Multiple Sheet Drawings vs. Single Sheet Drawings

I'm planning on switching to SolidWorks soon, and I'm putting some thought
into how I'll set up my drawings.
In my current system, all drawings are together in one file (Mechanical
Desktop). This was by default--it's the way it works in MDT.
I think that the easiest thing to do in SW would be to use multiple sheet
drawings, simply because it keeps all drawings in one neat package, and
printing/page numbering is effortless.
I do however realize the benefits of single sheet drawing files (each part
gets its own drawing file)... file size, performance, no corruption issues,
and a better tie in to PDM/ERP programs. There's probably others. But, how
then do you manage something as simple as page numbering? Or printing...
how do you print a drawing set in the correct page order?
My drawings usually range from three to sixty pages, with twenty being about
average. Some have been as large as one hundred pages. Typically they're
one part per page.
So, I'm hoping that some (many) of you will have some input into this...
experience with this sort of thing & how you handle it. If I could simplify
page numbering & printing, I think I'd be good to go with the single sheets.
Thanks in advance for your help....
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Split them up. The file size in SW would be ridiculously big and horrible to work with. Chances are your computer would probably lock up well before you got to 60 sheets anyway.
Just my $0.02, Ken
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Also, with just a little poking around, you can find free macros to do batch plotting for you. Or get SW Pro and use the task scheduler. IIRC, that can do batch plotting jobs.
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Dale Dunn
I've seen some of those... a step in the right direction, but still, how do you print in order? I'd guess you would have to name the files in a way that would sort of make that happen. And what about page numbering?
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I've thought about that, but I don't have any experience. My drawings are usually in one file. But I have wondered in the past what I would do if each of my details needed to be in a separate file. I think I would reserve sheet numbering for the posibility of an individual detail needing multiple sheets. Each individual detail would have a unique drawing number referenced by the separate assembly drawing.
I sort of like the idea, because it gives you a catalog with a lot of flexibility. Such a numbering system could handle a wide variety of different types of designs. We don't have this, so we have to invent workarounds whenever something unusual comes along. On the other hand, all these different drawing numbers could have unpleasant ramifications in the shop.
I could only recommend setting up a meeting with all the people who have to deal with drawings in you company, and think through all the options to see which would work best.
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Dale Dunn
I certainly believe in the one part (number) - one drawing philosophy. It is just the most flexible and most future proof...period. (not to mention performance savy)
One thing I have seen done is create a custom batch file for each drawing. That batch file prints the drawing, then calls the batch file for each component of that drawing. Thus, everything gets printed in a recursive manner. This usually works best with simple files like *.pdf or *.prn or *.hp2 or *.ps.
As for the numbering, that is dictated by the part numbers themselves and can thus be quite random. As long as you know your top level assy # AND have good, accurate BOMS, you should have not trouble finding the print you need.
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