Most all of us who use SolidWorks know that for each document whether it is a Part, Assembly or Drawing that we can modify the Document Properties for each of these files. In the Document Properties we can change items such as the Units, Drafting Standard, Font Size and a laundry list of other items. If we want to go a step further and have the same settings for each new file we create then we can change the settings for a new file and save that out as a template.
Knowing all of this the question becomes; how do I change the settings for items that are not in the Document Properties such as my default bend radius of a sheet metal part or a sketch fillet or the standard length of my first extrude feature?
The answer is a lot simpler than most would think and all we need to use is a function that a lot of users do not notice or take for granted and that is SolidWorks remembers your last input for many items.
So for our example today I am going to start a simple sheet metal part and using the Base Flange Feature we can see what the defaults are.
I then change the values to my "standard" and I changed almost all of the values to demonstrate what can and what cannot be changed for our template.
Next I set a material for my part and I delete all items from the Feature Tree and save the file as a Part Template.
Now the next time I create a new part, I use my new template. You can see that our parts Material, Thickness, Bend Radius as well as our Bend Allowance all carried over. While our Extrusion Length and Custom Auto Relief did not. There are lots of other hidden document properties out there that can be applied to your templates and all of them will help you in speeding up the design process.
For you as users I ask that you post all of the other hidden document properties as you find them as comments to this article for others to use as well.
Josh Altergott is Support Manager at Computer Aided Technology, a SolidWorks Value Added Reseller with locations in Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, Wisconsin and Illinois. He is a regular contributor to the CATI Tech Notes blog.