The Exploded View in SolidWorks works pretty nice. Not only it is very easy to define each explode step, but once defined, they can be modified on the fly.
Just select one of the explode steps from the configuration manager/ feature tree and the components affected by it will be highlighted. Moreover, a blue arrow will appear, allowing you to modify the explode step travel by dragging it (fig. 1).
You knew that, right? It is pretty intuitive, but we were expecting that, since most of the time SolidWorks seems to read our mind.
Now let’s see if the opposite is true. What is happening if you select one or more components directly from the graphic area? Would the corresponding steps be highlighted in the exploded view?
The answer seems to be “No”. Actually this functionality has been requested in two Enhancement Requests:
- ER# 21389: Selecting a component in the graphics window when the assembly is exploded should highlight the corresponding explode step in the tree
- ER#542003: Add ability to show which explode steps move a specific component (click in graphics area, highlight explode steps in tree).
By the way, feel free to vote for them via your Customer Portal.
Imagine my surprise last week when I found out that there is actually a way to achieve that. It is not as intuitive as simply selecting the component(s) from the graphic area but is close. Instead of Left Mouse Button (LMB) clicking on the component, try a Right Mouse Button (RMB) click. See fig. 2.
Let me finish by listing a few more Enhancement Requests for exploded views that you might find interesting. Vote for them if you like the proposed functionality:
ER 598517: Provide the ability to define radial and spherical explode steps <similar to the functionality in 3DVIA Composer>
ER 20546: Ability to specify rotations with exploded views.
ER 581063: Allow a component to be rotated in an explode view step as well as being translated <seems to be a duplicate of the previous ER>