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Using DriveWorksXpress to Automate Your Assemblies

Jesse Butwinick on May 1, 2015 at 9:36 AM

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Are you tired of recreating similar projects within SOLIDWORKS? Many of our customers are finding their design cycles decreasing through the use of DriveWorks design automation. In a previous postHow to Reduce Your Design Cycle with DriveWorksXpresswe discussed how DriveWorksXpress can be used to automatically configure a custom part in SOLIDWORKS. But it doesn’t stop there. Your entire assembly can be controlled within the simple to use interface. Fully detailed drawings can also be created for you with the push of a few buttons.

DriveWorksXpress has the ability to greatly decrease your design cycles for various projects, whether you want it to drive just a portion of or the entirety of your assemblies. Either way you will find the process will be the same. Parts can be linked to the DriveWorksXpress forms, their suppression states controlled in the assembly, and the drawings created with pre-defined details. Automating all these processes means your engineers get back valuable time that can be focused on creating new and innovative products.

DriveworksXpress has the ability to greatly decrease your design cycles for various projects, whether you want it to drive just a portion of or the entirety of your assemblies. Either way you will find the process will be the same. Parts can be linked to the DriveworksXpress forms, their suppression states controlled in the assembly, and the drawings created with pre-defined details. Let’s take a look at the assembly and drawing creation in DriveWorks.

How does it work?

When controlling a part in DriveWorksXpress, the features and sketches can have their suppression states and parameters defined, while in an assembly you can specify whether these new parts should be created at all and how the mates should react to these changes. Many users take advantage of SOLIDWORKS configurations to show their designs in various states, but this tool does have limitations. DriveWorks however does not need to know every iteration of your design. Instead you give it a range of options to stick to and the end user tells the tool what they are looking for with drops down menus, fill in the blanks, and scroll menus. This simple interface allows anyone, engineer or otherwise, to create a completely custom product for your customers. And in the case of driving just a portion of your assembly it can be as simple as inserting the generated models into your larger assembly.

Let’s see this in action!

Step 1: Capture the assembly structure by checking the box next to each component you would like to control. Double click each captured component to open it by itself, and then capture it’s features and dimensions that should be able to change. The feature / dimension capturing process at the part level is outlined in our previous blog articleHow to Reduce Your Design Cycle with DriveWorksXpress.

Step-1---Capture-Models-to-be-Controlled-2

Step 2 (Optional): Switch to the “Drawing and Configuration” tab to capture the assembly drawing. Any annotations in the original drawing will also exist in the newly created ones.

Step-2---Capture-Drawings-2

Step 3: Create your form.

Step-3---Create-Your-Form-2

Step 4: Define the file names.

Step_4_-_Define_the_file_names

For advanced control of the file generation you can build your rule around an “IF” statement. These are generally formatted as:

IF(CONDITION, CONDITION is true, CONDITION is false)

Here is a sample:

Step-4---Sample-rule-for-deleting-part-2

To summarize this sample, if the form control “ConveyorLength” is greater than 1500mm then this part will be created with the defined name. If it is NOT larger than 1500mm the part will be deleted from the new assembly. Note that “Delete” needs to be in quotations. You could also control the suppression state of components by using “Suppress” or “Unsuppress” in your rule.

Step 5: You’re done! And you can now run your project.

Step-5---Run-the-project-2

These five steps are basic summaries of how you can capture your assembly in DriveWorksXpress. If you would like to learn in greater detail the process for creating your DriveWorksXpress project we have a couple recorded webinars for you to watchHow to leverage DriveWorksXpress in my assemblies? and How can I generate parts with DriveWorksXpress? Enjoy!

Sample-123

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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