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Virtual Assembly Best Practices

Question asked by Don Carter on Nov 9, 2018
Latest reply on Nov 5, 2019 by Madson Germano

Does anyone know of a published Best Practices guide for Virtual Assemblies / Virtual Components?

Or, does your company have something documented that you could share?


Here's our situation:

We have top assemblies that contain Virtual sub-assemblies that contain external components.  Sometimes, problems occur that seem to be directly related to this structure, because the problem resolves itself when the Virtual sub-asm is saved as an external file. 


An example is an Assembly Feature Extruded Cut in the top level asm that is applied to one of the external components of a Virtual sub-asm.  The cut is not propagated to the parts. It works fine in the top asm, but the drawing of that top asm sporadically drops that feature.  You can see the cut in the FM in that drawing view, but it comes and goes in the graphics area.  It can be dimensioned, measured, etc.  Save and reopen the drawing and it's gone, with dims and annotations left dangling.  Jump to the asm and back to the drawing and it reappears ----- sometimes, not always.   Save the Virtual sub-asm as an external file and these problems resolve themselves.

The drawing is fully resolved --- no Lightweight here.


Other Virtual Assembly problems are related to PDM - the children of the Virtual asm are not searchable, do not appear in Where Used, etc......


Because of this kind of bugginess, this practice has been frowned upon by us company based tech support folks, but the practice continues.  I want to know if there's some documented ammunition we can use to support our position.  I got lost in the KB trying to find something.  I don't see anything in Help that would discourage this practice.


Maybe we're unique with these problems?  I don't know.   What say you?


We operate in a SolidWorks PDM Pro environment; SW2017 SP3 (and higher).