Sorry about the late reply. There are a few ways to do this - some require special variable syntax but it isn't hard and doesn't require extra software. T-FLEX has powerful ability to link databases (including spreadsheets) directly into 3D designs.
Excel -> Database -> Variable -> Update
1 Create Excel File
I use Excel 2003 for this. Create a simple excel file with sheet 1 looking like this and save:
After selection, default is to link external files using full path. You can edit the directory path part of the filename for reletive path, in case you want to move the excel file with T-FLEX .grb file to another hard disk location later. Also, if you later want to change a T-FLEX model with excel, open the excel file first then
the T-FLEX model, otherwise T-FLEX may lock the Excel file as "read only".
For T-FLEX, the first record (row) of a DB table always defines the names
of the columns. We can use any name we want for each column - CADDIT in this case for column #1:) SAVE THE FILE. T-FLEX can also create entire value option menus for parameters, when a column has multiple values.
2 Create a Database in T-FLEX
This might be intimidating for some who never work with databases (like in SolidWorks?) but it is very useful for advanced functions.
From T-FLEX MENU: Parameters -> Database
A new window opens called Database Editor
. You can have many databases defined in a T-FLEX model file.
From Database Editor MENU: File -> New database
A new window opens called Database Properties. Give this T-Flex database some kind of name ("demo" in this example), and click the "Reference" checkbox.
The "File Name" browse function will now be enabled, find your excel file you saved on the hard disk and select it. Then select the TABLE NAME (Or SHEET name in the case of Excel files) you have the data on... Sheet1$
in our case. Click SAVE DATABASE.
T-FLEX 3D CAD can import data from DBase, FoxPro, Paradox, Access & Excel as well as text and CSV files.
3 Apply Each Database Field as a Model Variable
Now create a new Variable from a selected field of this T-FLEX database:
From T-FLEX MENU: Parameters -> Variables
A new window opens called Variable Editor
for editing model variables.
From Variable Editor MENU: Variable -> New
A new window opens called Variable Properties. Give this T-Flex variable some kind of name ("len" in this example), and type the following for Expression and click OK: val( 1, demo.CADDIT )
*Please note that even the spaces are important in syntax as shown above
This means: val
[ue of] (
of database name "demo
Column name "CADDIT
We named our imported Excel database "demo". We labeled the source data column of our excel file "CADDIT". More about using the VAL function in Variable Expressions in T-FLEX help.
Now you can apply that Variable to any Parameter
in the model (using "Insert Variable" right click menu option when editing a model variable, or use the F8 key). When you change AND SAVE the Excel file, T-FLEX should warn you that external data has changed and ask if you want to update the model (sometimes you may need to click "regenerate model"). Note that in 2D sketch, Excel driven dimensions only update construction geometry - not graphic lines!
(this is another powerful incentive to use construction lines in T-FLEX). Be sure to save the T-FLEX .grb file after updating.
As I said, this is just one way. If you have your data in DBase or Access format, there are commands to link directly to the file without creating a T-FLEX database. Right now there is no direct ODBC support that I know of.
Give it a go and see if that helps!