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Configuration column/options disappear after switching to released Rev of part

S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,483 PRO
I've sent this to Support, so hopefully they will be able to solve this, but I thought I would ask here as well in case anyone has some additional wisdom or comments...

To simplify the problem, I have a part which is configured in its own part studio with and without some mounting holes for a disc brake. Each config has its own part number and they were both part of a release ("Motor Cover, M2" and "Motor Cover, Brake Side, M2"). 

I have a wheel assembly which has three configs, each with its own part number, and some changes in the assembly based on the configs. One column selects the config of the Motor Cover. This is all working fine until I try to set all the parts to versions.

As soon as I use "Change to version" on the Motor Cover in the wheel assembly, the config column for the Motor Cover goes away. If I try to reconfigure the part in the assembly, the only thing I can configure is suppression, not the configuration of the part itself.

Is this expected behavior? Is there some other way to do this to enable what I want?


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    S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,483 PRO
    Apparently this is expected behavior. 🤯

    Configued things are not released.  When you do a release, the configuration is no longer able to be selected.  If there are two, you would need to replace the part as the part number is different.  Now if you were using a version (the same version) this would be possible.  When you pick a revision, that is locked to a part number.  We understand this might be confusing and are looking at merging them so this behavior goes away so if you change the config you would just change the part number.
      from @lougallo

    Now I'm finding some relevant threads:

    I kinda get it, but there's clearly a huge tension between configuration management and release management. We've spent a lot of time building up our CAD Assemblies to configure various color ways and other options. We're just now getting to the point where we have proper releases in our assemblies, but this limitation seems like it will make us do a lot of extra work or just avoid using release management above the part level. I can't see us going in to multiple layers of assemblies and getting rid of config columns and then using replace and suppress to rebuild the assemblies. That would take weeks of work.
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    David_YL_NguyenDavid_YL_Nguyen Member, Onshape Employees Posts: 103
    Hey @S1mon,

    Great timing as I had just worked on this request recently. I hope I can give you a workable solution to your problem. 

    The workaround that I would currently suggest is:
    - Change/update your linked part/assembly with a selective update to the "Version of your Release"
    - Do NOT change to a revision
    - Live with the the blue circle or three dots; no pretty triangle for now but you can still see that you have a released part in your assembly
    - You will see that you have the configuration options of the part studio/assembly and not just the suppression option a released part/assembly has 

    I think this is currently a workaround to what you need so would be great if you could submit a customer support ticket for your request.
    In short this is what would be needed:

    User needs to Change configuration on released parts.

    1. Release two configurations of the same part in a part studio
    2. Insert one released configuration of the part into an assembly
    3. Configure assembly to switch between released configurations of the part

    Let me know what you think about this and if this helps with your problem.



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    S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,483 PRO
    Thanks @David_YL_Nguyen

    So far that seems to be working. As you say, it's a work around and it does look a bit weird with the update icon, but it avoids wasting a lot of work.

    This ticket is already in, let me know if you need me to make a new one, or expand on it.
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    David_YL_NguyenDavid_YL_Nguyen Member, Onshape Employees Posts: 103
    Thanks @S1mon for submitting that ticket. Cheers

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    benjamin_wehrerbenjamin_wehrer Member Posts: 3 PRO
    @S1mon , @David_YL_Nguyen , Would either of you happen to have an updated link to this improvement request? The old link appears to be broken. I noticed in the other related threads that users reported their improvement requests were removed, and now this one is MIA as well. What's up with that? This issue first came up in 2019 and I cant find any of the improvement requests even though multiple have clearly been submitted. 
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    nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member, csevp Posts: 703 PRO
    IDK if this got me today, but manifesting in a different manner. I have an asm drawing with BOM balloons that was working great. I released the 3D asm, and had the drawing reference the release. The BOM balloons on a few of the views failed. When I set the drawing to a version as a test, the BOM balloons work great again. The failed views contain sub-asm (non rev managed) and also configurations. I sent a ticket to support today.
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    S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,483 PRO
    I submitted a customer support request. I don't think I created an IR.
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    romeograhamromeograham Member, csevp Posts: 664 PRO
    As I learned how to work with configurations and released parts, I realized after a while that:
    A Released part can only be 1 configuration - think about it as a "made" part: once you have a piece of metal on your workbench - it has a certain number of holes in it. You can NOT decide that you want to see more holes or fewer holes in that piece of metal on your bench - without physically drilling more holes or filling them in.
    For me, once I realized this, I developed this workflow, which I quite like (and it makes our Onshape documents much friendlier to future me, or other people trying to understand the document:
    1. Do design work in a Part Studio tab. Include configurations, multibody work, construction features, helper surfaces etc. I name this tab "Design - no release from here" or something.
    2. Derive each configuration of each part into its own Part Studio tab. This is where you apply properties, part numbers etc. This is also where you need to create (or recreate) sketches that you want to show in your part drawing.
    3. Build your Assembly tabs from the parts in these Tabs (not the configured Part Studio tab). You're thinking: "Then I won't be able to Configure my assemblies!" That's right, but Release Management and Configured assemblies are, while technically possible with the magic that is Onshape, result in greater complexity and confusion in the long run (for us). We have started to make each Configured Assembly - it's own assembly. After all - remember: once that Assembly is built an sitting on your workbench - you can't magically make it into a "left-hand" version...you'd need to make a new assembly from different components.
    4. Make your drawings from the parts in their own tabs.
    5. Make an Assembly purely to build Properties. You can add all the columns you want to the BOM in this assembly - and assign part numbers and other properties while looking at all the parts at once. This is a handy way to make sure your Properties are completely filled out for all your parts at once. If you have a really large number of parts - remember you can export the BOM to CSV - edit in your Spreadsheet editor of choice - and paste back into your BOM in your working assembly. Make a BOM template that shows all the properties that you typically add at this stage - and use that BOM template in this assembly.
    6. Release Parts from their own tabs, (and Drawings and Assemblies as usual).
    Up front, this feels like a lot of work, but the reduced confusion for Future You and your partners (PMs, other designers / engineers, etc) might be worth it.
    This strategy also works much better for using Publications - since you can only put entire Tabs in Publications - which means that if you try to use publications to show a part that lives in a configured multibody part studio with a bunch of helper geometry and other parts - you can only insert the whole tab! Your viewers may see all the parts or the wrong configuration, and not see what you intend for them to see. If they don't have Onshape experience, it may cause more confusion than it's worth.
    If I was smart I'd setup a Document to use as a Template that has all the Part Studios, Tabs, Assemblies, and Drawings (including folders to remind me about my own preferences) that I should use when making a new Document.
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    S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,483 PRO

    Thanks for this step-by-step solution.

    This all makes a lot of sense - given Onshape's current limitations.

    I would argue that it's not very helpful for a lot of workflows. One of the unique selling points of Onshape is how powerful its configuration system is. Unfortunately that doesn't carry over very well to release management. A part studio which can generate 5 configurations of a part would not be that hard to split out into individual part studios, but if you have a part studio which generates 100s of configs it's not a practical solution. Similarly, the way that configs can roll up the next level assemblies can be a nightmare for release management. Unfortunately this tends to be an area where each company will have its own set of solutions depending on the types of products and configurations.
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    romeograhamromeograham Member, csevp Posts: 664 PRO
    Good point - this workflow is certainly only reasonable with a few configurations, not with many. It's also not good for high part-count where many parts are designed in a single Studio (regardless of configurations). In cases where we have many parts (but few or no configs) we will Release from the main design studio tab instead of following my instructions above.

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    eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,599 PRO
    We do use this "master model" (as we call it) approach quite a bit as well. Note that it doesn't have to be "all or nothing", you can still derive the configured part in a part studio and create a few (or as many as you need) configurations in there.
    We often do this where the "master" uses config variables (i.e. infinite configurations) and the end parts only has a few "sizes" in a drop down so it's a good way to restrict the number of possible configurations.
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