You can do this several ways as you describe. I'm uncertain of the best way, but I'd apply a similar way that I use, a "template" file. Since you already use that word, maybe call it a seed file or source file or some other. In my case, I load a fully featured library part, adjust a handful of dimensions in one or two sketches, then save a copy named by which identifier it belongs to into a project-specific subcomponent folder. The reason we do this is that the potential dimensional combinations, or alternatively project combinations, is too broad to control by a DT in one part. We can regenerate the useful configurations of that part, whether typical feature options or customized, and discard configurations which do not and will not apply. In my workflow, this allows design re-use into another project with similar applications, while also keeping the common files referenced between projects static and separate so that the future doesn't break the past, so to speak.
As a side note away from the question but internal to your post, I don't have success changing a unresolved subcomponent configuration in a drawing either, unless choosing the configuration of the primary part/assembly shown in the view. For that reason, I activate subcomponent configurations in the Assembly or lower before reaching the drawing.
To your case, I'd make one (or a few if necessary from geometry) file with one set of initial dimensions which drive all features. If it's really complicated and relevant, you can use Variables, but I do OK with just a couple of Source Sketches which are copied from so they are not absorbed into a feature. Then arrange your configurations as broad or deep as you want, whether longer names to choose from or subconfiguration trees to expand out. The more options baked in, the more configs result factorially. I think that's the word for it. Each binary option increases options by additional factor of two, etc.
+ Left Hinge1 Vert1 Nail1 Mtrl1 (Left handed, hidden Hinge, [lowest # of] Vertical boards, Nailed, Natural Oak)...
+ Left Hinge1 Vert1 Nail1 Mtrl2
+ Left Hinge1 Vert1 Nail2 Mtrl1
+ Left Hinge1 Vert1 Nail2 Mtrl2
+ Left Hinge1 Vert2 Nail1 Mtrl1
+ Left Hinge1 Vert2 Nail1 Mtrl2
+ Left Hinge1 Vert2 Nail2 Mtrl1
+ Left Hinge1 Vert2 Nail2 Mtrl2
+ Left Hinge2 Vert1 Nail1 Mtrl1
+ Left Hinge2 Vert1 Nail1 Mtrl2
+ Left Hinge2 Vert1 Nail2 Mtrl1
+ Left Hinge2 Vert1 Nail2 Mtrl2
+ Left Hinge2 Vert2 Nail1 Mtrl1
+ Left Hinge2 Vert2 Nail1 Mtrl2
+ Left Hinge2 Vert2 Nail2 Mtrl1
+ Left Hinge2 Vert2 Nail2 Mtrl2
+ .. .. Horiz1/Horiz2 .. ..
+ Right ... ... as needed
Then save 20 files for the 20 sizes of doors you have, named by dimension coordinates or location names or both as you prefer to sort and track them.
You could create one file that had everything, or 20 files defined by size with all options, or 40 files defined by options with all sizes, or any additional variation or expansion thereof. To decide which way to start, the input stability should be examined. For example, if sizes are fixed and stable, or whether available feature scope is more fixed and stable, would steer your option. For example, a new scrolled hinge feature later would need re-perpetuated from the template file into files sorted by size, but a new size or location could be either regenerated or resized and saved as for new file generated. If you have all the available feature options delimited, then I'd vary output files by size.
Yes factorial complexity that's the word, it's crazy how soon things become 'too broad' I like your idea and will give it a try. I found out today that you can use the config publisher to help choose from a long list of configs, so that will help too. On this job I hope that 'everything' is stable now but I'm looking for a workflow to use moving forward too
you could create configs for all your site surveys assuming there all the same shape.
Then create configs for each site survey+opp hinge for each in the main assem.
Then in your main assem and change the site survey part to all the different configs of the surveys to match main assem config. Although i think there might be an option for in context between configs so that your doors update to the required site survey
Thanks Ned I just looked and I have that option checked. I turned it on the other week when I had a problem with a part referencing an old assembly after I'd made a revision. I couldn't find a way to remove the link and this got me out of jail then. I've spent the last 20 minutes reading old forum posts about it and the consensus seems to be that it should be unchecked unless you know what you're doing...and I don't :/
For me I would use the Survey Sketch as my master sketch which would include placement locations and master sketch profile (overall shape). In the center of each door way I would create 3 planes, center parallel with the top plane, center parallel with the right plane and center parallel with the front plane, plus I would position additional planes for the outside, not to exceed size, which would be outside right, outside left, furthermost top, lowest bottom, the outside front surface and the back, this would be at every door location, you could also add a plane for the hinge centers if you want. Then I would draw the outer profile of the door at each location and derive that sketch to the front and back planes. Then I would add those planes and sketches into individual folders for that door. For me and my workflow this is the most important part, establishing zones and not worrying about the entire project, all of the focus is a particular zone. If you're adventuress, you could add additional sketches in each zone, like hinge and board sketches, board thickness planes...........
The next step would be to open a new assembly and insert the master sketch as the first part in the assembly, save the assembly. Then do the Insert New Component, save the part file and create the sketch part by using as much info as you can from the master sketch. As you add components, the biggest thing I've learned was to select the new part and the master sketch and right click and isolate, that way you are working with no other parts visible and there is no chance that you pick up any references from the other components, only the master sketch and the part.
I would have 20 different assemblies and each assembly I would have one configuration (if needed for left and right), that would only pertain to suppressing the hinges on one side and inserting the part hinge and mating it for the other hand etc...
Keep in mind that you would possibly have interchangeable components and if you do I would just mate them in place rather then creating a new part.
If you decide to go with configured parts, avoid references from one part to the other like a plague because of the rebuild issues like you mentioned above, the same is with equations, or design tables, if you go too deep or multi layered with the reference parts, you will have bad rebuilds, been there done that.
I know it sounds like a lot of to do, but I would never approach it any differently....SW and automation combination sounds great, but at the end of the day vertexes need to be connected to the proper sketch point, if not you'll create an assembly that is difficult to manage and change. The key for me is to be able to delete a component in the feature tree and throw no errors..
Wish you the best
I like your workflow and am trying to adopt your approach with my new work. I made this assembly a long time ago, it's only now we are approved for production that I'm going to use it.
Just want to throw this out, not saying my way is the best and possibly has it's own flaws that I don't see, because it's highly possible I'm too close to the trees to see the forest, kind of thing.
But, I know without a doubt it works well and helps to keep my sanity when working on larger projects. I would like to add a few tips, place as much information per zone in one folder, it will help later, also color your sketches (like have all your hinge placements or hinge profiles black, door outline as brown etc..), that is a big help in finding the correct sketches if you have multiple sketches showing.. Oh, and only have one Master Sketch, not 20..