SOLIDWORKS: Interference Detection

If there was a way to build a top-level assembly where every component and sub-assembly went together perfectly you would want to know about that, right?

Well, the tool to use is Interference Detection. I think this is the most underused SOLIDWORKS tool.

So, what is SOLIDWORKS Interference Detection? Interference Detection identifies interferences between components, sub-assemblies, and even multibody parts. This tool will help you to examine and evaluate those interferences. Interference Detection is useful in complex assemblies, where it can be difficult to visually determine whether components interfere with each other.

This tool creates a list of components and finds interferences between them. The interferences are listed by paired components. You can also see a visual representation in your graphics area.

Since it is officially grilling season (for some of us, it’s always grilling season). I will check Interference Detection on this gas grill.

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To open the PropertyManager, click Interference Detection from the Evaluate command manager tab.

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By default, SOLIDWORKS will select the top-level assembly. You can clear that selection and select your own parts, sub-assembly or a combination of both.

Default selection                                                     Manual selection

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Once the selections are made, the Options group sections are used to refine the detection criteria. Below is a breakdown of the options.

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My personal preference is to have Treat coincidence as interference unchecked. Make interfering parts transparent checked. Also, when hardware is inserted into my assembly, I like to have Create fasteners folder checked. You can also hide all hardware and use Ignore hidden bodies/components.

You have 9 Interference options, so it will be a trial-and-error situation. So, pick a few options and see what your results are.

Let us look at this great tool.

Once I check or uncheck my options, I’ll click Calculate.

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In the Results list, you will see all the interferences.

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You can expand the Interference and see the paired components. You can also left mouse click to highlight the components in the graphics area. By default, the interference is marked using a volume displayed in red.

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If you right click the Interference or the components you have more options. I like the Zoom to selection or even Isolate when done.

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I would suggest using Interference Detection at the sub-assembly level as well at the top-level assembly.

Using this tool will eliminate scrap, rework, and eventually save you money.

I hope you found this helpful! Thanks for reading.

Roger Ruffin
Sr. Application Engineer
Computer Aided Technology, Inc

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