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Making auto descriptions with configurations.

Question asked by John Huntington on Nov 27, 2007
Latest reply on Nov 27, 2007 by Shawn Applegate


When creating steel parts such as Tubes, and Beams, I like to give a standard description, such as "TUBE SQ., 2 1/2" SQ. X 1/8" X 35 1/2" LG." So to help reduce mistakes I have part templates set up that automatically spit out the correct description based on the dimension of a part, so if for any reason I want to change the length or size of the part I simply edit a sketch or a feature and I don't have to worry about my parts description being wrong. Basically in the description field I have typed "TUBE SQ., "D1@SQTUBE Sketch@Part1.SLDPRT" SQ. X "THICKNESS@SQTUBE Sketch@Part1.SLDPRT" - "D1@Extrude1@Part1.SLDPRT" LG."

This works great for me for part I might want holes drilled in or mitered, but for basic cut parts I have a part files of each standard shape with configurations and this is where my problem is.

In my design table I have basically the description of the feature, then followed by the dimensions to drive the feature and finally the description that will show up in the BOM. I cannot use the auto name function simply because the despription of each part will simply say the last configuration shown. So for instance if I had 3 different sq tubes in my drawing each totally different, they will all say the same thing. So because of this I am forced to manually name each configuration, what really makes this a pain in the butt is that SolidWorks is picky about configuration names. So if I want a "TUBE SQ., 2 1/2" SQ. X 1/8" X 35 1/2" LG" I have to type in the description "TUBE SQ., 2.50" SQ. X .125" X 35.50" LG." The company I work for has been using fractions for years so trying to get them to switch to decimal will not be the easy fix.

So is there a function I am missing, maybe in Excel where I can just simply type the size of my part in right columns and I get my description auto generated to help cut back on mistakes?

Attach is an image of what I am doing in my configurations

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