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Parts Replacement and Exploded View problem

Discussion in 'Using Alibre Design' started by danwilley, Mar 13, 2020.

  1. OTE_TheMissile

    OTE_TheMissile Alibre Super User

    I do this a lot in my work. Either when using hardware models from McMaster-Carr then renaming them with our internal hardware part number once they've been accepted for the final design & entered into our system, or for early stages of new projects when we don't even have a product number decided on. I'll use generic descriptive filenames for models & drawings until we start getting a design nailed down, then models that I keep for final production get their filenames edited with our part numbers.


    As long as you keep track of what you're changing & open up your Assembly model right away so it can be updated, it's a fairly minor process to perform.
  2. Lew_Merrick

    Lew_Merrick Alibre Super User

  3. idslk

    idslk Alibre Super User

    Hello Lew,
    "Normaly" you're right... and if you are stressed? Can you keep calm to do everything in the right order?:)
    There are a lot of things we could talk about...
    How people should handle standard parts in a standard folder? (renaming there, would be not the best idea)
    How should people handle project in general?
    Wouldn't it be good to save a downloaded part directly with a "correct name"?
    and so on...
    Let's see what V21 or V22 or... will bring us.
  4. Lew_Merrick

    Lew_Merrick Alibre Super User

    Hi Stefan -- My issue is that the vast majority of my work involves beong "compliant" with MIL-E-9858 which requires a certain "file naming convention" be followed. Whereas I hate "ProEngineer/CREO" the fact that it is simple ro rename files within the context of a "I\UsedOn Assembly" and have it "take" throughout a Project is actually wonderful! I have been asking for this in Alibre since 2009. -- Lew
  5. danwilley

    danwilley Member

    Hello Stefan,

    I followed the procedure you outlined:
    1. Renamed the files in Windows Explorer. This included parts, assembly and drawing files. Not all files were renamed, about half were.

    2. Then I opened every file (renamed or not) in Alibre and replaced all file names no longer found (because I renamed them). Tedious and error prone especially for parts with similar filenames (like fasteners), but doable.
    This was completely successful (as far as I can tell)... great! All exploded views remained intact, BOMs were updated with the new part and assembly names, all drawings remained intact, and no dead locks. Some BOM tables in drawings however, were empty (??)... so I had to delete and regenerate them but the BOM contents were correct. The entire rename process took me about two hours to do.

    What frustrates me is that as a very new user of Alibre (in my 6th week), I followed the “best practices” document and other forum discussions around renaming parts... to use “Save as” and “Replace Component” functions. None of that worked. As I have already documented, I had broken exploded views, drawings, and procedural dead locks. I spent (wasted) over 4 intense days trying to rename a few part and assembly files only to revert back to doing something that product documentation says not to do... renaming the files in Windows Explorer.

    My questions are:

    1. What is the purpose of “Save As”? It is not for renaming parts files because the BOMs are not updated which breaks the drawings, and in a multi-level parts and assembly project, the procedure dead locks. Is it for cloning the project files in some another project directory? If that is the case, do those new files get new GUIDs, or retain the old GUIDs? Is it's purpose to rename a file only within a project, or to copy parts across projects? (This gets back to the GUID question.)
    2. What is the purpose of “Replace Component”? That function breaks exploded views and down stream drawings.. but shouldn't if the replacement part is dimensionally identical (as in a part rename). If a part is so different, shouldn't it be “added” to the assembly possible under a new configuration rather than being “replaced”?
    I was going to write a short procedure explaining this rename sequence and post it on the “Tips” forum thinking maybe it will help some other new user... but am reluctant now because it is counter to the product documentation. Minimally, that “best practices” document needs to be updated to clarify and explain how to rename files within a project such that the project stays intact... ie: follow the procedure you outlined to me.

    Ultimately though, and beating the dead horse, Alibre development really needs to address part/assembly/drawing rename properly and completely. No one should have to spend 4 days and two hours to rename a few part and assembly files within a project.


    (PS: I now have a new problem but will start a new thread. When I export PDFs of my drawings, the highest level assembly PDFs are now all showing invisible lines when they should not be. Looks horrible.)

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