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Pitfalls and partial Toolboxing

Question asked by Brian McEwen on Jan 30, 2020
Latest reply on Feb 6, 2020 by Brian McEwen

After many years of SolidWorks, at my current job I finally have access to the much debated Toolbox. I've only read the tip of the iceberg about the Toolbox, but I think I"m familiar with some of the issues. 


My question revolves around two things:

1) For other future SolidWorks seats at this company there is a good chance they will be Standard, no Toolbox. 

2)  I haven't seen this thoroughly addressed: Create Configurations ("Adds a configuration to the master part file each time you use a new size of a particular component.") vs Create Parts ("Creates an individual part file each time you use a new size of a particular component.")

2017 SOLIDWORKS Help - Toolbox - User Settings     


Q1) If I use the Create Parts approach will that enable the non-toolbox seats to use the part files?  In other words, is that the best way to deal with this issue?   Use Toolbox to create the standardized 3D model.


Q2) Any other pitfalls or things you would do or not do? (Given I'm not going to create a comprehensive fastener library on my own.) 


Q3) Nothing stops me from then creating configs off of that one seed part right? I could have configs for material or length...  Deciding on that affects how I filename them. 


Q4) Same for Standard seats? They could take the seed part and make new parts or configs using it?  (so mates should transfer if size is changed, and that sort of benefit) 




  • Basically a new setup, not many legacy files to deal with.
  • I won't use PDM Standard, because it lacks easy remote access. 
  • Mostly standard ANSI Inch and ANSI metric fasteners will be used. 
  • Text properties we care about are fairly simply - we need a clear description for the BOM. It'd be nice if it included McMaster-Carr PN (we won't bother creating our own PN for fasteners). 
  • At some point this year we'll move to SolidWorks 2019 or 2020. 
  • I'll probably start out using GrabCAD Workbench for file management (which has a setting for a common parts folder). In any case there will be a clear shared folder for fasteners. 


I suppose I can just add McMaster-Carr PN as I go.  ...Since I'm just creating parts, not configs, I can add it to that one part after I create it (and not need to edit the toolbox itself)?  


This might be partly a "grass is greener on the other side", but I'm hoping I can save some time with Toolbox, not need to fix up McBolts and suppress threads.  I've never taken the time to create a good homegrown fastener library (and what good is it if the new job is on an older version of SolidWorks?). 




Toolbox Configuration 

Should we switch to toolbox for fasteners?  

Toolbox alternatives? 

How we can effectively use toolbox? 

Using Toolbox: Do or Don't? 

Toolbox Configuration, Allow only set configurations to be used 

SolidWorks Toolbox Bible