11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 13, 2017 9:50 AM by John Stoltzfus

    Adaptive length parts, comparable to a weldment profile.

    Joseph Dunfee

      I have not found any solution to this, so I wonder if it is even possible in SW. 

       

      I want to design a part, and be able to use it in an assembly, where it needs to adapt its length (call this method A). It would be compatible to a weldment, where the extruded length is adaptable to its situation.  However, the part is not an extrusion, and each end has its own sub-components.  I don't actually need the sub-components represented, since they are assumed to exist.  But, it does mean that the ends are not simply a chopped-off.  It has a specific profile that needs to be maintained.

       

      The reason I use the weldment as an example, is that I can manufacture the part at any length.  I realize that I can create an individual part that will be adaptable in an assembly.  But, if I need another of the same part, but at a different length, currently, I have to save the part under a new part name, so the two different instances of the part, that are different lengths, are different parts (Call this method B).  This behavior is OK, except that I would prefer to generate a BOM more like a weldment, with the same part# , and add the length as an additional parameter.

       

      I am OK, with generating different part files for each unique length. But, as the design progresses, I would prefer that instances of the same part length be a single part. With method B, if I am inserting a new instance, I must first check to see if there might be another instance that is the same length, and then insert it. But, then if my assembly changes dimensions, that new instance may no longer be at the appropriate length.

       

      An example part might be a "dog bone".  I.e. a connecting rod cut from a single piece of metal, with holes at each end for bearings to be inserted. See the attached image.

       

      Thank you for any suggestions.

        • Re: Adaptive length parts, comparable to a weldment profile.
          Jordan Kisler

          Depending on how your part is modeled, you can use in-context references within the assembly.  Extruding up to a surface or plane, or sketch relations linked to other parts in the assembly, that way your part would stay linked to those components and update as your assembly changes.  For example, in your "dog bone" part, if the 2 ends of the connecting rod had a concentric sketch relation to bearings or whatever you had going through those holes.  That part would be driven by how those bearings changed.  Hopefully I'm making some sense of it...

            • Re: Adaptive length parts, comparable to a weldment profile.
              Joseph Dunfee

              The problem with standard in-context parts, is that this will only work for one part size.  If I insert the same in-context part at another location, it will take on the size of the 1st instance when it is inserted.  Then, if I attempt to edit the 2nd instance to make it fit my in-context length, SW will report that there is a conflict.  In other words, I cannot use this method for more than one possible length.

               

              Your post got me to thinking more about configurations, and I used that in my help search terms.  I found the article, "Example: Configurations and In-context Components". This seems to be the solution. Though, it does require me to edit the part to create a new configuration each time I insert it. (note that this MUST be done by opening the part is a separate window. You cannot edit in place an create a new configuration).

               

              The weakness to the above is that the new configuration show as a new item in the BOM, even if it is the same size as another instance.

               

              Is it what you had in mind?

               

              -Joe

                • Re: Adaptive length parts, comparable to a weldment profile.
                  Joseph Dunfee

                  I spoke too soon. I attempted to follow the instructions in the article I cited.  The problem is that this seems to only work if you are making a part adaptive to another part that has multiple configurations.  In other words, you make one part match the dimensions of another part, only if both have configurations.  So, it is one configuration matched to another configuration.

                   

                  In my case, I only have one configuration at my assembly.   I can insert a part with multiple configurations, and choose which configuration I want to for each instance of the part. And while I can edit the 2nd instance, and drag the sketch elements on the right side of the dog-bone, if I attempt to make that hole concentric with the hole in the assembly, I generate an error. 

                   

                  See the attached simple example.  Note that I have the two dog-bones set for different configurations (as shown by the different colors).

                   

                  -Joe

                  • Re: Adaptive length parts, comparable to a weldment profile.
                    Glenn Schroeder

                    Joseph Dunfee wrote:

                     

                    Your post got me to thinking more about configurations, and I used that in my help search terms. I found the article, "Example: Configurations and In-context Components". This seems to be the solution. Though, it does require me to edit the part to create a new configuration each time I insert it. (note that this MUST be done by opening the part is a separate window. You cannot edit in place an create a new configuration).

                     

                    The weakness to the above is that the new configuration show as a new item in the BOM, even if it is the same size as another instance.

                     

                     

                    Not if you choose this option.

                     

                • Re: Adaptive length parts, comparable to a weldment profile.
                  Paul Risley

                  This to me seems like a straight forward configured part. Unless I am missing something.

                   

                  Control the centerline between the holes. If you are looking for a value of the actual overall length of the part on your extrude which I am assuming drives the centerlines of the holes, put a reference dimension in your extrude sketch using Max dim control instead of centers.

                   

                  Add a custom property to capture this dimension. Configure away as you need to to get all of your centers as needed.

                   

                  In your bom you can add a column that pulls in the dims you added a custom property for. So your bom would have the same part # with a separate column for your lengths. In essence you could have multiple rows of the same part but each length would be accounted for in a proper quantity.

                    • Re: Adaptive length parts, comparable to a weldment profile.
                      Joseph Dunfee

                      Thank you, I think that is the solution.

                       

                      -Joe

                        • Re: Adaptive length parts, comparable to a weldment profile.
                          Joseph Dunfee

                          Oops, that reply above was meant for Mr. Risley. I am surprised there is no way to edit a post.  I was unaware that my reply to Raul Risley's post would go to the bottom of the list.

                           

                          Anyway, Mr. Risley's custom dimension and property seems to be the answer, even if it is a bit cumbersome.  Perhaps I may try to see if I can automate part of the process.

                           

                          Mr. Schroeder, thank you for the detailed reply, but this method will not list the multiple instances if  they are different sizes. So, I don't want one entry on the BOM, if there are multiple sizes of the component.

                           

                          Also, thank you Mr. Stoltzful.  I tried to give a good example, comparable to how I would use my real item. But, as often is the case, proprietary information has to be kept off the forum.   Your message didn't have any attachments.  It has been many years since I tried a design table, so I am not certain if your approach would work.  Can a design table have a dimension that will automatically adjust to its installation in an assembly?

                           

                          -Joe

                            • Re: Adaptive length parts, comparable to a weldment profile.
                              Glenn Schroeder

                              Joseph Dunfee wrote:

                               

                              I am surprised there is no way to edit a post. I was unaware that my reply to Raul Risley's post would go to the bottom of the list.

                               

                              Click on "Actions" at lower left to get the drop-down to edit Replies.

                               

                               

                              Click on "Edit" near the top right to edit the original post of a Discussion you started.

                               

                              • Re: Adaptive length parts, comparable to a weldment profile.
                                John Stoltzfus

                                gm Joseph Dunfee - If you go to the top of the page and double click on the topic header it will take you to another layout, still the same info but you'll see all the attachments, including the one I posted....  

                                 

                                I totally understand on the proprietary info comment and it is definitely difficult to explain something while having to beat around the bush etc...

                                 

                                As for the automatic updates in the assembly, not that's a little more difficult to figure out, but I think very doable.

                                 

                                1.   Is the rest of the assembly driven by the changing pc or...

                                2.   Is the assembly controlling the size of the part

                                3.   Is the assembly a constant changable assembly, where once it's set it stays and you save the file and your done or...

                                4.   Depending if the assembly is used as a sub-assembly, where you have different configurations of those sub-assemblies....

                                 

                                There are possibly more questions to ask, but I feel if you could answer the above questions, you would get a better answer to what you need... 

                          • Re: Adaptive length parts, comparable to a weldment profile.
                            John Stoltzfus

                            Specific sketches or design intent would be a big help, since we don't know we are trying to get you the right answers, but it's difficult if the question is evasive...

                             

                            Attached is a model of a channel that has a design table, if that's what your after???