Work Even Faster After Designing Your Design Library

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Did you know you can work faster and smarter by having a well-established Design Library? You can take advantage of the out-of-the box Design Library items or you can take some time to customize your own.

The Design Library is located inside the Task Pane, on the right side of your screen as shown below:

There are a variety of items that are already in the Library. This includes:
• Annotations
• Sketches
• Features
• Parts
• Assemblies

Design Library in SOLIDWORKS
Design Library in the SOLIDWORKS Task Pane

The purpose of the Design Library is to reuse what you have already created. It should help you avoid browsing unnecessary file locations or worse, re-creating a simple sketch you use all the time! We’ll go over what you can configure and save into the Library to have you working smarter, not harder in no time.

Annotations

You can take any notes from an existing drawing or new notes and add them to your Library. Simply Right-Click on the note and select “Add to Library”.

Next you will have the option to select or create a new folder and give your note a new name:

Add to SOLIDWORKS Design Library
Add to Library
Rename Annotation

If you have a note with an Item Number you can select to merge other notes to it. This is an option that has to be modified under Tools/Options/Drawings then un-select “Disable Note Merging When Dragging”. Now you can simply drag another note onto an existing note and it will add a new row with the next available number item. This makes it very simple to just add the item values needed for each specific drawing document.

SOLIDWORKS List of Items
Merging Notes in the Design Library

It is nearly impossible to tell what Revision B really is, especially without any further information or context. The file name and revision issue above indicates file and folder naming conventions that are not being enforced and followed. PDM enforces and maintains naming conventions as the system will not allow duplicate file names. PDM also goes beyond just prohibiting duplicate file names and can automate file and folder creation by utilizing variables, serial numbers, and templates.

Sketches

Sketches are saved into the Library by first selecting the Sketch from the Feature Tree inside a part/assembly environment and selecting the option “Add to Library” on the Design Library Window.

You can now select the name of the Sketch that will be saved to the Library as well as the folder location for it. To re-use the sketch from the Library, simply drag and drop to either an existing plane or planar face of your part/assembly.

Sketches in Design Library
Sketches in Design Library

Features

You can save a single feature or group multiple features to re-use on other parts/assemblies. Keep in mind the external references, since those are going to be required to be defined when re-using these saved features. There are several out-of-the box features in the current Design Library. Let’s take ‘sae j1926-1 Fluid Port’ feature as an example to break down the set up. This feature is located at the Design Library/Features/Inch/Fluid Power Ports. Notice that there are three items from the Feature Tree that make up this group of features: Sketch2, Plane1, and SAE Port Revolved Cut Feature.

SAE Port in Design Library
SAE Port Design Library

Although SAE Port is the tool that actually removes the material, Sketch2 and Plane1 are extremely important since they allow for the location and placement of this cut. Sketch2 contains a sketch point that is concentric to the outer edge of the cylinder. This same point is used as the reference location for Plane1 so that the sketch that drives the SAE Port feature is located there. The benefit for using this Design Library feature is you’ll only need to drop the feature on the flat surface end of a cylinder where the port is going to cut. As the feature is dropped you’ll be prompted for the outer edge of cylinder to make the sketch point concentric to it.

In the image below there is one reference needed to place the cut, Edge1. The Design Library feature contains several size options (configurations), so before making any geometry selections first, select the corresponding size. A window opens up showing you a sample image of the edge the feature is looking for in order to center the cut (marked in red). Simply select the corresponding edge on the actual model (arrow shown in green) to define the position of the new cut.

Design Library Cut Out New Position
Cut Out New Position

This will now create the cut on the part and keep it as a Design Library feature. If a configuration size change is needed, simply edit like any other feature and change size.

Save New Cut to Design Library
Save new cut to Design Library

Parts

Saving parts to the Library is the easiest thing to do. Common hardware such as nuts, bolts, bearings, and more can be saved to reuse among different assemblies instead of browsing and searching for them all the time. To save a part to the Library select the name of the part on the Feature Tree, access the Design Library window and select “Add to Library”. Then select the corresponding folder and give the part a name. Make sure that “Part (*.slprt)” is selected as the file type as shown below. Now you can insert this part into any assembly and mate accordingly.

Add a part to design library
Add a part to Design Library

Assemblies

Saving assemblies to the Design Library is very similar to saving parts. Select the name of the assembly on the Feature Tree and access the Design Library window to select “Add to Library”. Then select the corresponding folder and give it a name. Make sure that “Assembly (*.sldasm)” is selected as the file type as shown below. The assembly can then be dropped into any other assembly and will become a sub-assembly.

Save Assembly to Design Library
Save Assembly to Design Library

For further reading and extra practice, consider reviewing the following Tutorials found under Help/SolidWorks Tutorials/All Tutorials Tab:
• Design Tables
• Equations
• Components

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