PathFinder: Info and Control Center for your Parts

by Community Manager Community Manager ‎01-15-2016 05:43 PM - edited ‎01-19-2016 02:06 PM (1,763 Views)

Early on, when I first started using Solid Edge, the PathFinder became a thing of instant interest. There are all sorts of things that show up there. You can find dimensions, sketches, bodies, materials, planes, relations, mates, links, and so on. And not only can you find them, but you can also control them, usually with a click in a check box, or a RMB menu for when there's no check box.

 

Some of the things you can find in the PathFinder may be a little surprising to non-Solid Edge users, they were pleasant surprises to me. Things like PMI dimensions. You can hide/show lock/unlock, delete, edit, select, rename, group, display as value/name/formula, and more.

 

Section views, the PMI sections, not the clipping planes, are also listed in the PathFinder. You can turn these on or off right from the panel. Model views can also be controlled, edited, and sent to View and Markup from the PathFinder.

 

The Live Sections are automatically created for revolved features, but are also handy for hollow parts, or editing interior features.

 

All of your reference geometry items like planes, coordinate systems, curves, origin are easy to find, highlight, and so on.Through a RMB menu (right clicking on the top level name of the part), you can toggle display of several types of reference geometry all at once.

 

You can access the model's meta data like the Property Manager, Material Table, Variable Table, and File Properties.

 

There are also tools for sorting or turning off types of items. In Synchronous, you can sort the features by type, alphabetically, or manually.

 

If you ever get lost or lose an item, you can right click on the top level and use "Find Feature" to search the PathFinder for a particular string. It will scroll the item into view and highlight associated geometry in the graphics window.

 

One of the more surprising items in the list is the persistent relationships. This makes it really easy to keep track of things you find important enough to assign a relationship.

 

And then User Defined Sets. These are used in translations with the Migration tool to represent features from the other CAD system. Works really well. Makes editing face sets as a single "feature" much easier. Also makes it easier to delete features.

 

The Links section of the PathFinder is extremely helpful, if you're the type to get yourself in trouble with external references. You can trace links back to the assembly, part, and even specific faces referenced. This is really the best external link management system I've seen.

 

In some workflows, the body management becomes very important. I wish they would add a collector for surface bodies, because these fall through the cracks a bit at the moment. But it is so convenient to be able to switch these things on and off right there in the PathFinder. Plus the ability to convert back and forth between design and construction bodies.

 

If I were to have a wish list, it would be for visual data to be connected to this, to replace the Part Painter. It would make overrides clearer, and give easier access to that type of data, especially in assemblies.

 

I'll have to do the assembly PathFinder next. Learning to access as much of the power of the PathFinder as possible has helped me use Solid Edge more efficiently. There is a lot of power here, and I think sometimes new users don't see as much of this as they should. I know I was slow to come to the realization of exactly how powerful this tool is.

 

Any Edge veterans have PathFinder tips to share?

Comments
by Phenom
‎01-16-2016 12:02 AM - edited ‎01-16-2016 12:03 AM

Matt:

 

Great overview of the PathFinder.

 

Besides being able to Show or Hide the PathFinder I can change it's display style from Solid Edge Options - Helpers tab:

 

 

Also, I can simply click on the root-node or the part name to expand or collapse the PathFinder quickly so that more space is available for the model in the graphics area if need be.

Surprisingly, the same in assembly needs a double-click.

 

~Tushar Suradkar

 

by Phenom
‎01-18-2016 06:09 AM - edited ‎01-18-2016 06:12 AM

Good thread Matt.

 

What we need to get is "Descriptions" for Holes on the Pathfinder. Why do we need to go over to the model, highlight the HOLE, just to see what it is. When hovering over a Hole on the Pathfinder we either have a general description INCLUDED in the name automatically, like Hole1 1/4-20 or have it pop-up when hovering over the feature like this:

 

 This could also be carried over to other Features like Rounds, etc.

Bob

by Phenom
‎01-18-2016 07:21 AM - edited ‎01-18-2016 07:29 AM

@BobMileti

  

I had this macro lying for several years, actually 12+ years, that I never published until now. The macro simply renames features like Hole, Round, Chamfers, Draft, Rib, etc. in the PathFinder to reflect the values used.

 

I must admit it was written very carelessly and doubt it will work with ANSI units. If there is a demand, I will dig down into the legacy VB code and make it work with any unit + any other feature if demanded.

 

The macro can be download on the last link on this page.

The ZIP file also contains a utility called Resetter which changes the feature names back to their default ones, if things go south.

 

Here are screen shots, from perhaps V12 or V14:

 

 

~Tushar Suradkar

by Community Manager Community Manager
on ‎01-18-2016 09:43 AM

Very nice macro. Thanks for offering that, Tushar!

by Phenom
on ‎01-19-2016 03:48 AM

Hi Tushar,

old but good!

 

maybe You will find the time to modify it in a way that metric units even with different decimal sign ("," instead of ".") will be recognized complety.

And - although it will be fixed with ST9, if there could be the count of holes in the name?

 

But thanks in advance for all You did for the SE community in the past

 

This must be mentioned and honored

 

regards

Wolfgang

 

by Phenom
on ‎01-25-2016 05:09 AM

@Tushar My friend, this is one of the best macro what I've ever seen from you! Thanks!

OMG...

 

BR,

 

by Phenom
on ‎02-08-2016 06:10 AM

Thank you @Imics

I wished we were connected on this forum 12 years back.

Writing an App doesn't take much but knowing that it would be practically useful only comes from an experienced and power user - that is you.

Thank you again for letting know that it is a useful macro - otherwise I would have never realised this and the app would have remained un-used for another 12 years Smiley Happy

 

~Tushar

 

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