Tips & Tricks: Copying Subassemblies in Structural Framework Design
Written By: Aaron Shaw

Whether you’re designing a simple platform or a 355-foot mobile space shuttle launch tower, you can complete your structural framework design efficiently using Creo Parametric and Creo Advanced Framework Extension (AFX).

Creo Parametric AFX is suited for large structural frameworks

Creo Advanced Framework Extension speeds design by providing an extensive library of parts, including sections, connections, and joints. Image:
. Michael Coghlan via

Using Creo AFX, after you have defined subassemblies, you can copy them to quickly build a structure. Here’s how:

  1. From the Framework ribbon bar menu, select Project Subassemblies. The Project Subassemblies dialog opens.
  2. Under the Assemble section, select the Copy icon. The Copy Component Definition dialog box opens, as shown below.

The Copy Component Definition dialog for copying subassemblies.

  1. Set the copied subassembly’s definition using the dialog box.
    • Type a new Name for the assembly.
    • Select the components that you want to copy, and type a New Name for one or more components.
    • You can also click Automatic Selection to select only required parts and de-select standard parts that you want to exclude, such as screws and nuts.
    • You can also select or remove components by selecting them in the model window, use the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons before you select the component you want to add or remove from the definition.
  1. After the definition is complete, the new subassembly can be built in like any other profile. In the example below, the subassembly within the red circle was copied and added to the assembly.

Ladder structure with copied subassembly highlighted

The subassembly within the red circle was copied and added to the assembly.

  1. The joint on the new subassembly needs to be adjusted. To do this, on the Framework ribbon bar menu,
    click Joints, and then apply joints to adjust the new subassembly.

Ladder structure with gap removed

The new subassembly no longer has a gap since the joint was adjusted.

To see a demonstration of these steps, watch this video:

To learn more, read the PTC Creo Help Center page, About the Element Copy Component Definition Dialog Box.

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About the Author Aaron Shaw

Aaron Shaw joined PTC in 2013, currently he is the Senior Manager, CAD Demand Generation. He is responsible for the CAD marketing strategy and execution worldwide. He enjoys playing golf, eating spicy foods, reading, traveling, and rooting for all Boston teams. Aaron is a graduate of Penn State, you can follow him on Twitter @AaronEShaw.