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Very large assemblies from multiple CAD systems


I am currently working on a very large assembly consisting of multiple subassemblies totaling roughly 10k parts. The data is stored on a company server with a slow network that makes updating/saving and especially creating drafts from the assembly very difficult. The assembly will soon expand to the 50k-100k part range. We are considering taking the assembly off of the server and working off of a standalone work station and are concerned that our current machines may not have the horsepower to handle this.


Current Workstation:

HP Z400

Quadro FX4800


Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)


I am hoping to get an idea about if our current workstation is capable of handling this, and if not what would be the recommended specs on a new workstation?


Additionally, we receive model files from various design entities to be assembled into the large assembly I mentioned. The CAD systems these models would be developed from include SolidEdge, NX, Creo, and AutoCAD.


Are there recommended exchange languages that would work best with this kind of large assembly application for SolidEdge? (STP, IGES, JT)?


We also need to be able to display the assembly at locations other than where the standalone workstation would be located. Any recommendations for accomplishing this? Is there a viewer that would allow us to save out the model as a simplified file that still allows the user to turn parts on/off, pan, rotate, zoom, and most importantly take measurements? Our assumption is that we may be able to load viewer software onto a laptop for this purpose.


I really appreciate any advice that the SolidEdge user community can provide.



Re: Very large assemblies from multiple CAD systems

Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

Once you get into that level of complexity, you want everything you can get for computer power.


Since SE is single threaded. More than two cores will not matter (Unless add-ons you use can grab another CPU, or rendering, or FEA). A network is just a speedbump for a single threaded program.

Get the fastest dual core CPU you can get (Look at Boxx) 4.4Ghz....5Ghz range

Get the best video care you can afford ($3K is not out of reason)

Start w/ 64 gigs of ram with the capacity for 128

Set up the hard drive system with a hard drive controller that has memory, Run two or four SS drive in raid 0. Drives up the risk, but helps out the speed. When was the last time you had a hard drive fail?


I would start by talking with Boxx. Then price th same machine from Lenovo, Dell, HP, or any others. The larger known computer companies want about 2X cost for reduced power.


Re: Very large assemblies from multiple CAD systems


Taking your models off the server will obviously help get the job done quicker, but you don't want to be doing it for every job - I can almost guarantee you will end up with broken links and multiple versions of files. What happens when you put the drawing back on the server ?

You really need to look at updating the network if its that big a problem.


You should also look at simplifying parts and assemblies where possible.

I have also seen instances where fasteners etc are set to not display at higher level.

View Configurations can also help here - hide small parts, select visible parts/show only.

This will help speed up drawing production.


For bringing in cad models, for us in order of preference - Solid Edge, parasolid, step.

You can also directly import Solid Works and Inventor, although I'm not sure which versions.

Not sure about ProE - its on the list, but I think that might be older versions.

Catia - I believe you need to purchase an extra translation module.


For viewing - Solid Edge Viewer is free. If sending off site you can save as .jt

I think this allows measuring and maintains the assembly structure (if required)

If on site you can just open the SE file in the viewer.

We have also used 3D PDF and the .sev format for viewing on iPad.

HP Z420 16GB RAM
Quadro K4000
SE2019 MP5 on Windows 10 Pro 64.