7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 5, 2014 11:39 AM by Derek Parks

    workflow tips for using configurations

    N. Ritchey

      i'm wondering if anyone can recommend some tips or "best practices" when working with multiple configurations on a part. specifically, i'm using configurations to "build" an assembly from the ground up for use in our assembly drawings. each "configuration" represents the next step in assembly including adding parts, fasteners, and exploded view.

       

      this is all very straightforward if you are working in a straightforward manner. STEP001 add some parts, mate, explode. STEP002 add more parts, add more mates, explode.

       

      but what happens when i'm up to STEP005, and need to go back and add a couple of parts to an earlier step? so if i go back to STEP001 and add a part, add fasteners, and mate it, these parts appear in all following steps. but the mates are suppressed.

       

      so it appears to me that the mates are being automatically suppressed in any configuration other than the config where i added those parts. but the parts themselves are not being suppressed. i seem to remember an option on how parts are handled with multi-configuration parts, but i don't remember the specifics (or where that option is!)

       

      but if anyone can recommend a better method for what i'm trying to accomplish i'm all ears.

        • Re: workflow tips for using configurations
          N. Ritchey

          additionally (extra info just so you know why i'm having difficulties with this),

           

          let me explain it this way ---

           

          if i go back to STEP001 and add parts that need to be there from STEP001 forward, they appear in all configurations, but their mates are suppressed for all configs except for the one they were added (001).

           

          conversely,

           

          if i insert a part in STEP005, when i switch to a prior step (STEP001 through STEP004), that part is not suppressed.

           

          basically it all works fine if i'm inserting parts one after the other in a linear fashion. but once i add parts out of order (which happens), i have to manage each part in each configuration, which can be troublesome considering the detail and resource intensity of having to switch between 5+ configurations...

          • Re: workflow tips for using configurations
            Glenn Schroeder

            From what you're describing, would it work better to use Display States instead of Configurations?  You could hide selected components instead of suppressing them, and then you wouldn't have the issue with the mates.  I don't work with exploded views much (hardly ever), but I don't see why Display States wouldn't work.

              • Re: workflow tips for using configurations
                Derek Parks

                N. Ritchey,

                 

                I would agree with Glenn on trying to use display states over configurations. I am fairly sure this will give you a smaller file size in the end also.

                 

                All that being said if you want to use configurations some of your issues may be solved by adjusting your Configuration Properties. This will need to be done on your first configuration so all the following use the same properties or you will have to go back and edit the properties of all your existing configurations. Under advanced properties you can control some of  the actions of your newly added parts.

                 

                Derek

              • Re: workflow tips for using configurations
                Jim Sculley

                Right click on the configuration, select Properties and look at the Advanced Options section of the property manager.  Be sure to read the Help docs for this, which state:

                 

                "The following properties control what happens when you add new items to another configuration, and then activate this configuration again."

                 

                Also, Configure Component and Configure Feature, which are available from the right click menu of components and mates respectively, should be your new best friends.  You can pick a dozen components or mates and set the suppression status in all the configurations from one handy window.  You can also organize your components and mates into folders so, for example, you can group all your Step 005 mates together.

                 

                Jim S.

                  • Re: workflow tips for using configurations
                    N. Ritchey

                    killer. this sounds like exactly what i should be using. i'll look into it, thanks.

                     

                    RE: display states, the idea is that the model at STEP001 is more manageable than it is at STEP005 (and beyond). correct me if i'm misunderstanding this, but suppressing components will free up some memory (and improve performance), while hiding parts via display state will not free up that memory. my goal here was that if you were to open up PART-STEP001 you would only load the necessary components into memory...

                     

                    or maybe i'm wrong and a display state would also achieve my desired effect?

                      • Re: workflow tips for using configurations
                        Glenn Schroeder

                        I don't have any research to prove it, but I've always been under the impression (mostly from posts here on the forum by people who are a lot smarter than I am) that hiding components with display states results in a smaller file size than suppressing them in configurations.

                         

                        I don't see any reason why they wouldn't work for you, and I'd think the workflow would be much simpler.

                        • Re: workflow tips for using configurations
                          Derek Parks

                          As far as display states it's really going to be a preference thing. Sometimes configurations are more beneficial then display states and vice versa. The easiest way I can explain it is below. Obviously both can control more, this is just a simple start and how I start to choose between the two on some of my projects.

                           

                          Configurations = when there is movement (open and close positions etc.) anything that would require a different mate position

                          Display States = anything display only, color changes, material changes, hiding parts or assemblies.

                           

                          Derek