Lightweight, Large Assembly Review, Defeature, SpeedPak

We will be looking at how SOLIDWORKS tools can help you in large assembly design process. By using these tools in your large assembly, you may handle large assembly easily, minimize loading time and better performance.


Lightweight components are a key factor in improving the performance of large assemblies. Lightweight components only load   subset of information into memory. Mainly graphical information and default reference geometry.

Lightweight can be applied to sub-assemblies and parts. The lightweight component can speed up assembly work, keep mate intact, maintain placement, keep orientation, be moved and rotated, be displaced in shaded or hidden line and also have mass properties or interference detection performed on them. However, lightweight components cannot be edited and show their features in FeatureManager design tree.

When components loaded in lightweight, lightweight components indicated with a blue color feather symbol over the components icon in Feature Manager tree. While the out of date lightweight parts are indicated with a red color feather symbol. There are no major downsides and serious limitations by using lightweight. Therefore, you can use lightweight all the time.

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Large Assembly Mode

Large assembly mode is collection of system settings that improves the performance of assemblies. Large assembly mode can be turn on at any time, or set a threshold for the number of components, and have large assembly mode turn on automatically when threshold is reached.

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When opening assembly with large assembly mode active, appropriate settings are chosen to make the large assembly faster.


Large Design Review

Large design review lets you open very large assemblies quickly, while still retaining capabilities that are useful when conducting design reviews of assemblies. Large design review mode enables you to quickly open, navigate, walk-through, measure, section, and creates snapshot views with comments of massive assemblies containing huge numbers of parts, helping to clearly communication your design. If you want to ensure that all items are updated properly, you must open your assembly as lightweight or fully resolved. In Large Design Review mode, you cannot edit components or mates because large design review mode intended as an environment for quick review.

In Large Design Review mode:

  • Quickly open, mark up,  and investigate extremely large assemblies
  • Select items to open for editing
  • Section through your design
  • Measure the dimensions
  • Hide and show components
  • Create a design walk-through to highlight key areas
  • Create snapshots with comments
  • Selectively open and edit a part or assembly while reviewing the design Large Design Review

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SpeedPak creates a simplified configuration of an assembly without losing reference. A SpeedPak configuration is essentially a subset of the parts and faces of an assembly. SpeedPak simplifies an assembly without suppressing the components. A SpeedPak configuration is essentially a subset of the parts and faces of an assembly. SpeekPak simplifies without suppressing. Therefore, you can substitute a SpeekPak configuration for the full assembly in higher level assemblies without losing references.


Dealing with a large assembly can have its frustrations however SolidWorks has some tools to help. That is another tool called Defeature. This tool lets you remove details from the large assemblies, multi-body parts, and parts to simplify the geometry. The feature can be found under tools.With the defeature tool, you can remove details   from a part or assembly and save the model into a new file which details are replaced by the dumb solids. A dumb solid is a solid part without any feature and   history in the feature manager. This tool is often used to share files without revealing all the design details of the model. Benefit of defeature tool can improve performance by simplifying the graphics and model information. With the defeature tool, the file size and rebuild times can be significantly reduced.  However, the new file after apply defeature tool has the same mass and center of gravity as assigned mass properties.

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after apply defeature