Adding SOLIDWORKS Custom Properties to your Parts using the BOM table

Article by Jim Peltier, CSWE created/updated November 26, 2013

If you’ve ever dealt with legacy parts or imported parts, then you have probably experienced adding Custom Properties manually. In fact, when you’re adding Custom Properties to a series of parts, then you may have used Task Scheduler to automatically add or modify these properties. But what about when half of your assembly already has the Custom Properties that you want and the other half doesn’t. This would quickly become a very time-consuming task of opening each part and adding the Custom Properties to each one.

However, a little trick that you can use next time you find yourself in this situation is to modify it directly from the BOM! I will explain how:

Custom Property Missing from Parts

Imagine that you work for a company and as one of your “continuous improvement initiatives,” you are now adding the preferred supplier to a custom property called “Supplier.” This is easy enough to include going forward. Your templates have been modified to include the new property, your procedures have been updated, but what about all the parts you previously had designed? They all lack the Supplier property.

Custom Properties in the BOM

Three down, thirty-three to go…

Add Custom Properties via your BOM

All you need is to have ONE part that has the custom property (‘Supplier’ in this example) and you can add it as a column in your BOM. Parts that do not have this property will simply be blank in the BOM. If you double-click on any of the blank cells, SOLIDWORKS will prompt you with the following message:

SOLIDWORKS cell value message

SOLIDWORKS cell value message

If you select Keep Link, then enter a value into the field, SOLIDWORKS will add a Configuration-specific Custom Property to that part that equates to whatever you enter in the table. While you still have to populate the fields one by one, you save a lot of time by not having to open each part and add the Custom Property manually.

Hint: Do not use the mouse to navigate from cell to cell. Just press Enter after inputting each value in order to move to the next row.

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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).

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