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Virtual Components

Virtual Components

I have just encountered a virtual component in a design I am trying to fix. I did not realize that when you insert new parts, they are virtual components. I always rename them immediately. I am trying to wrap my head around this.

Has anyone out there methodically used this feature? Any thoughts? Any issues?


RE: Virtual Components

virtual parts/assems are parts that are saved with in that assembly (there is no external file associated with that part). I use virtual parts only to put in some mock substrate or meaningless reference part. I Always save out my official parts in the assem. To make a virtual part no longer virtual you must save it out as an external file. You get this option when you try and save after creating a new part in the assem. If you want to save it out after the fact: right click on the part, extend the pop up menu and look for "save part to external file." That should be it. Works the same with sub-assems but virtual sub-assems shouldn't come around too often.

RE: Virtual Components

You can disable this in the System Options > Assemblies > Toggle On "Save New Components To External Files"

Virtual components have been in SolidWorks since SolidWorks 2008.

Anna Wood
SW2015 SP5, Windows 7 x64

RE: Virtual Components


I have been generating virtual components and converting them to real components. I had no idea I was doing this. I am not having a problem with them. Virtual components might be a work-around for our PDM. When I create new components, I attach drawings to them immediately, which may rule out virtual components.

I was curious about how people use this feature.


RE: Virtual Components

I use VC's for things like non-standard shaped O-rings, epoxy seals, fluids, or anything which doesn't conform to the definition of a stockable part.
I also use them extensively for concept assembly designs.

RE: Virtual Components



It has been a while since we have seen you. Welcome back!


RE: Virtual Components

I used to use VC's a lot when modeling assemblies that i wanted to be able to explode but were purchased parts that i did not want to carry the sub-components on my BOM. This worked quite well until i got stung. When you create a VC, Solidworks creates a TEMP file for it and one time a crashed and my VC's were all toast and not having a way to get them back i had to remodel them all.

Unfortunately, that is a default option in SWX. I didn't change my options though because when I use them now im usually using them like a scratch pad and if I like what ive got, then I will save out to the network to keep it.


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