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  • 1. Summer 2008 IDEAWorks Software Development<br />Report Prepared By Cam Stefanic<br />OVERVIEW<br />The goal for the summer 2008 school session was to expand our knowledge of three-dimensional solid modeling and create a more valuable learning environment for future offerings of our Advanced CAD technical elective course (ME421/521). This was accomplished by using CATIA V5 and other supporting programs such as Vericut and SolidWorks. This report documents activities undertaken since May 15th. Each of these projects has dual-benefits of supporting our 2008 summer interns at Boeing and increasing our CATIA knowledge base. The CATIA work described here serves as a foundation for future collaboration between the Boeing Company and faculty/staff/students involved in design education at the University of Idaho.  <br />‘JUST-IN-TIME’ VIDEOS<br />A central activity was the creation of a set of instructional videos that can be used as part of weekly lab preparation for our ME421/521 course. They can be accessed either through our class website at http://www.webs1.uidaho.edu/mindworks/catia.htm or on the CATIA lesson DVDs we have had produced. An outline of the lessons and their contents is given below.<br />
    • User Interface – Introduction, toolbar defaults, File/Edit menus, help file navigation
    • 2. Settings – Units, color schemes, basic defaults
    • 3. Basic Sketcher – Sketcher workbench, sketch entities, common constraints
    • 4. Advanced Sketcher – Construction lines, profile/spline, sketch chamfer/fillet, sketch mirror
    • 5. Pads and Pockets – Pad/Pocket a sketch, feature chamfer/fillet, viewpoint manipulation
    • 6. Multi-Selection Solid and Sweep – Add planes, sweep a profile, connect sketches with M-SS
    • 7. Shafts, Grooves, Circular Pattern – Feature patterns, grooves/shafts from a sketch
    • 8. Assembly Basics – Assembly workbench, design tree, constraints, manipulate parts, explode
    • 9. Assembly With Constraints – Assemble a product from parts, constraint usage
    • 10. Design Tables – Create/update a table, use relations, add a table to a catalog
    • 11. Drafting Basics – Templates, layouts, add/delete views, line properties
    • 12. Dimensioning Drawings – Page layout, dimension tool, tolerances, datums, callouts
    • 13. Assembly Views – Exploded drawing, bill of materials, part identification
    • 14. Rendering Basics – Environments, lighting, cameras, material properties
    • 15. Assembly-Style Animation – Shuttles, tracks, track sequencing, sequence animation
    • 16. Rotational Animation – Use of joints, degrees of freedom, driving a joint, simulation
    These videos are packaged on DVD-ROMs with custom University of Idaho Mechanical Engineering graphics created by Mitch Odom and Cam Stefanic. They feature renderings of the Howell V4 engine drafted by Jerry Howell and drawn in CATIA by the 2007-08 ME421/521 class.<br />DESIGN TABLES<br />Special attention was paid to the Design Tables video. This subject was new to us at the beginning of the term, but working through it has proven beneficial to both the University of Idaho and our Boeing partners. It has allowed us to create a CATIA catalog of our HAAS mill holders and cutters that can now be employed in machining simulation and verification. This project was taken on at the request of Boeing in order to explore using this method at their Fredrickson, WA facility to organize their cutters and holders and to ease the 3D drafting of those same parts. A detailed presentation as to how CATIA can use Excel spreadsheets to model parts and transform them into design tables and catalogs was shown to our sponsors at Boeing on July 19th. <br />With the knowledge gained by this project, we are planning a special project for the fall 2008 course offering of ME 421/521. We have an ultimate goal of creating and maintaining a full catalog of ME shop tooling, accessible for machining verification and use in special manufacturing projects. As a result of these efforts, our next generation ME 421/521 students should have even better preparedness for Boeing summer internships and employment. A summary of the presentation made in Fredrickson follows. This includes a step-by-step method for setting up a design table and part catalog in CATA.<br />This is the outline used for the layout and setup of the design tree in CATIA. This was done to both satisfy Boeing’s internal template as well as to make it easy to switch between parts that had been designed by a table.<br />To create a design table, a part must first be modeled and the dimensions given names. These names are then input into an Excel spreadsheet with all of the dimensions associated with them and that CATIA can be used to relate the spreadsheet with the similarly named dimensions.<br />After the design table has been set up in CATIA, the part can be closed and the Catalog Knowledge workbench can be opened. Here, a part with a design table associated with it can be inserted into a catalog. Internal filing can be employed in the catalog to keep part families together.<br />For manufacturing purposes, a design table can be inserted into a part drawing so that a family of parts can be created from one drawing. All of the standard dimensions are shown, but the dimensions that change in the family are given names that relate directly to the Excel file. The exact Excel spreadsheet can then be added to the drawing showing the changing values.Once in a product, parts can be selected from the design table using the preview function and constrained in the assembly. Now the product acts as a normal assembly and can be used for collision detection, or NC verification.<br />The pictures below best illustrate an introduction to the Design Table’s functions. These are the progressions of our end mills from our HAAS CNC mill tool library to our digital catalog.<br />We began by collecting some representative end mills from our collection. We then noted the important dimensions from the parts and input them into an Excel spreadsheet. Now CATIA could relate the dimensions through common names shared by the CATIA part sketch and the Excel spreadsheet. This produced 3D models of our end mills.<br />The image to the right shows a sample drawing with all of the information necessary to properly depict our end mill selection.<br />VERICUT<br />An offshoot of the Design Table project is the addition of Vericut to our program library. Vericut is used primarily as a machining verification/simulation technology, and we plan on implementing it alongside CATIA in future course offerings of ME 421/521. With the ability to create NC code inside of CATIA, Vericut will be used to confirm that the code will not cause any contact or clashes between the mill and any other part of the machine body. We chose Vericut primarily due to its ability to work hand-in-hand with CATIA’s NC output and because it is the program used by Boeing in their verification process. We are currently designing a mini-project using CATIA and Vericut for the fall 2008 semester.<br />SOLIDWORKS TO CATIA CONVERSION<br />In order to explore the possibilities of converting SolidWorks part and assembly files into CATPart and CATProduct files, we decided to first look into third-party software to do this for us as neither CATIA nor SolidWorks offers a straight-across transformation. Numerous contacts with aftermarket companies yielded few results. However, it was discovered that by saving a SolidWorks part file as a .STEP file and then opening that .STEP file in CATIA would cause it to be automatically converted into a solid body and be able to be saved as a CATPart. Soon after, we found out that whole SolidWorks assemblies could also be saved as a .STEP file, too. When these were opened in CATIA, CATIA would convert both the assembly and the parts into individual CATProducts and CATParts. This allowed there to be a straight-across transformation from completed assemblies between platforms. We used this method to convert our ME301 radial engine, dynamometer, and Howell V4 Hybrid planetary assembly into CATProducts. One downside of this method as opposed to third-party software is that constraints are not transferrable, only the part’s positions. This means that a transformed product does not have the ability to be a flexible assembly.<br />In addition to the projects above, we also created a simple cheat sheet that allows users of SolidWorks to enter CATIA and have a way to relate terms between the two programs. The table below shows these relations.<br />SolidWorksCATIA V5GeneralPartPartAssemblyProductDrawingDraftingSketchesSmartDimension(Double-Click) ConstraintRelationsConstraints DefinedPowerTrimQuick TrimPartsExtrudePadExtruded CutPocketRevolveShaftRevolved CutGrooveSweepRibSwept CutSlotLoftMulti-Selection SolidRibStiffenerHole WizardHoleReference GeometryReference ElementsAssembliesMatesConstraintsInsert ComponentExisting ComponentSolve As Flexible/RigidFlexible/Rigid Sub-AssemblyRebuildUpdateConcentricCoincidentDistance = 0ContactDistanceOffsetDraftingNoteTextAutodimensionGenerate Dimensions<br />FAN HUB<br />The Howell V4 project from spring 2008’s ME421/521 course has a small engine fan in it that consists of a compound-curve 5-bladed assembly. This would have been difficult to machine in our shop economically, so as a test of both SolidWorks-CATIA interoperability and using CATIA to produce a 3D printable .STL file, we opted to print the part using our Dimension BST1200 3D printer. The fan’s dimensions needed to be slightly modified to accommodate the printer’s minimum printing thickness, but after that was accounted for the part came out of the printer perfectly and will be used in the final assembly of the Howell V4 engine.<br />ME DRAWING TEMPLATE<br />With our 3D modeling focus beginning to direct more attention to CATIA, we have developed a University of Idaho Mechanical Engineering drawing template that can be used for all of the drawings produced in our CATIA lab. It is accessible from our local server as well as through our CATIA website at http://www.webs1.uidaho.edu/mindworks/catia.htm.<br />BOEING COLLABORATION<br />CATIA V5 is a relatively new tool used in the manufacturing sector of the Boeing Company.  While the program possesses immense possibilities, when implemented in a large corporation some functionality has to be tailored and additional resources have to be developed to support standardized work processes.   Boeing hired two summer interns, Nathan Thomas and Edwin Anderson, to tackle some of these problems.  <br />The Boeing Company would like to see new engineering graduates assume leadership in resolving CATIA V5 related issues.  The two issues addressed by the University of Idaho interns during the summer of 2008 were tool cataloging and CATIA V5 training, both of which could easily addressed by students taking our ME 421/521 course.  <br />Major advancement was made in CATIA V5 training by University of Idaho interns.  The Numerically Controlled Machining Department (NC) at the Auburn site has found the CATIA training to be long-winded and not manufacturing oriented.  When Boeing became aware of the University of Idaho’s philosophy of teaching solid modeling with a design for manufacturing mindset, they hired our ME421/521 teaching assistant (Edwin Anderson) to create a process-based CATIA V5 training course for new NC programmers.  As a result, the program features less button-pushing and more emphasis on product realization.  For example, instead of teaching five different ways to draw a square, the course teaches the Boeing NC standard process for drawing squares.<br />Unlocking the power of design tables in the CATIA environment was the focus of a second University of Idaho intern (Nathan Thomas). The centerpiece of this effort was creating a catalog of parts made from existing 2D drawings of specialized cutting tools used at the Fredrickson facility.  The plan was to have Nathan serve as both a project coordinator and conduit to several part-time students brought on to support IdeaWorks development during the summer of 2008. Because of Nathan’s familiarity and productivity with CATIA , additional modeling support was not needed.  Instead, the University of Idaho students were presented the larger problem of how to create and maintain a cutter database using CATIA V5 along with Microsoft Excel.  This resulted in the methodology described in a previous section of this report. A teleconference is scheduled on July 30th with Mark Tran and Eric Gunstone to leverage this work in future collaboration between the University of Idaho and the Boeing Company.<br />