Game Show: Why won't these references update? - The Solution

In Wednesday’s competition we learned neither our champion nor challenger’s method of updating references worked. Did you figure out why?

The problem they ran into was caused by how SOLIDWORKS finds referenced files when assemblies are opened.

SOLIDWORKS has a set of rules to go by when trying to find components of an assembly. It is important to know and understand SolidWorks’ method.

  1. Try to use an already loaded file
  2. Look in the paths listed in the “Referenced Documents” list in the options area
  3. Look in the same directory as the assembly
  4. Look in the directories where it has already found other components
  5. Look where the file was the last time the assembly was saved (excluding the drive letter)
  6. Look where the file was the last time the assembly was saved (including the drive letter)
  7. Ask you where the file is

Both contestants correctly told SOLIDWORKS to look in the new location, but SOLIDWORKS would rather find the file within the same directory as the assembly was found. (Priority #3) It only appeared the references were not updated.

If either of our contestants would have deleted the motor from the assembly’s directory they would have won the autographed coloring book because SOLIDWORKS would have gotten to priority #5 and the correct motor file would have been opened.

What is the moral of the story?

  1. Spend some time learning how SOLIDWORKS resolves referenced documents. This is a very important skill, that I promise can save you many headaches when files are acting funny
  2. Never duplicate file names for SOLIDWORKS files. If these two files would not have had the same name, at worst our contestants would have been notified that SOLIDWORKS could not find the file (gotten to priority #7) and they could have known to fix the issue.


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