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Robust Top Down Design Techniques

Question asked by Doug Schaefer on Mar 23, 2019
Latest reply on Jul 6, 2020 by Chris Scarlett



I'm a long time Creo / Proe user (25+ years) who has just moved to a company that is using SW 2019.  I've been an occasional SW user for over 10 years as well, but never reached the level of mastery I had with Creo.  SW is not Creo and I refuse to get sucked into the trap of trying to make it work the same way or wondering why it doesn't.  That said, I would like to find some analog to the techniques I relied on in Creo.


One technique in Creo that I came to rely heavily on was skeleton driven top down design. Creo had a few features specifically designed to make this work, namely copy geometry and publish geometry features that allowed individual geometry entities (planes, axes, surfaces, curves, points, etc.) to be shared between components.  That coupled with a dedicated skeleton part type made it quite robust.


I don't expect SW to have a similar concept, but I am struggling to find description of a robust technique for doing TDD.  The help seems to stop at tying one part's features to other parts in the assembly, called in context editing I believe.  While that can work, I would expect it to create a tangled web of references that, in more complex and multi-level assemblies, would be difficult to manage and failure prone.


I've been using a technique where I create design sketches at the top level, then I duplicate them at the sub assy level by using convert entities from the top level assy sketch (and adding any geometry specific to that subassembly) and then using those sketches via convert entities in the parts.  This re-creating sketches gets pretty tedious and I've found that SW seems to loose references in these situations rather easily.


Are there other, more robust, techniques I should be using?  More importantly, are there good tutorials, forum posts or other articles I should read on that technique.  Searching has led me to a number of questions and answers on TDD that are helpful for specific issues, but not a good overall tutorial.