Do you have designs that are the same, but can be manufactured in different ways? Are you still using design tables and configurations to automate your designs? This blog post is going to explore an electrical enclosure assembly that was designed with DriveWorks to illustrate how DriveWorks can be your one-stop solution to design automation. We are going to explore capturing dimensions and features in the model, using the form designer, and building rules to link everything together for model generation. This sample project can be downloaded for free from the DriveWorks hub.
CAPTURING THE MODEL
You can begin capturing your model by opening the individual components and choosing the dimensions and features you want to drive. For this example, let us look at the main enclosure. I have chosen to capture dimensions that affect the size of the enclosure as well as hinge positioning. Additionally, I want to capture the inlet features to control their suppression states depending on what the end user selects on the user interface. Speaking of user interface design, lets dive in to that next with forms.
Once all the features and dimensions have been captured, we can create rules to drive them. The user interface to drive the design is known as a form. Forms house all user input used in the generation of your models. In this example, the form is going to capture several inputs. We will use a combination of numeric text boxes and drop downs. Within forms, you can set default values that let you build rules more accurately.
RULE BUILDING AND MODEL GENERATION
The inputs to the fields on the form will drive the dimensions and features inside the rule builder/editor. DriveWorks Xpress will not let you run your project unless all the rule types have rules written for them. Rule types include file names, configurations, custom properties, dimensions, and features. The rule builder lets you write formulas from scratch or using inputs from the form. If your rule returns a valid formula, the result will be provided. If not, the rule builder background will turn red. In this example, we built a rule for the hinge middle position. The result is equal to the Height input from the form divided by two, minus 16.5mm, which is the offset distance from the mid-point in the overall height. Let us generate a model by filling out the form with new values.
Here we have the finished model after entering a unique order number, selecting between right and left inlet and outlet glands, and using numeric entry to fill out the height, width, and depth fields. This input data is pushed through the rules that were built and translated to the captured dimensions and features in the model to generate the desired outcome.
I hope this blog post was informational and gave you a better understanding of how you can take a simple project that has many customization options and make it easy to generate unlimited sets of unique enclosures! If you have any additional questions on DriveWorks Xpress, there’s a Contact Us form at the bottom of this page. Thanks for reading!