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Pro/Engineer   June 2002   Tip-of-the-Month

Master Parameters List

The use of part parameters to maintain information about a component is a widely used and fairly efficient method of keeping part information with the part.  Parameters are used for part numbering, naming, descriptions, documenting units, material, vendors, etc..  Chances are, if you use this method, your start parts and start assemblies have all the parameters embedded.  However, if you use this method of maintaining part information it can be sort of tedious making sure you get it all in, proper and consistent.

I've seen some really cool and complicated programs that prompt the user for the information, (I even have one) but there is a simpler way for many occasions.  This tip is a quick way to enter, modify and review all the parameters in an assembly quickly and easily -- a Master Parameter list -- sort of.

The method is to use a drawing table to display, enter and modify all the common parameters.

To begin, create a new drawing (a dummy drawing that will not necessarily be published).  Make sure the top level assembly is set.

Tip:  The drawing does not need a format, or any views.  However, just for fun, I usually put a view of the assembly with the table so it's easy to see what level was used to check and edit the parameters.

Next, build a table displaying all the parts and all the parameters in one giant repeat region.  The drawing table will have a full list of all the parts including file names and all the common parameters.  (See the Pro/E Help for information on how to create the table.)  An example is shown in Figure 1.  These tables can become huge, so use pagination if you need to print it.

Drawing Table
Parameter Drawing Table
Figure 1

If you have restrictions on name lengths, format the columns for the correct number of characters.

Once the table is created, save it so you can retrieve it again next time you need to do the same thing for another assembly.

With the table now in front of you, simply use Edit > Value > then pick a table item and enter the appropriate text.  As long as you stay in the Edit Value mode, you can continue to pick and change parameter values just by picking on the text of another next cell.

Parameter Value
Figure 2

Tip:  You can have better luck if you pick the vertical center of the cell near the left side.  I don't know why, but Pro/E will sometimes pick the cell itself instead of the value with in.  When this happens the cell will turn red.  Just pick a different cell then come back.

Using this method you can also cut and paste values from one cell to another.  Do this by using Ctrl-C (to copy the highlighted contents) and Ctrl-V to paste -- all within the edit window.  (See Figure 2.)  The Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V also seem to work on the Unix platforms.

With this approach, it's easy to check, edit or assign all the parameter values in a consistent manner -- including things like consistent names, descriptions, dates, etc. without going through each part and assembly.  It's also easy to check values already assigned -- like revision level and part numbers.  Finally, this method of maintaining consistency is especially useful if part parameters are used to automatically fill in the drawing title block.

Enjoy your summer!  See you next month.
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