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Using multiple imported .stp assemblies in one assembly (part referencing)

Question asked by Seth Solbrack on May 17, 2012
Latest reply on May 17, 2012 by Seth Solbrack

I have an issue I've run into now and I'm going to run into in the future, so i'm looking for a recovery solution for now and a front end solution for later.


The issue is as follows:

I've downloaded several .stp files from vendor websites that are themselves multi-part assemblies (glorified boxes and enclosures mostly). I saved each .stp file in different folders and have spent about a day making the modifications/additions I need to make to each assembly (accessories, mounting solutions etc.) I'm now ready to put these assemblies into my top level assembly.


When opening the .stp files, several parts were made. These parts were named 1, 2, 3, etc. When the first two assemblies are opened at the same time now, the first several parts have the same name, and whichever assembly was opened first takes precidence. What shows on the screen is a combination of the two assemblies with numerous assembly errors due to the completely different scale and shape.


Currently I'm wondering if there is a way to force solidworks to sperately reference two parts of the same name from different folders. If not, will changing the part names with "save as" without using "save as copy" break this connection (I know solidworks files tend to be mutable unless you say "save as copy")? I would like to avoid having to "save as copy" then use "replace components" for everything I did as this would be time consuming.


In the future, I would like a way to download and open .stp files without this problem occuring. Is there a way to force a new nameing system (e.g. add "box1" in front of the 1,2,3, etc. that are created)?