Silkscreens (again)

This is the second time that I have asked if anyone knows of a good way to create silks-screens in Pro/E or Wildfire? I have tried datum curves and
cosmetic features and the main issue with them is that they are not easily filled and don't look very good. I have used protrusions with a x-section and dense hatch, but it is also not not very efficient? I could export a dxf and do the screen in Autocad, but then the screen is not associated to the model and is not parametric.
Thanks
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You can map bitmap onto Pro parts as textures if this would help?

dxf
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The first problem I have in answering this question is that I don't know what a silkscreener needs to make what you want. Do they use your digital data. They probably can't use models directly, so they're using the product of your model, a drawing, or a translation of it into some export format? There are some pretty severe inherent limitations to this data, not the least of which is the fact that it's 2d. And the second limitation is that it's line art. Everything in it, even if it looks like a filled 'solid', is still an etching. Even a filled logo is an illusion produced by drawing a lot of lines pretty close together, then fudging it further in the printing by thickening the lines.
Now, if your silkscreener needs things like a printers' registration mark or some color matching system, you've left the capabilities of CAD programs altogether and have entered desktop publishing or at least Adobe Illustrator. And, if any of those "extras" are needed, your silkscreener may take your dxf, import it into Illustrator to do the registration mark, and, while they're at it, use the program's superior scaleable fonts to do your text and graphics. You may have to do more than put a note on your drawing that says what type face to use, it's point size and other font characteristics, and where to place this, then leave it up to their superior type system to realize this. These people and their laser stencil cutters are capable of making 4 color separations and have registration good enough to put a full color photo on a t-shirt. Pro/e is the backward one, so why push it to do things it wasn't meant to do, much less do gracefully. It's good at giving some one the outline of a part and the placement of relevant features, so stick to giving them that.
David Janes
--
David Janes




Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Silk-screeners usually ask for a 1:1 scale PDF, DXF, or DWG. We don't need to show color as it will be included in the drawing notes. We normally show the silk-screen, some registration features on the part, and some measure to dimensions so that they can check the scale. You can specify text properties and locations, but we also have a lot of logo's boundaries, etc. that need to be silk-screened to our products. I think it would be great if there was a silkscreen feature in Pro/E! It is very easy to create silk-screens in AutoCAD and just a little more difficult in Solidworks, but Pro/E is a different story. Since we just made the switch to Wildfire as our primary mechanical design tool I now have a dozen engineers wasting time trying to create silks-screen drawings. Just looking for an efficient method in Pro/E.
wrote This is the second time that I have

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
What do you mean by a silkscreen?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Silkscreen" is one of the more common Screen Printing processes whereby epoxy or enamel ink is applied through a screen that has been prepared to transfer an image of graphic or alpha-numeric content. It's often used to apply lettering (nomenclature, logo's, reference designations, & whatever.) to panels, circuit boards or other product hardware. Multiple colors usually require multiple screens. Normally a 1:1 "silkscreen artwork drawing" is used to define & directly transfer the image or nomenclature to the printing screen. Brooke is interested in a better method for generating the "artwork drawing" using ProE. I share that interest as well. So far AutoCAD has been the best tool for that purpose in my experience as well. I was hoping that the ProDetail/Drafting improvements in Wildfire would help solve this problem. I've not yet attempted an artwork in ProE since changing to Wildfire however, so I can only answer your question and not Brooke's.
Sorry Brooke, If you find out, please let me know.... FYI our screen printers always prefer high-resolution postscript (.eps or .ps) files.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

First, this is good news about screen printers' input reqirements. Pro/e easily outputs hi-res postscript files which are presently used for producing PDFs.
Second, thanks for a little of the technical background. I was especially interested in how the inks have changed. This kind of info will help people understand what's possible and what's required of the artwork.
Finally, if we approached doing the artwork as ACAD users must, we'd be better off. Most of the problems I've heard expressed around here show that this isn't the approach. Most people seem to feel that silkscreeners should be able to do their job if we give them a model with 'artwork' that looks realistic, i.e., you have some letters or geometry embossed as a feature on a part. Cuts seem to be favored. The cut geometry doesn't fill like a letter so this is fussed over with hatching or something. Same in the model: color gets applied or textures or hatching, for the sake, again, of realism. Then a drawing is made of the model and an attempt is made to export this to some format. People worry about the the export format or exporting views, such as a scaled up version of the artwork and then fret that it's not scaling right at the vendor. But the problem with all of this goofing around is that it produces a nice visual onscreen, when looking at the model, but provides way too much and not the right kind of information for a silkscreener.
Consider it this way, from the Pro/DETAIL point of view. You've got a part with a nice logo on it. You show it in a pictorial view (pretty girl with hip cocked, pointing to the product, big smile "see how nice our logo looks"); then another view to show placement with some numbers, x,yd for at least one corner. But the actual template for a laser stencil cutter goes on a whole other sheet, by itself, where the graphic/text/etc is displayed by itself, possibly no format even, to keep it simple. Find an ACAD silkscreen template and emulate it. There's no reason this can't be done in Pro/e, if we give up the literalist idea that this must be lifted off a model. Just create the bounding box with cross-hairs (as the printers and ACAD people do). Use Pro/DETAIL's Sketch mode to create geometry or import sketched text and drawn graphics or import pictures (much post processing to be done here). Indicate on drawing any colors, fills, patterns, textures, etc.; color matching or separation instructions. But what the screen printer needs is a simple outline of what you want to present, without extraneous lines and other information. You are back in the 2-D world ~ acknowledge and work with it. Okay, maybe the only trick left in the bag is 'use edge' to get the shape of some text or logo. But that's really all it needs. Maybe you have to email them and tell them that the text face is solid or that the face should looks etched. But, really, most of the tricks come out of their bag, not out of Pro/e's lame drawing package.
David Janes

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I agree that the artwork should be done in ProDetail as drawing features. That's how I've always approached the problem. The hang-up with ProDetail in the past has been limited lettering font selection & other handicaps from what you correctly referred to as ProE's "lame drawing package." Since my last post however I've done some experimenting in Wildfire's ProDetail package and found that things have indeed gotten better. Note: I've also recently switched from a SUN/Solaris (UNIX) machine to a Windows workstation, so I'm not sure that all of the improvements are attributable to the switch from 2001 to Wildfire...
There is now a quite adequate selection of fonts available and drawing the necessary graphics is also easier. I can now relate the draft geometry to the model features. The solid fill tool is helpful too. I don't remember seeing that in 2001 (I've always used a dense hatch to fill an area). I think I can forego AutoCAD the next time I need an artwork drawing. A word that Brooke mentioned in one of the previous posts was "parametric". That would be great. Even though I was able to relate the draft features to model features in the drawing view, that relationship is not parametric. It would be nice if the artwork draft entities would update when the model changes (i.e.move a switch hole on a panel model & have the associated artwork text and lines move with it).

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
md1 wrote:

Have Irix and Windows versions here, can't tell any difference. Well, except that the Irix version can deal with 8 gigs of RAM big bubbles, no troubles. And it never crashes :)
Speaking of Sun, I recently took a look at Olaf Corten's test results. Wow. Almost ALL the machines in the top ten are Suns with Opteron cpus. Not an Intel chip to be seen until you get down to around seven or eight, and that includes the Itanics. Kind of surprising. Blade 2500 loooks pretty nice too ... sure wish SGI weren't going into the sewer :-(
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, you're correct; no difference... I went into the office this morning and verified that on a UNIX Sunblade which has Wildfire installed. And further to my surprise, I observed that ProE 2001 (also on that machine) has all of the ProDetail capabilities that I mentioned in my previous post. I apparently could have stopped the "AutoCAD artworks" long ago.
To explore the ProE artwork drawing process I modeled a simple panel with two connector cutouts using Wildfire. Then I created a drawing for the associated silkscreen artwork using ProDetail. The Solid Fill & TrueType fonts proved useful for that purpose (both available in ProE 2001 as well). I already had a vector version of our company Logo outline (I made it a few years ago with AutoCAD by "tracing" a bitmap image). I inserted the logo outline into the drawing, filled it using "solid fill" & then made a scaleable symbol instance from the filled logo future use. When I finished drawing the artwork graphics, I erased all of the visible model edges in the drawing view leaving only the artwork geometry, text & logo (all draft entities). From there I created the postscript output by just plotting to a file & changing the ".plt" extension to ".eps". The quality of that postscript file is equivalent to those that I've generated in the past using AutoCAD. If this effort was completed for a real production panel, from here I could e-mail the ".eps" artwork master to my screen printer.
Notes:
Relate all draft entities to the model view used to create & place them (>Edit, >Group, >Relate to View). That will allow moving the view and artwork graphics as a group.
I attempted to use "insert object" to input a bitmap logo image. The printer output looked fine, however when saving the postscript plot file do disk, the bitmap image was lost (did not appear in the .plt/.eps file).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
md1 wrote:

Thanks for the quick rundown, md1. I saved it since it's not something you see many tutorials about :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.