SOLIDWORKS: What is “Make Independent” and What is it Used For?

The “Make Independent” feature has been around for years. In SOLIDWORKS 2015, this task became much simpler so I thought it was worth mentioning.

Sometimes you bring in several instances of a part for use in your assembly, but then discover that one or more of those instances actually needs to be modified and saved a new part. That exercise was possible before, but it involved several steps and not everyone was comfortable with the process. ANd, if you're like me, The easier and faster I can do simply tasks, the better!

Make Independent allows you to save one or more component instances as a new file from within an assembly. The assembly points to the new file for those instances only; other unselected component instances in the assembly still point to the original file.

Here are 4 easy steps to save one or more component instances as a new file:

Step 1:  In an assembly, in the graphics area or FeatureManager design tree, right-click a component or Ctrl + select multiple components and click Make Independent. 

Make Independent 1


Step 2:  In the dialog box, click OK when asked to save the component with a new name. I chose ArrowBLOG.sldprt.

Make Independent 2

Step 3: In the Save As dialog box, type a name and click Save. For this example, I chose ArrowBLOG.sldprt and created Arrow2BLOG.sldprt.

Make Independent 3

Step 4: The new component is referenced in the assembly for each instance you selected.

Make Independent 4

Open the new part externally or within the context of the assembly, make your changes.

Make Independent 5

Save and close your part and the assembly is updated.

Make Independent 6

You can save component instances as new files for virtual and envelope components. You cannot save instances of patterned components as new files. 

Thanks for reading! I hope you find this helpful.


Judy Marlo

Application Engineer
Computer Aided Technology

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