Brian, IMHO (in my humble opinion), it is not nearly as practical in
SolidWorks to try representing multiple parts in a multiple sheet
drawing as it is to represent one part per drawing . . . with some
exceptions. I'll talk about the exceptions last.
I believe you WILL notice a substantial performance hit to a drawing
that has 6 or more sheets, and much, much more so for 30 sheets or
more. In addition, if you have a problem with ONE part, it will affect
the entire drawing . . . slowing down the rebuild for every sheet. And
I can't even imagine how you would deal with revisions in your system.
Regarding the "benefits" that you see to storing many project parts in
one drawing file:
- I'm not sure whether what you're saying is that you're aware that one
can easily set drawing templates up to automatically increment the sheet
number and give the total number of sheets in the drawing (and
automatically update all sheets as well if you add a sheet). But
whether you do it as your company is wont or not, that capability is no
especial benefit reserved to one way or the other.
- Project related custom properties can be stored in a drawing or in the
part itself, and there are advantages and disadvantages to doing it
either way -- again, not particularly specific to your way of keeping
numerous parts in one drawing or otherwise. You are maybe not aware of
how easy it is to change custom properties and to customize Part files
and Drawing templates. There are numerous ways, from free macros to
not-so-free add-ins to simply cutting and pasting from an already
prepared spreadsheet into a design table in the part file to including
custom properties in the Part or Drawing templates that you use. Once
you understand it, it's falling-off-a-log easy. Getting to understand
it well might take more than a day or two. Figuring what's best for
your way of doing things requires understanding it well.
- Printing is pretty simple anyway, and can be facilitated by batch
print macros or VB routines which are common and mostly free. Not
always free of glitches, but free anyway. What is more important than
whether your parts are all in one drawing is whether your printer and
printer drivers are friendly and relatively bug/glitch-free.
I use multiple sheet drawings all the time . . . but typically to
describe either sheet metal parts (I show the flat pattern on the 2nd
sheet) or parts with multiple configurations (dash-numbered parts) or
mirror-image parts, or assemblies with multiple configurations. There's
no reason NOT to use multiple sheet drawings, but as I said in my 2nd
paragraph you WILL run into some substantial drawbacks of using huge
numbers of sheets in one drawing.
Hope that helps,
Mark 'Sporky' Stapleton
WaterMark Design, LLC