32 Replies Latest reply on Sep 15, 2011 11:25 AM by Brian McEwen

    Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages

    Cameron Kennedy

      Hi Folks

       

      Does anyone know if an assembly can be shown in a drawing at progressive steps of its exploded state please?

       

      Regards

      Cameron

        • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
          Deepak Gupta

          The only option will be to make configurations per steps of exploded view.

          • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
            Scott McFadden

            Cameron,

            Yes, create a configuration representing how many states you want.

            Then in each config show the exploded state/stage you need.

            • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
              Don Van Zile

              Hi Cameron,

               

              Currently you cannot show independent explode steps in a drawing. You could however create other configurations with different explode steps to get the same desired effect. I suppose you could even save multiple copies of the assembly using pack and go (renaming file names) and delete the necessary explode steps in each but that is a bit clumsy unless it's a one time deal.

               

              Also, I realize obvious reasons for needing this but I’d like to hear what you are trying to communicate with this need? I’ve heard from many more users who would like to have multiple exploded views per configuration. I would think being able to show progressive explode steps in the drawing to be more valuable.  What are your thoughts on this and if anyone else cares to chime in I would appreciate the discussion.

               

              Thanks,

              Don

                • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                  John Stoltzfus

                  Good afternoon Don,

                   

                  We manufacture a Tow Behind Grain Cooler, which has about 4,500 parts in the main assembly, and I have 5 main sub-assemblies and each of those have different amount of sub-assemblies, so for me to show all the components in one exploded view would be un-readable. 

                   

                  So I will take the sub-assembly and explode it for the drawing, some require that I explode the assembly a few different ways to reduce the amount of clutter on the drawing.  One view could be a partial of some of the outside parts and the next explode would do the rest of the parts and they need a different configuration. 

                   

                  The main thing for me and I think with everyone else out there: We need to communicate with the guys on the shop floor and for some that shop floor guy is off site then the detail needs to be greater.  For here I can show most of the main detail and if needed the shop guy can come right to my office and then I can do the animation explode till he understands exactly. 

                   

                  That's why SW is a great tool for the mechanical guy,

                   

                  Later,

                   

                  John

                • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                  Thomas Zanoni

                  Cameron,

                    Perhaps you could create the complete exploded view and then just create different display states - first showing most hidden and gradually showing more details in each different display state based upon what you want to show on your drawing.  This would enable you to use the same configuration and exploded view just choosing different display states showing what you want.  I'm a newbie and perhaps I am not understanding the question properly but hey I tried.

                    • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                      Brian McEwen

                      Display states do work for focusing on a particular part of an exploded view and hiding other stuff.  However, I have found that the Explode Line Sketch does not follow the display state changes.  Explode Lines are helpful in a large exploded view to indicate where some parts end up, however you can only have one that is either completely hidden or not.  It is a pain.  If you hide certain parts that are used in for the Explode Lines then you still have these lines (on your drawing or whatever) leading to empty space.  Should definitely obviously really be able to have more than one explode line sketch in a single exploded view. And, maybe a bigger change, but it would be sweet if the individual lines followed the view state of the parts they are attached to. 

                    • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                      Cameron Kennedy

                      Many thanks for all your suggestions Folks!!

                       

                      Rather late here and I would like more time to consider them all.

                       

                      I think my needs are pretty much as John describes, imagine the instructions for an old Airfix model.

                       

                      I am wanting to show the progressive assembly of a machine.  I have created different display states and shown different parts going together but this does not show the progressive steps.  Using and setting up so many configs would probably melt my brain.

                       

                      Analogously if the exploded view could have (say) steps suppressable or even be able to show all steps up to a point then that may be a solution.

                       

                      Will discuss more tomorrow.

                       

                      Regards

                      Cameron

                        • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                          Deepak Gupta

                          I would complete the exploded state in one configuration. Then create copies of this configuration along with the exploded state and finally either hide/suppress the parts/assemblies in other configurations to show the steps.

                          • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                            Scott McFadden

                            Cameron,

                            If I can make yet another suggestion.  Where I used to work we would have sub assemblies

                            with in our top level assembly and eash assembly leverl would get exploded.  These exploded

                            views would be used for our manuals.  Something else to consider is 3DVia.  This software

                            package is meant for manuals and takes SW assemblies and creates exploded views as well.

                            In fact it might just do what you are initially looking to do.

                             

                            3D Via

                            • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                              John Stoltzfus

                              Cameron/All,

                               

                              Like Scott mentioned above (Something else to consider is 3DVia.), however if you can't afford it you can use Microsoft Publisher (MP).  I have never seen 3DVia, but what I hear it is a great product.  There is a lot of minipulation involved when using the MP however it does get the job done.  Attached is one of our manuals that are in our website which I did in MP and before I had SW 2011.  What I would do differently now is to render most of the pictures, especially the cover, it doesn't look good, but it got the job done for what they wanted here. 

                               

                              The thing I liked in using the MP is the text boxes and picture boxes are fairly easy to minipulate, and replace the pictures, etc.. 

                               

                              For the pictures I did a save as tif rather then a jpeg.  On the pdf the lines look choppy, however printing from the MP the lines are very crisp. 

                               

                              So, Cameron, just another idea:)

                               

                              John

                              • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                                Cameron Kennedy

                                Thank you all again for your help.

                                 

                                I have tried the different display states but can only forsee the configuration method working if I set up distance mates that can be active/suppressed to give different exploded states that would show the accumulative, progressive build rather than a finished exploded state.

                                 

                                Don, I am trying to show the steps in the assembly of the machine (sequential assembly instructions) and get the impression that it may not yet be possible but note that you say that I can not currently show independent exploded states.  Is this possibly in the pipe line?

                                If not, may I make a request?

                                 

                                3DVia does look amazing, but so is the price and so is way beyond my budget.

                                 

                                Regards

                                Cameron

                                  • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                                    Scott McFadden

                                    Please let us know which direction you end up taking so it can help others

                                    that might run into this same dilema.

                                    • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                                      John Stoltzfus

                                      To all:

                                       

                                      After I sent my email back to our VAR letting them know I won't be interested they sent this back, which I thought was interesting and may help someone if they are interested:  (I mentioned that I will stay with MP)

                                       

                                      However, I think there is some confusion...

                                       

                                      Even if you had 3DVIA Composer, you would still probably use Publisher.

                                       

                                      3DVIA Composer is used to create the graphical content (images, animations, etc) that you would then drop into Publisher, Word, Illustrator, etc.  It doesn't replace the tech pubs creation tool, but instead, drastically improves the process of creating images and annotations for documents such as assembly instructions, user manuals, etc.

                                       

                                      It sounds like we may need to show you more about the tool, to determine whether you would get a good return on investment or not.

                                       

                                       

                                      Scott,

                                       

                                        I forgot the buy now savings of $1,800.00, saying no brings the best out in the good sales people

                                       

                                      John

                                      • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                                        Don Van Zile

                                        Cameron,

                                         

                                        It's certainly something we are investigating and trying make sure we do our best to potentially meet the needs of our customers. That's why I'm asking in a somewhat vague (playing dumb I know but we don't want to assume anything and maybe miss something vital) way to find out what you are trying to accomplish/communicate.

                                         

                                        It would seem the need is to communicate assembly steps and/or instructions for most users. Now would simply being able to show any explode step in the drawing satisfy this need for most users?  Or would being able to create multiple exploded views per configuration be more suitable?

                                         

                                        Can anyone see where one would be more valuable than the other or offer any other examples and/or feedback?

                                         

                                        Also, I encourage you and everyone to fill out enhancement requests on the Enhancement Request section on the customer portal. https://customerportal.solidworks.com/SWSearch/search.aspx?src=er

                                         

                                        Don

                                        Product Definition Team

                                          • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                                            John Stoltzfus

                                            Don,

                                             

                                            One thought that I had is to be able to expand and collapse or suppress or un-suppress the different explode steps.

                                             

                                            In other words if we were exploding five items in a linear pattern one by one, so you would have created 5 individual steps, lets say you would like to suppress step 3, then steps 1 and 2 would go back.  I am not sure if this makes sense.

                                             

                                            I have often wished for this;  Be able to copy exploded views from one configuration to another, the missing parts would represent missing steps in your exploded views.  I can see where this would pose a problem especially if you would have the exploded sketches linked to the parts that aren't there anymore, so that could blow up.

                                             

                                            Oh well we will keep going with what we got,

                                             

                                            Later,

                                             

                                            John 

                                            • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                                              Cameron Kennedy

                                              Hi Don

                                               

                                              I would like to illustrate the build instructions for my product.  Exploding everything at once would produce too much clutter.

                                               

                                              If I were to draw a parallel with building a car (old type with chassis) I might start with the chassis.  Next I might show the suspension being fitted.

                                               

                                              Next I might show the wheels and brakes being fitted to the suspension now fitted to the chassis.

                                               

                                              Then engine/gearbox etc etc until I have a complete car.

                                               

                                              Regards

                                              Cameron

                                              • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                                                Tom Strohscher

                                                We struggle with this problem too.

                                                 

                                                We are trying to show assembly steps and notes required for custom machines.  We can't always break things down into sub assemblies that match up with assembly steps so configurations is the only thing SW provides for us.  To add complexity to the step-by-step configurations we need to show various optional parts or assemblies.

                                                 

                                                I think it might be better to show different exploded view within the same configuration rather then showing exploded steps.  Many times you will have to move a group of parts away from other parts before you can explode it.  So it's unclear weather or not this exploded step would be needed in a larger picture.  I suppose it depends on how the new tool  might work.

                                                 

                                                I kind of think exploded views would be better related to display states of a configuration.  We could hide a bunch of parts then explode what's left rathern then supress parts and then do an explode.

                                                 

                                                I also struggle with how well the concept is understood by all of the engineers that might use the assembly.  We have many engineers at different locations with the potential of any editing the assembly.  When there are so many configurations for the purposes of displaying a drawing view it makes it difficult and time consuming to add or remove parts.  There is a high probability that somthing will not work and mates errors will start poping up all over.

                                                 

                                                Something else to consider we have had trouble with is keeping BOM and balloons in sync for the various configurations.

                                                 

                                                I would be happy to discuss examples of our drawing with anyone from SW.  But I can not publish our drawings to the open forum on the internet.

                                            • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                                              Wayne Matus

                                              Another possible option would be to use Animator to create an avi file. In Animator you can fade in / fade out components. Can also save as easm file and use eDrawings to view thye animation.

                                            • Re: Displaying assemblies in different exploded stages
                                              Tom Strohscher

                                              Has anyone tried Quadrispace?

                                               

                                              I have seen them at Solidworks World a few years back and it looked like a neat lower cost solution.

                                              I've recently downloaded a triall version or their product but failed to get started with it.

                                              http://www.quadrispace.com/products/index.htm