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Creating “BOM” tables in multi-body part documents

Tuesday January 5, 2016 at 3:57pm
In some cases it’s easier to model assemblies using multi-bodies in a single part file. But when it gets to the point where you need to create a BOM drawing, you need to save out the bodies as separate part files and put them into an assembly. This can become quite tedious and will definitely require some additional space on your hard drive 

In some cases it’s easier to model assemblies using multi-bodies in a single part file. But when it gets to the point where you need to create a BOM drawing, you need to save out the bodies as separate part files and put them into an assembly. This can become quite tedious and will definitely require some additional space on your hard drive.

Luckily, there is a short cut to this process. Why not try using a weldment cut-list instead?

Here are the steps:

1 - Start off with a multibody part. In this case we have a set of geometric primitives laid out around the origin:

2 - Right-click on any of the tabs on the Command Manager and activate the weldments tab:

3 - Now switch to weldments tab, and click on the weldment feature:

This will activate weldment functionality in your part. All solid bodies will be treated as cut list items:

Cut-List-Item folders can now be renamed, and each one of these can now be assigned with material and any custom property of your choice:

4 - Now when you make a drawing from part, you can use all of these in a cut-list table that will immitate a bill of materials:

Right-click on a table cell and use ‘Insert’ option from context menu to add columns to the table:

Left-lick on the index cell above the column you want to change and choose a property to display:

Carry on changing column properties until satisfied. Auto-baloons work just as well with Cut-Lists as they do with BOMs:

Now this part drawing looks almost indistinguishable from an assembly drawing, even though no assembly was made.

5 - The table you have created can be saved as a template in case you need to use a similar setup for another part file/drawing:

Drawbacks

  • Since this is not an assembly, no mechanical interaction can be simulated with SOLIDWORKS Motion. ·
  • Exploded view functionality is only available in assemblies, but this can be imitated with ‘Move/Copy Bodies’ and 3D-sketching explode lines manually.
  • No sub-assembly nesting in BOM-like cut-list tables.

Rodion Radchenko

SOLIDWORKS Applications Engineer

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