Manufacturing

Component Grouping (On the Edge Solid Edge Tutorial)

1 Dec, 2007 By: Russell Brook

Use Solid Edge's Component Grouping to keep your assembly structure organized.


If you have ever felt the need to break away from rigid assembly structures while you design, Solid Edge's Component Grouping could be just what you are looking for.

As you build an assembly, the top level is usually a collection of subassemblies, in turn built from more subassemblies, and so on, until you arrive at the constituent parts. This system is a great way to structure a design and it often reflects your bill of materials (BOM), but it can be restrictive while you are designing.

figure
Component Grouping in Solid Edge.

Solid Edge Component Grouping frees you from the constraints of rigid assembly structures and provides a convenient way to select parts, and adds to the impressive array of tools in Solid Edge that are designed to deliver optimal performance and management of massive assemblies.

Freedom to Design with Component Grouping
Component Grouping in Solid Edge lets you create an alternative view of your assembly structure by collecting parts and subassemblies into organized groups in your assembly pathfinder without destroying your intended assembly structure. For example, you may want to collect all your fasteners in a common group or to gather components together from different subassemblies that are part of a motion study.

To allow an even finer degree of organization, simple drag-and-drop actions let you move groups around in the pathfinder, or nest a group within other groups without destroying existing assembly constraints.

Grouping components together has other benefits that speed your interaction with Solid Edge assemblies. You can use them as select sets for animation, move parts, quickly select fasteners, query selections, and many other tasks.

How to Use Component Grouping
Using Component Grouping couldn't be easier. All you need are right mouse button options and drag-and-drop techniques.

To create a group, start by selecting the parts you want to group. You can select graphically, and you can select directly in the pathfinder.

Tip: When selecting a part or subassembly in the pathfinder, hold the Shift key down and select another part or subassembly, and all the components in between are selected. Holding the CTRL key while clicking on an individual selection adds or removes components from your selection set.

Click the right mouse button when you have selected your components. Select the Group option, which is about one-quarter the way up the Options bar.

figure
Solid Edge Group option.

Notice that Solid Edge creates a new icon in pathfinder to differentiate a group from a subassembly.

Congratulations, you've created your first group. Solid Edge creates a default name, but you can rename your group to something more meaningful.

figure
Solid Edge Group icon.

If you create several component groups, you can easily nest a group within another group -- just drag and drop a group to a new target group.

figure
Solid Edge nested groups.

Solid Edge pops up a dialog box asking where you want to position the group, at the top of target group, bottom of target group, or directly after the target group.

figure
Solid Edge position group options.

That's all there is to it. Groups should prove a welcome addition to the massive assembly capabilities delivered with Solid Edge, helping you easily organize your components as you design without destroying your BOM or assembly relationships.

See you On the Edge next month.


About the Author: Russell Brook

Russell Brook

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