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Pro/Engineer   June 2005   Tip-of-the-Month


A Matter of Scale in the Assembly

 
Assembly Scale

Figure 1.  Example of Assembly Scale
 
Bringing a small scale part into a large scale assembly can be easier with a simple assembly trick.  The problem of scale is not of complexity or numbers of parts, but size.  Figure 1 shows a smaller scale part (in the green circle) to be assembled into a larger scale assembly (in the area of the green arrow).

Though the assembly constraints are easy, going back and forth from the location of assembly to the component out, can be a hassle -- if done constraint by constraint -- especially if there are many.

Figure 2.  Component Assembly
 
Figure 3.  Component Assembly
3 Incomplete Constraints

 
When a part is first brought into an assembly, the Component Assembly dialog box opens for defining constraints.  As shown in Figure 2, a constraint is started by selecting a reference from either from the Component or from the Assembly.  In Figure 2, the axis A_1 of the component was selected.

In the typical method, the next pick would be an Assembly Reference.  However, since the user was zoomed in on the part, rather than zooming out and back, simply select the + sign (shown by the mouse arrow in Figure 2), and Pro/E will leave the constraint incomplete and go to the next.  This can be done as many times as needed.  See Figure 3 showing the dialog box with 3 one-sided constraints.
 

TIP:  The middle mouse button will do the same thing as selecting the + sign and move on to the next constraint.

NOTE:  Pro/E will assume a constraint type (Mate, Align, etc.) with each incomplete constraint.  You can change them as you go, or perhaps, it is more efficient to change them later as the constraints are completed.

 
Once the references (either Component References or Assembly References) are defined, zoom to the other position (in our example, the assembly location at the green arrow) and define the matching references.  Pro/E will walk through each constraint one by one to select the needed references.

After selecting references, go back and change constraint Types and Offset choices as desired.  When the constraints reach a valid condition, Pro/E will pop the component into position.

For assemblies of large scale differences, this tip can save a few steps to accomplishing the task.  You just have to remember what references you chose on the first pass and what they should match up with on the second.

 

Have a Great Summer
(or Winter as the case may be.)
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