Showing or switching SOLIDWORKS BOM Units [VIDEO]

Article by Jim Peltier, CSWE updated November 20, 2013


NOTE: This article is relevant for SOLIDWORKS 2023 and prior.  SOLIDWORKS 2024 introduced new functionality to link custom properties to units that can be referenced in a BOM.  See our new article Showing Units in SOLIDWORKS Custom Properties.

In an ideal world, we would have just one system of measurements. However, we do not live in an ideal world. SOLIDWORKS does its best to compensate by doing conversions automatically and effortlessly for you, but the one area it falls short in for the time being is in BOM’s. You get stuck using the units of the drawing. You can switch the units on the drawing, but then your dimensions all get switched, too.

But there is a way, and if you’ve set up some custom properties in advance, then it can be easy. Watch this this video:

It may have been a bit hard to see, but the syntax I typed in at the end of the equation is {}” IN”{}. The entire equation reads:

{2}`Length`/25.4{}" IN"{}

Now, apparently in newer versions of SOLIDWORKS, the {} before and after the ” IN” are no longer required! One of the things with newer versions of SOLIDWORKS is that the old workflows still work! This workflow will work in older versions as well as current versions, but chances are you won’t need the {}. Test it on your own machine!

The same procedure applies to the mass column, except that the multiplier would obviously be different.

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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).