Search for Dimensions in EPDM

July 25th, 2011


Great Aunt Eleanor can do many amazing things. She can name and describe all RAID configurations, she can rewire an HDMI connection so her old black and white movies will be black and white again (she curses Ted Turner the entire time) and apparently she is the lead elf in her WOW guild…but she can’t cook. The lady can [and has] burnt water. Thus apparently it would be logical for her to buy an Indian restaurant.

The nice thing about Indian dishes is that they are pretty easy. Every thing is brown, crazy spicy and all the food is cut up into simple hexahedrons. The only thing different about the hexahedrons is their length, width and height.

Great Aunt Eleanor has decided she wants to SolidWorks Enterprise PDM to be able to store her food cutting guides. She wants to be able to enter in a few dimensions in a search window and have EPDM return all the food pieces that meet the search criteria. This is her datacard:

Datacard

Pretty nice, though since Great Aunt Eleanor is always playing with the sizes, she wants to link the dimensions of her SolidWorks models to the datacard. So if the food size changes, the datacard updates automatically.

Here is how I linked her dimensions to the datacard values.

Dimensions

I created the three custom file properties (height, width, length), then for value, I used this format: “Dimension Name@Sketch Name@File Name”. I usually find it easier to click in the “Value/Text Expression” column and then click on the dimension. SolidWorks build the required format for you. (Note: the dimension names were renamed by me, typically they will have a “D1″, “D2″ type format.)

FileProperties

Now your file properties update as the dimensions update, all that is left is to connect your EPDM variables to your file properties, and thus as your model dimension change, your EPDM database updates automatically!

Next Great Aunt Eleanor stored this file as a SolidWorks template, so when she comes up with a new food type, (perhaps something brown-ier?) she starts with the template and the settings already to go.

Another tip, make the controls in the datacard read-only, that way they only way they are updated is via changing the SolidWorks model.

Now Great Aunt Eleanor can quickly use EPDM to search for the exact size of food she needs.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

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One Response to “Search for Dimensions in EPDM”

  1. Sylvain says:

    Jeff,
    Great tip!
    An additional way to get to the dimensions using the search is to enable the Windows Indexing service on the server and set the vault to be indexed. This enables the user to use the “Content” search to find parts based on dimensions, feature names, etc…

    Sylvain

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