Brian McEwen

Big List Of SolidWorks Enhancements

Discussion created by Brian McEwen on Feb 26, 2015
Latest reply on Jun 30, 2015 by Jamil Snead

This is a list of some things I would like to improve in SolidWorks. Happy to hear if I am wrong about some of them.  Also happy to hear if people notice some of the same issues.  I will not try to add all the ideas people suggest to the original post, because I think it is best to read the idea in the original explanation, but please add your suggestions!   I'll get this to my VAR also. Based mostly on SolidWorks 2014.


If you have EPDM I also started this list Re: Big List of EPDM Enhancements


  1. If you add head clearance to a CBORE in Hole Wizard it breaks the mates!
  2. In drawing should be able to Unmark Dimensions for Drawing. So you can remove it once, as you draft (it will change the setting in the model dimension) and know they won't come back on any sheet (Prevent Duplicates in Insert Model Items only seems to work for one sheet).
  3. Ability to Repair Hole Wizard auto naming - in case someone renamed a hole wizard feature. (currently do you have to delete the feature and recreate?)
  4. Feature naming that allows for customization while still keeping count, and it still labels with a standard feature name (good for filtering). eg: "Cut1:Widget Slot"; "Cut2:Big Chamfer", or "Widget Slot: Cut3"...  Perhaps the auto-namer could ignore text that followed some kind of punctuation.  As it is now the numbering gets messed up after you alter the auto-label ("Cut-Extrude1" will occur twice). Ideally it would be set up so that when you rename the feature you do not need to be careful - it will maintain the standardized label alongside whatever you type. Might require 2 fields behind the scenes where now there is just one.
  5. Ability to renumber auto-numbered feature names (chamfers, etc.) according to order of appearance. Without breaking user text.
  6. Would like to be able to Hide or Exclude a drawing sheet: with the .slddrw open the Excluded sheet will be visible (tab grayed out or something)  and it can be printed, but it does not print by default with the rest of the drawing, and it does not show up in the sheet count.  Good for reference or special uses for special audiences. Looking at .slddrw with eDrawings not sure if the Excluded sheet would be visible or not... (ideally set that choice in solidworks).
  7. Should be able to filter the tree and have it show only certain types of results - for example only Mates, or only Hole Wiz. Add more options like this in the drop down Filter menu. (this would reduce but not eliminate the need for the renaming idea in #4)
  8. In a 2D sketch, we should be able to use the On Plane sketch relation - for example to locate the end of a line on a reference plane that intersects the sketch plane (the 2 planes need not be perpendicular).  Currently we can do coincident, but only if the ref plane is perpendicular to the sketch plane.
  9. Pack and Go (or Copy Tree in EPDM) - within the interface we should be able to pull up a thumbnail preview of each item - confirm what it is.
  10. Drawing Hole Callouts on holes that are off-axis, so you are looking at the hole from an angle, should still work. (it could add a note about the angle)
  11. Make it easier to get at DrawCompare tool when you only have SolidWorks Standard. (requires faking a Professional or Premium level install)
  12. I’d like to be able to control the position of a section plane (arrow keys?) while zoomed in – currently I only know to grab the arrow and drag, but the arrow may be off screen in the view/zoom I want to use.
  13. SW Explorer – should be able to use search syntax more like Windows Explorer, or Gmail, especially NOT, AND [SW Explorer already uses OR by default between multiple strings].
  14. Distance and Concentric mates should have tolerance settings (someone submitted this as a Top Ten for 2015 SWW).
  15. Large Design Review - need to be able to switch configurations and display states.  Ability to select them before opening is sufficient (but ideally change while model is already open). Without this it is much less useful because you can only see the state/config the model was last saved in.
  16. Hole Wizard feature name should show actual hole size if a custom size is set.
  17. Silicone Rubber misspelled in standard SW materials, it’s not “silicon”.  
  18. Ability to hide table borders on drawings (they would appear as light grey until printed or made into pdf) - can then use tables to spatially organize any text. Also need to be able to control it locally (not just in doc properties) so tables can have different settings. 
  19. Currently adding hatching to drawings is cumbersome and works better for certain parts than others (sometimes selecting a region doesn't work). But adding colors to features or faces works great - so I think you should take advantage of that for hatching.  Please add hatches to the standard part appearances palette (aka swatch). This would be useful for black and white printers. That way we could add hatching at the part level that would show up in any drawing view orientation (when shaded display of a view is selected).  …Currently I could possibly do this with custom textures? But it’d be nice to have them already setup in the palette as simple hatches.
  20. Exclude...  when you go to R-click>>Configure Component (awesome tool) in an assy - Exclude from BOM checkbox should be one of the configurable items. Also Envelope status. Also if sub assembly is Flexible or not.
  21. Isolate and Views Mates are great tools – but they don’t play together just right.  I’d like to still get the transparency thing when in Isolate and selecting View Mates.  
  22. Also currently can’t run Isolate when in Edit Part within Assy mode. 
  23. Assy Features – add more of the things you can do in a part – at least Extruded Boss and Revolved Boss. 
  24. When fixing mates after Replace Components command - Zoom to Selection does not work - please add to right click on part or mate. I also have a shortcut for it that does not function. I expect it to take me to the current new component that is being re-mated.
  25. When fixing mates after Replace Components - the Isolate (per type selected) should update when you Arrow ahead to the next mate - as it is it leaves the last isolated item visible, and you must click the Isolate selection again. Could also zoom to selection for us.
  26. I'd like to be able to convert an existing drawing view to a section view.  So we could make the change (even to a parent view) without wrecking all the dimensions.  
  27. When setting up mates in assemblies - the new (in 2014?) pop-up for common mates is nice (after selecting two things). But I would really like to be able to add the concentric mate and lock rotation at the same time. I have to remember to use the old method to accomplish this, or I end up hunting down the unlocked quick concentric mate I just made. 


[[originally posted February 25, 2015]]