An exploded view is a useful tool to show how parts fit inside an assembly. It can be used as a marketing tool to promote the product or it can also be used during manufacturing to show how the product is physically assembled. Both tasks can be achieved with a video animation or a drawing representation.
Consider a flashlight assembly as shown below:
This flashlight is composed of many different component parts. Exploded views are treated as an assembly configuration, therefore to create an exploded view we need to go to the configuration tab.
The current configuration active is named “Explode” but it does not necessary have to be named as such. Right click the current configuration and select “New Exploded View”.
Once the Explode property menu is active you may now select individual or multiple parts to explode with each step. You have the ability to manually move and/or rotate the part an arbitrary distance or move the part a specific distance using the explode step properties. In this case the first part exploded is the Locking Pin
Creating multiple steps will allow you to explode the entire assembly to highlight each component piece. Please note that you may apply more than one step to a single component should you want to.
Once the assembly is fully exploded, under the configurations tab you may right click the exploded view configuration to select “Collapse” or “Animate Collapse”. Animate collapse will animate the process and in doing so you will have the option to save the video for later use. Similarly once an assembly is collapsed, you may “Explode” or “Animate Explode”.