Hey Solid Edge users! It has been a quick minute since my last blog post; life has quickly got in the way with my children playing sports, me enjoying the outdoors more and such. But enough with the excuses, I wanted make post today that I feel will help users use a feature of Solid Edge that may be under-utilized...Inter-Part Copy
I have a previous article covering Top-Down vs Bottom-Up Design from an aerial view; today I want to go more in-depth on exactly how to tackle Top-Down using a feature in Solid Edge called "Inter-Part Copy".
What is Inter-Part Copy?
Inter-Part copy in Solid Edge is a method of in-context editing and grabbing references from other parts in the assembly. For instance, you can grab references of faces, or entire bodies of other parts. Once you reference other parts, if those parts change dimensions or move, parts that reference them will update as well.
In order for this to work, your assembly must have at least ONE part in it AND must be saved.
What advantages does Inter-Part Copy have?
As mentioned above, this is a Top-Down design method. So instead of placing a part using mates, the part is designed in the assembly "in-context" or "in-place".
As the name implies, Inter-Part copy uses copies of faces, bodies, etc and places them as a surface in the part being created to be able to reference from using sketches, constraints, and dimensions.
When using reference bodies and faces of parts, you get a link or relationship between the parts. When one part changes, so does the other one.
Make updates to multiple parts easily since they all update when you change one part that is linked to another.
Ensures proper fitment and placement. We have all been there where we mate something, or TRY to mate something and it just will not mate how we want it to. Designing in context using Inter-Part Copy ensures that parts are exactly in space where they need to be.
What disadvantages does Inter-Part Copy have?
While using Inter-Part Copy can make things easier, it can make things hard if not used properly.
Requires VERY disciplined Design-Intent. When using this feature, you must understand that you are working in a dynamic environment that can change rapidly and must know how those changes will affect linked parts. Of course you cannot anticipate every change and outcome, but you should have an idea of what parts are affected and how they should behave to the change that you are making.
Undesired results. As mentioned above, depending on how you used the inter-part copy and linked to it, making changes could produce undesired results such as broken sketches, blown up parts (when a part messes up and simply cannot geometrically meet your criteria and you have a lot features that are messed up), etc..
Inter-Part copy is not good for production parts that are used in MULTIPLE assemblies in my personal experience. My experience is that when using it on a part that has multiple top level assemblies, I usually mess something up and cannot get it to work for all of the assemblies.
Now that we have looked at what it is, when to use it, when not to use it, lets watch a quick video on HOW to use it because I think that seeing it in action is better than words written: