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

New Hidden Relations Editor

Take a preview test drive of the new Pro/Engineer relations editor.  It's buried in Pro/E 2001.  Apparently it was not ready for release from a QA perspective, so they didn't publish the option to turn it on.  Congratulations to those who fought the battle to keep the bugs inside on this one!

As with the rest of Pro/E, the relations editor is getting a UI upgrade.  The concept is to make it a graphical interchange rather than a symbolic text editing exercise.  With the new interface a user can select symbols from the screen to create and edit relation equations.  This should make writing and editing relations easier because you won't have to write all the symbols down in advance.

To try it, just enter this line in your

new_relation_ui yes

An example of the user interface is shown in Figure 1.  You're on your own to figure out how it works, but a little experimentation will get you on your way.  Just remember they didn't advertise this new functionality because it wasn't ready -- so be aware of bugs.

Jan. 2002 Fig. 1
Figure 1 - The new 2001 (Hidden) Relations UI

Another cool feature is the parameter editor.  You can edit parameters right in the relations editor.  Just pick on the Local Parameters blue bar.

A few things I've noticed that need some attention (my ignorance may be showing) include:

  • It could use a function to show dimensions while in the editor as before.  I tried several ways, but have always had to Modify the features before starting the relations editor so the dims were on the screen to see and pick.
  • To select dims from the screen, you must pick the Jan. 2002 Fig. 2 icon.  Once you select a dim and you want to select another, you have to pick the icon again.  If you do this very much, it's really tedious.  Perhaps it could be made to stay in the "Dim Select" mode for all picks outside the relations editor window?.?
  • There doesn't appear to be a "comment" command so you still need to know the syntax for that.
  • Be careful with the Sort command.  I can't figure out what it does ... exactly ... but it doesn't Undo and it jumbles the order of the relations.  Also, even with Cancel the changes are saved.

Give PTC the benefit of the doubt that these are issues they are still working on.  I'm just really excited that they held it back to keep working on it before forcing it on us!!  Thank You!

By the way, You may also note that the new UI is not applicable for all areas of Pro.  Drawing mode for instance does not use the new relations editor.  My understanding is that it will when the official release happens.

Happy New Year from all of us at Synthesis Engineering!
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