SOLIDWORKS Composer Import Options

Article by Justin Flett updated May 30, 2016

Choosing the correct SOLIDWORKS Composer Import Options is a crucial step when importing your CAD files into a Composer project.  This will help optimize your project down the line when it comes to annotating components and creating bill of materials within Composer.

When importing CAD files into Composer a number of import options are presented as shown in the dialog below:

SOLIDWORKS Composer Import Options

Import Options

It is important to select the best options for your particular project in order to optimize workflow down the line.  In this article we will discuss some of the most important available options.

Merge file into one actor per part:

This is the first listed import option and perhaps the most important.  When selected this will merge all geometry of a part into a single actor, even when dealing with multi-body parts.

The hydraulic manifold shown below is an example of a multi-body part:

Multi Body Part

Multi Body Part

With “Merge file into one actor per part” selected, the multi-body part comes into Composer as a single actor as shown below:

Merge file into one actor

Merge file into one actor

With “Merge file into one actor per part” deselected, the multi-body part comes into Composer as multiple actors (one for each body) as shown below:

Do not merge file into one actor

Merge file into one actor deselected

Each of these methods may have pros and cons associated with them, the important aspect here is to understand the difference between the two and know when to use these options based on your specific project.

Import instance names:

With this option selected, any instance of multiple components in an assembly will be given a unique name such as Bolt-1, Bolt-2, and so on.  With this option off all actors of the same component will come in with the name Bolt for example.

The difference between these options may be important down the line with annotations, bill of materials and so on.

Import meta-properties:

As expected, this option will import the SOLIDWORKS meta-properties into your composer actors.

Import as bodies:

This option will treat solid bodies as actors.  We may want to clear this option to treat bodies as individual faces.

Import Free Faces:

Imports surface models as actors.

Import Hidden Components:

Components hidden in the SOLIDWORKS assembly will also be hidden in the composer project.

Mastering the importance of SOLIDWORKS Composer import options will help improve and optimize which composer functions are available throughout your project.

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