Following on from my earlier question regarding assembly structures, I have a couple more questions:
The parts in the robot models from the manufacturer are all STEP files, each part containing a single imported feature. When opened in Solidworks, all the parts are Fixed (they have the (f) next to them in the feature tree. When I move the parts around into their respective sub-assemblies, I want to locate each part in the sub-assembly by mating its origin with the sub-assembly origin. Here are the questions:
1. How can I select all the parts in the assembly and Float them simultaneously? It seems that the Float option is not available if more than one part is selected. I'm not a fan of the 'select a part, right-click, Float, select the next part...' option.
2. How can I select all the parts in a given sub-assembly and mate their origins to the sub-assembly origin simultaneously? I know about the multiple mate option, but I can't seem to find a way to select all the part origins without expanding each part and clicking the origin in the feature tree. That's a lot of clicking. Again, I'm not a fan.
3. I want each of my robot models to be constructed the same way. That means the mates between the sub-assemblies as well. Assuming I can get the common assembly structure sorted (thanks John Stoltzfus for the suggestion), is there a way to copy mates without their being fully-defined? Then I would open up my newly-created robot assembly, with its parts in their correct sub-assemblies, and select the references for each of the pre-defined mates. I did think maybe smart mates could help, but remember a) I am not creating the parts, they are STEP files from the manufacturer, although I am creating the sub-assemblies and b) The parts are all referenced to the overall origin of the robot, not to any repeatable spot on my sub-assembly, thus the offsets between origin and axis vary with the size of the robot.
4. Finally (I think), when restructuring an assembly by dragging components from one sub-assembly to another, I find that sometimes I can select a group of components then click, drag the top selected component and they all follow each other into the target sub-assembly; other times, only one goes and the others stay where they were. I can't see a reason for this variation in behaviour, but there is probably a sensible justification.