Huge Fasteners!

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Have you ever opened an assembly only to find the fasteners in it are huge?  This happens a lot when working in a multi-user environment and a network toolbox is not in use.  By default, toolbox files are installed locally on your machine with SolidWorks.  There is a default part file for each fastener type (the huge fastener you see).  Each time that you put in a fastener, a configuration gets written to that fastener of the particular size that you chose.  This works great so far!

The problem comes when someone else tries to open the assembly you made on their machine.  They also have a toolbox installed on their machine.  However, they might not have used the same size fasteners that you have yet.  This means that the configuration for the particular sizes in your assembly might not exist on their machines.  So when they go to open the assembly, the assembly opens with the default part file since the correct configuration size does not exist on their machine. This default part file is a huge fastener.    

So, what do we do about this?  The ideal thing to do is to use a network Toolbox.  That way everyone is using one set of files to create fasteners and everyone has access to all sizes that have been used.  What you will want to do is copy the toolbox from the person’s machine that has created the most sizes of fasteners.  Unfortunately, you will inevitably be missing some fastener sizes (we will deal with this in a bit), but there is no way to combine multiple toolboxes into one.  On that person’s machine, go to Tools>Options>Hole Wizard/Toolbox to find the location of the existing toolbox. 

Toolbox01

By default, this folder is installed as SOLIDWORKS Data.  Browse to this location in Windows Explorer and copy this entire SOLIDWORKS Data folder to a network location.  

Then you will need to go to each users machine, and point the path in Tools>Options>Hole Wizard/Toolbox to this network SOLIDWORKS Data folder. 

So I mentioned that we will still probably be missing some fastener sizes, since we had to pull just one person’s Toolbox.  There is an easy fix to have SOLIDWORKS create the fastener sizes for us when we open the assemblies. If you open an assembly that uses a fastener size that the Toolbox does not have, you will be prompted to have Toolbox automatically create the missing size. 

Toolbox02

Always click yes!  Why wouldn’t we let SOLIDWORKS create the size for us?   

Design Better

Leslie Lougheed

Regional Technical Manager

2 comments on “Huge Fasteners!

  1. Matt,
    I am sorry you feel like I missed the boat with this. I didn’t intend to hit the boat, more like just start wading into the water:) There is a lot that could be said about SOLIDWORKS Toolbox, and I just wanted to touch on a common issue that we run into with our customers. I agree, better documentation on Toolbox management could be very useful to SOLIDWORKS users.
    Leslie Lougheed

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