Working with a 3D Support

This command is only available with the Automotive BiW Templates product.
To access this command in the Part Design workbench, Automotive Class A, Automotive BiW Templates or FreeStyle Optimizer licenses are required.
This task shows how to create a 3D support. It is composed of three regular grid of lines, generally set on the three main planes of the part, that aggregates 3 selectable work on supports.
It allows you to create reference points on the fly on each support, whenever you need a reference point to create other geometric elements. You will no longer have to explicitly select the support element.
It also allows you to create sub-elements of the grid on the fly (points, edges). These features do not appear either in the specification tree or in the 3D geometry but are aggregated under the feature using them.

Open the WorkOnSupport1.CATPart document.

  1. Click Work on Support 3D .

    The Work On Support 3D dialog box appears.
    Part Design default configurations do not provide this icon in the standard toolbar. If you wish to access it, simply use the Customize capability to add this icon to the toolbar of your choice. Otherwise, select the Tools > Work on Support 3D item from the menu bar.
    • Each of three grid lines has one default primary spacing of 100mm for each direction. The three directions of the main axis system define the grids directions.
      You can edit the spacing values by clicking on the spacing tag to edit and modify them.
      Note that you can modify these values at creation, not at edition, and that there can only be one value per grid.
      Grids are used both as an input to create geometry as well as visual help.
    • You can also modify the name of the labels of the main directions by clicking on the direction tag.
    • Labels' directions and primary spacing are defined in Tools > Options > Shape > Generative Shape Design.
      Refer to the Customizing section for further information.
  2. Choose the Labels position:

    • Full Screen: labels are displayed all around the screen

    • Bottom/Left: labels are displayed on the bottom left of the screen

    • None: no label is displayed

  3. Define the Support Type:

    • Reference: the 3D support is created according to the main axis system. There can be only one reference 3D work on support.

    • Local: a local axis system must be specified. There can be as many local 3D works on support as desired.

  4. Click OK in the dialog box. 

    The element (identified as Working support is added to the specification tree under the Working supports node as shown below.
  5. Select Top View from the View toolbar.

    The active work on support is visualized and labels are displayed on each straight line.
    • The work on support must be parallel to one of the three planes to be visualized. As a consequence, the active 3D work on support may be seen independently in each view of the same document.

    • If you move the compass, the 3D work on support is no longer parallel to the screen.

    • There can only be one active 3D work on support at the same time.

    When the local axis system is modified, all related features are updated.

Setting a work on support as current


By default, the last created working support is displayed in red in the specification tree.
Select the Set As Current/Set As Not Current contextual item on the working support features or click Working Supports Activity to define which is the default current support that will be automatically selected when entering a command that requires a working support.
You can also set the axis system as not current to deactivate the three planes and define the reference support as the current support.


Snapping to a point

  Click Snap to point to snap the point being created onto the nearest intersection point on the grid.

Switching the featurization to lines or planes

  Click the Grid Featurization Switch to create either featurized lines or featurized planes on the grid lines. Featurized planes are created normal to the current grid.
  • Use the Get Features on Support contextual item on the working support features to retrieve the features created from a single or a multi-selection works on support. As a result, the retrieved features are selected in the current editor and highlighted in the specification tree, therefore allowing you to use them more easily.
  • Activate Work on Support Selection State in the User Selection Filter toolbar to be able to select sub-elements from the grid.
    For further information, refer to the Selecting Using A Filter chapter in the CATIA Infrastructure User's Guide.
  • Once you choose to work on the 3D support, you can directly click onto the support to create points. This capability is available with commands such as point, line, spline, polyline, and most commands where you need to select points as inputs.
    The created points using a support are aggregated under the parent command that created them and put in no show in the specification tree.
  • The children that appear under any feature may not follow the same order as their order of creation.
  • Each 3D working support can be edited, updated, or deleted just as any other feature.
  • In case you are working in a CATProduct environment, and providing there are several parts, you can only see the 3D working support whose part is active. If the product is active, 3D working supports cannot be applied.
  • The Work on Support 3D command can now be used along with the Measure Between command.
    Refer Using the Measure Between Command With a 3D Support chapter for further information.