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Solidworks Large Assembly Mode

To keep improving your engineering design skills, you must create a large assembly of designs. You cannot avoid working on large component assemblies when you work in any engineering field, such as electrical or mechanical engineering. Unfortunately, SolidWorks’s rebuild time and overall performance can be subpar when working with large assembly files. You can tackle this problem by activating the Solidworks large assembly mode. Solidworks large assembly mode employs a set of system settings to optimize Solidworks performance when working on large assemblies.

What Is Solidworks Large Assembly Mode?

Solidworks Large Assembly Mode is a set of system settings that enhance assembly performance. It effectively disables various display and performance parameters that are usually computationally expensive to run to improve overall performance. You can activate Solidworks large assembly mode at any time, or you can define a component count threshold and activate the Large Assembly Mode automatically when that amount is achieved. Lightweight components are typically used in large assembly modes, and lightweight components have reduced the time it takes to open, rebuild, and close. For instance, the dynamic highlight, RealView graphics, and shadows are automatically disabled in large assembly mode. Large assembly mode automatically activates a series of performance-enhancing measures based on a user-specified component threshold. The graphical information and reference geometry are imported into memory first, but the characteristics that define the part are not. Therefore, these are not editable or visible in the feature manager design tree.

It is occasionally necessary for SolidWorks users to work with a large assembly in Solidworks, and larger structures can be a little difficult for slower processors. Fortunately, using Solidworks Large Assembly Mode is one of the methods you may use to increase performance while maintaining functionality.

How to Use Solidworks Large Assembly Mode

One step to improving SolidWorks and its performance while working with large assemblies and drawings is to use the Solidworks large assembly mode. The Solidworks Large Assembly mode option does the same as the Lightweight mode, but the large assembly mode changes a few more options. Each option limits specific operations and features to improve performance.

This function quickly loads models and allows users to work on them without the Solidworks software lagging. However, to learn how to use Solidworks large assembly mode, you must understand the options defined in the settings.

Follow these steps to enable Large Assembly Mode.

Step 1: Click Tools, then Options.

Step 2: Go to System Options and select “Assemblies.”

When Large Assembly Mode is enabled, it appears in the status bar. The settings listed below become unavailable (grayed out) on their respective System Options pages or toolbars and are set automatically, as detailed below. When Large Assembly Mode is disabled, the options revert to their previous state.

  1. Drawings Options
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The drawing option shows contents while dragging a drawing view, and when large assembly mode is enabled, only the view boundary is shown while dragging a drawing view.

  1. Display Style Options

When you enable large assembly mode, new views’ display style is set, meaning hidden lines are removed as the default display style for new views. In addition, the edge quality for wireframe and hidden views is assigned to the draft quality option, which means only the minimum model information is loaded into storage. As a result, some edges may be missing, and the printing quality may be slightly degraded.

  1. Display Options

The dynamic highlight from the graphics view option is set to off. When this setting is off, the model faces, edges, and vertices are not highlighted when you move the pointer over a sketch, model, or drawing. Also, under the display option, the anti-aliasing setting is Off, which means jagged edges in Shaded with Edges, Wireframe, Hidden Lines Removed, and Hidden Lines Visible modes are not smoothed out when loading your assembly.

Assembly transparency for in-context editing is set to maintain assembly transparency, and components not being edited retain their transparency settings.

  1. FeatureManager Options 
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The Dynamic highlight option under FeatureManager is turned off. Setting this option means geometry in the graphics area (edges, faces, planes, and axes) is not highlighted when the pointer passes over the item in the FeatureManager design tree.

  1. Performance Options

Many options are customized in the performance settings to optimize working with large assemblies. 

(a)Transparency is put off. Both the High quality for normal view mode and the High quality for dynamic view mode sub-options are set to off. It means that while the part or assembly is not moving or rotating, the transparency is of high quality. When you move or rotate a large assembly with the pan or rotating tools, the program switches to low-quality transparency, allowing you to spin the assembly faster. Also, high-quality transparency is retained while moving or rotating the model with the pan or rotating tools.

(b)Curvature generation is set to only on-demand, which means the initial curvature display is slower but uses less memory.

(c)Level of detail is put to a Minimum. The level of detail is minimal during dynamic view operations (zoom, pan, and rotate) in assemblies, multi-body parts, and draft views in drawings.

(d)Check out-of-date lightweight components are set to don’t check. Therefore, these loads assemble without checking for out-of-date lightweight components.

(e)Update mass properties while saving a document is Off. Setting this option does not recalculate the mass properties on save. However, the next time you access the mass properties, the system will need to recalculate them.

  1. View Toolbar and menu
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Under the View Toolbar and menu, both Shadows are in Shaded Mode, and RealView Graphics are Off.

Advice: When you open a SolidWorks assembly from a local drive outside the workspace, it opens in full mode, loading all components and references, even if the Large Assembly Mode is enabled. To view the assembly outside the workspace in Large Assembly Mode, open it in SolidWorks and then choose File > Save to Workspace. The assembly and its dependencies are now added to the workspace. 

After saving the assembly to the workspace, further assembly openings in SolidWorks follow the ‘Large Assembly Mode’ guidelines.

Bottom Line

You now understand what SolidWorks large assemble mode is. Understanding how large assemble mode settings function will allow you to tailor the Solidworks large assemble mode to your needs and provide you with the optimal settings when dealing with large assemblies.