N. Ritchey

step-by-step assembly drawings -- best practice?

Discussion created by N. Ritchey on Oct 2, 2014
Latest reply on Oct 3, 2014 by Daen Hendrickson

i'd like to hear some input on your suggested method for creating a "step by step" assembly drawing.


what i'm creating is an assembly drawing for a large assembly. there are many many parts, and it is a complex and resource-heavy model. lightweight, speedpaks, whatever the thing is a hog and it continually pushes the boundaries of 2014's resource monitor.


i've broken down the assembly process into 5-6 steps.


i want to illustrate each step on its own page. so the "drawing" is 6-7 sheets including a cover page, and each assembly step has its own page.


each assembly step also has its own exploded drawing.


WHAT I DID: i used configurations within the assembly file. the benefit here is that, when working in the earlier stages of the assembly process, the model is easier to work with because you can purge unloaded steps. of course the downside is that the file is difficult to handle both on disk and in SW. the drawing file created is a large file and it also difficult to handle in solidworks. you can purge configurations in a part file, but in a drawing all part files must be loaded.


WHAT I'VE HEARD: is to use display states instead of configurations. the benefits i see will allow the drawing to consume less memory (only one configuration is loaded). but it seems more complicated to perform and execute. instead of selecting a config, i now i have multiple exploded states and multiple display states, and they cannot be linked as far as i'm aware (?).


OTHER IDEAS: a new .SLDDRW file for each configuration of the assembly? this is also cumbersome, but i feel like it might be a bit easier to manage multiple sheets as opposed to multiple display states AND multiple explode states


OTHER OTHER IDEAS: multiple .SLDASM files for each stage of the assembly. i am against this idea for the obvious reasons. adding a new part at an intermediate step is difficult enough using "configure components". i couldn't imagine having to manually keep track of all of that information throughout multiple files for the same assembly. actually, this sounds like a really bad idea.


please, discuss! i want to hear how others manage this type of drawing.