Tag Archives: Natively Awesome

Blower Wheel Machining with TopSolid 7


In this 7 step video series, you will learn how to machine a blower wheel within TopSolid 7.  This will include preparing your cad data, defining your stock model, selection of a machine, adding a fixture, and adding your MPS file to cut.  From there, you learn how to use Turning to machine as much as possible prior to moving on to 4 axis continuous roughing and semi finishing.  Lastly we will cover a few different types of 5 axis finishing.  Oh and don’t forget that you will also learn a lot of tips and tricks along the way too!

Prepare Data for Blower Wheel

Create an MPS document for the blower wheel in TopSolidIn this sample, we are assuming that the first operation has been completed by someone else.  So you will need to create a stock model that is representative of that. In Step 1, we will focus on building a custom assembly so that you can define your stock correctly.

In all reality, you have two choices here. You can create the custom stock directly within a MPS file (Machine Part Setup), or you can do it within an assembly file.

If you choose to use a MPS file, the creation of this custom stock will be tied to that MPS file.  This means that in the parametric world that is TopSolid, the birth of this custom stock block will be tied to the existence of the MPS file.  Now if this is a simple, one off part then this method works well. However if there is a chance that you might use this stock model another way, it is better to use an assembly first. Besides, if you start with an assembly, you will have more freedom as to how you design the stock model.  The video below will show you how to build the assembly first and then how to use it within a Machine Part Setup Document.

Setup the machine

Like in every real job, you have choices to make.  You need to select a machine to run a job on…choose fixturing and tooling and of course you need to setup the machine.  In TopSolid, it’s no different.  In TopSolid, we always start with machine selection.  It is a critical part of the manufacturing process that will affect how you hold the part and how many setups are required to machine the part. In this sample, we will choose a DMG CTX Beta 1250 TC to machine our blower wheel.

Select a machine for the Blower Wheel project in TopSolidIn Step 2, you will start by creating a new, empty machining document.  From there you will use the “select a machine” command to browse to and select the CTX Beta.  After TopSolid loads the machine definition, your next step will be to select and add the correct chuck and jaw combination.  In this case, you will browse to a sample chuck library and choose the 3 jaw Rohm chuck.  You will use standard windows drag-n-drop to include the chuck into the machining file.  Next you will use standard TopSolid constraint positioning methodologies to position the chuck.  Play close attention to the fact that the jaws on the chuck move in and out according to the stroke of that specific chuck as well! Continue reading Blower Wheel Machining with TopSolid 7

How to use TopSolid Plastic Flow

Being able to quickly and easily run a plastic flow analysis on a part is critical to the accuracy of modern day mold design. Thankfully, TopSolid understands this.  This is because TopSolid understands manufacturing.  And the goal of TopSolid is to be a turn key manufacturing solution!

Define your material

IRemember to define your material for use with TopSolid Plastic Flown order to do a plastic flow analysis in TopSolid, you need to prepare the part correctly first.  This preparation can include describing the material being molded (minimum requirement), but also can include adding the runner and gates to the part as well.  The material definition must include material information from Cad Mould’s extensive library of plastics.

Wizards make it easy to use

It's easy to use TopSolid Plastic Flow with a wizardOnce you’ve defined the type of plastic, and applied the material to the part, you can send the part into a plastic flow analysis document.  When you get into the analysis document, an automatic wizard will run that will guide you through the steps you need to take to do a plastic flow analysis.  The wizard will walk you though selecting the injection point, ensuring that you have defined your material correctly and finally that you have the injection parameters set properly.

Sit back and watch the results happen

Learn how to use TopSolid Plastic Flow on a 2 cavity mold

Now that you have the analysis setup, it’s time to run the analysis.  Running TopSolid’s Plastic Flow by Cad Mould requires an internet connection in the US as it is a cloud solution.  This means that the calculation is done on the cloud which is great news for you! It means you don’t need a super computer in order to get the result!

Watch how simple it really is to use

In this video, you will learn the basics of how to use the Plastic Flow add-on module.  This module is made available by Cad Mould and runs inside of TopSolid.  The best part of learning the basics is that that is all you need to learn in order to use Plastic Flow!


Intersection and Silhouette Improvements Strengthen Sketcher

TopSolid 7’s sketcher has been improved and now provides the ability to create a silhouette profile at the solving level of the TopSolid sketcher.

Within this demonstration video, you will see dynamically the silhouette of the part we are working on based on the plane we’re in. For instance, I will demonstrate how to use our trimming plane option that allows you to choose the specific trimming point to calculate the silhouette profile from.

Intersection and Silhouette Function Sketcher Improvements
Intersection and Silhouette Function Sketcher Improvements

New geometries created by our adjustments can be trimmed away or modified, or of course, I can use the offset mode and set the offset dynamically.

Additionally, you will learn how we updated the intersect command to allow you to create an intersection based on the entire shape of the part versus having to specifically tell the system which face you wanted to intersect with as you had to do in the past.

Watch video demonstration

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

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

Configuring Your PDM Server Is Now Easier

TopSolid 7 makes it even easier to configure your PDM server. Additionally, help is just a click away as we added a shortcut to the remote assistance command allowing you to obtain help from your reseller. Check it out by viewing this quick video.

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

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

Digital Security Improved with PDM Enhancement

Key engineering design functions have become increasingly computerized making digital security to a top priority for engineering organizations. While digital security has always been an important part of the TopSolid platform, TopSolid 7 includes a huge improvement to the security section of client-server use.

PDM Enhancement Improves Digital Security
PDM Enhancement Improves Digital Security

These improvements make managing permissions much easier so that you can control who has access to what data. These enhancements make it much easier for you to control information user by user, department by department and project folder by project folder.

This video demonstration shows you just how easy it now is to manage this important aspect of your PDM configuration.

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

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

Sketch Improvement – Constraint Color on Basic Elements

Knowing where you are at-a-glance within an engineering sketch and what it means is critical for efficient engineering design. TopSolid 7’s sketcher improvements allow you to create a default color for elements hooked to basic elements when creating bottom-up assemblies.

This color identification allows to you more easily visually navigate your assemblies. Learn more by watching this very brief video demonstration.

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

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

Custom Symbol Creation Improvements Increase Engineering Productivity

Building, maintaining and growing your organization’s collection of custom engineering symbols will go a long way toward advancing efficiency within your team. TopSolid 7 allows you to build and define as many custom symbols as you need, then parametrize the drivers and other details for each custom symbol. You can even associate conditions with each symbol.

Creating Custom Symbols is now even easier
Custom Symbol Sketch Automation

Your growing library of custom symbols will increase efficiency and standardization across your organization, however symbols are customizable at the moment of insertion into a document to accommodate subtle adjustments that often need to be made.

Learn more about TopSolid 7’s drag and drop custom symbol functionality by watching this brief video demonstration.

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

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

PDM Structure Tips & Tricks

Structure a Project in TopSolid PDM

The big picture that is “structure”

I am often asked the question “How should I structure a project in TopSolid’PDM?”.  And I often answer with something like…that depends.  Why?  To build a good structure for your process, you must first ask yourself a few questions.  Before you can ask the questions however, you also should understand your end goal.  And to understand the end goal, you need to understand the mission of managing data and how it will flow through your organization.

My goal in this blog post is to help you begin to understand your own work flow.  Then take that workflow and turn into some basic structure within the TopSolid 7 platform.

The mission of data management

Why do you want to manage your data?  It’s a very simple question…but wow the impact of the answer can be intense!  Why?  Managing data (or information) should be in the top 5 of items that have the largest impact on your business.  If it is not, then you might be making a critical business mistake.  The reason I say this is because if you do not manage information within your organization correctly, then you can run into problems like:

  • Misinformation being shared (internally or worse externally)
  • Wrong revisions being manufactured
  • Projects not starting on time
  • Projects starting too soon

The list can go on and on.  Managing your data in a way the follows even a basic structure can ensure that some of these business-critical mistakes are lessoned or better eliminated altogether.  Ask yourself this question:

What would it be worth to your organization if you could eliminate or even minimize the number of mistakes made during the flow of your manufacturing process?

I’ll bet that if you really sat down and thought about this question…the answer would shock you.  And hopefully the answer will motivate you to begin down the path of structure.

Now if we circle back to the first question in this section… Why do you want to manage your data?  The simple question after all will have a simple answer.  You want to structure your data so that you can ensure it flows through your organization in a way that follows the most optimal path while ensuring all parties involved always have the most up-to-date information possible.

The end goal of structure

Structure of a viceNow that you understand why it is important to manage data, it’s time to discuss the structure of data.  In thinking structure, you want to think about what you need to manage and what the parent/child relationships of managing that item might look like.

For example, maybe you build vices.  The overall vice will have a part (or item) number for the final assembly of the vice. Each of the components of the vice will in turn have their own part number.  Each component of the vice would be a child to the main assembly of the vice (called a parent).  Yet still some of the items of the vice are standard off-the-shelf items and might have their own part numbering structure as well. Continue reading Structure a Project in TopSolid PDM

Multi-Session Mode – New PDM Feature

Multi-session mode is a new PDM feature within TopSolid 7. This feature allows you to work on multiple aspects of the same project simultaneously on your local server. Or, when working within a team environment, this feature allows you to collaborate on a project in real time.

PDM Feature - Multi-Session Mode
New PDM Feature Demo – Multi-Session Mode

This capability is facilitated by the raw computational horsepower of TopSolid 7, but facilitates very meaningful engineering design efficiencies. Watch the video demonstration to see how it works.

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

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

Use Local PDM Server Mode Like Client-Server Mode

Microsoft recently made a change that allows you to use local PDM mode like client-server mode of PDM, but locally on your machine. This video shows you how to convert to local PDM server mode, but please watch the video in its entirety as once you convert to local PDM mode, you cannot go back.

TopSolid 7 - Convert to Local PDM Server Mode
New PDM Feature Demo – Convert to Local PDM Server Mode

TopSolid 7 allows you schedule automatic backups to assure your data is not lost if something happens to your local computer. Finally, you can now run multiple instances of TopSolid on the same machine allowing you to work on different aspects of the same project, or different projects at the same time.

Watch video demonstration.

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

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