Replace Components (with another Component!) #Solidworks

It’s been a busy couple of weeks!  I’ve been working on a new project (as well as getting side tracked along the way to provide Floor Plans and Renders for Marketing!)

Trakkaway 860 - Layout

I’ve been working on a new layout for one of our Motorhomes.   I say new but like many of our vehicles we use many “similar” cabinets.  They look the same but have many small variants!  So I tend to start with a similar Cabinet (sub) Assembly and Save as copy.  We use Configurations on many of the parts but as they are often for different vehicles and different projects its sometimes better to Save (the part) as copy!    That then allows me to use one of my favorite tools – Replace Components!

Replace Components is one of those tools that doesn’t have to exist!  There are other processes that can be used instead to do the same job but it’s just one of those great time saving tools!

The Replace Components can be found in Customize> Commands> Assembly and can be added to the Assembly Tool bar (and/ or the S Key – Tool bar)
Replace ToolBar

The Replace Components tool is used to replace (& delete) one component, then insert another component and adds the mates!  All with minimal mouse clicks!

When working with our cabinets assemblies I will Save (the part) as  copy .  I’ll open that part, make the changes as required.  Keep the part open and return back to the Assemble! An alternative to accessing the Replace Components via the Assembly Tool Bar is to Right Mouse Button the part to be replaced!  The toolbar will open and for most (screen sizes) will need to be expanded to locate the Replace Components command
1 Hidden

Select the Replace Components tool
2 UNHidden

By leaving the new part open it will be listed in the “with this one” box.  (You can “Browse” to find the new part). You need to highlight the replacement part!  As I had RMB the part (to be replaced it is highlighted and is listed in “Replace these components”
3 Replace

Then accept (Tick).  If the part is similar (especially if made from the existing part) it will automatically make and replace all Mates!
4 Replace Mates

Replace Components command can be used to not only replace a part with a part, but also a part with an assembly or assembly with an assembly!

One of the other common area where I make use of Replace Components is replacing a part with an Assembly!  We often bolt together a series of Sheet Metal components which are fitted with Self Clinching Nuts.   I’ll start with just the sheet metal part in the Assembly.
Sheet Metal - Part

When complete I’ll make the individual Sheet Metal parts into Assemblies (by adding the Self Clinching Nuts)
Sheet Metal - Assembly

I can then replace the Sheet Metal Part
Replace Part - Assembly

with the Sheet Metal Assembly using the Replace Components in the same format as you would for parts (as above)
Sheet Metal - Replaced

These are a few of the areas where I use the Replace Components command!  It’s a simple and easy to use tool.   If you haven’t tried it,  find an excuse to do so, you’ll never look back!

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