7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 1, 2013 10:05 AM by Jeremy Feist

    How do you design mating machines without cyclic references?

    Tim Ordway

      My company designs coil processing equipment lines which is a progressive series of machines that unwind, flatten, cut and stack steel coils into shaped blanks. With this being a series of machines, it is important that they all mate up properly to one another. The way we've accomplished this for the last 15+ years in solidworks has been to show the mating machine before and after every machine.  So machine 2 has machines 1 & 3 in it for reference purposes. Machine 3 has machines 2&4 in it. Etc etc all the way down the line. This way we can show on our 2d layout drawings all the interfaces of each machine.

      This year we purchased EPDM and as we are approaching our rollout and doing debugging, we find that EPDM won't allow this type of cyclic reference. This seems to be a deal breaker for us but we already have such a large investment in the software. How do you get around an issue like this?  We can't be the only ones trying to show mating equipment as references in assemblies.  This seems like a critical aspect of designing total systems that was completely overlooked somewhere, or we are just too set in our ways to see outside if our box for the solution. Your advice is greatly appreciated.

        • Re: How do you design mating machines without cyclic references?
          Jeremy Feist

          We don't design machine lines, so this may not be the way to go, but...

           

          it strikes me that the simplest solution would be to add a level to your assembly structure. so machine 2 would NOT have 1 and 3 in it's assembly, but machines 1, 2, and 3, would be in another assembly (machine 2 line.sldasm ?) that would remove the machines being in each other's assemblies, and let you make your drawings.

           

          also, are the neighbor machines in the assembly as envelopes?

            • Re: How do you design mating machines without cyclic references?
              Tim Ordway

              Jeremy,

              The separate assembly idea did cross my mind this evening too and we may explore that if Charley's answer doesn't seem to work.

              We don't put the references in as envelopes. I tried that at the end of the day today to see if it would not treat it as a reference but that didn't solve my immediate problem. I guess in all, I don't understand what the envelope does.  Is there an advantage there over just adding them as sub assemblies that are suppressed in the BOM configuration. It was one of those new additions to solidworks that us old timers never bother to investigate since it isn't how we've always done it. :)

              Thanks

                • Re: How do you design mating machines without cyclic references?
                  Jeremy Feist

                  another word of caution on Charley's option, you will need to train people to pay attention to what version they have and what the latest version is, since now they can have an older version in their cache and open it as that neighboring machine and make updates based on an old reference.

                   

                  and envelopes have a couple of useful traits 1) they are automatically excluded from the BOM - so you won't necessarily need a separate BOM config. 2) they can automatically have a different line font in the drawing. 3) in the assembly, you can select everything that interferes with the envelope.

              • Re: How do you design mating machines without cyclic references?
                Charley Saint

                Tim,

                 

                If you turn on the option "Always Work With Latest Verisons" then you will be able to ignore cyclic reference errors. There is a very valid reason behind it. It's part of the versioning system where it says, for example, that version 6 of Assem1 references version 3 of Assem2 which references version 5 of Assem1 and it would break because you can't pull 2 versions of Assem1. You can turn that option on by right clicking users and going to settings, and under the explorer tab select that option.2013-10-31_1536.png