How do I Isolate one of my Weldment Bodies for Detailing?

Article by Jim Peltier, CSWE updated August 13, 2013


Let’s say I’m designing a welded table frame for an 8-station rotary indexer. It might look something like this:

Central Table Frame

Central Table Frame

If I want to create a detailed drawing of the standardized mounting plate that goes on each of the sides of that top beam, it’s going to have a lot of unnecessary detail – namely, the rest of the weldment. I could mess around with configurations and display states if I really wanted to, but at the end of the day when I want to create multiple drawings from this one part file I’m going to give myself ulcers unnecessarily. Of course, if this is my company’s policy (the multiple drawings, not the ulcers), then there is a way to do this, but for this example, I want a part file for each part. The Chief (my boss) wants me to “isolate just the plate and create a drawing of it.” He figures it should be a piece of cake in SolidWorks,

And he is correct.

What I’m going to do is expand out the Cut List folder, find the plate that I want to isolate, then right-click on the body. One of my choices is to “Insert into new part” (see the screenshot below).

Right Click on the body > Insert into new part

Right Click on the body > Insert into new part…

Note the -> means it has an External Reference

Note the -> means it has an External Reference

Done deal! Now it’s time to save this and make a drawing of it. The best part of all is that it is linked back to my weldment. This means that if I make a change to the size of this plate in my weldment, the plate (and resulting detailed drawing) will update automatically! Now I can create drawings of each body of the weldment (all 18 bodies), much to the Chief’s delight.

This functionality isn’t limited to weldments. You can do this with any multibody part using the same procedure (except that it’s under the Solid Bodies or Surface Bodies folder rather than the Cut List folder).

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Jim Peltier, CSWE

Jim has been using SolidWorks since 2001, and has spent most of that time working in the design of industrial automated manufacturing equipment. He has been working as an Applications Expert at Javelin Technologies in Oakville, Ontario since July 2012 and is a Certified SolidWorks Expert (CSWE).