Solid Edge has had the command Insert Part Copy for a long time. Insert Part Copy functions by allowing you to insert the geometric body of an existing Part, Sheet Metal or Assembly file into another Part or Sheet Metal file. The geometric body can be optionally inserted associatively as an Ordered feature, or non-associatively in Synchronous mode and supports several options such as making the body a construction, scaling, or mirroring the inserted body.
A similar command was made available in ST5 and later versions called Insert Assembly Copy. Insert Assembly Copy functions by allowing you to insert an existing Assembly file into another Assembly file. Unlike Insert Part Copy which inserts a body, Insert Assembly Copy inserts the actual assembly structure under an Assembly Copy node in Pathfinder. The resulting Assembly Copy is associative to the original such that any changes or additions to the original will be reflected in the copy. You can of course freeze or break the link of the Assembly Copy which results in the Assembly Copy node becoming non-associative to the original.
The Insert Assembly Copy command has several options which are:
- Add new components on update (If this is unchecked, adding new parts in the copied from assembly does not update the Assembly Copy with the new parts)
- Include assembly features
- Mirror about (uses the same wizard as the Mirror Components command)
- Exclude Components
Uses for the Insert Assembly Copy include:
- Creating a mirrored assembly (Left Hand vs. Right Hand)
- Inserting a base 80% assembly into multiple assembly files and adding optional parts in each to produce 100% configured assemblies.
- ??? If you can think of any other novel uses, please comment them on this article.
The Assembly Copy function is also used by:
- The Mirror Components command in Assembly to associatively mirror assembly structure/components.
- The Multi-Body Publish command to build an assembly of the published bodies for downstream use.