5 Quick Tips for SOLIDWORKS Part Template Creation

Article by James Swackhammer updated March 17, 2023


Templates are the beginning to our design phase and are the equivalent to a cookie cutter. We want to start off on the correct foot every time, which will lead to increased efficiency and synergy throughout multiple SOLIDWORKS users. Below we will review some tips for SOLIDWORKS part template creation.

Here is where we establish our units (mm, in…), properties, settings, visual qualities and much more. SOLIDWORKS does have default templates, but they are the bare minimum. When doing training with TriMech, there are some more advanced templates that can be downloaded here. These templates are better than the default and can be refined even more.

SOLIDWORKS Part Template Saving Locations

We suggest saving your templates locally in a document within a separate folder outside of the SOLIDWORKS installation files. This prevents accidental deletion when upgrading versions of the software. If sharing templates, then server sharing is best.

saving photos for templates

File Location Settings

Within SOLIDWORKS, we need to locate the templates with the correct file path; click on Options, System Options, File Locations and Document Templates will be showing. We can select the add and paste in the correct file path. A file path would look something like this:

C:\Users\james.swackhammer\Documents\SOLIDWORKS Templates

Drafting Standard

This is the starting point of the settings for the template. When you know what standard your company follows you can refine it from there. This is in Options, Document Properties, and Drafting Standard. You must have the template you want to modify open to make these changes. The overall drafting standard has a drop-down box for selection. Once other settings are changed this will automatically change to xx-modified.

Unit of Measure

Units of measure are to be set next. Here we can also choose decimal position, rounding rules and mass properties. Using the same options area as above, select Units from the left.  In this area it’s a series of drop-down boxes or bubble selections.

document properties image quality

Image Quality

Keeping the Document Properties open, we need to adjust the Image Quality. This setting can dramatically change the file size. Changing the slider produces a cleaner and fuller looking geometry. This does not change geometry itself. A drawn circle is still a circle, but just may appear rougher.

Example: a large weldment from low to high adds over a MB to the file size.

Example: a large weldment from low to high adds over a MB to the file size.

To finish this up, choose Save As and change the Save As Type to Part Templates (*.prtdot). That is the file extension for part templates. Change the save location created in tip one and give the template a recognizable name.

Save As Type to Part Templates

Your basic cookie cutter (aka SOLIDWORKS part template) is now created and now all your cookies are ready to be made.

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James Swackhammer

James is a SOLIDWORKS Technical Support Application Expert based in the Javelin Oakville head office