I'm relatively new to this whole forum posting thing and to the Soildworks community, so any comments on how to properly format a discussion would be greatly appreciated!
As the title implied, I'm looking for some advise on the best modeling workflow for my current situation.
I recently started working for a company that is trying to covert their product lines from auto-cad to Solidworks.
The company sells custom Concrete Batching Plants. These Plants consist of (large/multiple) Structural/Sheet metal sub-assemblies.
Each major sub-assembly consists of some bent sheet metal parts that need to fit together a certain way and usually at odd angles. This has caused the need to use top-down modeling. We are in the process of trying to come up best modeling approach to model each major sub-assembly. All of our end product is custom, but we do have a base product that we work from and each major sub-assembly can have multiple "standard options". When focusing on just one major sub-assembly, we would like to to set up these options up so they can be driven by one model or have multiple assemblies set up (for each option/configuration) and be able to drive a part change through all the standard options.
We have quickly found out that regular in-context modeling was not going to work for us because we could not use the same in-context components in different assemblies.
We are now considering two different methods for modeling a "major component" and its "standard options".
Method 1: model a multi-body part around shared geometry of a master solid body or sketch. Then, take multi-body part/weldment and insert into an assembly to add any stock components/hardware that is also welded to form a "welded assembly". Lastly, take the "welded assembly" make another assembly to add on bolt-on components and hardware. Standard options could then be made as configurations or copy-tree'd assemblies that share the same multi-body weldment.
Method 2: Model any components (of the weldment) that require shared geometry as a multi-body part around a master solid body/sketch. Then derive out bodies as parts and make my assemblies. I have tried the various methods for deriving out my bodies as parts. The best way I have been able to do this is to create my master solid body/sketch and save it be itself as a part. Then, to create each part, i first insert the master solid part and make my part body, then use delete/keep to remove the master solid and just keep the derived body. Here is a picture for reference:
Both methods seem to be pretty stable at this major sub-component level. We are torn as to which is going to be better for the Top-level Plant assembly (all major sub-component/assembly in one assembly). Also, we are unsure to which method will be better when we need to make a change to a major sub-component and have that change carried out through all of its "Standard options" whether they are configuration or separate assemblies for each standard option.
Hopefully I wrote this in a way that you guys can understand my delima! and i look forward to any feedback that you guys can give me!