40 Replies Latest reply on Mar 15, 2017 8:30 AM by John Stoltzfus

    I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.

    Jason Martin

      I am pursuing currently a final assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations. Other parts in this assembly will also have close to 300-600 configurations each. I am concerned about how much RAM this might take up on my computer and how I can check this.

      Is this even feasible to do without having Solidworks crash? I want to prepare myself before I get REALLY DEEP in this project. Does anyone have any experience with an assembly with this many configurations?

       

      Any advice for me while pursuing this project?

        • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
          Andrew Miller

          Wow, that's a lot! My suggestion would be to simplify as much as possible. Take the time to plan out the smallest number of features within each model. Eliminate the memory hogs (like threads). You can see the refresh time in the part file by going to Tools/Feature Statistics. Also, I assume you will be using a design table. Try to create as much of the table as possible outside of SolidWorks to avoid crashing.

           

          Before any of that, I think it would be wise to see how your system stacks up against the recommendations on the SolidWorks site.

           

          Let us know how the project goes. I'm sure I'm not the only one interested in pushing the limits of the program!

          • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
            Steve Calvert

            wow, good luck with that.

             

            I would make sure that you have complete control over all the files in the assembly.  I would create very basic configurations of each such that the graphics triangles and image quality are all very low so as to not take too much time to load.

             

            We have large assemblies but I don't make an assembly of our entire product.  I only make functional modules that are then used in a third party configurator with rules and such.

             

            Steve C

              • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                Jason Martin

                I am actually making ONE whole product line so that we can reduce the amount of time for drawings to be done. Having this will allow drawings to be consistent and almost instantaneous. Not many companies actually take the time to do this.

                 

                Having to look for a part file to see if it is there, make a new drawing every time, then make a new assembly has just been a pain for the people in this department. If all goes well, I got 10+ more product lines left to create with close to the same amount of configurations each. Yes it is a pain to do, but in the end it will always save time

              • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                Alan Sweetenham

                You might want to consider DriveWorkshttp://www.driveworks.co.uk/for that many variations. This works differently but may be more suitable for your task as you can input hte sizes, parts, features required on a form to build a assembly/ drawing, you don't have to already have all the configurations which would I suspect be getting rather heavy and hard to manage given your requirements.

                 

                You can give the DriveWorks Xpress tutorial a go in SOLIDWORKS in 30-60mins to see how it works. The Xpress product may be enough for you or you may need to look at the higher products just like Simulation Xpress etc it is a bit of a taster of the full product but still very capable. Ultimately for products with many variations this can be a much better option, I should say i work for a UK SOLIDWORKS reseller who also sells DriveWorks but this is just my opinion!


                Alan

                • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                  Grant Davidson

                  Hi Jason,

                  Wow! That's a record number of configurations from my experience. 

                  'Freezing' features is something which can sometimes be underestimated - this really strips weight out of parts and may be worth considering!

                  Good luck with the project.

                  • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                    Andy Sanders

                    What about making a single-line design table driven by the Configuration Publisher?

                    This is what we do for our online 3DContent Central parts.

                    • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                      Deepak Gupta

                      As Andy pointed, I would go with configuration publisher. I had recently made some assemblies which would generate over 20K configuration (may be more that that) from one single assembly file.

                       

                      Another than that, ho are you modelling the assembly. I'm not sure on the limitation of configurations one file can have but if you've all of them in one file then it would be too difficult to handle.

                      • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                        Andy Sanders

                        Aside from the config publisher, I would seriously reconsider how this assembly is structured.  That many configs will be a continuous problem.

                         

                        Is it possible to break it up in to more assemblies?  Is there a logical "break" among any groups that would make sense for them to be in another separate assembly?  Like by size for instance?

                         

                        I'm just giving a warning that you will probably never be happy with the performance with that many configs to manage.  I would totally dread working with that, myself.

                        • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                          Stevan Karanovich

                          Have pushed solidworks to its breaking point several times over the last 18 years. If you truly need to go down this path. I would highly recommend you get a monster of a workstation to do it. I would advise you to break this up into much smaller pieces. One corruption to one model could take out all of that work. To me it would be way to risky. That many configuration is also going to push excel. It will be a very large spreadsheet.

                          • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                            Vladimir Urazhdin

                            I don't know your design intend, but what if use Global Variables and Equations to drive & link dimensions instead of multiplying configurations?

                            Equation Manager has also an ability to suppress / unsuppress Features, Parts, Subassemblies as a function of parameters (dimensions).

                            This is what DriveWorks does, but it is doable without DriveWorks too.

                            At least it may help to reduce the number of configurations.

                            • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                              Elmar Klammer

                              Hi Jason,

                               

                              That is a lot of configurations. You are going to deal with a number of challenges. First, how is SW going to handle the model and the drawing part. Second, how are you or your colleagues going to handle this.

                              If you indeed need to have that many configurations, then I would break down the overall assembly into a range of sub assemblies and I would keep the number of configurations down to 1000 or lower depending on the size and difficulty of the overall design. Each of these sub assemblies I would set to "Promote" (That way you can get an easy overall BOM for the complete build). I would then insert all sub assemblies into my master assembly. Preferably use a master model/sketch approach in each sub assembly. In your case I would have 15 sub assemblies with 1000 configuration each.

                              Here is the WHY?. First I can work in smaller sub assemblies, that saves time on the original design and on future rework. Second, it becomes manageable. Manageable in terms of revision control and if something ever goes wrong with your file and it becomes corrupted. This should be a concern for you, given the number of variations you are looking at. Another consideration is modeling vs.drawing. Even if you can make the model work, drawings are a different beast. Something that large will only work with some smart planning.

                               

                              Those few steps on its own are loaded questions by itself. In your situation, I would suggest to keep the design features very simple. Rely on stable SW features and stay away from features that only work under limited conditions. SW is full of functions that have a narrow range where they work reliably and will fail on you in the near future if you happen to go outside those limits.

                               

                              And make sure you test your design.

                               

                              Hope that helps.

                                • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                                  Jason Martin

                                  I completely agree with your questions you are asking as I to have asked myself many of those questions before taking on this project. I have broken this down to many more sub assemblies to simplify the design. My final assembly would be setup for my co workers to select any final design configuration they need to make for the customer order. The Configuration Publisher would be explained and shown to those who need to use it. 

                                   

                                  Also, I am not sure drawings will be created for these, but in the event that drawings are needed, I have created a plan to make this work. With all my sub assemblies that are similar in design, parts are duplicated only by the pack and go feature. The reason for this, is each edge, surface, point remains to be the exact same for all copied parts. I NEVER remodel a part for any reason.

                                  What I mean by this is when I create the drawing, and when the configuration changes to different sub assemblies, since the edge, surface, and points are all the same, the dimensions would never be dangling and would recognize where it should be attached to instead of dangling. This would allow for a one drawing setup that "SHOULD" be perfect no matter what assembly is chosen. My strategy is a simple, pick your configuration, and print your drawing approach. Shouldn't take more than 10 minutes with the way I have it to be set up.

                                   

                                  I have never encountered a corrupted file before so, I'm not sure how to go about that route. I'm just crossing my fingers that something like this doesn't happen. *Knock on Wood*

                                  • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                                    Rick Becker

                                    Elmar Klammer wrote:

                                     

                                    Rely on stable SW features and stay away from features that only work under limited conditions. SW is full of functions that have a narrow range where they work reliably and will fail on you in the near future if you happen to go outside those limits.

                                     

                                    Another Recommendation by Elmar Klammer for...

                                    ONE and TWO

                                    • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                                      Jason Martin

                                      Elmar Klammer It seems as if you have Jinxed me! I finally got a corrupted file just as I was finishing an assembly this afternoon. Luckily I save backups every night and didn't loose too much progress. I thought this was too funny not to share!

                                    • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                                      Timothy Taby

                                      How do you get the drawings to update so that the dimensions are readable?  Do you still have to go into each drawing and straighten them out?

                                        • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                                          Jason Martin

                                          You have to select the configuration you want and then go to the drawing for it to update.

                                          I would only have one drawing for all of my configurations since all the surfaces are exactly the same, the dimensions attached would remain attached.

                                          The only thing I would need to do is go to the drawing and move the dimension to the desired locations and probably adjust the scaling. 

                                            • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                                              Elmar Klammer

                                              Hi Jason,

                                               

                                              I am somewhat confused. The title in your post says assembly while the content of the discussion revolves around configured parts and assembly drawings. Can you post a snap shot of a typical scenario. Maybe that would clarify the purpose of the drawing and the application of your part in the assembly.

                                              Maybe generic dimensions with associated dimension table would be another option

                                                • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                                                  Jason Martin

                                                  Sometimes discussions lead to other topics and you just go with the flow. They are all related if you understood the purpose of my project. I'm cataloging an entire product with many different parts that have various hole sizes, shaft sizes, etc... The scope of my project is to create a full assembly and then drawings for each of these parts and sub-assemblies. The relationship with the assemblies and drawings is that I have copies of sub-assemblies with different orientations. If I just create parts one after another and not copy similar designs, then my purpose of saving time making the drawings go smoothly will not work. I need to copy similar designs for the dimensions to stay attached to where they always are attached.

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  For example, lets say I'm making adapter plates. If I make one adapter plate and copy it 20 different times with having 20 different files and I only change the hole sizes, I can copy that same drawing to go with each of those 20 files.

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  But, If I create 20 files and draw the adapter plate from scratch, it wouldn't recognize the surface or edges from one part to another thus rendering each of the files being completely different from each other.

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  My point is that with the drawings, I can do the same for the assemblies and only have one drawing for all of the assemblies instead of wasting hours making 10 drawings when only 1 drawing will work for them all. The kind of dimension doesn't matter, ANY dimension will carry over and not be dangling.

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  Also, I can save time making any assemblies because they are similar in design.

                                                  No one has worked on a project for this specific product before so, currently there are a bunch of similar parts all modeled on different axis with all differently labeled features which can be confusing. I'm just going to start it up from scratch

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  Does this make sense for you now? I'm just taking things to the next level in ways most people don't think about just to save a bunch of time. I've actually done a similar project like this where I cut down my lead time for a specific product from 8-12 hours down to 15 minutes. This one actually had a smaller amount of assemblies, parts, and configurations though. I'm applying the same concept to this project.

                                                    • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                                                      Timothy Taby

                                                      configurations are great, but you have to be careful when using them.  For parts that are similar and have mostly common  features then using a configuration is a great time saver.  But when you start making a configurations for parts where your suppressing more features then you are leaving un-supressed then you know you should be making a new part (or assembly).  It can also get to be to much when you make a change to one configuration, and then have to go through each one to make sure that change propagates, with 100's of configurations that can be a nightmare, this is where a design table can come in handy.

                                                       

                                                      Having a part with 15,000 configurations is pretty crazy and I wish you luck.

                                                      • Re: I have an assembly that will contain over 15,200 different configurations.
                                                        John Stoltzfus

                                                        I would carry on and try it, there have been many great ideas from projects like what you're up against, but in different ways, don't take a No for an answer just a stepping stone for something that will work. 

                                                         

                                                        The gargantuan part configurations will definitely slow down the performance, unless you can figure it out in making the part size as small as possible.