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Lightweight Components

You can load an assembly with its active components fully resolved or lightweight. Both parts and subassemblies can be lightweight.

  • When a component is fully resolved, all its model data is loaded in memory.
  • When a component is lightweight, only a subset of its model data is loaded in memory. The remaining model data is loaded on an as-needed basis.

You can improve performance of large assemblies significantly by using lightweight components. Loading an assembly with lightweight components is faster than loading the same assembly with fully resolved components. Assemblies with lightweight components rebuild faster because less data is evaluated.

Lightweight components are efficient because the full model data for the components is loaded only as it is needed. Only components that are affected by changes that you make in the current editing session become fully resolved. You can perform the following assembly operations on lightweight components without resolving them:
  • Add/remove mates
  • Edge/face/component selection
  • Assembly features
  • Measure
  • Section properties
  • Mass properties
  • Exploded views
  • Physical simulation
  • Interference detection
  • Collision detection
  • Annotations
  • Dimensions
  • Assembly reference geometry
  • Section views
  • Advanced component selection
When a component is lightweight, a feather appears on the component icon in the FeatureManager design tree.

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