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Large Assembly Best Practices

Siemens PLM Software

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Large Assembly Design Challenge

Designing systems, assemblies, and parts to meet the requirements of complex products, in the face of

large data sets: The term "large" assembly is a relative one. Large assemblies for some may be 1,000 parts while for others 10,000 or 100,000+
complex geometry: Nurb surface data constantly-changing data large, distributed teams designing in same assembly space

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Large assembly handling in NX


NX contains leading-edge tools and techniques to facilitate working on large assemblies NX has a long and successful history of providing solutions for such industries as aerospace, automotive, heavy machinery, shipbuilding, etc. where large assembly requirements are a key element

(1) Load Performance and Capacity: Reduce the amount of data per component loaded (2) Simplification of assembly data : Reduce the complexity of components loaded (3) Context control: Reduce the number of components loaded (4) Visualization settings and Memory utilization: Utilize memory more efficiently.

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Load Performance and Capacity Load Options What are they?

A set of options that allow you to control how much and in what form component data is loaded

Important Properties

Lots of settings including: Load Method - the location of the data Load Components all components, no components or use component filters Partial Loading display data only Determine action that should taken if a component cannot be loaded Save and restore specific configurations Accessible from the Open dialog box
Using Load Options effectively is one of the most important ways to improving large assembly performance

Benefits

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Load Options: Selective Loading

Principle

Only load the components that you need to see to do your job

Benefit

Faster load times Less memory used

Technique

Load with no components Open components using:

Assembly Navigator Component filtering

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Bookmarks
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Load Options : Lightweight Creation Faceting tolerance

Faceting tolerance affects smoothness, performance, & memory usage Default value: calculated per body, based on bounding box size User-specified value:

Per body: AssembliesAdvancedReprese ntationsParameters Per session: AssembliesSite Standards in Customer Defaults

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Load Performance and Capacity Reference sets What are they?


Named sections or partitions of a NX part created in the Assemblies application Lets you control the amount of data that is loaded from each component and viewed in the context of an assembly Two types: Automatic - managed by the system (Empty, Entire part, Model and Simplified) User defined - created and modified for your own purposes (Ex: Mate, Simple, Draft) A well-managed reference set strategy can lead to: Faster load times Reduced memory usage Less cluttered graphics displays

Important Properties

Benefits

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Occasional Piece Part Ref Sets

MATE MODEL ref set plus mating geometry SIMPLE Simplified geometry
Entire Part

Model Reference Set

Simple Reference Set

Simple

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Avoiding & Coping With Assy-Level Ref Sets

Possible Exceptions and Alternative Approaches


1. Use layers to hide unwanted geometry 2. Use assembly-level reference sets with Add New Components Automatically switch (NX 3)

Hide Some Components


User wants to show only a subset of child components Examples:
Show different variants LH & RH assemblies

Customer Default

Create Ref Set Option

Arrangement-specific component suppression


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Simplification of assembly data

The goal with simplification is to:


Provide a method of hiding proprietary data Reduce assembly complexity Improve load performance

There are several methods to simplify geometry in NX:


Assembly Level

Component Level

Assembly Envelope (Wrap & Linked Exterior options) Simplify Assembly Wizard Simple Reference Set Faceted Representation

Simplify Body Extract Geometry (Timestamp) Wrap Geometry

Suppression

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Simplification Assembly Envelopes


What are they?

Tools for reducing assembly complexity as well as hiding proprietary data. Essentially, they create geometry at the assembly level that can take the place of subcomponents

Important Properties

Use automatic reference set to specify display of envelope Two forms: Wrap Assembly provides coarse boundaries and gives a shrink-wrapped appearance Linked Exterior - makes an exact copy of external faces and maintains the form of the original Useful when only an approximation of an assembly is required (Wrap) Provides a method of improving load performance by reducing assembly complexity Provides a method of hiding proprietary data
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Benefits

Wrap Assembly

Linked Exterior

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Simplify Assembly Wizard Simplification Assembly Level What is this?

A dedicated wizard user interface that guides you through the process of simplifying an assembly into a solid that represents the assembly The goal to unite all the bodies in the assembly and remove the interior faces All bodies are linked into the work part Covering bodies are used to plug holes and fill gaps until all the bodies are united into one and the interior faces are completely isolated from the exterior faces The result is a single lightweight and airtight solid Helps reduce load times at the expense of geometric detail Preserves complex exterior details while removing interior details

Important Properties

Benefits

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Context Control Assembly Context Control deals with display, selection & filtering techniques Assembly context is the set of components you want loaded and visible at a particular juncture The assembly context control functions in NX are key to quickly finding, returning to, and understanding the environment of a specific area to be worked on Filtering Techniques Find Component Open by Proximity Product Outlines

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Context Control Filtering Techniques As your assembly becomes larger and more complex, there is an increasing need for you to control the component parts that you work with and see Large assemblies depend on filters and other techniques to efficiently navigate throughout large amounts of data There are several methods in NX to filter data including: Component Groups (Filters) Filtered Assembly Navigator Zones Bookmarks

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Find Component What is it?

The Find Component tool sets context by letting you perform a search for a component based on any global property Scope criteria: By Name By State By Attribute From List By Size - based on the component's bounding box The Status line shows the number of components that are selected in the current contexts Allows you to locate one or more components quickly in order to establish context control

Important Properties

Benefits

Find Selected Component


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Filtering Techniques Component Groups What are they?

A set of tools used to set, save and restore logical subsets of assemblies for assembly context

Important Properties

Attribute Search

Primarily used for loading and unloading of data Two categories: Functional - use assembly data Attribute, Zone & Proximity Organizing combinations of functional filters Match All of, Match any of & Exclude from Can be saved permanently or temporarily
Provide productivity through performance - you only load what you need Visual clarity - you only see what you want to see Intelligent component selection

Benefits

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Filtering Techniques Zones What are they?

A method of defining and naming regions of space within an assembly that can be used for filtering criteria Can be defined by auto-generating entire assembly or explicitly sizing Two Types: Box Zones & Plane Zones Zones filter components based on a components bounding box or True Shape filter Options to select:

Important Properties

Filter

Box: Inside, Interferes, Outside Plane: Above, Intersects, Below

Defined and stored at the assembly level Provide a useful way of partitioning an assembly model into meaningful regions Very useful for volume comparisons

Benefits

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Filtering techniques Open by Proximity What is it?

A tool that simplifies the process of loading a set of components that are located in a small region of a large assembly Loads all components within a specified distance of the bounding box of a selected component When you wish to load large components in the vicinity of the work part for overview purposes When you wish to do a "lightweight" or solid load of nearby components to understand your design context Optional True Shape Filtering

Use Cases

Important Properties

accuracy vs. time

Benefits

Simplifies the process of loading a set of components that are located in a small region of a larger assembly
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Enabling True Shape Filtering

Setting up tso file generation

Set customer defaults for true shape (tso) file generation (see on-line help for guidelines)

If necessary, refile existing parts with option -ts

Creates tso file without re-saving part

Existing users need to ensure they have set the save option
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Filtering Techniques Bookmarks and Product Outline


Bookmarks What are they? Bookmarks allows you to record, communicate and restore the working context from one NX session to another Important Properties

Product Outline

Ghost image of assembly that can be switched on and off

Allows you to duplicate a current assembly state in a later NX session Record options include: which component groups are applied what are the active Load Options which components are loaded User specific workflows native & NX Manager Benefits

Allows you to quickly reestablish a desired working context from one session to another Provides a method of context sharing between users
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Visualization settings and Memory utilization Visual Settings

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Visual Performance Preferences Large Model Settings


What are they? A number of preferences that can dramatically improve graphics performance/speed Important Properties These viewing dynamics preferences are applicable on rotate, pan, zoom and navigate operations Benefits This greatly reduces the amount of memory needed to change view orientation in the graphics display

Large Model Fixed Frame Rate - this will allow the system to display a box of the component/body on repositioning of the geometry in the graphics window View Frustum Culling allows the system to disregard objects outside of the viewing area

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Others
Changing body color, translucency, or partial shading: o Make the component the Displayed Part before changing anything or in an assembly. Also, make sure only the component (not the body or any portion of it) is selected. Controlling Updates: o In a large assembly, you can save time by delaying interpart updates and then updating at your convenience Saving in Wireframe vs. Shaded o Part files saved with shaded display active will take longer to load and use more memory o Tests show that a shaded model can take up to 5 times longer to load than the same model in wireframe Shaded Mode vs. Partially Shaded Mode o A less memory intensive option to fully shading o This means that only bodies/components designated are shaded when this mode is active
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Hardware Recommendations Large Assembly Focus With the rapid changes in hardware and software, any quantitative recommendations become obsolete within months The best recommendation (as an NX customer or any other CAD user) is for you to monitor technologic advances specifically in the following areas: Physical memory (#1) Graphics card speeds and capabilities (#2) CPU speed Disk access speed and capacity Server and network speeds

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Check system configuration as per standards

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Hardware Recommendations Large Assembly Focus


Tuning graphics card Windows Desktop Display Properties Advanced select graphics card Control Panel. Under application or global presets Select NX.

Start NX Preferences Visualization Evaluate Graphics Performance. Exit NX


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Large Assembly Drawings


The creation and update of large assembly drawings is computationally expensive by nature In particular, the creation of hidden line renderings of views As well as requiring all relevant components to be loaded into the session, the hidden line calculation itself demands significant memory and processor resource NX provides techniques for making the process more efficient by reducing the amount of data that typically needs to be loaded to create or annotate a drawing and its views

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Large Assembly Drawings Topics Master Model Strategy Delaying View Updates Associative Extracted Edge Views

Faceted Representation Views


Predefined Drawing Templates

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Master Model Strategy What is this?

Instead of creating the drawing in the assembly itself, the master model strategy takes advantage of a nonmaster document that references the master assembly Create through File>New dialog box Promotes concurrent engineering, by enabling a user to modify the drawing without locking the master assembly - Drafting and modeling changes can happen in parallel Separates annotation data from the master assembly - which means you can load the master assembly without needing to load the drawing data into the session - this speeds up the loading process and reduces memory consumption

Important Properties

Benefits

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Delaying View Updates What is this?

A major contributor to performance and memory usage issues with large assembly drawings is the amount of resource required to update views (in particular, the hidden line renderings) The Delay View Update option allows you to minimize view updates Updates can be initiated explicitly at a more convenient time or by using a UG/Open program View updates can also be delayed on a per-view basis Improves performance and memory usage by reducing the amount of resource required to update views Prevents hidden line recalculations when the assembly changes

Important Properties

Benefits

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Associative Extracted Edge Views What are they?

An alternative way to display model geometry in a drawing view by creating a set of associatively extracted edges Instead of the model being directly visible in the drawing views, the system displays a 3D representation of the model's visible edges Supports Concurrent Engineering Associative or Non-Associative methods The components only need to be loaded when a drawing update is performed Improves performance by allowing simple annotation, view edits, and the creation of detail views can be made on large assemblies without the assembly components being completely loaded

Important Properties

Benefits

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Faceted Representation Views What are they?

Renderings of a faceted representation of the assembly

Important Properties

Can be used for dimensioning List others Update drawing view at a more convenient time
Facilitates the quick update and hidden line display of a drawing of a large assembly Using faceted representations when creating drawing views can dramatically improve the performance and memory utilization of assemblies drawings

Benefits

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Predefined Drawing Templates What are they?

A capability that results in automatic drawing view creation by creating a new master model drawing from a modeling view The template contains empty drawing views that are not linked to a model Drag and drop a model / assembly onto the template and the views populate with the model Drawing Templates can include the following:

Important Properties

Drawing Borders Imported Views Section Views Exploded Views Automatic Ballooning Applies dimensions and annotation Populate Parts List and Tables

Benefits

Saves considerable time by eliminating repetitive tasks creating a standard layouts of component parts / assemblies
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