Reference Topics > Working with defined features and named elements
Working with defined features and named elements
During a design project you often need to modify the same 3D elements of a part repeatedly.
To reduce the amount of repetitive work on identical elements, Creo Elements/Direct Modeling allows you to assign names to 3D elements (faces, edges, vertices) and to group these elements together into user-defined features. A user-defined feature can consist of any combination of 3D elements. Both user-defined features and 3D elements can be highlighted, renamed, and redefined as required.
User-defined features are helpful for detailed part modifications because you define the input elements in advance. This prevents the need to select multiple features before starting each modification. Named elements support those tasks which require specific and repeated element specifications. Using highlighting and the browser you can identify which elements belong to a certain feature and which element is associated with a specific element name.
It is important to distinguish between user-defined features and features of a model which are recognized automatically by Creo Elements/Direct Modeling (for example, bosses or pockets embedded in a single face of a model).
Defining features
Before you can work with a user-defined feature you must define the feature by specifying the name of the feature and its contents.
A user-defined feature can consist of any combination of the following 3D elements: faces, edges, and vertices. The same item of a part can be assigned to multiple features.
The elements of a user-defined feature may also have their own names, but this is not a requirement. For information about elements and element names, see Naming and using 3D elements.
All elements of a feature must belong to the same part. It is not possible to define a feature with elements belonging to different parts.
Using defined features
Defined features enable you to define the input elements which will be involved in a modification, or series of modifications, before you actually start the task. You can also use defined features repeatedly as the input for other commands.
For example, you might want to blend the edges of several faces to the same radius and, at the same time, give them a specific color.
In this case you would group the involved blend faces in a feature, use the defined feature as input when modifying the blend radius and use it again when assigning the new face color. The defined feature saves you having to select the same 3D elements again.
Assigning radius and color to a defined feature
Naming and using 3D elements
The naming of 3D elements is useful when several tasks require you to select the same elements in a model repeatedly. In addition, when certain elements are not easily accessible, you can list them in the Structure Browser, together with defined features, and select them with a single mouse click.