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Locking an external reference doesn't actually lock it

Question asked by Jonathan Corsico on Jul 3, 2020

Hello!  I have an assembly with several fixed parts and one movable part.  Within certain phases of its range of motion, the movable part will interfere with (i.e., collide into) a small volume of one of the fixed parts.  


To address this, I positioned the movable part in its location of maximum interference, and then created an Indent feature in the fixed part.  The Indent feature cut out the volume of interference.  I then locked the external reference to the movable part, so that I could reposition the movable part again without affecting the Indent feature.  The lock appears to work, and survives repositioning the movable part and a Control-Q rebuild.


However, if I later edit the fixed part (features totally unrelated to the Indent), the Indent feature fails.  To fix the failure, I have to re-position the movable part in its location of maximum interference and then un-lock the reference.  The Indent feature then works again with the reference unlocked.  


Thus, what is the "Lock" actually doing?  It doesn't seem to actually lock the reference, because if I reposition the movable part (even when the reference is locked) the Indent feature blows up.  Thus, the Indent feature is still looking to the movable part, even though I've supposedly Locked it.  


Do I have to "Break" the external reference to the movable part?  I get tons of warnings about how a break is permanent, which is not what I want to do.


Thank you!