Fast. Faster. Fastest.
Whether I’m trying to optimize a driving route to work, or micromanage my morning, I’m always looking for ways to navigate through the task at hand more quickly. The same goes for navigating through a model in SolidWorks. That’s why I love features that allow me to swiftly operate within the software.
In this post, I’m going to explore two features unique to SolidWorks that I use quite a bit. These two program features can be HUGE time-savers, and they’re ones that I love sharing with our customers: Quick Filter Buttons and FeatureManager Tree Filter.
1. Quick Filter Buttons
I find these buttons to be awesome. These handy selection buttons are especially useful for situations like Pack and Gos, which can come equipped with a diverse array of files such as parts, assemblies, and drawings. The Quick Filter Buttons allow you to quickly display only the types of components you wish to display. You can filter by Parts, Assemblies, Drawings, AND Top-Level Assemblies, which is very convenient. Filtering by Top-Level Assembly allows me to find and grab the main assembly file with great speed. You can find the Quick Filter buttons in the bottom right corner of the ‘Open’ explorer window within SolidWorks 2013.
2. FeatureManager Tree Filter
(Note: The top-right image is not displayed in SolidWorks. It was added to the screen-capture in an effort to better-indicate the functionality of this feature.)
When you’re working within a large assembly that contains multiple subassemblies and/or parts, the FeatureManager Tree Filter is definitely something you’ll want to try using. It also serves as a reminder of how important it is to assign a sensible, solid nomenclature to your parts/assemblies. If you give your parts/assemblies names that you can recall, it can be much easier to find these components using this filtering tool.
You can further customize the results here by clicking on the down-arrow next to the filter box icon, which brings up the following menu:
As you can see above, you have two options. The first, “Filter Graphics View,” shows you the remaining components that match the qualifications of your entered filtering query. For example, if you a) have this option checked, b) have a component named “pin” and a component named “short pipe,” and c) have only typed “pi” within the filter box, you will see both the “short pipe” and the “pin” within the viewport. With this option turned off, the viewport will not update based on your filter query.
When selected, the second option listed, “Filter Hidden/Suppressed Components,” will hide hidden/suppressed components within your filtering results. You will not, of course, see this component within the viewport, regardless of the status of “Filter Graphics View.”
Hope this helps you increase your productivity! As always, questions can be commented below, and we’ll get back to ASAP. Otherwise, feel free to contact Prism Engineering’s SolidWorks Tech Support team at anytime.
~ Sean O’Neill, Prism Engineering SolidWorks AE