20 Replies Latest reply on Oct 25, 2017 4:39 PM by Dan Pihlaja

    Assembly - why so many steps?

    Kevin Hansen

      I'm coming at SolidWorks from Creo. Things were so simple there. You choose the assemble command, then choose your assembly constraints (mating surfaces or what-have-you), then you click the green check mark.

       

      Now I have to place the component in the window, leaving it in some arbitrary location. Then I have to right-click and make it "float". Then I have to do the Mate command to choose my assembly constraints.

       

      Why is it so difficult? Why do they throw in this float/fix thing, that only resides on the right-click menu? Why are the assemble and mate commands separate? Is there an advantage to this?

       

      And how, when I am mating them up, do I view a previous mate constraint? I can see them if I go back in after it's complete, but I don't see how to get to them while I'm still defining them.

        • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
          Glenn Schroeder

          Kevin Hansen wrote:

           

          I'm coming at SolidWorks from Creo. Things were so simple there. You choose the assemble command, then choose your assembly constraints (mating surfaces or what-have-you), then you click the green check mark.

           

          Now I have to place the component in the window, leaving it in some arbitrary location. Then I have to right-click and make it "float". Then I have to do the Mate command to choose my assembly constraints.  Instead of placing the component in an arbitrary location, if you'll click on the green check mark at the top of the "Insert Components" Property Manager then it will be placed with it's three primary planes aligned with those of the Assembly.  I do that probably 99% of the time and don't need to Float it.  (See #10 at Frequently Asked Forum Questions.)

           

          Why is it so difficult? Why do they throw in this float/fix thing, that only resides on the right-click menu? Why are the assemble and mate commands separate? Is there an advantage to this?

           

          And how, when I am mating them up, do I view a previous mate constraint? I can see them if I go back in after it's complete, but I don't see how to get to them while I'm still defining them.  If you mean while you're placing Mates, there's a list of them at the bottom of the Mate Property Manager.  After that you can always expand the tree to see the Mates for any single component.

           

            • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
              Kevin Hansen

              there's a list of them at the bottom of the Mate Property Manager.

              Ah, now I see it. I must not have recognized it before, since it had the lock icon. That was something else that was frustrating me. Why is there a locked constraint when I didn't even place a constraint?

               

              And why does the design tree put my pattern at the bottom, rather than with the component that is patterned?

               

              And why is there a single item that's a list of every mate in my model? What is that even good for?

               

              And why does this page jump back up to the top every time I hit a key. I'm typing blind, here. It's been a frustrating week, let me tell you.

                • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                  Rick Becker

                  Kevin Hansen wrote:

                  And why does the design tree put my pattern at the bottom, rather than with the component that is patterned?

                   

                  Your sketch is at the bottom of the assembly tree because you didn't RMB and make active the part you want the sketch associated with.

                   

                  This will get you time and time again. There is a warning box that pops-up to remind you that you aren't active in any part.

                    • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                      Kevin Hansen

                      Pattern, not sketch.

                       

                      My design tree reads:

                      Component

                      Component

                      Component

                      Mates

                      Pattern

                       

                      The first component is the one that was patterned. Why is Pattern at the bottom?

                       

                      What's "RMB"?

                        • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                          Rick Becker

                          RMB = Right Mouse Button = right click

                           

                          Pattern is at the bottom because that is the way the programmers programmed it??? (in other words I don't know)

                          • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                            Jeremy Feist

                            all of the assembly level features that depend on any components are listed after all of the components and mates. I don't have a solid reason for why, but it has been that way since I started using SW 10+ years ago.

                             

                            is creo like Wildfire, where you had to fully mate a component before adding another component?

                              • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                                Kevin Hansen

                                That sounds like a recipe for disaster, at least in the manner that I'm used to working. I hope it begins to make sense at some point.

                                 

                                A component doesn't have to be fully constrained in Creo. They call it "packaged" and there's a symbol next to it in the model tree. Anything that's assembled to it also gets that symbol. I remember when that term was new, but I don't remember ever not being able to do partially assemble components.

                              • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                                Josh Brady

                                The order in the tree has to do with the order in which things are solved.  The mates for all the components are solved first, kind of like a huge set of simultaneous equations.  As those mates are solved, components can move around.  They can change orientation, position, angle, etc. depending on what has changed in the model that required a rebuild.  A component pattern may rely on the edge of some other component, a face, or another feature, etc.  If SW solved the pattern before it finished solving the mates, the driver of the pattern may move around and suddenly the patterned components are in the wrong place.  So patterns solve after mates.  Therefore they are lower in the tree.

                                 

                                This brings up a "best practices" topic... Be very careful when mating components to patterned instances of other components.  It can cause instability of your model.

                            • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                              Glenn Schroeder

                              Kevin Hansen wrote:

                               

                              there's a list of them at the bottom of the Mate Property Manager.

                              Ah, now I see it. I must not have recognized it before, since it had the lock icon. That was something else that was frustrating me. Why is there a locked constraint when I didn't even place a constraint?

                               

                              If you select a component first, then activate the Mate command, SW will default to a Lock mate (which I almost never use.  I suspect that's what you're seeing.  To avoid a unwanted Lock mate you can select a different Mate type or stop having a component pre-selected when activating the command.

                              • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                                John Wayman

                                Don't worry, Kevin,

                                It gets better...

                                I came to Solidworks from Creo/Pro/E a mere 2 years ago and already I only find myself cursing it several times a day, rather than several times an hour, like it was at first...

                                 

                                Where's my middle mouse for OK, where is action-object or object-action, where is assembly mode rollback and most of all where is the stability that meant Pro/E crashed once a month, where SW crashes several times a week? One of the biggest differences in assembly mode is the one highlighted by Steve Calvert - you can constrain anything to anything. This represents Anarchy to a Pro/E user, and Freedom to a Solidworks user. 2 sides of the same coin.

                                 

                                On a positive note, the Solidworks Drawing Package is really no worse than the Creo one...

                                I think they call that being damned by faint praise!

                                 

                                At least yelling at SW stops me yelling at my co-workers...

                                 

                                 

                                On a serious note, though, work through the tutorials and it does start to make a sort of sense. The help to be had from this forum is outstanding when you get stuck. I have received untold assistance from the good folks on here.

                                 

                                Keep struggling on. You will prevail.

                                 

                                 

                                John

                                  • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                                    Kevin Hansen

                                    John Wayman wrote:

                                     

                                    Where's my middle mouse for OK

                                    OMG, I loved that feature even before I knew other packages didn't have it. My brain is just wired to need a command closed before I can continue. I hate trying to drag an entity and having it try to place a dimension on it! There's got to be an easier way to close out a command than to pick a new command.

                                     

                                    Thanks, John.

                              • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                                Christian Chu

                                Same to me when I switched from Autodesk Inventor to SW,

                                I understand your frustration right after switching between diff. 3D package - why it's so simple in other software but more steps now ?

                                I think you'd better go thru the tutorial to get better understanding and familiar with the features options than jump in working on the assembly and "lean on the go"

                                  • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                                    Kevin Hansen

                                    We are supposed to be going through a training course at some point, but the boss needs me to get a head start on things. I had originally told him I didn't want to get into it until after I took the course, precisely for this reason, but he came from SW in the first place, so he hates Creo, and thinks things will be so much easier now (it was not his choice to switch).

                                     

                                    I did watch a tutorial, which is where I found the fix/float thing. Can you point me to the best, basic tutorials for getting started? I'm sure there are so many unknown little things that are making things difficult for me, that a seasoned user doesn't even realize I need to know.

                                      • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                                        Christian Chu

                                        When I just started this current job, the company offered me a week of training but I asked if they can invest that money to the best computer and I ended up to spend the first week going thru the tutorial and playing with the software. Since I had a good foundation of 3D so I was kind of  "productive"  in the 2nd week.

                                        Learning on the go, I started using this forum for more advance stuff which I got most of my questions answered within a day or 2. sometimes within hr.  I also attend my VAR night school/webminar (free) and Solidworks world (not Free) to learn all kind of tricks

                                        Here I'm now trying my best to help others like me yrs ago.

                                    • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                                      Steve Calvert

                                      In Creo, can you mate the second component to the 15th component?  In old Wildfire or older just Pro/E you couldn't, because the order of placement matters.  It doesn't matter with SW...

                                       

                                      Steve C

                                      • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                                        Jaja Jojo

                                        haha everything is inverted, Don't worry that frustration will go away after a couple of days

                                        • Re: Assembly - why so many steps?
                                          Dan Pihlaja

                                          You can also turn on this tree display:

                                           

                                          Makes it go from looking like this:

                                           

                                          To this:

                                           

                                           

                                          It is nice for if you are changing a lot of mates fast.  Then you can switch back to the "normal" view.