Using Solidworks 2003 and developing drawing standards

Hello, We are in the process of implementing Solidworks and developing standards for our engineering group. We are doing allot of family part drawings with design tables and trying to figure out how to keep track of say a rectangular tube cut to various lengths using design tables where another engineer would not duplicate the drawing. We would like to start a set of drawing standards which include drawing structure and naming (nomenclature). Is anyone willing to share their standards with us that we may modify or build upon. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Just a thought regarding drawing structure and nomenclature:

NEVER USE INTELLIGENT PART NUMBERS!!! Part numbers are just a unique identifier for a part, no more. They should just be some number. Start with 1 (or something like 10000000) and assign all part numbers sequentially. Part numbers should in no way describe the part or how it is used. This allows for flexibility down the road when the part's description or use, or how it is made changes.

I also suggest keeping the drawing #s the same as your part #s.

For tabulated drawings, what we do is make the tabulated drawing using a design table that lists the part according to part number. Then, we make a "pointer drawing" for each part number that only states 'See drawing XXXXXXXX' for details.

Thus, say we have a model named 123 that contains configurations (using a design table) for part numbers 456 & 789. We make a drawing named 123 that shows the model and design table to completely document all configurations (456 & 789) on that single drawing. We also make drawings for 456 & 789, but the only thing on these drawings is a note saying 'SEE DRAWING 123 FOR DETAILS.'

This is the way we do things, and think it works pretty well. You could also use a dash (XXX-YYY) number system to designate configuration YYY of part XXX, but I would advise against this. What happens if (for whatever reason) you decide to remove 123-456 from the design table and create a separate model for it?

Like Wayne mentioned, Lee has a nice tutorial on tabulated drawings and design table to help you out as well.

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I've been down the intelligent part number road. I have to agree with Arlin. Do not use them. No matter how good they look now, you'll wish you never seen them at some point in the future.

Where can Lee's tutorial be found?

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Alan Krem, Krem Speed Equipment

Thank you for the help, I downloaded the file on it. I'll research it and see what happens. Trying to get the drafting standards started however is our biggest hurdle currently. Part of it has to do with the actually description of parts. As far as part numbers our drawing numbers they are just 7 digit numbers with each tabulated part having a dash 01, 02, ect.

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You reminded me of a company I used to work for that had an intelligent part number system. They bought another company one day that did not have an intelligent part number system.

You can imagine when they tried to merge the two part number systems, what a headache that was.

It would have been so much easier to re-assign new unintelligent part numbers in one shot, rather than go through each and every part and try to fit it into an intelligent numbering scheme.

Mike Wilson

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Mike J. Wilson

Try this...

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Bruce A.

"Alan Krem, Krem Speed Equipment" wrote:

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Bruce Anderson

I definitely agree that for normal parts, do not use intelligent part numbers. Sequential numbers are much easier in the end.

However, Standard Parts, such as Nuts, bolts, tubes, pipes, extruded sections and anything else that is regarded as a Standard Part and possibly created using a Design Table, should put in the Feature Palette, That being so, it becomes a lot more logical to use intelligent part numbers based on Shape/Size/Length/Material etc. This would help your production department when two parts are called up with only the length being different, as it would be readily recognised as being the same form material.

A macro can also be created to added new configurations and generate a new number automatically based on the form. I did this at my last job and it enabled other users to add a new length and Part Number at the click of a button.

The other advantage with intelligent part numbers for Standard Parts, is that similar/related parts would be stocked adjacent to each other. Also when searching for parts in your CAD system or Feature Palette, all similar/related parts would be adjacent to each other.

-- Tony O'Hara Melbourne, Australia.

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Tony O'Hara

There is a book "Engineering Documentation Control Handbook" by Frank B. Watts. I referenced it when setting up the part numbering system in my department and also used it when we set up our drafting standards. There is an ANSI standard (14.1 maybe?) which helps for setting up borders and such. These two references should help.


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