Sahaj Panchal's Blog

Your 'Freesource' for CAD Education.

Configurations and display states in SolidWorks

This is a trick-cum-tutorial to create and manage display states and configurations in SolidWorks. So let’s get started!

Thorough explanation of this capability of the software is though beyond the scope of this post, but I’m giving an effective example to understand them.

Configuration: Let’s start with configurations. They are nothing but feature specific definition of a part or an assembly. Well, what does it mean by this? Simply, imagine a square plate with a hole in it at its center. Let’s say it is being used in an assembly several times, with each instance having different diameter for the hole. Now the approach would be to create as many instances of the plate as required and save each of them in a separate part document. Configurations capability in SolidWorks eliminates this need and allows to create variations of the plate within a single document.

Later on in an assembly, the part can be instantiated and configurations created for it can be called resulting each instance having different hole diameter. (You can create as many configurations as you want)

Configuring allows to modify parameters such as dimensions, pattern instances, etc. Feature status, i.e., suppressed or unsuppressed can also be defined within each configuration. In our example of a square plate, you can create a configuration without hole in it simply by selecting the feature and suppressing it. Even each variation can have different material. In an assembly you can create variations with some components suppressed, or suppressed mates, and modify mate dimensions as well.

Display states: Well, these are nothing but ‘graphical configurations’ of a part or an assembly. For a part, you can apply as many appearances (colored or textured), call it in an assembly, instantiate it and modify an instance’s visual properties by selecting it from the created ones. So the plate in our example, say, can be made up of wood in one display state and of matte steel in another.

In an assembly’s display state, you can control visibility status (hide/show) for a component, transparency, etc. (You can create as many display states as required)

Combining these capabilities: You can combine these two capabilities and produce components with better control over their appearances and feature definitions. So the square plate can be called once without the center hole and having matte steel as appearance. The second instance, say is the same, feature-wise, but have satin finish plastic appearance.

So likewise you can create as many ‘graphical’ and ‘feature’ configurations of a part or an assembly document.

I’ve given a simple trick which describes creation and management of configurations and display states. It also demonstrates linking configurations with display states. Here’s the video explanation for it.

Configurations and display states in SolidWorks

I hope you’ll get what I intend to tell you. If not, do contact me for further explanation on this. Thanks for visiting and come back for more.Smile

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