Traditional workflow is to create a CAD model, create a paper drawing, provide the drawing to your manufacturing team with the original solid model, then hope for the best…BUT…some suppliers require you to work directly off a solid model. Revision Control is much easier when dealing with electronic documents. Paper prints can be hard to read and are easily lost and damaged…Ever have Joe over in the Engineering Department spill his coffee on the prints?
SOLIDWORKS has the ability to export MBD Data embedded inside a STEP 242 File Format. Mastercam has the ability to read that data with the MBD intact, without SOLIDWORKS on the same system. It’s as simple as saving the STEP file from the SOLIDWORKS 3D View Tabs and using File Open inside of Mastercam. Once you have the file open you can use the imported data to create your manufacturing strategies. For example, we can see below that the bore diameters are +0.0002 inches -0.000, a tolerance that may require a Jig Bore or EDM operation. I know that when I am devising my machining strategies, I should leave stock on those holes for secondary operations. I can also see that the overall height of the part is + or – .001 inches, a tolerance I can easily hold in most CNC Mills, and that I also have a tolerance of + or – .005 on the step telling me I have some open tolerances to use to my favor in those areas.
By importing that data in with the solid model I was able to see, at a glance, what manufacturing of that part will entail. This makes it much harder to miss an important detail such as the tolerance on that bored hole. I also no longer have to worry about being sent the wrong paper print, or any damage that may happen on the shop floor.
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