A value-driven model was introduced in April to address the last work flow possibility. We o;er a download of the CAD model this month for your detailed
review. (Visit www.thefabricator.com/page/shop-
links driven by the size of the wall model cause the
floor and water to change shape. A data entry form
can be set up using Custom Property Builder to allow
the values to be typed in like a web form.
The stand-alone modeling work flow was also
hinted at in April. The CAD system’s Pack & Go tool is
very useful for branching projects into new files and
folders while maintaining common parts between
The configuration-driven model work flow is a
good one. Configurations have behaviors—
convenience of editing and ease of insertion/removal—
that simple parametric links lack. Table-based designs can be a blessing for long-term maintenance.
Adding configurations to the water tank product
line’s model is largely a two-step process:
1. Add configurations to the top-level assembly—
and its children too (see Figure 4). This allows for
quick switching between products. All that is needed is just a double-click on the configuration name.
2. Insert a Configuration Table into the top-level
assembly (see Figure 5). This allows for sizes of
things to be selected, items to be added or removed,
and colors to be changed.
(If you add the configurations to the children as
shown in Figure 4, the parents and children will
have coordinated behavior. For each configuration
in the top level, all of the children will switch to the
correct configuration. Other work flows for adding
configurations can be used, but they involve many
more steps to coordinate the children.)
Here’s a CAD tip: The Configuration Table Auto-create
tool has useful default settings. Those were used as a
starting point for Figure 5. The information in yellow
highlight was copied from the planning spreadsheet.
Excel likes to make hyperlinks out of dimension
names. Right-mouse-click in the cell and select
Remove Hyperlink. Then use the Format Painter to
match the text alignment.
The finished product line of tanks is shown in
Figure 6. To show the di;erences between tanks,
each of the three has a di;erent configuration selected: Default, Slim, or Max.
For live presentation of the product line, open the
tank assembly and click through the configurations.
Figure 7 shows the tank in the Max size.
Disclaimer: It took more than a few mouse clicks to
get the April model ready for the September
configurations. The April CAD model keeps both walls
the same size. Rectangular tanks didn’t happen in
April, so that constraint was removed in the
September revision. The floor and lid had their
parametric constraints updated for rectangular
variations. The cross break in the floor required three
separate forming tools (suppressed unless needed).
And finally, the model for the water is not entirely
faithful; a shortcut was taken for the author’s
convenience, and it does not report the fluid inside or
above the bottom fitting.
Gerald Davis uses CAD so;ware to design and develop
products for his clients at www.glddesigns.com. From
1984 to 2004 he owned and operated a job shop.
Gerald would love for you to send him your comments
and questions. You are not alone, and the problems you
face o;en are shared by others. Share the grief, and
perhaps we will all share in the joy of finding answers.
Please send your questions and comments to dand@
Planning the product line starts with documenting
the first product. Values from the Default configuration found in the April model were entered in rows 1
through 10 and subsequent rows were updated. The
most important task: Identify where and what needs
to be controlled and changed during the quick switch
Starting with the April tank assembly, add a configuration. Enter a name, description, and check all of the
children components that should change when this
configuration of the assembly is selected.
The water tank model now has three configurations. A
double-click will switch between them. Download the
example and try it out.
The finished product line of tanks is shown in;Figure 6.
To show the di;erences between tanks, three copies
of the same model were inserted into a CAD assembly.
Then, each copy has a unique configuration selected:
Default, Slim, or Max.
A Configuration Table is auto-inserted to capture the
newly created configuration names and descriptions.
The CAD jockey selects which dimensions to include in
the table. The highlighted information was added a;er
the auto-create did its thing.
Series 4® Press
With Automatic Feed
Economically installs PEM®
self-clinching hardware quickly,
safely and accurately
• Uses same tooling components as the
Series 2000® and Series 3000™ presses.
• Automatically installs nuts, studs, and
standoffs from M2.5 to M6 / #2-56 to 1/4”.
• Pneumatic and PLC logic control system.
• Touch-screen for operator friendly
• Vibratory feeder bowl for automatic
• Integral point-of-operation safety.
• Insertion force adjustable from 1.8 to
53. 4 kN / 400 to 12,000 lbs.
app now available