I am curious how to machine an assembly or multiple parts from a single piece of stock.
A way, but probably not the best:
If you are going to do it via a .sldprt file with multiple bodies you can draw a sketch of the stock, then within the Stock Manager use the "Extruded Sketch" Stock type. Just remember when drawing the "stock sketch", draw it on a plane such as on the bottom of the part and then when in the Stock Manager, reference that sketch and select the top face of the part. This give it a "thickness". You can offset the stock thickness from that face an extra amount if desired. Essentially the stock shape can only be "extruded" in one direction.
The way I would recommend:Make the SolidWorks Assembly of those parts. Insert a SW coordinate system, reference it within the Machine Definition or the Coordinate System option (in the CW Feature Tree). Open the Parts Manager, click the parts you wish to machine --- if multiple instances of the same part, pick the part in the added list and select add all instances. Once the parts are defined, then the Stock Manager appears. Once can use the large extruded sketch type like I listed above OR near the bottom of the stock manager, where it says "stock" and lists all the parts... shift select all of them in that list and then hit the "Common" icon in the "Create Stock". section and okay the prompted window.
I also recommend doing some of the assembly tutorials. I've found that spending 20 minutes or so doing one of them, saved me hours from trying to figure it out. The tutorials can be found by going to the Help Menu | SolidWorks CAM flyout | Tutorials... then open the "Mill_Assemblies_Tutorial.pdf".
As a side note:
NESTINGWorks is another add-in to SolidWorks, which will nest (figure out an efficient way to align the multiple parts in a given stock size and automatically create the assembly for you). It works very well with SOLIDWORKS CAM & CAMWorks.
I have attached a video showing how to use the part manager to group assembly components together and where to change the stock so it sees it as one large piece of material. Please let us know if you have any further questions on how this portion of assembly machining works.
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