This topic was included with the ‘What’s New’ for Weldments and Structure Systems. This new “architecture” of custom properties affects more than just weldments and structure systems, so I wanted to highlight this topic.
Custom properties are the metadata of your model, such as description, material, part number, etc. You can use predefined properties, or create your own. The “architecture” of custom properties has been improved in a few ways in SOLIDWORKS 2022. This new architecture offers some great advantages but can cause some issues with assemblies and drawings where the components are used. As an example, you may encounter errors with derived parts, annotations and BOMs. This is why the upgrade to the new architecture is not automatic. If you open an older model and save it in 2022, the custom properties architecture will not change. New parts and assemblies created in 2022 will use the new architecture. If you want to upgrade your older models to use the new architecture, you can upgrade it manually or in batches using the API.
To upgrade manually, select the “Upgrade custom properties” on your right mouse click on the model name in the FeatureManager. This is a one-way upgrade and cannot be undone. Once you’ve upgraded, you won’t see this option on your model anymore and your older models will have the same custom property architecture as new 2022 models.
To upgrade batches, use this API call: IModelDocExtension::UpgradeCustomProps
Upgrading a component will not upgrade other referenced files such as assemblies or drawings. However if you upgrade an assembly, you will get the option to select “Upgrade top level assembly” or “Upgrade all the components”.
So now that you have the new Custom Properties architecture, what benefits will you see? There are a few, and my favorite new tool within the new custom properties architecture is the Properties Summary tab.
On your new 2022 models, or on your older models which have been upgraded, you’ll see a new Properties Summary tab.
The Properties Summary tab shows the inverse of the Configuration Properties tab. The Configuration Properties tab lists the Configurations on the left and each Property of those configurations on the right. The Properties Summary tab lists the Properties on the left, and then its value for each Configuration on the right.
As an example, this is a sample part with dozens of configurations. And each configuration has three configuration specific properties; Nominal Pipe Size, Class and SWBOMpartno (SOLIDWORKS Bill of Materials Part Number).
Beside each Value/Text Expression, you have the option to choose ‘This configuration’, ‘All configurations’, or ‘Specify configurations’. Unless you’re paying close attention, it’s easy to set a property value for some configurations, and nothing set for other configurations. Also, with many configurations, you’d have to select each configuration to check the value of the properties using the Configuration Specific Properties tab. The new Properties Summary tab shows all the configurations in a single view.
You can of course, also use a Design Table to set all the properties for each configuration by using $PRP.
Looking at the new Properties Summary tab, you can click on each of the properties and see their values in each configuration, and it is very clear if a property value is missing for a configuration. The Properties Summary tab is very handy when you have a lot of configurations. If you have just a few configurations and many properties, then the Configuration Specific Properties tab will probably help you more. See below to compare the Configuration Specific tab and the Properties Summary tab. They are different ways of viewing the same information.