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Pro/MECHANICA Motion:

Mechanism Design and Analysis


Release 2000i

Kuang-Hua Chang, Ph.D.


School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
The University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

SDC
PUBLICATIONS

www.SDCpro.com
Simple Pendulum 2-1

Lesson 2: A Simple Pendulum


Integrated Mode

2.1 Overview of the Lesson

Purpose of this lesson is to give you a quick start on using the Pro/MECHANICA Motion in the Integrated
mode. The example employed is a simple pendulum. The pendulum rotates freely due to gravity. In this
chapter, you will learn how to create the pendulum motion model, run the motion analysis, and visualize
the analysis results. Motion analysis result of the simple pendulum example can be verified easily using
particle dynamics theory. We will formulate the equation of motion, calculate the angular velocity of the
pendulum, and compare our calculations with results obtained from Pro/MECHANICA Motion.
Validating results obtained from motion simulations is extremely important. The Pro/MECHANICA
Motion software is not foolproof. It requires certain level of experience and expertise to master the
software. Before you arrive at that level, it will be very helpful to verify the simulation results if possible.
Verifying the simulation results will increase your confidence in using the software and prevent you from
being fooled by the erroneous simulations produced by the software.

2.2 The Simple Pendulum Example

Physical Model Solid circular rod of


radius r = 0.5 mm
The physical model of the pendulum is composed of a
sphere with radius 10 mm and a thin rod of 90 mm long
and radius 0.5 mm that are rigidly connected, as shown in
Figure 2-1. The top end of the rod is connected to the wall
with a pin joint. This pin joint allows the pendulum to 90 mm
rotate. The rod and sphere are made up of aluminum and
steel, respectively. Note that in Pro/ENGINEER material
library the AL2014 and STEEL material types will be
chosen for rod and sphere, respectively. The pendulum
will be released from a position of 0.1 radian from the
Solid sphere
vertical direction. The gravity acceleration is assumed
of radius
9,806 mm/sec2.
R=10 mm
Note that the rotation angle is kept small so that the Figure 2-1 Pendulum Physical Model
particle dynamics theory can be applied to verify the
simulation result.

In this lesson, parts and assembly of the pendulum example have been created for you. You can find the
model files in the attached CD. As mentioned in Lesson 1, datum points are extremely important in
creating motion model. Pro/MECHANICA Motion converts assembly datum points into ground points and
assembly datum coordinate system into the World Coordinate System (WCS) of the motion model. In
addition, joints and forces are defined at datum points created in parts. Note that WCS is the coordinate
Simple Pendulum 2-2

system that is fixed to the ground body. Pay attention to the datum points and datum coordinate system
created in the part and assembly models.

Pro/ENGINEER Parts and Assembly

The pendulum assembly consists of two parts, rod


and sphere (see the exploded view in Figure 2-2). In
addition, there are three datum planes (ADTM1, rod
ADTM2, and ADTM3), a datum axis (AA_1), a sphere
datum coordinate system (ACS0), and a datum point
(APNT0) defined in the assembly.

You may open the pendulum assembly by:

 Copy the lesson2 folder in the CD attached in


this book to your hard drive;
 Invoke Pro/ENGINEER and change your
working directory to the lesson2 folder in your
hard drive;
 Open the pendulum assembly by choosing, from
the pull-down menu, File > Open

In the file open window, choose pend.asm. Figure 2-2 Pendulum Assembly
(Exploded View)
In order to understand more about the
assembly features and the order they are
assembled, you may choose, from the Info
pull-down menu,

Regen Info

In the START OPTS scroll-down menu


appearing after you choose the Regen Info
(Figure 2-3), choose Beginning to start the
regeneration from the beginning. Choose
Continue in the INFO REGEN scroll-
down menu to continue the regeneration.
You should see, in the Graphics Area, the
assembly datum features, such as datum
planes ADTM1, 2, 3, and coordinate
system ACS0, appear first, then the Figure 2-3 Regen
components rod and sphere are brought Info Menu
into the assembly. The complete assembly
should appear in the Graphics Area,
similar to the one shown in Figure 2-4.

You may choose, from the View pull-


down menu,

Explode Figure 2-4 Pendulum Assembly


(Unexploded View)
Simple Pendulum 2-3

to see the exploded view like the one in Figure 2-2.

Motion Model

The datum point APNT0 in the assembly will be converted as the ground body. The rod and sphere will
be connected using a weld joint, hence no relative motion will appear between them. The welded parts
(pendulum) are defined as the only movable body in this example. A pin joint is defined between the
pendulum and the ground body.

The pendulum will rotate freely from its initial position due to gravity. Friction between the pendulum
and the ground body is assumed zero. We will define a gravity force in the negative Y-direction to drive
the motion.

2.3 Using Pro/MECHANICA Motion

Motion Model Generation

Start Pro/ENGINEER and open the assembly model:


pend.asm. Before we proceed, you may want to make
sure that the unit system is properly chosen for the part.
Check the units by choosing, from the ASSEMBLY scroll-
down menu,

Set Up > Units

In the Unit Manager window appears next, make sure


that the millimeter Newton Second (mmNs) is chosen. The
red arrow must point to the units system that you intend
to use, as shown in Figure 2-5. If the mmNs is not chosen,
click millimeter Newton Second (mmNs), then click the
Set push button.

In the Warning window appears, choose: Figure 2-5 Units Manager Window

Interpret Existing Numbers (Same Dims), then


click OK.

Close the Units Manager window by clicking


the Close push button.

Now we are ready to enter Pro/MECHANICA


Motion. From the Applications pull-down menu,
choose

Mechanica

Before entering Pro/MECHANICA, an


information window appears to remind you of
the units system you have defined (Figure 2-6). Figure 2-6 Units Confirmation Window
You should have mmNs units. If not, go back to
Pro/ENGINEER by choosing
Simple Pendulum 2-4

Applications > Standard

to change the units system. Note that the units system can only be
changed in Pro/ENGINEER.

Click Continue push button to proceed. The MECHANICA scroll-


down menu appears (Figure 2-7). Select Motion to enter
Pro/MECHANICA Motion.

Note that a default coordinate system (WCS, World Coordinate


System) is added to the model automatically, as shown in Figure 2- Figure 2-7 Figure 2-8
9. This coordinate system is identical to the default datum
coordinate system defined in the assembly, i.e., ACS0.
Pro/MECHANICA will refer to this coordinate system for motion
model definition, computations, and result display.

Note that the ground body symbol has been added WCS
to the motion model at the assembly datum point.
You may want to turn off the displays of datum
planes, datum axes, and coordinate systems, to see
the ground body symbol.

We will use the capabilities in the Model option to Rod LCS


define the motion model. Choose Model from the
MEC MOTION scroll-down menu (Figure 2-8), the
MOTN MODEL menu appears (Figure 2-10). We will
use Property, Bodies, Connections, Loads, and Init
Conds options to define material properties, bodies,
joints, loads, and initial conditions, respectively, for
the motion model. Sphere LCS

Define material properties Figure 2-10

We will choose AL2014 and STEEL in the Motion Figure 2-9 Default Coordinate
material library for rod and sphere, respectively. Systems Created by
Motion
From the MOTN MODEL scroll-down menu, choose

Model > Properties > Materials > Assign > Part > Pick [rod] > Done Sel

In the Material Property Sets window appears (Figure 2-11), choose AL2014. The next window, Material
Properties window (Figure 2-12), lists material property values of the material type you selected.

You may change some of them to make a new material type and put it back to the material library for
later use. For the time being, click Accept bush button. In the Material Property Sets window, click
Accept. Repeat the same process to assign STEEL as the material for sphere.

Define bodies

From the MOTN MODEL scroll-down menu, choose


Simple Pendulum 2-5

Figure 2-11 Material Property Sets Window

Model > Bodies

In the Bodies window appears (Figure 2-13), Figure 2-12 Material Properties Window
there are three bodies listed, i.e., ROD,
SPHERE and Ground. Also, the Ground body
is highlighted as the default. It is shown in the
Bodies window (Figure 2-13) that the number
of bodies is 3.

Apparently, by default, Motion assigns each part in the


assembly as a single body. This is fine with us. Click
the Done push button in the Bodies window to go back
to the scroll-down menu.

Define connections (Joints)

We will create two joints, a pin joint between rod and


Ground, and a weld joint between rod and sphere.

Create the pin joint by choosing from the MEC


MOTION scroll-down menu
Figure 2-13 Bodies Window
Model > Connections > Joints > Create

At this point, make sure that you turn on the display of Points Symbols and Point Tags. You may do so by
clicking the Short Cut button . Also, the exploded view will help (View > Explode).

Pick the datum point APNT0 (Ground) and PNT1 (rod), the Joint Create window appears (Figure 2-14).
Input name of the joint as pin, and select Type: Pin (default), and click Accept. The pin joint symbol
appears in the motion model (see Figure 2-15).

To define the weld joint, pick the datum point PNT0 at the end of the rod and PNT1 of the sphere, enter
weld as the joint name, choose Weld as the joint type, then Accept the joint. The weld joint symbol
appears in the motion model (Figure 2-15).
Simple Pendulum 2-6

Define loads

In this example, the load applied to the pendulum


will be the gravitational force. In the Model scroll-
down menu, choose:

Loads > Create > Gravity

Pin Joint: pin

Figure 2-14 Joint Create Window


Weld Joint: weld

Figure 2-15 Joints in the Motion Model Figure 2-16 Edit Gravity Load Vector
in WCS Window
The Edit Gravity Load Vectors window
appears (Figure 2-16). Note that the
gravity accelerations are defined with
respect to the WCS of the system. In the
mmNs unit system, the gravity is 9,806
mm/sec2 in the negative Y-direction.
Enter the value –9806 in the Y: text box,
then, click Accept.

Defining initial conditions

To define the initial conditions, you may


choose:
Figure 2-17 Initial Conditions for Joint Axis Window
Model > Init Conds > Create > Joint
Axis > Pick [pin]

The Initial Conditions window appears (Figure 2-17). Enter Initial Rotation (Radians) as 0.1, keep the
Initial Angular Velocity as 0, and select Required for both Initial Rotation and Initial Angular Velocity.
Click Accept. Click Done/Return in the scroll-down menu to return to the Model section in the scroll-
down menu.
Simple Pendulum 2-7

At this point, the pendulum motion model is completely defined. We are ready to go to the next step:
analysis. Select Done/Return from the scroll-down menu to return to the MEC MOTION menu.

Motion Analysis

Define analysis

We will define a motion analysis, run the analysis, and visualize the motion analysis results. In this
example, we are conducting dynamics analysis since the gravity load is involved.

In the MEC MOTION menu, choose

Analysis

The Analyses window appears (Figure 2-18). The default analysis type is Motion. Click Review to see the
motion analysis definition, the Analysis Definition window appears (Figure 2-19).

The Analysis Definition window shows a number of parameters that are needed for the analysis. Note that
the default start time, duration, and increment are 0, 10, and 0.1, respectively. We will change the
duration to 1.5 and increment to 0.005. Click Accept to return to the Analyses window. In the Analyses
window, click Done.

Figure 2-18 Analyses Window

Run analysis Figure 2-19 Analysis Definition Window

In the MEC MOTION menu, choose

Run

The Run window appears (Figure 2-20). The default selection is Motion (Standard/Motion), click Start to
run the analysis. In the Prompt/Message window, it shows that the Pro/MECHANICA Motion is
formulating the equations of motion, compiling the equations, and solving the equations at the time steps
you specified. Note that in this example, 301 time steps are defined since the start and end time are 0 and
Simple Pendulum 2-8

1.5 seconds, respectively, with an increment 0.005. Pro/MECHANICA Motion will report results at these
301 time steps.

When the analysis is completed (pay attention to the


message appearing in the Prompt/Message window),
click Done in the Run window to return to the MEC
MOTION menu.

Results Visualization

We will see the animation of the pendulum motion and


create graphics for displaying analysis results of the
pendulum.

Motion animation
Figure 2-20 Run Window
From the MEC MOTION scroll-down menu, choose

Results > Animate > Start

In the Animate window (Figure 2-21), click (Play) to start the


animation, and click to stop it. The motion animation is
displayed in the Graphics window (Figure 2-22). Does the animation
make sense to you?

View result graph

We want to plot the angular position of the pin joint axis as a function
of time. To display a graph, you will choose, from the MEC MOTION
menu, Figure 2-21 Animate Window
Results > Graph > Jt Axis Pos > Pick [pin (rotational axis)] > Done Sel

In the Graphics window (Figure 2-23) a sinusoidal curve with an amplitude in [0.1, 0.] is shown. Is the
result what you expected? Click Done/Return to close the graph. Repeat the process to show angular
velocity and acceleration of the pin joint, as shown in Figures 2-24 and 25.

Create additional datum point for displaying results

We want to also display the velocity magnitude of the center of gravity of the rod. Since there is no
reference point (datum point) at the center of gravity of the rod, we will have to first create a datum point.
The datum point will be created by offsetting PNT0 45 mm toward PNT1 in rod (see Figure 2-15). To
create a datum point, we will choose from the MEC MOTION menu

Model > Datum Points > Create > Pick [rod] > Offset Point > Entity/Edge > Pick

Read the message in the Prompt/Message window, it says:

Select an axis, straight edge or straight curve.


Simple Pendulum 2-9

You may want to use the exploded view to see the datum entities
more clearly. We will pick axis A_1 of the rod as the direction for
the offset (see Figure 2-26). You may pick the axis label instead
of the axis itself since the rod and sphere are off from their initial
assembled position due to the motion animation. You may also
use Query Sel or Sel By Menu to make sure you pick the right
axis.

Once you pick the axis A_1, the message in the Prompt/Message
window shows the message:

Figure 2-22 Motion Animation

Figure 2-24 Angular Velocity of Pin1

Select vertices, points or coordinate systems to


offset from.
Figure 2-23 Angular Position of Pin1
Pick PNT0 of the rod (see Figure 2-26) and choose
Done Sel, a red arrow appears at PNT0 pointing to
PNT1 along the axis A_1.

Enter 45 in the Prompt/Message window, and


click the Enter key. A datum point PNT2 is
created at the center of the rod. Select Done >
Done/Return in the MEC MOTION menu to
complete the datum point creation.

Since there is no result recorded for this new


datum point, we have to run the analysis again to
generate motion data for the datum point. It is
better to create datum points before the motion
analysis to ensure you have complete results.

Before you re-run the analysis, you may want to


make sure that the initial conditions are Figure 2-25 Angular Acceleration of Pin1
Simple Pendulum 2-10

unchanged. To check the initial condition, choose


from MOTN MODEL scroll-down menu
Pick A_1
Init Conds > Edit > Joint Axis > Pick [pin joint, rotational (Label A_1 is
axis] behind PNT0)

In the Initial Conditions for Joint Axis window appearing


next, make sure that the INITIAL ROTATION is 0.1 and
the Required button is checked.
Pick PNT0
Run the motion analysis again, then display position result
for this datum point by choosing

Results > Graph > Pt Position > Pick [PNT2 in the rod]

A Select the Component window appears (Figure 2-27).


Choose Magnitude and Accept. Choose Done Sel from the Figure 2-26 Creating New Datum Point
scroll-down menu, the position graph will appear. What do
you expect to see? (A straight line? Why?) Choose
Done/Return to close the graph.

Choose X in the Select the Component window, and display the


datum point position. You should see a graph like the one in
Figure 2-28. We will verify the result in Section 2.4. Choose
different options and display more graphs.

Query results

You may query results from the motion analysis. For example,
if we want to query the joint axis pin at certain time steps, we
can choose
Figure 2-27 Select the
Results > Query > Jt Axis > Pick [pin] Component Window
The Query Joint Axis window (Figure 2-29)
appears. In this window, both definition and
results of the joint are displayed. Use the "+"
button to increase time steps, or directly type
a time step for desired results.

Report

You may generate a report for the motion


analysis. To create the report, choose

Results > Report

A Report Results window (Figure 2-30)


appears. Select Reactions (you may choose
other results) and click Accept. A report file
Figure 2-28 Position of Datum Point PNT2 in rod
Simple Pendulum 2-11

with a default name "results.rep" will be


created in your working directory.

2.4 Result Verifications

In this section, we will verify Motion results


using particle dynamics theory.

There are four assumptions that we have to


make in order to apply the particle dynamics
theory to this simple pendulum problem:

(1) mass of the rod is negligible;


(2) the sphere is of a concentrated mass;
(3) rotation angle is small; Figure 2-29 Query Joint Axis Results Window
(4) no friction is present.

The pendulum motion has been created to comply


with these assumptions as much as possible. We
expect that the particle dynamics theory will give us
results close to those of Motion. Two approaches
will be presented to formulate the equations of
motion for the pendulum. They are energy
conservation and Newton’s law.

Energy Conservation

Referring to Figure 2-31, the kinetic energy and


potential energy of the pendulum mass can be
written, respectively, as

1 
T J, (2.1)
2 Figure 2-30 Report Results Window

where J is the polar moment of inertia, i.e., J = m2;

and

U = mg (1cos ). (2.2)

According to the energy conservation theory, the total mechanical energy, which is the sum of the kinetic
and potential energies, is a constant with respect to time, i.e.,

d
 T  U  0 , (2.3)
dt

where t represents time. Hence


Simple Pendulum 2-12

d 1 2  
2 
y
 m   mg(1  cos )
 m 2   mg sin  0 . (2.4)
dt  2

Therefore,
x
 g
  sin  0 , and




g
   0 (2.5) 


when   0.

Newton’s Law
m
From the free-body diagram shown in Figure 2-32, the equilibrium
equation of moment at the origin along the z-direction (perpendicular to g
the paper) can be written as:
Figure 2-31 Particle
 
 M   mg sin = I  = m  . 2
(2.6) Dynamics of Pendulum

Hence
y
 g
  sin  0 , and


 g x
   0 , (2.7)


when   0. 

Note that the same equation of motion has been derived from two
different approaches. The linear ordinary second order differential
equation can be solved analytically.

Solving the Differential Equation mg sin

It is well known that the solution to the differential equation is


mg cos
  A1 cos  n t  A 2 sin  n t , (2.8) W = mg

g
where  n  , and A1 and A2 are constants to be determined by Figure 2-32 Free Body
 Diagram
initial conditions.

The initial conditions for the pendulum are:


Simple Pendulum 2-13

(0) = 0 = 0.1 rad, and



(0)  0 .

Plug the initial conditions into the solution, we have

A1 = 0 = 0.1 rad, and

A2 = 0.

Hence, the solutions are

   0 cos  n t , (2.9a)

   0  n sin  n t , (2.9b)

   0  n 2 cos  n t . (2.9c)

The above equations for angular position, velocity, and


acceleration of the pin joint can be implemented into, for
example Microsoft Excel shown in Figure 2-33, for
numerical solutions. Columns B, C, and D in the
spreadsheet show the results of Eqs. 2.9a, b, and c,
respectively, at time 0 to 1.5 with an increment 0.005. Data
in these three columns are plotted in Figures 2-34, 35, and
36, respectively. Comparing Figures 2-34 to 2-36 with
Figures 2-23 to 2-25, the results obtained from theory and
Motion are very close, which means the motion model has Figure 2-33 Excel Spreadsheet
been properly defined, and Motion gives us good results.

Figure 2-34 Angular Position from Theory Figure 2-35 Angular Velocity from Theory
Simple Pendulum 2-14

However, these results are not identical. This is because that the Motion model is not really a simple
pendulum since mass of the rod is non-zero. If you reduce the diameter of the rod, the Motion results
should approach those of the theory.

The maximum angular velocity can be found at



  0 , where nt = n/2. In this case,  = 0 cos
(n/2) = 0. Hence

n
 max   0   0 n sin 

 

 2
g
  0 n   0

= 0.1 (9.903) = 0.9903 rad/sec.

Note that t = 0.1586, 0.3173, 0.4759 for n = 1, 2,


3, respectively.

From Pro/MECHANICAL Motion, the maximum


Figure 2-36 Angular Acceleration from Theory
angular velocity is 0.987789 rad/sec, which is very
close to our calculations (in magnitude).

How to show the maximum angular velocity in


Motion? Give a try to see if you can figure out
how to do it. Hint: define a measure for maximum
angular velocity at the pin joint. You should see a
graph of the measure like the one in Figure 2-37.
Then query the measure at time around 0.47 and
0.475. The measure changes from 0.98557 to
0.987789 (the maximum value), which means that
the maximum angular velocity appears between
0.47 and 0.475. This is very close to our
calculation for n = 3, i.e., t = 0.4759. Why n = 3?
Not n =1?
Figure 2-37 Maximum Angular Velocity
Simple Pendulum 2-15

Exercises:

1. A 1" 1" 1" block slides from the top of a 45o slope without
friction (due to gravity) as shown. Mass of the block is 1 slug.

(i) Create a Pro/MECHANICA Motion model to analyze


motion of the block. Report positions, velocities, and
accelerations of the block at 1 second in both vertical and
horizontal directions from your Motion analysis:

(ii) Derive and solve the equation of motion for the system.
Compare your results with those obtained from Motion.
45o
(iii) How to make the block to stop? For example, stop the
block at vertical height 100"? What will be the velocity of
Figure E2-1 The Block
the block right before it stops?
Sliding Problem

2. Simulate path of the ball that travel with an initial velocity Vx


= Vy = 100 in/sec, as shown in Figure E2-2. The ball radius is Y
0.5 in.

(i) Animate the path of the ball, and find out from Motion
how far the ball will travel?
X
(ii) Derive and solve the equation of motion for the ball.
Compare your results with those obtained from Motion. Figure E2-2 The Single Particle
Problem

3. Find the velocity of point B of rod R if end A has constant


velocity 2m/s to the right as shown in Figure E2-3. The rollers B
are small.
20 m
(i) Construct a Motion model and use Velocity Analysis
option to find the answer. R 12
(ii) Solve the problem analytically. Compare your results A 2 m/s
with those obtained from Motion. 5

X= 10 m

Figure E2-3 Sliding Rod




 





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Mechanical Engineering Design with
Pro/ENGINEER Release 2000i

Dr. Mark Archibald

Grove City College


Mechanical Engineering
Please note: This file contains the first 23 pages of Chapter 2. The entire
chapter is 53 pages long.
CHAPTER 2
BASIC FEATURE CREATION AND MODEL
MANIPULATION

Chapter Objective:

• To teach students basic feature creation techniques.

• To teach students the importance of model


structure.

• To teach students to manipulate and save model


views.

2-1
The Pro/E Interface

The Main Window

Pro/E uses a graphical user interface that combines menus, toolbars, and windows to provide an
efficient working environment. The active model appears in the graphics area of the main
window (Fig 1).

Figure 3 Main Window

The header bar at the top of this window displays the model type and name, and indicates that
the model is active. (Active models display ***** before and after the model name.)

Figure 4 Header bar

The figure shows the header bar for a Pro/E part model named bracket2. The stars indicate that
this window is active.

The menu bar, containing non-model specific menus, lies just below the header bar.

Figure 5 Menu Bar

2-2
Following is a brief description of the menu bar options. Most of these menus are treated
extensively in later chapters.

File File commands, such as set working directory, save, open, create new
object, erase from RAM, delete either old versions or all versions of a file.

Note 1: When Pro/E saves a file, it does not overwrite the previously
saved version, but creates a new file with an incremented version number,
such as frame.prt.4 . Old versions of model files must be deleted, or
purged, periodically to prevent excessive numbers of files on disk.

Note 2: When a window is closed (see window menu), the model remains
in memory. To remove it from memory, use the erase command (be sure
to save the file first!)

Info Access model information commands, such as bills of material, model or


feature information, parent-child relations, etc.

View Access image viewing commands such as repaint screen, shade image,
model orientation, model colors and lights.

Utilities Set environmental variables, modify configuration options, set system


colors, etc.

Applications Select other applications, such a Pro/MECHANICA, Pro/SHEETMETAL,


or Pro/NCPOST.

Analysis Analyze the model and obtain measurements such as distance between
entities, lengths and areas; curvature, etc.

Window Activate, close or select a window. (Note that Pro/E can have multiple
windows open at any time, but only one will be active. In order to work on
a model, its window must be activated from this menu.)

Help Activate on-line help, either general or context-sensitive.

A toolbar, with icons for frequently-used commands, follows the menu bar. It contains icons of
frequently used commands, such as create new object, save model, open model, repaint screen,
orient model, and blank datums, axes, points or coordinate systems. The toolbar is easily
customized to contain icons for most Pro/E commands.

Figure 6 Toolbar

2-3
The main graphics area contains the Pro/E model, and is where most of the modeling work
occurs. A message area is located just above the graphics area. Important information and
prompts are provided in this area.

 Important: Always check the message area to avoid missing important information.

A one-line help area appears on the bottom line of the window. When the cursor is placed over
a menu item or icon, a succinct description of the command is provided here.

When a model is opened or created, additional menus appear that are specific to the type of
model. These menus will be discussed in the exercises. Most menus have multiple levels, which
usually remain open as you move down the menu tree.

Model Tree

An additional window, called the Model Tree (Fig 2), also opens when a
model is activated or created. The model tree displays the hierarchy of
the model. For part models, features are listed in order, along with an
icon indicating the feature class (solid feature, datum feature, or surface.)
(By default, only components are shown for assembly models, although
assembly and part features can be easily shown on the tree.) Additional
columns can be added for more information. For example, it is often
useful to see feature IDs. The model tree is a "roadmap" for your model.
Good designers quickly learn to use the model tree frequently and
effectively. Figure 7 Model Tree

Usually, model features can be selected from either the model tree or the model itself. Also, if
the highlight option is activated (it is by default), the model feature is highlighted when the
cursor is placed over a feature on the model tree. This is very useful for identification of features
in complex models.

When Pro/E is started, an additional window may appear at the top of the screen. This window is
called the application manager, and is used to navigate between various applications and
windows. It contains a button for each open window. To pop a window to the foreground,
simply click on its button. When ending your work session, first exit Pro/E, then exit the
application manager.

Figure 8 Application Manager

2-4
Pro/E model views can be manipulated with the mouse easier than from the view menu. Mouse
view control -- zoom, spin, and pan -- is accomplished by pressing the control key while
simultaneously pressing one of the mouse keys and dragging.

Mouse View Control

Zoom Press Ctrl and the left mouse key while dragging right or left.

For a window zoom, press Ctrl and left click the mouse on opposite
corners of the zoom box.

Spin Press Ctrl and center mouse key while dragging.

Pan Press Ctrl and right mouse key while dragging

Good Design Practice

Design Intent

To effectively use Pro/E as a design tool, designers must not only know and understand the
software functionality, they must also know how to build models that behave as desired during
modifications or downstream applications. This is known as capturing design intent, and is
extremely important for reducing design cycle time. Unlike many CAD programs, Pro/E requires
the designer to think beyond basic geometry. Most parts designed in Pro/E will be modified,
sometimes drastically. Most will also be used with other applications, such as
Pro/MECHANICA, NC machining, mold design, injection molding simulation,
stereolithography, etc. If the part model is poorly constructed, modifications will be difficult,
perhaps requiring that the part be completely remodeled. Also, much time may be required to
repair or remodel the part prior to using any of the downstream applications. Some of the prime
benefits of the Pro/E package can be nullified by poor modeling.

Throughout this book, emphasis is placed on capturing design intent. Examples and tutorials
show good modeling practice and illustrate how the design intent is realized. Emphasis is placed
on understanding the model and what it will be used for prior to modeling. The importance of
model structure, especially parent-child relationships, is treated extensively. The Pro/E student
should strive not just to understand how to obtain desired geometry, but how to obtain the
desired geometry with a robust model.

Good practice starts at the feature creation level, where parameters and parent-child relationships
are defined. The structure of the model -- as reflected in the model tree -- is the second tier in
developing good models. Building robust assemblies is the third tier. Attention, planning, and
foresight will ensure that good design practice is obtained at all three levels.

2-5
Model Structure

Understanding how to structure a model is the first step to good design practice. Pro/E models
are hierarchical. Each feature (except the base feature) references earlier features in the model.
When the model is changed in any way, features regenerate in sequence. If the model has
changed in such a way as to delete the references for a feature, the regeneration process will fail
when it gets to that feature. (What to do then is covered in Chapter 6.) Thus it is very important
to understand the relationships between model features. These are known as parent-child
relationships.

Pro/E models are also parametric. Model geometry is defined by a set of parameters. The two
most common ways to define parameters are dimensions and alignments. When a dimension is
defined, it becomes a parameter of the model. It is important to consider this when creating
geometry, as the model parameters define how the model will behave when modified.
Alignments indicate that new geometry should be aligned with existing features (essentially a
dimension that always has a value of zero.)

Every Pro/E model should start with default datum planes.


These are three orthogonal datum planes that provide references,
either directly or indirectly, for all subsequent features in the
model. Recall that datum planes are infinite planes and have both
a red and a yellow side. Datum planes provide excellent
references for other features, and frequently models will contain
many of them. However, the default datum planes are special, in
that they provide a three-dimensional anchor for the entire model.

The first feature in any model should be default datum planes.


Figure 9 Default Datum
Thought should be given to the order of subsequent features. Planes
Sometimes the order is obvious: to model a cylindrical shaft with
a keyway, create a cylindrical protrusion followed by a cut. Other times careful thought is
required to ensure a robust model results. In addition, there are usually many different ways to
obtain a particular geometry. Learn as many of these methods as possible, then select the ones
that will best capture the design intent.

As features are added, parent-child relationships are created. For example, when a hole is placed
in a flat plate, three references are required: the surface on which the hole is placed and two
edges or surfaces used to define the location of the hole on the placement surface. All three
references could be to a single feature -- the flat plate, or they could be to different features, say
the flat plate, a datum plane and the surface of a cut in the plate. In the former case, the hole
would have only one parent. In the latter case, the hole would have three parents. It is usually
good to minimize the number of parent-child relationships in the model. Thus the first method is
usually, but not always, the best. It is always important to know what you are using for
references during feature creation.

2-6
In short, a Pro/E model is comprised of an ordered set of features held together in a web of
dimensions, alignments, and references. The web defines the parent-child relationships between
features.

Data Base Management

Although model structure is the most important aspect of good design practice, data base
management is also important. The File menu contains most of the commands needed. Selected
commands are discussed here, along with some tips for good file management.

New Creates a new model. A dialog box opens with the type of model (part is the
default) and the name of the new model (Fig 3). Select the model type by
clicking on the appropriate button, and enter the new name. Note that only the
base name should be provided -- Pro/E will append the correct extension based
on the type of file (For example, if the model is a part and bracket is entered,
the actual file name is bracket.prt.1.) There is also a button called copy from.
This loads an existing model into the new model (without affecting the old
model.) It is very useful if the new part is similar to an existing part. The
tutorials show how this feature is used to expedite model creation for all
models.

Open Opens an existing model. A dialog box appears showing file names of objects
in the current working directory. Click on the desired file and click the open
button. Note that the Type box permits files to be filtered by type, such as
part, assembly, manufacturing, etc. Icons provide shortcuts to navigate
through directories.

Working Sets the working directory. The working directory is the directory that Pro/E
Directory uses to look for files or to write new files (unless otherwise specified.) At the
start of each work session, set the working directory to ensure the files are read
and written correctly.

Erase Erases models from memory. When a window is closed, the model remains in
memory, or In Session. To clear memory, use the erase function. Two
options are available: Current or Not Displayed. Current will erase the
model in the active window from memory. Not Displayed brings up a dialog
box of all items in memory that are not displayed on the screen -- select all or
some for erasure. Note that files are NOT saved prior to erasing from
memory.

Delete Deletes files from the hard drive. The two options are to delete All Versions
or delete Old Versions. The latter purges all versions of the file except the
most recent.

2-7
Save Save the current model to the hard drive. Note that you are prompted for the
object to save, which must exist in session (in memory.) The current model is
the default.

Other options include Save As (save model as a different object), Backup (save to a different
directory), and Rename (change the name of the model.)

Tips for good data management...

1. Create a new directory for each new project, with subdirectories as needed.
Pro/E can generate a large number of files and good project organization is
imperative.

2. Create subdirectories for each Mechanica analysis and each manufacturing


model.

3. Purge old versions frequently to prevent using excessive disk space. One
approach is to always purge prior to saving -- then you will always have
just one backup version. (Clearly, do not delete old versions if they are
needed for archives.)

4. Typing "purge" from a system window will delete old versions of all files
in the directory.

5. Remember that closing a window removes the model from the screen, but
does not erase it from memory or save it. To clear memory, use the Erase
command.

6. Always start Pro/E from the home directory, then use the working directory
command to change to the desired directory.

Pro/E Customization

There are many ways in which Pro/E can be customized. While some of these methods should
only be attempted by advanced users, many others are both important enough and simple enough
for the novice Pro/E user to use. The most important is the configuration file, typically called
config.pro. This file should reside in the same directory from which Pro/E is started (the home
directory.) It is an ASCII text file that contains configuration commands. When Pro/E is started,
it looks for this file, and automatically executes all the commands. This configures Pro/E for an
individual designer. The config.pro file can be modified during a session, but must be loaded

2-8
before changes take effect. The Edit Config and Load Config commands accomplish this (they
are found under Preferences on the Utilities menu.)

It is also quite simple to customize the toolbar. While the default toolbar is usually fine for
beginners, experienced Pro/E users may find that some additional commands are used very often.
It is convenient to place these commands as icons on the toolbar. In fact, several different
toolbars can be created, each with its own set of commands. To modify the toolbar, position the
cursor on the toolbar and press the right mouse button.

Pro/Help

This manual provides an introduction to Pro/E and is designed to get the student productive as
rapidly as possible. However, no tutorial or lab manual can include all the details of the many
Pro/E commands. Students should form the habit of using the on-line help to obtain more
information. On-line help, available through a web browser, is accessed in several ways. To
obtain access to all on-line manuals, use the Pro/HELP command on the Help menu. This
method permits browsing through any help manual desired. To obtain context-sensitive help on
a particular topic, use the What's This command on the Help menu. The cursor becomes a
question mark. Select a command from any menu, and the help screen for that topic appears.
Alternately, position the cursor over any command and press the right mouse button to bring up
context-sensitive help.

Develop the habit of using on-line help on a regular basis. This helps beginners master Pro/E
much more quickly.

Basic Feature Creation

A sound understanding of feature creation is crucial for effective modeling in Pro/E. Frequently
several feature types can be used to create the desired geometry. The designer must choose the
types that best capture his or her design intent. Then he or she must know the steps required to
create each feature.

This section presents an overview of four of the most fundamental solid features -- protrusions,
cuts, slots, and holes. (Solid features either add or remove solid "chunks" of material to the
model.) The intent is to familiarize the student with the nature of each type of feature so that
appropriate choices can be made regarding which to use for a particular task. The lab exercises
demonstrate implementation steps for each feature. Subsequent sections address additional
feature types, and are accompanied by appropriate lab exercises. A separate section describes
sketcher.

 Hint: Use context-sensitive online help to learn more details about each of the
following features.

2-9
Protrusions

A protrusion adds solid material to the model. Most protrusions are sketched features, meaning
that 2D geometry is first created using sketcher, and then swept through space in such a way as to
create a solid. There are several types of protrusions, depending on how the sketch is moved to
form the solid. A brief description of the protrusion menu picks:

Extrude The 2D sketch is moved in a straight line perpendicular to the sketch


plane. The resulting solid is prismatic.

Revolve The 2D sketch is rotated about an axis, through any desired angle. If the
angle is 360, the resulting solid is axisymmetric

Sweep The 2D sketch is moved along a 3D path called a trajectory. The resulting
solid may be complex, but will always have a constant cross-section.

Several 2D sketches are used, located on parallel planes separated by


Blend distances prescribed by the user. The resulting solid changes cross-
sectional shape as it goes from one sketch to the next. The cross sections
may have any shape, but must be comprised of the same number of
segments. The resulting geometry is often complex.

From Quilt The solid is generated from a surface quilt (several connected surfaces.)
This type of protrusion is not sketched, and will be discussed in Chapter
12.

Advanced Several advanced methods of creating protrusions are also available, such
as the Variable Section Sweep and the Swept Blend. These features are
quite powerful, but somewhat more complex than the basic protrusions.
Some of these will be treated in later chapters.

Cuts

A cut removes solid material from the model. This menu option is only available if the model
contains solid geometry. Cuts are created exactly like protrusions, except that where the
protrusion adds material, the cut removes material. The menu options are identical to those for
protrusions -- Extrude, Revolve, Sweep, Blend, From Quilt, and Advanced. Like protrusions,
most cuts are sketched features. Once the section has been sketched, Pro/E prompts the user for
the which side of the section (sketch) should be removed.

2-10
Holes

Holes are pick-and-place features, meaning that they are not sketched. A hole always removes
material from the model, and always has a circular cross section. To create a hole, Pro/E only
needs to know on what surface the hole is to be placed, the location of the center of the hole on
the surface, the hole diameter, and the depth of the hole. Prompts are provided for all these
items.

There are two types of holes: Straight and Sketched. A straight hole is always cylindrical in
shape. A sketched hole is similar to a 360 revolved cut in that the axial cross section can be
sketched. Counterbores, countersinks, tapered holes, etc. can be created more easily with the
sketched hole feature than with a revolved cut.

Sketcher and Intent Manager

Sketcher, along with an enhancement called Intent Manager, is used for creating most Pro/E
features. It is a powerful tool for generating 2D sections, which are subsequently used to
generate 3D geometry. Sections are the resulting 2D entities which are produced by sketcher.
Typically, sketcher is invoked within a feature creation sequence, such as a protrusion, cut, or
slot. (It can also be used independently to create and save sections for later use, but that
functionality is not discussed here.) Mastery of sketcher is essential for efficient and effective
use of Pro/E. Fortunately, it is easy and intuitive – and smart. This section provides a brief
overview of sketcher. Chapter 5 describes sketcher assumptions and use in much greater detail.

Sections are created by sketching a rough approximation of the desired geometry. Dimensions,
alignments, and sketcher assumptions refine the sketch. The values of each dimension can then
be modified to obtain the exact desired geometry.

Sketcher automatically makes assumptions as the sketch is created. The Intent Manager
automatically places “weak” dimensions and alignments. If a user understands how sketcher and
intent manager work, he or she can usually ensure that most of the automatic dimensions,
alignments, and assumptions are correct. (Those that are not correct can easily be changed,
however.) This is the key to using sketcher effectively.

In order to create solid geometry, a section must be located with respect to the part. This is done
by first defining a sketching plane, then by aligning or dimensioning the section to the part. The
sketch plane is defined prior to entering sketcher mode. It can be either a datum plane or a flat
surface. The section is sketched on this plane. A point or an edge of a sketch can be forced to
always lie directly on an existing part entity, such as a datum plane, edge, side, or curve. This is
called alignment, and is one way to locate the section to the part within the sketch plane.
Alternatively, dimensions can be placed between the sketch an part entities. In either case,
sufficient alignments and dimensions must be provided to locate the section in both the vertical
and horizontal directions.

2-11
Intent manager automatically creates alignments and dimensions. However, the user must tell
intent manager what references should be used to do this. A sketch can not be started until
sufficient references are selected. Choosing references is important! Choosing correct references
will ensure that desired alignments and most dimensions are obtained automatically. This affects
not only the current section, but also parent/child relationships within the model. Some
guidelines for choosing references:

 Any and all part entities to be aligned to the sketch must be selected.

 Part entities to be used for dimensioning should be selected.

 Choose references to obtain desired parent/child relationships. For example, choose


references that all belong to one feature to minimize the number of parents.

Sketching can begin once references are defined. Sketches consist of lines, arcs, circles, points,
and several advanced entities such as splines. Geometry types are selected either from the
GEOMETRY menu or from a pop-up menu activated by the right mouse button. Note that
entities snap to the references. Also, lines that are nearly vertical or horizontal snap to vertical or
horizontal respectively, and symbols V or H appear. These are two of the assumptions that
sketcher makes. (If you want a line at a very small angle from the horizontal, sketch it at a large
angle, and modify the angle value later.) Other assumptions are described below. As each
segment of the sketch is completed, dimensions appear in white.

 Note: Do not confuse a dimension (a parameter in the Pro/E model) with its value. It
is very important to create the correct dimension scheme, but values can be
changed very easily – within sketcher or later, in part mode.

These are “weak” dimensions, because they were created by the Intent Manager. Frequently
some of these need to be replaced with more desirable dimensions. Desirable dimensions can be
strengthened – that is, the user tells Pro/E that these dimensions should not be deleted. “Strong”
dimensions are shown in yellow. New dimensions can then be created. As they are created,
weak dimensions are removed. User-created dimensions are always “strong.” If a new
dimension conflicts with an existing strong dimension, Pro/E asks which dimension should be
deleted.

Understanding assumptions is important for effective sketcher use. Typically, assumptions are
obvious during a sketch because the pointer snap to the appropriate entity and a symbol for the
assumption appears. Sketcher assumptions are summarized below:

2-12
Assumption Description Sym.

Equal radius Circles or arcs sketched with approximately equal R


radii are assumed to have exactly the same radii. (index)
The radius snaps to the assumed value.

Symmetry Entities approximately symmetric about a sketched 


centerline are assumed to be symmetric. Vertices
snap to symmetric positions.

Horizontal & Nearly horizontal or vertical lines are assumed to H or V


vertical lines be so. Lines snap to horizontal or vertical. (index)

Parallel or Lines nearly parallel or perpendicular to existing  or 


Perpendicular lines are assumed parallel or perpendicular. Lines (index)
lines snap to parallel or perpendicular.

Tangency Entities sketched approximately tangent to each T


other are assumed tangent. Entities snap to (index)
tangency.

Equal segment Lines of approximately the same length are L


length assumed to have the same length. Line snaps to (index)
length.

Point entities Point entities that lie near other entities (lines, arcs, 
lying on other circles) are assumed to lie on them. Point snaps to
entities entity. (Note: point entities include end points of
lines and arcs and center points of arcs and circles.)

Equal Center points of arcs and circles with nearly the  or 


coordinates same X and Y coordinates are assumed to have the (pairs)
same coordinates. Centers snap to X or Y
coordinate.

Sketcher assumptions can be used very effectively during sketching to quickly obtain the desired
section. If an assumption needs to be avoided, exaggerate the sketch. For example, place two
circles that should lie near, but not on, the same horizontal line well away from each other. This
forces sketcher to place a dimension rather than make an assumption. The value of the
dimension can be modified later to any desired value (even zero, but that is poor practice!)

2-13
After the sketch is complete, the values of the dimensions must be modified, and the sketch
regenerated. Additions, deletions, and further modification may then take place.

Some rules of thumb for sketcher:

 Choose references carefully in order to achieve desired alignments, dimensions, and


parent/child relationships.

 Exaggerate the sketch – avoid very small entities and undesirable assumptions. Use
Modify to achieve the desired geometry.

2-14
Exercise 2.1 Base

Objective: To introduce students to fundamental feature creation techniques, including extruded


protrusions, slots, and holes.

This exercise involves modeling the base part shown below. The best way to learn Pro/E
software is to dive right in and create a part model. That is exactly what this exercise involves.

 Note 1: Prior to starting this lesson, create a new directory called tutorial. (Do this in
a system window.)

 Note 2: Strive to complete the exercise as presented, however, explore the menus and
toolbar to become familiar with their functionality.

2-15
1. Change the working directory to the tutorial directory. Select File>Working Directory.

Select the tutorial directory to highlight it and select okay.

2. Create a new part named base. Select the create new object icon (blank paper).
(Or use File>New.)

Note that the radio button for part is selected by default. Enter the name base
and select OK. Create
New
3. Create default datums. From the Part menu, Select
Feature>create>datum>plane>default. The datums appear.

4. Create the base feature. Select Feature>Create>Protrusion.

Accept the defaults of Extrude and Solid. Select Done.

Accept the default of One Side. Select Done.

At the prompt to create a sketching plane pick on DTM3. (Note: To select a datum plane
pick either on the name tag or the border of the datum plane.) Accept the default direction by
selecting Okay.

For the second reference select Top and then pick on DTM2.

The model now reorients and Pro/E enters sketcher mode. The first task is to specify
references for the sketch. DTM2 and DTM3 will be used for references.

Verify that Specify Refs is highlighted and pick DTM1 and DTM2.

To create the section geometry, select Sketch (Note: the middle mouse key also selects
Sketch.)

For this example, it is important to have the plate symmetric about DTM2 and DTM3. To
ensure this symmetry, create two centerlines, aligned to DTM2 and DTM3.

From the LINE TYPE menu, select Centerline, accepting the default of 2 Points. Pick once
on DTM2 to begin the centerline. Note that this becomes a pivot point for the line. Drag the
line so that it aligns with DTM2 (a pair of small solid rectangles appear when aligned.) Pick a
second time on DTM2. The first centerline is created. Repeat for the second centerline,
using DTM3 as the alignment reference.

2-16
Figure 12 Sketch of rectangular base feature.
Sketch a rectangle symmetric about the two centerlines. From the GEOMETRY menu, select
Rectangle. Use the grid and pick two diagonal corners of a rectangle symmetric about the two
centerlines. Note that the rectangle snaps to symmetry. Also, small arrows at the vertices
indicate the symmetry constraints. (Do not sketch a square!)

Dimensions for the width and height of the rectangle appear in white. These are called weak
dimensions (system-supplied dimensions.) The values for these dimensions may be quite
large at this point. We will now modify those dimensions.

From the SKETCHER menu, select Modify . Pick the horizontal dimension and enter a
value of 6.0. Pick the vertical dimension and enter a value of 4.0. To update the model to
conform to these new dimensions, it must be regenerated.

From the SKETCHER menu, select Regenerate. The sketch is now complete.

From the SKETCHER menu, select Done.

The depth of the solid rectangle must now be defined. From the SPEC TO menu, select
Blind>Done. Enter a value of .25.

To preview the base select Preview from the extrude dialog box. Press the control key while
dragging the mouse with the middle mouse key depressed to spin the model and view it from
different angles. Select OK from the PROTRUSION:Extrude dialog box. The protrusion is
now complete.

5. Create a cut in the protrusion. Select Feature>Create>Cut. Accept the defaults of


Extrude and Solid. Select Done.

2-17
Accept the default of One Side. Select Done.

At the prompt to create a sketching plane pick on the front side of the base. Ensure that the
arrow points into the base. If so, select Okay. If not, select Flip and check that the arrow
flips direction into the base, then select Okay. (The slot feature will begin on the sketching
plane and extend into the direction shown by the arrow. Clearly, in this case we want the slot
to extent into the part, rather than out into empty space.)

For the second reference select Top and then pick the top side of the part.

Figure 13 Orientation references for sketching the slot feature.

Turn off datum plane display for clarity. Select the Datum Planes on/off icon
from the toolbar to toggle the display.

Verify that Specify Refs is highlighted and pick the bottom edge of the part and
the right edge of the part. Datum
Planes

Figure 15 Sketcher references and the first line

Select Sketch. Accept the defaults for Line and Geometry. To sketch a single line as shown
(do not worry about dimensions yet) use a left pick to start and end the line, and middle pick
to terminate drawing lines. Note the H symbol, denoting a horizontal line.

2-18
Select Arc|Tangent End and create the 180 arc by a left pick on the end of the line
followed by a left pick when the sketch indicates 180. The arc will snap to 180. Note the
T indicating a tangency constraint and the two small solid rectangles representing the 180
constraint.

Figure 16 Line and arc showing constraint symbols


(Horizontal, Tangent, and 180 arc.)

Select Line to sketch a second straight line. Make sure the second line snaps to the same
length as the first line -- look for the L1 symbol indicating the equal length constraint. Finish
with a second tangent arc. It should complete the loop.

Figure 17 Completed sketch, prior to dimensioning.

2-19
Shortcuts  In sketcher, the middle mouse key toggles between the Line and Arc menus.

 The right mouse key initiates a pop-up menu with common sketcher
commands.

The default dimension scheme is not what is desired, so create new dimensions to replace the
undesired ones. Select Dimension|Normal. Pick the two center marks (center of the arcs),
place the pointer below the part and click the middle mouse key to place the dimension.
Select Horizontal and the dimension appears.

Now select the center mark of the left arc and select the bottom edge of the part (or the
dashed brown line representing the reference.) Middle mouse pick to the left of the slot to
place the dimension. The remaining default dimensions are acceptable.

To move any dimension, select Move and drag to the new position.

Add axis points at the centers of the arcs. Sketched axis points will become datum axes
when the slot feature is complete. Select Sketch>Adv Geometry>Axis Point.

Pick the center mark for each slot. A small x indicated the axis point is placed.

Figure 18 Completed sketch of cut after modifying


dimensions and regenerating.

2-20
Modify the dimensions. Select Modify.

Pick the dimension from the right edge to the center and enter 1.75.
Pick the center-to-center dimension enter 2.5.
Pick the dimension from the bottom edge to the center mark and enter .75.
Pick the radius and enter .375.

Select Regenerate. The section is now complete. Select Done.

For the direction, the arrow should point toward the inside of the cut. If it is correct, select
Okay, otherwise select Flip>Okay.

Figure 19 Correct arrow direction for cut feature.

The SPEC TO menu defines the depth of the slot. Select Through All and Done.

Select Preview to review the slot, then select Okay to accept it. Shading the part by
selecting the Shaded View icon may be helpful.

Note the model tree and how the features appear in the model tree.

6. Create four holes for mounting feet to the base. Select Feature>Create>Solid>Hole. Select
Straight and Done.

Accept the default Linear and select Done.

The placement plane is the surface where the hole starts. Spin the model and select the top
surface of the part approximately 3/4" from the corner.

2-21
Figure 20 References for hole placement.

Two references must be selected to provide dimensions to locate the hole on the placement
surface. The two side surfaces forming the corner of the plate should be chosen. Spin the
model and use Query Select to pick the first of these surfaces. Accept it when the entire
surface highlights, not just a single edge.

 Recall: right mouse key initiates Query Select; left mouse key picks, right mouse key
goes to next entity, middle mouse key accepts)

Enter .75 for the distance. Query select the second side and enter .75.

Accept the default of One Side and select Done. From the Spec To menu select Through
All and Done. Enter the diameter .25.

Preview the hole and select OK from the dialog box to complete the hole feature.

Figure 21 The completed hole feature

2-22
7. Turn on datum plane display by selecting the Datum Planes on/off icon.

Mirror the hole to create dependent copies. Select


Feature>Copy>Mirror|Select|Dependent and Done.

Select the hole (Query Select may be helpful.) Select Done Select and then Done.

The command line prompts for a plane or datum to mirror about. Query select DTM2. The
second hole now appears.

Mirror both holes about DTM1. Select Feature>Copy>Mirror|Select|Dependent and Done.


Select both holes. Select Done Select and then Done.

The command line prompts for a plane or datum to mirror about. Select DTM1. The second
set hole now appears.

Selecting the Dependent option, all three of the copied holes have the same parameters as the
initial hole. Thus, if the hole is modified, say to change the diameter, all four holes change
together. Subsequent lessons will address Independent copies.

Figure 22 Holes after using Copy>Mirror twice.

8. Save the part. From the toolbar, select the Save icon. Press Enter to accept the
default part name.

9. Review the model tree. From the PTC Application Manager window, select
Model Tree. The model tree window appears. Note the features on the tree:
Save icon
the three default datums, the base protrusion, the slot, the hole and the two
mirror features (listed as Group COPIED_GROUP.) Picking the + sign by either copy
feature explodes the feature to show the individual elements copied. Additional model tree
functionality is discussed in later lessons.

2-23
10. Modify the hole diameters. From the PART menu (select Done to return to this menu)
select Modify.

Pick any one of the four holes. The two linear placement dimensions and the diameter
dimension appear. Pick the .25 diameter dimension and enter .1875. Select Regenerate.

All four holes change to the new diameter. Any model parameter can be easily changed in
this way. Note that our design intent – ensuring that the four holes remain the same
diameter and the same distances from their respective corners – is captured in this model.

11. Experiment with the icons on the toolbar. Try shaded image, hidden line, and no hidden
views. Blank the datum planes and axes. The Saved View icon includes only one view, the
default view. The next lesson will include saving additional views.

Figure 24 The completed part.

 End Exercise 2.1

2-24
Pro/ENGINEER Tutorial
Release 2000i 2
A Click-by-Click Primer

and Multimedia CD

Text by
Roger Toogood, Ph.D., P. Eng.
Mechanical Engineering
University of Alberta
Multimedia CD-ROM by
Jack Zecher, P.E.
Mechanical Engineering Technology
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis


PUBLICATIONS

Schroff Development Corporation


www.SDCpro.com
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1-1

Lesson 1 :
P ull-D ow n T op T oolchest

P rom pt/M essage


W indow
M enus

M A IN
(shortcut buttons) Q U IT
Introducing Pro/E and
C reate
N ew
O bject
G R A P H IC S
AREA
R ight T oolchest
(shortcut buttons)
Creating a Simple Object using
C om m and D escription
Sketcher

Synopsis
How to start Pro/E; representation of Pro/E command syntax; command flow in Pro/E; special
mouse functions; Pro/E windows; creating a part; using Sketcher; Sketcher constraints; changing
the view; saving a part; part templates.

Overview of this Lesson


We are going to cover a lot of introductory ground in this lesson. The main objectives are to
introduce you to the general procedure for creating features and let you “get into” the Pro/E
environment. We will go at quite a slow pace and not really accomplish much in terms of part
creation, but the central ideas will be elaborated and emphasized.

1. Starting Pro/ENGINEER
 Pro/E windows
2. How commands are entered into Pro/ENGINEER
 menu picks
 command window
 special mouse functions
3. How this tutorial will represent the command sequence
4. How to get On-Line Help
5. Creating a Simple Part
 creating and naming the part
 creating datum planes
 creating a solid protrusion using Sketcher
6. Saving the part
7. Sketcher constraints during Regeneration
 implicit constraints
 unsuccessful regeneration
 the “Sadder Mister” sequence
8. View controls: Orientation and Environment
 naming views
9. Using Part Templates
10. Leaving Pro/ENGINEER
1-2 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

It will be a good idea to browse ahead through each section to get a feel for the direction we are
going, before you do the lesson in detail. There is a lot of material here which you probably
won’t be able to absorb with a single pass-through.

Good luck and have fun!

Suggestion:
You may find it helpful to work with a partner on some of these lessons because you
can help each other with the "tricky bits." You might split the duties so that one
person is reading the tutorial while the other is doing the Pro/E keyboard and mouse
stuff, and then switching duties periodically. It will also be handy to have two people
scanning the menus for the desired commands and watching the screen. Pro/E uses a
lot of visual queues to alert you to what the program is doing or requires next.

Starting Pro/ENGINEER

To start Pro/ENGINEER, type proe2000i2 at your system prompt and press the Enter key1. The
program takes a while to load so be patient. The startup is complete when your screen looks like
Figure 1. The screen shown in the figure is the bare-bones, default Pro/E screen. If your system
has been customized, your interface may look slightly different from this. The main graphics area
is, of course, where most of the action will take place. Windows users will be quite at home with
the pull-down menus and the use of the short-cut buttons at the top and right side of the screen
(called the toolbars or toolchest). As you move the mouse across the short-cut buttons (several
will be grayed out and inactive at this time), a brief description will appear on the bottom of the
Pro/E window, and a tool tip window will pop up. The prompt/message window below the top
toolchest shows brief system messages (including errors and warnings) during command
execution. Pro/E is usually set up to show only the last 2 lines of text in this message area, but
you can resize this area by dragging on the lower horizontal border. You can also use the scroll
bars at the right to review the message history. The prompt/message area is also where text is
typed at command prompts that ask for information such as dimensions and part names.

1
You may have to check this sequence with your local system administrator, as different
installations may handle the Pro/E launch differently. Under Windows, there may be an icon on
your desktop, or you can look in the Start menu on the Windows Taskbar.
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1-3

P u ll-D o w n T o p T o o lch est


M enus (sh o rtcu t b u tto n s) Q U IT
P ro m p t/M e ssa g e
W in d o w
M A IN
G R A P H IC S
C re a te AREA R ig h t T o o lch est
New
O bje ct (sh o rtcu t b u tto n s)

C o m m a n d D e scrip tio n

Figure 1 The Pro/ENGINEER 2000i2 screen (default settings)

We will digress a bit to discuss how this tutorial will deal with command entry.

How commands are entered into Pro/ENGINEER


There are a number of ways that you will be interacting with the program: menu picks, buttons,
keyboard entry, and special mouse functions. These are described below.

Pull-Down Menus

The main pull-down menus are presented across the top of the Pro/E window. Click on the File
menu to open it and scan down the list of available commands. Many of these have direct
analogs and similar functions to familiar Windows commands. Move your cursor across to each
pull-down menu in turn and have a quick look at the available commands. We will introduce
these on as “as-needed” basis as we go through the lessons. Some menu commands will open up
a second level menu (these have a  symbol). Commands unavailable in the current context are
always grayed out. The available menu choices will also change depending on the current
operating mode.
1-4 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

Short-cut Buttons

Immediately below the pull-down menus is a row of short-cut buttons. The buttons in the default
screen setup are shown in Figure 2. There are basically four groups of buttons, as indicated on
the figure. Other buttons may appear on this row as you enter different parts of the program.
Buttons not relevant to the current program status are either not shown or are grayed out. Move
your cursor across the buttons, and a pop-up window will tell you the name of the button and the
command associated with the button is described in a line of text below the graphics window.
Note that there is another set of buttons on the right side of the graphics window. These are
discussed a bit later. You can add your own buttons to customize either of these areas2.

VIE W
R epaint D ATU M S
Zoom In
Z oom O ut D atum P lanes on/off
R efit to S creen D atum A xes on/off
O rient M odel D atum points on/off
S aved V iew List C oord S ystem s on/off

C ontext
S ensitive
H elp

P rint M odel Tree on/off

S ave A s S hading
S ave N o H idden
O pen O bject H idden Line
C reate N ew O bject W irefram e

FILE S D ISP LA Y
Figure 2 Top toolchest (default) with groups (toolbars) of related buttons

Menu Picks

Many other commands (and command options) are initiated using picks on menus that will
appear at the time they are needed. These function menus will show up to the right of the main
window, with commands arranged vertically. As you move the mouse pointer up and down
within the command menus, a one-line message describing the command under the pointer will

2
Customization of the interface is discussed in Lesson #1 in the Pro/ENGINEER
Advanced Tutorial available from Schroff Development Corp.
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1-5

appear at the bottom of the graphics window.

Suggestion:
As you start to learn Pro/E, each time you come to a new menu get in the habit of quickly
scanning up and down the listed commands and noting the brief message in the command
window. In this way, you will build a familiarity with the location of all the commands.

You execute a command by picking it using the left mouse button. Menu choices that are
"grayed-out" are either not available on your system or are not valid commands at that particular
time. Often, when you pick a command, other menus will pop open below the current one. When
these represent options for the current command, the default option will be highlighted. You can
select another option by clicking on it. There may be several groups of options on a single menu
separated by horizontal lines. Any options not currently valid are grayed out. When all the
options in a menu are set the way you want, click on Done at the bottom of the option menu
window.

Helpful Hint:
Clicking the middle mouse button is often synonymous with selecting Done or pressing the
Enter key on the keyboard.

You can often back out of a command menu by pressing an available Done-return or Quit
command, or by pressing a command on a higher menu. At some times, you will be given a
chance to Cancel a command. This often requires an explicit confirmation, so you don’t have to
worry about an accidental mouse click canceling some of your work.

Very Important Hint:


Regarding window management, DO NOT maximize the main Pro/E screen, and DO NOT
resize or move the main or menu windows. Pro/E is pretty good about placing these so that
they don’t collide or overlap. If you start messing with the window size and placement,
sooner or later you will bury a command menu behind other windows, particularly if your
computer has a small screen. This will cause you a lot of confusion. Let Pro/E do its own
window management for now.

Pop-Up Menus

One of the big changes in Pro/E 2000i2 is the number of pop-up menus used. These are available
in a number of operating modes by clicking (and holding down) the right mouse button. This
brings up a pop-up menu at the cursor location which contains currently relevant commands, that
is, they are context sensitive. These commands are often listed in the menus to the right, but
having them pop-up at the cursor location means you don’t have to keep taking your attention off
the graphics window.

Command Window

Occasionally, you will enter commands from the keyboard. Generally, we will only use the
keyboard to enter alphanumeric data when requested, such as object or file names, numerical
1-6 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

values, and so on. Note that when Pro/E is expecting input in the command window, none of the
menu picks will be "live."

Helpful Hint:
If your mouse ever seems "dead", that is the menus won’t respond to mouse clicks, check
the message window; Pro/E is probably waiting for you to type in a response.

You will have to get used to watching three areas on the screen: the menu(s), the graphics
window, and the command/message window. At the start, this will get a little hectic at times.
Until you become very familiar with the menu picks and command sequence, keep an eye on the
one-line message description in the message window. There is often enough information there to
help you complete a command sequence.

Special Mouse Functions

Locations within the graphics window and menu commands are generally identified and/or
selected using a left mouse click. However, all three mouse buttons have been set up to provide
shortcuts for operations within the graphics window. The basic ones are shown in Table 1.1. The
more comfortable you get with these mouse functions, the quicker you will be able to work. They
will become second nature after a while.

Other mouse functions will be introduced a bit later in the lessons. These have to do with the use
of a powerful mode of operation of a program (called Sketcher) using a new program feature
introduced in Pro/E 20 (called the Intent Manager). When we get to creating drawings (Lesson
#8), we will find some more mouse commands specifically for that mode.
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1-7

Table 1-1 Pro/ENGINEER Mouse Commands (PART MODE)

Mouse Mode LEFT MIDDLE RIGHT


Regular Pick Done Query Select
Done Select or
Enter pop-up menu
Dynamic View Control (drag) (drag) (drag)
(press and hold CTRL + mouse Zoom In/Out 3D Spin Pan
button...)
Zoom Window Click opposite
(press CTRL plus ...) corners of zoom
box
Query Select Pick Accept Next
Mouse Sketch - Draw Entity Line Circle Tangent Arc
Mouse Sketch - Line mode Abort/End
Mouse Sketch - Circle mode Abort/End
Mouse Sketch - Tangent arc mode Abort/End
Sketcher Dimension - Linear Pick entity Place Dimension
Sketcher Dimension - Radius Pick arc/circle Place Dimension
Sketcher Dimension - Diameter Double pick Place Dimension
arc/circle

How this tutorial will represent the command sequence


In the early lessons, we will try to discuss each new command as it is entered (usually by
selecting from a menu). Eventually, you will be told to enter a long sequence of commands that
may span several menus and/or require keyboard input. We will use the following notation in
these long sequences:

 If you select a command that starts up another menu window, followed by a selection from
the new menu, you will see the notation using the “>” sign as follows:

menu1 > menu2

 If a number of picks are to be made from the same menu you will see the notation using the
1-8 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

“|” sign as follows (these are generally selected in a top-to-bottom order in the menu):

option1 | option2 | option3

 If you are to enter data through the keyboard, you will see the notation using square
brackets “[...]” as follows:

[block]

In this case, just enter the characters inside the square brackets.

Thus you might see a command sequence in a lesson that looks like this:

Feature > Create > Solid > Protrusion > Extrude | Solid | Done

If a command is launched using a toolbar button, that will be stated in the text.

How to get On-Line Help


Since Release 18 of Pro/E, extensive on-line help has been available. The help pages, consisting
of the entire Pro/E user manual set (many thousands of pages), are viewed using a browser (the
default is Netscape). There are three ways to access the help files:

1. Right-clicking on a command in the menus will show a button that you can press to
bring up the relevant pages in the manual (context sensitive help).

2. Selecting the Pro/E Help System command from the Help pull-down menu.

3. Click the What’s This button on the right end of the top toolbar. Then click on
any command or dialog window.

3. Launch your browser and point the URL to the location3

file:/e|/ptc/proe2000i2/html/usascii/proe/master.htm

where e:/ptc/proe2000i2 is the drive and directory where you have the program
installed. Some installations may have the help files installed on a separate file server.

Once the Help pages are launched (this may take a few seconds), you can page forward or back,
or bring up additional navigation tools by selecting the “Contents” button. These tools include a
contents listing (Figure 3), an index (Figure 4), and a search function (Figure 5). The last two

3
Check this location with your local system administrator.
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1-9

require some time to load the data.

Figure 3 On-line Help - Figure 4 On-line Help - Index Figure 5 On-line Help - Search
Contents

Helpful Hint:
When you are finished browsing through the help pages, you should minimize the browser
rather than closing it. This will save you time if you want to start it up again later.

You are strongly urged to explore the on-line help. If you have a few minutes to spare now and
then, browse through the manuals (especially the Pro/ENGINEER Foundation sections). In the
beginning, it will be a rare event when you do this and don’t pick up something useful. If you
desire and have the local facilities, you can obtain hard copy of these manual pages using your
browser. Your system may have postscript versions of these pages - check with your system
administrator. Be aware of the cost and time involved in printing off large quantities of
documentation.

Creating a Simple Part using Sketcher


In the first two lessons, we will create a simple block with a circular hole and a central slot. By
the end of the second lesson your part should look like Figure 6 below. This doesn't seem like
such a difficult part, but we are going to cover a few very important and fundamental concepts.
Try not to go through this too fast, since the material is crucial to your understanding of how
Pro/E works.

Not only are we going to go slowly here, but we are going to turn off some of the default actions
of Pro/E. This will require us to do several things manually instead of letting the program do
them automatically. This is so that you will have a better understanding of what the many default
actions are and do. Furthermore, eventually you will come across situations where you don’t
want the default and you’ll need to know what to do.

The first thing to do here is to turn off a special window called the Model Tree. We will be
1 - 10 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

discussing this later on. Close it by selecting

View > Model Tree

to turn off the check mark or press the short-cut button in the top toolbar so that it is not
pressed in.

Next, we are going to turn off Intent Manager, which is a tool used in Sketcher. From the pull-
down menus select

Utilities > Environment

Near the bottom of this menu, turn off the check beside Sketcher Intent Manager. Then OK (not
Close).

Figure 6 Final block at the end of lesson 2


Figure 7 Creating a new part

Creating and Naming the Part

Click the “Create new object” short-cut button (see Figure 2), or select File > New. A window
will open (Figure 7) showing a list of different types and sub-types of objects to create (parts,
assemblies, drawings, and so on). In this lesson we are going to make a single solid object called
a part. Select

Part | Solid

Deselect the Use Default Template option at the bottom. Many parts, assemblies, drawings, etc.
can be loaded simultaneously (given sufficient computer memory) in the current session. All
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1 - 11

objects are identified by unique names4. A default name for the new part is presented at the
bottom of the window, something like [PRT0001]. It is almost always better to have a more
descriptive name. So, double click (left mouse) on this text to highlight it and then type in

[block]

(without the square brackets) as your part name and press Enter or select OK.

The New File Options dialog window opens, as


shown to the right. Since we elected (in the
previous window) to not use the default template
for this part (NOTE: templates are discussed
towards the end of this lesson), Pro/E is presenting
a list of alternative templates defined for your
system. As mentioned previously, we are going to
avoid using defaults this time through. So, for now,
select

Empty | OK.

At this time, BLOCK should appear in the title


area of the graphics window. Also, the PART
menu should appear to the right of the main
window.
Figure 8 Setting options for new parts

Create Datum Planes and Coordinate System

We will now create the first features of the part:


three reference planes to locate it in space. These D a tu m P lan e
are called datum planes. It is not strictly D a tu m A xis
necessary to have datum planes, but it is a very
good practice, particularly if you are going to D a tu m C u rve
make a complex part or assembly. The three D a tu m P o in t
default datum planes are created using the
“Datum Plane” button on the right toolbar, as C o o rd S yste m
shown in Figure 9. Do that now. A n a lysis F e a tu re
Figure 9 Right toolbar buttons for creation
of datums
The datum planes represent three orthogonal
planes to be used as references for features to be created later. You can think of these planes as
XY, YZ, XZ planes, although you generally aren’t concerned with the X,Y,Z form or notation.

4
Pro/E can keep track of objects of different types with the same names. For example a
part and a drawing can have the same name since they are different object types.
1 - 12 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

Your screen should have the datum planes visible, as shown in Figure 10. (If not, see the Hint
below.) They will resemble something like a star due to the default 3D viewing direction. Note
that each plane has a name: DTM1, DTM2, and DTM3. This view is somewhat hard to
visualize, so Figure 11 shows how the datum planes would look if they were solid plates.

Although not strictly necessary for this part, we will establish a datum coordinate system. The
command is started using the “Coord System” shortcut button shown in Figure 9. This opens a
menu with a number of options for creating the position and orientation of the system. For now,
select

Default | Done

There should now be an x, y, z icon labeled CSO in the middle of the datum planes. Your screen
should now look like Figure 10. Again, depending on your system settings, you may also have a
red-green-blue triad located at the center of the screen. This is called the Spin Center. This is
not included in the part model but is strictly a display device to help visualize the 3D orientation
of the model. Note the sequence red-green-blue (RGB) and the default axis directions (XYZ).

Figure 11 Datum planes represented as


Figure 10 Default Datum Planes solids

Hint:
You can change the visibility of the datum planes in two ways:  click the “Datum
planes” short-cut button in the top toolbar (not the one on the right side - it does
something different), or  select Utilities > Environment and change the check box
beside Datum Planes. Note that the Environment command lets you change the
visibility and display of a number of items. Scan this list quickly before closing the
window by clicking OK. Many of these environment settings (the most common ones)
are duplicated by the short-cut buttons. Turning the datums off does not mean they are
deleted, just not displayed. You may turn them back on at any time by re-issuing
either of these commands.
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1 - 13

Creating a Solid Protrusion using Sketcher

Now its time to start building our part! The base feature is the primary shape of a part and is
(usually) the first solid feature made in the model. For the block we’re working on, it is an
extruded polygon. Later, we will add the hole and slot as child features. In Pro/E, new geometric
features are usually created by specifying some sketching plane, creating a 2D shape or sketch in
that plane, and then extending the shape into 3D either by extrusion, sweeping, or revolving.
Let's see how that works for the simple block. We will perform the following steps that are
common to most solid features:

1. Identify the Feature Type


2. Identify/Specify Feature Elements/Attributes
3. Make a 2D sketch of the basic geometry
4. Generate the feature by manipulating the sketch into 3D by extrusion, revolving,
sweeping, blending and so on
5. Preview the feature
6. Accept the new feature

At any time during this process, you can cancel the operation. For the block, the base feature type
is a solid protrusion. Feature elements include the sketching plane, the sketched shape, extrusion
direction and depth. The shape is set up in a program called Sketcher.

To start the block, follow this sequence of commands


(starting from the PART menu):

Feature > Create > Solid


Protrusion > Extrude | Solid | Done

A window will open as shown in Figure 12. This shows


the elements that must be defined to specify this feature.
The current feature type (extruded protrusion) is shown
at the top of the window. The window shows that we are
defining the feature attributes. As we go through the Figure 12 The Feature Elements
process of defining elements, we will use a mix of menu Window
picks and, possibly, some values entered at the keyboard
(usually numerical). This window will show us a summary of the specified data and record our
progress as we create the feature.

As you proceed, you will be asked several questions and be presented with a considerable
number of options. We won't go into a lot of detail on all these options now, because you
probably want to get on to the good stuff as soon as possible. Just follow the menu picks
described below.

First you must specify whether you want the extrusion to happen on one or both sides of the
sketch plane (we'll set that up next). For now, choose the following (and remember that a
highlighted menu item is pre-selected, and the middle mouse button means Done):
1 - 14 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

One Side | Done

Now (see the message window) you need to choose a sketch plane on which to draw the cross-
sectional shape. For the block, the sketch plane will be one of the datum planes. You can use
any planar entity as a sketch plane (including the surface of an object). The sketch plane is
selected by using the left mouse button on either the edge or the nametag of the datum plane (or
by clicking on any planar part surface). In this instance, you will use DTM3 as your sketch plane,
so click on the label DTM3.

A red arrow will appear somewhere on the edge of DTM3. Read the bottom line in the message
window. For practice, choose the command Flip on the DIRECTION menu. This enables you to
determine the direction of the extrusion off the sketching plane. For this step, ensure the arrow is
pointing down/forward from DTM3 (in the positive Z direction) using Flip if necessary. Then
choose Okay to commit the direction.

Next, a sketching reference plane must be chosen. This can cause a lot of confusion for new
users, so pay attention! This reference plane is used to orient how we will look at the sketching
plane just selected (DTM3). Our view is always perpendicular to the sketch plane5 and one-sided
protrusions are always created towards you (coming out of the screen from the sketch). This
means, in the present case, that we are going to be looking directly at the yellow side of the
datum plane, in the -Z direction. Since we can rotate our view of the sketch arbitrarily around the
Z axis, we must tell Pro/E how we want to set the orientation of our view of the sketch. We
orient our view by choosing a reference plane. This can be any datum plane or planar part surface
that is perpendicular to the sketch plane. We specify the direction that plane or surface will face
in our view of the sketch (top, right, bottom, or left side of the screen). Unfortunately, Pro/E
requires us to specify these in the opposite order - that is, first we select the direction we want the
reference to face, then we select the reference plane itself. Read this paragraph again, since
new users are quite liable to end up drawing their sketches upside-down!

To illustrate this crucial point, consider the images shown in Figure 13. These show two cases
where different datums were chosen as the Top sketching reference. In both cases, the sketching
plane was DTM3. On the left, the Top reference chosen was DTM2. On the right, the Top
reference chosen was DTM1. The identical sketch, shown in the center, was used for both cases.
However, notice the difference in the orientation of the part obtained in the final shaded images.
Both of these models are displayed in the default orientation (check the datum planes). Clearly,
choosing the sketching reference is important, particularly for the base feature.

5
Well, almost always. It is possible to sketch in 3D, in which case you can manipulate
your view so that you are not looking perpendicularly at the sketch plane. We will not attempt
that here.
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1 - 15

Figure 13 The importance of the sketching reference plane!

Note that there is a default setting available for the sketch reference. Until you get more
experience with Pro/E, it is suggested that you avoid this. The default is chosen based on the
current view orientation of the part. Therefore, the results can be unpredictable and quite likely
not what you want.

Select Top from the SKET VIEW menu. The plane or surface we select next will face the Top
of the screen in the sketch we are about to make. Click on DTM2 (this determines the plane that
you want to orient in the direction chosen).

IMPORTANT:
Another window titled “Sketcher Enhancement - Intent Manager” may also open up. We
will be discussing this powerful tool a bit later in Lesson 2. For now, Close this window.
1 - 16 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

The graphics window should now appear


as shown in Figure 14. The background
color may have changed depending on your
system settings. Note that the datum plane
DTM3, that you identified as the sketching
plane, is facing towards you (you should
see a yellow square). The other datum
planes (DTM1 and DTM2) appear in edge
view, with a yellow side and a red side.
The yellow and red sides of datum planes
will be more clear when you view them in
3D in a couple of minutes.

The yellow side (positive) of DTM2 faces


the top of the sketch, exactly as you
specified above. Note that we could have
obtained the same orientation by selecting Figure 14 The drawing window in Sketcher
Right > DTM1.

Observe the location and orientation of the coordinate system CSO and the spin center.

The Sketcher menus at the right of the screen are what you will use to create the 2D sketch for
the part. Note also that some new short-cut buttons have appeared at the top of the screen. One of
these is to turn the dashed grid off - try that now, then use the “Repaint” button to clean up the
screen.

Defining the Sketch using Sketcher


The Sketcher menu is now open on the right side of the screen. This is actually the old version of
the Sketcher menu used prior to the incorporation of Intent Manager (which occurred in Release
20). As mentioned above, we have turned off Intent Manager for now so that you can understand
some of the underlying principles involved in creating a sketch. You need to know this clearly in
order to use Intent Manager effectively. Furthermore, there will be rare occasions when you want
to turn Intent Manager off and do everything yourself. Some practice with the old Sketcher
interface will be useful.

Sketcher is a powerful tool for entering 2D shapes. It is where most of the part geometry creation
happens and goes considerably beyond ordinary 2D computer drawing. It is truly a sketching tool
since you don't have to be particularly accurate with the geometric shape you give it, as shown in
the two figures below.
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1 - 17

Figure 15 Geometry input by user. Note


misaligned vertices, non-parallel edges, non- Figure 16 Geometry after processing by
tangent curves. Sketcher. Note aligned vertices, parallel
edges, tangent curves.

Sketcher is fun (but sometimes also frustrating) to use because it is so smart. Sketcher has a
number of built-in rules for interpreting your sketch. For example, lines that "look like" they are
at 90 degrees to each other are assumed to be exactly that; lines that "look" horizontal are
assumed to be; and so on. The only thing Sketcher requires is that you give it just enough
information (not too little or too much) to be able to construct the shape unambiguously using its
internal rule set and the dimensions that you provide.

Familiarity with Sketcher is very important. We won't go into a lot of detail with it at this time,
but will gain experience steadily as we progress through the lessons. You would be well-advised
to come back later and play around with more of the Sketcher functions as often as you can
(perhaps doing some of the exercises at the end of the lesson). In any part creation, you probably
spend more time in Sketcher than anywhere else in Pro/E.

Before we proceed, make sure that the Sketch and Mouse Sketch commands are highlighted.
You might also like to review the mouse commands in Table 1-1.

 Drawing the Sketch

With the left mouse button, click once at each of the four corners of a rectangle as described
below and illustrated in Figure 17. After each click, you will see a straight line rubber-band from
the previous position to the cursor position. You do not have to be super accurate with these click
positions. You can also sketch beyond the displayed edges of the datum planes - these actually
extend off to infinity. The displayed extent of datum planes will (eventually) adjust to the
currently displayed object(s). Here are the points to sketch the rectangle:

1. left-click at the origin (intersection of DTM1 and DTM2)


2. left-click above the origin on DTM1
1 - 18 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

3. left-click horizontally to the right


4. left-click straight down on DTM2
5. left-click back at the origin
6. middle-click anywhere on the screen

This will complete the polygon and the screen should look similar to this (minus the balloons):

Figure 17 Drawing the Sketch

The sketched entities are shown in light blue (actually, cyan). The visible lines may only be
partially seen due to the datum planes. Note that we didn't need to specify any drawing
coordinates for the rectangle, nor, for that matter, are any coordinate values displayed anywhere
on the screen. This is a significant departure from standard CAD programs. We also didn’t need
the grid or a snap function (although both of these are available in Pro/E).

To help us see the orientation of the part in 3D wireframe, we’ll add a couple of rounded corners
on the top corners of the sketch. In the GEOMETRY menu, select

Arc > Fillet

and pick on the top and right lines in the sketch close to but not at the corner. A circular fillet is
created to the closest pick point. Then pick on the top and left lines. Your sketch should look
like Figure 18. Don’t worry if your proportions are slightly different, or the rounded corners are
not this size.
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1 - 19

Figure 18 Sketch with fillets

Quick note:
If you make a mistake in drawing your shape, you can choose Delete from the
SKETCHER menu and click on whatever you wish to remove. Then replace or add
lines by selecting Sketch and Mouse Sketch again. We will cover more advanced
Sketcher commands a bit later.

 Aligning the Sketch

Next the sketch will be aligned with the datum planes. Aligning is how you specify locational
relations between lines and vertices in your sketch and existing part features. By aligning
sketched entities, you are essentially telling Pro/E to "keep this entity in the sketch lined up with
this previously created line, edge, or surface." Here are some important things to note about
alignments:

 You can only align new sketched features (in light blue) to previously defined features (in
white or gray) or datums (planes, axes, curves, or points).
 You can't align any part of a sketch to another part of the same sketch.
 Alignment does not mean “make this line parallel to that one,” which is a very common
misinterpretation with new users.

Explicitly defining alignments is one reason why our sketch doesn't have to be absolutely precise
- Pro/E will make sure that the geometry will be created as you specify using alignments and
dimensions. Select the following

Alignment > Align > Pick


1 - 20 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

Read the message in the message window. Click on the lower horizontal line of the sketch and
then anywhere on the datum DTM2. In the message window,

--- ALIGNED ---

appears indicating a successful alignment, and a brown patterned line appears on the sketch at the
alignment location. If alignment fails, you will see an error message. Try to align the top
horizontal line of the sketch with DTM2. This will fail. Why? In order for alignment to
succeed, the line must be "close" to the object you are aligning to (and remember that alignment
does NOT mean “make parallel”). In the future, if your sketch is very inaccurate, you might have
to zoom out on your sketch to bring the entity and the alignment reference closer together (within
a few pixels on the screen).

Align the left vertical line and the plane DTM1. You can do this very quickly by double clicking
on the sketch line since the datum plane is right underneath it.

 Dimensioning the Sketch

So far, we have told Sketcher where our sketch is located using the alignments. Now we have to
tell it how big the sketch is using dimensions. These (location and size) are two basic
requirements for a successful sketch.

Click on Dimension in the SKETCHER menu. There are many ways to dimension this sketch.
What follows is the easiest way (not necessarily the best!). Again, you might like to review the
table of special mouse functions (Table 1-1).

Click the left mouse button on the lower horizontal edge of the sketch. Position the cursor below
the sketch and click the middle mouse button. A dimension will appear with letters something
like 'sd0'. The sd indicates that this is a sketch dimension; the 0 is a dimension identifier/counter
generated by Pro/E. Each dimension in a sketch, part, or assembly has a unique identifier - this
will be important later when we get to relations. This is the basis of the parametric nature of
Pro/E. Dimensions are numbered successively, (eg. sd0, sd1,etc). So, if sd0 has already been
used, the next dimension will be labeled sd1.

With Dimension > Pick still highlighted, left click on the upper and lower horizontal lines.
Move the cursor to the right of the sketch and click the middle mouse button to place the
dimension. Now left click on one of the arcs at the top, move away from the arc, and middle-
click. Dimension the other arc the same way. Your dimensioned sketch should look something
like Figure 19. Don’t worry if your dimension symbols are different; what matters is the intent of
the dimensioning scheme.
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1 - 21

Figure 19 Dimensioned sketch (before


regeneration)

 Regenerate

Click on the command Regenerate on the SKETCHER menu. What does regeneration do? You
will recall that Sketcher has a number of built-in rules to interpret your sketch. (We will discuss
these rules at length a bit later in this lesson.) Regeneration calls on these rules (if necessary) to
"clean up" your freehand drawing, also using the dimensional references and any alignments that
you supplied. During regeneration, Sketcher determines correctness of your sketch. The three
possible outcomes are

1. geometry underspecified
This is usually caused by missing alignments or incomplete dimensioning. The locations
and lines that Sketcher cannot locate are shown in red (this is called "the measles" and
everyone gets them sooner or later!). A message appears in the message window telling you
to locate the indicated vertices. The Dimension command is automatically selected,
although it may be that you have just forgotten to align some part of the sketch to the
existing features.

2. geometry overspecified
There are more dimensional references than are required to specify the geometry.
Redundant dimensions are shown in red, and the Delete command is automatically selected.
Click on any dimension (ie. not just the red ones) to delete it. Be warned that clicking on
any dimension may not necessarily solve your problem, since the problem may be
elsewhere in the sketch. Note also that if a sketch is created by aligning all the geometric
entities to previously created features, it may not be necessary to supply any dimensions for
the new sketch. You may sometimes find that Sketcher needs fewer dimensions than you
think it should. This is because it can figure out "missing" dimensions using its internal rule
set. This can be good or bad, depending if you want any of those internal rules to be
1 - 22 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

invoked. If any dimensions that you specify are not needed, the geometry is overspecified.
If any dimensions that you give cause a conflict with the internal rule set, the regeneration
will fail.

3. regeneration successful
Everything went just fine and the message "Section regenerated successfully." appears in
the message window. Give yourself a pat on the back!

You can see that Sketcher is a very powerful geometry engine. And you can see why you only
need to provide a rough sketch of the geometry - most of the work is done by Sketcher.

Sketcher will show you the result of any internal rules that it has used to regenerate your sketch.
These appear as symbols beside the lines and vertices in your sketch. You can look for symbols
indicating horizontal, vertical, parallel, tangent, same length, and so on. For our simple block,
only two or three rules (probably) were fired. All the Sketcher rules are discussed a bit later in
this lesson. You might investigate the Constraints > Explain command at this time.

 Modifying Dimensional Values

After regeneration, numerical dimension values should appear in place of the 'sd' dimension
labels. These values are generated according to the scale of the existing features (or seemingly at
random if this is the first solid feature in the model). You need to change these numbers to the
desired values.

To do this, select the Modify command on the SKETCHER menu. Then click on the horizontal
dimension - it should turn red. In the message window, a prompt appears asking for the new
value. The current value is shown, which will be the value used if you just hit the Enter key (ie.
value is unchanged). Usually, you want to enter a new value here. For the horizontal dimension
use 20. After modifying, the dimension value appears in white, but our sketch hasn’t changed
size or shape. Change the vertical dimension to 30. The radius of the arc on the right side is 10,
and on the left side is 5.

 Regenerate the Sketch

This is the step most often missed. After modifying any dimensions or alignments, the sketch
must be updated. It is necessary to regenerate the sketch. You can tell when regeneration is
needed because some of the dimensions will be showing in white.

Select Regenerate from the SKETCHER menu again. You will now see an animation of
Sketcher going about its business. This animation will become useful when you create complex
sketches, since you will be able to see the reasons why Sketcher might fail or your dimensioning
scheme or values are not quite right. In that case, the animation will proceed up to the point
where the sketch fails - usually caused by incompatible requirements on the sketch.

At this time your screen should look like Figure 20.


Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1 - 23

Figure 20 The final regenerated sketch

Assuming that the sketch regenerates successfully, then you are finished with Sketcher for this
feature. To complete the process, select Done from the bottom of the SKETCHER menu (it may
be partially hidden behind one of the smaller menu windows). Be careful that you don’t click on
Quit by mistake, although you can cancel that if you do.

Important Note:
For the time being, you should never leave Sketcher with unresolved errors or warnings
that prevent a clean regeneration. Many errors are fatal, but some result only in warnings.
Always resolve these problems and get a successful regeneration before leaving, indicated
by the message "Section regenerated successfully." You will come to love seeing this
message! We will see a few cases later when a warning is generated that we will ignore,
but this situation is very rare.

 Specifying Extrusion Depth

This is the final element to specify for the base feature (check out the element window). Recall
that we set up this feature as a one-sided protrusion off DTM3 (the sketch plane). To make the
block, we will extrude the polygon for a specified distance - this is called a blind protrusion.
From the SPEC TO menu, choose

Blind | Done

You will be prompted in the message window for an extrusion depth. Enter

10

and press return.


1 - 24 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

A message should indicate that "All elements have been defined." meaning that the extrusion was
created successfully.

Previewing the Feature

Before accepting this new feature, we can have a look at it's 3D shape and relation to other
features on the part. In the element window, click on the Preview button. Make sure the mouse is
in the graphics window, then press and
hold down the CTRL key while
dragging with the middle mouse button.
This will cause the shaded block to spin
around following the mouse. You can do
as much spinning as you want. You might
note that, when viewed from the
left/back/bottom, you will see the red side
of the datum planes (these may not be
visible while you are spinning). Also, note
the new position of the spin center (if it is
turned on). You can use the left and right
mouse buttons (with CTRL) to zoom and
pan in the graphics window.

Figure 21 The final SOLID PROTRUSION feature

Accepting the Feature

Once you are satisfied with the feature you have created, click on OK in the element window (or
middle click). In the present case, you should see the message "Protrusion has been created
successfully." in the message window. The final part shown in default view orientation (press
CTRL-D or select View > Default) should look like Figure 21.

Saving the Part


It is a good idea to periodically save your model, just in case something serious goes wrong.
From the top toolchest, select the “Save” button.

In the command window, you will be asked for the name of the object to be saved (remember
that you can have more than one loaded into memory at a time). Accept the default [block.prt]
(this is the active part) by pressing the enter key or the middle mouse button. Pro/E will
automatically put a .prt extension on the file. In addition, if you save the part a number of times,
Pro/E will automatically number each saved version (like block.prt.1, block.prt.2, block.prt.3,
and so on). Since these files can get pretty big, you will eventually run out of disk space. So, be
aware of how much space you have available. It may be necessary to delete some of the
previously saved versions; or you can copy them to a diskette. You can do both of these tasks
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1 - 25

from within Pro/E - we'll talk about that later.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
The Save command is also available when you are in Sketcher. Executing this command at
that time will not save the part, but it will save the current sketch with the file extension
sec. This may be useful if the sketch is complicated and may be used again on a different
part. Rather than recreate the sketch, it can be read in from the saved file. In these lessons,
none of the sketches are complicated enough to warrant saving them to disk.

Working With Sketcher Constraints during Regeneration


Implicit Constraints

As alluded to above, Sketcher is a powerful geometry engine that is capable of “assuming” things
about your input sketch that indicate your design intent. These assumptions are embodied in a
number of rules (see Table 1-2) that Sketcher will invoke if necessary in order to successfully
regenerate your sketch. It will only do this if the specified dimensions and/or alignments are not
sufficient to completely define the geometry. You should become familiar with these rules, and
learn how to use them to your advantage. Conversely, if you do not want a rule invoked, you
must either (a) use explicit dimensions or alignments, or (b) exaggerate the geometry so that if
fired, the rule will fail, or (c) tell Pro/E explicitly to disable the constraints. For example, if a
line in a sketch must be 2 away from vertical, draw it at 15 and explicitly dimension it,
otherwise it will be assumed to be exactly vertical with no dimension required (thus no way to
make it 2 off). After the sketch regenerates, you can modify the dimension to the desired 2.
When geometry is driven by an explicitly created dimension, some internal rules will not fire.
1 - 26 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

Table 1-2 Implicit Rules in Sketcher

Rule Description
Equal radius and diameter If you sketch two or more arcs or circles with
approximately the same radius, the system
may assume that the radii are equal
Symmetry Entities may be assumed to be symmetric
about a centerline
Horizontal and vertical lines Lines that are approximately horizontal or
vertical may be considered to be exactly so.
Parallel and perpendicular lines Lines that are sketched approximately parallel
or perpendicular may be considered to be
exactly so.
Tangency Entities sketched approximately tangent to
each other may be assumed to be tangent
Equal segment lengths Lines of approximately the same length may
be assumed to have the same length
Point entities lying on other entities or Point entities that lie near lines, arcs, or
collinear with other entities circles may be considered to be exactly on
them. Points that are near the extension of a
line may be assumed to lie on it.
Equal coordinates Endpoints and centers of the arcs may be
assumed to have the same X- or the same
Y-coordinates
Midpoint of line If the midpoint of a line is close to a sketch
reference, it will be placed on the reference.

When a sketch is regenerated, the rules that have been fired are indicated on the graphics window
using one (or more) symbols beside each affected entity. The symbols are shown in Table 1-3 on
the next page.
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1 - 27

Table 1-3 Graphical Display of Sketcher Constraints

Constraint Symbol

Horizontal entities "H"

Vertical entities "V"

Line segments with equal lengths "L" with an index in subscript (for example: L1)

Perpendicular lines Perpendicularity symbol with or without an index


number in subscript

Parallel lines Parallel symbol with an index in subscript

Equal coordinates Small thick dashes between the points

Tangent entities "T"

Midpoint of line “M”

Symmetry

Equal radii "R" with an index in subscript

Point entity

An example of a solved sketch with the geometric constraints is shown in Figure 22. Note how
few dimensions are required to define this sketch.
1 - 28 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

Figure 22 A regenerated sketch showing implicit


constraints

Unsuccessful Regeneration of a Sketch

If a sketch cannot be solved using the dimensioning scheme and implicit rules, Pro/ENGINEER
issues a message and highlights the error. The basic categories of errors are as follows:

 The sketch does not communicate the intent. For example, a line that you want
tangent to an arc is not “close enough” for Sketcher to figure out what to do.
 The sketch is underdimensioned.
 The sketch is overdimensioned.
 The segment is too small. If you have modified dimensions such that a line segment
becomes very small, then Sketcher will flag this as an error. If you really do want the
short segment, zoom in on the sketch and regenerate again.
 The segment is of zero length. This is similar to the previous error which arises if you
have modified dimensions so that in the recomputed position a line segment must
have zero length. This is an error that must be fixed in the sketch.
 There are inappropriate sections. For example, a sketch that crosses over itself, or an
open sketch for a feature that requires a closed one (eg. for a revolved protrusion).

The “Sadder Mister” Order of Operations

A common “error” that can lead to problems getting a successful regeneration is NOT following
the sequence below:
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1 - 29

Sketch
Align
Dimension
Regenerate
Modify
Regenerate

You can remember this sequence using the acronym “Sadder Mister” taken from the first letter of
each step:
S A D R M R

Remember that Sketcher will automatically provide values for all new dimensions based on the
existing features when it regenerates a sketch. Let it do that! There is no need to “modify”
dimension values prior to the first regeneration, and doing so can often cause you grief!
This means, do not Modify a dimension shown in its symbolic (sdxx) form!

Now, all that being said, we will see in the next lesson how the Intent Manager is able to assist
you in obtaining a “legal” sketch, usually with considerably fewer commands and mouse clicks
and without having to deal with regeneration failures. It is important, however, to understand the
basic principles of Sketcher, and the implicit rules, in order to use Intent Manager efficiently.
Also, sometimes, you may not want to use Intent Manager.

The exercises at the end of this lesson are to give you practice using Sketcher and to explore
commands in the Sketcher menus.

View Controls: Orientation and Environment


In addition to the dynamic viewing capabilities available with the mouse, you can go to
predefined orientations. To view the object in the default orientation (called "trimetric"), select
the “Saved view list” shortcut button and click on Default, the only view currently defined.
Alternatively, you can select

View > Default

or press CTRL-D (hold the Control key while you press D). Your screen should now look like
Figure 21 above.

You can experiment with the View > Orientation menu (see Figure 23) to change the display (or
use the “Orient model” shortcut button, Figure 2). Read any prompts/messages in the message
window. The general procedure for the Orient by Reference type is to select a pair of orthogonal
surfaces that will face the front, right, top, or left in the desired view. These are called the view
references. For example, Front:DTM3 and Top:DTM2 will give the same view as our sketch.
You can also obtain a new view by an explicit rotation around an axis in the part, or relative to
the screen.
1 - 30 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

Naming Views

Views that you are going to use over and over are usually named
so that it is easy to return to them later. When a desired view is
obtained (like one of the standard engineering top-front-right
orientations), the view can be saved by entering a view name and
selecting Save. See Figure 23. Once a view has been named,
you can easily return to it using the “Saved view list” button. Try
this by creating and naming the standard engineering Top, Front,
and Right views of the block by selecting the following
references:

Standard Reference 1 Reference 2


Engineering
View
Top Front:DTM2 Right:DTM1
Front Front:DTM3 Top:DTM2
Right Front:DTM1 Top:DTM2
Figure 23 View creation and
naming menu

Modifying the View Environment

Try using some of the commands under the Utilities > Environment menu. These commands
include hidden line, no hidden or turning on/off the datum planes or the coordinate system. The
default settings usually show hidden lines and tangent edges as gray lines. Your new settings will
take effect when you select Apply or leave the Environment menu. Note that the most common
display styles are easily obtained using the short-cut buttons in the top toolchest. Experiment
with these buttons, leaving the view showing wireframe with hidden lines. Note that hidden lines
are shown in a slightly darker shade than visible lines. With practice, you will be able to use this
visible clue to help you understand the 3D orientation of the part in space.

The view control commands sometimes interact in strange ways. For example, to see a shaded
image, select

View > Shade

Note that this view turns off the datum planes. If you dynamically spin this view, the shading
will disappear. The “Shading” shortcut button, however, will leave the datum planes visible and
you can spin the shaded image.
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1 - 31

Using Part Templates


This is one of the exciting enhancements in Pro/E 2000i2. In the block part created previously,
the first thing we did was to create default datum planes. In the last section, we created named
views. These are very common features and aspects of part files, and it would be handy if this
was done automatically. This is exactly the purpose of part templates.

A template is a previously created “empty” part file that contains the common features and
aspects of almost all part files you will ever make. These include, among other things, default
datum planes and named views. Pro/E actually has several templates available for parts,
drawings, and assemblies. There are variations of the templates for each type of object. One
important variation consists of the unit system used for the part (inches or millimeters).
Templates also contain some common model parameters and layer definitions6.

A template is selected when a new model is first created. Let’s see how that works. Create a new
part (note that you don’t have to remove the block - Pro/E can have several parts “in session” at
the same time) by selecting

File > New

or using the “Create New Object” button. The New dialog window opens. Select the options

Part | Solid

and enter a new name, like exercise_1. Remove the check mark beside Use default template
and then select OK.

In the New File Options dialog window, the default template is shown at the top. It is likely
“inlbs_part_solid”. This template is for solid parts with the units set to inch-pound-second. It
seems strange to have force and time units in a CAD geometry program. Actually, this is
included so that the part units are known by downstream applications like Pro/MECHANICA
which perform finite element analysis (FEA) or mechanism dynamics calculations. These
programs are very picky about units!

Note that there are templates available for sheet-metal parts and for metric units (millimeter-
Newton-second). While we are mentioning units, be aware that if you make a wrong choice of
units here, it is still possible to change the units of a part after it has been created.

There are only two model parameters in the default template. DESCRIPTION is for an extended
title for the part, like “UPPER PUMP HOUSING”. This title can (eventually) be called up and
placed automatically on a drawing of the part using, you guessed it, a drawing template.
Similarly, the MODELED_BY parameter is available for you to record your name or initials as
the originator of the part. Fill in these parameter fields and select OK.

6
Model parameters and layers are discussed in the Advanced Tutorial.
1 - 32 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

The new part is created which automatically displays the default datums. They are even named
for you (we will see how to name features in lesson 2): instead of DTM1, we have RIGHT. TOP
replaces DTM2, and FRONT replaces DTM3. The part also contains a coordinate system, named
views (look in the Saved Views List), and other data that we’ll discover as we go through the
lessons. The named views correspond to the standard engineering views. Thus, it is important to
note that if you are planning on using a drawing template (discussed in Lesson #8), your model
orientation relative to the default datums is critical. The top-front-right views of the part are the
ones that will be automatically placed on the drawing later. If your model is upside down or
backwards in these named views, then so will be your drawing. This is embarrassing!

Now, having created this new part, you are all set up to do some of the exercises at the end of the
lesson!

Leaving Pro/ENGINEER
When you want to quit Pro/E entirely, after you have saved your part(s), you can leave by using
the Exit command in the File menu or the X at the top-right corner. Depending on how your
system has been set up, Pro/E may prompt you to save your part and any sketches you made. In
these lessons, you do not need to save the sketches. If you are sure you have saved the most
recent version of the part, you don’t need to do that again.

This completes Lesson #1. You are strongly encouraged to experiment with any of the commands
that have been presented in this lesson. Create new parts for your experiments since we will need
the block part in its present form for the next lesson. The only way to become proficient with
Pro/E is to use it a lot!

In the next lesson we will add some more features to the block, discover the magic of relations,
and spend some time learning about the Intent Manager in Sketcher.
Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher 1 - 33

Questions for Review


Here are some questions you should be able to answer at this time:

7. What is meant by a blind protrusion?


8. What is the purpose of the sketching reference plane?
9. What aspect of feature creation results in the parametric nature of the model?
10. What mouse action can be used to spin the object?
11. What is meant by alignment?
12. What three outcomes are possible when you regenerate a sketch? What do these mean?
13. What is the correct order of the following activities for using Sketcher:
 sketch drawing
 modify dimensions
 regenerate
 alignments
 place dimensions
 regenerate
14. Why do datum planes have a red and yellow side?
15. What is the purpose of the datum planes?
16. When you look at a sketch, in which direction will a one-sided solid protrusion occur?
17. How do you specify the name of a part?
18. What are three ways to get on-line help?
19. When you are in Mouse Sketch mode, what do the three mouse buttons do?
20. How can you get a shaded image of the part?
21. What mouse action can be used to zoom in on the part?
22. How do you turn the datum plane visibility on and off?
23. Give as many of the Sketcher implicit rules as you can.
24. How do you save a part?
25. What is the difference in operation between View > Shade and the “Shading” shortcut
button?
26. What is a template?
27. What is your system’s default template?
28. Where does your system store your part files when they are saved?
29. What is meant by the active part?
30. How does Sketcher determine the radius of a fillet created on two lines?
31. Try to create sketches/procedures that cause the errors noted in the section “Unsuccessful
Regeneration of a Sketch” on page 1-28.
1 - 34 Creating a Simple Object using Sketcher

Exercises
Here are some simple shapes that you can make with a single solid protrusion. They should
give you some practice using the Sketcher drawing tools and internal rules. Create these with
Intent Manager turned off. Choose your own dimensions and pay attention to alignments and
internal constraints. The objects should appear in roughly the same orientation in default view.

Release 2001

SDC
PUBLICATIONS

Schroff Development Corporation


www.SDCpro.com
Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER 1-1

Lesson 1
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals
1-2 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

Introduction
The feature-based parametric modeling technique enables the designer to incorporate
the original design intent into the construction of the model. The word parametric means
the geometric definitions of the design, such as dimensions, can be varied at any time in
the design process. Parametric modeling is accomplished by identifying and creating the
key features of the design with the aid of computer software. The design variables,
described in the sketches and features, can be used to quickly modify/update the design.

In Pro/ENGINEER, the parametric part modeling process involves the following steps:

1. Set up Units and Basic Datum Geometry.

2. Determine the type of the base feature, the first solid feature, of the design.
Note that Extrude, Revolve, or Sweep operations are the most common
types of base features.

3. Create a rough two-dimensional sketch of the basic shape of the base feature
of the design.

4. Apply/modify constraints and dimensions to the two-dimensional sketch.

5. Transform the parametric two-dimensional sketch into a 3D solid.

6. Add additional parametric features by identifying feature relations and


complete the design.

7. Perform analyses/simulations, such as finite element analysis (FEA) or cutter


path generation (CNC), on the computer model and refine the design as
needed.

8. Document the design by creating the desired 2D/3D drawings.

The approach of creating three-dimensional features using two-dimensional sketches is


an effective way to construct solid models. Many designs are in fact the same shape in
one direction. Computer input and output devices we use today are largely two-
dimensional in nature, which makes this modeling technique quite practical. This method
also conforms to the design process that helps the designer with conceptual design along
with the capability to capture the design intent. Most engineers and designers can relate
to the experience of making rough sketches on restaurant napkins to convey conceptual
design ideas. Note that Pro/ENGINEER provides many powerful modeling and design
tools, and there are many different approaches to accomplish modeling tasks. The basic
principle of feature-based modeling is to build models by adding simple features one at
a time. In this chapter, a very simple solid model with extruded features is used to
introduce the general feature-based parametric modeling procedure.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-3

The Adjuster design

Starting Pro/ENGINEER

How to start Pro/ENGINEER depends on the type of workstation and the particular
software configuration you are using. With most Windows and UNIX systems, you may
select Pro/ENGINEER on the Start menu or select the Pro/ENGINEER icon on the
desktop. Consult your instructor or technical support personnel if you have difficulty
starting the software.

1. Select the Pro/ENGINEER option on the Start menu or select the


Pro/ENGINEER icon on the desktop to start Pro/ENGINEER. The
Pro/ENGINEER main window will appear on the screen.

2. Click on the New icon, located in the Standard


toolbar as shown.

3. In the New dialogue box, confirm the model’s Type is set to Part (Solid Sub-
type).
1-4 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

4. Enter Adjuster as the part Name as


shown in the figure.

5. Turn off the Use default template


option.

6. Click on the OK button to accept the


settings.

7. In the New File Options dialogue box,


select EMPTY in the option list to not
use any template file.

8. Click on the OK button to accept the


settings and enter the Pro/ENGINEER
Part Modeling mode.

 Note that the part name, Adjuster,


appears in the title area of the main
window and in the Model Tree
window.

 If the Pro/ENGINEER screen layout


appeared differently on your screen,
open the saved config.win file to
adjust the screen layout to the
customized screen layout outlined
on page Intro-12:

Utilities  Customize Screen


 File  Open Settings
 config.win (If necessary,
change directory to locate the file.)
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-5

Step 1: Units and Basic Datum Geometry Setups

♦ Units Setup and Pro/ENGINEER Menu Structure

When starting a new model, the first thing we should do is to choose the set of units we
want to use.

1. Use the left-mouse-button and select Set Up in the Menu


Manager window. In the Menu Manager window, the Set
Up submenu is displayed underneath the PART menu. The
Pro/ENGINEER menu system uses a tree structure; we start
at the root and follow the branches to reach the leaves
(commands).

2. Select the Units option. Notice that more submenu selections


are displayed. A scrollbar is available as more submenus are
displayed.

1. Pick Set Up

2. Pick Units

3. In the Units Manager-System of


Units form, the Pro/ENGINEER default
setting Inch lbm Second is displayed.
The set of units is stored with the model
file when you save. Pick Inch Pound
Second (IPS), by clicking in the list
window as shown.

4. Pick Set

4. Click on the Set button to accept the


selection.

5. In the Warning dialog box, click on the


OK button to accept the change of the
units.
1-6 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

6. Click on the Close button to exit the Units Manager dialog box.

7. Pick Done to exit the PART Set Up submenu.

7. Pick Done

 Note that the submenu appeared and disappeared as


different options were selected; this is known as the tree
structure menu system.

♦ Tree Structure
Root

Submenu 1 Submenu 2 Command 1 (Leaf)

Command 2 (Leaf) Submenu 3 Command 3 (Leaf) Command 4 (Leaf)

Command 5 (Leaf) Command 6 (Leaf) Command 7 (leaf)

The tree structure is an effective way to organize menu items. Similar items are placed in
a group that could belong to another subgroup based on the grouping method. The
submenus represent different categories of items. The tree structure is used extensively in
the majority of CAD software menu systems.

Using the tree structure shown, we will follow Submenu 1 to Submenu 3 and reach
Command 5. If we then want to switch to Command 4, we will trace back to the root
then branch off to Submenu 2. Keep this tree structure in mind while using the
Pro/ENGINEER menu system. Think of the overall scheme and it will be quite easy to
get to where you want to go. In Pro/ENGINEER, the Done option will usually return you
to the previous level in the menu structure.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-7

♦ Adding the First Part Features — Datum Planes

 Pro/ENGINEER provides many powerful tools for model creation. In doing feature-
based parametric modeling, it is a good practice to establish three reference planes to
locate the part in space. The reference planes can be used as location references in
feature constructions.

 Move the cursor toward the right side of the main


window and click on the Datum Plane icon as
shown.

Datum planes

 In the display area, three datum planes represented by three rectangles are displayed.
Datum planes are infinite planes and they are perpendicular to each other. We can
consider these planes as XY, YZ, and ZX planes of a Cartesian coordinate system.
Notice in the Model Tree window, three datum plane features are added to the tree
structure.
1-8 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

Step 2: Determine/Set Up the Base Solid Feature

• For the Adjuster design, we will create an extruded solid


as the base feature.

1. In the Menu Manager window, select

Feature  Create  Solid  Protrusion

1. Pick Feature

2. Pick Create

3. Pick Solid

4. Pick Protrusion

2. In the SOLID OPTS submenu, select

Extrude  Solid  Done

Select
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-9

• The protrusion's feature dialog box appears on the screen. We will need to define all
the elements listed to complete the feature.

Feature
dialog box

Required
elements

3. In the ATTRIBUTES submenu, select

One Side  Done

Sketching plane – It is an XY CRT, but an XYZ World


Design modeling software is becoming more
powerful and user friendly, yet the system
still does only what the user tells it to do.
When using a geometric modeler, we
therefore need to have a good understanding
of what its inherent limitations are. We
should also have a good understanding of
what we want to do and what to expect, as
the results are based on what is available.

In most 3D geometric modelers, 3D objects


are located and defined in what is usually
called world space or global space.
Although a number of different coordinate
systems can be used to create and manipulate
objects in a 3D modeling system, the objects
are typically defined and stored using the
world space. The world space is usually a 3D
Cartesian coordinate system that the user
cannot change or manipulate.
1-10 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

In most engineering designs, models can be very complex, and it would be tedious and
confusing if only the world coordinate system were available. Practical 3D modeling
systems allow the user to define Local Coordinate Systems (LCS) or User Coordinate
Systems (UCS) relative to the world coordinate system. Once a local coordinate system
is defined, we can then create geometry in terms of this more convenient system.

Although objects are created and stored in 3D space coordinates, most of the geometric
entities can be referenced using 2D Cartesian coordinate systems. Typical input devices
such as a mouse or digitizer are two-dimensional by nature; the movement of the input
device is interpreted by the system in a planar sense. The same limitation is true of
common output devices, such as CRT displays and plotters. The modeling software
performs a series of three-dimensional to two-dimensional transformations to correctly
project 3D objects onto the 2D display plane.

The Pro/ENGINEER sketching plane is a special construction approach that enables the
planar nature of the 2D input devices to be directly mapped into the 3D coordinate
system. The sketching plane is a local coordinate system that can be aligned to an
existing face of a part, or a reference plane.

Think of the sketching plane as the surface on which we can sketch the 2D sections of the
parts. It is similar to a piece of paper, a white board, or a chalkboard that can be attached
to any planar surface. The first sketch we create is usually drawn on one of the
established datum planes. Subsequent sketches/features can then be created on sketching
planes that are aligned to existing planar faces of the solid part or datum planes.

Defining the Sketching Plane


1. The sketching plane is a reference location where we create the two-
dimensional sketch. The sketching plane can be any planar part surface or
datum plane. We will use datum plane DTM2 as the sketching plane. Pick
DTM2 by clicking the left-mouse-button on either the edge or the nametag of
the datum plane.

2. A red arrow appears on the edge of


DTM2, and the message “Arrow shows
direction of feature creation. Pick Flip
or Okay.” is displayed in the message
area. The arrow direction indicates the
direction of the feature we are creating.
In this case, it is the direction of
extrusion. Confirm the arrow is
pointing upward from DTM2 as shown
in the figure.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-11

3. In the DIRECTION submenu, pick Okay to accept the


selection of the sketching plane.

Pick Okay

Defining the Orientation of the Sketching Plane

• Although we have selected the sketching plane, Pro/ENGINEER still needs additional
information to define the orientation of the part with respect to the other two planes.
Pro/ENGINEER asks us to define a reference plane relative to the computer screen.

 To define the orientation of the sketching plane, select the facing


direction of the reference plane with respect to the computer screen.

The selected sketching plane,


DTM2, will be aligned parallel
to the 2D computer screen.

We will orient the sketching


plane by setting the positive
side of DTM1 to face toward
the right edge of the computer
screen.
1-12 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

1. In the SKET VIEW submenu, pick Right.

2. In the display area, pick the positive side (yellow side) of


DTM1.

1. Pick Right

3. Pick Close to exit the Sketcher Enhancement form, which


provides general improvement information of the
Pro/ENGINEER Intent Manager.

• Pro/ENGINEER will now rotate the three datum planes: DTM2 aligned to the screen
and the positive side of DTM1 facing toward the right edge of the computer screen.

 The orientation of the sketching plane can be very confusing to new users. It is
strongly recommended that you read this section again.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-13

Step 3: Creating 2D rough sketches

♦ Shape Before Size – Creating Rough Sketches

Quite often during the early design stage, the shape of a design may not have any precise
dimensions. Most conventional CAD systems require the user to input the precise lengths
and location dimensions of all geometric entities defining the design, and some of the
values may not be available during the early design stage. With parametric modeling, we
can use the computer to elaborate and formulate the design idea further during the initial
design stage. With Pro/ENGINEER, we can use the computer as an electronic sketchpad
to help us concentrate on the formulation of forms and shapes for the design. This
approach is the main advantage of parametric modeling over conventional solid-
modeling techniques.

As the name implies, rough sketches are not precise at all. When sketching, we simply
sketch the geometry so it closely resembles the desired shape. Precise scale or dimensions
are not needed. Pro/ENGINEER provides us with many tools to assist in finalizing
sketches, known as sections. For example, geometric entities such as horizontal and
vertical lines are set automatically. However, if the rough sketches are poor, much more
work will be required to generate the desired parametric sketches. Here are some general
guidelines for creating sketches in Pro/ENGINEER:

• Create a sketch that is proportional to the desired shape. Concentrate on the


shapes and forms of the design.

• Keep the sketches simple. Leave out small geometry features such as fillets, rounds,
and chamfers. They can easily be placed using the Fillet and Chamfer commands
after the parametric sketches have been established.

• Exaggerate the geometric features of the desired shape. For example, if the
desired angle is 85 degrees, create an angle that is 50 or 60 degrees. Otherwise,
Pro/ENGINEER might assume the intended angle to be a 90-degree angle.

• Draw the geometry so that it does not overlap. The sketched geometry should
eventually form a closed region. Self-intersecting geometric shapes are not allowed.

• The sketched geometric entities should form a closed region. To create a solid
feature, such as an extruded solid, a closed region section is required so that the
extruded solid forms a 3D volume.

 Note: The concepts and principles involved in parametric modeling are very
different, and sometimes they are totally opposite, to those of the conventional
computer aided drafting systems. In order to understand and fully utilize
Pro/ENGINEER’s functionality, it will be helpful to take a Zen approach to learning
the topics presented in this text: Temporarily forget your knowledge and
experiences using conventional computer aided drafting systems.
1-14 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

♦ The Pro/ENGINEER SKETCHER and INTENT MANAGER

In previous generation CAD programs, construction of models relies on exact


dimensional values, and adjustments to dimensional values are quite difficult once the
model is built. With Pro/ENGINEER, we can now treat the sketch as if it is being done
on a napkin, and it is the general shape of the design that we are more interested in
defining. The Pro/ENGINEER part model contains more than just the final geometry. It
also contains the design intent that governs what will happen when geometry changes.
The design philosophy of “shape before size” is implemented through the use of the
Pro/ENGINEER Sketcher. This allows the designer to construct solid models in a higher
level and leave all the geometric details to Pro/ENGINEER.

One of the main improvements in Pro/ENGINEER since Release 20 is the introduction


and enhancements of the Intent Manager in the Pro/ENGINEER Sketcher.

The Intent Manager enables us to do:


• Dynamic dimensioning and constraints
• Add or delete constraints explicitly
• Undo any Sketcher operation

The first thing that Pro/ENGINEER Sketcher expects us to do, which is displayed in the
References window, is to specify sketching references. In the previous sections, we
created the three datum planes to help orient the model in 3D space. Now we need to
orient the 2D sketch with respect to the three datum planes. At least two references are
required to orient the sketch in the horizontal direction and in the vertical direction. By
default, the two planes (in our example, DTM1 and DTM3) that are perpendicular to the
sketching plane (DTM2) are automatically selected.

1. Note that DTM1 and DTM3 are pre-


selected as the sketching references. In
the graphics area, the two references are
highlighted and displayed with two
dashed lines.

 The Reference status, as shown in the


References dialog box, indicates the 2D
sketch can be Fully Placed with the two
references identified. We can proceed to
creating 2D sketches. Click on the
Close button to close the References
dialog box.

 Next, we will create a rough sketch by using some of the visual aids available, and
then update the design through the associated control parameters.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-15

2. Move the graphics cursor to the Line icon in the


Sketcher toolbar. A help-tip box appears next to the
cursor and a brief description of the command options is
displayed in the message area.

 The Sketcher toolbar, located on the right side of the main window, provides tools for
creating the basic 2D geometry that can be used to create features and parts.

Graphics Cursors
 Notice the cursor changes from an arrow to an
arrow with a small crosshair when graphical input
is expected.

3. Move the cursor near the


intersection of the two references,
and notice that the small crosshair
Point 2
attached to the cursor will
automatically snap to the
intersection point. Left-click once
Constraint Symbol to place the starting point as
shown.

Start Point 4. As you move the graphics cursor,


you will see different symbols
appear at different locations.

5. Move the cursor along the vertical reference and create a vertical line by
clicking at a location above the start point (Point 2) as shown. Notice the
geometric constraint symbol, V, indicating the created line is vertical.
1-16 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

Geometric Constraint Symbols


 Pro/ENGINEER displays different visual clues, or symbols, to show you alignments,
perpendicularities, tangencies, etc. These constraints are used to capture the design
intent by creating constraints where they are recognized. Pro/ENGINEER displays the
governing geometric rules as models are built.

V Vertical indicates a segment is vertical

H Horizontal indicates a segment is horizontal

L Equal Length indicates two segments are of equal length

R Equal Radii indicates two curves are of equal radii

T Tangent indicates two entities are tangent to each other

Parallel indicates a segment is parallel to other entities

Perpendicular indicates a segment is perpendicular to other entities

Symmetry indicates two points are symmetrical

Point on Entity indicates the point is on another entity

6. Complete the sketch as


shown, a closed region
Point 2 ending at the starting point
Point 3
(Point 1). Watch the
displayed constraint symbols
while sketching, especially
the applied Equal Length
constraint, L1, to the two
short horizontal edges. All
Point 1 line segments are sketched
Point 4 horizontally or vertically.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-17

7. Inside the graphics area, click once with the middle-mouse-button to end the
current line sketch.

 Pro/ENGINEER’s Intent Manager automatically places dimensions and constraints


on the sketched geometry. This is known as the Dynamic Dimensioning and
Constraints feature. Constraints and dimensions are added “on the fly.” Do not be
concerned with the size of the sketched geometry or the displayed dimensional
values; we will modify the sketched geometry in the following sections.

Dynamic Viewing Functions


 Pro/ENGINEER provides a special user interface, Dynamic Viewing, which enables
convenient viewing of the entities in the display area at any time. The Dynamic
Viewing functions are controlled with the [Ctrl] key on the keyboard and the mouse
buttons.

Zooming – [Ctrl] key and [left-mouse-button]

Hold down the [Ctrl] key and press down the left-mouse-button in the display
area. Drag the mouse vertically on the screen to adjust the scale of the display.
Moving upward will reduce the scale of the display, making the entities display
smaller on the screen. Moving downward will magnify the scale of the display.

Zoom Ctrl + Left mouse button

Panning – [Ctrl] key and [right-mouse-button]

Hold down the [Ctrl] key and press down the right-mouse-button in the display
area. Drag the mouse to pan the display. This allows you to reposition the
display while maintaining the same scale factor of the display. This function
acts as if you are using a video camera. You control the display by moving the
mouse.

Pan Ctrl + Right mouse button

 On your own, use the Dynamic Viewing functions to reposition and magnify the scale
of the 2D sketch to the center of the screen so that it is easier to work with.
1-18 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

Step 4: Apply/modify constraints and dimensions


 As the sketch is made, Pro/ENGINEER automatically applies geometric constraints
(such as horizontal, vertical and equal length) and dimensions to the sketched
geometry. We can continue to modify the geometry, apply additional constraints
and/or dimensions, or define/modify the size and location of the existing geometry. It
is more than likely that some of the automatically applied dimensions may not match
with the design intent we have in mind. For example, we might want to have
dimensions identifying the overall-height, overall-width, and the width of the inside-
cut of the design, as shown in the figures below.

Current Sketch

Sketch in mind
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-19

1. Click on the Dimension icon in the Sketcher toolbar as


shown. This command allows us to create defining
dimensions.

2. Select the inside-horizontal line by left-clicking once on the


line as shown.

2. Pick the inside-


horizontal line as the
geometry to dimension.

3. Place the dimension


at a location that is
below the line.

3. Move the graphics cursor below the selected line and click once with the
middle-mouse-button to place the dimension. (Note that the value displayed
on your screen might be different than what is shown in the above figure.)

4. Select the right-


vertical line.
4. Pick the right-vertical
line as the geometry to 5. Place the dimension,
dimension. by clicking once with
the middle-mouse-
button at a location
toward the right of the
sketch.
5. Place the dimension
toward the right side.  The Dimension
command will create a
length dimension if a
single line is selected.

• Notice the overall-height dimension applied automatically by the Intent Manager is


removed as the new dimension is defined.
1-20 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

 Note that the dimensions we just created are displayed with a different color than
those that are applied automatically. The dimensions created by the Intent Manager
are called weak dimensions, which can be replaced/deleted as we create specific
defining dimensions to satisfy our design intent.

6. Select the top-horizontal line as shown below.

7. Select the inside-horizontal line as shown below.

8. Place the dimension, by clicking once with the middle-mouse-button, at a


location in between the selected lines as shown below.

6. Pick the top-line as the


1st geometry to dimension

7. Pick this line as


8. Place the dimension
the 2nd geometry
in between the two
to dimension
selected lines.

 When two parallel


lines are selected, the
Dimension command
will create a
dimension measuring
the distance in
between.

9. On you own, confirm


there are four
dimensions applied to
the sketch that appear
as shown.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-21

Modifying the dimensions of the sketch


1. Click on the Select icon in the Sketcher toolbar as shown. The Select
command allows us to perform several modification operations on the
sketched geometry and dimensions.

2. Select the overall height dimension of the


sketch by double-clicking with the left-
mouse-button on the dimension text.
2. Modify the overall
height-dimension. 3. In the Dimension Value box, the current
length of the line is displayed. Enter 3 as
the new value for the dimension.

4. Press the ENTER key once to accept the


entered value.

 Pro/ENGINEER will
update the sketch using
the entered dimension
value. Since the other
dimensions are much
larger, the sketch
becomes greatly
distorted. We will take a
different approach to
modify the geometry.

5. Click on the Undo icon in the Standard toolbar to


undo the Modify Dimension performed.

 Notice that the Redo icon is also available in the


Standard toolbar.
1-22 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

6. In the pull-down menu area, click on Edit to display the option list and select
the following option items:

Edit  Select  All (Note that Crtl+Alt+A can also activate this option.)

7. In the Sketcher toolbar, click on the Modify icon as shown.

• With the pre-selection option, all dimensions are selected and listed in the Modify
Dimensions dialog box.

8. Turn off the Regenerate


option by left-clicking once
on the option as shown.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-23

9. On you own, adjust the dimensions as shown below. Note that the dimension
selected in the Modify Dimensions dialog box is identified with an enclosed
box in the display area.

10. Inside the Modify Dimensions dialog box, click on the Accept
button to regenerate the sketched geometry and exit the Modify
Dimensions command.

Repositioning Dimensions
1. Confirm the Select icon, in the Sketcher toolbar, is activated as
shown.

2. Press and hold down the left-mouse-button on any dimension text,


then drag the dimension to a new location in the display area.
(Note the cursor is changed to a hand icon during this operation.)
1-24 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

Step 5: Completing the Base Solid Feature


 Now that the 2D sketch is completed, we will proceed to the next step: creating a 3D
part from the 2D section. Extruding a 2D section is one of the common methods that
can be used to create 3D parts. We can extrude planar faces along a path. In
Pro/ENGINEER, each plane has a positive side and a negative side. The current
sketch we're working on is set to extrude in the positive side of DTM3.

1. In the Sketcher toolbar, click on the Accept


icon to end the Pro/ENGINEER 2D Sketcher
and proceed to the next element of the feature
definition.

2. In the Spec To submenu, confirm Blind is highlighted as


shown.

3. Click on Done to proceed with the blind extrusion option.

• Note that the Blind option allows us to enter a value to


define the depth of the extrusion.

4. In the message area, enter 2.5 as the extrusion depth.

5. In the message area, click on the Accept button to proceed with


the feature definition.

 In the message area, the message “All elements have been defined” is displayed. We
can proceed to create the solid feature.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-25

6. We are now returned


to the feature dialogue
Required elements box with all the
required elements
are defined
defined. Click on the
OK icon to create the
solid feature.

 Note that all dimensions disappeared from the screen. All parametric definitions are
stored in the Pro/ENGINEER database and any of the parametric definitions can be
displayed and edited at any time.

The Third Dynamic Viewing Function


3D Dynamic Rotation – [Ctrl] key and [middle mouse button]

Hold down the [Ctrl] key and press down the middle-mouse-button in the
display area. Drag the mouse on the screen to rotate the model about the
screen.

3D Rotation Ctrl + Middle mouse button


1-26 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

Display Modes: Wireframe, Shaded, Hidden Edge, No Hidden

• The display in the graphics window has three display-modes: wireframe, hidden edge
displayed as hidden lines, no hidden lines, and shaded image. To change the display
mode in the active window, click on one of the display mode buttons on the Standard
toolbar, as shown in the figure below.

 Wireframe Image:
The first icon in the display mode button group allows the display of
3D objects using the basic wireframe representation scheme.

 Hidden-Edge Display:
The second icon in the display mode button group can be used to
generate a wireframe image of the 3D object with all the back lines
shown as hidden lines.

 No Hidden-Edge Display:
The third icon in the display mode button group can be used to
generate a wireframe image of the 3D object with all the back lines
removed.

 Shaded Solid:
The fourth icon in the display mode button group generates a shaded
image of the 3D object.

 On your own, use the different viewing options described in the above sections to
familiarize yourself with the 3D viewing/display commands.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-27

Step 6: Adding additional features

• Next, we will create another extrusion feature that will be added to the existing solid
object.

1. In the Menu Manager window, select


Feature  Create  Solid  Protrusion

2. In the SOLID OPTS submenu, select


Extrude  Solid  Done

3. In the ATTRIBUTES submenu, select


One Side  Done

4. Pick the right vertical face of the solid model as the sketching plane.

Select this vertical face of


the base feature as the
sketching plane for the 2nd
solid feature.

5. In the DIRECTION submenu, pick Okay to accept the extrusion direction as


shown in the figure above.

6. In the SKET VIEW submenu, pick Top.


1-28 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

7. In the display area, pick the top face of the base feature as shown.

Select the top face of the


base feature as the
reference plane to set the
orientation of the sketch
plane.

8. Note that the top surface of the solid model and DTM3 are pre-selected as the
sketching references. In the graphics area, the two references are highlighted
and displayed with two dashed lines.

9. Select the right edge and the bottom edge of


the base feature so that the four sides of the
selected sketching plan, or corresponding
datum planes, are used as references as
shown.

10. In the References dialog box, click on the


Close button to accept the selections.

11. In the Sketcher toolbar, click on the Rectangle icon


as shown to activate the Create Rectangle
command.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-29

12. Create a rectangle by clicking on the lower left corner of the solid model as
shown below.

13. Move the cursor downward and place the opposite corner of the rectangle
along the right edge of the base solid as shown below.

12. Align the first


corner of the rectangle 13. Locate the second
to the lower left corner corner of the rectangle
of the base solid. along this vertical edge.

14. On your own, modify the height dimensions to 0.75 as shown.

• Note that only one dimension, the height dimension, is applied to the 2D sketch; the
width of the rectangle is defined by the references.

15. In the Sketcher toolbar, click on the Accept icon


to end the Pro/ENGINEER 2D Sketcher and
proceed to the next element of the feature
definition.
1-30 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

16. In the Spec To submenu, confirm Blind is highlighted as


shown.

17. Click on Done to proceed with the blind extrusion option.

• Note that the Blind option allows us to enter a value to


define the depth of the extrusion.

18. In the message area, enter 2.5 as the extrusion depth.

19. In the message area, click on the Accept button to proceed with
the feature definition.

20. We are now returned to the feature dialogue box with all the required
elements defined. Click on the OK icon to create the solid feature.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-31

Creating a CUT Feature

• We will create a circular cut as the next solid feature of the design.

1. In the Menu Manager window, select

Feature  Create  Solid  Cut

2. In the SOLID OPTS submenu,


confirm the Extrude and Solid
options are highlighted, then select
Done.

Extrude  Solid  Done

 The CUT: Extrude feature dialog box


appears on the screen. We will need to
define all elements listed to complete the
feature.

3. In the ATTRIBUTES submenu, select

One Side  Done

 Next, Pro/ENGINEER expects us to define and orient the sketching plane to create
the 2D section required for the cut feature. Note that the procedure in creating a cut
feature is almost the same as creating a protrusion feature.
1-32 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

Define and Orient the Sketching Plane

1. We will use the top of the cylinder as the sketching plane. Click once, with the
left-mouse-button, inside the top surface of the rectangular solid feature as
shown in the figure below.

2. A red arrow appears on the screen, and the message “Arrow


shows direction of feature creation. Pick FLIP or OKAY.” is
displayed in the message area. The arrow direction indicates the
direction of extrusion. Make sure the arrow is pointing
downward as shown in the below figure. In the DIRECTION
submenu, pick Okay.

3. In the SKET VIEW submenu, pick Right.

4. Pick the right vertical face of the second solid feature as the
reference plane, which will be oriented toward the right edge of
the computer screen.

Sketching Plane

Orient this reference


plane to face the right
Extrusion edge of the computer
Direction screen.

• Pro/ENGINEER will now align and orient the sketching plane to the computer screen.
Note that the extrusion direction is aligned perpendicular to the screen.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-33

Creating the 2D Section of the CUT Feature

1. Note that no references are pre-selected


for the new sketch.

• At least one horizontal reference and one


vertical reference are required to position
a 2D sketch.

2. Select the right surface


of the solid model and
DTM3 as the horizontal
and sketching references
as shown. In the graphics
area, the two references
are highlighted and
displayed with two
dashed lines.

3. Click on the Close button to accept the


selected references and proceed to
entering the Pro/ENGINEER Sketcher
module.
1-34 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

4. In the Sketcher toolbar, select Circle as shown. The default option is to


create a circle by specifying the center point and a point through which
the circle will pass. The message “Select the center of a circle” is
displayed in the message area.

5. On your own, create a circle of arbitrary size on the sketching plane as shown.

6. On your own, edit/modify the dimensions as shown.

7. Inside the Modify Dimensions dialog box, click on the Accept


button to regenerate the sketched geometry and exit the Modify
Dimensions command.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-35

8. In the Sketcher toolbar, click on the Accept icon to


exit the Pro/ENGINEER 2D Sketcher and proceed to
the next element of the feature definition.

9. Confirm the arrow points toward the center of the circle, and
pick Okay to continue.

10. In the SPEC TO submenu, select the Thru All option as


shown.

11. Click on Done to proceed with the extrusion option.

• Note that the Thru All option does not require us to enter a
value to define the depth of the extrusion; Pro/ENGINEER
will calculate the required value to assure the extrusion is
through the entire solid model.

 We are now returned to the feature dialogue box with all the required elements
defined.
1-36 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

12. In the feature dialog box, click on the OK button to create the cut feature.

Save the Part and Exit


1. Select Save in the Standard toolbar, or you
can also use the “Ctrl-S” combination
(press down the [Ctrl] key and hit the [S]
key once) to save the part.

2. In the message area, the part name is


displayed. Click on the Accept button to
save the file.

 It is a good habit to save your model periodically, just in case something might go
wrong while you are working on it. In general, you should save your work onto the
disk at an interval of every 15 to 20 minutes. You should also save before you make
any major modifications to the model.

3. Use the left-mouse-button and click on File at the top of the Pro/ENGINEER
main window, then choose Exit from the pull-down menu.
Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-37

Questions:

1. What is the first thing we should set up in Pro/ENGINEER when creating a new
model?

2. How does the Intent Manager assist us in sketching?

3. How do we reposition dimensions in the Sketcher?

4. List three of the geometric constraint symbols used by the Pro/ENGINEER Sketcher.

5. How many definitions are required to define a protrusion-extrude feature?

6. Describe the steps required to define the orientation of the sketching plane?

7. Identify the following commands:

(a)

(b)

Ctrl + Left mouse button

(c)

Ctrl + Right mouse button


1-38 Parametric Modeling with Pro/ENGINEER

Exercises: (All dimensions are in inches.)


1. Plate Thickness: 0.25

2. Plate Thickness: 0.5


Parametric Modeling Fundamentals 1-39

3.

4.
Pro/ENGINEER® Tutorial
Release 2001
A Click-by-Click Primer

and MultiMedia CD

Text
Roger Toogood, Ph.D., P. Eng.
Mechanical Engineering
University of Alberta

MultiMedia CD-ROM
Jack Zecher, P.E.
Mechanical Engineering Technology
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

SDC
PUBLICATIONS

Schroff Development Corporation


www.SDCpro.com
Creating a Simple Object (Part I) 2-1

Lesson 2

Creating a Simple Object


(Part I)
Protrusions, Introduction to Sketcher

Synopsis
Creating a part; introduction to Sketcher; Sketcher constraints; saving a part; part templates.

Overview of this Lesson


We are going to cover more introductory ground in this lesson. The main objective is to
introduce you to the general procedure for creating features. We will go at quite a slow pace and
not really accomplish much in terms of part creation, but the central ideas need to be elaborated
and emphasized so that they are very clearly understood. Some of the material presented here is
a repeat of the previous lesson - take this as an indication that it is important!

1. Creating a Simple Part


< creating and naming the part
< creating datum planes
< creating a solid protrusion using Sketcher
2. Saving the part
3. Sketcher constraints during Regeneration
< implicit constraints
< unsuccessful regeneration
< the “Sadder Mister” sequence
4. Using Part Templates

It will be a good idea to browse ahead through each section to get a feel for the direction we are
going, before you do the lesson in detail. There is a lot of material here which you probably
won’t be able to absorb with a single pass-through.

Start Pro/E as usual. If it is already up, close all windows (except the base window) and erase all
objects in session using File > Erase > Current and File > Erase > Not Displayed.

Creating a Simple Part using Sketcher


In the next two lessons, we will create a simple block with a circular hole and a central slot. By
2-2 Creating a Simple Object (Part I)

the end of Lesson #3 your part should look like Figure 1 below. This doesn't seem like such a
difficult part, but we are going to cover a few very important and fundamental concepts in some
depth. Try not to go through this too fast, since the material is crucial to your understanding of
how Pro/E works.

Not only are we going to go slowly here, but we are going to turn off some of the default actions
of Pro/E. This will require us to do several things manually instead of letting the program do
them automatically. You will then have a better understanding of what the many default actions
are. Furthermore, eventually you will come across situations where you don’t want the defaults
and you’ll need to know your way around the program.

The first thing to do here is to turn off the model tree. Close it by selecting the short-cut button in
the top toolbar.

Next, we are going to turn off Intent Manager, which is a tool used in Sketcher. From the pull-
down menus select

Utilities > Environment

Near the bottom of this menu, turn off the check beside Sketcher Intent Manager. Then OK (not
Close).

Figure 1 Final block at the end of lesson 2


Figure 2 Creating a new part

Creating and Naming the Part

Click the “Create new object” short-cut button (see Figure 2 in Lesson 1), or select File > New.
A window will open (Figure 2) showing a list of different types and sub-types of objects to create
(parts, assemblies, drawings, and so on). In this lesson we are going to make a single solid object
called a part. Keep the default radio button settings
Creating a Simple Object (Part I) 2-3

Part | Solid

Deselect the Use Default Template option at the bottom. We will discuss templates at the end of
this lesson. Many parts, assemblies, drawings, etc. can be loaded simultaneously (given sufficient
computer memory) in the current session. All objects are identified by unique names1. A default
name for the new part is presented at the bottom of the window, something like [PRT0001]. It is
almost always better to have a more descriptive name. So, double click (left mouse) on this text
to highlight it and then type in

[block]

(without the square brackets) as your part name


and press Enter or select OK.

The New File Options dialog window opens, as


shown to the right. Since we elected (in the
previous window) to not use the default template
for this part, Pro/E is presenting a list of alternative
templates defined for your system. As mentioned
previously, we are going to avoid using defaults
this time around. So, for now, select

Empty | OK.

At this time, BLOCK should appear in the title Figure 3 Setting options for new parts
area of the graphics window. Also, the PART
menu should appear to the right of the main window.

Create Datum Planes and Coordinate System

We will now create the first features of the part:


three reference planes to locate it in space. These
are called datum planes. It is not strictly necessary
to have datum planes, but it is a very good practice,
particularly if you are going to make a complex
part or assembly. The three default datum planes
are created using the “Datum Plane” button on the
right toolbar, as shown in Figure 4. Do that now.

Figure 4 Right toolbar buttons for creation


of datums

1
Pro/E can keep track of objects of different types with the same names. For example a
part and a drawing can have the same name since they are different object types.
2-4 Creating a Simple Object (Part I)

The datum planes represent three orthogonal planes to be used as references for features to be
created later. You can think of these planes as XY, YZ, XZ planes, although you generally aren’t
concerned with the X,Y,Z form or notation. Your screen should have the datum planes visible, as
shown in Figure 5. (If not, see the Hint below.) They will resemble something like a star due to
the default 3D viewing direction. Note that each plane has a name: DTM1, DTM2, and DTM3.
This view may be somewhat hard to visualize, so Figure 6 shows how the datum planes would
look if they were solid plates in the same orientation.

Figure 6 Datum planes represented as solids


Figure 5 Default Datum Planes

Helpful Hint
You can change the visibility of the datum planes in two ways: Î click the “Datum
planes” short-cut button in the top toolbar (not the one on the right side shown in
Figure 4 - it does something different), or Ï select Utilities > Environment and
change the check box beside Datum Planes. Note that the Environment command lets
you change the visibility and display of a number of items at the same time. Scan this
list quickly before closing the window by clicking OK. Many of these environment
settings (the most common ones) are duplicated by the short-cut buttons at the top.
Turning the datums off does not mean they are deleted, just not displayed. You may
turn them back on at any time by re-issuing either of these commands.

Although not strictly necessary for this part, we will establish a datum coordinate system. The
command is started using the “Coord System” shortcut button shown in Figure 4. This opens a
menu with a number of options for creating the position and orientation of the system. For now,
select

Default | Done
Creating a Simple Object (Part I) 2-5

There should now be an x, y, z icon labeled CS0 in the middle of the datum planes. Your screen
should now look like Figure 5. Again, depending on your system settings, you may also have a
red-green-blue triad located at the center of the screen. This is called the Spin Center. This is
not included in the part model but is strictly a display device to help visualize the 3D orientation
of the model. Note the sequence red-green-blue (RGB) and the default axis directions (XYZ).

Creating a Solid Protrusion using Sketcher

Now its time to start building our part! The base feature is the primary shape of a part and is
(usually) the first solid feature made in the model. For the block we’re working on, it is an
extruded protrusion. This is called a sketched feature and is created by specifying a sketching
plane, creating a 2D shape or sketch in that plane, and then extending the shape into 3D either by
extrusion, sweeping or revolving the sketch. We will perform the following steps that are
common to most sketched features:

1. Identify the Feature Type


2. Identify/Specify Feature Elements/Attributes
3. Make a 2D sketch of the basic geometry
4. Indicate how far to extend into 3D
5. Preview the feature
6. Accept the new feature

At any time during this process, you can cancel the operation. For the part we are making, the
base feature type is a solid protrusion. Feature elements include the sketching plane, the sketched
shape, extrusion direction and depth. Most of the work is done in step 3, where the shape is set
up in a program called Sketcher.

To start the block, follow this sequence of commands


(starting from the PART menu):

Feature > Create > Solid


Protrusion > Extrude | Solid | Done

A window will open as shown in Figure 7. This shows


the elements that must be defined to specify this feature.
The current feature type (extruded protrusion) is shown
at the top of the window. The window shows that we are
defining the feature attributes. As we go through the Figure 7 The Feature Elements
process of defining elements, we will use a mix of menu Window
picks and, possibly, some values entered at the keyboard
(usually numerical). This window will show us a summary of the specified data and record our
progress as we create the feature.

As you proceed, you will be asked several questions and be presented with a considerable
number of options. We won't go into a lot of detail on all these options now, because you
2-6 Creating a Simple Object (Part I)

probably want to get on to the good stuff as soon as possible. Just follow the menu picks
described below.

First you must specify whether you want the extrusion to happen on one or both sides of the
sketch plane (we'll set that up next). Choose the following (and remember that a highlighted
menu item is pre-selected, and the middle mouse button means Done):

One Side | Done

Now (see the message window) you need to choose a sketch plane on which to draw the cross-
sectional shape. For the block, the sketch plane will be one of the datum planes. You can use
any planar entity as a sketch plane (including the surface of an object). The sketch plane is
selected by using the left mouse button on either the edge or the nametag of the datum plane (or
by clicking on any planar part surface). In this instance, you will use DTM3 as your sketch plane,
so click on the label DTM3.

A red arrow will appear somewhere on the edge of DTM3. Read the bottom line in the message
window. For practice, choose the command Flip on the DIRECTION menu. This enables you to
determine the direction of the extrusion off the sketching plane. For this step, ensure the arrow is
pointing down/forward from DTM3 (in the positive Z direction) using Flip if necessary. Then
choose Okay to commit the direction.

Our next job is to specify the sketching reference plane. This generally causes a lot of
confusion for new users, so pay attention! The SKET VIEW menu opens, giving you several
choices (Top, Bottom, Left, Right). These choices refer to directions relative to the computer
screen, as in “Facing the TOP edge of the screen” or “Facing the RIGHT edge of the screen” and
so on. Which direction should we pick in SKET VIEW, how do we choose the sketching
reference plane, and, more importantly, how do these choices work together? Remember that at
this point we have already chosen our sketching plane (DTM3), the one we are going to create
our sketch on.

The sketching reference plane is used to orient how we will look at the sketching plane just
selected (DTM3). Our view is always perpendicular to the sketch plane2 and one-sided
protrusions are always created towards you (coming out of the screen from the sketch). This
means, in the present case, that we are going to be looking directly at the yellow side of the
datum plane (we will be looking in the -Z direction). Since we can rotate our view of the sketch
plane arbitrarily around the Z axis, we must tell Pro/E how we want to set the orientation of our
view of the sketch. Instead of turning our head sideways, we can get Pro/E to rotate the sketch
plane around the Z axis for us. We orient our view by choosing a reference plane, which can be
any datum plane or planar part surface that is perpendicular to the sketch plane. We specify the
direction that the reference plane or surface will face in our view of the sketch by picking from
the choices Top, Bottom, Left, Right in SKET VIEW. Unfortunately, Pro/E requires us to

2
Well, almost always. It is possible to sketch in 3D, in which case you can manipulate
your view so that you are not looking perpendicularly at the sketch plane. We will not attempt
that here.
Creating a Simple Object (Part I) 2-7

specify these choices in the opposite order - that is, first we select the direction we want the
reference to face by picking an option in SKET VIEW, then we select the reference plane itself.
Read the last couple of paragraphs again, since new users are quite liable to end up
drawing their sketches upside-down!

To illustrate the crucial importance of the reference plane, consider the images shown in Figure
8. These show two cases where the same sketching plane DTM3 was used, the same sketched
shape was drawn, the same reference direction TOP was chosen, but where different datums were
chosen as the sketching reference. On the left, the TOP reference chosen was DTM2. On the
right, the TOP reference chosen was DTM1. The identical sketch, shown in the center, was used
for both cases (rounded end of sketch towards the top of the screen). However, notice the
difference in the orientation of the part obtained in the final shaded images. Both of these
models are displayed in the default orientation (check the datum planes). Clearly, choosing the
sketching reference is important, particularly for the base feature.

Figure 8 The importance of the sketching reference plane!

Note that in the SKET VIEW menu there is a Default choice available for the sketch reference.
Until you get more experience with Pro/E, it is suggested that you avoid this. The default is
chosen based on the current view orientation of the part. Therefore, the results can be
2-8 Creating a Simple Object (Part I)

unpredictable and quite likely not what you want.

Let’s continue on with our part creation...

Select Top from the SKET VIEW menu. The plane or surface we select next will face the Top
of the screen in the upcoming sketch. Click on the horizontal datum DTM2 (this determines the
plane that you want to orient in the direction chosen). The orientation of a datum plane is
determined by which way its yellow side will face. For a solid surface, the orientation is
determined by the outward normal.

IMPORTANT:
Another window titled “Sketcher Enhancement - Intent Manager” may also open up. We
will be discussing this powerful tool a bit later. For now, Close this window.

The graphics window should now appear


as shown in Figure 9. The background
color may have changed depending on your
system settings. Note that the datum plane
DTM3, that you identified as the sketching
plane, is facing towards you (you should
see a yellow square). The other datum
planes (DTM1 and DTM2) appear in edge
view, with a yellow side and a red side.
The yellow and red sides of datum planes
will be more clear when you view them in
3D in a couple of minutes.

The yellow side (positive) of DTM2 faces


the top of the sketch, exactly as you
specified above for the sketching reference. Figure 9 The drawing window in Sketcher
Note that we could have obtained the same
orientation by selecting Right > DTM1.

Observe the location and orientation of the coordinate system CS0 and the spin center. We are
looking at the XY plane, with the Z axis coming toward us.

The Sketcher menus at the right of the screen are what you will use to create the 2D sketch for
this part. Note also that some new display short-cut buttons (the ones with the eyeballs!) have
appeared at the top of the screen. One of these is to turn the dashed grid on and off - try that now.
Others are for display of sketch dimensions, constraints, and small yellow dots at the vertices.
Leave all these on.
Creating a Simple Object (Part I) 2-9

Defining the Sketch using Sketcher


The Sketcher menu now open on the right side of the screen is actually for the old version of
Sketcher used prior to the incorporation of Intent Manager (which occurred in Release 20). As
mentioned above, we have turned off Intent Manager for now so that you can understand some of
the underlying principles involved in creating a sketch. You need to know this clearly in order to
use Intent Manager effectively. Furthermore, there will be (rare) occasions when you want to turn
Intent Manager off and do everything yourself. Some practice with the old Sketcher interface will
be useful.

Sketcher is a powerful tool for entering 2D shapes. It is where most of the part geometry creation
happens and goes considerably beyond ordinary 2D computer drawing. It is truly a sketching tool
since you don't have to be particularly accurate with the geometric shape you give it, as shown in
the two figures below.

Figure 10 Geometry input by user. Note


misaligned vertices, non-parallel edges, non- Figure 11 Geometry after processing by
tangent curves. Sketcher. Note aligned vertices, parallel
edges, tangent curves.
Sketcher is fun (but sometimes also frustrating) to use because it is so smart. Sketcher uses a
number of built-in rules for interpreting your sketch. For example, lines that "look like" they are
perpendicular to each other are assumed to be exactly that; lines that "look" horizontal are
assumed to be; and so on. The only thing Sketcher requires is that you give it just enough
information (not too little or too much) to be able to construct the shape unambiguously using its
internal rule set and the dimensions that you provide.

Familiarity with Sketcher is very important. We won't go into a lot of detail with it at this time,
but will gain experience steadily as we progress through the lessons. You would be well-advised
to come back later and play around with more of the Sketcher functions as often as you can
(perhaps doing some of the exercises at the end of the lesson). In any part creation, you probably
spend more time in Sketcher than anywhere else in Pro/E.

Before we proceed, make sure that the Sketch and Mouse Sketch commands are highlighted.
Also, Table 2-1 shows some special mouse button shortcuts that are available in Sketcher.
2 - 10 Creating a Simple Object (Part I)

Table 2-1 Pro/ENGINEER Mouse Commands (Sketcher)

Mouse Mode LEFT MIDDLE RIGHT


Mouse Sketch - Draw Entity Line Circle Tangent Arc
Mouse Sketch - Line mode Abort/End
Mouse Sketch - Circle mode Abort/End
Mouse Sketch - Tangent arc mode Abort/End
Sketcher Dimension - Linear Pick entity Place Dimension
Sketcher Dimension - Radius Pick arc/circle Place Dimension
Sketcher Dimension - Diameter Double pick Place Dimension
arc/circle

Î Drawing the Sketch

With the left mouse button, click once at each of the four corners of a rectangle as described
below and illustrated in Figure 12. After each click, you will see a straight line rubber-band from
the previous position to the cursor position. You do not have to be super accurate with these click
positions. You can also sketch beyond the displayed edges of the datum planes - these actually
extend off to infinity. The displayed extent of datum planes will (eventually) adjust to the
currently displayed object(s). Here are the points to sketch the rectangle:

1. left-click at the origin (intersection of DTM1 and DTM2)


2. left-click above the origin on
DTM1
3. left-click horizontally to the
right
4. left-click straight down on
DTM2
5. left-click back at the origin
6. middle-click anywhere on the
screen

(Compare these mouse buttons with the top


two lines in Table 2-1.) This will complete
the polygon and the screen should look like
Figure 12 (minus the balloons).

The sketched entities are shown in light


blue (actually, cyan). The visible lines may
only be partially seen due to the datum
Figure 12 Drawing the Sketch
Creating a Simple Object (Part I) 2 - 11

planes. Note that we didn't need to specify any drawing coordinates for the rectangle, nor, for that
matter, are any coordinate values displayed anywhere on the screen. This is a significant
departure from standard CAD programs. We also didn’t need the grid or a snap function
(although both of these are available in Pro/E).

To help us see the orientation of the part in


3D wireframe, we’ll add a couple of
rounded corners on the top corners of the
sketch. In the GEOMETRY menu, select

Arc > Fillet

and pick on the top and right lines in the


sketch close to but not at the corner. A
circular fillet is created to the closest pick
point. Then pick on the top and left lines.
Your sketch should look like Figure 13.
Don’t worry if your proportions are slightly
different, or the rounded corners are not this
size.
Figure 13 Sketch with fillets

Helpful Hint
If you make a mistake in drawing your shape, you can choose Delete from the
SKETCHER menu and click on whatever you wish to remove. Then replace or add
lines by selecting Sketch and Mouse Sketch again. We will cover more advanced
Sketcher commands a bit later.

Ï Aligning the Sketch

Next the sketch will be aligned with the datum planes. Aligning is how you specify locational
relations between lines and vertices in your sketch and existing part features. By aligning
sketched entities, you are essentially telling Pro/E to "keep this entity in the sketch lined up with
this previously created line, edge, or surface." Here are some important things to note about
alignments:

L You can only align new sketched features (in light blue) to previously defined features (in
white or gray) or datums (planes, axes, curves, or points).
L You can't align any part of a sketch to another part of the same sketch.
L Alignment does not mean “make this line parallel to that one,” which is a very common
misinterpretation with new users.

Explicitly defining alignments is one reason why our sketch doesn't have to be absolutely precise
2 - 12 Creating a Simple Object (Part I)

- Pro/E will make sure that the geometry will be created as you specify using alignments and
dimensions. Select the following

Alignment > Align > Pick

Read the message in the message window. Click on the lower horizontal line of the sketch and
then anywhere on the datum DTM2. In the message window,

--- ALIGNED ---

appears indicating a successful alignment, and a brown patterned line appears on the sketch at the
alignment location. If alignment fails, you will see an error message. Try to align the top
horizontal line of the sketch with DTM2. This will fail. Why? In order for alignment to
succeed, the line must be "close" to the object you are aligning to (and remember that alignment
does NOT mean “make parallel”). In the future, if your sketch is very inaccurate, you might have
to zoom out on your sketch to bring the entity and the alignment reference closer together (within
a few pixels on the screen).

Align the left vertical line and the plane DTM1. You can do this very quickly by double clicking
on the sketch line since the datum plane is right underneath it. You know it is aligned by the
appearance of the brown patterned line and the message above.

Ð Dimensioning the Sketch

So far, we have told Sketcher where our sketch is located using the alignments. Now we have to
tell it how big the sketch is using dimensions. These (location and size) are two basic
requirements for a successful sketch.

Click on Dimension in the SKETCHER menu. There are many ways to dimension this sketch.
What follows is the easiest way (not necessarily the best!). Some special mouse functions are
shown back in Table 2-1.

Click the left mouse button on the lower horizontal edge of the sketch. Position the cursor below
the sketch and click the middle mouse button. A dimension will appear with letters something
like 'sd2'. The sd indicates that this is a sketch dimension; the 2 is a dimension identifier/counter
generated by Pro/E. Each dimension in a sketch, part, or assembly has a unique identifier - this
will be important later when we get to relations. This is the basis of the parametric nature of
Pro/E. Dimensions are numbered successively, (eg. sd2, sd3,etc). So, if sd2 has already been
used, the next dimension will be labeled sd3.

With Dimension > Pick still highlighted, left click on the upper and lower horizontal lines.
Move the cursor to the right of the sketch and click the middle mouse button to place the
dimension. Now left click on one of the arcs at the top, move away from the arc, and middle-
click. Dimension the other arc the same way. Your dimensioned sketch should look something
like Figure 14. Don’t worry if your dimension symbols are different; what matters is the intent of
the dimensioning scheme.
Creating a Simple Object (Part I) 2 - 13

Figure 14 Dimensioned sketch (before


regeneration)

Ñ Regenerate

Click on the command Regenerate on the SKETCHER menu. What does regeneration do? You
will recall that Sketcher has a number of built-in rules to interpret your sketch. (We will discuss
these rules at length a bit later in this lesson.) Regeneration calls on these rules (if necessary) to
"clean up" your freehand drawing, also using the dimensional references and any alignments that
you supplied. During regeneration, Sketcher determines correctness of your sketch. The three
possible outcomes are

1. geometry underspecified
This is usually caused by missing alignments or incomplete dimensioning. The locations
and lines that Sketcher cannot locate are shown in red (this is called "the measles" and
everyone gets them sooner or later!). A message appears in the message window telling you
to locate the indicated vertices. The Dimension command is automatically selected,
although it may be that you have just forgotten to align some part of the sketch to the
existing features.

2. geometry overspecified
There are more dimensional references than are required to specify the geometry.
Redundant dimensions are shown in red, and the Delete command is automatically selected.
Click on any dimension (ie. not just the red ones) to delete it. Be warned that clicking on
any dimension may not necessarily solve your problem, since the problem may be
elsewhere in the sketch. Note also that if a sketch is created by aligning all the geometric
entities to previously created features, it may not be necessary to supply any dimensions for
the new sketch. You may sometimes find that Sketcher needs fewer dimensions than you
think it should. This is because it can often figure out "missing" dimensions using its
internal rule set. This can be good or bad, depending if you want any of those internal rules
to be invoked. If any dimensions that you specify are not needed, the geometry is
2 - 14 Creating a Simple Object (Part I)

overspecified. If any dimensions that you give cause a conflict with the internal rule set, the
regeneration will fail.

3. regeneration successful
Everything went just fine and the message "Section regenerated successfully." appears in
the message window. Give yourself a pat on the back!

You can see that Sketcher is a very powerful geometry engine. And you can see why you only
need to provide a rough sketch of the geometry - most of the work is done by Sketcher.

Sketcher will show you the result of any internal rules that it has used to regenerate your sketch.
These appear as symbols beside the lines and vertices in your sketch. You can look for symbols
indicating horizontal, vertical, parallel, tangent, same length, and so on. For our simple block,
only two or three rules (probably) were fired. All the Sketcher rules are discussed a bit later in
this lesson. You might investigate the Constraints > Explain command at this time.

Ò Modifying Dimensional Values

After regeneration, numerical dimension values should appear in place of the 'sd' dimension
labels. These values are generated according to the scale of the existing features (or seemingly at
random if this is the first solid feature in the model). You need to change these numbers to the
desired values.

To do this, select the Modify command on the SKETCHER menu. Then click on the horizontal
dimension - it should turn red. In the message window, a prompt appears asking for the new
value. The current value is shown, which will be the value used if you just hit the Enter key (ie.
value is unchanged). Usually, you want to enter a new value here. For the horizontal dimension
use 20. After modifying, the dimension value appears in white, but our sketch hasn’t changed
size or shape. Change the vertical dimension to 30. The radius of the arc on the right side is 10,
and on the left side is 5.

Ó Regenerate the Sketch

This is the step most often missed. After modifying any dimensions or alignments, the sketch
must be updated. It is necessary to regenerate the sketch. You can tell when regeneration is
needed because some of the dimensions will be showing in white.

Select Regenerate from the SKETCHER menu again. You will now see an animation of
Sketcher going about its business. This animation will become useful when you create complex
sketches, since you will be able to see the reasons why Sketcher might fail or your dimensioning
scheme or values are not quite right. In that case, the animation will proceed up to the point
where the sketch fails - usually caused by incompatible requirements on the sketch.

At this time your screen should look like Figure 15.


Creating a Simple Object (Part I) 2 - 15

Figure 15 The final regenerated sketch

Assuming that the sketch regenerates successfully, then you are finished with Sketcher for this
feature. To complete the process, select Done from the bottom of the SKETCHER menu (it may
be partially hidden behind one of the smaller menu windows). Be careful that you don’t click on
Quit by mistake, although you can cancel that if you do.

Helpful Hint
For the time being, you should never leave Sketcher with unresolved errors or
warnings that prevent a clean regeneration. Many errors are fatal, but some result
only in warnings. Always resolve these problems and get a successful regeneration
before leaving, indicated by the message "Section regenerated successfully." You
will come to love seeing this message! We will see a few cases later when a warning
is generated that we will ignore, but this situation is very rare.

Ô Specifying Extrusion Depth

This is the final element to specify for the base feature (check out the element window). Recall
that we set up this feature as a one-sided protrusion off DTM3 (the sketch plane). To make the
block, we will extrude the polygon for a specified distance - this is called a blind protrusion.
From the SPEC TO menu, choose

Blind | Done

You will be prompted in the message window for an extrusion depth. Enter

10
2 - 16 Creating a Simple Object (Part I)

and press return. A message should indicate that "All elements have been defined." meaning that
the extrusion was created successfully.

Õ Previewing the Feature

Before accepting this new feature, we can


have a look at it's 3D shape and relation to
other features on the part. In the element
window, click on the Preview button.
Make sure the mouse is in the graphics
window, then press and hold down the
CTRL key while dragging with the
middle mouse button. This will cause the
shaded block to spin around following the
mouse. You can do as much spinning as
you want. You might note that, when
viewed from the left/back/bottom, you will
see the red side of the datum planes (these
may not be visible while you are spinning).
Also, note the new position of the spin
Figure 16 The final SOLID PROTRUSION feature
center (if it is turned on). You can use the
left and right mouse buttons (with CTRL) to zoom and pan in the graphics window.

Ö Accepting the Feature

Once you are satisfied with the feature you have created, click on OK in the element window (or
middle click). In the present case, you should see the message "PROTRUSION has been created
successfully." in the message window. The final part shown in default view orientation (press
CTRL-D or select View > Default) should look like Figure 16.

Saving the Part


It is a good idea to periodically save your model, just in case something serious goes wrong.
From the top toolbar, select the “Save” button.

In the command window, you will be asked for the name of the object to be saved (remember
that you can have more than one object loaded into memory at a time). Accept the default
[block.prt] (this is the active part) by pressing the enter key or the middle mouse button. Pro/E
will automatically put a .prt extension on the file. In addition, if you save the part a number of
times, Pro/E will automatically number each saved version (like block.prt.1, block.prt.2,
block.prt.3, and so on). Since these files can get pretty big, you will eventually run out of disk
space. So, be aware of how much space you have available. It may be necessary to delete some of
the previously saved versions; or you can copy them to a diskette. You can do both of these tasks
from within Pro/E - we'll talk about that later.
Creating a Simple Object (Part I) 2 - 17

IMPORTANT NOTE:
The Save command is also available when you are in Sketcher. Executing this command at
that time will not save the part, but it will save the current sketch with the file extension
sec. This may be useful if the sketch is complicated and may be used again on a different
part. Rather than recreate the sketch, it can be read in from the saved file. In these lessons,
none of the sketches are complicated enough to warrant saving them to disk.

Working With Sketcher Constraints during Regeneration


Implicit Constraints

As alluded to above, Sketcher is a powerful geometry engine that is capable of “assuming” things
about your input sketch that indicate your design intent. These assumptions are embodied in a
number of rules (see Table 2-2) that Sketcher will invoke (“fire”) if necessary in order to
successfully regenerate your sketch. It will only do this if the specified dimensions and/or
alignments are not sufficient to completely define the geometry. You should become familiar
with these rules, and learn how to use them to your advantage. Conversely, if you do not want a
rule invoked, you must either
(a) use explicit dimensions or alignments, or
(b) exaggerate the geometry so that if fired, the rule will fail, or
(c) tell Pro/E explicitly to ignore the rule (disable the constraint).

You will most often use option (a) by specifying your desired alignments and dimensions and
letting Sketcher worry about whatever else it needs to solve the sketch. When geometry is driven
by an explicit dimension, fewer internal rules will fire. Option (b) is slightly less common. An
example is if a line in a sketch must be 2E away from vertical, you would draw it some much
larger angle (like 15E or so) and explicitly dimension it, otherwise it will be assumed to be
exactly vertical with no dimension required (thus no way to make it 2E off). After the sketch
regenerates with the exaggerated angle, you can modify the dimension to the desired 2E. For
method (c), there is a command available that explicitly turns off the rule checking during
regeneration. This is very rarely used.

When a sketch is regenerated, the rules that have been fired are indicated on the graphics window
using one (or more) symbols beside each affected entity. The symbols are shown in Table 2-3 on
the next page.
2 - 18 Creating a Simple Object (Part I)

Table 2-2 Implicit Rules in Sketcher

Rule Description
Equal radius and diameter If you sketch two or more arcs or circles with
approximately the same radius, the system
may assume that the radii are equal
Symmetry Entities may be assumed to be symmetric
about a centerline
Horizontal and vertical lines Lines that are approximately horizontal or
vertical may be considered to be exactly so.
Parallel and perpendicular lines Lines that are sketched approximately parallel
or perpendicular may be considered to be
exactly so.
Tangency Entities sketched approximately tangent to
each other may be assumed to be tangent
Equal segment lengths Lines of approximately the same length may
be assumed to have the same length
Point entities lying on other entities or Point entities that lie near lines, arcs, or
collinear with other entities circles may be considered to be exactly on
them. Points that are near the extension of a
line may be assumed to lie on it.
Equal coordinates Endpoints and centers of the arcs may be
assumed to have the same X- or the same
Y-coordinates
Midpoint of line If the midpoint of a line is close to a sketch
reference, it will be placed on the reference.
Creating a Simple Object (Part I) 2 - 19

Table 2-3 Graphical Display of Sketcher Constraints

Constraint Symbol

Horizontal entities "H"

Vertical entities "V"

Line segments with equal lengths "L" with an index in subscript (for example: L1)

Perpendicular lines Perpendicularity symbol with or without an index


number in subscript

Parallel lines Parallel symbol with an index in subscript

Equal coordinates Small thick dashes between the points

Tangent entities "T"

Midpoint of line “M”

Symmetry

Equal radii "R" with an index in subscript

Point entity
2 - 20 Creating a Simple Object (Part I)

An example of a solved sketch with the


geometric constraints is shown in Figure
17. Note how few dimensions are required
to define this sketch. How do you suppose
Sketcher is able to determine the radius of
the fillets on the top and bottom corners on
the left edge?

Figure 17 A regenerated sketch showing implicit


constraints

Unsuccessful Regeneration of a Sketch

If a sketch cannot be solved using the dimensioning scheme and implicit rules, Pro/ENGINEER
issues a message and highlights the error. The basic categories of errors are as follows:

C The sketch does not communicate the intent. For example, a line that you want
tangent to an arc is not “close enough” for Sketcher to figure out what to do.
C The sketch is underdimensioned.
C The sketch is overdimensioned.
C The segment is too small. If you have modified dimensions such that a line segment
becomes very small, then Sketcher will flag this as an error. If you really do want the
short segment, zoom in on the sketch and regenerate again.
C The segment is of zero length. This is similar to the previous error which arises if you
have modified dimensions so that in the recomputed position a line segment must
have zero length. This is an error that must be fixed in the sketch.
C There are inappropriate sections. For example, a sketch that crosses over itself, or an
open sketch for a feature that requires a closed one (eg. for a revolved protrusion).

The “Sadder Mister” Order of Operations

A common “error” that can lead to problems getting a successful regeneration is NOT following
the sequence below:
Creating a Simple Object (Part I) 2 - 21

Sketch
Align
Dimension
Regenerate
Modify
Regenerate

You can remember this sequence using the acronym “Sadder Mister” taken from the first letter of
each step:
S A D R M R

Remember that Sketcher will automatically provide values for all new dimensions based on the
existing features when it regenerates a sketch. Let it do that! There is no need to “modify”
dimension values prior to the first regeneration, and doing so can often cause you grief!
This means, do not Modify a dimension shown in its symbolic (sdxx) form!

Now, all that being said, we will see in the next lesson how the Intent Manager is able to assist
you in obtaining a “legal” sketch, usually with considerably fewer commands and mouse clicks
and without having to deal with regeneration failures. It is important, however, to understand the
basic principles of Sketcher, and the implicit rules, in order to use Intent Manager efficiently.
Also, sometimes, you may not want to use Intent Manager.

The exercises at the end of this lesson are to give you practice using Sketcher and to explore
commands in the Sketcher menus.

Using Part Templates


You will recall that in the block part created earlier, the first thing we did was to create default
datum planes. These (plus the named views based on them) are very standard features and
aspects of part files, and it would be handy if this was done automatically. This is exactly the
purpose of part templates.

A template is a previously created part file that contains the common features and aspects of
almost all part files you will ever make. These include, among other things, default datum planes
and named views. Pro/E actually has several templates available for parts, drawings, and
assemblies. There are variations of the templates for each type of object. One important variation
consists of the unit system used for the part (inches or millimeters). Templates also contain some
common model parameters and layer definitions3.

A template is selected when a new model is first created. Let’s see how that works. Create a new

3
Model parameters and layers are discussed in the Advanced Tutorial.
2 - 22 Creating a Simple Object (Part I)

part (note that you don’t have to remove the block - Pro/E can have several parts “in session” at
the same time) by selecting

File > New

or using the “Create New Object” button. The New dialog window opens. Select the options

Part | Solid

and enter a new name, like exercise_1. Remove the check mark beside Use default template
and then select OK.

In the New File Options dialog window, the default template is shown at the top. It is likely
“inlbs_part_solid”. This template is for solid parts with the units set to inch-pound-second. It
seems strange to have force and time units in a CAD geometry program. Actually, this is
included so that the part units are known by downstream applications like Pro/MECHANICA
which perform finite element analysis (FEA) or mechanism dynamics calculations. These
programs are very picky about units!

Note that there are templates available for sheet-metal parts and for metric units (millimeter-
Newton-second). While we are mentioning units, be aware that if you make a wrong choice of
units here, it is still possible to change the units of a part after it has been created.

There are only two model parameters in the default template. DESCRIPTION is for an extended
title for the part, like “UPPER PUMP HOUSING”. This title can (eventually) be called up and
placed automatically on a drawing of the part using, you guessed it, a drawing template.
Similarly, the MODELED_BY parameter is available for you to record your name or initials as
the originator of the part. Fill in these parameter fields and select OK.

The new part is created which automatically displays the default datums. They are even named
for you (we will see how to name features in lesson 3): instead of DTM1, we have RIGHT. TOP
replaces DTM2, and FRONT replaces DTM3. The part also contains a coordinate system, named
views (look in the Saved Views List), and other data that we’ll discover as we go through the
lessons. The named views correspond to the standard engineering views. Thus, it is important to
note that if you are planning on using a drawing template (discussed in Lesson #8), your model
orientation relative to the default datums is critical. The top-front-right views of the part are the
ones that will be automatically placed on the drawing later. If your model is upside down or
backwards in these named views, then so will be your drawing. This is embarrassing!

Now, having created this new part, you are all set up to do some of the exercises at the end of the
lesson!
Creating a Simple Object (Part I) 2 - 23

This completes Lesson #2. You are strongly encouraged to experiment with any of the commands
that have been presented in this lesson. Create new parts for your experiments since we will need
the block part in its present form for the next lesson. The only way to become proficient with
Pro/E is to use it a lot!

In the next lesson we will add some more features to the block, discover the magic of relations,
and spend some time learning about the Intent Manager in Sketcher.

Questions for Review


Here are some questions you should be able to answer at this time:

7. What is meant by a blind protrusion?


8. What is the purpose of the sketching reference plane?
9. What aspect of feature creation results in the parametric nature of the model?
10. What is meant by alignment?
11. What three outcomes are possible when you regenerate a sketch? What do these mean?
12. What is the correct order of the following activities for using Sketcher:
‚ sketch drawing
‚ modify dimensions
‚ regenerate
‚ alignments
‚ place dimensions
‚ regenerate
13. When you look at a sketch, in which direction will a one-sided solid protrusion occur?
14. How do you specify the name of a part?
15. When you are in Mouse Sketch mode, what do the three mouse buttons do?
16. Give as many of the Sketcher implicit rules as you can.
17. How do you save a part?
18. What is a template?
19. What is your system’s default template?
20. Where does your system store your part files when they are saved?
21. What is meant by the active part?
22. How does Sketcher determine the radius of a fillet created on two lines?
23. Try to create sketches/procedures that cause the errors noted in the section “Unsuccessful
Regeneration of a Sketch”.
2 - 24 Creating a Simple Object (Part I)

Exercises
Here are some simple shapes that you can make with a single solid protrusion. They should give
you some practice using the Sketcher drawing tools and internal rules. Create these with Intent
Manager turned off. Choose your own dimensions and pay attention to alignments and internal
constraints. The objects should appear in roughly the same orientation in default view. Have a
contest with a buddy to see who can create each object with the fewest number of dimensions.
This is not necessarily a goal of good modeling, but is a good exercise!
Pro/MECHANICA Tutorial
Structure
Release 2001 - Integrated Mode

Roger Toogood, Ph.D., P. Eng.


Mechanical Engineering
University of Alberta

SDC
PUBLICATIONS

Schroff Development Corporation


www.schroff.com
FEM with MECHANICA 2-1

Chapter 2 :

Finite Element Modeling with


MECHANICA

Synopsis
Background information on FEA. The concept of modeling. Particular attention is directed at
concerns of accuracy and convergence of solutions, and the differences between h-code and p-
code FEA. Overview of MECHANICA.

Overview of this Lesson


This chapter presents an overall view of FEA in general, and discusses a number of ideas and
issues involved. The major differences between Pro/M, which uses a p-code method, and other
packages, which typically use h-code, are presented. The topics of accuracy and convergence are
discussed. The major sections in this chapter are:

‚ overview and origins of FEA


‚ discussion of the concept of the “model”
‚ general procedure for FEA solutions
‚ FEA models versus CAD models
‚ p-elements and h-elements
‚ convergence and accuracy
‚ sources of error
‚ overview of MECHANICA

Although you are probably anxious to get started with the software, your understanding of the
material presented here is very important. We will get to the program soon enough!

Finite Element Analysis : An Introduction


In this section, we will try to present the essence of FEA without going into a lot of mathematical
detail. This is primarily to set up the discussion of the important issues of accuracy and
convergence later in the chapter. Some of the statements made here are generalizations and over-
2-2 FEM with MECHANICA

simplifications, but we hope that this will not be too misleading. Interested users can consult a
number of text and reference books (some are listed at the end of this chapter) which describe the
theoretical underpinnings of FEA in considerably greater detail.

In the following, the ideas are illustrated using a planar (2D) solution region, but of course these
ideas extend also to 3D. Let's suppose that we are faced with the following problem: We are
given a connected region (or volume) R with a boundary B as shown in Figure 1(a). Some
continuous physical variable, e.g. temperature T, is governed by a physical law within the region
R and subjected to known conditions on the boundary B. In a finite element solution, the
geometry of the region is typically generated by a CAD program, such as Pro/ENGINEER.

Figure 1 The problem to be solved is specified in a) the physical domain and b) the
discretized domain used by FEA

For a two dimensional problem, the governing physical law or principle might be expressed by a
partial differential equation (PDE), for example1:

M2 T M2 T
% ' 0
2 2
Mx My

that is valid in the interior of the region R. The solution to the problem must satisfy some
boundary conditions or constraints, for example T = T(x,y), prescribed on the boundary B. Both
interior and exterior boundaries might be present and can be arbitrarily shaped. Note that this
governing PDE may be (and usually is!) the result of simplifying assumptions made about the

1
The PDE given represents the temperature within a solid body which is governed by the
conduction of heat within the body. There are no heat sources, and temperature on the boundary
of the body is known.
FEM with MECHANICA 2-3

physical system, such as the material being homogeneous and isotropic, with constant linear
properties, and so on.

In order to analyze this problem, the region R is discretized into individual finite elements that
collectively approximate the shape of the region, as shown in Figure 1(b). This discretization is
accomplished by locating nodes along the boundary and in the interior of the region. The nodes
are then joined by lines to create the finite elements. In 2D problems, these can be triangles or
quadrilaterals; in 3D problems, the elements can be tetrahedra or 8-node "bricks". In some FEA
software, other higher order types of elements are also possible (e.g. hexagonal prisms). Some
higher order elements also have additional nodes along their edges. Collectively, the set of all
the elements is called a finite element mesh. In the early days of FEM, a great deal of effort was
required to set up the mesh. More recently, automatic meshing routines have been developed in
order to do most, if not all, of this tedious task.

In the FEA solution, values of the dependent variable (T, in our example) are computed only at
the nodes. The variation of the variable within each element is computed from the nodal values
so as to approximately satisfy the governing PDE. One way of doing this is by using
interpolating polynomials. In order for the PDE to be satisfied, the nodal values of each element
must satisfy a set of conditions represented by several linear algebraic equations usually
involving other nodal values.

The boundary conditions are implemented by specifying the values of the variables on the
boundary nodes. There is no guarantee that the true boundary conditions on the continuous
boundary B are satisfied between the nodes on the discretized boundary.

When all the individual elements in the mesh are combined, the discretization and interpolation
procedures result in a conversion of the problem from the solution of a continuous differential
equation into a very large set of simultaneous linear algebraic equations. This system can
typically have many thousands of equations in it, requiring special and efficient numerical
algorithms,. The solution of this algebraic system contains the nodal values that collectively
represent an approximation to the continuous solution of the initial PDE. An important issue,
then, is the accuracy of this approximation. In classical FEM solutions, the approximation
becomes more accurate as the mesh is refined with smaller elements. In the limit of zero mesh
size, requiring an infinite number of equations, the FEM solution to the PDE would be exact.
This is, of course, not achievable. So, a major issue revolves around the question “How fine a
mesh is required to produce answers of acceptable accuracy?” and the practical question is “Is it
feasible to compute this solution?” We will see a bit later how Pro/M solves these problems.

IMPORTANT POINT: In FEA stress analysis problems, the dependent variable in the
governing PDE's is the displacement from the reference (usually unloaded) position. The
material strain (displacement per unit length) is then computed from the displacement by
taking the derivative with respect to position. Finally, the stress components at any point in
the material are computed from the strain at that point. Thus, if the interpolating
polynomial for the spatial variation of the displacement field is linear within an element,
then the strain and stress will be constant within that element, since the derivative of a
linear function is a constant. The significance of this will be illustrated a bit later in this
lesson.
2-4 FEM with MECHANICA

The FEA Model and General Processing Steps


Throughout this manual, we will be using the term “model” extensively. We need to have a clear
idea of what we mean by the FEA model.

To get from the “real world” physical problem to the approximate FEA solution, we must go
through a number of simplifying steps. At each step, it is necessary to make decisions about what
assumptions or simplifications will be required in order to reach a final workable model. By
“workable”, we mean that the FEA model must allow us to compute the results of interest (for
example, the maximum stress in the material) with sufficient accuracy and with available time
and resources. It is no good building a model that is over-simplified to the point where it cannot
produce the results with sufficient accuracy. It is also no good producing a model that is “perfect”
but will not yield useful computational results for several weeks! Quite often, the FEA user must
compromise between the two extremes - accepting a slightly less accurate answer in a reasonable
solution time.

Real World

Simplified
Physical Model

Mathematical
Model

Discretized
FEA Model

Figure 2 Developing a Model for Finite Element Analysis

To arrive at a model suitable for FEA, we must go through the simplifying steps shown in Figure
2, as follows:

Real World º Simplified Physical Model

This simplification step involves making assumptions about physical properties or the physical
layout and geometry of the problem. For example, we usually assume that materials are
homogeneous and isotropic and free of internal defects or flaws. It is also common to ignore
aspects of the geometry that will have no (anticipated) effect on the results, such as the
chamfered and filleted edges on the bracket shown in Figure 3, and perhaps even the mounting
FEM with MECHANICA 2-5

holes themselves. Ignoring these “cosmetic” features, as shown in Figure 4, is often necessary in
order to reduce the geometric complexity so that the resulting FEA model is practical.

Figure 4 The idealized physical


Figure 3 The “Real World” Object model

Simple Physical Model º Mathematical Model

To arrive at the mathematical model, we make assumptions like linearity of material properties,
idealization of loading conditions, and so on, in order to apply our mathematical formulas to
complex problems. We often assume that loading is steady, that fixed points are perfectly fixed,
beams are long and slender, and so on. As discussed above, the mathematical model usually
consists of one or more differential equations that describe the variation of the variable of interest
within the boundaries of the model.

Mathematical Model º FEA Model

The simplified geometry of the model is discretized (see


Figure 5), so that the governing differential equations can
be rewritten as a (large) number of simultaneous linear
equations representing the assembly of elements in the
model.

Figure 5 A mesh of solid brick


elements
In the operation of FEA software, the three modeling steps described above often appear to be
merged. In fact, most of it occurs below the surface (you will never see the governing PDE, for
example) or is inherent in the software itself. For example, Pro/M automatically assumes that
materials are homogeneous, isotropic, and linear. However, it is useful to remind yourself about
these separate aspects of modeling from time to time, because each is a potential source of error
or inaccuracy in the results.
2-6 FEM with MECHANICA

Steps in Preparing an FEA Model for Solution


Starting from the simplified geometric model, there are generally several steps to be followed in
the analysis. These are:

1. identify the model type


2. specify the material properties, model constraints, and applied loads
3. discretize the geometry to produce a finite element mesh
4. solve the system of linear equations
5. compute items of interest from the solution variables
6. display and critically review results and, if necessary, repeat the analysis

The overall procedure is illustrated in Create Geometry


Figure 6. Some additional detail on each of with Pro/E
these steps is given below. The major steps
must be executed in order, and each must
be done correctly before proceeding to the Model Type
next step. When a problem is to be re-
Pro/MECHANICA

analyzed (for example, if a stress analysis is Simulation Parameters:


to be performed for the same geometry but - material properties
different loads), it will not usually be - model constraints
- applied loads
necessary to return all the way to the
beginning. The available re-entry points
will become clear as you move through Discretize Model
"RUN"

these tutorials. to Form


Finite Element Mesh
The steps shown in the figure are:
Set up and
Solve Linear System
1. The geometric model of the
part/system is created using
Pro/ENGINEER. Compute/Display
Results of Interest
2. On entry to Pro/M, the model type
must be identified. The default is a
Review
solid model.
Figure 6 Overall steps in FEA Solution
3. A) Specify material properties for
the model. It is not necessary that all the elements have the same properties. In an
assembly, for example, different parts can be made of different materials. For stress
analysis the required properties are Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio. Most FEA
packages contain built-in libraries containing properties of common materials (steel,
iron, aluminum, etc.).
B) Identify the constraints on the solution. In stress analysis, these could be fixed points,
points of specified displacement, or points free to move in specified directions only.
C) Specify the applied loads on the model (point loads, uniform edge loads, pressure on
surfaces, etc.).
FEM with MECHANICA 2-7

4. Once you are satisfied with your model, you set up and run a processor that actually
performs the solution to the posed FEA problem. This starts with the automatic creation of
the finite element mesh from the geometric model by a subprogram within Pro/M called
AutoGEM. Pro/M will trap some modeling errors here. The processor will produce a
summary file of output messages which can be consulted if something goes wrong - for
example, a model that is not sufficiently constrained by boundary conditions.

5. FEA produces immense volumes of output data. The only feasible way of examining this is
graphically. Pro/M has very powerful graphics capabilities to examine the results of the
FEA - displaced shape, stress distributions, mode shapes, etc. Hard copy of the results file
and screen display is easy to obtain.

6. Finally, the results must be reviewed critically. In the first instance, the results should agree
with our modeling intent. For example, if we look at an animated view of the deformation,
we can easily see if our boundary constraints have been implemented properly. The results
should also satisfy our intuition about the solution (stress concentration around a hole, for
example). If there is any cause for concern, it may be advisable to revisit some aspects of
the model and perform the analysis again.

P-Elements versus H-Elements


Not all discretized finite elements are created equal! Here is where a major difference arises
between MECHANICA and most other FEA programs.

Convergence of H-elements (the “classic” approach)

Following the classic approach, other programs often use low order interpolating polynomials in
each element. This has significant ramifications, especially in stress analysis. As mentioned
above, in stress analysis the primary solution variables are the displacements of the nodes. The
interpolating functions are typically linear (first order) within each element. Strain is obtained by
taking the derivatives of the displacement field and the stress is computed from the material
strain. For a first order interpolating polynomial within the element, this means that the strain and
therefore the stress components within the element are constant everywhere. The situation is
depicted in Figure 7, which shows the computed Von Mises stress in each of the elements
surrounding a hole in a thin plate under tension. Such discontinuity in the stress field between
elements is, of course, unrealistic and will lead to inaccurate values for the maximum stress.
Low order elements lead to the greatest inaccuracy precisely in the regions of greatest interest,
typically where there are large gradients within the real object.

An even more disastrous situation is shown in Figure 8. This is a solid cantilever beam with a
uniform transverse load modeled using solid brick elements. With only a single first-order
element through the thickness, the computed stress will be the same on the top and bottom of the
beam. This is clearly wrong, yet the FEA literature and product demonstrations abound with
examples similar to this.
2-8 FEM with MECHANICA

Figure 7 Von Mises stress in 1/4 Figure 8 A disaster waiting to


model of thin plate under tension happen using first order elements
using first order elements

This situation is often masked by the post-processing capabilities of the software being used,
which will sometimes average or interpolate contour values within the mesh or perform other
“smoothing” functions strictly for visual appearance. This is strictly a post-processing step, and
may bear no resemblance at all to what is actually going on in the model or the real object.

Using first order elements, then, in order to get a more accurate estimate of the stress, it is
necessary to use much smaller elements, a process called mesh refinement. It may not always be
possible to easily identify regions where mesh refinement is required, and quite often the entire
mesh is modified. The process of mesh refinement continues until further mesh division and
refinement does not lead to significant changes in the obtained solution. The process of
continued mesh refinement leading to a “good” solution is called convergence analysis. Of
course, in the process of mesh refinement, the size of the computational problem becomes larger
and larger and we may reach a limit for practical problems (due to time and/or memory limits)
before we have successfully converged to an acceptable solution.

The use of mesh refinement for convergence analysis leads to the h-element class of FEA
methods. This “h” is borrowed from the field of numerical analysis, where it denotes the fact that
convergence and accuracy are related (sometimes proportional to) the step size used in the
solution, usually denoted by h. In FEA, the h refers to the size of the elements. The elements,
always of low order, are referred to as h-elements, and the mesh refinement procedure is called h-
convergence. This situation is depicted in parts (a) and (b) of Figure 9, where a series of
constant-height steps is used to approximate a smooth continuous function. The narrower the
steps, the more closely we can approximate the smooth function. Note also that where the
gradient of the function is large (such as near the left edge of the figure), then mesh refinement
will always produce increasingly higher maximum values.
FEM with MECHANICA 2-9

h h/2

(a) first order elements lead (b) error is reduced by reducing


to constant stress within the element size O(h)
each element

(c) second order element leads to (d) higher order element will reduce
linear stress variation within error even further without changing
each element the element size

Figure 9 Approximation of stress function in a model

The major outcome of using h-elements is the need for meshes of relatively small elements.
Furthermore, h-elements are not very tolerant of shape extremes in terms of skewness, rapid size
variation through the mesh, large aspect ratio, and so on. This further increases the number of
elements required for an acceptable mesh, and this, of course, greatly increases the computational
cost of the solution.

Convergence of P-elements (the Pro/MECHANICA approach)

Now, the major difference incorporated in MECHANICA is the following: instead of constantly
refining and recreating finer and finer meshes, convergence is obtained by increasing the order of
the interpolating polynomials on each element. The mesh stays the same for every iteration,
called a p-loop pass. The use of higher order interpolating polynomials for convergence analysis
leads to the p-element class of FEA methods, where the “p” denotes polynomial. This method is
depicted in parts (c) and (d) of the Figure 9. Only elements in regions of high gradients are
bumped up to higher order polynomials. Furthermore, by examining the effects of going to
higher order polynomials, MECHANICA can monitor the expected error in the solution, and
automatically increase the polynomial order only on those elements were it is required. Thus, the
convergence analysis is performed quite automatically, with the solution proceeding until an
accuracy limit (set by the user) has been satisfied. With MECHANICA, the limit for the
polynomial order is 9. In theory, it would be possible to go to higher orders than this, but the
computational cost starts to rise too quickly. If the solution cannot converge even with these 9th
2 - 10 FEM with MECHANICA

order polynomials, it may be necessary to recreate the mesh at a slightly higher density so that
lower order polynomials will be sufficient. This is a very rare occurrence.

Figure 10 A mesh of solid tetrahedral (4


node) h-elements Figure 11 A mesh of tetrahedral p-elements
produced by MECHANICA.

The use of p-elements has a number of features/advantages:

< The same mesh can be used throughout the convergence analysis, rather than
recreating meshes or local mesh refinement required by h-codes.
< The mesh is virtually always more coarse and contains fewer elements than h-codes.
Compare the meshes in Figures 10 and 11, and note that the mesh of h-elements in
Figure 10 would probably not produce very good results, depending on the loads and
constraints applied. The reduced number of elements in Pro/M (which can be a
couple of orders of magnitude smaller) initially reduces the computational load, but as
the order of the polynomials gets higher, this advantage is somewhat diminished.
< The restrictions on element size and shape are not nearly as stringent for p-elements
as they are for h-elements (where concerns of aspect ratio, skewness, and so on often
arise).
< Automatic mesh generators, which can produce very poor meshes for h-elements, are
much more effective with p-elements, due to the reduced requirements and limitations
on mesh geometry.
< Since the same mesh is used throughout the analysis, this mesh can be tied directly to
the geometry. This is the key reason why MECHANICA is able to perform sensitivity
and optimization studies during which the geometric parameters of a body can
change, but the program does not need to be constantly re-meshing the part.

Convergence and Accuracy in the Solution


It should be apparent that, due to the number of simplifying assumptions necessary to obtain
results with FEA, we should be quite cautious about the results obtained. No FEA solution
FEM with MECHANICA 2 - 11

should be accepted unless the convergence properties have been examined.

For h-elements, this generally means doing the problem several times with successively smaller
elements and monitoring the change in the solutions. When decreasing the element size results
in a negligible (or acceptably small) change in the solution, then we are generally satisfied that
the FEA has wrung all the information out of the model that it can.

As mentioned above, with p-elements, the


convergence analysis is built in to the
program. Since the geometry of the mesh
does not change, no remeshing is required.
Rather, each successive solution (called a
p-loop pass) is performed with increasing
orders of polynomials (only on elements
where this is required) until the change
between iterations is “small enough”.
Figure 12 shows the convergence behavior
of two common measures used to monitor
convergence in MECHANICA. These are
the maximum Von Mises stress and the
total strain energy. Note that the Von Mises
stress will generally always increase during
the convergence test, but can behave quite
erratically as we will see later. Because
Von Mises stress is a local measure, the Figure 12 Two common convergence measures
strain energy is probably a better measure using p-elements.
to use to control convergence.

Sources of Error
Error enters into the FEA process in a number of ways:

‚ errors in problem definition - are the geometry, loads, and constraints known and
implemented accurately? Is the correct analysis being performed? Are the material
properties correct and/or appropriate?
‚ errors in creating the physical model - can we really use symmetry? Is the material
isotropic and homogeneous, as assumed? Are the physical constants known? Does the
material behave linearly?
‚ errors in creating the mathematical model - is the model complete enough to capture the
effects we wish to observe? Is the model overly complex? Does the mathematical model
correctly express the physics of the problem?
‚ errors in discretization - is the mesh too coarse or too fine? Have we left accidental
“holes” in the model? If using shell elements, are there tears or rips (free edges) between
elements where there shouldn’t be?
‚ errors in the numerical solution - when dealing with very large computational problems,
2 - 12 FEM with MECHANICA

we must always be concerned about the effects of accumulated round-off error. Can this
error be estimated? How trustworthy is the answer going to be?
‚ errors in interpretation of the results - are we looking at the results in the right way to
see what we want and need to see? Are the limitations of the program understood2? Has the
possible misuse of a purely graphical or display tool obscured or hidden a critical result?

You will be able to answer most of these questions by the time you complete this tutorial. The
answers to others will be problem dependent and will require some experience and further
exposure before you are a confident and competent FEA user.

A CAD Model is NOT an FEA Model!


One of the common misconceptions within the engineering community is the equivalence of a
CAD solid model with a model used for FEA. These are, in fact, not the same despite
proclamations of the CAD vendors that their solid models can be “seamlessly” ported to one or
another FEA program. In fact, this is probably quite undesirable! It should not be surprising that
CAD and FEA models are different, since the two models are developed for different purposes.

The CAD model is usually developed to provide a data


base for manufacturing. Thus, dimensions must be fully
specified (including tolerances), all minor features (such as
fillets, rounds, holes) must be included, processing steps
and surface finishes are indicated, threads are specified,
and so on. Figure 13 shows a CAD solid model of a
hypothetical piping component, complete with bolt holes,
flanges, o-ring grooves, chamfered edges, and carrying
lugs. Not visible in the figure are the dimensions,
tolerances, and welding instructions for fabrication which
are all part of the CAD model.

FEA is usually directed at finding out other information


about a proposed design. To do this efficiently, the FEA
model can (and often needs to) be quite different from the Figure 13 A hypothetical 3D solid
CAD model. A simple example of this is that the model of a piping junction
symmetry of an object is often exploited in the preparation of the FEA model. In one of the
exercises we will do later, we will model a thin tapered plate with a couple of large holes. The
plate has a plane of symmetry so that we only need to do FEA of one-half of the plate. It is also

2
The author once had a student who was rightly concerned about the very large
deflections in a truss computed using a simple FEM program. It turned out that the program was
performing a linear analysis, and was computing stresses in some members several orders of
magnitude higher than the yield strength of the material. It took some time to explain that the
FEM software knew nothing about failure of the material. It turned out that a simple data entry
error had reduced the cross sectional area of the members in the truss.
FEM with MECHANICA 2 - 13

quite common in FEA to ignore minor features like


rounds, fillets, chamfers, holes, minor changes in surface
profile, and other cosmetic features unless these features
will have a large effect on the measures of interest in the
model. Most frequently, they do not, and can be ignored.

Figure 14 shows an FEA model of the piping component


created to determine the maximum Von Mises stress in the
vicinity of the filleted connection between the two pipes.
The differences between the two models shown in Figures
13 and 14 are immediately obvious. Figures 15 and 16
show the mesh of shell elements created from the surface,
and the computed Von Mises stress. Figure 14 The 3D solid model of
pipe junction

Figure 15 Shell elements of


specified thickness created from 3D Figure 16 Von Mises stress in the
model FEA model

In summary, the stated goal of FEA (the “Golden Rule”, if you like) might be expressed as:

Use the simplest model possible that will yield sufficiently reliable
results of interest at the lowest computational cost.

You can easily see how this might be at odds with the requirements of a CAD model. For further
discussion of this, see the excellent book Building Better Products with Finite Element
Analysis by Vince Adams and Abraham Askenazi, Onword Press, 1998.
2 - 14 FEM with MECHANICA

Overview of Pro/MECHANICA Structure


Basic Operation

We are going to start using Pro/M in the next chapter. Before we dive in, it will be useful to have
an overall look at the function and organization of the software. This will help to explain some of
the Pro/M terminology and see how the program relates to the ideas presented in this chapter’s
overview of FEA.

We can divide the operation and functionality of Pro/M Structure according to the rows in Table
I below. These entries are further elaborated in the next few pages. In the process of setting up
and running a solution, you will basically need to pick one option from each row in the table. The
top-down organization of the table is roughly in the order that these decisions must be made.
Other issues such as creation of the model geometry and post-processing and display of final
results will be left to subsequent chapters.

TABLE I - An Overall View of Pro/M Capability and Function

MECHANICA Description
Options
Mode of Independent how Pro/M is operated with respect to
Operation Integrated Pro/ENGINEER

Type of Model 3D basic structure of the model


Plane Stress
Plane Strain
Axisymmetric

Type of Shell element types that can be used in a model


Elements Beam
Solid
Spring
Mass

Analysis Static the fundamental solution being sought for the


Methods Modal model
Buckling
Pre-stress modal
Pre-stress buckling

Convergence Quick Check method of monitoring convergence in the


Methods Single Pass Adaptive solution
Multi-Pass Adaptive

Design Studies Standard high level methods to organize essentially


Sensitivity repetitive computations
Optimization
FEM with MECHANICA 2 - 15

Modes of Operation

A discussion of the full details of operating modes gets pretty confusing, so only the main points
are presented here. These are:

1. Pro/M can operate in two modes3, in relation to its cousin application Pro/ENGINEER.
These are: independent and integrated. A special license is required to run the
independent version. In the student edition, only integrated mode is possible.
2. The user interface is determined by the mode:
‚ integrated mode - Pro/ENGINEER interface
‚ independent mode - Pro/MECHANICA interface
3. If you start out in Pro/ENGINEER to create the part (or assembly) geometry and call up
MECHANICA, you will initially be running in integrated mode. You can then switch to
independent mode if desired (and if your license allows it), as illustrated here (note that the
arrow is a one-way transfer - you can’t get back again!):

Integrated º Independent
Mode Mode
4. If you switch to independent mode, the connection with Pro/ENGINEER will be severed.
Any changes in design parameters (for example following an optimization) must be
manually transferred back into the Pro/E model.
5. In integrated mode, a few Pro/M commands and result displays are not available. However
the tight integration with Pro/E makes it very easy to perform design modification and
quick FEA.
6. In integrated mode, the user interface is the same as Pro/E. Only one set of controls to
learn! The independent mode user interface is quite different.
7. The full set of Pro/M commands and functions are available in independent mode (for
example: display of some types of results such as element p-levels, manual and semi-
automatic mesh generation for difficult models).
8. Although independent mode gives access to the complete range of MECHANICA
functionality, the benefits of feature-based geometry creation/modification are lost.

A condensed comparison of these operating modes is shown in Table II on the next page. As
mentioned above, all the tutorials in this manual are meant to be run in integrated mode.

3
A third mode, called linked, was available up until Release 2000i, but has been
removed.
2 - 16 FEM with MECHANICA

TABLE II - Pro/MECHANICA Modes of Operation

Integrated Mode Independent Mode


Pro/E interface Pro/M interface
all analyses available all analyses available
2D and 3D models 2D and 3D models
some measures of results not available all measures available
some analysis options not available all options available
(eg excluding elements)
all elements generated automatically element creation manual or automatic
sensitivity and optimization using sensitivity and optimization uses Pro/M
Pro/E parameters only variables

Types of Models

This is fairly self-explanatory. In addition to 3D solid, shell, and beam models, Pro/M in both
modes can treat 2D models (plane stress, plane strain, or axisymmetric). Note that all geometry
and model entities (loads and constraints) for all 2D model types must be defined in the XY
plane of a selected coordinate system. Also, a very thin plate might be modeled as a 2D shell,
but if it is loaded with any force components normal to the plate, then it becomes a 3D problem.

Independent Pro/M contains a good set of tools to create both 2D and 3D geometry.
Complicated 3D geometry of parts would be easier to make in Pro/E or some other CAD
package, and brought into Pro/M in integrated mode. The model geometry is generally created
entirely in Pro/E. It is possible to create some (non-solid) simulation features while in Pro/M,
such as datum points and curves.

Types of Elements

The various types of elements that can be used in Pro/M are listed in Table I. It is possible to use
different types of elements in the same model (e.g. combining solid + beam + spring elements),
but we will discuss only a couple of models of this degree of complexity in these tutorials. At
first glance, this seems like a limited list of element types. H-element programs typically have
large libraries of different element types, but these are often necessary to overcome the
limitations of low order simple h-elements. In Pro/M, we do not have this problem and you can
do practically anything with the elements available.
FEM with MECHANICA 2 - 17

Analysis Methods

For a given model, several different analysis types are possible. For example, the static analysis
will compute the stresses and deformations within the model, while the modal analysis will
compute the mode shapes and natural frequencies. Buckling analysis will compute the buckling
loads on the body, and so. Other analysis methods are available but in this manual, we will only
look at static stress and modal analysis.

Convergence Methods

As discussed above, using the p-code method allows Pro/M to monitor the solution and modify
the polynomial edge order until a solution has been achieved to a specified accuracy. This is
implemented with three options:

# Quick Check - This actually isn’t a convergence method since the model is run only for a
single fixed (low, usually 3) polynomial order. The results of a Quick Check should
never be trusted. What a Quick Check is for is to quickly run the model through the solver
in order to pick up any errors that may have been made, for example in the constraints. A
quick review of the results will also indicate whether any gross modeling errors have been
made and possibly to point out potential problem areas in the model.

# Single Pass Adaptive - More than a Quick Check, but less than a complete convergence
run, the single pass adaptive method performs one pass at a low polynomial order, assesses
the accuracy of the solution, modifies the p-level of “problem elements”, and does a final
pass with some elements raised to an order that should provide reasonable results. Unless
the model is very computationally intensive and/or is very well behaved and understood,
avoid this method. The Single Pass Adaptive analysis is available for most model types.

# Multi-Pass Adaptive - The ultimate in convergence analysis. Multiple “p-loop” passes are
made through the solver, with edge orders of “problem elements” being increased with each
pass. This iterative approach continues until either the solution converges to a specified
accuracy or the maximum specified edge order (default 6, maximum 9) is reached. At the
conclusion of the run, the convergence measures may be examined. These are typically the
Von Mises stress and the total strain energy, as shown in Figure 12. Unless you have a very
good reason not to, always base your final conclusions on the results obtained using this
convergence method.

Design Studies

A Design Study is a problem or set of problems that you define for a particular model. When you
ultimately press the Run button on Pro/M, what will execute is a design study - it is the top-most
level of organization in Pro/M. There are three types of design studies:

# A Standard design study is the most basic and simple. It will include at least one but
possibly several analyses (for example a static analysis plus a modal analysis). For this
2 - 18 FEM with MECHANICA

study, you need to specify the geometry, create the elements, assign material properties, set
up loads and constraints, determine the analysis and convergence types, and then display
and review the final results. The Standard design study is what most people would consider
“Finite Element Analysis.”

# A sensitivity design study can be set up so that results are computed for several different
values of designated design variables or material properties. In addition to the standard
model, you need to designate the design variables and the range over which you want them
to vary. You can use a sensitivity study to determine, for example, which design variables
will have the most effect on a particular measure of performance of the design like the
maximum stress or total mass.

# Finally, the most powerful design study is an optimization. For this, you start with a basic
FEA model. You then specify a desired goal (such as minimum mass of the body),
geometric constraints (such as dimensions or locations of geometric entities), material
constraints (such as maximum allowed stress) and one or more design variables which can
vary over specified ranges. Pro/M will then search through the space of the design variables
and determine the best design that satisfies your constraints. Amazing!

A Brief Note about Units

It is crucial to use a consistent set of units throughout your Pro/M activities. The program itself
has no default set of units (other than those brought in with the model from Pro/E), and only uses
the numerical values provided by you. Thus, if your geometry is created with a particular linear
unit like mm or inches in mind, you must make sure that any other data supplied, such as loads
(force, pressure) and material properties (density, Young’s modulus, and so on) are defined
consistently. The built-in material libraries offer properties for common materials in four sets of
units (all at room temperature):
inch - pound - second
foot - pound - second
meter - Newton - second
millimeter - Newton - second
Note that the weight of the material is obtained by multiplying the mass density property by the
acceleration of gravity expressed in the appropriate unit system.

If you require or wish to use a different system of units, you can enter your own material
properties, but must look after consistency yourself. Table III outlines the common units in the
various systems including how some common results will be reported by MECHANICA. For
further information on units, consult the on-line help page “Unit Conversion Tables.”
FEM with MECHANICA 2 - 19

TABLE III - Common unit systems in Pro/MECHANICA

Quantity System and Units


SI Metric English FPS English IPS
MNS mm-N-s ft-lb-sec in-lb-sec
length m mm ft in
time s s sec sec
mass kg tonne (1000 kg) slug lbf-sec2 / in
density kg/m3 tonne/mm3 slug/ft3 lbf-sec2 / in4
gravity, g 9.81 m/s2 9810 mm/s2 32.2 ft/sec2 386.4 in/sec2
force N N lbf lbf
stress, pressure,
N/m2 = Pa N/mm2 = MPa lbf/ft2 lbf/in2 = psi
Young’s modulus

Files and Directories Produced by Pro/MECHANICA

Since you will be working in integrated mode in this book, note that your entire simulation model
is stored in the Pro/E part file. You do not need to store a special copy of this. Simulation
entities like loads and constraints will appear when you transfer into Pro/M from Pro/E.

Pro/M produces a bewildering array of files and directories. Unless you specify otherwise (or
specified in your default system configuration), all of these will be created in the Pro/E working
directory. It is therefore wise to create a new subdirectory for each model, make it your working
directory, and store the part file there. Locations for temporary and output files can be changed
at appropriate points in the program. For example, when you set up to run a design study, you can
designate the location for the subdirectory which Pro/M will create for the output files.

The important files and directories are indicated in the Table IV. In the table, the symbol Î
represents the directory specified in the Run > Settings dialog box for output files, and Ï
represents the directory specified in the same dialog box for temporary files. Unless the run
terminates abnormally, all temporary files are deleted on completion of a run. The names model,
study, and filename are supplied by you during execution of the program. Note that many of
these files are stored in a binary format and are not readable by normal file editors.
2 - 20 FEM with MECHANICA

Table IV - Some Files Produced by Pro/MECHANICA

File Type File/Directory Name Comments

Model Files model.mdb the mdb file contains the last-saved


model.mbk model database. mbk is a backup
that can be used if the mdb file is
lost or corrupted
Engine Files Î/study/study.mdb contains the entire model database at
the time a design study is started
Engine output files:
Î/study/study.cnv - convergence information
Î/study/study.hst - model updates during optimization
Î/study/study.res - measures at each pass
Î/study/study.rpt - output report for a design study
(also accessible with the Run >
Summary command)
Exchange Files filename.dxf file formats used for import/export
filename.igs of geometry information
Temporary Files Ï/study.tmp/*.tmp should delete automatically on
Ï/study.tmp/*.bas completion of design study
Results Files filename.rwd result window definitions stored
with Save in the Result Windows
dialog box
AutoGEM Files model.agm information about the most recent
AutoGEM operation. If the model
has not yet been named, this file is
untitled.agm
Miscellaneous mechevnt a complete history of the most
Files recent Pro/M session (every
command, mouse click, and data
entry). Automatically overwritten
with next session.

On-line Documentation

For further details on any of these functions or operating commands, consult the on-line
documentation available with MECHANICA. See your local system administrator for
FEM with MECHANICA 2 - 21

information on how to access these files.

Summary
This chapter has introduced the background to FEA. In particular, the difference between h-code
and p-code methods have been discussed. The general procedure involved in performing an
analysis was described. Finally, an overview of MECHANICA has been presented to give you a
view of the forest before we start looking at the individual trees!

You are strongly urged to have a look at the articles written by Dr. Paul Kurowski that are listed
in the References at the end of this chapter. These offer an in-depth look at common errors made
in FEA, the concept of convergence, a comparison of h- and p-elements, and more comments on
the difference between CAD and FEA.

In the next Chapter, we will start to look at the basic tools within MECHANICA. We will
produce a simple model and go through the process of setting up a standard design study for
static analysis of a simple 3D solid model. We will also take a first look at the methods for
viewing the results of the analysis.

References

“Avoiding Pitfalls in FEA,” Paul Kurowski, Machine Design, November 1994.

“When good engineers deliver bad FEA,” Paul Kurowski, Machine Design, November, 1995.

“Good Solid Modeling, Bad FEA,” Paul Kurowski, Machine Design, November, 1996.

Finite Element Methods for Engineers, Roger T. Fenner, Macmillan, 1975.

Building Better Products with Finite Element Analysis, Vince Adams and Abraham Askenazi,
Onword Press, 1998.

The Finite Element Method in Mechanical Design, Charles E. Knight, Jr., PWS-Kent, 1993.

CAD/CAM Theory and Practice, Ibrahim Zeid, McGraw-Hill, 1991.

The Finite Element Method, T.J.R. Hughes, Prentice Hall, 1987.

Computer-Assisted Mechanical Design, J.Ed Akin, Prentice Hall, 1990.


2 - 22 FEM with MECHANICA

Questions for Review


1. What is the purpose of interpolating polynomials in FEA?
2. What is a “model?” What are some different types of models and how do these relate to the
real world?
3. Is it ever possible for a FEM solution to be “exact?” Why or why not?
4. What is the primary source of error when using first-order h-elements for stress analysis?
5. Give an outline of the necessary steps in performing FEA.
6. Why is it probably not a good idea to use a CAD model directly in an FEA solution?
7. What is the “Golden Rule” of FEA?
8. How is convergence of the solution obtained using h-code and p-code methods?
9. Does mesh refinement always yield higher maximum stresses?
10. What is the maximum edge order available in Pro/M? In the (unlikely) event that the
solution will not converge, what needs to be done?
11. What measures are typically used in Pro/M to monitor convergence?
12. How will error enter into an FEA?
13. What is a design study? What types are available in Pro/M?
14. What are the three methods of convergence analysis? When would each be appropriate?
15. What types of 2D models can be created? In what operating modes? What restrictions are
there on 2D models?
16. What types of analyses can be performed on a model?
17. How can you gain access to the on-line help on your system?
18. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of integrated and independent modes of
operation.
19. What is the maximum edge order available in Pro/M? In the (unlikely) event that the
solution will not converge, what needs to be done?
20. What measures are typically used in Pro/M to monitor convergence?
21. What are the steps required to perform a complete FEA with Pro/MECHANICA?
22. Where and how do you set up the units for the Mechanica model?

Exercises
1. Consult a numerical methods textbook and find out what algorithms are used to solve very
large linear systems. What effect does round-off error have, and can this be quantified? Are
some methods more susceptible to round-off than others?

2. Locate some product brochures for FEM software, and look for the kind of modeling errors
discussed in this chapter. Compare the models to the “real thing” and comment on any
differences you notice.
DESIGN MODELING
with
Pro/ENGINEER
6th Edition (Pro/E 2001)

James E. Bolluyt
Iowa State University

Schroff Development Corporation


Shawnee-Mission, Kansas
Introduction to 1
Computers in Design
1.0 COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN
It is difficult to grasp how rapidly computer technology is changing
the way we live and work and play. Electronic brains in the form of
microprocessors are parts of the cars we drive, the planes in which we
fly, the televisions we watch, the telephone systems we communicate
with, the automated tools we use to produce such products, and the
computer-aided design (CAD) systems used to design such products
and tools. Computer hardware for CAD systems continues to become
faster and more powerful and less expensive. Much of the software
continues to become more sophisticated in order to take advantage of
the more powerful hardware, and also less expensive. And there is no
apparent end in sight to such mind-boggling developments.
The first CAD packages were "Computer-aided Drafting"
packages – little more than electronic equivalents of the drafting
board. Though they offered some advantages over manual drafting,
especially as the software became more sophisticated and "user
friendly," the 3-D model was still only in the designer's mind, not in
the computer file or database. 3-D computer modeling requires
exponentially more computing power than 2-D electronic drafting,
and the first computers, even mainframes, did not have that kind of
computational power.
But the power of computers grew rapidly, especially after such
developments as the transistor and integrated circuit (late 1950s),
microprocessor or "computer on a chip" (1971), and very large scale
integration or VLSI (thousands and eventually millions of electronic
devices on a single chip of silicon). Developments in display technol-
ogy such as the raster scan display also made sophisticated graphics
applications more attractive as well as practical.
Such developments in computer hardware made possible
substantial developments in 3-D computer modeling theory and
software in the 1960s and 1970s. But these early efforts were carried
on mostly by large, technology-intensive companies like McDonnell-
Douglas and General Motors for their own applications and the
software was therefore proprietary, at least initially. These early
packages also required mainframe computers on which to run and so
1
2 Chapter 1 Introduction to Computers in Design

were not practical for smaller companies, much less individual users.
It was the rapid development of large-scale integrated circuit
technology in the 1980s and, in particular, the introduction of 32-bit
processors that made "personal computers" (PCs) and "personal
workstations" possible. (Bit is short for binary digit; i.e., the 0 or 1 in
the binary system of numbers. 32-bit processors handle data in 32-bit
chunks.) Such developments brought the power of mainframes to the
desktop and made 3-D modeling, along with a host of other sophisti-
cated software applications, practical for an ever increasing number of
users. The increasing power, speed, and affordability of computer
hardware also made it attractive for software designers and program-
mers to develop increasingly sophisticated applications to take advan-
tage of the newest hardware. The number and variety of 3-D com-
puter-aided design packages increased dramatically, and most of these
were available to anyone willing to pay.
The 3-D modeling packages developed in the late 1980s and
early 1990s tended to fall into one of two categories – those that could
run on smaller systems (PCs) and those that required the power of a
high-end workstation or minicomputer. By the mid 1990s, however,
PCs had become powerful enough to make that distinction blur. The
newest PCs now come with processors that run at 1000 megahertz
(MHz) or faster, 256 or more megabytes (MB) of random access
memory or RAM, hard disks of 40 gigabytes (GB) or more, and
reasonably high resolution monitors. That is enough power to run
many of the CAD packages that would run only on high-end worksta-
tions less than a decade ago.
This text is intended to be an introduction to computer model-
ing concepts that are characteristic of current 3-D modeling software.
In particular, it is an introduction to the 3-D computer-aided design
software Pro/ENGINEER™. Pro/ENGINEER is one of the more
sophisticated CAD packages on the market, that, until fairly recently,
would not run on a typical PC. All the examples in this text, how-
ever, were done on a PC with a 650 MHz Pentium III processor, 256
MB of RAM, and a 20 GB hard disk. By current PC standards (mid
2001), that is not all that much of a machine.

Modeling and the Design Process


We design (and build, manufacture, fabricate, etc.) things in order to
solve a problem or fulfill a perceived need. Design is a primary
activity in a wide variety of disciplines. Regardless of the design
field, however, the process of design includes a characteristic set of
"steps." A typical set of "steps" or activities would include:
• Need Identification
• Problem Definition
• Search
Section 1.1 Model Representation Schemes 3

• Determination of Constraints
• Selection of Criteria
• Development of Alternative Solutions
• Analysis
• Selection of Best Solution
• Specification of Best Solution
• Communication of Best Solution

Though there is definite logic to the order in which these activities are
listed, design is by nature an iterative process. Rarely, if ever, do we
proceed step-by-step through the list to an acceptable result. Fre-
quently, steps are repeated for one reason or another. Some steps,
such as "Search" (which might include such things as literature
reviews, existing product analyses, interviews, lab tests, etc.) are often
done repeatedly, perhaps almost continuously throughout much of the
design process.

The Electronic Model Database


During this design process, much information pertaining to the design
and the process itself is generated. Computer systems offer a means
of easy storage and retrieval for most, if not all, of this information.
Ideally, the 3-D computer model database can serve as the central
storehouse for all the information that describes one or more alterna-
tive designs as they develop (see Figure 1-1). The model database
might include any or all of the following:
• design components as 3-D solid models
• assembly and subassembly models
• production drawing files for nonstandard components
• manufacturing specifications
• bill of materials (or parts list, schedules, etc.)
• files required for CAM (computer-aided manufacturing)
or CIM (computer-integrated manufacturing)
• results of any computer analyses done for the design

The more tightly all this information is bound together, the


better. Ideally, for example, we should be able to make a modifica-
tion to a component model and see that change reflected in appropri-
ate assemblies, production files, and analyses results either automati-
cally or semiautomatically. Current high-end CAD packages, includ-
ing Pro/ENGINEER (or Pro/E for short), have this tight integration
of all design database information as a primary goal.
4 Chapter 1 Introduction to Computers in Design

Figure 1-1 The computer and the Identify and Define


computerized design database can Need
ideally be the central storehouse for NO YES
Analysis:
all the information gathered and OK? Best?
used during the design process,
from initial need identification to final Design
Research
Loop Final Product,
production/construction.
Process, etc.

The
Develop / Refine Design
Concepts
Data-
Base

Inputs
Design / Production / Construction / Marketing / Management / etc.

1.1 MODEL REPRESENTATION SCHEMES


Many current CAD packages allow us to create “models” using any
one of several representation schemes. For example, even if the
software is a 3-D modeler, we might decide to ignore the 3rd dimen-
sion and use it to “draw” one or more views of an object on the screen
as if we were drawing on paper. We might call this a “2-D wire-
frame” representation since we would be using a set of 2-D views to
represent the 3-D model and we would be using lines or "wires" to
represent the edges and surface boundaries seen in each 2-D view as
illustrated in Figure 1-2. In this case, however, the 3-D model exists
Figure 1-2 Traditional and compu-
only in our minds, not in the computer database.
ter-aided drafting use 2-D "wire-
frames" to represent 3-D models.
But the 3-D model exists only in the Wireframe Representation
designer's or drafter's mind. Choices of 3-D representation schemes might include wireframe,
surface, or solid. The representation scheme used determines the
kinds of operations we can do on the model and the kinds of informa-
tion that can be associated with the model. In a 3-D wireframe
representation, the model definition consists of nodes (or vertices or
points) in xyz space and lines or wires between appropriate pairs of
nodes, but no surface definitions (connectivity) or “solidness”. This
was the scheme employed in the first 3-D modelers because it is the
simplest and requires the least computer power to achieve useful
performance. But because surface definition is not part of a true
wireframe representation, no "hiding" of what would be invisible
edges in the real physical model is possible. A 3-D wireframe image
Figure 1-3 A 3-D wireframe is often is therefore inherently ambiguous as illustrated in Figure 1-3.
difficult to interpret. For example, is
the cylindrical projection facing
toward us or away from us? Do the
Surface Representation
smallest circles represent "pins"? A second possible 3-D representation scheme is a surface representa-
"holes"? some combination? tion. In a 3-D surface representation, the model definition consists of
Section 1.1 Model Representation Schemes 5

nodes (points) in xyz space, lines (edges) between appropriate pairs


of nodes, and connectivity. Connectivity means that sets of edges are
somehow “linked” together by the software such that they enclose one
or more “surfaces” (see Figure 1-4). Surface models make possible
such things as hides (hidden line and surface routines for showing
correct visibility), surface colors, textures, and patterns, and analyses
based on surfaces (area, perimeter, planar relationships, etc.). Such a
scheme therefore offers important advantages compared to wireframe
representation.
Figure 1-4 In a surface representa-
Surface Types
tion, edges are connected such that
Good modelers provide tools for creating a variety of surface types they enclose one or more surfaces.
including planar, single-curved, double-curved, and warped surfaces In the model above, for example, the
(see Figure 1-5 on page 6). Though planar and single-curved surfaces "front" surface could be represented
are the most commonly used surface types, double-curved and as the "connectivity list" 1-2-3-4-5-6-
7-8-9-10 (vertices or "nodes").
warped surfaces also have important applications. Methods for
defining complex curves and curved surfaces have been developed
specifically for computer modeling.
What characterizes most single-curved surfaces is that all the
lines or elements that help define the surface are either parallel (as in
cylinders) or intersect at a common point (as in cones). Cones and
cylinders are by far the most common single-curved surfaces. A
useful characteristic of single-curved surfaces is that they are develop-
able; i.e., they can be rolled out or "developed" onto a planar surface
(see Figure 1-6).
Double-curved surfaces, as the name implies, are character-
ized by curvature in two directions. A straight line can lie completely
in a single-curved surface, but not in a double-curved surface.
Spheres and torii are the most common examples of double-curved Figure 1-6 Single-curved surfaces
surfaces, but this category includes a host of more exotic types includ- have the advantage of being
ing some specifically developed for computer applications. "developable," a useful characteris-
Warped surfaces are characterized by straight-line elements tic in many manufacturing and
that are skew to one another (i.e., nonparallel and non-intersecting fabrication operations.
elements). Two fairly common warped surface types are hyperbolic
paraboloid and hyperboloid (see Figure 1-5) but this category also
includes quite an assortment. Though warped surfaces tend to be
difficult to construct or fabricate, they have the structural advantage
of being inherently rigid and are useful as transitional surfaces.

Solid Representation
The third and most sophisticated 3-D representation scheme is a solid
representation. A solid representation includes nodes, edges, and
surface definitions like a surface representation scheme, but in addi-
tion, a "key" to differentiate "inside" from "outside" of an appropriate
set of surfaces. It is a complete and unambiguous mathematical
representation of a precisely enclosed and “filled” volume. Since the
6 Chapter 1 Introduction to Computers in Design

(a) tetrahedron (b) cube (c) dodecahedron

(d) cone (e) circular cylinder (f) elliptical cylinder

(g) sphere (h) torus (i) ellipsoid (oblate)

(j) hyperboloid (one nappe) (k) hyperbolic paraboloid (l) helicoid (around cylinder)
Figure 1-5 Various surface types may be used to define or help define solid models (or surface models). Surface
types include planar (a, b, and c), single-curved (d, e, and f), double-curved (g, h, and i), and warped (j, k, and l).
Section 1.2 Solid Model Creation Techniques 7

Figure 1-7 If a computer model is Figure 1-8 Constructive Solid Figure 1-9 Sweeping involves
defined as a solid, cutting through Geometry involves the combining of moving geometry through space to
the model with a "cutting plane" will simple solid shapes to produce more produce new geometry.
produce one or more new surfaces. complex solid shapes.

software defines the volume as “filled”, a modeling operation that


somehow “cuts” through the volume will produce one or more new
surfaces as suggested in Figure 1-7.

1.2 SOLID MODEL CREATION TECHNIQUES


Though several techniques have been developed for creating and
defining solid models, the two most commonly provided or applied in
CAD software are constructive solid geometry (CSG) and sweeping
techniques (see Figures 1-8 and 1-9). In practical modeling, various
combinations of these two techniques are typically used to create the
final model.

Constructive Solid Geometry


Constructive Solid Geometry or CSG can be defined as the combining
of 3-D solid primitives in various ways to create more complex
objects. What is considered a “primitive” is rather arbitrary, though
modelers that offer basic CSG techniques usually provide definitions
for the simpler 3-D solid shapes such as block, pyramid, cylinder,
cone, sphere, etc. As applied in practical CSG modeling, however, a
"primitive" can be very complex itself, and, in fact, often is. The
combining is done using what are called Boolean operators (or
logical or set operators) applied to 3-D solid geometry.
In some modelers, the solid model is stored as a CSG tree (or
binary tree). In this form, the model is represented as a set of primi-
tive shapes which are related to one another using an appropriate set
of Boolean operators as illustrated in Figure 1-10. The shape, size,
orientation, and location of each primitive, along with the Boolean
operations that relate each primitive to one or more other primitives is
stored in the model database. In a sense, such a CSG tree is like a
recipe for the final model.
8 Chapter 1 Introduction to Computers in Design

Figure 1-10 If a computer model is created using Constructive Solid


Geometry techniques, it can be represented and stored as a CSG tree.

Boolean Operators
There are three basic Boolean operators, but current modelers usually
provide the basic three plus several to many variations on the three.
The three basic Boolean operators are called union, difference, and
intersection. In CSG, the union operator (mathematical symbol ∪)
combines two solids or volumes into a single solid or volume (see
Figure 1-11). The union operator corresponds to the OR logical
operator (A ∪ B = all of the volume in A OR B). In theory, the two
initial solids can be overlapping, just touching, or some distance
apart. Some modelers only allow the union operation under the first
two conditions since making two separated solids into a single piece
without moving one of them is not physically meaningful. For the
union operator, order of operands does not effect the geometry of the
result; i.e., A ∪ B = B ∪ A.
The second of the three is the difference or subtraction
operator (mathematical symbol -). The difference operation removes
the volume of one solid from that of a second solid (see Figure 1-12);
the solid subtracted is generally deleted from the model. The differ-
ence operator corresponds to the NOT logical operator (A - B = all
the volume in A but NOT that which is also in B). For the difference
operation, order of operands does effect the outcome; i.e., in general,
A - B ≠ B - A as illustrated in Figure 1-13. The difference operation
can result in one or more new solids.
Section 1.2 Solid Model Creation Techniques 9

(a) two separate volumes (a) two separate volumes (a) two separate volumes

(b) two volumes combined (b) cone subtracted from box (b) box subtracted from cone

Figure 1-11 The UNION operator Figure 1-12 The SUBTRACTION Figure 1-13 For the SUBTRAC-
combines two volumes or solids as operator subtracts the volume of one TION operator, order of operands is
in (a) into a single volume or solid solid from that of a another. important to the resulting geometry
as in (b). (compare Figure 1-12).

The third and last of the


basic Boolean operators is the
intersection operator (mathemati-
cal symbol ∩). The intersection
operator keeps only that volume
common to two solids (see Figure
1-14). The intersection operator
corresponds to the logical AND (A
∩ B = all the volume common to
both A AND B). As for the union (b) the common volume
(a) two separate volumes
operator, order of operands does
not effect the geometry of the Figure 1-14 The INTERSECTION operator finds the volume common to
outcome; i.e., A ∩ B = B ∩ A. both of the initial volumes and makes that the new volume or solid.

Sweeping
The second technique provided by typical modelers for creating solid
models is sweeping. Sweeping is a valuable modeling tool since
there are some shapes that are difficult if not impossible to create with
10 Chapter 1 Introduction to Computers in Design

CSG alone (see Figure 1-15).


Sweeps might be used to create
wireframe and surface models as
well as solid models, depending on
how the CAD package works. In
theory, moving (sweeping) any
geometry (point, line, surface, solid)
through space along an arbitrary path
defines new geometry. In practice,
the shapes and paths that are al-
lowed, and the resulting model
definition, are a function of the
software and the limitations of the
computer hardware.
The most common types of
sweeps in computer modeling use a
planar shape as the generator and a
straight or curved line as the path of
the sweep (see Figure 1-16). In
theory, a straight line path might be
Figure 1-15 Some shapes are difficult if not impossible to create using perpendicular, oblique, or parallel to
CSG techniques but quite easy to create with sweeping techniques. (in the plane of) the planar genera-

Figure 1-16 The most common sweeps involve a planar generator and
either a straight or curved line path.
Section 1.3 Parametric Modeling 11

tor. In some modelers, the path for linear sweeps is always assumed
to be perpendicular to the plane of the generator, though sweep paths
that are oblique to the plane of the generator are also sometimes
useful. Some modelers, including Pro/E, use the term extrusion
instead of linear sweep.
Circular sweeps are the most common curved-path sweeps,
though other types of curved path sweeps such as spiral, elliptical,
and more “exotic” forms can also be useful. Most current modelers
offer circular sweeps and many, including Pro/E, offer some more
exotic variations as well. Some modelers use the term revolve instead
of circular sweep. Figure 1-17 illustrates several variations of a
curved-path sweep.

(a) original model

Figure 1-17 There is a large variety of curved paths that a sweep might
follow, limited only by the curves definable in the software and within the
practical limits of the hardware.

1.3 PARAMETRIC MODELING


In early solid modelers and many current modelers, the shape of the
model is defined using user-directed CSG and/or sweeping tech-
niques. If dimensioned views are required for production documenta-
tion, the dimensions are derived from the completed model. In some (b) modified model
current modelers, the dimensions are associative, meaning that if we
make a change in the model, appropriate dimensions will change Figure 1-18 If dimensions are
associative, changes in the model
accordingly (see Figure 1-18). (This works only for changes that do will automatically be reflected by
not require a different dimensioning scheme; i.e., if features with changes in the appropriate
which dimensions are associated change in basic shape, a new asso- dimensions as illustrated above.
12 Chapter 1 Introduction to Computers in Design

ciative dimensioning scheme must be established.) In other modelers,


a change in the model requires making dimensioning changes "by
hand" based on the new geometry. In either case, we could say that
the dimensions are derived from the model or the model is "driving"
the dimensions.
Another approach to the model-dimension relationship is to let
the dimensions be model "parameters." Webster defines parameter as
"a constant that varies with the functions of its application." The
phrase "a constant that varies" may seem contradictory. The idea,
however, as applied in some modelers, is that a real value (constant)
is initially assigned to each shape-defining dimension. But the value
of any given dimension can be changed (can vary) and the model
geometry will change accordingly (see Figure 1-19). In other words,
the shape-defining dimensions drive the geometry of the model.
In parametric modeling, we first define the characteristic 3-D
shape or topology of the model. As we define this model topology,
the modeler assumes or requires us to specify the parameters neces-
sary to control the size, orientation, and location of each feature of the
model, as well as logical relationships among features and dimen-
Figure 1-19 In some CAD soft- sions. The modeler also assigns initial values to the parameters so a
ware, dimensions are treated as meaningful image of the characteristic shape can be generated. We
model-defining parameters which can then assign a new value to any given parameter (e.g., dimension
can be changed and automatically value dimval1 shown in Figure 1-19) as appropriate and the model
produce corresponding changes in
the model geometry.
will be automatically updated. (The modeler typically checks any
new values to make sure they are consistent with the original topology
and don't conflict with any other parameter values before confirming
the updated model.)

CHAPTER 1 EXERCISES
1.1 Determine the following information about the system you are
using: type of CPU, clock speed of CPU, type of display processor,
clock speed of display processor, display resolution, number of
simultaneous colors possible, amount of RAM, operating system(s)
supported, size of hard disk, peak performance in MIPS (Millions of
Instructions Per Second), MFLOPS (Millions of FLoating-point
Operations Per Second), or other benchmarks.

1.2 Find definitions for the following acronyms: CAD, CAM, CAE,
CG, AI, RAM, ROM, NC, CNC, FEM, CPU.

1.3 Research each of the following terms. Write a brief description/


definition of each and be prepared to share your information with the
rest of the class.
Chapter 1 Exercises 13

transistor integrated circuit (IC)


very large scale integration (VLSI) raster scan display
megahertz (MHz) parallel processing
Bezier curve B-spline curve
constraint criterion

1.4 Find and record two examples of each of the following in exist-
ing designs: single-curved surface; double-curved surface; warped
surface. For each example, sketch enough of the design to make it
clear how the particular type of surface was used to help define design
geometry.

1.5 In a linear sweep operation, why might a sweep path parallel to


the plane of the generating shape be considered trivial?

1.6 Sketch two variations of the characteristic shape shown in Figure Figure E1.6
E1.6 at right (i.e., same block-with-hole but different proportions or
dimension parameter values). Use pictorial sketches and orient them
like the pictorial shown.

1.7 Sketch a CSG tree illustrating how the model in Figure E1.7
might be created using Constructive Solid Geometry techniques.
Assume that the simple primitives block, cone, circular cylinder,
rectangular pyramid, and sphere are predefined and that the three
basic Boolean operators UNION, DIFFERENCE, and INTERSEC-
TION are available. Show the primitives in pictorial with orientations
consistent with the final model image shown in the figure.

1.8 Make a sketch illustrating how the model represented in Figure


E1.7 might be created using linear and/or circular sweeps and Bool- Figure E1.7
ean operations. Assuming the modeler had no restrictions on the
complexity of the profile to be swept, what is the fewest number of
each type of sweep (linear and circular) necessary to create this
model? What is the fewest number of Boolean operations necessary?

1.9 Sketch a CSG tree for the model represented in Figure 1-2.
Make the same assumptions given in Exercise 1.7. Show the primi-
tives with orientations consistent with the final model image shown.

1.10 Make a sketch illustrating how the model represented in Figure


1-2 might be created using two linear sweeps and a Boolean union
operation (assuming complex profiles including "holes" are allowed).

1.11 Make a sketch illustrating how the final model represented in


Figure 1-10 might be created using linear and circular sweeps and
Boolean operations. Assuming the modeler had no restrictions on the
14 Chapter 1 Introduction to Computers in Design

complexity of the profile to be swept, what is the fewest number of


each type of sweep (linear and circular) necessary to create this
model? What is the fewest number of Boolean operations necessary?

1.12 Make a sketch illustrating how the model in Figure E1.12 might
be created using linear and circular sweeps and Boolean operations.
What is the simplest set of sweeps and Boolean operations necessary
to create this model? (Assume all holes, including the one in the
center that is barely visible, are "through" holes.)
Figure E1.12
1.13 Sketch a CSG tree for the model in Figure
E1.13. Make the same assumptions as in Exercise
1.7 and, in addition, assume there is a variation of
the Boolean difference operator that allows us to
clip or cut off any portion of a solid with an arbi-
trary "cutting plane."

1.14 Make a sketch illustrating how the model in


Figure E1.13 can be created using linear sweeps
and Boolean operations. Assuming the modeler
had no restrictions on the complexity of the profile
to be swept, what is the fewest number of linear
sweeps necessary to create this model? What is the
fewest number of Boolean operations necessary?
Figure E1.13
1.15 Determine as much as you can about how the
hardware on which you will run Pro/ENGINEER is
set up. For example, how is Pro/ENGINEER installed on your
system(s) and where is the actual software stored – locally or on a
network server? How is it accessed from the machine you are/will be
using? What are the default directories for model files, plot files, trail
files, etc? Will you be using the CONFIG.PRO file that goes with the
text (see p. ix), a modified version thereof, or one specifically created
for a specific course or purpose? If different from the CONFIG.PRO
that goes with the text, research the differences in as much detail as
possible. Will you be using the files available with the text? If so,
where will they be stored and how can they be accessed? Where are
printing and/or plotting peripherals located and what will be the
general procedure for using them? Are they connected to your ma-
chine and, if so, how can plot or print files be sent for processing?
Mechanical Engineering Design with
Pro/ENGINEER Release 2001

Dr. Mark Archibald

SDC
PUBLICATIONS

Schroff Development Corporation


www.SDCpro.com
CHAPTER 2
BASIC FEATURE CREATION AND MODEL
MANIPULATION

Chapter Objectives:

$ To teach students basic feature creation techniques.

$ To teach students the importance of model


structure.

$ To teach students to manipulate and save model


views.

2-1
The Pro/E Interface

The Main Window

Pro/E uses a graphical user interface that combines menus, toolbars, and windows to provide an
efficient working environment. The active model appears in the graphics area of the main
window (Fig 1).

Figure 1 Main Window

The header bar at the top of this window displays the model type and name, and indicates
whether the model is active. The active model displays (Active) after the model name.

Figure 2 Header bar

The figure shows the header bar for a Pro/E part model named bracket. Note that this is the
active window.

The menu bar, containing non-model specific menus, lies just below the header bar.

Figure 3 Menu Bar

2-2
Following is a brief description of the menu bar options. Most of these menus are treated
extensively in later chapters.

File File commands, such as set working directory, save, open, create new
object, erase from RAM, delete either old versions or all versions of a
file.

K Note 1: When Pro/E saves a file, it does not overwrite the


previously saved version, but creates a new file with an
incremented version number, such as frame.prt.4 . Old versions of
model files must be deleted, or purged, periodically to prevent
excessive numbers of files on disk.

K Note 2: When a window is closed (see the Window menu), the


model remains in memory. To remove it from memory, use the
Erase command (be sure to save the file first!)

Edit Modify, redefine, or manipulate pre-selected features of the model.

View Access image viewing commands such as repaint screen, shade image,
model orientation, model colors and lights.

Insert Inserts features into the model.

Sketch Access sketcher tools such as lines, arcs, move, text, etc. (This menu
is only available in sketcher mode.)

Analysis Analyze the model and obtain measurements such as distance between
entities, lengths and areas, curvature, etc.

Info Access model information commands, such as bills of material, model


or feature information, parent-child relations, etc.

Applications Select other applications, such a Pro/MECHANICA,


Pro/SHEETMETAL, or Pro/NCPOST.

Utilities Set environmental variables, modify configuration options, set system


colors, etc.

Window Activate, close or select a window. (Note that Pro/E can have multiple
windows open at any time, but only one will be active. In order to
work on a model, its window must be activated from this menu.)

Help Activate on-line help, either general or context-sensitive.

2-3
A toolbar, with icons for frequently-used commands, follows the menu bar. It contains icons
of frequently used commands, such as create new object, save model, open model, repaint
screen, orient model, and blank datums, axes, points or coordinate systems. The toolbar is
easily customized to contain icons for most Pro/E commands. Toolbars can also be placed on
the right or left side of the main graphics window.

Figure 4 Top Toolbar

The main graphics area contains the Pro/E model, and is where most of the modeling work
occurs. A message area is located just above the graphics area. Important information and
prompts are provided in this area.

U Important: Always check the message area to avoid missing important information.

A one-line help area appears on the bottom line of the window. When the cursor is placed
over a menu item or icon, a succinct description of the command is provided here.

When a model is opened or created, additional menus appear that are specific to the type of
model. These menus will be discussed in the exercises. Most menus have multiple levels,
which usually remain open as you move down the menu tree.

Model Tree

An additional window, called the Model Tree, also opens when a


model is activated or created. The model tree displays the hierarchy
of the model. For part models, features are listed in order, along with
an icon indicating the feature class (solid feature, datum feature,
surface, etc.) (By default, only components are shown for assembly
models, although assembly and part features can be easily shown on
the tree.) Additional columns can be added for more information.
For example, it is often useful to see feature IDs. The model tree is a
"roadmap" for your model. Good designers quickly learn to use the
model tree frequently and effectively.

Usually, model features can be selected from either the model tree or
the model itself. Also, if the highlight option is activated (it is by
default), the model feature is highlighted when the cursor is placed Figure 5 Model Tree
over a feature on the model tree. This is very useful for identification of features in complex
models.

When Pro/E is started, an additional window may appear at the top of the screen. This
window is called the application manager, and is used to navigate between various
applications and windows. It contains a button for each open window. To pop a window to

2-4
the foreground, simply click on its button. When ending your work session, first exit Pro/E,
then exit the application manager.

Figure 6 Application Manager

Pro/E model views can be manipulated with the mouse more easily than from the view menu.
Mouse view control -- zoom, spin, and pan -- is accomplished by pressing the control key
while simultaneously pressing one of the mouse keys and dragging.

Mouse View Control

Zoom Press Ctrl and the left mouse key while dragging right or left.

For a window zoom, press Ctrl and left click the mouse on opposite
corners of the zoom box.

Spin Press Ctrl and center mouse key while dragging.

Pan Press Ctrl and right mouse key while dragging.

Good Design Practice

Design Intent

To effectively use Pro/E as a design tool, designers must not only know and understand the
software functionality, they must also know how to build models that behave as desired
during modifications or downstream applications. This is known as capturing design
intent, and is extremely important for reducing design cycle time. Unlike many CAD
programs, Pro/E requires the designer to think beyond basic geometry. Most parts designed
in Pro/E will be modified, sometimes drastically. Most will also be used with other
applications, such as Pro/MECHANICA, NC machining, mold design, injection molding
simulation, stereolithography, etc. If the part model is poorly constructed, modifications will
be difficult, perhaps requiring that the part be completely remodeled. Also, much time may
be required to repair or remodel the part prior to using any of the downstream applications.
Some of the prime benefits of the Pro/E package can be nullified by poor modeling.

Throughout this book, emphasis is placed on capturing design intent. Examples and tutorials
show good modeling practice and illustrate how the design intent is realized. Emphasis is
placed on understanding the model and what it will be used for prior to modeling. The

2-5
importance of model structure, especially parent-child relationships, is treated extensively.
The Pro/E student should strive not just to understand how to obtain desired geometry, but
how to obtain the desired geometry with a robust model.

Good practice starts at the feature creation level, where parameters and parent-child
relationships are defined. The structure of the model -- as reflected in the model tree -- is the
second tier in developing good models. Building robust assemblies is the third tier.
Attention, planning, and foresight will ensure that good design practice is obtained at all three
levels.

Model Structure

Understanding how to structure a model is the first step to good design practice. Pro/E
models are hierarchical. Each feature (except the base feature) references earlier features in
the model. When the model is changed in any way, features regenerate in sequence. If the
model has changed in such a way as to delete the references for a feature, the regeneration
process will fail when it gets to that feature. (What to do then is covered in Chapter 6.) Thus
it is very important to understand the relationships between model features. These are known
as parent-child relationships.

Pro/E models are also parametric. Model geometry is defined by a set of parameters. The
two most common ways to define parameters are dimensions and alignments. When a
dimension is defined, it becomes a parameter of the model. It is important to consider this
when creating geometry, as the model parameters define how the model will behave when
modified. Alignments indicate that new geometry should be aligned with existing features
(essentially a dimension that always has a value of zero.)

Every Pro/E model should start with default datum planes.


These are three orthogonal datum planes that provide
references, either directly or indirectly, for all subsequent
features in the model. Recall that datum planes are infinite
planes and have both a red and a yellow side. Datum planes
provide excellent references for other features, and frequently
models will contain many of them. However, the default
datum planes are special, in that they provide a three-
dimensional anchor for the entire model.

The first feature in any model should be default datum planes. Figure 7 Default Datum
Planes
Thought should be given to the order of subsequent features.
Sometimes the order is obvious: to model a cylindrical shaft with a keyway, create a
cylindrical protrusion followed by a cut. Other times careful thought is required to ensure a
robust model results. In addition, there are usually many different ways to obtain a particular
geometry. Learn as many of these methods as possible, then select the ones that will best
capture the design intent.

2-6
As features are added, parent-child relationships are created. For example, when a hole is
placed in a flat plate, three references are required: the surface on which the hole is placed
and two edges or surfaces used to define the location of the hole on the placement surface.
All three references could be to a single feature -- the flat plate, or they could be to different
features, say the flat plate, a datum plane and the surface of a cut in the plate. In the former
case, the hole would have only one parent. In the latter case, the hole would have three
parents. It is usually good to minimize the number of parent-child relationships in the model.
Thus the first method is usually, but not always, the best. It is always important to know
what you are using for references during feature creation.

In short, a Pro/E model is comprised of an ordered set of features held together in a web of
dimensions, alignments, and references. The web defines the parent-child relationships
between features.

Data Base Management

Although model structure is the most important aspect of good design practice, data base
management is also important. The File menu contains most of the commands needed.
Selected commands are discussed here, along with some tips for good file management.

New Creates a new model. A dialog box opens with the type of model (part is
the default) and the name of the new model (Fig 3). Select the model type
by clicking on the appropriate button, and enter the new name. Note that
only the base name should be provided -- Pro/E will append the correct
extension based on the type of file. (For example, if the model is a part
and bracket is entered, the actual file name is bracket.prt.1.) There is also
a button called copy from. This loads an existing model into the new
model (without affecting the old model.) It is very useful if the new part is
similar to an existing part. The tutorials show how this feature is used to
expedite model creation for all models.

Open Opens an existing model. A dialog box appears showing file names of
objects in the current working directory. Click on the desired file and click
the open button. Note that the Type box permits files to be filtered by
type, such as part, assembly, manufacturing, etc. Icons provide shortcuts
to navigate through directories.

Set Sets the working directory. The working directory is the directory that
Working Pro/E uses to look for files or to write new files (unless otherwise
Directory specified.) At the start of each work session, set the working directory to
ensure the files are read and written correctly.

Close Closes the model window. Closing the window does NOT erase the part
Window from memory.

2-7
Save Save the current model to the hard drive. Note that you are prompted for
the object to save, which must exist in session (in memory.) The current
model is the default.

Save a This option can save a copy of the model as:


Copy
1) an native Pro/E file with a different name or location
2) an image of the model (TIFF, encapsulated postscript, etc.)
3) a different type of file (STL, IGES, CATIA, etc.)

Erase Erases models from memory. When a window is closed, the model
remains in memory, or In Session. To clear memory, use the erase
function. Two options are available: Current or Not Displayed. Current
will erase the model in the active window from memory. Not Displayed
brings up a dialog box of all items in memory that are not displayed on the
screen -- select all or some for erasure.

Note that files are NOT saved prior to erasing from memory.

Delete Deletes files from the hard drive. The two options are to delete All
Versions or delete Old Versions. The latter purges all versions of the file
except the most recent.

Other options include Backup (save to a different directory), Rename (change the name of
the model), and Print.

Tips for good data management...

1. Create a new directory for each new project, with subdirectories as needed. Pro/E can
generate a large number of files and good project organization is imperative.

2. Create subdirectories for each Mechanica analysis and each manufacturing model.

3. Purge old versions frequently to prevent using excessive disk space. One approach is
to always purge prior to saving -- then you will always have just one backup version.
(Clearly, do not delete old versions if they are needed for archives.)

4. Typing "purge" from a system window will delete old versions of all files in the
directory.

5. Remember that closing a window removes the model from the screen, but does not
erase it from memory or save it. To clear memory, use the Erase command.

2-8
Pro/E Customization

There are many ways in which Pro/E can be customized. While some of these methods
should only be attempted by advanced users, many others are both important enough and
simple enough for the novice Pro/E user to use. The most important is the configuration file,
typically called config.pro. This file should reside in the same directory from which Pro/E is
started (the home directory.) It is an ASCII text file that contains configuration commands.
When Pro/E is started, it looks for this file, and automatically executes all the commands.
This configures Pro/E for an individual designer. The config.pro file can be modified during
a session, but must be loaded before changes take effect. The Edit Config and Load Config
commands accomplish this (they are found under Preferences on the Utilities menu.)

It is also quite simple to customize the toolbar. While the default toolbar is usually fine for
beginners, experienced Pro/E users may find that some additional commands are used very
often. It is convenient to place these commands as icons on the toolbar. In fact, several
different toolbars can be created, each with its own set of commands. To modify the toolbar,
position the cursor on the toolbar and press the right mouse button.

Pro/Help

This manual provides an introduction to Pro/E and is designed to get the student productive
as rapidly as possible. However, no tutorial or lab manual can include all the details of the
many Pro/E commands. Students should form the habit of using the on-line help to obtain
more information. On-line help, available through a web browser, is accessed in several
ways. To obtain access to all on-line manuals, use the Pro/HELP command on the Help
menu. This method permits browsing through any help manual desired. To obtain context-
sensitive help on a particular topic, use the What's This command on the Help menu. The
cursor becomes a question mark. Select a command from any menu, and the help screen for
that topic appears. Alternately, position the cursor over any command and press the right
mouse button to bring up context-sensitive help.

K Develop the habit of using on-line help on a regular basis. This helps beginners
master Pro/E much more quickly.

Basic Feature Creation

A sound understanding of feature creation is crucial for effective modeling in Pro/E.


Frequently several feature types can be used to create the desired geometry. The designer
must choose the types that best capture his or her design intent. Then he or she must know
the steps required to create each feature.

This section presents an overview of four of the most fundamental solid features --
protrusions, cuts, slots, and holes. (Solid features either add or remove solid "chunks" of
material to the model.) The intent is to familiarize the student with the nature of each type of
feature so that appropriate choices can be made regarding which to use for a particular task.

2-9
The lab exercises demonstrate implementation steps for each feature. Subsequent sections
address additional feature types, and are accompanied by appropriate lab exercises. A
separate section describes sketcher.

K Hint: Use context-sensitive online help to learn more details about each of the
following features.

Protrusions

A protrusion adds solid material to the model. Most protrusions are sketched features,
meaning that 2D geometry is first created using sketcher, and then swept through space in
such a way as to create a solid. There are several types of protrusions, depending on how the
sketch is moved to form the solid. A brief description of the protrusion menu picks:

Extrude The 2D sketch is moved in a straight line perpendicular to the sketch


plane. The resulting solid is prismatic.

Revolve The 2D sketch is rotated about an axis, through any desired angle. If
the angle is 360E, the resulting solid is axisymmetric.

Sweep The 2D sketch is moved along a 3D path called a trajectory. The


resulting solid may be complex, but will always have a constant cross-
section.

Blend Several 2D sketches are used, located on parallel planes separated by


distances prescribed by the user. The resulting solid changes cross-
sectional shape as it goes from one sketch to the next. The cross
sections may have any shape, but must be comprised of the same
number of segments. The resulting geometry is often complex.

Use Quilt The solid is generated from a surface quilt (several connected
surfaces.) This type of protrusion is not sketched, and will be
discussed in Chapter 12.

Advanced Several advanced methods of creating protrusions are also available,


such as the Variable Section Sweep and the Swept Blend. These
features are quite powerful, but somewhat more complex than the basic
protrusions. Some of these will be treated in later chapters.

Cuts

A cut removes solid material from the model. This menu option is only available if the
model contains solid geometry. Cuts are created exactly like protrusions, except that where
the protrusion adds material, the cut removes material. The menu options are identical to
those for protrusions -- Extrude, Revolve, Sweep, Blend, Use Quilt, and Advanced. Like

2-10
protrusions, most cuts are sketched features. Once the section has been sketched, Pro/E
prompts the user for the which side of the section (sketch) should be removed.

Holes

Holes are pick-and-place features, meaning that they are not sketched. A hole always
removes material from the model, and always has a circular cross section. To create a hole,
Pro/E only needs to know on what surface the hole is to be placed, the location of the center
of the hole on the surface, the hole diameter, and the depth of the hole. Prompts are provided
for all these items.

There are three types of holes: Straight, Sketched and Standard. A straight hole is always
cylindrical in shape. A sketched hole is similar to a 360E revolved cut in that the axial cross
section can be sketched. Tapered holes and other non-cylindrical holes can be created more
easily with the sketched hole feature than with a revolved cut. Standard holes include
counterbores, countersinks, standard threads, and notes. This is an easy way to create tapped
holes complete with thread notes.

Sketcher and Intent Manager

Sketcher, along with an enhancement called Intent Manager, is used for creating most Pro/E
features. It is a powerful tool for generating 2D sections, which are subsequently used to
generate 3D geometry. Sections are the resulting 2D entities which are produced by sketcher.
Typically, sketcher is invoked within a feature creation sequence, such as a protrusion, cut, or
slot. (It can also be used independently to create and save sections for later use, but that
functionality is not discussed here.) Mastery of sketcher is essential for efficient and
effective use of Pro/E. Fortunately, it is easy and intuitive B and smart. This section provides
a brief overview of sketcher. Chapter 5 describes sketcher assumptions and use in much
greater detail.

Sections are created by sketching a rough approximation of the desired geometry.


Dimensions, alignments, and sketcher assumptions refine the sketch. The values of each
dimension can then be modified to obtain the exact desired geometry.

Sketcher automatically makes assumptions as the sketch is created. The Intent Manager
automatically places "weak" dimensions and alignments. If a user understands how sketcher
and intent manager work, he or she can usually ensure that most of the automatic dimensions,
alignments, and assumptions are correct. (Those that are not correct can easily be changed,
however.) This is the key to using sketcher effectively.

In order to create solid geometry, a section must be located with respect to the part. This is
done by first defining a sketching plane, then by aligning or dimensioning the section to the
part. The sketch plane is defined prior to entering sketcher mode. It can be either a datum
plane or a flat surface. The section is sketched on this plane. A point or an edge of a sketch
can be forced to always lie directly on an existing part entity, such as a datum plane, edge,

2-11
side, or curve. This is called alignment, and is one way to locate the section to the part
within the sketch plane. Alternatively, dimensions can be placed between the sketch and part
entities. In either case, sufficient alignments and dimensions must be provided to locate the
section in both the vertical and horizontal directions.

Intent manager automatically creates alignments and dimensions. However, intent manager
must know what references should be used to do this. A dialog box presents default
references. In most cases, the default choices should be accepted. Sometimes a user needs to
specify additional references or replace default references. A warning is issued in sufficient
references are not selected prior to starting the sketch. Choosing references is important!
Choosing correct references will ensure that desired alignments and most dimensions are
obtained automatically. This affects not only the current section, but also parent/child
relationships within the model. Some guidelines for choosing references:

U Any and all part entities to be aligned to the sketch must be selected.

U Part entities to be used for dimensioning should be selected.

U Choose references to obtain desired parent/child relationships. For example,


choose references that all belong to one feature to minimize the number of
parents.

Sketching can begin once references are defined. Sketches consist of lines, arcs, circles,
points, and several advanced entities such as splines. Geometry types are selected either from
the sketcher toolbar or from a pop-up menu activated by the right mouse button. Note that
entities snap to the references. Also, lines that are nearly vertical or horizontal snap to
vertical or horizontal respectively, and symbols V or H appear. These are two of the
assumptions that sketcher makes. (If you want a line at a very small angle from the
horizontal, sketch it at a large angle, and modify the angle value later.) Other assumptions
are described below. As each segment of the sketch is completed, dimensions appear in
white.

K Note: Do not confuse a dimension (a parameter in the Pro/E model) with its
value. It is very important to create the correct dimension scheme, but
values can be changed very easily B within sketcher or later, in part mode.

These are "weak" dimensions, because they were created by the Intent Manager. Frequently
some of these need to be replaced with more desirable dimensions. Desirable dimensions can
be strengthened B that is, the user tells Pro/E that these dimensions should not be
automatically deleted. "Strong" dimensions are shown in yellow. New dimensions can then
be created. As they are created, weak dimensions are removed. User-created dimensions are
always "strong." If a new dimension conflicts with an existing strong dimension, Pro/E asks
which dimension should be deleted.

2-12
Sketcher Assumptions

Understanding assumptions is important for effective sketcher use. Typically, assumptions


are obvious during a sketch because the pointer snap to the appropriate entity and a symbol
for the assumption appears. Sketcher assumptions are summarized in the following table:

Assumption Description Sym.

Equal radius Circles or arcs sketched with approximately equal R


radii are assumed to have exactly the same radii. (index)
The radius snaps to the assumed value.

Symmetry Entities approximately symmetric about a sketched ÿ


centerline are assumed to be symmetric. Vertices
snap to symmetric positions.

Horizontal & Nearly horizontal or vertical lines are assumed to H or V


vertical lines be so. Lines snap to horizontal or vertical. (index)

Parallel or Lines nearly parallel or perpendicular to existing * or z


Perpendicular lines are assumed parallel or perpendicular. Lines (index)
lines snap to parallel or perpendicular.

Tangency Entities sketched approximately tangent to each T


other are assumed tangent. Entities snap to (index)
tangency.

Equal segment Lines of approximately the same length are L


length assumed to have the same length. Line snaps to (index)
length.

Point entities Point entities that lie near other entities (lines, arcs, 
lying on other circles) are assumed to lie on them. Point snaps to
entities entity. (Note: point entities include end points of
lines and arcs and center points of arcs and circles.)

Equal Center points of arcs and circles with nearly the › or ,


coordinates same X and Y coordinates are assumed to have (pairs)
the same coordinates. Centers snap to X or Y
coordinate.

Sketcher assumptions can be used very effectively during sketching to quickly obtain the
desired section. If an assumption needs to be avoided, exaggerate the sketch. For example,
place two circles that should lie near, but not on, the same horizontal line well away from

2-13
each other. This forces sketcher to place a dimension rather than make an assumption. The
value of the dimension can be modified later to any desired value (even zero, but that is poor
practice!)

After the sketch is complete, the values of the dimensions must be modified, and the sketch
regenerated. Additions, deletions, and further modification may then take place.

Some rules of thumb for sketcher:

U Choose references carefully in order to achieve desired alignments, dimensions,


and parent/child relationships.

U Exaggerate the sketch B avoid very small entities and undesirable assumptions.
Use Modify to achieve the desired geometry.

2-14
Exercise 2.1 Base

Objective: To introduce students to fundamental feature creation techniques, including


extruded protrusions, slots, and holes.

This exercise involves modeling the base part shown below. The best way to learn Pro/E
software is to dive right in and create a part model. That is exactly what this exercise
involves.

K Note 1: Prior to starting this lesson, create a new directory called tutorial. (Do
this in a system window.)

K Note 2: Strive to complete the exercise as presented, however, explore the menus
and toolbar to become familiar with their functionality.

2-15
1. Change the working directory to the tutorial directory. Select File>Set Working
Directory.

Select the tutorial directory to highlight it and select OK.

2. Create a new part named base. Select the Create New Object icon (blank
paper). (Or use File>New.) The New dialog box opens.

$ Note that the radio button for part is selected by default.


Create
$ Also note that Use default template is selected. This ensures that the model New
starts with default datum planes, coordinate system, and saved views.

Enter the name base and select OK.

3. Create the base feature. Select Insert>Protrusion>Extrude.

Accept the default of One Side. Select Done.

K Shortcut: The default menu selections are shown in bold. To accept them, simply
click the middle mouse key.

At the prompt to create a sketching plane pick on datum FRONT. (Note: To select a
datum plane pick either on the name tag or the border of the datum plane.) Accept the
default direction by selecting Okay.

For the second reference select Default.

The model now reorients and the References dialog box opens.
Note that datums RIGHT and TOP are selected by default. These
are the desired references, so no action is required. Select Close.

$ Note that the selected references are indicated with brown


dashed lines in the main graphics window.

$ Pro/E is now in sketcher mode. Note the sketcher toolbar on the


right. Figure 8 References

For this example, it is important to have the plate symmetric about datums RIGHT and
TOP. To ensure this symmetry, create two centerlines aligned to these datums.

Press the right mouse key to activate the pop-up menu. Select Centerline. (Alternately,
select the Line icon arrowhead, then select the Centerline icon.) Pick once on datum

2-16
RIGHT to begin the centerline. Note that this becomes a pivot point for the line. Drag
the line so that it aligns with datum RIGHT (a pair of small solid rectangles appear when
aligned.) Pick a second time on datum RIGHT. The first centerline is created. Repeat for
the second centerline, using datum TOP as the alignment reference.

Figure 9 Sketch of rectangular base feature.

Sketch a rectangle symmetric about the two centerlines. Select the Rectangle
icon. Use
the grid and pick two diagonal corners of a rectangle symmetric about the
two centerlines. Note that the rectangle snaps to symmetry. Also, small Rectangle
arrows at the vertices indicate the symmetry constraints. (Do not sketch a
square!)

K Tip: The sketching grid can be toggled on and off with the Toggle the grid on/off icon.

Dimensions for the width and height of the rectangle appear in white. These are called
weak dimensions (system-supplied dimensions.) The values for these dimensions may be
quite large at this point -- they must be modified.

Click the middle mouse key to cancel rectangles and


return to selection mode. Drag a selection box around
the sketched rectangle, being sure to include both
dimensions. Select the Modify icon. Modify
icon
Deselect the Regenerate box. Then enter 4 for the
vertical dimension and 6 for the horizontal
dimension. Select the Done icon. The sketch is now Done icon Figure 10 Modify
complete. Dialog Box

2-17
Select the Done icon from the toolbar.

The depth of the solid rectangle must now be defined. From the SPEC TO menu, select
Blind>Done. Enter a value of .25.

To preview the base select Preview from the extrude dialog box. Press and hold the
Control key while dragging the mouse with the middle mouse key depressed to spin the
model and view it from different angles. Select OK from the PROTRUSION:Extrude
dialog box. The protrusion is now complete.

4. Create a cut in the protrusion. Select Insert>Cut>Extrude.

Accept the default of One Side. Select Done.

Turn off datum plane display for clarity. Select the Datum Planes on/off icon
from the toolbar to toggle the display.

Pick on the front side of the base to create a sketching plane. Ensure that the
arrow points into the base. If so, select Okay. If not, select Flip and check Datum
that the arrow flips direction into the base, then select Okay. (The slot Planes
feature will begin on the sketching plane and extend into the direction shown by the
arrow. Clearly, in this case we want the slot to extend into the part, rather than out into
empty space.)

For the second reference select Top and then pick the top side of the part.

Figure 11 Orientation references for sketching the slot feature.

When the References dialog box opens, select both default references and delete them.
Then pick the bottom edge of the part and the right edge of the part.

It may be easier to see the sketch if shading is turned off. Select the Hidden
Line icon to change the display.

Hidden
line

2-18
Figure 13 Sketcher references and the first line

Sketch a single line as shown in Fig 6 (do not worry about dimensions yet.) Select the
Line icon or use the right mouse key pop-up menu. Use a left pick to start and end the
line, and middle pick to terminate drawing lines. Note the H symbol, denoting a
horizontal line.

Select the 3 Point/Tangent End arc icon and create the 180E arc by a left pick
on the end of the line followed by a left pick directly above the line end point.
Note the two small solid rectangles representing the 180E constraint. The
pointer may need to be moved left or right to capture the tangency constraint Arc icon
(denoted by a T.) A third left mouse click completes the arc.

Figure 14 Line and arc showing constraint symbols


(Horizontal, Tangent, and 180E arc.)

Repeat for the second arc. Be sure to look for the R1 symbol denoting equal radius with
the first arc.

2-19
Select the Line icon and sketch a second straight line. It should complete the loop.

Figure 15 Completed sketch, prior to dimensioning.

Shortcuts K In sketcher, the middle mouse key cancels the current mode and returns to
selection mode.

K The right mouse key initiates a pop-up menu with common sketcher
commands.

The default dimension scheme is not what is desired, so create new


dimensions to replace the undesired ones. Select the Dimension icon. Pick
the two center marks (center of the arcs), place the pointer below the part and
click the middle mouse key to place the dimension. Dimension

Now select the center mark of the left arc and select the bottom edge of the part (or the
dashed brown line representing the reference.) Middle mouse pick to the left of the slot
to place the dimension. The remaining default dimensions are acceptable.

To move a dimension, first return to selection mode with a middle mouse click, then
simply drag it to the new position.

Add axis points at the centers of the arcs. Sketched axis points will become datum axes
when the slot feature is complete. From the menu bar, select Sketch>Axis Point.

Pick the center mark for each slot. A small x indicating the axis point is placed.

2-20
Figure 16 Completed sketch of cut after modifying
dimensions and regenerating.

Modify the dimensions. Return to selection mode with a middle mouse click, then drag a
selection box around all four dimensions and select the Modify icon.

Pick the dimension from the right edge to the center and enter 1.75.
Pick the center-to-center dimension enter 2.5.
Pick the dimension from the bottom edge to the center mark and enter .75.
Pick the radius and enter .375.

Select the Done icon from the dialog box. The section is now complete. Select the Done
icon from the right toolbar.

For the direction, the arrow should point toward the inside of the cut. If it is correct,
select Okay, otherwise select Flip>Okay.

Figure 17 Correct arrow direction for cut feature.

The SPEC TO menu defines the depth of the slot. Select Thru All and Done.

2-21
Select Preview to review the slot, then select OK to accept it. Shading the part by
selecting the Shaded View icon may be helpful.

Note the model tree and how the features appear in the model tree.

5. Create four holes for mounting feet to the base. Select


Insert>Hole. The HOLE dialog box opens.

Verify that the Straight Hole radio button is selected.

Diameter and depth parameters are defined in the


Hole Placement section. enter a diameter of 0.25. Use
the pull-down menu for Depth One, and select Thru
All.

(Depth Two is only used for two-sided holes -- those


that extend in both directions from the placement
plane.)

Placement references are selected in the Hole


Placement section. The Primary Reference is the Figure 18 Hole dialog box
surface where the hole starts. Spin the model and
select the top surface of the part approximately 3/4" from the corner.

Figure 19 References for hole placement.

Linear placement requires two references to provide dimensions locating the hole on the
placement surface. The two side surfaces forming the corner of the plate should be
chosen. Spin the model and use Query Select to pick the first of these surfaces. Accept
it when the entire surface highlights, not just a single edge.

K Recall: right mouse key initiates Query Select; left mouse key picks, right mouse key
goes to next entity, middle mouse key accepts.

2-22
Enter .75 for the distance from both references.

Preview the hole and select the Build Feature icon from the dialog box to complete the
hole feature.

Figure 20 The completed hole feature

6. Turn on datum plane display by selecting the Datum Planes on/off icon.

Mirror the hole to create dependent copies. Select


Feature>Copy>Mirror|Select|Dependent and Done.

Select the hole (Query Select may be helpful.) Select Done Select and then Done.

The command line prompts for a plane or datum to mirror about. Query select datum
RIGHT. The second hole now appears.

Mirror both holes about datum TOP. Select Feature>Copy>Mirror|Select|Dependent


and Done. Select both holes. Select Done Select and then Done.

The command line prompts for a plane or datum to mirror about. Select datum TOP.
The base should now have four holes.

K With the Dependent option, all three of the copied holes have the same parameters as
the initial hole. Thus, if the hole is modified, say to change the diameter, all four
holes change together. Subsequent lessons will address Independent copies.

2-23
Figure 21 Holes after using Copy>Mirror twice.

7. Save the part. From the toolbar, select the Save icon. Press Enter to accept
the default part name.

8. Review the model tree. (If the model tree is not visible, turn it on with the
Model Tree on/off icon.) The model tree window appears. Note the features
Save icon
on the tree: the three default datums and coordinate system included in the
default template, the base protrusion, the slot, the hole and the two mirror
features (listed as Group COPIED_GROUP.) Picking the + sign by either
copy feature explodes the feature to show the individual elements copied.
Additional model tree functionality is discussed in later lessons.

9. Explore the predefined model views. Select the Saved View List icon and Model
select FRONT. The model reorients to the front view. Try some of the Tree
other views. on/off

10. Modify the hole diameters. From the PART menu (select Done to return to this menu)
select Modify.

Pick any one of the four holes. The two linear placement dimensions and the diameter
dimension appear. Pick the .25 diameter dimension and enter .1875. Select
Regenerate.

All four holes change to the new diameter. Any model parameter can be easily changed
in this way. Note that our design intent B ensuring that the four holes remain the same
diameter and the same distances from their respective corners B is captured in this
model.

2-24
11. Experiment with the icons on the toolbar. Try shaded image, hidden line, and no hidden
views. Blank the datum planes and axes.

Figure 23 The completed part.

% End Exercise 2.1

2-25
Chamfers and Rounds

Chamfers and rounds are also pick-and-place features. In Pro/E jargon, a round can be
either concave or convex, defined by the surfaces to which it is attached. Both chamfers and
rounds replace edges created where two surfaces meet. Individual edges and chains or loops
of edges can be selected. A chamfer can be specified by the depth from each edge, or by the
depth of one edge and an angle. Rounds can be either simple or advanced. Simple rounds
have a constant radius along their entire length. Advanced rounds provide much more
functionality and flexibility, but are more complex to create. Advanced rounds are treated in
Chapter 7.

Cosmetic Threads

Cosmetic features do not affect model geometry, but may contain important model
parameters. A Cosmetic Thread feature is represented by a simplified thread symbol. It
includes all parameters required to define the thread (type, pitch, accuracy, depth, etc.) It is
much more efficient -- in terms of model size and regeneration time -- to model threads
cosmetically, rather than as a solid feature. Once a cosmetic thread is created, a thread
symbol and thread note can be easily shown on a drawing.

Info Menu

Pro/E can provide a wealth of information about a part or assembly model. Measurements of
the model can be made, mass properties computed, feature and parent/child information
provided. A brief overview of the more commonly used Info menu items is provided here.
For more information, use the on-line help.

Feature Provides list of references, parents, children, and dimensions of a


selected feature.

Model Provides list of model units and feature information for ALL
model features. (Note: This option generates a LOT of
information.)

Global Reference Shows feature or component references, both external and internal.
Viewer The referenced features are listed, and may be highlighted in the
main graphics area.

Parent/Child Highlights or lists the parents and children of a selected feature.


Can also show references or provide information about
parents/children/references.

Relations and Opens an information box showing model relations, parameters,


Parameters and parameter values.

2-26
Exercise 2.2 Adapter

Objective: To provide practice in basic feature creation techniques including introducion to


features such as revolved protrusions, chamfers, rounds, and cosmetic threads.

Figure 24 Adapter drawing

1. Change the working directory to the tutorial directory if it is not already selected.

2. Create a new part named adapter. From the toolbar, select the Create a new object icon.
Enter the name adapter and select OK.

3. Create the base feature using revolved protrusion. Select Insert>Protrusion>Revolve.

Accept the default One Side and select Done.

For the sketch plane pick the FRONT datum and accept the default direction by selecting
Okay.

2-27
For the second reference, select Top and pick on the TOP datum.

Figure 25 Sketch for revolved protrusion feature

The model reorients and Pro/E enters sketcher mode. Accept the default references: the
TOP datum and the RIGHT datum.

K Revolved protrusions require a centerline to define the axis of revolution.

Create a centerline and align it to the TOP datum. Press the right mouse key and select
Centerline from the pop-up menu. Pick somewhere on datum TOP. A centerline
appears. Pick a second time on datum TOP to snap into alignment with the datum. Note
that two bars appear to indicate alignment.

Select Line from the pop-up menu.

Create a sketch that looks like the figure shown. Note that the cursor snaps to the
references as you bring it near. Left mouse picks define each vertex. A middle mouse
pick ends the line. For revolved solid protrusions, the section must be closed. Be sure to
sketch a line along the centerline to close the sketch.

The default dimensions that appeared are not the dimensions we want. Select the
Dimension icon.

To create a diametral dimension, pick the object on which the dimension is to be placed,
then pick on the centerline, then again on the first object. Place the dimension with the
middle mouse key.

Place a diametral dimension on the large end of the section. Pick the edge parallel to the
TOP datum, then pick the centerline, and finally pick a second time on the first edge.

2-28
Place the dimension by moving the cursor to the right of the sketch, and clicking the
middle mouse key. A diametral dimension should appear.

Repeat the procedure for the smaller diameter section on the left side of the part.

Add a dimension for the overall length. Pick the right edge of the sketch and then the far
left edge. Place the dimension above the part with the middle mouse button.

Add a dimension for the length of the right end (the larger diameter end.) Pick on the
edge and then place the dimension above the line with the middle mouse key. (Only one
initial pick is required for dimensioning line segments.)

All dimensions are now defined. To modify these dimensions to the the desired values,
drag a selection rectangle around the entire sketch. Select the Modify icon. Check the
box marked Lock Scale, and change the right (large) end diametral dimension to 2. This
rescales the entire sketch. Deselect Lock scale.

Change the remaining dimensions, entering the values shown in the figure. Select the
Done icon to close the dialog box.

Select the Done icon from the toolbar to complete the sketch.

The protrusion is to be swept through a full 360E. From the REV TO menu select 360
and Done.

The message window prompts that all elements have been defined. Select Preview from
the dialog box to view the finished feature prior to accepting it. Select OK if all is
correct.

4. Create a one inch diameter axial hole on the large end of the part. Select Insert>Hole.
The hole dialog box appears.

Enter a diameter of 1.0 and a Variable depth of 2.0.

For the placement plane, pick the large end surface of the part. From the Placement Type
pull-down menu, select Coaxial. This will place the hole coaxial with axis A1.

Select axis A1 by picking on the axis. Preview the hole and select the Build
Feature icon. The hole is created.

5. Create a datum plane to be used in Step 6. Select the Create Datum Plane
icon from the right toolbar. Select Tangent, and pick the large cylindrical
surface of the part. Select Parallel and pick datum TOP. Select Done. Note
the new datum plane, named DTM1. Create
Datum
Plane

2-29
K Note that datum features can be created during creation of another feature. Thus, this
datum plane could have been created while creating the following hole feature.

6. Create a transverse hole to be used for a ¼-20 threads per inch set screw. Select
Insert>Hole.

Accept the default Straight Hole.

The correct tap drill size for a 1/4-20 UNC thread is a number 7 drill, which is .201 in
diameter. Enter .201 for the hole diameter. Select the Thru Next for the depth one.

Pick the new datum plane for the primary reference. When prompted for the location,
pick a point near datum FRONT and about 1 inch from the large diameter end.

For the first linear reference, pick the large end surface of the part. Enter a value of 1.

For the second reference, pick the datum FRONT. Using query select will help ensure
that you get the correct surface. The prompt asks if you wish to align the feature to the
reference. Select Yes to align it. (If the alignment prompt does not appear, enter 0.0 for
the dimension.)

Figure 27 Transverse hole picks

Preview the hole and select the Build Feature icon.

7. Rename the new datum plane. From the Feature menu, select Done. Select
Setup>Name. Pick on DTM1.

At the prompt Enter New DATUM NAME enter hole_start_pln. Note the name change
in the graphics window and the model tree.

8. Create the sled-runner keyway as an extruded cut. Select InsertCut>Extrude.

2-30
The cut will be sketched on datum FRONT, and extruded in both directions. Select Both
Sides and Done.

For the sketching plane, pick the FRONT datum. Accept the default direction by
selecting Okay.

For the second reference, select Top and pick the TOP datum. The model reorients and
Pro/E enters sketcher mode.

Figure 28 Sketch for keyway (cut feature)

Delete the default references. For references, pick the top edge of the small-diameter end
of the part and the edge on the left end of the part. These references are important -- they
will ensure that the section is correctly aligned to the part. Use query select and read the
command line prompt if there is any doubt.

Sketch a line and tangent arc as in the figure. Note that the cursor snaps to the references
as you bring it near. Circles at the beginning of the line and the end of the arc indicate
alignment.

One dimension needs to be replaced -- the keyway depth. The remaining dimensions are
acceptable. Select the Dimension icon and pick the sketched line and the bottom edge of
the part. Place the dimension to the left of the part with the middle mouse key.

2-31
Modify the dimensions. Rather than using the Modify dialog box, simply double-click on
each dimension and enter the correct value as shown in the figure.

The sketch is complete -- select the Done icon.

The direction arrow should point upward, toward the material to be removed. Select
Okay.

From the Spec To menu, select Blind. Enter a depth of .1875.

K Note that for two-sided features, the Blind option prompts for a single depth which is
symmetric about the sketching plane. If different depths on each side of the sketching
plane are desired, use the 2Side Blind option.

Select Preview from the dialog box to view the finished feature prior to accepting it.
Spin and shade the model to get a better view of the cut. Select OK if all is correct.

9. Create a round where the shaft protrudes from the large diameter end. Select
Insert>Round>Simple>Done.

Accept the defaults of Constant and Edge Chain, and select Done.

Accept the default Tangent Chain, and pick the edge where the small diameter shaft
meets the large diameter adapter. Select Done.

Enter a radius of .125.

Select Preview to view the round. If it is correct, select Okay.

Figure 29 Round and first chamfer picks


10. Create chamfers on the end of the small diameter shaft and the edge of the large hole.
Select Insert>Chamfer>Edge Chamfer>45 x d.

2-32
Enter a chamfer dimension of .03 .

First, pick the edge of the small diameter shaft. Next, pick the edge of the hole on the
large diameter end.

Select Rehighlight to verify that all edges are selected.

Select Done Sel and Done Refs.

Select Preview to review the chamfers. If they are correct, select Okay.

11. Create chamfers on each end of the large diameter section of the part. Select
Insert>Chamfer>Edge Chamfer>45 x d

Enter a chamfer dimension of .05 .

For the edges to chamfer, pick the edges of the large diameter segment of the adapter.
Select Rehighlight to verify that both ends are selected. Select Done Sel and Done
Refs.

Select Preview to review the chamfers. If they are correct, select Okay.

Figure 30 Second chamfer picks

12. Create a cosmetic thread for the setscrew hole. Recall that the setscrew has a ¼-20 UNC
thread. Select Insert>Cosmetic>Thread.

The COSMETIC THREAD dialog box appears. For the thread surface, pick the inner
cylindrical surface of the small transverse hole. Use query select to ensure the correct
surface is selected.

Pick the outer cylindrical surface of large protrusion for the thread start surface.

2-33
The direction arrow appears. It should point into the hole. If so, select Okay, otherwise
select Flip and Okay.

For the thread depth, select Up To Surface and Done. Pick the inner cylindrical surface
of large coaxial hole.

Enter a diameter of .25.

K Note: This diameter is the diameter of the thread symbol. For internal threads, such
as in this case, it should be the major diameter of the thread. For external threads, it
should be the root diameter.

The FEAT PARAM menu appears. The thread parameters (which will appear on a
drawing as a thread note) are defined in this step. Select Mod Params. Pro/TABLE,
Pro/E’s spreadsheet, appears. To use Pro/TABLE, pick on the field to be edited and
enter the desired text. For many entries, keywords are available by pressing the F4 key.

Complete the table as shown in the figure. To use keywords to change the Metric field,
select the TRUE field, press F4, and select FALSE and Okay from the dialog box.

MAJOR_DIAMETER .25
THREADS_PER_INCH 20
FORM UNC
CLASS 2
PLACEMENT B
METRIC FALSE

When the parameters are correct, select File>Exit from the Pro/TABLE menu. Select
Done/Return.

The thread is defined. Select OK from the dialog box. The thread symbol appears.

13. The adapter model is complete. Save the model by selecting the Save icon (or selecting
File>Save.)

14. To remove the model from the memory, select File>Erase>Current. When Erase
Confirm box appears, select Yes.

K Note: If the Window>Close command were used, the window would disappear from
the screen, but the model would remain in memory. The Erase command is the only
way to purge the model from memory

2-34
Figure 31 The Adapter part

% End Exercise 2.2

2-35
Parent/child Relationships

The importance of parent/child relationships is stressed throughout this manual. The ability
to capture design intent, and the robustness of a model (with respect to both modifications
and downstream applications) depend on building good parent/child relationships into a
model. Either the Global Reference Viewer or the Parent/Child option -- both found on
the Info menu -- is used to investigate feature references, parents, and children. The
functionality of the two options are very similar.

The Global Reference Viewer dialog box consists of


three sections. The Filter Setting area enables filters
for Reference Type, Reference Extent (local references
within the model, or external references outside of the
model,) and Displayed Objects (objects with parents,
children or both.) The Main Tree shows the model
tree, from which objects can be selected. The current
object is indicated by an icon on the tree and is listed
above the tree. The Parent/Child Tree shows the
parents and the children of the current object. This
graphical interface provides an easy way to visualize
relationships between Pro/E objects.

A Reference Graph can be opened as a separate


window. It graphically shows relationships between
objects with arrows from child to parent feature. This
is a handy tool for sorting through complex model
relationships.
Figure 32 Global Reference Viewer
When models become large and complex,
understanding parent/child relationships can be very difficult. The most likely cause of a
problem model is poor management parent/child relations. These can lead to regeneration
failures, circular references, or unexpected model behavior. The tools described here help to
identify and correct problems arising from inappropriate references.

Following are a few guidelines for managing parent/child relationships. Subsequent chapters
address these issues in more detail.

2-36
1. Know specifically each reference for every feature created. (Using query select is the
best way to ensure the correct references are selected.)

2. Know the consequences of selecting a particular reference. (This is addressed in


many examples in this manual.)

3. Minimize the number of parents for a given feature. This often makes a more robust
model, and helps to minimize regeneration problems.

4. Use the Global Reference Viewer to see references (Chapter 8.)

The Feature Menu

Features comprise the heart and core of Pro/E part models. The Feature menu contains a
number of commands for creating or changing model features. Many of the options on this
menu are familiar from previous exercises. Most can be accessed from different menus as
well. A brief description of each menu option is provided here, with the alternate location of
the command. Most commands are also accessible from the model tree or with the right
mouse key pop-up menu. Many of these options are discussed in detail later in this manual.
As always, refer to the on-line help for more information.

The Feature menu options are:

Option Alt Description


Create Insert Create new features in the current model. New features are added to the model at
the bottom of the current model tree.

Pattern Edit Make multiple copies of a feature. The Pattern feature is a very powerful and
flexible way to make many copies of a feature. The individual instances can
either be identical to the original or can vary along prescribed parameters. This
feature type is discussed in Chapter 7.

Copy Makes a single copy of a feature or set of features, either with the same references
as the original feature or with new references.

Delete Edit Delete features from the model.

Delete To delete a pattern, this option must be used. It deletes all patterned instances of
Pattern a feature, but leaves the original intact.

UDF User Defined Features are custom features created by the user. They can be
Library stored and retrieved for later use, either in the same part or in different parts.

Group Insert Features can be grouped together. The grouped feature will appear as a single
entry on the model tree.

2-37
Option Alt Description
Suppress Edit A feature can be "turned off" by suppressing it. A suppressed feature does not
appear in the model and does not regenerate with the model. It will not appear in
the model tree unless the "Show Suppressed" option is selected. If so, suppressed
features are indicated by a small black square.

A less-important feature (a complex round, for example) might be suppressed to


reduce regeneration time. Features are also suppressed in order to view
alternative design options. (Each option can be modeled and then suppressed. To
view a design option, simply Resume the associated feature or features.)

Resume Edit "Turns on" suppressed features.

Reorder Features can be moved around in the model tree (and in regeneration order) by
reordering them. This is useful for making a poor model more robust. Of course,
no feature can be reordered to appear prior to any of its parents.

Read Only This option will prevent any modifications to be made to a feature and all
previous features. It is useful in start parts and some other situations.

Redefine Permits almost any parameter associated with a feature to be changed, including
the section for sketched features. This is a very powerful way to change a feature
in many ways at once. Note that if the feature has children, care must be
exercised to ensure that references for children are not deleted.

Reroute References can be rerouted, or changed, to new parent features. This is a very
useful tool for improving parent/child relationships within a model or for
redefining references. (References can be rerouted using the Redefine option,
but the Reroute option is faster if that is all that is required.)

Mirror A mirror image copy of the entire part can be created with the Mirror Geom
Geom option. It is very useful for symmetric parts. The mirrored copy is dependent on
the original and does not regenerate (making an efficient model.) Do not use this
option if the mirrored copy needs to be modified independently of the original.

Insert Model Toggles Insert Mode on and off. Insert mode permits new features to be created
Mode Tree at a point in the model other than the last feature. All features after the insertion
point are temporarily and automatically suppressed. After toggling Insert mode
off, Pro/E prompts to resume all features suppressed when insert mode was
started.

2-38
Delete Feature

Features can be deleted using the Delete option under the Feature menu. It can also be
found on the Edit menu. Normally, its usage is straightforward -- select Delete and pick the
feature to be deleted (either from the screen or off the model tree.) However, if the feature
has children, Pro/E must do something about them before it can delete the selected feature.
Otherwise, the children's references will be missing, and it will be impossible for Pro/E to
regenerate them. Pro/E highlights each child in succession and offers the following options:

Show Ref Highlights each reference of the child that needs to be fixed. The SHOW
REF menu provides the options described under Parent/Child Info above.

Reroute Reroutes references for the child to be fixed.

Mod Enters redefine mode for the child feature. Dimensions and alignments
Scheme can be removed and replaced. (Note: If no children are sketched features,
this option is grayed out.)

Delete Deletes the child feature.

Delete All Deletes ALL children of the feature initially selected for deletion

Suspend Suspends action of child until next regeneration. (Note: this option never
fixes the problem, just postpones it. The next regeneration, which is
usually as soon as the Delete feature is complete, will fail. Resolve mode
can then be used to fix the child.) Rarely is suspend the best choice.

Suspend Suspends action on all children of the feature initially selected for deletion.
All

Freeze For assemblies only, freezes component children. This option is grayed
out for part mode.

Info Opens an information window containing feature information for the child.

2-39
Exercise 2.3 Bracket

Objective: To teach students how to modify and redefine model features.

To teach students fundamentals of parent/child relationships and capturing


design intent.

This exercise involves modeling the bracket shown in the figure. It is intended that the four
holes should always be the same diameter and be located the same distance from their
respective corners. Modification of one hole should cause all holes to update. Also, the slots
are to be identical in dimension, and should be located symmetrically on the part.

The initial model does not capture the design intent. The holes do not all update if one is
modified. The model is then redefined to illustrate two different methods of correctly
capturing design intent.

Figure 33 Bracket Drawing

8. Change the working directory to the tutorial directory (if it is not already there.)

2-40
9. Create a new part named bracket. Select the Create new object icon and enter the name
bracket. Accept the default template.

3. Create the base feature using a thin extruded protrusion. Select Insert>Thin
Protrusion>Extrude. Select Both Sides and Done.

For the setup plane, pick the FRONT datum and accept the default direction.

For the second reference, select Default.

Accept the default references -- datums TOP and RIGHT.

Sketch the section shown in the diagram. Ensure that all dimensions appear as in the
figure. Also note that two lines are aligned with the TOP and RIGHT datum respectively.

Figure 34 Sketch for thin protrusion. Note that the section is open.

2-41
Helpful hints:

1. Start sketching at the right-hand end of the top line (that is aligned to datum TOP.)

2. While sketching arcs, look for the symbols indicating 90E arcs and equal radii (R1).

3. If the third arc cannot terminate on datum RIGHT with a radius equal to the previous
arcs, sketch it with any radius that works. Then select the Constraints icon. Select
the Equality constraint and pick the arc and the first arc. This will enforce the
constraint.

K An alternative, and quicker way is to initially sketch lines only, without the arcs.
Then use the right mouse key pop-up menu and select Fillet (or select the Fillet icon.)
Pick each leg of a sharp corner to create a fillet arc. When all three fillets are created,
select the Constraint icon, and then the Equality icon (the equal sign.) Pick two arcs
to constrain their radii to be equal. Repeat for the third arc.

It may be helpful to reposition dimensions for clarity. Select and drag dimensions to the
desired positions.

Box select all dimensions and select Modify. Deselect Regenerate, and change the
dimension values to those shown. Picking on a dimension in the graphics area highlights
that dimension in the Modify Dimensions box, making modifications easier. Select the
OK icon. If the section appears correct, select the OK icon from the sketcher toolbar.

The Thin Opt menu prompts for the side of the section on which to add material. Flip
the arrow until it points to the inside of the bracket and select Okay.

For thickness enter .125.

Select Blind>Done and enter 5 to define the depth of the bracket.

Preview the protrusion and select OK.

4. Create a saved isometric view of the model.

Select the Orient the model icon. The Orientation dialog box appears.
Expand the Saved Views bar and select FRONT, then Set. The model
reorients to the front view.
Orient the
Use the pull-down menu under Type to select Dynamic Orient. In the Model
vertical field, enter 45 and hit enter. Then, in the horizontal field, enter 35. The resulting

2-42
view is isometric. By the Name bar, enter iso_1 and select Save. The name ISO_1
appears in the Saved Views box.

Select OK to close the Orientation dialog box.

5. Explore the Saved view list icon.

Select the Saved view list icon from the tool bar. The names of the views in
the default template appear, as well as the ISO_1 view just created. Select
each view and see how the model reorients. Finally, select the ISO_1 view. Saved
View list
Note: Views can be saved for any orientation of the model, and they may

6. Create slots in the bracket. Select Insert>Cut>Extrude.

Accept the default of One Side and select Done.

For the sketching plane pick in the area shown in the figure. Accept the default direction.

From the SKET VIEW menu select Top and pick on the large top surface of the part.

Figure 31 Sketching plane and TOP reference picks for the


cut

Delete the left edge reference, and pick the right edge as shown. (It may be helpful to
turn off datum plane display to select these references.)

2-43
Figure 32 Sketching reference picks

K Note: Since the top surface was used for sketcher orientation, this minimizes both the
number of parent/child relationships and the number of references for the slot feature.

Sketch the slot shown in the figure using lines and tangent arcs.

Figure 33 Slot sketch

Select the Dimension and create the slot width dimension by picking on each of the center
marks followed by clicking the middle mouse key above the part. Likewise, create a

2-44
dimension from the top reference to the left arc center mark. Finally, create a diametral
dimension for the arc by double-clicking on the arc and then placing the dimension with
the middle mouse key.

Modify the dimensions. Use a box to select all the dimensions. Select Modify and enter
the correct values as shown in the figure.

Add axis points at the slot center marks. Select Sketch>Axis Point from the menu bar.
(Alternatively, select the Axis Point icon, accesses via the flyout next to the Coordinate
system icon on the sketcher toolbar.)

Pick on each center mark. (Note that the pointer snaps to the center marks.) An X
appears over the center mark to indicate that an axis point is created. This creates an axis
through each center mark of the slot.

Select the Done icon from the sketcher toolbar.

Make sure the arrow points toward the inside of the slot, and select Okay. (If it points
toward the outside of the slot, select Flip and Okay.)

For depth enter Thru Next and select Done. Select OK to accept the slot.

Figure 34 Bracket with first slot

7. Create a hole in the upper flange. Spin the part slightly so you can see the upper large
flange as well as two edges comprising one of the external corners. Select
Insert>Hole.

2-45
Accept the default Straight Hole. Enter .375 for the diameter and select Thru Next for
Depth One.

For the placement plane (the Primary Reference), pick the top surface near the corner.
For the first linear reference, pick the thin back surface (use query select) and enter .5 for
the distance. Pick the thin on the left side of the part and enter .75.

Figure 35 Reference picks for the first hole

Preview the hole and select the Build Feature icon.

8. Use the Info menu to identify the parents and the references for the hole feature. Select
Info>Parent/Child. Select the hole. The Reference Information Window appears.

The left column shows that the hole has no children. The right column shows that the
thin protrusion is the only parent feature of the hole. (If you mistakenly picked on a datum
plane for one of the references, it would be highlighted as well.) Select the parent feature
in the right column, and the feature is highlighted. This is very handy for large models.

Expand the parent list by selecting the + box. This shows the references used to create
the hole. Select each reference in turn to highlight the reference in the main graphics
area.

The first reference is the top surface of the protrusion. That reference was created by
selecting the placement plane for the hole. The thin back surface and left surfaces of the
part are the remaining two references. These were used for the linear dimensions for the
hole.

Close the dialog box.

9. Create a second hole on the short flange of the part with the same dimensions and the
same diameter as the first hole.

2-46
K Note! The hole feature created in this step will NOT capture our design intent. It is
included here to illustrate this point. It is deleted and replaced with a better feature in
a later step.

Spin the part slightly so you can see the smaller flange as well as two edges, including the
same side as the first hole. Select Insert>Hole.

Figure 36 Second hole reference picks

For the diameter enter .375. For the depth, select Thru Next.

For the placement plane, pick the flange surface near the corner. Pick the thin front
surface (use query select) and enter .5 for the distance. Pick the thin surface on the side of
the part and enter .75.

Preview the hole and select the Build Feature icon.

2-47
Figure 37 Bracket with slot and holes after Step 9.

10. Modify the first hole diameter and placement. Select Modify.

Pick the first hole. Change the diameter to .75 and the dimension from the side to 1.5.

Note that the modified dimensions turn white to indicate that the model needs
regeneration. Select Regenerate from the PART menu.

Note that only one hole changes B the second hole is unaffected. The design intent is not
captured in this model. To fix this problem, delete the second hole and recreate it using
the Feature>Copy option.

First, modify the part again to return the hole to its original dimensions. Select Modify
and pick the hole. Change the two dimensions to their original values. Select
Regenerate.

11. Delete the second hole. Select Feature>Delete. Accept the default Normal and pick on
the second hole. Select Done and the hole disappears.

K Shortcut: With the Select Primary items icon selected, pick the hole in the main
graphics area or on the model tree. When it highlights, activate the right
mouse key pop-up menu. Select Delete. Select OK at the prompt to
delete.

This also works for Modify and several other commands.

2-48
12. Create a dependent copy of the first hole. To do this, two of the original references B the
hole placement plane and the back thin surface B must be replaced. Select
Feature>Copy>New Refs|Select|Dependent|Done

Pick the hole and select Done Sel and Done.

The Group Elements dialog box appears. Since all three dimensions for the hole will
remain unchanged, do not check any boxes. Select Done.

Figure 38 Copy hole reference picks


The WHICH REF menu appears with Alternate as the default. The placement surface
is highlighted. Use query select to pick the inside surface of the small flange. (If the
outside surface is chosen, the hole will be created off of the part. Why?) The next
reference is highlighted. Replace the back edge by picking the thin front edge of the
small flange as the new reference. When the side surface highlights, select Same to keep
it. The new hole should appear highlighted. If it is correct, select Done. If not, select
Redefine and fix the references.

13. Repeat step 10 to modify the holes. Note that both holes now update together. The
design intent is realized.

Modify the part again to return the holes to their original dimensions.

14. Mirror the two holes and the slot so they appear on the opposite side of the part. Select
Feature>Copy>Mirror|Select|Dependent|Done

Pick the two holes and the slot to be mirrored. Use query select to select the two holes
and the slot. (Note: To ensure that the correct items are selected use the rehighlight
option under the Get Select menu.) Select Done Sel and Done.

2-49
When prompted to select a plan to mirror about, pick the FRONT datum. (If datum
planes are turned off, pick on the toolbar icon to turn them on again.) The holes and the
slot are now mirrored about that datum.

15. Modify the holes to demonstrate that the new features are dependent on the original.
Select Done from the Feature menu followed by Modify from the PART menu.

Pick one of the holes. Change the .75 dimension to 1.5 and the .375 diameter to .75.

Pick one of the slots. Change the 1.0 width of the slot dimension to .5. Change the .5
dimension from the right edge of the part to 1. Select Regenerate.

Notice that all four holes and both slots are changed. This illustrates how dependent
copies can be used to capture design intent.

Modify the part again to return the holes and slots to their original dimensions.

Save the part by selecting the Save icon from the tool bar and accepting the default name
of the part.

16. Examine the model structure. Look at the model tree. There should be three default
datum planes and a coordinate system, a protrusion, a cut, a hole and two group
COPIED_GROUP features. Each of these features regenerates with the model. Since
this part is symmetric, a more compact model could be made using the Mirror Geom
command.

K Note that the next few steps demonstrate an entirely different method of modeling
the part. The resulting geometry will be identical.

17. Delete the copy mirror feature. Select Feature>Delete.

Pick the mirror feature either by picking on any one of the mirrored features or directly
from the model tree. Select Done Sel>Done.

18. Redefine the thin protrusion feature so that it is extruded on only one side. Select
Feature>Redefine. Pick the thin protrusion feature. The Protrusion:Extrude dialog
box appears.

We need only alter the attributes element. Select Attributes and Define. The
ATTRIBUTES menu appears. Select One Side and Done.

The depth should be one-half the original five inches. Select Blind|Done and enter 2.5.

2-50
Select Preview to view the redefined feature. Note that the holes and slots are not
shown in the preview, because they were added to the model after the protrusion. Select
OK.

Figure 39 Bracket after redefinition in Step 18.

19. Mirror all geometry to complete the revised part. Select Feature>Mirror Geom. Pick
the FRONT datum. All part geometry is mirrored.

20. The part now looks the same as it did after Step 14. Look at the model tree. Notice that
the second group copied feature has been replaced with a single merge feature. Repeat
Step 15 to ensure that the holes and slots still meet our design objective of updating
together.

2-51
Figure 40 The Bracket part

K There are subtle, but important differences in this model and the model as completed
in Step 15, although the final geometry is identical.

1. The model regenerates faster because only the first half is regenerated (this is not
significant for a small part like the bracket, but may be important for large or
complex models.)

2. The parameter defining the width of the part only defines one-half of the actual
width. This is apparent when a drawing is created from the part B the width
dimension would extend from the center of the part to one edge. Usually this is
undesirable, and may justify the original method of model creation. (There are fixes
for this problem, but it is always more elegant to obtain the desired parameters
within the model.)

3. If the model is to be used for a finite element analysis, and if the loads are also
symmetric about the FRONT datum, it can be a very big advantage to use the Mirror
Geom feature. It is easy to suppress this feature, thus facilitating a symmetric
analysis.

% End Exercise 2.3

2-52
Review Questions

1. Explain what is meant by "capturing design intent." Why is it important?


2. Describe the structure of a Pro/E part model.
3. List several methods of creating protrusions.
4. What is the difference between a "pick-and-place" feature (such as a hole) and a
sketched feature?
5. List three ways to access on-line help for a particular menu option.
6. What is the Model Tree, and how is it used?
7. What should always be the first feature in a new Pro/E model?
8. What are parent/child relationships? Why are they so important?
Problems

P2.1 Create a model of the hub shown.

Hints: $ Use a revolved protrusion for the basic hub shape.


$ Use an extruded cut to create the keyseat.
$ Use a Standard Hole type with 5/16 UNC threads for the setscrew hole. Use
the keyseat for the placement plane.
$ Use Copy>Mirror to copy the bolt holes.

2-53
P2.2 Create a model of the spider shown in the figure. (Note: this will be a component in
the reducer assembly created later in this tutorial.

Hints: $ Use an extruded protrusion for the small central circle.


$ Use an extruded protrusion to create the first arm.
$ Use Copy>Move with the Rotate option to rotate the arm 60E. Rotate about
either the central axis or the default coordinate system Z axis.
$ Use Copy>Mirror three times to obtain the remaining arms.

2-54
Pro/ENGINEER®
Advanced Tutorial
Release 2001

Roger Toogood, Ph.D., P. Eng.


Mechanical Engineering
University of Alberta

Schroff Development Corporation


Shawnee-Mission, Kansas
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1-1

Lesson 1

Pro/E Customization Tools


and
Project Introduction

Synopsis:
Configuration settings; customizing the screen toolbars and menus; mapkeys; part templates;
introduction to the project

Overview
This lesson will introduce tools for customizing your Pro/E configuration and working
environment and show you how to create some useful shortcuts for accessing Pro/E commands.
The major customization tool is the use of one or more configuration files (default file:
config.pro). The lesson also includes managing and creating your own custom toolbars and
mapkeys. We’ll also see how you can create your own part templates.

The major project used in this tutorial is introduced and the first four parts are presented.

Configuration Files (config.pro)


By now, you should be familiar with the commands for environment settings that are available in

Utilities > Environment

These aspects of the Pro/Engineer working environment (and much more!) can also be controlled
using settings stored in configuration files (config files for short). Pro/E has several hundred
individual configuration settings. All settings have default values that will be used if not
specifically set in a config file.

The most important config file is a special file called config.pro that is automatically read when
Pro/E starts up a new session. You can also read in (and/or change) additional configuration
settings at any time during a session. For example, you may want to have one group of settings
for one project you are working on, and another group for a different project that you switch to
during a single session. In this tutorial, we will deal only with the use of the single configuration
file, config.pro, loaded at start-up.
1-2 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

Several copies of config.pro might exist on your system, and they are read in the following order
when Pro/E is launched:

‚ config.sup - this is a protected system file which is read by all users but is not available for
modification by users. Your system administrator has control of this file.
‚ Pro/E loadpoint - this is read by all users and would usually contain common settings
determined by the system administrator such as search paths, formats, libraries, and so on.
This file cannot normally be altered by individual users.
‚ user home directory - unique for each user (Unix)
‚ startup directory - the current or working directory when Pro/E starts up. To find where
this directory is, select File > Open and observe the directory name in the top box1

Settings made in the first copy (config.sup) cannot be overridden by users. This is handy for
making configuration settings to be applied universally across all users at a Pro/E installation
(search paths for part libraries, for instance). An individual user can modify entries in the last
two copies of config.pro to suit their own requirements. If the same entry appears more than
once, the last entry encountered in the start-up sequence is the one the system will use. After
start-up, additional configuration settings can be read in at any time. These might be used to
create a configuration unique to a special project, or perhaps a special type of modeling. Be
aware that when a new configuration file is read in, some options may not take effect until Pro/E
is restarted. This is discussed more a bit later.

Settings in config.pro are composed of two entries in the following form:

config_option_name config_option_value

Option values can be composed either of text, single numbers, or series of numbers. A complete
listing and description of all config options is contained in the on-line help. With the Help page
visible in your browser, select

Contents > Pro/ENGINEER Foundation > Using Configuration File Options

This gives a (very long) list of all the options, with a short description of each. Note that the
default value is indicated in italics. You will have a hard time remembering the meaning of all
these options, let alone their names! Fortunately, the dialog window for working with
configuration files contains a one line description of any selected option. There is also a new
search capability for finding option names. Although this makes finding the options much easier,
you are encouraged to explore the on-line help - you might find just the setting you need to make
your life easier!

Your system may have a standard configuration file available for you to use as a basis for your
own work. Look for the config.pro file in the pro_stds (“standards”) directory in the Pro/E
installation.

1
In Windows, right click on the Pro/E icon on the desktop (if it exists), select Properties
> ShortCut and examine the Start In text entry field.
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1-3

Before we proceed, if you have access to this file, copy it to your start-up directory, along with
the file config.win (this is a file containing customized screen layout settings which are discussed
later). Now launch Pro/E, or if it is already up erase everything currently in session and set your
working directory to your normal start-up directory.

The Configuration File Editor

You can access your current configuration file using

Utilities > Options

This brings up the Options window. If your


system has options set already, these will
appear in the window. If not, the central
area of the window will be blank, as in
Figure 1. We’ll discuss the operation of
this dialog window from the top down.

The Showing pull-down list at the top will


let you choose from a number of
configuration groups (Current Session, your
start-up config.pro, or elsewhere)

Deselect the check box just below the


Showing pull-down box. After a couple of
seconds, a complete list of all the Pro/E Figure 1 The Options window for setting and
configuration options will appear. The first editing configuration files
column shows its name, and the second
column shows its current value. An entry with an asterisk indicates a default value.

Browse down through the list. There are a lot of options here! Note that the options are arranged
alphabetically. This is because of the setting in the Sort pull-down menu in the top-right corner.
Change this to By Category. This rearranges the list of options to group them by function. For
example, check out the settings available in the Environment and Sketcher groups. Fortunately,
there are a couple of tools to help you find the option name you’re looking for. Let’s see how
they work.

Check the box beside “Show only options loaded from file” and select Sort(Alphabetical). Note
that the options listed here are only those that are different from the default settings.

Adding Settings to config.pro

Assuming you have a blank config.pro, let’s create a couple of useful settings. At the bottom of
the Preferences window are two text boxes for entering option names and values. If you know
the name of the option, you can just type it in to the first box. One of the most common settings
1-4 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

is to turn off the (annoying!) beep that Pro/E emits from time to time. In the text box below
Option, enter the option name bell. In the pull-down list under Value, select No. Note that the
option name is not case sensitive and the default value is indicated by an asterisk in the pull-
down list. Now select the Add/Change button on the right. The entry now appears in the data
area. A bright green star in the Status column indicates that the option has been defined but has
not yet taken effect.

Now enter a display option. The default part display mode in the graphics window is Shaded.
Many people prefer to work in hidden line mode - let’s make it the default on start-up. Once
again, we will enter the configuration option name. As you type this in, notice that Pro/E
anticipates the rest of the text box based on the letters you have typed in. After typing the “dis”
characters, the rest of the option will appear; just hit the Enter key. The option name and value
we want are

display hiddenvis

Now select Add/Change as before (or just hit the Enter key after typing the “h”).

Another common setting is the location of the Pro/E trail file. As you recall, the trail file
contains a record of every command and mouse click during a Pro/E session. The default
location for this is the start-up directory. Theoretically, trail files can be used to recover from
disastrous crashes of Pro/E, but this is a tricky operation. Most people just delete them. It is
handy, therefore, to collect trail files for each session in a single directory, where they can be
easily removed later. There is an option for setting the location of this directory. Suppose we
don’t know its specific name. Here is where a search function will come in handy.

At the bottom of the Preferences window, click the Find button. This
brings up the Find Option window (Figure 2). Type in the keyword trail
and select

All Categories > Find Now

Several possibilities come up. The option we want is listed as trail_dir.


Select this option and Browse to a suitable location on your system for
the value. Perhaps something like c:\temp. Then select Add/Change. Figure 2 Finding a
The new entry appears in the Preferences window. In the Find Option configuration file
window, select Close. option

For some options, the value is numeric (eg setting a default tolerance, number of digits, or the
color of entities on the screen). In these cases, you can enter the relevant number (or numbers
separated by either spaces or commas). For example, under Option, enter the name
system_hidden_color. Then under Value, enter the numbers 60 60 60 (separated by spaces).
These give the values of red, green, and blue (out of 100). Equal values yield gray; this setting
will brighten the hidden lines a bit from the default value. Select Add/Change.
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1-5

We have now specified four options. To have them take effect, select the Apply button at the
bottom. The green stars change to small green circles in the Status column.

Note that you can resize the column widths by dragging on the short vertical column separator
bars at the top of the display area. At the far right is a long (scrollable) one-line description of
the option.

For practice, enter the options


shown in Figure 3. The order that
the configuration options are
declared does not matter (the
exception is mapkeys, discussed
below). Check the on-line help for a
description of these configuration
settings and feel free to add new
settings to your file. Investigate
settings for search paths, libraries,
default editors, default decimal
places, import/export settings, and
so on.

Figure 3 Settings in config.pro


Notice the icons in the first column
beside the option names. These mean the following:

(lightning) - option takes effect immediately

(wand) - option will take effect for the next object created

(screen) - option will take effect the next time Pro/E is started

If you are using a config file from a previous version of Pro/E you may see a “stop sign” (actually
a red circle with a line through it), which means that the option is no longer used.

Try to add an illegal option name. For example, in Release 2000i there was an option
sketcher_readme_alert. Type that in to the Option field. When you try to set a value for this,
it will not be accepted (the Add/Change button stays gray). Pro/E only recognizes valid option
names! Thus, if you mistype or enter an invalid name, this is indicated by not being able to enter
a value for it.

We will be making more changes to this config.pro a bit later in this lesson when we discuss
mapkeys.
1-6 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

Saving Your config.pro Settings

To store the settings we have just created, select the Save As button at the top of the Options
window. At the bottom of the new window, type in the desired name for the file - in this case
config.pro and select OK.

Deleting Configuration Options

With the configuration file name visible in the Showing field at the top, highlight one of the
options and select Delete. Selecting Apply automatically saves the new settings. Close the
window.

Loading a Configuration File

To load a new configuration file, select the Open File button beside the Showing list. Select the
desired file and then Open. Note that these settings will be read in but not activated immediately
(note the green star). Select the Apply button and observe the green star.

Now select Close in the Options window.

Checking Your Configuration Options

Because some settings will not activate until Pro/E is restarted, many users will exit Pro/E after
making changes to their config.pro file and then restart, just to make sure the settings are doing
what they are supposed to. Do that now. This is not quite so critical since the window shows
you with the lightning/wand/screen icons whether an option is active. However be aware of
where Pro/E will look for the config.pro file on start-up, as discussed above. If you have saved
config.pro in another working directory than the one you normally start in, then move it before
starting Pro/E. On the other hand, if you have settings that you only want active when you are in
a certain directory, keep a copy of config.pro there and load it once Pro/E has started up and you
have changed to the desired directory. To keep things simple, and until you have plenty of
experience with changing the configuration settings, it is usually better to have only one copy of
config.pro in your startup directory.

Note that it is probably easier to make some changes to the environment for a single session
using Utilities > Environment. Also, as is often the case when learning to use new computer
tools, don’t try anything too adventurous with config.pro in the middle of a part or assembly
creation session - you never know when an unanticipated effect might clobber your work!
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1-7

Customizing the Interface


In addition to the environment settings, there
are several ways of customizing the Pro/E
interface: using config.pro, toolbars, menus,
and mapkeys. An example of a customized
interface is shown in the figure at the right.
When you modify the interface layout, your Menu Font
changes will be saved in a config.win file in a Message Window
directory of your choice (usually the current (size; top or bottom)

working directory). It is possible and


permissible to have several different config.win
files in different directories, each with a
different customization of the screen to suit the
Toolbars
work you may be doing on files in that (customized buttons;
top, right, and/or left)
directory.

In this section, we will introduce methods to


customize the toolbars and menus. Figure 4 A customized screen layout

Toolbars

With the cursor on the top toolbar, hold down the right mouse button. This brings up the menu
shown in Figure 5. This shows the toolbar groups currently displayed (see check marks); the
groups can be toggled to include/exclude them from the display. Each group contains a set of
functionally-related shortcut buttons.

Figure 5 Toolbar Figure 6 The Toolbars tab in the Customize


toggle menu window
1-8 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

At the bottom of this pop-up menu, select Toolbars. This brings up the Customize menu which
contains a list of all available toolbars, and their location (see Figure 6). At the bottom of this
window you can specify whether or not, and where, to automatically save the current layout
settings. The default is config.win in the current working directory. As mentioned above, you
can create multiple config.win files, and use File > Save Settings and File > Open Settings in the
Customize window to store and recall previous files. Note that in addition to the eleven standard
toolbar groups there are three initially empty groups (Toolbars 1 through 3), which you can
populate with short-cut buttons using methods described below. The pull-down lists at the right
allow you to place the selected toolbars at different places on the screen (left, right, top of
graphics window).

Changing Toolbar Buttons

In the Customize window, select the Commands tab. (This is also available by selecting
Commands... in the menu shown in Figure 5 or using Utilities > Customize Screen in the pull-
down menu.) The window shown in Figure 7 will open. Groups of toolbar commands are listed
in a tree structure in the Categories area on the left. Click on any of the group names and the
available short-cut buttons will appear in the Commands area on the right. As you move the
mouse over these buttons, a tool tip will display.

To add a button to a toolbar, just drag and


drop it onto an existing toolbar at the top,
right, or left. The button will be added
wherever you drop it on the toolbar. To
remove it, drag it off the toolbar and drop it
somewhere else (on the graphics window,
for example). Note that it is possible to
mix and match the short-cut buttons: any
button can be placed on any toolbar. For
example, a button listed under the File
category can also be added to the View
toolbar. Buttons can also be present on
more than one toolbar. The possibilities are
endless!

While we are here, notice that at the bottom


of the Categories list is Mapkeys. We will Figure 7 Choosing short-cut buttons for toolbars
be discussing mapkeys a bit later. You can
add a button representing any of your defined mapkeys to any of the toolbars. It is helpful to
keep your mapkey descriptive names short for this.

At the bottom of the Categories list is New Menu. You can drag this up to the menu area at the
top of the screen to create your own pull-down menus.

If you turn on one of the user toolbars (select Toolbar 1, 2, or 3 under the Toolbars tab), an
initially empty button will appear in the designated location (top, left, or right). You can use the
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1-9

Commands selector to drag any button to define your own toolbar.

Notice that the final tab in the Customize window is Options. This lets you set the position of
the Command/Message window (above or below the graphics area) and some other settings.

When you leave the Customize dialog box, your new settings can be written to the file
designated in the bottom text entry box. Each new config.win file is numbered sequentially
(config.win.2, config.win.3, and so on).

Helpful Hint
It is tempting, especially if you are blessed with a lot of screen space, to over-
populate the toolbars by trying to arrange every commonly used command on the
screen at once. This is reminiscent of many other Windows-based CAD programs.
Before you do that, you should work with Pro/E for a while. You will find that Pro/E
will generally bring up the appropriate toolbars for your current program status
automatically. For example, if you are in Sketcher, the Sketcher short-cut buttons
will appear. Furthermore, many commands are readily available in the right-mouse
pop-up menus. Thus, adding these buttons permanently to any toolbar is unnecessary
and the buttons will be grayed out when you are not in Sketcher anyway - you are
introducing screen clutter with no benefit.

Keyboard Shortcuts - Mapkeys


A mapkey is a short sequence of keyboard key strokes or a function key that will launch one or a
series of Pro/E commands. Mapkeys are very similar to macros that can be defined in other
software packages. Mapkey definitions are contained/included in your config.pro file, so they are
loaded at start-up.

The mapkey key stroke sequence can be as long as you want; most users restrict mapkeys to only
2, or sometimes 3, characters. This gives several hundred possible mapkey sequences - more
than you can probably remember effectively. Pro/E constantly monitors the keyboard for input
and will immediately execute a defined command sequence when its mapkey is detected. Single
character mapkeys should be avoided due to the way that Pro/E processes keyboard input. If you
have two mapkeys “v” and “vd”, for example, the second mapkey would never execute since
Pro/E will trap and execute the first one as soon as the “v” is pressed. For the same reason, a 3-
character mapkey can never have the same two first letters as a 2-character mapkey.

Ideally, you would like to have mapkey sequences that are very easy to remember, like “vd”
(view default), or “rg” (regenerate). Because it is common to only use two characters, it will take
some planning to decide how you want to set up your definitions to use only a couple of easy-to-
remember key strokes! The mapkey should be mnemonic, but can’t collide with other
definitions. You don’t want to have to remember that “qy” means “repaint the screen.”
1 - 10 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

A practical limit on usable mapkeys is perhaps in the range of 20 to 30, although some “power
users” can use over a hundred.

For this exercise, clear your session and load any single simple part file. We will not be
modifying the part.

Listing Current Mapkeys

To see a list of your current mapkeys (some are defined in the


config.pro contained in the pro_stds directory) select

Utilities > Mapkeys

This dialog window (Figure 8) allows you to define and record,


modify, delete, run, and save mapkeys. Note that each mapkey
has a short Name and Description. The Name will be used on
any short-cut button (described below), and the Description will
appear at the bottom of the main graphics window. Mapkeys
that start with a “$” are function keys.

Note that mapkeys created using a previous release may differ in


command syntax and it is likely that some mapkey definitions
from previous releases will not function properly. However,
mapkeys are easy enough to record. Before you do that, you
might try to get hold of the config.pro file in the pro_stds
directory mentioned above. A list of these mapkeys is in the file
usually stored in

/ptc/pro_stds/mapkeys.htm
Figure 8 Accessing Mapkeys
In the following, it is assumed that you have no mapkeys defined currently in session
as yet. If any of these tutorial mapkeys collide with existing
mapkeys shown in the mapkeys list (Figure 8), you can modify the keyboard sequence (for
example, use “dv” instead of “vd”) for the new mapkey.

Creating Mapkeys

New mapkeys are created as follows. We will create a mapkey sequence “vd” that will reorient
the view to the default orientation. To set this up, you will have to bring in one of your
previously created parts. We will not be modifying the part.

Select the New button in the menu of Figure 8. The Record Mapkey dialog box shown in
Figure 9 will open. Enter the data shown in the figure: key sequence, name, description. Now
we record the command sequence:
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1 - 11

Record
View > Default Orientation (in the top pull-down menus)
Stop > OK

It’s that easy! Spin the model with CTRL-middle. In the Mapkeys window, highlight the new
mapkey “vd” and select the Run button. It’s a good idea to check your mapkey definitions now
when it is easy to modify them.

As mentioned above, mapkey definitions are saved in a


configuration file (as in config.pro). New mapkey definitions are
appended to the end of the file. If you redefine a mapkey (or use a
duplicate keystroke sequence), the definition closest to the bottom
of the config file is the one that will be used. When saving a
mapkey you can choose either config.pro or current_session.pro.
There are three ways to save the mapkeys using the buttons in the
Mapkeys window:

Save - saves only the highlighted mapkey


Changed - saves any mapkeys changed this session
All - saves all mapkeys defined for session

Remember that if you save the mapkey in the current_session.pro


or elsewhere, it will not be loaded automatically the next time you
start Pro/E. To do that, you must explicitly save the mapkey
definitions into the config.pro file.

Close the Mapkeys window. Figure 9 Creating a mapkey

Minimize Pro/E and open config.pro using your system text editor. Scroll down to the bottom of
the file to see the new line(s) that describe the mapkey. Obviously, these lines should never be
separated since they are a continuation of the same sequence. It is possible, but probably not
advisable, to try to edit the mapkey definitions manually - leave that to the power users! Exit
your text editor and restore the Pro/E window.

Some final points about mapkeys: it is possible to set up the mapkey so that execution will pause
to allow user input during the command sequence, either by picking on the screen or through the
keyboard. Mapkeys can also call other mapkeys. You might like to experiment with these ideas
on your own. The possibilities for customization are almost limitless!

As mentioned above, the config.pro file provided in the pro_stds directory contains several
dozen mapkeys. Some of these are listed in Table 1-1 on the next page.

We will return to mapkeys after the next section.


1 - 12 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

Table 1-1 Some commonly used mapkeys

General Mapkeys Feature Creation Mapkeys


wc Window Close ct Create Cut
wa Window Activate cp Create Protrusion
rg Regenerate ch Create Hole
dd Done cr Create Round
qq Quit cc Create datum Curve
View Mapkeys cd Create Datum plane
rr Repaint Utility Mapkeys
sd Shade fr Feature Redefine
vd View Default fs Feature Suppress
vr View Refit fd Feature Delete
vf View Front fe Feature Resume
vb View Back fm Feature Modify
vt View Top fi Feature Information
vl View Left
vg View Right

Working with Part Templates


Most part files that you create contain many common elements such as datums, defined views,
coordinate systems, parameters, and so on. Creating these from scratch for every new part that
you start is tedious and inefficient. Prior to Release 2000i2 a very handy model creation tool used
the notion of a “start part” which contain these common elements. Users would then create a
mapkey that would bring the part into session and then rename it. This made the creation of new
parts very quick and efficient, with the added bonus that standard part setups could be employed.

This “start part” functionality has been built into the program using part templates. Several part
templates are included with a standard Pro/E installation for solid and sheet metal parts in
different systems of units. You may have a reason at some point to create your own template,
which we will do here. We’ll also define a mapkey to quickly bring it in session and allow you
to change its name. Then you can immediately get on with the job of creating features. We will
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1 - 13

create the part template from scratch, although you could use any of the existing templates as a
basis for this.

Select File > New. Make sure the Part and Solid radio buttons are selected. Deselect the Use
Default Template box, and enter a name mytemplate. Select OK and in the next window, select
the Empty template and OK.

Create the default datums and use Part > Set Up > Name to rename the datums SIDE (DTM1),
TOP (DTM2), and FRONT (DTM3). Now set up some named views.

View > Orientation

and create the following three named views:

View Reference 1 Reference 2


Name
Direction Pick Datum Direction Pick Datum
FRONT Front FRONT Top TOP
TOP Front TOP Right SIDE
RIGHT Front SIDE Top TOP

The completed list of saved views should appear as shown in


Figure 10. Feel free to add additional standard views (Left,
Back, Bottom, Iso_Right, ...). Select OK to leave the
Orientation dialog.

Check out our previously defined mapkey for setting the


default view (“vd”).

Set the part units using

Set Up > Units

and picking “millimeter-Newton-Second”, then

Set > OK > Close

We are finished with creating the start part, so save it with the
name mytemplate.prt. If you have write access, move the part
file to the Pro/E installation directory, something like

\ptc\proe2001\templates

This is the default directory where Pro/E will look for part Figure 10 Saved views in
templates. If you do not have write access to this directory, mytemplate.prt
1 - 14 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

leave the part file in your working directory. You can rename the file to remove the version
number if you want, so that it appears as as mytemplate.prt rather than mytemplate.prt.1.

Creating More Mapkeys

Before we leave this new part template, let’s create some more mapkeys to go directly to the
named views. Select

Utilities > Mapkeys > New

Use the key sequence “vt” and enter a short name like “View Top” and description “Orientation
Top View”. Now record the mapkey using

Record
Saved View List (a toolbar button) > TOP
Stop > OK

Spin the datum planes, and select Run to try out the mapkey. Similarly, create and test two more
mapkeys to go to the front view (“vf”) and the right side view (“vg”)2. Don’t forget to save all
the changed/new mapkeys in your config.pro file. Open up your config.pro to confirm that they
are there.

Using the New Part Template

Erase the current part from the session3. Select

File > New

Deselect the Use Default Template box, enter a name (like test), and select OK. In the New File
Options window, scroll to and highlight the template mytemplate. This is the copy in the
default templates directory. If you weren’t able to put your file there, use the Browse button to
find it in the working directory. Once the template is located, select OK. A copy of the template
is now brought into session and given the name you specified.

Setting the Default Part Template

We can tell Pro/E to use our new template as the default by setting an option in config.pro.

2
The mapkey “vr”, which is more logical for the right view, is usually used for “View
Refit”
3
If you have stored your template part in the templates directory you must close Pro/E
and restart it.
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1 - 15

Select

Utilities > Options

and enter the Option template_solidpart. Set the value for the option by browsing to the
template directory (or use the current working directory, wherever you have saved the template
file) and selecting the part file mytemplate.prt we created above. Select Add/Change and then
Apply the new setting (remember that this automatically saves the config file).

Creating a Mapkey to Start a New Part

Erase the current part from the session. Select

Utilities > Mapkeys > New

Enter the key sequence “cp” (“create part”), name “Create Part”, and description “Create a New
Part and Rename”. Now select

Record
File > New

Choose Part | Solid | OK. Leave the default part name as prt0001, and the check beside Use
Default Template. Now select

File > Rename

This is where we want the mapkey to stop, so select STOP > OK in the Record Mapkey dialog.
In the Rename window, enter a new name for the part, like test, then select OK twice. We have
a new mapkey called “cp”, so highlight this in the Mapkeys dialog and save it. Close the
Mapkeys dialog window. Open the config.pro file to see the listing added for this new mapkey.

To try out the mapkey, erase the new file with File > Erase > Current. Type “cp”. Several
windows will quickly open and close, and you will be left with the dialog box for renaming the
part. You can now enter the desired name for a new part, which will contain the default datums,
units, and named views set up above to work with the view mapkeys we created earlier. Pretty
slick!

We have created a very simple part template here. You can make this as elaborate as you like
with parameters, units, materials, layers, datum features and so on - even solid features. For
example, if you often create parts whose base feature is a cylindrical solid, consider including
this in a special template, perhaps called cylinder.prt. You can include as many features as you
want in a template and, of course, use any of the provided part templates as a starting point for
any new ones.
1 - 16 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

Adding Mapkeys to Menus and Toolbars


Mapkeys can be added to any of the existing toolbars and pull-down menus. You might like to
do this for mapkeys that you do not use frequently, and are likely to forget.

To see how this is done, select the


Commands tab in the Customize window
(see Figure 11). At the bottom of the
Categories list, you will find an entry
called Mapkeys. Select this. This shows
the tree structure of the pull-down menus
on the left, and your currently defined
mapkeys on the right. In the Mapkeys pane
on the right, select the mapkey Create
Part. The two buttons Description and
Modify Selection are now active. Selecting
the former shows you the description you
entered when defining the mapkey.
Selecting the latter allows you to modify Figure 11 Adding mapkeys to menus and toolbars
the mapkey button image (currently a
“happy face”) and display. You might like to get rid of the “happy face”, since all mapkeys use
this same icon. You can select from a large collection of Pro/E icons, or design your own.

Drag the Create Part mapkey in the right pane up to the File pull-down menu and drop it in a
convenient location, as in Figure 12. Selecting this will launch the mapkey.

Another way to utilize mapkeys is to create shortcut buttons on


the toolbars. Again select the Create Part mapkey in the right
pane and drag it to a toolbar.

We now have three different ways to launch the Create Part


mapkey:

‚ from the keyboard, with “cp”


‚ from the pull-down File menu
‚ from the toolbar
Figure 12 Create Part
Experiment with these to find out which one is most suitable for mapkey added to a pull-down
you. Again, remember the cautionary note about cluttering up menu
your screen.

Introduction to the Project


The assembly project to be completed in this tutorial involves the modeling and assembly of the
three-wheeled utility cart shown in Figure 12. The cart contains 26 or so parts, many of which
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1 - 17

are repeated in the assembly. The total assembly has about 75 parts (mostly bolts!). We will use
the techniques introduced in the lessons to model various parts of the cart as exercises at the end
of each lesson. We will average about 4 parts per lesson, so you should get lots of practice! In
the final lesson, we will assemble the cart, using a number of advanced functions for dealing with
assemblies. Try not to “jump the gun” on this assembly task, since the functions to be covered in
the last lesson can really speed up your job of putting the cart together.

Figure 13 The assembly project - a three-wheeled utility cart

For your modeling exercises, the parts shown at the end of each lesson will illustrate the critical
dimensions. A figure will also be provided to show where the parts fit into the overall assembly.
Not all dimensions are shown on each part - you can use your judgement and creativity to
determine the remaining dimensions. In this regard, please take note of the following:

‚ ALL UNITS ARE IN MILLIMETERS! You might set up your default part template
with this setting.
‚ Dimensions are usually multiples of 5mm. For instance, all the plate material and the
wall of the cargo box are 5mm thick. The tubing is 25mm square.
‚ All holes and cylinders, unless otherwise dimensioned, are φ10. This applies to bolt
holes, pins, rods, and so on.
‚ All holes, unless otherwise dimensioned, are coaxial with cylindrical surfaces or
located on symmetry planes.
‚ For some of the trickier parts, in addition to the figures showing the dimensions, there
will be some discussion and hints to help you get going.

When we get to the final assembly in Lesson 8, remember that it is an easy matter to modify
dimensions of the various parts so that the assembly fits together. Don’t be too concerned when
you are modeling the parts if you have to guess at one or two dimensions. These can be modified
later if the need arises.
1 - 18 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

When you are creating the parts, try to be aware of the design intent for the part and how it might
eventually be placed in the assembly4. For example, if the part has one or more planes of
symmetry, it is common practice to use the default datum planes for these. In the assembly, the
Align constraint using these datum planes is an easy way to position the part (usually with
another symmetric part).

Although a suggested part name is given, feel free to make up your own part names (although
this might cause confusion in Lesson 8!). Remember that Pro/E is fussy about files that get
renamed in isolation, or moved to another directory. If a part has been used in an assembly (or
sub-assembly) or drawing, make sure the assembly or drawing is in session if you rename or
move the part so that the related files can also be updated.

For the entire project, you will require about 10 Megabytes of disk space to store all the parts and
assemblies. This does not include parts we will make during the lessons themselves, just the cart
project parts. If you are not particularly careful about disk housekeeping (like deleting older
version of the part files), you will require more space.

This lesson should have given you enough ideas and ammunition to allow you to customize the
interface so that it will be most efficient for the type of work that you do. There are a surprising
number of users who are unaware of many options available in config.pro. Check them out!

In the next lesson we will look at functions directly involved in model creation. These are for the
creation of sweeps.

Questions for Review


1. What is the name of the file containing your configuration settings?
2. What is the name of the file containing your screen layout settings?
3. When, and from where, are your configuration settings loaded? Why is there more than
one location?
4. What happens if your configuration file contains multiple entries for the same option, each
with different values?
5. How can you find out where your start-up directory is?
6. How can you create/edit/delete configuration settings?
7. When do configuration settings become active?
8. Is it possible to have more than one customized screen layout?
9. How do you place toolbars on the top/left/right edge of the graphics window?
10. How do you add/delete shortcut buttons on the toolbars?
11. How many empty toolbars are there?
12. Where are the toolbar definitions saved?
13. What is a mapkey?

4
You might like to look ahead to the last lesson to see what assembly constraints are used
for each part.
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1 - 19

14. Why do you usually want to keep mapkey names short?


15. How is the mapkey name different from the mapkey sequence?
16. How do you create a new mapkey?
17. Are new mapkeys stored automatically? Where?
18. What is the purpose of a part template? Where are they stored and how do you access
them?

Exercises
1. Create an assembly template. This should have named datums and named views to match
your view selection mapkeys and default units to match your default part template. Make
this the default template for assemblies.
2. Set up a mapkey to create a new assembly using the default assembly template.
3. Put the Create Assembly mapkey on the pull-down File menu.
1 - 20 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

Project Exercises
We’re going to start off with some of the easier parts in the cart. These should give you some
time to experiment with your configuration file, mapkeys, and part template. The project parts
are shown in the figures below. Their location in the cart is also shown for reference in the
Figure here:

Figure 14 Project parts in Lesson #1

Part: handle_pin Part: front_spr_plate


Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1 - 21

Part: arm_vbrack

Part: arm_brack
A Pro/Manufacturing Tutorial
PRO/ENGINEER - Release 2001

Paul E. Funk Loren Begly, Jr


University of Evansville Whirlpool Corporation
Evansville, IN Evansville, IN

SDC
PUBLICATIONS

Schroff Development Corporation


www.SDCpro.com
Section 1 -- A Quick Run Through

In this section we’ll develop the CNC code for a 3 axis CNC mill to produce a simple

rectangular block with a raised letter.

Part 1-1
Part for Section 1

Pro/Manufacturing can quickly become very involved and complex. This exercise is designed to

work through a single manufacturing sequence to familiarize the user with the general procedure

involved. Although a single manufacturing sequence (volume milling), it still involves a lot of

commands. Since we’re just trying to gain familiarity with the general procedure, we’ll present

this example with a minimum of explanation. At the beginning of each step we’ll explain what

we’re going to do, then we’ll do it and at the end of the step we’ll tell you what we (and you) did.

Later sections will go into detail about why you made the choices you were told to make and

what alternatives you have available to you.

Produce the Part Model

We’ll follow the steps discussed in the preface. First, 1) Produce the part model. Before

entering the Manufacturing menu, enter the Part menu and create the block shown above. A

click-by-click procedure is included in the Appendix A and B. You can name the part whatever

you wish, but we’ll refer to it as “block” throughout the remainder of this section. Save the part

1-1
and

Window

Close

File

New

uManufacturing

uNC Part

Enter the name you want to use for your manufacturing process. We’ll use “block”. (Pro/E will

add a .mfg extension.) Select

OK

and pick on the part name for the part we want to manufacture (block.prt).

Open

Pro/E displays the part. We’ll use this part as a guide to generate code for in the manufacturing

module. That completes step 1).

Assemble the Part and Workpiece

We’re now ready for step 2). We’ll create the workpiece material the part will be

machined from using our part as a guide. We’ll make the workpiece bigger than our original

part.

Figure 1-2
Part/Workpiece Assembly

1-2
We begin by selecting

Mfg Model

Create

Workpiece

We gave it the name, block_wp. We’re now going to enter Sketcher, just as if we were building

a part in part mode, to model the workpiece. Select

Protrusion

Done

Done

and select the sketching plane. Use Query/Select to select the bottom surface of the block (Refer

to Figure A if you don’t recall which is the bottom surface). We don’t want the workpiece to

protrude outward from the part; we want the workpiece to encompass the part so select

Flip

Okay

Select

Bottom

and pick on the front surface (Refer to Figure A) of the block. Use the top-left edge and top-front

edge as references. Select

and create a rectangular section as the outline for the workpiece so that it completely

encompasses the outline of our block. Dimension the rectangle you just created to be ½ inch

bigger than block.prt on each side.

1-3
Select

Done

and enter 1.0 inch as the depth of the protrusion. Select

OK

Done/Return

and we’ve completed the creation of our workpiece. In default view the part/workpiece

assembly should appear as shown in Figure 1-2.

We’ve completed step 2). We have our original part model assembled within the

workpiece from which it is to be machined.

Manufacturing Setup

We’re now ready to 3) perform the manufacturing setup. We will specify a 3 axis milling

operation, create a coordinate system for our operation and create the volume of material to

remove by milling. Select

Mfg Setup

Pro/E displays the Operation Setup dialogue box. Click on the “mill icon” at the far right

of the NC Machine box.

Make sure the Machine Type is “Mill” and the Number of Axes is “3 Axis”. Select

OK

and click on the arrow next to Machine Zero. Select

Create

1-4
and pick on the workpiece. Select

2 Axes

Done

Place an axis at the front-top-left corner of the workpiece. Select the two edges of the workpiece

at the front-top-left corner (Figure A).

Figure 1-3
Pro/ E Axis Display

Pro/E will place a coordinate system at the intersection of the two axes and, depending on the

order they were picked, highlight one direction. Specify the positive z-axis as pointing upward,

away from the top surface, the positive x-axis to the right, and the positive y-axis pointing from

the front toward the back of the workpiece. This agrees with a standard mill axis. The bottom

surface of the workpiece will sit on the milling table. Use Reverse if the axis displayed does not

point in the positive direction. After getting the direction correct, pick on the appropriate axis

selection. Repeat the process for a second axis. The third axis will be defined by the right hand

rule.

Figure 1-4
Part Home

1-5
Select

OK

To complete the manufacturing setup, we still need to specify the volume of material to be

removed. We’ll select the entire workpiece and the “remove” the part from this volume. Select

Mfg Geom

Mill Volume

Create

and enter a name. We’ll use “mv1". Now we must specify an upward direction for the

workpiece by selecting a plane perpendicular to the upward direction. Select the top surface

(Refer to Figure A) of the workpiece. Pro/E will display an arrow. The arrow should point in the

upward (positive z) direction. Select

Okay

We’ll use the sketch command to create the volume of material to be removed from our

workpiece. We’ll remove all the workpiece material that lies outside the part. Select

Sketch

Done

Done

Use Prev

Okay

Again use the top-left and top-front edge as references. Select

Close

1-6
Sketch

Edge

Use

and select all four outer edges of the workpiece (not the part). Select

Close

Up to Surface

Done

and pick the top (Figure A) surface of the workpiece. (You may want to use the default view.)

Select

Ok

We’ve selected our entire workpiece as the mill volume. But we need to leave the

material that represents our part. At this point Pro/E provides a Trim function that will “trim”

the part from the mill volume. Select

Trim

Done/Return

Done/Return

Done/Return

and we’ve defined the volume to be removed (the workpiece minus our part).

And we’ve completed the manufacturing setup. We defined a 3-axis milling operation,

created a coordinate system for our workpiece, and created a mill volume representing the

material that is to be removed by machining.

1-7
Machining Sequence

Let’s 4) define the machining operations. We’ll select a volume milling sequence, define

our tool and machining parameters (tool size, cutting speed, etc.), create a retraction plane and

specify the volume of material to be removed (created in the previous step). Select

Machining

NC Sequence

Done

Done (notice the checked parameters we must define)

Figure 1-5
SetUp Parameters

Pro/E will display a Tool Setup Table.

Figure 1-6
Tool Setup Table

1-8
While the user can modify any of the values, we’ll just specify the diameter and length for

this example. Click on the specified parameter and change to the following values:

Cutter_Diam .25

Length 2

To save the values and exit the Setup table,

Apply

File

Done

Set

and Pro/E will display the remaining machining parameters. While the user can modify any of

the values, all parameters that have a value of -1 must be specified.

Figure 1-7
Machining Parameters

Use the following values:

Cut_Feed 60

Step_Depth .125

Step_Over .125

Scan_type Type_Spiral (We’ll explain why you change this later.)

1-9
Spindle_Speed 1000

Clear_Dist 1

After entering all the above values, select

File

Exit

to save the values and exit the table. Select

Done

Pro/E now prompts us to create a retraction plane; ie, a plane to determine the height the tool will

withdraw to each time it retracts from the workpiece. We’ll put a retraction plane one inch above

the part (0.5 inches above our coordinate system). Select

Along Z-Axis

and enter a value of 0.5 (½ “ above the workpiece).

Ok

Pro/E displays the retraction plane above the workpiece.

Figure 1-8
Retraction Plane

1-10
Now we must specify the volume of material to be machined. Since we’ve already created the

volume (recall we called it mv1), all we have to do is select it. Select

Select Vol

MV1

Select

and we’ve finished the process.

And we’ve finished defining our machining sequence. We defined a volume milling

sequence, entered tooling and machining parameters, created a retraction plane and selected the

volume of material to be removed by milling.

Viewing and Outputting Results

Although we’re done, at this point we need some “proof” that everything we’ve done is

okay. We can get that proof by creating the tool path (CL - cutter location) and viewing the

cutter location as it removes the material. We’ll “play the path” of the tool. Select

Play Path

Screen Play

and Pro/E plays a radio control, Play Path window. And if you’ve done everything correctly, you

can use the radio buttons to display the cutting tool’s path centerline as it removes the material

you’ve indicated to be mv1.

1-11
Figure 1-9
Cutting Path Display

After you’ve played the tool path (CL data), you can also run an NC check to graphically

depict the material removal. Choose

NC Check

and use Vericut controls (the green button on the bottom right of the screen) to watch as Pro/E

simulates how the material is removed.

Figure 1-10
NC Check

That’s everything involved in the process except posting or postprocessing the CL data to

generate the G-code. That’s pretty straight forward and basically just requires a listing of menu

picks. We’ll save that as part of a later exercise.

1-12
Pro/MECHANICA Motion:
Mechanism Design and Analysis
Release 2001

Kuang-Hua Chang, Ph.D.


School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
The University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

SDC
PUBLICATIONS

Schroff Development Corporation


www.SDCpro.com
Introduction to Pro/MECHANICA Motion 1-1

Lesson 1: Introduction to
Pro/MECHANICA Motion

1.1 Overview of the Lesson

The purpose of this lesson is to provide you with a brief overview of Pro/MECHANICA Motion, also
called Motion in this book. Motion is a virtual prototyping tool for mechanism analysis and design.
Instead of building and testing physical prototypes of the engineering products, you can use Motion to test
and refine a mechanism design before you finalize the design and move into functional prototyping stage.
Motion will help you design better engineering products in a relatively shorter time. In addition, Motion
will provide you with information about the mechanism behavior, which you will usually obtain from
tests of functional prototypes. You will be able to modify your design and usually achieve better design
alternatives using the more convenient and less expensive virtual prototypes. With such information, you
will gain insight on how the mechanism works and why they behave in certain ways. In the long run, this
will help you become a more experienced and competent design engineer.

In this lesson, we will start with a brief introduction to Motion and various types of physical problems that
Motion supports. We will then discuss capabilities supported by Motion for constructing motion model,
conducting motion analyses, and viewing motion analysis results. We will also discuss design capabilities
available in Motion, and how to use these capabilities to obtain better designs. In the final section, we will
present design examples employed in this book and things you will learn from these examples.

Note that materials presented in this lesson will be kept brief. More details on various aspects of
mechanism design and analysis using Motion will be given in later lessons.

1.2 What is Pro/MECHANICA Motion?

Pro/MECHANICA Motion is a computer software tool that supports design and analysis of mechanisms.
Motion is a module of Pro/ENGINEER product family developed by Parametric Technology
Corporation. Motion supports you in creating virtual mechanisms that answer the following general
questions in product design. An internal combustion engine shown in Figures 1-1 and 1-2 will be used to
illustrate these questions.

1. Will the components of the mechanism collide in operation? For example, will the connecting rod
collide with the inner surface of the piston or the engine case during operation?

2. Will the components in the mechanism you design move according to your intent? For example, will
the piston stay entirely in the piston sleeve? Will the system lock up when the firing force aligns
vertically with the connection rod and crank?

3. How fast will your mechanism move?


1-2 Pro/MECHANICA Motion: Mechanism Design and Analysis

4. How much torque or force does it take to move the mechanism? For example, what will be the
minimum firing load to drive the engine? Note that in this case, proper friction forces and inertia
must be added to simulate the resistance of the mechanism before a realistic firing force can be
calculated.

5. What are the reaction loads generated on a connection (or joint) between components during
motion? For example, what is the reaction force at the connection between the connecting rod and
piston pin? This reaction load is critical since the structural integrity of the connecting rod must be
maintained, i.e., the connecting rod must be strong and durable enough to sustain the reaction load in
operation.

The modeling and analysis capabilities in Motion will help you answer those common questions
realistically, as long as your motion model is properly defined.

Motion also supports you in modifying your mechanism to find better design alternatives. The changes
that you can make in Motion include component size, geometric shape, mass properties, load magnitudes,
etc. Some of these changes will be discussed in later lessons.

Piston Piston Sleeve


Piston Pin

Connecting Rod

Figure 1-1 An Internal Combustion


Engine (Unexploded View)

The design capabilities available in


Crank Shaft
Motion lead you to better design
alternatives in a systematic way. A Engine Case
better design alternative can be, for the
engine example,
Figure 1-2 Internal Combustion
1. A smaller reaction force applied to
Engine (Exploded View)
the connecting rod;
2. No collisions between components.

1.3 Mechanism and Motion Analysis

A mechanism is a mechanical device that transfers motion and/or force from a source to an output. It is an
abstraction (simplified model) of a mechanical system. A linkage consists of links (or bodies), which are
connected by connections, such as a pin joint, to form open or closed chains (or loops, see Figure 1-3).
Such kinematic chains, with at least one link fixed, become mechanisms. In this book, all links are
assumed rigid. In general, a mechanism can be represented by its corresponding schematic drawing for
Introduction to Pro/MECHANICA Motion 1-3

analysis and design purposes. For example, a slider-crank mechanism represents the motion model of the
engine, as shown in Figure 1-4, which is a closed loop mechanism.

Ground

Slider
Links (Bodies) Connecting
(Piston)
Rod
Connections

Ground

(a) Open Loop Mechanism (b) Closed Loop Mechanism Crank


Figure 1-3 General Mechanisms
Figure 1-4 Schematic View of the
Engine Motion Model

In general, there are two types of motion problems that you will solve in order to answer those questions.
They are kinematics and dynamics.

Kinematics is the study of motion without regard for the forces that cause the motion. A kinematic
mechanism must be driven by a driver so that the position, velocity, and acceleration of each link of the
mechanism can be analyzed at any given time. Usually, a kinematic analysis must be conducted before
dynamic behavior of the mechanism can be simulated properly.

Dynamics is the study of motion in response to externally applied loads. The dynamic behavior of a
mechanism must follow Newton’s laws of motion. The simplest dynamic problem is particle dynamics
that you learned in your Sophomore Dynamics, for example, a spring-mass-damper system shown in
Figure 1-5. In this case, motion of the mass is governed by the following equation derived from Newton’s
second law,
y
• ••

∑ F = p( t ) − kx − c x = m x (1.1)
x
where (•) appears on top of the physical k c
quantity represents time derivative of the
quantity. l
m
For a rigid body, mass properties (such as θ
moment of inertia) are taken into account c.g.
for dynamic analysis. For example, p(t) g
x
motion of a pendulum shown in Figure 1-
6 is governed by the following equation of
motion, Figure 1-5 The Spring-
Mass-Damper System
•• ••
2
∑ M = − mgl sinθ = I θ = ml θ (1.2)
Figure 1-6 A Simple
Pendulum
1-4 Pro/MECHANICA Motion: Mechanism Design and Analysis

where M is the external moment or torque, I is the polar moment of inertia of the pendulum, m is the
••

pendulum mass, g is the gravitational acceleration, and θ is the angular acceleration of the pendulum.

Dynamics of a rigid body system, as illustrated in Figure 1-3, is a lot more complicated than the single
body problems. Usually, a system of differential and algebraic equations governs the motion and dynamic
behavior of the system. Newton’s law must be obeyed by every single body in the system all the time.
The motion of the system will be determined by the loads acting on the bodies or joint axis (e.g., a torque
driving the system). Reaction loads at joint connections hold the bodies together.

1.4 Pro/MECHANICA Motion Capabilities

Overall Process Ground Body


Bodies
The overall process of using Motion for analyzing Motion Model Connections
Generation Drivers
a mechanism consists of three main steps: model
Loads
creation, analysis, and result visualization, as Initial Conditions
illustrated in Figure 1-7. Key entities that
constitute a motion model include ground body Assembly
Motion Velocity
that is always fixed, bodies that are movable, Analysis Static
connections that connect bodies, drivers that Motion (Kinematics
drive the mechanism for kinematic analysis, and Dynamics)
loads, and initial conditions of the mechanism. Kinetostatics
More details about these entities will be discussed Results Animation
later in this lesson. Visualization Graph
Query
The analysis capabilities in Motion include Report
assembly, velocity, static, motion, and
kinetostatics. For example, the assembly analysis Figure 1-7 General Process
brings bodies closer within a prescribed tolerance of Motion Analysis
at each connection to create an initial assembled
configuration of the mechanism. More details
about the analysis capabilities in Motion will be
discussed later in this lesson.

The analysis results can be visualized in various forms. You Pro/ENGINEER


may animate motion of the mechanism, or generate graphs
for more specific information, such as reaction force of a Pro/MECHANICA
joint in time domain. You may query results at a specific Motion
location for a given time. In addition, you may ask for a
report on results that you specified, for example, acceleration
of a moving body in time domain. Figure 1-8 The Integrated Mode

Two Operation Modes


There are two operation modes that you may choose in Motion: Integrated and Independent. The
Integrated mode allows you to work in a unified Pro/ENGINEER user interface environment. You can
access Motion through menus inside Pro/ENGINEER. You will use the same assembly in both
Pro/ENGINEER and Motion. In this case, Motion is considered a module of Pro/ENGINEER, as
illustrated in Figure 1-8.
Introduction to Pro/MECHANICA Motion 1-5

In the Independent mode, you have two options. You may create an assembly in Pro/ENGINEER and
transfer it to the separate Motion user interface (option 1), or you may create your model from scratch in
Motion (option 2), as illustrated in Figure 1-9. In option 2, you will have to use less general capabilities to
create body geometry.

Body geometry is essential for mass property computations in


motion analysis. The advantage of using Pro/ENGINEER in Pro/ENGINEER
either mode of Motion is that the geometry of the bodies can
be created conveniently and accurately. When the mass
properties of bodies are pre-calculated or pre-measured,
creating motion models directly in Motion (Option 2) is more
straightforward.
Pro/MECHANICA
Note that the interference checking is only available in the Motion
Integrated mode. More details of the differences between these
two modes will be discussed in Lesson 3.
Figure 1-9 The Independent Mode
User Interfaces

User interfaces of the Integrated and Independent modes are similar but not identical. User interface of
the Integrated mode is identical to that of Pro/ENGINEER, as shown in Figure 1-10. Pro/ENGINEER
users should find it is straightforward to maneuver in Motion.

As shown in Figure 1-10, user interface window of Pro/ENGINEER, i.e., Motion Integrated mode,
consists of pull-down menus, short-cut buttons, prompt/message window, scroll-down menu, graphics
area, datum feature buttons, and command description area.
Title Bar Pull-Down Menus Quit

Short-Cut Buttons
Prompt/Message Window

Create New
Model

Datum
Feature
Buttons
Command Graphics Area
Description
Scroll-
Down Menu

Figure 1-10 Pro/MECHANICA Motion Integrated Mode


1-6 Pro/MECHANICA Motion: Mechanism Design and Analysis

The graphics area displays your Motion model. This is where most of the action will take place. The pull-
down menus and the short-cut buttons at the top of the screen allow you to manipulate the Motion model.
The scroll-down menu supports you in creating and editing your model. As you move the mouse across
the menu options, a brief description will appear on the command description area (lower left corner).
When you click the menu options, the prompt/message window shows brief messages describing the
menu commands and shows system messages following command execution.

The Independent mode of Motion consists of three separate windows. They are Tools Menu and
Command Area Window, Work Area Window, and Design Menu Window as shown in Figure 1-11. Each
of the windows contains one or more components.

Tools Menu and Command Area Window—Located at the top of the Motion screen. This window
contains the following components:

command area—displays prompts and messages;

tool menu bar (pull-down menu)—displays the top-level tool menus;

tool button area—displays four tool buttons.

This window's title bar displays the version number of the current Motion software release.

Work Area Window—This is the graphics window below the command area. The work area displays the
current model.

Tools Menu and Command Area Window

Title Bar
Tool Menu Bar
(Pull-Down Menu) Tool Button Area

Command Area
Design Menu Window

Work Area Window

Figure 1-11 Pro/MECHANICA Motion Independent Mode


Introduction to Pro/MECHANICA Motion 1-7

Design Menu Window—Located at the right of the Motion screen. This window displays the current
design menu and its ancestors.

The Design Menu options allow you to create geometry, build models for your mechanisms, perform
analysis and design studies, and review results. The tool menus (pull-down menus) allow you to access
various tools, including file utilities, editing functions, and options for displaying entities and creating
multiple windows for the work area. The tool buttons are used to access frequently used utilities. These
buttons are always visible in the Tools Menu and Command Area Window.

Figure 1-12 shows a typical user interface window of both Integrated and Independent modes. The
common buttons and options in the window are identified in the figure. We will refer to these buttons and
options in the rest of the book.

Text box Pull-down options

Push button
Radio button

Graphics Area

Check box

Scrolling
Display-only text
list

Figure 1-12 Buttons and Selections in a Typical Motion Window

Defining Motion Entities

The basic entities of a motion model consist of ground points, bodies, connections, drivers, and loads.
Each of the basic entities will be briefly introduced. More details can be found in later lessons.

Ground Points

A ground point represents a fixed location in space. Once defined, a ground point symbol will appear
in the model. You must have at least one ground point in your model. All ground points are grouped as a
single ground body. Note that in the Integrated mode, assembly datum points will be converted into
ground points automatically. In the Independent mode, you may create your own ground points.
1-8 Pro/MECHANICA Motion: Mechanism Design and Analysis

Bodies

A body represents a single rigid component (or link) that moves relative to the other body (or bodies in
some cases). A body may consist of several Pro/ENGINEER parts “welded” together. A body must
contain a local coordinate system (LCS), body points, and mass properties. Note that body points are
created for defining connections, force applications, etc. In Independent mode, geometric points can be
created and attached to bodies. In Integrated mode, datum points created for part solid models are
converted to body points by Motion.

A spatial body consists of 3 translational and 3 rotational degrees of freedom (dof's). That is, a rigid body
can translate and rotate along the X-, Y-, and Z-axes of a coordinate system. Rotation of a rigid body is
measured by referring the orientation of its LCS to the global coordinate system, which is fixed to the
ground body.

In the Integrated mode, the LCS is assigned by Motion automatically, and the mass properties are
calculated using part geometry and material properties. Body points are essential in creating motion
model since they are employed for defining connections and where the external loads are applied.

In the Independent mode, you will choose the LCS, and generate the mass properties. The mass properties
can be either input to Motion directly, or calculated from mass primitives you choose for the body. Note
that the mass properties of a body are calculated relative to the body’s LCS. The mass primitives available
in Motion are sphere, cylinder, brick, cone, and plate. An example of a typical body created in the
Independent mode is shown in Figure 1-13.

Mass primitives Joint Rotational dof


Part schematic Translational dof
Reactions

LCS Body1
Body points Body2
(Defining joints or
forces)
Figure 1-14 A Joint Defined in Motion
Center of mass

Figure 1-13 A Body in Independent Mode

Connections

A connection in Motion can be a joint, cam, gear, or slot that connects two bodies. The connection will
constrain the relative motion between bodies.

Each independent movement permitted by a connection is called degree of freedom (dof). The degrees of
freedom that a connection allows can be translation and rotation along three perpendicular axes, as shown
in Figure 1-14. The connections produce equal and opposite reactions (forces and/or torques) on the
bodies connected.
Introduction to Pro/MECHANICA Motion 1-9

The symbol of a given joint


tells the translational and/or
rotational dof that the joint
allows for the bodies to move
relative to each other. (a) TranslationEach Arrow Signifies (b) RotationSingle
Understanding the basic four a Translational dof (Slider Joint) Rotation (Pin Joint)
symbols shown in Figure 1-
15 will enable you to read
any joint in Motion. More
details about joint types
available in Motion will be (c) Translation and Rotation (d) No AxesAny Rotation
discussed in Lesson 4. (Bearing Joint) (Spherical Joint)
Degrees of Freedom Figure 1-15 Basic Joint Symbols

An unconstrained body in space has 6 degrees of freedom, i.e., 3 translational and 3 rotational. This is
what Motion assumes, i.e., spatial bodies with 6 dof's per body. When connections are added to connect
bodies, constrains are imposed to restrict the relative motion between bodies. For example, a slider joint
will impose 5 constraints so that only one translational motion is allowed between bodies. If one of the
bodies is a ground body, the other body (slider) will slide back and forth along the given direction (joint
axis), specified by the slider joint. The arrow in Figure 1-15a signifies the translational dof that the
connection allows. Therefore, there is only one degree of freedom left in this two-body mechanism. In
most motion models, you can determine their degrees of freedom using the following formula:

D = 6M – N (1.3)
Slider Joint
where D is the degrees of (Piston/Ground)
freedom of the mechanism, M is
number of bodies not including
the ground body, and N is the Ground Body
number of constraints imposed
Shaft Body (Crank)
by all connections.

For example, the engine shown Piston Body (Slider)


in Figure 1-16 consists of four
bodies, two pin joints, 1 slider Pin Joint
joint, and 1 bearing joint. Pin, (Piston/Rod)
slider, and bearing joints impose
5, 5, and 2 constraints, LCS of
respectively, to the mechanism. Crank
According to Eq. 1.3, the
Pin Joint
degrees of freedom of the
(Crank/Rod)
engine is
Connecting Rod Body
D = 6×(4−1) − 2×5 − 1×5 − 1×2 Bearing Joint (Crank/Ground)
=1
Driver (Crank)
In this example, if the bearing
joint is replaced by a pin joint,
the degrees of freedom becomes Figure 1-16 A Complete Motion Model In Exploded View
1-10 Pro/MECHANICA Motion: Mechanism Design and Analysis

D = 6×(4−1) − 3×5 − 1×5 = −2

Mechanisms should not have negative degrees of freedom. When using pin joint instead of bearing, you
have defined joints that impose redundant constraints. You always want to eliminate the redundant
constraints in your motion model. The challenge is to find the joints that will impose non-redundant
constraints and still allow the intended motion. Examples included in this book should give you some
ideas on choosing proper joints.

Loads

Loads are used to drive a mechanism. Physically, loads are


produced by motors, springs, dampers, gravity, tires, etc. A
load entity in Motion is represented by the symbol shown in Figure 1-17 The Load Symbol
Figure 1-17.

Note that a load can be applied to a body, a point in a body, a


joint axis, or between two points in different bodies. Symbols
of loads applied to joint axis and between two points are
shown in Figure 1-18. Applied to joint axis

Drivers Point-to-Point Load

Drivers are used to drive a joint axis with a particular motion, Figure 1-18 Symbols of Special Load
either translational or rotational. Drivers are specified as
functions of time. The driver symbol is shown in Figure 1-19.
Note that a driver must be defined along a movable axis of the
joint you select. Otherwise, no motion will occur. When Joint Axes
properly defined, drivers will account for the remaining dof's
of the mechanism calculated using Eq. 1.3.
Driver
An example of a complete motion model is shown in Figure
1-16. In this engine example, 26 Pro/ENGINEER parts are
grouped into four bodies. In addition, 4 joints plus a driver are
defined for kinematic analysis. Figure 1-19 Symbols of Driver

Types of Mechanism Analyses

There are five analysis types supported in Motion: assembly analysis, velocity analysis, static analysis,
kinetostatics (inverse dynamics), and motion (kinematics and forward dynamics).

The assembly analysis that puts the mechanism together, as illustrated in Figure 1-20, is performed before
any other type of analysis. The assembly analysis determines an initial configuration of the mechanism
based on the body geometry, joints, and initial conditions of bodies. The points chosen for defining joints
will be brought to within a small tolerance.

Velocity analysis is similar to assembly analysis but matches part velocities, instead of positions. Velocity
analysis ensures that all prescribed velocities of points, including initial conditions are satisfied. Velocity
analysis is also computed to within a tolerance. An example of the velocity analysis is shown in Figure 1-
21.
Introduction to Pro/MECHANICA Motion 1-11

Static analysis is used to find the rest position (equilibrium condition) of a mechanism, in which none of
the bodies are moving. Static analysis is related to mechanical advantage, for example, how much load
can be resisted by a driving motor. A simple example of the static analysis is shown in Figure 1-22.

Figure 1-20 Assembly Analysis

ω = ? rpm

ω = 200 rpm k1 K2
V=?
m
g

Figure 1-21 Velocity Analysis Figure 1-22 Static Analysis

Kinetostatics is used to find desired driving loads that produce the prescribed motion of a mechanism. A
typical kinetostatic analysis is illustrated in Figure 1-23.

Forward dynamic analysis is used to study the motion in response to loads, as illustrated in Figure 1-24.
This is the most complicate and common, but time-consuming analysis.

Input: Output:
Prescribed Motion ω(t) Resulting Motion ω(t)
Output: Input:
Driving Load p(t) Driving Load p(t)

ω p(t) ω p(t)

Figure 1-23 Kinetostatic Analysis Figure 1-24 Forward Dynamic Analysis

Viewing Results

In Motion, results of the motion analysis can be realized using animations, graphs, reports, and queries.
Animations show the configuration of the mechanism in consecutive time frames. Animations will give
1-12 Pro/MECHANICA Motion: Mechanism Design and Analysis

you a global view on how the mechanism behaves, as shown in Figure 1-25. You may choose a joint or a
point to generate a graph on, for example, velocity vs. time.

The graph in Figure 1-26 shows the angular position of a simple pendulum example (Lesson 2 or 3).
These graphs give you a quantitative understanding on the behavior of the mechanism. You may also pick
a joint or point to query the results of your interest at a specific time frame. In addition, you may ask
Motion for a report that includes a complete set of results output in the form of numerical data.

In addition to the capabilities discussed above, Motion allows you to check interference between bodies
during motion. Furthermore, the reaction forces calculated can be converted to support structural analysis
using Pro/MECHANICA Structure.

Figure 1-25 Motion Animation Figure 1-26 Result Graph (Independent Mode)

1.5 Mechanism Design Using Motion

The ultimate goal of using Motion is searching for better design alternatives. The design study capabilities
available in Motion will help you achieve your design objectives following a systematic approach,
including both local and global sensitivity studies, and optimization.

The overall design process using Motion is shown in Figure 1-27. After creating motion model,
performing initial motion analyses, and reviewing the results, you may identify the performance of the
mechanism you want Motion to improve.

In order for Motion to search for better designs, you must define a design problem. A design problem
must include (i) measures that monitor the performance of the mechanism, and (ii) design variables or
design parameters that characterize the changes you intend to make. Motion will search for designs that
achieve the desired measure values by varying the design variables (or design parameters) you defined.
Motion provides both sensitivity study and optimization capabilities for achieving better designs.

A global sensitivity study calculates the changes in the measure values when you vary a parameter over a
specified range. Motion provides graph results for global sensitivity by plotting the measures in a
parameter range. For example, Figure 1-28 shows the global sensitivity of the maximum slider velocity of
a slider-crank mechanism (Lesson 5) with respect to the crank length d2. The global sensitivity study
Introduction to Pro/MECHANICA Motion 1-13

provides you with a global view on how the motion model is supposed to behave when you vary a single
parameter in a prescribed range.

A local sensitivity study calculates the


Motion Model
sensitivity of your model’s measures to a
slight change, plus or minus 0.05%, in one
or more design variables (or design
parameters). Motion will report you the Design Problem
numerical values of each measure’s Definition
sensitivity with respect to the parameters.
The advantage of the local sensitivity
study is that it allows you to combine Motion Analysis
changes in more than one parameter.

Both studies should point you to a


direction for design changes that will Yes
improve the performance of your Stop Satisfactory Design Change
mechanism. With such an understanding, ?
you may decide on a set of new parameter No
values and update your motion model for
a new motion analysis. You may repeat Global Sensitivity
this process until a satisfactory design is Study or Local
obtained. Sensitivity Study
Sensitivity studies help you understand
how parameter changes affect your model.
Ultimately, you want to find the Optimization
combination of parameter values that give
you the best possible design. In an Figure 1-27 Design Process in Motion
optimization study, Motion searches for an
optimal design by adjusting one or more
parameters to best achieve prescribed goal
and constraint functions through an
iterative process.

The goal (or objective) involves


minimizing or maximizing measures that
represent the most desired motion
performance. At the same time, constraint
functions defined by measures are retained
within desired limits.

The optimization study is performed in a


batch mode, i.e., you will let Motion take
over all the design decision-makings. An
optimal design, if exists, will be
determined by Motion automatically.
More details on design studies will be
discussed in later lessons.
Figure 1-28 Global Sensitivity Graph (Integrated Mode)
1-14 Pro/MECHANICA Motion: Mechanism Design and Analysis

1.6 Motion Examples

Various motion examples will be introduced in the following lessons to illustrate step-by-step details of
modeling, analysis, and design capabilities in Motion. You will learn from these examples both
Independent and Integrated modes, as well as analysis and design capabilities in Motion. We will start
with a simple pendulum example in Integrated mode. This example will give you a quick start and a brief
overview on Motion. Lessons 2 through 8 focus on analysis and design of regular mechanisms. Lessons 2,
4, 5 use Integrated mode; and lessons 3, 6, 7, and 8 discuss Independent mode of Motion. Design studies
will be introduced in Lessons 5 and 7 for sensitivity and optimization studies, respectively. All examples
and key subjects to discuss in each lesson are summarized in the following table.

Lesson Title Example Problem Type Things to Learn


2 A Simple Particle 1. This lesson gives quick run-through
Pendulum Dynamics of modeling and analysis capabilities
Integrated Mode in the Integrated mode of Motion.
2. You will learn the general process of
using Motion to construct a motion
model, run analysis, and visualize the
motion analysis results.
3 A Simple Particle 1. The same simple pendulum example
Pendulum Dynamics is modeled and analyzed in the
Independent Independent mode of Motion.
Mode 2. You will learn the general process of
using Independent mode of Motion.
3. You will also learn the main
differences between these two modes.
4 A Slider Crank Multibody 1. The lesson uses a more general
Mechanism Kinematic mechanism to discuss joint types,
Initial Assembly Analysis initial assembly analysis, and
and Motion kinematic analysis.
Analyses 2. You will learn more about joints and
drivers, perform initial assembly
analysis, and use Motion and
analytical method for motion analysis.
5 A Slider Crank Design of 1. The lesson introduces design study
Mechanism Kinematics of capabilities in Motion, including local
Design Study Mechanisms and global sensitivity studies.
2. You will learn how to define design
parameters and measures, conduct
design studies, and visualize the
design study results.
6 A Slider Crank Multibody 1. The lesson discusses modeling and
Mechanism Kinematic and analysis of the same slider-crank
Independent Dynamic mechanism using Independent mode.
Mode and Analyses 2. You will learn more capabilities in the
Dynamic Independent mode, such as defining
Analysis mass primitives, defining and editing
joint types, defining force for dynamic
analysis, etc.
Introduction to Pro/MECHANICA Motion 1-15

Lesson Title Example Problem Type Things to Learn


7 A Slider Crank Optimization 1. The lesson discusses how to define
Mechanism Design Study and run an optimization design study,
Optimization plus visualize optimization results.
Design Study
8 Multiple Multibody 1. The lesson introduces multibody
Pendulum Dynamic dynamic analysis in the Independent
Analysis mode.
2. You will learn how to create joints,
loads, and measures for constructing
the multibody system using
subassembly capability.
3. You will also learn how to model
impact phenomena using force entities
supported in Motion.
PRO/MECHANICA 2001 STRUCTURE:
ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS
Integrated Mode

Pro/MECHANICA analysis of a structural steel bracket

Yves Gagnon, M.A.Sc.


Okanagan University College

SDC
PUBLICATIONS

Schroff Development Corporation


www.schroff.com
Estimated time: 1½ hours

Exercise 1: Beam Elements

Objectives

At the end of this exercise, the learner should be able to:

1. Set up a model using standard cross-sections beam elements with proper orientation;
2. Set up and run a static analysis;
3. Understand the units used in Pro/Mechanica®;
4. View maximum VM stress and maximum displacement results;
5. Create shear and moment diagrams;
6. Understand the basic solving principle of the Finite Element method.

Introduction

Beam elements are fast and efficient elements in FEA. They are 1-D in nature but still
represent what is called a 3-D idealization. A 3-D idealization is a FEA modeling
perspective of the model. For a beam element, imagine an I-beam. It could be
represented as a straight line, with a cross-section the shape of an “I” assigned to it. This
is, in essence, how a beam element is represented.

From a modeling perspective, beam elements are relatively easy to create. They are
defined by:
- A datum curve determining the position of the end points of the beam;
- A material;
- A cross-sectional area (which will give an area moment of inertia and a torsional
stiffness)
- A defined orientation for the cross-section.

Each beam element has its own internal coordinate system (let’s name it the Beam
Section Coordinate System or BSCS). The BCSC has the following characteristics in
Pro/Mechanica®:
- The x-axis is along the length of the beam (the beam’s axis);
- The y-axis defines the perpendicular orientation of the beam section with respect to
the beam’s axis;
- The z-axis will follow according the first two axis’ above.

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PRO/MECHANICA STRUCTURE: ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS

The restriction of using beam elements in Pro/Mechanica®, as with any other software is
that the section remains perpendicular and planar to the datum curve (the beam axis)
through the entire FEA solution. Before using beam elements, make sure that the part
looks similar to a beam and that the aspect ratio (l/t) > 10.

Procedure

(Note: Before you start, create a directory named: beam using explorer)

The problem to be solved:


F = 4500 lbs

2”

40” 1”

X-SECTION

Objectives: Draw Shear and Moment diagrams, and find the Maximum VM stress and
maximum deflection.

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FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS APPLICATIONS – BEAM ELEMENTS

Flow Chart of Procedure

Here is an overview of the exercise, in the form of a flow chart, showing the different
steps involve in the analysis.

In Pro/Engineer® In Pro/Mechanica®

Create part & Create Beam


Start Model Section and
Datum Curve Orientation

Assign beam section &


orientation & material to
datum curve

Assign boundary
conditions to model

Create and Run a


static analysis.

Check out results


(stresses, END
displacements, etc…)

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PRO/MECHANICA STRUCTURE: ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS

1. Start up Pro/Engineer 2001

Details on how to this is different from system to system. For a typical windows
platform:

Start > Programs > Pro/Engineer2001 > Pro/Engineer


(It takes 30 seconds approximately for Pro/Engineer to start.)

Set up your working directory. (File > Set Working Directory)


Select your working directory, then click on Accept.

2. Create a part named: beam

Select File>new

Select part and type in: beam; then Click on OK.

3. Setting up in Pro/ENGINEER for FEA modeling

Before we go to Pro/Mechanica, we must understand how beam elements are created.


Think of beam modeling as a sweep-type protrusion in Pro/Engineer. Except in the case
of FEA modeling, we will create a datum curve in Pro/Engineer, then assign the cross-
section (the beam element) in Pro/Mechanica.

3.1 Creating a datum curve for beam assignment

Click on the icon.

From the right menu, select: sketch > Done.

Use front as your sketching plane and accept the default viewing direction; click on OK.

26
FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS APPLICATIONS – BEAM ELEMENTS

Select top from the right menu and select the top plane as the top reference for the
plane.

Once in sketcher, Use the line sketching tool icon and sketch a horizontal datum
curve as shown below with the following characteristics:
• 40 units long;
• Aligned with the top plane, symmetric about the right plane.

Figure 1: View of sketch for datum curve

Note: To modify your dimension, select the dimension to be modified and click on this
icon. (or alternatively double click on the dimension)

Select done out of sketcher ( icon) and click on OK off the dialog box. Turn datum
planes off using the datum icon at the top of your screen.

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PRO/MECHANICA STRUCTURE: ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS

(Pro/Mechanica portion)

1. Go to Pro/Mechanica from Pro/Engineer

Select Applications>Mechanica from the top pull-down menu.

(Wait a few seconds)

You will see a unit info dialogue box come up on the screen as shown below:

Important: Have a look at the working units and then Click Continue to accept the units
message.

Select Structure from the right menu.

2. Beam Assignment

2.1 Beam Section

Select Model>idealizations>Beams>Sections. The following dialogue box will come


up.

Click on New.

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FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS APPLICATIONS – BEAM ELEMENTS

The dialogue box shown below will come up. Enter the information as seen below.

STOP
What we are doing at this time is giving the cross-sectional dimensions of the beam
element used for the analysis. At this time you must know these dimensions. The cross-
section is constant through the datum curve representing the beam. The beam for our
analysis is 1 in wide and 2 inches high.

Once the information is entered, click on OK. Then close the beam section dialogue box.
Then select Done/Return.

Note: if the section is not in the above menu of pre-defined X-section, you can sketch it
easily using the sketch options off the type menu. The menu picks are ‘sketch thin’ or
sketch solid. It will then take you to the Pro/Engineer sketcher.

STOP
We must now orient the vector of the cross-section. Even though it will show up on the
screen if we don’t, Pro/M wants to make sure that it is oriented the proper way. The
software needs insight here as to which way to go and to make sure that we know what
we are doing!
A vector will be used to determine the orientation. This vector will determine the beam
section coordinate system orientation.

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PRO/MECHANICA STRUCTURE: ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS

2.2 Beam Orientation

Select Model>idealizations>Beams>Orientations

Once the Beam orientation dialogue box comes up, click on New. Enter the following
information in the box.

Click on Ok then close the beam orientation dialogue box.

2.3 Beam Definition

Select New off the beams menu. The following beam definition window comes up.
Enter and select information as shown.

Under Name: Enter beam1.


Under references: Select Edge/Curve
Under edges, click on the arrow and select the datum curve on the screen, then click on
done sel.
(pay attention, selecting it more than once reverses the selection here.)
Material: Select Steel.
Under type: select More…, the following window will come up:

30
FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS APPLICATIONS – BEAM ELEMENTS

Select steel off the left column and move it to the right column by clicking on the triple
arrows box in the center. Then click on OK.

Defined by: Y direction of vector in WCS Vector (0, 0, 1) (this defines the orientation of
the cross-section, as explained on the precious page in the stop note.)
Select section and orientation as shown. There are no beam releases for this analysis.

Select OK – Done/Return and note that cyan rectangles appear along the datum curve.
Zoom in on one of the rectangles and look! You can see a vector inside the beam. This
vector is oriented in the coordinates given above (0, 0, 1). You could easily change the
orientation of that vector simply by changing the coordinates of the vector.

Our beam idealization is fully defined. Good job!

31
PRO/MECHANICA STRUCTURE: ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS

3. Constraints

Select Model > Constraints > New > Point from the right side menu.

The following dialogue box will come up. Enter and select the following information:

Name: End_constr_1
Member of set: ConstraintSet1
Under points, click on the arrow icon.
From the datum points menu that comes up, Select Create > On vertex and click on the
positive X-axis end of the beam.

Click on Done select and then Done off the right menu. (or middle mouse click twice)

A point should then show up at the positive x-axis end of the beam.

Nothing further is needed for this box. We accept the defaults for the WCS and keep all
degrees of freedom fixed.

All translation
DOF fixed

All rotation
DOF fixed

Select OK off the constraint dialog box. Select Done/Return off the right side menu.

32
FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS APPLICATIONS – BEAM ELEMENTS

4. Loads

Select Loads > New > Point

The following dialogue box will appear. Fill out the information as seen below.

Under reference-points, click on the arrow icon.


From the datum points menu that comes up, Select Create>On vertex and select the
negative X-axis end of the beam.

Click on Done select and then Done off the right menu. (or middle mouse button click
twice)

Under Force-components, enter 4500 in the Z direction box.

Select OK off the constraint dialog box. Select Done/Return off the right side menu.

In order to properly show the load, from the top pull-down menu, select
View>Simulation display>Settings and click on tails touching under load arrows.
Also, click on value under Load/Constraint display.

Click on OK to close the window.

33
PRO/MECHANICA STRUCTURE: ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS

The resulting window should look like the following:

5. Set up and run Analysis

5.1 Static analysis

Select Analyses from the right menu and select Static > New from the analysis form.
The following dialogue box will come up. Enter the following information:

Name: Static1
Description: Analysis of cantilever beam.
Constraints and Loads as shown below.
Method: Multi-Pass Adaptive with 1 percent convergence (since beams are fast and
accurate)
Converge on local displacement and strain energy.

34
FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS APPLICATIONS – BEAM ELEMENTS

Click on OK and then Close.

5.2 Run Analysis

Select Run > Start. The analysis will now be running.

The software will ask you if you want error detection (yes / no)? Answer yes.

To check things as the calculations are performed, click on Summary.


(Note how fast the solution converged)

35
PRO/MECHANICA STRUCTURE: ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS

From the summary file, the following information is important to consider.

Displacements (*)

Vm stress

We are getting a maximum bending stress of 2.7 e+05 psi or 270 ksi. Which is the same
value as the exact solution.

What you should look for from the results of this analysis:

Item Description Where to find it What it should be

The convergence will let us


Convergence know if all elements Click on Summary For beams, less
converged and if they all under the Run menu than 1%
converged to a solution. and scroll down (0% for this
analysis)
270 ksi
Maximum Gives the maximum Von Click on Summary (max_stress_vm)
VM stress or Mises Stress or under the Run menu
displacement displacement for the and scroll down .012885 (*)
of Model analysis (max_displ_z)
Depends on
VM stress or Gives the Von Mises Stress See procedure below boundary
displacement for the analysis for the entire conditions and
over entire model geometry
model

36
FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS APPLICATIONS – BEAM ELEMENTS

Note: (*) Be careful with the units of displacement in the results given by
Pro/Mechanica®. This is discussed later in the exercise. (See p. 23)

Select Close and Done.

6. Analysis results

Select Results. The following box will come up. Answer yes.

Once the empty window comes up, Click on this icon named ‘insert a new definition’.

The following box will come up. Type in vm_stress (for Von Mises stress)

Select static1 for the analysis. Then click on Accept. The following contents definition
box will come up. Select and type in all information as shown below.

37
PRO/MECHANICA STRUCTURE: ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS

Click on Accept. From pull-down menu, select view > display. The following window
will come up:

Select vm_stress then OK. Then the following results window will come up:

38
FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS APPLICATIONS – BEAM ELEMENTS

The results from a beam analysis are not the most impressive to look at. But they are
accurate, providing your geometry and boundary conditions are precise. The only colors
that we see are along the beam axis. We can see that the maximum stresses are at the
fixed end of the beam. Note that the maximum value is the same as the one given in the
summary file.

Note: you can save this window by simply selecting the save or save as icon on the top of
the window.

Select File/Exit Results and answer no to the question: Do you want to save the current
window?

As an exercise, create the following result window in order to look at the maximum
displacement from the model. Simply follow procedure 6 above, the only changes being
under quantity on the definition form.

39
PRO/MECHANICA STRUCTURE: ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS

Approximate Finite Element Analysis Solution (Theory)

(Don’t skip this, as there is some more Pro/Mechanica® procedures included with it
to make it more fun)

Solving the beam analysis with FEA theory, the problem can be seen as follows:

F = 4,500 lbs

Miz

y L = 40 in.
x Fyi
z vi , θzi vj , θzj

Symbol Definition:

Symbol Definition
L Length of beam
Miz Bending moment at the fixed end of the beam
Fyi
E E is the young’s modulus of elasticity of the
material.
nd
I the 2 moment of Area
d2v/dx2 the curvature of the beam
vi The vertical deflection at x = 0.

θzi The beam slope at x = 0.


vj The vertical deflection at x = L.

θzj The beam slope at x = L.

40
FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS APPLICATIONS – BEAM ELEMENTS

The general equation for beam deflection is from beam theory:


d 2v
M z = EI z 2
dx
where;
M z = Fyi x + M zi

Consequently;

d 2v
EI z = Fyi x + M zi
dx 2 (1-1)

Let’s get the moment diagrams from Pro/Mechanica®, this will be fun:

From your beam model, where you are in Applications > Mechanica > Structure, select
Results > then click on the insert a new definition icon.

The following box will come up.

Answer yes.

Select create and then the following box will come up. Type in shr_moments (we will
show both diagrams on the same window.)

Click on Accept.

41
PRO/MECHANICA STRUCTURE: ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS

Select static1 for the analysis. Then click on Accept. The following contents definition
box will come up. Select and type in all information as shown below.

Enter and select the following information as indicated:

• Title: Shear and Moment Diagrams

• Quantity: Select shear and moment (and de-select P, Vz, Mx and My as they are
not necessary for this problem). Refer to the coordinate system on the beam
model for those. We only need The shear along the z-axis and the moment with
respect to the y-axis. (if you are not sure that you followed the modeling properly
for this exercise, you can keep all shear and moment selected, it is not going to
change the answer.)

• Location: Make sure that beams is selected. Click on Select and select the
beam off the screen. You will then be prompted the following message as
Pro/Mechanica® highlights one of the ends of the beam.

Make sure that you look at the coordinate system presented to you when you get this
message as it affect the de-selection of the 2nd bullet point above,

42
FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS APPLICATIONS – BEAM ELEMENTS

We have no choice to accept this message, we must note where the point is though as it
will help us interpret the diagrams below. Click on OK, then Accept then Show.

The result window should look as follows, where:


• The maximum shear is 4,500 lbs and;
• The maximum bending moment is 180,000 in.lbs.

Figure 2: Shear and moment diagrams

Select File > Exit Results.

From the diagrams above, it looks like Pro/Mechanica® has taken the point where the
load was applied as the reference point. We must understand where the reference point
is, as it affects the shape (not the actual values) of the diagrams.

Let’s integrate twice (Yahoo!) equation 1-1 above. This will give the following:

2
dv Fyi x
EI z = + M zi x + A1 1st integration
dx 2

Fyi x 3 M zi x 2 2nd integration


EI z v = + + A1 x + A2
6 2

43
PRO/MECHANICA STRUCTURE: ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS

From our problem definition, we have the following boundary conditions:

At x = 0 At x = L
vi = 0 vj
θzj
θzi = 0
Where v is the deflection (vertical) and θ is the slope at the respective locations.

Which will give the following 2 equations for the bending moment and the reaction force
at the fixed end of the beam (i):

6 EI z 2 EI z
Mi = 2
vj + θ zj
l l
(1-2)
12 EI z 6 EI
Fyi = 3
v j + 2 z θ zj
l l

Which can be written under the following matrix form: {K} {D} = {F} as follows:

12 6
l3 l2 v j   Fyi 
EI  = 
6 2 θ zj  M zi 
l2 l

Where {K} is the stiffness matrix for our beam deflection problem:

From our diagrams and figure above, we have the following data:

- Fyi = 4,500 lbs and;


- Mzi = 180,000 in. lbs
- E = 29 X 106 psi
- I = bh3/12 = (1) (2)3 / 12 = .667 in.3

What we are looking for here is the value of vj, solving the matrices above using the
Gauss elimination method for vj gives a maximum displacement of 4.95 in.

Do you remember how to solve matrices?

44
FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS APPLICATIONS – BEAM ELEMENTS

Let’s bring back those bad memories:

We have from equation (1-2):

 EI12 EI 6 
 3 4,500  Line 1
 l l2 
 EI 6 EI 2 
 2 180,000  Line 2
 l l 

We need to bring the matrix to a form as follows:

1 A1 C1 
 
0 1 C2 

So let’s perform the following operations on the matrix:

- Divide line 1 by EI12 / l3 and;


- Divide line 2 by EI6 / l2.

Which gives the following matrix:

 l3 
1 l/2 375 
 EI 
 l 2 
1 l/3 30,000 
 EI 

Let’s now subtract line 1 from line 2.

 l3 
1 l/2 375 
 EI 
 l 2
l 3 
0 − l/6 30,000 - 375 
 EI EI 

45
PRO/MECHANICA STRUCTURE: ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS

Finally, let’s divide line 2 by –l/6

 l3 
1 l/2 375 
 EI 
 l l2 
0 1 - 180000 + 4,500 
 EI EI 

Which gives the following solution, when all proper values are put in the matrix:

θzj = -.186 rd and

vj = 4.95 in.

Comparing the deflections:

FEA approximate solution Pro/Mechanica® solution Exact Solution (PL3 / 3EI)

4.95 in. .0129 (sec2) 4.96 in.

The above results do not concur. Well, the software ones anyway. What went wrong
here? Pro/Mechanica® actually gives a deflection value much smaller that the exact and
FEA approximation solutions. But the maximum Von Mises stress calculated by
Pro/Mechanica® was accurate?

The problem is with the system of units that Pro/Mechanica® uses. We need to multiply
the answer we got for deflection by the gravitational (386.4 in/sec2), so the final
Pro/Mechanica® solution answer will be 4.98 in.

Conclusion

Beam elements are fast and accurate elements. They are mainly used by analysis for
getting an idea of the big picture of an assembly of different cross-section. The frame rail
of a trailer for instance. They are also useful to get the shear and moment diagrams of
structures.

The modeling is fast (datum curves) and the beam assignment is also fast. Remember: If
it looks and smells like a beam, then use beam elements for the analysis. On the other
hand, you will not be able to study stress concentrations around holes for instance, shell
elements should then be used for this type of analysis.

46
FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS APPLICATIONS – BEAM ELEMENTS

Be careful with the units of displacement in the results given by Pro/Mechanica®,


multiply your answer by the gravitational constant in order to get to the units that you are
looking for (inches in this case).

Project 1

Problem Definition

Determine the location and magnitudes of the maximum VM stress and the maximum
displacement (in y) of the following application (diving board).

F= 250 lbs.
(8 X 1) in.2

Beam section
25 in.

50 in.

y
x
z

Notes and Hints:

Fixes the location in all 6 DOFs.

Fixes the y direction DOF and the rotation with respect to x axis.

Material: Use Aluminum 2024

47
PRO/MECHANICA STRUCTURE: ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS

Results

Figure 3: Summary file results for project1

Figure 4: Von Mises Stress fringe plot for project1

48
FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS APPLICATIONS – BEAM ELEMENTS

References

1. Toogood, Roger, Pro/Mechanica Structure Tutorial (release 2000i), SDC Publ.,


1999.
2. Adams, V., and Askenazi, A., Building Better Products with FEA, On word Press,
1999.
3. Mott, L.M., Applied Strength of Materials, Prentice-Hall, 1996.
4. Buchanan, G.R., Finite Element Analysis: Schaum’s Outline Series, McGraw-Hill,
1995.

End of Exercise

49
PRO/MECHANICA STRUCTURE: ELEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS

NOTES:

50
DESIGN PROCESS MANAGEMENT
USING PRO/INTRALINK
(Tutorials for Users)

Yves Gagnon, M.A.Sc.


Professor
Mechanical Engineering Technology
Okanagan University College

SDC
PUBLICATIONS

Schroff Development Corporation


www.schroff.com
EXERCISE 1
INTRODUCTION TO PRO/INTRALINK

Exercise 1

Introduction to Pro/INTRALINK®
(40 minutes)

Objectives

By the end of this exercise, the learner should be able to:


1. Start Pro/INTRALINK and the Applications Manager;
2. Select object(s) and retrieve information;
3. Generate reports in Pro/WORKSPACE (info, where used and BOM);
4. View and Customise the table displays;
5. Link Pro/ENGINEER with Pro/INTRALINK.

Introduction

The fundamentals of Pro/INTRALINK are straightforward providing you have some


Pro/ENGINEER knowledge and practice under your belt. In this exsercise, we will
introduce the user to the different configurations in Pro/WORKSPACE , and how objects
are manipulated within the workspace browser. Information, where used, relationship
and BOM reports will be generated and the user should be able to access those with ease.

The assembly that is used for the exercise is named M711-00003-01.ASM . It is made of
the following components:
- M711-00003-02.PRT (1)
- M711-00003-03.PRT (2)
- M711-00003-05.PRT (2)

Procedure

Introduction

To start Pro/INTRALINK, double click on the Pro/INTRALINK icon on your screen


(shortcut to prolink2). It takes about 30 seconds for the software to start.

The above procedure will start the application manager which will appear on the top left
corner of your screen as shown below.

10
EXERCISE 1
INTRODUCTION TO PRO/INTRALINK

Each Pro/INTRALINK module is accessed from the applications manager.


Pro/ENGINEER will be started from this location in order to operate in linked mode with
Pro/INTRALINK.

To start a new workspace, select Start > Pro/WORKSPACE > New Workspace. The
following window will come up:

Concept design for


training course

Select Create New workspace and;


Enter name: M711-00003-01
Enter in Description box: Concept Design for training course.
Select OK.

A login window will come up similar to the one seen below, TYPE IN your user name
and password in the appropriate box.

Note:
1.User Name and P/W should have been handed by your INTRALINK
ADMINISRATOR. (If you don’t have a user name and password yet, please see the
instructor.)

11
EXERCISE 1
INTRODUCTION TO PRO/INTRALINK

Select Login. A workspace window (empty) will come up on your screen. Minimize
this window for now.

Linking Pro/ENGINEER with Pro/INTRALINK

As mentioned previously, Pro/ENGINEER must be opened from the applications


manager in order to be linked with Pro/INTRALINK and be able to save objects directly
from the Pro/ENGINEER session into the Workspace created. From the Applications
Manager menu: Select Start > Pro/ENGINEER > 2000I (optional) > M711-00003-01.
For meeting all the exercise objectives, you need to add the following settings to your
config.pro file (temporarily).

(Ask the instructor or a colleague if you are not sure how to do this or alternatively load
the configuration file named config_i_link.pro located in the
C:/training/intralink_training/ex_1directory.)
Open the assembly M711-00003-01.ASM in the directory path:
C:/training/intralink_training/ex_1. The following assembly should open successfully:

Shade the assembly.

12
EXERCISE 1
INTRODUCTION TO PRO/INTRALINK

Have a look and study the assembly for a minute. Note the number of parts used and
quantity for each using the model tree. Close the model tree when completed your
review. Select View > Default and Save the assembly.

STOP
Saving the assembly while Pro/ENGINEER in linked mode with Pro/INTRALINK
automatically creates objects in the pre-created workspace.

You will get a notification window that some ‘filebased attributes’ are not available.

What are filebased attributes?

They are attributes to which Pro/INTRALINK provides linked Pro/ENGINEER sessions


access by default. When working with instances or generic objects, you can only set
values for filebased attributes from within Pro/ENGINEER. For all other objects, you
can set filebased attributes either in Pro/INTRALINK or in Pro/ENGINEER. You can
change filebased attributes to nonfilebased, but you cannot change a non-filebased
attribute to a filebased attribute.To ensure that they are compatible with existing
information, the system defines attributes that were created in earlier Pro/INTRALINK
releases as filebased.

Close the window. Exit Pro/ENGINEER.

Restore the workspace window brought up earlier (Click on the green icon containing
the assembly name at the top of your screen. Click on the Refresh button and the
window should look as shown below.

Select All
Deselect All

13
EXERCISE 1
INTRODUCTION TO PRO/INTRALINK

Have a look at the Pro/WORKSPACE window above (which should be the same as the
one on your screen); it contains several objects. Each object was created when you saved
the assembly in Pro/ENGINEER. The first object is the top level (assembly), followed by
the parts used in the assembly.

Object Selection

To select multiple objects that are consecutive, it is done the same way as in Microsoft
ExplorerTM. Select the first object, then press and hold the [shift] key then select the
last object that you want in the list. The system selects the group of objects that you
selected.

To select non-consecutive objects, select the first object, then hold down the [cntrl] key
and select all the other objects that you wish. To deselect an object, still hold the
[cntrl] key and select the object pre-selected.

To select all objects in a list, it is faster to use the select the green rectangular icon in
the lower right corner of the browser. To deselect all objects in a list, select the white
rectangular icon located in the same corner of the browser.

To set the revision of an object, it can be done in two ways, when objects are checked in
the commonspace and in the workspace as follows:

Select All objects using the green icon. Then select Objects > Set Revision. Fill out the
window as seen below:

14
EXERCISE 1
INTRODUCTION TO PRO/INTRALINK

Select Relationship Display and the following box should appear:

STOP
From the box above, it is important to understand that objects can be related in
Pro/INTRALINK in a number of ways. Two objects may be part of the same design
configuration, or may be different versions of the same model.

The scope of the related objects that are affected can be selected. The configuration box
above will determine the dependencies between objects. In this box:
All: means that all related objects will be affected by the action.
Required: related objects required for Pro/ENGINEER regeneration.
None: No related objects.

You also can include drawings and instances in the regeneration of the objects, by
checking off the appropriate boxes.

Make the appropriate selections as seen in the Choose dependencies box then Select OK
> OK. Hit the Refresh button to activate the revision column in the workspace.
Minimize the workspace.

Setting up Local Preferences

To set up user local preferences for configurations, you need to start Pro/PREFERENCE
from the applications manager. Select Start > Pro/PREFERENCE for the preference
dialogu box to appear:

Click on the configurations tab for the following box to appear. Make the following
selections:

15
EXERCISE 1
INTRODUCTION TO PRO/INTRALINK

• Select Local;
• Others as seen below:

What we are doing here is setting up local user preferences so when a related action is
performed, such as revision changes, relationships don’t have to be set every time.

Select Apply > OK.

Restore the workspace. With all the objects still selected (hilighted in green). Select
Objects > Set Folder. Make sure all items are selected and Click on the … button at the
bottom of the box (gray area) to select the folders as shown in the dialogu box below.

16
EXERCISE 1
INTRODUCTION TO PRO/INTRALINK

Select OK > OK. Hit the Refresh button on the workspace. For better visualizing the
workspace attributes information, change the width of the columns in order to see all
information provided.

Reports that can be generated in the workspace

Reports are an integral part of the workspace and are usefull to the user in knowing ‘what
is going on’ with the objects in the used workspace.

Info Reports

Using the left mouse button, select the assembly M711-00003-01.asm. The system
highlights the selected object in green. To generate a report for this part, select the info
icon. An info box will come up.

Note: The image in the info box comes from the bitmap file saved.
You can review the information; select the close icon on the report window when
completed.

From the workspace window, Select the following parts: M711-00003-02.PRT and
M711-00003-05.PRT. Select Reports > object info from the pull down menu. Review
the information in each of the report windows shown and close them when completed.

Where Used Report

Select the part M711-00003-03.prt. Select Reports > where used from the pull down
menu. The following window will appear: (Do not close the window yet)

From the where used report above, select the assembly, then select Reports > bill of
materials. Review the BOM report. When completed, close both the BOM and the
Where Used Report windows. Minimize the window.

17
EXERCISE 1
INTRODUCTION TO PRO/INTRALINK

To set up user local preferences for configurations, you need to start Pro/PREFERENCE
from the applications manager. Select Start > Pro/PREFERENCE for the preference
dialogue box to appear. Go to the reports tab to get the following window.

We won’t perform any changes to that window for now. Select Cancel.

Customized table display

An important application of Pro/I to help organizing objects within the spaces (work and
common) is the Table Configuration Editor. It is used to create or modify table displays
for your configurations settings while you work in Pro/WORKSPACE .

To activate the table configuration editor, select Choose Display > Configure display
from the pull down menu. The following window will appear:

18
EXERCISE 1
INTRODUCTION TO PRO/INTRALINK

Make yourself familiar with the table configuration editor above. The right side of the
Table Configuration Editor dialog box contains three tabbed pages. Click on the
following tabs of the box:

1. Column Display Tab: Use to define what columns appear in a table.

2. Sort Objects Tab: Use to define how objects in the table are sorted by row.

3. Filter Objects tab: Use to define under what conditions objects are displayed in a
table.

The information from the three tabbed pages is combined into one table display setting. A
list of saved table display settings is displayed on the left side of the Table Configuration
Editor dialog box. This is the same list that appears in the Table Display drop down list in
the browser. When you select a table display from the list of saved table displays, the
information for that display appears on the tabbed pages.

In the table configuation editor, select the column display tab to display the sytem and
user-defined attributes. The sytem lists the currently diplayed attributes on the right in
the Displayed column list.

Add the version attribute to the display. Select Version > >> .

Change the column order for the Version attribute by selecting version from the
Displayed columns list. Choose up until you positioned it below the revision attribute.

To add a user defined attribute to the display columns list select Material > >> .

Select the Sort Objects tab. Use the [Ctrl] key to select the attributes Release level and
Type.

Select >>. The system sorts both attributes in ascending order.

Save this display by selecting Save as from the table display name area, enter [my
training projects] as the name for this display configuration, and then select Apply >
OK.

Select a new display configuration by basing it on the default one. Select the Default

19
EXERCISE 1
INTRODUCTION TO PRO/INTRALINK

display and then choose save As.

Enter [no bitmap] as the name. Select Apply > OK

Choose the column display tab. Select ? from the display columns list, then choose
remove (<<).

Add the File size attribute to the display columns list, then add the user-defined attribute
of Material so the final displayed columns should look as seen below.

Filter out the bitmaps by selecting the Filter objects tab.


Select Attributes > Type Name from the drop-down list
Select != from the operator drop down list.
Select value and enter [Bmp]
Select Add.

The system will now filter out all objects with Type Name of Bmp. The correctly
configured filter should read: !match (Value("Type Name"), quote "Bmp" )

Note : Brackets do not appear on the filter window.

Select (Save > Apply > OK). Change windows to display the workspace.

20
EXERCISE 1
INTRODUCTION TO PRO/INTRALINK

Select My training projects from the table Display drop down list.

The system then updates the workspace table display. To specify a configuration
without bitmaps, select no bitmap from the drop down list. The system should now
remove all bitmap files (.bmp) from the table display.

In the workspace browser, select M711-00003-01.ASM. Select Reports > Relationship


(pull down menu). Note the display configuration that the system uses for this report
type. Select the Set Display icon.

Add the Stream and Row number attributes to the displayed Columns list. Reposition it
up the list to just below the type. Save the display table as the default. (Select Default
from the Table Display name then Save). Select OK. You can view the changes of the
report by selecting the close icon.

From the workspace, select the part M711-00003-05.PRT. Select Object > View from
the pull down menu. Pro/ENGINEER will start and you will be able to see the part.
Close Pro/ENGINEER.

We will delete all the work that you have done in this exercise. It will only be a memory!
Delete the workspace by selecting workspace > delete.

Note: (It is actually good work management practice to delete the workspace, once you
are finished with it.)

21
EXERCISE 1
INTRODUCTION TO PRO/INTRALINK

Select the workspace M711-00003-01 as shown above. Select OK.

The following message box will come up:

Select OK. Exit the Applications Manager. Select Start > Exit > OK.

End of Exercise. Good Job!

22
EXERCISE 1
INTRODUCTION TO PRO/INTRALINK

GOOD PRACTICES WITH PRO/INTRALINK

As it is the case with Pro/ENGINEER, good practices are in order when using
Pro/INTRALINK. We will introduce recommended good practices at the end of each
exercise which will apply to the knowledge just covered. You should review these
regularly until you become familiar with its contents.

1. Creating and deleting a WorkSpace

You should always create a WS when you are:

• Conducting a Engineering Change;


• Making the drawing of a part;
• Investigating an assembly for future use in another project;
• Modifying the object attributes for a specific set of objects;

It is also good practice to delete the workspace when you are finished with it. (This
deceases the amount of storage space)

Pro/ENGINEER usage

It is also good practice to always use Pro/ENGINEER in linked mode when you save
parts.

Commitment is Rule #1

Remember that you must commit to Pro/INTRALINK as a user and as a group of user
once you start using it in order to be successful with it and make use of its advantages.

23
Applications in Sheet Metal
Using Pro/ENGINEER and
Pro/SHEETMETAL
A Step-by-Step Tutorial for Designing Pro/SHEETMETAL
Parts, Assemblies and Drawings
Release 2001

SDC
PUBLICATIONS

www.schroff.com
Project 2 Create a Box Container

Project Objective

Redesign an electrical box to decrease assembly time. Consolidate three assembled parts
in to a single formed part.

Design Intent

The design intent is to reduce


the number of parts that
configures the customer’s
electrical box. You are
presented with the current box
configuration. The box
consists of 3 parts:
• C-shaped plate
• Left flat plate
• Right flat plate
The flat plates are welded at
each end to the C-shaped plate,
(Figure 2-1). The design Figure 2-1 Current Design Situation
challenge is to reduce three
parts into 1 flat sheetmetal part
that can be formed into a 3D box, (Figure 2-2).

Figure 2-2 Flatten Sheetmetal Part and


Formed Box
2-2 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Types of Wall Features

In this project, you will utilize three different Wall features:


• Extruded Wall
• Flat Wall
• Extended Wall
The Extruded Wall feature is a sketched 2D profile with an offset wall thickness. Bend
angles are sketched as a fillet radius in the 2D profile. Note: Similar to Pro/E Thin Wall
Protrusion.
The Flat Wall feature is a sketched boundary in a 2D plane (flat) at a specified bend
angle. Note: Similar to Pro/E Extrude Protrusion. The Extended Wall feature creates an
extension of a wall surface to another wall surface, usually at a corner.

New Sheetmetal Part

Create a new sheetmetal part. Select File, New, Part. Select Sheetmetal under the
SUB-TYPE menu. Enter partname MYBOX in the name window. Select OK.

File>New>Part>Sheetmetal>[Enter partname MYBOX]>OK

The default datum planes, FRONT, TOP and RIGHT are displayed.

Base Feature –Extruded Wall

The Base feature is the foundation of the part. The Base feature is an Extruded Wall
feature sketched utilizing a simple “C” profile. The box consists of two locating tabs
with holes. The holes are used to mount an electrical assembly. The outside dimensions
are critical. The box is used as a sub-component in an assembly.
Create the Base feature. Select Create Unattached Extruded Wall from the Sheetmetal
toolbar.

[Expand the toolbar]>Create Unattached Extruded Wall

Locating the center of the holes on the RIGHT datum plane saves time
during future assembly. Create the “C” profile symmetrical on either
side of the RIGHT plane. Select the Both Sides option from the
ATTRIBUTES menu, (Figure 2-3a). Select Done.
Figure 2-3a
ATTRIBUTES
Both Sides|Done
Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2-3

The Sketch Plane contains: 2D geometry profile, dimensions and alignments. The
Reference Plane orients the viewing direction of the Sketch Plane inside Sketcher. Select
RIGHT as the Sketch Plane. The view direction arrow points to the left. Select Okay
from the DIRECTION menu. The yellow square in Sketcher mode represents the RIGHT
plane. Select Top from the SKET VIEW (Sketch View) menu. Select TOP as the
Reference Plane. In Sketcher mode, the yellow line represents the top side of the TOP
plane.

SeupNew|Plane|[Select Sketch Plane: RIGHT]>Okay>


Top|[Select Sketch View Reference Plane: TOP]

Create the Sketch


The 2D section for the feature is created in Sketcher
mode. Sketcher mode includes dimensions and geometry
relationships. The References are F2(TOP) and
F3(FRONT), (Figure 2-3b). The “C” profile and it’s
dimensions are aligned to these planes.
Sketch the “C” shaped profile. Select Line. The bottom
line is collinear with the TOP plane. The endpoints are
coincident with the FRONT plane, (Figure 2-3c).
Figure 2-3b
References
Sketch>Line>[Sketch the C-Shape]
FRONT

The dimension of the “C” profile is 3” x 2” x


2.5” with a thickness of 0.1”. Modify the
dimension values. Click the Select icon from
the Sketch toolbar. Double-click the vertical
dimension value. Enter 3 for the vertical Sketch Plane
dimension. Double-click the horizontal RIGHT
dimension value. The text turns red. Enter 2.

Select
[Double-click the vertical dimension value.
Enter 3]>
[Double-click the horizontal dimension value. TOP
Enter 2]>

Note: You must click the green checkmark to Figure 2-3c


accept the value after every entry. Sketch
2-4 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Round the corners. Select Fillet. Select two lines in the bottom right corner.
Use the grid lines to create a 90° arc. The center point should be equally spaced between
the vertical and horizontal lines. Create a second arc fillet in the top corner. Modify the
arc. Click the Select icon. Double-click the arc dimension value. Enter 0.20.

Fillet [Select 2 lines]


Select>[Double-click the arc dimension value. Enter 0.20]

Wall Thickness
In the Sketch, material thickness is
added with the Thicken command. The
Thicken command is located in the
Sketch, Feature Tools menu. The
direction arrow points towards the inside
of the “C” profile. This is to address
material thickness. Create the wall
thickness to the inside of the profile.
Select Okay from the DIRECTION
menu. Enter material thickness, 0.10.
An offset profile is created as a dotted
line, (Figure 2-4a).

Sketch>Feature Tools>
Arrow Direction for
Thicken>Okay>[Enter 0.10] Thicken

Redefine the dimension scheme.


Represent the true design intent with
overall length and inside radii. Select
Dimension from the SKETCHER
toolbar. Select the inside dotted radius.
Place the new dimension with the Figure 2-4a 2D Profile for Extruded Wall
middle mouse button. Delete
conflicting older dimension. Re-dimension the inside radius for the second arc.

Modify the vertical dimension. Enter 3. Modify the horizontal dimension. Enter 2.
Modify the inside radii. Enter 0.10. Exit the Sketcher. Select Continue.

Dimension>[Select inside radius]


Modify>[Vertical dimension, Enter 3. Horizontal dimension, Enter 2. Radius, Enter 0.10]
Continue
Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2-5

Note: System default is automatic regeneration. You must have a valid sketch before you
exit Sketcher!

Wall Depth
Specify the wall depth. Select
Blind, Done from the SPEC
TO menu. The feature is
constructed symmetrically
around the RIGHT datum
plane. Enter depth, 2.5.
View the feature. Select
Preview from the ELEMENT
DIALOG BOX.
View, Default, Shade from
the Main Tool Bar,
(Figure 2-4b). Commit the
feature to the database. Select
OK from the ELEMENT
DIALOG BOX. Save the
feature to disk. Select Save
from the Main Tool Bar.
Figure 2-4b Extruded First Wall Feature
Blind|Done>
[Enter 2.5]
Preview
View>Default
OK
Save
2-6 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Setup Fixed Surface

A Fixed surface is required when


applying the Unbend and Bend Back
features. Specify the fixed surface
during the Unbend/Bend Back
process. Select Setup from the
PART menu. Select Fixed Geom
(Geometry) from the SMT SETUP
(Sheetmetal) menu. Select Select
from the FIXED GEOM menu.
Select the white surface,
(Figure 2-5). The system highlights
the surface in red. Select Fixed Surface
Done\Return from the SMT SETUP (white)
menu.

Part>Setup>Fixed Geom>Select>
[Select white surface]>
Figure 2-5 Extrude Wall Feature
Done|Return

Unbend Feature

The Unbend feature represents the 3D part


in its 2D flatten state. Create an Unbend
feature before removing material at the
bends. This helps to alleviate part stress.
Select Create Unbend from the
Sheetmetal toolbar. Select Regular, Done
from the UNBEND OPTS menu. Select
Unbend All, Done from the UNBEND
SELECT menu, (Figure 2-6). Select
Preview, OK. Select Save.

Create Unbend
Regular|Done>Unbend All|Done
Preview>OK
Save

Figure 2-6 Unbend Feature


Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2-7

Cut Feature

The Cut feature removes material.


When corners are formed, stress occurs.
Stress can cause a buckle or wrinkle
effect. The Cut feature is used to
address stress at the four corners.
Sketch Plane
for Cut
Note: Obtain dimensions for the Cut (white)_
feature from the standard tools available
from your sheetmetal manufacturing
partner. In this example, the Cut
feature dimensions are increased for
improved visualization.
Bottom Reference
Plane

Create the Solid Cut feature. Select


Insert Cut from the Main toolbar.
Select Extrude. Select One Side,
Figure 2-7a Unbend Feature, Sketch
Done.
Plane and Reference Plane for Cut
Select the top white surface of the Feature
Sketch Plane from the SETUP PLANE
menu. The red direction arrow points down. Select Okay from the DIRECTION menu.
Select Bottom from the SKET VIEW (Sketch) menu, (Figure 2-7a). Select the thin right
surface to face the bottom, as the horizontal reference for sketching. The system places
you in Sketcher.

Insert Cut>Extrude>OneSide|Done
SetupNew|Plane|[Select Sketch Plane: top white surface]>Okay>
Bottom[Select Sketch View Reference Plane: thin right surface]

Enlarge the area around the bottom of the A-1


axis. Select Zoom In from the Main Tool
Bar, (Figure 2-7b).

First cut
Zoom In centered on
Axis A-1

Figure 2-7b Sketch View for First


Cut
2-8 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Select the References. Select the A-1 axis as the


vertical alignment reference. Select the thin bottom
edge as the horizontal reference, (Figure 2-7c).
Sketch the profile, (Figure 2-7d). Select Line. Sketch a
vertical line. Select Arc, Tangent End. Create a 180°
arc. The Intent Manager temporarily produces a red
dashed line at 180°. Select Line. Sketch a line. Line 1
and Line 2 are equal and vertical.

Modify the dimensions. Click Select. Double-click the


vertical dimension value. Enter 0.30. Double-click the
Figure 2-7c References
arc dimension value. Enter 0.25. Select Continue.

Arc Tangent Ends, 180°

Vertical and Horizontal Alignment


References

Bend Radius from Extruded


Wall Feature
Figure 2-7d Sketched Profile for Cut

References>[Select A1-Axis. Select bottom horizontal edge]


Line>[Sketch vertical line]
Arc>[Sketch Tangent arc]
Line>[Sketch vertical line]
Select>[Double-click the vertical text. Enter 0.30. Double-click the arc text. Enter 0.25]]
Continue

Select Flip|Okay for Cut direction. The direction arrow points towards the center of the
Cut. Select Thru All, Done from the SPEC TO menu. Select Okay from the
DIRECTION menu.
Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2-9

View the newly created Cut. Select Preview


from the ELEMENT DIALOG BOX.
View Cut 1. Select View, Default from the
Main Tool Bar.
Insert the new feature into the database,
(Figure 2-8). Select OK from the ELEMENT
DIALOG BOX. Save to disk. Select Save from
the Main Tool Bar.

Flip|Okay>Thru All|Done
Figure 2-8 First Cut Feature
Okay
Preview>View>Default>OK
Save

Note: All Corner Cuts are of equal size. This is to save design and manufacturing time.
Utilize the Copy and Copy Mirror features to perform Cut 2, Cut 3 and Cut 4. The
relief Corner Cuts are enlarged for improved clarity.
2 - 10 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Copy Feature

Utilize the Copy feature to create Cut 2. Use the same placement plane and Reference
Planes as Cut 1. The new Reference axis is A2.
Create the Copy feature. Select Feature, Copy. Select New Refs, Select, Dependent,
Done from the COPY FEATURE menu. Select Cut 1. Select Done from the SELECT
FEAT menu. Select Done from the GP VAR DIMS menu to accept the same reference
dimensions from Cut 1.
• Select Same from the WHICH REF menu to accept the sketching plane reference.
• Select Same from the WHICH REF menu to accept the horizontal sketcher reference.
• Select Alternate from the WHICH REF menu. Select a new axis reference. Select
A-2 axis, (Figure 2-9a). The Flip the red direction arrow to point upward.
• Select Done from the GRP PLACE menu (Figure 2-9b). Cut 2 is located.

Feature>Copy>NewRefs|Select|Dependent|Done>[Select Cut1]|Done>Done>
Same for sketching plane>
Same horz sketcher >
Alternate axis A-2>Flip|Okay
Done

Axis A-2 for new reference

Figure 2-9a Axis A-2 Reference for Second Hole

Cut 2 Cut 1

Figure 2-9b Cut 2, Using the Copy Feature


Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2 - 11

Copy Mirror Feature

The Copy Mirror feature creates the ability to mirror features around a datum plane.
Create the Copy Mirror feature. Select Copy from the FEATURE menu. Select
Mirror, Select, Dependent, Done from the COPY FEATURE menu. Select Cut 1 and
Cut 2. Both Cuts turn red. Select Done Sel from the GET SELECT menu. Select Done
from the SELECT FEAT menu. Select the RIGHT plane as the mirror plane,
(Figure 2-10).
The Copy Mirror feature creates and displays Cut 3 and Cut 4, (Figure 2-11).

Feature>Create>Copy>Mirror>Select>Dependent>Done
[Select Cut 1 and Cut 2]>Done Sel>Done
Plane>[Select mirror plane: RIGHT]

Cut 3 and Cut 4

Cut 1 and Cut 2

Mirror Plane RIGHT

Figure 2-10 Copy Mirror Feature Figure 2-11 Cut 3 and Cut 4
2 - 12 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Bend Back Feature

Create the Bend Back feature. Select


Create Bend Back from the Sheetmetal
toolbar. Select Regular, Done from the
BEND OPTS menu. Select Bend Back
All from the BEND BACK SEL,
(Select) menu.
View the feature. Select Preview.
Select OK, (Figure 2-12). Save to disk.
Select Save from the Main Tool Bar.
Note: You created the Fixed Surface in
the SETUP menu. Select Done.

Create Bend Back


Figure 2-12 Bend Back Feature to View 4
Regular|Done>Bend Back All|Done Cuts in Their Folded Position
Preview>OK>Save

Flat Wall Feature

The Flat Wall feature is a wall:


• Created planar to an existing surface
• Created at a specified bend angle
The Flat Wall feature requires a sketched open boundary in a 2D plane which is attached
to an existing wall.

Attachment Edge and Intent Manager

The Attachment Edge is a line on an existing wall, where a new wall is connected. The
new wall is attached to a green or white edge. The two endpoints of the Attachment
Edge are diplayed with an X symbol in Sketcher. The system aligns the new sketched
endpoints to the attachment edge endpoints.
The Intent Manager is used for alignments with existing wall geometry. The alignments
are expicitely stated to avoid confusion between the design intent and the system’s
assumptions.
Note: Verify that the alignments support the design intent.
Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2 - 13

No Radius\Use Radius
In the Flat Wall feature, there are two
selections in the Sheetmetal toolbar: Create Flat Wall No Radius
• No Radius
Create Flat Wall Use Radius
• Use Radius
The No Radius option creates a new wall, planar to the adjacent wall. A profile is
sketched, (Figure 2-13).
The Use Radius option creates a new wall, in which a bend radius is added. A profile is
sketched on a datum plane, through a bend angle, and attached to an edge of the existing
wall, (Figure 2-14).

Figure 2-13

Flat Wall, No
Radius
Option

Figure 2-14
Flat Wall, Use
Radius Option,
90° Bend
2 - 14 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Inside\Outside Radius Side


In the Flat Wall feature, there are two selections in the Outside
RADIUS SIDE menu: (Figure 2-15). Radius
• Inside Rad (RADIUS) Inside
Radius
• Outside Rad (RADIUS)
There is a green and white side to a bend. There is an Figure 2-15 Inside and
inside and outside radius to a bend. Construct the bend Outside Radius
either by selecting the Inside or Outside Radius Side
Option, (Figure 2-16).

Outside Rad
Option

Inside Rad
Option

Figure 2-16 Outside and Inside Radius Side Option

Relief Options
The Relief Options decreases stress in a wall with a bend. There are five types of stress
relief options:

• No Relief
• Stretch Relief
• Rip Relief
• Rectangular Relief
• Obround Relief

The No Relief option does not provide stress relief in a wall with a bend.
Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2 - 15

The Stretch Relief option decreases stress in a wall with a bend. The material is
stretched where the bend crosses an edge of the fixed material. The Stretch Relief
option requires a stretch relief angle and width of stretch.
The Rip Relief option decreases stress in a bend. The option performs this function by
cutting the fixed material normal to the bend line. A rip is a cut of zero thickness. Apply
Rip Relief to both sides of the bend, (Figure 2-17a).

Angle
Rip Relief

Distance

Figure 2-17a Rip Relief and Stretch Relief

The Rectangular (Rect) Relief and Obround (ObRnd) Relief options decreases stress
in a bend. These options perform this function by cutting material away in the shape of a
rectangle or obround respectfully, (Figure 2-17b).

Rectangular Relief
Obround Relief

Figure 2-17b Rectangular Relief and Obround Relief


2 - 16 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Flat Wall Feature – Use Radius Option- Right Side

The Flat Wall feature with the Use Radius option creates a wall attached to the Base
feature. The Use Radius option creates a bend at the attachment edge with a user
specified bend angle and direction.
Create the Flat Wall feature with the Use Radius option. Create the right vertical wall.
Select Create Flat Wall Use Radius from the Sheetmetal toolbar.
Select Part Bend Tbl, Done/Return from the USE TABLE menu. Table 2 is the default
Part Bend Table for Steel and Aluminum. There are three Part Bend Tables included
with Pro/SHEETMETAL. Create your own Part Bend
Tables for different materials.
Inside
White
Edge
Select Inside Rad (RADIUS), Done/Return from the
RADIUS SIDE menu. Select Add from the FEATURE
REF menu.
Select the inside vertical white edge, (Figure 2-18a).

Figure 2-18a Attachment


Edge
Specify bend angle and direction. Select 90 from the
DEF BEND ANGLE menu. Select the Flip check box
so the yellow 90° angle symbol points out of the screen, (Figure
2-18b). Select Done. Select Flip|Okay from the DIRECTION
menu. The direction view arrow points to the left. Use this
direction to view the Sketching Plane.

Create Flat Wall Use Radius Figure 2-18b


Part Bend Tbl|Done/Return>Inside Rad>Done/Return Bend Angle
Add [Select inside right vertical white edge]> 90|Flip|Done
Flip|Okay[direction arrow points to the left]
Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2 - 17

The system places you in Sketcher. There are two attachment points labeled with Xs.
Turn the Grid off to provide improve visibility of the X symbols. The attachment points
are aligned automatically as the Reference Vertex Edge, (Figure 2-18c).
Create additional alignment references. Select the three inside walls. Select the FRONT
plane. Select the horizontal edge of Cut1 and Cut2.

Do not reference to the


bend lines

References

Figure 2-18c
Reference for Flat Wall Feature-Right Side

Grid off
References>[Select three inside walls. Select FRONT. Select horizontal Cut1 and Cut2]
2 - 18 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Sketch the profile. Select Line. Sketch the 2D profile with 5 line segments,
(Figure 2-19). The first and last sketched points are aligned to the attachment edge. The
sketched vertical lines are collinear to the inside wall edges. The sketched horizontal line
is aligned to the FRONT datum plane. Select Continue.

Sketch>Line[Sketch the 2D profile, 5 line segments]


Continue

Attachment edge Bend Radius

CUT1

FRONT

Figure 2-19 Sketch Profile for Right Wall

Note: Do not align the sketched points to the extruded wall bend radius. Align the sketch
in the default view to select the correct geometry. If an incorrect bend radius is chosen,
the feature will fail due to thickness.
Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2 - 19

Address the stress relief for the bend with


Cut 1 and Cut 2. Select NoRelief, Done from
the RELIEF menu. Select Thickness from
the SEL RADIUS menu.
View the feature. Select Preview. Select
OK, (Figure 2-20).

No Relief|Done
Thickness
Preview>OK
Figure 2-20 Flat Wall Feature
Save
Right Side

Select Zoom in to enlarge the bend, (Figure 2-21).

Zoom in

Figure 2-21 Corner View


2 - 20 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Flat Wall Feature – Use Radius Option - Left Side

The Flat Wall feature with the Use Radius option creates a wall attached to the Base
feature. The Use Radius option creates a bend at the attachment edge with a user
specified bend angle and direction.
Create the left vertical wall. The attachment edge is the inside left white vertical edge,
(Figure 2-22).
Flip the 90° direction symbol, so that the new wall direction is created out of the screen.
The view direction arrow points to the right.
Sketch the profile, (Figure 2-19). Select No Relief.
Inside white
Select Thickness. Select Preview, (Figure 2-23). edge

Create Flat Wall Use Radius


Part Bend Tbl|Done/Return>Inside
Rad>Done/Return
Add [Select inside left white vertical edge]> 90| FLIP|
Done
Flip|Okay[Direction arrow points to the right]
References>
[Sketch the Profile] Figure 2-22 Attachment
Continue Edge, Inside Left White Edge
No Relief|Done
Thickness
Preview>OK>Save
Save
Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2 - 21

Flat Wall - No Radius Option - Right Side

The Flat Wall with the No Radius option creates a


planar wall attached to the right side of the box. There
are no bends.
Create the Flat Wall with the No Radius option.
Select Create Flat Wall No Radius from the
Sheetmetal toolbar. Select Part Bend Tbl from the
USE TABLE menu. Select Done. Green
vertical
Select Add from the FEATURE REFs menu. Select edge
the green vertical edge to attach the new wall,
(Figure 2-24). View the Sketching plane. Accept the
direction arrow. The direction arrow points to the left.
Select Okay from the DIRECTION menu. Figure 2-24 Attachment Edge

Create Flat Wall No Radius


Part Bend Tbl|Done
Add [Select right green vertical edge]>Okay

The system places you in Sketcher. Two attachment points are labeled with an X.
Sketch the flat wall profile. Create a reference with the FRONT plane. Dimension the
two corner angles, and the vertical height of the wall. Modify the dimensions. The
profile is automatically aligned to the two end points, (Figure 2-25).

Reference FRONT

Figure 2-25 Sketch for Flat Wall – No Radius


2 - 22 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

View the feature. Select Preview. Accept the


feature, (Figure 2-26). Select OK. Select Save.

References>
[Sketch the Profile]
Continue
Preview>OK
Save

Figure 2-26 Flat Wall – No


Flat Wall with No Radius - Left Side Radius Right Side

The Flat Wall with No Radius option, Left Side is


similar to the Right Side. Create the Flat Wall with
No Radius. Select Create Flat Wall No Radius
from the Sheetmetal toolbar. The attachment edge is
the outside left green vertical edge, (Figure 2-27a).
Sketch the same profile as the right side,
(Figure 2-27b).
Green Vertical
Outside Edge
Create Flat Wall No Radius
Part Bend Tbl|Done
Add [Select left green vertical edge]
Okay Figure 2-27a Left Attachment
Sketch the profile Edge
Save time. Use the alignments from the previous Flat Wall to sketch the profile with no
dimensions.

Figure 2-27b Sketch Using Alignments


Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2 - 23

View the feature. Select Preview, (Figure 2-28).

Preview>OK>Save

Unbend\Bend Back Feature

The Unbend, Bend Back feature is used to ensure that


you can flatten the part correctly.
Create the Unbend feature. Select Create Unbend.
Select Regular, Done. Select Unbend All, Done.
The Unbend feature creates a flat pattern,
(Figure 2-29). Figure 2-28 Flat
Wall – No Radius
Create the Bend Back feature. Select Create Bend Left Side
Back Select Bend Back All, Done.
Avoid unnecessary features in the Model Tree. Delete the Unbend and Bend Back
features after the flat pattern is viewed.

Create Unbend
Regular|Done> Unbend All|Done

Create Bend Back


Bend Back All|Done
Feature>Delete>[Select the last Unbend and Bend Back features from the Model Tree]

Figure 2-29 Unbend Feature


2 - 24 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Flat Wall with Use Radius and Rip Relief – Top

The two tabs with locating holes are created using the
Flat Wall feature with the Use Radius and Rip Relief
options. Each wall is attached to the horizontal inside
edges.
Create the Flat Wall with the Use Radius and Rip
Relief options. Select Create Flat Wall Use Radius.
Select Part Bend Tbl., Done from the USE TABLE
menu. Select Inside Rad, Done from the RADIUS Inside White
SIDE menu. Select Add from the FEATURE REFs Edge
(Reference) menu. Figure 2-30
Select the inside top white edge as the attachment Attachment Edge
edge, (Figure 2-30).

Specify bend angle and direction. Select 90, Done from the DEF BEND ANGLE menu.
The 90° symbol points in a vertical up direction to the bend. Select Okay from the
DIRECTION menu. The direction view arrow points into the screen. Create the
References, Sketch and Dimension, (Figure 2-31).

Specify the Relief Type. Select w/Relief from the RELIEF TYPE menu. Select Rip
Relief, Done at both endpoints.
Select Thickness from the SEL RADIUS menu. This provides the material rip distance
equal to the thickness of the wall.

References

Figure 2-31 Sketch for Top Tab


Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2 - 25

Select Preview, OK, (Figure 2-32). Select


View, Default. Select Save.

Create Flat Wall Use Radius


Part Bend Tbl|Done/Return>Inside
Rad>Done/Return
Add [Select inside top white vertical edge]>
90|Done
Okay
References>
Figure 2-32 Top Tab
[Sketch the Profile]
Continue
w/Relief|Done>Rip Relief|Done >Rip
Relief|Done>
Thickness
Preview>OK>Save

Flat Wall with Use Radius and Rip Relief – Bottom

The Flat Wall with Use Radius and Rip Relief - Bottom side is similar to the top side.
The attachment edge is the inside bottom white horizontal edge, (Figure 2-33). The
direction view arrow points inward.

Create Flat Wall Use Radius


Part Bend Tbl|Done/Return>Inside Rad>Done/Return
Add [Select inside bottom white vertical edge]> 90|Done
Okay
References>
[Sketch the Profile]
Continue
w/Relief|Done>Rip Relief|Done >Rip Relief|Done>
Thickness
Preview>OK
Save
2 - 26 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Unbend\Bend Back Feature

The Unbend feature followed by the


Bend Back feature is used to ensure that
the part is flatten correctly. Create the
Unbend feature. View the material in
its flatten state, (Figure 2-34). Create
the Bend Back feature to return the part
to its original state.

Create Unbend
Regular|Done> Unbend All|Done

Create Bend Back


Bend Back All|Done
Feature>Delete>[Select the last Unbend
and Bend Back features from the Model
Tree] Figure 2-34 Unbend Feature with Top
Preview>OK>Save and Bottom Tabs Flattened

Note: Avoid unnecessary features in the Model Tree. Delete the Unbend and Bend
Back features after you are finished viewing the flat pattern.

Extended Walls

The Extended Wall feature creates Surface to


an extension of a wall surface to Extent to
another wall.
Create an Extended Wall feature.

Select Create Extended Wall


from the Sheetmetal Toolbar. Select
the right outside green edge, (Figure
2-35). Wall Edge to
Extend
Select UpToPlane, Plane from the
SETUP PLANE menu. Select the
top green surface as the Reference
Plane to the wall.

Figure 2-35 Wall to Extend


Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2 - 27

The thin right surface is extended to the top


surface, (Figure 2-36).

Create Extended Wall


[Select the right outside green edge]
UpToPlane|Plane>
[Select the top green surface]
Preview>Ok>Save

Create the Extend Wall for the top left outside


green edge, the bottom left outside green edge Figure 2-36 Enlarged
and the bottom right outside green edge. Extended Wall Result

Create Extended Wall


[Repeat for each edge]

Rounds
Rounds are solid features that remove sharp edges. Complete the Top and Bottom tabs.
Use the Solid Round feature to create a smooth surface. Combine Solid features with
Sheetmetal features during the part design process.
Create the Round. Select Insert, Round. Select Simple, Done, from the ROUND
TYPE menu. Select Full Round, Edge Pair, Done from the RND SET ATTR (Round
Set Attributes) menu. Select the small right edge. Select the small left edge, (Figure 2-
37). The sharp edges are removed and replaced by a full round, (Figure 2-38).
For Top Tab:

Select 2
Small Edges
for Full
Round

Select 2 Small
Edges for Full
Round

Figure 2-37 Edges to Select for Figure 2-38 Full Round Results to Top
Full Round and Bottom Tabs
2 - 28 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Insert>Round>Simple|Done> Full Round|Edge Pair| Done>


[Select right edge. Select left edge.]

For Bottom Tab:

Insert>Round>Simple|Done>Full Round|Edge Pair| Done>


[Select right edge. Select left edge.]
Save

Create Locating Holes

The Hole feature is a solid feature that removes material. The part that you are creating
has two locating holes. The holes are to be used to mount an electrical assembly. To
conserve time, place the center point of a locating hole on the RIGHT datum plane.
Create the Hole. Select Insert, Hole. The Hole feature dialog box is displayed, (Figure
2-39).

Figure 2-39 Hole Entries

Enter 0.20 for Diameter. Select Thru All for Depth One.
Select the front white surface on the upper tab as the Primary Reference placement plane
for Hole 1.
Select RIGHT as Linear Reference 1. Enter 0 as the offset distance from RIGHT. The
hole is centered on the datum plane.

Select the horizontal edge of the bend as Linear Reference 2. Enter 0.25 as the vertical
distance from the horizontal edge, (Figure 2-40a).
Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2 - 29

The hole is located centered on the RIGHT datum plane and through the top tab,

Reference 2

Reference 1
RIGHT

Primary
Reference
Plane

Figure 2-40a Hole 1 Placement Plane Figure 2-40b Hole 1 Result


and References
(Figure 2-40b).

Insert Hole
[Enter diameter, 0.20]>Thru All
[Select Primary Reference, flat white surface]
[Select RIGHT as Linear Reference 1]>[Enter distance from highlighted surface, 0]
[Select the horizontal edge as Linear Reference 2]>[Enter distance from highlighted surface, 0.25]
One Side|Done>Thru All|Done
[Enter 0.20]
Preview>OK>
Save
2 - 30 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Copy Feature

The geometry of the locating holes are the same. Create the locating hole on the bottom
tab using the COPY feature. Select Feature, Copy, New Refs, Dependent, Done.
Do not required to check Dim1, Dim2 or Dim3 since the dimension values for Hole 1 are
the same as Hole 2. Select Done from the GP VAR DIMS (Group Variable) menu.
Select the front surface on the bottom tab as the placement plane, (Figure 2-41).
Select the horizontal bottom tab line as an Alternate reference. Select SAME for the
RIGHT plane vertical reference. Select the front surface for location of Hole. Select
Done from the GRP PLACE menu. The locating holes are complete, (Figure 2-42).

Placement
Plane

Figure 2-41 Hole 2 Placement Plane Figure 2-42 Locating Holes Result

Feature>Copy>NewRefs|Dependent|Done
Done
[Placement plane: Select front surface]>
[Horizontal Reference: Alternate|[Select horizontal bottom line]
[Vertical Reference(RIGHT): Same]
[Hole location: [Select front surface]]>Done
Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2 - 31

Create A Pattern of Holes

A Pattern feature creates parametric multiple instances of a single feature. This feature
is called the leader feature. Create the leader feature.
Increment the leader feature’s dimensions. The Pattern feature’s parameters that can be
modified include:
• Distances between instances
• Number of instances
• leader feature
In this project, the Hole feature is the leader feature. The Pattern feature creates six
instances of holes, 3 rows by 2 columns. The number of holes is modified from six to
eight. The leader feature’s diameter is modified resulting in eight updated instances.
Note: When patterns are created, the results may not meet your expectations. Do not use
Delete to remove the Pattern feature. Delete will remove the leader feature. Instead,
use Delete Pattern.

Create the Leader Feature


Select Primary
Reference, green
Create a linear hole on the right
surface as the leader feature for the
Pattern feature. Select the right
green surface as the Primary
Reference placement plane. Select
TOP and FRONT as Linear
Reference 1 and Linear Reference 2 Select
FRONT
respectively, (Figure 2-43a). Select TOP
Enter 0.4 Enter 0.5

Figure 2-43a Leader Feature


Placement and References
2 - 32 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Enter a distance of 0.50 for Linear Reference 1. Enter a distance of 0.40 for Linear
Reference 2, (Figure 2-43b).
Enter a diameter of 0.25. The Thru All option allows the hole to go through both the
right and left wall.

Insert>Hole
[Enter diameter, 0.25]>Thru All
[Select Primary Reference, green surface]
[Select TOP as Reference 1]>[Enter distance from highlighted surface, 0.50]
[Select FRONT as Reference 2]>[Enter distance from highlighted surface, 0.40]

Figure 2-43b Pattern Dimensions


Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2 - 33

Create the Pattern Feature


Create a pattern with 6 instances, 3 rows by 2 columns. A two-direction pattern needs to
be defined.
Building flexibility in two directions allows you to address future modifications. Modify
the overall size of an array by selecting the row and column parameter values. For
example, create a 4 x 1 array. Select the 3 row value. Enter 4. Select the 2 column
value. Enter 1.
Create the Pattern. Select Edit, Pattern. For the leader, select the Hole feature. Select
Identical, Done from the PAT OPTIONS (Pattern options) menu. The Identical option
is the fastest pattern feature for regeneration. Multiple instances contain the same
geometry as the leader feature. Each hole is the same.
Use the Varying or General option from the PAT OPTIONS menu to incrementally
change the size of the holes as you create multiple instance.

Edit>Pattern>[Select Hole]>Identical|Done

The pattern uses the vertical 0.50 and the horizontal 0.40 reference dimensions of the
leader feature.

For vertical direction (Number of rows):


Select 0.50 as the pattern dimension in the first direction. Enter an incremental value of
0.625, the vertical distance between the holes. Select Done. Enter 3 for the number of
instances.
For the horizontal direction (Number of columns):
Select 0.40 as the pattern dimension in the second direction. Enter an incremental value
of 0.75, the horizontal distance between holes, (Figure 2-44). Select Done. Enter 2 for
the number on instances. Select Done.

Figure 2-44 Pattern Dimensions


2 - 34 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

[First Direction: Select 0.50]>[Enter an incremental value of 0.625]|Done


[Number of instances including original, Enter 3]

[Second Direction: Select 0.40]>[Enter an incremental value of 0.75]|Done


[Number of instances including original, Enter 2]|Done

Modify the Pattern Feature


Modify the Pattern. Select Modify. Select Pattern feature. Select 3 HOLES. Enter
new parameter 4. Select Regenerate to view the eight holes in the pattern.
Select Modify. Select the leader feature, HOLE, (Figure 2-45a). Select diameter 0.25.
For design consistency, all holes are of the same dimensions. Enter new value 0.20.
Select Regenerate to view the eight holes with a new diameter, (Figure 2-45b). Select
Save.

Modify>[Select Pattern]>[Select 3 HOLES, Enter 4]


Regenerate
Modify>[Select HOLE]> Select 0.25, Enter .20]
Regenerate
Save

Figure 2-45a Leader Feature Figure 2-45b Box Project Complete


Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2 - 35

Unbend\Bend Back Feature


The Unbend feature is used to ensure that
the final version of the part can be flatten
correctly, (Figure 2-46). Create the Bend
Back feature. Avoid unnecessary features
in the Model Tree. Delete the Unbend and
Bend Back features.

Create Unbend
Regular|Done> Unbend All|Done

Create Bend Back


Bend Back All|Done
Feature>Delete>[Select the last Unbend
and Bend Back features from the Model Figure 2-46 Final Unbend Feature
Tree]

Customer Drawing

The electrical box drawing is created. You feel good and are ready to go home for the
night. The phone rings. Guess who? The customer requires reference dimensions for
the electrical box, tonight. The dimension in question is the vertical distance between the
2 tab holes. You agree to determine the vertical dimension, and fax a copy of the
drawing, (Figure2-47). Create the drawing view on a B size format.
If you need assistance, review the Drawing Section in Project 1.
The Dimension between the two holes was not generated in Part mode. Create a vertical
dimension in Detail mode. Select Insert, Dimension, New References from the Main
menu.
Select Center, from the ATTACH TYPE menu. Select the top circle and bottom circle.
Click the middle mouse button to place the dimension on the drawing. Select Vertical
from the DIM ORIENT (Orientation) menu. Select Done Sel, Done Return from the
LIN ORD menu.

Insert>Dimension>New References
Center>
[Select the top circle. Select the bottom circle. Click the middle mouse button to place the
dimension text]
Vertical>Done Sel>Done/Return
2 - 36 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Create the other key dimensions required by the customer. Save the drawing.

Figure 2-47 Key Customer Dimensions

Try a few examples. Let’s go!


Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER 2 - 37

Questions:

1. What is the difference between an Extruded Wall feature and a Flat Wall feature?
2. In a Flat Wall feature, what is the difference between the Use Radius and No Radius
Options?
3. How do you change the dimensioning scheme of an arc when utilizing the
FeatureTools, Thicken option?
4. Why is a fixed surface necessary?
5. How can the Cut feature be used to reduce stress in a sheetmetal cabinet or box?
6. How can you determine the attachment edge for a Flat Wall feature in Sketcher?
7. What are the stress relief options in creating a bend?
8. How do you extend a flat wall?
9. How do you ensure that the mounting holes align with other components in an
assembly?
2 - 38 Applications in Sheet Metal Using Pro/ENGINEER

Additional Exercises

Create the sheetmetal parts and drawings. Start each bracket with the Extruded Wall feature. Use the
Flat Wall w/ Radius feature to add perpendicular walls. Approximate the dimensions. Concentrate on the
Extruded Wall and Flat Wall features. Use Bend/Unbend features to test your model.

2-1 2-2

2-3

2-4 Two brackets


shown mirrored,
create one
Mechanical Engineering Design with
Pro/ENGINEER Release 2000i2

Dr. Mark Archibald


PUBLICATIONS

Schroff Development Corporation


www.SDCpro.com
CHAPTER 2
BASIC FEATURE CREATION AND MODEL
MANIPULATION

Chapter Objectives:

• To teach students basic feature creation techniques.

• To teach students the importance of model


structure.

• To teach students to manipulate and save model


views.

2-1
The Pro/E Interface

The Main Window

Pro/E uses a graphical user interface that combines menus, toolbars, and windows to provide an
efficient working environment. The active model appears in the graphics area of the main
window (Fig 1).

Figure 1 Main Window

The header bar at the top of this window displays the model type and name, and indicates that
the model is active. (Active models display ***** before and after the model name.)

Figure 2 Header bar

The figure shows the header bar for a Pro/E part model named bracket2. The stars indicate that
this window is active.

The menu bar, containing non-model specific menus, lies just below the header bar.

Figure 3 Menu Bar

2-2
Following is a brief description of the menu bar options. Most of these menus are treated
extensively in later chapters.

File File commands, such as set working directory, save, open, create new
object, erase from RAM, delete either old versions or all versions of a file.

Note 1: When Pro/E saves a file, it does not overwrite the previously
saved version, but creates a new file with an incremented version number,
such as frame.prt.4 . Old versions of model files must be deleted, or
purged, periodically to prevent excessive numbers of files on disk.

Note 2: When a window is closed (see window menu), the model remains
in memory. To remove it from memory, use the erase command (be sure
to save the file first!)

Edit Modify, redefine, or manipulate pre-selected features of the model.

View Access image viewing commands such as repaint screen, shade image,
model orientation, model colors and lights.

Datum Create datum features, such as planes, axes, points and coordinate systems.

Sketch Access sketcher tools such as lines, arcs, move, text, etc. These
commands are only available in sketcher mode.

Analysis Analyze the model and obtain measurements such as distance between
entities, lengths and areas; curvature, etc.

Info Access model information commands, such as bills of material, model or


feature information, parent-child relations, etc.

Applications Select other applications, such a Pro/MECHANICA, Pro/SHEETMETAL,


or Pro/NCPOST.

Utilities Set environmental variables, modify configuration options, set system


colors, etc.

Window Activate, close or select a window. (Note that Pro/E can have multiple
windows open at any time, but only one will be active. In order to work on
a model, its window must be activated from this menu.)

Help Activate on-line help, either general or context-sensitive.

2-3
A toolbar, with icons for frequently-used commands, follows the menu bar. It contains icons of
frequently used commands, such as create new object, save model, open model, repaint screen,
orient model, and blank datums, axes, points or coordinate systems. The toolbar is easily
customized to contain icons for most Pro/E commands. Toolbars can also be placed on the right
or left side of the main graphics window.

Figure 4 Top Toolbar

The main graphics area contains the Pro/E model, and is where most of the modeling work
occurs. A message area is located just above the graphics area. Important information and
prompts are provided in this area.

 Important: Always check the message area to avoid missing important information.

A one-line help area appears on the bottom line of the window. When the cursor is placed over
a menu item or icon, a succinct description of the command is provided here.

When a model is opened or created, additional menus appear that are specific to the type of
model. These menus will be discussed in the exercises. Most menus have multiple levels, which
usually remain open as you move down the menu tree.

Model Tree

An additional window, called the Model Tree (Fig 2), also opens when a
model is activated or created. The model tree displays the hierarchy of
the model. For part models, features are listed in order, along with an
icon indicating the feature class (solid feature, datum feature, or surface.)
(By default, only components are shown for assembly models, although
assembly and part features can be easily shown on the tree.) Additional
columns can be added for more information. For example, it is often
useful to see feature IDs. The model tree is a "roadmap" for your model.
Good designers quickly learn to use the model tree frequently and
effectively. Figure 5 Model Tree

Usually, model features can be selected from either the model tree or the model itself. Also, if
the highlight option is activated (it is by default), the model feature is highlighted when the
cursor is placed over a feature on the model tree. This is very useful for identification of features
in complex models.

When Pro/E is started, an additional window may appear at the top of the screen. This window is
called the application manager, and is used to navigate between various applications and
windows. It contains a button for each open window. To pop a window to the foreground,
simply click on its button. When ending your work session, first exit Pro/E, then exit the
application manager.

2-4
Figure 6 Application Manager

Pro/E model views can be manipulated with the mouse easier than from the view menu. Mouse
view control -- zoom, spin, and pan -- is accomplished by pressing the control key while
simultaneously pressing one of the mouse keys and dragging.

Mouse View Control

Zoom Press Ctrl and the left mouse key while dragging right or left.

For a window zoom, press Ctrl and left click the mouse on opposite
corners of the zoom box.

Spin Press Ctrl and center mouse key while dragging.

Pan Press Ctrl and right mouse key while dragging.

Good Design Practice

Design Intent

To effectively use Pro/E as a design tool, designers must not only know and understand the
software functionality, they must also know how to build models that behave as desired during
modifications or downstream applications. This is known as capturing design intent, and is
extremely important for reducing design cycle time. Unlike many CAD programs, Pro/E requires
the designer to think beyond basic geometry. Most parts designed in Pro/E will be modified,
sometimes drastically. Most will also be used with other applications, such as
Pro/MECHANICA, NC machining, mold design, injection molding simulation,
stereolithography, etc. If the part model is poorly constructed, modifications will be difficult,
perhaps requiring that the part be completely remodeled. Also, much time may be required to
repair or remodel the part prior to using any of the downstream applications. Some of the prime
benefits of the Pro/E package can be nullified by poor modeling.

Throughout this book, emphasis is placed on capturing design intent. Examples and tutorials
show good modeling practice and illustrate how the design intent is realized. Emphasis is placed
on understanding the model and what it will be used for prior to modeling. The importance of
model structure, especially parent-child relationships, is treated extensively. The Pro/E student
should strive not just to understand how to obtain desired geometry, but how to obtain the
desired geometry with a robust model.

2-5
Good practice starts at the feature creation level, where parameters and parent-child relationships
are defined. The structure of the model -- as reflected in the model tree -- is the second tier in
developing good models. Building robust assemblies is the third tier. Attention, planning, and
foresight will ensure that good design practice is obtained at all three levels.

Model Structure

Understanding how to structure a model is the first step to good design practice. Pro/E models
are hierarchical. Each feature (except the base feature) references earlier features in the model.
When the model is changed in any way, features regenerate in sequence. If the model has
changed in such a way as to delete the references for a feature, the regeneration process will fail
when it gets to that feature. (What to do then is covered in Chapter 6.) Thus it is very important
to understand the relationships between model features. These are known as parent-child
relationships.

Pro/E models are also parametric. Model geometry is defined by a set of parameters. The two
most common ways to define parameters are dimensions and alignments. When a dimension is
defined, it becomes a parameter of the model. It is important to consider this when creating
geometry, as the model parameters define how the model will behave when modified.
Alignments indicate that new geometry should be aligned with existing features (essentially a
dimension that always has a value of zero.)

Every Pro/E model should start with default datum planes.


These are three orthogonal datum planes that provide references,
either directly or indirectly, for all subsequent features in the
model. Recall that datum planes are infinite planes and have both
a red and a yellow side. Datum planes provide excellent
references for other features, and frequently models will contain
many of them. However, the default datum planes are special, in
that they provide a three-dimensional anchor for the entire model.

The first feature in any model should be default datum planes.


Figure 7 Default Datum
Thought should be given to the order of subsequent features. Planes
Sometimes the order is obvious: to model a cylindrical shaft with
a keyway, create a cylindrical protrusion followed by a cut. Other times careful thought is
required to ensure a robust model results. In addition, there are usually many different ways to
obtain a particular geometry. Learn as many of these methods as possible, then select the ones
that will best capture the design intent.

As features are added, parent-child relationships are created. For example, when a hole is placed
in a flat plate, three references are required: the surface on which the hole is placed and two
edges or surfaces used to define the location of the hole on the placement surface. All three
references could be to a single feature -- the flat plate, or they could be to different features, say
the flat plate, a datum plane and the surface of a cut in the plate. In the former case, the hole

2-6
would have only one parent. In the latter case, the hole would have three parents. It is usually
good to minimize the number of parent-child relationships in the model. Thus the first method is
usually, but not always, the best. It is always important to know what you are using for
references during feature creation.

In short, a Pro/E model is comprised of an ordered set of features held together in a web of
dimensions, alignments, and references. The web defines the parent-child relationships between
features.

Data Base Management

Although model structure is the most important aspect of good design practice, data base
management is also important. The File menu contains most of the commands needed. Selected
commands are discussed here, along with some tips for good file management.

New Creates a new model. A dialog box opens with the type of model (part is the
default) and the name of the new model (Fig 3). Select the model type by
clicking on the appropriate button, and enter the new name. Note that only the
base name should be provided -- Pro/E will append the correct extension based
on the type of file. (For example, if the model is a part and bracket is entered,
the actual file name is bracket.prt.1.) There is also a button called copy from.
This loads an existing model into the new model (without affecting the old
model.) It is very useful if the new part is similar to an existing part. The
tutorials show how this feature is used to expedite model creation for all
models.

Open Opens an existing model. A dialog box appears showing file names of objects
in the current working directory. Click on the desired file and click the open
button. Note that the Type box permits files to be filtered by type, such as
part, assembly, manufacturing, etc. Icons provide shortcuts to navigate
through directories.

Working Sets the working directory. The working directory is the directory that Pro/E
Directory uses to look for files or to write new files (unless otherwise specified.) At the
start of each work session, set the working directory to ensure the files are read
and written correctly.

Erase Erases models from memory. When a window is closed, the model remains in
memory, or In Session. To clear memory, use the erase function. Two
options are available: Current or Not Displayed. Current will erase the
model in the active window from memory. Not Displayed brings up a dialog
box of all items in memory that are not displayed on the screen -- select all or
some for erasure. Note that files are NOT saved prior to erasing from
memory.

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Delete Deletes files from the hard drive. The two options are to delete All Versions
or delete Old Versions. The latter purges all versions of the file except the
most recent.

Save Save the current model to the hard drive. Note that you are prompted for the
object to save, which must exist in session (in memory.) The current model is
the default.

Other options include Save As (save model as a different object), Backup (save to a different
directory), and Rename (change the name of the model.)

Tips for good data management...

1. Create a new directory for each new project, with subdirectories as needed.
Pro/E can generate a large number of files and good project organization is
imperative.

2. Create subdirectories for each Mechanica analysis and each manufacturing


model.

3. Purge old versions frequently to prevent using excessive disk space. One
approach is to always purge prior to saving -- then you will always have
just one backup version. (Clearly, do not delete old versions if they are
needed for archives.)

4. Typing "purge" from a system window will delete old versions of all files
in the directory.

5. Remember that closing a window removes the model from the screen, but
does not erase it from memory or save it. To clear memory, use the Erase
command.

6. Always start Pro/E from the home directory, then use the working directory
command to change to the desired directory.

Pro/E Customization

There are many ways in which Pro/E can be customized. While some of these methods should
only be attempted by advanced users, many others are both important enough and simple enough
for the novice Pro/E user to use. The most important is the configuration file, typically called
config.pro. This file should reside in the same directory from which Pro/E is started (the home
directory.) It is an ASCII text file that contains configuration commands. When Pro/E is started,

2-8
it looks for this file, and automatically executes all the commands. This configures Pro/E for an
individual designer. The config.pro file can be modified during a session, but must be loaded
before changes take effect. The Edit Config and Load Config commands accomplish this (they
are found under Preferences on the Utilities menu.)

It is also quite simple to customize the toolbar. While the default toolbar is usually fine for
beginners, experienced Pro/E users may find that some additional commands are used very often.
It is convenient to place these commands as icons on the toolbar. In fact, several different
toolbars can be created, each with its own set of commands. To modify the toolbar, position the
cursor on the toolbar and press the right mouse button.

Pro/Help

This manual provides an introduction to Pro/E and is designed to get the student productive as
rapidly as possible. However, no tutorial or lab manual can include all the details of the many
Pro/E commands. Students should form the habit of using the on-line help to obtain more
information. On-line help, available through a web browser, is accessed in several ways. To
obtain access to all on-line manuals, use the Pro/HELP command on the Help menu. This
method permits browsing through any help manual desired. To obtain context-sensitive help on
a particular topic, use the What's This command on the Help menu. The cursor becomes a
question mark. Select a command from any menu, and the help screen for that topic appears.
Alternately, position the cursor over any command and press the right mouse button to bring up
context-sensitive help.

Develop the habit of using on-line help on a regular basis. This helps beginners master Pro/E
much more quickly.

Basic Feature Creation

A sound understanding of feature creation is crucial for effective modeling in Pro/E. Frequently
several feature types can be used to create the desired geometry. The designer must choose the
types that best capture his or her design intent. Then he or she must know the steps required to
create each feature.

This section presents an overview of four of the most fundamental solid features -- protrusions,
cuts, slots, and holes. (Solid features either add or remove solid "chunks" of material to the
model.) The intent is to familiarize the student with the nature of each type of feature so that
appropriate choices can be made regarding which to use for a particular task. The lab exercises
demonstrate implementation steps for each feature. Subsequent sections address additional
feature types, and are accompanied by appropriate lab exercises. A separate section describes
sketcher.

2-9
 Hint: Use context-sensitive online help to learn more details about each of the
following features.

Protrusions

A protrusion adds solid material to the model. Most protrusions are sketched features, meaning
that 2D geometry is first created using sketcher, and then swept through space in such a way as to
create a solid. There are several types of protrusions, depending on how the sketch is moved to
form the solid. A brief description of the protrusion menu picks:

Extrude The 2D sketch is moved in a straight line perpendicular to the sketch


plane. The resulting solid is prismatic.

Revolve The 2D sketch is rotated about an axis, through any desired angle. If the
angle is 360, the resulting solid is axisymmetric.

Sweep The 2D sketch is moved along a 3D path called a trajectory. The resulting
solid may be complex, but will always have a constant cross-section.

Several 2D sketches are used, located on parallel planes separated by


Blend distances prescribed by the user. The resulting solid changes cross-
sectional shape as it goes from one sketch to the next. The cross sections
may have any shape, but must be comprised of the same number of
segments. The resulting geometry is often complex.

From Quilt The solid is generated from a surface quilt (several connected surfaces.)
This type of protrusion is not sketched, and will be discussed in Chapter
12.

Advanced Several advanced methods of creating protrusions are also available, such
as the Variable Section Sweep and the Swept Blend. These features are
quite powerful, but somewhat more complex than the basic protrusions.
Some of these will be treated in later chapters.

Cuts

A cut removes solid material from the model. This menu option is only available if the model
contains solid geometry. Cuts are created exactly like protrusions, except that where the
protrusion adds material, the cut removes material. The menu options are identical to those for
protrusions -- Extrude, Revolve, Sweep, Blend, From Quilt, and Advanced. Like protrusions,
most cuts are sketched features. Once the section has been sketched, Pro/E prompts the user for
the which side of the section (sketch) should be removed.

2-10
Holes

Holes are pick-and-place features, meaning that they are not sketched. A hole always removes
material from the model, and always has a circular cross section. To create a hole, Pro/E only
needs to know on what surface the hole is to be placed, the location of the center of the hole on
the surface, the hole diameter, and the depth of the hole. Prompts are provided for all these
items.

There are three types of holes: Straight, Sketched and Standard. A straight hole is always
cylindrical in shape. A sketched hole is similar to a 360 revolved cut in that the axial cross
section can be sketched. Tapered holes and other non-cylindrical holes can be created more
easily with the sketched hole feature than with a revolved cut. Standard holes include
counterbores, countersinks, standard threads, and notes. This is an easy way to create tapped
holes complete with thread notes.

Sketcher and Intent Manager

Sketcher, along with an enhancement called Intent Manager, is used for creating most Pro/E
features. It is a powerful tool for generating 2D sections, which are subsequently used to
generate 3D geometry. Sections are the resulting 2D entities which are produced by sketcher.
Typically, sketcher is invoked within a feature creation sequence, such as a protrusion, cut, or
slot. (It can also be used independently to create and save sections for later use, but that
functionality is not discussed here.) Mastery of sketcher is essential for efficient and effective
use of Pro/E. Fortunately, it is easy and intuitive – and smart. This section provides a brief
overview of sketcher. Chapter 5 describes sketcher assumptions and use in much greater detail.

Sections are created by sketching a rough approximation of the desired geometry. Dimensions,
alignments, and sketcher assumptions refine the sketch. The values of each dimension can then
be modified to obtain the exact desired geometry.

Sketcher automatically makes assumptions as the sketch is created. The Intent Manager
automatically places “weak” dimensions and alignments. If a user understands how sketcher and
intent manager work, he or she can usually ensure that most of the automatic dimensions,
alignments, and assumptions are correct. (Those that are not correct can easily be changed,
however.) This is the key to using sketcher effectively.

In order to create solid geometry, a section must be located with respect to the part. This is done
by first defining a sketching plane, then by aligning or dimensioning the section to the part. The
sketch plane is defined prior to entering sketcher mode. It can be either a datum plane or a flat
surface. The section is sketched on this plane. A point or an edge of a sketch can be forced to
always lie directly on an existing part entity, such as a datum plane, edge, side, or curve. This is
called alignment, and is one way to locate the section to the part within the sketch plane.
Alternatively, dimensions can be placed between the sketch and part entities. In either case,
sufficient alignments and dimensions must be provided to locate the section in both the vertical
and horizontal directions.

2-11
Intent manager automatically creates alignments and dimensions. However, intent manager must
know what references should be used to do this. A dialog box presents default references. In
most cases, the default choices should be accepted. Sometimes a user needs to specify additional
references or replace default references. A sketch can not be started until sufficient references are
selected. Choosing references is important! Choosing correct references will ensure that desired
alignments and most dimensions are obtained automatically. This affects not only the current
section, but also parent/child relationships within the model. Some guidelines for choosing
references:

 Any and all part entities to be aligned to the sketch must be selected.

 Part entities to be used for dimensioning should be selected.

 Choose references to obtain desired parent/child relationships. For example, choose


references that all belong to one feature to minimize the number of parents.

Sketching can begin once references are defined. Sketches consist of lines, arcs, circles, points,
and several advanced entities such as splines. Geometry types are selected either from the
sketcher toolbar or from a pop-up menu activated by the right mouse button. Note that entities
snap to the references. Also, lines that are nearly vertical or horizontal snap to vertical or
horizontal respectively, and symbols V or H appear. These are two of the assumptions that
sketcher makes. (If you want a line at a very small angle from the horizontal, sketch it at a large
angle, and modify the angle value later.) Other assumptions are described below. As each
segment of the sketch is completed, dimensions appear in white.

 Note: Do not confuse a dimension (a parameter in the Pro/E model) with its value. It
is very important to create the correct dimension scheme, but values can be
changed very easily – within sketcher or later, in part mode.

These are “weak” dimensions, because they were created by the Intent Manager. Frequently
some of these need to be replaced with more desirable dimensions. Desirable dimensions can be
strengthened – that is, the user tells Pro/E that these dimensions should not be deleted. “Strong”
dimensions are shown in yellow. New dimensions can then be created. As they are created,
weak dimensions are removed. User-created dimensions are always “strong.” If a new
dimension conflicts with an existing strong dimension, Pro/E asks which dimension should be
deleted.

Understanding assumptions is important for effective sketcher use. Typically, assumptions are
obvious during a sketch because the pointer snap to the appropriate entity and a symbol for the
assumption appears. Sketcher assumptions are summarized in the following table:

2-12
Assumption Description Sym.

Equal radius Circles or arcs sketched with approximately equal R


radii are assumed to have exactly the same radii. (index)
The radius snaps to the assumed value.

Symmetry Entities approximately symmetric about a sketched 


centerline are assumed to be symmetric. Vertices
snap to symmetric positions.

Horizontal & Nearly horizontal or vertical lines are assumed to H or V


vertical lines be so. Lines snap to horizontal or vertical. (index)

Parallel or Lines nearly parallel or perpendicular to existing  or 


Perpendicular lines are assumed parallel or perpendicular. Lines (index)
lines snap to parallel or perpendicular.

Tangency Entities sketched approximately tangent to each T


other are assumed tangent. Entities snap to (index)
tangency.

Equal segment Lines of approximately the same length are L


length assumed to have the same length. Line snaps to (index)
length.

Point entities Point entities that lie near other entities (lines, arcs, 
lying on other circles) are assumed to lie on them. Point snaps to
entities entity. (Note: point entities include end points of
lines and arcs and center points of arcs and circles.)

Equal Center points of arcs and circles with nearly the  or 


coordinates same X and Y coordinates are assumed to have the (pairs)
same coordinates. Centers snap to X or Y
coordinate.

Sketcher assumptions can be used very effectively during sketching to quickly obtain the desired
section. If an assumption needs to be avoided, exaggerate the sketch. For example, place two
circles that should lie near, but not on, the same horizontal line well away from each other. This
forces sketcher to place a dimension rather than make an assumption. The value of the
dimension can be modified later to any desired value (even zero, but that is poor practice!)

After the sketch is complete, the values of the dimensions must be modified, and the sketch
regenerated. Additions, deletions, and further modification may then take place.

2-13
Some rules of thumb for sketcher:

 Choose references carefully in order to achieve desired alignments, dimensions, and


parent/child relationships.

 Exaggerate the sketch – avoid very small entities and undesirable assumptions. Use
Modify to achieve the desired geometry.

2-14
Exercise 2.1 Base

Objective: To introduce students to fundamental feature creation techniques, including extruded


protrusions, slots, and holes.

This exercise involves modeling the base part shown below. The best way to learn Pro/E
software is to dive right in and create a part model. That is exactly what this exercise involves.

 Note 1: Prior to starting this lesson, create a new directory called tutorial. (Do this in
a system window.)

 Note 2: Strive to complete the exercise as presented, however, explore the menus and
toolbar to become familiar with their functionality.

2-15
1. Change the working directory to the tutorial directory. Select File>Working Directory.

Select the tutorial directory to highlight it and select okay.

2. Create a new part named base. Select the Create New Object icon (blank
paper). (Or use File>New.)

• Note that the radio button for part is selected by default.


Create
• Also note that Use default template is selected. This ensures that the model New
starts with default datum planes, coordinate system, and saved views.

Enter the name base and select OK.

3. Create the base feature. Select Feature>Create>Protrusion.

Accept the defaults of Extrude and Solid. Select Done.

Accept the default of One Side. Select Done.

 Shortcut: The default menu selections are shown in bold. To accept them, simply click
the middle mouse key.

At the prompt to create a sketching plane pick on datum FRONT. (Note: To select a datum
plane pick either on the name tag or the border of the datum plane.) Accept the default
direction by selecting Okay.

For the second reference select Default.

The model now reorients and the References dialog box opens. Note
that datums RIGHT and TOP are selected by default. These are the
desired references, so no action is required. Select Close.

• Note that the selected references are indicated with brown dashed
lines in the main graphics window.

• Pro/E is now in sketcher mode. Note the sketcher toolbar on the


right. Figure 8 References

For this example, it is important to have the plate symmetric about datums RIGHT and TOP.
To ensure this symmetry, create two centerlines aligned to these datums.

2-16
Press the right mouse key to activate the pop-up menu. Select Centerline. (Alternately,
select the Line icon arrowhead, then select the Centerline icon.) Pick once on datum RIGHT
to begin the centerline. Note that this becomes a pivot point for the line. Drag the line so
that it aligns with datum RIGHT (a pair of small solid rectangles appear when aligned.) Pick
a second time on datum RIGHT. The first centerline is created. Repeat for the second
centerline, using datum TOP as the alignment reference.

Figure 9 Sketch of rectangular base feature.

Sketch a rectangle symmetric about the two centerlines. Select the Rectangle
icon. Use the
grid and pick two diagonal corners of a rectangle symmetric about the two
centerlines. Note that the rectangle snaps to symmetry. Also, small arrows at the Rectangle
vertices indicate the symmetry constraints. (Do not sketch a square!)

Dimensions for the width and height of the rectangle appear in white. These are called weak
dimensions (system-supplied dimensions.) The values for these dimensions may be quite
large at this point -- they must be modified.

Click the middle mouse key to cancel rectangles and


return to selection mode. Drag a selection box around the
sketched rectangle, being sure to include both
dimensions. Select the Modify icon. Modify
icon
Deselect the Regenerate box. Then enter 4 for the
vertical dimension and 6 for the horizontal dimension.
Select the OK icon. The sketch is now complete. Figure 10 Modify
Dialog Box
Select the OK icon from the toolbar.

2-17
The depth of the solid rectangle must now be defined. From the SPEC TO menu, select
Blind>Done. Enter a value of .25.

To preview the base select Preview from the extrude dialog box. Press the control key while
dragging the mouse with the middle mouse key depressed to spin the model and view it from
different angles. Select OK from the PROTRUSION:Extrude dialog box. The protrusion is
now complete.

4. Create a cut in the protrusion. Select Feature>Create>Cut. Accept the defaults of


Extrude and Solid. Select Done.

Accept the default of One Side. Select Done.

Turn off datum plane display for clarity. Select the Datum Planes on/off icon
from the toolbar to toggle the display.

At the prompt to create a sketching plane pick on the front side of the base.
Ensure that the arrow points into the base. If so, select Okay. If not, select Flip Datum
and check that the arrow flips direction into the base, then select Okay. (The slot Planes
feature will begin on the sketching plane and extend into the direction shown by the arrow.
Clearly, in this case we want the slot to extend into the part, rather than out into empty
space.)

For the second reference select Top and then pick the top side of the part.

Figure 11 Orientation references for sketching the slot feature.

When the References dialog box opens, select both default references and delete them. Then
pick the bottom edge of the part and the right edge of the part.

2-18
Figure 12 Sketcher references and the first line

Sketch a single line as shown in Fig 6 (do not worry about dimensions yet.) Select the Line
icon or use the right mouse key pop-up menu. Use a left pick to start and end the line, and
middle pick to terminate drawing lines. Note the H symbol, denoting a horizontal line.

Select the 3 Point/Tangent End arc icon and create the 180 arc by a left pick on
the end of the line followed by a left pick directly above the line end point. Note
the two small solid rectangles representing the 180 constraint. The pointer may
need to be moved left or right to capture the tangency constraint (denoted by a T.) Arc icon
A third left mouse click completes the arc.

Figure 13 Line and arc showing constraint symbols


(Horizontal, Tangent, and 180 arc.)

Repeat for the second arc. Be sure to look for the R1 symbol denoting equal radius with the
first arc.

Select the Line icon and sketch a second straight line. It should complete the loop.

2-19
Figure 14 Completed sketch, prior to dimensioning.

Shortcuts  In sketcher, the middle mouse key cancels the current mode and returns to
selection mode.

 The right mouse key initiates a pop-up menu with common sketcher
commands.

The default dimension scheme is not what is desired, so create new dimensions
to replace the undesired ones. Select the Dimension icon. Pick the two center
marks (center of the arcs), place the pointer below the part and click the middle
mouse key to place the dimension. Dimension

Now select the center mark of the left arc and select the bottom edge of the part (or the
dashed brown line representing the reference.) Middle mouse pick to the left of the slot to
place the dimension. The remaining default dimensions are acceptable.

To move a dimension, first return to selection mode with a middle mouse click, then simply
drag it to the new position.

Add axis points at the centers of the arcs. Sketched axis points will become datum axes
when the slot feature is complete. From the menu bar, select Sketch>Axis Point.

Pick the center mark for each slot. A small x indicating the axis point is placed.

2-20
Figure 15 Completed sketch of cut after modifying
dimensions and regenerating.

Modify the dimensions. Return to selection mode with a middle mouse click, then drag a
selection box around all four dimensions and select the Modify icon.

Pick the dimension from the right edge to the center and enter 1.75.
Pick the center-to-center dimension enter 2.5.
Pick the dimension from the bottom edge to the center mark and enter .75.
Pick the radius and enter .375.

Select the OK icon from the dialog box. The section is now complete. Select the OK icon
from the right toolbar.

For the direction, the arrow should point toward the inside of the cut. If it is correct, select
Okay, otherwise select Flip>Okay.

Figure 16 Correct arrow direction for cut feature.

The SPEC TO menu defines the depth of the slot. Select Thru All and Done.

2-21
Select Preview to review the slot, then select Okay to accept it. Shading the part by
selecting the Shaded View icon may be helpful.

Note the model tree and how the features appear in the model tree.

5. Create four holes for mounting feet to the base. Select


Feature>Create>Solid>Hole. The HOLE dialog box
opens.

Verify that the Straight Hole dialog box is selected.

Diameter and depth parameters are defined in the Hole


Placement section. enter a diameter of 0.25. Use the pull-
down menu for Depth One, and select Thru All.

(Depth Two is only used for two-sided holes -- those that


extend in both directions from the placement plane.)

Placement references are selected in the Hole Placement


section. The Primary Reference is the surface where the
hole starts. Spin the model and select the top surface of Figure 17 Hole dialog box
the part approximately 3/4" from the corner.

Figure 18 References for hole placement.

Linear placement requires two references to provide dimensions locating the hole on the
placement surface. The two side surfaces forming the corner of the plate should be chosen.
Spin the model and use Query Select to pick the first of these surfaces. Accept it when the
entire surface highlights, not just a single edge.

 Recall: right mouse key initiates Query Select; left mouse key picks, right mouse key
goes to next entity, middle mouse key accepts.)

2-22
Enter .75 for the distance from both references.

Preview the hole and select the Build Feature icon from the dialog box to complete the hole
feature.

Figure 19 The completed hole feature

6. Turn on datum plane display by selecting the Datum Planes on/off icon.

Mirror the hole to create dependent copies. Select


Feature>Copy>Mirror|Select|Dependent and Done.

Select the hole (Query Select may be helpful.) Select Done Select and then Done.

The command line prompts for a plane or datum to mirror about. Query select datum
RIGHT. The second hole now appears.

Mirror both holes about datum TOP. Select Feature>Copy>Mirror|Select|Dependent and


Done. Select both holes. Select Done Select and then Done.

The command line prompts for a plane or datum to mirror about. Select datum TOP. The
base should now have four holes.

• Selecting the Dependent option, all three of the copied holes have the same parameters as
the initial hole. Thus, if the hole is modified, say to change the diameter, all four holes
change together. Subsequent lessons will address Independent copies.

2-23
Figure 20 Holes after using Copy>Mirror twice.

7. Save the part. From the toolbar, select the Save icon. Press Enter to accept the
default part name.

8. Review the model tree. From the PTC Application Manager window, select
Model Tree. The model tree window appears. Note the features on the tree:
Save icon
the three default datums and coordinate system included in the default template,
the base protrusion, the slot, the hole and the two mirror features (listed as Group
COPIED_GROUP.) Picking the + sign by either copy feature explodes the feature to show
the individual elements copied. Additional model tree functionality is discussed in later
lessons.

9. Explore the predefined model views. Select the Saved View List icon and select FRONT.
The model reorients to the front view. Try some of the other views.

10. Modify the hole diameters. From the PART menu (select Done to return to this menu)
select Modify.

Pick any one of the four holes. The two linear placement dimensions and the diameter
dimension appear. Pick the .25 diameter dimension and enter .1875. Select Regenerate.

All four holes change to the new diameter. Any model parameter can be easily changed in
this way. Note that our design intent – ensuring that the four holes remain the same
diameter and the same distances from their respective corners – is captured in this model.

11. Experiment with the icons on the toolbar. Try shaded image, hidden line, and no hidden
views. Blank the datum planes and axes.

2-24
Figure 21 The completed part.

 End Exercise 2.1

2-25
Chamfers and Rounds

Chamfers and rounds are also pick-and-place features. In Pro/E jargon, a round can be either
concave or convex, defined by the surfaces to which it is attached. Both chamfers and rounds
replace edges created where two surfaces meet. Individual edges and chains or loops of edges
can be selected. A chamfer can be specified by the depth from each edge, or by the depth of one
edge and an angle. Rounds can be either simple or advanced. Simple rounds have a constant
radius along their entire length. Advanced rounds provide much more functionality and
flexibility, but are more complex to create. Advanced rounds are treated in Chapter 7.

Cosmetic Thread

Cosmetic features do not affect model geometry, but may contain important model parameters.
A Cosmetic Thread feature is represented by a simplified thread symbol. It includes all
parameters required to define the thread (type, pitch, accuracy, depth, etc.) It is much more
efficient -- in terms of model size and regeneration time -- to model threads cosmetically, rather
than as a solid feature. Once a cosmetic thread is created, a thread symbol and thread note can be
easily shown on a drawing.

Info Menu

Pro/E can provide a wealth of information about a part or assembly model. Measurements of the
model can be made, mass properties computed, feature and parent/child information provided. A
brief overview of the more commonly used Info menu items is provided here. For more
information, use the on-line help.

Feature Provides list of references, parents, children, and dimensions of a


selected feature.

Provides a list of all features in the model, with feature number,


Feature List feature ID, type and status. This information can also be displayed on
the model tree.

Provides list of model units and feature information for ALL model
Model features. (Note: This option generates a LOT of information.)

Highlights or lists the parents and children of a selected feature. Can


Parent/Child also show references or provide information about
parents/children/references.

Regenerates the model feature by feature. This is useful for


Regen Info debugging models with problems.

2-26
Model Analysis Opens a dialog box with a variety of analysis options. The most often
used option is Mass Properties, which provides the mass, mass
moments of inertia, and CG of the model.

Measure Opens a dialog box taking measurements from the model. Options
include Curve Length, Distance, Area, and Diameter measurements,
among others.

Curve Analysis Opens a dialog box for analyzing curves. Includes Curvature, Radius,
and Tangency analyses, among others.

Surface Analysis Opens a dialog box for analyzing surfaces. Includes Gaussian
curvature, Porcupine Plots of curvature, and Reflection directions.

2-27
Exercise 2.2 Adapter

Objective: To provide practice in basic feature creation techniques including introducion to


features such as revolved protrusions, chamfers, rounds, and cosmetic threads.

Figure 22 Adapter drawing

1. Change the working directory to the tutorial directory if it is not already selected.

2. Create a new part named adapter. From the toolbar select the create new object icon. Enter
the name adapter and select OK.

3. Create the base feature using revolved protrusion. Select Feature>Create>Protrusion

Select Revolve|Solid and Done. (Solid should already be selected by default.)

Accept the default One Side and select Done.

2-28
For the sketch plane pick the FRONT datum and accept the default direction by selecting
Okay.

For the second reference, select Top and pick on the TOP datum.

Figure 23 Sketch for revolved protrusion feature

The model reorients and Pro/E enters sketcher mode. Accept the default references: the TOP
datum and the RIGHT datum.

• Revolved protrusions require a centerline to define the axis of revolution. Create a


centerline and align it to the TOP datum.

Expand the Line icon and select the Centerline icon. (Or use the pop-up menu.) Pick
somewhere on datum TOP. A centerline appears. Pick a second time on datum TOP to snap
into alignment with the datum. Note that two bars appear to indicate alignment.

Expand the Line icon again and select the Geometry icon. (Or select Line from the pop-up
menu.)

Create a sketch that looks like the figure shown. Note that the cursor snaps to the references
as you bring it near. Left mouse picks define each vertex. A middle mouse pick ends the
line. For revolved solid protrusions, the section must be closed. Be sure to sketch a line
along the centerline to close the sketch.

The default dimensions that appeared are not the dimensions we want. Select the
Dimension icon.

To create a diametral dimension, pick the object on which the dimension is to be placed, then
pick on the centerline, then again on the first object. Place the dimension with the middle
mouse key.

2-29
Place a diametral dimension on the large end of the section. Pick the edge parallel to the
TOP datum, then pick the centerline and finally pick a second time on the edge you selected
first. Place the dimension by moving the cursor to the right of the sketch, and clicking the
middle mouse key. A diametral dimension should appear.

Repeat the procedure for the smaller diameter section on the left side of the part.

Add a dimension for the overall length. Pick the right edge of the sketch and then the far left
edge. Place the dimension above the part with the middle mouse button.

Add a dimension for the length of the right end (the larger diameter end.) Pick on the edge
and then place the dimension above the line with the middle mouse key. (Only one initial
pick is required for dimensioning line segments.)

All dimensions are now defined. To modify these dimensions to the the desired values, drag
a selection rectangle around the entire sketch. Select the Modify icon. Check the box marked
Lock Scale, and change the right (large) end diametral dimension to 2. This rescales the
entire sketch. Deselect Lock scale.

Change the remaining dimensions, entering the values shown in the figure. Select the OK
icon to close the dialog box.

Select the OK icon from the toolbar to complete the sketch.

The protrusion is to be swept through a full 360. From the Rev To menu select 360 and
Done.

The message window prompts that all elements have been defined. Select Preview from the
dialog box to view the finished feature prior to accepting it. Select Okay if all is correct.

4. Create a one inch diameter axial hole on the large end of the part. Select Create>Hole. The
hole dialog box appears.

Enter a diameter of 1.0 and a depth of 2.0.

For the placement plane, pick the large end surface of the part. From the Placement Type
pull-down menu, select Coaxial. This will place the hole coaxial with axis A1.

Select axis A1 by picking on the axis. Preview the hole and select the Build Feature and
Repeat icon. The hole is created and the dialog box reappears.

5. Create a datum plane to be used in Step 6. Select the Create Datum Plane icon from the right
toolbar. Select Tangent, and pick the large cylindrical surface of the part. Select Parallel
and pick datum TOP. Select Done. Note the new datum plane, named DTM1.

2-30
• Note that this datum could also be created during the process of creating the hole feature.
Datum features may be created any time -- even during creation of another feature.

6. Create a transverse hole to be used for a ¼-20 threads per inch set screw.

Accept the default Straight Hole.

The correct tap drill size for a 1/4-20 UNC thread is a number 7 drill, which is .201 in
diameter. Enter .201 for the hole diameter. Select the Thru Next for the depth one.

Pick the new datum plane for the primary reference. When prompted for the location, pick a
point near datum FRONT and about 1 inch from the large diameter end.

For the first linear reference, pick the large end surface of the part. Enter a value of 1.

For the second reference, pick the datum FRONT. Using query select will help ensure that
you get the correct surface. The prompt asked if you wish align the feature to the reference.
Select Yes to align it.

Figure 24 Transverse hole picks

Preview the hole and select the Build Feature icon.

7. Rename the new datum plane. From the Feature menu, select Done. Select Setup>Name.
Pick on DTM1.

At the prompt Enter new DATUM NAME enter hole_start_pln. Note the name change in
the graphics window and the model tree.

8. Create the sled-runner keyway as an extruded cut. Select


Feature>Create>Cut>Extrude|Solid|Done.

2-31
The cut will be sketched on datum FRONT, and extruded in both directions. Select Both
Sides and Done.

For the sketching plane, pick the FRONT datum. Accept the default direction by selecting
Okay.

For the second reference, select Top and pick the TOP datum. The model reorients and Pro/E
enters sketcher mode.

Figure 25 Sketch for keyway (cut feature)

Delete the default references. For references, pick the top edge of the small-diameter end of
the part and the edge on the left end of the part. These references are important -- they will
ensure that the section is correctly aligned to the part. Use query select and read the
command line prompt if there is any doubt.

Sketch a line and tangent arc as in the figure. Note that the cursor snaps to the references as
you bring it near. Circles at the beginning of the line and the end of the arc indicate
alignment.

One dimension needs to be replaced -- the keyway depth. The remaining dimensions are
acceptable. Select the Dimension icon and pick the sketched line and the bottom edge of the
part. Place the dimension to the left of the part with the middle mouse key.

2-32
Modify the dimensions. Drag a selection box around all three dimensions and select the
Modify icon. Enter correct values as shown in the figure.

The sketch is complete -- select the OK icon.

The direction arrow should point upward, toward the material to be removed. Select Okay.

From the Spec To menu, select Blind. Enter a depth of .1875.

(Note that for two-sided features, the Blind option prompts for a single depth which is
symmetric about the sketching plane. If different depths on each side of the sketching plane
are desired, use the 2Side Blind option.)

Select Preview from the dialog box to view the finished feature prior to accepting it. Spin
and shade the model to get a better view of the cut. Select Okay if all is correct.

9. Create a round where the shaft protrudes from the large diameter end. Select

Feature>Create>Solid|Round>Simple|Done

Accept the defaults of Constant and Edge Chain, and select Done

Accept the default Tangent Chain, and pick the edge where the small diameter shaft meets
the large diameter adapter. Select Done.

Enter a radius of .125.

Select Preview to view the round. If it is correct, select Okay.

Figure 26 Round and first chamfer picks

2-33
10. Create chamfers on the end of the small diameter shaft and the edge of the large hole. Select
Create>Solid>Chamfer>Edge>45 x d.

Enter a chamfer dimension of .03 .

First, pick the edges of the small diameter shaft. Note that two arc segments must be picked
in order to select the entire edge. (Pro/E breaks all circles into 180 arcs.)

Next, pick the two edges of the hole on the large diameter end.

Select Rehighlight to verify that all edges are selected.

Select Done Sel and Done Refs.

Select Preview to review the chamfers. If they are correct, select Okay.

11. Create chamfers on each end of the large diameter section of the part. Select
Create>Solid>Chamfer>Edge>45 x d

Enter a chamfer dimension of .05 .

For the edges to chamfer, pick the (four) edges of the large diameter segment of the adapter.
Select Rehighlight to verify that both ends are selected. Select Done Sel and Done Refs.

Select Preview to review the chamfers. If they are correct, select Okay.

Figure 27 Second chamfer picks

12. Create a cosmetic thread for the setscrew hole. Recall that the setscrew has a ¼-20 UNC
thread. Select Feature>Create>Cosmetic>Thread.

2-34
The COSMETIC THREAD dialog box appears. For the thread surface, pick the inner
cylindrical surface of the small transverse hole. Use query select to ensure the correct
surface is selected.

Pick the outer cylindrical surface of large protrusion for the thread start surface.

The direction arrow appears. It should point into the hole. If so, select Okay, otherwise
select Flip and Okay.

For the thread depth, select Up To Surface and Done

Pick the inner cylindrical surface of large coaxial hole.

Enter a diameter of .25. (Note: This diameter is the diameter of the thread symbol. For
internal threads, such as in this case, it should be the major diameter of the thread. For
external threads, it should be the root diameter.)

The FEAT PARAM menu appears. The thread parameters (which will appear on a drawing
as a thread note) are defined in this step. Select Mod Params. Pro/TABLE, Pro/E’s
spreadsheet, appears. To use Pro/TABLE, pick on the field to be edited and enter the
desired text. For many entries, keywords are available by pressing the F4 key.

Complete the table as shown in the figure. To use keywords to change the Metric field,
select the TRUE field, press F4, and select FALSE and Okay from the dialog box.

MAJOR_DIAMETER .25
THREADS_PER_INCH 20
FORM UNC
CLASS 2
PLACEMENT B
METRIC FALSE

When the parameters are correct, select File>Exit from the Pro/TABLE menu. Select
Done/Return.

The thread is defined. Select Okay from the dialog box. The thread symbol appears.

13. The adapter model is complete. Save the model by selecting the Save icon (or selecting
File>Save.)

14. To remove the model from the memory, select File>Erase>Current. When Erase Confirm
box appears, select Yes.

2-35
Note: If the Window>Close command were used, the window would disappear from the
screen, but the model would remain in memory. The Erase command is the only way to
purge the model from memory

Figure 28 The Adapter part

 End Exercise 2.2

2-36
Parent/child Relationships

The importance of parent/child relationships is stressed throughout this manual. The ability to
capture design intent, and the robustness of a model (with respect to both modifications and
downstream applications) depend on building good parent/child relationships into a model. The
Parent/Child option under the Info menu is used to investigate feature references, parents, and
children. The options under the Parent/Child menu are:

Parents Shows all features that are parents of the selected feature. Options are:

File Lists parent information to an information window, which may be saved if


desired.

Highlight Highlights each parent of the selected feature on the screen.

Children Shows all features that are children of the selected feature. Options are the
same as for Parents.

References Shows each reference for the selected feature. References are highlighted one
at a time. The SHOW REF menu appears with the following options:

Next Highlights the next reference.

Previous Highlights the previous reference.

Info Opens an information window with complete information about


each reference.

Child Ref Shows each feature that references the selected feature, and highlights the
specific reference. Options are the same as for References.

Following are a few guidelines for managing parent/child relationships. Subsequent chapters
address these issues in more detail.

1. Know specifically each reference for every feature created. (Using query select is the best way
to ensure the correct references are selected.)

2. Know the consequences of selecting a particular reference. (This is addressed in many examples
in this manual.)

3. Minimize the number of parents for a given feature. This often makes a more robust model, and
helps to minimize regeneration problems.

4. Use the Global Reference Viewer to see references (Chapter 8.)

2-37
The Feature Menu

Features comprise the heart and core of Pro/E part models. Model development is done, for the
most part, using the Feature menu. Some options on this menu are familiar from previous
exercises. An introduction to all of the options is required to fully understand Pro/E model
modification and structure. A brief description of each menu option is provided here. Many of
these options are discussed in detail later in this manual. As always, refer to the on-line help for
more information. The Feature menu options are:

Create Create new features in the current model. New features are added to the
model at the bottom of the current model tree.

Pattern Make multiple copies of a feature. The Pattern feature is a very powerful and
flexible way to make many copies of a feature. The individual instances can
either be identical to the original or can vary along prescribed parameters.
This feature type is discussed in Chapter 7.

Copy Makes a single copy of a feature or set of features, either with the same
references as the original feature or with new references.

Delete Delete features from the model.

Delete To delete a pattern, this option must be used. It deletes all patterned instances
Pattern of a feature, but leaves the original intact.

UDF User Defined Features are custom features created by the user. They can be
Library stored and retrieved for later use, either in the same part or in different parts.

Group Features can be grouped together. The grouped feature will appear as a single
entry on the model tree.

Suppress A feature can be "turned off" by suppressing it. A suppressed feature does not
appear in the model and does not regenerate with the model. It will not appear
in the model tree unless the "Show Suppressed" option is selected. If so,
suppressed features are indicated by a small black square.

A less-important feature (a complex round, for example) might be suppressed


to reduce regeneration time. Features are also suppressed in order to view
alternative design options. (Each option can be modeled and then suppressed.
To view a design option, simply Resume the associated feature or features.)

Resume "Turns on" suppressed features.

2-38
Reorder Features can be moved around in the model tree (and in regeneration order) by
reordering them. This is useful for making a poor model more robust. Of
course, no feature can be reordered to appear prior to any of its parents.

Read This option will prevent any modifications to be made to a feature and all
Only previous features. It is useful in start parts and some other situations.

Redefine Permits almost any parameter associated with a feature to be changed,


including the section for sketched features. This is a very powerful way to
change a feature in many ways at once. Note that if the feature has children,
care must be exercised to ensure that references for children are not deleted.

Reroute References can be rerouted, or changed, to new parent features. This is a very
useful tool for improving parent/child relationships within a model or for
redefining references. (References can be rerouted using the Redefine option,
but the Reroute option is faster if that is all that is required.)

Mirror A mirror image copy of the entire part can be created with the Mirror Geom
Geom option. It is very useful for symmetric parts. The mirrored copy is dependent
on the original and does not regenerate (making an efficient model.) Do not
use this option if the mirrored copy needs to be modified independently of the
original.

Insert Toggles Insert Mode on and off. Insert mode permits new features to be
Mode created at a point in the model other than the last feature. All features after the
insertion point are temporarily and automatically suppressed. After toggling
Insert mode off, Pro/E prompts to resume all features suppressed when insert
mode was started.

Done Returns to the Part menu.

Delete Feature

Features can be deleted using the Delete option under the Feature menu. Normally, its usage is
straightforward -- select Delete and pick the feature to be deleted (either from the screen or off
the model tree.) However, if the feature has children, Pro/E must do something about them
before it can delete the selected feature. Otherwise, the children's references will be missing, and
it will be impossible for Pro/E to regenerate them. Pro/E highlights each child in succession and
offers the following options:

Show Ref Highlights each reference of the child that needs to be fixed. The SHOW
REF menu provides the options described under Parent/Child Info above.

Reroute Reroutes references for the child to be fixed.

2-39
Mod Enters redefine mode for the child feature. Dimensions and alignments can be
Scheme removed and replaced. (Note: If no children are sketched features, this option
is grayed out.)

Delete Deletes the child feature.

Delete All Deletes ALL children of the feature initially selected for deletion

Suspend Suspends action of child until next regeneration. (Note: this option never
fixes the problem, just postpones it. The next regeneration, which is usually as
soon as the Delete feature is complete, will fail. Resolve mode can then be
used to fix the child.) Rarely is suspend the best choice.

Suspend Suspends action on all children of the feature initially selected for deletion.
All

Freeze For assemblies only, freezes component children. This option is grayed out
for part mode.

Info Opens an information window containing feature information for the child.

2-40
Exercise 2.3 Bracket

Objective: To teach students how to modify and redefine model features.

To teach students fundamentals of parent/child relationships and capturing design


intent.

This exercise involves modeling the bracket shown in the figure. It is intended that the four
holes should always be the same diameter and be located the same distance from their respective
corners. Modification of one hole should cause all holes to update. Also, the slots are to be
identical in dimension, and should be located symmetrically on the part.

The initial model does not capture the design intent. The holes do not all update if one is
modified. The model is then redefined to illustrate two different methods of correctly capturing
design intent.

Figure 29 Bracket Drawing

2-41
8. Change the working directory to the tutorial directory (if it is not already there.)

9. Create a new part named bracket. Select the Create new object icon and enter the name
bracket. Accept the default template.

10. Create our base feature using a thin extruded protrusion. Select
Feature>Create>Solid>Protrusion>Extrude|Thin|Done. Select Both Sides and Done.

For the setup plane, pick the FRONT datum and accept the default direction.

For the second reference, select Top and pick on the TOP datum.

Accept the default references -- datums TOP and RIGHT.

Sketch the section shown in the diagram. Ensure that all dimensions appear as in the figure.
Also note that two lines are aligned with the TOP and RIGHT datum respectively.

Figure 30 Sketch for thin protrusion. Note that the section is open.

2-42
Helpful hints:

1. Start sketching at the right-hand end of the top line (that is aligned to datum TOP.)

2. While sketching arcs, look for the symbols indicating 90 arcs and equal radii (R1).

3. If the third arc cannot terminate on datum RIGHT with a radius equal to the previous
arcs, sketch it with any radius that works. Then select Constraints>Equal Radii and
pick the arc and the first arc. This will enforce the constraint.

 An alternative, and quicker way is to initially sketch lines only, without the arcs. Then
use the right mouse key pop-up menu and select Fillet (or select the Fillet icon.) Pick
each leg of a sharp corner to create a fillet arc. When all three fillets are created, select
the Constraint icon, and then the Equality icon (the equal sign.) Pick two arcs to
constrain their radii to be equal. Repeat for the third arc.

It may be helpful to reposition dimensions for clarity. Select and drag dimensions to the
desired positions.

Box select all dimensions and select Modify. Deselect Regenerate, and change the
dimension values to those shown. Picking on a dimension in the graphics area highlights that
dimension in the Modify Dimensions box, making modifications easier. Select the OK icon.
If the section appears correct, select the OK icon from the sketcher toolbar.

The Thin Opt menu prompts for the side of the section on which to add material. Flip the
arrow until it points to the inside of the bracket and select Okay.

For thickness enter .125.

Select Blind>Done and enter 5 to define the depth of the bracket.

Preview the protrusion and select Okay.

4. Create a saved isometric view of the model.

Select the Orient the model icon. The Orientation dialog box appears. Expand
the Saved Views bar and select FRONT, then Set. The model reorients to the
front view.
Orient the
Use the pull-down menu under Type to select Dynamic Orient. In the vertical Model
field, enter 45 and hit enter. Then, in the horizontal field, enter 35. The resulting view is

2-43
isometric. By the Name bar, enter iso_1 and select Save. The name ISO_1 appears in the
Saved Views box.

Select OK from the Orientation dialog box.

5. Explore the Saved view list icon.

Select the Saved view list icon from the tool bar. The names of the views in the
default template appear, as well as the ISO_1 view just created. Select each view
and see how the model reorients. Finally, select the ISO_1 view. Saved
View list
Note: Views can be saved for any orientation of the model, and they may

6. Create slots in the bracket. Select Feature>Create>Cut>Extrude>Solid>Done.

Accept the default of One Side and select Done.

For the sketching plane pick in the area shown in the figure. Accept the default direction.
From the SKET VIEW menu select Top and pick on the large top surface of the part.

Figure 31 Sketching plane and TOP reference picks for the


cut

Delete the left edge reference, and pick the right edge as shown. (It may be helpful to turn off
datum plane display to select these references.)

2-44
Figure 32 Sketching reference picks

 (Note: Since the top surface was used for sketcher orientation, this minimizes both the
number of parent/child relationships and the number of references for the slot feature.)
Select Sketch (or click the middle mouse button.) Sketch the slot shown in the figure using
lines and tangent arcs.

Figure 33 Slot sketch

2-45
Select the Dimension and create the slot width dimension by picking on each of the center
marks followed by clicking the middle mouse key above the part. Likewise, create a
dimension from the top reference to the left arc center mark. Finally, create a diametral
dimension for the arc by double-clicking on the arc and then placing the dimension with the
middle mouse key.

Modify the dimensions. Use a box to select all the dimensions. Select Modify and enter the
correct values as shown in the figure.

Add axis points at the slot center marks. Select Sketch>Axis Point from the menu bar.

Pick on each center mark. (Note that the pointer snaps to the center marks.) An X appears
over the center mark to indicate that an axis point is created. This creates an axis through
each center mark of the slot.

Select the OK icon from the sketcher toolbar.

Make sure the arrow points toward the inside of the slot, and select Okay. (If it points
toward the outside of the slot, select Flip and Okay.)

For depth enter Thru Next and select Done. Select Okay to accept the slot.

Figure 34 Bracket with first slot

7. Create a hole in the upper flange. Spin the part slightly so you can see the upper large flange
as well as two edges comprising one of the external corners. Select
Feature>Create>Hole.

2-46
Accept the default Straight Hole. Enter .375 for the diameter and select Thru Next for
Depth One.

For the placement plane (the Primary Reference), pick the top surface near the corner. For
the first linear reference, pick the thin back surface (use query select) and enter .5 for the
distance. Pick the thin on the left side of the part and enter .75.

Figure 35 Reference picks for the first hole

Preview the hole and select the Build Feature icon.

8. Use the Info menu to identify the parents and the references for the hole feature. Select
Info>Parent/Child. Select the hole.

The Reference Information Window appears. Select Parents>Highlight.

The left column shows that the hole has no children. The right column shows that the thin
protrusion is the only parent feature of the hole. (If you mistakenly picked on a datum plane
for one of the references, it would be highlighted as well.) Select the parent feature in the
right column the feature highlights. This is very handy for large models.

Expand the parent list by selecting the + box. This shows the references used to create the
hole. Select each reference in turn to highlight the reference in the main graphics area.

The first reference is the top surface of the protrusion. That reference was created by
selecting the placement plane for the hole. The thin back surface and left surfaces of the part
are the remaining two references. These were used for the linear dimensions for the hole.

Close the dialog box.

9. Create a second hole on the short flange of the part with the same dimensions and the same
diameter as the first hole.

2-47
Note! The hole feature created in this step will NOT capture our design intent. It is included
here to illustrate this point. It is deleted and replaced with a better feature in a later step.

Spin the part slightly so you can see the smaller flange as well as two edges, including the
same side as the first hole. Select Feature>Create>Hole.

Figure 36 Second hole reference picks

For the diameter enter .375. For the depth, select Thru Next.

For the placement plane, pick the flange surface near the corner. Pick the thin front surface
(use query select) and enter .5 for the distance. Pick the thin surface on the side of the part
and enter .75.

Preview the hole and select the Build Feature icon.

2-48
Figure 37 Bracket with slot and holes after Step 9.

10. Modify the first hole diameter and placement. Select Done from the FEAT menu, then
select Modify.

Pick the first hole. Change the diameter to .75 and the dimension from the side to 1.5. Note
that the modified dimensions turn white to indicate that the model needs regeneration.
Select Regenerate from the PART menu.

Note that only one hole changes – the second hole is unaffected. The design intent is not
captured in this model. To fix this problem, delete the second hole and recreate it using the
Feature>Copy option.

First, modify the part again to return the hole to its original dimensions. Select Modify and
pick the hole. Change the two dimensions to their original values. Select Regenerate.

11. Delete the second hole. Select Featue>Delete. Accept the default Normal and pick on the
second hole. It disappears.

 Shortcut: Pick the hole in the main graphics area or on the model tree. When it
highlights, activate the right mouse key pop-up menu. Select Delete. Select
OK at the prompt to delete.

This also works for Modify and several other commands.

2-49
12. Create a dependent copy of the first hole. To do this, two of the original references – the
hole placement plane and the back thin surface – must be replaced. Select
Feature>Copy>New Refs|Select|Dependent|Done

Pick the hole and select Done Sel and Done.

The Group Elements dialog box appears. Since all three dimensions for the hole will
remain unchanged, do not check any boxes. Select Done.

Figure 38 Copy hole reference picks


The WHICH REF menu appears with Alternate as the default. The placement surface is
highlighted. Use query select to pick the inside surface of the small flange. (If the outside
surface is chosen, the hole will be created off of the part. Why?) The next reference is
highlighted. Replace the back edge by picking the thin front edge of the small flange as the
new reference. When the side surface highlights, select Same to keep it. The new hole
should appear highlighted. If it is correct, select Done. If not, select Redefine and fix the
references.

13. Repeat step 13 to modify the holes. Note that both holes now update together. The design
intent is realized.

Modify the part again to return the holes to their original dimensions.

14. Mirror the two holes and the slot so they appear on the opposite side of the part. Select
Feature>Copy>Mirror|Select|Dependent|Done

Pick the two holes and the slot to be mirrored. Use query select to select the two holes and
the slot. (Note: To ensure that the correct items are selected use the rehighlight option under
the Get Select menu.) Select Done Sel and Done.

2-50
When prompted to select a plan to mirror about, pick the FRONT datum. (If datum planes
are turned off, pick on the toolbar icon to turn them on again.) The holes and the slot are
now mirrored about that datum.

15. Modify the holes to demonstrate that the new features are dependent on the original. Select
Done from the Feature menu followed by Modify from the PART menu.

Pick one of the holes. Change the .75 dimension to 1.5 and the .375 diameter to .75.

Pick one of the slots. Change the 1.0 width of the slot dimension to .5. Change the .5
dimension from the right edge of the part to 1. Select Regenerate.

Notice that all four holes and both slots are changed. This illustrates how dependent copies
can be used to capture design intent.

Modify the part again to return the holes and slots to their original dimensions.

Save the part by selecting the save icon from the tool bar and accepting the default name of
the part.

16. Examine the model structure. Look at the model tree. There should be three default datum
planes and a coordinate system, a protrusion, a cut, a hole and two group COPIED_GROUP
features. Each of these features regenerates with the model. Since this part is symmetric, a
more compact model could be made using the Mirror Geom command.

Note that the next few steps demonstrate an entirely different method of modeling the part.

17. Delete the copy mirror feature. Select Feature>Delete.

Pick the mirror feature either by picking on any one of the mirrored features or directly from
the model tree. Select Done Sel>Done.

18. Redefine the thin protrusion feature so that it is extruded on only one side. Select
Feature>Redefine. Pick the thin protrusion feature. The Protrusion:Extrude dialog box
appears.

We need only alter the attributes element. Select Attributes and Define. The
ATTRIBUTES menu appears. Select One Side and Done.

The depth should be one-half the original five inches. Select Blind|Done and enter 2.5.

Select Preview to view the redefined feature. Note that the holes and slots are not shown in
the preview, because they were added to the model after the protrusion. Select OK.

2-51
Figure 39 Bracket after redefinition in Step 18.

19. Mirror all geometry to complete the revised part. Select Feature>Mirror Geom. Pick the
FRONT datum. All part geometry is mirrored.

20. The part now looks the same as it did after Step 14. Look at the model tree. Notice that the
second group copied feature has been replaced with a single merge feature. Repeat Step 15
to ensure that the holes and slots still meet our design objective of updating together.

Figure 40 The Bracket part

2-52
There are subtle, but important differences in this model and the model as completed in Step
17, although the final geometry is identical.

1. The model regenerates faster because only the first half is regenerated (this is not
significant for a small part like the bracket, but may be important for large or complex
models.)

2. The parameter defining the width of the part only defines one-half of the actual width.
This is apparent when a drawing is created from the part – the width dimension would
extend from the center of the part to one edge. Usually this is undesirable, and may
justify the original method of model creation. (There are fixes for this problem, but it is
always more elegant to obtain the desired parameters within the model.)

3. If the model is to be used for a finite element analysis, and if the loads are also symmetric
about the FRONT datum, it can be a very big advantage to use the Mirror Geom feature.
It is easy to suppress this feature, thus facilitating a symmetric analysis.

 End Exercise 2.3

Review Questions

1. Explain what is meant by “capturing design intent.” Why is it important?

2. Describe the structure of a Pro/E part model.

3. List several methods of creating protrusions.

4. What is the difference between a “pick-and-place” feature (such as a hole) and a sketched
feature.

5. List three ways to access on-line help for a particular menu option.

6. What is the Model Tree, and how is it used?

7. What should always be the first feature in a new Pro/E model?

8. What are parent/child relationships?

2-53
Problems

P2.1 Create a model of the spider shown in the figure. (Note: this will be a component in the
reducer assembly created later in this tutorial.

Figure 41 Drawing of the spider part.

2-54

 

 


  

   


 
 
   




  
Introduction 1-1

Chapter 1 :

Introduction to the Tutorials

Synopsis
An introduction to finite element analysis, with some cautions about its use and misuse;
examples of problems solved with MECHANICA; organization of the tutorials; tips and tricks
for using MECHANICA

Overview of this Lesson


 general comments about using Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
 examples of problems solved using Pro/MECHANICA Structure
 layout of the tutorials
 how the tutorial will present command sequences
 tips and tricks for using MECHANICA

Finite Element Analysis


Finite Element Analysis (FEA), also known as the Finite Element Method (FEM), is probably the
most important tool added to the mechanical design engineer's toolkit this century. The
development of FEA has been driven by the desire for more accurate design computations in
more complex situations, allowing improvements in both the design procedure and products. The
growing use of FEA has been made possible by the creation of computation engines that are
capable of handling the immense volume of calculations necessary to carry out an analysis and
easily display the results for interpretation. With the advent of very powerful desktop
workstations, FEA is now available at a practical cost to virtually all engineers and designers.

The Pro/MECHANICA software described in this introductory tutorial is only one of many
commercial systems that are available. All of these systems share many common capabilities. In
this tutorial, we will try to present both the commands for using MECHANICA and the reasons
behind those commands, so that the general procedures can be transferred to other FEA
packages. Notwithstanding this desire, it should be realized that Pro/M is unique in many ways
among packages currently available. Therefore, numerous topics treated will be specific to
Pro/M.
1-2 Introduction

Pro/MECHANICA (or Pro/M as we will call it) is actually a suite of three programs: Structure,
Thermal, and Motion. The first of these, Structure, is able to perform the following:

 linear static stress analysis


 modal analysis (mode shapes and natural frequencies)
 buckling analysis
 large deformation analysis

and others. This manual will be concerned only with the first two of these analyses. The
remaining types of problems are beyond the scope of an introductory manual. Once having
finished this manual, however, interested users should not find the other topics too difficult. The
other two programs (Thermal and Motion) are used for thermal analysis and dynamic analysis of
mechanical systems, respectively. These are planned to be the topics of further tutorials in the
Click-by-Click series. In this book, the use of Pro/M is meant to imply Structure only.

Pro/M offers much more than simply an FEA engine. We will see that Pro/M is really a design
tool since it will allow parametric studies as well as design optimization to be set up quite easily.
Moreover, unlike many other commercial FEM programs where determining accuracy can be
difficult or time consuming, Pro/M will be able to compute results with some certainty as to the
accuracy1.

Pro/M does not currently have the ability to handle non-linear problems, for example a stress
analysis problem involving a non-linearly elastic material like rubber. New capability introduced
in Release 2000i, however, allows problems involving very large geometric deflections to be
treated, as long as the stresses remain within the linearly elastic range for the material.

In this tutorial, we will concentrate on the main concepts and procedures for using the software
and focus on topics that seem to be most useful for new users and/or students doing design
projects and other course work. We assume that readers do not know anything about the
software. A short overview of the FEA theoretical background has been included, but it should
be emphasized that this is very limited in scope. Our attention here is on the use and capabilities
of the software, not providing a complete course on using FEA, its theoretical origins, or the
“art” of FEA modeling strategies. For further study of these subjects, see the reference list at the
end of the second chapter.

Examples of Problems Solved using MECHANICA


To give you a taste of what is to come, here are three examples of what you will be able to do
with MECHANICA on completion of these tutorials. The examples are a simple analysis, a
parametric design study called a sensitivity analysis, and a design optimization. In

1
This refers to the problem of “convergence” whereby the FEA results must be verified or
tested so that they can be trusted. We will discuss convergence at some length later on and refer
to it continually throughout the manual.
Introduction 1-3

MECHANICA’s language, these are called design studies.

Example #1 : Analysis
This is the “bread and butter” type of problem for
MECHANICA. A model is defined by some geometry (in
2D or 3D), material properties are specified, loads and
constraints are applied, and one of several different types
of analysis can be run on the model. In the figure at the
right, a model of a somewhat crude connecting rod is
shown. This part is modeled using 3D solid elements. The
hole at the large end is fixed and a lateral bearing load is
applied to the inside surface of the hole at the other end.
The primary results are shown in Figures 2 and 3. These
are contours of the Von Mises stress2 on the part, shown in
a fringe plot (these are, of course, in color on the computer Figure 1 Solid model of a part
screen), and a wireframe view of the total (exaggerated)
deformation of the part (this can be shown as an animation). Here, we are usually interested in
the value and location of the maximum Von Mises stress in the part, and the magnitude and
direction of deformation of the part.

Figure 2 Von Mises stress fringe plot Figure 3 Deformation of the part

Example #2 : Sensitivity Study


Often you need to find out the overall effect of varying one or more design parameters, such as

2
The Von Mises stress is obtained by combining all the stress components at a point in a
way which produces a single value that can be compared to the yield strength of the material.
This is the most common way of examining the computed stress in a part.
1-4 Introduction

dimensions. You could do this by performing a number of similar analyses, and changing the
geometry of the model between each analysis. MECHANICA has an automated routine which
allows you to specify the parameter to be varied, and the overall range. It then automatically
performs all the modifications to the model, and computes results for the intermediate values of
the design parameters.

The example shown in Figure 4 is a quarter-model (to take advantage of symmetry) of a


transition between two thin-walled cylinders. The transition is modeled using shell elements.

Figure 4 3D Shell quarter-model Figure 5 Von Mises stress in


of transition between cylinders shell model

Figure 5 shows the contours of the Von Mises stress on the part. The maximum stress occurs at
the edge of the fillet on the smaller cylinder just where it meets the intermediate flat portion. The
design parameter to be varied is the radius of this fillet, between the minimum and maximum
shapes shown in Figures 6 and 7.

Figure 6 Minimum radius fillet Figure 7 Maximum radius fillet


Introduction 1-5

Figure 8 shows the variation in the maximum Von


Mises stress in the model as a function of radius of
the fillet. Other information about the model, such
as total mass, or maximum deflection is also
readily available.

Figure 8 Variation of Von Mises stress with


fillet radius in shell model

Example #3 : Design Optimization


This capability of MECHANICA is really astounding! When a model is created, some of the
geometric parameters can be designated as design variables. Then MECHANICA is turned loose
to find the combination of values of these design variables that will minimize some objective
function (like the total mass of the model) subject to some design constraints (like the allowed
maximum stress and/or deflection). Pro/M searches through the design space (for specified
ranges of the design variables) and will find the optimum set of design variables automatically!

The example shown is of a plane stress model of a


thin, symmetrical, tapered plate under tension. The
plate is fixed at the left edge, while the lower edge
is along the plane of symmetry. A uniform tensile
load is applied to the vertical edge on the right end.
The Von Mises stress contours for the initial
design are shown in Figure 9. The maximum
stress, which exceeds a design tolerance, has
occurred at the large hole located on the plate
centerline, at about the 12:30 position. The stress
level around the smaller hole is considerably less,
and we could probably increase the diameter of this
hole in order to reduce mass. The question is: how Figure 9 Initial Von Mises stress
much? distribution in plate before optimization

The selected design variables are the radii of the two holes. Minimum and maximum values for
these variables are indicated in the Figures 10 and 11. The objective of the optimization is to
minimize the total mass of the plate, while not exceeding a specified maximum stress.
1-6 Introduction

Figure 10 Minimum values of design Figure 11 Maximum values of design


variables variables

Figure 12 shows a history of the design optimization computations. The figure on the left shows
the maximum Von Mises stress in the part - note that this initially exceeds the allowed maximum
stress, but Pro/M very quickly adjusts the geometry to produce a design within the allowed stress.
The figure on the right shows the mass of the part. As the optimization proceeds, this is slowly
reduced until a minimum value is obtained (approximately 20% less than the original). Pro/M
allows you to view the shape change occurring at each iteration.

Figure 12 Optimization history: Von Mises stress (left) and total


mass (right)

The final optimized design is shown in Figure 13. Notice the increased size of the interior hole,
and the more efficient use of material. The design limit stress now occurs on both holes.
Introduction 1-7

Figure 13 Von Mises stress distribution in


optimized plate

FEA User Beware!


Users of this (or any other FEA) software should be cautioned that, as in other areas of computer
applications, the GIGO (“Garbage In = Garbage Out”) principle applies. Users can easily be
misled into blind acceptance of the answers produced by the programs. Do not confuse pretty
graphs and pictures with correct modeling practice and accurate results.

A skilled practitioner of FEA must have a considerable amount of knowledge and experience.
The current state of sophistication of CAD and FEA software may lead non-wary users to
dangerous and/or disastrous conclusions. Users might take note of the fine print that
accompanies all FEA software licenses, which usually contains some text along these lines: “The
supplier of the software will take no responsibility for the results obtained . . .” and so on.
Clearly, the onus is on the user to bear the burden of responsibility for any conclusions that might
be reached from the FEA.

We might plot the situation something like Figure 14 on the next page. In order to intelligently
(and safely) use FEA, it is necessary to acquire some knowledge of the theory behind the method,
some facility with the available software, and a great deal of modeling experience. In this
manual, we assume that the reader's level of knowledge and experience with FEA initially places
them at the origin of the figure. The tutorial (particularly Chapter 2) will extend your knowledge
a little bit in the “theory” direction, at least so that we can know what the software requires for
input data, and how it computes the results. The step-by-step tutorials and exercises will extend
your knowledge in the “experience” direction. Primarily, however, this tutorial is meant to extend
your knowledge in the “FEA software” direction, as it applies to using Pro/MECHANICA.
Readers who have already moved out along the "theory" or "experience" axes will have to bear
with us - at least this manual should assist you in discovering the capabilities of the
1-8 Introduction

MECHANICA software package.

modeling experience

knowledge of
FEA theory
knowledge of
FEA software

Figure 14 Knowledge, skill, and experience requirements for FEA users

In summary, some quotes from speakers at an FEA panel at a recent ASME Computers in
Engineering conference should be kept in mind:

"Don't confuse convenience with intelligence."


In other words, as more powerful functions (such as automatic mesh generation) get
built in to FEA packages, do not assume that these will be suitable for every modeling
situation, or that they will always produce trustworthy results. If an option has
defaults, be aware of what they are and their significance to the model and the results
obtained. Above all, remember that just because it is easy, it is not necessarily right!

"Don't confuse speed with accuracy."


Computers are getting faster and faster. This also means that they can compute an
inaccurate model faster than before - a wrong answer in half the time is hardly an
improvement!

and finally, the most important:

"FEA makes a good engineer better and a poor engineer dangerous."


As our engineering tools get more sophisticated, there is a tendency to rely on them
more and more, sometimes to dangerous extremes. Relying solely on FEA for design
verification might be dangerous. Don’t forget your intuition, and remember that a lot
of very significant engineering design work has occurred over the years on the back of
an envelope. Let FEA become a tool that extends your design capability, not define it.
Introduction 1-9

Layout of this Manual


Running the Pro/MECHANICA software is not a trivial operation. However, with a little
practice, and learning only a fraction of the capabilities of the program, you can perform FEA of
reasonably complex problems. This manual is meant to guide you through the major features of
the software and how to use it. The manual is not meant to be a complete guide to either the
software or FEA modeling - consider it the elementary school of practical FEA!

Chapter 2 of the tutorial will present an overview of the theory and mathematics behind how
FEA is implemented in MECHANICA. In particular, the origin and differences between h-code
analysis and the p-code method in MECHANICA are discussed. The primary purpose of this
chapter is to outline the main capabilities of MECHANICA as they apply to the design and
analysis of mechanical parts. These include simple analyses, sensitivity studies, and parameter
optimization. This chapter will basically introduce you to the terminology used in the program,
and give you an overview of its operation.

Chapters 3 and 4 will present the basic procedure and commands for performing design studies
on solid models. This is a natural starting point, given that models imported from Pro/E are
usually solids. Common methods of displaying results are shown. Some issues of modeling are
discussed, such as symmetry. Several modeling pitfalls, which also occur in other model types
are investigated, and solutions proposed.

Chapter 5 will introduce you to the analysis of 2D models using idealizations. These are plane
stress and plane strain analyses. Geometry for these models is selected from the 3D part
geometry as created in Pro/E. The idealization, when applicable, results in a significant
reduction in the computational effort for the model.

The subject of Chapter 6 is axisymmetric models. These require that the geometry, loads, and
constraints can be based on a 2D layout that represents the problem.

Chapter 7 is devoted to a very important idealization - the shell model. Shells occur when the
model contains all or some thin-walled solid features. This idealization results in a greatly
reduced problem size and faster solution.

Beams and frames are dealt with in Chapter 8. Both single continuous beams and beams as
components of frames are discussed. Beams can also be used in combination with shells and
solids.

Finally, Chapter 9 will deal with some miscellaneous topics including cyclic symmetry, spring
and mass elements, modal analysis, and contact analysis in assemblies.

At the end of each of these chapters, a number of additional exercises are presented. You should
try to do as many of these as you can in order to build up your knowledge and repertoire of
modeling scenarios.
1 - 10 Introduction

Tips for using MECHANICA


In the tutorial examples that follow, you will be lead through a number of simple problems
keystroke by keystroke. Each command will be explained in depth so that you will know the
“why” as well as the “what” and “how”. Resist the temptation to just follow the keystrokes - you
must think hard about what is going on in order to learn it. You should go through the tutorials
while working on a computer so that you experience the results of each command as it is entered.
Not much information will sink in if you just read the material. We have tried to capture exactly
the key-stroke, menu selection, or mouse click sequences to perform each analysis. These
actions are indicated in bold face italic type. Characters entered from the keyboard are enclosed
within square brackets. When more than one command is given in a sequence, they are separated
by the symbol ">". When several commands are entered on a single menu or window, they are
separated by the pipe symbol “ | ”. An option from a pull-down list will be indicated with the list
title and selected option in parantheses. So, for example, you might see command sequences
similar to the following:

Materials > Assign > Part > STEEL_IPS | Accept


Analysis (QuickCheck)
Results > Create > [VonMises] | Accept

At the end of each chapter in the manual, we have included some Questions for Review and
some simple Exercises which you should do. These have been designed to illustrate additional
capabilities of the software, some simple modeling concepts, and sometimes allow a comparison
with either analytical solutions or with alternative modeling methods. The more of these
exercises you do, the more confident you can be in setting up and solving your own problems.

Finally, here a few hints about using the software. Menu items and/or graphics entities on the
screen are selected by clicking on them with the left mouse button. We will often refer to this as a
‘left click’ or simply as a ‘click’. The middle mouse button (‘middle click’) can be used
(generally) whenever Accept, Enter, Close or Done is required. The dynamic view controls are
obtained by holding down the Ctrl key and dragging with a mouse button (left = zoom, middle =
spin, right = pan). Users of Pro/ENGINEER will be quite comfortable with these mouse controls.
Any menu commands grayed out are unavailable for the current context. Otherwise, any menu
item is available for use. You can, for example, jump from the design menus to the pulldown
menus at any time. Many operations can be launched by clicking and holding down the right
mouse button on an entry in the model tree.

So, with all that out of the way, let’s get started. The next chapter will give you an overview of
FEA theory, and how MECHANICA is different from other commercial packages.
Introduction 1 - 11

Questions for Review


1. In MECHANICA-ese, what is a design study?
2. What are the three types of design study that can be performed by Pro/M?
3. What is the Von Mises stress? From a strength of materials textbook, find out how this is
computed and its relation to yield strength. Also, for what types of materials is this a useful
computation?
4. Can Pro/M treat non-linear problems?
5. What does GIGO mean?
6. What three areas of expertise are required to be a skilled FEA practitioner?

Exercises
1. Find some examples of cases where seemingly minor and insignificant computer-related
errors have resulted in disastrous consequences.
Pro/ENGINEER®
Advanced Tutorial
2
(Release 2000i )

A Click-by-Click Primer

Roger Toogood, Ph.D., P. Eng.


Mechanical Engineering
University of Alberta

SDC
PUBLICATIONS

Schroff Development Corporation


w w w .schroff.com
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1-1

Lesson 1 :
Pro/E Customization Tools
and
Project Introduction

Synopsis:
Configuration settings; customizing the screen toolbars and menus; mapkeys; part templates;
introduction to the project

Overview
This lesson will introduce tools for customizing your Pro/E configuration and working
environment and show you how to create some useful shortcuts for accessing Pro/E commands.
The major customization tool is the use of one or more configuration files (default file:
config.pro). The lesson also includes managing and creating your own custom toolbars and
mapkeys. We’ll also see how you can create your own part templates.

The major project used in this tutorial is introduced. The first four parts are presented for
modeling.

Configuration Files (config.pro)


By now, you should be familiar with the commands for environment settings that are available in

Utilities > Environment

These aspects (and much more!) of the Pro/Engineer working environment can also be controlled
using configuration files (config files for short). Pro/E has several hundred individual
configuration settings. All settings have default values that will be used if not specifically set in
a config file.

The most important config file is a special file called config.pro that is automatically read when
Pro/E starts up a new session. You can also read in (and/or change) additional configuration
settings at any time during a session. For example, you may want to have one group of settings
for one project you are working on, and another group for a different project that you switch to
during a single session. In this tutorial, we will deal only with the use of the single configuration
1-2 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

file, config.pro, loaded at start-up.

Several copies of config.pro might exist on your system, and they are read in the following order
when Pro/E is launched:

 config.sup - this is a protected system file which is read by all users but is not available for
modification by users. Your system administrator has control of this file.
 Pro/E loadpoint - this is read by all users and would usually contain common settings
determined by the system administrator such as search paths, formats, libraries, and so on.
This file cannot normally be altered by individual users.
 user home directory - unique for each user (Unix)
 startup directory - the current or working directory when Pro/E starts up. To find where
this directory is, select File > Open and observe the directory name in the top box1

Settings made in the first copy (config.sup) cannot be overridden by users. This is handy for
making configuration settings to be applied universally across all users at a Pro/E installation
(search paths for part libraries, for instance). An individual user can modify entries in the last
two copies of config.pro to suit their own requirements. If the same entry appears more than
once, the last entry encountered in the start-up sequence is the one the system will use. After
start-up, additional configuration settings can be read in at any time. These might be used to
create a configuration unique to a special project, or perhaps a special type of modeling. Be
aware that when a new configuration file is read in, some options may not take effect until Pro/E
is restarted. This is discussed further a bit later.

Settings in config.pro are composed of two entries in the following form:

config_option_name config_option_value

Option values can be composed either of text, single numbers, or series of numbers. A complete
listing and description of all config options is contained in the on-line help. With the Help page
visible in your browser, select

Contents > Pro/ENGINEER Foundation > Using Configuration File Options

As of Pro/E 2000i2, the dialog window for working with configuration files is totally new. This
window will contain a one line description of any selected option. There is also a new search
capability for finding option names. Although this makes finding the options much easier, you
are encouraged to explore the on-line help.

Your system may have a standard configuration file available for you to use as a basis for your
own work. In a Windows installation, look for the config.pro file in the pro_stds directory in the
Pro/E installation.

1
In Windows, right click on the Pro/E icon on the desktop (if it exists), select Properties
> ShortCut and examine the Start In text entry field.
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1-3

Before we proceed, if you have access to this file, copy it to your start-up directory, along with
the file config.win (this is a file containing customized screen layout settings which are discussed
below). Now launch Pro/E, or if it is already up erase everything currently in session and set
your working directory to your normal start-up directory.

The Configuration File Editor

You can access your current configuration file using

Utilities > Preferences

This brings up the Preferences window. If


your system has options set already, these
will appear in the window. If not, the
central area of the window will be blank, as
in Figure 1. We’ll discuss the operation of
this dialog window from the top down.

The Showing pull-down list at the top will


let you choose from a number of
configuration groups (Current Session, your
start-up config.pro, or elsewhere)

Now deselect the check box just below the


Showing pull-down box. After a couple of
seconds, a complete list of all the Pro/E
configuration options will appear. The first Figure 1 The Preferences window for editing
column shows its name, and the second configuration files
column shows its current value. An entry
with an asterisk indicates a default value.

Browse down through the list. There are a lot of options here! Note that the options are arranged
alphabetically. This is because of the setting in the Sort pull-down menu in the top-right corner.
Change this to By Category. This rearranges the list of options to group them by function. For
example, check out the settings available in the Environment and Sketcher groups. Fortunately,
there are a couple of tools to help you find the option name you’re looking for. Let’s see how
they work.

Check the box beside “Show only options loaded from file” and select Sort(Alphabetical). Note
that the options listed here are only those that are different from the default settings.

Adding Settings to config.pro

Assuming you have a blank config.pro, let’s create a couple of useful settings. At the bottom of
the Preferences window are two text boxes for entering option names and values. If you know
the name of the option, you can just type it in to the first box. One of the most common settings
is to turn off the (annoying!) beep that Pro/E emits from time to time. In the text box below
1-4 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

Option, enter the option name bell. In the pull-down list under Value, select No. Note that the
option name is not case sensitive and the default value is indicated by an asterisk in the pull-
down list. Now select the Add/Change button on the right. The entry now appears in the data
area. A bright green star in the Status column indicates that the option has been defined but has
not yet taken effect.

Now enter a display option. The default part display mode in the graphics window is Shaded.
Many people prefer to work in hidden line mode - let’s make it the default on start-up. Once
again, we will enter the configuration option name. As you type this in, notice that Pro/E
anticipates the rest of the text box based on the letters you have typed in. After typing the “dis”
characters, the rest of the option will appear; just hit the Enter key. The option name and value
we want are

display hiddenvis

Now select Add/Change as before (or just hit the Enter key after typing the “h”).

Another common setting is the location of the Pro/E trail file. As you recall, the trail file
contains a record of every command and mouse click during a Pro/E session. The default
location for this is the start-up directory. Theoretically, trail files can be used to recover from
disastrous crashes of Pro/E, but this is a tricky operation. Most people just delete them. It is
handy, therefore, to collect trail files for each session in a single directory, where they can be
easily removed later. There is an option for setting the location of this directory. Suppose we
don’t know its specific name. Here is where a new function in 2000i2 will come in handy.

At the bottom of the Preferences window, click


the Find button. This brings up the Find Option
window (Figure 2). Type in the keyword trail and
select

All Categories > Find Now

Several possibilities come up. The option we want


is listed as trail_dir. Select this option and
Browse to a suitable location on your system for
the value. Perhaps something like c:\temp. Then
select Add/Change. The new entry appears in the
Preferences window. In the Find Option window,
select Close.

Figure 2 Finding a configuration file option


For some options, the value is numeric (eg setting a default tolerance, number of digits, or the
color of entities on the screen). In these cases, you can enter the relevant number (or numbers
separated by either spaces or commas). For example, under Option, enter the name
system_hidden_color. Then under Value, enter the numbers 60 60 60 (separated by spaces).
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1-5

These give the values of red, green, and blue (out of 100). Equal values yield gray; this setting
will brighten the hidden lines a bit from the default value. Select Add/Change.

We have now specified four options. To have them take effect, select the Apply button at the
bottom. The green stars change to small green circles in the Status column.

Note that you can resize the column widths by dragging on the short vertical column separator
bars at the top of the display area. At the far right is a long (scrollable) one-line description of
the option.

For practice, enter the options


shown in Figure 3. The order that
the configuration options are
declared does not matter (the
exception is mapkeys, discussed
below). Check the on-line help for a
description of these configuration
settings and feel free to add new
settings to your file. Investigate
settings for search paths, libraries,
default editors, default decimal
places, import/export settings, and
so on.
Figure 3 Settings in config.pro
Notice the icon in the first column beside the name. These mean the following:

(lightning) - option takes effect immediately

(wand) - option will take effect for next object created

(screen) - option will take effect the next time Pro/E is started

If you are using a config file from a previous version of Pro/E you may see a “stop sign” (actually
a red circle with a line through it), which means that the option is no longer used in 2000i 2.

Try to add an illegal option name. For example, in Release 2000i there was an option
sketcher_readme_alert. Type that in to the Option field. When you try to set a value for this,
it will not be accepted. Pro/E only recognizes valid option names! Thus, if you mistype or enter
an invalid name, this is indicated by not being able to enter a value for it.

We will be making more changes to this config.pro a bit later in this lesson when we discuss
mapkeys.

Saving Your config.pro Settings

To store the settings we have just created, select the Save As button at the top of the
1-6 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

Preferences window. At the bottom of the new window, type in the desired name for the file - in
this case config.pro and select OK.

Now select Close in the Preferences window.

Loading a Configuration File

To see what happens when you load a new configuration file, select

Utilities > Preferences

again. In the Showing list, select Current Session. This displays the options just set. Now,
beside the Showing list, select the Open File button. In the next dialog window, select the file
config.pro and Open.

Note that these settings in config.pro will be read in but not activated immediately (note the
green star). Select the Apply button and observe the green star.

Deleting Configuration Options

Highlight the option pro_unit_length and select Delete. Then Apply. This automatically saves
the new settings. Close the window.

Checking Your Configuration Options

Because some settings will not activate until Pro/E is restarted, many users will exit Pro/E after
making changes to their config.pro file and then restart, just to make sure the settings are doing
what they are supposed to. Do that now. This is not quite so critical with 2000i2 since it shows
you using the lightning/wand/screen icons whether an option is active. However be aware of
where Pro/E will look for the config.pro file on start-up, as discussed above. If you have saved
config.pro in another working directory than the one you normally start in, then move it before
starting Pro/E. On the other hand, if you have settings that you only want active when you are in
a certain directory, keep a copy of config.pro there and load it once Pro/E has started up and you
have changed to the desired directory. To keep things simple, and until you have plenty of
experience with changing the configuration settings, it is usually better to have only one copy of
config.pro in your startup directory.

Note that it is probably easier to make some changes to the environment for a single session
using Utilities > Environment. Also, as is often the case when learning to use new computer
tools, don’t try anything too adventurous with config.pro in the middle of a part or assembly
creation session - you never know when an unanticipated effect might clobber your work!
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1-7

Customizing the Interface


In addition to the environment settings, there
are several ways of customizing the Pro/E
interface: using config.pro, toolbars, menus,
and mapkeys. An example of a customized
interface is shown in the figure at the right.
When you modify the interface layout, your M enu Fo nt

changes will be saved in a config.win file in a M essage W ind ow


directory of your choice (usually the current (siz e; top or bottom )

working directory). It is possible and


permissible to have several different config.win
files in different directories, each with a
different customization of the screen to suit the
Toolbars
work you may be doing on files in that (custom ized buttons;
top, right, and/or left)
directory.

In the next section, we will introduce methods


to customize the toolbars and menus. Figure 4 A customized screen layout

Toolbars

With the cursor on the top toolbar, hold down the right mouse button. This brings up the menu
shown in Figure 5. This shows the toolbar groups currently displayed (see check marks); the
groups can be toggled to include/exclude them from the display. Each group contains a set of
functionally-related shortcut buttons.

Figure 5 Toolbar Figure 6 The Toolbars tab in the Customize


toggle menu window
1-8 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

At the bottom of this pop-up menu, select Toolbars. This brings up the Customize menu which
contains a list of all available toolbars, and their location (see Figure 6). At the bottom of this
window you can specify whether or not, and where, to automatically save the current layout
settings. The default is config.win in the current working directory. As mentioned above, you
can create multiple config.win files, and use File > Save Settings and File > Open Settings in the
Customize window to store and recall previous files. Note that in addition to the eleven standard
toolbar groups there are three initially empty groups (Toolbars 1 through 3), which you can
populate with short-cut buttons using methods described below. The pull-down lists at the right
allow you to place the selected toolbars at different places on the screen (left, right, top of
graphics window).

Changing Toolbar Buttons

In the Customize window, select the Commands tab. (This is also available by selecting
Commands... in the menu shown in Figure 5.) The window shown in Figure 7 will open. Groups
of toolbar commands are listed in a tree structure in the Categories area on the left. Click on any
of the group names and the available short-cut buttons will appear in the Commands area on the
right. As you move the mouse over these buttons, a tool tip will display.

To add a button to a toolbar, just drag and


drop it onto an existing toolbar at the top,
right, or left. The button will be added
wherever you drop it on the toolbar. To
remove it, drag it off the toolbar and drop it
somewhere else (on the graphics window,
for example). Note that it is possible to
mix and match the short-cut buttons: any
button can be placed on any toolbar. For
example, a button listed under the File
category can be added to the View toolbar.
Buttons can also be present on more than
one toolbar. The possibilities are endless!

While we are here, notice that at the bottom


of the Categories list is Mapkeys. We will
be discussing mapkeys a bit later. You can
add a button representing any of your Figure 7 Choosing short-cut buttons to add to
defined mapkeys to any of the toolbars. It toolbars
is helpful to keep your mapkey descriptive
names short for this.

At the bottom of the Categories list is New Menu. You can drag this up to the menu area at the
top of the screen to create your own pull-down menus.

If you turn on one of the user toolbars (select Toolbar 1, 2, or 3 under the Toolbars tab), an
initially empty button will appear in the designated location (top, left, or right). You can use the
Commands selector to drag any button to define your own toolbar.
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1-9

Notice that the final tab in the Customize window is Options. This lets you set the position of
the Command/Message window (above or below the graphics area) and some other settings.

When you leave the Customize dialog box, your new settings can be written to the file
designated in the bottom text entry box. Each new config.win file is numbered sequentially
(config.win.2, config.win.3, and so on).

IMPORTANT TIP ABOUT CUSTOMIZATION:


It is tempting, especially if you are blessed with a lot of screen space, to over-populate the
toolbars by trying to arrange every commonly used command on the screen at once. This is
reminiscent of many other Windows-based CAD programs. Before you do that, you should
work with Pro/E for a while. You will find that Pro/E will generally bring up the
appropriate toolbars for your current program status automatically. For example, if you are
in Sketcher, the Sketcher short-cut buttons will appear. Thus, adding these buttons
permanently to any toolbar is unnecessary and the buttons will be grayed out when you are
not in Sketcher anyway - you are introducing screen clutter with no benefit.

Keyboard Shortcuts - Mapkeys


A mapkey is a short sequence of keyboard key strokes or a function key that will launch one or a
series of Pro/E commands. Mapkeys are very similar to macros that can be defined in other
software packages. Mapkey definitions are contained/included in your config.pro file, so they are
loaded at start-up.

The mapkey key stroke sequence can be as long as you want; most users restrict mapkeys to only
2, or sometimes 3, characters. This gives several hundred possible mapkey sequences - more
than you can probably remember effectively. Pro/E constantly monitors the keyboard for input
and will immediately execute a defined command sequence when its mapkey is detected. Single
character mapkeys should be avoided due to the way that Pro/E processes keyboard input. If you
have two mapkeys “v” and “vd”, for example, the second mapkey would never execute since
Pro/E will trap and execute the first one as soon as the “v” is pressed. For the same reason, a 3-
character mapkey can never have the same two first letters as a 2-character mapkey.

Ideally, you would like to have mapkey sequences that are very easy to remember, like “vd”
(view default), or “rg” (regenerate). Because it is common to only use two characters, it will take
some planning to decide how you want to set up your definitions to use only a couple of easy-to-
remember key strokes! The mapkey should be mnemonic, but can’t collide with other
definitions. You don’t want to have to remember that “qy” means “repaint the screen.”

A practical limit on usable mapkeys is perhaps in the range of 20 to 30, although some “power
users” can use over a hundred.

For this exercise, clear your session and load any single simple part file. We will not be
modifying the part.
1 - 10 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

Listing Current Mapkeys

To see a list of your current mapkeys (some are defined in the


config.pro contained in the pro_stds directory) select

Utilities > Mapkeys

This dialog window (Figure 8) allows you to define and record,


modify, delete, run, and save mapkeys. Note that each mapkey
has a short Name and Description. The Name will be used on
any short-cut button (described below), and the Description will
appear at the bottom of the main graphics window. Mapkeys
that start with a “$” are function keys.

Note that (starting in Release 20) mapkeys use a new syntax


from previous releases and it is unlikely that all mapkey
definitions from previous releases will function properly.
However, mapkeys are easy enough to record. Before you do
that, you might try to get hold of the config.pro file in the
pro_stds directory mentioned above. A list of these mapkeys is
in the file usually stored in

/ptc/pro_stds/mapkeys.htm
Figure 8 Accessing Mapkeys
In the following, it is assumed that you have no mapkeys defined currently in session
as yet. If any of these tutorial mapkeys collide with existing
mapkeys shown in the mapkeys list (Figure 8), you can modify the keyboard sequence (for
example, use “dv” instead of “vd”) for the new mapkey.

Creating Mapkeys

New mapkeys are created as follows. We will create a mapkey sequence “vd” that will reorient
the view to the default orientation. To set this up, you will have to bring in one of your
previously created parts.

Select the New button in the menu of Figure 8. The Record Mapkey dialog box shown in
Figure 9 will open. Enter the data shown in the figure: key sequence, name, description. Now
we record the command sequence:

Record
View > Default (in the top pull-down menus)
Stop > OK

It’s that easy! Spin the model with CTRL-middle. In the Mapkeys window, highlight the new
mapkey “vd” and select the Run button. It’s a good idea to check your mapkey definitions now
when it is easy to modify them.
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1 - 11

As mentioned above, mapkey definitions are saved in a


configuration file (as in config.pro). New mapkey definitions are
appended to the end of the file. If you redefine a mapkey (or use a
duplicate keystroke sequence), the definition closest to the bottom
of the config file is the one that will be used. When saving a
mapkey you can choose either config.pro or current_session.pro.
There are three ways to save the mapkeys using the buttons in the
Mapkeys window:

Save - saves only the highlighted mapkey


Changed - saves any mapkeys changed this session
All - saves all mapkeys defined for session

Remember that if you save the mapkey in the current_session.pro


or elsewhere, it will not be loaded automatically the next time you
start Pro/E. To do that, you must explicitly save the mapkey
definitions into the config.pro file.

Close the Mapkeys window. Figure 9 Creating a mapkey

Minimize Pro/E and open config.pro using your system text editor. Scroll down to the bottom of
the file to see the new line(s) that describe the mapkey. Obviously, these lines should never be
separated since they are a continuation of the same sequence. It is possible, but probably not
advisable, to try to edit the mapkey definitions manually - leave that to the power users! Exit
your text editor and restore the Pro/E window.

Some final points about mapkeys: it is possible to set up the mapkey so that execution will pause
to allow user input during the command sequence, either by picking on the screen or through the
keyboard. Mapkeys can also call other mapkeys. You might like to experiment with these ideas
on your own. The possibilities for customization are almost limitless!

As mentioned above, the config.pro file provided in the pro_stds directory contains several
dozen mapkeys.

We will return to mapkeys after the next section.

Working with Part Templates


Most part files that you create contain many common elements such as datums, defined views,
coordinate systems, parameters, and so on. Creating these from scratch for every new part that
you start is tedious and inefficient. Prior to Release 2000i2 a very handy model creation tool used
the notion of a “start part” which contain these common elements. Users would then create a
mapkey that would bring the part into session and then rename it. This made the creation of new
parts very quick and efficient, with the added bonus that standard part setups could be employed.
1 - 12 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

As of Release 2000i2 this functionality has been built into the program using part templates.
Several part templates are included with a standard Pro/E installation for solid and sheet metal
parts in different systems of units.

In this section, we will create a simple part template and then define a mapkey to quickly bring it
into a session and allow you to change its name. Then you can immediately get on with the job
of creating features. We will create the part template from scratch, although you could use any of
the existing templates as a basis for this.

Select File > New. Make sure the Part and Solid radio buttons are selected. Deselect the Use
Default Template box, and enter a name mytemplate. Select OK and in the next window, select
the Empty template and OK.

Create the default datums and use Part > Set Up > Name to rename the datums SIDE (DTM1),
TOP (DTM2), and FRONT (DTM3). Now set up some named views.

View > Orientation

and create the following three named views:

View Reference 1 Reference 2


Name
Direction Pick Datum Direction Pick Datum
FRONT Front FRONT Top TOP
TOP Front TOP Right SIDE
RIGHT Front SIDE Top TOP
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1 - 13

The completed list of saved views should appear as shown in


Figure 10. Feel free to add additional standard views (Left,
Back, Bottom, Iso_Right, ...). Select OK to leave the
Orientation dialog.

Check out our previously defined mapkey for setting the


default view (“vd”).

Set the part units using

Set Up > Units

and picking “millimeter-Newton-Second”, then

Set > OK > Close

We are finished with creating the start part, so save it with the
name mytemplate.prt. If you have write access, move the part
file to the Pro/E installation directory

\ptc\proe2000i2\templates

This is the default directory where Pro/E will look for part Figure 10 Saved views in
templates. If you do not have write access to this directory, mytemplate.prt
leave the part file in your working directory. Rename the file
to remove the version number (it should appear in a directory listing as mytemplate.prt rather
than mytemplate.prt.1).

Creating More Mapkeys

Before we leave this new part template, let’s create some more mapkeys to go directly to the
named views. Select

Utilities > Mapkeys > New

Use the key sequence “vt” and enter a short name like “View Top” and description “Orientation
Top View”. Now record the mapkey using

Record
Saved View List (a toolbar button) > TOP
Stop > OK

Spin the datum planes, and select Run to try out the mapkey. Similarly, create and test two more
1 - 14 Pro/E Customization and Project Intro

mapkeys to go to the front view (“vf”) and the right side view (“vg”)2. Don’t forget to save all
the changed/new mapkeys in your config.pro file. Open up your config.pro to confirm that they
are there.

Using the New Part Template

Erase the current part from the session3. Select

File > New

Deselect the Use Default Template box, enter a name (like test), and select OK. In the New File
Options window, scroll to and highlight the template mytemplate. Select OK. Our template is
now brought into session (actually it is copied) and given the name you specified.

Setting the Default Part Template

We can tell Pro/E to use our new template as the default by setting an option in config.pro.
Select

Utilities > Preferences

and enter the Option template_solidpart. Set the value for the option by browsing to the
template directory (or use the current working directory, wherever you have saved the template
file) and selecting the part file mytemplate.prt we created above. Select Add/Change and then
Apply the new setting (remember that this automatically saves the config file).

Creating a Mapkey to Start a New Part

Erase the current part from the session. Select

Utilities > Mapkeys > New

Enter the key sequence “cp” (“create part”), name “Create Part”, and description “Create a New
Part and Rename”. Now select

Record
File > New

2
The mapkey “vr”, which is more logical for the right view, is usually used for “View
Refit”
3
As of build 2000100 of Release 2000i2, if you have stored your template part in the
templates directory you must close Pro/E and restart it. Otherwise, it will not see your new
template plate and list it with the others. It is possible this might change with later builds.
Pro/E Customization and Project Intro 1 - 15

Choose Solid | Part | OK. Leave the default part name as prt0001, and the check beside Use
Default Template. Now select

File > Rename

This is where we want the mapkey to stop, so select STOP > OK in the Record Mapkey dialog.
In the Rename window, enter a new name for the part, like test, then select OK twice. We have
a new mapkey called “cp”, so highlight this in the Record Mapkey dialog and save it. Close the
Mapkeys dialog window. Open the config.pro file to see the listing added for this new mapkey.

To try out the mapkey, erase the new file with File > Erase > Current. Type “cp”. Several
windows will quickly open and close, and you will be left with the dialog box for renaming the
part. You can now enter the desired name for a new part, which will contain the default datums,
units, and named views set up above to work with the view mapkeys we created earlier. Pretty
slick!

We have created a very simple part template here. You can make this as elaborate as you like
with parameters, units, materials, layers, datum features and so on - even solid features. You can,
of course, use any of the provided part templates as a starting point for these.

Adding Mapkeys to Menus and Toolbars


Mapkeys can be added to any of the existing toolbars and pull-down menus. You might like to
do this for mapkeys that you do not use frequently, and are likely to forget.

To see how this is done, select the


Commands tab in the Customize window
(see Figure 11). This shows the tree
structure of the pull-down menus on the
left, and your currently defined mapkeys on
the right. At the bottom of the Categories
list, you will find an entry called Mapkeys.
Select this. In the Mapkeys pane on the
right, select the mapkey Create Part. The
two buttons Description and Modify
Selection are now active. Selecting the
former shows you the description you
entered when defining the mapkey.
Selecting the latter allows you to modify Figure 11 Adding mapkeys to menus and toolbars
the mapkey button image (currently a
“happy face”) and display. You might like to get rid of the “happy face”, since all mapkeys use
this same icon.

Drag the