Organize model into separate work areas

I'm not sure what to call this feature but I'd like to break my model into separate areas that can turn on and off. This would make it easier to see certain parts that would otherwise be obscured by the other areas. I don't mean object visibility or layers, but a way to divide the model into smaller chunks for ease of modeling. If not in Mechanical, then maybe a BIM feature?
thanks

Comments

  • Tom Foster
    edited June 18

    Make them into Blocks, which can be Hide/Isolate/Showed as a whole.

    The downside is that elements, once put inside a Block, can no longer be individually Hide/Isolate/Showed, even when the Block is opened in Refedit. This vital facility was present in early betas of v19 but is presently locked-out for an obscure Acad-compatibility reason.

    So if someone can suggest another way to "break my model into separate areas that can turn on and off" without use of Blocks, that would be very welcome.

  • Yes, blocks would be a problem. If there is nothing else available, I think using groups may work since the included parts are not restricted by being in a block. I use BKG_Group which works really well so will probably give this a try. Then each group can be a separate work area, which I can hide/Isolate like you suggest. This still doesn't totally solve the problem though because I won't be able to hide/isolate parts within any of the groups without un-grouping them first, which defeats the purpose. I think "sub-assembly visibility" is a good way to describe what I'm after.

    Here is this feature described from another software

    thanks!

  • One approach would be to define a custom BIM property that categorizes your sub-assemblies, groups, or work areas, etc. Then you can configure the structure browser with a new or modified .cst to sort entities based on the value you assign to that custom BIM property, allowing you to select/hide/show via the structure browser based on that grouping.

  • Interesting - I use mostly Mechanical so this would be a chance to learn some Bim functions. I'll give it a try - thanks for the idea.

  • @ScottC said:
    Yes, blocks would be a problem. If there is nothing else available, I think using groups may work since the included parts are not restricted by being in a block.

    I don't follow that - to me Blocks are fine for this purpose, except for the killer problem of not being able to Hide/Isolate/Show individual ememnts, once they're included in a Block. So you suggest Groups instead - aha! - but then describe exactly the same shortcoming with Groups.

    So I'm wondering what you have in mind with "blocks would be a problem"?

  • Sorry - I wasn't clear. I've had trouble with working with and exploding some mechanical blocks - they can get all messed up in my experience if they contain other nested blocks. So I wanted to avoid that and thought groups might be better for me since they don't affect the mechanical structure. But still not what I'm after because I don't want to have to dissolve/recreate the group every time I need to adjust something inside it.
    Hope that makes sense..

  • Anthony Apostolaros
    edited June 21

    @ScottC said:
    .... I've had trouble with working with and exploding some mechanical blocks - they can get all messed up in my experience if they contain other nested blocks. .....

    Why would you explode the block? Just edit it, or edit a copy of the block, one that's placed off to the side so you can get at it without diving through the rest of the model, or make it a separate file, x-ref'd in.

  • Scott McKenzie
    edited June 27

    What about setting up Zones (as they are known in Solid Edge) as layers? Do something like Fastener-Z1, Links-Z1, Fastener-Z2, Links-Z2 and so on, layer filters would allow you to quickly flip all of a particular zone on or off. About 5 years ago when I was starting to use the mechanical tools I had my fasteners on a separate layer so that I could quickly turn off their display. A really simple lisp routine could be written, type Z1F to freeze all layers with a Z1 in them, and Z1U to unfreeze all Z1 layers . To make a visual representation of the zones draw a box, turn its parts list options off and put it on a layer called something like ZoneBox-Z1 (not sure if a frozen layer is shown in the drawing views or how that would work). When you create a new Zone use a secondary lisp to make it - this lisp does a couple of things, finds the next available Zone number, defines the associated Freeze and Thaw Commands and then creates all layers. You would need another lisp that is run when the drawing is open, this would parse the layers list, looking for layers with the zone extension and created the appropriate thaw and freeze commands.

  • Thanks, I'll explore these ideas.
    Scott

  • Hi all,
    Another option that might be interesting to you is the "Suppress" tool. With this tool you can create suppression groups that you can then choose to suppress or un-suppress. Meaning that this way you can select single components or several components, and then you can control the presence of the part(s) in your drawing.
    When the part(s) is suppressed it will not be visible in the model space and it will not be used in Mass calculations or BOM generation. Once you un-suppress them, then they will be visible and will be accounted for.
    These suppression groups can also be controlled with parameters. This gives you the option to have the suppression depend on other parametric values. And with this parameter control you will also be able to control suppression features in sub-assemblies as well.

    I often use this tool myself when working in the Mechanical workspace, so I hope it can be of help to you too!

    Here I will share some links to the BricsCAD help pages about the Suppression tool. And a video of it used during a presentation:
    https://help.bricsys.com/hc/en-us/articles/360011014979-Suppress
    https://help.bricsys.com/hc/en-us/articles/360010148159-Suppression-Feature
    https://youtu.be/QWVoLYn4eg0?t=484

  • Wow! That looks absolutely fantastic - will try it out

  • Thanks Fredrik, this seems to be the best method for me (fastest/easiest). I wonder if I can set up parameter for 0,1,2 - so that 0 shows both sections, 1 shows section A, and 2 shows section B. Will experiment. I haven't seen that mechanical video which is quite long - will definitely check it out.
    cheers

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