PowerSHAPE is a CAD Modelling package, which comprises of a Core module (wireframes, surfaces, solids, drafting) plus optional specialised modules. These are Tribrid Modelling (meshes), CopyCAD (reverse engineering), Toolmaker (mould design),Electrode (Electrode solid model wizard), Assembly and Crispin (Shoe design)
2. Wireframe modelling
PowerSHAPE can generate Points, Lines, Arcs, and Curves both in 2D and 3D space.
These are collectively known as wireframes and have several functions, which include being
the basic framework for several types of Surfaces and Solids, and as the drawing entities in
PS-Draft or PS-Estimator. Wireframes can be Exported in a variety of file formats, for use
in other software products such as PowerMILL
Workplanes are user, defined datum’s, positioned and aligned as required to simplify model
creation. A model can contain several Workplanes, but only one can be Active at any time.
When a Workplane is Active it becomes the XYZ datum, visually larger in size, and
changes colour from grey to red. Model entities can be copied or cut from the currently
Active Workplane and then pasted back in a different position, relative to a new Active
4. Surfaces and Solids
A Surface is best described as a skin of negligible thickness stretched across a defined 2D or
There are 3 main types of surface supported by PowerSHAPE which include:Primitives, NURBS and Power Surfaces. The constructional attributes and editing capability of these are very different.
5. Primitive Surfaces
A Primitive Surface is based on simple, standard shapes, and wireframe extrusions or
rotated forms. A Primitive Surface is defined or edited by entering set parameters into a
specialist form (The actual input criteria depends on the type of Primitive Surface).
A major restriction of a Primitive surface is that it is only possible to modify the existing
defined parameters such as length, radius, orientation and where applicable, the original
wireframe. Primitive surfaces also have an inherent workplane like datum, which the user
can manipulate to perform modifications dynamically
6. Automatic Surfacing Wizard
Several of the PowerSHAPE surface creation options have been included into an easy to
apply, Automatic Surfacing Wizard. If the user selects wireframe before opening the
wizard then the most likely surfacing method is selected ready to be previewed and/or
applied. If an alternative, valid surfacing method is required then the user can toggle to it by
opening the list of options and clicking on the downward pointing chevron.
7. Limit Selection
Limit Surface using a Surface as the Cutting Object
When the Limit selection option is applied with Surfaces they are trimmed back to their
common intersection. The Next Solution option enables the user to toggle through all
possible, alternative trim combinations. When a Surface has been included in the Limit
selection process, a Boundary is created and only the part of the surface either inside or
outside will be displayed. Several Surfaces can be limited with a single cutting object
8. Advanced Surfaces
The Advanced Surfaces options are located in the Surfacing toolbar after the Automatic
Surfacing Wizard, Primitives, Revolution, and Extrusion icons.
The Advanced Surfaces options shown horizontally above include from left to right:-
Bead, Patch, Draft, Split, Extension, Fillet, Blend, and Wrap Triangles.
The above options displayed in bold print are covered in the following chapter.
9. Editing Power Surfaces
The following chapter uses a design exercise as the platform to illustrate some of the
comprehensive editing options available to Power Surfaces.
10. Trim Region Editing
Parameter Curves and Boundaries
Parameter Curves (pcurves) are made up of linear spans the run between Parameter
Points (ppoints). There sole use is to define the route that surface trimming could follow.
By default, they are created, automatically during Surface limiting or filleting. They are also
created manually by projection of wireframe entities onto a Surface. As moves between
ppoints are linear, any curvature is controlled by the proximity of adjacent ppoints within
the tolerance setting.
Ppoints are defined as a proportional distance between surface points. A ppoint defined at
2.5 1.5 is half way between points 2 and 3 along the longitudinal (T) direction and halfway
between points 1 and 2 along the lateral (U) direction.
Boundaries are generated along the pcurve network to define trimmed areas on a Surface.
Individual pcurves and boundaries are unique to a Surface and can be accessed only by
opening the Trim Region Editing, toolbar (Right click on a Surface for menu options or
alternatively access directly from the Surface Edits toolbar)
Model entities can be assigned to Levels which simplify such operations as the display and
selection of groups of items. For example, these could be distinct groups of component
surfaces, or different types of entity. A typical application would be to assign the inner wall
surfaces of a plastic component on to a different level from the outer wall surfaces. Objects
can be assigned to different levels, which can be switched to be ‘displayed’ or ‘hidden’ to
manage the selection and visualisation of entities within a model. There are 1000 Levels in
PowerSHAPE which when required for use should be given more appropriate names. Levels
998 and 999 are for internal use.
12. Shading & Model Analysis
Basic shading is displayed by clicking the various icons in the Views Toolbar. As surfaces
must be identified with inside and outside, the outside is displayed in a use defined colour,
and the inside as red. It is possible to switch the inside colour off (Both sides Shaded with
original outside colour).
13. Model Fixing
The Model Analysis toolbar is opened by clicking the icon 2nd along the row in the toolbar
opened by moving the cursor over the General Edits icon.
14. Basic Solid Modelling
Solid modelling applies a completely different approach in the creation of a CAD model. The
main physical difference is that a Surface model is formed by a hollow, zero thickness skin,
whereas a Solid Model is a mass of material. There main advantages of using Solid
Modelling are the model creation speed and the history tree, in which the user can
reposition or edit operations performed earlier resulting in the automatic update of other
affected items. PowerSHAPE is unique in the ability to convert Solids to Surfaces and vice
versa depending on which approach is most suitable at the time. Open Surfaces can be
converted to a Solid, an extremely useful capability which would not be available with a
dedicated Solid Modelling Package.
15. Parasolid Fixing
16 Mold Die Wizard
An option has been included in PowerSHAPE, called Mold Die Wizard. Using the active
solid, the Mold Die Wizard will automatically split and trim the model creating cavity and
17. Further Solid Modelling
Positional control can be applied to some types of Solid Features via the Solid Feature
Relationship dialog box. They can be created for Solid Cut, Solid Boss, Boolean, Boolean
Boss, and Hole Features and are defined by selecting a key point on the solid, a key point
on the Feature, along with a specified distance between the two.
18. Delcam Drafting
Delcam Drafting is included as part of the basic PowerSHAPE module. Delcam Drafting
enables the creation of fully dimensioned and detailed drawings including, cross sections,
dimensions, and text.
19. Assembly Modelling
Assembly Modelling enables the user to combine a group of separate Solid models to form
the Assembled item. First of all an empty Assembly is created, and then the Solid
Components are registered to it by creating Relations to dictate the relative, positional
requirements. Not only can the individual solids be put together as an Assembly but specific
values can be included as default parameters within the Relations. This enables positional
movements of individual components to be displayed within the Assembly which can then be
checked for clashes
20. Design Exercises
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