Ugh, I thought we were getting somewhere. Might still give it a shot this weekend just for the heck of it.
I just found this. Not sure if it applies, but it appears to be a way of making a feature “more real” :
1. Open the file.
2. Right click on the feature and choose Copy Object
3. In the COPY OBJECT dialog, choose “Create New”=Surface, and check on “Delete Original”
4. Click OK–> here the composite will be copied as individual surfaces
5. Delete the composite feature and save the IPT
6. New an IPT file and do the derived feature operation