It's been a few weeks since I brought something to the table. We have all heard the mantra "time is money". In 3D modeling and design, this could not be more true. Yesterday, I was working on a model, and used a feature that I am very familiar with, but one that many Solid Edge Users may not be aware of---the "Capture Fit" feature. This little trinket can save vast amounts of time when putting together assemblies; I have found it's most effective use is with fasteners.
So what is the Capture Fit feature you ask? Basically, it "captures (as the name implies) the mates that are associated with a part in an assembly and stores them. It eliminates the number of mouse clicks required to mate parts significantly. This can work two ways:
1) Stores the mates in that particular assembly: This means that anytime that part is used in JUST THAT assembly, you only have to select the faces/features on the target part.
2) Stores the mates to the part: This means that ANY assembly the part gets brought into, you only have to select faces/features on the target part.
So let's look at a screw for instance. If you mate a screw like I do; I use the "Insert" command. With this command, you select an axis of source and target part, and you select a mating face of source and target part; usually the bottom of the head of the screw. Using "Capture Fit", Solid Edge will store those two mates---axial align and mate to either that part or that assembly as discussed above. So next time that screw is brought in use, you only select the axis & face on the target part to place it. You save two mouse clicks using this method. That may not seem like much, but over time, it adds up!
Now let's look at how to use this simple feature:
Start with an assembly, I am going to use a simple base with a series of 10-32 holes in it and place a 10-32 screw into those holes.
Next I am going to bring in the 10-32 screw. The key to setting this up, you need to fully mate the screw (or whatever part you are using). Again, I mated using the Insert mate. You can see below on bottom left the two mates the Insert command uses: Axial Align and Mate.
Now comes the easy part of setting up the Capture Fit command. Save your assembly first (if you don't, it will prompt you to do so). Then simply Right-Click on the screw or source part you are using. Go to More>Capture Fit
Once you click to accept Capture Fit, a dialogue box will appear listing the mates of part. You can then remove the mates you do not want to capture.. Also you will see the checkbox under "Retain Data" to store those mates to the part as described above. If you leave it unchecked, it only applies to your active assembly.
Click to accept. You have now setup the Capture Fit feature. To use it now, simply bring that part into the assembly again, Then you only select the mating face the bottom of the screw heads goes with, and the hole it goes in--Done.Repeat.
Now don't get me wrong, there are other features that would have made this process of placing the screws on all 4 holes even faster, but you have to leave me something to write about!
Also, please share this page, or this blog if you enjoyed it. Shoot me a message if you liked what you read. If you have any suggestions for blog posts or would like to see certain features covered, let me know!