I guess my question is pretty complete above. Often I actually am using springs, but there's something about not being able to use assembly constraints if I say they're "Like a Spring". That's very frustrating. I can't find anything in help or tutorials that tells me how to actually get value from making that selection even though, as previously stated, it actually is a spring that I'm modeling.
Solved! Go to Solution.
Art Patrick had this to say:
Adjust like a spring:
Parts set like this are driven by the position of other components in the ASM. As such they solve/update faster but do not allow you use the geometry of the component to position other parts in the ASM. Picture 2 parts with a spring between them. As the parts move the spring reacts to the distance between the 2 parts. The spring does not push the 2 parts but reacts to the position of the 2 parts.
Adjust to fit:
Parts set to this solve as part of the main ASM solve. (Can be slower) These can be used to position other components. These components are generally not spring like.
Picture a piece of metal grate. You buy these in standard sizes and cut it to fit. So you might place 9 pieces of the grating and the last one is cut to fit in the final position.
It will adjust in size based on the other components in the ASM but it does not change size when the machine is running.