How to Decrease Component Assembly Picks by Half in Pro/ENGINEER
How would you like to cut the picks required to assemble components in half?
Ever needed to zoom out to find a small component that is being assembled into a large assembly?
What if you never had to pick the component references for a component being assembled? This would cut your picks in half and you would not need to see the component to select its references. This is exactly what ‘Component Interfaces’ enables. They are also the gateway to enabling drag and drop assembly — eliminating all assembly picks.
Creating Component Interfaces
To get started, we will define how a simple screw will be assembled in any assembly. We will define an insert and a mate at the part level. These references will travel with the part to any assembly:
The component interface command is accessed through the ‘Insert’ toolbar. (Figure 1)
The component interfaces icon can also be added to your toolbars via ‘Tools’; ‘Customize Screen.’
Once in the dialog for the component interface, give the interface a name and define the assembly references that will be used wherever this part goes. (Figure 2)
When you complete the feature you will see the component interface in the model tree.
In Figure 3 you can see the component interface in the footer of the model tree. If the part is a generic for a family table, verify the instance.
Now when we assemble this screw to an assembly the assembly dashboard already has insert and mate chosen. Also, the component references are already selected. We only need to select assembly insert and mate surfaces. (Figure 4)
Even more interesting is the capability to look for similar interfaces in the assembly. With ‘Interface to Interface’ chosen in the assembly dashboard and the ‘Insert-mate’ interface selected from the part, all of the possible assembly locations are presented to me as white dots.
We have selected all four white dots with the left mouse button. We have just assembled four parts with four picks. (Figure 5)
Note: The dashboard has options to check for interferences. (Figure 6)
This should get you started. Here are some other things to explore:
You can drag a part with interfaces into an assembly, release the part near the place that you want it assembled and Pro/ENGINEER will search for compatible references to auto-assemble the part.
You can match component interfaces to geometry at the assembly. Useful when interfaces are not designated throughout the assembly.
You can also use ‘Temporary Interfaces.’ Whenever a component is placed in an assembly, the system remembers the placement set definition. When the same component is again placed in the assembly, you can place it using the temporary interface. You can activate this functionality under ‘Tools,’ ‘Assembly Settings,’ ‘Placement Settings.’ Or you can set the config.pro option ‘create_temp_interfaces’ to ‘yes.’
The picks shown above are for Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0. The component interfaces can also be defined in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0. The menu can be found under ‘Edit’;’Setup.’
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