SOLIDWORKS Manage 2021 Bill of Materials (BOM) Enhancements

Article by Samir Lohmann updated September 30, 2020


SOLIDWORKS Manage 2021 brings new, powerful Bill of Materials (BOM) features. Here’s a short summary of the new functionalities.

Dissolving an item

One of the most powerful enhancements is the possibility to dissolve an item in a BOM, so that that item is replaced by its children. This is especially useful when a sub-assembly exists in SOLIDWORKS only to organize the design in a better way, but does not represent an actual item that will ever be assembled. This is similar to classifying that sub-assembly as a phantom, however, when you dissolve a sub-assembly, it is removed completely from the BOM.

Dissolving an item in SOLIDWORKS Manage

Dissolving an item in SOLIDWORKS Manage

When you dissolve an item, you can choose what happens to child items that already exist in the BOM level where the current item is being dissolved. Typically, one would add the quantity coming from the dissolved sub-assembly to the existing item, but you can also simply ignore it. You can also choose whether manual quantities and custom values are copied or not, and if you want to overwrite custom BOM values in the item receiving the quantity from the child or not.

Note that CAD BOMs (that is, originated from SOLIDWORKS) cannot be dissolved, as they must represent the exact structure of the CAD model, analog to the PDM calculated BOM. In the example above, we created an MBOM by copying a CAD BOM.

Cut, Copy & Paste

You can now cut or copy and paste SOLIDWORKS Manage 2021 BOM items from any record to any other record, as long as the new parent record is checked out. The new clipboard commands can be accessed from either the ribbon or the context (right-click) menu, highlighted below.

Pasting a copied record in SOLIDWORKS Manage

Pasting a copied record

Once you cut or copy a record, you can either paste it as a child of the selected record or on its top-level, as a sibling.

Multi-Level Copy From Enhancements

The Copy From command now allows you to select the children that should be copied with the parent item. Until version 2020, all children would be copied.

SOLIDWORKS Manage Copy From

Copy From

Add New & Add New From

These new commands allow you to add new items directly from a BOM view, without the need to navigate to different windows or even closing the current BOM. This saves time and mouse clicks. Again, you can access them from either the ribbon or from the context menu.

The New command will create a new empty record, while the New From will allow you to create a new record as a copy of another record.

Add New and New From in SOLIDWORKS Manage

Add New and New From

Replace with New and Replace with New From

These commands are similar to Add New and Add New From, but instead of inserting new items, they will replace the selected record.

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Samir Lohmann

Samir Lohmann is a certified SOLIDWORKS Data Management specialist. He has worked with different engineering data management systems since 1999 and helped hundreds of companies since then. He started working with SOLIDWORKS PDM in 2008 and is a member of the Javelin team since 2016.