Electrical - Displaying Terminal Strip Information

When working with terminal strips AutoCAD Electrical offers a few different ways to display the information on our drawings. Of course we have the ability to display the terminal strip graphically and also with two types of charts. The video created for this post will show how to work within the terminal strip editor to create and place the charts onto our drawings.

Video link:

Created by one of the Cad Geeks

HTC Sweden Video

Great example of how companies can take advantage of Autodesk solutions for digital prototyping.

AutoCAD Electrical - Rename Catalog Headers

I wanted to share a quick tip about the catalog database. When you have a lot of users you don't have the time to explain what data should be entered into the USER1 property. So let's rename it!

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Blogged by Josh, Yet another CAD Geek

Inventor monitors your parameters while you focus on design

It can be very time consuming to constantly check your design each time you make a change. Fortunately Inventor provides tools to monitor your design limitations. This allows you to focus on your real job.

Autolimits are available inside the part or in the assembly files. Inventor can monitor lengths (paths), distances (point to point), angles, diameters, minimum distance between objects, area, perimeters, mass, or volume. However today well just be looking at monitoring the length of a wire in the assembly.

Blogged by Josh, Yet another CAD Geek

What Can DWF do for you?

One of the central aspects of visualization with the Vault products is the usage of the DWF viewing format. You may not be aware of many of the capabilities available with DWF so I will just list some of them here:

  • DWF / DWFx published by Autodesk CAD software

  • 2D Viewing

  • 3D Viewing

  • Exploded Views and Assembly instructions

  • Sectioned 3D viewing

  • Measure / Markup / Print

  • Overlay markup data in CAD applications

  • Control amount of detail in a DWF

  • Disable "Measure” and “Print”

  • Locked down settings useful for customer and vendor interaction

  • Integrated email transmittal

  • Free Autodesk Design Review (comprehensive viewing software)

  • Free "Print" to DWF (for formats other than CAD)

  • Merge multiple documents into one DWF file (CAD, Specification and spreadsheet for example)

If you haven't seen how this viewing technology works in action, you can find an interactive overview of the free Design Review HERE.

Also... for those who missed it, I recently presented a Data Management User group and covered the topics of Vault Security and DWF if you would like a more in depth look with demonstrations included. The DWF content is in the second half of the presentation that you can access HERE.

Contributed by Ben of the Tata Technologies CAD Geeks

Autodesk Inventor Translators - Batch Import and Export

As many of us are all aware the Autodesk Inventor product line comes with many great translators. We have found many companies today are switching to Autodesk Inventor as a primary design tool because of the powerful translators that allow them to import and export data from the so called high end systems. At the same time giving them the functionality these high end systems have at a much lower operating expense. With this comes the need to translate this data all at once or a batch process. Autodesk Inventor Task Scheduler allows us to batch process this data immediately or at a scheduled time. Lets take a look at the process and the file types Task Scheduler allows us to import and export.

Video Link:
Autodesk Inventor Translators - Batch Import and Export
Created by one of the Cad Geeks

Electrical - Quick View Drawings

Not a user of the electrical product on a daily basis, I find myself when working in a project opening up the wrong files often. This could be do to poor naming procedures, but I normally rename my files towards the end of a project. Thank you Autodesk for having the Quick View Drawings functionality, what a time saver. Lets take a look.

Video Link:
Created by one of the Cad Geeks

Thermal Expansion and Thermal Stress

The FEA capabilities in Inventor Simulation are great for determining design stress, deflection, and safety factor under static conditions, but in the real world temperature often plays a significant factor. Maybe you even have components of differing materials that must hold tolerances through a temperature variation. Autodesk Algor can give you the kind of digital simulation results you need to work within those constraints.

Here are two new video examples of Algor in use to solve these common thermal problems:

Thermal Expansion Video HERE.

Thermal Stress Video HERE.

Contributed by Ben of the Tata Technologies CAD Geeks

Inventor Sheet Metal - Contour Roll

I just wanted to take a look at the Contour Roll command inside Inventor 2010. Of course this command will be found in the sheet metal environment, and by the way you can make some really cool shapes with it. So what is a contour flange:

A contour flange is defined using a profile sketch and a straight edge on an existing face. The profile sketch consists of lines, arcs, splines, and elliptical arcs. Contiguous geometry in the profile results in bends in the contour which honor the bend radius value of the sheet metal style. The contour flange can be offset to either side of the profile sketch.

One more important item of note since it lives in the sheet metal environment let's not forget the automatic flat pattern that can be provided. Let's take a look.

Video Link:

Created by one of the Cad Geeks

Electrical - Was it Ordered

When it comes to designs and documentation electrical designs commonly have huge bill of materials not to mention the shear number of drawings associated to them. The electrical product has some great tools built in to help ensure every item has been ordered and contains manufacturer information. We basically have two options, one to run a missing bill of material report or we have a quicker option that allows us to visually check an active drawing for such critical information as well. Lets take a look at each.


Video Link:
Created by one of the Cad Geeks

Managing iParts and iAssemblies in Vault

iParts and iAssemblies can be a valuable tool in the Autodesk Inventor products, but anyone who has used iParts or iAssemblies in Vault might have become a bit frustrated. Due to the complex file references between all of the members in an iPart and its "Factory", it can be challenging to load these into Vault in a fully "up to date" fashion. This can lead to Inventor thinking the iPart needs to be updated and checked out each time it is inserted during regular design use.

There is a relatively simple way to keep track of the updated status of all iPart members using a container assembly. The same technique can be used with iAssemblies nested multiple levels deep. I have created a video of the technique using the Engine MKII sample data set which contains multiple levels of iPart and iAssemblies.

Contributed by Ben of the Tata Technologies CAD Geeks

30 Minutes - 5 Reasons Why Navisworks

It’s no secret – the challenges of designing and constructing factories and manufacturing plants in this day & age are tremendous. Because of the scale of these projects, it is necessary to use digital prototypes to visualize and optimize factory models well before construction begins. However, there are still significant issues to overcome, including:

•Difficulty in aggregating data from multiple CAD systems
•There are no easy ways to visualize large factory models
•There is a need to simulate the real-life experience and appearance of manufacturing plants and factory layouts using 3D digital review
•The need to check for factory model interferences before construction, and…
•The desire to give all stakeholders access to the complete factory model in a robust but lightweight format to promote collaboration

Let me show you how Navisworks software for manufacturing helps you overcome these challenges and gives you the confidence you need to be sure you factory and manufacturing plant projects are completed on time and within budget.
Video Link:
Created by one of the Cad Geeks

Electrical - Creating Ladder Templates

Today's post I take a look at building some simple templates for use in our electrical designs. The templates in use today are for common ladders we may have in our designs plus some tips and tricks that come along with it. Please enjoy.

Video Link:
Created by one of the Cad Geeks

Create Simple Borders

We see a lot of manually drawn rectangular borders in Autodesk Inventor when we visit customers. The Drawing Border Wizard can aid in creating simple rectangular borders, not just ones with zones. These will also update parametrically with the sheet size, based on the margin offsets:

Tracking design projects in Vault

I have previously discussed the merits of saving searches in Vault for immediate reuse of any search conducted with the Vault "Find" command, but there are some interesting combinations that I have recently run across. If you are like most engineers or designers, you probably have multiple jobs or projects you are managing at the same time. This can make it really confusing to keep track of what has been completed, and what still requires additional work.

Using saved searches in Vault with a combination of folder locations and file status can be a great way to quickly see the status of your current designs.
Here is an example of a saved search that locates all of the files still checked out beneath a specific Vault folder structure (core Vault):

Here are all of the WIP files in another Vault location (Vault Workgroup and above):

So whatever level of Vault you are using, there is a search that can help you out with determining project completion, and finding that require additional work.

Contributed by Ben of the Tata Technologies CAD Geeks