Search Functionality Improvements Greatly Enhances PDM

Robust search functionality is extremely valuable within the complex world of engineering design. In addition to the search functionality TopSolid has always had, TopSolid 7 includes three new powerful search functionalities.

First, the new quick search feature includes a part preview panel to help you to quickly find what you are looking for.

TopSolid 7 PDM enhances search functionality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secondly, TopSolid 7 now allows you to create and save searches to meet your precise needs. You can make your searches as specific as you need them to be. In fact, anything searchable in TopSolid 7 can become a saved search. Once you find what you are looking for, you can drag and drop it into a document or assembly. Any part, function, tool path strategy or other searchable attribute can become a saved search for quick reference allowing you to quickly and easily add past work to your current effort. In short, TopSolid’s saved search functionality allows you to create “libraries” that facilitate seamless reuse of past work.

New TopSolid 7 Search Functionality Enhances PDM
New PDM Feature Demo -Search Functionality

Finally, TopSolid 7’s new searches manager allows an organization to create a list of company-wide standard searches. Again, any project data point from specific parts, a part from a specific manufacturer, functionality, tooling behavior, etc. can be become a saved search and utilized by your entire team or organization.

The ability to access and utilize robust engineering design data is just as important as the ability to create it. TopSolid 7 takes major leaps forward in improving data access and reusability.

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3D Machining Made Simple

This video walks you step-by-step through the process of basic 3D machining using some standard TopSolid7 2D operations, but mostly 3D operations.

Our sample project is a fairly simple dustpan mold, but even a fairly simple part presents plenty of design challenges. However, with TopSolid 7, the process is easy and efficient.

3D Machining Efficient and Easy

Within the demonstration, I start by importing project information and we learn right away that TopSolid 7 is advanced enough to detect multiple bodies, therefore makes an assembly out of it. For this demonstration, I use a blank machining template to give you a better understanding of the out of the box power of TopSolid 7.

Demonstration highlights include:

  • Block positioning constraint functionality that allows you to position the part accurately, and without the errors that can lead to machining challenges
  • Selection of specific tooling options including the tool itself, gauge, feeds, speeds, and coolant settings
  • Calculation of our tool cutting path by applying select tools, cutting conditions and established default values
  • 3D cutting path simulation that allows you to view the material removal process
  • Verification that there are no tool collisions
  • Simulations that reveal the adjustments that need to be made to assure a quality end product

TopSolid 7 allows you to identify shortcomings in tool selection and settings so that you can make the needed adjustments. But, what’s really powerful is that by taking the time to teach TopSolid 7 a little bit about how you like to machine parts, the system gives you a way to capture some of your manufacturing knowledge and teach TopSolid CAM how to use this knowledge.

All of the users on your team can then tap into TopSolid’s knowledge of your manufacturing process to create high-quality parts and products much more efficiently. Watch the video demonstration to learn about how simple 3D machining can be with TopSolid 7.

Watch the video demonstration to learn about how simple 3D machining can be with TopSolid 7.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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