I was hoping someone could provide a flowchart of how Solidworks handles properties that pass through to BOM tables on drawings. This has bedeviled me since I started using Solidworks a couple of years ago, and I'm still not sure I understand it. I've tried searches, but not able to find what I'm looking for.
Here's my situation:
My business makes assemblies that come in a variety of widths. Excepting certain parts that change with width, the assemblies are identical. So we make a single assembly, and assembly drawing with BOM table. Just to save on confusion and drawing real estate, we don't do a different BOM table for each width.
To make the assembly drawing BOM table generic, the Description and Part Number passed from these varying parts have a couple of dashes, representing the width:
- So a part number like 123456, which has configurations 12345616, 12345622, etc, passes 123456__ to the BOM table on the drawing.
- The Description is similar, and will look like PLATE, ADAPTER __" in the drawing BOM table.
The way we've done this:
- In the Configuration Properties, using the generic Description, with "use in bill of materials" checked
- Under "Bill of Materials Options", we use the "User specified name" optiom, and type in the part number with the dashes.
If you've only a couple of configurations/widths, then typing this all by hand in the varying parts isn't a problem. But if you have fifteen or twenty, it's not practical.
So I use a design table in parts with many width configurations, and therein lie my questions:
If I initially leave the Description field in the Configuration Properties blank, it will pick up the $prp@description from the table. If I use $description, it will pick that up instead, IF I don't have a Custom Property already created. If I do, it'll pick the the PRP data instead. Do I have this right?
As far as I can tell, there's no way to control the "user specified name" from the design table. If I'm wrong about this, I'd love to know how to do it.
And finally, is there a better way to do what I'm doing? This has always struck me as a contorted way to work, and ends up with people frequently altering the BOM tables on drawings.
Thanks for any input