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How to position parts in an assembly

Discussion in 'Using Alibre Design' started by salex, Dec 25, 2019.

  1. salex

    salex Member

    Attached is an assembly created using Atom3D. I'm not sure if it's entirely self contained so I uploaded the parts files as well. I managed to set the constraints to place the standoffs on the base and I can drag them around just fine but I can't figure out how to precisely place the assemblies on the base. So there is a base assembly, a left set of 4 standoffs that are pinkish, and a right set of 4 standoffs that are orange. For example if I wanted the lower left standoff on the left assembly to be placed at x=6mm and y=10mm how would I do that?

    Attached Files:

  2. JST

    JST Alibre Super User

    If you do not have mounting holes for them (they are welded or whatever), then you could just dimension it as an align of the axis of the standoff to the edge, with an offset of whatever the distance from the edge you want is. If you want it 6mm from one edge, set it up as an align to that edge, with 6mm offset. Do same for the 10mm in Y.

    Next one just do the align with offset from the common edge, and dimension the distance between them as an align with the other standoff and the offset in the other diminsion. So if it is 30mm between them, do an align of their axes with a 30mm offset.

    And so on for all

    Often, there would be associated holes in a surface by which they would be attached, and those holes would be already in the surface, so you could just do a mate to get the standoffs "on" the surface, and then align their axes each with the appropriate hole. It looks as if you could do that in this case.

    So, if you make the base have the holes, you can locate the standoffs on the holes. I would probably do that, since then if you move the hole by changing it's locating dimensions (and do not delete/recreate it), the standoff will move with the hole. Because they are square, you can use "orient" to set the way they face, if that is important.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2019
  3. salex

    salex Member

    Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately in Atom3D I can't find the Align constraint. I've seen a constraint menu in some tutorials that I don't have unless there's a way to turn it on. I haven't been able to find a setting. I only have the "Quick" icon for joining surfaces.

    Originally I was simply making each design a single part file and I was tediously reproducing the positioning of all of these standoffs in each part file. I use several boards in different configurations so I thought if I made the standoffs for a particular board as a part and then used them in a final assembly that that would be much more efficient. If I had to make the holes in the base part that defeats the purpose of using the assembly. I suppose I could place a reference hole for each part on the base but it seems weird that there isn't a simpler way to position these parts precisely on a surface. Perhaps the Align feature is available and I just haven't found it.
  4. JST

    JST Alibre Super User

    If you intend, as it seems from another thread, to 3D print the assembly, you can make it all as one part instead. Just locate the standoffs on the surface of the base in a sketch, and extrude boss to make them. The hole can be part of the extruded boss, or it can be made in another operation. after the boss has been extruded as a solid. Your choice.

    I feel certain that align is part of Atom 3D. A 3D CAD without it sees rather weak and pointless.
  5. salex

    salex Member

    I figured out the Align feature! Solves my problem. Thanks!
  6. Roy_H

    Roy_H New Member

    Well, I'm glad you figured it out, but I haven't. I added a part to my assembly and it goes where I clicked the mouse, and I did not take care to position it exactly. Now it is stuck there with no way to move it or even delete it. How do you turn constraints on or off? There is no option to move or rotate the part. Help files say that there are constraints and then go on to tell you how to modify the part. Why would I want to modify a part after putting in into an assembly? I would change the original part, or if I wanted a variation, I would copy the original part as a new part and modify that. That would keep the modifications easier to track.Anyhow help files are typical, in that they tell you the feature you are looking for exists, but not how to use it.

    I should have explained that I am using Atom 3D

    After a million experimental mouse clicks, I finally figured it out.
    Under Assembly Tab, pick Component Placement.
    Then select Precise Placement
    Click in Component(s) window then select part.
    Click in Axis window and select axis from Design Explorer.
    In Angle degrees window be sure not to type in more precision then your drawing settings allow. This part got me and I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't let me save the setting.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  7. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    Roy_H likes this.
  8. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    NateLiqGrav and Roy_H like this.
  9. Roy_H

    Roy_H New Member

    @DavidJ Thankyou, I do use Save As, but I didn't know about File Explorer issues.
    @NateLiqGrav and Thanks to you too for the tutorial link.
  10. Lew_Merrick

    Lew_Merrick Alibre Super User

    Hi David -- Whereas I understand your statement/description clearly, there is a "salvation" for those of us who move Parts (but not Assembiles) using the File Explorer. That is that as soon as the copy or move is completed to Open the file in Alibre Design and perform a SaveAs on it and Overwrite It from within Alibre Design. I have yet to have this technique fail. -- Lew

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