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Configurations vs Configurable

JollsJolls Member Posts: 67 PRO
In production having configurations for various Hardware is awesome. Washers/spacers/pins/shoulder screws/orings/bumpers/cable management/ ... name it. I can assign PNs and Descriptions for discrete items.

However, in R&D I often just want to try various sizes of washers/pins/screws/... without having to go in and make a new discrete configuration with PNs/Descriptions/... and then version the part. So for this, the Configurable Variables are great. I just look on mcmastercarr (or wherever) for a size that fits my need, then I go in and type the necessarily values into the configuration, generate, and it populates. No need for versioning or PNs and descriptions or whatever.

However, I can't see how to have both in the same part studio. My workaround is that I duplicated my Part Studio and named one "Configured" where HW with Part numbers, descriptions, ... exist with parametric variables. And a 2nd part studio called "Configurable" where I can easily pull an infinite variety of parts in for playing with in my WIP assemblies without having to make configurations.

Another work around I've used is just importing the STEP file from places like mcmastercarr and then if I keep it I go and add the configuration and give it a PN/Desc/.... then replace it in my assembly.

Anyone else solve this in a better fashion?

Best Answer

  • tim_hess427tim_hess427 Member Posts: 608 PRO
    edited February 27 Accepted Answer
    @Jolls - after reading your comments above again, I think I did misunderstand what you're looking for. 

    To phrase your request a different way, it sounds like this: When inserting a part into an assembly, you want the option to select a pre-configured part or define a new configuration? 

    I just did a quick test and think you might be able to use branches for this. In one branch, you can set up your models with configuration variables. Then, create a new branch of the same workspace and replace the configuration variables with parametric variables controlled by a configuration list with your detailed items. 

    Then, if you ever have to add features to your model, you can model them in one branch, and merge the changes from the first workspace into the other - the configuration differences should remain. NOTE: This only works if you only merge in one direction. If you ever try to merge back the other direction, you'll end up with both branches configured the same. 

    Now, when importing into an assembly, you just select the correct branch and you can either select a part from a list or define the variables directly. 

    EDIT: I was working on this while you were working on your post. I think this will work for you if the extra step of pulling up the version graph and selecting the right version of the part studio is OK. 

Answers

  • Eric_WongEric_Wong Member Posts: 21 PRO
    @Jolls just trying to understand your desire a little better here - are you looking for a way to have a configurable part with different dims through variables that you can also assign part numbers and descriptions to? If so, what you are describing is already possible by opening the configurations tab and going to "configured properties", then adding the properties you need to the configuration table . 
  • JollsJolls Member Posts: 67 PRO
    @Eric_Wong Sorry if I wasn't clear. That was the "is awesome" part in the first paragraph. Let me give an example to better illustrate. Say I need a Spacer and in my Spacer Part Studio I have 5 configurations from past designs (all with unique PNs, Descriptions, ...).
    But in a new assembly I am designing I need a spacer I've never used before. I have the following options that I can see:
    1) Make a 6th configuration, detail it, version it, and import it into my design. However if I decide later to not use that spacer, but a different one I have to go modify the 6th config or make a 7th, then reversion it again and update my assembly.
    2) Get a new part studio (from scratch or import or duplicate) until the design is done then I can make a 6th configuration in the Washer part studio and replace it.

    What i want is a third option that allows me to just dynamically change the variables in my assembly to fit my needs without having to go into the Washer part studio to make changes and make new configurations and new versions. This is currently possible if the Washer part studio was setup with Configuration Variables (not parametric variables: https://learn.onshape.com/learn/article/parametric-variables-vs-configuration-variables). However, those variables don't let me make easy to access pre-set configurations like in the above example where the Part Studio has 5 pre-existing configurations easily accessible when importing. Basically I want the benefits of both in a single option. Instead of having to choose one convenience over another.

    Hope that explains it a bit better.
  • MichaelPascoeMichaelPascoe Member Posts: 599 PRO
    edited February 26
    @Jolls
    This may not allow for only one part studio, but it may make things more automated and less configured.

    Here is a method that I like to use: 
    No matter what configuration it is in, it will always have the same composite part, and same mate connector.







  • tim_hess427tim_hess427 Member Posts: 608 PRO
    @Jolls - i think what you describe is possible with configurations, if I understand correctly. 

    I set up a part studio with configuration variables for diameter and thickness for a simple disk. I gave properties to three different specific configurations (first image). I am also still able to pull the disc into an assembly and give it a configuration that isn't listed with specific properties (second image). 




  • JollsJolls Member Posts: 67 PRO
    @MichaelPascoe
    That is an interesting method for combining imported parts. I may use that for some things. It doesn't quite solve the problem I'm attempting to solve but the solution you proposed can make some other things I do more efficient. Thanks!

  • JollsJolls Member Posts: 67 PRO
    @MichaelPascoe, @tim_hess427, @Eric_Wong
    Here's some screenshots that may help show what I'm asking about.

    Here is ONE way to use discrete configurations. Using Parametric Variables, with configurations defining those variables. You define all parameters including things like Names, Description, PN, ... Then in an assembly it's an easy drop-down to select it, and all that goes into the BOM. This configuration is re-usable anywhere and in any assembly, all linked up.





    Another Option is to use a Configuration Variable which allows you to create a custom configuration when inserting into an assembly. This allows you to make a spacer of any length, OD, ID. However once you settle on a size you like for your design, this part is NOT re-usable anywhere else.



    So those are the two methods. What I basically want is the feature from BOTH of the above methods. I want to be able to generate any Spacer I want in an assembly until I finalize the design; and then to make that part into an actual configuration that is re-usable anywhere else with it's complete information (PN, Desc, Vendor PN, Vendor, ...)

    Currently I can't do that directly. The method I found that works is to make 2 Spacer Part Studios. One with Method 1 above and one with Method 2. I use Method 2 with a "Configurable" Part Studio in my design until I finalize it, then I go and make a configuration using Method 1 in my "Configured" and replace the part in my assembly. That's my current work around. So I'm wondering if anyone else has solved this problem in a better method.


  • tim_hess427tim_hess427 Member Posts: 608 PRO
    edited February 27 Accepted Answer
    @Jolls - after reading your comments above again, I think I did misunderstand what you're looking for. 

    To phrase your request a different way, it sounds like this: When inserting a part into an assembly, you want the option to select a pre-configured part or define a new configuration? 

    I just did a quick test and think you might be able to use branches for this. In one branch, you can set up your models with configuration variables. Then, create a new branch of the same workspace and replace the configuration variables with parametric variables controlled by a configuration list with your detailed items. 

    Then, if you ever have to add features to your model, you can model them in one branch, and merge the changes from the first workspace into the other - the configuration differences should remain. NOTE: This only works if you only merge in one direction. If you ever try to merge back the other direction, you'll end up with both branches configured the same. 

    Now, when importing into an assembly, you just select the correct branch and you can either select a part from a list or define the variables directly. 

    EDIT: I was working on this while you were working on your post. I think this will work for you if the extra step of pulling up the version graph and selecting the right version of the part studio is OK. 
  • JollsJolls Member Posts: 67 PRO
    That is an interesting method and I think is similar to what I am doing with the 2 different part studios (configured & configurable part studios) except your idea has benefit of being the same part studio so when I replace them all the mates will keep. This also has the benefit of keeping with the "Design WIP" being in branches and "released" in Main.  So that is certainly an improvement on what I am doing. Thanks! I wonder how other people have solved this problem as I doubt it's new to me.
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