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CONVEYOR BASE TUTORIAL A DriveWorksXpress Tutorial for SolidWorks 2011
CONVEYOR BASE TUTORIAL
A DriveWorksXpress Tutorial for
SolidWorks 2011
CONVEYOR BASE TUTORIAL A DriveWorksXpress Tutorial for SolidWorks 2011

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Table of Contents

An Introduction to DriveWorksXpress

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Lesson 1: Basic Setup

5

Lesson 2: Capturing Models and Dimensions

6

Capturing

Assembly Dimensions

7

Capturing

Model Dimensions

8

Capturing

Drawings

10

Lesson

3:

Form Creation

11

Lesson

4:

Rules Building

14

Rules Builder

14

File Name Rule Building

14

Dimension Rule Building

17

Lesson 5: Running the Project

18

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An Introduction to DriveWorksXpress

This DriveWorksXpress tutorial is intended to give you hands-on proficiency of DriveWorksXpress. Upon successful completion of this tutorial, you will be able to:

Drive SolidWorks part and assembly geometry with DriveWorksXpress

Create a DriveWorksXpress input form and link the input fields to the SolidWorks model

Generate rules to automate and run your project

In this tutorial, we will be automating a conveyor belt base stand.

Why Automate? If you worked for a company that designed conveyor belt base stands, where each base stand you designed was different, then using DriveWorksXpress could automate the process.

Let’s take a look at this conveyor base stand.

process. Let’s take a look at this conveyor base stand. As you can see, this conveyor

As you can see, this conveyor belt base stand could be of any height, width or depth (within reason). Therefore, each time a new job comes in with a different width for the stand, the parts need to be re-designed and new drawings need to be produced.

This would require a custom design to be produced for each sales enquiry, which could take days, and would be very repetitive for the engineer, which would in turn effect the response time to a sales enquiry.

By automating the Conveyor Belt Base Stand design using DriveWorks:

The cost of custom designs is reduced

The sales enquiry response time can be shortened

The product quality is enhanced

Repetitive tasks are reduced

What does Automate mean? By automating the design process of this conveyor belt using DriveWorksXpress, you will not need to change the dimensions and properties of each model within the assembly of the conveyor belt base stand for each new variation.

Instead, you will enter basic information, such as conveyor belt base stand height and width into a pre- designed form already created by you. As DriveWorksXpress allows you to capture your design know-how and incorporate it into your project, your project and form will be based on your design rules.

Rules allow the opening dimensions to be taken and used to calculate the size of each component that makes up the Conveyor Belt Base Stand. DriveWorksXpress has an inbuilt Rules Builder which makes this process easy.

You can set up your DriveWorksXpress project to automatically produce General Arrangement Drawings that shows the exact requirements for each job.

Arrangement Drawings that shows the exact requirements for each job. © DriveWorks Ltd 2011 | All

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By following the step -by-step guide set out in the following tutorial, you will be automating your own designs in SolidWorks in no time, thanks to DriveWorksXpress!

To begin this tutorial, you will need to download the SolidWorks project files for the Conveyor Belt Base Stand Assembly from the DriveWorksXpress website:

The SolidWorks files are contained within a zipped file. Ensure you extract the files from this folder before beginning the training.

you extract the files from this folder before beginning the training. © DriveWorks Ltd 2011 |

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Lesson 1: Basic Setup

DriveWorksXpress is available within EVERY seat of SolidWorks, so you don’t need to worry about installing software or inputting license codes.

Open up SolidWorks 2011.

or inputting license codes. Open up SolidWorks 2011. The DriveWorksXpress Welcome Page gives you three options:

The DriveWorksXpress Welcome Page gives you three options:

Create / Change Database

This allows you to create a new project or load and change an existing project

Add / Edit Models

Add more models to the existing project

Run Models

Jump directly to Run to specify a new variation using a completed project

For this tutorial, click the ‘Create / Change Database’ radio button.

Click ‘Next’

Click ‘Next’ at the top of the DriveWorksXpress Task

at the top of the DriveWorksXpress Task

Pane.

Click on the ‘Tools’ tab in the SolidWorks menu bar and select DriveWorksXpress from the drop-down options.

This activates DriveWorksXpress, which will open on the right hand side of the screen.

which will open on the right hand side of the screen. You will automatically be asked

You will automatically be asked to open a new database.

Browse to a specific location on your hard drive where you would like your database to be saved to, and name your new project “Conveyor”.

Click ‘Open’ to continue.

A database has been created and saved in your specified location.

continue. A database has been created and saved in your specified location. © DriveWorks Ltd 2011

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Lesson 2: Capturing Models and Dimensions

You now need to add your model.

Click

Models and Dimensions You now need to add your model. Click to navigate to the new

to navigate to the new window within the DriveWorksXpress Task Pane.

This will allow you to capture your model and the parameters that will be controlled on that model.

There are three ways to select which models are to be captured and driven using DriveWorksXpress:

Browse for new model

If no models are open in SolidWorks, you can browse to the location of the files you would like to be driven and automated using DriveWorksXpress

Use current open model

If you currently have a part or assembly open in SolidWorks, DriveWorksXpress can capture these models to be driven and automated

Models already in DriveWorksXpress

If you have previously captured models within DriveWorksXpress, these will be displayed in the DriveWorksXpress Task Pane

In this tutorial, a Conveyor Belt Base Stand will be automated.

Make sure ‘Browse for new model’ is selected and click

Make sure ‘Browse for new model’ is selected and click Browse to the location on your
Make sure ‘Browse for new model’ is selected and click Browse to the location on your

Browse to the location on your hard drive where you have saved your Conveyor Belt Base Stand files, open the folder and select the SolidWorks Assembly Document called “Conveyor Base Assembly”. Click ‘Open’.

NOTE: Ensure the Conveyor Base Assembly is the .sldasm file type

The Conveyor Base Stand assembly will now open in SolidWorks.

Once DriveWorksXpress knows the location of the files, we’ll need to tell it which components we want to capture dimensions and features from.

components we want to capture dimensions and features from. The DriveWorksXpress Task Pane will now show

The DriveWorksXpress Task Pane will now show all of the options for capturing model information.

At the bottom of the DriveWorksXpress Task Pane, click on the ‘Captured Assembly Structure’ tab. This will then display check boxes next to each model within the assembly.

This will then display check boxes next to each model within the assembly. © DriveWorks Ltd

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In this example, we will drive the following parts of the Conveyor Base assembly:

Leg Base

Adjustable Support

Wheel Assembly Wheel Base

Central Support

Wheel Bolt

Check the check boxes next to the parts shown below:

Bolt Check the check boxes next to the parts shown below: Capturing Assembly Dimensions The Dimensions

Capturing Assembly Dimensions The Dimensions and Features tab allows you to choose which parameters from a model or assembly you would like to capture and drive. You can then assign a descriptive name to the dimension or feature you have selected to make them easier to identify and create rules for.

Click on the ‘Dimensions and Features’ tab in the DriveWorksXpress Task Pane.

Using the SolidWorks Feature Tree that is displayed on the left hand side of the screen, select the ‘Mates’ branch and double click the feature called “Distance6”.

‘Mates’ branch and double click the featu re called “ Distance6 ”. © DriveWorks Ltd 2011
‘Mates’ branch and double click the featu re called “ Distance6 ”. © DriveWorks Ltd 2011

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www.driveworksxpress.com Select the dimension of “100” that appears on the model. In the DriveWorksXpress Task Pane,

Select the dimension of “100” that appears on the model.

Select the dimension of “100” that appears on the model. In the DriveWorksXpress Task Pane, re

In the DriveWorksXpress Task Pane, rename the dimension “Support Height”.

NOTE: The yellow warning triangle disappears once something has been typed into the Name box.

Click ‘Add’

The captured dimension can now be seen in the DriveWorksXpress Task Bar.

The next step will cover how to capture dimensions and features from individual parts of the Conveyor Base assembly.

Capturing Model Dimensions Click the ‘Captured Assembly Structure’ tab to view the assembly tree.

ed Assembly Structure ’ tab to view the assembly tree. Double click the “Wheel Base” model
ed Assembly Structure ’ tab to view the assembly tree. Double click the “Wheel Base” model

Double click the “Wheel Base” model to open it within SolidWorks.

Click the ‘Dimensions and Features’ tab.

The dimensions required on this particular model are the width and depth of the piece. These can both be attained by clicking the feature named “Boss-Extrude 1” from the SolidWorks Feature Tree.

Select the dimension of “150”.

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In the DriveWorksXpress Task Pane, name the dimension Wheel Base Depth”.

Click ‘Add’.

Next, select the dimension of “110” which appears on the Wheel Base model when “Boss-Extrude 1” is double clicked.

Name this Wheel Base Width ”.

Click ‘Add’.

In the ‘Captured Assembly Structure’ tab, double click the “Adjustable Support” model.

Capture the following dimensions within the model as previously demonstrated above:

Feature Name

Dimension Value

DriveWorks Name

Explanation

Boss-Extrude 1

500

AS Inside Height

This will control the height of the adjustable support

Boss-Extrude 1

90

AS Inside Width

This will control the width of the adjustable support

Boss-Extrude 1

70

AS Inside Depth

This will control the depth of the adjustable support

Boss-Extrude 1

10

AS Thickness

This will control the thickness of the material being used

Boss-Extrude 2

15

AS Top Plate Thickness

This will control the thickness of the top plate

Boss-Extrude 2

50

AS Top Plate 1

This will control the length of the top plate

Boss-Extrude 2

50

AS Top Plate 2

This will control the length of the top plate

In the ‘Captured Assembly Structure’ tab, double click the “Leg Base” model.

Capture the following dimensions within the model as previously demonstrated:

Feature Name

Dimension Value

DriveWorks Name

Explanation

Boss-Extrude 1

150

Base Depth

This will control the depth of the base

Boss-Extrude 1

110

Base Width

This will control the width of the base

Boss-Extrude 1

15

Base Thickness

This will control the thickness of the material used in the base

Boss-Extrude 3

300

Stand Height

This will control the height of the stand

Boss-Extrude 3

70

Stand Inner Width

This will control the width of the stand

Boss-Extrude 3

60

Stand Depth

This will control the depth of the stand

Boss-Extrude 3

10

Stand Thickness

This will control the thickness of the stand

 

Adjustment Hole

This will control the distance between each of the three adjustment holes on the stand

LPattern2

50

Distance

of the three adjustment holes on the stand LPattern2 50 Distance © DriveWorks Ltd 2011 |

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In the ‘Captured Assembly Structure’ tab, double click the “Central Support” model.

Capture the following dimensions within the model as previously demonstrated:

Feature Name

Dimension Value

DriveWorks Name

Explanation

Boss-Extrude 1

900

Central Support

This will control the length of the support

Length

Boss-Extrude 1

90

Central Support

This will control the width of the support

Width

Boss-Extrude 1

80

Central Support

This will control the depth of the support

Depth

Boss-Extrude 1

10

Central Support

This will control the thickness of the material used in the support

Thickness

Capturing Drawings DriveWorksXpress is capable of inputting SolidWorks engineering drawings, meaning that when a new version of the model is made using DriveWorksXpress, the engineering drawing of that component is also updated to match it. This capability is located on the ‘Drawings and Configurations’ tab in the DriveWorksXpress Task Pane.

Click the ‘Drawings and Configurations’ tab.

Click the ‘Browse’ button to search your hard drive for the corresponding SolidWorks drawing file.

Perform this process for the four components with provided engineering drawings. These are:

Adjustable Support

Leg Base

Wheel Base

Central Support

NOTE: The engineering drawings are in the .slddrw file format

Support NOTE: The engineering drawings are in the .slddrw file format © DriveWorks Ltd 2011 |
Support NOTE: The engineering drawings are in the .slddrw file format © DriveWorks Ltd 2011 |

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Lesson 3: Form Creation

In DriveWorksXpress, you can create an input form for entering the values for your new parts and drawings. This form can be used again and again to specify and generate all the new parts and drawings, based on the rules you set, and the values you enter.

Adding Controls To access the form designer, click

enter. Adding Controls To access the form designer, click Each control on the form requires three

Each control on the form requires three things:

Name

You must provide a descriptive name for the form control. This name will be the description the user sees as they fill in your form i.e. Customer Name

Type

sees as they fill in your form i.e. Customer Name  Type Choose from five types

Choose from five types of controls (inputs)

- Text Box: Input text directly by typing

- Numeric Text Box: Input numeric values and specify a minimum and maximum value

- Drop Down: Provide a list of options to choose from

- Spin Button: Select from a range of numeric values. A maximum and a minimum value can be set,

as well as the incremented value

- Check Box: Places a checkbox on the form

Required

- Check Box : Places a checkbox on the form  Required Enforces a value to

Enforces a value to be entered

on the form  Required Enforces a value to be entered In this example, a Customer

In this example, a Customer Name and Order Number will be created. This can be done using a Text Box. Later we will build a rule to append the Customer Name and Order Number to each set of new files in a specification so it can be easily identified.

each set of new files in a specification so it can be easily identified. © DriveWorks

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Type the name of the input you wish to create into the ‘Name’ text box. In this case, type “Customer Name”.

Make the input type a “Text Box” by selecting this option from the drop down list.

Tick the ‘Required’ check box to ensure a Customer Name is entered for each new specification.

Click

C ustomer Name is entered for each new specification. Click You will notice that the form

You will notice that the form control has appeared in the form designer within the DriveWorksXpress Task Pane.

NOTE: As you create your form you can edit and delete controls, as well as change the order of the inputs by using the Up and Down arrows.

Click ‘Add’

To create the Order Number input for your Conveyor Base form, follow the above procedure, naming the input Order Number”.

the above procedure, naming the input “ Order Number ”. Click To specify most dimensions within

Click

procedure, naming the input “ Order Number ”. Click To specify most dimensions within the model,
procedure, naming the input “ Order Number ”. Click To specify most dimensions within the model,

To specify most dimensions within the model, you will need to use Numeric Text Boxes. Numeric Text Boxes allow a maximum and a minimum value to be enforced. Use the Numeric Text Box control for the inputs shown in the table below.

Click ‘Add’ to enter each input shown below:

Control Name

Type of Control

Required?

Minimum Value

Maximum Value

Height of

       

Frame

Numeric Text Box

Yes

500

1200

Width of the Base Stand

Numeric Text Box

Yes

60

100

Depth of the Base Stand

Numeric Text Box

Yes

40

90

Overall Width

Numeric Text Box

Yes

600

1400

Length of the Top Plate

Numeric Text Box

Yes

100

400

1400 Length of the Top Plate Numeric Text Box Yes 100 400 © DriveWorks Ltd 2011

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www.driveworksxpress.com To allow a user to see an entire range of options available for a particular

To allow a user to see an entire range of options available for a particular input, a Spin Button can be used.

Use a Spin Button control to add the following inputs:

Control Name

Type of Control

Required?

Minimum Value

Maximum Value

Increments

Thickness of the Material

Spin Button

Yes

5

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1

To allow a user to specify whether wheels are a necessary component of the conveyor belt base stand, the check box input can be used.

Input the following into the DriveWorksXpress Form Designer:

Control Name

Type of Control

Required?

Wheels

Check Box

N / A

NOTE: Click ‘Test’ within the DriveWorksXpress Form Designer to preview the form you have created and test it out for yourself. As you fill out the form, the text boxes will change from pink to white, and the yellow warning triangles beside each input will disappear. If values are entered into the input controls that are outside the acceptable range enforced by the comtrol, the yellow warning triangle and pink text box background will remain and the user will not be able to proceed.

text box background will remain and the user will not be able to proceed. © DriveWorks

© DriveWorks Ltd 2011 | All rights reserved

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Lesson 4: Rules Building

The Rules Tab that is present in DriveWorksXpress allows you to input rules that will allow you to automate your designs. The Rules are created based on Excel syntax.

To navigate to the Rules tab, click

based on Excel syntax. To navigate to the Rules tab, click or A summary of the

or

on Excel syntax. To navigate to the Rules tab, click or A summary of the rules

A summary of the rules within your project will be displayed. This summary includes how many of each rule type there are, as well as how many rules are missing and need to be defined before the assembly can be automated.

and need to be defined before the assembly can be automated. Rules Builder Before you begin

Rules Builder Before you begin to create rules within this tutorial, here is a quick summary of the DriveWorksXpress Rules Builder.

There are four tabs available within the DriveWorksXpress Rules Builder:

Inputs

Lists the available controls that can be used in your rules

Recent

This becomes populated with commonly used text strings or equations

Math

Shows common mathematical operators such as divide, subtract and add

Logic

Shows logical operators such as IF( , , ), <, > and =

logical operators such as IF( , , ), <, > and = File Name Rule Building

File Name Rule Building File Name rules allow different sets of files that are generated for each new specification of an automated design to be easily identifiable.

Check the ‘Edit’ check box next to the File Name rule type and then click

check box next to the File Name rule type and then click Each of the files

Each of the files being driven will be for a unique project and therefore will require a unique set of file names.

a unique project and therefore will require a unique set of file names. © DriveWorks Ltd

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To create the same rule for multiple models, select each model you wish to create the file name rule for while holding down the CTRL key. Multi-select all models except “Wheel Assembly” and “Wheel Bolt”.

Click ‘Build’

The DriveWorksXpress Rules Builder will now open.

The DriveWorksXpress Rules Builder will now open. All the file names that are going to be

All the file names that are going to be created for these models will need to be unique to that particular specification and therefore the file names should be populated with information that will allow the files to be easily identified. For this tutorial, this will involve using the customer’s name and their order number within the file name.

The file format will show the component, customer name and order number in the following format once the rule is created:

‘Component Customer Name – Order Number’

To create a file rule for the selected models in the above format, start by selecting the ‘Customer Name’ input from the ‘Inputs’ tab.

To ensure a hyphen is shown in the file name between the Customer Name and Order Number, type the following after the ‘Customer Name’ input:

& “-

Using the ampersands around the hyphen is necessary as ‘Customer Name’ is one text string, while the hyphen is another text string (just like in Microsoft Excel).

Now type &and then select ‘Order Number’ from the ‘Inputs’ tab to complete the file name rule, which should now look like this:

the file name rule , which should now look like this: An example of this rule

An example of this rule when put into practise will look like this:

„Conveyor Base Assembly Canned Foods Inc.- DW006

Click ‘OK’ to create the file name rule for the selected models.

There should only be two models remaining which still require File Name Rules. The ‘Wheel Assembly’ and ‘Wheel Bolt’ rules will differ from the other model file name rules, as they will be based around a logic function. The file name rules for these two models will allow the ‘Wheel Assembly’ and ‘Wheel Bolt’ files to be saved if wheels are specified as being required within the form user’s specification.

are specified as being required within the form user’s specification. © DriveWorks Ltd 2011 | All

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Click ‘Wheel Assembly’ and then ‘Build’ to take you back into the DriveWorksXpress Rules Builder.

In the ‘Logic’ tab, select the ‘IF ( , , )’ function then fill in following parts so the rule looks like this:

IF ( Wheels = TRUE , CustomerName & “-& OrderNumber , “Delete” )

This rule ensures that if the user ticks the check box to add wheels to their conveyor belt base stand, then the Customer Name and Order Number will be displayed at the end of the appropriate files. If the ‘Wheels’ check box is not checked, then the model will not be included in that particular specification and will be deleted when the project is saved.

Click ‘OK’ to view the final model requiring a file name rule.

Click on the ‘Wheel Bolt’ model and click ‘Build’.

Within the DriveWorksXpress Rules Builder, input the following rule:

IF ( Wheels = TRUE , CustomerName & “-“ & OrderNumber , “Delete” )

This rule ensures that if the wheels are not specified in the form then the ‘Wheel Boltmodel is not shown within the model and the ‘Wheel Bolt’ file is not saved for that project.

Click ‘OK’ to return to the file name rules summary.

As there are no models left that require file name rules, click

there are no models left that require file name rules, click to return to the Rules

to return to the Rules summary page.

Deselect the ‘Edit’ check box corresponding to the File Name rules.

Deselect the ‘Edit’ check box corresponding to the File Name rules. © DriveWorks Ltd 2011 |

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Dimension Rules Building To start creating dimension rules, check the ‘Edit’ box next to Dimensions.

Dimension rules are created in the same way as File Name rules, by highlighting the item(s) you would like to create a particular rule for and then clicking ‘Build’.

The table below shows the name of each dimension and the rule that should be created for that dimension:

Rule Name

Formula

AS Inside Height

= HeightofFrame Thickness oftheMaterial ( ThicknessoftheMaterial * 1.5 ) 20.245

AS Inside Width

= WidthoftheBaseStand

 

AS Inside Depth

= DepthoftheBaseStand

 

AS Thickness

= ThicknessoftheMaterial

 

AS Top Plate Thickness

=

ThicknessoftheMaterial

AS Top Plate 1

= ( LengthofTopPlate ( WidthoftheBaseStand + ( 2 * ThicknessoftheMaterial) ) ) / 2 )

AS Top Plate 2

= ( LengthofTopPlate ( WidthoftheBaseStand + ( 2 * ThicknessoftheMaterial) ) ) / 2 )

Support Height

= ( ( HeightofFrame ThicknessoftheMaterial ( ThicknessoftheMaterial * 1.5 ) 20.245 ) / 100 ) * 15

Base Depth

= DepthoftheBaseStand + ( 2 * ThicknessoftheMaterial ) + 40

Base Width

=WidthoftheBaseStand + (2 * ThicknessoftheMaterial )

Stand Inner Width

= WidthoftheBaseStand ( 2 * ThicknessoftheMaterial )

Stand Depth

= DepthoftheBaseStand ThicknessoftheMaterial

Stand Height

= ( HeightofFrame ThicknessoftheMaterial ( ThicknessoftheMaterial * 1.5 ) 20.245)

 

/ 1.8

Stand Thickness

= ThicknessoftheMaterial

 

Wheel Base Width

= WidthoftheBaseStand + ( 2 * ThicknessoftheMaterial ) + 40

Wheel Base Depth

= DepthoftheBaseStand + ( 2 * ThicknessoftheMaterial ) + 40

Central Support

= OverallWidth ( 4* ThicknessoftheMaterial )

Length

Central Support

= WidthoftheBaseStand

 

Width

Central Support

= WidthoftheBaseStand / 2

 

Depth

Central Support

= ThicknessoftheMaterial

 

Thickness

Base Thickness

= ThicknessoftheMaterial * 1.5

 

Adjustment Hole

= ( (HeightofFrame ThicknessoftheMaterial (ThicknessoftheMaterial * 1.5) 20.245)

Distance

/ 1.8) / 3

 

Click

– 20.245) Distance / 1.8) / 3   Click to return to the Rules Summary page.

to return to the Rules Summary page.

All rules types should have been created for the assembly now and there should be no missing rules.

been created for the assembly now and there should be no missing rules. © DriveWorks Ltd

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Lesson 5: Running the Project

All the dimensions, features and drawings of the Conveyor Belt Base Stand have been captured, and the relevant rules have been created. New specifications of the conveyor belt base stand can now be created.

of the conveyor belt base stand can now be created. Click to navigate to the ‘Run’
of the conveyor belt base stand can now be created. Click to navigate to the ‘Run’

Click

to navigate to the ‘Run’ tab in DriveWorksXpress.

Within the Run task pane, you will now be able to see the nine different controls you created earlier in the DriveWorksXpress Form Designer. Hovering over any of the controls will cause a message to appear showing the range of acceptable values for that control.

All of the controls which require a value will appear with a pink background, which will turn white once a suitable value has been selected.

To run your project, enter suitable values for each control and click

project, enter suitable values for each control and click or ‘Create’. DriveWorksXpress will now run the

or ‘Create’.

DriveWorksXpress will now run the project according to the values entered into the form and generate the files required.

A generation report is produced which shows activity on all of the driven values within the Conveyor Belt Base Stand. Any errors in the project will appear with a red cross next to them, while all successful actions will be shown by a green tick.

The model with the dimensions and features specified by you in the form will now appear in SolidWorks.

To view the modified SolidWorks Drawing File for this new model specification, open the folder where you decided to save the project files on your hard drive. The SolidWorks Drawing of the modified model will be saved under the Customer Name Order Number specified in the form filled in before the project was run in DriveWorksXpress.

In this folder, you will also see all the part assembly files that have been generated and saved for that particular project.

files that have been generated and saved for that particular project. © DriveWorks Ltd 2011 |

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www.driveworksxpress.com Congratulations, you have now completed this DriveWorksXpress Tutorial for SolidWorks 2011! There

Congratulations, you have now completed this DriveWorksXpress Tutorial for SolidWorks 2011!

There is lots more downloadable content available at:

Now you’ve tried DriveWorksXpress, GO AUTOMATE your own SolidWorks projects!

tried DriveWorksXpress, GO AUTOMATE your own SolidWorks projects! © DriveWorks Ltd 2011 | All rights reserved

© DriveWorks Ltd 2011 | All rights reserved

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