Creating family table is most effective when you need to create huge numbers of similar parts. For example, you have to create a database of 100 different sizes of bolts. By using family table, the parts can be standardize. Another benefit of family table is in making of parts catalog; Family table file can be included easily in parts catalog.
Things to be known before creating family table: Before start creating family table, you have to observe the part very carefully and note down the dimensions, which will vary for each of the instances.
Three important terminologies of family table are: generic, instances and items. Generic is the master part, which only needs to be modeled for creation of the family table. Instances, on the other hand, are the parts, which created by pro engineer automatically as per the specified modifications of generic part dimensions. In the bolt family table creation example, one bolt need to be modeled in pro engineer first, this is called generic and after that by varying the dimensions of it you will get different instances. Items are the parameters (dimensions, feature etc.) by varying which different instances are generated from generic.
Each row in a family table represents an instance, where as each columns represents an item.
Name given to each instance of family table is not case sensitive.
Family table could be multi level as well. In multi level family table, you can create instances of instance.
Creating family table: Model the generic part in pro engineer, save it and then click on tools>family table, you will get a window like below:
Click on the add new instance icon, one more row of instance will be added to the family table with a system generated name, you can change the name.
Now, click on the add new item icon to add the numbers of items to the family table, New item fields will be appeared as*, put the desired values.
If you want an instance should not be modified, then select that instance and click on lock icon of the family table.