About Interchange Assemblies
An Interchange assembly is an environment you can use to define interchangeable models in an assembly. In an Interchange assembly you create placement references tag in the models so that they can replace each other easily in a design assembly. There are two types of components you can place in an Interchange assembly:
Functional interchange components—Used to Replace components in a design assembly.
Simplify interchange components—Used to Substitute components in a simplified representation.
Note the following when creating and using interchange assemblies:
The first component in an interchange assembly is, by default, a functional component. Subsequent components can be functional or simplify.
You can assemble simplify components to packaged functional components.
You can only reference a functional component when creating or assembling a simplify component.
You cannot reference a simplify component when creating or assembling another simplify component.
You can use the same component twice in an interchange assembly, once as a functional component, and once as a simplify component.
You cannot add another instance of a component if the generic instance is already in the interchange. You cannot add the generic instance of a component if an instance is already in the interchange.
Interchange assemblies are identified by the .asm extension; however, you cannot assemble an interchange assembly into a regular design assembly.
If you copy and rename an interchange assembly member using the Save As command in the File menu, you cannot substitute the newly-created part for the original one.
Functional Components
Functional components can be replaced by other functional components in a design assembly. Although these components usually have the same function as the other components they are not members of a Family Table. Reference tags are used to match the placement references of two functional components. The tags can be created individually for each reference or in a reference pairing table. When the reference tags do not specify exact placement references in the target assembly, the Component Placement tab opens and you can replace the component manually.
You can use this functionality in the following ways:
To replace old or obsolete members in an assembly to reflect changes in the design or availability of components.
To switch different models of two different components.
To design an assembly using concept blocks or part envelopes that will then be replaced with fully detailed parts or subassemblies.
The parent/child relationships are preserved whenever one component is interchanged with another.
Simplify Components
Simplify components are interchangeable visual representations of components in a simplified representation. You can assign mass properties to simplify components. When you create a simplified representation, you can set the mass properties of the simplified representation to be the same as those for the master assembly. Because you place a simplify component in the simplified representation using the same placement references as in the interchange assembly, when you assemble or create a simplify component, you must place it in the interchange assembly using the same placement constraints.
You can use simplify components in the following ways:
As a placeholder in an assembly while you design the functional component.
To calculate the mass properties of an entire assembly without have it in session.