I have inherited a bunch of SW designs that I will need to work with going forward.
When saving an assembly, I got this message...
Question; How can I find these Virtual parts? I can't see anything in the tree.
Thanks in advance.
The parts and assemblies that are virtual will have brackets around their names. [example]
There is NOTHING in the tree?
The name of each virtual component will include the parent assembly's name. If that helps.
2015 SOLIDWORKS Help - Save as External Part
see the below image
The components show up inside brackets [PART NUMBER]
Got it. Thank you Casey, Dan, Christian, Steve.
Now to further my education...
I have exactly one part in the tree in brackets.
It is complete devoid of everything.
There is one part in the tree with the same name as is in the brackets...
And in that part there are 4 of the virtual parts.
They each have one Boss Extrude. When I open them they make perfect sense what they are (filler pieces on a strip for a progressive die).
If the parts are virtual within the subassembly of the strip, why is there a virtual part (that is empty) way near the bottom of the tree?
If you have virtual parts in different sub assemblies they are each their own component. The one in the top level is different than the other ones.
Could be used for a lot of things. Check the custom properties of that empty part. Some people use empty virtual parts as placeholders for things like grease or adhesive on the BOM.
Others use empty virtual parts as something to create a robust mating scheme. Check the mates on that virtual part.
Probably someone used Library part, then broke link to original part by creating virtual and modified virtual part without touching original.
Custom properties are empty...
There is one mate, that I can't edit...
So, I need further education.
What could possible be the purpose of this virtual part?
My bet is someone put the part in there and didn't end up needing it. I can not think of any other reason for it to be there. You might look on the configuration specific tab for properties but if that is empty I would say it is a truly empty part.
How BOM describes virtual parts?
What happens if suppress all?
Rick, if you aren't sure what that "empty" part is doing there then try suppressing it to see if anything changes. Look for mates/things going from constrained to unconstrained. You can also look at the mass properties with the part suppressed/unsuppressed.
If the part is empty you should be able to delete it.
I suppressed the part.
Christmas did not come early for me (my tree didn't light up like a Christmas tree).
I am comfortable deleting this part (but I will probably just leave it suppressed.
I have learned something today and I thank you all for the knowledge.
I don't know what I don't know, but I know that I still don't get virtual parts completely. The previous designer of the tool used virtual parts in the strip. I have made many strips and I just made a real part to do the same thing (fill a gap in the strip).
I need to access the virtues of each method to see if one is a better workflow.
Have a great weekend all.
Rick Becker wrote: I don't know what I don't know, but I know that I still don't get virtual parts completely.
Rick Becker wrote:
I don't know what I don't know, but I know that I still don't get virtual parts completely.
You and me both
Virtual parts are as any other external parts when it comes to BOM & Supress all. What makes a part "virtual" its just that the part is saved in the ASM file internally instead of having a separate SLDPRT where the parts is saved by itself.
If you have any more doubts, you can check the help here
I never had any doubt about that.
The topic of discussion is not what is the virtual part, but what is the reason to use it.
Pardon me, I completely missunderstood your phrasing then.
Such as I used virtual part to make a quick dummy model
Also, i have noticed that many people for whom English is not their primary language use the term "doubt" as most Americans would use the term "Questions". Thus I read the phrase to mean " If you have any more questions you can check here for more answers. Just differences how we use the words.
Thanks for the tip.
That is my question too. When is a good time to use virtual parts and what is the advantage of a virtual part over an external part in an assembly? I have never used them before.
I have come across two situations recently where models I received had virtual parts.
One was a hydraulic cylinder from a supplier, where all parts were virtual. I actually thought this was a good idea because that way there was only one file to insert into my assembly model.
The second was an assembly drawing with all external parts except the nuts, bolts washers etc. They were all virtual parts. Maybe this was to decrease the parts in a "pack and go" or something?
Any comments would be appreciated.
I use virtual parts when the read only Library Part or Subassembly needs to be modified in a particular case.
I convert this item into virtual (it breaks link to Library) and alter the virtual part (subassembly) the way I need without spoiling my Library.
Brian, Virtua lparts are mostly utilized in fast concepting of projects where there is a need for fast block manipulation with out tying up saving and server space. We use them all of the time. In automation projects and fixturing it is beneficial rather than having a folder of numbered parts to have sub assemblies that contain virtual parts until you get near to a solution. The bridge with virtual parts you do not want to cross is in context features to another virtual part. This will blow up on you if you take the project to actual manufacturing. As the in context features will reference the virtual version and not the live model saved.
Virtual parts also work well for non manufactured placeholders, such as paint, threadlock or anti seize. Under the configuration of the part you can specify what shows in the bom so you can have 40 instances of threadlock in an assembly come through in your Bom for the shop building your project.
I sometimes start with virtual parts then move to external parts as I have tree organized.
The advantage to virtual parts is that I can rename parts on the fly and reorder them on the fly as well.
The disadvantage is that you can't share virtual parts between two different assemblies (even if one assembly is a sub assembly of another one, virtual or not).
Another use for virtual parts is with hoses or wiring harnesses. Say I have a hydraulic hose of a given length with ends crimped on it and it is named 123456. Now hoses of this length with these same ends can be used in hundreds of different assemblies but being flexible will have different shapes in every assembly. In the past I have tried to create one assembly and change the hose shapes with configurations. I have also tried naming all of the hoses with a suffix relating to the assembly each hose goes into. BUT, if i create one hose for the drawing and all of the rest of the hoses are made as virtual within the assembly where they are used I can avoid problems with a hundred 123456 hoses in my folders.
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