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Create copy of linked document into workspace

shawn_crockershawn_crocker Member, OS Professional Posts: 347 PRO
edited February 2021 in Data management

A new product has been created and is basically an assembly put together with standard linked documents straight out of the company library. Customer requests a change and the change means one of the standard linked parts need to be custom tailored to there needs.

How this must currently be done:

Right click on part and select open linked document. Navigate to the main workspace. Right click on the tab and select copy to clipboard. Go back to product and paste tab. Select to replace component and choose the part from the newly copied tab. Proceed with editing the part to the customers request. If the part was configured and the assembly it is be swapped into has configuration controls that were driving the original part. Then one of two workflows need to be completed. You have to select all the controls all over again in the assembly configuration controls or if the part no longer needs to be configurable, you need to wipe out the parts configuration controls to be sure it is being properly represented in the assembly.

How it could work faster:

Right click on part that needs to be copied and select "copy linked document to current workspace" after completing this a new tab or tabs would appear in the current document and the assembly would automagically have it's components replaced with the copied ones and all mates and driven configuration controls would be maintained. Possible provide a dialog allowing the user three options. Option one, retain all driven configuration parameters. Option two, remove driven configurations so that assembly not longer has control of the part. Option three, remove driven configurations and remove copied parts configurations leaving part in a completely unconfigured state.

This would greatly improve over usability of configured link documents. It would be similar to SolidWorks ability to "make independent" right click option. At the moment it seems way too cumbersome to customize previously used standard parts.


  • lougallolougallo Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,995
    @shawn_crocker This is a pretty specific workflow that I am not sure would be ideal for a few reasons.  One, the process of copy could bring a number of elements into this document further growing the size of the single document. Performance is gained by having links vis live references for cases like this.  In your example of making a change to this part, why not go to the source and make a change and simply version it and change the reference to V2 (for example) instead of making another copy in the same document?

    This is a relatively unique request and since there are no files in Onshape, the version path can keep similar but different parts in the same place and still keep the benefits of linked documents. A simple in content edit would fix this. I am happy to talk about other options if you like that might ease this workflow.
    Lou Gallo / PD/UX - Support - Community / Onshape, Inc.
  • shawn_crockershawn_crocker Member, OS Professional Posts: 347 PRO
    Hmm.  I do naturally love keeping as much as possible linking back to a master source.  That's why we switched to onshape.  I will have to think about my approach a bit more.  Immediately it feels concerning to try and manage what version is for what.  I'm just imagining endless branches named things that once made sense but years later have no meaning.  But now that I write this, I'm suddenly become more intrigued to make use of this workflow.  I actually don't want to break away from the master part.  In the heat of the moment it just seems simplest.
  • dirk_van_der_vaartdirk_van_der_vaart Member Posts: 226 ✭✭✭
    How about configuration's ?
  • shawn_crockershawn_crocker Member, OS Professional Posts: 347 PRO
    Mmm.  Yes, indeed.  I do love them.
  • shawn_crockershawn_crocker Member, OS Professional Posts: 347 PRO
    edited August 2021
    Well, @lougallo, I have had some time to digest a different workflow and started just creating new branches to make modifications.  I actually think copying the part is usually the way to go.  The changes I'm talking about are not update changes.  There changes like copying the part to have a good starting point for a new part.  If I copy a product document and then start messing with it and deciding what other downstream items also need to be changed, it would make life so much easier if I could just select something within the assembly that copied the tab from the linked document straight into the document I'm working in.  Having the ability to strip out any configuration inputs at the same time would make this workflow amazing.  I find always creating branches makes a document always look like it is out of date everywhere is has been used.  Which is distracting.  ATM we can open a document and copy a tab.  Then we can paste the tab into a different document.  I'm just asking to be able to perform essentially the same thing but with out having the leave the current document and without having to manually replace the original document with the copied one.  I just want to click and tada.. the component is now unique the the current document.  If understanding of the benefit is still not quite clear, checkout solidworks and the option to "make unique" from within an assembly.  I know we don't have files but the workflow is still beneficial.

    PS. I'm not seeing the vote button on this one.  Is this an improvement request?

    PS2.  In the end, the copied tab would get moved out of the document to reside in its own document so onshape performance is not a factor here its the factor of waiting for documents and dialogs to open when it could just happen all under the hood.
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