How do you organize your big projects- model vs drawings?

How do you organize your work? Do you first make the whole assembly of models , then start to make the drawing files or do you make each model - drawing as you build up the assembly?

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10 Answers

First I make the 3D modeling,then,if everything goes perfect,the drawings.

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I use both regularly. It depends on the situation. In some cases, parts have long lead times, or are a rush order and drawings are made immediately. In other cases the model is create for presentation to customer/client approval, then drawings are not created until the end.

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I create a part and add it to the assembly. I then change the parts that I've already created to ensure all the parts I have so far, fit together and work together properly. Then I create another part...
When the assembly is finished (including sub-assemblies) I start on the drawings. (By the way; In SolidWorks, you can drag and drop parts from one sub-assembly to another and they take their mates with them).
Then I change everything and spend ages sorting out the mess that I've made.

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First a hand made sketch on paper, then, a prototype from raw materials for the basic testing, then, when it all looks acceptable, a more precise part by part model (SW) and then, just derive the drawings from the parts.

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It's interesting that we all know HOW we should work and how not to work...but in the end we all are left with sorting out the mess. Here is the hidden question in this question - does any one of you know a good book for best practices for modeling Independent of the software package that you/we use? I really want to learn and make my self better in this field but , sadly only i can find are the books that are tutorial like. None of the books i found so far are dealing with the theme of "best practice".

ps. While using Alibre , i started to make the Project folder, then inside the folder i make Folders : Parts ; Subassemblys ; StockParts ;Drawings;Reference

Sadly as the "heat" of the project starts to build up , i often mis-save the files so the search for them interesting (default location is My Documents :S )

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First get your concepts on paper. Once satisfied, model each and every part as per the design standards you follow. Then assemble the parts in a CAD software and see what is what. Only when you are satisfied with the assembly that is the function of each part in your assembly you should go for drawing. This avoids (most of the times) minor drawing changes (avoids lot of irritating work believe me!)

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Well here is the example of my folder structure, [IMG][/IMG]

, i think it's self explanatory but ...if you have any questions :) i would gladly answer!

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This is interesting, do you all start modeling by using the pen and paper or do you like me, use the Alibredesign and solid-works for basic volumetric calculations, and then by using the sketch lines make the rough shapes for the parts?

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I also use the method like parts - (Weldments) - Sub assemblies- Assemblies. & then Drawings. I try animating before going for the actual production drawings. But this method, even though it is foolproof , is quite lengthy. I have seen that Solidworks Treehouse helps a bit for this. Sad it is not having a print option. Still best practice for drawing/part/assembly numbering is not known to me.

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There are an awful lot of things to consider when answering such a question. I've been designing for more than 50 years and working with CAD for more than 30 and to this day my choices often wind up being by the flip of a coin.. With CAD you will want all of your project related files in one folder because if you utilize many of your CAD program's capabilities for efficiency, your files will be related, and they need to know where to find each other. Most companies assign numbers to their CAD files; unfortunately, such a system does not describe the file. Assign meaningful descriptive names to the files to start with; the file names can be changed to a number system towards the end of the project, once you are confident the design is reasonably correct. Of course, standard parts files such as purchased components and fasteners are generally placed in folders specifically for that purpose; and, your CAD program setup is done in such a way that it knows where such files are stored. Beyond that, the order in which the various files types are constructed should be largely determined by design efficiency and "which comes first, the chicken or the egg?". Unfortunately, manufacturing and procurement lead times will always play a major role in the determination of the timing of your design and documentation steps, and these will not always be conducive to the most efficient way to do things,

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