Joseph Lillibridge

Losing materials in PW

Discussion created by Joseph Lillibridge on Mar 5, 2009
Hello SW Community,

I have been struggling with an issue for many months now and need some sort of definitive answer, so I am coming to the experts.

First of all, I am running SW Office 2008 on a PentiumD 3.2GHz w/4GB RAM and a Quadro FX 560 in XP Pro.

I have a part with several configurations. It has many features (over 1400) that are unsuppressed on an as-needed basis. A certain combination of unsuppressed features arrive at a specific product that my company sells - in this case, mobile food equipment (or buffets may be a more familiar term). For example, a cold unit will have the "cold" features unsuppressed, while the hot unit will have the "hot" units unsuppressed.

This model is currently used in an online configurator that allows a user to design a lineup of food equipment. They will get drawings of each base they configure (which correlates to each configuration in this part) and a couple of lineup views (the part is in an assembly with each configuration activated, depending upon the number of units configured), plus a couple of PW-rendered images that will show whatever colors they select (I have a custom material that updates based on a texture they select).

With that background, here is the problem:
A feature in config1 has a material applied to it, let's say glass. That feature is activated in some or all of the configurations. When I go to the other configurations, generally the material exists there as glass too. Frequently, I will go to a different configuration and see all of the materials listed as 'default texture' and 'default plastic' (there are over 100 materials). I will go back to config1 and it still has all of the materials correctly identified. When I render it, config1 renders correctly while all others, not surprisingly, render in default plastic.

The only way I know how to fix this is by going into EACH material in config1, and reselecting the 'All Configurations' radio button to "revive" the materials in the other configurations. Not only is this frustrating and time-consuming, but while doing normal day-to-day work with these models I am often "living in fear" that the materials were lost and I'll have to redo the above step again, so I frequently check the other configurations to make sure they are behaving. It happens far too often.

The online program has the models "just so". I have to be extremely careful not to upset what appears to be a delicate material grouping or I will have to go and revive all of the materials again.

Thanks in advance for your help. I look forward to reading responses.