CATIA V6 Manufacturing Simulation and Sub-Assembly Modeling in the 3DExperience

Dec 11, 2014 1:45:00 PM

Sub-Assembly Modeling in CATIA V6 for the 3DExperience

tips-and-tactics-catia-v5-v6-1The shift in the 3DExperience to using Manufacturing Simulation for Dimensional Analysis changes the way 3DCS stores data and creates simulations.


In this Tips and Tactics, we explore the methods of sub-assembly tolerance analysis modeling when using 3DCS for V6 in the 3DExperience, starting with the process of bringing 3DCS models from CATIA V5 into CATIA V6.


Moving 3DCS Models from CATIA V5 to CATIA V6

To take advantage of the powerful tools and platform that is the 3DExperience, you have to first either create new models in CATIA V6, or bring your previous models over from CATIA V5. Let's assume you've been working in CATIA V5 on a 3DCS model for a while now, and would like to move it over into CATIA V6. This is done through two separate exports: exporting the WTX file from 3DCS which holds your 3DCS data (moves, tolerances, measures, etc..) and exporting the CAD data from CATIA V5 which contains your geometry. 

exporting-data-catia-v5-to-v6-3dcsSo let's start from the beginning in CATIA V5 by opening the model and completing those two exports:

  1. Open the 3DCS workbench in your CATIA V5 model
  2. Export a WTX under File
  3. Using Save Management,  save a copy of the model in a new folder location (this will be converted)
  4. In the DCS dropdown menu, select Update and select Remove DCS data
  5. Go to File -> Desk in CATIA V5
  6. Right-click on the main assembly in the tree and select CATDUA V5 (if any sub-assemblies exist, use CATDUA V5 on each sub-assembly)
  7. Select the Clean option and click Run
  8. Switch back to the assembly and Save Management
  9. Save your model

This will export the DCS data as a separate file, while clearing it off of your model, essentially separating your CAD model and your 3DCS data. This is important when bringing everything into CATIA V6.

REMEMBER: CAD Products are stored in V6 in a database, and not as files. This means that the 3DCS data cannot be stored in the CAD Product itself, and has to be stored separately as a Manufacturing Simulation. The best way to think of it, is that the 3DCS Simulation is added to a model as a separate item within the 3DExperience, and so is stored separately from the raw CAD data. This is the main reason the 3DCS data and the CAD data have to be separated before importing into CATIA V6.


Importing the Sub-Assembly Model into the 3DExperience

Now that you've exported all of your model data, it is time to bring it into CATIA V6, which is a 3D Simulation app in the 3DExperience. 

Note that the model you are bringing in is usually a sub-assembly of a larger assembly, such as a headlamp in this example as part of a larger automotive model, or a wing assembly as part of a larger aerospace model. 

Start by opening the 3DExperience and activating the CATIA V6 app. Then bring in the CAD data: 

  1. Select the  3dexperience-add-button-3dcs    Insert menu and select Import -> CATIA file
  2. Locate and select the CATIA product file that you cleaned with CATDUA V5
  3. Select OK to Import with the following settings:


Note: If the process fails, run through the first eight steps at the top to export new CAD data.


Add a Manufacturing Simulation to the CAD Product

Now that the CAD data has been imported, it is time to add a Manufacturing Simulation to it in the form of the 3DCS data previously exported as a WTX file. 

create-3dcs-model-3dexperienceStart by finding your model in the 3DExperience by using the Search field:

  1. Type “PRD:” in the search window followed by your product name and select your product.
  2. Now insert a new Manufacturing Simulation by selecting the    3dexperience-add-button-3dcs    Insert menu and select Content…
  3. In the Content list, search for Manufacturing Simulation or scroll down to Simulation type and select Manufacturing.








Now We Add the 3DCS Data

  1. Go to Save/Open DCS file
  2. Select Add/Update Publications and import the WTX file
  3. Save and close the model


3DCS Data Mapping Using Publications

DCS is constantly striving to improve 3DCS Analyst, and has added the use of publications in the latest versions. These vastly improve the ability to remove and re-add 3DCS data to your CAD product. 

As you can see in the right side of the image above, the DCS data is brought into CATIA V6 as separate publications. The 3DCS data is mapped to each CAD feature as a publication, which saves the model links for the 3DCS points, measures and moves. These links essentially remove the need for the user to remap or remodel any of the 3DCS data onto the geometry, making the import fast and almost effortless. Without the use of publications, the user would have to  manually re-apply the 3DCS data onto their model, which would be time consuming and tedious. 

For more on publications, take a look at the Tips & Tactics on using CATIA publications


Inserting the Sub-Assembly and 3DCS Data Into a Larger Assembly

To add the sub-assembly we have just imported to a larger product, we begin by creating a new CAD product and adding a 3DCS Manufacturing Simulation to it. 


  1. Go to the   3dexperience-add-button-3dcs    Insert menu and select Physical Product
  2. Go to the Insert menu and select Manufacturing Simulation
  3. Double-click on the Product node in the product tree
  4. Right-click on the product and select Insert.
  5. Select Existing Product: CATIA will prompt you to search for a Product file in the PLM System
  6. Search for a saved product file. (Example: Type “prd: Gear”)
  7. Select the desired product in the list

Now that you have brought in the CAD sub-assembly into the larger assembly, you need to import the 3DCS data. 

  1. Start by selecting Update Model
  2. Go to Open DCS File and select Import DCS File
  3. Locate and select the corresponding WTX file for the loaded sub-assembly.
  4. Select the sub-assembly in the tree. The below warning will appear.
  5. Select Yes will import data to the selected product. Selecting No will import the data to the Root product.
  6. The user will be able to choose if previous data on the sub-product is to be erased or not.


3DCS for V6 and the 3DExperience

This guide can be handy to have for moving CATIA V5 products and 3DCS models into the 3DExperience. You can click here to learn more about 3DCS for V6 in the 3DExperience. 

To download a pdf version of this guide , click the link below. Don't forget to sign up for DCS's newsletter to get each month's Tips and Tactics and DE Focus right in the mailbox. With no more than two emails a month, DCS promises not to spam your inbox and fill it with unnecesary messages. 

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