: Thank you all for your insight thoughts and help.
: I hope that there is a way in WF2 that would allow me to pick up
: features and dimensions create in part mode like Solidworks does.
I see, you were hoping that Pro/e was just the grown up version of SW and that
wouldn't actually have to learn a new program. Sorry to disappoint. It's been
around a bit longer than SW which hasn't even been taken seriously for mechanical
design until the last 3-4 years. So, we have separate evolutions going on where
Pro/e provided the standard in advanced functionality and SW has been giving
basics at a drastically reduced price while playing
catchup on the advanced stuff. Moreover, PE has been well established, for over
half of its 20 year
history, on the Unix platform, coming to Windows only after NT got established,
about the time that SW got its start. Now, with respect to developing a GUI
interface and making modelling functionality more user friendly, PE is making a
good effort but is the one playing catchup. None of this history should lead
anyone to expect that PE and SW would work the same. Rather than comparing based
on certain prejudices, the best thing to do will be to get to know how PE works,
how a very complicated functionality like family tables works, before trying to
make comparisons or recommendations.
One reason for saying this is that you are somewhat confused about how PE works.
In your post of 10/20/04, you said the following:
"I assemble these 4 parts together using the generic, then create an
assembly family table for each of the above components."
Well, no John, you don't. The generic, once you have a family table of part
instances, is invisible. You assemble instances, already named in the table.
instance names are effectively file names and may be treated as such by
or another PE compatible PDM/PLM system. Also, while your assembly is composed
family table instances, it is, itself, not part of a family of assemblies. That
happens only when you go to 'Tools>Family Table' and create a table of your
assembly where certain parts vary. They can vary by being there or not (suppress
component or not ~ yes/no parameter). Or, if you use 'Edit>Replace>By table' to
pick another instance of the same component from the table, this will be
in the table as a new instance name. In fact, in your assembly table, your next
assembly instance can have all new parts. It requires onlyh that you go into the
assembly and do an 'Edit>Replace' on a selected component and replace the
component with another instance from the table. You don't mess around changing
sizes in the assembly; you change assembly components, swapping out one for its
leaner cousin, a couple cm. smaller and thinner.
There's a lot to it. It can get quite complex, but, as I said before: learn how
works before you start comparing.
: I think this will save users a lot of time and typo. Effectively, if my
: assembly has more than 30 options (each component has an average of
: 5~6 instances). It would be a real pain to manually type each
: component instance name, click "yes" or "no" at each cell. Don't you
: think? Is there at least an easy way to avoid typing all the
: components instance name?
Yes, you can avoid typing instance names when creating a family of parts by using
the Pro/e 'patternize' function. With the generic part open, go to 'Tools>Family
table>Edit', pick a dimension, parameter, etc. to vary and add it to the list of
variable elements, set the number of times to repeat and the increment value.
you press 'ok', it creates, for you, as many instances as you indicated, giving
them all an icremented instance name: no typing necessary. In fact, there's very
little typing at all in PE. Just as in SW, you pick a dimension to add it to a
table; if you select parameters to vary or patternize, PE gives you a list of
parameters available so you can pick from a list (again, no typing).
However, you've said some things, supposedly bragging about how much easier SW
than PE, but they don't stike me that way. I took a course in SW, recently, did
some configuration stuff, enough to roughly compare with PE and wound up with
impression you created, talking about your 30 easy configurations. Well, the
impression was more some questions. Like, don't you have to spend a good bit of
time naming these 30 configurations, trying to keep them straight, trying to
distinguish one from the other? In the Configuration Manager, you type in these
names, don't you? And, because no name is really sufficient to distinguish, you
spend some time filling in discriptions? Doesn't seem you're getting away from
typing. But the main thing I wondered and never got settled (maybe it was the
junky book we used, not much good training material on SW, even SWC doesn't
provide any) was this: how do you convey this information to production? How
the program keep track of how each part/component is varied? How do you know if
you're repeating yourself, i.e, does this configuration already exist? Does this
configuration business result in families of parts? Can you get documentation of
this series of parts (and what varies) by easily producing a series of drawings
based on this part family (again, something that production absolutely needs)?
you order any of the parts in your assembly configurations without part
numbers/descriptions/vendor information/etc and, if not, how do you get away
without typing it into parameter fields? Well, they did it without significant
typing, at one place I worked, by harvesting the numbers and making tables from
the data of an MRP system. This was how they went from 2D to 3D and got into PE
family tables with thousands of instances in dozens of tables and fifty fields
table and almost NO TYPING!!! Is that how SW works, does it encourage this kind
design automation or does it simply give you the illusion of doing stuff
quicker.... manually!?! Really, learn how PE works and then try to compare.