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Updating products/projects and general workflow

Question asked by Willy Wonka on Feb 17, 2017
Latest reply on Feb 18, 2017 by Dirk Rautenberg

Hello everyone, this can quickly get a bit confusing so first some background:

I am currently tasked with creating some assembly animations in composer. There are multiple processes required for each assembly so it's been decided to break each process into it's own composer file with anywhere from 15-50 steps per process. There will be a composer directory file that then links to each of these process files. I won't go into how many different assembly versions I will have to do this for, because then the whole project begins to sound a bit ridiculous.


I'm trying to reuse Composer data whenever possible to minimize the file storage nightmare I already find myself in. I've been told one way to do this (and this is how I have been going about things up to this point) is to use Composer product files. When I receive a SolidWorks assembly file, I open it in Composer, save it as Composer product file (.smgxml I think), then add it into a Composer project file for each process. There are also various tools and fixtures required for each process so I save them as separate products as well, and add them to the project files as required. Then in the Composer project, I go about turning the opacity down on various parts/subassemblies, creating views, moving/rotating parts, and bringing the opacity up on other parts etc. in order to create my views.

First questions: Does this sound like a reasonable workflow? Should I be saving each process file as an .smg file instead and just merging the extra tools and fixtures in? Merging seems to be the more frequently recommended method but I think I ran into a problem doing it that way that I can't remember at the moment. This may be the subject of a future question.


Now for updating: If there is a change to one of the part models I can open that product, click update and point it to the SolidWorks assembly file and everything updates fine. If there is a part added to an assembly however or if a part changes names (for example a 3/8" Standard Washer to a 3/8" Lock Washer) those parts don't follow any of the transforms made to the assembly in any previously made views. They sit at the origin like a sore thumb. Now if it's something like a washer, that might be easy enough (though time consuming) to re-position and update in all of the views using Composer's buggy align tools but if it's something like a label that is supposed to be centered on a plate you can't do that reliably in multiple views... unless I am missing something. Am I'm missing something?


Thanks for reading all of that and if you have any advice or suggestions I would really appreciate it. I can clarify any part of that if needed. Thanks!