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About exploding view for BOM on 2D drawing

Hi, We ran into some problem creating exploded view on 2D drawing recently, and i'm hoping if anyone can help us to resolve the problem.

In short, we would like to have a exploded view included on the 2D drawing (for BOM purposes), but when i release the assembly 2D drawing, the original assembly must be in the original form (not the exploded form). other wise when we inert the released assembly into a higher assembly, the released sub-assembly will just be in exploded form. Currently I can't find a way to release the 2D drawing that is different from the 3D counterpart. This causes a huge problem for us when building our top assembly, which required to use released assembly/parts; if the released assemblies are in exploded form, these sub-assemblies will simply showed as exploded forms in the top assembly if we insert a released assemblies.

To explain in detail, our company uses the "release function" to fix version for manufacturing; this applies to both assembly and components. When we release the assembly, the components or/and sub-assemblies inside the assembly "must all be released". We ran into a problem which if we would like to release a assembly in BOM structure, which required exploded view, the 3D drawing must be in exploded form. So I'm looking for a method to create to different component positions in an assembly, and present one forms inside the 2D drawing while showing another form in the 3D CAD drawing. In short, for "Assembly A" i would like to create two component lay out structure (or position), layout A normal form, layout B exploded form; when I release the component, i would like to see layout B exploded form on the 2D drawing and layout A normal form in the 3D CAD drawing tab.

For say I have a assembly named "Engine block" with sub-assembly "crankshaft assembly" and sub-assembly "block housing assembly" inside. The sub-assembly "crankshaft assembly" contains following items "piston","screw","piston ring", and "crankshaft". In order to release the assembly "Engine Block", both sub-assembly "crankshaft assembly" and "block housing assembly" needs to be released pre-hand (or at the same time). When I release the "crankshaft assembly", I would like the 2D drawing to be presented in the exploded view form, so I can quickly point out which item relates to which BOM number, but in the 3D CAD page "crankshaft assembly" it needs to be in the original form, so when I open the assembly "engine block", the "crankshaft assembly" will show as original form instead of the exploded form.

We have tried many different methods and all doesn't seems to work.
1. We've tried to duplicate the assembly, turn it into the exploded form, and insert back to the original 2D drawing. Doing this will result in releasing both assemblies (both original and explode). I've also tried to insert from other version or branch version, all seems ran into same problem.
2. I've also tried to release with the yellow refresh button (2D drawing not aligned with the 3D CAD drawing), but seems like it wouldn't let you release unless your 2D drawing receives the latest view.

currently we are using a dumb way, which we create a drawing with the exploded view, and snip the view and insert as a picture. This is the only way we see it works, but this method defies the whole purpose of having automatically updating assembly and BOM on the 2D drawing.

anyways, please share your thoughts or if you have any suggestion/solution for these kind of problem.

thanks, most sincerely, 


  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,376
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 1,967 PRO
    This is the second most requested improvement and a must-have for serious CAD package. I hope for a solution here soon as the current workarounds don't really cut it.  

    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,320 PRO
    Typically when I want an exploded view, I create a check box configuration in the assembly, then configure the offset of each mate I want exploded.
    Then it is just a matter of changing the configuration in the drawing views.

    Also make sure your defaulting to a "unchecked" exploded config.

    Does this help?
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 1,967 PRO
    Tick box explode using configurations is definitely the best solution at the moment but requires a bit of work and adds complexity to the assembly. 
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,320 PRO
    True, but not much more than it did in solidworks. That explode tool was clunky too.  At least it gave you animations though, that was nice
  • tim_hess427tim_hess427 Member Posts: 230 PRO
    @john_mcclary - Can you elaborate on "Also make sure your defaulting to a "unchecked" exploded config."?

    Does that mean the assembly should be exploded when checked? Or are you saying that the default state of the box should be unchecked? Or both? 
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,320 PRO
    edited October 2019
    depends on how you name it.

    The bottom line is: default state is Not exploded.

    I call the checkbox "Explode"  so default should be Off.

    Also means adding views to a sheet will be the normal model. Then you check the box when you want to show an exploded view
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 1,967 PRO
    edited October 2019
    @tim_hess427 @john_mcclary  The default in assy config becomes very important, I think. If set the wrong way you will notice it on the image thumbnail and I vaguely remember it affecting other things also, so I make a practice of setting it. 
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,320 PRO
  • tim_hess427tim_hess427 Member Posts: 230 PRO
    @john_mcclary and @brucebartlett - Thanks for the clarification. It's very timely as I'm working on some assembly configurations today. 
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 1,967 PRO
    No worries @tim_hess427 enjoy! Onshape configuration are absolutely the best!
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • WeiLin_XingMobilityWeiLin_XingMobility Member Posts: 3 PRO
    Thanks for all of the replies and discussion. I've came up with other method last time, it may take some time but still gets the job done. 
    I'll try the other method later some time. 
    My method is following. 
    1. create different display state in respect of different layers of the assembly
    2. insert the assembly multiple times into the drawing and change display state according to different lay
    3. adjust the location of different display state to make it looks like exploded view

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