Clean Up Your Thread Display in SOLIDWORKS

SOLIDWORKS users are very familiar with Cosmetic Threads, which have been around in SOLIDWORKS for a long time. The idea is to show that an item has threads without having to model the geometry.

Initially, we had regular Cosmetic Threads, which show in both the model and the drawing as a circle using a dashed-line symbology; many years later, Shaded Cosmetic Threads were added to make the model look a little more realistic when shaded.

From a display standpoint, regular Cosmetic Threads show fine in the drawing, but in the model, they can become distracting, because they always show through the model no matter the rotation.

Cosmetic Thread Display

Up until recently, there was only one toggle for Cosmetic Thread display, and it affected both regular and Shaded Cosmetic Threads. But an often-overlooked enhancement in SOLIDWORKS 2013 uncoupled the display toggle of the two Cosmetic Thread types, and now you can turn off the display of regular Cosmetic Threads in your model, while keeping the Shaded Cosmetic Threads turned on.

Annotation Properties

Thread Display

To me, this is the most logical setup for the 3D model. It is a setting stored in the file, so for this change to be implemented going forward, it should be set in the part and assembly templates. From what I’ve seen of customer models the last several months, I think it’s an enhancement that many people don’t know about. This blog is an attempt to bring awareness to the option, of which obviously I am a fan.

Remember that this setting is for the model only. Cosmetic Threads will happily show up in the drawing views as they always have — no change needed to the drawing templates.


While the last several releases of SOLIDWORKS have incorporated some very useful enhancements, I’ve been seeing situations where people aren’t aware of some of my favorites, so in the coming months, I’ll be blogging on a few more.

By: Jeff Setzer, SOLIDWORKS / Composer Product Manager

For more tips and tricks, visit

GSC fuels customer success with 3D engineering solutions for design, simulation, data management, electrical schematics, PCB, technical documentation, and 3D printing, as well as the most comprehensive consulting, technical support, and training in the industry. As a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS solutions, HP, and Markforged 3D printing technologies, GSC’s world-class team of dedicated professionals have helped numerous companies innovate and increase productivity by leveraging advanced technologies to drive 3D business success. Founded in 1989, GSC is headquartered in Germantown, WI. For more information about GSC, please visit