16 Replies Latest reply on Jun 29, 2016 3:44 PM by Steve Calvert

    Large Assembly Drawings

    James Rhys-Davies

      We have a *lot* of trouble with large assembly and specifically large assembly drawings. We have one "large" assembly (it's really not that large, but we can't find a reason why it acts like a large assembly, maybe because it has so many configurations?) that is placed into drawings. Each drawing contains a sub-set of the configurations (approx 3-5 different configs of the one assembly). Each drawing has a front page with the BOM for all the configurations and one iso of one config. The remaining pages are dedicated to individual configs with a top, front, right, iso view and extremely basic dimensions (width, height, length).

       

      That's all we're doing with the drawing and I don't really think it's that complicated, but it takes 11:30 minutes to open one drawing and I'm at 25:00 minutes right now trying to get the latest version of the assembly from the vault with no end in sight. All total it will take us over an hour to open, get latest version, sort part numbers again, fill out revision block, check each page really quick, and re-save...all for just one drawing. We have 14 of these drawings, so that's well over two days worth of work just to update and save and it requires such a little amount of human interaction that we are twiddling our thumbs for most of that time. This can't be done with task scheduler because we need to fill out the revision block and re-sort the BOM.

       

      I have a SolidBox and while I'm sure there's room for improvement, my computer isn't even maxing out the CPU Usage and Memory as it is. I have gone through and simplified everything that I possible can. Our large assembly contains nothing but configured sub-assemblies that are fixed in space. I have watched almost every large-assembly tip/tricks/how-to video that I can find and put most of those things into practice.

       

      Does anybody have any suggestions on improving this at all? Maybe we need to make individual drawings for each configuration (not ideal, but possible)? Maybe we need to speedpak the whole assembly, but if we do that can we still add basic dimensions? Those speedpaks will have to be updated on the part level every time we go through this process anyways.

       

      Please help us!

        • Re: Large Assembly Drawings
          Jim Sculley

          We need numbers.  How many sheets on the drawing?  How may configurations in the model?  How many components in the assembly?

            • Re: Large Assembly Drawings
              James Rhys-Davies

              Sorry! I was going to post this in the original question, but had the spinning wheel of death.

               

              For this particular drawing, I have 5 total sheets. The assembly has 9 sub-assemblies and all the parts are contained within. We have 45 configurations.

               

                • Re: Large Assembly Drawings
                  Matthew Lorono

                  Rachel,  can you run Performance Evaluation on the Drawing too?

                  Thanks!

                    • Re: Large Assembly Drawings
                      James Rhys-Davies

                      Sure thing! I've actually never run that in a drawing in 2016. I blacked out our file names, hopefully you can still kinda tell what's going on. BOM is the name of one of the drawing sheets. All the drawing sheets under that have drop-downs underneath them, but there's no information associated with each view.

                       

                        • Re: Large Assembly Drawings
                          Matthew Lorono

                          Ah, so one thing that will slow down performance is heavy usage of configurations.  From this report, and your previous statements, you may wish to reduce your reliance on configurations in the drawing.  Every time you have a different configuration of the same assembly appear on your drawing, it is like having a different assembly open.  So, 45 configurations of the same assembly will have to load that assembly 45 times.  This isn't so much of an impact for parts (though the same rule applies, individual components typically don't take that long to load).  It is much more noticeable on larger assemblies.

                           

                          If you are using configurations for hide/show of components within your assembly, you may wish to consider using display states.

                           

                          If it is possible, might you be able to provide your file set for review by our development department to see a real world example, and examine how we might be able to improve performance?  Files can be provided under NDA.

                        • Re: Large Assembly Drawings
                          James Rhys-Davies

                          Matthew, it's ironic that you commented! We actually spoke really briefly about this issue at SWW16. You had to leave for a meeting, but gave me your contact info. I almost emailed you this morning, but decided to see if anyone on the forums had any suggestions first.

                        • Re: Large Assembly Drawings
                          Elmar Klammer

                          Hi Rachel,

                           

                          You have quite a large number of bodies. From your profile and the name "engine assembly" I gather you are trying to make a drawing of an engine, with whatever else you added. From past experience working with imported models supplied by engine manufactures, I have found that it is important to run a import diagnostic on the engine. Engine's assemblies usually have many small parts with many rounded faces. See if you can eliminate many of those bodies first. Try merging, simplify or even deleting bodies. Make sure you check the model. I have had many times drawing resolve issues when one component in the assembly had hidden import errors. These errors not necessarily show in the feature tree but are detectable when you ran a stringent entity check for surface and body errors. A common issue is that assembly drawings are stuck in draft quality if this is the case and require multiple rebuilds.

                          Maybe that helps.

                      • Re: Large Assembly Drawings
                        John Stoltzfus

                        Agreed with Jim show us the numbers...  My assemblies are also on the small side, not complicated, but a drawing pack could have over 120 drawing tabs, that will slow things down in a hurry, but still a lot quicker then opening and closing 120 assembly and part drawings. 

                         

                        The real reason lies in the Assembly and Part configuration and how they were built.  Good chance there are quite a few of the following or a bad combination of all -  Incontext Modeling, Circular Rebuilds, Feature Patterns, Assembly Patterns, Configurations, Design Tables, Mates and Equations, these are all big resource drains....

                          • Re: Large Assembly Drawings
                            James Rhys-Davies

                            I posted the numbers in a reply to Jim. My posts are being moderated (I think because I'm still fairly new), so there's a little bit of a delay.

                             

                            I'm encouraged that y'all are responding though! We are literally at our wits end over here.

                             

                            We do use some incontext modeling when we are modeling, but I try to go back and delete out all the references. We do have some flexible hose routings although I have tried to turn those into nothing but splines.

                             

                            How do I recognize/fix a circular rebuild?

                             

                            Do hole wizard holes (all made under one hole wizard feature with points added in the sketch) count towards feature patterns? If not, then I don't think we have any feature patterns and I have dissolved all the assembly patterns.

                             

                            The configurations might be what's killing us, but we really cannot get rid of those.

                             

                            How badly do design tables influence it all? We have a design table set-up for the top level assembly. It controls which configuration of the sub-assembly is used and the revision level and title block description that is displayed for each sheet in the drawing.

                             

                            I think we're okay on mates and we rarely use equations. I will definitely be going through everything with a fine-tooth comb to look for more of these things though.

                             

                            Thank you so much!

                              • Re: Large Assembly Drawings
                                John Stoltzfus

                                Based on what I see - like you said configurations and design tables could be the culprit - the reason I don't use them anymore - Yeah they are a great tool when it works, like single components that are independent and not used in an assembly. 

                                 

                                Circular rebuilds - SolidWorks is a history based software so when you make a new design and insert part one then use a feature or a sketch from part ten to complete the design of part one.  The way to know you have issues like that is when you see the little traffic light symbol in the feature tree.

                                • Re: Large Assembly Drawings
                                  Anna Wood

                                  If you haven't already, get on the phone with your SolidWorks resellers tech support.  Have them webex into your system and help you troubleshoot your drawing.  Will be very hard for us here to give specific solutions without being able to see what you have.

                                   

                                  There are any number of things that can choke performance in cad models and especially drawings.

                              • Re: Large Assembly Drawings
                                Glenn Schroeder

                                You mentioned "get the latest version of the assembly from the vault".  I'd suggest doing a Pack and Go of a drawing to your desktop or hard drive.  Then see if it opens faster.  If it's noticeably better that should help you narrow down the issue.

                                • Re: Large Assembly Drawings
                                  Steve Calvert

                                  Rachael, there are many things that happen when you open a Large Assy or Drawing.  There are also many threads discussing it here.

                                   

                                  This is a link to a 2 hour long presentation that deals with this subject.

                                   

                                  Best Practices for Large Assembly Management in SOLIDWORKS - YouTube

                                   

                                  It's worth every minute...

                                   

                                  Steve C