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Is it easier for solidworks to process an equation driven feature pattern or sketch pattern?

Question asked by Kenneth Kobmann on Feb 4, 2016
Latest reply on Feb 7, 2016 by Kenneth Kobmann

First time posting a question. Please let me know if I need to format my questions better, place them somewhere else, etc. Also, thank you for teaching me Solidworks. Everything I have learned was directly from this forum and there are some truly brilliant Solidworks minds here. So, on to my question.

 

The product (Conveyors) I engineer is not extremely elaborate. It has, what I refer to as, 10 main sub-assemblies. 4 of the main sub-assemblies also have sub-assemblies. For some time now I have attacked automating the building process. I have done this in multiple methods such as  doing it as a plane driven assembly, as a sketch driven assembly, from bottom and then top down. I know it's a good candidate to be driven (that's based on my desire to do it) but up until know I haven't succeed in doing so. I've tried DriveWorks, design tables, equations, and a little configurations but that doesn't really work well for this product because of the shear amount of configurations there would be and the way it works with EPDM. This series of product can go from 8"-30" wide by 1" and can have as many as 5) 119" Incline sections by 1/16" and 10) 119" by Lower Horizontal sections by 1/16". Generally my issue is the amount of rebuilds required to make it update properly. In this picture the part is 12" x 35.187" long. As it grows in length I need it to add holes on the flange whenever the centerline distances between the holes gets greater than 9" and I need the holes to be symmetrical. Same with the plug weld holes on that center angle track. Then I need it to add an angle iron spreader that goes from side to side whenever the distance between them gets greater than 16". Right now I have it setup as a feature pattern and I use the instance and distance to write my equation and it would work fine but this is only 1 of the 10 sub-assemblies. So, does Solidworks require more processing or processing time to change the sub-assembly when I use a pattern feature or pattern sketch? I'm also extruding both directions from a mid-plane. Does that 2 directions require more processing? I am trying to figure out how to get the whole conveyor to update in 1 rebuild. Right now it requires 4. Also when I get up to 119" on a section like this then I have an equations that unsuppresses the next section. Does Solidworks have an order of operation? Any input would be great. My local reseller couldn't help because he said i'm already doing equations he didn't think were possible.                 

 

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