Please help me with Solidworks...

Hi Guys,

I’m hoping someone can help me with a quick question:

I’m working for a company using solidworks, and they have a library of standard parts/models/assemblies. I have never used SW before but have used Inventor/AutoCAD/ProE. I had a problem where I needed to modify a part last week (a set of metal drawers), but now every time I try to use any drawers from the library they are completely screwed!! I’m the only one here using CAD and I’m drowning fast!! Can someone please help me - I absolutely hate this software and don’t know why it appears to be doing things so differently to Inventor which is the package I’m most familiar with!!!

Help please,


Can you be more specific about what changes you made, and exactly what is screweing up? Is it just a part or is it an assembly? What error messages are coming up?

Your SolidWorks reseller may be able to help you with this. If your company has a subscription, definitely take advantage of their tech help.

But if you can be more specific maybe we can help.

Same as A-line, to get a specific answer, we need a more specific problem.

But it sounds like your biggest mistake was modifying the files from the library. Next time (especially while you’re learning) you need to make a copy of the files you need in a new folder, so that no matter what happens, you can alway return to the library files.

To do this:

1.) Open whichever assembly you will be working with, Save it, then under “File” you’ll see “Find References”, click that…

(it will ask you if you want to preserve directory structure: click no)

2.) A window will come up showing you all your folders, Hard drives and network. Select were you want the files to go, create a new folder if you hadn’t done that already, and click copy.

3.) then close the Assembly, and re-open it from your new folder. Then, just alway work on your files, not the library’s files.

this finds all the referenced files in that particular assembly and copies them into your designated folder, if you mess those files up, the library files will be fine…

you could also just copy the folder using windows explorer and paste it and re-name, but if the library isn’t perfectly organized, parts might be missing and then you’d have to go find them, and that can be frustrating…

good luck! it will get easier, it’s hard to get in the begining

I’ve changed the top cross member on a set of metal drawers, by changing it’s length. In our library we have groups of these assemblies set to different dims. but as we didn’t have the size I needed I saved a copy of the closest assembly with a different name, then changed the size. Now, it would appear that every other cross member that has a reference to this ie: all the other drawer assemblies are now coming out of the library with the wrong size cross member and therefore half the constraints aren’t working/aren’t there…plus ALL the drawings/models/assemblies past and present that have a drawer assembly in them are showing the same errors.

I had a CAD trainer out here on Friday and it took him nearly 2 hrs to work out how to edit the wheelbase on a van in our library without it changing every other wheelbase for variations of that van (exactly the same problem) I remember him going into the different trees to specify this configuration only but haven’t got a clue how to do it myself.

I’ve never had any training on SW, and I’d never used it before I started here one week ago and I’m on my own with nobody to ask for help…

Thanks in advance,


Thanks Copyboy :smiley: At least this has enabled me to carry on working using modified (copy) parts until the CAD training company can send out an expert to help resolve the problems I’ve caused!!