RANT: Is SolidWorks 2006 Ready for the Big Time, Part II

It started with a moderate sized assembly and the need for a drawing with multiple alternate position views. The first assembly didn't start
off very well and that was documented elsewhere. I had to do a second that was similar to the first. At first this attempt went very well. Built the layout sketch in the assembly, guide the parts to their alternate positions in three predefined alternate configs, use envelopes to hide all that wasn't needed in the same. Pretty slick. Save, save, save, because of a CTDT that appears when saving after activating the parent configuration. Learned about bifurcated assembly mates and how they need careful attention to the order in which configs are activated. So far so good. Open the drawing and the problems start. First, the drawing had a different idea about the order in which the configs should be activated causing the bifurcation problem to surface. Fixed that in the assembly and it appeared to then hold for the drawing. Added a crop to the view because broken views don't work so well with alternate position. Whew, crop worked. Oops, one of the parts wasn't showing up in phantom lines like it should. Fixed that. Fine tuned the distance mate that controlled the alternate positions, filled in the title block and ready for the printer. Save first of course. Set printing parameters, high quality, check, convert draft to high quality, check, line weights set, check, headers and footers, check, pick the printer and hit OK. Walk over to the printer. Looks good from a distance. Pick it up and what the....... The phantom line alternate position views were gone. OK, try the trick of setting the image quality line setting to near high. Nope, that didn't fix it. Maybe a PDF will work, nope, tiff, nope, jpeg, nope, nothing I tried would get the masterpiece I spent all afternoon on to print. I suppose I should try an eDrawing too but it was time to go home and you don't want to be late for mama. And there is always screen capture to try tomorrow..
Problems uncovered:
1. Bifurcating solutions to mates which cause the results of an assembly to become unpredictable. 2. CTDT in an assembly if it is saved right after changing a configuration. The workaround is to wait a bit before saving. 3. Alternate position views that don't print. 4. Drawings that don't reflect the current assembly even when it is loaded in memory prior to loading the drawing. 5. The drawing actually changing the assembly under the same conditions as 4. 6. The drawing not reflecting changes made to the assembly while both are open. Even CTRL-Q wouldn't fix that. 7. Broken views and alternate position don't get along very well.
Problems 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 I was able to get around with a loss of time. But 3 is a show stopper and 7 makes the drawing not quite right because it should be a broken view, not cropped.
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I have had similar problems in 2005 from time to time, these may or may not be relevant.
1/ In the Drawing Options / Document Properties set image quality for both Shaded and Wireframe to high.
2/ In the offending Assembly. VIEW / DISPLAY / DRAFT QUALITY HLR HLV <--- Toggle one way or the other. Problem seems to be associated with interfering bodies in the assembly.
John Layne www.solidengineering.co.nz
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#2 is a good point. Since the problem was with the alternate positions views that were selected with an envelope I wonder if that was it. It is obviously interferening. I already mentioned that number one was checked.
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TOP wrote:

#1 is referring to setting image quality settings to maximum not the "draft / high" quality of the drawing view.
John Layne www.solidengineering.co.nz
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I understand that. See "OK, try the trick of setting the image quality line setting to near high." I should have said wireframe instead of line setting.
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And that was in 2004. Importing to 2006 the following happens:
1. When the assembly was opened everything behaved as before. 2. Opening the drawing after the assembly was opened caused the mates in the intermediate positions to flip. 3. SW marked the assembly as having a potential loss of changes even though it was the drawing being opened that made the changes. 4. When changing configurations it was frequently necessary to manually rebuild because SW was not updating the assembly correctly. 5. After hiding the envelopes and upon switching back to the drawing SW exited or crashed. 6. Reopened assembly, walked through the configs and all OK. Hide the envelopes again and before opening drawing saved the assembly to disk. 7. Reopen the drawing. It now displays correctly and does not affect the assembly. Apparently saving to disk completes or updates the assembly information in such a way as to make it easier for the drawing to understand it correctly. 8. Hiding the envelopes fixes the problem with printing. So apparently when calculating the display drawings looks at the envelopes even though envelopes are not supposed to show up in drawings. This is a bug, apparently undetected and of long standing.
Once again, this is stuff that probably wasn't covered by user beta testers because the majority of people just don't get into alternate position views with parts hidden by envelopes.
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Addendum:
One more major glitch. The envelopes are not shown with phantom lines and it doesn't seem possible to change them so. Envelopes in drawings cannot be put on separate layers and they don't seem to be selectable.
So I am still dead in the water for getting out this drawing.
Going back to 2004 and hiding envelopes doesn't seem to work so at least one thing was fixed in 2006 although the spelling of envelope has an "e" on the end and is not as spelled in the properties dialog box.
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