# How to Make a Flexible Subassembly with Top-Down Design Method in SOLIDWORKS?

Recently, I'm trying to create a "4 dof robotic arm" on a robotic vehicle. The file structure be like:

• Robotic.SLDASM
• Vehicle Body.SLDASM
• Robotic Arm.SLDASM
• Gripper.SLDASM

While I making Robotic Arm to be flexible subassembly in Robotic. SOLIDWORKS give me subassemblies with layout sketches must be kept rigid. After googling the solution. I only got that I need to delete the layout. That means I have to mate all the components in Robotic Arm again and lost advantage from Top-Down Design. Is there an alternative way to do the Top-Down Design and keep subassembly flexible? Is my file structure bad? Or my understanding is somewhere wrong?

• There’s lots of ways to do this, but they are all easier at the start of the design rather than after you have invested time into your process. How far in are you and how many mates are we talking about? Jul 1 at 2:24
• Try going in the feature tree, right click on the Robotic Arm, click "Make Subassembly Flexible". That might solve your issue.
– jko
Jul 1 at 11:58
• ^@jko this is what he's already tried, but because he defined the parts in context within the sub assembly using the layout function, this isn't an option. Jul 1 at 15:34
• Duh my bad. Not enough caffeine
– jko
Jul 1 at 17:27
• @JonathanRSwift Thanks for your reply. I don't mind to redo this design. I'm just a beginner of SOLIDWORKS. Jul 2 at 5:14