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Toolbox Customization

Question asked by Eric Langford on Apr 25, 2011
Latest reply on Apr 25, 2011 by Deepak Gupta

SW Pro 2010 SP5.0, WinXP32


After several opportunities to start Toolbox customizations from scratch over the years, I finally created a system that both kept fastener file sizes small (for network use) and allowed me to utilize all the functionality of a Toolbox part within assemblies (as opposed to a toolbox part file used outside of the toolbox).  I created copies of the *_ai.sldprt files for each material I wish to use (replacing *_ai.sldprt to *_matl.sldprt) and hacked the database to include them within Toolbox.  I created a custom property for Finish (Plain, Zinc Plate, etc.) which would append an abbreviation suffix in the config.  I filtered all the bolt/screw sizes down to what would be reasonably used within the normal course of business. I exported to Excel, whereupon I used the nifty text functions to generate meaningful, sortable descriptions that can be imported into an ERP system with part numbers.


Nuts and washers were of little concern for file size for a single material, so I mass imported data and generated configs for everything.  Bolts/screws, however, make massively large files even when filtered, so I decided to just import the data and let Toolbox create them on the fly.  All the descriptions and part numbers in the hidden tables within Access (as evidenced by the fact that shutting down and restarting the Toolbox Configuration Utility retained all the data for the customized parts) worked within the wonderful little Favorites panel when inserting a Toolbox part that lets me choose by part number or description.


Well, I thought I had the best of both worlds until...

  • The material assigned to a custom part file is modifiied by Toolbox to <not specified> during every insertion (why, this property should be irrelevant to Toolbox unless I link a custom property in the Config Utility)
  • Property suffixes are stripped of leading spaces when using Smart Fasteners command, duplicating an existing config and making an incorrectly named new config; for example " ZPLT" is appended as "...-NZPLT" (works just fine when inserting a part directly from the Toolbox)
  • Configuration specific "Description" is not created and assigned its value using the Smart Fastener command (works just fine when inserting a part directly from the Toolbox)
  • BOM Option "PartNo <User Specified Name>" is selected but assigned the configuration name instead of the part number using the Smart Fastener command (works just fine when inserting a part directly from the Toolbox)


Why is it that SW has some great tools which just need a little user TLC, but instead we are just kicked to the curb with crap bugs like these that will never be fixed??  <Sigh> I hate to think I have hope that it was fixed for 2011 only to be disappointed.


If anyone has some knowledge of the Toolbox inner workings that could help correct these problems, I'd really apprecidate it.  Otherwise, what are the odds I can talk directly to a programmer involved in the Toolbox development?


Eric Langford


Message was edited by: Eric Langford