Undocumented Features in SOLIDWORKS: Understanding Feature Dependencies

By John Lewis on

Understanding Feature Dependencies is especially useful when deleting or reordering features in SOLIDWORKS. There have been multiple updates in the last three years regarding this particular function. To best understand the updates, it’s helpful to see how they evolved.


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Prior to the 2015 version of SOLIDWORKS, we were required to right-click on a feature to understand the dependencies. After right-clicking, a list of the feature’s parents and children would appear. This process would have to be repeated for every feature of interest. With the 2015 SOLIDWORKS update, this was simplified via the introduction of Dynamic Reference Visualization for Parents. It’s enabled by right-clicking on the top line of the tree and selecting the icon. Then, when hovering over a feature, arrows would point to its parents.

In 2016, the display for children was introduced. Accessed in the same way, arrows would point to the children of a feature also. In the SOLIDWORKS 2017 update, SOLIDWORKS changed how the arrows were displayed, enabling users to more easily visualize the references.

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