The more complicated a design, the more planning that needs to be done before the first part is created. Failure to plan and have everyone using the same methods can result in lost data, long rebuild times, and higher costs due to problem resolution. The planning of a large assembly follows the same general rules as any large project: you need to plan ahead and have structured progress. Some things to consider when starting the project:
- Have an understanding of the approximate size and makeup of a typical data set.
- Because you will be dealing with large data sets, develop a strategy before you start to model the parts and assemble them.
- Decide which tools and techniques you will utilize to make your assembly as manageable as possible,
- Determine which of the two primary techniques you will use:
- Skeleton model technique for large assemblies, usually used for machines, plant-t designs, paper processing allows visualizing and selecting important interfaces at all sub-assembly and even part levels.
- Master model technique Usually used for consumer products as ducts, car body, and the like, allows using complex surfaces as the base for components , Results in many multi-body parts.
- Decide how you are going to name parts and handle revisions.
- Each file name should be unique. Are you going to use intelligent part numbering or dumb part numbering?
- What will the revision scheme be and how will revisions be captured in the files?
- What is the workflow for documents?
- How are in-context relationships going to be used and managed? Keep in-context relations as simple as possible and keep to one master model where feasible.
Efficient large assembly design is a combination of many smaller things that when combined, can make a big difference. You must have disciplined modeling, assembly, and drawing technique. Plan before starting work, as the time to react is not when there are 15,000 parts in the assembly.