Meet Bob, the Digital Manikin in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0

An assembly design loaded in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0, the latest release featuring dynamic editing.

An assembly design loaded in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0, the latest release featuring dynamic editing.

The digital manikin in Pro/E Wildfire 5.0.

The digital manikin in Pro/E Wildfire 5.0.

You may use the digital manikin (which I nicknamed Bob) to verify line of sight and ergonomics.

You may use the digital manikin (which I nicknamed Bob) to verify line of sight and ergonomics.

In release 5.0, PTC‘s flagship MCAD package Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire takes on some of the characteristics of its direct-modeling cousin CoCreate (PTC acquired the company and the software in December 2007). The new release marks the debut of Dynamic Edit, or what many of us now refer to as push-pull modeling. But at its core, Wildfire 5.0 remains a parametric program.

The other noteworthy addition is a digital manikin, which I nicknamed Bob for easy reference. If you routinely work with heavy machinery, you may use Bob to verify clearance, ergonomics, and accessibility (for example, making sure Bob doesn’t need to be in an uncomfortable pose to operate a certain lever or control panel). To use Bob as a fully functional feature, you need a Pro/E manikin license.

The two-part video review below provides more details on Bob and other new features in Wildfire 5.0. For more, wait for the print review of the software, set to appear in an issue of Desktop Engineering soon.

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4 Responses to Meet Bob, the Digital Manikin in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0

  • Kenneth-

    Nice analysis, I missed it in the hub-bub of the holiday season. Push-pull indeed is an easy way to make edits to models. But Direct Modeling is so much more than push-pull.

    One important point you made was that in order to use this technology in ProE you go to the history tree and find the feature. Updating this feature can have many unintended consequences in a history based parametric modeler. I’d like to point you to Big Joe’s comment from 2008 in product design forums about why he turns his vendors and colleague’s NX models into dumb models before making edits to them:

    BigJoe
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    post Apr 3 2008, 02:27 AM
    Post #4

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    Group: Members
    Posts: 30
    Joined: 20-January 06
    From: Cupertino, CA
    Member No.: 4355
    Status: Professional
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    I do direct modeling in UG NX4 almost exclusively. It sounds crazy, but when I get a model from someone else (vendor, ID, other engineer) at some point I end up removing the parameters completely. I’ve been working this way for the past 2 years. Before that I spent 6 years serving up the parametric-modeling kool-aid. I was always fighting the uphill battle to get my colleagues to build intelligent, robust parametric models. Some guys get it, some don’t. Those that don’t, I’ve found, never will. But I digress. On with the direct modeling.

    First, let me describe the typical workflow. I rarely create a part from scratch. Usually I start with geometry from another UG part file or surfaces from the ID team. From there, I use the existing geometry to create and edit solids in the part.

    A typical edit is moving a feature to a new location. Maybe a rib or a boss needs to move or a face needs an offset. If I were using a parametric modeling program I would do this:
    1. Measure the X, Y, and Z distances from where my feature is to where I want it to be.
    2. Write down or ctrl+c the distance. (if there is more than one, no copy/paste)
    3. Select the feature that I want to move and activate “redefine.”
    4. Find the driving dimension and edit it to be the new value. If it’s only one direction and I had previously ctrl+c’d, I can type in “+ ctrl+v” and let the software do the math. If not, I break out the HP49g+ and do the math.
    5. Regen.
    6. If I built the original model (or if the model was built by someone that knew what they were doing), we’re done. But usually I find that references were picked incorrectly so I spend some time trying to figure out what’s broken then I fix it. Sometimes it’s quick. Sometimes I have to scrap the model and start over. Sometimes it’s somewhere in between.

    In UG NX using direct modeling I would do this:
    1. Measure the X, Y, and Z distances from where my feature is to where I want it to be.
    2. Write down or ctrl+c the distance. (if there is more than one, no copy/paste)
    3. Activate the “Move Region” command and Drag Select or “Seed and Boundary Select” the GEOMETRY that I want to move.
    4. Define the transform using point-to-point selections or direction-distance and ctrl+v’ing the value into the transform field and hit ok.
    5. Done. Seriously.

    The biggest difference I’ve found is in the selection of the geometry you’re going to modify. In step 3 above, I can drag a window around a drafted boss with hole in the middle, drafted radial ribs, and any radii between walls regardless of how they were created. Everything moves. Of course there are situations when complex geometry doesn’t solve and I have to do a few extra steps, but I find it’s not any more time consuming that editing a parametric model.

    That’s just one example. If you have more specific questions, I’ll answer them. When I started modeling this way it didn’t really make sense. Over the past 2 years it’s been making more sense. Now I don’t feel lost without my fully-constrained sketches.

    Here is the link to the discussion. http://bit.ly/6LX4sA

    Thank you for speaking about this important technology. I think of it as the “Scott Brown” of CAD Modeling and PLM Tools. We will see an upsurge in 2010 in this technology. For more information, please see my blog on this:2010 the year of Direct Modeling http://bit.ly/8GlIdP .

    Thanks for reading,

    Scott

    PS – Kubotek KeyCreator’s Dynahandle is our dynamic widget and is being improved also in ways to make editing much more easy and dynamic.

  • Kenneth says:

    Scott: Thanks for sharing this comment from a user. I would welcome a briefing on the latest version of Dynahandle in KeyCreator. Let’s arrange this by email.

  • Bettina says:

    Hi Kenneth, Hope you don’t mind – I picked up your naming suggestion for “Bob” on our Pro/ENGINEER page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=373260&id=99713100704&ref=mf
    Greetings! Bettina

  • Kenneth says:

    Bettina: I don’t mind at all. It’s fascinating to see other people’s preferrance for what to call the PTC manikin.

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