The Mechanical Browser opens automatically when switching to the Mechanical workspace.
To open the Mechanical Browser manually do the following:
Move the cursor over a toolbar, then right click.
A context menu displays:
Choose Mechanical Browser in the context menu.
Sheet Metal Context
If you work with a sheet metal part (if you created any sheet metal feature), properties of the root node in Mechanical Browser contain "Sheet Metal" section (also called Sheet Metal Context associated with the document).
Sheet Metal properties are represented as grouped fields.
The Thickness field controls the material thickness of sheet metal solids which has to be equal for all solids of the document.
The Modeling group plays two roles:
It provides default settings for Sheet Metal Commands, such as SmFlangeBase, SmExtrude, SmFlangeEdge, SmFlangeBend, SmLoft, and SmConvert in a newly created model. The initial parameters are saved in the drawing, which allows creating a set of .dwt template drawings for each type of sheet metal models created in a company.
New features created by the commands usually derive their properties from Sheet Metal Context. For example, the default value of Radius Type property for the bend feature is "Use global value". Thus when you change Bend radius in Sheet Metal Context, all the bend features with the derived property will change its radius. So the second application of Sheet Metal Context properties is that they allow globally change properties of sheet metal part.
Sheet Metal Context is created when first sheet metal part appears in the document and is initialized from settings listed in Initial Parameters. Typical workflows for creating sheet metal part are listed in Sheet Metal Design Methods. Sheet Metal Context is removed when all the features in the document are dissolved by SmDissolve command. Note that if you just select all sheet metal parts in the document and Erase them, Sheet Metal Context is kept, despite there are no sheet metal solids and no sheet metal features.
Working with Features
All features of a sheet metal part are listed in the Mechanical Browser. When you select a feature in the Mechanical Browser, its faces are highlighted in the model area:
Note that Sheet Metal group of properties has changed to Bend properties. Thus clicking on feature in Mechanical Browser allows:
- locate feature on the part by highlighting its geometry
- see properties of given feature
Changing the Thickness
To change the thickness of a sheet metal part:
Select the root node in the Mechanical Browser.
Type a value in the Thickness field.
Mechanical Browser provides fast access to operations over given sheet metal feature, list depend upon the feature type. List of operations depends upon selected features and contains operations available for the selection.
Selecting two bends results in operations for bend feature:
Selecting flange and bend limits list to operations available for both features:
Understanding the Difference Between Disable, Dissolve and Delete
When you right click a feature in the Mechanical Browser, then select Dissolve from the context menu the selected feature is removed from the part, but it will keep its geometry. However, design intent (spatial and parametric relationships between the feature’s faces) associated with the geometry of a dissolved feature is removed
If your intent is temporary forget about given feature, you can choose Disable option. The feature will remain in the Mechanical Browser, but the part will behave like the feature was dissolved. It is beneficial in contrast with dissolve, that feature still updates on geometry changes and you can turn it on when you want, avoiding recreating it or recognizing by SmConvert.
Some of Sheet Metal features support Delete operation in the Mechanical Browser which is the analogue of SmDelete command. In this case the feature is removed from the browser and geometry is changed depending upon the type of the feature.