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Can you copy parts without losing in context relations?

Question asked by Michael Shinn on Apr 24, 2020
Latest reply on Apr 24, 2020 by Walter Fetsch

I have an assembly with multiple pins that reference a single master part. The master part is in the assembly, fixed in location. Then each pin is inserted into the assembly, mated in place, and then a feature is added to the pin that creates an in context relation between the pin and master part. (Usually I'll either use a cavity feature or cut up to surface or body). Since I start with the same pin file, then copy and rename it for each new instance I wanted to know if there was a way to make the in context relation copy over without becoming out of context.


Right now each pin must be individually edited to add the feature that will form the end of the pin. But I'm adding the same feature to every pin and that feature references the same solid body on every pin. However if I copy one pin, rename it, insert it to the assembly it loses the link to the part body. Is there a way to for it to keep this link?


For some more background and what I've learned so far:


I've attached a screen shot of a small test assembly I'm working on.

-   The part file that has the geometry for the end of the pins is shown at the top, CorePartSolidBody. It consists of just one solid body (running horizontally across the screen).

-   The pins are shown as the 6 vertical cylinders. On the very right is pin 1 which I used the cavity feature and selected the CorePartSolidBody as the design part. 

-   On the very left is a copy of pin 1 (after adding the cavity feature to pin 1, I saved it, copied, renamed, and re-inserted it in the new location on the left)

-   The dialog box shows the external references of the cavity feature of the copied ejector pin.


What's interesting to me is every other way I can think of to add the geometry to the these pins results in the external reference showing "out of context" as soon as you copy and re-insert it. However the cavity feature retains the link to the correct solid body, shows "in context" as its status, but unfortunately still shows the missing reference icon "->?".


Another thing I've noticed is you can right click the cavity feature from the assembly screen and an option I'd never noticed before is "Edit Cavity Part" which takes you to editing the component used in the cavity feature. This works on the copied pin, proving Solidworks knows where the body is, it just wont update the feature!