This is another post from the"Missing 5% functionality that makes users avoid this tool" novella.
I am writing this post from the point of view of a large assembly user.
Imagine I receive a complex customer assembly model made of several components. My role is to design the whole process for welding all components together. That would involve the design of several cells, including robots, conveyors, and all kind of other fixtures and machines.
For that, I need to create a model of the customer part for each phase of the manufacturing process. Example:
Phase 1: Show only parts A and B and their weld points (weld point are usually represented as spheres)
Phase 2: Show Parts A, B, C and the weld points relevant for this phase
Phase n: Show Parts A, B, C, D,... N and the weld points relevant for this phase
To configure and manage such a complex variation, most users use configurations and design tables. All is nice until the higher level assemblies need to use tens of copies of the same customer model with various configurations.
What happens is that for each instance of the model in a unique configuration, SOLIDWORKS needs to load a dedicated set of body data. So, if the assembly requires 30 different configurations of the same model, it will load 30 different body sets.
This gets even uglier considering that SW 2019 and earlier is really inefficient in reading config data. The performance degrades exponentially with the increased number of configurations.
The solution? Display States!!!
I can model each phase in a separate display state. I would simply hide all components not needed in a display state.
What do I gain? Speed!
If the higher assembly loads 30 different display states of the same model, in the same configuration, only one body data set would be loaded! The difference is huge!
What do I lose? Managing tools!
Currently managing display states can be done only manually. It is a nightmare! Why can't display states be managed with tables??? We asked for that in the last 3 years in the Top Ten Ideas!
This missing functionality it what stops users from taking advantage of the best tool for speeding up their assemblies and drawings by a factor of 10 to 100!
What do we need to do to make SW pay attention? Voting this idea in the top 10 does not seem to be enough.
How do you manage your display states at this time? Please share tips and tricks.
Update from Elmar Klammer: Display States usability would increase 10-fold if BOMs could filter only visible components.
P.S. Test results: