Using the SOLIDWORKS Save Bodies command without creating multiple copies

Article by Bryan Sprange, CSWE updated September 1, 2017


Have you previously used the SOLIDWORKS Save Bodies command on a weldment feature only to find that all of the identical parts were made into individual files?

Why use the SOLIDWORKS Save Bodies command?

The SOLIDWORKS Save Bodies command can be used on any multibody part which allows you to create an assembly at the part level and then save it out as an assembly if that is the fastest way to model your parts. It can be very useful with Molds as they are easily modeled at the part level, but an assembly drawing may be the simplest way to annotate the resulting bodies. Multiple instances of ejector pins or identical cores can also needlessly clutter the design folder.

Picnic table weldment design

Picnic table weldment design

For example, this model of a picnic table has 78 individual bodies, however there are multiple instances of each piece such that there are only 14 unique bodies. There is one simple setting introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2015 which can be used to prevent the creation of 64 redundant files when an assembly is created from this weldment part using the Save Bodies command.

Multiple instances of each weldment piece

Multiple instances of each weldment piece

How do I remove multiple instances?

The setting is within the SOLIDWORKS Save Bodies command (right click on Cut-List or Solid Bodies folder). Once an assembly location and file name have been defined, check ‘Derive resulting parts from similar bodies or cut list’. The ‘resulting parts’ for the picnic table model is reduced from 78 files to 14 files. This allows the creation of assemblies from multibody parts without redundant part files and confusion during future editing.

This can be especially useful when dealing with imported parts or imported assemblies as SOLIDWORKS can determine if there are identical bodies automatically.

Learn More:

Save Bodies along with many other techniques for working with multibody parts is covered in our SOLIDWORKS Mold Design training course.

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Bryan Sprange, CSWE

Bryan Sprange is a Technical Solutions Expert at Javelin located in Winnipeg, MB., Canada. He has previously worked in the Aerospace industry as a Designer, and a Manufacturing Engineering Planner. Additionally, he has used many different CAD packages ranging from AutoCAD to CATIA. Bryan has a background in Mechanical Engineering Technology, and enjoys using all of the SOLIDWORKS features to their limits to find new and interesting ways to be efficient and accurate when helping customers with their designs.