A quick guide to the SOLIDWORKS Design Library

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated March 2, 2023

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One of the many benefits of SOLIDWORKS includes design libraries. By using a design library, users can reduce the amount of repetition when creating documents and help eliminate unnecessary searches for files that are often used. A design library provides a centralized location for reusable elements such as parts, assemblies, sketches, blocks, annotations, and features. Users can even build smart features into their library components to further help cut down on the time required to design. SOLIDWORKS has a default design library that can be used or added to. This guide will take a closer look at how to set up a design library.

Before being able to explore the benefits of using a design library, users need to ensure the design library is properly set up. This is done by going to System Options > File Locations > changing the ‘show folders for’ drop down to ‘Design Library’ and adding any folder containing the library elements. Users can add as many design libraries as preferred. When a design library has been successfully added to SOLIDWORKS, the file path will appear under Folders.

System options - file locations

Added libraries in folders

After adding any design library folders through the System Options, the new additions should show up in the design library tab in the task pane on the right. The names of each referenced library should appear in task pane.

Design library

Adding elements to the library is quick and easy! Users can browse to the design library folder through the task pane where the element is to be placed and click the “Add to library” icon at the top of the task pane.

add to design library

Add to design library icon

This will open the PropertyManager on the left-hand side of the SOLIDWORKS window, where the details of the design library item can be added, and the folder location can be changed if necessary.

details of design library

Users can even drag and drop a file into the design library folder directly through File Explorer to get components into the design library.

Once items have been added to the design library, using them is as simple as a drag and drop from the design library tab in the task pane to the graphics window. Library components with smart mates make it simple to snap things into place on the fly, smart features can further improve design time by including features associated with the component.

Stop wasting time browsing for components and recreating the same elements. It’s easy to set up and add to the design library, users can even include ways to have SOLIDWORKS breeze through inserting common features that are required across multiple documents. See how much time is saved by using the design library today!

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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.