How to Design a Test Fixture Plate Using Catia V5 Software

The goal is to provide a quick tutorial using the Catia V5 software to create a Test Fixture Plate, which could be used for many tests that are required by some of the largest companies in the world. This is knowledge that can be sometimes overlooked, but may come in handy in the world of industry.


  1. 1
    Open up the Catia V5 software.
    • Begin a new part design from the start menu.
    • Upon selecting this, a 3-D environment will appear. From the tools on the right, select new sketch and apply it to the x-y plane as shown.
      Image titled Step1.1.png
  2. 2
    Create 2-D Geometry.
    • Draw a 610 mm x 610 mm square.
    • Fully constrain the geometry by adding defined dimensions. The sketch will turn green after you fully constrain the sketch. (Don't forget to add vertical and horizontal constraints to your sketch, in order to define the shape!)
    • Select the “Exit Sketch” icon located at the top of the right tool bar.
      Image titled Step2.1.png
  3. 3
    Select the Pad feature.
    • The Pad feature will allow you to add thickness to your sketch, giving you a 3-D part. When the dialog box appears, input the desired thickness required for your plate, along with the direction in which you would like to expand.
      Image titled Step33.png
  4. 4
    Select the Hole Command
    • Now that you have your solid plate, use the hole command with the top surface of your plate as the reference plane. After selecting the top surface of the plate, you will see another dialog box. (Do not use the pocket command with this application. It will cause trouble with threading.)
    • Enter the desired diameter and depth of the hole that you would like to form. In this case, select "Up to Last."
    • After defining these parameters, select “Positioning Sketch” in the dialog box. Doing this, your hole will be represented by a white star. Dimension this star as it is the center of your hole.
    • After you define the position of the hole, select “Exit Workbench.” This will bring back your dialog box.
    • Because this is a fixture plate, we need these holes to be threaded. Select the tab “Thread Definition” and check the box “Threaded”. This will give you access to different thread types. Select the desired thread which correlates with the drilled hole size that has already been defined. (You can find a reference sheet online that contains different types of threads, dependent on your application.)
      Image titled Step4.11.png
  5. 5
    Pattern Feature
    • Activate “Hole.1” and select the “Rectangular Pattern” command in purple. Selecting this command will provide another dialog box with instructions for two directions.
    • In the first direction tab, indicate the number of holes that you would like to form under “Instances.”
    • Next you can define the spacing between each hole.
    • Finally, select the “Reference Element” box, and use an edge of the plate to define a direction for this pattern.
    • Follow the same steps under the “Second Direction” tab to fill out the rest of the plate. Before selecting “OK”, your rectangular pattern should look like the image shown.
      Image titled Step5.1 1.png
  6. 6
    Final Product: Test Plate Fixture.
    • This plate has potential to serve many functions. The threaded holes in this plate allow parts to be constrained for testing or operation purposes. Additionally, more fixtures can be attached to the plate to accommodate more complex part design. This plate is very simple, yet useful and can be manipulated easily via the 3-D software.
      Image titled Final1.png

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Categories: Software