I believe that on the old forum was a category for Design Tables, will be nice if that category is open again.
Some people are interested in top-down and parametric modeling, so maybe will be a good idea to have a section also on that areas.
I see great potential in using Design Tables as a product configurator and I want to start using them as such right away (if I can figure out just how I can get the most out of it)
I just wish, SW/Dassault Systèmes took it more seriously - made a few nice tutorials about DTs to show potential and possibilities (maybe limits too), started projects to enhance DT functionality.. and maybe (if only for a trial period) made a seperate category in this forum for people (users) to discuss issues related to Design Tables as a method of product configuration and perhaps even come up with ideas for possible enhancements (like Mauricio has tried to already).
Since Design Tables are a means by which to create Configurations, the intent is that design table posts should be made under Configurations. I'm not sure it is really worthwhile to breakout a separate category just for design tables.
I believe that DT is a very powerful, useful and handy tool and there are many people who simply don't know about it or don't use it up to the level they should. So I feel creating a separate category for Design Tables will be great.
11326 wrote: Hi Mauricio, Since Design Tables are a means by which to create Configurations, the intent is that design table posts should be made under Configurations. I'm not sure it is really worthwhile to breakout a separate category just for design tables. Thanks,Jim
For us, Design Tables is not a tool to create configurations, in fact we do not use the DT for that purpose at all.
All our models are done Top-Down and all of them are 100% parametric and we use DT's to drive the complete models and use them as a "bridge" between the product configurator and the SW model.
While presently, DT's in SW have several important "limitations", for us is one of the more important tools inside SW, so important that if tomorrow SW eliminates the DT's form the application we will need to change our entire engineering platform to another CAD application.
Maybe, SW see the Design Tables only as means to create Configurations, if this is the case, them we understand why SW has not taken any time improving and enhancing the fuctionality of a section of the software that is "critical" for the automation of parametric modeling, which for us (and belive that also for many others) is a need (all our products are "configured to order" and without parametric modeling giving we will not have the ability to obtain the "engineering cycle time" required to meet the delivery requirements in our industry, which in our case and thanks to the modeling we are able to do with SolidWorks is one of our more important competitive advantages).
As mentioned before, the present functionality of the DT's have some serious limitations for the use we need to give them, but with a lot of work and creativity, we managed to develop our parametric engineering system, which in fact is a KBE system, which do to the characteristics of our products and the way they need to be configurad, was not possible to do with 3rd party applications and which as mentioned will not be possible without the DT's. We hope that some day, SW realize that design tables are NOT JUST A MEAN TO CREATE CONFIGURATIONS and them improve the present functionality of this part of SW which will provide users with a very powerfull tool.
We do not believe that we are the only ones doing parametric modeling and usign the DT's for this purpose, therefore, we believe that a separate category will help users to interchange knowledge on how to use the DT's as well as to "show" SolidWorks what are the present limitations of the application so maybe SW decide to do some enhancements on this area, particularly when the mayority of them will be very easy to do and will increase the power of the application a lot.
2003 wrote: What if we changed the name to Configurations and Design Tables?
In my humble oppinion, while it is true that "one" of the possible uses for DT's is to define multiple configurations, the issue of "configurations" and "design tables" shuold be two separate areas.
The main use of configurations is to be able to have a single part file for several configurations of the same basic part, a greath example of this is the example of the hinge provided with SW tutorials, or parts such as pipe flanges, pipe fitings, bolts, nuts, electric motors, etc. allowing to use multiple instances of the same file in one or several assemblies without needing individual part files for each variation of the part. Configurations are also an excelent tool to control chages on a part that need to "migrate" to all same parts used on several assemblies (by editing the "single" part file on a single location which is used by many assemblies (the SW toolbox items are the best exaple of that).
On the other hand, while as mentioned, DT's are used "sometimes" to create and control configurations, there are many other uses for DT's that are not related whatsoever to "configurations". As mentioned on my previous post, the more powerfull use for DT's is to use them to drive 100% parametric models build using top-down methodology (something on which no to much tutorial material is available due to the complexity of shuch way of modeling complex assemblies). In fact, without the existance of the DT's this will be very difficult to do in SW and sometimes will be impossible without some fancy API programming or without creating very complex VB modules in Excel or Access to "push" values into SW and be able to "drive" the referencial geometry sketches and other entities.
The purpose in paremetric modeling is not to have a "single" file for many variations of a part and use this "single" file on many places, the objective of parametric design is to be able to "morph" a complete assembly (a complete product), reponding to operational conditions or product application needs, changing the "complete" assembly. In other words, produce any variation of the product using a "generic" parametric model, this is not to create a complete "new" assembly (as Driveworks and other so call KBE add-ins do), but to change the same assembly, drawings, etc. every time a new variation of the product is required.
On products that are "configured to order" there can be "infinite" number of variations and to produce a complete new assembly for each variation will require a large amount of storage space, an amount of files that sooner or later will not be able to maintain. In our case, each "field erected" large cooling tower is a unique variation of a "generic" model, which we normally produce only one time and which most of the times, when 10 or 15 years later need to be replaced the customer will require new operating conditions (since the technology of the original system is obsolete by that time)
Sometimes, this can be done with just the DT as on the simple example of the pallet attached to this post (take a look of the DT, which in fact is THE PRODUCT CONFIGURATOR). On large complex assemblies, the DT is used a "bridge" between the product configurator Database and the SW model, where the DT cells are linked to the Product Configurator, where the user input operational conditions (in our case fuid flows, temperatures, ambient air parameters, dimensional constrains, electrical characteristics, etc.). The attached file is a very simple example of what can be done using the power of the DT's.
I believe that there are many people that will like to know how to use this powerfull resource (the DT's) to increase the power of the SW system, and a category on this will be an excellent place to exchange experiences on this subject. Also, as mentioned before, the DT's have several limitations which can be easily eliminated with some enhancements which will increase the capacity of SW to work on parametric designs, this forum can be an excelent site for SW to know the needs of the user and define enhancements that will increase the "value" of the application.
Any answer? Yes, No, Maybe? or "limbo" :-)
Let's rename to Design Tables & Configurations.
Then it states the intent and if the volume for each warrents it, let's split them.
I would also suggest using tabs for the different types as well.
At least that will be an step forward... Maybe one day, someone will realize that the design tables are not ONLY a way to define and manage multiple configurations, particularly for people doing top-down parametric design, where the design table can be used as the "bridge" between the product configurator and the model and as the "engine" to perform complex calculations way more efficient and effective that on the "equations" module of SW.
You may remember the visit of John Gigl to our place in Monterrey back in 2006 during which we explain to him our need to use the desing tables as a key element on our KBE sistem (and why we where unable of doing that sistem with a third party application, since all of them are just "bottom-up" assemblers). I believe that at the time John identify the real power that the design tables can provide to SW if "certain limitations" (as he call them) where eliminated (in our words, if the required functionality is provided, which now is missing). We also provide him with some ideas on how SW can easily enhance the functionality of the design tables, at the end nothing was done (even when John do his best, unfortunately SW do not see the value of those enhancements).
Perhaps some day, SW realize the great potential that exist on enhancing the design tables functionality, and the "value" that this will provide to the application, since with that enhanced design table functionality (mainly related to the way they "update" linked data), users will be able to do things that now are very difficult and time consuming.
Mauricio G. Martinez-Saez
Director of Engineering
I agree with Maurico, the two - Configurations - Design Tables, usually do have divergent purposes. Couldn't we try putting "Design Tables" as a separate category and use it until and if the post numbers don't justify it? I also, thought when these new forums were reconstituted there was talk that they were largely controlled by user input, here is a perfect example of a user that has what seem to be a legitimate suggestion and it appears that the response is that the moderators of these forums don't see a need for it? So much for considering user input right?
13811 wrote: Hi,I agree with Maurico, the two - Configurations - Design Tables, usually do have divergent purposes. Couldn't we try putting "Design Tables" as a separate category and use it until and if the post numbers don't justify it? I also, thought when these new forums were reconstituted there was talk that they were largely controlled by user input, here is a perfect example of a user that has what seem to be a legitimate suggestion and it appears that the response is that the moderators of these forums don't see a need for it? So much for considering user input right? -Tim
Is Ok for me if the Forum moderators do not see a need for a category on Design Tables (particularly if SW see the Design Tables only as a tool to create Configurations, while in fact for some of us using the software every day the DT's have other more poverfull uses), however, at least will be nice is someone respond something like ..."sorry... for XYZ reason we do not see the need for the new category... people can post issues related to Design Tables under "configurations", or any other place they like".
In our particular case, I decide to use SW and not other CAD system for many reasons, one of the more important is Design Tables and as mentioned before we normally do not use "multiple configurations", (some times we use what we call "dynamic configuration", which in reality is a parametric part nor a collection of "static" configurations).
Design Tables are a great tool, but have several "limitations", as mentioned, if the DT functionality is enhanced, it will enable a tremendous amunt of power to the SW application, my idea is that perhaps thru a forum on the subject, SW will be able to identify those areas that can be improved which will create more real "value" to "power users" of the application that adding "texture" to the paper backgraund on drawings.
I believe that a company such as SW should design functionality to "capture" new users which will like all the "toys" on a demo and change from another software, starting to use the application at "entry level", burt also they should enhance existing functionality to provide more power and value to "power users" so they continue using the application and not reach his ceiling and made a decission to move to a "top end" application (which can be CATIA, but also can be a competitor of Dassault Systemes), on the other hand, I believe that the best salesperson for any company is the recomendation of a happy "power user".
Regarding "user input"... that is an area where SW (as any other company, including my own), can improve a lot... and which constitutes one of the more important key success elements of any business.
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