Working with a Copied Group's Components without affecting the Original Group's Components

I´ve modeled a reasonably complex form which consists of a group containing a couple hundreds of components. The name of this group is “Original”.

My intention is to:

-keep this group “Original” including its Components intact

-make a copy of group “Original”. The copied Group’s Name is “Change”.

-I want to make changes to the Components of the copied group “Change” (eg. cut out some material, add material).

-just the copied Components should change, because I want the components of the group “Original” to stay intact.

And here is when I run into an issue…


First off, just to let you know, I am aware of the differences between Components and Groups.

I need Components to make changes to objects that are intended to be exact copies so that changes easily and quickly can be made to all of them in one go.

I also know the differences between “Component Definition Name”* and the “Component instance Name” **

*Component Definition Name = the name on the Component Definition, like the Component Definition itself, is the same for all belonging instances.

**Component Instance Name = the name on a Component Instance is private to just that instance

Some info about my “Original” Group and Components

There’re several different component definitions belonging to the Component Intances of the “Original” group.

The occurring Component Instances in the group in many cases also share a common Component Definition.

Experiment nr 1 - Fail.

Now, I know I can’t rename the Component Definitions in “Copied” group, as this will also rename the Component Definition of the “Original” group to whatever Definition Name I enter for the components of the “Copied” group.

Well, I have tried to just right click on each component of the group named “Change” and choose “make unique” (this will append a number after the component’s Definition Name). But I figured out that this is a dead end, because what happens is that the component definition becomes unique, but just for the current Component Instance which you made unique.

In the case when several Component Instances share a common Component Definition, the rest of the Component Instances will therefore still have the “original” Component Definition Name.

And if I try to rename each Component Instance to match the new unique Component’s Definition Name, an error occurs because the Component Definition Name must unique.

Experiment nr 2 - Then I came up with a new idea -Workaround, which almost worked…

Therefore I’ve tried to make a workaround by copying the group named “Change” containing its belonging components into a separate new skp-file. Then I rename the Components Definitions in that separate new skp-file and save.

By doing this, I work around the issue that the “Original” Group’s Component Definition Names in the “Original” file get affected. Also if I just change the Component Definition Name for One Component Instance, it changes the Component Definition Name for all its belonging Component Instances (which in a nutshell is of course is how a component works and exactly what I want to achieve here).

I then Copy back the group named “Change” to the “original” skp-file containing the group “Original”.

But here’s the problem. Immediately after the group named “Change” has been pasted back into the “Original” file, the Component Definition Names belonging to the group “Change”, will automatically get renamed back to the Component Definition Names of the Components belonging to the group named “Original”.

So my questions are:

  1. Is there a way to rename Component Definition Names of components belonging to a copied group, without affecting the components of the Original group? (Yes I need to use Components instead of groups in most cases in order to make quick changes in one go to all objects intended to stay as exact duplicates)

  2. If not, are there any alternative methods? As mentioned, my intention is to have both an “Original” group containing Components and a copy of this group containing all the components. Then I only want to make changes to the copied group’s components, where the “Original” Components stay intact.
    In this way I can make changes to the components of the copied group, like cut out some material, add material etc, but I can still Turn on/Off visibility of the “Original” group object and/ or layers (which eg. can be located at the same position as the Copied group and work as a good visual reference and measure reference guide where its handy to spot where changes are to be made to the original).

Why don’t you open the copy of the group for editing, select ALL of the components in the group, and use Make Unique?

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Thanks @DaveR! For some reason I’ve never found a way or an option to make multiple components unique at the same time, so I’ve lived in a false assumption that it was not possible. But in a single sentence you just provided me with the longed for knowledge. Tested and it works beautifully. Big Thank you again, and have a nice day :slightly_smiling_face:

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Happy to know that’s got you sorted out.

The Make Unique thing is obviously very useful. I posted a link a little while ago to a thing where I showed that method as part of converting one piece of furniture into another.

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Thanks @DaveR . I’ve started to read your article and started to watch your video. This is some very interesting knowledge and insights you’re sharing that really can improve one’s modeling technique, efficiency and ability to achieve great results. Will absolutely study your methods in depth and try to apply them to my own projects. Thanks again for your sharing of valuable knowledge & Good night! :smiley:

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