Monday, June 16, 2014

A single monitor is no problem... with SolidWorks Design Library

Many have experienced the frustrating constraint with having to design using a single monitor, whether with a desktop or laptop computer.  If having to do so, then you are sure to benefit from the Design Library of the Task Manager. Being both simple to setup and simple to modify as needed, the Design Library allows easy access to the Windows folders of your choice, without ever having to leave SolidWorks. Additionally, the workflow to using the Design Library eliminates the repetitive menu clicks of browsing for and inserting existing models, blocks, or annotations.

For example, suppose you have a folder of CAD models specific to a project, and another folder of common hardware CAD models.  By adding these two folders to your Design Library, the folders are now readily available to select.  When a Design Library folder is selected, the lower file view window provides icon imagery where the size can be adjusted to personal preference with a simple right-click menu selection. Although the Design Library only provides visibility / access to parts, assemblies, blocks and annotations, it does conveniently allow for drag and drop capability, saving time and effort in the design process.

Learning a new method or workflow always takes a measure of confidence that the initial effort in setup will bring real benefit. Utilizing the Design Library is just another example of that. Easily overlooked, it is especially helpful if you only have a single monitor to use with designing. By simply taking less than a minute to arrange, the Design Library can yield tremendous gains in finding the models you need quickly and efficiently, without ever having to leave the SolidWorks environment. 

The only question you might have after setting up and experiencing the advantage of using the Design Library to access folders is...  what will do you do with your added free time?!