Home » How to replace a part in SolidWorks assembly?

Inserted the wrong component into an assembly? Not a problem, use “Replace Components” to swap out the part(s). This tutorial will detail how to replace components.

Use this method to replace:

  • one modeled component for another.
  • a modeled component for a toolbox component.
  • a toolbox component for a modeled component.

The process is the same for each, the only difference is the folder location. To replace a component for a toolbox component, use the path “C:\SOLIDWORKS Data\browser” (Check “Hole Wizard/Toolbox” in the system options to confirm). Then navigate the standards to the desired component.

Download the gear pump assembly from grabcad.com here.

Replacing Components


Select one or more instances of the component to be replaced, then right click and select “Replace Components”. If this option does not appear, expand the right click menu.

Selecting “All instances” will replace each instance of the item in the assembly. Use this as an alternative to selecting each of the instances. If the same item is used elsewhere in the assembly or in a sub-assembly, they will also change. Replace a single component in this example.

Select “Browse” and navigate to the folder containing the part. If the replacement part has a design table, select the desired configuration.

If the naming convention for configurations is the same, select “Match Name”, otherwise use “Manually Select”. With “Re-attach mates” selected, another window will appear. This allows the user to correct the mate references.

In this case, the references were corrected to the shank and bottom of the hex head. The replacement part can be moved by click and drag, use this if the mate reference is obstructed by other geometry.

Use the same procedure to replace the hex bolt for another toolbox component. In the image below, a button head cap screw was selected from “ANSI Metric”-“bolts and bcrews”-“Socket head screws”. The size of the cap screw is incorrect, proceed to the next section to correct this.

Change Fastener Type/Size

In either case, right click on the toolbox component(s) and select “Edit Toolbox components”. If this does not appear, check that the toolbox add-in is turned on. This allows the user to change the size of a toolbox component.

The maximum length that can be selected for this component is 40mm. The original was 80mm long, therefore another fastener type is required.

The option is called “Change fastener Type…” regardless what toolbox component has been placed. Click “Change Fastener Type” and select the following standard.

At this point, the mate references may need to be corrected.

Changing Configuration

If the part contains a configuration table, click on the part(s) and select the configuration from the list.

The examples shown replace a bolt for another bolt, the selected component can be any part or subassembly. Follow the same process when replacing a subassembly for another.