If you use parametric definition of part within an assembly, the order of building changes. You start now with the "big picture"and go down to parts. What I would like to discover is how to make an assembly of assemblies, all this assemblies being in fact configurations of the same assembly. An easy example is to build a wall of paintings in frames. The frames are made out of the same type profile, each frame is a configuration of an assembly of four profiles parametrically defined within the assembly. Problem occurs when you want to place all this frames together on the wall. Because of the parametric definition of the parts, you will not have different configurations of this parts. You can reprezent each configuration of the frame apart, but not all of them together. Does anyone have a solution for this?

Categories: Modeling and Assemblies

Last comment By: Britt Kessler   Thu, 30 Nov 2017 16:33:39 GMT
Re: Configurations of parts derived from configurations of the assembly

See the attached files - I use a Sketch to drive my models and I also attached Master Modeling by Mark Biasotti

By: John Stoltzfus  Mon, 27 Feb 2017 18:03:35 GMT
Re: Configurations of parts derived from configurations of the assembly

Unfortunately doesn't really answer my question.

By: Gabriel Stefan  Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:07:45 GMT
Re: Configurations of parts derived from configurations of the assembly

Then apparently you didn't study the process ... maybe

By: John Stoltzfus  Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:28:35 GMT
Re: Configurations of parts derived from configurations of the assembly

I'll try to point my problem with some screenshots, maybe it will be clearer.

Here is the frame parametrically defined (blue dimensions) with respect to a driving sketch (Sketch 1- dark dimensions)

The parts are in fact configuration of the same element.

The assembly has also more configurations, stated in a design table.

Now, if I want to make a new assembly from all the configurations of the first assembly, I'll start a conflict between the parts witch don't have different configurations to contain the different sizes.

I didn't see an approach in your documentation that addresses this issue, John...or did I read too superficial the text?

By: Gabriel Stefan  Tue, 28 Feb 2017 13:03:24 GMT
Re: Configurations of parts derived from configurations of the assembly

Re-do your design intent - If you want...  but first I have a few questions...


1.  Are you planning to insert these assemblies in another assembly or are these the top assemblies?

2.  Do you have the same part file names in Assembly 1 and Assembly 2?

By: John Stoltzfus  Tue, 28 Feb 2017 13:22:30 GMT
Re: Configurations of parts derived from configurations of the assembly

1.Yes, as shown in the last screenshot. All configurations of the frame assembly will come together in another assembly (the last one in my post with two frames).

2. The parts have the same name in two different configurations of the frame assembly (Assembly 1 and Assembly Default) , as they are parametrically defined. Their dimensions ( a result of this equations based on the driving sketch) are different from one configuration (of the frame assembly) to another, but their name will not change - and here is the problem when I try to build the final assembly.

By: Gabriel Stefan  Tue, 28 Feb 2017 13:53:38 GMT
Re: Configurations of parts derived from configurations of the assembly

Number one - SW- doesn't work well with this work flow, it stumbles when you have two different assemblies using the same part number with different values based on part built in context with different configurations/design table, also a chance for circular rebuilds becomes greater.


So what works, without knowing the entire project, I'm just stabbing in the dark.. 

By: John Stoltzfus  Tue, 28 Feb 2017 15:11:23 GMT
Re: Configurations of parts derived from configurations of the assembly

It surely sounds complicated to say the least and I think you're finding that SolidWorks struggles with your workflow, not that mine would be any better, as it's still hard to imagine the considerable amount of components you need to deal with in the overall design.  It is easy to make something complicated and very difficult to simplify designs and that is what I would look at, how can you simplify the overall project, not saying to delete any item, but to make it workable for SolidWorks as well. 


All I know is when you use multiple components with multiple configurations that are controlled with design tables and equations, there are a lot of places in that trail that can cause SolidWorks to crash and burn...


Here is what I would do, (which I think you already have the base design where it needs to be), focus on one panel assembly and design those components so that they are parametric by using a sketch or dummy model to adjust the overall assembly so that it is easy to grow/shrink and then..... use the pack and go for your other assemblies and use the "Search & Replace" button to give every part a new part number, save it as a zip file in another folder and the extract it and make sure there are no references to the original or master assembly, then open the file and change the controlling dimensions and mate the panel assembly in the proper position in your overall building layout....


I know this isn't using the automatic parts that SolidWorks advertises it can do with ease, but it is a proven solid robust method in design using SW.... 


This is only my thoughts and how I would approach it and just to make it clear, there are many many different ways to start a design process and it is a good chance that what I'm recommending isn't going to be the best way...


There is one guy Rob Edwards that might be able to chime in with his experiences as well as others...


Have fun designing....

By: John Stoltzfus  Wed, 01 Mar 2017 11:44:22 GMT
Re: Configurations of parts derived from configurations of the assembly

You're right, there are many ways to approach such a project...and you're right, I was looking for an automatically process instead of building each panel apart. I think this method should be improved in SW because, at least in my field, it would be a big of time-saver.

Thanks anyway... and i'll try to get an opinion also from Rob.

By: Gabriel Stefan  Wed, 01 Mar 2017 12:03:24 GMT
Re: Configurations of parts derived from configurations of the assembly

The project is very similar with this example. It consists of placing facades panels on different constructions. Related to the complexity of the construction, you divide it in surfaces and for each surface you make a matrix. Each division of this matrix is the visual size of a panel.

You can imagine that, according to the complexity of the matrix, I get a lot of shapes for the panels from that matrix (one panel can have a surface up to 3-4 m2 and the surfaces to be covered have thousands) . Of course a lot of panels are the same, but this is my starting point. This little shapes from the matrix are my driving sketch. That's why I use a parametric definition of each part in a panel. This way every driving sketch generates a set of elements (frame, skin) that form one panel. I make only one assembly for a rectangular panel, then I use a design table to input the dimensions of the each driving sketch. For each set of dimensions I get a panel and this way the configurations in my assembly are made.

The problem occurs when I want to get a representation of the hole panel system on the building. Because of the fact that I have defined only one panel (with a lot of configurations), I cannot bring two (ore more) different panels (configurations) together because the elements have the same name.

I was thinking that a solution may be a macro that creates for every configuration distinct elements (parts). But I would like to use the standard macros (features, functions) of SW.

Is it a little clearer now? Not that easy to resume a hole process in a couple of words...

By: Gabriel Stefan  Wed, 01 Mar 2017 08:07:50 GMT
Re: Configurations of parts derived from configurations of the assembly

Perhaps you should be using a Weldment as your design process. Then lengths would not be important as the sketch John Stoltzfus mentioned would be the defining feature. You would still get a Cutlist too.

By: Bernie Daraz  Wed, 01 Mar 2017 14:56:00 GMT
Re: Configurations of parts derived from configurations of the assembly

Hi Gabriel


I have run into some serious headaches with too many levels of configurations.  I thought I was being clever using component patterns and Design Tables to very quickly produce many parts, assemblies and assemblies of sub-assemblies.  Strangely the Top level assembly looked good, everything looked perfect but when I printed my cutlist it was absolutely unuseable/corrupted.  Presumably I did something wrong somewhere or Solidworks just couldn't cope with the same part being reused again and again and again, in assemblies that were used again and again, multiple times in an assembly that also had multiple configurations of itself in the same assembly.  I was confident because I had had success doing this before.  I don't know maybe it was because I had a tight deadline.  Anyway once bitten twice shy.  I'm taking heed of John Stoltzfus advice these days...

...although in your instance though I would do as Bernie suggests and go multibody/weldment route. 

By: Rob Edwards  Wed, 01 Mar 2017 17:27:07 GMT
Re: Configurations of parts derived from configurations of the assembly

Your method only works if you also have a configuration within your parts for each length of the frame components you require.

So, Frame 1 has 2 dimensions, height and width, you show three configurations of your part within it, top, bottom and sides.

If you want to show two configurations (sizes) of your frame assembly file in a top level assembly, you will need additional configurations of each configuration that has a different length.  When Solidworks rebuilds the model, if the parts do not have different configurations too, it will solve for each frame configuration, also updating the part across all frames, and you'll end up with whatever frame size is the last one solved for across all assemblies.  I've received strange results attempting your same method and did not achieve success until I added all the extra configs at the part level.  I can post a model example if you want to look at how this is done but it's pretty straight forward.  You might start by trying this with derived configurations for each top, bottom and sides.

By: Joseph McCabe  Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:35:03 GMT
Re: Configurations of parts derived from configurations of the assembly

I've used assemblies that have multiple sub-assemblies, and parts in those various assemblies have multiple configurations. When those parts are also used across multiple sub-assemblies; the result starts a slippery slide down the rabbit hole


Just an idea but what about using your design tables to create the assemblies with the necessary configurations, then save the desired assembly out as a .SLDPRT, then drop those into your top assembly of frames? ...kind of a K.I.S.S. approach.

By: Britt Kessler  Thu, 30 Nov 2017 16:33:39 GMT
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