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

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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

GD&T for Beginners: MMC & 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.

The goal of this blog post is to analyze the effect of the MMC (Maximum Material Condition) concept on a pin (shaft) in a 3D context with a simple example (Figure 1). Our example replicates the case in the Figure 2.15 in the ASME Y14.5-2009 standard (page 33) in a 3D context with much larger tolerances (and errors) to better visualize the concepts. 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:

  • Go to the following folder: C:Program FilesBuildITBuildIT 2015 SP2reportsinclude
  • Rename logo.bmp to logo_buildit.bmp. That way, if you want to revert back to the BuildIT logo you can.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    While this can be great, in practice it is quite rare that we need to do the exact same thing over again. We may want to perform the same operation, but on different elements, or on all elements of a set. Read More