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The “Easy Bake” recipe for Displaying Cosmetic Threads

Article by Chris Briand, CSWE created/updated April 14, 2017

Are SOLIDWORKS Cosmetic Threads a ‘Nice to have’, or a ‘Nuisance’? Depending on your organizations standards, SOLIDWORKS Cosmetic Threads can be a life-saver or a nuisance.

The nuisance factor may be enhanced multi-fold, when you are unable to display cosmetic threads as intended in your drawings or assemblies.

SOLIDWORKS Cosmetic Threads displayed

SOLIDWORKS Cosmetic Thread displayed

Given the difficulty that can ensue with the display of this annotation feature, many give up and elect to avoid using SOLIDWORKS cosmetic threads altogether. Our hope with this article is to guide you through the pinch points and have you confidently apply cosmetic threads as desired.

Display settings for SOLIDWORKS Cosmetic Threads

There are five main settings that will effect the display of SOLIDWORKS cosmetic threads within your parts, drawings or assemblies.

The very first point to make regarding the visibility of cosmetic threads is:

IF the cosmetic thread annotation in the component’s feature tree is set to HIDDEN, the cosmetic thread WILL NOT display – regardless of any other setting you attempt to apply.

To repair this, one simply has to find the Cosmetic thread feature within the feature tree and show or hide the feature, depending upon your preference.

SOLIDWORKS Cosmetic Thread Feature

SOLIDWORKS Cosmetic Thread Feature

No Magic Here, Simply Settings to Choose

Contrary to some popular beliefs, the remaining display options for cosmetic threads do not require you to hold your tongue a certain way, cross your fingers or perform a complicated dance routine in front of your colleagues…

The remaining four settings that will affect the visibility of cosmetic threads within the part, drawing, and assembly environments within SOLIDWORKS are:

  • “View All Annotations” Setting
  • “Cosmetic Threads” Setting
  • “Display Annotations” Setting
  • “Use Assembly Settings for all components” Option

Combinations of these four options will yield one of two different results, either the Cosmetic Thread notation will be visible in the graphics area, or it will not.

The combinations are weighted against the display of cosmetic threads, as two-thirds of the combinations will result in the cosmetic threads not being displayed at all.(No wonder you were unable to get them to show up…)

The table below illustrates the possible cosmetic thread display combinations, and the visible or not visible result of those selections.

“View All Annotations” Setting“Cosmetic Threads” Setting“Display Annotations” Setting“Use Assembly Settings for all components” OptionDisplay of Cosmetic Threads
View Menu > All AnnotationsRight click on Annotations folder > Details > “Cosmetic threads” checkboxRight click on Annotations folder > “Display Annotations”optionRight click on Annotations folder > Details > “Use assembly settings for all components” checkboxCosmetic Threads are Not Visible or Visible
OFF
OFF
OFF
OFF
Not Visible
OFF
ON
OFF
OFF
Not Visible
OFF
OFF
ON
OFF
Not Visible
OFF
ON
ON
OFF
Not Visible
OFF
OFF
OFF
ON
Not Visible
OFF
ON
OFF
ON
Not Visible
ON
OFF
OFF
ON
Not Visible
ON
ON
OFF
ON
Not Visible
OFF
OFF
ON
ON
Not Visible
OFF
ON
ON
ON
Not Visible
ON
OFF
ON
ON
Not Visible
ON
OFF
OFF
OFF
Visible
ON
ON
OFF
OFF
Visible
ON
OFF
ON
OFF
Visible
ON
ON
ON
OFF
Visible
ON
ON
ON
ON
Visible

 

If you are wondering where to find the display options noted above we have some help available for that too…

Take a look at the following article: Where are the hidden settings for the Display of Cosmetic Threads?

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Chris Briand, CSWE

Chris has been educating and supporting Engineers, Designers and IT Personnel within the 3D CAD industry since 2002, and was adopted into the fantastic team of applications experts here at Javelin Technologies in early 2006.  Chris enjoys the continuous learning driven by the ingenuity and challenges Designers bring forward. Innovation using 3D Printing, 3D CAD and other technologies, combined with a diverse background as a technologist, allows Chris to find solutions that accelerate Designers, and take Design Teams to new heights. Chris is currently being held at an undisclosed location, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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