Engineering Talk - DCS's Blog on Quality and Engineering

Webinar October 22nd, Learn to Model Faster in 3DCS and Apply As-Built Plant and Measurement Data

How Do You Speed Up Your Modeling? Is There a Way to Use Plant and Measurement Data in Your 3DCS Model?

Thursday's webinar answers these questions, showing some best practices and tips to modeling faster and utilizing measured data in your model. 

Join the Webinar

Topics: 3DCS T&T Webinar

T&T CATIA V5 Tree Modification - How to Replace Sub-Assemblies with New Processes?

3DCS in CATIA V5 Tree Modification, Part 1





Replacing significantly modified subassemblies in CATIA

What happens when you delete and replace a subassembly with one that reflects a different process?

Many hours can be invested and lost trying to replace a heavily modified subassembly using the CATIA commands and the Tree Link Wizard.  Furthermore, this method can cause excessive loss of feature links.  The Tree Link Wizard is meant for updating the model after a single part or sub-assembly is moved or replaced.  In fact, when moving multiple sub-assemblies, Update Model and the Tree Link Wizard should be used between each step. 

This Tips and Tactics is a work around to get your subassembly with 3DCS replaced and updated without tree linking and feature linking.  If you’re just replacing the same subassembly without name or structure changes, this work around usually isn’t necessary.

With this work around, MTMs at the higher assembly levels will need to be checked and possibly corrected.  3DCS Excel export can be used to easily fill in some vacancies caused by this work around since some MTM items (Moves, Tolerances, and Measures) will likely be left with missing Object and Target points.

Topics: CATIA 3DCS T&T

T&T - Color Contour (Color Mapping) Add Visual Context to Your Dimensional Analysis

Color Contour (Color Mapping)

                    in 3DCS Variation Analyst



Color Contour (also known as Color Mapping) is a visualization tool which shows the level of variation on parts during Deviation and Simulation. It allows a user to pinpoint part and assembly tolerances, and measurements that are most critical to the assembly process.

How do I start using the tool?

        No crayons or color pencils are required but a 3DCS Variation Analysis license is needed to run 3DCS. To apply Color Contour, the user will need to locate the 3DCS Display Toolbar and activate Color Contour. Once the user activates Color Contour, Multi-CAD, CATIA V5 and 3DEXPERIENCE require a specific visualization type. This is automatically changed in the software and will produce a warning to show the user it changed. Open the Color Contour options to activate the legend.

  • To view Color Contour while in Deviation, a model requires at least one Move and one Tolerance or GD&T callout.
  • To view Color Contour in a Simulation, a model will require at least one Move, one Tolerance or GD&T and one Measure.

Note: A user can have both a Simulation window open and show Deviation by either clicking in the Graph window or the Simulation window.


Topics: 3DCS Tolerance Analysis T&T

T&T Using Datum Shift Simulators in Variation Analysis - 3DCS

Datum Shift Simulators in Variation Analysis

Datum Shift refers to the available assembly clearance of a part when located in a fixture for gauging.

Edited 6-10-2015

When a datum in a datum reference frame (DRF) is specified at MMC/MMB, the datum feature simulators (e.g. gage pins) will be made as though the datum features are at their MMB (e.g. holes at their smallest size.)  Therefore, when a part with datum features not at MMB is placed on the gage, it can be adjusted so that the features being measured are closer to nominal.  Since the measured variation is less, the features can have more variation relative to each datum axis or center-plane.

Topics: 3DCS T&T

3DCS and QDM Wizards - Tools and DLL's to Make CAD Modeling Easier


3DCS and QDM Wizards - Tools and DLL's to Make CAD Modeling Easier


Introduction: Model or Template Wizards 


We’re not talking about Gandolf or Merlin for 3DCS, but helpful tools that will help users with their overall modeling experience. These tools are often overlooked by both 3DCS and QDM users. If you are looking for specific information about these tools, visit the DCS Community and view the Help Manual. More information about these tools is available in the Community or the Help Manual         

 This month’s Tips and Tactics will go through a list of available Wizards and helpful tools for 3DCS and QDM; where they are at and how they can help users with their 3DCS model or with QDM template creation.



Topics: 3DCS T&T QDM

How to Bring Real Manufacturing Data into Your 3D CAD Simulation - Closed Loop

How to Bring Real Manufacturing Data into Your 3D CAD Simulation

3DCS Variation Analyst and QDM - Quality Data Management Systems can be used together to create a Closed Loop approach to quality. This creates feedback loops in process, bringing inspection data from manufacturing into the 3D CAD model for root cause analysis, design optimization and continuous quality improvement. 

So how does this solution work?

Topics: 3DCS Tolerance Analysis T&T QDM

Enhanced Scenes in CATIA V5 - Customizing Views to Assemble and Compare

Enhanced Scenes

     Customizing Your Assembly in CATIA V5 and 3DCS

Enhanced Scenes allow you to customize the configuration of your model at nominal and exploded view. This can be helpful when modeling assembly processes or checking your work.


Topics: CATIA 3DCS T&T

How to Use CATIA Symmetry and 3DCS Mirror to Save Time on CAD Modeling

CATIA Symmetry and 3DCS Mirror 

Useful tips on quickly creating symmetrical models and duplicating data.

This Tips and Tactics will display how both Mirror and Symmetry work together to reduce modeling time and create symmetrical models.   

The Symmetry function in CATIA V5 is used to create a symmetrical mate to a part or assembly. This allows users to quickly craft only half of an assembly, and then mirror the other half to create a perfectly symmetrical product.

Topics: 3DCS T&T

How to Use Confidence Interval to Improve Dimensional Analysis Part 3

Where Is DCS Getting These Numbers?

How do you know your results are accurate? Here are some methods of calculating your Confidence Interval

Dimensional Control Systems 3DCS® is a variation analysis tool that uses Monte Carlo simulation to predict the results of a set of measurements [Dimensional Engineering News, June 2009]. After a variation model is built in 3DCS®, a Monte Carlo simulation can be performed to provide the following statistics:

Descriptive statistics - calculations made directly from the sample data such as mean, minimum, maximum, standard deviation, percentage out-of-spec, confidence intervals, etc.

Inferential statistics – estimations based on a curve-fitting algorithm such as estimated low, estimated high, estimated percentage out-of-spec, etc.

Topics: 3DCS T&T DE Focus

Best Practices: Working with Large Models

Best Practices to Working with Large Models in CATIA and 3DCS

Large models keeping you down? Taking you an hour to save your work? 

Try some of these Tips to make your life easier. 


Topics: 3DCS T&T