I wonder if anyone uses the method of having the master rep be the flat state and adding to the model a pre-defined flexibility with the "flat pattern" feature being the variant.
Upon upon assembling such a component, you are prompted with the variable items dialog box, where you can turn off the "flat pattern" and thus assemble the part in the "formed" condition.
For drawings, the model would have a "Formed" simplified rep in which the feature is excluded.
One problem with using the flexible models is that they are harder to replace. But on the other hand, you "avoid" family tables.
I don't recommend doing this; I think the proper way is to have the flat-state be a family table instance of the formed generic part.
There are existing toolbar commands that make the process pretty quick:
1) create the flat pattern feature; suppress it and continue working on the model. The flat pattern feature will be always pushed to the end of the model tree.
2) create the family table instance in which the flat pattern feature is resumed