SolidWorks Tips & Tricks - Assembly Models
My own versions of tips and tricks that I use when working with SolidWorks. These tips are not intended to be a repeat of tips you can find elsewhere on the internet. See "Advanced Tricks" for more Tips & Tricks
- Plan out your assembly before you begin. Read this article in the SolidWorks Express newsletter before you begin.
- One component should be 'Fixed' in model space.
- Mate new components to existing components that are already fully constrained.
- Refrain from mating components to the original origin or planes in the assembly. See 'Reorient the first component in an assembly' below for more info.
- Suppress components that are not needed while you work, or work with simplified configurations.
- Use common hardware sub-assemblies. This will minimize the number of mates that need to be created in the current assembly because all mates in the sub-assembly are brought into the current assembly when the sub-assemblies are dsolved.
- Create sub-assemblies of common hardware and save them to a common work area.
- Insert and position the hardware sub-assembly into the current assembly.
- Right click on the sub-assembly in the feature tree and select 'Dissolve sub-assembly'. This will place al the components and mates, in the sub-assembly, into the current assembly.
RELOAD / REPLACE COMPONENTS
REPLACING COMPONENTS WHILE OPENING FILE
Close out of all SolidWorks documents.
Select 'File | Open' from the pull down menu.
Select the file name, and click on the 'References' button.
Double click the component in the list.
Migrate to, and select the component you want to use, and click 'OPEN'.
Click 'OK', then click 'OPEN'.
SolidWorks will now load the assembly with the desired component.
RELOAD COMPONENT WITH SAME NAME BUT DIFFERENT DIRECTORY
SolidWorks will not allow you to reload or replace an existing component with the same name from a different directory. Here is one work around to get past this limitation.
Method 1: See 'REPLACING COMPONENTS WHILE OPENING FILE'
Method 2: Load the replacement component into SolidWorks prior to loading the parent assembly using the following method:
Load the replacement component (part or assembly) into SolidWorks.
Load parent assembly into SolidWorks.
If SolidWorks asks to use component currently loaded, click 'Yes'.
Note: These method temporary bypass of the normal SolidWorks search for external references while opening a SolidWorks assembly.
Use a dummy part (with no geometry) to add components to the BOM like paint, oil, etc...
Pattern dummy parts (with .001 distance) to achieve necessary quantity.
REORIENT THE FIRST COMPONENT IN AN ASSEMBLY
When the first component (part or assembly) is inserted into an assembly, the orientation of this component matches the orientation used in the construction of this component. In some cases, this orientation may not match the desired orientation within the assembly being created. You can reorient the first component by following these simple steps.
Ensure component is floating (not fixed) within the context of in the assembly.
Mate the first component to the base planes in the assembly as needed.
'Fix' the component in place in the assembly.
You will receive an error identifying that the assembly cannot be solved with the addition of the mate. Click on OK. To clear this error, delete the three mates that are shown as not resolved.
It is preferred that the first component is 'Fixed' in the context of the assembly rather than be mated as done in the steps outlined above. This helps to identify which component controls the orientation of the assembly.
If an assembly is mated properly (component to component), the complete assembly may be reoriented by reorienting the first component using the same procedures outlined above.