We have some standard parts that have many configurations, but sometimes having all of the parts in one part file is not convenient, E.G. the master part file has no part number, instead the configuration names are the part numbers for the different parts. Also it makes the drawing references complex to have them all poiting to one giant master part file.
What I would like to do is save seperate part files of a derived part for each configuration, without dissolving the configurated part. Ideally, whatever the methodology is, it should keep the reference features, planes etc. so that the configuration of the master part could be replaced with the specific part without breaking mate references, etc. It is also very important that whatever the method is, that the new part be linked to the old part, not a completely seperate file, so that any changes made to the master part file will show in all of the individual parts as well.
Then, if we obsolete one of our standard parts, we could just break the link to the master part and delete the configuration in the master part, and still have a copy to use, named with the correct part number, a drawing referenced to the part, and would be able to to a replace from the configuration part to the stand-alone part.
Is there a way to do anything like this? I have tried just saving a derived part of the configuration, but if you swap that in the assembly, all the mates break, and if you try to make a drawing of it, things don't work out so good, because hole callout data, custom properties, sheet metal flat patern and properties, etc. don't seem to always pull right.