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Editing individual assembly without changing the originals?

Question asked by Erik Pucci on Jan 22, 2015
Latest reply on Jan 29, 2015 by Josh Killalea

I am fairly new to Solidworks, but our company is planning on switching to it for most of our work, so I am still in the feeling out phase of this program.  Most of the issues I have had, I have been able to work through, except for one problem.  We are a pipe and duct work company, and another coworker made a few test assemblies of our product, and I created a new assembly to combine them together.  As you can see from the picture below, in my assembly I have 3 pieces of pipe connected to an elbow, and a single piece of pipe on the other end of the elbow.  All of my company's pipe is 120in. long, but we can also cut them to be shorter (we call these pieces "cut pieces") to adjust to fit what we need to make in a customer's plant.  I can click on any of these pipes and choose edit feature, and I can change them to however long I want them to be (for example, 80in. long) but when I do that it changes all of the pieces to the new dimension, which is not what I want to accomplish.  I understand why it is happening, but what I really want to do is edit the single piece of pipe to a certain dimension without it affecting the other 3 pieces of pipe in the assembly, and I am just not sure on how to accomplish this.


I also understand that I could make a new assembly for the pipe and bring it into my current assembly, but our company works with tolerances up to 1/16in, and I don't want to have to go through the process of creating a new assembly for every cut piece I want to make (which can range from 3-4 cut pieces all the way up to over 100, depending on the size of the project)


Surely there must be a way to bring in 4 assemblies of pipe, and edit one without editing the other 3?