In some workflows, it may be advantageous to create “Extract Body” features multiple times to represent different stages in the manufacturing process. The downside to this is that the Extract Body command increase file size and can cause performance problems. One way to reduce this effect is to use the Group Face command in addition to Extract Body.
Group Face can be used to define “Feature Faces” which can be used downstream as a “Feature Face” Selection Intent. Group Face also can be used to reference geometry without making a copy of the geometry that increases the file size and RAM usage. This reference feature can be conveniently placed in the Part Navigator to perform operations like show/hide.
A skateboard deck is used to demonstrate this. In the part navigator shown below, there are extracted bodies at three points in manufacturing. These are copied again into a feature group that consolidates the manufacturing steps. The product interface contains the three extracted bodies from the manufacturing steps feature group.
In this configuration the part file is 1956 KB and NX 11 uses 207508 KB of RAM.
After this, delete the three extracted bodies in the manufacturing steps feature group and replace them with group face features.
In this configuration, the part file is 1944 KB (12 KB less) and NX 11 uses 202328 KB (5180 KB less) of RAM.
Some changes have been made to the Group Face command in NX 11.0.1 to make it even more usable in this scenario. First, the filter “Body Faces” was added to the face rule dialogue of Group Face. Second, a Group Face feature can now be selected from the part navigator in the Product Interface dialogue under the object type filter “Body." The video below demonstrates both of these changed features.