The exploded representation functionality creates associative exploded representations of assemblies without modifying the assembly itself. Exploded representations are stored in dedicated blocks which can be edited and inserted according to the user’s needs. You can also generate drawing views from the exploded representations.
Exploded representations are associative. Each part in an exploded representation is linked with the corresponding part in the assembly. Using the BMBALLOON command, you can update exploded representations to the current state of the assembly as well as to place balloon annotations on corresponding drawing views.
Levels of the exploded representation
Exploded representations contain references to the components which makes them quite lightweight. Two levels of the exploded representation are supported: Top or Bottom.
Top Level: The exploded representation contains references to top level components only. Top level components are components inserted directly into the main assembly. A top level component in such exploded representation is not exploded further - all its parts and subassemblies remain assembled. Top level exploded representation allows you to see the basic composition of your assembly.
Bottom level: The exploded representation contains references to bottom-level components only. Bottom level components are terminal parts, which do not contain other parts or subassemblies. Bottom level exploded representation allows you to see all parts isolated.
If Bottom level is selected and there are some middle-level components containing not only inserts of components but also other entities, such entities will be lost in the exploded representation, because it is not possible to reference them correctly. Those entities should be converted into corresponding bottom-level components first.
BricsCAD provides two algorithms to automatically create exploded representations and a Manual mode to create customized exploded representations manually.
- The Table by Type algorithm creates a table-like explosion where components of the same type are grouped in same rows.
- The Linear algorithm finds the disassembling sequence of components in the given direction and orders the components with respect to that sequence taking into account possible physical collisions between components. The components can be moved by the algorithm only if there are no other components (not yet moved), which block them.
- The Manual algorithm creates an exact copy of the assembly ready for custom editing. In this mode, it is possible to create a custom exploded representation without changing the main assembly.
Example: the Drive assembly
The Drive assembly consists of two main components: Travel_Motor_Assembly and Planetary_Gear_Assembly. In turn, each of the components consists of several parts and subcomponents.
|Table by types||Linear|
Steps and animations
Exploded views may contain one or several steps, which describe a particular assembly or disassembly sequence. Each step corresponds to a set of components that should be moved at this particular stage in order to assemble or disassemble the main assembly. All exploded representation algorithms automatically create necessary steps. It is also possible to add the user's steps as well as delete, merge, split or move them.
Each step has a unique name that can be used to describe the step.
It is possible to animate a particular step as well as the entire sequence of steps, both in direct and reverse directions (to get disassembly and assembly animations correspondingly). In order for the animation to work properly, an initial step that defines the initial state of the assembly must be present in the exploded representation. It is possible to automatically hide components not important for a particular step during the animation using the Auto hide property of the exploded representation.
Editing of exploded representations
Because each exploded representation is stored in a block, it is possible to edit the exploded representation using the block editor. Do not use REFEDIT command to edit exploded representations, as this command is incompatible with exploded representation steps.
The fastest way to open the exploded representation for editing is to right-click at the required exploded representation in the Mechanical Browser and select "Edit" command from the context menu. The block editor will be opened automatically. It is also possible to open the exploded representation for editing at the end of BMEXPLODE command.
When the exploded representation is opened, it is possible to change the state of the current step of the exploded representation. By default, this is the last step made by the algorithm. However, the current step can be changed using the Current step property of the exploded representation in the browser, or by right-click at the desired step in the Mechanical Browser and selecting "Apply" command from the context menu.
Changing the current step will discard all the unsaved modifications, as well as any operation on steps except saving. Make sure that all necessary modifications are saved before changing the current step or performing any other operation on exploded representation steps.
DMMOVE, MOVE, DMROTATE, and BMEXPLODEMOVE commands can be used to move components, inside the exploded representations, to their desired positions. In the case of BMEXPLODEMOVE, all necessary steps will be added automatically after the current step. For other operations the current step must be saved afterward. Only the difference between the current step and the previous one is stored. It is also possible to change the exploded representation by performing operations on steps. For example, if a step is removed, all components moved at this step will be returned to their positions before that step. After editing is finished, it is necessary to save the current step, otherwise all changes will not be taken into account and could be discarded.
To create an exploded representation
The BMEXPLODE command creates an exploded representation of the current assembly. Note: it is necessary to have at least one insert of a part in the assembly for the command to work.
To launch the BMEXPLODE command, do one of the following:
- Click the Explode tool button ( )on Tools panel of the Assembly ribbon tab;
- Click the Explode tool button ( )on the Assembly toolbar;
- Select Explode in the Assembly menu;
- Type bmexplode in the command bar.
You are prompted: Select explosion algorithm [Table by types/Linear/Manual/Settings]:
- (Option) Set the Level and the Name of the exploded representation using the Settings option.
- Select the algorithm.
You are prompted: Select exploded view behavior [Edit/Generate drawing views/Finish]:
- Select Edit to edit the exploded representation. Select Generate drawing views to generate drawing views of the exploded representation. Select Finish to finish the command.
To generate drawing views of the exploded representation
- Launch the VIEWBASE command.
You are prompted: Select objects or [Entire model/preseTs/Special views] <Entire model>:
- Select Special views option.
You are prompted: Select view [Exploded view/Back] <Back>:
- Select Exploded view option. A dialog to select the exploded representation will be opened. Select the exploded representation from the dialog.
You are prompted: Enter new or existing layout name to make current <Layout1>:
- (Optional) Enter the Layout name of the layout for the exploded representation
- Position the generated drawing views of the exploded representation in the paper space layout.
To update an exploded representations
Execute the BMUPDATE command to synchronize exploded representations with the current state of the assembly.
If necessary, adjust the exploded representation. Such adjustments, for example, may be required because of addition and/or deletion of some parts.
The position of parts in exploded representations created in Manual and Linear modes are not updated automatically, even if no editing has been done.
To manage exploded representations
Open the Mechanical Browser to see all exploded representations in the document. All exploded representation will be listed under the Exploded representations group. Open the context menu for the selected exploded representations to see all supported operations in this context.
Properties of exploded representations
Each exploded representation has a set of properties, some of them can be edited by the user.
- Algorithm - the name of the algorithm used to create this exploded representation.
- Name - Name of the exploded representation. Must be unique for all exploded representations as well as for all the blocks in the model.
- Type - Type of the exploded representation: Top or Bottom.
- Animation - the direction of animation. Can take one of two values:
- Direct - from start to end.
- Reverse - from end to start.
- Auto hide - if set to Yes, all parts not important for a particular step will be hidden during the animation.
- Step duration - default duration of each step during the animation, in milliseconds. Default value is 1000, which means 1s duration.
- Current step - the current step that corresponds to the state of the exploded representation.
Operations on exploded representations
The supported operations depend on if the exploded representation is opened for editing.
If the exploded representation is not opened for editing, following operations are possible:
- Edit - opens the exploded representation for editing. Alternatively, it is possible to edit the exploded representation using Bedit
- Generate views - launches ViewBase command for the selected exploded representations. The name of the exploded representation will be used as the name of the layout. Current orientation is used for the exploded representation automatically.
- Delete - removes the exploded representation and the associated block from the document.
If the exploded representation is opened for editing, following operations are possible:
- Animate - animates the entire sequence of steps.
- Save current state - saves the current positions of parts in the current step.
- Add a new step - adds a new step after the last one. Note: the new step will be automatically set as current, and all unsaved modifications of the exploded representation will be lost.
- Delete - removes the exploded representation and the associated block from the document.
In addition, all steps will be listed in the Mechanical Browser for this exploded representation.
To manage exploded representation steps
Open the Mechanical Browser and open the required exploded representation for editing. All steps will be listed under the corresponding node in the tree.
Properties of steps
- Name - name of the step. Must be unique for this exploded representation
- Duration, ms - the duration of the step. By default, equal to the Step duration set for the exploded representation
- Duration type - specifies if the duration should be taken from the exploded representation, or is specific for this particular step.
- Duration value (only for Absolute duration type) - the duration for this step in milliseconds.
Operations on steps
- Apply - sets the step as the current and updates the parts in the exploded representation according to this step.
- Animate - animates the selected step.
- Set as previous - clears the step, so the positions of all parts will be the same as at the previous step.
- Merge with previous - merges this and the previous step, then removes the previous step.
- Split - splits the step to a sequence of steps, each of them corresponding to exactly one part.
- Move step up - moves the step one position up in the tree.
- Move step down - moves the step one position down in the tree.
- Delete - completely removes the step as well as the associated movements of parts. After that, it updates positions of parts in the exploded representation accordingly.
To edit exploded representations
- Select the exploded representation in the Mechanical Browser
- Right-click at the exploded representation and select Edit from the context menu
Run Bedit command and select the block with the exploded representation
- Perform the necessary operations to get the desired exploded representation. Do not forget to save the current step when necessary.
- Save changes using Bclose with the option Save.