User Features: Useful Tips

Creating a User Feature

Note that the limitations that apply to Power Copies also apply to User Features.
  • As far as possible, minimize the number of elements making up the User Feature.
  • When defining User Features including sketches, use profiles constrained with respect to edges or faces rather than to planes. Additionally, set off the option Create geometrical constraints before sketching. Generally speaking, it is always preferable to use profiles both rigid and mobile.
  • It is preferable to constrain elements with respect to external references such as faces, edges, reference or explicit planes.
  • It is preferable not to use projections nor intersections in your sketch if you want to use your sketch in a User Feature.
  • Avoid using constraints defined with respect to reference planes.
  • Before creating your User Features, make sure that your sketch is not over-constrained.
  • Make sure that your sketch is iso-constrained (green color). You can use non-iso-constrained sketches, but it will be more difficult to understand and control the result after instantiation.
  • To create a User Feature, create first a Power Copy, and try it in different contexts. When the instantiation is OK, create the User Feature by selecting the Power Copy. It is easier to understand and modify a Power Copy.
  • Provide basic and full User Features on the same geometry (with or without final Trim for example). If an update error occurs, you can try the basic User Feature and perform the last operations manually.
  • When working with Knowledgeware relations, make sure you rename those relations. For example, if you work with formulas and you don't rename them, because the instances are shown, they will all have the same name. 
  • When creating a reference User Feature , it is by default not up-to-date because it does not participate in the design of the part in which it is defined. It does not need to be updated to be instantiated: only the plugging of its internal components and the computation of the inputs required to build it are useful, no update being required to perform these operations. Though the update of a reference User Feature is useless, if nevertheless, you decide to update a reference user feature, it will have no impact except that the feature will be up-to-date.
  • When publishing parameters, do not assign the same name to two different parameters. It is not supported when you create a formula based on one of these parameters. 

Managing inputs:

  • Always rename your inputs to help the end user understand what he needs to select.
  • A formula is automatically included in a User Feature definition when all its parameters are included.
    Otherwise, if at least one parameter is not selected as part of the User Feature, you have to select the formula manually to make it part of the definition. If you do so, all the formula parameters that have not been explicitly selected, are considered as inputs of the User Feature.
  • Note that when including parameters sets containing hidden parameters in a User Feature, the hidden parameters are automatically instantiated when instantiating the User Feature.


  • In a Part document, create only one User Feature reference. It is not a technical restriction, but there are at least two reasons for this: The cost of an instantiation will be reduced if the Part document is smaller. The end user can understand the feature to be instantiated more easily.
  • Put in "show" mode only the input and the result (to help the end user understand what he needs to select).
  • Use colors to differentiate inputs (put transparency on result for example).
  • Choose a pertinent view point before saving the Part document reference, default view point in preview during instantiation will be the same.


  • Create sketches on an axis system to better control the Sketch position.
  • Avoid constraining your 2D elements with respect to  HV absolute axis. The result you obtain after instantiating the Power Copy could be unstable. You cannot control the position of the origin of the absolute axis nor its orientation.


  • Do not forget catalog integration if you want to provide several User Features.

Instantiating a User Feature

  • Always check the orientation of curves and surfaces.

  • If you need to instantiate a User Feature several times on the same input, rename your inputs and use the "Use identical name" option.