Pro Engineer/Family Table Tips

Name Features

Name features/ dimensions used on family tables. This makes the family table easier to understand and modify.

Automatic Suppression

Suppressing a feature or component using family table will suppress all children automatically.

Create features in instances

Creating features in an instance will automatically suppress the feature/ component in the generic and add the items to the family table.

Don't use the generic as an instance

Create an instance for each model required e.g one for casting, one for machining: avoid creating one instance (machining) and then using the generic as the casting instance.

Tolerances can be added to family table

Display tolerances, Family Table, Add Item, Dimension pick the required dimension and the tolerance figures.

Add parameters instead of dimensions

Adding parameters to the family table instead of dimension enable you to drive many dimensions/ features from a single column in the family table. e.g. a bolt family with different bolt heads, the thickness of the head can be driven by one parameter (head_thickness) instead of adding a dimension for each type of bolt head. Each bolt head thickness dimension has the relation d**=head_thickness.


Complex features such as patterns can be added either by adding individual pattern dimensions or by adding pattern tables to the family table.

Reduce generic part load time

If a feature/component is only used in a few instances suppress that feature/component in the generic to reduce load/regeneration times. Generic assemblies could have all components suppressed in the generic. Parts can also have all features suppressed in the generic. Features and components are then added at the instance level.

Create the family table at the end

Each instance has to be regenerated after certain operations, this can cause long regenerations. Complete the majority of features before constructing the family table.


Always verify a family table before saving to Intralink. Intralink will issue a warning if instances are not verified

Don't leave default values in family table

Fill in all values do not leave * (the * denotes the value will be the same as the generic) in the family table otherwise instances may change unintentionally when the generic is modified.

Reorder Features

Reorder the features that change via the family table to be as late as possible in the model tree - this will improve performance and regeneration.