I would do transitions in the work-piece from the flash of the reference models. This still would not remove me from the dependencies of file naming changes.
Ok, I see. 7 less models sounds reasonable.
7 more models sounds more like a life of a butcherer.
On most of the points I agree with you on Pro/Mold or as they call it Tool Design Option (TDO). It's still way too canned, and gives too little freedom. I mean not all molds are for thermoplastic parts, right? That's why i don't use this module either.
If you or your users do this process often. Think about introducing a host of well described mapkeys that have a lot of pauses with comments that guide the user through the whole process. Alot of what you describe can propably be automated, at least partly, and if you decide to go on the route of a butcherer alot can be automated there as well.
You can even put the mapkeys to the ribbon, if you don't prefer remembering key sequences.
Are you doing these in Mold/Casting extension? Which stage do you add the shrink factor and sink sizes?
Jack: Yes, I have been using the Mold/Casting extension. I have been putting shrink into the models prior to bringing into the dies.
James: Yes 7 extra files equates to a real file management headache, let alone having to remember to regenerate everything for 6 of the 7 extra models.
Since I did not use mapkeys before I started using Creo I haven't accustomed myself to the power they might hold. I am sure that you are right that there are some really good shortcuts that can be realized in using them. I heard from someone else that this thread's specific renaming issues might be improved using mapkeys. I should spend some time learning how this might be of benefit.