Friday, December 17, 2010

Tips and Tricks: Keyboard Shortcuts for 3D VIA Virtools

Here are a few tips, tricks, and keyboard shortcuts to make your life easier if you are a 3D Via user. What is 3D Via used for? You can use 3DVIA Virtools to deliver graphically stunning, interactive real-time experiences for industry or game production.

Creation Tools Shortcuts:

1 - Create a camera

2 - Create a light

3 - Create a curve

4 - Create a 3D frame

5 - Create a grid

6 - Create a 2D frame

7 - Create a Material

8 - Create a Texture

9 - Create a Portal

Navigation Tools:

Z - Camera zoom

SHIFT+Z - Zoom on selection

O - Toggle Orbit camera / Orbit target around camera

P - Pan camera

F - Change camera FOV

D - Dolly camera

N - Next Camera in scene

SHIFT+N - Previous Camera in scene

A - Switch to selection mode

W - Zoom all

Y - Flycam

Mouse Middle Button - Pan

Alt + Mouse Middle Button - Orbit

Mouse Wheel - Zoom

Creation Tools:

P - Create a new Place and adds selected 3D Entities to the place.

R - Create a new Array.

C - Create a new Scene.

W - Create a new Workset.

S - Create a new Script on selected items.

G - Creates a group and adds selected items to the group.

Other tips, tricks, and shortcuts:

F2 - Renames entities.

DEL - Deletes selected entities.

SPACEBAR - Toggles selection lock in 3D view.

V - Show selected 2D/3D entities.

H - Hide selected 2D/3D entities.

A - Activate selected entities in their context scene.

D - Deactivate selected entities in their context scene.

M - Modify selected Parameter Operation


Monday, December 13, 2010

Tips and Tricks: How do you email large Solidworks part files?

Sometimes e-mailing a SolidWorks part or assembly file
can be problem because of their large file size. If you use Winzip it will reduce the file size, but not by much. In order to drastically reduce the size of a SolidWorks files before e-mailing try the following technique:

  • Enclose the entire part within a solid box. I usually name the feature something like 'Delete me'.
  • Change the display mode from Shaded to line mode (hidden lines removed).
  • Complete a Save As on the file.
  • Now you can e-mail the file with a note to remove the feature called 'Delete me'.

I use this method quite frequently and it generally reduces the file size by about fifty percent.

Also, here are a few keyboard shortcuts I discovered that may help you in viewing and orienting your SolidWorks parts models:

Crtl+1 - Front view
Crtl+2 - Rear view
Crtl+3 - Left view
Crtl+4 - Right view
Crtl+5 - Top view
Crtl+6 - Bottom view
Crtl+7 - Isometric view

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Coaster Model Update

Quick update on the cantilevered roller coaster model. I used my VB catscript to quickly and easily create the cross-ties for the upper and lower rails. I also modeled all of the supports and cement footers. Pictured is one of the "side/head knocker" effects where it looks like you are about to run into a post before the cantilevered car serves out of the way in the nick of time. There is also an overview of the layout. Video coming soon!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How can you tell which version a Pro/E model was made in?

The easiest way to tell which version of Pro/Engineer a model was made in is to open up the part (.prt) file in a text editor (such as notepad) and look at the first line of text. This will show you the necessary information. As an example. #UGC:2 ASSEMBLY 1068 440 0 1 1 15 2100 2000050 0000b335 \ #- VERS 0 0 \ #- HOST in this listing, the 2100 signifies v21 or 2000i and 2000050 is the build number.

Here's another quick Pro/E tip:

How do you specify what folder Pro/E defaults to when opening new a model? Simply use the option: "file_open_default_folder"