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Need advice on my workflow for updating scene

Question asked by John Burrill on Apr 11, 2014
Latest reply on Apr 11, 2014 by John Burrill

Hi Everyone, I'm using SolidWorks Composer 2014 SP3.0 (EV) and I'm having a difficult time figuring out the workflow for updating my composer documents-particularly with the figure set I'm creating now.

I have a Solidworks assembly that looks like this


The module on the side is our product-IceZone-X, and the purpose of this composer session is to make some installation instructions.

So I open the assembly in composer by merging it into a new document with these settings:


I've played around with these settings over the year and half that we've had Composer and am now following the recommendations of an AE from a midwest VAR.

So I get one actor per part, hidden component and imported textures (still haven't seen one of these work)

and this is what I get:


OK, the module on the side-I have a composer SMG already where I've set up textures and environment effects for the parts:


So here's the first dilema in this workflow: I don't want to have to dress this assembly every where I use it and since Composer doesn't import labels from SolidWorks so I tried a couple of different approaches and run into unique problems with them:

First, I tried selecting the IceZone-X assembly node in composer and doing File==>Update (still not sure what I should have selected when I do this) and selecting the fully-dressed composer file shown in the picture above.  There was no change.

I tried merging the IceZone-X assembly into the current, scene, positioning it using the IceZone-X assembly that was already there and hiding the corresponding subassembly that was already in the scene and setting the pretty IceZone-X assembly properties as nuetral.


This approach gives me the best results so far-if I create the scene by merging the SolidWorks assembly into a new document instead of opeining it directly.

It's a little bit convoluted because I've produced a result that requires multiple update operations

I tried beating this by dragging the IceZone-X assembly inside the top-level assembly, making sure both IceZone-X instances had the same name and then deleting the undressed subassembly. 


The logic was that since the names and tree structure were the same as the SolidWorks assembly, that I would have fooled Composer into thinking the merged assembly was the subassembly from the SolidWorks file and it would update its model geometry while leaving the textures intact.  No such luck.


The update process removes the merged subassembly and reinstates the plain untextured subassembly. The picture above shows the scene after I turned on the icezone-x subassembly-so, atleast it kept it's display state from before.

What do you guys think? 

Do you just bite the bullet and dress your recurring subassemblies every time they're imported? Do you assemble scenes in Composer from composer files, forgoeing SolidWorks' capabilities (like routing the hoses)?  Do you take advantage of product and project files to achieve re-usuablitity with your composer assets?

Any insight is appreciated