Hawk Ridge Systems
SOLIDWORKS: Insert Components into Assemblies

SOLIDWORKS: Insert Components into Assemblies

Table of Contents


As you know,
SOLIDWORKS
is very good at giving us many options for performing certain tasks. A perfect
example of this is when it comes time to insert components into our assembly
models. Before reading further, do you know how many
different ways there are to accomplish this? Test your
knowledge and see how many you know!

Depending on the situation, these different methods can save you time, or are
just more convenient than other methods. Listed below are all of the different
ways to insert a component into an assembly:

  • Insert Component Command: This command can be found in the
    CommandManager under the Assembly tab or in the pull down menus;
    Insert<Component<Existing Part/Assembly. When you bring in your first
    component just hit the check mark, and SOLIDWORKS will orient the component
    origin onto the assembly origin (as well as aligning the 3 default planes).
    For components after that, just click in the graphics area to place them so
    they are not constrained.

Insert a Component

  • Windows Explorer: You can browse to the location of your
    part document, left click and hold, then drag into the graphics area of the
    assembly to drop in the component. (Note: if your Origin is
    visible in the assembly, drag your cursor to it and this will fix the
    component’s origin to the assembly’s origin). This is especially helpful if
    you like to work with your project folder open. Just make sure your folder
    is active and in front of SOLIDWORKS, then drag and drop at will and throw
    those parts into the open assembly document window!
  • SOLIDWORKS Explorer: Use the search along the top to find
    the model you want, then left click and hold and drag into the graphics
    area.

Insert a Component

  • Search Files and Models: You can start to type in the name
    of a document and they will populate in the task pane, from here you can
    left click and hold then drag into the graphics area of the assembly.
    (Note: this does not fix the components origin to the
    assemblies origin.) Important: you must first tell
    SOLIDWORKS where on your computer your files are located; this is found in
    System Options -> File Locations -> Search Paths. For example, if you
    save everything to C://Project then you can just add that top location for
    SolidWorks to search that folder and any subfolders.

Insert a Component

  • [Ctrl]+Left Mouse Button (LMB) from the FeatureManager Design
    Tree
    : Say you already have the component/subassembly in the assembly, and you
    need two of the same components or subassemblies. You can [Ctrl]+LMB click
    and hold over the name of the component/subassembly in the FeatureManager
    Design Tree and drag it into the graphics area to create a copy of this. It
    doesn’t really create a true copy of the file on your hard drive; it just
    creates another instance of the same component.
  • [Ctrl]+LMB the Model in the Graphics Window: You can also
    create copies of the components directly from the graphics window, same
    concept as above. Just [Ctrl]+LMB on a face or edge of a component already
    in the assembly and drag to another location in the graphics area and let up
    on your mouse and you will create another instance of that component.
  • Dragging from an open document window: You can LMB click
    and hold on the modeled geometry and drag straight from one part document
    window to your assembly document window. This also works from the Feature
    Manager Design tree and the Configuration Tree if you want to bring in a
    certain configuration. It helps to use the command Window -> Tile… (from
    the Menu Bar at the top) to display multiple open documents at the same
    time.
  • Internet Explorer: You can even add a part from a
    hyperlink, all you need to do is left click and hold over the hyperlink,
    then drag your mouse to the graphics area of you assembly to drop that in.

OK, now how many of the eight methods did you know? Knowing your different
options can save you a great deal of time when it comes to setting up your
assemblies. Experiment and find the method(s) that work best for you!

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Hawk Ridge Systems Resource Hub

It often takes a team to solve a problem – and sometimes it takes a team to write about it. The Hawk Ridge Systems Engineering Team is comprised of our Product Managers, Applications Engineers, and Support Engineers. They've collaborated on this article to bring you the most accurate information about the solutions you use for design and manufacturing.
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