How to Scale an Assembly in SOLIDWORKS

Article by Rod Mackay updated September 15, 2020

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The Scale feature (found by selecting the Insert menu, Features, then pick Scale) can be used to change the scale of all features within a single part.  When used, this tool appears as an extra feature in the Feature Tree.  However, this feature is limited to use with a part ( .sldprt) file only. How do you scale a SOLIDWORKS assembly?

SOLIDWORKS Assembly to Scale

SOLIDWORKS Assembly to Scale

To scale an entire SOLIDWORKS assembly, it is possible to scale each part independently, however this could be extremely tedious for an assembly with a large number of components.  Alternatively, you can save the assembly as a multi-body part and scale this part in a single step.

NOTE that a multi-body part will have different properties and capabilities than an assembly file.

When saving an assembly as a part, you can include or remove components based on specified criteria to simplify the saved part. You can use the following criteria to save an assembly as a simplified part:

  • Visibility of the component from outside the model.
  • Size (volume) of the component.
  • If the component is a Toolbox component.

To save a SOLIDWORKS assembly as a part:

  1. From the assembly in SOLIDWORKS, select FileSave As, and choose Part (*.prt,*.sldprt) for the Save As file type.
  2. From the Save As dialog options, choose All Components, click Save as shown in the figure below. Note that you can save only the exterior faces if you simply need the part as a reference:
Save Assembly as Part

Save Assembly as Part

  1. Open the newly saved multi-body part.
  2. Access the Scale feature (Insert FeaturesScale).
  3. Select all of the solid bodies in the part to be scaled – note you may need to access the Feature Manager and expand the Solid Bodies folder to select the bodies. Choose the Scale Factor and other options as desired (for best results with a multi-body part, scale about the Origin).  Click OK, as shown in the figure below.
Scale solid bodies

Scale solid bodies

The Scale will now be applied and an additional feature will be visible (and editable) in the Feature Manager Design Tree of the multi-body part.

Multi-body part scaled

Multi-body part scaled

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Rod Mackay

Rod has been using 3D CAD software for over 25 years and has trained thousands of designers to use their CAD systems more effectively. Rod is the Javelin Webmaster and is based in Ottawa, ON., Canada.