Working with Selection Sets in SOLIDWORKS

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated September 27, 2021


SOLIDWORKS is very flexible about letting you execute your designs and perform your work in a manner that suits you. With SOLIDWORKS Selection Sets you are not to locked into a particular workflow, or sequence, of picks and clicks. This is obvious when selecting items because you have the ability to preselect items in the graphics area, or the feature tree, then issue the command or function that you’re interested in.

In this tech tip video, we’ll show you the time-saving techniques of using SOLIDWORKS Selection Sets in your workflow:

SOLIDWORKS Selection Set Example

We can create robust SOLIDWORKS Selection Sets based on the component size, Select All instances of a particular component, components that are suppressed, and components that are not visible. Let’s look at selecting items by size.

Select by Size SOLIDWORKS Selection Set

Select by Size

To simplify an assembly so that it performs better, a common thing to do is suppress all the fasteners in the assembly. The tools we want to look at are found in the Advanced Selection menu. Advanced Selection lives in the standard toolbar under the Select button. Here is where we can apply a variety of different parameters when selecting. I want to select components by size. In the window, there is a slider to set the threshold of how big the selected component is compared to the entire assembly. Adjusting the slider will highlight the items selected in blue that fall within these parameters. It even tells you how many components have been selected. Also, something that is worth mentioning if you are using SOLIDWORKS Toolbox fasteners. We have the option to select only the components that have just the Toolbox tag. A great feature to have at your fingertips.

Saving Selection Sets

One more technique I want to show you is for creating advanced selection sets. You have the ability in SOLIDWORKS to create selection sets that you can refer to again and again. For example, if I want to create a selection set of the panel and knobs you see in blue because I want to change their colour, I will select the items and right-click. Here, we will see that we have the option to “Save Selection.” What SOLIDWORKS will do is add an informational folder at the top of the Manager Tree called Selection Sets. Another intuitive feature to have at your fingertips.

Save Selection Set

Save Selection Set

Want to learn more about Selection Sets?

Take a SOLIDWORKS Assembly Modeling live online training course from Javelin. You will learn how to parametrically relate different components in the context of an assembly, master the art of creating and managing all types of mates, save time designing complex mechanisms, create multiple variations of your design, perform quick selections of components, and become confident working fast with large assemblies.

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TriMech Solutions, LLC

TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.