A previous SOLIDWORKS Composer blog article mentions that one of the causes of a blank assembly in Composer is due to Lightweight components being present in a SOLIDWORKS model. This article will review that issue, but from the perspective of a user that only uses SOLIDWORKS Composer standalone and does not have SOLIDWORKS installed.
To recap, when translating a file to composer, it is opened in SOLIDWORKS in the background. When an assembly reaches a high enough number of components, SOLIDWORKS enables large assembly mode which means components will be loaded in lightweight. Composer cannot translate lightweight parts because the model data in its entirety is not loaded for the sake of performance. This results in either an invisible assembly, or a translation error in composer.
On a machine that has SOLIDWORKS, this can be remedied by turning off the option that turns on Large Assembly mode for larger models found in Tools -> Options -> System Options -> Assemblies: “Use Large Assembly Mode to improve…” Also making sure that the option to automatically load components as lightweight is turned off as well, this option can be found in Tools -> Options -> System Options -> Performance: turn off “Automatically Load components lightweight.”
These options are still present in the SOLIDWORKS translator even though SOLIDWORKS is not installed. Additionally, by default the option that automatically turns on Large Assembly Mode for assemblies containing more than 500 components is enabled. You might ask “How do you turn off a SOLIDWORKS setting when SOLIDWORKS isn’t installed?” The answer is to turn it off in the registry for composer. Below is instructions on how to create the registry key needed to disable both settings for the SOLIDWORKS Translator. As a reminder, this key is only for an environment that has Composer without SOLIDWORKS installed.
To create the registry key, create a new text document using notepad and paste the following text into it:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\3DVIASWImporter\ SOLIDWORKS 2018\Performance]
"Large Assembly Settings"=dword:51161e1a
"Large Design Review Option"=dword:00000000
If you require a previous version of the key, you can edit the key’s contents and replace 2018 in the path name with the correct version.
After creating the text document, rename the file to change the extension from .txt to .reg which will change it to a registry file. Next, double click the registry file and choose ‘Yes’ to apply the proper settings and you’re done (Note: Administrative privileges will be needed to run apply the registry file).
CAUTION: The registry of your computer should not be tampered with if you do not know what you are doing. We do not claim any responsibility if the registry key is applied incorrectly. If you are a CATI customer and have any doubts or questions, feel free to contact our support at 888-285-2284. If your company has an IT department, I would recommend that you also contact them with any questions regarding windows registry changes.
After successfully implementing this registry key, you will find that any problems regarding large assemblies importing invisibly or failing translation due to lightweight components, should now be resolved.
Technical Support Engineer
Computer Aided Technology, LLC