How to Use Variable Tables in Solid Edge

How to Use Variable Tables in Solid Edge

Solid Edge has the capability of using a Variable Table to help define and edit functional relationships between variables and dimensions of a design in a familiar spreadsheet format.  This tool can be leveraged to automate your design process. This article gives a basic overview of how the table functions and how to incorporate values from an external spreadsheet to drive a design. If you have a programing background, you can even create your own VB script and take your automation to a whole different level.

Basic Variable Table

Here is a simple design of a block with the some basic dimensions. To begin using the Variable table you must have the dimensions that you wish to control “locked” (They will be displayed as red).

 

To get to the Variable Table go to the Menu Ribbon and select Tools and then Variables.

 

In the Variable Table you will see all the data that is associated with the design. In this table you can see the variables and dimensions, names, values, rules, formulas, and other columns. Here we renamed the dimension names from the Solid Edge default of Linear_* to Height, Length, and Width making it easier to identify. Also see the locks allowing you to go in and edit the Formula columns. If these were unlocked this option would not be available.

 

Now you can drive the design from here.  By double clicking the Value cell, you can change the dimensions in real time. The Formula column can also be used to add a formula to drive a dimension that in-turn drives the design. This example shows a very simple formula; you can get as complex as you want by adding in your own variables and using them in your formulas.

If you right click on a value, and select the Variable Rule Editor you can control the values to limit it to a list of specific values or you can set a min/max limit. See the video below.

 

Excel Spreadsheet

You can also drive a design from an external Excel spreadsheet. Here is another block setup with some locked dimensions and a cutout that is constrained to the center block. A spreadsheet with some dimensional values with driving formulas has also been created.

Inserting the data into Solid Edge is as easy as copy and paste. Once the link is pasted, you can drive the design directly from the spreadsheet (just as above from the variable table). With the spreadsheet, your imagination is the limit. You can utilize all the power of Excel: macros, formulas, and programing. We have customers creating whole product lines from one single spreadsheet. See the video below for an example:

This is just scratching the surface. Using this tool Solid Edge and/or extra options that Excel or Visual Basic offer, you can really accelerate your design.

Looking for training in Solid Edge? Check out the current training schedule or request a class here.

Sam Estrada
Application Engineer
Swoosh Technologies

Post by Sam Estrada

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