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Overview of Solid modeling using Pro-Engineer

written by: Suvo • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 12/5/2009

Pro engineer or pro/e is one of the most popular 3D CAD software trusted by mechanical design engineering professional all over. This discussion will be limited to some important basic features of pro engineer such that you will be in position to start working with pro engineer (pro/e).

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    Little basics of 3D CAD software:

    • Like other 3D CAD software pro engineer also have different modules for part and assembly. When you are planning to design a part in pro engineer you have to select part module. If your design content is an assembly (i.e. group of parts) then first you have to create(or model) all the parts separately using pro engineer part modules then you have to open a file in pro engineer assembly module and have to call all the parts you want to have in the final assembly.

    • Modeling in pro engineer or any 3D CAD software is similar to actual manufacturing of the part. Any pro engineer model is build up by adding numbers of features together and these features are actually similar to the operations needed to manufacturing the part.

    Getting started in pro engineer:

    Once the pro engineer base window is opened by double clicking the short cut icon, create a new file by file>new or by clicking suitable icon. You will get a window now like below:creating new part file  

    Here, in pro engineer you have to select part (or assembly) and give a suitable name ,also you have to select the type of part you want pro engineer to model , is it solid or sheet metal etc. Until you have any customized pro engineer template for modeling, don’t un-check use default template. Click ok and you are ready now for creating required features for your pro engineer model.

    What is model tree?

    The left side sub window of pro engineer part or assembly window is called model tree. Features/parts/sub-assemblies used for the model is listed in model tree.

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    Creating features in pro engineer:

    As soon as you create a new part, only the default datum planes and co-ordinate system will be listed in model tree. Following feature tools are useful:

    • Extrusion: Most likely you would likely to use extrusion as your first feature. You can either go to insert>extrude or click on the suitable icon. After that in the sketch definition dialogue box the sketching plane and references need to be defined. By clicking the sketch button of the dialogue box pro engineer will take you to the sketch window. After the sketch you need to define depth of the feature and other features as well.
    • Revolve: As the name indicates, the geometry will be obtained by revolving a section with respect to a central axis. Axisymmetric geometry normally could be created by revolve extrusion in pro engineer.

    Various feature creation tools in pro engineer wildfire are having similar kinds of tabs and fields, which typically looks like below:

    feature creation in pro engineer wildfire  

    You will see a group of field/icon similar to this at the bottom of your pro engineer screen for almost all the feature. The placement tab, you see at the top left corner of the picture, is used for placing sketch. Other important fields are marked in the picture. The terms are self explanatory.

    How to create datum features in pro engineer?

    Some time or the other you will be requiring creating reference for creation of actual features in pro engineer. Let us take an example to make the thing more digestible, take the case of a crankshaft. If you want to model a crank shaft in pro engineer, you will be required to create some extra planes at particular angles in order to model the journals of the crank shaft. It is not that you can not model at all without those planes, but these planes makes our life bit easier. These extra planes, points, axis, curves are called datum features in 3D CAD terms.

    You can create datum features by insert>model datum in pro engineer, alternatively you can make use of the icons available at the right side of your pro engineer window as well.