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Always Show the Solid Bodies Folder

Article by Rod Mackay created/updated July 29, 2010

Accidentally hiding solid bodies within a part file is a common source of confusion, leading to the inevitable question regarding why the user is unable to see the part.

A SolidWorks part file can consist of multiple individual bodies – each of these bodies can be shown or hidden independently.  Each of these bodies are always contained within the Solid Bodies folder in the FeatureManager.  By default however, SolidWorks only shows this Solid Bodies folder when the part contains multiple bodies – for a single body the folder isn’t shown.  This can lead to confusion if a user is working on a part with a single solid body and accidentally hides this body.  Because the Solid Bodies folder isn’t displayed in the FeatureManager for a single body part, it isn’t there to “remind” the user that they have hidden the body.

To correct and prevent this, we can change the SolidWorks options to always show this Solid Bodies folder.  In SolidWorks, go to Tools-> Options-> System Options tab-> FeatureManager.  In the Hide/Show tree items section, change the Solid Bodies pull down menu to Show.  Click OK to accept this change.

SolidWorks FeatureManager System Options

SolidWorks FeatureManager System Options

The next time a body is accidentally hidden in SolidWorks, you will now be able to show the body by expanding the Solid Bodies folder, right-clicking the body and choosing Show from the shortcut menu.

Hidden Solid Body

Hidden Solid Body

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Rod Mackay

Rod has been using 3D CAD software for over 25 years and has trained thousands of designers to use their CAD systems more effectively. Rod is the Javelin Webmaster and is based in Ottawa, ON., Canada.

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