6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 25, 2018 3:04 PM by Chris Appleby

    Best way to fill out data card when using configurations

    David Diehl

      I am trying to instruct our users on how they should be filling out the SolidWorks data cards, especially when the files include configurations.


      I would categorize our configurations as two types:

      Case 1.

      All the values in the fields on each tab of the data card would be the same for each configuration tab.  Examples of this would be configurations for "Exploded View", "Coiled", "Uncoiled", etc.  The values for the fields would be the same from one configuration tab to the next.  (PartNumber, ApprovedBy, DrawnBy, etc would be the same for all configurations.


      Case 2.

      Each field on each data card configuration tab can be unique.  One configuration can have one "PartNumber", the other configuration can have a different "PartNumber"... Same with "Description", "ApprovedBy", etc.


      Because of configurations like Case 2, in the data card I have the Flag: "Updates all configurations" unchecked.


      Given Case 2, the user knows he has to go into each configuration tab on the data card and make sure all of the values he enters apply specifically to that particular configuration.  However, I was hoping in the situation like Case 1, he could leave all of the fields blank in each of the configuration-specific tabs, and instead only have to populate the custom property tab " @ ".  My thinking was that if all the values in the configuration-specific tabs were left blank, the values set in the custom property tab " @ " would be used.  The problem I am running into in this case is that if I do a search for say the "PartNumber", the PartNumber field will be blank.


      So it seems like what I have to tell the user to do is to copy-n-paste each value from one configuration-specific tab to the next.  This does not seem ideal.


      Am I missing something or is there a better way to handle this?


      Thank you,


        • Re: Best way to fill out data card when using configurations
          Jeff Sweeney

          What if you say that if the field is for all configurations, put the value in the @ tab, else put it in for the proper configuration?


          This would work for your drawings because natively SW will use the part properties if a configuration specific property does not exist. As you state it is a bit yucky for searches, but it is a very economical solution.


          Otherwise the only other solution I can think of would be to put a command button on your card that would have some API behind it to copy the information if pressed.

          • Re: Best way to fill out data card when using configurations
            Chris Appleby

            Wow this is an old post I was hopping to see more discussion about this.  My understanding is the @ tab is the properties that would apply to all off the configurations and then the default/configuration tabs are the configuration specific properties.  As far as setting up the data cards to be most efficient I'm not too familiar with that.  Looking to learn more this is something I am working on currently to organize data and pull property values into drawings for tables and boms.  For the Drawing Files It would depend I would like to have the drawing revision separate is sometimes a drawing revision does not represent the part revisions in the case of a tabulated drawing.  I then use the configuration specific properties to list all of the part revisions on the table.  I am inserting a design table as I found this to be the most flexible option albeit buggy at times.  I tried using the bom table to make parametric when needed but I would not work for all cases. 

            • Re: Best way to fill out data card when using configurations
              David Matula

              The data card?  Assuming that we are talking about PDM.  I thought that the data card could be filled out by the part or the assembly..  Back before pdm was even a thought.   I would have parts with multiple configurations and the custom properties in that config where as if they where their own part file down to the drawing and part #.  PDM always sounded like a good thing.....not so sure now.  

                • Re: Best way to fill out data card when using configurations
                  Stephen Lapic

                  Replying to both Chris and David -

                  Chris - The @ tab does work like you say.  We pull property variables on to the BOM and tables on the drawing from the model/assembly.  We keep the drawing revision separate because it should be. That's not a problem.  We don't put part revisions on the BOM since they should always be working to the latest one.


                  David - Part/assemblies files fill out info on the part card.  Drawing properties fill out the information on the drawing card.  At least that is how I have them set up.  On the part card there will be tabs for every configuration with their own properties.

                • Re: Best way to fill out data card when using configurations
                  Chris Appleby

                  So it would be nice to find a way that works for both scenarios.  I have had the same problem.  I am using pdm so when a new drawing number is pulled you are prompted with the data card when you save. Here's my example with focus around information this a shared for a part family with multiple configs or "dash numbers".


                  We have a dpd tab that allows you to list the customer parts list, drawing, and model.  this allows us to easily find those documents and maintain tractability to current custom source information.  This info may also be pulled into drawings. Fairly standard so far...


                  Lets say I have a part family number of 2500E20  then the actual part numbers are 2500E20-1, 2500E20-2, 2500E20-3 and so on.

                  All of the parts share a tabulated drawing of Rev A where most dimensions are shared but per each dash number one dimensions is configurable to change. So all share one drawing but each has its own parts list which is another dpd field we fill out.  Now I have to fill out the dpd filename and rev for each part number listed on the tabulated drawing, lets say 2500E20-1 revs then our drawing will get a new rev and applicable parts lists will be updated to the new rev.  So for this one my drawing is the same in @tab as config tabs but for Parts list it is n/a on the @tab and unique for the config tabs.


                  We can control when the pdm pushes data across all fields to match or makes a field individual.  BUT...


                  What if each config has its drawing too now we have to fill it out individually.  Its nice to push data across but there needs to be a toggle the user can check box on/off when needed. 


                  On a side note Solidworks needs to make tabulated drawing tools that or more flexible when using configurations.  So many problems trying to use parametric tools to have a table that shows all the info I need such as data card fields, configuration specific dimensions, configuration names as part names column, and have it all on one parametric table.   There is so much room for improvement here!!!  Modeling tools are good for configs but making drawings falls short by a long shot!!! PLEASE FIX SOLIDWORKS!!!!


                  Sorry for the Novel, I hope my example is clear without being too wordy!

                  • Re: Best way to fill out data card when using configurations
                    Chris Appleby

                    ER #:


                    I submitted this feature request for many of the missing tools we need for making tabulated drawings from configurations.  I think it relates to this thread.  Please review and vote on it by logging into your Solidworks Customer Support Portal and searching for the number above.