It is a common practice to export a SOLIDWORKS assembly to a neutral file format to be imported in other CAD applications. The option to save SOLIDWORKS assembly as a part may not be as widely used, but it can be useful when assembly file set needs to be reduced to a single file and used for representation only. Saving assembly as a part eliminates the need for sending all the reference files.
To save an assembly as a part, we use the File > Save As command.
After .sldprt file type is selected, three options appear in the Save As dialog:
- Exterior faces – saved part includes external faces only, all bodies being surfaces. Typical reasons for saving assembly as a part with external faces are preventing reverse engineering of the model and reducing file size of the model that is required for representation purpose.
- Exterior components – part includes only visible components.
- All components – all components are included as multiple bodies except those that are hidden or suppressed in the assembly.
Similar to exporting assembly to a neutral file format, a part saved from an assembly includes plain geometry without feature history. After an assembly has been saved to a part file, there is no link between the two documents. Further changes made to the assembly will not propagate to the part file.