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November 1999

Getting the Most from Model Tree Functionality

The model tree can be used for much more than just displaying the features in a model or the parts in an assembly.  The model tree can be customized to show a wealth of information.  From within the model tree, the File pull down gives access to the Save and Open commands. This makes it convenient to have different model trees saved for different kinds of work.  You may want to have a custom model tree configuration for working in part mode and a different one for working with assemblies.

The Format command lets you select information to be displayed and define a column width for each of the columns.  Almost any information about a feature or component can be displayed in the model tree -- including parameters.  Did you know that the model tree can be saved as a text file (.txt)?  This is an easy way to add the information to a word processing document or spreadsheet!  In this way, it can be used as a Bill of Materials.

For maximum efficiency, mapkeys can be set up to allow quick and easy changes between different model tree formats.

Probably the best use of the model tree is to organize features by grouping related features together in the tree.  (See Figure 1)  It is much easier in Failed Feature Mode when you can scroll the model tree for the failed feature, then look at the features immediately before it to see what might be causing the failure.  In addition, the model tree can provide needed information when resolving a failed feature.  By right clicking on an object in the tree, you can access the Feature Information as shown in Figure 1.  This is valuable when determining which of the 17 datum curves is referenced by the failed feature you are trying to resolve.
 

Figure 1, November 1999
Figure 1

The search utility has advanced filters for finding and displaying objects in the model tree.  It can find the feature containing d43 or all features created on November 10th 1999.  This is a powerful tool worth exploring more!!

The model tree can also help you work faster.  If the Highlight function is enabled in the Model Tree View menu, you can pick on a feature or component in the tree and it will highlight red on the screen.  A right click on any element in the model tree will give context sensitive shortcuts to common commands.  (Figure 1, shows an example of the menu picks available for features in Part mode.  Figure 2 shows a menu for components in assembly mode.  Figure 3 shows menu items available when right clicking the top level assembly in a Model tree.)

Figure 2, November 1999            Figure 3, November 1999
Figure 2
          
Figure 3

By holding down the shift key, multiple features can be selected.  See the example shown in Figure 4.  This also shows the menu picks that are available for multiple feature selections.
 

Figure 1, November 1999
Figure 4

Some quick tips:

  • Use the internal ID to keep track of features because the feature # can change with each regeneration.
  • Right click on a feature then choose suppress and all the children of that feature will highlight.  (You donít have to complete the suppress command.)
  • Right click on a suppressed feature then choose resume and all the suppressed parents of that feature will highlight in the model tree.  (Again, you can cancel before resuming.)
  • The shortcuts to commands and highlights will not work or are limited when not in the top level main menu.
  • The model tree will show in the drawing mode, but it is the tree for the model, not the drawing.  Also, much of the model tree function is not available.
  • You will always be prompted for a conformation before deleting, suppressing or resuming features.

Have fun exploring your model tree.  See you next month!

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