Creating custom SOLIDWORKS templates

By Danny Velicu on

Do you find yourself frequently changing your document properties when creating new part files? Constantly changing your units to metric or changing your display styles? Creating a custom template within SOLIDWORKS could help save you time and frustration! Adding custom templates to your design can be a simple way to increase speed and efficiency when creating your parts!

When you begin creating a document file within SOLIDWORKS, you are usually met with the following pop up:

document file in SOLIDWORKS
Document file in SOLIDWORKS

This menu shows the different templates available on your local machine along with the different document types to select from. As you can see, I have the three default templates for my different document types and an additional template for my part files titled Part (MMGS). This additional template is designated for whenever I need to create a part using the mmgs document units. When creating a new template, it is recommended that you start by selecting one of the default templates, that way you have a blank slate to build from. With just three easy steps, soon you too, will be able to create templates within SOLIDWORKS!

Step 1: Adjust Your Document Properties

The first step is opening that default template and adjusting your Document Properties. Clicking the gear box at the top of your page will open your settings and then you can tab over to Document Properties and change whatever you’d like to match your desired template. You’re able to adjust units, material properties, display properties and many more options within that Document Properties tab!

adjust document properties
Adjust document properties

Remember: Adjusting your Document Properties is specific to the document you are in. This is where you’ll be adjusting your settings for your template. System Options is a global setting for your overall software within SOLIDWORKS. These will not affect your template.

Step 2: Save Your New Template!

Once you have gone and adjusted all your Document Properties to match what you intended, you can go ahead and save this part file as a template! The destination path automatically changes to the default template folder when you select a template type for Save as type, however you can separate your custom templates from your default. If you decide to do this, it is recommended that you save this template to a single folder where you can house all your other custom templates as well. Personally, I have a folder called “SW Templates” in my documents that I use. Save you part to your “SW Templates” folder as a part template file (.prtdot) and you’re good to go!

save your new template
Save your new template

Note: You can follow the same steps to create drawing and assembly templates! When saving the file, you would instead select Assembly Templates (*. asmdot) or Drawing Templates (*. drwdot) from the Save as type drop down menu.

Step 3: Create Your Path

The final step in creating your custom template is telling SOLIDWORKS where to look for it. If you created a separate folder for your templates, you must define the folder location within your System Options. Go to System Options > File Locations select Document Templates from the drop-down menu, and then click Add. Once you click Add, you should be able to select your “SW Templates” folder and you should be good to go!

create your path
Create your path