There are some very powerful tools in Creo Elements/Pro that are often overlooked. One of these tools is the field point. A field point is a type of datum point intended for use only in conjunction with User-Defined Analysis (UDA) features. By definition, a field point defines a domain from which it was selected–a curve, surface, or quilt. It does not require any dimensions, only placement. That means that this type of datum feature should not be used for regular modeling.
A simple example will help us understand the context in which such a datum feature can be used. A variable diameter pipe needs to have the cross-section evaluated along its entire length. One can easily do this in a rudimentary manner by creating sampling points along the length of the pipe. But, this is prone to errors and omissions and it’s a tedious operation. Here’s where a field point combined with the use of UDA can help.
An UDA consists of a group of features. This group of features is typically referred to as a Construction Group. To define such a group requires defining a local group whose first feature is a Field Point and last is an Analysis Feature.
- Define a field point along the trajectory of the pipe (place this feature on the trajectory curve). The point requires just placement and no dimensions
- Next, define a datum plane to compute the X-section properties. You need to define it through the field point and normal to the trajectory
- Create an Analysis Feature computing the cross-sectional area and generating a XSEC_AREA parameter
- Select in the model tree the items created in the first 3 steps and group them. This can be accomplished using right-hand mouse button operation
- From the Creo Elements/Pro menu select >Analysis >User-Defined Analysis. Click Compute. There are reported 2 cross sectional area values, a minimum and maximum
There is also a displayed porcupine graph representation of all cross section area values as the field point was swept throughout the entire domain. A graph can be generated as well.
Note that if the UDA is based on a regular point, it only computes the measurement at that location.