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How is CAL(X) used in a formula when importing a standard into a canvas?


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Illustrative purposes

Standards, materials, calipers, part names and methodology are used for illustrative purposes.

When a new canvas is created, a board is specified for the canvas. 

The canvas caliper is indicated by CAL. 

By default, a newly created part will inherit the canvas caliper. 

This happens when the user creates a new empty part.


The part caliper is referenced as CAL(x) where x in an index relating to the position of, when the part was added.  So Part 1 was the 1st part added so its board caliper is accessed as CAL(1).  A second part added to the canvas would reference the material as CAL(2) and so on.

When a new canvas is created, an empty part is always created and that part inherits the material from the canvas.

Import standard into canvas

However, new parts can be added to a canvas via File > Import File > From Standard As New Rebuildable Part

Assume a situation where part 1 and an empty part 2 exist. Part 2 was set to use a board of caliper of 5/16".

Now import a standard into the canvas.  A different material may be used during the creation of the standard.  Here, a board with a caliper of 7/16" will be used.

Using CAL as part of Formula to enter information

If a user wants to use material calipers in formulas when importing standards, the following describes how it works.

Part 2 exists and is empty.

Note that part 2 is an empty part with a material caliper of 5/16".  Note that when importing the standard, its material caliper was 7/16". 

Standard not formally created

When the standard is complete it will become part 2, that is the original empty part will then contain geometry and a potentially new material selected when running the standard. However, when entering variables, the standard is still in the creation stage and does not formally exist until all the values that define the shape and style have been specified . CAL(2) refers to the original material caliper of 5/16", not 7/16".

It isn't until the standard is completed that CAL(2) will reference the new material's caliper of 7/16".

From this point forward, CAL(2) will now reference that parts new caliper of 7/16"

Part N does not exist

In this case, no empty parts exist, just part 1.  A standard is imported into the canvas with a material caliper of 5/16".

If CAL expressions are used in formulas, note that CAL(2) resolves to a current value of 0, not 5/16".  This is again due to the fact that the part does formally does not exist yet and, as no empty part exists, CAL(2) is totally unknown.

CAL(x) resolves properly

When the standard completes, CAL(2) will resolve to the parts proper caliper.

If many parts exist in the canvas or parts have been deleted, and the proper index for CAL(x) is not known, enter CAL in the formula, for example Formula = L+CAL and CAL will resolve to the proper CAL(x) index. The current value will not be reflective of the value when the standard completes.

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