2 levels of assembly files when lots of fasteners are needed?

My team and I are having trouble with lots of fasteners. I was wondering if we should use one assembly to mate all the parts to each other, and then use the next higher assembly and use this is add all the fasteners on top of the assembly of just the parts.

Is this a good idea, or is there a better way of managing a lot of fasteners.

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4 Answers

I always create a subfolder in my assembly list in Inventor and have all fasteners placed in there so the list for an assembly isn't a mile long. If you were to drop all fasteners in an assembly file of their own, they would all move as one entity and could mess up where they should be placed when doing a drawing, and also when putting your main assembly together.

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That's not entirely what I meant. I was considering creating an assembly for the fasteners on top of the assembly file of my parts. Each individual fastener would be mated to the assembly of the parts.

So the parent assembly would be all the fasteners, plus one child assembly file. The child assembly would have no fasteners and only components.

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That likely would save you some time and sounds quite clever. I never really thought of that.

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In SolidWorks I'd create a configuration. The assembly contains all of the parts and fasteners, but you can toggle the configurations to either hide, or suppress the fasteners.

Depending on the product, you may want to look at different ways to create the assembly and add hardware. I worked on an gas oven burner with a few hundred nuts, washers, bolts and screws, and it was really slow. I remade the assembly by using smaller sub-assemblies that had the hardware in them. Also, when inserting the hardware, I'd try to install it as a pattern instead of adding each piece.
At the end, my assembly opened significantly faster, and allowed for much easier design changes.

Post an image of your product if you can, and you may get some good ideas on how to do it.

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