NAA P-51 Mustang: Using Ordinate Data Spreadsheets
A question arose during a telecon today about using the Ordinate Spreadsheets for Cad and Modelling.
Typically for the fuselage and cowlings, the spreadsheets are set out as above. The top section replicates the layout of the original manufacturer’s drawings specifically to allow traceability for verification purposes. The section below, bordered in blue is the concatenated values from the top table in a format such that the values represent the actual X,Y,Z coordinates for each point.
For use in Cad systems like Autocad, it is recommended to collate these in a TXT file by simply copying and pasting.
Once collated open Autocad, select the Multiple Point feature and cut and paste the entire contents of the TXT file onto the command line which in turn will import the values as points.
For other CAD systems like Inventor the preferred format is an excel spreadsheet with 3 column headers X, Y and Z.
All we have to do is to open this same TXT file from Excel as a comma delimited file, check the options presented in the opening dialogue to ensure correct formatting and save the file as an XLS. Remember to label the first row as X,Y and Z.
When you start a sketch in Inventor there is a feature on the toolbar to import Excel data. When you import the data there are a few self-explanatory options.
There are of course many ways of doing this and it will vary according to what CAD system you use. Importing all X, Y, Z points in a 3D sketch, for example, will align the ordinates with the current UCS, which in some cases may not be desirable. The Z value is the Frame or Station location relative to the aircraft datum, which essentially translates to being the work plane location. The X, Y values are typically the sketch coordinates normal to the work plane.
If you are working on a 2d sketch and importing the set of points as X, Y, Z values; Inventor will only import the respective X,Y values and ignore the Z value, in fact, it will notify you that it is doing this.
Update: July 2018
The ordinate spreadsheets now have an additional page that compiles the ordinates for each frame with the X,Y,Z components listed separately. This makes it easier to manage the ordinates depending on what CAD system you are importing to.
If you require any further information then please drop me a line.