Engineering Talk - DCS's Blog on Quality and Engineering

Jason Brehmer

Recent Posts by Jason Brehmer:

Understanding Iteration Move and 3DCS Iterative Logic in Statistical Tolerance Analysis

How to Use and Apply Iterative Logic in Your Tolerance Analysis Model

Understanding and Using the Iteration Move in 3DCS Software

This article compiles information about the Iteration Move in 3DCS to help you use it and apply it in your tolerance analysis modeling. For more about Iteration Move, visit the DCS Community at:


What is the Iteration Move?

Topics: CATIA 3DCS Tolerance Analysis T&T CATIA V6 Siemens NX 3DCS Creo PTC Creo

How to Simulate Material Thickness in 3DCS Tolerance Analysis

 How to Better Treat Thickness Tolerances in Sheet-Like Materials

We encounter many situations where there is a form tolerance on a primary surface and then the other side of the part has a thickness allowance. Often implicitly it is assumed to have the same form or a very local refinement. (i.e. stamped sheet metal, composite lay-ups)There are many situations in both aerospace and automotive I would think where sheet of material is stamped and parts are indexed to both sides and sheet metal is accepted using a spec tolerance. 

One method used in the past has been to use ghost parts but it seems like there should be an easier way. What am i missing?

Topics: CATIA 3DCS Tolerance Analysis T&T CATIA V6 Webinar Siemens NX 3DCS Creo PTC Creo

How to Create Datums in CATIA V5, CREO and NX Using PMI and FTA

See How to Create Datums in CATIA, CREO and NX Using PMI and FTA Callouts

Datums are essential to your Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) in CAD, as they determine the reference points from which all information is based. 

When creating GD&T in CAD, it is important to set your Datums first. They determine the reference points for your other callouts. Different CAD systems have tools to help you create Datums, but understanding where they should be created often requires some experience with GD&T. CAD systems have progressed, but their GD&T creation tools for creating PMI and FTA still require the user to make determinations that are not corrected or checked by the system. The following clips from the DCS Digital GD&T Webinar Series help show how to create Datums in the CAD system, and offer tips and advice on creating Datums that can help you dodge common mistakes. 

Topics: CATIA 3DCS Tolerance Analysis Webinar Siemens NX 3DCS Creo PTC Creo

How to Create an Automated PowerPoint Report With 3DCS

Learn How to Create a PowerPoint Report Out of 3DCS

3DCS Version 7.5 comes with new options for making reports, including automated PowerPoint reports. 

With the latest release of 3DCS, users are now able to create 3DCS reports in PowerPoint and Word. The PowerPoint report requires a template, which can be modified to your standards or needs. 

To see this feature and more from 3DCS Version 7.5 in action, join DCS as it hosts the 3DCS Version 7.5 Webinar Series -- 

To learn more about generating a Report using other methods or about the dialog, please review the Help Manual for more details (available to all DCS Community members. Register for Free at ).

Topics: CATIA 3DCS Tolerance Analysis T&T Siemens NX 3DCS Creo

Checklist: Steps to Create and Validate a 3DCS Tolerance Analysis Model 

Checklist: Steps to Create and Validate a 3DCS Tolerance Analysis Model

Creating accurate models can be difficult. There are a variety of steps and tools that need to be used in order to get results that can be applied to manufacturing with confidence. 

Modeling and simulation are important to reducing costs, but can be intimidating prospects for new users.

3DCS, by its very nature of being an advanced tolerance analysis tool, can be complicated for new users. Many of these users are at a loss when it comes to starting a new model on their own. Here is a checklist to help you with your modeling process. 

For more details on individual steps and processes, visit and register at the DCS Community:

Topics: 3DCS Tolerance Analysis T&T QDM Siemens NX 3DCS Creo

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: 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


Topics: 3DCS

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