Engineering projects generate and consume a lot of data that needs to be managed. Data-driven design and the associated data management strategies are critical to repeatable, error-free, and fast design changes.
Data-Driven Design Overview
Several tools manage different types of data and engineering use cases:
Design data accessible within a file that drives geometry such as dimensions. Can include equations.
Design data accessible across many files that drives geometry. Can include equations.
Customizable metadata about parts such as approval date or cost center. Can go into a BOM.
An Excel plugin ties cell data to local or global parameters. Make updates in Excel and designs update.
Create variants of parts that all live in the same file. Easily switch between the variant as needed. Variants can express differently in a BOM.
Create meta-parts with design data and logic stored securely in a database. Configure parts on-the-fly.
A material library that you can customize as needed. Share materials with others via export and import.
An extensive library of standard threads managed in Excel that is fully customizable.
The Equation Editor shows all parameters currently being used by a component.
When designing components or assemblies, parameters are created as you make dimensions or features. Give parameters meaningful names and dynamically drive parameter values with equations. Update the size and position of model pieces by adjusting this data.
Global Parameters are standalone variable files that can house data and equations. Reference these files during part creation and consume the variables in them to drive local part geometry.
Updating the standalone variable file will update all parts that reference it.
An example of a sketch consuming parameters and equations to drive geometry.
The Design Data card of the File menu brings all metadata to one place for easy editing.
Parts and assemblies have meta data cards with default and customizable properties. This data can be inserted into the component's line-item in a BOM or queried through Alibre Script.
An Excel file that drives components. Data is updated in Excel and pushed to Alibre Design.
Maintain entire datasets in Excel and take advantage of Excel's extremely flexible data processing, data integration, and equation capabilities. Push this data into 3D models and update them as needed.
Use Excel's many functions to perform validation, such as determining when calculated values are outside of the desired range by coloring them red.
If a part has variants that all share core design features, consider using Configurations to manage the data. With Configurations you can create variants and manage design data, feature suppression, and part properties at the configuration-level.
Switch between the desired variant in an assembly by choosing it from the design tree.
A design generator interface to create a component from the part generator library.
Define datasets for a component along with design logic that drives the dynamic creation of components in real-time.