When working in large assemblies, sometimes it is useful to be able to select all instances of a specific type of component. This is a scenario where the ‘Advanced Component Selection’ tool can come in handy.
Before diving into the advanced component selection tool, you will find there are some useful predefined selection groups. These are located right under the cursor menu at the top toolbar of SOLIDWORKS. Simply click the drop-down arrow on the cursor icon as seen in the screenshot below.
Imagine a scenario where a configuration without toolbox hardware is needed to improve general performance in a large assembly. This can be accomplished by choosing the ‘Select Toolbox’ which will select all toolbox components which can then be suppressed.
Another example would be to use the ‘Select Hidden’ option to easily show all hidden components without having to track them down in the feature tree.
In some cases, a more specific selection may be needed. This is what the Advanced Component Selection is for. At the bottom of the drop-down menu shown above is ‘Advanced Select…’ this will open a dialog box where more specific conditions can be defined.
Multiple selection criteria are created using the following columns:
- And/Or: when using multiple criteria, this is used to specify if it needs to follow some or all those criteria
- Category1: This is the primary category such as File Type, Part mass, Custom Property, etc.
- Category2: This is used when Category1 needs further definition. E.G. if Category1 is Custom Property, then Category2 is used to specify which property such as ‘Description’.
- Condition: This is used to specify under what condition relative to the Value (next column) will a selection be made. E.G. =, not=, <, >, is (exactly), is not, etc.
- Value: Value of the desired criteria to search against. E.G. if searching for all cases where the custom property for ‘material’ is Plain Carbon Steel, then the value would be “Plain Carbon Steel”.
The above image is an example of an advanced search where the criteria are to select any component that has a configuration name that contains the words “Machined” and has 1060 Alloy as the material custom property. If this is a search used on a regular basis, it can be saved by typing a name in the top right-hand corner in the field “Name of Search:” and then clicking the save icon to the right of the type field.
After saving a search, it can also be added as a favorite under the “manage searches” tab. This adds it right below the “advanced select” command in the drop-down menu of the cursor at the top of SolidWorks (see image below).
This concludes the introduction of the Advanced Component Selection tool. I hope you have found this information helpful and that this tool may assist you in working with large assemblies.
Technical Support Engineer
Computer Aided Technology, LLC