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How to "set-up" Solidworks Advanced methods of Organisation

Question asked by Christopher Lewis on May 22, 2017
Latest reply on Jun 1, 2017 by Daen Hendrickson

I have worked for several different companies now and every company's "set-up" is just a huge mess. I want to know if there is a way out there to "organize", "set-up", and add all the content to make a very functional Solidworks? A more correct way to setup SolidWorks or the ideal way to set it up.

(I want to inform everyone that I may be saying the wrong terminology for "set-up"! I am not talking about Installing Solidworks or going into the options to change some basic preference options. I am talking about the backbone of Solidworks and how it functions. Utilizing the correct File Locations, keeping it organized, the best practice of defining and setting up toolbox parts and populating the correct files to fully utilize Solidworks. Basically getting Solidworks to function at its best! Not as some blank slate with so many things to do, to make it "work" alright. Does that make sense?)


Again I don't really know how to state this question clearly so I am going to give some examples.


I have worked with Solidworks since 2002 and when I install Solidworks, It is a vanilla installation! To build a part I have to change settings to get ANSI, I have to change my preference things that are only for me, I have to turn off backup as I never got that to work right, I have to make new default Templates and a bunch of small things that everyone does. (These are the things I see everyone teaching on Youtube).

After I make a couple of parts I put them into an assembly and I want to use the toolbox to put in some standard bolts... but first I have to set toolbox up and then I find out toolbox doesn't have what I am looking for. I go online looking up bolt dimensions to add common bolt configurations and after an hour I can get back in to add what I wanted. I like weldments, so I delete all the ones currently in the weldment file and I go to the design Library and add ANSI Inch, ISO, Unistrut, then make a ton of wood profiles and profiles that are missing in the three files I just downloaded.

Every time I want to do a function I end up having to setup and add things; it's never ending. I must confess I am not the best at Organization or Naming. I guess that's because I don't want to take the time to "set-up" everything perfectly. I wish I did because this is something I do over and over and over again!


Example 2: (This has happened at every job I have worked for)

I start up a new job and my boss shows me where the files are. They are on thumb drives, many hard drives or servers, and they attempted to make the free vault but it is not fully realized. They couldn't get toolbox to work or they did get toolbox to work but it has been modified so much that it doesn't work right. Blocks, Weldments, API, Solidworks files are just everywhere! Then they set me up on a freshly cloned computer with an outdated Solidworks on it or they have updated SolidWorks as independent programs, so there are many duplicates of files. (I am not complaining, that is just how it is.)

My boss wants me to make changes to all these parts, assemblies and drawings but I am missing everything to open the files without things exploding, missing links, wrong file names, corrupted files, you name it is there.

It takes me almost a month to get Solidworks to function so that I can output what my boss wants me to do. Once I figured out their way of doing things, I can work but I just know that it is like working in a crazy trashed mansion.


My last job I was tasked with being the administrator and worker to a group of Solidworks users. I knew I couldn't function in their trashed up situation so I worked many many free hours to add multiple thousands of weldments, piping parts, electrical parts, and making an organized library with pumps, motors, sensors and you name it. We had a huge employee turnover and I got really good at cloning and setting up Solidworks for new hires. All they needed to do is add their preferences and start doing work. I felt like things were becoming organized but Solidworks functioned the worst I have ever seen it. So I went to the net and I got many ideas from Javelin and Innova. One idea was to do away with the default File Locations and make a "Solidworks registry" which is just a folder called SW Settings on the C:/ and has all the File Locations in one place! Nice and Neat and easy to add to every computer. However, things were failing me constantly! My boss wanted everything on the network server and it went down daily.

I couldn't keep 8 guys systems running full time and doing my work too. Solidworks just didn't work right after all my modifications to clean up.


So I would like an ideal functioning Solidworks, with content and working add-ons like the toolbox, routing, and weldments. what can be on a server and what needs to be on my computer? How to setup a directory of parts. Are configurations accomplishable or should I make single parts for everything? What works?


Thank you