Basically what I need to do is make a library of stock fasteners/small purchased parts that have part numbers assigned that can be referenced in a BOM that means something to someone. Doing some digging, I’ve found the options in the Toolbox configuration where I can have the toolbox items saved as parts (as opposed to configurations, which we have it set to now), and I am aware of the utility to break the link to toolbox (I’m not sure if we really need to do this bit, but am open to suggestions about pros/cons). I have also seen where in the toolbox configuration you can manually enter part numbers, descriptions, and custom properties for each toolbox configuration.
The above being said I have a few questions regarding the operation. First off if part numbers were assigned to the existing fastener configurations, when a user goes to insert a new toolbox fastener and goes through the ‘Configure Component’ bit to pick size, length, and thread length if the criteria specified matches an existing configuration, will it automatically use the part number and description assigned to that configuration? The end goal would be to allow the user to use the smart fasteners to size the bolt, and have it pull up the config of the stock fastener with its part number, which can then be used on the BOM.
Another method of doing this would be to create the fastener using toolbox, and save it as a discrete part in a separate library ( marked as “stock fasteners” or something similar) which can be given a part number (possibly using our part numbering add-in) and then have each individual file checked into the vault and released to our ERP/MRP system. This scheme would allow users to search for fasteners using the ePDM search function, whereas if configurations were used, you would not be able to perform a search for it (at least not using our seach fields currently in use, not sure if a custom field can be made that allows a search for configs? Kind of doubt it…). My question with this is then, could this library of stock parts be navigated using the toolbox pane in SolidWorks, as well as adding the parts manually from explorer if desired?