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Finding the smallest box a part will fit into?

    
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OldForumPost

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Message 1 of 18

 Finding the smallest box a part will fit into?
09-04-2007 05:30 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Can you think of a way to find the smallest box a modeled part will fit into? The part has no flat sides. We would use this type of functionality often.

We have to make a packaging box for the part to fit into and would like to find/calculate the smallest box dimensions.

Also, this would be good for making sure the modeled parts can fit inside a given XYZ of a rapid prototyping machine.

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Paul

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Message 2 of 18

10-04-2007 01:49 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Clinton,
In Mold Tools is the Create Stock tool. You set the allowance beyond the part (0 to what ever) and it gives you the box.

Cheers
Paul

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 3 of 18

10-04-2007 07:11 . am   |   View his/her posts only
...Insert/Features/Stock

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Tim

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Message 4 of 18

10-04-2007 10:42 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Do you mean of any orientation?

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OldForumPost

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Message 5 of 18

11-04-2007 04:27 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Ideally, this function would find the minimal box volume orientation. The orientation seems to be the tricky part.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 6 of 18

12-04-2007 08:58 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Clinton

With no flat sides on the part at all, orientation is the trickiest part. You could try rotate-copying, say, the XY plane a few times, and then run the stock command for each plane. So, if you have 10 planes (36 degrees apart) you can make 10 boxes to compare. Since you can do that so quickly in VX, the technique may prove adequate.

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Kevin

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Message 7 of 18

15-04-2007 05:16 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
What if you don't have mold tools available? What is needed is a bounding box command or a fit cuboid to shape command (maybe with a user specified XY or Z plane?). Would be be great for packaging as well as tooling.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 8 of 18

15-04-2007 06:48 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
....It is possible to do the job well by defining Sketches that are fitted to referenced geom. It is also possible to buy an upgrade

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 9 of 18

16-04-2007 06:09 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Yes, VX Inquire does that too. Try it! There are other mold tool commands that would be handy for designer tasks, as previously discussed elsewhere on the forum, so the investment is a sound one.

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Kevin

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Message 10 of 18

16-04-2007 12:27 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Yep. Inquire does the job fine. Thanks.

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OldForumPost

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Message 11 of 18

16-04-2007 03:52 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
So it seems that the major challenge would be to find the orientation that will provide the smallest XYZ volume.

I guess I'll write a PCR for a tool that will create an orientation plane/ordinate system that will result in a minimized XYZ stock volume.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 12 of 18

17-04-2007 07:27 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Clinton

Another thought - might be something that the design optimiser can be used for.

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OldForumPost

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Message 13 of 18

11-05-2007 05:21 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Do you have this plugin available in the support section for download yet?

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 14 of 18

11-05-2007 08:31 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Clinton

You are the only one to have seen the plugin thus far. If it has proved reliable for you, I shall upload it for everyone.

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OldForumPost

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Message 15 of 18

11-05-2007 10:34 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Seems to work great! No problems. I have already used it to see if a stangely shaped part will fit inside a stock cardboard box.

What is the logic behind how it steps to find the minimum volume?

Here's something interesting, more steps does not necessarily mean lower box volumes. Here are the results from a random part.

Steps___Box Volume
100____1303.59
50_____1303.65
25_____1303.5
12_____1522.76
10_____1416.29
6______1522.76
5______1416.34
4______3153



Thanks!

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 16 of 18

12-05-2007 09:44 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Clinton

Determining the steps (iterations) is as much an art as it is a science. With some shapes, the probable best result is obvious to the User, with others the User will have no idea what the best orientation might be, perhaps especially if the target object is an Assembly or a very non-symmetrical shape. A lot depends on the Object's initial orientation in relation to the System datums too.

If the target object has a lot of planar faces (on the perimeter of the object), then a higher number of steps is likely to find the most optimum box size, especially if none of those planar faces are initially aligned with the System datums. However, the difference between the "most optimum size" and "a good acceptable size" may be too little to be relevant, especially when a standard box will actually be used. If the target has no planar faces, a lot will depend on where the C of G is, given that the program is not just fitting a box but finding the best arrangement to ensure safe packaging. A future enhancement might be to have the program read a list of the standard boxes available, and find the best one (if any).

So, the general advice is to try a quick 4-step run and follow that with a 12-step run (Having made the first run, re-name the Box Part Object). With two solutions to compare, you will either have a satisfactory solution from one of them or you know that its time to try a higher step count.

I think after a while, you will know your own "best runs" for specific types of shapes.

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OldForumPost

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Message 17 of 18

17-05-2007 12:49 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Why would 25 steps give lower box volumes than both 50 steps and 100 steps? I would think that all the steps in 25 would be present in both 50 and 100.

Steps___Volume
100____1303.59
50_____1303.65
25_____1303.5

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 18 of 18

20-05-2007 08:06 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Clinton

It depends on the original orientation of the target object. As you can see, the results are for all intents and purposes the same.
See also
X