Sunday, January 27, 2013

CATIA Macro Flowchart

catia macro flowchart
You may have noticed the Delete Deactivated Features CATIA macro I’ve linked to in the downloads page. It’s a CATScript my good buddy Emmett Ross of scripting4v5 wrote. He recently created a new article about how to start programming a custom CATIA macro from scratch. He lists several important questions you need to ask yourself before diving into the coding work. One question is: What is the step by step process of the macro going to be? He suggest writing a flowchart, sketch or map. He’s allowed me to share a flowchart he made of his Delete Deactivated Features macro. It’s basically a decision tree. The first branches are actually the error handling: if the active document is a part go down one root if not, go down the other. I highly recommend downloading the code and comparing it to the pictured process map to see exactly his thought process in creating the macro.

How do you plan out your macros (CATIA or otherwise)? I'd love to hear about your planning process!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

CATIA Lego Training Download

I’ve long looked for a good LEGO CAD program and today I’ve finally found one. John B Cearns, founder and
owner of Solid Engineering Solutions, has created an outstanding exercise to help students learn how to use CATIA’s Assembly Design workbench while being super fun at the same time.

While building the Lego model you’ll learn how to use catalogs in CATIA to create different Lego blocks in 3D. Not all the parts required to make the Four Wheeler and Rebel Wrecker are present in the CATParts folder. There are 72 parts missing from this folder but they have provided 12 tabulated parts for you to use to easily create the missing 72 parts. Step by step instructions are provided in the documentation for both sets.  The Four Wheeler contains 102 different parts and the total parts are 338. The Rebel Wrecker contains 123 different parts and the total parts are 468.

catia lego model

The free download contains all instructions necessary to assemble the Four Wheel and Rebel Wrecker. Or, if you just want to build the physical Lego sets you could just do that as well using these instructions. Get them here:

After you have created these two CATProduct models, there is a wealth of Kinematics joints you can perform on them: Revolute Joint, Cylindrical Joint, Spherical Joint, Rigid Joint, Universal Joint, Gear Joint, Cable Joint, and Rack Joint. The Lego parts also use a relation law created by a Multiple Value User Parameter to define the color: PartBody.Color = PartBodyColor.

This exercise is a great example if you want to use CATIA or other CAD software as a Lego design software. Many different bricks can be created from the template of a few using catalogs. All around, I highly recommend checking out this tutorial because, as I said, it is a lot of fun and very educational too (and it's free)!

Download the Lego CAD files and instructions here:
Please note: CATIA V5 R19 is required.