Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What are the benefits of using 3D Technical Publications?

Benefits of 3D

  • Better visualization – "Seeing is Understanding"
  • Leverage existing CAD data from engineering
  • Dynamic, Interactive Content – click through assembly steps
  • Graphical selections – select on a part to view its metadata, select on a BOM item to highlight the part
  • Less text needed – if "a picture is worth a thousand words", a picture you can move is worth many more.

Common Features of 3D Tech Pubs Software

  • Multi-CAD Import
  • Lightweight model creation
  • Rendering with texture mapping
  • Basic Kinematics
  • Annotation & Markup
  • Related BOM and Part Attributes
  • Animations
  • Output to PDF, html, xml, etc

Uses of Technical Publications

  • NC Documentation / Setup Sheets
  • Assembly Instructions
  • MRO Documentation
  • User Manuals
  • Training Materials
  • Product Data Sheets

Technical Publication Formats

  • Many options exist to output standard text and graphic formats – CGM has often been preferred for graphics since it is vector based
  • Many authoring tools can output html or other formats, but they may require proprietary viewers (usually free) for advanced 3D content
  • AVI files aren't as interactive as specialized 3D viewers and can lead to very large files
  • Many tools can now output 3D PDF data that can be viewed by anyone with the current Acrobat Reader – There are some limitation of using PDF w/ U3D
  • XML shows some promise as an intermediate format between systems, but requires adoption of standards


  • Many tools are now available to create 3D interactive technical publications and training materials
  • Most of these applications have their own viewer software
  • Using 3D PDF or html for final content makes a proprietary viewer less of an issue
  • Models for use in publications should ideally be generated as lightweight representations directly from the engineering data in the PLM system
  • There are detailed standards that may need to be adhered to – especially in Aero & Defense applications
  • The S1000D standards are not comprehensive. They still require each company to define their own business rules.




Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How do you open a Unigraphics NX part file in Pro/Engineer Wildfire?

I recently installed ProE 5.0 as well as Unigraphics 7.5. When trying to open NX files in ProE you may encounter the error message to "select the Unigraphics (*.prt) filter". Where do you find this Unigraphics part filter in ProE? Simply follow these steps:

Go to the tool bar
Tool->option-> type in the find box INTF3D_UG_INSTALL_DIR -> add/change-> select that directory where ProE was installed then click ->YES ->APPLY-> OK

Next, go to Open File
Filter in type GRAPHICS
Now select the UG PART
Click Open
Now the file should open!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Surfacing in Solid Edge

Welcome to our second edition of the Ally PLM Lunch Bytes. Our topic we cover in this edition is surfacing. These videos show many good examples of how to use the surfacing tools in Solid Edge.