This has been a dark secret that now needs to be brought to the forefront. We’ve all seen it, many of us have dabbled in it, some still do it. Configuration abuse. There, I said it. I know it’s not pretty and something some would rather not discuss, but I just can’t stand by idly without at least trying to help to eradicate this blight upon the CAD landscape.
The following picture is not for the faint of heart.
Your eyes aren’t playing tricks. I couldn’t actually get the whole string to fit. Each of those numbers is a part number, each of which is a configuration within the part. This isn’t just at the part level either, it’s at the assembly level as well but, thankfully, it’s usually no more than 3 configurations. I can’t even tell you how thoroughly confused I was when I first saw these files. After the confusion came the pain as I banged my head off my desk.
I get configurations, I use them. I don’t abuse them, and that’s clearly what went on here. (I’m avoiding the whole part naming thing because, well, I just don’t know what to say to it other than WTH?) I really have no idea what the thought process was to dump all of these parts into one file and to then use all of them to name it. I’m usually not at a loss for words…
Look, use configurations wisely. If you use different lengths of 2×2 where it’s tabulated (partnumber-length), use configurations all day long. Screws? Go for it. Need to show dimensional differences between machined and coated? Yes! But, please, moderate yourself. You need to moderate yourself. Configuration abuse needs to end.