Graphic output.

A number of calculations support graphic output of 2D drawings and cooperates with selected CAD programs, including 3D parametric modellers. In such case, the calculation includes a "Graphic output" paragraph (at the end of calculation). This paragraph contains commands for creation of a drawing (.DXF file) or direct insertion of a drawing into the corresponding 2D CAD system. If the calculation also supports 3D CAD systems, the paragraph includes the corresponding button for activation of the insertion dialog.

3D CAD systems.

The button with a 3D picture and title "3D" activates a dialog for insertion of a model or assembly into the 3D CAD system.

The module that connects the calculations and 3D CAD systems is not included in the basic installation of calculations. The corresponding module must be chosen according to the type of CAD system on our web pages, and then downloaded and installed. The module also includes related help.

2D CAD systems.

Principle of operation: The calculation generates the chosen drawing in a temporary file in .DXF format and then inserts this file into the selected 2D CAD system. The solution is open. This means you can define your own drawing based on the calculated values and you can also add another CAD system (in principle, any application that can download .DXF format).

Insertion of a 2D drawing.

  1. In the "Output of a 2D drawing into" list, choose the target CAD system (target application) to which the picture should be generated, or a "DXF File" to convert the drawing into a .DXF file.
  2. In the "Scale of 2D drawing" list, set up the drawing scale. The drawing is always created in the scale 1:1. The scale allows you to set only certain parameters of the drawing, such as the size of the text or overlapping of the axes.
  3. If necessary, set up another control elements as well. Most calculations also include other setting options, which depend on the calculation and type of the plotted object. Explanation of these supplementary options can be found in the help for the respective calculation.
  4. Start plotting using the button with the icon of the desired drawing.
Example of buttons of 2D drawings.

Hint: In most cases, it is quite sufficient to choose the "Automatic" scale, which is set up with regards to the size of the plotted objects.
Note1: The CAD system (target application) must be started before generating the drawing. If it is not started or if an error appears in communication between the calculation and the target program, it is possible to save the drawing as a file in .DXF format.
Note2:If you use the local language setting of your keyboard, use the same keyboard setting in the calculation and in the target program as well (for trouble-free communication using the "SendKeys" command).

Drawing of Tables.

A series of calculations (gearing, springs, etc.) enables entering of the respective table with text information on the calculated object into the drawing. The table can be selected from the respective list (in case the calculation enables more types to be entered). Drawing of the table can be activated by pressing the button “Draw a table”.

Setting Table Parameters.

Parameters of the drawn tables can be preset on the sheet “DXF“ in par. 9.0.

The following can be preset:

The tables can be found on the sheet “DXFTabulky - DXFTables“. There text can be modified, rows added/removed, the format changed, and the width or height of the cells modified.

Setting properties of a drawing.

In the generated drawing, you can set up, for example, the type and name of the used lines, names of the used layers, etc. All this can be set up in the sheet called "DXF". At least elementary knowledge of .DXF format (a graphic vector format) is necessary to change the setting.

Note: Descriptions of .DXF format and a number of related documents can be found on the Internet.

Generating a .DXF drawing file consists of the following three steps:

  1. Copying the header (includes definition of the types of lines and used layers) [4.0, 5.0].
  2. Entry of entities of the drawing (generated by the calculation).
  3. Copying the closing of the .DXF file [6.0].

Changes in the settings can be executed in the 4.0 DXF Header Definition (ISO, mm) cell - or 5.0 DXF Header Definition (ANSI, Inch) , according to the used unit system. The cell contains the definition of the type of lines and layers used in .DXF format. If you wish to change the names of the layers, you must execute the respective changes in the names of the 3.0 Layer Names layers as well.

Creation of a separate drawing.

As .DXF format allows quite simple entries (ASCII Text), it is possible to easily generate a separate drawing in .DXF format using MS Excel.

Procedure:

  1. Create a formula (group of formulas) in MS Excel, whose results create a complete description of the drawing in .DXF format in one cell.
  2. Assign any name to the cell containing this definition.
  3. Write down this name in the 7.0 Name of Cell Containing the User Part cell.

The drawing can be plotted in the chosen CAD system (program) using the "Draw User View" button.

Note: The .DXF format requires separation of the attributes and their values using the row end. For the purposes of saving space and simplifying your work, it is also possible to use the semicolon sign, ";", in the definition, which is replaced by the sign "End of row" in the course of generating of the .DXF file.
Compare:
.DXF format A .DXF entry in the calculation is possible
0
LINE
8
0

10
-2.0
20
-2.0
.....

0;LINE;8;0;10;-2.0;20;-2.0....
Hint: A sample of a user definition of a drawing can be found in the 8.0 DXF User Part Definition String cell.

Connection of a CAD system (target program).

Communication between the calculation and the CAD system (target program) is executed using a DDE communication and the command "SendKeys", which simulates the pressing of the sequence of keys in the target program. The commands are sent to the target program, where they generate insertion or display of the drawing.

A new CAD system (application) can be added as follows.

  1. Create a table containing a sequence of commands that will be sent to the CAD system (application).
  2. Name this table.
  3. Add (modify) a row defining the communication in the "1.0 DXF Output Target Applications Table" table and fill out the row with the desired data.
Description of the "1.0 DXF Output Target Applications Table".
Column Description
Selection Sheet Name of the target program for the selection list
Command's Table Name Name of the table containing the commands that are sent to the target program
SendKeys App Name Name of the target program for sending commands using the "SendKeys" method
DDE App Name Name of the target program for sending commands using the DDE method
DDE Topic The chain that is sent to the target program for initialization of the communication

Description of the table containing commands for the target program

In the table you can find a sequence of rows containing, alternately, the name of the communication ("SendKeys" or "DDE"), and the command that will be sent to the target program.

Example of a table:
SendKeys
Sequence of the keys that are sent to the target program
DDE
Command sent to the target program
...................................

Tip1:More information on the possibilities of communication between the programs, its format and its properties can be found in MS Excel Help, in specialized literature and on the web.
Tip2:When defining a new interconnection, peruse the already delivered interconnection with CAD systems.