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How to use Configuration Tables in SOLIDWORKS

Wednesday May 25, 2022 at 11:00am

Configuration tables allow for the creation and modification of configurations all within one clear and simple interface.

Learn how to add, manage, and control features between configurations with configuration tables, and find out what useful feature is new and improved in SOLIDWORKS 2022!

Types of SOLIDWORKS Tables

SOLIDWORKS utilises a few different types of tables to help speed up the modelling process. Within the part and assembly environments we have tables to drive patterns, model sheet metal parts, show tolerances, BOMs, and create different configurations with Design Tables and Configuration Tables.

Design tables are Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and can be used to create multiple configurations with a few clicks.

Configuration tables are essentially an expanded Configuration Manager. They show configured features and sketches within a part or assembly and help to lay out individual settings for each configuration within one handy table.

How to use Configuration Tables

Configurations allow us to subtly change features and dimensions of a part without having to create a whole new file and our configuration tables allow us to manage these easily.

Within a configuration table, features can be suppressed and unsuppressed and dimensions can be altered in both sketches and features. Additionally, configuration and feature names can be changed to help aid the design process.

To create a configuration table, simply right click on a feature, dimension, mate, or component that you wish to configure and click Configure Feature, Configure Dimension, or Configure Component. This will bring up the interface above.

Values can be changed, features can be suppressed by ticking the checkboxes, and custom properties like descriptions can be added for each configuration, while viewing all the configurations that exist in a model.

Use the Hide/Show Custom Properties button to see and control all custom properties assigned to different configurations.

To configure additional features and dimensions, double click on the feature or dimension while the configuration table is open to add it to the table.

Additional configurations can be created by typing in a new name over < Creates a new configuration. >

Always name and save a configuration table to populate the tables folder in the Configuration Manager. Multiple configuration tables can be created to manage different features and sketches, and keep your designs organised.

Configuration Tables vs Add Configuration

Configuration tables give an added level of control over the manual way of creating configurations.

Being able to see all the differences between configurations within one interface makes the process of creating and editing configurations much quicker and reduces opportunities for mistakes.

The conventional way of creating new configurations by right clicking a configuration and selecting Add Configuration allows only for individual changes to be made one by one.

Configuration tables can also be more intuitive and user-friendly than their sibling design tables, and act as a springboard for getting to grips with the raw Excel-based method of design tables.

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2022?

Configuration tables have seen a useful upgrade in SOLIDWORKS 2022.

Under System Options > General, enable the setting to ‘Create configuration tables on open’. This will automatically create a configuration table inside parts and assemblies when adding new configurations.

Look in your tables folder in the Configuration Manager to find it.

In previous versions, tables need to be manually saved on creation to show and be accessed from the tables folder.

Want to see what else is new in SOLIDWORKS 2022? Head over to our What's New page and check it out.

Why not enhance your SOLIDWORKS skills and learn more by attending one of our CPD-accredited SOLIDWORKS training courses? Find one near you or attend virtually!

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