4 Replies Latest reply on Oct 2, 2009 8:57 AM by Paul Marsman

    Similar Parts - Reusing the draft file?

    Jon Schneider

      Hello again,


      I am in need of some procedural instruction I have come to realize.


      Solidworks is so clever that you can't trick it and it's stubborn enough it won't make it easy (atleast not per the help files).


      I was going to try to use a design table, but for some reason while following the tutorial, I could not select dimensions to load into the design table - so I figured fine - I'll do them all individual parts.  I did that. 


      Next comes detailing all of the near identical parts (with the exception of that tiny hole in the middle of the top edge moving). 


      Is there any way to reuse the drawing and just redirect which part it's looking at?  Solid Edge you could just edit links, Inventor you could just hide the original part for a little and then tell it to look for the new one, SolidWorks seems to not cooperate on either approach. 


      I have it to the point where I told it to look for the new part, and I can go into the drawing and right click - open the part file, but nothing shows up in the drawing except a rextangle with an x in it!   


      I've got to admit, in terms of intuitive and user friendly SolidWorks is briskly moving towards Pro/E in my mind. 

      sw part.bmp


      Hopefully some gurus can tell me where my misguidedness comes from, because I can't honestly believe SW would make it that difficult to take advantage of the effort I put in to design them similar enough (so that detailing would take nearly no time at all).


      Any help appreciated!



        • Re: Similar Parts - Reusing the draft file?
          Wayne Tiffany

          First off, let's start with the design table way.  The easiest way to get there is to create two configs with everything different that you can foresee as being different among your configs.  Then insert the table and let it auto-create - this will populate it with all the differences.  Now open that DT in an external window and set up all your configs.  Close out and you have a part file with all the configs controlled by the DT.  Then for the drawing, pick a config, detail it, and save the drawing.  Make sure you save it!  Now do a save-as on the drawing, giving it the name of the next config, so you are now in the new drawing.  Edit the properties of the drawing view and change to the proper config.  Clean up as necessary.


          But if you have individual part files, it's a bit different.  For the drawing, pick a model file, detail it, save the drawing, and close it.  Now do a File/open, select that drawing, but don't open it yet.  In the lower RH corner you will see a button labeled References - click that to bring up the dialog.  Double-click on the name of model file and browse/select the next one.  Finish opening the drawing, clean up the dims if necessary, save, and then repeat.



            • Re: Similar Parts - Reusing the draft file?
              Kevin Tate

              Thanks for this, I have recently moved from Solid Edge and couldn't figure out how to do this.


              Very helpful!



              • Re: Similar Parts - Reusing the draft file?
                Paul Marsman

                in addition you can right click on a dimension and say "configure dimension"... this brings up a table where you can add configurations and the differences for that dimension.  The next dimension you configure will list the configs you have already created and you can update the values for that dimension.  It is like building your design table but without using a design table to build the configs.  I have done this and left it out of a design table and also done as Wayne says to then auto-create a design table after this (just gets you a little further along)


                PS: there is also a "configure feature" for suppression states between configs

              • Re: Similar Parts - Reusing the draft file?
                Roy Potter

                From the open file window you can click on the references button in the lower RH corner.

                This opens a window with all the file references. Double click on the file and you can go and select a new file. Close the window(s) and immediately open the drawing.


                The drawback is that the new file must have all the same features etc or the dimensions will become dangling.


                I have used this method but I much prefer the design table route.


                You could also look at doing this through Solidworks explorer.