CheckMate for SOLIDWORKS Streamlines Dimensional Metrology
As today’s computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) tools become increasingly more powerful and capable of taking on multiple steps of the collaborative design process, the need for effective communication has never been more vital. While early-stage designers and engineers use their CAD tools to develop concepts, create or modify these designs and ultimately analyze and optimize them for the manufacturing process, manufacturers use CAM tools to boost their productivity and the quality of the finished product while streamlining communications for each step of the production process.
When looking at the entire lifecycle of a product during this process, it becomes clear that much of the information developed at an early stage by designers and engineers can be optimized and leveraged throughout the entire supply chain. Model-based enterprise (MBE) technology is one way to handle this; as a single evolving digital master data set, it contains a 3D model and all of the relevant supporting data information needed throughout a product’s lifecycle. This helps significantly in streamlining how products large and small are being brought to market across multiple stakeholders.
CheckMate for SOLIDWORKS includes functionalities for coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and soft gauge programming applications (Image courtesy of Origin International.)
By aiming to assist designers and engineers in bringing better products to market faster and with reduced costs, Origin’s CheckMate for SOLIDWORKS suite of dimensional metrology software aids in translating design intent and manufacturing information to the inspection and manufacturing engineering environment for SOLIDWORKS users. It does this using existing product manufacturing information. Founded in 1992, Origin, a SOLIDWORKS Certified Solution Partner, develops metrology solutions for manufacturing engineers across a multitude of industries, including aerospace, oil and gas, consumer goods and automotive.
While the specific needs and benefits of CheckMate for SOLIDWORKS vary greatly between use case scenarios, the suite of applications offers manufacturing engineers a valuable advantage with multiple standout features that can be employed across different MBE applications.
CheckMate for SOLIDWORKS is a software solution for reverse engineering and inspecting parts. (Image courtesy of Javelin Technologies.)
Other capabilities of the CheckMate suite include support for coordinate measuring machine (CMM) and soft gauge programming applications. CheckMate offers users a common language to program CMMs of multiple vendors offline with intelligent coordinate system reporting capabilities and dimensional measurement equipment support. Additionally, CheckMate’s SoftOrient application helps streamline the orientation of CMMs to free-form surfaces or less-than-perfect features on prismatic parts.
While CheckMate Programming and SoftOrient lend support to CMM and soft gauge programming applications, Point Cloud Metrology (PCM) offers a bridge between modern scanning technologies—such as laser scanning—and CAD-based metrology and inspection tools for accurate parts. Based on a pictorial reporting method, PCM automates the process of aligning cloud data to a CAD model while performing a surface compare evaluation with a color gradient map to highlight any resulting deviations. The result is a powerful evaluation tool for making more informed decisions related to process changes and sample sizes.
A demonstration of PCM generating a ColorMap from xyz scan data and automatically extracting actuals at predefined surface locations. (Image courtesy of Origin International.)
For nonconforming parts, the SoftFit Solver simulations highlight the impact of dimensional corrections on a specific area while demonstrating how those changes impact other features of the part—ultimately resulting in a better part and tool design with fewer iterations.
Finally, the CheckMate suite makes communicating this information across multiple stakeholders easy, as the fully integrated CheckMate Reporting application generates reports quickly, regardless of the current stage in a process or the task at hand. With itsinteroperability features, CheckMate Reporting can also generate reports in coordinate systems other than the one in which the part was measured—such as for CAD, tooling, car or ship coordinates.
As modern software tools and MBE continue to revolutionize the way data is created and shared, effective and clear communication will be key to successfully driving products through their lifecycle. Through integrating SOLIDWORKS MBD into its CheckMate for SOLIDWORKS suite, Origin promises a useful solution for maintaining communication for manufacturing engineers across the inspection and manufacturing engineering environment.
About the Author
Simon Martin is a writer and industrial designer in New York City.