SOLIDWORKS Composer Documentation Update Best Practices

Article by Justin Flett updated July 29, 2016


One of the greatest features of SOLIDWORKS Composer is the ability to update documents.  Imagine your technical documentation team generates a 100-page instruction manual.  Just days after completion, the engineering and manufacturing team makes some minor or major changes to their components and assemblies.  Does the documentation team need to start completely from scratch to re-create their 100-page instruction manual?

Assembly Instructions

Assembly Instructions

Thankfully, using SOLIDWORKS Composer the documentation team can click a single button and watch their 100-page instruction manual update automatically to the new assembly revision.  Updating Composer projects is as simple as selecting File > Update > SOLIDWORKS Composer Document.

SOLIDWORKS Composer Update

SOLIDWORKS Composer Update

To ensure the best results when updating large projects with major CAD design changes, here are some update best practices to help improve the procedure:

  1. If you are updating with a SOLIDWORKS file, the SOLIDWORKS file must have the same name as the SOLIDWORKS file (the source file) that you used to create the Composer document.
  2. Do not update from another Composer document whose actors have different Net GUIDs.
  3. If you are updating with a SOLIDWORKS assembly file, the translation process must load the assembly file fully resolved.
  4. Use the same import options that you used to create the Composer document.
  5. You cannot rearrange geometry, part and assembly nodes in the assembly tree.
  6. Do not merge CAD files or other Composer documents into the Composer document that is being updated.
  7. Do not apply kinematics (parent/child relationships) to geometry actors.
  8. If you update with a SOLIDWORKS file, do not create meta-properties in the Composer document.

Note: You can also find this solution on the SOLIDWORKS customer portal (S-060115).

Get SOLIDWORKS Composer Training

To learn more about SOLIDWORKS Composer you should attend our SOLIDWORKS Composer Essentials training course either online or in a classroom near you.

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Justin Flett