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Picking dimensions for inspection list

Picking dimensions for inspection list

Picking dimensions for inspection list

I have recently come back to the world of methods engineering and have been tasked with formalizing an inspection program. the forms and requirements are easy, getting the operators to fill in dimensions and tolerances is a little more challenging.
Lurking about here and other forums has not produced any answers, I would like to know if picking the dim's and tolerance off the sheet view and exporting them to Excel is possible.
I use AutoCAD Mechanical 2014 and Inventor 2014.
Being able to do this will enable me to automate filling in inspection sheets before the material even hits the shop floor. Thanks in advance, I look forward to your responses

RE: Picking dimensions for inspection list

Just for the challenge, I drew a rectangle and dimensioned the diagonal length and modified the dimension dialog box so as to have upper and lower limits of tolerance; then I exploded the dimension so that the value and its tolerance limits were one object which I paste and copy on my excel spreadsheet. The main obstacle was that when I tried to fit the value in the default array, the value was too small to read so the excel program made this one box very big in order to be able to read the dimension and its limits.

RE: Picking dimensions for inspection list

Any process that requires the exploding of dimensions is a faulty one sure to bring about nothing but doom and woe.

OP: what tools are you capable of using and maintaining? Are you fluent with LISP, VBA, something.NET, objectARX, etc? That may help someone know how to go about things.

It shouldn't be too hard to write a LISP routine that gets all dimension objects and reads their value, creating an output that is usable for spreadsheets. The trick would be somehow getting the numbers spit out in an organized and legible manner, or even bubbling/ballooning the print so you have numbered dimensions that correspond to the numbered inspection form lines. That is a little beyond what a simple routine can normally do well. Not impossible. Just very difficult to place balloons/bubbles legibly.

So... what are you expecting specifically to be the nature of the solution?

NX8.0, Solidworks 2014, AutoCAD, Enovia V5

RE: Picking dimensions for inspection list

Well we don't know if sparky112 can write LISP routines and hopefully he'll get back to this forum and tells us what he has accomplished.

RE: Picking dimensions for inspection list

Hence the question.

NX8.0, Solidworks 2014, AutoCAD, Enovia V5

RE: Picking dimensions for inspection list

Good morning and thank you for your replies. Chicopee, that seems like an extraordinarily easy way to target the individual dims for each operation as I had envisioned. Since I work with a copy of the "Vault" version, if I mangle my copy, no harm. I intend to give that method a go.
Mr JNieman, I understand your reluctance to start "detonating" drawings. I've been bitten by some unintended results that required alot of time to fix. As far as how fluent I am, LISP's and objectARX's are friends of mine, we don't go way back, but we speak. My intentions are to pick individual dims in an order that seems logical to me for the work that is to be done as it travels through the shop. Some sort of LISP is what I figured the responses would be, I had not thought that a whole sheet of dims at once would be practical.
What I really hoped for was some command that Autodesk has already included for its mechanical users. So many other commands are included I did not think that was a stretch.
Pending other replies I will try the exploding technique to get something on paper and explore a more elegant solution. I still look forward to learning from the talent here on this forum.
Once again, thanks so much for your time

RE: Picking dimensions for inspection list

Ah, yes, a copy-only destruction would be "safe". Obviously you run into the issues of ensuring you're using the most up-to-date production drawings, but a revision check solves that. Also, if this is a "use it and destroy it" case, then your process will force you to always pull the new data when generating inspection sheets. So whatever you do to the copy of the drawing is moot!

I think you and I are on similar terms with LISP... I'd have to knock some rust off if I were to craft anything, but it at least gives me an idea of the approach. Extracting object values was one of the things I used LISP for rather successfully. Unfortunately I know of no OOTB resource for that.

I would sign up at theswamp.org and peruse some of the very valuable resources and brilliant minds there. There may be some folk there who've already solved your problem, or something similar, and have a routine they wouldn't mind you using or modifying to suit.

NX8.0, Solidworks 2014, AutoCAD, Enovia V5

RE: Picking dimensions for inspection list

I think that scaling the dimensions in excel would be a problem.
Another thing that I tried is to transfer the drawn object with its dimensions from ACAD to Excel. The way to go about that is as follows;
Clean the drawing area in the model space of all extraneous docked tools bars and extra commands line with the Clean Screen command within the View pull down menu
Pick the objects and related dimensions and Copy to clipboard (Control C)from key board
From again keyboard, press "ALT" and "Print Screen"
Open Excel or other editors except Notepad and on keyboard Paste from clipboard (Control V)
In Excel, entire drawing with dimensions can be easily reduced in size by picking the cell block in which the outline with pickboxes are displayed, the latter of which allows you to reduce the cell.

RE: Picking dimensions for inspection list

chicopee, armed with your initial post I exploded the dims and copy/pasted them into a paperspace mock up of my report and scaled them to fit. it gets me on the ground and running. I can load them in an order that makes sense as it travels through the shop. its a good start, I intend on working on this with our engineering crew to see if we can automate this better.

JNieman, I went to "Theswamp" and poked around. I didn't register or anything, I just went exploring. Thanks for the lead. As far as document control goes, we have some pretty stringent controls on and make extensive use of rev's. Parts that are for repair really need to be watched for rev level.

I really appreciate the help that is so freely given here. I use other forums for programming and machining in general and sometimes attitudes can be hard to take.
thanks again guys

RE: Picking dimensions for inspection list

Once you have established a workable procedure, let the audience of this thread have a copy of the procedure.

RE: Picking dimensions for inspection list

I just double click the unexploded dimension, swipe over the portion I want and ^c. It always pastes in as simple numbers in my excell spreadsheet cell. Hope this helps.


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