Working with large assembly files in SOLIDWORKS is a challenge and requires some training. Using SOLIDWORKS Large Assembly Performance techniques is one of the key elements to handle heavy designs quicker. There are several techniques, two of which include decreasing the size of your assembly file and increasing your RAM using virtual memory.
One other item to check is the part image quality. A high part image quality will result in a large assembly file. Also importing a larger part file into an assembly will result in a larger assembly file. Consequently, if the number of components goes up in an assembly file, it will result in a much larger file which slows down the performance.
The following image shows an assembly file of a flashlight. It includes 16 components in total. The part files have a high level of Image Quality resulting in an assembly file size of 12,829 KB. Decreasing the Image Quality level for the part files decreased the assembly file size by 26 times. Imagine, if the assembly file included 60 part files, what could be the result?!
Now imagine, our part template has the Image Quality set to high. This causes all of generated part files to have maximum image quality. Using too many of these part files in an assembly will result in a very slow performance. Therefore, we need to always keep the Image Quality at reasonable level for the templates.
Changing image quality to an existing assembly
You may think after creating an assembly, you have to open each component one by one and adjust the Image Quality level. However, there is a much easier way of doing that. See the following image. You just need to
- Find the Image Quality settings under Tools > Options > Documents Properties and
- Reduce the HLR/HLV resolution level and then,
- Check the selection box for “Apply to all referenced part document“.
Therefore, all of the components in that assembly will have their resolution adjusted as well. This quick tip, can save you a very tedious and time consuming process or remodeling the assembly.