Pro Engineer/Find

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When you first see 'find' in Pro/Engineer Wildfire you might overlook it or wonder what it is for? It is an evolution of the 'find in model tree' function which has been around since the model tree was introduced. (version 18 or 20)

In wildfire the find command takes on a more useful role. The find tool also replaces the functionality of the old 'SEL BY MENU' menu e.g. select last feature, select by ID.

On it's own the find command is not earth shattering revolution but it is one those gadgets that is probably really boring like a can opener but also really useful. If it is boring you are unlikely to see it covered properly on training courses, in magazines or on web pages.

The find tool is more useful in Wildfire because it has two modes first mode is:- An independent gadget for finding features or components by name, status etc. The second mode:- is embedded into functions such as simplified reps.

Independent mode

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Once a set of features or components have been found and the 'Find' dialogue the items are 'selected' which means they can be acted on e.g. delete, suppress etc. To select items specify the search criteria click 'Find Now' and then click OK to close the find dialogue. All the found items will be highlighted and ready to be edited.

Alternatively the query can be saved as layer so all the found items are added to a layer.

A more complex search can be built by building a query where a series of search criteria must be satisfied. The criteria are linked by and/or conditions.

Embedded mode

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Find is also embedded into functions such as simplified rep, component display. In these functions the find can be used to select a set of components or define a rule so components are selected each time the model is regenerated.

Library parts "_screw", "_nut"

or if you identify library parts with parameters (e.g. Part_type=library) you can select them using an expression rule. See fig 1

Tab Types of searches you can do Practical Uses Attributes Part name Finding a specific part Type Select features by type e.g. select all holes Expression Selecting parts by parameter values e.g. Manufacturer = ACME Parts Size Removing small parts from simplified reps Description History ID Number Last Feat Failed Feat All Staus Regeneration Use to find all suppressed features or packaged components Layer Find all parts features on layers Display Parent/Child Copied Refs

Anyone using the find function will soon see how powerful and flexible it is.

The Find or search can be carried on the current assembly, the sub assembly or part. The type of item being searched for can be specified as well e.g. Feature, Part, datum etc


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The options menu has further choices to tailor the query e.g. filter the model tree so only the found items are displayed, Highlight the found items in the graphics area. Build complex queries that using more than one search criteria. Change the sort order of the results.


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The ‘Find’ is a powerful tool and is can be useful when working on large assemblies. Like all tools, time is required to learn the tool and it’s capabilities. The time investment will be worthwhile because of the enhanced productivity.