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Product Focus from the PTC Technical Specialists E-Newsletter September 2010 Edition

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Product Focus from the PTC Technical Specialists E-Newsletter September 2010 Edition

You can download the complete newsletter by clicking here.

PTC Product Focus:  Pro/TOOLKIT: the Primary Customization and Automation Tool for Pro/ENGINEER

PTC Product Focus

Pro/TOOLKIT: the Primary Customization and

Automation Tool for Pro/ENGINEER

With the Pro/ENGINEER Toolkit API, companies can extend, automate, and customize a wide range of functionality from design through manufacturing.  Pro/TOOLKIT allows:

  • Automating modeling for derived or single-use models driven by geometric or parametric constraints
  • Monitoring the state of  user's interactive session to enforce company rules or offer design advice
  • Integrating external applications requiring access to Pro/ENGINEER data or operations
  • Extending the Pro/ENGINEER User Interface with custom processes seamlessly embedded into the interface
  • Automating tedious or difficult Pro/ENGINEER operations with applications designed to save design time and prevent mistakes
  • Creating processes to run automatically without user interface on demand or at designated times

Characteristics

  • C library programming interface to Pro/ENGINEER
  • Over 2500 functions
  • 2 modes of communication
  • Bi-directional data transfer between applications and Pro/ENGINEER

User requirements

  • C programming skills, knowledge of pointers and data structures
  • Development license to develop applications; applications may be unlocked and distributed within the enterprise without the Pro/TOOLKIT development license

Pro/TOOLKIT supports two types of applications:

  • Synchronous
    • Applications invoked from commands within a running session of Pro/ENGINEER
    • Mode of communication may be:
      • DLL - fastest method
      • spawn (multiprocess) - slower, but offers more flexible link options
  • Asynchronous
    • Applications running outside of Pro/ENGINEER that start or connect to one or more Pro/ENGINEER sessions
    • Communication is multiprocess

Architecture

DLL applications are loaded directly into the Pro/ENGINEER process space and IPC applications run as a separate process with inter-process communications passing parameters between the applications.

Image0.jpg

Pro/TOOLKIT application code can be invoked by

  • Pro/ENGINEER startup
    • launched immediately upon registration of the Pro/TOOLKIT application
  • User interface driven
    • invoked by user choosing application-created menu buttons and user interface components
  • Event driven
    • invoked when certain events happen within Pro/ENGINEER
  • Task driven
    • invoked by function calls from other external foreign applications

Examples

1.  Custom Pro/TOOLKIT user interface to automate repetitive or critical tasks

  • model creation from templates
  • geometry creation
  • drawing creation

Image1.jpg

2.  Pro/TOOLKIT back-end to an interactive Pro/Web.Link web page in the embedded browser

Image2.jpg

3.  PTC’s ModelCHECK:

  • Leveraging Pro/TOOLKIT functions to:
    • Enforce standards
    • Verify models
    • Assist repairs
    • Validate user modeling

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4.  PTC’s Distributed Pro/BATCH:

  • Includes Pro/TOOLKIT asynchronous applications as services that:
    • Generate an extensive set of EXPORT and IMPORT formats
    • Execute ModelCHECK
    • Plot and print models
    • Save models with display for preview in ProductView

Image4.jpg

Interoperability

Pro/E Wildfire allows Pro/TOOLKIT and J-Link programmers to create reusable task libraries.

  • Library functions can take any combination and number of name-value pairs as input and output arguments.
  • Library functions can be invoked by any other customization application

Pro/E Wildfire supports the common goal of “write once, use in any situation” for customization efforts.

Image5.jpg

Sample Libraries

Session

  • Menus
  • Messages
  • View and Window manipulation
  • Interactive Selection
  • Custom dialogs
  • Custom graphics and text
  • Mouse input
  • Command line arguments
  • Pro/Intralink workspace
  • Session notifications

Asynchronous

  • Start/connect to Pro/ENGINEER

Models

  • Operations & info
  • Export Plot Files
  • Import, Export 2d and 3d formats
  • Access external data
  • Regeneration
  • Model notifications
  • Unit and unit systems support

Modules

  • Cabling
  • Diagram
  • Piping
  • Sheetmetal
  • Manufacturing
  • Weld

UI

  • Popup menus in graphics window and model tree
  • Access to the preselection buffer
  • Object/action tool support
  • Add functions to the relations dialog
  • Improved chain and surface collection interaction

Drawings & Annotations

  • Get and set current drawing model
  • Cross-reference drawing & solid annotations
  • Access gtol properties

Solid models

  • Dimensions
  • Parameters
  • Geometric tolerances
  • Feature information and operations
  • Feature creation
  • Family tables
  • Layers
  • Units
  • Mass properties
  • Geometry & geometry items
  • Solid  and feature notifications
  • Top down design

Parts

  • Materials

Assemblies

  • Simplified Representations
  • Access Assembly components
  • Interference and Clearance calculations

2D Models

  • Views
  • Tables
  • Sheets
  • Notes
  • Entities
  • Groups
  • Symbols

Features

  • Round  and chamfer element tree
  • Draft and shell element tree
  • XML support for element trees
  • Improved support for feature references in trees

Sheetmetal

  • Flat and flange wall element trees

Utilities

  • Sketcher utilities
  • Widestring utilities

You can download the complete newsletter by clicking here.