Forgive me if this is asking something obvious but is it possible to see if all parts within an assembly are fully mated?
With an assembly of say 30 parts (which isn't really many), I sometimes come across a part that's not mated when I had expected it to be. This especially occurs if there has been some changes and part substitutions along the way.
Short of working through the model selecting and trying to drag parts out, what other method exists?
Look at the feature tree ahead of the name of the part, if there is (f) the part is fixed, If there is a (-) the part is not fully constrained(mated), (+) over constained, nothing ( ) the part is fully constained(mated)
One thing you can say about SW is that it is pretty good about giving feedback to the user.
Besides the convention just mentioned there are some other things to look for. --> means an in context reference. -->? means an out of context reference. -->* means a locked reference. -->x means a broken reference. In addition you want to peruse the mate tree for InPlace mates. These are associated with the above symbols most of the time and will remain even if the external references are removed. They serve to fix one part to the other temporarily while creating in context features. I prefer to use the in context method to locate features and then remove them and the In-Place mate and replace it with normal mates. Just a little more robust in the long run IMHO.
The feature tree contains a wealth of information if you know how to read it's language.
One technique I like is to FIX the first component in the assembly, and mate all others to that. But you HAVE to choose that first component well - it must be one that ain't gonna change, hopefully at the center of the assembly so you can take advatage of its planes if there is symmetry, etc, etc - the bottom line is it isn't always applicable, but it is an opportunity to look for
The advantage is that at any time you can FLOAT that component and move it around and see if all the other components move appropriatly with it. The under-constrained components will fall like a trail of bread crumbs. You cannot do this every time, but when the function of your product allows it, take advatantage of it.
(sidebar - this technique also has a parallel with sketches. I fix a point, fully define the sketch, unfix the point, then make that point coincident with the external thing that makes functional sense - ONLY when the entire process makes sense. Even the lowest grade firebrand can come up with an acception to this approach, and that is why you, as a smart person, only use it in those cases where it serves your design)
The minus-signs next to component names, mentioned by others, is another good tip, but it only goes so far - it is common practice NOT to rotationally constrain screws (they are concentric to the screw boss and coincident to the meat they meet with at the screw head, so why keep them from spinnning just to get a plus next to them?) Same goes with shafts in many situations. Hope this helps in your situation, Ed
I used to reorder the assembly feature tree so that my part numbers would be in nice sequential order. That turned out to be a mistake for the reasons you mentioned. Unfortunately the ability to easily read the BOM and the feature tree had to take a back seat to getting SW to work efficiently. And it is interesting that feature tree order can have a big effect on performance. Much more so than you would have ever thought.