Join Veejay Gahir for an in-depth discussion in this video Exporting data, part of Alias Essential Training.
- Let's take a look at exporting data in Alias. So in this particular model here I've reached the stage where I've created my block surfaces or a theoretical model. And I'm ready now to send this data to engineering for their package studies. So I'm going to go ahead, select this information, and I'm going to go to File, Export, Active As. So I can choose a whole slew of different file formats here. And I want to just choose IGES for now. Now, the only thing with IGES you may have to be careful about is the file extension.
Some CAD systems use .IGES. Some use .IGS. You can always edit that afterwards. The only thing to be careful of is the IGES version that you'll be using. So let's just go with those, and we'll say Save. And you'll notice that it will navigate to your current active project, which in this case is Ch_09. And it goes straight to the wire folder. And let's give this a name. We'll call it Block. And we'll say Save to that. And now if I go to File, Import, let's just check that exists, we can actually specify all these different file formats again.
We know we're going to be using an IGES file, so let's just click on IGES, Import. Again, it's going to navigate to the Ch_09 wire folder. And let's make sure that we have all files selected here. And we can simply select this and import it. The other thing we can do is say File, Open. And I can open this block.igs. And in this case I'm not going to say yes. I'm going to say no and open up a Stage in Alias. Now, Alias comes back with a warning telling me that the current Alias session that I have has been set to Inventor Construction Options.
The file that I'm opening now has been set to a User Defined option, which is in this case looser than what I've got for Inventor. And it gives me an indication of the Curve Fit Checkpoints, angular continuity, et cetera. What do I want to do? Do I want to use my current one or do I want to switch to the new one? So in this case I'm going to keep the Inventor, so I want to keep current settings. So now I've got a Stage in the top left here. If I go to Editor, you'll notice I can switch between these two different open sessions.
I can select one session like this, and I can use the Window file format from the other one. I can select this session, and I can also switch this one off, for example. So sessions or Stages in Alias are a really great way to work. So in this case I'm going to select this one here and Delete Selected Stage. And we'll say OK to that. Now, as soon as that happens, you'll notice that we lose the option for Stages in the top left corner. Okay, so let's move on now to this layer which is CATIA v4.
And if I zoom out a little bit, you'll see at the bottom here we have Circular Fillet R12. So what we're going to do here is we're going to run some Fillets around this theoretical model. And we're going to run them at CATIA v4 construction options. So let's go up to Preferences, Construction Options, and at the very top here, let's choose CATIA v4. Now, CATIA v4 is a great CAD system. It produces some really excellent results. But the fitting tolerance for CATIA v4 is set at .01. So let's just keep an eye on that for now.
So we're going to run some Fillets. Let's go ahead and Surface, Surface Fillet, and we're going to set a value of 12 millimeters, Form Factor of 1, and just standard G1 Circular. So just going to window over these edges here, like that. And then I'm going to go and select these ones in the back. Make sure that the arrows are pointing in the right direction for this Fillet. And we're going to use Edge align and spacebar to accept. I've got Continuity Check on here. And everything looks good there.
It's all green. And let's just go to next. And we're going to carry on with that surface and then this one. Oh, I've missed this one out here, so I could just select on the end there. And just make sure that I select it as well. And these two at the back, make sure that your arrows are pointing in the right direction, which they are, spacebar. So that looks pretty good. Everything is green, so we've matched all meta continuity tolerances. And we'll say Next to that. So let's just delete the locators by pressing L.
And now what I'm going to do here is I don't like the way the end is finished here. So I'm just going to chop off the back portion of this very quickly. Let's go to left view. Let's go into Construction, Plane. And we're going to use World plane. And I'm going to use my alt. And I'm going to snap it to this grid location. But make sure you pick this little indicator here so that the plane is going vertical. And we're going to say Next plane. Let's just trim those off now. Very simply go to Surface, Edit, Trim, Trim Surface. So the options we're going to use are Intersect.
So very simply we're going to pick over these surfaces here. And then we're going to select our plane. And now what we're going to do is just pick the region that we want to keep, like so. And remember we can pick multiple times in the same region. It makes no difference in Alias. That looks good. Spacebar to accept. So after the calculation, you'll see these locates will pop back onto the screen just to give you a visual that everything is still good. And we will now press L to delete that.
Okay, so we go ahead, we export this data. We can send it out as IGES. We can send it out as a wire file. Now, the person that imports this data, let's say we've imported it. And I'm now using Construction Options of Inventor. Before I do that, let's just check one last thing here as a sanity check before we send this out. We're going to go to Evaluate, Continuity, Surface continuity. And we're going to check tangency just one more time. And let's just pick random edges like this. And everything is green.
And that's exactly what I expect because that's what we've seen when we were creating these surfaces. So everything looks good. Okay, export it. We import it again into Alias or into another CAD system and the tolerances in this case now being set to Inventor. So let's assume I'm the engineer now. I'm going to go ahead and quickly check these edges again. Let's go to Evaluate, Continuity, Surface continuity. We're going to check tangency. So we'll go through here.
And we'll see that some of them pass and some of them actually fail like this. So what does this mean in reality? Well, it may not be a huge deal. But in some cases and in some operations, for example, like Boolean operations or shelling operations, if the edges don't meet the core tolerances that have been set currently, which in this case is Inventor, the operation will fail. So two things will happen. Either engineering will get back to us and say, you need to rerun all those fillets or they will end up trying to use a healing command to fix those edges.
And in some cases healing works quite well and in some cases healing will completely destroy that tangency because it basically patches something in there to close that gap up. So let's delete the locators here. And I'm going to jump over to CATIA v5. And in this case here, these tolerances were set at CATIA v5. And I exported them and brought them back in. And this engineer, me, I'm using CATIA v5 now. So let's quickly check the Surface continuity using CATIA v5. But remember, before I do this, I have to go back and make sure that I am actually using CATIA v5 construction options, which I am now.
So let's go in and evaluate Surface continuity, tangency, and these should all be good. Now, you may remember earlier in this training course that I mentioned that if you don't know who's going to be using this, always set it to a higher tolerance. So in this case, let's take our Construction Options. And we're going to set them back down to a CATIA v4. And let's do Evaluate, Continuity, Surface continuity, tangency, using CATIA v4 tolerances. Now, remember, these fillets were created using CATIA v5, and we're going to be checking with v4.
So I would assume that there should be no problems because CATIA v4 is a lot more forgiving on the tolerance aspect. So everything here should be completely fine. So again, just be aware of what you're going to be creating this data and what tolerance you're going to be using and who's going to be using this data downstream.
- Manipulating views and entities
- Working with layers
- Creating curves
- Sweeping, extruding, revolving, offsetting, and blending surfaces
- Modifying geometry
- Moving, scaling, flipping, and rotating objects
- Trimming curves and surfaces
- Creating copies of objects
- Aligning, combining, and splitting objects
- Analyzing geometry
- Shading models