Engineering Talk - DCS's Blog on Quality and Engineering

T&T: Stop Renaming and Dealing With Naming Conventions in CAD with Alias Display

Alias Display for 3DCS CATIA, NX and Multi-CAD Tolerance Analysis

Stop spending time naming points and measures, and instead change all your points, measurements, tolerances and moves with one interface. Need to change them back? Make it temporary and switch back when you're done! Read on to find out more


What is Alias Display?

          Alias Display is a feature of 3DCS that lets the user create standard naming systems for points, features and measures. By taking all available feautures' names from moves, tolerances and measures such as: part names, coordinates, vector directions, tolerance range, to name a few, and lets you use these as variables to create automatically applied names. Simply choose from the list which parts of the feature you want in the name, and Alias Display will automatically name your point accordingly. 

Alias Display benefits:

  • Efficiently create a standardized naming convention
  • Easily create naming standards across models
  • Places the naming standard in 3DCS Reports and Simulations  


What does this mean in 3DCS? 


            When starting a model, it takes a while to apply names to features, points, moves, tolerances and measures. What's more, when the model is used by a team, often the points need to be renamed to fit standard practices or to meet new project objectives to make the model easier to share and update. Using Alias Display will reduce the time it takes to name the points and features, as well as making updating the names and changing naming standards very quick and efficient, reducing the amount of time spent naming, renaming, and naming again. The user can apply Alias Display once, modify it to their company standard and the setting will be available for the current model and any subsequent models.




                                                   Don't Spend All Day Typing Names 



How Do I Get Started? 

            To get started, make sure to download the latest release of 3DCS: (CATIA V5, V6, or Multi-CAD). Open a model, or create a new model, and venture into the 3DCS Preferences. Alias Display is the last tab.


Part Name Abbreviation Settings: Alias Display can take advantage of available part names, used with the Instance Name in CATIA V5 and CATIA V6 and 3DExperience. The user can specify either the Prefix or Suffix of the part name and then the amount of characters to be shown.

Double Settings (Precision): Is referring to any numerical value for each node; such as Range for Tolerances and GD&T, or Vector direction in Points, Moves, etc.  For example, if the Precision value is set to 3, the value in the display will show 3 trailing zeros. (Range of 1 = 1.000)


Activating Alias Display

To activate, select each node to ‘on’ and enter the customize window. By default, each node will have its feature name added automatically. The user can remove this value, but the feature name will always be displayed. Each value is noted by the ‘#’ symbol. The user can manually type the value or select the default option. Alias Display supports most special characters, so feel free to go crazy with your names.





Is there anything else I should know?

            Here are a couple more tips that do not use Alias Display directly, but might help improve your quality of life when modeling.

  • Find/Replace: The Find/Replace function is now a lot smarter when searching features in a 3DCS model. By selecting any feature in Find/Replace (Moves, Tolerances, Measures, etc.) and then using Wildcards (*) to search a term, 3DCS will search any feature with that name. The user can also use Find/Replace to change a specific string.

o  Example: Find: Moves; Search Term - *Move*; Select all features with the name “move” in the list and type the new name in the Replace Term field and select Replace Substring.

  • Rename Entities: Right-clicking on one feature in the 3DCS tree allows the user to rename that feature. Users can multi-select features and right-click to change all the names.

o  Example: Select all moves. Right-click and select Rename Entities. Type in “1…Enter”, “2…Enter”, to apply a number sequence to the move list. Doing this process will not modify the Alias Display name.



Technical Notes:

  • Alias Display settings are saved in the 3DCS config file. Which means if a user applies any of the settings in Alias Display, it will be saved for that user as well as the model.
  • The user can also specify the abbreviation terms for each 3DCS node. For example, Six Plane move has a default abbreviation of "SP". The user can navigate to C:\Users\"username"\AppData\Roaming\DCS\DCS_V5 and edit the text file called DCS_Abbr. This lists all available 3DCS nodes and their abbreviations in Alias Display, as well as all available settings in each node. Duplicate abbreviations are allowed in 3DCS and in the text file.
  • Special symbols are available to use to separate each node feature: "(!@#$%^&*|_)", "---".
  • When applying Alias Display and special symbols, it applies to ALL nodes in a model.


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Topics: 3DCS