These 9 Insights Could Make You a Better CAD Engineer

Written By: Katelyn Stevens
  • 7/13/2021
  • Read Time : 3 min
Images from 9 Tips blog post

Sometimes it only takes a little guidance to understand how you can do CAD modeling better and faster. And when it comes to competitive advantage, better and faster is always key. Not sure where to start? PTC University is here to help. Check out our nine great Creo tips below. You’ll be glad you did.

 

#1 Displaying Missing References

Features usually fail when a reference that the feature needs is deleted or removed, resulting in a missing reference. Did you know that if you use the Reference Viewer or redefine a failing feature the now missing reference highlights in the graphics window? The highlighted missing reference helps you select the appropriate replacement reference. Take the Creo: Modeling Productivity Tools course to learn about editing and replacing references, as well as data reuse options.

Use the Reference Viewer or redefine a failing feature to make missing references highlights in the graphics window.

#2 Capturing Sketcher Design Intent

Design intent in a sketch is captured both in how you dimension the sketch as well as how you constrain the sketch. Creo Parametric helps you capture design intent by creating light blue, weak dimensions, automatically to maintain a fully dimensioned, fully constrained sketch. Best practice is to always convert weak dimensions to strong dimensions so you know how your sketch will update if changes are made. To learn more about dimensioning and constraining a sketch, as well as creating basic 3-D geometry, take the Creo: Fundamentals of Modeling 1 course.

Always convert weak dimensions to strong dimensions so you know how your sketch will update if changes are made.

#3 Construction Geometry

A good rule of thumb is to keep your sketches simple. You can use construction geometry in a sketch to help constrain it and make an otherwise difficult dimensioning scheme easy. Most Sketching tools can create construction geometry, just toggle Construction Mode on before using the tool. You can dimension and constrain construction geometry in the same manner as regular, solid geometry, and it does not display in the final Sketch feature. To learn more about using construction geometry as well as other Sketcher tips, take the Creo: Sketching Productivity Tools course.

You can use construction geometry to constrain sketches.

#4 Round and Chamfer Transitions

Most part models have rounded or chamfered edges. Rounds or chamfers that intersect with other rounds or chamfers create a transition. A transition is what connects these intersecting rounds or chamfers together. Did you know that you can choose from different types of round or chamfer transitions to create different geometry results that better align to your manufacturing needs? In the Round or Chamfer dashboard, just switch from Set mode to Transition mode, select the desired transition to change, and choose a different one. Learn more about round and chamfer transitions by taking the Creo: Advanced Modeling 1 course now.

You can choose from different types of round or chamfer transitions.

#5 Intent Edges

You can select multiple edges on a part model and round them. This is great, but what happens if the model shape changes? If the model changes from a square shape to a hexagonal shape you could redefine the Round feature and select the two additional edges to round. However, if the shape is changed from a hexagon back to a square it is possible the Round feature may fail due to missing references. Did you know you can use intent edges to not only make selecting references quicker but also more robust to prevent failures when model changes are made? To learn how to use and apply intent edges, take the Creo: Advanced Modeling 1 course today.

Use intent edges to prevent failures when model changes are made.

#6 Simplified Representations

Working in large assemblies can be a bit unwieldy sometimes. Sure, you can hide components by simplifying y the graphics window, but that does not reduce your computer’s memory requirements. You can suppress components instead but all children of the component are also suppressed, and what happens if you need one of the child components in session? The answer is simplified representations. Using simplified representations you can remove components from both the graphics window and system memory without regard for parent/child relationships. It’s a win-win! To learn how to create simplified representations along with other memory-saving functionality, take the Creo: Managing Large Assemblies course.


Using simplified representations you can remove components from both the graphics window and system memory without regard for parent/child relationships.

#7 Assembly Connections

Sure, you’re familiar with using constraints to assemble components together. But did you know there is another way to assemble components together that lets you simulate mechanism movements? Assembly connections enable you to assemble components together yet retain movement in desired degrees of freedom. This enables you to move the assembly in Creo just as it would in the real-world product. Take the Creo: Assembling with Kinematic Connections course to learn how to assemble components using Pin, Cylinder, Slider, Gear, Cam, and Belt connections.


Assembly connections let you assemble components together to simulate mechanism movements.

#8 Bending Sheetmetal

Manufacturing sheetmetal parts tends to be very different than manufacturing conventional parts. You start with a sheet of flat stock, then create bends, rips, punches, and more to create the final, completed piece. Using Creo Parametric’s Sheetmetal module, you can create Bend, Rip, Punch, and Form features as well as many others to design your company’s sheetmetal parts. The best part is that you can generate an accurate flat state model for manufacturing purposes. To learn how to create these sheetmetal features, take the Creo: Creating Sheetmetal Models 1 course today.


In Creo, you can generate an accurate flat state model for manufacturing purposes.

#9 Parametric Notes

Drawings usually have notes to provide clarification for manufacturing processes. You can insert model dimensions and parameters into notes by typing the dimension or parameter symbol into the note and preceding them with an ampersand. That way, if you change the dimension or parameter value in the model, the note automatically updates. To learn more about notes, dimensions, tolerances, and other 2D annotation creation, take the Creo: Populating 2D Drawings with Annotations course.

 

Insert model dimensions and parameters into notes by typing the dimension or parameter symbol into the note and preceding them with an ampersand.

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About the Author

Katelyn Stevens

Katelyn Stevens, Senior Content Marketing Specialist, has worked for PTC University since 2007. A graduate of Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA, she has her bachelor’s degree in English Literature with a concentration in Linguistics. Katelyn worked as a professional editor and manager for more than 10 years before switching over to content marketing. She is a regular contributor to the PTC University blog spot and writes in depth interviews and articles on emerging technologies in the education space. In addition, she manages PTC University’s social media platforms and creates original content as a thought leader in the industry. Katelyn currently resides on the south shore of Massachusetts with her husband, two children, and golden retriever.