Alternatives are a convenient way to manage design variations within your model.

As you develop a variety of different designs for a particular part, you could make each design variant a separate part in the model, but it's often more convenient to make an alternative-a variant of a part that is owned by the original part.

A part can have any number of alternatives, but only one of its alternatives can be active at any one time. Because each alternative is owned by a parent part, your part organization can remain intact as you add design variants. Shapes generated from optimization automatically become alternatives of the part that was used as the design space.

Alternatives are represented in the Model Browser as a radio-button group under their parent. Clicking on an alternative in the browser makes it the active alternative.