The whole thrust of this post is that in Solid Edge Synchronous Assemblies, you can design parts in the context of the assembly without creating any of the debilitating effects of references between parts. So you can make design intent go back and forth between parts, which you can’t do in your old CAD system because of “circular references”. You can make references to a part in one assembly, put it in another assembly, and make different references without the dreaded “multiple contexts” error. And you can rename or replace parts with similar parts without having anything going haywire on you.
Ok, here’s the story, told in words and pictures. We start with a block in an assembly, and build a sheet metal part around it in the context of the assembly. The sheet metal part is loosely sketched around the block, except for two lines which were sketched directly on block edges. Still, since this is a Synchronous part, the sketch won’t remember any relationships to the block.
So now we have the sheet metal part, and I’ll put a couple of holes in it. Notice that the angled flange is not parallel to the angled face of the block. We’ll have to fix this. One way to do that is to add a face relation between the angled faces. Again, this will only serve to align the faces, not to create a lasting relation.
We can move other edges, and add flanges to the sheet metal.
Next I’m going to switch, and edit the block. Now I’m using the sheet metal part to drive the block. This would be a no-no in another CAD program you might Works with. Relations that go back and forth between parts are called “circular relations”, and may throw your CAD program into a tizzy. Not Solid Edge. SE can handle your design intent, even if you haven’t taken the time to get it 100% organized.
You can even take either part and put it into another assembly, making more in-context work without the “multiple contexts” problem.
I put together a short video of making all of these changes with a bit of narration, which appears below.
Remember that Solid Edge also has all of the traditional in-context tools for the times when they are appropriate, but what differentiates Solid Edge from other less capable CAD products is Synchronous Technology, and the ability to use selections to determine your design intent at the time of the change rather than allowing software processes to dictate what kinds of changes you can make at a particular point in your design.