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How to Improve Machine Performance when working with SOLIDWORKS Assemblies

Article by Saeed Mojarad (CSWE) created/updated April 10, 2015

Increase Machine Performance

Increase Machine Performance

Is your SOLIDWORKS too slow when working with assemblies? If your answer is yes then this article may help you improve the performance of your machine when working with assemblies.

“How do I stop SOLIDWORKS from crashing when I am working in assemblies?”

This is one of the most frequent questions that we receive every day. I hope that I can answer that question with some tips and tricks in this article.

Optimize your SOLIDWORKS Software setup:

The best way to immediately impact large assembly performance is to setup SOLIDWORKS software correctly. Under the “Tools” menu select “Options” and under the “Performance” tab there are several options to improve performance for less powerful hardware:

  1. Turn off high quality transparency
  2. Decrease the level of detail for curvature generation as shown in the figure below
SOLIDWORKS System Options: Performance

SOLIDWORKS System Options: Performance

Under “Assemblies” you will find the “Large assemblies” section. The first option defines how many components are required before SOLIDWORKS goes into large assembly mode. If you are on a less powerful hardware you may want to lower it down to force SOLIDWORKS to go into large assembly mode with fewer components.

The next option here which has a great effect on your machine performance is the “turn off edges in shaded mode” option. This turns off all the little black edges on the parts. HUGE savings on your graphics card with many parts or even a few complicated castings etc.

SOLIDWORKS System Options: Assemblies

SOLIDWORKS System Options: Assemblies

Avoid large assemblies

The best piece of advice that I can give is to avoid large assemblies and what I mean by that is to avoid putting a lot of parts and assemblies into one single assembly. Make sure you take advantage of using sub-assemblies and sub-sub-assemblies.

Use Configurations

Take maximum advantage of configurations. When working with models that can be complex or represented a simple part remember you could just make a configuration for each.

Constrain and define

The fourth tip is to confine and constrain every single thing in the model. It has been seen that designers leave several components unconstrained in their assembly because they want to drag them around. That may be great to showing the model to other people but it is very taxing on the software when you are trying to work in the model. The reason is everytime you move or reopen something SOLIDWORKS will rebuild and recalculate the position of those components.

Some of the components that designers frequently forget to fully constrain are bolts, nuts and washers. Often users only constrain them in 5 degrees of movement and as a result they can rotate about their axis.

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Saeed Mojarad (CSWE)

Saeed Mojarad is an application engineer at Javelin Technologies. He received his B.S from Mazandaran University, Iran; and his M.S. from École de technologie supérieure (ETS), Canada. He has several years of experience using SOLIDWORKS in different industries such as manufacturing and aerospace. Currently located in Calgary, he is helping SOLIDWORKS users all across Canada as a technical support and SOLIDWORKS instructor.

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