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Smart Components and Assemblies

Question asked by Kevin Wilson on Sep 20, 2013

Hello everyone.


I am struggling with using Smart Components in assemblies.  Here's an example of the problem:


  1. Option 1.  I have an assembly created of a commonly-used air pressure regulator.  It has configurations saved in the assembly showing the regulator with various inlet and outlet fittings.
    • This method creates 2 or 3 mates at the parent assembly when I use it, but it's limited to the configurations I have created.  If I need a slightly differnet stackup of fittings, I create a new configuration.
    • But, it can be challenging trying to name all those potential configurations in a way that makes sense to other people.
  2. Option 2 is to create a smart component with the air regulator.  Now i can "edit definition" whenever I need to add a new fitting.  And when I use the regulator in an assembly, I can just "insert smart components" and select the fittings I want to use this time.  I can even stack smart components, meaning that instead of including an elbow with a tee and 2 tube fittings as components in the regulator, I can include the elbow only.  Then I can make the elbow a smart component as well, which includes the tee and fittings.
    • The parent assembly for defining the smart component is automatically saved as a "-ta" assembly inside the regulator, so I don't even need to keep the defining assembly when I'm done which tends to keep my file structures cleaner. 
    • But, it looks like ALL the mates for all the components selected to use with the regulator will exist in the smart component folder at the top level assembly.  Now rather than 3 mates, I have 15 or 20.  I can correct this using "form new subassembly" with those parts, but how is that any different from just using an assembly to begin with (as in option #1)?


Thoughts?  Feelings?  Misgivings?