SolidWorks 2008: Configurations

August 7, 2007 16 Comments »
SolidWorks 2008:  Configurations

Enhancements to Configurations don’t often get much press when it comes to new releases, so I thought I would highlight two new features of SolidWorks 2008 in the area of Configuration functionality.  I’ll include a brief description of both, but as they say, seeing is believing, so I have included a link to a video demonstration at the end of the article showing the new features.

Config1Modify Configurations is a handy new feature in part files that allows you to quickly modify dimensions of sketches and features along with suppression status across multiple configurations all at once. It also lets you create new configurations “on the fly”.  The interface is in the form of a pop-up table that can be called up in part files by right clicking on a feature or dimension.  This is handy for adding configurations and differences in parameters without having to create a Design Table.  Modify Configurations can also be utilized in assemblies to control suppress status, part configurations, and dimensions of assembly features/mates.  Active configurations in parts and assemblies can be changed within this table as well.

Config2Config3_2The second of the above mentioned major enhancements is the introduction of the Create PropertyManager feature which is available in part documents.  If you have parts with more than one configuration, you can use this function to create a “menu” of sorts that will appear when that part is inserted into an assembly.  This is very similar to the behavior you see when you insert Toolbox parts. You can use multiple model parameters to select the configuration rather than having to remember configuration names.

Config4There are also a few other additions to configurations.  The configuration selector in the Modify dialog now has a new look.  The Design Table feature now appears in the ConfigurationManager.  Last, but certainly not least, Hole Wizard Holes can now be configured! (FINALLY!)

Click HERE to see and video demonstration of some of the features outlined above.

Stay tuned…..more to come!

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  • http://vea-design.com Tim Ganstrom

    These config enhancements could be my fav thing about SW2008. It will likely go largly unsung, but config management is a major issue, especially in large assembly situations, or library part situations. Thanks for shedding some light on this one Ricky. -Tim (Seattle)

  • http://www.solidsmack.com Josh

    Hey Ricky, great post. just wondering what your personal opinion was on these enhancements. I thought the Modify Configurations was a little hard to work in when there were large tables. I do like how they made display states separate from configurations.

  • http://vea-design.com Tim Ganstrom

    These config enhancements could be my fav thing about SW2008. It will likely go largly unsung, but config management is a major issue, especially in large assembly situations, or library part situations. Thanks for shedding some light on this one Ricky. -Tim (Seattle)

  • http://www.solidsmack.com Josh

    Hey Ricky, great post. just wondering what your personal opinion was on these enhancements. I thought the Modify Configurations was a little hard to work in when there were large tables. I do like how they made display states separate from configurations.

  • http://www.rickyjordan.com Ricky Jordan

    Josh,

    Here is what I like about the Modify Configurations:

    You can really add configurations quickly without having to create a Design Table. It also allows you to quickly view parameter(s) across multiple configurations. (In the Modify dialog box, selecting “Specified Configuration” actually sends you directly to the Modify Configurations table.)

    Here are the things I don't like so much. The size of the window for the table always comes up the same size. I would like it to either remember a size (per document) or adjust automatically as I add more configurations or parameters. The tab button on the keyboard could work a little better. When you get to the end of a row you have to click on the next row to start again.

    Overall, it is a step in the right direction. It is a little bit redundant, but to me the biggest advantage is the speed factor in adding the data.

    Also, thanks for mentioning the Display States thing. That probably should have been in the article as well. I REALLY like how they are not configuration dependent now!

    Best Regards,

    Ricky Jordan

  • http://www.rickyjordan.com Ricky Jordan

    Josh,

    Here is what I like about the Modify Configurations:

    You can really add configurations quickly without having to create a Design Table. It also allows you to quickly view parameter(s) across multiple configurations. (In the Modify dialog box, selecting “Specified Configuration” actually sends you directly to the Modify Configurations table.)

    Here are the things I don’t like so much. The size of the window for the table always comes up the same size. I would like it to either remember a size (per document) or adjust automatically as I add more configurations or parameters. The tab button on the keyboard could work a little better. When you get to the end of a row you have to click on the next row to start again.

    Overall, it is a step in the right direction. It is a little bit redundant, but to me the biggest advantage is the speed factor in adding the data.

    Also, thanks for mentioning the Display States thing. That probably should have been in the article as well. I REALLY like how they are not configuration dependent now!

    Best Regards,

    Ricky Jordan

  • Gary Hall

    Ricky,

    Excellent post on the new Configurator. That is really going to be a nice feature.

    Gary

  • Gary Hall

    Ricky,

    Excellent post on the new Configurator. That is really going to be a nice feature.

    Gary

  • benny

    nice looks like a bad imitation IPARTS in autodesk inventor
    what a pity

  • benny

    nice looks like a bad imitation IPARTS in autodesk inventor
    what a pity

  • http://www.rickyjordan.com Ricky Jordan

    LOL! I don't know very much about Inventor but the things I have heard about iParts seem to indicate to me that there are some differences between it and Configurations in SolidWorks. I'm sure you can compare them in some ways, but keep in mind that Configurations in SolidWorks are created within a single part file.

    The thing to remember about the Modify Configurations feature I showed is that it is simply one of FOUR ways to create configurations in SolidWorks. Perhaps someone who knows both packages can verify the differences.

    Best Regards,

    Ricky Jordan

  • http://www.rickyjordan.com Ricky Jordan

    LOL! I don’t know very much about Inventor but the things I have heard about iParts seem to indicate to me that there are some differences between it and Configurations in SolidWorks. I’m sure you can compare them in some ways, but keep in mind that Configurations in SolidWorks are created within a single part file.

    The thing to remember about the Modify Configurations feature I showed is that it is simply one of FOUR ways to create configurations in SolidWorks. Perhaps someone who knows both packages can verify the differences.

    Best Regards,

    Ricky Jordan

  • Eddie Cyganik

    Thanks for the SW08 Update.

    Can all of the enhancements be used if a Design Table is present?

    I sure hope so but your write-up specifically mentions, “Not having to create a DT…” and “When you don't have a DT…”

    Thank you,
    eddie

  • Eddie Cyganik

    Thanks for the SW08 Update.

    Can all of the enhancements be used if a Design Table is present?

    I sure hope so but your write-up specifically mentions, “Not having to create a DT…” and “When you don’t have a DT…”

    Thank you,
    eddie

  • http://www.rickyjordan.com Ricky Jordan

    Hi Eddie,

    I tested this with a part file that contained a Design Table. Adding a configuration using the “Modify Configurations” option did not automatically add the new configuration to the Design Table. However, the next time you open your Design Table, you will have the option to add the new configuration. You have to have “New Configurations” checked under the “Add new rows/columns in the design table for” group box when editing the Design Table feature.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Best Regards,

    Ricky Jordan

  • http://www.rickyjordan.com Ricky Jordan

    Hi Eddie,

    I tested this with a part file that contained a Design Table. Adding a configuration using the “Modify Configurations” option did not automatically add the new configuration to the Design Table. However, the next time you open your Design Table, you will have the option to add the new configuration. You have to have “New Configurations” checked under the “Add new rows/columns in the design table for” group box when editing the Design Table feature.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Best Regards,

    Ricky Jordan