How Do I Know If I Need To Switch Formula CATIA Knowledgeware: Using Geometrical Parameters

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CATIA Knowledgeware: Using Geometrical Parameters

Sometimes a part needs to be robust enough to handle multiple variations of design features and/or iterations. This is true if you are building initial parts or basic models that give the designer a starting point for a complex project. A master model is critical if the parts you design always have the same basic functions, but the details of those functions are different. The most obvious case would be a plate of variable length, width, and height, which may also have some holes whose position or size may change, where each value can be controlled by global parameters. What happens when you need to change the geometry of a body or object but don’t want repetitive design features or want to avoid a complex tree structure? Of course you use a geometric parameter! This article will introduce you to the use of these geometric parameters to solve this problem.

Note. To recreate this exercise, your CATIA package must include the Knowledgeware Advisor (KWA) desktop. You are also expected to know how to easily create geometry sets, parameters, formulas and rules.

The example described is a simple flat head screw with different types of heads or tool sockets. It demonstrates flat, Phillips, hexagon, star and random swirl shapes to show the extreme variations that can be created.

For starters, it assumes you have an existing part already created, but you can’t add a lot of variation to that part without significant design time or manipulation. The first thing you need to add is the variable that triggers the change you want to create. The example created a string parameter called “PROFILE” with multiple values ​​(Flat, Phillips, Hex, Torx, and Swirl-E-Bob). The different values ​​of this parameter determine which sketch is used to fill the curve parameter, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves!

The next parameter to create is the CURVE parameter. This parameter can be found at the end of the parameter list and is surrounded by other geometry parameters, including surface, plane, circle, line, and point. A geometry parameter is like any other parameter and can be thought of as an empty placeholder for a specific entity. Typically, a parameter isn’t very useful until it has a value assigned to it. For a geometric parameter, the value or unit is the shape of the geometry; therefore, the value of the curve parameter can be a sketch, spline, polyline, or any other form of wireframe geometry.

Now that the trigger and placeholder are created, the curve parameter values ​​need to be created. These values ​​are sketches in the screw example, but they can be anything that can be described as a curve. Five sketches were created and each was named according to the profile being created – straight, cross, hexagon, star and swirl. The naming is done to make the profiles easier to identify and I would recommend naming them logically, but this is not necessary as each sketch has its own proprietary name by default.

Once the values ​​are created, the curve parameter must be filled with the values ​​you created (sketches). You need to switch to the Knowledgeware Advisor (KWA) desktop and create a rule. In the rule, you must create a conditional statement that controls the curve parameter. The syntax of the KWA conditional statement is as follows:

If variable == value

action

Else if variable == different value

one more action

It can be used with additional nested conditions, but for simplicity we will only use one condition and one result. In the example, the rule reads as follows:

IF PROFILE == “Flat”

ProfilesShape = ProfilesStraight

ELSE IF PROFILE == “Phillips”

ProfilesShape = ProfilesCross

ELSE IF PROFILE == “Hex”

ProfilesShape = ProfilesHexagon

ELSE IF PROFILE == “Torx”

ProfilesShape = ProfilesStar

ELSE IF PROFILE == “Swirl-E-Bob”

ProfilesShape = ProfilesSwirl

To break it down, let’s look at each row of the first condition.

  • “PROFILE” is the name of the String parameter created for the trigger.
  • “==” means “is equal to.” “<>” can also be used when deciding if something is “NOT equal to”.
  • “Flat” is one of the five “PROFILE” values ​​specified to determine the sketch used to estimate the curve parameter. Shape is the name of the curve parameter and “Profiles” is the name of the geometry set. which contains all the geometry so the name is ProfilesShape.
  • “Straight” is the name of the sketch corresponding to the type of screw head “Flat”. It’s also in the “Profiles” geometry set, so the name is ProfilesStraight.

Now that the curve parameter is filled, you’ll notice that the icon has changed to a formula icon and is ready to be used to create geometry. In the screw example, this was used as a sketch profile of the plate, which was cut with a groove, and these elements were inserted into a separate part body, with this body separated from the body of the main screw part. Sounds complicated right? You can simply use your curve parameter as a profile for a pad, a pocket, or any number of parts or surface elements you need to create. This is just one of the many ways in which the estimated curve parameter can be used.

Using this method, your designs are more robust because you can create different control points, different sketch planes, splitting surfaces, sketch profiles, direction lines or axes, or almost any type of control geometry to initiate complex design changes. Take the information here and use it to reduce design and manipulation time, increase productivity, and make your designs stronger and more powerful.

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