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Making unique copies of a part

JonathanJonathan Member Posts: 17 ✭✭
edited January 2015 in Using Onshape
Hi all,

I have the following situation:
I want to produce several parts that generally have the same shape, but they differ in some of their parameters.
my original strategy was to make one of them, copy it, modify the original and repeat until all parts are made. This does not work because the copies change their characteristics together with the original... 

My question:
Is there a way to make a part-copy unique and independent from the source, so I can change the original and have the different copied version too?
maybe anyone can recommend an altogether better approach to this problem?




  • Ben_Ben_ OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 282 PRO
    edited January 2015

    Are you working in an assembly? Or in a part studio?
    If in an assembly I copy the part studio (copy the tab not copy in the assembly) and then use the unique part from the second studio. Will that work for your issue? 
    If in a part studio when you copy a body the new resulting body is unique and should not change the parent or child. (FYI this can be used as a augmented version of the above and not have to create two part studios)
  • JonathanJonathan Member Posts: 17 ✭✭
    Hi Ben, thank you.

    I work in the part studio, although the tab copy option will work for me.

    About the 'copy body' in part studio:
    1. I guess now it changed to Transform --> copy in place ?
    2. When I do it (copy in place), and then make changes to the sketch that created the original part, the copied part changes too. Maybe I should only make direct changes, not via the sketch, in order to make unique changes in the copies? or is there a way to make a copy of a part including its sketches?

  • Ben_Ben_ OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 282 PRO
    Huh... Never noticed that... You could try picking and pulling faces using the move face tool maybe? I found that till is incredibly handy
  • JonathanJonathan Member Posts: 17 ✭✭
    I could do that, but would much prefer changing parameters in a sketch mode where things are "well defined".. Anyhow, the copy tab option will do the job, for now.


  • jakeramsleyjakeramsley Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 625
    I don't have the full context of this, but if you are working on different versions of the same part I would encourage you to try building each one on a branch.  At this point you can drive all of them with the master branch and merge that into each version's branch.  This won't work if you need all of these different versions in the same assembly though.
    Jake Ramsley

    Director of Quality Engineering & Release Manager              onshape.com
  • JonathanJonathan Member Posts: 17 ✭✭
    Hi Jake,

    Interesting idea, I didn't explore branches before. However, I would ultimately need all the parts in the same assembly so it is not relevant for this task.

  • ilya_baranilya_baran Onshape Employees, Developers, HDM Posts: 1,043
    The other thing you could do if you wanted to copy a part non-parametrically is to copy the whole part studio by right-clicking on the part studio tab and choosing "Duplicate."
    Ilya Baran \ Director, Architecture and FeatureScript \ Onshape Inc
  • JonathanJonathan Member Posts: 17 ✭✭
    Hi ibaran, 

    yes, Ben mentioned too this option earlier in the thread. I guess that's the way to go about it..


  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,552 PRO
    Jonathan it's a big deal in CAD to have dependent and independent instances of a body and I don't think its clear in OS when one or the other occurs. You're going down the right path, it confuses me too.

  • Ben_Ben_ OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 282 PRO
    This really comes down to us getting used to a new way of modelling and understanding where things are and what they do. OS is in a situation where this is psudo new ground they are breaking. I would suggest that Sketchup has this figured out partially. You can right click on an instance and break the ties to the parent, but with sketchup there is no history of actions took so then they have the overhead of should it bring new sketch and boss instances with the new broken away child or not... 

    So I guess I should put in a feature request for the ability to right click a copied body in a part studio and be able to make it into a dumb solid or a new instance of the body with all features and sketches attached to the body. And the ability to define this when copying a body. (is  this already in the list of things to do or work on @LouGallo‌ ?)

    If you think this is a good idea I would suggest you all make this request so that it would bubble up from the bottom of the enhancement requests. 

    One thing I am LOVING about this testing is our ability to help shape the product. I know we actually have a say in the development of this software unlike most other packages.
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,552 PRO
    When you go virtual in SW, you have the option for making instances independent. In space claim you could make instances independent and then go back to dependent, full circle. In space claim, instance dependency was an easy concept to get.

    In SW (non-virtual), because it was file based:
    -2 different files-independent,
    -1 file-dependent right?

    But who wants to go back to file based stuff. You need both dependent & independent instancing in CAD, but when and how it happens..... I'm not sure it's right in OS yet.

    OS allows you to switch bodies between dependent & independent instancing but its tied to branching & merge which isn't as obvious to understand. That's why Jake is offering up the branch concept as a solution to this problem. But because you can't bring it into an assembly, well this is useless, strike 1. Not to mention the fact that part studio's don't offer instancing which is what I want, strike 2.

    Ben is right about this being an issue on learning how OS handles this. I figured it all out a couple of months ago, but today I can't tell you how it works, I forgot. You should listen to Ben not me.


  • Ben_Ben_ OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 282 PRO
    Ummmm ok, well I am going to go and try the branching method to see if that works out. I am trying two wrap my brain around if that will work or not.
    And listening to me can be a slippery slope :) Careful when you do...
  • Ben_Ben_ OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 282 PRO
    Ok, so you cannot choose the version or branch instance of a part in the assembly (that I can find) so we are back to multiple tabs.  I haven't played with merging branches to see if that would affect anything but at that point it turns a Onshape document into a nighmarish puzzle that one would have to unravel. I think that the ability to choose the branch instance of a part studio could be a slippery slope and add too much of a 'psychic toll' to a individual and likely cause more problems than it is worth. As much as I do not like adding more tabs I think that is the way to go on this. 

    Now we have to deal with the tab management issue :) 

    Im going for a break cause my mind hurts from thinking about his...
  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    Excellent example of why OnShape needs configurations. Quickly.
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor, User Group Leader Posts: 2,081 PRO
    edited January 2015
    I think the assemblies will need configurations. Not sure about the part studio I find I just keep building multiple parts and use the hide show. Love way the assembly list works when adding parts/assemblies to an assembly and think configurations in the part studio would screw with this simplicity. A switch in the transform to break reference may work to solve this issue and reduce tabs. I have made the mistake of building separate part studios when parts could be structured in the one. Just waiting for drawings to see how they work this will be integral to configuration and display states.
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,552 PRO
    edited January 2015
    So I found my notes on dependent/independent instances:

    -duplicating a part studio creates an independent instance of the part studio
    -copying a part studio inside an assembly creates a dependent instance of the part studio

    I don't know if things have changed, but this was the behavior a couple of months ago.

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