Creating a digital prototype with complex blends and curves that extend across multiple parts presents unique challenges. Starting with the finished exterior shape and working out individual part details as you go is a more natural workflow to many designers. The technique of designing the finished shape and extracting components is sometimes called a top down design method.
A multi-body part is a top-down workflow which allows you to create and position multiple bodies within a single part document. This technique is especially useful for designing plastic parts. A top down workflow eliminates the need for complex file relationships and projecting edges between parts. You can control visibility, assign a different appearance, and calculate the mass for each solid body. When you complete the design, you can export the individual solid bodies as part files.
The workflow for creating a multi-body part is designed to be minimally disruptive to the user. In other words, you can use common modeling commands to create a new body. Use sketch-based modeling commands like Extrude, Revolve, Loft, Sweep, and Coil to create a new body by selecting the New Solid option in the dialog box.
Use the Split command with the Split Solid option to create separate bodies in a part file. You can use workplanes, 2D sketches, and surfaces to define the split boundary. Use surfaces to define complex split boundaries.
You can use the Move Bodies command to accurately position a body within the part document. Use the Combine command and select one or more solids to use as toolbodies to perform a join, cut, or intersect operation on a selected body.
If you accidentally create a multi-body part, you can edit a sketch based feature to change the solution to a Join, Cut, or Intersect operation. An undo operation also reverses the step. If it is too late to perform an edit or undo, you can use the Combine command with the Join option to merge the bodies. You can also delete the operation, such as a split, that created the new body, but you may lose features that were created on the body.
A body is an independent collection of features contained within the part file. All new bodies are added to the appropriate folder in the browser at the time of creation. You can control the visibility and appearance of solid and surface bodies by selecting a body and choosing Properties in the right-click context menu.
An Application Option in the Modeling tab of Document Settings allows you to specify the default naming scheme prefix for new solid or surface bodies. This provides each new body with a meaningful name when you create it. The default body names are Solid for solid bodies and Srf for surface bodies.
There are two ways to select bodies to set the visibility status; set the selection filter to Select Bodies and pick one or more bodies in the graphics screen or expand the solid bodies folder and select one or more bodies in the browser. After you select one or more bodies, the context menu contains the following selections:
A multi-body part is a top down workflow which allows you to create and position multiple solid bodies within a single part document. This technique is especially useful for designing plastic parts. A top down workflow eliminates the need for complex file relationships and projecting edges between parts. You can control visibility, assign a different appearance, and calculate the mass for each body. When you complete the design, you can export the individual solid bodies as part files.