I have figured out how to use excel's "string math" to crate a set of file name that are based on sizes.
The thing I can't figure out how to automate is editing of the file names from entires of a spreadsheet.
Have any here crossed that bridge?
What I can do, is drive variables in files from excel entires.
What I can't do is use the values of variables to drive file names.
The goal here is to take a collection of files, copy them, and edit a spread sheet. The spread sheet in turn edits the size of the parts, and the part names based on the size of the parts. Some know this as "Smart part numbers"
The design I'm attempting to do this for is a drawer pack. Where the height's and Quantities of the drawers varry along with the overall depth and width of the drawers. I have all of the sheet metal parts driven from plane locations that are tied to variables.
I would think you would need a rule-based engine tool to have the file names that rename your assy and component parts as you pass your rule changes down into the components.
Just shooting in the dark and throwing out an idea: could you possibly do this with virtual assy?
Does a "Rules based engine" already exist for SE?
When you say a virtual assembly what are you saying?
What I have right now is a single model that contains sheet metal parts. There are individual drafts for each part from the single assembly driven model file. The reason I do it this way is to populate individual parts as PDF drawings. As time goes on, The sizes that actually get used are already in the bank of drawings and future jobs may only need one or two part drafts that are new.
In theory, I have a single string of numbers that represents the drawer pack (# & height of drawers) width, depth. space at top and bottom. I have figured out how to flow that single string of inp[ut numbers to drive everything except a bit of drafting to keep things on the right scale and one the page, and how to edit the file number. Right now I have to manually enter each part number that is displayed in draft, but has to be manually entered as I create PDF's because the file name does not match the result. I can edit the file names in revision manager, but that's the same amount of work as just typing in the names as the PDF are created.
In general, I don't care how long it takes to set it all up. But When I have a job going through for production, I want the fastest possible turn around to create drafts. My current process takes an hour. I want to get that down to 15 min. The "setup files" get copied and used over and over again 100's of times. The only variables are the part names and part sizes.
I attached two assembly draft's that put's things in perspective. The drawers them selves are handled about the same way.
Look into using the Data Prep tools that come with Solid Edge.
While you may not be considering migrating to managed environment like Insight or Teamcenter, all of the data prep tools funtion OUTSIDE of the managed space anyway. These tools help you rename files, move files, and fix broken links.
The data prep tools use Excel. While there are specific columns that you can't modify (because those are the ones that are keyed to the file manipulation), you can perform all of your "string math" in other columns, then copy the final result to the specific column needed for file manipulation.
The string math I'm looking for needs to live within the files. My goal here is to avoid manual processes to begin with.
The simplest example would be a part files name to include it's assemblies name as part of the file name.
That way when an assembly changes name, so do it's parts.
Taking that a step further, I would like to have variable names within the draft that are effected by the assembly name in the same way.
Using a spreadsheet to do the work does get it done, but not as fast as I would like. I want to embead the logic if at all possible.
Should I be considering other software if I really want this? Does Inventor, Creo, or NX already have this stuff built in?
Back to basics. Wehn you talk about data prep tools, I assume you are talking about revision manager / Design manager. Are there other Data prep tools I should be looking into?
In general, I'm becoming disenchanted with what a "Perametric" CAD package has become. Modern Perametric CAD software should allow you to really take avantage of perametric like smart part numbers.
Now is SE better than say AutoCAD 2007 for 3D design, YES. And it's better than SW for sheet metal desgin. These are the reasons I'm here. I still expect more.
Regarding the data prep tools, yes, I am referring to specific set of tools (Excel based). I am not referring to Design Manager / Revision Manager.
Under the Windows Start Menu, in the Solid Edge folder, you will see another folder Data Preparation.
When I talk rule-based engine I'm talking about a knowledge-based engineering (KBE). Any tool that allows you to capture your design "rules" outside of the CAD system.
There are several KBEs out there.
You have Siemens PLM enterprise level KBE with Rulestream which is a full blown engineering-to-order system that is CAD agnostic and plugs into ERP and other anlysis tools and has process workflows, etc.
Then there is:
I tried to look at the "Configurator" software, but all the links from that pate were not working.
No matter what, any outside software will be limited by what the CAD package can do. So the issues remains, I need to request Everything specifically, and individually, get support for the changes from the forum, them make a bunch of phone calls to try and get it through. Time I don't have. I'm looking for existing ways to save time, not spend it.
No. I disagree. Some configurators can do some amazing things. You are limited to what the engineering tools can do and what the CAD API tools can do.
In your case what we would need to happen is to have a template file and then have the parts renamed and replaced in the assemblies. That's not that difficult.
Is it easy and simple. Heck no. Is it cheap. Nope. Does it capture the design and make it easy for others to run. Yes. Is it repeatable. Yes. Does everyone need to understand all that is happening to make it work. Nope. That makes it priceless. We've taken design time from 8-10 hrs down to 30 minutes of drawing updates. And the shame of it is it isn't using Solid Edge.
Here's a youtbue video that is a SE configurator. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krdzakQHVao