Utilizing CAD Files

When I was in 6th grade, our art teacher, Mrs. C, taught us to draw fruit one day. I was academically gifted (I’d had straight A’s since 1st grade) but I was AWFUL at drawing. I was doing OK with my orange, apple, and even my banana. When it came time to draw a pear, I realized I had 35 cents in my pocket (that’s what milk for snack time cost) so I pulled out that quarter & dime, used them to trace a quarter-sized circle with a dime-size circle slightly intersecting it, erased the middle parts, and “free-handed” little arcs to complete the pear shape. Mrs. C told me I wasn’t allowed to do that and gave me my first bad grade – ever. Now, I LOVE going to art museums and taking in the wonders of those who are far more skilled than I with pen and brush, but I STILL have no aptitude or desire for drawing anything myself….with a pen or brush, that is.

My first job out of the Navy involved some very basic CAD use…mainly making simple changes or additions (and usually just title block text) of existing drawings. As I more familiar with CAD, I realized the method for drawing a pear shape in CAD was, in fact, my own personal grade school method: intersect two circles, trim, and fillet. So there, Mrs. C!

My next job took my CAD utilization a bit further…making assembly drawings of systems, using existing CAD files for the individual components that made up the system. The key word there was “existing” – the First Law of CAD is, “Don’t ever draw anything twice.” So, I’d get CAD files from the manufacturers, insert them into my template, put them where I wanted them to be in relation to the other pieces of my little puzzle, send the drawing(s) to the end user for piping and foundation prep, and as long as the folks in the shop followed my drawings (which is was hard not to), everything worked out great.

Now, this was way back in the 1990’s, so I got most of my CAD files via email, and, occasionally, on 3.5″ floppy disks or CD’s. EXAIR Corporation has offered drawing files for our products in our CAD Library for many years now. You can always find four fundamental file extensions:

  • PDF – these can be opened with Adobe Acrobat…they’re “just for looking at”. They don’t denote any particular scale, and won’t directly import to a CAD file. They’re useful for quick & easy answers about overall dimensions, bolt hole sizes, thread pitches, etc.
  • DWG – this is AutoCAD’s “native language.” These files will open seamlessly in AutoCAD, if that’s what you’re using, along with many other programs. But, if it doesn’t.
  • STP – we’re well in to the 21st Century, and many designers have moved on from the above mentioned 2D files to solid models. Most solid modeling programs are compatible with these files.
  • SAT – these are, to STP, what DXF is to DWG…a “more friendly” file for certain solid model programs.

With the launch of our new website, we now offer 64 native extensions so you (hopefully) do not have to modify, import, or convert any drawing that would take additional modification – just download the file you need right from our Resources, 3D Models and CAD drawings link. And dare I say, if you can’t find the extension you need, you are using some fairly obscure software – perhaps an SAT or STP file will suit you.

If you’re designing a system or making an assembly drawing incorporating EXAIR catalog products, we have all of these in the CAD Library. If you need one for something that’s not in the catalog – a Super Air Knife less than 60″ long with a Plumbing Kit installed, for example – we can provide that as well...just contact an Application Engineer.

Russ Bowman, CCASS

Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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EXAIR’s Knowledge Base is THE Place for Compressed Air Related Content

At EXAIR, we want to ensure our customers have access to as much technical data and information as possible. This helps to assist in identifying solutions to common industrial problems and provide you with the resources necessary to make an informed purchase. A big part of that effort is displayed here on the EXAIR Blog. But, did you know that our website is home to a wealth of information ranging from Case Studies, Videos, Webinars, Installation Guides, Catalog Sections, CAD Models and much, much more?

Once you’ve registered for an account on the website, you’re able to access the content housed in our Knowledge Base. Have a question on a particular product? Check out the FAQ section, created by our Application Engineers, the FAQ section contains a variety of commonly asked questions from customers.

Misplaced your installation sheet? No problem! All installation and maintenance guides, in addition to product catalog sections, can be found in .pdf format for download under “PDF Library”.

With 15 different product lines, EXAIR has products capable of addressing a wide range of industrial process issues. Not sure where in your facility you may have an opportunity to improve? EXAIR’s Application Search Library allows you to narrow down your search. Categorized both by specific process or by industry, we’ve highlighted a variety of different specific applications that our products can serve.

EXAIR hosts a yearly Free Webinar covering a variety of topics related to industry and compressed air. After the webinar has been sent out to all registrants, we include a recorded video of the webinar as well:

It doesn’t just stop there. The Knowledge Base also contains calculators and general compressed air related data in addition to PowerPoint presentations for each product line. Click here to register for the website and begin accessing all of this valuable content!

Tyler Daniel

Application Engineer

E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com

Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

I Love Dimensions

2006

Late last week I was contacted by an OEM regarding our Air Knives.  They make equipment used in an automated process and had a need for more of our product.

One of the engineers contacted me because she had only so much information about our Air Knives.  She knew they worked well, she knew they needed more, but she was unsure of the part number.  When ordering, her purchasing department uses as coded item number, which was nothing like ours.  She was kind enough to send me a few files showing the process and the EXAIR Air Knives.  Fortunately one of the drawings was a stand-alone exhibit of our knife.

Taking a few dimensions from the file I was able to determine the knife in question was a 6” Standard Air Knife.  I then supplied model number (2006) and pricing, shortly before receiving a purchase order request.

We have CAD and PDF files available for our products through the CAD Library.  If you need any dimensions for EXAIR products they can be found in the CAD Library.  If additional information is needed, contact an Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
leeevans@exair.com
@EXAIR_LE

Another Trip Around The Sun

Well folks, today marks my 30th trip around the sun in this adventure we call life.   If there is anything I have learned so far it is, you can’t teach experience, and making your 2-year-old laugh so hard they double over are some of the best things you can know.

Here at EXAIR we are in our 29th trip around the sun and still constantly learning and changing.   This is because we have a lot of experience under our belt when it comes to compressed air and customer service.  One of the best pieces of free information we have to offer is our experience.  One thing I have learned through experience is it’s better to be prepared when you’re trying to do something in the field.

This is why here at EXAIR we offer a large amount of information about our products and it’s all available through our website.  If you are trying to get a machine designed or trying to figure out how to fit a new Super Air Knife into  a customer’s machine we offer 2 and 3D dimensional drawings of virtually every product, along with installation and maintenance sheets.

This means you can have a detailed drawing to figure out every last bolt or fitting you will need to install the new product and know exactly what it’s going to take to install and get the product up and running.

If you have any questions on how to install an item, need the dimensions of one of our products, or help figuring out which one will work for you, give us a call.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF