Find the weakest link! Which assembly component(s) takes the longest to rebuild?

Article by Alin Vargatu, CSWE updated March 15, 2011


Have you ever been in this situation?

Upon opening your assembly you get a prompt suggesting that would be a good idea to rebuild it. You follow the advice and hit the little stoplight icon, hoping that rebuilding the model will not take longer than a few seconds. Five minutes after that, you start to regret the decision. Maybe you should have gone for a coffee break while SolidWorks is busy rebuilding your assembly.

Now you are scared. It took 8 minutes to do a simple assembly rebuild. It is clear that somewhere inside the assembly, one or more of your components takes its sweet time rebuilding itself. But which one is the culprit? If you would know the answer to this simple question, you would be able to do something. Either create a simplified configuration inside the part with all those cosmetic features suppressed, or a configuration at the assembly level with that component suppressed, or even better, use a SpeedPak Configuration.

Fortunately, in SolidWorks 2011, there is a simple way to get a visual report showing the components’ rebuild times.

Let’s activate the Assembly Visualization tool and change the default criterion from Mass

Set the criterion for Assembly Visualization

… to SW-Rebuild Time:

Select SW-Rebuild Time as a criterion

Not only you get the rebuild times for all the components and can order them in ascending or descending order, but you can even color them based on rebuild times. In the next picture you will see that I colored the components that take longer than half a second to rebuild in red and the rest in blue by moving the sidebar sliders up or down.

Color Coded

I can see now what are the components that slow my assembly down and how long each of them takes to rebuild. Now, I can do something about that.

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Alin Vargatu, CSWE

Alin is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and an avid contributor to the SOLIDWORKS Community. Alin has presented multiple times at SOLIDWORKS World, Technical Summits, and User Group Meetings, while being very active on the SOLIDWORKS Forum.