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Assembly Pane

The Assembly pane lets you view and manage the structure of your models. You can also manage views, visibility, hotspots, and selection groups.

Toolbar Commands

Toolbar commands let you manage assemby and selection groups.

Tip: You can manage assembly/selection groups by dragging them from the pane.

Icon Command Name Description
Assembly Selection Mode Selects parent assembly nodes instead of leaf (geometry) nodes when you select actors in the assembly tree or viewport. In default mode (when assembly selection mode is not selected, also known as part selection mode), all geometry under your selection is selected.When in assembly selection mode, the viewport has a blue border. You can also select assemblies while in default mode as follows:
  • Press Alt while making a selection in the viewport.
  • After selecting an actor in the viewport, press the left arrow key. This selects the assembly that holds the selected actor. Continue to press the left or right arrow key to change your selection.
Selection and highlighting colors depend on the selection mode. Choose colors from Document Properties - Selection. See Selection. Use assembly selection mode whenever possible to improve performance and to create more maintainable animations (because actors inherit assembly keys). For example, you have an assembly with 10,000 parts. To change the opacity of the entire assembly during an animation, enable assembly selection mode, select the assembly, and change the opacity. This creates one animation key. The alternative is to use default mode, select the assembly (which selects all 10,000 parts), and change the opacity. This creates 10,000 keys. The performance with one key is better than with 10,000 keys. In addition, if you add another part to the assembly, the assembly key applies to the new part automatically. You can also use assembly selection mode to implement compound motion, where actors move in more than one direction. A common example of compound motion is when you combine translation of an assembly of nuts or bolts with rotation of the individual nuts or bolts. This allows the nuts or bolts to rotate around their own axes while the entire group of nuts or bolts moves.

Note: The properties available for an assembly might differ from the properties available for individual geometry actors.

Show Actors with Kinematic Links Only Lists in the Assembly tree only actors with kinematic links. See Kinematic Commands.
Create Selection Set Creates a selection set containing the selected actors. Selecting a selection set selects all actors in the set, and the Properties pane displays properties common to all actors in the set. Use selection sets to operate on the same actors repeatedly. Selection sets are listed in the Assembly pane if the set contains only geometry actors and in the Collaboration pane if the set contains at least one collaborative actor. When you create a selection set, its name is selected so you can type a different name.
Create Hotspot Creates a hotspot containing the selected actors. Hotspots are groups of actors, similar to selection sets, with shared highlight, tooltip, and link properties that can supersede those of the individual actors. Although hotspots can be active in the viewport, their primary purpose is for defining custom hotspots in vector output (see Hotspots Tab). Hotspots can contain geometry actors and most collaborative actors (not ground, cutting planes, and other non-vectorizable actors).

Notes: Hotspots are always listed in the Assembly pane, even when the hotspot contains collaborative actors. To create a hotspot:

  1. Select one or more actors.
  2. Click Create Hotspot .

    The new hotspot appears under Hotspots in the Assembly tree, and hotspot properties appear in the Properties pane. See Properties.

  3. Optionally type the hotspot name or press Enter to accept the default.
  4. Specify hotspot properties in the Properties pane.

Sort Alphabetically Sorts the tree by alphabetical order. By default, the actor order for SOLIDWORKSassemblies matches the CAD system.
Configure Columns Displays the Configure Columns dialog box, where you select columns to display. See Configure Columns.
Search Actors Displays the Search pane, where you can search for actors. See Search.

Click to access the Search Next Actor and Search Previous Actor commands, which find the next or previous actor using the current search criteria.

Select Actors Displays the Select pane, where you can select actors using advanced capabilities. See Select.

Assembly Tree Symbols

This section describes the symbols used in the assembly tree.

To show or hide an actor in the viewport, select or clear the check box next to the actor name.

The symbol indicates a node with children of mixed visibility.

You can also hide an actor in the viewport by selecting it and pressing H. Click an actor's name to select it. Right-click an actor to access functions such as copy, paste, and delete.

Symbol Description
The assembly root.

Note: The root assembly node never displays . To determine if the root node has mixed visibility, examine its children.

Assemblies are yellow and green.

For SOLIDWORKS and Pro/ENGINEER models only, Composer internally tags nodes it identifies as part or assembly nodes. Nodes that instantiate SOLIDWORKS .sldpartor Pro/ENGINEER .prt files are part nodes. Nodes that instantiate SOLIDWORKS .sldasm or Pro/ENGINEER .asm files are assembly nodes.

For example, in the following assembly:

  • ZS06 Battery & Gearbox is an assembly node.
  • Battery-1 is a part node.
  • CirPattern11 is a geometry node.

Tip: You can generate BOM IDs based on node type. See Main Area.
Parts (.sldprt, .prt files) are yellow.

Note: For SOLIDWORKS models, the Merge file into one actor per part import option merges all part geometry and creates single nodes that are both part and geometry nodes. For other CAD formats, this option merges part geometry but creates part nodes with geometry nodes.

Internal structures (such as geosets) and other groups are white.
Geometry is green.
Instances of geometry (the same geometry referenced in several positions of the model) are violet and have an 'x' overlay.
Actors with kinematic links defined have a 'K' overlay.
In fully shattered structures and projects, assembly and part nodes in product (.smgXml+ .smgGeom) format are displayed in red. For details about products and fully shattered structures, see File Types.
Product nodes for which geometry is not loaded have an hourglass overlay. You can load product geometry by:
  • Right-clicking and clicking a Products command.
  • Double-clicking the icon.
  • When Load on Visibility is enabled, enabling actor visibility by clicking the check box. See Visibility Commands.
Configurations lists all the saved configurations in a file. Expand the active configuration to view the actors corresponding to that configuration.

Note: If a file has only one configuration, then it displays the actor corresponding to that configuration.

Scenarios describes the animation of a set of actors. For details, see the Animate Tab.
Views gives access to different view types:
  • Views - Lists Composer views, which is useful for switching views while the Assembly pane is active. For details about views, see Views Pane.
Selection sets lists selection sets. Selecting a selection set selects all actors in the set, and the Properties pane displays properties common to all actors in the set. Use selection sets to operate on the same actors repeatedly.
Hotspots lists hotspots. Hotspots are groups of actors, similar to selection sets, with shared highlight, tooltip, and link properties that can supersede those of the individual actors.

Right-click Commands

Right-click a part or assembly to display a context menu.

Right-click Command Description
Create Assembly Group Creates an assembly group. Use assembly groups to apply the same animation to multiple parts. You can create complex animations by animating individual parts and their parent assemblies during the same time period.
Create Dummy Actor Creates actors without graphic representation. For example, create dummy actors for extra BOM table entries such as glue and tape.
Delete Empty Groups Deletes groups containing no elements, such as parts with no geometry.
Cut Actors Cuts the selected geometry actors. You can then Paste to change the actor locations in the assembly tree.

Note: You can also copy, cut, and paste geometry actors using Home > Cut/Paste ribbon commands. See Copy/Paste Commands.

Copy Actors Copies the selected geometry actors. You can then Paste to duplicate the actors in another location in the assembly tree.
Paste Actors Pastes the previously copied geometry actors under the selected parent.
Paste Actors Keeping Relative Location in Parent

Pastes the previously copied geometry actors keeping relative locations in the parent. In this example, slider-1 moves from rail-1 to rail-2:

Before
After Cut Actors and Paste Actors
After Cut Actors and Paste Actors Keeping Relative Location in Parent

Delete Actors Deletes the selected actors.
Important: Deleting an actor removes it from all views. Consider hiding instead of deleting actors.
Rename Actor Renames the selected actor.

Note: Rename Actor is unavailable when DisableMatchingProperties matches Actor.Name. See Advanced Settings.

Add Actors to Selection Set (Available when you right-click a selection set.) Adds the selected actors to the selection set.
Remove Actors from Selection Set (Available when you right-click an actor under a selection set.) Removes the selected actors from the selection set.
Delete Selection Set (Available when you right-click a selection set.) Deletes the selected selection sets without affecting the actors in the sets.
Add Actors to Hotspot (Available when you right-click a hotspot.) Adds the selected actors to the hotspot.
Remove Actors from Hotspot (Available when you right-click an actor under a hotspot.) Removes the selected actors from the hotspot.
Delete Hotspot (Available when you right-click a hotspot.) Deletes the selected hotspots without affecting the actors in the hotspot.
Product > Open Product Opens a product ( .smgXml+ .smgGeom) in a new document window. For example, use this command to change the neutral properties of a part in a fully shattered structure. You cannot change neutral properties when accessing the part from a fully shattered assembly because the part is only referenced by the assembly.
Product > Add Products Adds products to the current project or fully-shattered assembly.
Product > Export Product Saves the selected node as a product.
Product > Load Products Loads product geometry. Nodes that are not loaded have hourglass overlays on their Assembly tree icons, such as .
Product > Load Head Products Loads one level of geometry, not the entire product hierarchy.
Product > Load Products (Choose LOD) Loads product geometry with the level of detail (LOD) you select from the Level of Detail dialog box. See Level of Detail. To change the LOD of a model that is already loaded, unload the product and reload using this command.
Product > Unload Products Unloads product geometry. Use this command to reduce memory usage when you are no longer working with a part or subassembly.
Scenario > Reload Scenario References Reloads referenced scenarios. For example, you can reload scenarios when referenced scenario files change while the model is open in Composer. A scenario describes the animation of a set of actors. For details, see Animate Tab.
Scenario > Apply Scenario to Node Applies a scenario from the current or another project. For details, see Add Child Scenario.
Scenario > Export Branch Scenario Saves the animations of the selected actors their children as a .smgSce file. The actor identifiers (GUIDs) start from the level where you initiate the export.
Scenario > Delete Scenario Deletes the selected scenario.
ENOVIA 3DLive > Import Imports the model loaded in the current ENOVIA 3DLive session into the active document as a child of the selected actor. Only one 3DLive session can be active. Composer saves the PVS (3DLive filter) so you can update the geometry from 3DLive.

Notes:

  • ENOVIA 3DLive must be installed on this computer.
  • ENOVIA 3DLive is supported up to V6R2014. Other 3DLive applications are not supported. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is not supported.

ENOVIA 3DLive > Open in ENOVIA 3DLive Opens the imported model in ENOVIA 3DLive.

Note: 3DLive must be installed on this computer.

Expand All Displays all tree nodes.
Collapse All Displays only top-level tree nodes.


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