New PDM Feature – Freeze Synchronized Documents

One of TopSolid’s great advantages is that a given design change will recalculate and make adjustments to all of the affected parts within the design. However, sometimes you don’t want to do that right away. When working with large assemblies with lots of synchronized data, often you want changes to recalculate in other areas of your design only when you are ready.

New PDM Feature - Freeze Documents
New PDM Feature Demo -Freeze Documents

TopSolid 7 includes a great new Product Data Management (PDM) feature called “freeze documents.” Through the contextual menu, this new feature freezes the update from being applied to synchronized documents. This new feature puts you in the driver’s seat allowing you to apply and recalculate changes when you want to, but not before.

This video demonstration shows exactly how this new feature works within a sample design assembly. Watch video demonstration.

Interested in more TopSolid PDM know-how? Check out our other PDM videos.

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Probing with TopSolid’Cam

TopSolid makes probing simpleWorking with probing cycles when setting up your machining operations can sometimes be a challenge. Thankfully, TopSolid has you covered here. This video will walk you through one of the many ways that TopSolid can handle probing cycles. You will learn how to set your WCS for machining and how to set a WCS for probing.  Then you see how to tie them together so that the post processor can output the correct cycle for you. Of course along the way, you make pick up another trick or two.

For example, when I start the video, I also review how to position a MPS file onto my vice on the tombstone. This vice allows symmetric holding so you will see that when I adjust the top jaw, the bottom jaw move as well!

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Faster Project Search and Purge Functionality

TopSolid 7 makes it even easier to find things within your project manager. There is now a new search button that makes the search faster and more efficient. Additionally, we have simplified how to purge data out of the PDM with one click.

For instance, maybe you want to quickly purge select minor revisions, backups, deleted objects and other data no longer needed.

Watch video demonstration

Interested in more TopSolid PDM know-how? Check out our other PDM videos.

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Project History Manipulation Made Easy

As your project continues, history trees often become extremely long. Sometimes, in the manipulation of a project tree, you need to reorder things from the beginning of the project, back towards the end of project’s time, or vice versa.

A simple right click in TopSolid 7 allows you to reorder elements without having to drag them down a long list. Super convenient! Watch the video to see how.

Interested in more TopSolid interface know-how? Check out our other interface videos.

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Easily Find Components Within Complex Assemblies

Have you ever been frustrated trying to find a specific component within a complex assembly design? You of course know that your part is in the design, but it is sometimes difficult to precisely locate it on the screen.

A new command in TopSolid 7 called highlight selections of parts in trees, allows you to select the component you are looking for within the project tree. It is then highlighted on the screen for easy location. Watch the video and we’ll show you how.

Interested in more TopSolid interface know-how? Check out our other interface videos.

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Design for Manufacturing with the 3D Piping Command

Design for manufacturing is a key concern of every engineering organization and TopSolid 7 plays a critical role in achieving this end. This post and the corresponding embedded video demonstrates the value of the TopSolid 7 3d piping command.

Within the video demonstration, we are working to make a tool that will be used to mold a piping holder of some sort. Our demonstration part design includes intersecting pipes – a design characteristic that can be fraught with errors. As you will see within the demo, some initial design thoughts would have led to an unmanufacturable part. However with TopSolid, the lack of manufacturablity or design errors that would have led to a lack of part performance is caught and corrected very early within the design phase.

Interested in more TopSolid interface know-how? Check out our other interface videos.

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Maintaining Engineering Project Revisions When Exporting & Importing

For maximum engineering design efficiency, you often need to be able to reuse information from either a current project or a previous project. Normally, you would manage this through the use of libraries. But, in some cases it is necessary to export a project package and then re-import the data as a distinct copy so that all revisions are maintained. Maintaining engineering project revisions during this process is clearly critical.

In this video, I will demonstrate making modifications to fixtures within a CNC project and validating/checking in those revisions to assure an error-free project. The video demonstration then walks through compiling the final assembly and exporting the project package.

Finally, I will show you how an important new improvement in TopSolid 7 allows all of the revisions to be maintained when the project is re-imported. Watch demo

Interested in more TopSolid PDM know-how? Check out our other PDM videos.

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It’s Now Easier to Find How Project Elements Are Related

New in TopSolid 2017 is the ability to show even more information within any of the managers. There’s a new button called show references. With show references active, when you expand into a specific history element you see all the additional elements being referenced by that feature. You can also see this information within any type of historical element.

In addition, we’ve made it possible to look at back references so you can easily look forward and back to see where elements are related. Even within the entities manager you now have access to forward and back reference searching, allowing you to find the information you need at a given moment in time.

Just one more way TopSolid is continually working to make your engineering design life easier. Watch video for a quick demonstration.

Interested in more TopSolid interface know-how? Check out our other interface videos.

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Better Engineering Design Decisions with the Filter Unsafe Items Command

Parametric design, a key principle of engineering design, relies on the relationships between design elements being used effectively to manipulate and inform the design of complex geometries and structures. However, effectively maintaining these relationships while engineering design changes are being made has not been an easy task – until now.

TopSolid added the “filter unsafe items” command to allow engineers to very quickly and easily make better decisions throughout the design process. The video included within this post demonstrates that while it is very easy to quickly add a drilling to the surface of a part during design, this should not be done without carefully factoring in the design intent of the model; otherwise, as additional engineering design work is conducted and changes are made it is likely that a rebuilder will result. Why?

In the example included with the video demonstration, the reference edge on which we
built the frame in order to conduct drilling was changed – it doesn’t exist anymore. Clearly, a key relationship needed to safely execute future design changes was lost.

The great news is that TopSolid’s “filter unsafe items” command allows you to avoid this. In the scenario shown in the video, the “filter unsafe items” command would block the designer from linking elements to positions that are likely to be modified as the design process progresses. Rather, this command directs the designer to place drillings in a manner that will not “blow up” the model design as changes to edges and other changes are made.

Interested in more TopSolid interface know-how? Check out our other interface videos.

Not yet a TopSolid user and interested in learning more? Sign up for a 30-day trial.

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Step 3 – Programming a Multus U3000 – B Axis turning with TopSolid

Using the U3000 B-Axis to turn with

In the third video of this 25-video series on programming a Multus U3000 with TopSolid, you will learn how to use the B-Axis of the Multus U3000 to continue roughing the part.  As always, you will begin by selecting the geometry to machine.  From there you will select a neutral style turning tool that is mounted on the B-Axis of the machine.  Once you have the geometry and the tool selected you will learn how to set the B-Axis angle of the turret.  Finally, you will learn how to re-use the cutting conditions from the first operation by simple drag-n-drop.

Smarter Software with fantastic visualizations

TopSolid checks the insert angles for use with the U3000One of the first things that should be pointed out is that machine simulation and tool simulation are much more than just pretty pictures on the screen.  During this step, play close attention to the preview of the tool path based on the orientation of the neutral tool selected. You will see that TopSolid always is checking both the forward and the back angle of the insert based on the orientation of the tool and the angular solution of the B-Axis.  This is done automatically and in real time so that you are always sure to have the most accurate tool path possible.

Setting the B-Axis angle

Set the U3000 B-Axis angle in TopSolidWhen working with a machine like the Multus U3000 from Okuma, it is critical to understand what the machine can and more importantly cannot do.  It is crucial that you know that the machine is going to do exactly what you tell it to do.  In this example, you will learn how to set the B-Axis of the machine to be at 45 degrees.  What’s cool is that as you tell TopSolid to set the axis to that condition, TopSolid listens to you in real time and updates the graphic on the screen to reflect the change.  This way you are sure that you have entered the information correctly!

The simplicity of re-usability

Drag-N-Drop in TopSolid makes programming the U3000 even easier!One of the key development points behind TopSolid was re-usability. And TopSolid takes this to an entire new level.  In this video, you will learn how to reuse the cutting conditions from the first operation by simply dragging and dropping the first operation onto the cutting conditions button of the new operation.  The simplicity of this action is fantastic as the complexity of what’s actually happening is enormous!  When you drag-n-drop an operation onto one of the specific operation buttons, the software automatically copies all common parameters over to the new operation. In the case of cutting conditions this can be 10-15 parameters that get copied.  However, try doing this on other operations. For example, take an existing operation and drag-n-drop it onto the settings button of the new operation.  And presto!  All the common variables are now copied over!

Setting the correct driven point for a U3000

Set Driven point accurately for U3000 with TopSolidWhen working on a mill/turn machine like the U3000, it is important that you understand how to define the correct driven point for your turning tool when you are working on the B-Axis turret.  In the case where the B-Axis is either vertical or horizontal, you can use the standard driven points of the tool. However, if the turret is at an angle outside of vertical or horizontal, you will need to do some additional work to set the point correctly.

In this step, you will learn how to do exactly that. It will start by duplicating the TopSolid driven point.  From there you will activate the duplicate and the choose to rotate the point.  This is the key element here…the rotation of the driven point.  Because of TopSolid’s ability to offer this, you can affectively drive almost any tool from any angular solution with relative ease.

Reviewing what you’ve learned

In this video, you want to pay close attention to a couple of key elements. First, the dynamic simulation of the B-Axis.  Any change you make to the orientation of the B-Axis or even the orientation of the cutting tool is dynamically displayed to you in real time. This eliminates guess work on your side and also costly mistakes.

You should also pay attention to the simplicity of how you can reuse cutting conditions from a previous operation.  It’s just simple drag-n-drop!

Finally, spend some time practicing how you set the driven point of the tool. When you use custom B-Axis angles, this is a critical step to understand.

Looking forward…and backward

Did you go through the previous step?  If not, no worries…click here!

Are you ready for the next step?  Awesome…click here!

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