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Windchill Options & Variants - Variant visualization

N-Pyn
13-Aquamarine

Windchill Options & Variants - Variant visualization

Hello, masters of the dark arts of Creo and Windchill.

 

I'm building a product configurator with Options & Variants and I would like to generate a semi accurate visualization of the variant inside Windchill without opening it in Creo. I wan't to be able to inspect the final assembly model of the variant in Creo View before actually generating the variant and creating all the articles and deliverables belonging to it.

 

I have modeled all the modules, parts and subassemblies and defined options and choices in Windchill. Next step would be creating a positioning system for the modules but the requirement to generate a visualization in Windchill is making it a bit difficult. I can't just use interfaces and constrains and reference pairings in the model because Windchill doesn't know how to use them in the visualization.

 

I think I could edit the each modules' default coordinate systems so that they correspond to the default coordinate system of the final assembly when the module is in correct place. Then the visualization should look accurate when Windchill collects all modules and places them in the default coordinate system. But I don't like this method because it would be very laborous to build and maintain.

 

Another method I have been thinking about would be to save the position of the module in it's parameters. Then if there is a way to tell Windchill visualization engine to transform the module according to the parameter, it would go to it's correct place. I think the manipulation of the position parameters would be easier than in the first method but this option sounds a bit laborous too.

 

Has anyone done anything like this before? What different options are there for creating an accurate visualization of a variant inside Windchill (without actually generating the variant and creating all the articles and deliverables)?

9 REPLIES 9
N-Pyn
13-Aquamarine
(To:N-Pyn)

I ended up using PDSVISION Configurator running server-side for generating the CAD models for the variants. It automatically generates the assembly model from variant specification and checks it in.

I couldn't find a way to generate an accurate visualization of a variant without actually creating the variant, but this is the next best option. At least this way the visualization of the variant is accurate after the PDSVISION Configurator has checked the model in and the Visualization Worker has generated the visualization model.

KK_9397176
6-Contributor
(To:N-Pyn)

just curious, isnt filter (option filter) on configurable wtpart structure able to show you only relevant parts as would be ideally applicable for the variant and subsequently drive the display in its visualizaton? thus you are not actually creating the variant.. just applying the variant option on the part structure.

or do you see some issues in this approach.

N-Pyn
13-Aquamarine
(To:KK_9397176)

You don't see any kind of visualization during the configure phase. You can view the visualization of the variant item structure in Creo View after configuring the variant, but the components are just positioned to the default csys, which is not good enough for this application. 

There seems to be some new dynamic visualization positioning functionality in Windchill 12 (https://support.ptc.com/help/wnc/r12.0.2.0/en/index.html#page/Windchill_Help_Center%2FOptionsDynVisOview.html%23), but the third-party configurator I selected was perfect for this project. I might check the new functionality out in some future project.

KK_9397176
6-Contributor
(To:N-Pyn)

Ok thanks for the info.
I was referring to config spec (filter) on structure tab and not the actual configure phase. Since you wanted to view the visualization before variant generation.
If the structure is filtered /displayed as per parts that would actually make it to variant, does the assembly visualization not show only those parts under structure -> visualization tab.
N-Pyn
13-Aquamarine
(To:KK_9397176)

Ah yes, I didn't realize you can filter the visualization of the whole configurable product with option choices.

 

That's good to know, thanks.

khimani_mohiki
14-Alexandrite
(To:N-Pyn)

The most common approach is to make whats called a 150% BOM, where the top level contains all possible options and variants in the correct positions, you can do this by using collapsible gathering parts to make interchangeable sub-assemblies which dont need to be positioned, the compromise is that you may have to create sub-assemblies which are very similar bar a few components which might be different or have a different position.

Once you have a top level BOM which can be filtered to show the correct configuration you can then view it in Creo View.

 

If that doesnt work for you I think you may have to go down the road of defining the positioning system, I think there is a WVS property for it and somewhere you have to specify it in the worker recipe. So you wont get a dynamic visualisation, each variant would need to be published as a static representation, which might take some time and could become out of date if you dont have mark-out-of-date configured.

N-Pyn
13-Aquamarine
(To:khimani_mohiki)

150% BOM method does not work in this case. We have many modules with position dependence on other modules so assembling and maintaining the system would be incredibly laborous and complicated.

 

We managed to build the system with a third-party addon. It builds the variant assembly by constraining the desired modules to defined coordinate systems so the final product is very similar to one assembled by hand. And as such, it is also very easily modified after generating if needed.

KK_9397176
6-Contributor
(To:N-Pyn)

Hello N-Pyn,

On a side topic, once you have decided to create the variant, How do you generated CAD models for this variant from the configurable CAD assembly.

Do you use option modeler license in Creo to generate the cad model for the variant or you use some other methods.

 

Regards,

KK

 

 
N-Pyn
13-Aquamarine
(To:KK_9397176)

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