A SolidWorks Performance Story.

Cliff:
We use subassemblies a lot. Everything is broken into subassemblies as much as possible. We don't use any fasteners whatsoever. We don't even
call them in our BOM, all we do is let the assembly guys figure out what they need for fasteners based on the holes.
Corey:
I know the cropped views kill things, I try to avoid it but do need them about half the time. When you get smaller subs on a large scale drawing it's often the only way to show location, orientation etc.
Draft quality does help and we use it in larger drawings, at least when we remember. Seems you need to turn it off a lot to print and if it doesn't get turned back on that doesn't help.
Devlin
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I assume circular detail views wouldn't be adequate? They are alot less resource intensive.
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For a detail view we do use the circular details. Cropping comes in when you want to bump up the scale of a drawing to see sub components. For example if we have a few parts that are to be indicated on a vehicle you may show a view of the vehicle, set a scale that is appropriate and then crop it because the ends are hanging off the sheet.
How about broken views? We use those too. Maybe for a piping run that's long you'd break it. This doesn't seem to slow things down though but it does have it's own problems with center lines and other things.
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Forgive me, since of course I don't know the exact nature of your job and the cropped views but would it be a possibility to make a view on the sheet you are speaking of of the whole assembly and then using a detail view just move the parent view off of the sheet and scale the detail view to suit the sheet, and remove the detail view label. This should be conciderably faster than Cropped views.
Corey

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You can then hide the parent view, (I forgot to mention that)

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Yes, that would be a workaround for most cropped views. It's silly that we need to do things like that though .
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Yes, that would be a workaround for most cropped views. It's silly that we need to do things like that though .
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

We have found that flexible assemblies will bring SWX to it's knees... it just seems that it is too much for it to handle.
We use them occasionally just to test our design andf then turn them off when we're done. This has spead things up considerably compared to having them on.
Hope this helps
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I understand, Corey, and was just offering a different way of looking at what you said. It would be interesting to see some good comparison statistics; "good" means not the stuff that usually comes to the top from people that once saw someone use it and still think it takes $20k US to get there. (What this industry needs is an open source of info beside the [mostly] foot licking journalism, advertising-posing-as-review kind of trade rags that exist today. Guess there's no money in it.)
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'people who offer excuses and people who deliver'
like SW themselves... who are people who offer no explanations unless cornered and end up delivering twice,three times or way late. ;o) just stirring...
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I agree with Matt, lol, :-P
When I entered the SW world, (2003 office Pro), I admit, I slated SW, (even after), I had done the training. I still have problems with it, but with my VAR, (whose receptionist's know me well!, lol), I can find out if the problem is me or the software.
It is at around 8 to 2, my fault to sw's fault at the moment, with SW2005.
Take a look at matt's and other people's websites, I have learnt a whole lot from these websites and the posting's here. If you see a link, grab it and add it to your favourites, you never know when it will come in handy!
Yes I agree, Sw is still too slow, to do very large assemblies, (500 plus parts), but I think this is because of all of the junk stored in each file, running ecosqeeze, drastically reduces the work time and the rebuild times. If you do not use Edrawings, turn off that save in document feature, this helps a lot too.

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In response to Matt I would like to say yes to all your questions about networks, references, and sub-assemblies. We tried it all. The only thing taking out refernces did was stop the annoying errors. Before that I had errors up the wazzooo and crappy performance. Now I just have crappy performance. No errors though. The use of Sub-Assemblies definitelty helps on the modeling side, but the 2D in SolidWorks is still the #1 killer of the software. If we were a paperless shop we probably wouldn't have as much of a problem with it. I also don't claim to be a Solidworks expert like yourself, but other than plastic injection molded plastic parts, have you designed anything over a 5 part assembly? Our assemblies are close to 1,000 parts. In reference to our 2D package we used all wireframe for our 3d visualization of the parts and PowerShape for our 3d surfacing for CAM. A typical design along with included surfacing for CAM generally took 2 weeks with Autocad and PowerShape. With SolidWorks, around 5 Weeks (give or take a couple days). matt wrote:

diagnose
you
well
find.
really
the
installing
or
"highly
mold
length
your
a
standard
like
because
not
to
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Your large assemblies are definitely the problem, I didn't realize you were running surch large assemblies. The theme I've noticed on this NG is that those who make individual parts and small assys think SWX is great, those that make large assemblies know otherwise.
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If people hate it so much (solidworks), take it away from them and give them a drafting table and a pencil. I bet there'll be a lot of whinning to get it (solidworks) back :-) My point is that although it's not perfect (nothing is) It's certainly better than the old way.
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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But is it better or worse than other tools of the same class (Inventor, SE, UG, Pro/E). A Drafting table isn't exactly an "orange to orange" comparison :)
Ken
wrote:

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It has improved a lot if that's any consolation, but you're right, the 2D is the weakest link by far. When I had that problem, I used separate drawing files instead of a multiple sheet single drawing. That will help quite a bit. I used to be CAD admin at an photonics company and did a lot of wiring enclosures which had up to 500 parts.

Have you ever designed a part with more than 5 features?
These days I do work mainly on small plastics assemblies (under 50 parts, but very often over 200 features per part) when I'm doing real design work, but when I have gone to help other users with the issues you are bringing up, I have worked with machine and die design. Very large assemblies (I've seen up to about 15k parts where the assembly was actually usable) are certainly doable, but you have to be disciplined and know what you're doing. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. Believe me, I learn new stuff every project because I make mistakes and try to understand what went wrong and how to improve next time.
In my last project, I had to make a dolly to fit a bucket with a bit of a gap in some areas and face to face contact in others. Immediately I thought of the 2005 Indent function, but it didn't work because of some funky geometry in the part. I thought my only recourse was to offset surfaces in context and then extend/trim them to simplify the model, and rebuild face by face using surface features. It was absolutely terrible. Every little change to the bucket meant I was going back through and rebuilding the dolly. Very frustrating. After a while I thought of a different way (rollback, offset, insert part) and now it is rock solid through all the changes. Different type of design, same issue as what you are dealing with.

Well, then it's simple. If this is really the case, your boss should be pleading with you to go back to Autocad. Or on the other hand he might just turn around and hire somebody who can get the benefits out of the more advanced tool, deal with the limitations, and get it done in a week.
matt
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Matt:
You earlier stated the offer and followed with this statement.
"Well, then it's simple. If this is really the case, your boss should be pleading with you to go back to Autocad. Or on the other hand he might just turn around and hire somebody who can get the benefits out of the more advanced tool, deal with the limitations, and get it done in a week."
Matt:
I'll gladly send you some files and see if you can get it done in a week. I'll even send you a reference assembly with the 2D sheets the way we like them. Just remember Matt that designing a progressive die is going to be a little bit more difficult than designing a Top Hat. http://mysite.verizon.net/mjlombard /. When you get it done in a week with all the sheets needed I'll gladly buy your new book: Matt Lombard Saves Solidworks.
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Very funny :)
Best of luck in Autocad.
Matt
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Matt:
You earlier stated the offer and followed with this statement.
"Well, then it's simple. If this is really the case, your boss should be pleading with you to go back to Autocad. Or on the other hand he might just turn around and hire somebody who can get the benefits out of the more advanced tool, deal with the limitations, and get it done in a week."
Matt:
I'll gladly send you some files and see if you can get it done in a week. I'll even send you a reference assembly with the 2D sheets the way we like them. Just remember Matt that designing a progressive die is going to be a little bit more difficult than designing a Top Hat. http://mysite.verizon.net/mjlombard /. When you get it done in a week with all the sheets needed I'll gladly buy your new book: Matt Lombard Saves Solidworks.
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Well written Matt, I can only add, is that I have 6 years in SW and 0 experience with AutoCAD. One day, a few years ago, a co-worker of mine was away and called me at work to open an AutoCAD file of his on his computer and print it out for another co-worker. I opened Mechanical Desktop (MD) and then open the file. Then I just went by myself to print it and it was so bizarre - I couldn't figure out how to do it. So my co-worker walked me through it step by step. Now talk about a confusing unproductive program! As soon as I hung up with him, a fellow SW co-worker and I tried to make the simplest thing in MD and it was so weird. We never were able to make anything and I could not believe the complexity just to rotate a part or measure something.
When the MD person got back to work, I asked him to make some 3D models in MD so I could see what it took. Boy, if someone thinks MD is an improvement over SW, I feel sorry for him.
That's my 2 cents....
Dan Bovinich www.SWcad.com
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