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add additional constraint/alignment tools to assemblies

david_lang457david_lang457 Member Posts: 8
I have been drafting the Maslow CNC machine, which is largely constructed from 2x4s. I create the geometry of the machine in a parts studio, with boards going at all different angles.

I then want to create a 'cut list' assembly where I grab all the different parts and lay them out end-to-end. As the parts are inserted int an assembly, they show up at all sorts of angles (based on the parts studio), I then need to try and get them all into the same plane and direction so I can then position them.

Currently I have to resort to setting the planes of the shapes tangetial to each other for every part and they will eventually all end up in the same plane and direction. But doing so sometimes take parts that are flat and moves them to the plane of the angled part.

It would be very handy to be able to specify that a surface of a part is aligned with one of the 3 planes (front/top/right), even better if I can click on an edge and specify that it is aligned with one of the XYZ axis.

I can understand not wanting this to be a permanent constraint (wanting the parts to move based on the mates), but even if it's only a way to move the parts for now, not something that sticks around in the constraints list long term, it would significantly speed up organizing things.

I also note that it is a lot more work to set edges/surfaces tangent to each other in an assembly tab than in the parts studio. In the parts studio you set the constraint and then click part1, then part2 and the constraint takes effect (you can then continue and click two more parts and the constraint takes effect there as well). In an assembly, you need to click the constraint, then the first part, then change which part of the constraint you are working on and then click the second part (and then click the constraint type again to continue). Especially in cases where I'm having to zoom/rotate/pan around to select the particular surface/edge I find that about half the time I select one part, go to the effort of finding and selecting the second part, only to realize that I just undid my selection of the first part and I now need to go back and select the first part again (after I change which part of the mate I am selecting)


  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers, Configurations EVP, Standard content EVP Posts: 994 PRO
    As an easier work around for now how about a slider mate set on any of the edges of each 2x4 part?  That would put them all in the same orientation.  All that would be left is to drag them about until they're next to each other.  You could even drag them through each other to change the cutting order.

    Does that make sense, if not I'll draw something?

    Owen S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • david_lang457david_lang457 Member Posts: 8
    I was using tangent mates, but the hassle is that you have to do a large series of relationships to get everything related to everything, and you still may not be square to any axis (when you make a relationship, you have no way of controlling which part moves that I can tell)
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers, Configurations EVP, Standard content EVP Posts: 994 PRO
    Hi @david_lang457

    Right click and set "fix" for your first part then its a couple of clicks to add each additional part (assuming they're all mad from 2x4).

    example:- https://cad.onshape.com/documents/0bd9ab0e31284aedadfaf878/w/f4c1fd98d9478382a1ef61e5/e/a7ad2843900e3250ef903053

    Not sure if that's what you're looking for.

    Owen S.

    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • lougallolougallo Member, Administrator, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers, Configurations EVP, Standard content EVP, Graebert Ares Kudo EVP Posts: 1,269
    @david_lang457 Are you really after doing weldments here and being able to pull a cut list?
    Lou Gallo / PD/UX - Support - Community / Onshape, Inc.
  • david_lang457david_lang457 Member Posts: 8
    I haven't looked at weldments, so I don't know if they are appropriate

    An example of what I've done manually is at
    pulling in multiple copies of parts defined in another tab.
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