Assembly Envelopes

An assembly envelope is a special type of assembly component. Envelopes have two main functions. You can use envelopes as reference components and as selection tools.

Envelopes are ignored in global assembly operations such as bills of materials and mass properties.

If you copy, mirror, or pattern an envelope, the resulting new component is also an envelope.

These icons identify envelope components in the FeatureManager design tree:
Envelope part
Envelope subassembly

Envelopes as Reference Components

You can use envelopes as reference components. You add components that do not belong to the assembly and make them envelopes, which can help you envision how to size and position the functional assembly components.

For example, suppose you are designing this circuit board assembly to be used as a subassembly in a printer.

You can insert the bottom enclosure of the printer as an envelope to refer to it when designing the circuit board assembly. Because the enclosure is an envelope, it does not appear on the bill of materials for the circuit board assembly, and is not used in mass property calculations.

Envelopes are displayed in a transparent light blue color by default.

Envelopes as Selection Tools

Envelopes enable you to select, show, or hide components based on their positions with respect to the envelope volume (inside, outside, or crossing). You can use an envelope by itself to quickly change the visibility of assembly components or to select components for other editing operations, such as suppress, copy, or delete. Using Advanced Select, you can use an envelope in combination with other component characteristics to select components.

For example, in this production line assembly, an envelope has been added to represent the station where a person stands when working on the production line.

You might use the envelope to help assure that the person has adequate room to work. You can use the envelope selection tools to show, for example, only components that are completely inside the envelope.

You can create the envelope in a separate part document and insert it into the assembly, or create it in the context of the assembly. The envelope component must be a solid volume (not shelled). This is because selection with envelopes is based on interference between the volumes of the functional assembly components and the envelope component. It is not based on the containment of components within the bounding box of the envelope component.