Create fully documented auxiliary views with Alibre Design

14 Nov, 2004 By: Michael Todd Cadalyst

Section View tool makes the process quick and easy.

Alibre Design has dozens of powerful drawing features you may not know about that will make it easier and faster for you to create drawings for manufacturing. A major advantage to Alibre Design is that any drawing views you create automatically link to a 3D model, making it easy to create them in any orientation within minutes. Called associativity, this is the primary advantage 3D solid modelers have over their 2D counterparts for developing 2D drawings.

Using the Section View Tool
Generally, you use the Alibre Design Section View tool to create views that show a cross section of a model. You can also use this tool to create an auxiliary view with automatically generated reference details. You can relocate the new view, either to another sheet or elsewhere on the same sheet.

Why use the Section View tool instead of the Auxiliary View tool? Using the Auxiliary View tool generates either a First or Third Angle Projection view. You can break the alignment of the view and relocate it, but you will need to add text to show which view it references. Instead, you can create a section view that behaves like an auxiliary view, in that it is a fold-out of either First or Third Angle Projection, but the automatic section text lets you relocate the view without requiring additional detail work.

Step-by-Step: Create an Auxiliary View
To create an auxiliary view of a design, follow these steps.

  • Open a new drawing using any template. In the New Sheet Properties dialog box, check Create Empty Drawing.
  • To create the first view, select Standard Views from the Insert menu.
  • Select any model from the Insert Design dialog box. You can use an assembly (figure 1) or a single part.

Figure 1. Front view of an assembly in a Drawing workspace.

  • To insert a front view, make sure only the Front View icon is selected in the View Selections area of the Standard Views Creation dialog box.
  • To create the Section View, you can use a single line to define the cut or many lines as shown in the stepped Section View (figure 2).

Figure 2. In this stepped Section View, the line that overlays the front view indicates the portion of the assembly that is visible in the section view to the right.
  • Right-click the front view and select Activate Sketch in View. (Note: Any sketch created at this point will be tied to the front view. When you move the view, all related geometry will also move.)
  • Select the Line tool and sketch a line through the view as shown above. Make sure the line cuts through a surface.
  • Select the Section View tool. Select the new line, then move the mouse away from the view. A section view will appear complete with cross-hatching. The line you created to define the cut now shows the direction of the section cut. (Note: To reverse the direction, right-click the section line and choose Reverse Section View.)
  • Click and drag the section line in the direction opposite the arrows until it is off the front view (figure 3).

Figure 3. The final associated section view can now be treated as an auxiliary view and moved to a new location or sheet as needed.

The cross-hatch visible in figure 2 is gone as the line no longer cuts through the design, but the Section Arrow and Section text remain. When moved, the view will now retain view associativity through these notes.

To relocate the Section View to another location on the same sheet, simply right-click the view, uncheck Align; then drag the view to a new location on the sheet.

Or, to relocate the Section View to another sheet in the drawing, simply right-click the Section View and select Move. Select a sheet in the Select Target Sheet dialog box and the view will move there. (Note: Section View is listed in the Drawing Explorer. You can make many types of changes to the view. Right-click the view and experiment with the options.)

Summing Up
Most engineering drawings have restrictions on sheet size and view scale. Yet many views may be required to fully document a design, and the most efficient layout of the views generally requires some rearrangement. If a regular auxiliary view is moved, it is necessary to add information to connect that view to its parent view. While section views are typically used to show details in a cross-section, when used as an auxiliary view as described in this article, the section view arrow automatically provides the information needed to connect the views without additional work.

Next month we'll look at some tips for converting some of those old 2D drawings into parametric models. Until then, look for me as the Alibre Assistant online in Alibre Design.

About the Author: Michael Todd

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