We are a machinery manufacturer that does turn key food processing plant design, manufacture, and installation, we are currently developing a method for creating a 3d model of an entire factory at the sales stage of a project, this would need to be light weight and easy to change on the fly, whilst looking good enough to present to our potential clients.
At present I plan to create a bunch of part models that represent the detailed machine assemblies, geometrically accurate but just a simple part.
A number of our products are highly customizable, for example out standard belt conveyor comes in width and length increments the width varying from 200mm to 1800mm in 100mm increments, and the length being from 600mm to 100m in 100mm increments, we also do 3 different material configurations, because of this i believe it is not possible to make a bunch of pre made configurations, even with a design table the performance of a model with so many configurations concerns me.
Our approach for dealing with the variability in the part models at the moment is to make each instance of a conveyor virtual and independent we can then edit the lengths and widths within the assembly as much as we want without making a bunch of different files, the problem i am having with this approach is that we would like to force the model to conform to our standard width and length dimensions so the factory is set out with standard lengths from the beginning.
Does any one know a way of doing this?
Has any one got any ideas on our approach to the overall problem, is there a better way to achieve our end result?
We have reviewed the autodesk factory design suit and found that whilst it looks great as a list of features on the internet in practice the performance on the features that we wanted was pretty poor.
The image below shows a small section of a factory design that we created using the method described above to give you an idea of what we are trying to achieve.
Maybe you can have a design table control the variable dimensions (even if you are only using a single configuration) and then in excel with data validation you can restrict what values are allowed to be entered. Actually, after trying it out it appears that data validation settings are not saved with the design table after closing it and opening it again. Maybe there is a way to retain the data validation, otherwise disregard the suggestion.