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Using PropertyLinks Professional to filter a Finish or Heat Treat based on the selected SolidWorks Material

Article by Paul McDonnell created/updated July 14, 2010

In this tech tip you will learn how to use PropertyLinks Professional to filter a Finish or Heat Treat based on the selected SolidWorks Material.

Prerequisites

  • SolidWorks 2007 or above
  • PropertyLinks Professional V4 or above
  • Database editing application (example Microsoft Access or SQL Server)
  • A working knowledge of the database application (in this example we are using Microsoft Access)

Setting up the Supporting Database

  • Create a new database
    • Note: if you have an existing database that you would like to use you can add a new table to the database
    • In this example I am creating a new Access database called “PropertyLinks Professional Supporting Database.mdb”
    • The database can be saved anywhere on the network as long as it is accessible by all the SolidWorks users, in this example it is saved in the same folder as the PropertyLinks dataset.
  • Open the database
  • Create two new tables in the database called “Finish” and “Heat Treat”, as shown below in Figures #1 & #2
Access Database Table

Figure #1: Access Database Table

Access Database 'HeatTreat' Table

Figure #2: Access Database ‘HeatTreat’ Table

  • Populate the table with valid data for your company (examples in Figures #3 & #4)
Example data for 'Finish' values

Figure #3: Example Company data for ‘Finish’ values

Example data for 'HeatTreat' values

Figure #4: Example Company data for ‘HeatTreat’ values

Setting up PropertyLinks Administrator

  • Open your PropertyLinks Dataset in PropertyLinks Administrator.
  • Go to Tools, Options in PropertyLinks Administrator and ensure that the “Use Database Connections” option is checked. See Figure #5 below
PropertyLinks Options dialog

Figure #5: PropertyLinks Options dialog

 

  • Create Finish and Heat Treat Properties
    • If the Finish or Heat Treat properties exist delete them
    • On the Properties tab press Insert to add new properties
    • Make sure the “Type” is “Database Connection” (see Figure #6 & #7)
PropertyLinks Professional Finish Properties

Figure #6: PropertyLinks Professional Finish Properties

PropertyLinks Professional Heat Treat Properties

Figure #7: PropertyLinks Professional Heat Treat Properties

  • Go to the Database tab in PropertyLinks to setup the connection.
  • Edit the Finish Property and set it to point to the Finish table and the Finish field (see Figure #8)
Database connection for Finish property

Figure #8: Database connection for Finish property

  • Press the Test Database Connection button (in the bottom right corner), note it returns all the Finish records in the table. Note duplicate items are automatically removed form the list
Database test connection

Figure #9: Test Connection with the Database

  • Now we want to filter it based on the selected material, to do this we pick the Add Filter button
    • Set up the Where Field Filter as shown in Figure #10
    • Note the “Test String” field is only used in PropertyLinks Administration to “Test Database Connection”
Where Field Filter in the PropertyLinks Administration dialog

Figure #10: Where Field Filter in the PropertyLinks Administration dialog

  • If we now press the Test Database Connection button again we now see that the list is filtered to only finishes that apply to “6061 Alloy” Note 2 items were removed from the database
Connection test dialog, 2 items are removed from the database

Figure #11: Connection test dialog, 2 items are removed from the database

  • Set up the Heat Treat Property as shown in Figure #12.
Heat Treat Property

Figure #12: Heat Treat Property details

  • Test the connection to make sure it works properly.
Database connection test for Heat Treatment database

Figure #13: Connection test for the Heat Treat database

  • Make sure you have the Finish and Heat Treat Properties added to the Pages
Database connection test for Heat Treatment database

Figure #14: PropertyLinks Administration Property Pages Definition

  • Save your PropertyLinks Dataset.

Inside SolidWorks (from a user perspective)

  • Start SolidWorks
  • Make sure that the dataset that you modified is loaded, this is done through the PropertyLinks Options inside of SolidWorks
Database connection test for Heat Treatment database

Figure #15: PropertyLinks Options

  • Try it out on a SolidWorks Part
Database connection test for Heat Treatment database

Figure #16: Material properties applied to a SolidWorks part using PropertyLinks Professional

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Paul McDonnell

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