3D Master – When to buy FT1 and when to buy FTA
Previously, my colleague Mark Van DeBogert touched in an earlier blog post on the business side of CATIA 3D Master. Today, we are going to go a little further into understanding what is available to purchase from the Dassault CATIA V5 product line. As with a lot of Dassault CATIA products, there are two levels of the Functional Tolerancing & Annotation offering. The licenses are FT1 and FTA respectively.
The FT1 license allows you to easily create your 3D annotations, tolerances, and specifications, as it does provide a pretty comprehensive set of dress up features, text and flag note features. 3D Dimensioning can be done in both part and assembly levels. You display and manage your annotations by simply setting up various annotation planes, and you can easily switch a mirrored annotation with the click of a button, as shown below.
The number one and most significant difference between FT1 and FTA is the Tolerancing Advisor. The advisor guides the user through the creation of annotations and dimensions according to the selected geometrical element, plus an existing annotation and the selected standard (ANSI, ASME, ISO, etc.) the user is working to. For the novice user, it will usually prevent making gross mistakes; it’s pretty much the all-purpose tool for creating annotations, dimensions, and tolerances – it can’t necessarily do everything, but it certainly goes a long way. Everything created using the tolerance advisor is what’s referred to as Semantic.
In order for something to be Semantic it needs to meet two criteria:
First, it needs to meet the applicable GD&T specification standard. Secondly, it needs to store the information internally in such a way that it can be made available to other applications for activities like tolerance analysis and inspection machine programming. Therein lies the power! When properly stored, your mark-ups not only visually communicate your design to others, but the information contained in those mark-ups is available for downstream applications. In the example below, you can see I am using the advisor and watch how the options change for me as I pick specific pieces of the bracket.
Another fundamental difference is the ability to create a restricted area so you can define a delimited surface that needs to be toleranced.
Also it might be worth mentioning that in the FT1 configuration you cannot create Framed Basic Dimensions easily. In FT1, you can only create a dimension and make it look like it’s basic. You have to modify the properties of the dimension to put a frame (box ) around the number after creating it.
In FTA, you can simply click on the basic dimension command found on the Annotations Toolbar.
Another nice feature in FTA is reporting, which can run a report that checks to see whether tolerancing rules are being respected or not against the given standard you are working to. An example of a report is listed below. Keep in mind they can also be customized to your standards as needed.
The bottom line is that FT1 and FTA are both fine workbenches to help your company move towards the 3D Master concept. FTA helps you do more, and we will all eventually get to Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things at some point. At Tata Technologies we have the experts and experience and have helped many companies realize this “paperless” goal in a short period of time. Let us know how we can help you with your CATIA needs.