16 Replies Latest reply on Nov 28, 2018 5:19 AM by Deepak Gupta

    Can I add custom parts to the Toolbox?

    Martin Tofts

      I want to add a spring washer to our company toolbox. When I used Inventor this was quite simple, and you could not only specify mating points, but also parameters.

       

      So, for a spring washer you would need ID, OD, coil height and thickness. I would also need to specify the mates.

       

      I have spoken to our support company and they don't think it is possible.

       

      I know SW toolbox is awful in comparison to Inventor, but is it really that bad..?

        • Re: Can I add custom parts to the Toolbox?
          Daniel Mapp

          Do you mean add custom parameters such as a part number to a washer that's already in the toolbox?

          Just add a custom property column and fill in as required:

           

          Not sure why you would need to create your own size as the TB covers most bases but if you did my starting point would be to create your own 'size' then adjust the parameters as required:

           

           

          Final option would be to add the part in question directly to your toolbox.

          SOLIDWORKS - Adding Custom Hardware to Toolbox - YouTube

           

           

           

          "I know SW toolbox is awful in comparison to Inventor, but is it really that bad..?"

           

          I've spent a good amount time over the last couple of month setting our SW toolbox up and once you get the hang of it it's actually really good .

          Just need to persevere!

            • Re: Can I add custom parts to the Toolbox?
              Dennis Dohogne

              Daniel Mapp wrote:

               

              Do you mean add custom parameters such as a part number to a washer that's already in the toolbox?

              Just add a custom property column and fill in as required:

               

              Not sure why you would need to create your own size as the TB covers most bases but if you did my starting point would be to create your own 'size' then adjust the parameters as required:

               

               

              Final option would be to add the part in question directly to your toolbox.

              SOLIDWORKS - Adding Custom Hardware to Toolbox - YouTube

               

               

               

              "I know SW toolbox is awful in comparison to Inventor, but is it really that bad..?"

               

              I've spent a good amount time over the last couple of month setting our SW toolbox up and once you get the hang of it it's actually really good .

              Just need to persevere!

              Daniel,

              You gave an excellent and helpful reply!  Thank you for that.

               

              I agree with you on the value of Toolbox.  I have given up on trying to rebut others that bash it.  In my opinion, those that talk trash about Toolbox have not really given it a decent effort and are defending their lack of use by bashing it.  Fine, they have their way and we have ours.  In all the places I've used Toolbox we easily set it up to use our part numbers and descriptions.  Our list of fasteners was then restricted to what we have in our ERP system so actually finding a valid fastener was a simple thing.  We could select by size (usually the case) or by part number.  Easy!  SWX has made changing a group of TB fasteners sooooo easy with recent changes in SWX2018.  Now you can pick a disparate group of TB fasteners (SHCS, FHCS, Pan Head, different sizes and lengths) and change them all to one type/size/length.  Wow!!

               

              I concede that a company that has gone far down the road using a technique for their fasteners other than Toolbox is not inclined to start using it now, but saying it is a bad system is unfair and is based either on a lack of understanding how to set it up or on taking a position of defense.  I would hope these folks would say something more honest along the lines of "We don't use it because we are too invested in our non-TB method, but if you should give it a good look."  But I'm not holding my breath for that to happen.

               

              Toolbox is not without its legitimate criticism!  I have no idea what they were thinking with their gears!  These things need to come in with a warning that they are only simple and crude representations of gears and other than the number of teeth and OD they are totally inaccurate and inadequate.

               

              On the whole Toolbox is great for those willing to learn how to take full advantage of it.

            • Re: Can I add custom parts to the Toolbox?
              Deepak Gupta

              Simple answer is yes and I've also added many custom parts to the toolbox. Unless you want to fiddle with the toolbox standards and database files; when you add those parts/components to the assembly then you would only see the drop down to select the desired configuration. So to keep simple make sure you've added all required configurations to your component (design table would come really handy for this).

               

              And I agree with Daniel that once you set/handle the toolbox properly, it won't be a nightmare or mess anymore.

                • Re: Can I add custom parts to the Toolbox?
                  Martin Tofts

                  I can't see how I can make this (part attached) into a usable toolbox part.

                   

                  Any help appreciated.

                   

                  I used the word 'awful' because that's the phrase we use here. I guess a more fitting description would be needlessly complicated on the surface, and under customisable under the bonnet.

                   

                  It took a while to learn Inventor, and lots of frustration, but there was scope for doing things. I was told that there are the same facilities on SW

                    • Re: Can I add custom parts to the Toolbox?
                      Dennis Dohogne

                      Martin Tofts wrote:

                       

                      I can't see how I can make this (part attached) into a usable toolbox part.

                       

                      Any help appreciated.

                       

                      I used the word 'awful' because that's the phrase we use here. I guess a more fitting description would be needlessly complicated on the surface, and under customisable under the bonnet.

                       

                      It took a while to learn Inventor, and lots of frustration, but there was scope for doing things. I was told that there are the same facilities on SW

                      If you know how to model well in 3D on another system then the biggest challenge will be learning the way another system does things, not how to model in 3D.  Inside SWX itself there is a terrific resource available to help you with this, the Tutorials.

                      A lot of people in your shoes ignore these tutorials because they already know how to model in 3D, but if you go through these you will learn how to do it the SWX way.  Don't fret, you should be able to go through these faster than the stated time, but I am certain many questions will be answered and much, MUCH, MUCH frustration will be averted if you do go through them.

                      • Re: Can I add custom parts to the Toolbox?
                        Deepak Gupta

                        Martin Tofts wrote:

                         

                        I can't see how I can make this (part attached) into a usable toolbox part.

                         

                        Any help appreciated.

                        Please create the required configurations in this model (name the configuration in way that you can easily select them from the drop down). Then follow the video for adding the file to the toolbox and all good.

                         

                        If you want, I can guide you over team viewer.

                          • Re: Can I add custom parts to the Toolbox?
                            Martin Tofts

                            Ok, so I can add a part, I can choose it's size and material. Thanks.

                             

                            Each of our parts have a part number. I have accidentally missed this property from the list. How do I go about editing and 'publishing' the updated part, making sure that all models using the part will be updated too?

                              • Re: Can I add custom parts to the Toolbox?
                                Deepak Gupta

                                Martin Tofts wrote:

                                 

                                Ok, so I can add a part, I can choose it's size and material. Thanks.

                                No you can not choose the size/material when adding the part to the assembly but only the configuration (if you wan to derive it from toolbox). If you want to keep it in the library then you can use the configuration publisher and then it can let you choose the various parameters.

                                  • Re: Can I add custom parts to the Toolbox?
                                    Martin Tofts

                                    Here's what I used to do in Inventor, and let's see if I can get something similar:

                                     

                                    I add the part with a list of variables e.g. length, thread size, material, finish etc, and then turn it into a toolbox part.

                                    I go to the configuration table and add columns with the names I want, and link them to the parameters e.g. name: Inside Diameter, and linked to parameter: ID, which I had created in the part (some parameters were metadata that could also be linked).

                                     

                                    I would end up with a table with lists of parameters that I could adjust like in Excel.

                                     

                                    Not only this, but I could also state which 'mates' were needed for a tool box part e.g. face, centre/axis and plane.

                                     

                                    I would also have a proper drop-down list I could use when adding it to an assy with columns e.g. Thread Size, Thread Length, Material etc. I could start with thread size e.g. M3 - 'select'. The list in the next column e.g. length, would then reduce in it's options if there were only 3 choices for example. I could also just select material as Nylon first, and then only the option of Nylon bolts would appear in the lists.

                                     

                                    If we needed to change something, we just went to the table, made the change, and then all toolbox parts would update globally.

                                     

                                    Now, my parts mate where I tell it (and adjusting for size if the hole is between stated range(s)), I can then choose size and material. I even had the choice of thread length for machine screws that didn't need threads all the way.

                                     

                                    Adding a new part was as simple as adding a new row in Excel.

                                     

                                    Can I get the same versatility in SW? How do I add another configuration? Can I get a table with drop-down list options that I choose?

                          • Re: Can I add custom parts to the Toolbox?
                            Sergio Monti

                            I added some spring washers. I did a copy of the folder of the standard washers, renamed it and changed custom properties. We have additional properties with respect to toolbox standard, too.

                            I haven't faced any issued so far.

                            • Re: Can I add custom parts to the Toolbox?
                              S. Casale

                              I'll be the not-so-helpfully-honest one here.

                               

                              Get yourself a sit down with your VAR. Once ToolBox (TB) is screwed up and you are using it for business critical design, "awful" will be a kind word heard about TB.

                               

                              The TB is great if everyone who is interfacing with it knows how it works. Period. If you have a "I do what I want" type of engineering crew, don't even try to use it.

                               

                              Know there is NO QUERY function for the database interfaces (configurator or task pane). Meaning, if you want to search for something someone else may have already made or defined, YOU CAN'T. SolidWorks has no interest in presenting one (after years of numerous requests from numerous users).

                               

                              If you are using PDM and TB, the use of TB with PDM is another point to make. Be mindful of the settings required, for each user and for SW interface with PDM files. SW is supposed to be able to check TB files in and out as it needs, but VERY often forgets to check TB files back in.