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Saturday, April 21, 2012

It's Exactly Like That, Except.... - Copying Components in Autodesk Inventor

I am my own secretary; I dictate, I compose, I copy all myself.
Venerable Bede

Here's a quick tip on a tool I've found is sometimes overlooked.  Copy Component.

We've all been there.  A part has been modeled and used  an assembly.  But then another component is needed that's nearly the same s the one just finished.

But the functional word is "nearly".  It's not quite the same, there is a difference, perhaps slight, between two components.

So there's a dilemma.  The original can't be reused, because of it's not exactly the same.  But rebuilding the part is time consuming. 

Another option would be to go into Windows Explorer, copy the part file, and reinsert it into the assembly.

But that's a lot of steps.

This is where "Copy Component" comes into play.  A component can be quicky copied, placed in an assembly and reused.

Take this chest of drawers for example.  I've built some molding where the top meets the bottom.  The cross section of the components is the same, but the mitered cuts on the ends are different.

Why not use one part to create another!

In other words, the part is nearly the same, but not quite.

Copy Component!  Just what we need.

This is where Copy Component shows up and struts it's stuff.  A similar component can be quickly, and efficiently created without exiting the assembly model.

Using Copy Component to create a new part.

Unfortunately, it seems that this is a tool that a lot of users don't realize is there.  They're copying part files or recreated geometry unnecessarily. 

So that's why this video is here.  To "throw off the shackles" of unnecessary steps. 

Take a look at Copy Component, and use it to its fullest!

 Got a place or an idea where you used Copy Component?  Drop a comment!


  1. I use "Save and Replace component"
    Drag component from Browser tree then use
    "Save and Replace component" i type new name...

    Best Regards Johan

  2. "Save and Replace" is a slick workflow to be sure. Although in this example I wasn't replacing my original. I needed it, as well as it's copy in the assembly.

    Unless there's a workflow I've missed. I've learned enough to know I don't know it all. :-)

  3. The tool "copy" can be used to copy a full assembly with or without some parts, puting prefixes etc., really usefull when you don't have vault and you want a copy of something with new names easily (as design assistant but this tool is far better to rename files and keeping the files organised)

    1. Guillaume, are you using the Copy from the SDK (Software development kit), or Copy Component and selecting everything?

      I'm just curious what your workflow is!

  4. Seems like this feature strips iLogic rules/forms from some components. At least it happened to me.

    1. I'm not using Inventor as much these days. But I still have a couple of Inventor 2015 on my machine.

      I ran just one quick test, and a local rule worked for me.

      I would guess maybe an update? I can't think of what would strip the rule.