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Best practices for sharing and making edits to a master assembly between two users?

Question asked by Paul Reamey on Jul 9, 2018

I'm building what is basically a wheelchair with another designer (can't share the files here). It was created as a top down assembly with a whole series of in-context mates. The wheelchair itself is designed to fold, but the configuration with the parts built in context is static. We are now starting to design a whole series of parts that have to attach to the assembly at specific locations and tolerances, and which will move (rotate/slide) independently in relation to the main assembly. My strategy was to open the Master assembly, insert new part, and build it in context of that master assembly. Then to save that part externally and re-insert that part into the assembly under a new configuration to validate the motion.


This works fine if I'm working alone, but problems arise when we try to combine files. For example, if I work on the backrest for a week, and my collaborator works on the wheels for that week. When we want to combine the files, we now have two different assemblies (e.g. Master_New Backrest and Master_New Wheels). The files are 95% identical, but have in-context edits in different parts of the assembly. If we want to use Master_New Backrest going forward, then we will have to import the new parts from Master_New Wheels. But because all those wheel components were built in context of their own assembly, they need to reference that old assembly (Master_New Wheels) for their base geometry. So I can't just import the wheels into Master_New Backrest, because they will just be dumb parts with broken links (or I would have to include whole series of old revisions as we add new components).


Does anybody know of a straightforward way of doing this?


Been looking for weeks and at this point I feel like I'm taking crazy pills, so any help would be greatly appreciated.