I graduated August 2009 from UNSW with a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Majoring in Aerospace Engineering (Honours Class 1). I have been using CATIAv5 for 4 years throughout my degree and industrial training. There are 3 main projects in which I have utilized the CATIA platform:
As a requirement of my degree, 60 days industrial experience was required in order to be awarded the degree. I did my placement with a company in Sydney providing engineering solutions to the Australia and New Zealand regions. My project was to develop a generative conveyor module which could be rapidly instantiated and modified with the smallest number of inputs required. I modeled a 3-roll trough type conveyor as it is the most widely used conveyor in the Australian mining industry. For this project I created a standard parts catalog which contained 3 different styles of trough frames (Light, Medium, and Heavy loads) and a number of different standard rollers and shafts to fit each one. As a design choice, I made the width of the frames a function of the roller width. I did this because when designing a conveyor to carry a certain tonnage per hour, it is the belt width and trough angle which determines volume and speed etc. I used a PKT as the instantiation basis as it proved to be the most effective option for what was required. For the generative options, I used an instance function to swap current module parts (rollers, shafts or frame) with those in the standard parts catalogue. This allowed me to achieve much faster automation and modification than by manually selecting new parts from the catalog. Also, using this method, all constraints and relations were kept such that the assembly would never fail when new parts were swapped out. My results were well received and I presented it to the professional services team in order to show them how to use it and the capabilities available for future products.
I won't go into details though the abstract can be read below in order to give an idea of what was required and how I met those requirements. This was my first real project involoving basic knowledgeware features.
An inherent part of aircraft design is based on the use of Computer-Aided Design
(CAD) methods. In the aerospace industry, a great deal of emphasis is put into
getting an aircraft into the air and into service as soon as possible. However,
detailed component modeling is a time-consuming and therefore costly process.
Because of this, there is a need to find faster and more efficient methods of
modeling digital components whilst applying well known engineering knowledge
and company standards. An investigation into the repetition and variation of
detailed components has been undertaken using the CATIAv5R18 platform. The
purpose of this was to demonstrate how similar detailed components could be
rapidly repeated and varied at the same time, in order to reduce the time taken to
produce a digital model of the aircraft. A detailed wing rib was developed which
was able to be placed on an arbitrary wing, providing a set of required inputs was
met. A PowerCopy was used to provide the level of automation desired and was
used to refine the model such that five essential inputs were required in order to
repeat the rib. Knowledge-based engineering was demonstrated through the use of
embedded rivet-laws and standard lengths such as rivet diameters and sheet metal
thicknesses. The results showed that rapid repetition and variability could be
achieved for the detailed rib developed whilst allowing a template to be stored in a
catalog for future reference. Future investigation into the knowledge-ware
capabilities of CATIA could result in further reductions in the time required to
produce detailed components.
FINAL YEAR ADVANCED AIRCRAFT DESIGN PROJECT:
As part of my final year at university, I was part of a 7 person group given the task of carrying out a feasibility study (designing if you will) for a marine patrol mothership which could be used to obtain photographic evidence of pirate ships in the Australian EEZ. For this task I was given the responsibility of modelling the aircraft in CATIA such that a wind tunnel model could be manufactured on the schools 3-axis CNC machine. Some of the features I used in this project were a linked excel file with a NACA 5-series airfoil geometry calculator such that throughout the design process the airfoil shape could be changed with a few mouse clicks and without having to import new geometry each time, parametric dimensions for ease of modifications when required, and a 3 part CNC machine code to create a female mould for the aircraft along with the codes required to machine the upper and lower surfaces so as to produce a solid model (fuselage and wings only).