Installation manual for AB_Designer_DEMO_v10 package
1. Preliminary remarks The present document is a simplified installation manual of AB Designer DEMO v10 package for Windows XP and CATIA system in English. The package includes demo versions of three macros intended for users of CATIA V5 (R14 up to R19). To install the application, it is required to fulfil the following conditions: administrator privileges at the profile used for installation, installed CATIA V5 (R14 to R19) application, installed Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or higher, free 3.0 MB disk space (recommended location C:\).
2. Setting up The set up process is launched by running the file: AB_Designer_DEMO_v10.exe
The following directory is recommended as the installation location: "C:\AB_Designer_v10". It is possible to change the location by selecting the "Browse…" button. The selected location will be labelled as "installation directory" further in the manual. Next, select the "Next>" button.
Then, after successful installation select the "Finish" button. In case of any problems it is recommended to contact us by e-mail (contact details at the last page). Run the CATIA application. Then go to the "Macros" window by:
the first way: keyboard shortcut: Alt + F8, the second way: from the menu: Tools -> Macro ->Macros…
In the current window, select the "Macro libraries…" option.
Then from the drop-down menu, select the "VBA Projects" option, then click "Add existing library…".
In the selection box select the file: "AB_Designer_DEMO_START.catvba" located in the installation directory ("C:\AB_Designer_v10" by default) and confirm by clicking the "Open" button (for the Polish version of Windows, click "Otwórz").
After returning to the "Macro libraries" window click twice the first item in the window (C:\AB_Designer_v10\AB_Designer_DEMO_START.catvba - for standard installation).
At the moment, the installation process is completed. The package is ready for use. Selecting the "Run" button will launch AB Designer DEMO v10 package. Access to the below window is possible in two manners: keyboard shortcut: Alt + F8, from the menu: Tools -> Macro -> Macros…
Close the "Macros" windows with the "Close" button. The next step is to add the button to the toolbar to enable quick launch of AB Designer DEMO v10 package. Prior to the step, we close any sub-windows (parts, compound products, drawings, etc.) in the CATIA application window. The window should appear as follows:
To add an icon starting the package, a taskbar (Toolbar) named "MAKRO_DEMO" will be created. From the top menu select: "Tools -> Customize ..." and go to the "Commands" tab in the "Categories" windows, select "Macros", then show properties by clicking the "Show Properties ..." button. To assign an icon to a macro button we select "..." from the bottom part of the window. When "Icons Browser" windows appears, select the icon by clicking it and confirm the selection by the "Close" button.
In the "Customize" window navigate to the "Toolbars" tab and select the "New" button. In the "New Toolbar" window under "Toolbar Name": type the name of "MAKRO_DEMO" and confirm with the "OK" button.
In the "Toolbars" window "MAKRO_DEMO" should be selected. Navigate to the "Commands list" window by selecting the "Add commands…" button.
In the current window, select "AB_Designer_DEMO_START", then confirm with "OK". Close the "Customize" window. The package is launched by using the "AB_Designer_DEMO_START" button at the "MAKRO_DEMO" taskbar available from within any CATIA application module.
3. Macro selection window Launching the package makes the selection window to appear.
Three macros implemented in the package can be accessed from the level of this window. Clicking one of the green buttons on the left will launch a specific macro. CLEANING - The macro is aimed to hide / show elements of parts (*.CATPart) occurring in a compound product (*.CATProduct). PICTURES - The macro is used to create *.jpg files with "pictures" of elements of a compound product. POINTS - The macro allows to export coordinates of points identified by user to a file in *.txt or *.csv format. Using the macro also enables to create specific points in a *.CATPart type object on the basis of an input file in *.txt or *.csv format (with previously defined structure). Manuals on macros are published in the further part in the document. Leaving the selection box is possible by clicking the "EXIT" button.
4. Macros 4a. CLEANING
The macro is designed to work both with compound products (*.CATProduct) as well as with individual parts (*.CATPart). The window comprises of two main components. The first one contains two selection buttons: "Hide" and "Show". The second one - ten selection keys, there are six of them available in the demo version only. "Hide" and "Show" buttons are used to select the mode of macro operation. The "Hide" mode is designed to change the status of an object from visible to hidden. The "Show" mode is to change the status from hidden to visible. The macro will change the status of elements in accordance with the mode selected. The selection of a group of elements for which the change is to apply is made by checking a particular group. The groups are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Bodies, Surfaces, Curves, Sketches - not available in demo version, Annotations - not available in demo version, Planes, Axis Systems - not available in demo version, Points, Geometrical Sets – not available in demo version, Constrains.
Un-checking is made by clicking a particular group. The macro starts running when the "OK" button is selected. Select the "EXIT" button to exit the macro.
The macro works with compound products (*.CATProduct) only; the (*.CATProduct) compound product must be located highest at the tree (Tree). The demo version enables to create ten "pictures". The macro window contains two information fields. "Document path:" and "Destination". The first one includes a path to the directory where an active compound product is saved. The second one displays the path to the directory where pictures will be saved. Selecting destination drive and directory is possible through two windows located above the "Destination" field. In order to accelerate work, two buttons were added: "Document directory" and "Create directory: PIC_dd_mm_yyyy". Using the first one will automatically change the destination directory to the directory where an active compound product is saved. The second one is designed to create a directory named "PIC_current_date" and setting it as the destination directory. There are also four selection fields available in the area of the window:
"Assy picture" - selecting this option enables making the first picture of the current compound product. "White BG" - this option enables setting the background picture in white (in the demo this option is disabled). "Compass" hides or displays compass when taking pictures (in the demo this option is disabled). "Tree" hides or shows the structure tree (Tree) (in the demo this option is disabled).
After selecting appropriate options and choosing the target directory, move to taking pictures by selecting the "OK" button. Picture dimensions are the same as the current size of CATIA windows. This dimension can be changed during operation. A user role is to align a perspective and to click any item in the CATIA window. A file in a *.jpg format named "instance name" will be generated for every part. When operated parts can be freely omitted by pressing the "Esc" button.
The macro works with *.CATPart typed documents only - the (*.CATProduct) part must be located highest at the tree (Tree). There are two file formats available: *.txt and *.csv (in the demo version *.txt only). Selection of the format is made by checking one of the selection fields located at the top of the window. Through the value of the "Accuracy" accuracy is set (expressed by the number of digits after a decimal point) with which coordinates of points will be exported or imported (in the demo version the value is locked at 2). Selection of the format is required to unlock functional buttons. Select the "Select Geometrical Set" button to export coordinates to a file. Indicate the path for an outer file and enter its name in the selection box. The last step is to indicate "Geometrical Set" containing the points (demo exports to 50 points) in the CATIA window. Creation of points based on the basis of data from file is made through selection of the "Select input file" button and indication of the data file. An input file in *.txt format for the demo version must have the following structure: 23,66 36,83 85,49 90,26 110,13 127,81 -38,3 -9,15 139,77, where "Tab" is a separator and "Enter" - end of line.
5. Other examples
Naming The macro prepared in order to maintain compatibility of file names with standards required by internally used databases. Application:
creation of new elements of a compound product in line with required standards (naming), creation of new versions of compound products in accordance with defined rules (upgrade of version numbers or change of last modified dates contained in the file name), checking compliance of names with applicable standard, preparation of files supplied by client in order to load them into internal database, preparing data to send back to client in required standard.
Benefits: consistency of names (instance name = part number = file name), savings of time (simultaneous change of names of all selected files), minimisation of errors resulted from manual data entry.
The aim of the macro is to search pre-prepared mid-surfaces within the structure of parts (*.CATPart) occurring in a compound product (*.CATProduct) and then to export them into files in *.igs format required to perform calculations using FEM. For file names the following information will be added: material used, its thickness, weight, etc. Application: export of files in *.igs format containing mid-surfaces of parts, adding information about parts to files names (e.g. mass, material, thickness). Benefits: consistency of the information contained in the file name with actual characteristics of the parts, savings of time (generation of files in *.igs format of individual parts for compound products).
6. Summary The discussed package of three macros in the demo version is only a brief presentation of the functions offered by the use of macros while working with CATIA application. This demo-package was created on the grounds of experience from the field of design and customer demand in the industry. Three presented macros were chosen from the wide range of so-far-generated macros due to their versatility. Each of them in full version, apart from access to all options, can / should be tailored to individual customer needs in order to increase efficiency, productivity and meet tasks set by clients. If you are interested in macros for managing new tasks or adapting the presented ones specific requirements and criteria, please contact us at the e-mail address at the end of the document. Address for correspondence: [email protected]