Part configurations can have an effect on the speed and performance of large assemblies. There are productivity gains to be realized using configurations and consequently having fewer files to manage, but they can increase the file size of parts and assemblies. You have to decide if the benefits of using configurations outweigh the associated file size issues for their particular application and decide what will be best for them. Configurations allow you to control many variables within a part or an assembly in a fast and easy manner. The use of design tables takes this further still. However, when a configuration is activated, the data for that conﬁguration is generated and stored in the file (e.g., preview, lightweight data, and body information). This is done to avoid performance problems in complex parts. There would be delays if configuration data had to be built every time a configuration is accessed. Because the data is stored the file size will grow as more conﬁgurations are activated. If the files are being opened across a network or copied across a network to a local working folder, the large file sizes will slow performance as more data will have to be copied across the network. When a part is used in an assembly, only the information of the configurations of the part used in the assembly is loaded into memory. For example, if a part with 200 configurations, all of which had been activated in the part, were used in the assembly, the data for that part’s active configuration would be loaded into memory. If a second instance of the part were inserted into the assembly using a different conﬁguration, the data for the second configuration would also be loaded into memory. The data for the remaining 198 configurations would not be loaded into memory.
- If a new file is created using File, Save As, only the data for the active configuration is retained, which may reduce the ﬁle size signiﬁcantly.
One way to increase assembly performance is by using simpliﬁed configurations that can be selected when opening the assembly.