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Assembly Manuals and Design Documentation

Question asked by Jason Corl on Nov 21, 2008
Latest reply on Nov 25, 2008 by Adrian Velazquez
I have to create assembly manuals for our products and am looking for a better way of accomplishing this time consuming task. It is not critical that the manuals look realistic, it is more important that they get the point across.

I've only done some research on this subject but haven't come up with much on software packages used to create assembly manuals and design documentation.

I understand 3DVia Composer can do a lot of this but I'm not sure that it has page layout functionality for print publications and the price tag is way too high (10-12k, depending on who you ask) so its out of the question (unless someone can convince me otherwise with hard cost-savings data).

I've seen QuadriSpace and I've personally used combinations of the Adobe packages to create assembly manuals, using either renderings or line drawings in combination with Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.

Can anyone else share their experience with creating various types of documentation (assembly manuals, manufacturing instructions, web ads, print ads, catalogs, interactive dvd's, animations, renderings, etc. etc. etc.)

Ideally a solution capable of using the direct SolidWorks data would be ideal so that it could update with design changes and work could be reused.

Software Packages I've explored to this point:
Adobe: Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign
3DVia (Used to be Seemage when I last evaluated it)
SolidWorks Animator.

Does anyone have any examples they can share?

Thank You!