Two ends of the same string. Publish Geometry is used in the source model to 'gather' a set of geometry items (datum planes, points, curves, quilts, etc.) for publication, or sending out to another model. Copy Geometry is used in the target model to select geometry to copy from the source. This can be done by selecting the publish geometry feature in the source (a more robust and easier to manage solution) or by individually selecting geometry items (datum planes, points, curves, quilts, etc.). Publish collects geometry to be sent out. Copy gathers geometry to be brought in.
Couple of minor points - Publish geometry can be use to collect data at a certain point in the model, say before machining cuts etc. by the use of copy and paste AT A REQUIRED POINT in the model. Otherwise you get the end result wherever the publish geometry is in the model tree.
Publish geometry is not backward compatible, anything you do after you used it does not affect the original model.
Excellent point, it does capture a place in time. This can have a profound effect on copying quilts. Any new surfaces created and added to the quilt after the publish geom will not bee seen in the published quilt. What I do in my skeletons is add my publish geometry features to the footer of the model tree (RMB -> send to footer) so they are always at the bottom of the feature list. Of course, occasionally I want to capture a moment in time, and then a publish geom is great and I leave it in the tree at the appropriate spot. I'm not sure what you mean by "Publish geometry is not backward compatible, anything you do after you used it does not affect the original model." Are simply referring to how you cannot add later features in the tree to the publish geom? Publish geom features are two way compatible as changes to the source model are reflected in the publish geom and therefore the target model as well.
I tell people that Publish Geom publishes out selected features as they appear in the fully regenerated model regardless of where the Publish Geom appears in the model tree - as if the Publish Geom is always at the end of the model tree.
Can you elaborate on using Publish Geom to capture a point in time? To do this, I make a copy of either solid surfaces or specific surfaces and then publish out that quilt. Does Publish Geom allow this automatically?
You know, I may need to backpedal a bit. The more I think about it, I can recall having to make copies of surfaces to do this because the publish geom didn't act as I expected. The publish captured the surface as it was at the end of the model, rather than at the point of the tree where the publish was created. I actually don't do this much, nearly all my publish geoms go to the footer. Perhaps someone with more experience can elaborate on using a publish geom in the middle of the tree. Sorry for causing confusion.
In raising my points, I seem to have added to the confusion. A published geometry wherever in the tree will reflect the whole feature tree UNLESS (as Paul says), you place a quilt of solid or specific surfaces in the tree and point to that in the PG.
By saying not backward compatible, I meant that changes to the target will not affect the source - as I was informed when applying "shrinkage" to the target model after a PG.
Ah, I see what you are referring to now. That's actually a limitation of the scale feature, not the publish or copy geom. It only scales dims and the copy/publish geom has no dims of it's own so it is not effected by scaling. You can modify the geometry brought in by a copy/publish geoms in the target model by solidifying, trimming, extending or merging the quilts, trimming or extending curves, etc. Anything you could do to the geometry if it were native to that model except modify its dimensions, since those dimensions aren't actually in the target model, they're in the source. Does that make sense?