Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Which version of CATIA free download

If you are a user of multiple versions or CATIA (R18,R19, etc) it can get quite frustrating attempting to open a R19 part in R18. Wouldn't it be great to be open to tell which version of CATIA a part was created in without having to open the part in CATIA? Well, now there is a such a program which you can download here. This software is the easiest way to know which version of CATIA a part has been created in. Run the .exe, browse and find the file and you'll see the latest version of the saved file and the minimal version to read it. Download it for free right now!

How to install :

Copy the .exe file in your directory. That's all.

It's also possible to add a shortcut to this exe in the C:\Documents and Settings\%UserName&\SendTo' directory.

In this case, you can use the right-clic Sento "Which version" menu (in the windows explorer).

Be careful ! you must install the VB6 runtime file that you can find here :

Click here to download: Which Version of CATIA.exe

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How do you create a composite part in CATIA Composites Design workbench?

First of all, before we begin getting into creating parts I want to review some information and notes about composites.

What is a composite? Composites = Matrix (resin) + Reinforcing Material (Fiber)

Types of resin include: Polyester, Vinylester, and Epoxy.

Type of fibers include glass, carbon, Kevlar, and aluminum.

Why use composites? Benefits include: reduced weight, high strength and stiffness properties, high thermal and corrosion resistance, and a good fatigue life. What are the manufacturing technology benefits from using composites? Tailor ability, flexibility, and part number reduction.

How are composites manufactured? There are several different methods:

  • Fabric Hands Lay-up – monolithic type or sandwich structures
  • Tape Laying – large composite structures
  • RTM – complex shapes
  • Fiber Placement – large composite structures
  • Filament winding – mandrel shapes
What are some of the cons and challenges of using composites? Number one factor is cost; the raw material can be expensive. There's also a large upfront investment required for manufacturing facilities and equipment. Composites are hard to model due to their unpredictable behavior. Manufacturing cycle time can be longer than machined or sheet metal parts. There are also health hazards and reusability issues.

Composite Terminology

  • IML=inner mold line. Corresponds to top surface of a composites part
  • NCF=non crimp fabrics
  • ETBS=Edges to be Staggered
  • EOP=Edge of Part
  • MEOP=Manufacturing Edge of Part
  • EEOP=Engineering Edge of Part
  • Rosette=axis system
  • TL=thickness law
  • SS=Stacking Sequences
There are two primary methods of creating a composite part in CATIA Composites Design workbench: grid and zone

For the grid method the part is divided up into a grid. Each section of the grid has a name (C1, C2, etc.). Each section of the grid is then given a defined thickness law. The thickness law says how thick the material will be in that zone. This is done by indicating the number of plies in each direction. Example:

Thickness Law 1's material will be Carbon 0.4. # plies in the zero degree direction = 8, number of plies rotated 45 degree = 8, number of plies rotated -45 degree=8, number of plies rotated 90 degrees=9.

Looks like this in Excel which is then imported into CATIA.

Carbon 0.4

Thickness laws can be applied manually or imported through an Excel table.

Be sure to become a follow of this blog and stay tuned for more about composites!

Monday, January 10, 2011

S&S Spaceshot CAD Model Recreation

I started a 3d computer model recreation of a 3x3 size Spaceshot launched thrill ride attraction engineered by S&S Worldwide. I embedded a video of Power Tower at Cedar Point below (note the seating configuration is slightly different).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) Symbols

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) is a language used on mechanical engineering drawings composed of symbols that are used to efficiently and accurately communicate geometry requirements for associated features on components and assemblies. Many industries use GD&T including automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing. Listed below are some of the most common GD&T symbols used throughout the engineering world.