Copying Geometry in Top-Down Design Methodology
The first step in a top-down design process is the definition of the design intent in a top-level skeleton model. Because a team working on individual subassemblies of a complex design is easier to manage, use the Copy Geometry functionality to provide the appropriate design criteria for each subassembly.
As the higher-level information is copied into the respective subassemblies, you can proceed as follows:
Distribute the subassemblies to individual designers, who will then base the designs on the information in the subassemblies.
Add additional design intent unique to the subassemblies. This additional information can then be distributed to the subassemblies of this subassembly.
Individual designers are, to a controllable degree, insulated from the work of others. They can observe design progress by opening the top-level assembly with all of the latest modifications.
In addition to using Copy Geometry features in skeleton models, you can also use Copy Geometry features to communicate geometry to or from any part, subassembly, or skeleton model. Propagation of top-level design intent while adding appropriate system-specific information can be repeated on as many levels of the assembly as desired. Ultimately, the appropriate references for the design of a single part can be copied into that part and then handed off to a low-level designer for component design relative to global references.
Rarely is there a good reason to copy geometry from a part to a skeleton. This procedure is by definition not part of a true top-down methodology. However, sometimes you must accommodate existing parts in a bottom-up fashion. This technique can undermine the stability of a top-down design by introducing the possibility of skeleton model failure due to missing or changed external references. Circular references may also become a concern.