Apr 8, 2015 -- Assembly drawings are integral for manufacturing units, and requires a healthy amount of time for developing a 3D model with all the required mating features. Modern CAD tools are however far more powerful today, helping designers to quickly develop complex geometries using an array of useful tools.
For a designer dealing with large assembles, it is important to plan the design process ahead of actual modeling. Factors such as memory consumption and possible mating errors caused due to excessive part features are to be considered prior to the initialization of design process to avoid mismanagement and time consumption.
This article highlights some of the important points and software tools that can be utilized as time savers while dealing with large product assemblies.
1. Design With Intent
Developing a well-planned design strategy helps in reducing the time considerably. It is important to break the design into smaller number of sub-assemblies nested properly under each top level component. This strategy helps in reducing the load on CPU and also brings down the time required to develop complex assembly models.
2. Use Simplified Parts And Views
Simplifying parts means removing unnecessary details such as chambers and fillets that consume extra time in rebuilding the model. When dealing with large assemblies, it is important to utilize simplified parts in the assembly process. Figure out parts that do not require special details and eliminate fillets and other cosmetic features to speed up the design process.
Moreover, it is also wise to utilize simple views that do not contain special features such as real view graphics, shadows, shades and perspective modes, as they add to the CPU power. Until final rendering, keep view options simple to reduce design time.
3. Keep Sub-Assemblies Rigid
One of the most time consuming process that can be expected in modeling a large assembly is in evaluating number of mates. It is always good to assign sub-assemblies as rigid mates rather than flexible, to reduce the number of mates requiring evaluation. Once finalized, the flexible mates can be assigned individually. This significantly reduces the design time and also smoothen the design process.
4. Fix Mating Errors
Mating errors should be fixed immediately before going for developing other sub-assemblies. This avoids the software from consuming less memory every time a rebuild is executed. Fixing the errors also avoids last moment changes and improves the design time.
5. Utilize Large Assembly Feature
CAD software such as Solidworks provides the large assembly feature which when activated automatically hides curves, sketches and axes. It also turns off auto save feature, hides edges in shaded mode and removes transparency options which otherwise can consume considerable amount of CPU power. It also provides the option of not rebuilding the model when switching back to the assembly window.
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About Author: Nikunj Patel is a design engineer working with Hi-Tech CADD Services for the past 4 years. He loves designing specialized industrial equipments and can always be found in the lab discussing, brainstorming & tweaking designs. He has also worked on architectural projects taking interest in every aspect of design & analysis.