38 Replies Latest reply on May 21, 2018 10:08 PM by Alin Vargatu

    Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)

    Grant Mattis

      The number 1 place where the company I work for suffers frustrations is when anyone is working on drawings of large assemblies.

       

      Some background, I pushed the company that I work for to bring in someone for training that could really help and offer solid solutions. I don't know if it was luck or the gods were smiling on us but we managed to get Alin Vargatu for a day of consulting to help determine our issues and then ultimately 3 days of training. As I am sure the case is much of the time we were doing many things right but a few things wrong. Alin straightened us out and our rebuild and loading times were reduced. Unfortunately those improvements didn't do a lot for our drawings. Alin's next suggestion was detached drawings. My investigations have been fairly well documented in Matthew Lorono's thread on detached drawings starting with Alin's comment #24 here https://forum.solidworks.com/thread/54495?start=15&tstart=0 . To me it looks like detached drawings are a great start on dealing with large assembly drawings but there are so many improvements that could still be made. It also does not appear that detached drawings have had any major improvements or time invested into them for many releases.

       

      Before we started using detached drawings we would be lucky to get two, single page customer drawings complete in a day of work. If all wait times were eliminated from the process we could easily complete 8+ of these type of drawings in a single day. It was nearly impossible to give any sort of timelines to the powers that be. Now with detached drawings detailing of a drawing is much faster but we still need to get to the point where we can detach the drawing and it can take a considerable amount of time. Large Assembly Drawings are the single most frustrating thing for everyone that works at our company to deal with. We are lucky that only 10-20% of our time is spent working in these large assembly drawings or there would be a lot more bald people working here.

       

      I would like this thread to be a place where anyone that is having issues with the speed of drawings to post. Especially if you have clean Large Assemblies and still suffer from long load times or turtle speed when editing. This is not a thread to bash but to offer constructive ideas on where improvements can be made. What and why you need to do things and if you notice any specific commands or view types that really slow things down. If we collect some great ideas we can submit them as Enhancement Requests and then vote on the SPR's to ensure the issues we want addressed get noticed.

       

      Thanks,

       

      Grant

        • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
          Alin Vargatu

          Glad you opened the conversation, Grant, and thanks for the kind words.

           

          A few things that every user working with large drawings should know:

           

          1. The difference between Draft Quality and High Quality Views

          2. The impact of configurations on drawing performance

          3. The impact of section views and broken views on drawing performance

          4. Taking full control over the drawing views update process

          5. How to deal with multi-sheets view effectively

          6. How to work with drawings for different purposes:

          • just for printing
          • just for saving as PDF
          • just for detailing (adding dimensions, notes, tables, text)
          • for full editing, including adding new views

          7. Hardware impact

          8. Software and software settings impact

          9. How to use SpeedPak configurations safely in drawings. What are the limitations?

          10. Enhancements Request for increasing drawings performance

          11. What is SOLIDWORKS working on for improving drawings performance (if they can share any details)

           

          Let's discuss in detail each and every one of them.

           

          Any other topics of interest?

            • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
              Grant Mattis

              Great list Alin. I would like to add a couple more. Anyone else have items to add to the list?

               

              12. The impact of detached drawings if used properly

              13. Leveraging task scheduler or #TASK

               

              I believe our major slow down is the number of section views that are required on projects. We are currently trying to limit the number of sections per drawing to 2-3 and then take detail views of those sections as needed. It seems to be working a little bit better but still slow. The drawings where we took 10-15 section views on a single page are almost unusable.

               

              Anyone else out there?

              • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                S. Casale

                Alin Vargatu wrote:

                 

                Glad you opened the conversation, Grant, and thanks for the kind words.

                 

                A few things that every user working with large drawings should know:

                 

                 

                Adding, SW 2017 is in my experience almost half the speed of 2015. According to the knowledge base and the fairly vague SPR descriptions, this should be fixed with 2017 SP4.

                 

                Here's to hoping. If you're not on 2017. Take your time getting to it to see if they actually fix the problem otherwise you waste your money on the loss of performance.

                • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                  Alin Vargatu
                  • I spent the whole weekend working on a large drawing, so I learned a bit more about some of these topics. Let's start discussing them one by one. I'll start from the top of the list:

                   

                  1. The difference between Draft Quality and High Quality Views

                  2. The impact of configurations on drawing performance

                  3. The impact of section views and broken views on drawing performance

                  4. Taking full control over the drawing views update process

                  5. How to deal with multi-sheets view effectively

                  6. How to work with drawings for different purposes:

                  • just for printing
                  • just for saving as PDF
                  • just for detailing (adding dimensions, notes, tables, text)
                  • for full editing, including adding new views

                  7. Hardware impact

                  8. Software and software settings impact

                  9. How to use SpeedPak configurations safely in drawings. What are the limitations?

                  10. Enhancements Request for increasing drawings performance

                  11. What is SOLIDWORKS working on for improving drawings performance (if they can share any details)

                  12. The impact of detached drawings if used properly

                  13. Leveraging task scheduler or #TASK

                   

                  When we look how SOLIDWORKS implemented the Quality state for drawing views, the following should be considered. BTW, I have to give credit to Nick Birkett-Smith, Matt Johnston and Brent McDavid for my education on this topic. I would also welcome and corrections from them or other SOLIDWORKS employees.

                   

                  1. A SOLIDWORKS model has 3 major types of data that could be saved in the file and used in higher level assemblies and drawings:

                  • Feature Data: the recipe for building a part model
                  • Body Data: the ideal geometry (math describing the geometry)
                  • Graphic Data: the triangular tessellation of this geometry that the user sees on the screen.

                   

                  High Quality Views

                  • extract information from the Body Data Set. That is why edges look perfect when printed or saved as PDF, when all drawing views are in High Quality state.
                  • are processed by CPU. That is why it takes a long time in some cases to get the edges computed.
                  • each model view, each section view and broken-out section view, require a separate set of Body Data to be loaded and processed!
                    • that is why recommended to use projected views and detail views as much as possible
                  • each configuration represented in a drawing view, require a separate set of Body Data to be loaded and processed
                    • that is why is recommended to use Display States as much as possible instead of configurations
                  • multi core processing will be used when converting a Draft Quality View into a High Quality View. You will see a process called sldbgproc.exe appearing for each drawing view that is processed. I have not tested how many CPU cores could be used. On my machine I have 4 physical and 8 logical cores, and the maximum number of sldbgproc.exe processes I have ever seen running simultaneously was 3. Please reply if you can take advantage of more than 4 cores at a time.
                  • HQ Views are computation intensive, but require a smaller amount of data to be saved in the drawing file.
                  • the precision for dimensions is independent of the image quality settings.

                   

                  Draft Quality Views

                  • extract information from the Graphic Data Set. That is why sometimes edges look not ideal when printed or saved as PDF, when drawing views are in Draft Quality state.
                  • the Graphic Data was computed initially by the CPU, but once the data set is built, it is manipulated by the GPU. That is why is so fast, when you have a good video card.
                  • most of the time, the model has already the Graphic Data computed, before the drawing is created. That is what Draft Quality Views seem to update much faster than High Quality Views. There is no need to compute the ideal mathematical shape of the edges. Just use the triangles that were already computed.
                  • the Draft Quality drawing views tend to increase the drawing file size, since the tessellation is saved with the drawing.
                  • the precision of dimensions is dependent of the image quality settings (dimensions are attached to the triangles' nodes)
                  • an assembly containing a SpeedPaked sub-assembly will always be represented in Draft Quality Views

                   

                  Default Settings:

                   

                    • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                      Grant Mattis

                      Alin nice comprehensive post. I did a test on a drawing with 3 section view and 5 section views looking for the sldbgproc.exe. The drawing with 3 sections peaked at 3 instances of sldbgproc.exe running simultaneously and the 5 section one peaked at 2 instances running. It was interesting to see that one instance of sldbgproc.exe appeared very early in the switching process, I assume this was the main view, and near the end the sldbgproc.exe showed up once for each section view in the drawing. If I have more time later I might try an older drawing that has even more sections or configurations in it. Thanks for giving everyone more in-depth information on what SW is doing behind the scenes. I look forward to the next installment.

                      • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                        Alex Cleveland

                        Alin, I love this detailed explanation of high quality vs. draft views, this is extremely useful!  I am also working with very large assembly drawings, and it can easily take upwards of 10 minutes to load each page of a drawing, so thank you for this info!

                         

                        This thread seems to have stalled out, but I'm hoping to get it started back up again to answer the remaining list of points from what you guys assembled.

                         

                        So from the list, it seems like the checked-off topics have been covered so far.  Maybe we can add to it!!

                         

                        1. The difference between Draft Quality and High Quality Views

                        2. The impact of configurations on drawing performance

                        3. The impact of section views and broken views on drawing performance

                        4. Taking full control over the drawing views update process

                        5. How to deal with multi-sheets view effectively

                        6. How to work with drawings for different purposes:

                        • just for printing
                        • just for saving as PDF
                        • just for detailing (adding dimensions, notes, tables, text)
                        • for full editing, including adding new views

                        7. Hardware impact

                        8. Software and software settings impact

                        9. How to use SpeedPak configurations safely in drawings. What are the limitations?

                        10. Enhancements Request for increasing drawings performance

                        11. What is SOLIDWORKS working on for improving drawings performance (if they can share any details)

                        12. The impact of detached drawings if used properly

                        13. Leveraging task scheduler or #TASK

                        14. Network vs Local Hard Drive opening from location

                        15. Virus Scan software scanning for .sldprt, .sldasm & .slddrw file extensions

                        16. What impact if any does a PDM have?

                         

                         

                         

                        Thank you everyone for all of your help!

                          • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                            Alin Vargatu

                            Alex Cleveland wrote:

                             

                            Alin, I love this detailed explanation of high quality vs. draft views, this is extremely useful! I am also working with very large assembly drawings, and it can easily take upwards of 10 minutes to load each page of a drawing, so thank you for this info!

                             

                            This thread seems to have stalled out, but I'm hoping to get it started back up again to answer the remaining list of points from what you guys assembled.

                             

                            So from the list, it seems like the checked-off topics have been covered so far. Maybe we can add to it!!

                             

                            1. The difference between Draft Quality and High Quality Views

                            2. The impact of configurations on drawing performance

                            3. The impact of section views and broken views on drawing performance

                            4. Taking full control over the drawing views update process

                            5. How to deal with multi-sheets view effectively

                            6. How to work with drawings for different purposes:

                            • just for printing
                            • just for saving as PDF
                            • just for detailing (adding dimensions, notes, tables, text)
                            • for full editing, including adding new views

                            7. Hardware impact

                            8. Software and software settings impact

                            9. How to use SpeedPak configurations safely in drawings. What are the limitations?

                            10. Enhancements Request for increasing drawings performance

                            11. What is SOLIDWORKS working on for improving drawings performance (if they can share any details)

                            12. The impact of detached drawings if used properly

                            13. Leveraging task scheduler or #TASK

                            14. Network vs Local Hard Drive opening from location

                            15. Virus Scan software scanning for .sldprt, .sldasm & .slddrw file extensions

                            16. What impact if any does a PDM have?

                             

                             

                             

                            Thank you everyone for all of your help!

                            Thanks for reviving this thread, Alex. Grant Mattis and I answered several of these questions this month at SWW 2018.

                             

                            Will get back with more details tomorrow. Today is Family Day in Ontario and my laptop is sleeping, with the HDD erased (will be replaced tomorrow).

                        • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                          Steve Calvert

                          Because I don't see it on any list, I'll add:

                           

                          1. Network vs Local Hard Drive opening from location
                          2. Virus Scan software scanning for .sldprt, .sldasm & .slddrw file extensions

                           

                          Steve C

                            • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                              Grant Mattis

                              Steve those are great points and it reminded me of another point.

                               

                              Does everyone working in large assemblies use some sort of PDM? Workgroup/Standard or Enterprise/Professional?

                              What impact if any does PDM have?

                              Are there any settings to optimize?

                              Potential issues to watch out for?

                               

                              This could be a whole thread on its own and much has most likely been discussed before so lets keep it high level and add links to other threads for further reading if needed.

                                • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                                  Alin Vargatu

                                  Grant Mattis wrote:

                                   

                                   

                                  What impact if any does PDM have?

                                  Are there any settings to optimize?

                                  Potential issues to watch out for?

                                   

                                  This could be a whole thread on its own and much has most likely been discussed before so lets keep it high level and add links to other threads for further reading if needed.

                                  Grant, based on what I am seeing when I hunt, there is a huge advantage for the users who use a PDM system which allow them to open all files from the local drive.

                                   

                                  There are three main advantages:

                                   

                                  1. Opening files from a local fast solid state drive versus a network drive. Time savings (for the loading phase) of 30% to 90% depending of the specific setup.

                                   

                                  2. Drastically reduce (almost eliminate) the potential of crashes and/or file corruption due to glitches on the network. If SW loses connection, even for a fraction of a second, with the location from where the files were opened, crashes or file corruption could occur.

                                   

                                  3. Allow multiple users to work fast, seamless and secure with a common set of data. For users who do not have a PDM in place, it is a real nightmare to collaborate. The first person who opens an assembly that has components needed by assemblies opened by other users, can work normally. The other users suffer greatly.

                                  • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                                    Steve Calvert

                                    NO, I use Smarteam as my PDM and will notice a great gain in time when the Smarteam integration isn't running.

                                     

                                    Steve C

                                      • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                                        Alin Vargatu

                                        Steve Calvert wrote:

                                         

                                        NO, I use Smarteam as my PDM and will notice a great gain in time when the Smarteam integration isn't running.

                                         

                                        Steve C

                                        But you are using Smarteam to ensure that the files are local, correct? If you turn the integration off after that, you still use the local files.

                                         

                                        Please advise, Steve.

                                          • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                                            Steve Calvert

                                            Alin Vargatu  Yes, Smarteam is a PDM system and the files are in a fault on a server.  That server (one in every region) is on the network and IT has it set up so that our work location is on that same server.  I have been testing, for a good year now, on having my work location local on my SSD and it sure makes a difference.

                                             

                                            My current workflow is to copy the files from the fault (which brings them to my local SSD) and then open the assembly/drawing without Smarteam running inside Solidworks (integration off).  This works great except for the occasional assembly that can't find a component because it wasn't copied from the fault for that configuration I desired.

                                             

                                            I've gone from opening an assembly in 11:01 with integration on and files not local to 1:15 with integration off and files local.  This is a 40+ configuration assembly.

                                             

                                            Steve C

                                  • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                                    Matt Peneguy

                                    Grant Mattis,

                                    You lucky dog!  I'm sure Alin was a great help.

                                    One suggestion that I have,  and it came from someone on these forums but I forgot who (could have even been Alin), if you are dealing with only a section of the large assembly, create a configuration of the assembly and extrude cut away the parts of the assembly that aren't going to be in your drawing.  That really helped my load times for some of my assembly drawings.  Of course there is the whole argument about having too many configurations, but it worked for spitting out a few quick drawings of an assembly that was a bear to work with.

                                      • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                                        Grant Mattis

                                        Lucky is an understatement.

                                         

                                        I think I answered the majority of your suggestion above where John posted. We have done something similar with imported assemblies, getting them cut down to the area we need and then saving as a part. Then usually a config or display state with it on or off. We find that is faster then a large imported assembly in our model but it is still slower when the part is turned on.

                                      • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                                        Alin Vargatu

                                        Just discovered something strange this morning and sent it to SOLIDWORKS for clarification.

                                         

                                        This is what I experienced:

                                         

                                        1. I opened a drawing in QuickView mode. The drawing has 3 sheets.

                                        Sheet 1 and 2 contain drawing views of a large assembly

                                        Sheet 3 contains drawing view of a simple part.

                                         

                                        2. The drawing opened in less than 2 seconds, as expected.

                                         

                                        3. I selected Sheet 3

                                         

                                        4. I loaded Sheet 3, thinking that only the model referred by Sheet 3 would be loaded. Should have taken less than 5 seconds.

                                         

                                        5. In reality, all models referred by all drawing views in all sheets were loaded!!! It took more than 1 minute. For other drawings it could take upwards of 20 minutes.

                                         

                                        6. Sheets 1 and 2 where still shown as "unloaded" but their models were actually loaded in the memory by the action of loading Sheet 3.

                                         

                                        I am wondering if this is the intended workflow that the Product Definition designed.

                                         

                                        For Matthew Lorono: if you have a minute, please take a look at SR#1-14606248721.

                                          • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                                            Grant Mattis

                                            Interesting. I wonder if multi page detached drawings work the same way. I am betting they do. We are typically one page per drawing file so I haven't run into this.

                                              • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                                                Alin Vargatu

                                                Grant Mattis wrote:

                                                 

                                                Interesting. I wonder if multi page detached drawings work the same way. I am betting they do. We are typically one page per drawing file so I haven't run into this.

                                                Will keep you updated. If this is the intended functionality, we need to submit an ER and vote massively on it.

                                                 

                                                We need to make all the workflows related to the QuickView mode... well,... QUICK!

                                                Otherwise the name QuickView is just a tease for users who want to load only selected sheets.

                                            • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                                              Alin Vargatu

                                              If you want to help SOLIDWORKS fix the large drawings performance problem, please encourage any SOLIDWORKS user you know to vote on these SPRs:

                                               

                                               

                                              SPR 712870 Ability to open SOLIDWORKS files in Large Design Review Mode

                                              SPR 659327 Ability to open any drawing as detached without having to first save it as deatched drawing

                                              SPR 1064818 Regression of new functionality SOLIDWORKS is not displaying last opened time

                                              SPR 1066436 Performance Evaluation 'Modified on Open' is missing from the new 2018 Performance Evaluation, even though should be there as per the Help File and What's New document

                                              SPR 1010093 Image quality option Apply to all referenced part documents option at assembly level does not apply quality settings to referenced parts or sub assemblies Apparently fixed in SW 2018 SP1.0. Will test and update.

                                              SPR 773041 Ability to dimension SpeedPak elements in drawings

                                              SPR 442399 SpeedPak Drawings User would like to be able to create SpeedPak views in high quality

                                              SPR 567670 Ability to create a detached drawing containing a view of a SpeedPak configuration of an assembly

                                              SPR 556714 A DXF generated from a SpeedPak assembly drawing misses all lines based on ghost geometry

                                              SPR 539720 Detail views cannot be created from section views that have SpeedPak applied

                                              SPR 624141 Cannot predictably crop Drawing Views using a combination of SpeedPak and Non-SpeedPak sub-assemblies

                                              • Re: Drawings Speed (Large Assemblies)
                                                Gordon Rigg

                                                I am on SW2016 still. I seem to have a dive in 2D drawing performance over the last few months, maybe two or three windows updates.

                                                It is very frustrating.

                                                Although my drawing is all high quality, the pdf output is incomplete.

                                                I did some experiments and 2016 and 2017 were the same, but 2018 was better (not the drawing performance but the pdf output).

                                                I did many similar assemblies, but the last one I could not create a pdf good enough to send to my customer in 2016 or 2017, and had to load a pack and go in 2018 just to progress my work and send a pdf for approval.

                                                I am really worried that 2D drawing performance is on the way out in solidworks.