Block Assignment is a separate software process that runs directly on the Model database. The block assignment process can be run on any workstation. For large projects, you can also run block assignment as a service on a separate computer, including a computer that is running other services. For more information, see Smart 3D Hardware and Software Recommendations.
You can run block assignment on any computer on which Smart 3D Workstation software has been installed. Click Tools > Assembly Arrangements > Block Assignment in the Planning task of Smart 3D to set up and run the block assignment process.
The block assignment process assigns and reassigns parts to blocks. When the process is activated, the software automatically and continuously queries the database for new and modified parts to assign and reassign to a block.
You can also specify which types of parts should be processed and how they should be processed.
For the block assignment process to run automatically and continuously, a dedicated server or workstation computer is required. If a dedicated computer is available, you can initiate the block assignment process manually at regular intervals.
Initial Block Assignment of Parts
The purpose of Block Assignment is to take the first cut at where parts fall in the construction planning process. When the block assignment process is running, the software assigns a new part to a block based on the spatial location of the part and the spatial definition of the block. Parts are assigned to blocks at the deepest level possible in the assembly hierarchy within which the part is fully contained. If the part intersects with lower-level blocks and is within an overlap factor assigned in the rules, the part is assigned to the appropriate block. For example, if the overlap factor is 0.8, and at least 80% of a part is within a block, the part is assigned to that block. Otherwise, the software places the part on the list of intersections for the involved blocks and block cutting planes. Only parts that are in working status are considered by Block Assignment.
Each level of the hierarchy contains its own UnAssigned Parts folder. When parts are assigned to blocks, those parts are placed in the UnAssigned Parts folder for that level until they are assigned. In a completely planned ship, most parts will be ultimately assigned to assemblies that are children of the blocks.
After you manually assign a part to an assembly within or directly under the block, outside of the UnAssigned Parts folder, the part falls out of the domain of the assignment process. However, as long as the parts remain in the UnAssigned Parts folder, the block assignment process will reprocess them whenever a part or block is modified.
Modification of Parts
Whenever you modify a part in the UnAssigned Parts folder and an intersection with a block boundary occurs, the software places the part on the list of intersections and sets its status as Assigned to the block from which it originated.
When you modify a part that exists outside of the UnAssigned Parts folder, the assembly hierarchy is left unchanged. If an intersection with a block boundary occurs, the software places the part on the list of intersections and displays its status as Assigned. If you modify a part and as a result it is fully contained within a new parent block, the software considers the part as new and leaves it in the UnAssigned Parts folder.
Creation and Modification of Blocks
When you create or modify blocks, the block assignment process checks the parts in the UnAssigned Parts folder to determine whether a part can be moved to another block or listed as an intersecting part.
When parts have been assigned to assemblies, defining or modifying a block boundary is more complicated. Consequently, we recommend that as much of the designed building method be preserved as possible. Defining or moving block boundaries removes disassociated parts, assemblies, and part of assemblies from the block in which they were originally assigned during the initial design of the assembly hierarchy.
To preserve the design decisions documented in the assembly hierarchy, the block assignment process only moves parts to the block in which fully contained and duplicate parts of the assembly hierarchy are represented in the original block. The duplication includes the assigned assembly properties. If the duplication involves a whole branch of the assembly hierarchy, that branch is deleted from the original block. In the following illustration, Block B1 is reduced in size by the modification of a block cutting plane. The neighboring block, Block B2, is increased in size by the operation. Parts are moved and assembly A1.2 is duplicated to block B2:
If a part intersects with the block boundary between previously well-known blocks (block cutting plane modification), the part is left in the block from where it originated, and the status in the list of intersections is set as Assigned in that block. If the part intersects with one or two blocks that were previously unrelated, the software places the parts in the UnAssigned Parts folder of the parent block and lists them among the intersecting parts for the involved blocks or block cutting planes. Assemblies that are emptied of parts are deleted.
You can set a percentage tolerance to assign a part to a block that contains the greater portion of the part. When part that is inside a block has a percentage volume greater than the specified tolerance, it is assigned to this block. For information on how to set tolerance, see Planning Reference Data Guide.