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Summary: Replace Functionality


Summary: Replace Functionality

Thanks, folks.
It seems opinion is divided as to whether it is selective nostalgia or
'enhanced functionality'
Either way, it appears that the Replace functionality does not work quite
the way it used to.
I am sure it used to be easier to Replace By Layout than to delete and
re-assemble, but now, it hardly makes a difference.

Original Question:
I am beginning to wonder whether it is my recollection of things that is too
rose-tinted, but:

Assume I have an assembly comprising sub-assemblies A, B and C.
Now I replace sub-assembly A with sub-assembly D
Crucially, the only difference between A and D is the type of fasteners that
hold it together. The other parts of the two sub-assemblies are identical
(one was made by doing a 'Save A Copy' of the other). Sub-assembly A was
assembled to the top level assembly in the 'Default' position.
Sub-assembly B was assembled to sub-assembly A (it's a kind of stack thing),
but without referencing any of the fasteners.

Why, then, do I need to redefine the way sub-assembly B is assembled? It is
assembled to the same references on the same component(s), they just happen
to be in different sub-assemblies.
I seem to recall that I used to be able to replace sub-assemblies like this
without any need to redefine, as long as I was careful with the references.
Not now, though.

Am I troubled by selective nostalgia, has something changed, or do I have
something set wrong in the

* once upon a time, you could use the layout option to simplify the
replacement process but the last time I tried it I believe I had to change
out all the references any how, so I would say that was unintended
functionality that PTC "fixed".
* I think Solidworks behaves the way you are remembering.
In Pro/E, you could first make an interchange assembly between the 2
sub-assemblies. Each surface, edge, or point referenced on sub-assembly A,
either when it was assembled or other components of the top level assembly
were assembled to it, will highlight. Then select the equivalent reference
on sub-assembly D.
Then you can swap out either of the sub-assemblies for the other without
having to select any references.

* John, in the case that you just used, we would always just do what
people call the rename game. Move sub d from all available search path
locations; open the assy; rename sub A to sub D. Save the assy; clear
everything from the memory and delete the renamed D version from the
directory. Then move the correct Sub D back into your directory and open the

I have been doing this same procedure since Rev. 5 - and yes pro/e has been
around that long!! smile

* Not completely sure why they don't just exchange. I do know that if
have the assem. extension you can create an interchange assembly that
will allow the easy swap of parts or assems. Other than that, I'm not
sure. I have the same issues here.

* The only way I know to do that kind of replace succesful is using
the Interchange assembly functionality, where you pair references on A with
references on D using tag definitions and then make a Replace By

* The only time that you do not have to redefine the components, using
your replaced assembly as reference, is if the two assemblies replacing
each other are in the same family table. You could create an interchange
assembly, which you tag the referenced surfaces and features, so Pro-E
understands that they are the same.
I have been told that this is changing in WF4. The interchange assembly
table is built into the replace command.
Lets hope so...creating an interchange assembly can be time
consuming..if it is only a few assemblies being changed, it is still
simpler to redefine the failing components.

* PTC "enhanced" this functionality on purpose.

implications. I'd been using it ever since I started using Pro/E way back
when, but in WF3, they deci...

name. so even if you have the same part assembled 100 times, each is going
to have a unique feature I...

This thread is inactive and closed by the PTC Community Management Team. If you would like to provide a reply and re-open this thread, please notify the moderator and reference the thread. You may also use "Start a topic" button to ask a new question. Please be sure to include what version of the PTC product you are using so another community member knowledgeable about your version may be able to assist.

If you are using Intralink, you can duplicate sub-assembly A to sub-assembly D. During the duplication process, it asks to update parent objects. You can set that to true to update top level assembly. This will keep the references.


21-Topaz II


I've noticed the same thing.  I remember replace by  layout being
easier, but don't do it enough to be dogmatic. 

I'd encourage you to log a call on this with PTC.  You *will* get the
standard 'intended functionality' response on it, I know I always do.
When that happens, ask them for documentation that this change was
intentional.  I had the privilege of sitting at the same lunch table
with PTC's head (I think) of tech support and that's what he said to do.
If the change was intentional, it will be documented.  I've had success
in getting SPRs filed doing that.

What I think happens is that the support engineer verifies what's happen
and can come up with a technical explanation for it and determines that
means it was 'intended functionality'.  Just because the software is
acting predictably doesn't mean that's the way it was designed to work.

I can't imagine that any software designer would decide to make a
function less automated.  That release notes doc linked below only seems
to describe interface consolidation, not functional changes.

Doug Schaefer
Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer
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