SolidWorks 2008: Inserting and Mirroring Parts

July 28, 2007 21 Comments »
SolidWorks 2008:  Inserting and Mirroring Parts

One of the REALLY handy new items in SolidWorks 2008 is the added options to the Insert Part/Insert Mirror Part commands.  Here is the quick synopsis of what has been added:

Insertpart1 When you use the Insert-> Part command, you now have the added ability to transfer unabsorbed sketches, absorbed sketches, custom properties, and coordinate systems from the original part file.  Also in the PropertyManager is a new option to break the link to the original part file (more on that later).  If the file you are performing the Insert Part command in already has custom properties that conflict with the incoming part, those properties are held.  If you wish to BREAK the link to the original file, you now can do that and PRESERVE all the features! You have the choice of doing this during creation or later on through the External References dialog! (That “Break All” option will have more use cases now!)

The same options are available also when using the Mirror Part command.  You may be wondering how the features can be preserved when breaking the link in a mirrored part.  In cases like this, the feature tree is essentially copied and a Move/Copy Body command is placed at the bottom of the features that translates the part to the mirrored version.  While this seems to work well in the tests I have performed, it is rather odd to me that the Move/Copy feature is used to do this.  Apparently this is a “special case” usage of this feature as I have not been able to mirror a solid body using this feature under normal conditions.

Copying custom properties has also made its way into the “Split” and “Save Bodies” commands. Preserving features when breaking external references do not appear to work with “Stock Parts” that are created as a result of these commands. (The checkbox IS there in the External References dialog box in these cases but the option doesn’t work.)

To see these new tools in action, click on this VIDEO link for a demonstration.

Stay Tuned….MUCH more to come!

Related Posts

  • http://www.solidsmack.com Josh

    I so can't wait to use this in production. Nice video by the way.

  • http://www.solidsmack.com Josh

    I so can’t wait to use this in production. Nice video by the way.

  • http://cadfanatic.com/ Brian

    Ricky,

    Cool article! We have just ran into a situation where bringing in sketches from an inserted part would be a really nice thing to have!

    Unless I am missing something, you can create a mirrored part using the Move/Copy feature in the same way as SW2008 does, even in 2007.

    Brian
    http://cadfanatic.com/

  • http://cadfanatic.com/ Brian

    Ricky,

    Cool article! We have just ran into a situation where bringing in sketches from an inserted part would be a really nice thing to have!

    Unless I am missing something, you can create a mirrored part using the Move/Copy feature in the same way as SW2008 does, even in 2007.

    Brian
    http://cadfanatic.com/

  • http://profile.typekey.com/brianmcelyea/ Brian McElyea

    Oops, it looks as though I was missing something! All of the tests I did with the body Move/Copy was on symmetric parts, so it did seem as though it was mirroring.

    They must be doing some voodoo magic in SW2008 there!

  • http://profile.typekey.com/brianmcelyea/ Brian McElyea

    Oops, it looks as though I was missing something! All of the tests I did with the body Move/Copy was on symmetric parts, so it did seem as though it was mirroring.

    They must be doing some voodoo magic in SW2008 there!

  • Jimmy

    Does this mean that mirroring parts will reference the original? If I make changes to the original, will the mirrored part show these changes, or would i have to mirror again?

    And sw08 mirror mates when you mirror a part- whether and instance or a left/right?

  • Jimmy

    Does this mean that mirroring parts will reference the original? If I make changes to the original, will the mirrored part show these changes, or would i have to mirror again?

    And sw08 mirror mates when you mirror a part- whether and instance or a left/right?

  • Doug

    Thanks for the cool video! Is there any way we could get you to do a video of a mirrored part?

    Thanks again,

    Doug

  • http://www.rickyjordan.com Ricky Jordan

    Hi Doug,

    The last 1/3 of the video shows a mirrored part. Are there any additional features of the mirror part command you were wanting to see?

    Best Regards,

    Ricky Jordan

  • Doug

    Thanks for the cool video! Is there any way we could get you to do a video of a mirrored part?

    Thanks again,

    Doug

  • http://www.rickyjordan.com Ricky Jordan

    Hi Doug,

    The last 1/3 of the video shows a mirrored part. Are there any additional features of the mirror part command you were wanting to see?

    Best Regards,

    Ricky Jordan

  • http://www.bearing-sales.com Gregorio Cruz
  • Ernest Stranz

    When I have the mirrored part I am unable to make dynamic changes even thought the Instant3D button is selected. Even if I attempt to use the move/copy body command I am still unable to make dynamic changes unless I roll back behind the move/copy body command and then the part goes back to its origianal non-mirrored form. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  • http://www.rickyjordan.com Ricky Jordan

    Ernest,

    I just tested this with SolidWorks 2009 (It is the only version I have installed). I was able to dynamically change the model using Instant3D but ONLY by dragging on the blue “dots” at the end of the dimensions which as you have said are located in the original part location. This was only possible if I selected “Break link to original part” when I created the mirror part. Does this help?

    If you don't want to break the link to the original part you will have to make the changes to the original part which of course will propagate to the mirror part.

    Does this help? Let me know if you have additional questions.

    Ricky

  • Patrick

    Please note that since SolidWorks works best in a 64-bit environment, and this blog is for SW users, you should probably assume they are wanting to view your video in a 64-bit browser. 64-bit browsers do not support Flash yet, so perhaps a different way of delivering video would be well advised. Thanks.

  • Thomas

    YOU SIR, JUST SAVED ME A GOOD 2 HOURS OF MODELING. Granted, I am a college student so in some ways you might have just helped me cheat, but oh well! Thank you so much!

  • http://www.rickyjordan.com Ricky Jordan

    Thomas,

    Glad you found the post useful! And don't worry….unless your instructor told you to NOT use the Mirror command…it isn't cheating! :-) Let's just call it efficient use of the software. :-)

    I first learned SolidWorks TOTALLY on my own 12 years ago when I was in college. The web was still way to “young” to have much content and on top of that SolidWorks itself was a pretty young package at that time. That experience is part of the reason I have this site today.

    I'm always looking for suggestions on new topics so as you are learning SolidWorks, if you have any ideas…e-mail them to me.

    Happy learning!

    Ricky

  • http://www.rickyjordan.com Ricky Jordan

    Patrick,

    I just now finally had the opportunity to test this. I have a Vista 64 bit Test machine and was able to view my flash videos without any problem using IE (which was installed by our IT group).

    I'll have to do some more investigation into 64bit Browsers…but so far…I'm not seeing any issues.

    Ricky

  • majestyk89

    This works great with solid models, but does this procedures works with sheet metal parts? I have tried to find a way to do the left and right hand of a sheet metal part but i cant find a way around it. Thanks. Great tutorial tutorial by the way.

  • http://www.uk-cheapest.co.uk Domain Names

    Try Solid Works 2009, it's awsome… New features too endless to list!