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Released Configured Part Not Configurable

dt_userdt_user Member Posts: 8 PRO
I describe my issue below, which begs the question: What is the intended workflow for releasing configured parts?

The other day I released a configured part. Now, when I right click on that part in an assembly there is no option to "change configuration".

In this case, am I expected to "replace part" if I wish to change the configuration? This seems like a workaround. The other aspect of this problem, the different configurations all have the same part name, and I use non-significant part numbering built into the release workflow (see below), so I can't tell what's what. My only option to determine which part number is which part would be to view the "configured part properties" inside that part studio. 
 

Answers

  • mlaflecheCADmlaflecheCAD Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 93
    @david_troy the part name is configurable if that helps. See "name" as the option in the configured part properties
    Regards,
    Mike LaFleche   @mlaflecheCAD
  • dt_userdt_user Member Posts: 8 PRO
    @mlaflecheCAD Sort of. I can work with that, but I'm wondering, why aren't configurations available for released configurations of parts? Thank you for pointing that out though. 
  • romeograhamromeograham Member Posts: 413 PRO
    @david_troy
    Released parts are supposed to represent a single part (or assembly or drawing) - think of something that is physically producible. Once you make a part or print a drawing, you can't change the configuration. It's unlikely that a, say, fabricated sheet metal part can have different states (or configurations), once it's made. Also, in manufacturing, it's important that only one part (with a specific Part Number) can be used in an assembly or other application - if a different part is used, then the Parent assembly is actually different. The only way to track that is for a single Part Number to be associated with a single (released) state of a part. Released parts are meant to be like that - a real, unchangeable, part (or drawing or whatever). Release Management (and revisions) are supposed to be a permanent, traceable record of your design workflow, manufactured parts, or specification drawings. Imagine if you had produced 10,000 parts incorrectly. To figure out why, you go back to see what part number was produced, and see that part number P1234 could have two states (configurations) - and the manufacturer happened to choose the wrong one (that's possible with configurations, but not with Revisions).

    To use configurations of a part in another document, you need to use Versions (for those you can choose configurations).

    To expand on the @mlaflecheCAD note above, you can set any or all of the custom properties for each configuration. If you will need Released revisions of all possible states, then you need to Release each configuration - and you'll have all of them available for your other assemblies. Onshape needs to do a better job showing you the different configurations that have been released from a Part Studio (right now, they can be hard to find), but the absolute immutability of the Released Parts is a really great feature for manufacturers.

    Maybe your workflow should use Versions (so you can switch configurations) as you develop the concepts, then once you have design intent nailed down, you can update the references to Revisions, rather than versions of configurations. You may have noticed that you can't configure Assembly names in Onshape - this means that when you want to release an Assembly that might have different configurations, you actually need to make a separate Assembly for each configuration - which dovetails with the fact that you have to release part configurations too.

    Hope that helps!
    Romeo
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor, User Group Leader Posts: 2,042 PRO
    edited May 5
    I run into similar issues the other day when using configuration to get a mirrored assembly, I wanted to use configurations to make the top-level assembly configurable without having to re-do a heap of mates with multiple suppressed parts, ie configure the configuration but it will not work once released.  I ended up releasing the parts/sub-assemblies then versioned and linking to the versions rather than the latest release so I still had a top-level which are configurable and with all sub assembles released correctly. 
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • konstantin_shiriazdanovkonstantin_shiriazdanov Member Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @david_troy
    Released parts are supposed to represent a single part (or assembly or drawing) - think of something that is physically producible. Once you make a part or print a drawing, you can't change the configuration. It's unlikely that a, say, fabricated sheet metal part can have different states (or configurations), once it's made. Also, in manufacturing, it's important that only one part (with a specific Part Number) can be used in an assembly or other application - if a different part is used, then the Parent assembly is actually different. The only way to track that is for a single Part Number to be associated with a single (released) state of a part. Released parts are meant to be like that - a real, unchangeable, part (or drawing or whatever). Release Management (and revisions) are supposed to be a permanent, traceable record of your design workflow, manufactured parts, or specification drawings. Imagine if you had produced 10,000 parts incorrectly. To figure out why, you go back to see what part number was produced, and see that part number P1234 could have two states (configurations) - and the manufacturer happened to choose the wrong one (that's possible with configurations, but not with Revisions).
    Can't fully agree with you, the part is unchangeble when manufactured by its nature beacuse this is the purpose why we made them for our conviniences. But why should digital model to behave the same way, what conviniences it brings? I can't see any. We already release every desired configuration independently, but can't even switch between released configurations. This is not an advantage but a disfunction, which stops us in company from using release management at all.

  • romeograhamromeograham Member Posts: 413 PRO
    @brucebartlett @konstantin_shiriazdanov
    I understand that this has limitations for sure! I was trying to describe how it functions...not trying to say that it's the best it can be!

    I'm certainly getting used to release management, but Iooking forward to the improvements that must be coming, too. As @brucebartlett has often lamented - "Release Day" is getting to be a ton of work, especially with many parts / assemblies / drawings to release, along with the inevitable missed part in an assembly.

    However, I think there's some value in an immutable Released Object with a conceptual parallel in the physical world - a part or whatever. 
    A bread recipe can exist with all it's potential to be whole wheat, rye, or raisin bread (sorry, but with the trendy-ness of bread these days, it's the example that comes to mind) and the recipe with variations is the Version with configurations. Once you bake it (the Release!) you can't change that loaf between whole wheat or rye. It's baked. 

    It's a simplistic example, but it makes sense to me that this parallel exists.

    Clearly there are ways to work with released items in our Onshape documents that are more flexible - as you both called out above. I look forward to improvements from Onshape in this area.
  • dt_userdt_user Member Posts: 8 PRO
    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Even after reading the comments I do feel like I should be able to switch between configurations as a convenience, regardless of whether or not they have been released. This shouldn't clash with the release management workflow, because when releasing an assembly containing an unreleased part [configuration], the release of that part would be triggered.
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor, User Group Leader Posts: 2,042 PRO
    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Even after reading the comments I do feel like I should be able to switch between configurations as a convenience, regardless of whether or not they have been released. This shouldn't clash with the release management workflow, because when releasing an assembly containing an unreleased part [configuration], the release of that part would be triggered.
    I think at least we should be able to switch between released configurations 
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
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