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RE:"If we make a drawing for every version, and we make a revision then all drawings would have to be updated."
Consider using the Task Scheduler for this. Look at "Update Associated Files".
I guess, if I were you, I would go ahead and make 43 single sheet drawings for each Configuration and be done with it. Then, if any changes were made, I'd use the Task Scheduler as noted.
One method to consider is this:
Make a Drawing Template with as much common information and Pre-Defined Views.
Then Open the Part, Select the Configs, one at at time, and Drag the Part onto the Drawing Template. Save each Drawing with a different Name, and just go thru each config until done. If possible, Use Insert Model Items to populate the Drawing with dimensions from the 3D Part file.
Others may have different ideas.
What do you have on your drawings that would require all of your drawings to be updated just because you changed one of the configurations/part numbers in your sldprt file?
Each configuration can have its own custom properties and revisions that can be used to drive seperate slddrw files independent of all the other slddrw files.
I would take a real hard look at what you show on your drawings and decide if it is really value added to have a change to one part number affect and cause an update to 43 drawings.
For us we would do what is needed to correct that scenario. Not enough manpower to justify un-needed data management.
Configurations are powerful, but they can have the un-intended consequences of increased data management/drawing management overhead if you are not careful. As you are finding out.
Does the supposed simplicity of only having to manage one part file out weigh the current struggles you are having with managing your drawings/configurations within the part file?
For our company the answer is No. We have one part number per sldprt/sldasm that drives one slddrw.
Others will totally disagree with how we choose to work..... That is ok, for their engineering environments, resources and types of systems they design. The trade off balances toward using configurations to manage part numbers. For us the upside does not outweigh the downside.
Not sure what the answers are for your group, just some things to think about while you are mulling over how to handle your drawings.
Anna Wood says: "For our company the answer is No. We have one part number per sldprt/sldasm that drives one slddrw."
I totally agree with this.
Read Anna's Blog and see how she and her company handle data management, their methods are excellent.
Exactly where on Anna's Blog do I find the article about file management? I've gone through most of her blogs without finding anything about file management.
I think Devon is thinking about a post I did here on the SolidWorks forum. I have not done a blog post on how we have our file system set up. I wish I could find the post I am thinking of, I can't at the moment.
Here is a link to one post I participated in that may help you just a tiny bit.
One thing to keep in mind is not trying to exactly replicate what you did in AutoCAD on your 2D drawings. You may not be able to do it easily in SolidWorks. You will drive yourself crazy trying.
Where I work now, we have alot of tabulated drawings, which works fine I guess. I can use a design table from the part to make the drawing table. Its not a bad way to go, but it can get out of hand before you know it. I worked for a company that had well over a hundred variations on a single part! It took two sheets to cover all the table data. That was an example of a simple idea gone to extremes.
My company has tied themselves down with ISO standards so much that revisions can snowball, particularly if a part is made obsolete.
Dependent upon your hole pattern variations, a part with configurations might be a good option with separate drawings for each version, or a single tabulated one. Again, if your variarions are too complex, it probably won't be worth doing. In such a case, maintaining the part revision as the same as the drawing wouldn't be possible in PDM. One configuration might change where another might not. In such cases some companies do not worry so much about revision control documentation on the model so much as the drawings.
Just based on experience, one model/one drawing is the simplest method. Very straight forward. You can just get the first one the way you want it and use pack-n-go to make the duplicates. It just breeds alot of changes if every version has to get the same change.
Right now we have around 100 parts that each have on average 10 configurations. There are a few that have 30 plus configurations. We went the route of having the different configurations instead of thousands of parts that are the same just with a different hole pattern. Long story short we did this because of the sales people.
The hole pattern is based off of someone else's machine that mounts to are parts. Any revisions we make will effect all the configurations. An example is we just order a different tool to punch the part a lot faster. We had to change the flat a little to use the tool. So the revision affects all the versions.
We have so many version because each of are customers wants five or six different machines from different manufactures mounted to the top we are making for them. Most of are customers only what the holes for the machines they have to make mounting easier for them.
I will read Anna's blog and see how they are doing it. Thanks for the feedback.