You create iFeatures in the part environment using sketches and features. After you have saved the file, you use commands in the iFeature environment to convert iFeatures to table-driven iFeatures, modify iFeatures, and view the iFeature catalog.
A regular iFeature is a single version. You create it to be a specific size and can modify it directly by editing its file.
A table-driven iFeature is like an iPart factory. You define multiple versions of the same feature by adding rows to a table. Each row represents a different version of the feature.
If you use iFeatures regularly, such as slots in different sizes, define them as iFeatures. When placing the iFeature in a part, you specify its size by selecting a row in the table. To change sizes, edit the iFeature and select a different row.
If the entire part is going to be used as an iFeature, you can create a table-driven iPart and use it to create a table-driven iFeature. Once the table-driven iFeature is saved to the catalog location, use the iFeature Author to make changes to the table. Make sure you include all required parameter values in the table before creation. You can add or delete rows or modify column attributes in the iFeature Author, but you cannot add or delete parameters.
The iFeature Author converts an iFeature to a table-driven iFeature. Like an iPart factory, a table-driven iFeature has multiple versions that are developed and selected by rows in a table. In the iFeature Author dialog box, you can specify parameters, properties, threads, placement geometry, and custom parameters. Each row in the table can contain different values so that the iFeature can have many versions, each with a specific diameter, thread specifications, material, and so on.
Once an iFeature is converted by the iFeature Author, it can no longer be modified with the Edit iFeature command. To modify a table-driven iFeature, you select or define different parameters, then select that version of the iFeature to replace the current version.
In the browser, a table-driven iFeature is designated with a table symbol. When you delete the table, the iFeature is converted to a regular iFeature. The current version is its only size. It can be edited with Edit iFeature.
To modify an iFeature you used in a part, right-click the iFeature in the browser, and then select Edit iFeature. You can change variables such as position geometry, a parameter value, or reorient the coordinate system, but you cannot add or delete geometry or parameters.
If necessary, you can edit the iFeature sketch. Right-click the iFeature in the browser, and then select Edit Sketch. Add dimensions and constraints, as needed.
Other occurrences of the iFeature in this file, or occurrences that were already placed, are not affected by edits.
Be sure to create iFeatures that contain all parameters you want to include in a table-driven iFeature. Once you convert a regular iFeature to a table-driven iFeature, you cannot add or remove parameters.
You can, however, right-click the table icon in a part file where you have used a table-driven iFeature, and then select Edit Table. You can add or delete rows or modify column attributes, but you cannot add or delete parameters. Your changes affect only the current table-driven iFeature. Other instances of the same table-driven iFeature do not update.
You can use the Key 1 value name to identify a specific characteristic of an iFeature in the browser of a part file. Enable the Application option to use the Key 1 value in the browser name column to provide a unique identity for a table-driven iFeature.
Insert a table-driven iFeature in an iPart file and use the iFeatures tab in the table to add an iFeatures column. You can specify the iFeature value to use in each row. You can also choose to compute or suppress the iFeature on a row by row basis.
When you edit an iFeature .ide file, you can create custom properties. When you insert the iFeature in a part file, the iFeature properties are exposed in the custom iProperties tab of the part. If you create a drawing of the part, the custom iFeature properties are available in the drawing.
There are two methods to create table-driven iFeatures: save a set of features as an iFeature and open the iFeature file to create the table, or create a table-driven iPart and save it as a table-driven iFeature. Both methods use the Extract iFeature command to save the iFeature to the specified catalog location. Use the iPart to iFeature method if you want to use the entire iPart as an iFeature.
Follow the steps to create an iPart outlined in the Procedure. Use Extract iFeature to extract the table and the included features for future use. To extract all the features in the part, select the base feature. If the base feature has geometrically dependent features, they are automatically selected, but you can remove them in the Extract iFeature dialog box. You do not need to make any changes in the Extract iFeature dialog box. Choose Save to create the iFeature file.
To make edits to the table:
The table created in the originating iPart is present and can be edited.
The Extract iFeature command creates an iFeature file. Parameters and properties from the original iFeature become column headings in an embedded table. Table rows create unique variations of the iFeature.
Create an iFeature that includes all parameters you want in the table-driven iFeature.
When you use a table-driven iFeature in a model, select the version in the Insert iFeature dialog box.
Use iFeature Author Table to edit the table of an iFeature created from a table-driven iPart or to convert an iFeature to a table-driven iFeature.
Parameters and placement geometry are defined in the original iFeature and are represented as column headings in a table-driven iFeature. Table rows create unique variations of the iFeature. Its versions are selectable in the Insert iFeature dialog box when the iFeature is used.
In a table-driven iFeature, you can modify values but not add or remove parameters or geometry. Resize the dialog box as necessary to view columns in the table.
The Extract iFeature command converts an iFeature to a table-driven iFeature. Multiple versions are maintained in an embedded spreadsheet. The iFeature file (.ide) must be opened prior to using the command.
The Geometry tab shows interface geometry used to position the iFeature. Interface geometry is defined in the Extract iFeature dialog box. Only the Name and Prompt can be customized on the Geometry tab.
The iFeature table shows columns for data on the Parameter, Geometry, Properties, Threads, and Other tabs. Click in a cell to edit its value.
A spreadsheet cell may contain an equation, in which case the cell contains text, or a Microsoft Excel formula. Cells with Microsoft Excel formulas are shown in red.
Represents a row in the spreadsheet which represents an instance of the table-driven iFeature. Right-click in the row and select options to edit:
Represents a custom-created column heading. Right-click in the column, and then select options to edit the table:
The Extract iFeature command converts an iFeature to a table-driven iFeature. Multiple versions are maintained in an embedded spreadsheet.
For iFeatures that contain thread features or threaded holes, use the Threads tab to specify the thread type in the table. Add the thread variables to the table that you want to vary, and then set the specifications for each row. The specifications correspond exactly to options in the Threads.xls spreadsheet and the Thread feature dialog box.
The upper left pane lists all the thread features in the iFeature and the variables that can be used to define each of those threads. Thread values of the current iFeature are shown in brackets. Select a variable, and then click the right arrow to add it to the selected thread variables list in the right pane.
The upper right pane shows variables that are currently table-driven. Associated with each is a prompt that appears during iFeature placement. Additionally, the thread variables can be designated as keys.
The lower pane contains the currently defined table for this iFeature and can include columns for data on the Parameters, Geometry, Properties, Threads, and Other tabs. Click in the cell to edit its value.
In the cells of the thread variables, add designations for family, size, pitch, and direction using the precise text and format used in the spreadsheet and the Specification tab of the Thread Feature dialog box.
Each row in the table represents an instance of a table-driven iFeature. Right-click in the row and select options to edit the table:
Each column in the table represents input that can be varied for this iFeature. Right-click in the column and select options to edit the table: