Configure SOLIDWORKS Assemblies: Display States and Configurations in Harmony

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated September 19, 2022

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Many users are aware of the ability to configure SOLIDWORKS assemblies to show different instances of products in a similar product line.

Configurations of an assembly allow us to suppress features and mates as well as change values on dimensioned mates, in an instance of the file that is stored inside the overall assembly file. See the images of a CO2 Extraction Cart below for an example of a configured assembly:

SOLIDWORKS Single Extraction Configuration

SOLIDWORKS Single Extraction Configuration

SOLIDWORKS Single Extraction Assembly

SOLIDWORKS Single Extraction Assembly

 

SOLIDWORKS Dual Extraction Configuration

SOLIDWORKS Dual Extraction Configuration

SOLIDWORKS Dual Extraction Assembly

SOLIDWORKS Dual Extraction Assembly

Differences between the Configurations

Some major differences can be seen between these two cart configurations. The “Dual” configuration has different routing and an extra valve and pressure vessel than the “Single” configuration.

One thing you may notice about these carts is that there are a lot of shroud panels making the interior components hard to see. While drawing new tubing or adding parts to the assemblies these panels could get in the way. One may be tempted to make two extra configurations of these with the shroud panels suppressed as a solution to this, but that would not necessarily be the best practice. If the intent is just to hide certain components, a single display state can be made and toggled between while in either configuration. The trick is to make sure display states are not set to be linked to configurations.

Using Display States in Configurations

In the screenshots below, I have made two alternate display states from within only one of the configurations.

  • One of the display states has all of the panels hidden, the other has everything except the pressure-facing components hidden.
  • When moving to the other configuration, the display states are still able to be toggled between.

With simply two configurations and two manually inserted display states we have effectively done what would have taken 6 separate configurations (the original two images were from the Default display state which I renamed to “All components Shown”. Using the display states is much less computationally demanding than having unnecessary configurations. See screenshots below for more explanation to configure SOLIDWORKS assemblies.

Configuration and Display State

Configuration and Display State

SOLIDWORKS assembly display state

SOLIDWORKS assembly display state

SOLIDWORKS configuration and display state

SOLIDWORKS configuration and display state

SOLIDWORKS assembly with display state active

SOLIDWORKS assembly with display state active

Configuration and Display State

Configuration and Display State

Configured assembly

Configured assembly

Configured Assembly

Configured Assembly

Additional configuration

Additional configuration

Want to learn more?

Attend a SOLIDWORKS Assembly Modeling live online training course to learn more about configurations and display states.

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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.