User-defined features (UDFs) save time by helping establish a
library of commonly used geometry.
• Define a UDF from a “template”
♦ Reference Part option
• Select features to include.
– Must be sequential
• Define prompts.
– Every reference requires a
• Define any variable items
– Variable elements or
– Family Table
Figure 2 – Highlighted Surface
While Defining Prompts
User-defined features (UDFs) are groups of features, references, and
dimensions that can be saved for use on future models. UDFs save time by
helping you establish a library of commonly used geometry.
Defining a UDF from a “Template” Model
To create a UDF, you must first create a “template” part containing the same
base geometry that is in the target model (new model). Then model the
features that you wish to include in the UDF on this part. An example is
shown in Figure 1. When modeling the features, be sure to consider the
number of references being created. In most cases, minimizing the number
of references makes the most efficient UDFs.
Define the UDF (*.gph file) in the UDF library, and give it a recognizable name.
The UDF library location is most likely a location unique to your company,
and is defined by your administrator. The UDF library can be accessed from
the Group Directory Common Folder, which displays when appropriate.
Specify the storage option type. There are two types of storage options:
• Subordinate – Creates a reference to the original template model and
automatically uses the template model as a reference part to guide the
UDF placement in the future. The original model must be present for the
subordinate UDF to function. If you make any dimensional changes to the
original model, they are automatically reflected in the UDF.
• Standalone – Does not reference the template model. It copies all the
original model information into the UDF file. If you make any changes to
the original model, they are not reflected in the UDF. When you create a
standalone UDF, you have the option to create a separate reference part.
If created, the reference part has the same name as the UDF, but with a
Selecting Features to Include
Next, you must select the features to be placed in the UDF. The features
must be sequential in the model tree.
You must define a prompt for each reference created within the selected
features. All references from the features selected for the UDF require
prompts. The prompts are displayed for each original feature reference
when placing a UDF to help you select a corresponding reference in the
target model. Therefore, the prompts you create for each reference should
be descriptive. Each reference is highlighted in the graphics window as you
define its prompt, as shown in Figure 2. If a reference was used to create
more than one feature, you are asked to create either Single or Multiple
prompts for that reference.
• Single – Specifies a single prompt for the reference used in several
features. When the UDF is placed, the prompt appears only once, but the
reference you select for this prompt applies to all features in the group
that use the same reference.
• Multiple – Specifies an individual prompt for each feature that uses this
reference. If you select Multiple, each feature using this reference is
highlighted, so you can type a different prompt for each feature.
Defining Variable Items
You can also define any variable items to be stored in the UDF. This is an
optional step in UDF creation. Variable dimensions provide a prompt for a
dimension value upon placement. Variable elements enable the feature’s
dashboard to be accessed during placement, to redefine the feature for the
current application. A family table enables you to create different instances of
the feature, with each instance containing different combinations of features,
dimensions, and parameters.
Modifying a UDF
When the UDF is complete, a *.gph file is saved to the current directory. You
can edit a defined UDF by selecting the Modify option in the UDF menu.