Tips & Tricks: Assembling and Measuring Structural Framework Assemblies

Written By: Aaron Shaw
  • 11/11/2016

When you’re designing a complex structural framework, clunky manual processes for building and measuring the assembly elements are the last thing you want from your 3D CAD software. Using Creo Parametric Advanced Framework Extension (AFX) (whether you’re copying subassemblies, adding a plate, or measuring structural elements), you can do so with a few simple clicks.

Creo AFX makes complex architectural structures like scaffolding easier to design

Image courtesy of Toshiyuki IMAI via Flickr.

Selecting plate references in one action

In Creo 3.0, you can select all required references in one action. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Select Equipment Elements. The Equipment Elements dialog box opens.
  2. Click the Plates MM button and select a plate from the library.
  3. On the Element Definition dialog, click the button next to Required references (shown in the red circle below) to then select all references you want to define to create the plate.

Element definition dialog

After you click the highlighted button, the dialog closes and you can select all required references on your model.

  1. After references have been selected, the Element Definition dialog opens. Click OK to create the plate using the references you chose.

Taking measurements

With Creo Parametric AFX, you can now take measurements when defining a connector or equipment element. To use this functionality, follow these steps:

  1. On the Equipment Elements dialog box, select the pencil button to modify the equipment element.
  2. On your model, select the element that you want to measure. The Element Definition dialog box opens.
  3. Select the ruler button; then you can measure your model’s elements. There are three methods of measuring:
    • Select two points or lines (using Ctrl) to measure the distance.
    • Select a line to measure the curve length.
    • Select one cylinder to measure the diameter.

Measuring diameter of cylinders

For example, you can automatically measure the diameter of these cylinders.

After you select the elements you want to measure, the system inserts them into the active input panel automatically and they appears in the message area, as shown below.

Measurements appear in active input panel

Measurements populate in the area within the red box.

To see a demonstration of this functionality, watch this video:

To learn more, read the PTC Creo Help Center page, About Working with Creo Advanced Framework.

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About the Author

Aaron Shaw

Aaron Shaw joined PTC in 2013, currently he is the Senior Manager, CAD Demand Generation. He is responsible for the CAD marketing strategy and execution worldwide. He enjoys playing golf, eating spicy foods, reading, traveling, and rooting for all Boston teams. Aaron is a graduate of Penn State, you can follow him on Twitter @AaronEShaw.