SOLIDWORKS Library Feature Warning

Article by Jim Peltier, CSWE updated January 18, 2016


Some time ago, I wrote a blog article about how to create a library feature. In it, you will notice that when I create a new part, before I do anything else, I save it as a Library Feature Part. At the time (SolidWorks 2013, I believe), it was necessary to save first, otherwise SOLIDWORKS would delete all the features and I would have to start again. Thankfully, this behaviour was changed (in SOLIDWORKS 2015, I believe), and currently asks you whether or not you want the features deleted with the following message:

“This library feature part may contain features that are not related to selected features. Do you want to create a simplified library feature part that does not include unrelated features? Please note that this may cause rebuild errors in this library feature part.”

Displayed in SOLIDWORKS via this warning message pop-up window:

SOLIDWORKS Library Feature Warning

SOLIDWORKS Library Feature Warning


Wow. That’s quite the novel. It’s been my experience that very few users will be inclined to read a message that long. To simplify, it should say

“Do you want to delete all features?” or “Do you want to create a part that does not include features?”

Here is what the message should look like in SOLIDWORKS:

Fictitious SOLIDWORKS message

Fictitious SOLIDWORKS message

Okay, that’s an oversimplification of what it is asking, but if you want a quick answer, chances are it is No. You can always delete the unrelated features later on. So why is it asking this? What does it consider to be an unrelated feature? It would be a simple answer if you could right-click on a feature and choose “Add to Library,” but that function isn’t available until you’ve saved it to a library feature part.

One way you can do this faster is by selecting the features in your feature tree before you save the part. When you do this, it will automatically set those features to Library Features and everything will fall into place. You will still keep the non-library features, but they will not have the little “L” indicating that they are library features. More importantly, you do not get the dialogue question asking you if you want to delete your features. Everything falls into place nicely with this method.

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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).