SOLIDWORKS 2018 Smart Explode Lines

Article by Bryan Sprange, CSWE updated September 12, 2017


Finally! The only boring part of making an exploded view (connecting all of the parts with explode lines) has been automated with SOLIDWORKS 2018! No longer will time be spent connecting each bolt to each nut in your exploded view. The new ‘insert/edit smart explode lines’ tool works great and will save time when making any exploded view.

How does SOLIDWORKS Smart Explode Lines work?

Starting with an exploded view, you can add all of the explode lines with one click (based on the directions you drag the parts in the explode steps).

Flashlight Model from Essentials course

Flashlight Model from Essentials course

With one click, all of the explode lines are added using the bounding box center by default.

All parts have explode lines starting from their bounding box centers in this image

Smart Explode lines inserted

SOLIDWORKS Smart Explode Lines Editing Options

Just as with all SOLIDWORKS commands, the options are numerous on how the explode lines will be created.

Three options that allow granular control

Three options that allow granular control


Changing to the component origin may clarify the explode route for a component. The change is applied to the selected exploded component, or there is an option to apply to all instances of the component (i.e. fasteners)!

Selected component in light purple with explode line in dark purple moving to part origin

Easily update the position of explode lines to the component origin

Finally specifying a point allows complete control of the explode lines while not requiring duplication of work.

Using a midpoint to define explosion line

Using a midpoint to define explosion line

To get the increased functionality of Smart Explode Lines upgrade to SOLIDWORKS 2018.

The flexibility of smart explode lines allows for quick and accurate creation of exploded views

Smart Explode lines completed

Related Links

Certified SOLIDWORKS Services available from Javelin

Javelin can help you to:

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.