Been using solidworks for 10+ years since engineering school. I've only recently started using the virtual parts in assembly to create "complex" items.
Most of what I do can be boiled down to lever design.
To start I will open a new assembly.
insert new part1^4barasm.
edit that part1, and will typically start a sketch that is a multi position lever synthesis. What I end up is a static sketch with the Open and closed position of a .... say a door. But there is a mess of 4 bar linkage connecting the open and closed position.
I leave that initial synthesis sketch alone. MAYBE if its a fixed component, like a mounting base or something I might use that first virtual part1 to actually model something, but usually not. It's sole job is the base pattern for everything else.
After that I will create virtual parts of each link bar, (ie part2^4barasm) convert entities from the synthesis sketch from part1 for say the closed position.
End result is a beautiful modeled multipart assembly in the closed position, but it can't move.
I do not want to break the link to the original sketch so I can tweak the mechanism if needed.
So far my answer has been copy and hide the original instance of the parts and mate them together creating a moving assembly under a "moving" configuration along with a "static original" config.
That's not the end of the world for a 4 bar linkage...
but I'm working an a huge mess right now that the pattern part is 30 megabyte with nothing it but 3Dsketch1. and I just got kicked into large assembly mode for just the initial "static original" parts.
Am I Missing something obvious?