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Why do seemingly unrelated features lose their references when I edit a model upstream?

Question asked by Pablo Rohrssen on Feb 19, 2014
Latest reply on Feb 19, 2014 by Pablo Rohrssen

I'm working on a complex model with lots of features. Most features are dependent on the geometry of earlier features.


The problem I´m encountering is that when modifying the model, seamingly trivial changes at the beginning or middle of the model break features later on. The breakage often takes the form of lost references, for example a sketch will break relations referring to existing geometry even when the geometry that the particular scketch referenced is totally unchanged.


This happens even when I start editing something high in the feature tree, and then decide to discard my changes: during rebuild more often than not references in features (edges or relations) break even though in theory nothing has changed.


This has also happened accross bodies and surfaces: modifications in one body will cause a later feature in a different body with no relation to the first to fail.


I suspect it has something to do with the way solidworks assigns names to lines and surfaces in model gemetry. It seems to arise when solidworks cannot find "line1@surface5" even when the line and surface in themselves havent changed.


Can someone clarify exactly what is causing the breakages, and how to avoid them? Am I modelling wrong? Is the model just too complex or do models with a lot of surface operations and many many features just become unmanagebly unstable?


At the moment I'm spending way more time fixing broken features than actually working on changes to the model, which makes the most trivial of changes high up in the design tree a major task.