Re: Merging very complex Pro/E assembly into one part

From: Chuck Alexander (
Date: Thu Dec 11 1997 - 18:36:37 EET

At 07:41 AM 12/11/97 -0600, you wrote:
>Hello all -
>We have a very complex assembly in Pro. You can think of it as a fan with
>about 80 curved, lofted blades. Each blade has, as its root, a barb-like
>affair which slides (apparently line-to-line) into the hub. Similar
>attachment to an external ring.
>So, we have about 100 solids which, when made into a single STL file of
>acceptable quality gives us a 20 Mb file. The size of the file shouldn't
>really be a problem - we've done big files before. However, this beast
>took 45 hours to slice on a 250 MHz Indigo2 with 128 Mb of RAM. Okay, we
>ate that. Now, however, we are getting an error on our SLA350 which,
>according to 3D Systems, means that features are too close together for the
>software to distinguish between them.
>We theorized that, as we are drawing shells in the .STL file which are
>immediately next to each other, if we could turn the 100 solids into one
>solid, we could eliminate this problem. I haven't got a huge amount of
>experience in Pro Assembly, but I found how I could merge parts, thinking
>this would produce the single-solid part I desire. Unfortunately, it
>appears that, even though I can pick all of the blades and tell it to merge
>them to the hub as the reference part, Pro does each merge separately,
>stopping and asking us for a "done" before it goes on to the next merge.
>The question: is there a way to tell Pro to merge all of the solids in an
>assembly into one part, in one single step?
>Thanks in advance,
> \_ Steve Stewart Phone: 303-252-0212 \_
> \_ protogenic, inc. FAX: 303-252-0223 \_
> \_ 1490 w. 121 ave., suite 101 \_
> \_ westminster, co 80234 \_
> \_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_

If I understand your problem correctly, you are getting an error, in build
on the SLA-350, because you have multiple shells in a single stl file which
have coincident geometry and that you are looking for an quick way to
boolean union the components together.

If that's the case, then I can't answer your question directly, but I may
have an alternative.

You could combine shells selectively into multiple stl files. For instance,
every other vane could be put in 1 stl file, the rest of the vanes in a 2nd,
hub and other geometry in a 3rd and so on. You would just have to make sure
that you didn't add shells, in a single file, which have coincident
geometry. 3D's software would then handle the separate stl's as independent
parts and you shouldn't get the error when building. Also you may see some
decrease in slice time, because most of the time spent in slicing large
amounts of triangles is spent in sorting the data, and you will now have
multiple, smaller, stl files.

Hope this helps,

Chuck Alexander

Solid Concepts Inc.
Rapid Prototyping Software & Services
ph. 805/257-9300
fax 805/257-9311

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