabbed a copy. I have looked at it a couple of times and was overwhelmed, and haven't touched it since. But as you say I should be able to get into it

Now that Judi can drive again I'll have more time for me. I'll enquire with the local trade schools, etc. See if they run a course on it, I'll also have a look at those you tube sessions, I did have a quick look the other day and think I'll be ok, And I'm sure if I run into trouble you'll be able to help.

cheers, and thanks, Bob.
 
#19
Ray,thanks for the kind words of encouragement, I'm sure your right, it should be well within my grasp. I've been overwhelmed with events in the last year and a half, things should improve soon and I'll get myself out of this hole. And get on with doing things. I'v probably only had 20 hours total on my new lathe in almost two years.

....

Now that Judi can drive again I'll have more time for me. I'll enquire with the local trade schools, etc. See if they run a course on it, I'll also have a look at those you tube sessions, I did have a quick look the other day and think I'll be ok, And I'm sure if I run into trouble you'll be able to help.

cheers, and thanks, Bob.
Bob,

First and foremost, I'm glad your wife is back on her feet. Wow. That's a lot to go through. Learning Fusion 360 can wait, given the circumstances. Fortunately for us, this place is called "Hobby" machinist and we get to prioritize these activities any way we want. If you decide to jump into it, sure; I can help -or at least try to help...

Ray
 
#22
Bob,

First and foremost, I'm glad your wife is back on her feet. Wow. That's a lot to go through. Learning Fusion 360 can wait, given the circumstances. Fortunately for us, this place is called "Hobby" machinist and we get to prioritize these activities any way we want. If you decide to jump into it, sure; I can help -or at least try to help...

Ray
Thanks Ray.
 
#23
I consider myself moderately skilled in CAD. I really, really like Fusion 360, but I can't figure out why Autodesk did what they did with components and the history. It just isn't that intuitive. I think a couple more of Lars' videos and some more projects might make it click. Gotta stick with it I guess!

Really looking forward to seeing this project come together! Thanks Ray!

Bryan / All,

I'm re-making the parts from the concept model from above and started with the motor drive arm and clamp.

The parts here are very simple but I spent several hours trying to learn the fine points of Fusion 360. I think it was time well spent.
These are the parts that allow an adjustment to change the overall throw-distance of the slider arm. They are more complicated than need-be but, this is an exercise in learning Fusion 360 and showing how the small parts will be made.

These three parts were made separately but, the clamp is made from a projection of the arm. No explicit dimensions are carried between the two so, if one sketch is changed, the extrusion on the other will auto-adjust.

The clamp was created as a single body then split into two pieces. Even though they are different, I decided to leave them in the same component folder.

When doing a series of steps on either of the components, you can switch back/forth between them and move the history elements around and group them. Also, I found that if adjustments are needed on a sketch or extrusion, just grab it from the timeline and select edit. This keeps the number of history point to a minimum. I discovered if you have a bunch of move operations, you can usually delete all but one and condense all the moves into one operation. Make as many as you need as you go but in the end, summarize them into just one or two.

DriveArmAndClamp0.JPG

Two long series of history elements were created from a long series of step while working on both parts simultaneously (see the red boxes). When I made these parts, the series of operations were scrambled into 1 timeline. The exercise I embarked on was to see if the timeline can be re-organized after the fact. It's possible!
DriveArmAndClamp2.JPG

Once it was streamlined, each string of history elements were put into their own group and it condenses the timeline nicely.
DriveArmAndClamp1.JPG


BTW: The mouse can move the clamp on the arm but, I did not set realistic mechanical stops or limits. Next, I'll take a stab at making 2D drawings. That will be a new thing to learn in Fusion 360 and I'll show them when done.


Finally, it will be time to make the real part which I'll work on this weekend if all goes well.

Ray
 
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#24
@Ray C Not sure if you're aware, but in any case, don't forget that you can move thru the history to a specific point if you need to make edits or other changes. Helps to keep the timeline from becoming a hopeless mess. You also mentioned keeping some parts together inside a component. did you know that you can group components inside another, empty component? This top component then becomes an assembly containing the components you created or moved inside it.

Also, it's good to name everything. the component, sketches, bodies et al should have similar names so that when you mouse over the history timeline, you know what you're looking at. Helps a lot.
 
#25
These three parts were made separately but, the clamp is made from a projection of the arm. No explicit dimensions are carried between the two so, if one sketch is changed, the extrusion on the other will auto-adjust.

The clamp was created as a single body then split into two pieces. Even though they are different, I decided to leave them in the same component folder.

When doing a series of steps on either of the components, you can switch back/forth between them and move the history elements around and group them. Also, I found that if adjustments are needed on a sketch or extrusion, just grab it from the timeline and select edit. This keeps the number of history point to a minimum. I discovered if you have a bunch of move operations, you can usually delete all but one and condense all the moves into one operation.
Ray, thanks for the write up and explanation. Youtube videos are great, but they lack the context only the written word can express and you do an excellent job on that front. This makes a little more sense now. I'm struggling with the one component based on another component problem. I'll have to come back to this post for reference in the future.
 
#26
Here's a first crack at some 2D drawing to take into the shop. These were made after watching a YouTube video followed by jumping in and cranking them out. Very easy to do. These are NOT high professional quality in terms of what a draftsman could produce but, this is just perfect for my purposes. With a little more editing time, I could add tolerances and get all the images perfectly lined up etc. This was just a first pass at doing this. It's much easier to do in Fusion 360 than in my old CAD program.

Drawing1.JPG
Drawing2.JPG

Drawing3.JPG
Drawing4.JPG

@MikeWi: Thank you... Oh yes, I've been playing around with so many different features and tricks, it's really hard to remember them all. I just need a lot more practice.

Also, I did make sub-components but, had to explicitly bring them to the top level because they would not show-up as individual table elements in the 2D drawings.

FYI: I'm just posting images of the drawings for now. There is a PDF export feature but, it's including PII from the license/registration in the metadata.

Ray
 
#27
Isn't it interesting how the producers of a tool get to control the mental and physical processes of the user/craftsman/artist/engineer/designer.

I was lucky enough to have access to ProEngineer in my career and became a fairly proficient user before I retired in 2003. At my initial introduction to ProE (early '90s) I found the user interface to be, for the most part, intuitive. Case in point, there were "parts" and there were "assemblies". That is a paradigm that I understood without reeducation. It seems to me that the basic paradigm didn't need modification by renaming "parts" as "components" and allowing assorted parts to exist in a single "component" with the resultant potential for complexity of user discipline and/or model modification.

How does the ability to model multiple parts within a single "component" enhance the design development and documentation process?
 
#28
Also, I did make sub-components but, had to explicitly bring them to the top level because they would not show-up as individual table elements in the 2D drawings.
Ray
That's strange, if you mean that the components aren't shown in the part list table? Works for me. I don't know what would cause it though.
 
#29
Isn't it interesting how the producers of a tool get to control the mental and physical processes of the user/craftsman/artist/engineer/designer.

I was lucky enough to have access to ProEngineer in my career and became a fairly proficient user before I retired in 2003. At my initial introduction to ProE (early '90s) I found the user interface to be, for the most part, intuitive. Case in point, there were "parts" and there were "assemblies". That is a paradigm that I understood without reeducation. It seems to me that the basic paradigm didn't need modification by renaming "parts" as "components" and allowing assorted parts to exist in a single "component" with the resultant potential for complexity of user discipline and/or model modification.

How does the ability to model multiple parts within a single "component" enhance the design development and documentation process?
At every level, the tools employed impact any given situation. This is why there are at least 5-10 CAD programs in the top tier (with the mother of them all probably being Catia -which is used for battleships, ocean liners, 747's, nuclear power plants etc) another 25 in the second tier and another 50 in the third tier. I'm making those numbers up. There are probably way more than 100 CAD programs out there. You get to pick what works best for you. BTW: I've encountered the same thing with different modeling languages. Almost always, the constructs and syntax of the language impact the design.

Alibre for example is (in my opinion) semi-parametric. You make parts in separate files then assemble them in a different file. If you want to share one particular dimension in 2 different parts, you need to define a named parameter and put it in a global dimension file. If you change that dimension, you need to visit each part and rebuild it. At times, this method of doing things has driven me to the brink of insanity. In Fusion, all the parts of an assembly are (usually kept) in one file, each kept inside a component. The component has all the sketches. If you want to share a dimension across multiple parts, you pull-up the associated sketch and project that dimension into the sketch for that other part. (BTW: You can do this in Alibre but, it's not at all easy to do and has many restrictions about which constructs can be projected). If you re-draw one of the parts that uses that dimension, everything automatically rebuilds. Actually, though, in Fusion, you can also optionally define a table of global parameters -so you can take either approach or, mix the two.

Keeping one part as a sub-component of another has a lot of advantages. In my case, I split something in half. I drew the whole thing with one sketch then split it. Both of the halves fit perfectly and if I tweak one, the other automatically changes. Since they are related and tightly coupled it makes perfect sense to keep them grouped for easy reference and retrieval.

... The CAD program that's best for you, is the one that suits most of your needs and is easy for you to use. Way back when, I was testing different CAM programs. The best I can say about that is I hated some less than others.


Ray
 
#30
That's strange, if you mean that the components aren't shown in the part list table? Works for me. I don't know what would cause it though.
Yep, that's exactly what happened. It could be a bug but, very likely it's operator error. No worries. I dragged it out one level, re-created the sketch and bingo... All 3 parts showed-up in the table. I can fiddle with it later and figure it out.


Ray
 
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