Feature index in SW Feature tree ?

Discussion in 'SolidWorks' started by aditya.utturwar, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Hi,

    I am novice user of SolidWorks.

    Is there a way to obtain the number / index of a given feature in the
    SW feature tree ?
    e.g. If I have a big part having 20 extrudes and for
    discussion-purpose, I need to focus on the 13th extrusion of these 20.
    I can't ask people to count the 13th extrusion from top, and so would
    like to know if there is provision of uniquely identifying the feature
    with an index.

    It is possible to identify features from their names, but this is not
    applicable for some of my models which are created in a different
    language. In that case, the feature-name is seen as "sss-ss-sss" [where
    s represents a square]

    One decent way I could think of is to identify the feature-index of a
    given feature in the SW feature tree. So while talking about that
    feature in my communication to others, i can say 'feature with
    index-no. 54' . But is there something of this kind ? Any suggestions
    will help.

    aditya.utturwar, Apr 3, 2006
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  2. The features are already identified (Extrude1, Extrude2, etc.). If that
    doesn't work, you can rename your features but that can be time
    Jeff Mirisola, Apr 3, 2006
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  3. Hi Jeff,

    I dont want to [rather am not allowed to] edit the model.
    Also, the indexing gets goofed up if there has been any redoing,
    feature swapping.
    And most importantly, the foreign lang. strings which are not
    decipherable at all.
    aditya.utturwar, Apr 3, 2006
  4. aditya.utturwar

    TOP Guest


    Please read Aditya's post more carefully. The features may or may not
    be labeled in a language the CAD operator and operating system can
    understand. We have this problem with drawings from China where the
    Chinese characters come across as gobbledy-gook. So what may be Extrude
    1 to you would be ÍÍnÌÑ7ÐÑ to his people.

    Unfortunately SW does not provide user accessible numbering of features
    and in fact when you obtain an array of features there is no guarantee
    that the order will be the same from one time to the next. Naming the
    feautures is the only way, but he is not allowed to modify the file. I
    think this problem exists because of the nature of the way objects are
    stored and retrieved.

    Consider for example what happens if you create an extrude. The first
    time you create it it will be Extrude 1. If you delete it and recreate
    it it will be Extrude 2 and so on. You can also roll back and create
    Extrude 3 prior to Extrude 2 in the feature tree.

    The only sure fire way I have ever seen to positively identify features
    was written by Phillipe G. as part of his Assygator software from the
    now defunct Dynabits company.
    TOP, Apr 3, 2006
  5. aditya.utturwar

    Bo Guest

    Select the Part Name at the top of the Feature Tree & Right Click

    Go down to the Tree Display/Show Feature Descriptions & make sure it is

    Bo, Apr 3, 2006
  6. Hi Bo,

    This is a decent way of distinctly marking the feature, but I guess it
    will help only if part-editing is allowed.
    Even otherwise, could you tell if SW offers a 'find-feature' kind of
    provision or a way to zoom-in to the feature that has a given name/
    I deal with parts having 200+ features some times. Even if I rename or
    add description to a feature saying 'Distinct_feature', how do I
    quickly zoom-in to this feature the next time I open the part ?

    aditya.utturwar, Apr 4, 2006
  7. aditya.utturwar

    TOP Guest

    Right click on the topmost icon in the feature tree and look for GoTo.
    GoTo is the SW search function.
    TOP, Apr 4, 2006
  8. aditya.utturwar

    Bo Guest

    I don't quite understand your note of "distinctly marking the
    feature". One section of the Preference for each feature is a name you
    can assign, which you noted is in a foreign language. The Second is
    the name that is ASSIGNED BY SolidWorks so IT can keep internal track
    of Features.

    When a Feature is selected in the Feature Manager, that part of the
    model is highlighted, and is generally fairly easy to see on most
    models, but I realize that is a generalization that doesn't always
    work, so the "GoTo" can work better in that case.

    Bo, Apr 4, 2006
  9. Hi TOP/Bo,

    Thanks for suggesting 'Go To ...'. That helps.

    Coming back to my original problem of finding a way of uniquely
    identifying a feature in SW feature-tree without editing the model, I
    guess writing a macro may serve the purpose. Through the macro, i hope
    it is possible to skim through the feature tree from top to bottom
    while maintaining the feature-count [ i guess a sketch is also a
    feature in this context]. When the selected feature is encountered, the
    feature-count is popped as a message saying 'Index of the selected
    feature is xy' (say 23)

    The person on the other side [to whom the index is conveyed] can also
    make use of this macro and locate the feature with index 23 on the same

    Going a step ahead, i guess, it will be possible to get index of
    extrude-features, fillet features in a given part.

    aditya.utturwar, Apr 4, 2006
  10. aditya.utturwar

    Bo Guest

    Sometimes as a new user somethings are not obvious.

    If you click on the first Feature in the part in the Feature Manager
    tree, then click down the list, you can cycle through all the features
    one at a time and watch the feature highlight on the screen so you can
    identify features, whether in wireframe or shaded mode.

    If a person missuses the feature name, they can combine their given
    feature name with the assigned name, and then they are one and the
    same. I've made that mistake when I first used SolidWorks. In that
    case, you really need to work with the model creator to separate the
    "Name" (user assigned) from the Description (Solidworks default) in the
    Feature's "Feature Properties" (right click on Feature).

    Bo, Apr 4, 2006
  11. aditya.utturwar

    TOP Guest

    The API will give a feature count in a model. And you can loop through
    an array of features. But you are not guaranteed that the same feature
    will always be in the same place. I was playing with a macro that makes
    the description a sequential number. It also puts a time stamp on the
    feature. Once you do this you can tell when something is moved and
    something of the original history of the part. Subsequent operations
    can change the order of the features so that the original numbering is
    lost. There is also a way to invisibly attach data to a feature such
    that the user would not be able to see it without a special program.
    This is what greenhex does in swCP.
    TOP, Apr 5, 2006
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