Pro/ENGINEER has many interface options that allow you to import many different file formats from a variety of sources. There are even direct translators available to many other CAD systems that allow Pro/ENGINEER to open them directly. But even with all of the options available, it doesn’t guarantee that the file will import cleanly. Also, by default, the data that does come in cleanly (solid) will come in as one import feature in the model tree. So, what are your options for repairing your imported data? And what if you want to change that data to meet your design needs?
Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 introduces several new tools and products that give you much more flexibility when working with imported data. Not only for repairing, but also for making changes to the data once it has been imported.
There are three main tools that can be used when working with imported solid geometry in Pro/ENGINEER. The desired end use of the imported geometry will help you decide on which tool or combination of tools is right for you.
1) Import Data Doctor:
This is the application that provides the capability to repair 3D surface and solid data once it has been imported into Pro/ENGINEER. With the introduction of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0, the entire Import Data Doctor repair tools have been rewritten to provide faster and more robust features for repairing data as well as added functionality for modifying the data during the repair process.
In the past, the only reason for entering the Import Data Doctor would have been to resolve a problem with the imported geometry. For example if a surface boundary was corrupted, a surface was missing, extra surfaces present in the import, or any other problem that prevented the geometry from automatically coming into Pro/ENGINEER as a solid import. The Import Data Doctor still provides the necessary tools that will allow you to repair most any model that needs fixing using tools to zip up gaps, fix boundaries, repair edges, and even replace surfaces that are missing.
The new ImportData Doctor goes beyond just making the repairs. It also introduces a new functionality called “Featurize Mode” which gives you the ability to create “pseudo features” while in the repair environment.
Some of the capabilities introduced in Featurize Mode are:
• Use the Boundary Blend feature while in the Import Data Doctor to add a missing surface. The resulting surface is automatically part of the import feature.
• Use the Surface Extend tool while in the Import Data Doctor to dynamically drag a boundary to extend it.
• Select surfaces and convert them to a Cylinder, Planar, Extrude, and Revolve features. This will allow you to reposition the geometry as a feature as well as modify its dimensions and even change its sketched section.
• Use standard selection techniques like Seed and Boundary to gather large groups of surfaces for conversion.
• Use the new Close tool to remove surfaces of geometry that are no longer needed and automatically close up the adjacent boundaries.
For more information on using the new Import Data Doctor for repairing models and making changes to the import data using the new Featurize Mode, you can follow the “Getting Started Guide” tutorial that can be launched from within Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0.
Start the Help Center then choose Tutorials from the Quick Links section. Then select the link “Getting Started with Import DataDoctor.”
2) New Remove Feature
The Remove feature has also been introduced in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0. This is basically the same functionality that is being used inside the Import Data Doctor for Close, but has been extended for use in the modeling environment as a regular feature. So even if you are working on an imported model or a native Pro/ENGINEER model, you can use the Remove feature to “defeature” a part. For example, if you imported a part into Pro/ENGINEER and you want to eliminate some features to modify your design, you can simply select the surfaces that close up the feature and then select the Remove feature icon and select Edit/Remove from the toolbar menu.
3) Feature Recognition Technology
The third item that can be applied to make changes to imported geometry is the use of the new Feature Recognition Technology (FRT). This is a free Toolkit download in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 and can be downloaded from PTC’s website.
This plug-in application for Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 allows you to replace static geometries in imported 3D Boundary Representation models (IGES, STEP, etc) with parametric features. This plug-in is currently available for 32 bit and 64 bit Windows platforms only.
Its current capabilities are as follows to identify and replace static geometry with fully parametric content:
- Simple or Sketched Holes on Flat or Curved Surfaces
- Protrusions or Pockets on Flat or Curved Surfaces
- Extruded Slots
- Constant Radius Rounds
- Table Pattern for Holes
You will need to repeat the naming steps for each of the states you have created. Don’t forget, Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 now allows you to create a representation that combines all of the options found in the View Manager.
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