Use SOLIDWORKS Component Reference to label Assembly Components

Article by Rod Mackay updated June 30, 2021


The SOLIDWORKS Component Reference provides you with the ability to assign a label to each instance of a component in an assembly. For example, you could use Component Reference to identify each instance of the same Gear component used in an assembly.

You can show the component instances as separate line items in a BOM. In a SOLIDWORKS Drawing you can link the value of a component reference to the text of a balloon.

In the example assembly shown below I have very similar gear components, some of which are instances of the same part. Ideally what I’d like to do is add a reference to the parts so I know what the function of each gear component is without having to change component names in the tree:

Multiple Gear Components

Multiple Gear Components

How to apply a Component Reference

In a SOLIDWORKS assembly document:

  1. Right-click a component that you want to assign a reference to, then select Component Properties from the shortcut menu
Component Properties

Component Properties

  1. Enter a value in the Component Reference field in the Component Properties dialog box, in this example ‘Motor Gear’ has been entered:
Example Component Reference

Example Component Reference

  1. Pick OK on the dialog and the value appears in braces { } at the end of the component name string in the FeatureManager Design Tree, as shown in the figure below.
  2. Repeat the steps to reference other components.
SOLIDWORKS Component References Added

SOLIDWORKS Component References Added

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS Assemblies

Attend our live online SOLIDWORKS Assembly Modeling training course to learn more about external references and working more productively.

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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.