Taking Full Advantage of SOLIDWORKS Templates

By Michael Koenig on

After installation, SOLIDWORKS prompts users to specify their drafting standard and unit systems. This is to create the three default template files for parts, assemblies and drawings to ensure consistency.

Part, Drawing and Assembly Templates

Typically, the drawing template gets customized with the company logo, desired unit precision, dimension style and sheet format. The sheet format contains the drawing border and title block along with various custom properties pulled from either the model or drawing itself to populate the title block. Drawings get sent to customers or manufacturing, so naturally, the drawing template gets customized first. Many users simply go on with the default part and assembly templates. Below, we’ll take a look at three areas where we can make changes to these templates to increase efficiency

Document Properties 

First, we’ll discuss Options > Document Properties. Any setting here will save in the file as opposed to System Options, which are set globally. Some of the Document Properties will be different depending on if you are in a part, assembly, or drawing file. If you find yourself changing any of these often, then make it easy on yourself and save it in your template.  For instance, to have shaded cosmetic threads in a part document, enable Options > Document Properties > Detailing > Shaded cosmetic threads. Then, Save As > Save as type: Part Templates (*.prtdot).   

SOLIDWORKS Document Properties


Next, there are options on the View (Heads Up) toolbar that also save in the document.  Perhaps when you start a new part, you want your display style to be Shaded instead of Shaded With Edges. This can be saved in your template. Again, Save As > Save as type: Part Templates (*.prtdot). 

SOLIDWORKS View (Heads Up) toolbar

Or, maybe you benefit from View Dimension Names when you model. Save that setting in the template as well.

SOLIDWORKS View Dimension Names

User Interface

Are you someone that splits the FeatureManager Design Tree? In the screen shot below, it’s split so that we can see the FeatureManager and ConfigurationManager at the same time. You can even save this in your template. This works well if you want it split in one environment and not the others (i.e. Part vs Drawing vs Assembly).

SOLIDWORKS User Interface FeatureManager Design Tree

Saving Options

Last, I recommend saving your custom templates outside of any SOLIDWORKS directory to avoid risk of losing them during upgrades or if SOLIDWORKS is uninstalled. The path to the directory you choose can be set in Options > System Options > File Locations > Show folders for: Document Templates. Also, check Options > System Options > Default Templates, and set options as desired.

For more information on SOLIDWORKS Templates watch the webinar below!