I was wondering, how do you record the reasoning behind the way a Pro/E part or assembly was constructed? I have been tasked with creating a document that explains the structure of a complex, skeleton-based assembly, together with each of its sub-assemblies. For example, how each sub-assembly is assembled to the top level, or to the next higher level, what certain datum planes represent and why they are dimensioned the way they are, what patterns of points represent and why they are dimensioned in a particular manner.
This is so that, if I were to be run over by a bus tomorrow, my replacement would be able to understand my models.
So, is there a 'best practice' for recording this kind of stuff? I am interested to hear from you.
I would have to agree with Kris...that sounds monumental!
Traditionally, corporate standards would dictate much of the methodology. The CAD design should follow the design-intent and ultimately tie back into the product specification.
Since documentation that is not associated to the CAD files usually gets lost, I've always taught people to use the relation editor to add model comments where something is not easy to understand. This is also good when there could be major damage done if somebody doesn't really understand a relationship of features/equations, etc.
Another means of keeping the information associated and "findable", would be in a PLM system such as Windchill, where you can relate a document to a CAD file. This document could be something such as you are being tasked to create.
So...to make a long story short, I haven't seen a "best-practice" for making an external document that explains all the relationships in a 3D CAD model. Personally, I don't believe it's efficient or necessary.
That being said, I would get a tool like "Snag-It" and start making snap-shots of views, marking it up and paste it into a Word document. Shouldn't take too long to have enough pages to make most people's head spin.
Just my 2 (or 3 or 50) cents
Using Model Check would satisfy most of your management's requirements with respect to the design rules. Rest can be documented as NOTES on the model. It is a monumental task though. If there is a practice of conducting Design reviews, the records of the Design Reviews conducted would also give clue.
Having said this, it is Impossible to capture all the thought process of the designer.
with all due respect, any good designer well versed in pro/e can investigate and rebuild your models.
but if they want a report, just open pro/rogram and save it as a text file.