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How to Edit Fibersim Databases with Excel

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Fibersim has two XML databases that it uses to define the composite data: MaterialsDB.xml and MachineDB.xml. The former is the main database that stores the composite materials used for design and manufacturing while the latter is a database of machines for automated layup definition. Each of these databases use XML as its format. XML is a very open and customizable language designed for storing and transporting data within software. However, not everyone is comfortable working with XML and editing the files regularly. If the files are edited incorrectly, it could lead to an improperly formatted file and Fibersim will not be abe to read the databases. For this reason, some Fibersim users prefer to use a program such as Excel to open and edit the XML databases. However, this process is not always known. The following will describe the process of opening up Fibersim’s MaterialDB.xml file, editing it and saving it so that it can be easily done and avoid errors. Also be aware that steps 1-4 are a one time process to setup the template and do not need to be repeated every time.

Step 1: Opening the XML file through Excel.

  • From within Excel, navigate throught he Open command and pick the MaterialsDB.xml file you[ wish to open and edit
  • Ensure the proper filter is on to see the available XML files

1-open_xml.jpg

Step 2: Choose to “Use the XML Source task pane” and accept the warning about a schema

  • This will help to define the template so that only the data you need will be available to edit

2 - choosing_source_pane.jpg

Step 3: Drag the individual data labels into the Excel cells

  • Only choose the labels (XML elements) underneath “Material” so that only the data you need is available
  • Every label does not need to be chosen, only those which are important for your own purposes in Fibersim

4 - drag material elements into cells.jpg

Step 4: Refresh the data to populate the file

  • Once all of the labels are dragged over to the sheet, press “Refresh All” under the Data tab
  • You should then see all of the data from the database populated in the sheet

6 - data loaded.jpg

Step 5: Editing, adding new materials and deleting

  • Editing existing materials is as simple as editing a cell and changing the value
  • To add new materials, you must insert a new row and enter in the data as you would any excel file
  • DO NOT add new materials by simply typing in the empty cells below the data. This will not work. You must insert a new row within the populated data
  • To delete a material, you must delete the entire row

7 - insert row to add material.jpg

Step 6: Saving file and accepting warning

  • To save the file back as an XML file, choose “XML” as the type before saving
  • The easiest process is to simply overwrite the original file
  • If you choose a different name, you must edit the DBConfiguration.xml file so that Fibersim knows where to look for the materials database. The Siemens support GTAC team can help with this process
  • Accept (choose continue) the warning about losing worksheet features

10 - save as xml.jpg

Step 7: Save Excel workbook to reuse again

  • After you save the XML file, you will need to save the Excel workbook to reuse it and avoid doing steps 1-4 again
  • This file can be named with any name

12 - save as workbook for future reuse.jpg

Step 8: Opening Excel template and ensuring correct connection when using template

  • When reusing the template, the source data is defined under the Data/Connections/Properties/Definition
  • If the XML database has been moved around, this will ensure the location of the source database

13 - connections to ensure future reuse.jpg

Step 8 and 5-7 are the steps needed to repeat as you continue to edit the database. If you follow these steps, it will be much easier to edit Fibersim’s XML databases and avoid any syntax errors.