The ability to mirror can be found in part and assembly files, and allows you to mirror sketch entities, features, faces, bodies, and components.
Mirroring Sketch Entities
There are two mirror functions available in while working with 2D sketches, mirror entities and dynamic mirror. Both allow you to mirror parts of a sketch about a straight line as shown in the beam profile below.
The mirror entities feature can be found under the ‘sketch’ tab in the command manager or in tools > sketch tools > mirror. When selected the mirror feature will ask you to pick the entities you want to mirror (in this example the blue entities), the line of symmetry you want to mirror about (the construction lines), and whether or not you want the mirror to copy or clear the original entities. Dimensions can be added before or after the mirror depending on preference.
The dynamic mirror function, found in tools > sketch tools > dynamic mirror, is similar to mirror entities however the line or lines to mirror about are selected beforehand then anything drawn in the sketch will be mirrored dynamically.
This ability is found at part level and creates a copy of one or more features mirrored about a face or a plane. You can select the feature or the faces that comprise the feature.
When clicking on the mirror feature icon shown above, you are given an option box which allows you to choose the plane or face to mirror about and what features you want mirroring, as illustrated below. For this example a mid-plane was added to the part to keep the features the same distance from either end. Not only can save time creating features but changing features too as anything mirrored will update with the original.
Mirroring faces can be useful with imported parts where the import process includes the faces but no features. Another example is the part below which was created as a single revolve therefore there is no feature to select that will mirror only the smallest diameter. By using mirror faces with a mid-plane selected only the chosen faces within the revolve will be mirrored.
Mirroring bodies can be used whether in a single or multi body part and allows you to select solid geometry instead of the features and faces in a body. The example below is a simple sheet metal part which has been half modelled with the intention of being mirrored about the centre to save time recreating the same feature.
Mirroring components is a feature within assembly files and allows parts and sub-assemblies to be mirrored. It is found in the drop down menu under ‘linear component pattern’ as shown below.
As with all the other features, mirroring components requires a plane or face and the selected parts or sub-assemblies wanted to be copied as shown in the example below. One added benefit of using this feature is if the assembly is flexible and can move the mirrored parts will copy the movement of the original, saving time inserting and mating multiple components.
Another feature within the mirror components at assembly level is the ability to create an opposite hand version of a part or sub-assembly.
To get the option to create an opposite hand version click to the blue right arrow in the top corner of the feature tree after selecting the plane and components. Then click the ‘Create opposite hand version’ button and you should see a visual preview of the reversed part. If the click the right arrow again you get options about how you wish to save the reversed part as a configuration or as it’s own part, and once more for more options to do with imported features you want to include in the mirrored part and how it is linked back to the original.