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Off-The-Shelf Library: Rebuild or Import?

JollsJolls Member Posts: 47 PRO
What are the thoughts on making an Off-The-Shelf library of components using just imported step files and mate connectors vs re-building files in onshape?  Something as simple as Screws (that aren't in standard content) for example. McMasterCarr provides STEP files for all screws so do I just download as needed and incorporate into a single document called "Screws" or do I make a screw model from scratch and configure it? Pros and Cons to these methods?

I use screw for an example but more complicated examples exist like Optical components. Benefits of using STEP files is you are pretty much guaranteed accurate CAD models and it's faster initially. But configured components may allow for faster changing out later. Some are simple (mirror), some are more complex but not impossible (Lens).

I may have to weigh the pros and cons and do both. Screws could be Configured easily enough, but Thorlabs Optomechanical hardware should just use mate connectors.

How do mates with mate connectors work? If a Imported file has 1 mate connector and you "Replace Instances" with another Imported file with 1 mate connector I assume it will break the mate as the mate connectors will have a different internal ID

Comments

  • PeteYodisPeteYodis Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 364
    @Jolls If you go down the route of imported data, you could still perhaps configure them using direct edit features.  Just a thought.  
  • JollsJolls Member Posts: 47 PRO
    Well what do you prefer? I'm just curious what people's preferences are. Is the convenience of a non-imported solid worth the time or are there good workarounds - like direct editing perhaps.  Direct editing would work well for simple imported solids I bet, but the simpler they are the easier they are to just recreate from scratch too.
  • PeteYodisPeteYodis Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 364
    @Jolls Well, I'm extremely biased and I like native Onshape models/features the best.   :)
  • JollsJolls Member Posts: 47 PRO
    Hah! Well for now I think I am going with importing everything. Keeping documents fairly limited. Then later I can always go and add a new Part Studio as necessary to create a configurable model. But as we are converting from solidworks it's too much to model up now. 
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,855 PRO
    If you are forward thinking, you can do what Onshape did.

    Create a mate connector on your part. Now only mate to that mate connector in all of you assemblies.

    Then later on when you decide to draw the part from scratch, you can change the mate connector's parent body.
    Now when you replace your imported part with the native part, your assembly mates will also update. (as long as you only mated to the connector)
  • JollsJolls Member Posts: 47 PRO
    If you are forward thinking, you can do what Onshape did.

    Create a mate connector on your part. Now only mate to that mate connector in all of you assemblies.

    Then later on when you decide to draw the part from scratch, you can change the mate connector's parent body.
    Now when you replace your imported part with the native part, your assembly mates will also update. (as long as you only mated to the connector)

    Nice. That'd be a good way to do it. Make changes in same part studio and keep the same mate connector.  I like that idea. Would work well for most imports. On imports that had a lot of configurations and a lot of imports you'd just choose the most-used import to do it on and the other imports would go away and you'd have to manually update those assemblies. But that isn't the end of the world
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