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Fibersim 101: (14 of 14) Ply Books and Ply Tables

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Welcome to Fibersim 101, a step-by-step series of articles meant to familiarize new users with the key concepts of the software. We recommend starting with Part 1 and downloading the “” file at the bottom of that page in order to follow along with these exercises. If you need to go back to Fibersim 101: (1 of 14) Model Setup click here.


Ply books are 2D drawings that document the layup process typically on a ply-by-ply basis. Ply books will often include a view of the flat pattern shape, along with one or more 3D views of the tool surface, highlighting the laid-up ply boundary. Fibersim automates the generation of these documents in NX, and each drawing sheet can be configured to show information such as sequence, step, material name, orientation, etc., for the ply being shown. An example ply book page is shown below:plybookandtables1.jpg

Before initializing Fibersim in our example model, please begin the ply book creation process by first pressing <CTRL>-l in NX to open up the Layer Settings menu. Type “23” in the Work Layer field and press the <Enter> key

plybooksandtables2.jpgIn the Layer list, right-click on Layer 23 and select “Move to Layer”

plybooksandtables3.jpgSelect the Tool Surface then click OK in the Class Selection dialog boxplybooksandtables4.jpg

Right-click Layer 23 again in the Layer list, then click Add to Category > New Category, then type “Model”

plybooksandtables5.jpgHide all layers besides the current Work Layer (23) by unchecking every other visible layer, then click Close in the Layer Settings dialog. Rotate the model to the orientation shown below, then click Menu>View>Operation>Save As. Change the name to Boundary-View, then click OK.plybooksandtables6.png



Click the Application tab in the NX menu, then click Drafting. In the Sheet dialog box that pops up, under the “Size” heading, please select Standard Size and select Size A from the drop-down menu. Under “Settings”, make sure the Units are set to Inches and that “Always Start View Creation” is unchecked. Click OK to confirmplybooksandtables8.jpg


plybooksandtables9.jpgNext, click File > Import > Part, and select “Specify” under the Destination Coordinate System heading. Click OK to confirmplybooksandtables10.jpgSelect “Drawing_template-A-Size.prt” from disk as your template, and then select Absolute CSYS from the Reference CSYS drop-down list as shown belowplybooksandtables11.jpg

Click OK twice, and then click OK one more time for the Import Part warning that appears. Then click Cancel and the template will have been addedplybooksandtables12.jpgTo add the ply boundary view, click on Base View under the NX Home tabplybooksandtables13.jpgSelect Boundary-View as the Model View to Use, and set the Scale Ratio to 1:30.plybooksandtables14.pngClick near the top, right-hand corner of the sheet to place the Boundary-View, and then click Close to confirm view creation.plybooksandtables15.jpgNext, open the Layer Settings dialog again by pressing <CTRL>-l, make Layer 24 (an empty layer) the Work Layer, and hide Layer 23. Click Close.

Click Base View again on the NX Home tab, and create a flat pattern view using “Top” as the Model View to Use, again with a 1:30 Scale Ratio. Place the view at the bottom left corner of the drawing sheet.

Unhide Layer 23 in the Layer Settings dialog, while keeping Layer 24 as the Work Layer, and then click Close. The drawing sheet should appear as belowplybooksandtables16.jpg

Start Fibersim and select Ply Book from the Applications tree under 2D Documentation. Right-click in the empty Ply Book list, and select Create Newplybooksandtables17.jpgSelect DUCT as the Laminate, then link all the Plies and the Core as the ply book’s Source Objects (the objects to be documented in this ply book)plybooksandtables18.jpgNext, click the Link Geometry button for the Template Sheet, and click on the border of the drawing sheetplybooksandtables19.jpgClick the Text Setup tab in the “create Ply Book” form, right-click in the empty Text Associations list, and select Create New with Geometry Selectionplybooksandtables20.jpg

Select each of the text objects highlighted below in orange, and then click OK.plybooksandtables21.jpgThe annotations from the title block should now appear in Fibersim. Use the drop-down lists in the Source Member column to assign the appropriate Fibersim parameter to each of the text annotations as shown belowplybooksandtables22.jpgClick on the Diagram Setup tab, and then right-click on PlyBook01 under Flat Pattern Views as shown below. Select Create New with Geometry Selection > Flat Pattern Diagramplybooksandtables23.jpg

Select the boundary of the Top view, then click OK twice to confirm 


Next, under Boundary Views, right-click on PlyBook01 and select Create New with Geometry Selection > Boundary Diagram



Select the boundary of your Boundary-View, and then click OK twiceplybooksandtables26.jpg

Finally, click on Generate/Update Sheets to create the ply book in NX



plybooksandtables28.pngBecause the core we selected for one of the Source Objects doesn’t have a flat pattern, an error message will appear stating that a ply book sheet could not be generated for the core. As this behavior is expected, the message can be dismissed.

Ply Tables

Fibersim allows users to publish a variety of component information to NX drawing tables in order to produce 2D Ply Tables. An example ply table is shown below



Before initializing Fibersim, please make sure you are in the NX Drafting Application mode. Click Menu > Insert > Sheet in NX


plybooksandtables30.jpgMake sure Size A is selected, and enter “Table” as the Drawing Sheet Name. Click OK to confirm.plybooksandtables31.jpgClick File > Import > Part and re-import Drawing_template_A-Size.prt. Place the template at the Absolute origin.

After placing the template and canceling out of the placement screen, select Menu > Insert > Table > Tabular Note



Place the table in the center of the drawing sheet as shown below



Start Fibersim, click Ply Table under 2D Documentation in the Applications tree. Right-click in the empty Ply Table list, and select Create New


plybooksandtables34.jpgSelect DUCT as the Laminate, link all the plies and the core as Source Objects, and then select the border of your drawing sheet as the Template Sheet.

Proceed to the Table Setup tab, and right-click in the empty Table Associations list on the bottom half of the form, and select Create New with Geometry Selection 


Select the previously-created table in NX, and click OK. Next, click the link button under the “Define Columns” column header


plybooksandtables36.jpgThe ply table in NX will populate in reverse-order of the Table Column list in Fibersim. Since Step will be the last column to display in our table, please modify the top row and enter “STEP” in the Column Title field, then select Step from the Data Field drop-down list. Click OK to save the changes.plybooksandtables37.jpg


plybooksandtables38.jpgRepeat the previous step to define the other rows as shown below (again, in reverse order of how the final ply table should look in NX)plybooksandtables39.jpg

Click Generate/Update Sheets to populate the Ply Table as shown below






This concludes the Fibersim 101 Guide.