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