Skeletons for Interface Management
One solution that is widely accepted as a Creo best practice is to collect interface references in a skeleton. Skeletons are a special type of model used to communicate design intent by holding critical references shared by two or more parts. In the figure below the SKELETON part holds the interfaces for the four sub-assemblies. Design work on the top assembly, such as harness routing, can proceed using the interfaces managed by SKELETON without bringing all the components into session.
Building and Updating Skeletons
While skeleton geometry can be created directly, in this example, the component interface geometry is best placed in the skeleton using publish geometry and copy geometry features. If the component owners use publish geometry to denote the specific critical interfaces, there is no confusion as to what geometry is to be selected as shared references when the component is in the higher level assembly. Copy geometry features are used to copy the published geometry to the skeleton. Repeatedly creating publish geometry features and copying them to build skeletons can be a significant effort. Ensuring that features are consistently named and kept up-to-date adds to the complexity of the task.
Design iteration is unavoidable and adds to the effort by requiring updates to the skeleton. Compared to the figure above, in the figure below the example assembly has experienced changes in component geometry and location. ROUTER_1 changed shape, PS_1 grew in size and added a port, and the FRAME ports moved. All 3 internal components moved within the frame. Work is required to update the skeleton to reflect those changes.
Skeletons Are Easy with Automation
Through automation, CadActive’s AutoInterface makes interface management much easier.
AutoInterface Publisher brings speed and simplicity to the publish geometry process. It allows users to select multiple geometry features in a component model and automatically generate appropriately named publish geometry features.
AutoInterface automatically copies desired interfaces to a chosen skeleton using external copy geometry features. In a relatively complex assembly, hundreds of interfaces can be copied instantly. When interfaces change, simply running AutoInterface again will update the skeleton. The building and maintenance of the skeleton becomes a pushbutton operation with AutoInterface.