When you use purchased components in your designs, you need models of these components to fit into your assembly. Depending on the source for the component model, there could be a wide range of detail provided. How much of this detail is necessary for you to work on your design? Generally no more than what was listed above for the simplified configuration. To speed the design at the assembly level, a lot of detail can be stripped from the model.
Level of Detail
Too much detail causes excessive rebuild times. Below are some suggestions on ways to remove detail.
- Do not model threads. Model only functional threads. There are considerable regeneration times associated with modeling the helical threads. If you need a visual representation of the threads, Toolbox has an option to show threads as a texture map.
It takes more than five times the number of triangles to represent the surface of the bolt when you add helical threads.
If you need to see visual threads, use the Cosmetic option in Toolbox.
- Avoid using text for features. Do not model text unless it is part of casting or will be machined into the part. SolidWorks uses TrueType fonts in Windows. Text can have hundreds of entities, sometimes per letter. You can evaluate the impact of modeled text by opening a part with extruded text and using the Performance Evaluation tool previously known as Feature Statistics to list rebuild the times.
Below are the rebuild times for the simple part shown on the right. Notice that it took 0.00 seconds to rebuild with the text suppressed and 0.16 seconds to rebuild with the text unsuppressed. If we compare the geometry, the part without the text has just six faces but with the text, there are 530 faces.
If the text is not to be machined into the part, such as labels that will be affixed to the part, consider using decals because they do not create additional geometry.
- Minimize unnecessary detail.
Combine fillets of equal size or function.
- Avoid Lofts and Sweeps if you can create the geometry with an extrude or revolve feature. Lofts and sweeps take longer to generate.
- Do not model springs unless absolutely necessary. Like helical threads, sweeping along a helix creates a large file due to the complexity of the surface. Instead, use a cylinder that forms the bounding shape of the spring. This can be mated and used to detect interference while solving very quickly.
If you need more of a visual representation, consider adding either a decal or a thread appearance.
- Fully define sketches. Leaving sketches under defined may be acceptable when you are still in the early part of the design process for a part. Before using that part in an assembly, you should have it fully defined to avoid rebuild errors and to avoid unintentional changes.