The nuts and bolts of CAD

A quick way to ensure mechanical engineering drawings conform to British Standards is to use a new software add-on from Softcover called MechMate. MechMate is a mechanical drafting extension to the 2D CAD package ChoiceCAD that adds an extra menu of commands.

Among the features are parametric fasteners which automatically draw themselves to the dimensions the user types in. Fasteners can be created to any British Standard or non-standard metric or imperial size and then saved for later reuse.

Commands are also included for drawing shafts with fillets or chamfers, square or broken ends and grooves for circlips or O-rings, keyways, slots, user-defined gears, three types of link, three types of flange, holes and linked balloons with text. There are six functions for creating tab boxes, co-ordinate tables and parts lists. The ability to extract co-ordinates is extremely useful to toolmakers who need a quick source of CNC cutter path co-ordinates.

MechMate also allows engineers to label drawings with BS308 part 3 Geometric Tolerancing on one or two levels, and BS499 Weld, Machining and Surface Texture symbols. The types of tolerance available include Form Tolerance, Orientation, Location and Run-out.

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