As design evolves within SOLIDWORKS we find many customers have a desire to swap sub-assemblies for multi-body components. We could spend some time in this article to discuss why I think this may not be the best idea in regard to overall SOLIDWORKS performance, however my goal here is to highlight a little enhancement that can make a big difference to some users.
The Common scenario:
Let’s illustrate a scenario where we have a plan to exchange the sub-assemblies place for a multi-body component. If we happen to have created some annotated drawing content from a sub-assembly, before we used to use the “Replace Components” tool, we know what will happen…BOOM! All of the drawing dimensions will dangle and become useless.
Preserve Geometry References
In order to avoid this, we can invoke some functionality when Saving out the assembly as a multi-body component in the first place.
When we save the sub-assembly as the eventual part file, simply choose the “Preserve Geometry References” option. This checkbox will provide you with the opportunity to substitute this part file into the parent assembly at a later time – without the penalty of a host of dangling annotations.
Switching back and forth between multi-body and assembly
Here’s the cool part – once you have the multi-body part swapped out for the original sub-assembly, you can then SWITCH IT BACK!
You can use the Replace components tool to once again swap the multi-body part for the original assembly, and the drawing references will be maintained!
Needless to say, having this functionality available bi-directionally is fantastic for users who would like to swap sub-assemblies for their saved-as part files.
We advise that you try this on a test assembly before you attempt it on live data.
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