So, back in early Oct. I did a bunch of adjustments to the layout of the Connect Ribbon to make the work flow more user friendly. Most of this involved moving the groups from the individual ribbons into pull down menus so they wouldn't take up nearly as much space. Some how I tossed the "Planar Distance" Constraint into my Ribbon and I've been using it effectively to make the protrusion tool work for a few weeks. Today I decided to segregate the dimensional constraints from the other 2D constraints in my customization because one type persists through 3D feature creation and the other does not.
Problem is... I cannot find this Constraint 2D Planar Distance tool anywhere in the original Bentley ribbons and I know I didn't just invent it. What's even more weird is that the keyin half works it doesn't appear in the keyin browser as an option but it does activate the tool and does work!
My most immediate concern is should even be using this tool or is it going to cause some major issues down the road.
Thanks in advance.
You are correct that it is not located within the delivered ribbon. You can find it if you open the "2D Constraints Tools" toolbox.
Based on the description you gave on how you are using the tool I would suggest using the "3D Dimension" tool rather than the "Dimension Plane" tool.
The 3D Dimension tool is bit more robust in that it can handle dimensioning between points(vertexes), edges, and faces.
In your case if you use the 3D dimension tool if you dimension 2 faces, they will also be assumed to be parallel and constrained as such.
I would only recommend the use of the Dimension Plane tool when creating constraints between planes(profiles), not a plane and another object, ie a solid.
Grant Wood said:Something else I find very confusing is how to set up the cell origin and make it work 100% of the time. So far the only way I've been consistently able to make this happen is to make a construction element and lock it to the world then use the 3D constraints to hold one of the first parts of my solid to it. I always figured that if I used the 3D lock I could hold it still but that doesn't seem to be the case at all. Specifically I'm looking at this because I'm building parametric cells which all place from the origin.
I totally agree with this. I've brought this up in the EAP. It would be better to have the ability to position geometry relative to 0 based on variables rather than build construction element just to establish 0,0,0 and then start adding constrained dimensions. Another possibility is an ACS at the origin that we can construct off of with constraint commands.
So the same problem still exists if I set my profile constraints using the 3D constraints then protrude the profile into my solid(because without a blind protrusion option you have to work back into the solid not out away from it) the constraints get lost and I have to re-define them. To make things worse now that profile if I try to change the offset distance it changes my zero point the profile set point has taken over as the 0,0,0 in my model. This is what drove me to ignore the 3D constraints and only use the 2D constraints to begin with so I guess at this point I need somebody at Bentley to show me how to make the solid below were the 0,0,0 growth point when you change any variable is always the dead center of the cube, and relies I'm going to augment it and add more features and parts to it this is just the start.
The goal is for this to be one solid not multiple solids constrained together with 3D constraints, if somebody drops status to a smart solid I want it to be one body.
Note the entire thing will be driven with variables and variations. I can do it with the 2D planar castrant tool but i'll admit the final product is vary slow and clunky to update changing one variable takes 15-45 seconds to update the solid body which is kinda ridiculous in 2015 work station I'm running. So I assume based on David Trejo-Rodriguez comment the 3D constraints will produce a better more robust model that will update more smoothly? But I cannot get them to work the way I want or without dropping the constraint. Maybe I'm doing things in the incorrect order?
1. I make a construction circle I lock it to the world so it's my cell origin.
2. I make a primitive cube and use 3D constraints to anchor it to the circle (all is well).
3. I make circle constrain to be concentric to the construction circle that I started with, I give it a 3D distance offset to the cube, and I give it a 2D constraint for Radius.
4. I protrude the circle back into the cube.
5. I then change one of the variables that drives the length of the cylinder and nothing happens, I look a the properties and the variable that was tide to the 3D distance offset is broken, I fix it and change the variable again... the profile that I used to set the cylinder stays anchored to the world and the cube block at the other end moves.
Want to end up with...
I attempted to make the above part with all primitives and union the entire thing together. I then added all of the constraints (because if you constrain it first the constraints get broken). The result was a model 2x bigger then when I avoided using the union tool and used protrusion and features to build the complex solid. The resulting shape is also to complex for the variations to re-draw without crashing CE. This is very similar to my experience in legacy feature modeling union was available but never seemed to work right.
Avoiding the 2D Planar constraint seems to be okay other then the 3D dimensional constraint cannot be used between the face of a feature element (like an extruded circle) and the face of a primitive (this seems like a over site). I wouldn't use the features and stick with pure primitives but you cannot array primitives which also seems like an odd over site.
Taking another crack at it without the Union tool and only using protrusion feature to augment the base starting solid is also flaky.
First i try to make a square and protrude it back into the cylinder but the tool is so limited in settings compaired to the legacy feature tools it basically runs through the entire part. In the legacy feature tools you had many more options for blind protrusions and setting distance for how far something would protrude.
Next I decide maybe i can fool it into making the shape by going perpendicular but that doesn't seem to work ether it seems the tool is looking for a surface smaller then the protrusion to extend too.
Please take this as a constructive criticism but the "old" feature tools that are now broken in Connect while the 2D DDD was a bit more clumsy the tools were much more robust and predictable.
I've had pretty good luck making 2D profiles and making moderately simple parametric solids but this model seems to be pushing the limits of the software and it it's not that complex, moreover the exact same parametric model worked in v8i.