Insert Part Replacement – SOLIDWORKS Extra Credit

   By Robert Gemmell on March 16, 2023

This is a series best paired with our training courses. There are some topics where we like to expand or people often ask questions and there might not be time for our instructors to cover it, we encourage you to have a read through this series along with your course to get the most out of the experience!

Q: I didn’t know we could insert a part into a part file, is this like an assembly where we can use replace part?

If you just want to modify the inserted part you can simply edit the part and save the base part, return to your completed part and if it hasn’t already updated then hit Ctrl+B, rebuild, or Ctrl+Q for a forced rebuild.

What they are really asking is; what if I already have another part file and want it to replace the current part file. In this case, we are going to borrow an approach common with drawings. The idea is to take advantage of how SOLIDWORKS files are referenced. We can access and manage these references during the opening process, this is where we will tell SOLIDWORKS to reference our new file instead of the original.

Here is a workflow to replace a part within a part.

  1. Close all SOLIDWORKS files.
  2. From the open menu, select the completed part, the file that contains the inserted part.
  3. Before selecting open, choose References from beside the Mode options.
  4. Double click the Name of the part you want to update.
  5. Select the new part that you want in the completed part. (The file name will be highlighted in green once updated)
  6. Click OK.
  7. Now open your completed part.
  8. Clean up. The original part had references added when it was first placed, depending on the differences of the new part these will need to be updated as well.
    1. Locate the error symbol and expand the feature
    2. Click Body-Move/Copy feature and select Edit Feature
    3. Select the mate you want to fix from the Mates section of the Property Manager
    4. Repeat the previous step until all references are fixed.

Now you can change and update your inserted parts no problem. Check out the next article in this series here.

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Robert Gemmell

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