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1000's of assembly configurations...

Question asked by Jeffery Neal on Feb 28, 2008
Latest reply on Dec 13, 2008 by John Zhao
Hello all,

I am working for a company that produces agricultural equipment. The machines are far from "standard"-- every farmer wants a different set-up.
For example, there are 9 basic sizes of machine, each with many variations. Model100 can have 8 different axle types, each with 3 or 4 different size tyres. Then the hitch height at front has 9 different heights. Then come all the other options, with a choice of yes or no for each- bumper bar, jackpoint, etc.
The worst case scenario is that a single model size could have over 25000 different possible configurations! I doubt that every configuration would be used, but just in case...
At the moment, there is one assembly drawn with one axle type for each model, and some old AutoCAD drawings showing placements of some of the options. The rest if left up to the welders on the shop floor- not good for business!

What we want to do is create a design table so that information is input into a worksheet according to the serial number-- i.e. input axle type, wheel size, hitch height, yes or no to all the small options-- and then have the assembly generate the 3D model of this. Then create a drawing specific to this configuration to issue to the shop floor. A specific BOM would be nice, too, but that could be left for the future...
Would 1 file with thousands of possible configurations get bogged down?
I have seen a Mr Martinez post a file of a parametric pipe part with only one configuration, but linked to an external sheet that provides more info. Unfortunately, I am only using SW2006, and so can not open it. Does anyone have an example like this in SW2006?

I am thinking maybe create a master assembly with every option/size, then suppressing/resolving as called for. Then after generating X number of machines, save a copy, file the old one, and start afresh with an empty DT to keep the file size down.

I am not worried about doing the actual assembly drawing, just want to know the best way to handle the design table so that file size doesn't get to big and opening/rebuild times stay to the minimum.
I have used design tables for parts and small assemblies many times before, but never to this extent and am afraid that this might be stretching the limits of SolidWorks (more likely the PC).
Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Thanks,
Jeff

SW2006

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