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Getting Around In Catia And Some Other Frequently Asked Questions

By Expert Author: Rosanna Daniel

In this series of CATIA tutorials for beginners, we will talk about how to navigate around the CATIA software, and some other frequently asked questions that beginners have.

Many people ask, what are workbenches? We described in our previous lesson how CATIA is organized CATIA V5 is organized into workbenches. There are five basic workbenches in CATIA. The sketcher workbench is where you start your work, with drawings. The part design workbench is where you turn your sketches into solid features, like extrusions. The wire frame and surface design workbench is where you turn your sketches into surfaces, that is, a solid with a zero-thickness. The assembly design workbench is where you put your features and parts together. The drafting workbench is where you annotate your work and creates, for example, drawings that you can share with customers.

Many students also ask what the CATIA file names are. Let's talk about that next. CATIA documents have different file extensions. The extension .CAT part is what is saved when you’re working in the Sketcher, Part Design and Wire frame/Surface Design workbenches. The CAT Product document refers to a CATIA assembly. The CAT drawing document refers to a CATIA drawing (not a sketch, but a document you create in the drafting workbench).

You might also be wondering what a "feature" is. That is a key point of any CATIA tutorials! A feature is a building block of a solid model. A feature is the 3D output of some geometry that you've sketched. For example, you start with a circle sketch. Then you extrude it 10 mm in the positive y direction to create a cylinder. Your sketch is now a feature. Now let’s say you want to create a whole right through, so the cylinder becomes hollow. You could create a second sketch, let’s say a circle, and in the part design workbench turn that sketch into shell or a hole. Now you have two features, the cylinder, and the hole. The combination of your features is how you create parts and models. Most of the parts you design with CATIA are a combination of features that are based on sketches, placed features (ie, from a library, where you don’t need to start with a sketch), or derived features (where you use another feature as your basis).

I've also been asked a few other questions. What is a geometrical set? This is a body that includes your planes, surfaces, wire frame elements and other reference elements.

What is wire frame? You use wire frame to help you create surfaces; these can replace geometry created in the sketcher workbench.

What is a surface? A surface is a geometric feature which has no thickness. If you create a cube, think of the surface of that cube as the “skin” but with a geometrical thickness value of zero. Surfaces are usually used to create complex shapes from which you’ll generate a solid later on.

What is a part body? This is the default body that is created when you’re working in the part design workbench. All the solid features you create are stored in that body. It appears as a node in your specification tree.

What is re frame on? Sometimes your sketches or features might not be visible in your work space. In that case, you’d select what you want to see and use this command to make it visible in the display space.

What is center graph? This command brings any feature or sketch you select in the specification tree to the middle left side of the work space. Stay tuned for more CATIA tutorials.

About Author:
This article is written by Rosanna Daniel on behalf of video-tutorials.net, provides AutoCAD tutorials, Inventor video tutorials, Solid Works training. For more details browse this website.

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