How To Know If You Need To Switch Formula CATIA Knowledgeware: Using Geometrical Parameters

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CATIA Knowledgeware: Using Geometrical Parameters

There are times when a part needs to be robust enough to handle multiple variations of design features and/or iterations. This will be the case when building prototypes or advanced models that give the designer a starting point for complex designs. A master model is important if the parts you design often have the same basic features, but the details of those features differ. The most obvious case would be a plate with variable length, width and height, and having a few holes with positions or variable sizes where each value can be driven by global parameters. What happens when you want to change the geometry of a body or feature but don’t want to have repetitive design features or want to avoid complex tree shapes? You use a geometric parameter of course! This article will walk you through the use of these geometric parameters to solve this problem.

Note: In order to perform this function your CATIA package must have the Knowledge Advisor (KWA) workbench. It will also be an assumption that you know how to easily create sets of geometry, parameters, formulas and rules.

The example described is a simple flat head screw that will have different types of head or tool slots. It exemplifies Flat, Phillips, Hex, Star and random circular shapes to show the extreme variations that can be created.

To begin with, it is assumed that you already have a part already made, but you may not be able to add a lot of variation to that part without a large amount of design time or trickery. The first thing you’ll need to add is a variable to initiate the changes you want to make. For example, the String parameter called “PROFILE” is made up of several values ​​(Flat, Phillips, Hex, Torx and Swirl-E-Bob). Different values ​​of this parameter will determine which graph is used to fill the curve parameter, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves!

The next parameter to be created is the CURVE parameter. This parameter can be found near the end of the parameter list and is surrounded by other geometry parameters including Surface, Cartesian, Circle, Line and Point. A geometric parameter is like any other parameter and can be thought of as an empty placeholder for a specific unit. Normally, a parameter is not very useful until it has a specified value. In the case of a geometry parameter, the value or unit is the geometry type; then the value of the curve parameter can be a figure, spline, polyline or any other type of wire geometry.

Now that the trigger and placeholder are created, the curve parameter values ​​need to be created. These values ​​will be graphs for the screw example, but can be anything that can be defined as a curve. Five designs were created and each was named after the profile created – Victory, Cross, Hexagon, Star and Swirl. The naming is meant to make it easier to identify the profiles and I would highly recommend that they be named logically, but it is not necessary as each profile has its own name by default.

Once the values ​​are created, the curve parameter should be filled with the values ​​(Graphics) you created. You will need to switch to the Knowledgeware Advisor (KWA) workbench and create a rule. In principle, you will need to create a conditional statement that will drive the curve parameter. The syntax of a conditional statement in KWA is as follows:

If variable == value


Or if variable == variable value

another move

This can be built upon with additional nested conditions, but for simplicity we will use one condition and one result. In the example, the rule reads as follows:


ProfilesShape = ProfilesStraight

ELSE IF PROBLEM == “Phillips”

ProfilesStatus = ProfilesCross


ProfilesShape = ProfilesHexagon


ProfilesStar = ProfilesStar


ProfilesShape = ProfilesSwirl

To break this down, we’ll look at each line of the first condition.

  • “PROFILE” is the name of the string parameter created by the launcher.
  • “==” means “equal to.” “<>” can also be used if you specify that the object is “NOT equal.”
  • “Flat” is one of the five multiple values ​​of “PROFILE” assigned to determine which shape will be used to test the curve parameter. “Shape” is the name of the curve parameter and “Profiles” is the name of the geometry set. which holds all the geometry, so the name is ProfileShape.
  • “Horizontal” is the name of the figure corresponding to the type of screw head “Flat”. It’s also in the “Profiles” geometry set, so the name is ProfilesStraight.

Now that the curve parameter is filled, you will notice the icon has changed to that of a formula and is ready to be used to construct geometry. In the example of a screw, it was used as a drawing profile of a pad that was prepared with a groove mark and those marks were inserted into the body of a different member, and this body is removed from the part of the body of the screw. Sounds complicated doesn’t it? You can easily use your curve parameter as a pad profile, pocket or any number of parts or surface features you want to create. This is just one of the many ways in which an estimated curve parameter can be used.

Using this method, your design will be more powerful as you will be able to create different control points, different Sketch planes, breakpoints, graphic profiles, side lines or axes or about any type of geometric control to initiate complex design changes. Take the information here and build on it to reduce your design and management time, increase productivity and make your design stronger and more powerful.

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