,

Maximum Material Boundary (MMB) Concept and its Advantages in GD&T Analysis

GD&T MMB Underconstrained and Gages Figure 4


The goal of this blog post is to present the maximum material boundary (MMB) concept in GD&T applications. The maximum material boundary concept is simply the use of a maximum material condition on a datum feature, as shown in Figure 1 (the annotation B(M)). Its major use is to allow easier assembly conditions on a part.

Read More

,

Batteries Included: Using Python Scripts in BuildIT

BuildIT Python Scripts in Automation


Did you know that you can use Python scripts in BuildIT?  If you transform your Python files into executable files, you can import them into BuildIT processes. With this workflow, you can combine the richness of Python libraries with the ergonomic practicality of BuildIT processes.

Read More

,

What is GD&T?

Diagram of a GD&T annotation using the ASME Y14.5 standard.


GD&T is an acronym that stands for Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing.  It is a symbolic language used by designers to communicate manufacturing constraints and tolerances clearly.  This information is conveyed in the form of annotations included in the design of the part.

Read More

,

How to Evaluate Flatness in GD&T

Flatness ASME GD&T Definition


In this post, we are going to take a look at the multiple methods of evaluating flatness in GD&T and determine which is the optimal approach.

Flatness is a GD&T form tolerance that is conceptually simple.  According to the ASME Y14.5 standard, it “specifies a tolerance zone defined by two parallel planes within which the surface must lie.”

Read More

, ,

GD&T in Wind Power: Maximum Material Condition and Maximum Material Boundary Effects on a Wind Turbine Tower Flange

Wind Turbine Flange GD&T


In a previous post, we presented an application of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing with a wind turbine flange. In this text we will continue further, analyzing the same part with simulated points. Our objective is to observe the effects of different material modifiers on the analysis results and their advantages. For this, we will simulate measurement points on the part and then perform a GD&T analysis in BuildIT. We will then compare how the results obtained are affected by the application of different modifiers.

Read More

, , , ,

GD&T in Aerospace Assembly: Use of Multiple Datum Targets for N-2-1 Location of Fuselage

Datum Based Alignment of Fuselage


This post will present a possible case in the aerospace industry for locating a fuselage part with 9-2-1 location, using datum target areas. For more detailed information on datum targets, you may refer to the ASME standard, section 4.24 [1].

N-2-1 Location with Datum Target Areas

Read More

, ,

GD&T in Wind Power: Position Tolerances in Wind Turbine Tower Flanges

NX Flange Full


Recently, utility-scale wind turbines have become so large and heavy that they are manufactured and assembled in sections. While a wind turbine tower can reach a height of up to 100 m, there is a limit of 4.3 m on the diameter to pass under bridges. For easier handling and transportation, a wind turbine tower is typically manufactured in multiple sections.

Read More

, , ,

GD&T in Automotive Assembly: Surface Profile Tolerances

Car Door Surface Profile Tolerances


In a previous post, we presented an application of datum targets for 3-2-1 location of a car door. In this post, we will follow up with the same part to verify the surface profile tolerances along the side surfaces of the door, for optimal assembly conditions.

Read More

, , , ,

GD&T in Precision Engineering: Use of Diamond Pins in Precision Location Applications

Diamond Pin Assembly GD&T


In a previous post, we elaborated on the principles of precision location and presented one of the techniques for achieving it: The use of slots. However, with slots, we can still have the problem of high manufacturing cost if the part has substantial thickness.  This is because manufacturing a slot is simply more complex than drilling a hole, in relatively thick parts. One technique to have the best of both worlds is to use diamond pins.

Read More

, ,

GD&T in Automotive Assembly: Use of Datum Targets for Precision Location of Large Surfaces

Automotive Datum Targets


In manufacturing and assembly, parts must be accurately and repeatably located in a well-defined reference frame to ensure consistent quality. For many automotive parts, because of the large and irregular surfaces involved, the entire surface of the feature cannot be used as a datum. In these cases, we use datum targets to establish a datum reference frame. This post will present a possible case in the automotive industry for locating a car door with the 3-2-1 location method, using datum target areas. For more detailed information on datum targets, you may refer to the ASME standard, section 4.24 [1].

Read More

, , , ,

GD&T in Precision Engineering : Use of Slots in Precision Location Applications

GD&T Pin and Slot DRF


Precision location can be very important in various engineering applications, such as machining and assembly. In machining, the tool follows a very precise path and a workpiece must be located precisely and stably at a precise position. In assembly, the positions of assembled parts must be assembled easily and overconstraint of the parts must be avoided. One of the common techniques for accomplishing these targets is the use of slots as part features.

Read More

,

Datum Reference Frame (DRF) in Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T): An explanation with figures

GD&T DRF Part with Constraints


A datum reference frame is a coordinate system against which the geometric dimensions and tolerances of a part are defined. The main function of the datum reference frame is to specify a foundation for the inspection of the part. It is the common coordinate system of all tolerance zones. Without this common coordinate system, product definition is unclear, rendering the inspection results unreliable.

Read More

,

Comparison of tolerances used for coaxiality control: Position, Concentricity, Circular Runout and Total Runout

Circ_Runout


Coaxiality conditions can be vital for shafts supporting heavy and varying loads, such as car and truck axles, electric motors, generators and pumps. There are four different types of tolerances for defining coaxiality controls: Position, concentricity, circular runout and total runout. This post proposes brief and practical definitions regarding which type of tolerance to choose for certain applications as well as the advantages and disadvantages to each. For more information, refer to the ASME standard [1] and other related reference articles [2].

Read More

,

Surface Inspection Annotation

BuildIT surface inspection annotation of points


BuildIT allows users to perform quick and easy inspections. It also enables users to perform analysis and produce reports that are both detailed and simple to generate.

The Surface Inspection Annotation command is a good example of BuildIT’s ease of use. Without performing a complete analysis on a part or an entity you are inspecting, you can evaluate a single measurement at a time. This command also allows you to manually annotate measurements in order to convey information in a way that is clear and simple.

Read More

,

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing for Beginners: Maximum Material Condition and Bonus Tolerance, Explained in 3D

GD&T 2D vs 3D


Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing concepts are often difficult to grasp at first;  beginners can have quite a difficult time understanding the basic principles. One of the reasons for this difficulty is the visualization problem of 3D concepts in 2D documentation.

Read More

,

PHOTOGRAMMETRY WITH LARGE STRUCTURES: EXPERIMENTS WITH AUTODESK RECAP 360, MESHLAB AND BUILDIT

Figure 4. .obj model opened in Meshlab.


Photogrammetry, despite sounding rather complex, is basically  the stitching together of a series of photos to obtain a 3D model. In this post, we will analyze the results of a 3d model provided by Autodesk Recap 360. This post will just be a simple example; we will delve deeper in future posts for more detailed analyses.

Read More

,

Surface visibility, shading and transparency

Diagram of BuildIT Wireframe Types


In BuildIT, the visual representation of surfaces can be customized in various ways to suit your needs. Here is an overview of the multiple ways in which we can use surface visibility to customize the representation of the model we are working with.

When selecting a surface, either from the Object Manager or directly from the Viewport, we can find its Rendering Mode options under the Surface tab.

Read More

,

Essential steps to filter between CAD objects in BuildIT

View objects in NoShow


Last week, we saw how to make use of the Show and NoShow Views in order to unclutter a CAD model and work more efficiently by using these two layers in an optimized way. In this article, we will use the NoShow View to differentiate between various elements of the model in order to take them out of Display or delete them altogether to make our model more responsive. As mentioned in last week’s article, the View toolbar menu contains three useful options to send elements to the NoShow View. Let’s review them quickly:

Read More

,

Work Clutter-Free Using the Show and NoShow View

Hinge Detail View in NoShow


When performing an inspection, it’s always nice to have a clean workstation and an unobstructed view of what we are working on. In the same way, having good visibility within the CAD model is important in order to work efficiently. A good way to achieve this with BuildIT is to make use of the Show and NoShow Views.

Read More

,

Tricks to Customize the User Interface

Display Object Manager Right


By default, the Object Manager, the Command Window and the Process tab are grouped in the panel located on the right-hand side of the screen. Most users want to have their options displayed that way (Personally, I do), so here is an easy way to put it back in place if it is ever accidentally displaced. Simply hold down the panel’s top bar and drag it to the positioning arrows that appear on screen.

Read More

,

Handy Tips for Importing Models

BuildIT Select Coordinate System


There are two ways to add a model in BuildIT:  Open and Import.  While the Open command flushes any open model before adding the new one, the Import command will simply add the file to the current working one, making it very useful to merge different files together. BuildIT supports a wide range of CAD formats which can be imported in this fashion, including BuildIT files (*.buildit extension)

Read More

,

Using a remote with BuildIT

BuildIT Remote Laser Tracker


Laser trackers are often used to measure very large parts, and so users are usually inconveniently far from the measurement buttons while manipulating the probe. This leaves you with three options to measure a large part:

  1. Have someone at the computer while you manipulate the probe: The inspection of a large part can often be a team effort, and when you have the luxury of being two, your colleague can manage triggering the correct buttons.
  2. Use the “Auto-start when stable” feature, combined with the “Auto-accept” feature: The measure button can be automatically triggered when BuildIT detects that the probe is resting against a stable object. This option can be accessed by clicking the Setting button in the upper left corner of the Inspect Control Window:Click the checkboxes to turn on the feature. In the example below, it will start measuring when the probe hasn’t moved more than 0.25 mm for 3 seconds. After taking its measurement, it will wait until you have moved at least 127 mm from your last measurement before auto-starting when stable.Similarly, you can also have the Accept button automatically trigger a certain length of time after taking a measurement.
  3. Use a remote: This is my preferred way of measuring, as it gives you full control of the buttons with no ambiguity. You simply need to assign the buttons on the remote to the desired hotkeys: F9 to measure, F10 to accept, F11 to discard last, F12 to send your beam to the bird nest.

It’s important to choose a remote that will work over long distances, especially when inspecting large parts. One that is usually used in the industry is the SMK-Link’s RemotePoint Jade, which works at a range of up to 150 feet:

Read More

,

How to use Nested Grouping

BuildIT Nested Groups in Object Manager


CAD files imported as assemblies (CATIA V5 Assembly, Pro/E Assembly, STEP, etc.) are organized in the Object Manager’s design folder in the same tree structure as they were in their native CAD software.

Proper group management and filtering are quick and easy ways to work more efficiently.  Here are a few tricks that will help you manage groups within BuildIT to speed up your workflow.

Read More

,

Creating looping operations to repeat over a set of entities

BuildIT Process Editor Variables


We have seen in our previous post how to modify a recorded process so that it can be applied to any cylinder. You can refer back to it here. If we look at the process editor, this is where we last were:

In this post, we will continue our modification of the process to have it be applied to a set of cylinders in our current model, using looping operations. The first step is to remove the process variable CYLINDER we created earlier. For this, we open the variable window, select the CYLINDER line and press Delete Variable.

Read More

,

How to customize the logo in your report header

BuildIT Select Custom Report Header


In the report header, BuildIT’s logo is displayed in the top right corner.

If you prefer to have your own company logo there, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the following folder: C:Program FilesBuildITBuildIT 2015 SP2reportsinclude
  2. Rename logo.bmp to logo_buildit.bmp. That way, if you want to revert back to the BuildIT logo you can.
  3. Save your company logo as a bitmap file named logo.bmp. Note: If your image isn’t a bitmap file, open it in MS Paint, and click Save As, which will give you the option of saving it as a bitmap in the Save as type dropdown.
  4. Drop your company logo (logo.bmp) from step 3 into the folder from step 2.

Read More

,

Using variables to make your automated processes more generic

BuildIT cylinder Entity Information


Process automation in BuildIT is a powerful tool that can save you a lot of time if you need to repeat the same action multiple times or whenever you perform an inspection. You can simply record your process the first time and then play it back to get the same result the next time.

Read More

,

Work more efficiently by using the shortcut to Accept

BuildIT Reference Point Alignment


The middle mouse button (MMB), or pressing on the scroll wheel, can be a very useful trick to work quickly. In BuildIT, it is a shortcut to Apply open commands in the sidebar in order to accept inputs. It makes the creation of multiple objects efficient and easy.

Read More

,

Rename multiple entities – Part 2 : Only modify ‘copy’ points

BuildIT Rename Multiple


In our previous post, you’ve seen how to rename multiple entities at a time. In some cases, the objects that you want to rename are interspersed in the object manager. Often, you’ll want to rename multiple objects whose names have been extended by too many suffixes.

Read More

,

3 easy steps to rename multiple entities

BuildIT Rename Clouds or Points


There are many reasons to rename multiple entities at a time, however, this will most often occur when you have measured a series of points using the default name.  Once you have completed all of your measurements, it is common to modify the series to give it a more meaningful or descriptive name.  These simple steps will enable you to rename a series of entities/measurements to all have the same name with a number appended (eg. MeasurementPt1, MeasurementPt2, MeasurementPt3, etc…).

Read More

,

How to create and delete point-to-surface associations

BuildIT Create Point to Surface Association


Occasionally, when using Inspect Geometry in nearest mode, the points can be associated to the wrong surface. This usually happens when inspecting a part with tight corners, where two surfaces can be nearly equidistant from a point.  You can easily correct this by deleting the incorrect association and creating the proper one.

Read More

,

Building your first process – Getting started with AutomateIT

BuildIT AutomateIT Process Inspect Point


AutomateIT is BuildIT’s process automation tool that enables you to record and reproduce any repetitive process. It gives you the ability to create dynamic workflow templates that range from adding a device to generating reports, and helps to reduce training time and errors.

Read More

,

Using Unicode Characters to Augment Your Annotations

BuildIT Unicode Characters


Why would you use Unicode characters in BuildIT?

In BuildIT 2015 we added the possibility to use Unicode characters throughout the software. In addition to multi-language compatibility, these characters contain various images that can be useful for identification and representation purposes. A unique use of this feature is the placement of arrows in the annotations and measure control to label the deviations.

Read More

,

How To Create Custom Deviation Labels

BuildIT Roll Alignment Unicode Characters


Why would you create custom deviation labels?

Custom deviation labels can help facilitate the comprehension of screenshots and reports by using meaningful reference names.This can be useful when making alignment adjustments in relation to large objects, or when presenting an inspection to a client who is unfamiliar with the type of work or report.

Read More

,

Quick Guide: Merging surfaces

BuildIT Cylinder Seams


Why would you merge your surfaces?

Most CAD software programs, such as CATIA and SolidWorks, create cylinders and spheres as two halves of the respective entity.  This quick guide will help you to clean up your manager tree and simplify your inspections by re-creating complete cylinders, cones, planes and spheres by merging surfaces.

Read More

,

How to clean your point cloud in 3 easy steps

BuildIT Scan


With the popularization of laser scanning in industrial applications ranging from inspection to reverse engineering, it is important to understand how to properly clean a point cloud of noise, outliers and irrelevant points before any analysis or meshing can be performed.  Today we’ll take a look at a proper cloud-cleaning procedure done using BuildIT.

Read More