13 Replies Latest reply on Nov 16, 2016 7:13 PM by Rob Edwards

    Create a duplicate part in an assembly with references

    Rob Edwards

      This has got me all mixed up, I thought it would be well easy, but I've tried everything..



      All I want to do is copy a part and rename it so that it becomes its own part, but have all the references intact (ie An exact duplicate).  Ive tried every combination of Save As, CTRL-drag, pack and go, etc... I can think of but I can't get it to work.


      When I List the External References for the copied part, some of the features are in context (the equations features)

      but the sketch and plane relations are out of context

      What may have complicated things is originally this was a virtual part, I saved it out as part of my trials thinking that might help.  I'm a little worried that I've trashed my assembly.


      The other point to note is that the references are all to another part within the assembly (Setup), not the assembly itself which Im just using as an empty container. 


      If it was just this part I know I could break the references and then weave them in again, but I am hoping to use this part to make *many* more parts that all share these references.


      Please tell me Im just being dumb

        • Re: Create a duplicate part in an assembly with references
          Rob Edwards

          I thought Id have a quick go at remodelling my assembly, and I noticed in the first part that it contains a reference to the second part.

          I naively assumed that the second part would reference the first part, but the first part also references the second part.  So Im guessing that to get this to work all of the references and relations in the parts being referenced have to be created somehow.

          Im hoping there's a correct way to do this.

          • Re: Create a duplicate part in an assembly with references
            Glenn Schroeder

            Maybe if you could explain why you want a copy with all references intact we could offer some suggestions.  Having configurations within a single Part instead of multiple Parts might be a possibility.

              • Re: Create a duplicate part in an assembly with references
                Rob Edwards

                Yes configurations are an option.  The approach I was taking was to try and make (each part/config) simpler.  The reason for the copy was just to get a headstart on each part with the common references already there.  A bit like using a part template.  There will be multiple configurations of each part already, they could become derived configurations, but my feature tree and equations will be cluttered.  I soon run out of meaningful names and I find developing a complicated part far more time intense than a simple one. 


                This is a spiral staircase where there are many unrelated parts that are all created from the same underlying geometry.  So I need treads, risers, handrails, spindles, there are two different styles of stringer, one cut one closed, each of these then has different treads, spindles, there's cappings, and mouldings.  Some of the parts need a flat pattern.


                I was planning on creating envelope like parts, just blocks describing  the geometry and creating patterns which I could then use to populate my "pretty parts" when I do a custom design for a specific customer.  The end goal is for the model to be used (lightweight) in a showroom in front of the customer so they can see the layout and choose a few options, but then back at the workshop it can churn out dxfs for CNC.  I've already done several of these, so I have cracked the modelling difficulties, it's just bringing it all together in a nice reusable format.  Working out how to break it down, always the tricky bit.


                I can see the configs working well if I need to update something in all the parts, but I'm hoping I've got that low level stuff stable now so I'm tempted to start over as John suggests.  This is an ambitious project for me, any advice greatly appreciated

                • Re: Create a duplicate part in an assembly with references
                  Rob Edwards

                  Getting back to my model I've remembered the actual reason I tried to create this was the dxf output of the treads was giving a double line on one of the arcs, so I thought I'd base the tread top view drawing on planar surfaces not extrudes, I wanted to create a new part to simplify the drawing process but I guess I can just add a display state

                • Re: Create a duplicate part in an assembly with references
                  Rob Edwards

                  I think I have come up with a workflow that does what I would like, insert a part into a part.  Ive never used this function before but at first glance it looks like it may be even better than I anticipated, but those would be famous last words no doubt I would regret


                  Im cautiously optimistic because it looks like I can bring in just the features I need.  It also looks like I can bring in different configurations (it imports the active config).  I've never used this functionality before, so not sure if its a powerful feature or a dead end.  I'll find out no doubt

                  • Re: Create a duplicate part in an assembly with references
                    Ryan Sellden

                    I have this same exact question.


                    I have inserted a part into a part in the past but this is not optimal because when I need to change feature colors to designate texture changes (molded part) I have to color by face - very time consuming for complex parts.


                    Also in other cases, the duplicate part will have a small design change requiring a new tool (not a configuration) , and trying to create this change in an inserted part is tricky and time consuming when having the original feature tree to manipulate the model would be a quick change.


                    This seems like a simple feature that SW could incorporate. If anyone has an answer this could save me days of work in some instances.