16 Replies Latest reply on Feb 19, 2018 10:46 AM by Sebastyon Champion

    Custom Toolbox Components

    Swme Eng

      Hello all,

       

           Just learned that it is in fact possible to add custom parts to the SolidWorks Toolbox. See video here if you are curious how to do it: SOLIDWORKS - Adding Custom Hardware to Toolbox - YouTube . I am planning on building out a hex standoff part based on the McMaster Carr hex standoffs, and I was wondering if there is any way to maintain the same functionality where you can click on a toolbox component and use the green arrow to change length when creating a toolbox component from scratch? I know you can edit the toolbox component and change properties, but I would like to maintain the ability to easily change length without having to go into that menu.

        • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
          John Stoltzfus

          Right off the top of my head - people that know all about Toolbox and almost everything else are (I know I'll be missing a bunch of other guys), but for starters try Dennis Dohogne - Deepak Gupta

          • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
            Deepak Gupta

            I'm not fully sure but you might have to mess up with the database and add your file. You would also need to convert it to a toolbox part.

              • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
                Swme Eng

                Deepak, is my understanding correct that the toolbox is driven by a SQL database?

                  • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
                    Deepak Gupta

                    It used to to be MS Access Database but with 2015 and above it is now SLDEDB file. And I not sure how you can edit that.

                      • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
                        Matt Peneguy

                        I tried editing the database when it was an Access database and never was able to get it configured how I wanted.  It usually resulted in a corrupt database.  I was unable to add custom parts at that time.  I remember being able to copy parts and edit the copied parts, but I don't remember being able to insert a part into the database.  I am not saying it can't be done now (or couldn't be done then), but I wasn't able to figure it out.

                            • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
                              Matt Peneguy

                              Wow, they make it look easy.  I guess if I copied a toolbox part out, ran sldsetdocprop.exe on the part and added all my custom properties to it, then added it back to the database as shown, it could possibly work.

                                • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
                                  Swme Eng

                                  Matt, I've had really good luck copying and pasting existing toolbox components and assigning my own part numbers. You can actually import/export data via Excel spreadsheet and also force Solidworks to create all configurations. I just finished doing McMaster Carr SHCS, FHCS, and BHCS. Where I run into problems is if the hardware you need doesn't exist in the toolbox already.

                                   

                                  Import Export Toolbox.png

                                    • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
                                      Matt Peneguy

                                      I am aware of that functionality.  I was trying to get all of my custom properties into the parts in Toolbox and I guess I was trying to do too many changes, because at the end I always ended up with a corrupt database.  This may work a little better since Toolbox has transitioned away from an Access DB.  I may have to revisit all of this when we upgrade, but I've got a good workflow for fasteners that I have come up with.  So, I'm not sure what I would gain.

                                        • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
                                          Swme Eng

                                          Fair enough, thought I would share just in case as it seems not many people are aware of this. Out of curiosity, did you end up doing like a design table driven fastener with smart mates to replicate toolbox functionality?

                                            • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
                                              Matt Peneguy

                                              Absolutely sharing that information is great.  As I stated, it is well hidden functionality.  And, it is a tool that can be very useful for people that need it.  Just like John Stoltzfus likes to point out SolidWorks doesn't make some of their best tools visible, such as Custom Property Tab Builder.  And if you are using toolbox, importing and exporting data from the Toolbox may be important to you, and it is not clear at all how to do it if you haven't done it before.  How would you see that tiny little button that can do so much for you?

                                              To answer your question yes, I created one of those.  But, I made some changes and haven't recreated that functionality.  I use copy with mates a lot.  When I say a lot, I mean say 40 times for each bolt I insert.  So, having that smart functionality is nice, but it doesn't take too long to select the configuration.

                                              One thing I remember that may be of use, is that if you create your smart feature by selecting the concentric face, you can trick solidworks by editing the smart feature and selecting the edge instead of the face.  Now the smart feature will create a concentric and coincident mate, instead of just the concentric.  I was working in SW 2014 when I learned that. I have no idea if SW still allows that workaround.

                                                • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
                                                  Swme Eng

                                                  Yeah copy with mates is a powerful too, use it all the time. In the realm of fasteners, have you used the Pattern Driven Component Pattern? I've found it super effective in populating large hole patterns (like in base plates) that have been created with the Hole Wizard.

                                                    • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
                                                      Deepak Gupta

                                                      Trevor Dutrow wrote:

                                                       

                                                      I've found it super effective in populating large hole patterns (like in base plates) that have been created with the Hole Wizard.

                                                      Not necessarily with hole wizard but you can have the feature created with one feature OR using pattern. And then in assembly that feature would acts as driver for component pattern.

                                    • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
                                      Scott Stuart

                                      Deepak, is my understanding correct that the toolbox is driven by a SQL database?

                                      The holewizard/toolbox .sldedb database is in SQLite 3 format.

                                  • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
                                    Karl Okeson

                                    Just wanted to chyme in: has anyone found a simple tutorial on how to create original toolbox parts & still have the toolbox manager be able to generate configurations or parts?

                                    • Re: Custom Toolbox Components
                                      Sebastyon Champion

                                      Toolbox capture.JPGThe way i did this was add in a toolbox configuration part.  for instance there is no 1.5in square tubing in steel.  So what i did is apply the specifications in the custimize hardware.  Then click the Blue plus sign at the top center.  Add in your information and save.  the new toolbox part will be saved as a configured part and the length can be changed as needed.

                                       

                                      I've also been able to do the same with custom parts by adding them into the Toolbox not the "Favorites" or library