Sheetmetal modeling at the core is surface modeling automated internally.
Since part files now support multiple sheetmetal bodies it makes a lot of sense to use this power effectively.
This is ideal for sheetmetal parts that have a static and fixed orientation with one another. No point trying to
mess around with mates to orient them in an assembly.
Just model the parts as different bodies within the same part file with all the constraints and build the parametric
intelligence into this one file. Changes will propagate more reliably .
You could dramatically improve rebuild times by using a solid modeling or a hybrid modeling approach. I am a
strong advocate of the non direct sheetmetal modeling approach. This is simply because complex matching and
better developments are achieved with this approach.
Split the bodies to separate files once all interrelationships have been captured. Additional details internal to the
part can be captured in the individual part files. Conversion to sheetmetal can also now be done.
An assembly of these parts is achieved by simply opening and inserting into an assembly file. The parts align
up without any mates since they were modeled in the right spatial orientation.
Alternatively the parts can be converted to sheetmetal in the original master part file. However you need a powerful
system to handle this. Also more work needs to be done by Solidworks to ensure that this environment works more
reliably. Rebuild times could in some instances be a deterent.
This is one of the most effective approaches to modeling cabinets,drawer units , racks , machine enclosures,frames
etc. you name it.