Working with a combination of Top-Down design (using skeletons and data sharing features like publish and copy geometry features) and Family Tables for managing variants is perfectly possible. To begin with, you may want to create a family table in the skeleton, to create the dimensional variance. Then, you need to create some instance rows in the assembly family table. There is a magnificent tool in Pro/E (Creo Elements/Pro) called the Assembly Instance Configurator. Just select one instance row in the FT and then click Tools > Assembly Instance Configurator. There you can first exchange the skeleton with the correct instance, and for the components that you want to update, just enter new names. The family tables of these components will be created/updated automatically ! And finally, there is a command in this window to update external references to the assembly instances instead of the generic ! How great is that ! The external reference model column will be automatically updated in the family-table of the component.
This great functionality is available in Pro/E for quite a while, but my experience as a consultant is that not many people know about it 😉
Does this explanation help you guys on the 'copy geometry' issue ?
I've been working on our problem with regeneration of components and have come up with a partial solution.
The assembly is controlled with a skeleton part. This skeleton part contains a Family Table with all sizes.
In the Family Table on the assembly, the Skeleton part is added as a component, and changes with each row.
Each component references the assembly which in return opens up the right instance of the Skeleton part.
So far, so good:)
The last component "just" relies on the size of the skeleton part, but this is not a family table instance. It's the same name. It shall just change size for calculating weight.
The problem is that when I open each instance of the assembly, this last component keeps the references from the generic skeleton while all the other components changes with the instance of the skeleton.
How do I get the last component to update as well?
If you want this part to vary along with your assembly instances, there's no other way then also making a family table of it and update the references to the instance skeleton instead of the generic skeleton. How ? What you can do is open the family table, select the first instance, and then choose Tools > Assembly Instance Configurator. You will see the model structure of the generic, and the model structure of the instance. For the "mass part" that you already added with reference to the generic skeleton, enter a new name in the column for the instance. The system will prompt you to confirm that a new instance will be created in the family table of that part (automatically, even if no family table already exists !!). Then you will see a small icon next to this part showing that the external references have not been updated. (They still reference the generic skeleton). There is an update button at the bottom of the dialog to update this. You will see the icon change, and what will actually happen is that a column with the reference model for the external reference will be added to the family of that part. Yes, it will contain the instance assy instead of the generic assy. 😉
Can you get this to work ?
Repeat these steps for every assy instance of course, and the family table of the varying part will automatically be populated with the necessary instances.
In that way you can perfectly combine Top-down design (using external references) and Family table variations.
Good luck !
Thanks for the tip.
I just tried it and it works OK, but it creates new instances in the part and that is exactly what we don't want.
We want to use the same name/part, but with different dimensions for weighing/viewing purposes.
The part represents insulation which is cut to measure from large sheets.
Hmmmmm......It's going to be a long friday:-)
Hi again Tom
I might have found a solution -
Flexible Component and a relation on assembly level that reads the size from the A-part to get the right dimensions.
I have tested several assembly instances and seems to work.
It might be a good friday after all
As i say on linkedin, i have been using top down design in my projects and at this time i don´t have experience with PDM systems, and this metology works very good alone. But sure when i combine with PDM system this will be most usefull and effective.
I believe 'concurrent engineering' does not imply two people working on the same part with both needing to make a revision to this part. What concurrent engineering means in this respect is engineering from different disciplines working on the same product.
Given the need for mechanical engineers to design the physical part, electrical engineers to design the PC boards, and harness engineers to create the logical and power links.
That is concurrent engineering: different disciplines in engineering working together.
Working at a location with more than 50 engineers in these three disciplines I can tell you the updates Creo Elements has presented are wonderful for the concurrent engineering presented. Sure that there will always be minor points to fix, the overall picture of the operation with regards to the different disciplines involved is a wonderful addition. On a small scale, think of a mechanical engineer designing a bracket but not realizing a wire has to go under the bracket to power a light board in front of it. This just requires a revision of the bracket to accommodate the need of a wire, but what if the engineer could see the wire in the assembly before he made the bracket? With just that knowledge he would account for the wire in the design, and no revision would need to be made.
Now look at this on a larger scale: if the engineers involved in a design could see the wires needed and account for the space needed (one might say that's mechanical also as it has volume), they would add this in to the design and not require additional revisions for this