A previous Onshape Tech Tip discussed other ways to utilize Mate Connectors other than for mates. This Tech Tip focuses on a practical example of a way you can use Mate Connectors to minimize additional work.

It is common to have imported models as a part of your Part Studios or assemblies. If you are collaborating with an outside team that isn’t using Onshape, they may send you periodic updates. If the imported model hasn’t changed significantly, Onshape will attempt to retain references when you choose the Update action.

For more complex changes or mesh models, this sometimes isn’t enough. Features or mates referencing the imported model can break. 

If you anticipate importing updates frequently, it is important to be very intentional with how you reference the imported model to minimize corrections after an update. Referencing edges and faces, especially with sketches, can be tricky to update. Instead, consider using Mate Connectors.

Once you import the model, create Mate Connectors around crucial pieces of geometry. Ideally, you want to replace all sketch planes, sketch entities, and mate references with a Mate Connector.

Then, build the references in assemblies and Part Studios using only the Mate Connectors. 

When you update the import, repair the Mate Connectors on the imported Part Studio. All the sketch plane, sketch, and assembly references are all maintained as a result.

This methodology will help speed up the process of repairing the impact of an updated import. If you need to reference items that cannot be represented with a Mate Connector, consider using the Assign Identity Custom Feature. This Custom Feature allows users to explicitly name entities such as entire bodies, faces, or edges. Then, you can update the Assign Identity features in a similar fashion.

Interested in learning more Onshape Tech Tips? You can review the most recent technical blogs here.