Blank SOLIDWORKS Assembly?!!!

Article by Saeed Mojarad (CSWE) updated October 27, 2017


You start your day and open an assembly that you were working on and suddenly you freeze and panic because there is a blank SOLIDWORKS assembly?!!!

Blank SOLIDWORKS Assembly

Blank SOLIDWORKS Assembly

For sure the first thing you do is try a Rebuild or Force-Rebuild but it doesn’t help. You try Zoom-to-Fit and it stays the same. You can see all the components in the design tree and when checking the assembly references from File > Find References everything is the way it should be. So what is wrong?!!!

First of all don’t panic. Probably it is nothing and the fix is easy. Most of the times this problem occurs because there is a component in your assembly that was placed far way from other components. So when you press Zoom-to-Fit SOLIDWORKS will zoom out to make sure all the components are displayed in the graphics area. Because of the huge gap between your components SOLIDWORKS needs to zoom out a lot which causes your components to become so tiny that they are not visible anymore. To make sure that this is the case simply right click on one of your components in the design tree and then select Zoom-to-Selection and that part should become visible on your screen. Now how to fix it.

Zoom to Selection

Zoom to Selection

What I like to do is:

  1. Suppress all the components in the assembly except the first one
  2. Then unsuppress them one by one following with a Zoom-to-Fit command. At some point you will see that when you unsuppress a component and then press Zoom-to-Fit everything disappears again. So that component is the culprit. The rest is easy.
  3. Simply move that last component to somewhere close to the other ones and you are good to go.
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Saeed Mojarad (CSWE)

Saeed Mojarad is an application engineer at Javelin Technologies. He received his B.S from Mazandaran University, Iran; and his M.S. from École de technologie supérieure (ETS), Canada. He has several years of experience using SOLIDWORKS in different industries such as manufacturing and aerospace. Currently located in Calgary, he is helping SOLIDWORKS users all across Canada as a technical support and SOLIDWORKS instructor.