I've been using AutoCAD since I can remember to do detail drawings of our various products. As we have transitioned to SW (finally), there are sometimes when it seems that in spite of all of the power and superiority that SW has over ACAD, that it is more frustrating to use.
Here is one example...I'm sure this is an example of how I'm using it wrong, but I want confirmation...
I design cranes and their support structure. The support structure is called a runway. So, I model the entire runway in SW and then make a drawing. When detailing this drawing, I progress using the following steps:
- Import the assembly and balloon it using the balloon tool
- Generate a BOM using the assembly
- Import the various parts composing the assembly for detailing and manually balloon those to be consistent with the assembly balloons and BOM
There HAS to be a better way.
I'm frustrated that SW (as I'm using it) has no awareness of the fact that the column, labeled as part 2 in an assembly, should also be part 2 when I import it as a part into the same drawing on the same sheet.
What I LOVE about SW is that there is consistency between the assemblies, parts, and drawings in real-time. This means that I cannot modify one without affecting all related documents. This was a problem in the past with ACAD as it wasn't aware that the top view was related to the side view etc - all views had to be modified discretely which was a pain and a source of errors.
It seems as if SW has addressed this by making each part/assembly/drawing interrelated...except when it comes to the BOM. The power and funtionality of the BOM is moot when I have to manually change the line items to be consistent.
So, my questions are:
- Is there a different way I should be detailing my assemblies other than using the assembly then part in a given drawing (as this seems to "Break" the BOM consistency)?
- Is there a way to make the BOM aware of the parts within a sub-assembly? It seems as if I want all of the fasteners counted in my BOM, they have to be in the base assembly I'm detailing and not a sub-assembly (which makes things very tedious).
The schooling I had in SW was related only to the use of FEA and base modeling techniques in college. The detailing was thought to be CAD operator training and not "worthy" of an ME. Well, with the small company I currently work, I wear multiple hats including CAD operator and designer. As such, I feel as if I'm kind of operating in the dark here a little.