Category Tips and Tricks

The Inagural 3DVIA Composer User Group!

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We’re proud to announce that the first ever 3DVIA Composer User Group meeting was an astounding success!

Braving the cold and snow of the Minnesota winter, a broad mix of CAD engineers, engineering managers, and technical writers gathered in Minneapolis to share ideas and become more productive using 3DVIA Composer.

The day’s speaker roster included 3DVIA’s own Tod Cruikshank (the famed creator of the “TodCast”), who presented a collection of tips and tricks for streamlining content creation in 3DVIA Composer. Also speaking were Earl Hasz from SolidWorks and Mat Sauer of MTS Systems Corp.

It’s good to point out that this event was purely focused on sharing information to help make users more productive – and not trying to sell (software, timeshare, used cars, etc)...

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TodCast #5: Using Multiple Cameras

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Welcome to the first TodCast of 2012! We have been busy making fresh content for your enlightenment and enjoyment. (Please feel free to tell us what you’d like to see!)

In this TodCast, Tod walks us through the new multi-camera capability of Version6 R2012x, and shows us how easy it is to create engaging animations.

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TodCast #4: Custom Color Silhouettes

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Have you ever wanted to make a technical illustration using non-black silhouette outlines for specific parts? It’s incredibly easy and fast to do, as Tod demonstrates in this latest TodCast.

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TodCast #3: Animating Conveyors

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For those of us in the northern hemisphere — hot enough for ya? Welcome to the dog days of summer! To help keep you cool, Tod has put together a set of tips and tricks that will turn complicated animations into quick and easy work — getting you out of the hot seat, on your way home, and into your hammock in no time!

Tod shows how powerful yet easy it is to mix up and incorporate some advanced stuff: assembly groups, parent/inherited animations, assembly selection mode, grid snapping, primitives, timeline filtering by selected objects… just to name a few.

Enjoy!

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TodCast #2: Routing Wires

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So you want to route some wires on your 3DVIA Composer animation, but:

(a) you don’t have 3D models of wires, and (b) you don’t have a way to make parts flexible.

So what to do?

In this latest TodCast, Tod shows an interesting way to use geometry primitives + associative paths to simulate wire routings. Enjoy!

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3DVIA your iPod… wait a minute… Introducing the TodCast!

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We have a TON of new videos to share with you. I was about to post our next “3DVIA your iPod” video, and quickly eclipse our 100th video, and the title itself struck me… we’ve been doing this for several years, and when we originally started, this was the era of the video iPod. And the way to get the video on your iPod was through iTunes podcast feed.

A lot has changed in the last few years. We’re in the YouTube era, social era… iPhones and iPads, Android, tablets… it’s easier than ever to share videos. We don’t need iTunes video feeds or any other complicated uploading/downloading procedures and syncing. So while I was hoping to soon mark our 100th video “podcast”, it’s time to get current and refresh the name. Plus, I’d like to introduce you to our producer of these videos: Tod.

With th...

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3DVIA your iPod #90: “More Kinematic Tips”

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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhfO_fC6So4

Hi folks, and Happy New Year to everybody.

Tod’s been busy with kinematics again, and has prepared yet another informative video on this topic. He provides a couple of nice tips to help simulate moving parts around, like a robot, where you need to first pick up the piece, move it with the help of kinematics, and then drop it.

Enjoy!

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3DVIA your iPod #88: “Intro to Kinematics Part 2”

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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmqCRYty7Ps

Here is Part 2 of Tod’s introduction to 3DVIA Composer kinematics. Remember that with Composer, the goal is to use kinematics to facilitate the creation of animated procedures.

Enjoy the tutorial.

And we’re always looking for more ideas for future videos. Please let us know what you’d like to see!

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3DVIA your iPod #87: “Introduction to Kinematics”

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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-n3EE6KQYk

In this video, Tod introduces you to some uses for 3DVIA Composer kinematics, and then walks you through the basics of how to get it up and running.

One of the very good points Tod makes is that you don’t always need to fully define 100% of the kinematics. When you’re building an animated sequence, a combination of kinematics plus transformations can produce a very effective result.

Enjoy!

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3DVIA your iPod #86: Multi-Column BOM Tables

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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeZfJ7k8FdM

If you have the kind of product that has a lot of information, you might find yourself wondering how to create a Bill of Material table that can show some of this extra data?

In just over 2 minutes, you’ll learn how!

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3DVIA your iPod #85: “Alignment Tools”

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 httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbalSg4_mQE

Did you know that you can merge multiple assemblies into one Composer project? And did you also know that there are alignment tools to help you get your parts located where you need them? And how about some other powerful tools for moving, aligning, and adjusting component positions?

Check out this week’s video tip! (And if you have a good internet connection, hit the “HQ” button and watch the video in full screen mode.)

 

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3DVIA your iPod #83: “Toolbars and Shortcuts”

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In this episode, Tod shows us the flexibility of the 3DVIA Composer user interface and how to customize it to maximize productivity to the way you like to work.

Like toolbars? Watch and learn how to create custom toolbars.

Like keyboard shortcuts? See how to set them up and really turn on the afterburners when it comes to getting work done quickly.

Find your fast” is not just for 3DVIA Virtools and 3DVIA MP… when it comes to fast, 3DVIA Composer becomes super-fast when you customize the interface to your preferences. It’s one of the reasons we have such great ease and fun of use: nothing beats performance and a crisp, clean user interface.

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3DVIA your iPod #82: “Textures”

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Well we’re back with another video podcast after an extended absence.

iPhone users rejoice! Now you will have two ways to get these podcasts: through iTunes downloaded to your device, and now something new:YouTube. So pick the way that works best for you: on demand through your YouTube app, or keep them locally by subscribing to the iTunes feed through the iTunes store and syncing with your iPhone.

And now directly through the blog, you can watch these videos in HD (click the HD button after you start playing the video) and also in full screen mode. Enjoy!

Oh, and be sure to check out the 3DVIA Composer YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/3DVIAComposer.

In this episode, Tod — our resident “make it look nice” guru — gives us some valuable tips and tricks when it comes to adding texture...

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3DVIA your iPod #81: “3DVIA Player ActiveX”

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In about 10 minutes, you will see how to embed the 3DVIA Player into PowerPoint, and learn how to setup an interactive 3D presentation. By simplifying the 3DVIA Player interface and creating buttons to access only the most desired functionality, a custom and fully interactive application can be created: one that is designed for a specific set of users with a specific set of functionality.

And the best part is that everything you see in this podcast is 100% free as part of the 3DVIA Composer system!

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3DVIA your iPod #80: “Custom PDF Templates”

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If you have ever wanted to publish Composer content to a PDF, and wanted to change the look of the resulting PDF file, this is the podcast episode you have been waiting for!

Again it was Jonathan who showed me a great idea: use a familiar tool like Word or PowerPoint to build the layout of your desired PDF template, then convert it to a PDF. Then it is a simple matter to use Adobe Acrobat to indicate where Composer should embed the 3D content.

Then Presto! Your Composer data can now be easily embedded into your customized PDF file.

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3DVIA your iPod #79: “Using 3DVIA Sync to Keep Content Up-to-Date”

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A couple of weeks ago, Jonathan showed me an interesting way to use 3DVIA Sync to keep your .smg files up-to-date. I had never seen Sync used in exactly this way, and I am happy to pass along this great tip to you. What makes this podcast so interesting is that the .smg file has information about its source CAD data; so it is as simple as asking the .smg file to update itself, and Sync takes care of the rest.

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3DVIA your iPod #78: “Linked Vector Images”

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In Markus’ third installment, watch how he creates interactive 2D documents by using the linking ability in 3DVIA Composer. We know that not every use case can utilize interactive 3D documents. Many times you still need traditional 2D output, and you can see how easy it is with 3DVIA Composer to create hotspots in the output so that you can create a series of wonderfully connected 2D technical illustrations.

Thanks Markus, this is a great tip!

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3DVIA your iPod #76: “Automatic Layout Positioning, and Project Mode” (English Version)

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This week I would like to welcome a guest podcaster from SolidWorks Germany,  Markus Koechl, who not only brings us a great tip, but also brought us our very first German-language podcast last week!

Today Markus demonstrates how to use 3DVIA Composer to import CAD sub-assemblies and have them automatically and properly positioned relative to other sub-assemblies. This powerful ability allows massive assemblies — along with multi-CAD assemblies — to be broken up and easily imported into 3DVIA Composer. You may never have seen the full assembly before, or may not even have the full assembly at all, and now you can bring all of the data together into a high-performing 3DVIA Composer environment for repurposing into 2D and 3D documentation.

Markus also describes the “Project Mode” of 3DVIA...

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3DVIA your iPod #76: “Automatic Layout Positioning, and Project Mode”

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Our very first German post and podcast!

Diese Woche begrüße ich herzlich Markus Koechl von SolidWorks Deutschland, der uns mit seinem podcast nicht nur einen großartigen Beitrag, sondern auch den ersten Beitrag in deutscher Sprache zur Verfügung stellt!

Markus wird uns heute zeigen, wie man mit 3DVIA Composer CAD Sub-Assemblies importiert und sie automatisch und an der richtigen Stelle im Verhältnis zu anderen Unterbaugruppen positioniert. Damit können große Baugruppen, zusammen mit Multi CAD Assemblies, sehr leicht aufgeteilt und in 3DVIA Composer importiert werden...

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3DVIA your iPod #75: “Really fast ballooning”

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This week, Tod continues to build out his technical illustration that he started last week. He covers several options for ballooning the illustration, and then outputs the view to line art format.

Watch closely as he performs the following:

  • Sets up the default balloon widthC
  • Creates Bill Of Material id’s for different levels of the assembly
  • Creates BOM id’s using part names and meta properties
  • Controls the how the balloons are aligned
  • Quickly changes the styling of the balloons
  • Updates a view with his changes
  • Outputs the view to an interactive line art (CGM4 or SVG) while controlling the desired line weights of outlines, silhouettes, and shadows

It takes Tod less then 5 minutes to cover these topics and generate a fully interactive technical illu...

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3DVIA your iPod #74: “Really fast exploded views”

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Have you ever spent hours to create a complicated exploded view, with thrust lines and callouts, only to have to re-do it when engineering makes a change on you?

This week, Tod Cruikshank shows us how to quickly create exploded views for technical illustrations. While in animation mode, he uses an innovative set of 3DVIA Composer functions to complete his demonstration. In particular he:

  • uses “associative paths” to create jagged thrust lines in one easy step;
  • uses a combination of assembly motion and part motion to create those thrust lines;
  • moves one part in an assembly, and then quickly applies that placement to other selected parts;
  • creates convenient hot keys to further increase the pace of his work.

When I first saw this technique, I was blo...

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3DVIA your iPod #71: Standard Icons from Xype

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xype-sample.png

Here is a great sample given to us from Richard Hale of Xype. The effective use of standard icons is prevalent in this example, and is used to ensure efficient information transfer from the author to the consumer of the data. Standardized icons and symbols ensure that the end user has a consistent visual aid to accompany the animated procedure. The icons can also be used as “hotspots” or links to provide an enhanced level of interactivity with the 3D document.

Thanks to Richard for sharing this sample and for showcasing how a simple standarization can further enhance the learning curve to add coherence and reliability for all parties involved.

If you have a sample tip, technique, or just want to share what you are doing, please drop us an email at editor@3dmojo.com...

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