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Moving parts between assemblies and documents?

MechaMecha Member Posts: 7
Hi guys, first post here. I am trying to wrap my head around the assembly function here. If I make a part in one document how can I reuse that part in a different document, especially if I want to retain parametric data?

My assumption is a document is intended to be something of a project based folder. I may be totally off on that.

Comments

  • scott_harrisscott_harris Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 60
    Hi Mecha... Currently part studios can only be exported as X_T (Parasolids) files for use in other documents. We plan to allow you to "part out" models, creating new documents from part studios and linking models in different documents. The current limitation is temporary.

    Scott
    Scott Harris / Onshape, Inc.
  • MechaMecha Member Posts: 7
    Good to know its on the plate. I am in a lot of environments where the CAD serves as the source for the engineering record and having to create duplicates of the same part in different projects would be a show stopper.
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 1,297 PRO
    I agree, merging & splitting part studios and then making them available to other document/part studios seems necessary.

    Could you RMB on a feature in one part studio, onshape grabs that's features parent & child features, then you move to another document/part studio and paste the entire feature stack? This would be a cool cut-n-paste use pattern for sharing geometry?

    I suppose we would want both capabilities:
    -pass by value (a copy is made)
    -pass by reference (a pointer to the original is made)


  • scott_harrisscott_harris Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 60
    To start, to keep the system deterministic and stable we will work with the entire part studio as a unit since it generates a part or many parts via beginning to end evaluation. In the future, we can look at more extensive geometry sharing. That said... the flexibility of working with part studios for one or many parts, document creation and linking will be very powerful. For example, we are working on some schemes that allows models to remain completely stable, even when linked items are referenced.

    /Scott
    Scott Harris / Onshape, Inc.
  • MechaMecha Member Posts: 7
    Looking forward into doc control, it will be necessary to be able to freeze a released version. The question becomes, how will you handle future revision in an existing assembly? I can really go down the rabbit hole talking rev control, but ill save that for another thread.
  • scott_harrisscott_harris Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 60
    In general, since versions in our system are immutable, if you link to a version that link will remain stable. You may get a notification that a "new version" is available that you can optionally update to. The idea is to let you control any updates so you will never have an assembly blow-up because of a change in a document that you link to or change inadvertently.

    OK... jumping back out of the rabbit hole :)
    Scott Harris / Onshape, Inc.
  • Ben_Ben_ OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 276 PRO
    FYI You can translate to STEP too. However I am not sure if step is a child or parent file or related file to parasolids...
  • fastwayjimfastwayjim Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 219 PRO
    Ben said:
    FYI You can translate to STEP too. However I am not sure if step is a child or parent file or related file to parasolids...
    This brings up an interesting point! Step is just a "dumb" ascii text format, however it is an ISO standard. Translators are a dime a dozen, and every CAD system can import/export, some in multiple application protocols (OS uses AP203).

    As far as I know, it is exclusively a one-time deal. Exporting a native CAD file to step draws a hard line in the sand, since that new step file is in no way tied to the native file...

    WHAT IF OS COULD TIE THE STEP FILE TO THE LATEST OS VERSION? It would only really be feasible on the cloud, since you'd need to be running a step translator 24-7. It's still a one-way street, but it would always be up to date! You could then share the URL of the step file with suppliers, instead of having to ZIP, email, ftp, etc. That would be a real time saver.

  • caradoncaradon OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 300 PRO
    edited December 2014
    FastwayJim said:
    ...
    WHAT IF OS COULD TIE THE STEP FILE TO THE LATEST OS VERSION? It would only really be feasible on the cloud, since you'd need to be running a step translator 24-7. It's still a one-way street, but it would always be up to date! You could then share the URL of the step file with suppliers, instead of having to ZIP, email, ftp, etc. That would be a real time saver.

    That would indeed be EXTREMELY nice! Worth ticket of entry by itself.
    Permanently synced Parasolid export should be very doable. No?
    So, seconded!

    Dries
  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 304 ✭✭✭
    Surely a better solution is to have just the native file and let downstream users convert it to whatever format they require? Command share url would send email to users...when they click the link they get to web page where they can choose the format they want while seeing the OS preview file. if OS want revolutionise file sharing this is the way to do it.
  • caradoncaradon OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 300 PRO
    @KevinQuigley‌
    "OS preview": Like a simple model viewer (dedicated to viewing only, no CAD edit tools in the UI) with export options?
    Then that would be the ideal solution to share indeed.

    Dries
  • john_rousseaujohn_rousseau Member, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 246
    @DriesV‌ (et al.), so if you shared a link to a read-only document, the recipient could always just translate and download, right? The read-only view would not allow any changes to the document. I think we might be able to make that happen. :smile: 

    So here's the authorization question... Do you want the recipient to be able to copy the original (native) document for their own use or would you want to limit them to the STEP export? Assuming you will say "both!", what's the common use case? 
    John Rousseau / Director, Technical Operations / Onshape Inc.
  • caradoncaradon OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 300 PRO
    edited December 2014
    @DriesV‌ (et al.), so if you shared a link to a read-only document, the recipient could always just translate and download, right? The read-only view would not allow any changes to the document. I think we might be able to make that happen. :smile: 
    ...
    I think there are two types of recipients: 1) those who you collaborate with actively in CAD creation and 2) those who simply want snapshots (exports) of the data at different milestones.
    Like Kevin suggests, that latter group of users would be best served with a as simple as possible interface. Meaning: interface dedicated to model viewing, exporting (possibly versioning). That person isn't interested in getting overwhelmed with a 'CAD interface'.
    I really think those 2 user segments need different interfaces.
    ...
    So here's the authorization question... Do you want the recipient to be able to copy the original (native) document for their own use or would you want to limit them to the STEP export? Assuming you will say "both!", what's the common use case?
    It's a multi-CAD world, so I guess most people would be interested in just STEP/Parasolid exports.
    I'm wary of sending/sharing native CAD files, because of IP sensitive (meta)data that might fly under the radar during transaction.
    Again, different user types (see first comment) might want/require different sharing privileges. You might want to allow a 'full design collaborator' to make a full copy of the native data (or a specific branch...).
    I guess NDAs/contracts between both parties would dictate how and what is shared. Maybe you can attach an NDA (by lack of a better term...) form to an Onshape document? Based on that NDA, a sharing template and sharing privileges are determined.

    Dries
  • traveler_hauptmantraveler_hauptman Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 419 PRO
    I agree that there are a class of recipients that need the simplest interface possible. I'd like a URL link to a specific part (not studio), assembly, or document + version combo that opens a viewer with the option to save the formats you have authorized (including the original format, useful for non-onshape formats that are in your workspace). An optional password to the link and permissions for conversion would be great.

    Whether it's for security purposes or because you don't want to scare the non-technical; the option to lock down your data but still share what you need to to get work done is important.

    For technical types, they get an onshape account and the normal permissions (view, view+edit, etc) should serve fine (with tweaks).

    I think I'm just repeating what the other guys are saying.
  • fastwayjimfastwayjim Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 219 PRO
    Yep, agreed. There are two distinct recipients: partners and down-stream customers. You simply share the OS file with partners (NDA is your responsibility, not OS's), and customers get access to non-parameterized (but always current!) models (*.stp, *.iges, *.x_b/*.x_t).
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 1,861 PRO
    I'd also like to be able to do this with .dxf profiles too, I know this is a bit different to a 3d model, but these are the files I mostly share with my laser cutting suppliers. Nothing worse than making a changes after your have already sent an email with a profile and having to follow up with a new profile then getting supplied the old old one.
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • traveler_hauptmantraveler_hauptman Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 419 PRO
    babart77 said:
    I'd also like to be able to do this with .dxf profiles too, I know this is a bit different to a 3d model, but these are the files I mostly share with my laser cutting suppliers. Nothing worse than making a changes after your have already sent an email with a profile and having to follow up with a new profile then getting supplied the old old one.
    I'll second that. To be able to select a face (or multiple faces) and generate a link to a dxf of them would be awesome.
  • FieldsFields Member Posts: 5
    It's a year later. Has any of this been addressed? I have parts I would like to copy (and edit) from different projects.
    I don't trust a CAD system until I've broken it... repeatedly.
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,380 PRO
    @fields You can copy sketches and part studios with simple copy&paste method from doc to another. I'm sure we are also not too far away from referencing parts from another document so that no copies are created.
    //rami
  • stevehessstevehess Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 98
    @Fields  @3dcad ;
    I know it's not much help but....... stay tuned.  In future Onshape you will definitely be able to reuse (the same) parts across multiple designs (documents).
    Steve Hess \ Onshape Inc.
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