"My top level assemblies have multiple parts with the same names living in different directories."
If you have different parts with the same names in different places then, yes, there's gonna be trouble with or without revman. Bottom line: This is a poor practice.
I didn't mean for this to turn into a long thread, thought for sure I was missing something really simple.
I have probably one of the simplest ways to structure my directories, IMHO. My project has a folder, and all unique parts to that project reside in the same folder. If I have parts that are used in multiple projects, those files are not copied to other folders.
I guess I thought it should be simpler than this. I have parts determined to copy with Revision Manager. I indicate what folders will have associated part drafts with Revision Manager when I do a where used. I can see all those drafts that I want to copy in the lower window of Revision Manager. But, there isn't a way to follow through and copy all those drafts with a simple Replace, like I would do in the upper window.
Oh well, maybe some day into the future this will be more intuitive and save some time.....Oddly, I don't seem to hear anyone that has shared their simple process to do what I'm wanting. It seems everyone has their own work-around, but nobody has that simple route to the end result. I had someone suggest to put all part drafts into the assembly draft, but that's really silly, if you know how the work flows once it leaves Engineering.
Once again, I don't understand what it is you're trying to accomplish or what your difficulty is. In my test case I can copy drafts in the lower window and I can do a find/replace on those I have selected.
Back to your original question. I have not found a way to avoid it other than let the parts be copied. This is what I end up doing. The hard drive space is cheap. Time is expensive.
It would be useful, or advisable, if possible, to set up a folder system that allows you to "park" your multi-use files so that you can have only one copy that is used in several assemblies. It's basically just an extension of the standard parts concept. Once their location is unique it's easy to prevent copying them.
I worked at a place that did what you do, except perhaps that multiple users had their hands in the pot, so we ended up with several parts with the same name that were in fact different until finally it started to cause errors on drawings and scrap in manufacturing.
If you're a one or two user shop then your method s/b ok.
"Parking" files is how I intended to use the system. This can be done somewhat easily by unselected parts when making copies of files. The problems for me have to do with the work it takes to rename sheet metal files that include complex variable work..
Case example. I have a drawing, model, and many assembly driven parts for a tank that is 1'X1"X1'. in the same project, the next tank is identical, other than the dimensions are 1'x14"x1'. To get this done, I copy the original files to a new directory, move one plane and allow everything to update changing every part for the new dimensions. This process if representative of everything I do. It's not practical to rename every part because of the variable work inside the files to generate bend tables that include back gage and stick out. Making the part names unique would change the time to end result from 1 hour to 8 hours. Re-creating an assembly and draft that includes 6 tanks only takes about 4 hours. So that extra 4 hours cost saved me 42 hours. Path of least resistance.
Yes they do. that's the point. And the variable names include the part names. For example, I have a lid, the parts name is L. I create variables for 4 bends. I have 4 back gages and 4 stick outs. And each one may or may not need and adjustment depending on specifics. The adjustments are typically adding a Bend radius and Thickness for some of the bends relative to the dimension I placed in the flat pattern to get the process started.
Most tanks have 6 to 20 parts. each with 4 to 9 bends.
So just for a lid with 4 bends I have
LBG1, LBG2, LBG3. LBG4
LBG1A, LBG2A LBG3A, LBG4A
LST1, LST2, LST3, LST4
LST1A, LST2A, LST3A, LST4A
LR, LT (linked RADIUS and THICKNESS)
The math behind the variable is not that complex but is necessary to display a real bend table.
I have the parts name in the variables so I can keep track when drafting for annotation.
There is no way I'm going to re-do that variable work created by renaming the part.
I haven't tried it but I would think revman would change the names in the variable links. Unless they're not links but just text.
The point being. If I rename files, I have to rename many variables, like 100's of them
Since there is no way to do any string math, this all has to be manual.
Say the assembly is A and the part is L
I will have variables like ALBG1. if I rename the files, I also want the variable names to change. There is no way to get that done.