Large Design Review for Large Design Changes: Planning our New Training Room in SOLIDWORKS

If you’ve been around the SOLIDWORKS community at all, you know that not only is SOLIDWORKS 2019 out, but it came with some game changing features!  One of my favorites is the new enhancements in Large Design Review (LDR). The feature initially came out in SOLIDWORKS 2012 and revolutionized the way large assemblies could be handled and opened. If you needed to open and quickly interrogate the model for a few dimensions, then large design review was the choice! By loading the absolute minimum amount of information, it was able to bring even the largest of assemblies on the screen in less than a minute. However, it had its limits. LDR remained primarily as a function to “only look” at your assemblies due to the few features it offered outside of that.

Until now.

Due to the fantastic enhancements in 2019, Large Design Review will now be a viable option to edit assemblies as well! In the new, buff version of LDR, we can add and delete components, add and delete mates, and use magnetic mates. Let’s take the new LDR out for a test drive with some magnetic mates!

We are revamping our training room in the Clark, NJ location, so I figured this would serve as the ideal project for my test drive. One of the things we want to experiment with is how comfortable the room will feel if we add two additional small desks to extend our existing ones. So, I modeled each type of desk in SOLIDWORKS as a weldment part. The others I modeled as regular parts. I published each of them as an asset in SOLIDWORKS, so I can use that sweet Magnetic Mates functionality!

SOLIDWORKS Models of Training Equipment

For the blue chairs and the white high-top instructor desk, I set the ground plane to be tangent to the bottom of the wheels. This way, when they are brought in, they automatically snap to the floor! I have a similar setup for the black desks, except that we want to see what they look like when they get pushed together. Therefore, I set up the asset to use the bottom of one of the legs as the ground plane, and I put a connector point on each side of the desk. When one gets near another, they will snap together! Finally, for the computer, I specified the bottom of the monitor as the ground plane. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Doesn’t that mean that the computer will snap to the floor?” No worries, I have a plan to make sure that the computers end up on the desks!

Here I have taken the liberty of modeling the empty Clark training room in an assembly and reopening it in Large Design Review. Remember, you can do this from the open menu and you can specify if you want to edit the assembly from the open menu, too!

Open Menu of Large Design Review
SOLIDWORKS Model of Training Room

There’s so much room for activities (we hope you read that in your Will Ferrell voice), like for using large design review! Now, to set up magnetic mates, we need a ground plane. So, I will select the floor as my ground plane (shocking, right?) Now I can go bring in some desks. I’ll proceed to click on Large Design Review > Insert Components > Browse and find my desks in the file system. PROTIP: If you need to place multiple instances of the same component, make sure you hit the “Thumbtack” to keep the PropertyManager showing! So far, I have 4 desks. Take a look!

SOLIDWORKS Model of Training Room with Desks

It’s time to add those smaller desks! I’ll use insert components to add them.

SOLIDWORKS Model of Training Room with Magnetic Mates Showcased

As you can see, since these desks are published as assets, they will try to snap to each other which makes this part a breeze!

SOLIDWORKS Model of Training Room with New Expanded Desks

Three desks later and I get the result seen above. My computer’s not even breaking a sweat yet! We can see that this number of desks will fit just fine, but how does it feel? Let’s flesh this out even more and find out. Let’s throw in some chairs and the instructor high-top desk. Thanks to magnetic mates, these snap to the floor as well. Remember, you can use TAB key to rotate components if they are facing the wrong way.

SOLIDWORKS Model of Training Room with Desks and Chairs

Now we’re getting somewhere! Still, we cannot have a SOLIDWORKS class without computers, so let’s throw them in there. Before I do that, let me define a new ground plane. Remember that in SOLIDWORKS 2018, the ability to have more than one ground plane was introduced. We’ll set this ground plane to be the top of the desks. Now, when we bring the computers in, they snap to the tops of the desks. Cool trick, huh?

SOLIDWORKS Model of Training Room - Full Revamp

While this not all the furniture that needs to be in the room, this gives us a good guide. We can see if this new set up will allow the student(s) to see the instructor, no matter which seat he/she decides to take. I will check this by using the walkthrough functionality in LDR. I activate the command and use WASD to find my seat!

SOLIDWORKS Model of Training Room - Customer Perspective

Voila! We hope our customers are ready to learn because we’re ready to teach, and soon we’ll have additional capacity thanks to our experiment.

Thank you for following along and stay tuned to see even more enhancements to the training room planned with SOLIDWORKS!

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Author: Robert Maldonado, Application Engineer at DesignPoint

DesignPoint is passionate about building solutions that help product design, engineering and manufacturing companies maximize their potential. By developing trusted partnerships, we help our customers achieve game-changing results and support them in their journey as they strive for more. With DesignPoint, More is Possible.® Our solutions include SOLIDWORKS 3D software, 3D Systems and MarkForged 3D printers, technical support, training and more. Contact us today at!