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SOLIDCast UNIT 35: Model Editing

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SOLIDCast allows you to select one or more shapes within a model, and perform editing functions on those shapes. This may apply whether you have only one shape (such as an imported STL file), or multiple shapes within a model.

For example, it is possible that when you import an STL shape, the shape may not be oriented correctly with respect to the Z axis (the +Z direction is considered to be “up”). Shape editing allows you to select the shape and rotate it so that the shape is oriented correctly.

Shape editing allows you to select one or more shapes and perform such operations as verifying or changing material type, changing priority, deleting or changing geometric properties such as length and radius of a cylinder.

Selecting Shapes

Selecting shapes for editing is performed by clicking on the small arrow on the tool bar. When the mouse passes over this arrow icon, the label “Select Shape Mode” appears.

You will notice that when you click on the “Select Shape Mode” icon, it depresses and stays depressed. When you are in “Select Shape Mode”, you cannot rotate the model by moving the mouse. You need to turn off “Select Shape Mode” by clicking on the icon a second time, if you want to be able to use the Free Rotating Isometric View.

Once you are in “Select Shape Mode”, you just need to click on a shape to select it. You will see the shape change color. As an example, the following image shows a casting with multiple risers with sleeves. The image on the left shows the model as it appears in the model building window. In the right image, the riser sleeve closest to the view has been selected by clicking on this shape:


To select multiple shapes
, hold down on the Ctrl key while clicking on the shapes.


To de-select one or more shapes
, hold down on the Ctrl key and click on a shape that has already been selected.

If you want to select a shape that is inside another shape, you can hide a shape. First, select the outer shape, then select Show from the main menu and click on Hide Selection. This will make the outer shape invisible, so the inner shape should then be visible. If you want to select ONLY the inner shape, then just click on that shape. If you want to select BOTH the outer and inner shape, then hold down on the Ctrl key and click on the inner shape. Remember, the Ctrl key is used when selecting multiple shapes.


To de-select any and all selected shapes
, while in “Select Shape Mode”, just double-click with the mouse in the clear space around the model. This will have the effect of causing no shape to be selected.

 

Deleting Selected Shapes

When one or more shapes have been selected, you can delete them from the model. From the main menu select Edit and then Delete Selected Shapes. A warning message will be shown that tells you that you are about to delete the selected shapes. If you want to continue with this operation, click on Yes, otherwise click on No.

 

Moving Selected Shapes

When one or more shapes have been selected, you can move the selected shapes in three distinct ways. The first is to specify a distance in the X, Y and Z direction. From the main menu select Edit and then Move Selected Shape(s). You will see a window that appears as follows:

 

In order to move the selected shapes, type in a distance for moving the shapes in the fields next to X, Y and Z. The units for this distance will be inches if Metric Units (under System Parameters) are turned off, and millimeters if Metric Units are turned on.

For example, to move the selected shapes 6.5 inches in the X direction and 2 inches in the Y direction, you would enter the following information into this window:

Then click on the button labeled OK. The selected shapes will be moved in the model.

The second move method called Use Pick Points, and is used in either a 2D Orthogonal View or in the Free Rotating Isometric View.

To activate the Use Pick Points move option, first select one or more objects in the model, then click on Edit… Move Selected Shape(s). You should see a window similar to the following:

 

Click on the Use Pick Points button. Once selected, you can click on any surface on the model, and, at every even click, the system will calculate the 3D difference in position and perform a move using that data. This option can be used in any view, but the points clicked must be on a model surface. For example, if the first click was on the center of the selected sphere and the second click was on the lower radius on the left side of the part, the move might look like the figure shown here:

 

The third move option is to Use Mouse Click, and this option is available only in 2D Orthogonal Views. First, select the object or objects, then select Edit… Move Selected Object(s). Then click on the Use Mouse Click button, as shown here:

 

Now, each set of two clicks will perform a 2D move, based on the distance between the two mouse clicks. It is not necessary to click on the model for this function to work. Also note that if the view is changed between mouse clicks, the move data will be ignored. An example of a Use Mouse Click move is shown on the next page, where the first click was on the left of the selected sphere, and the second click was on the right side of the sphere.

 

The figure below shows the same move from a top angle. As you can see, the sphere was offset in 2D only, and did not move forward or back in the third dimension.

 

Undo Last Move

Once a move function has been executed, you have the option to undo the move. This function is activated by selecting Edit… Undo Last Move. This will restore the moved object or objects to their original position. An example of this function is shown on the next page. Note that the Undo function only goes one layer deep, that is, only the LAST move can be undone.

 Sphere Position After Move.

 Sphere Position After Edit… Undo Last Move.

 

Rotating Selected Shapes

When one or more shapes has been selected, you can rotate the selected shapes about a point in space. From the main menu select Edit and then Rotate Selected Shape(s). You will see a window that appears as follows:

To rotate selected shapes, you must enter a point about which the shapes are to be rotated (the fields under Rotate Center in this window) and the angle of rotation, in degrees, about the X-Axis, the Y-Axis or the Z-Axis (the fields under Rotate Angle).

As an example, suppose we wanted to rotate a casting model 90 degrees about the X-Axis. This would be done by selecting all of the shapes in the model, selecting Edit and Rotate Selected Shape(s), then making the following entry in this window:

At this point, you would click on the OK button and the selected shapes would be rotated 90 degrees about the point (X=0, Y=0, Z=0).

 

Copying Selected Shapes

When one or more shapes have been selected, you can makes copies. The copies may be created along a line from the original, with a given offset in the X, Y and Z directions, or they may be created in a circular pattern around a line parallel to either the X, Y or Z axis (a “Ring” copy). When copies are created in a ring, each copy will be rotated relative to the original shape.

 

Linear Copies

To copy shapes, from the main menu select Edit and then Copy Selected Shape(s). As an example, consider the following part in which the main body and one lateral rib have been created as extruded shapes. The objective is to create additional copies of the rib, with a spacing of 0.75 inches from one to the next in the X direction. We would first depress the “Select shape mode” arrow on the toolbar, then click on the rib to select it. This would appear as follows:

We would next click on the Edit… Copy Selected Shape(s) menu. The following box would appear:

 

This box is used to tell the system how to make copies. In this case, we want the system to copy the rib in a linear fashion, so we would click on the button labeled “Line”. We would then indicate how many copies we want (in this case 8) and the offset distance for each copy (in this case, 0.75 inches in the X direction), so the box would appear as follows:

 

Clicking on the OK button would produce the following result:

When performing a copy operation, the system asks you to verify whether the operation was performed as desired. If the copies do not appear as you wanted them (for example, if you entered the wrong offset) then just click the No button and the copies will disappear. If the copy operation is correct, then click the Yes button and the Copy Window will close.

 

Ring Copies

An example of a “Ring Copy” operation is shown below. In this case, we have a hub shape that has been created as a solid of revolution, and a rib that has been created as an extrusion. Here we want to copy the rib so that a copy occurs every 45 degrees around the shape. First, we select the rib as shown:

Next, select Edit… Copy Selected Shape(s) from the main menu. In the box that appears, make the following entries:

First of all, we click on “Ring” to indicate that this will be a ring-type copy operation. Next, we click on Z to indicate that we will be copying around a line parallel to the Z axis. In the Degrees field, we enter 45. Note that when you do this, the number of copies is automatically set to 7. The system assumes that, if you are making copies at 45 degrees, you will probably want 7 copies of the original (just as, if you entered 90, the system would assume 3). You can change the number of copies of you do not actually want the 7 copies as assumed by the system. In this case, 7 is correct. In the Rotate Center fields, we would enter values for X and Y (since we are rotating about Z) if the center of rotation was not at the (X=0,Y=0) point. In this case, the model was created with its center at (0,0), so we can just leave 0 for both of these entries. At this point we click on the OK button. The copies will appear as follows:

By clicking on the Yes button we commit to the copy operation, and the copied shapes then become part of the model.

Note that you can use Copy to make copies of an entire casting model so that, for example, you can create multiple castings to model a multiple-cavity arrangement of castings for production.

 

Editing Shape Parameters For One Shape

If you have selected just one shape, then you can edit the parameters describing that shape. To do this, select a shape and then at the main menu click on Edit and then Edit Selected Shape(s). This option will display the parameters describing the shape that has been selected, and allow you to change those parameters. For example, suppose that you have selected a shape that is a vertical cylinder. The shape parameters will appear as follows:

Note that it is possible to change the coordinates of the bottom center of the cylinder, the length and radius, the priority, the material and the rotation in space of the cylinder. To make such a change, just type in the new data (or, for Material Type, click on the arrow to display a list of available materials) and then click on OK.

 

Editing Shape Parameters Multiple Shapes

If you have selected multiple shapes, then you can also edit some parameters of the shapes selected. You cannot adjust the individual geometric parameters of each shape. However, you can adjust some things for all of the selected shapes.

If you select multiple shapes in the model, then at the main menu click on Edit and then Edit Selected Shape(s), you will see the following:

This allows you to specify a center and angle for rotation, priority number or a material type for ALL selected shapes. Once you make an entry here and click OK, ALL of the selected shapes will be changed to that rotation, priority number or material type.

 

Grouping Shapes

When you select a shape that is part of a group, then all shapes in that group will be selected.

You can create a group by selecting multiple shapes and then selecting Edit… Group Shapes.

You can ungroup a group of shapes by selecting that group and then selecting Edit… Ungroup Shapes.

Note that when an Edit operation is performed (such as deleting), ALL SELECTED SHAPES will be affected, regardless of whether they are grouped or not. Grouping is just a convenient way of linking several shapes together so that when you want to select them again at a later time and perform some Edit operations, you only need to click on one of the shapes to select all of the group shapes.

If you select a shape that is part of a group, all shapes within that group are selected. You can select additional shapes by Ctrl-clicking on those shapes. This does not add these additional shapes to the group; it just causes all of these shapes to be selected so that an editing operation can be performed on all of them simultaneously. If you wish to add the additional shapes to the original group, you can do so by selecting Edit… Group Shapes.

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