Solid Edge Variable Limits (On the Edge Solid Edge Tutorial)

31 May, 2008 By: Russell Brook

Enforce critical design factors without stifling design creativity with Solid Edge Variable Limits.

Editor's note: This tutorial courtesy of Siemens PLM Software.

Last time I looked at Solid Edge Design Sensors which warn you when critical design parameters are out of range. This month I will cover Variable Limits, a related capability that enforces critical design values, while allowing you freedom to edit your compo-nents.

One of the main reasons for choosing a parametric system like Solid Edge is that it allows you to make fast and predictable changes to your designs. Mostly this is a good thing; however, where components have been designed to be a particular strength or the material thickness needs to be maintained, freely changing these values could invalidate the design specification. By capturing design intent with Solid Edge Variable Limits, you restrict critical design parame-ters to stop you or others from making unintentional changes to critical design values.

Click for larger image (Click image for larger version)

Variable limits allow you to select a value in your design, say the thickness of a rib or material, and restrict those values. This is similar to the options you get when you print a document, where you are able to choose whether you want to print the whole document, the current page, page, pages within a range, all the odd or even pages, etc. With Variable Limits in Solid Edge you are restricted from changing the value, or you limit changes to discrete values (for example 45, 50, 55 etc.), or you choose minimum or maximum limits that have options for:

  • Greater than, Greater Than, or Equal to
  • Less than, Less Than, or Equal to
  • Greater than and Less than
  • Greater than or Equal to and Less than or Equal to

The options in the discrete list or Min/Max limit can be used standalone or in conjunction with a formula or pasted link, if you want to include your limits with parametric formulas.

If you want to use Variable Limits in your designs, this quick tutorial steps you through the proc-ess of adding minimum and maximum limits. Other options can be applied in a similar way.

  1. Limits are defined in the Variable Rule Editor, which is accessible via a right-click in the Variable Table or the Edit Formula ribbon for a dimension. Start by selecting a dimension or variable by double-clicking on it. From the dropdown menu next to the green check mark, choose the Variable Rule Editor option.

Figure 1 - Access the Variable rules editor from the SmartStep RibonBar or from the Variable Table.

  1. From the Variable Rule Editor dialog box, choose Limit Value To check mark. You can enter discrete values or choose a Min/Max condition. For this exercise, choose Min/Max limit.

Figure 2.

  1. From the Min/Max limit options choose set your options. In this example set the limit to Greater than OR equal to 65 mm and Less than 100 mm.

Figure 3.

  1. To test your variable limit, edit your model in such a way that you purposely violate the vari-able limit conditions. You will see a warning that the conditions have been violated, more crucially you cannot make a change outside of the limits. Warning message displayed when limits violated in the Variable Table and the Edit Dimension ribbon bar.

Click for larger image Figure 4. (Click image for larger version)

Wrap Up
By restricting the range of adjustment for a given component feature or material thickness, you ensure others editing anyone else's work will stay within specification and components are still fit for purpose. See you on the Edge next time.

About the Author: Russell Brook

Russell Brook

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