If I insert a part into two different assemblies can it have different parameter values?
I've tried this as an experiement and it would seem that it cannot.
Do I have to save my .ipt as a special sort of part if I want to have the same file with different parameters in different assemblies?
Or can I only do this if I make it an ipart? i.e. only if I have a row in the excel file which corresponds to the parameters I require and thus I'll need a row for every instance?
Yes, you cannot...
Every time you use the same part in different assemblys, when you change that part (parameters, features... evreything) it will be updated on every file it is associated; assemblys, drawings...
So, as you said, the best thing to do is save your part "as a copy" for all the different sittuations (in the end, its true, the parts are different, why have the same part number?).
Using one ipart is also a nice aproach, and you may have custom values, that you can input when you are placing the parts in the assemblys. Try That also.
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