SolidWorks: Property Tab Builder
In this blog, we will be discussing the SolidWorks Property Tab Builder. The property tab builder allows the user to build preset properties that can be loaded into parts and assemblies. We will also look at how to integrate these into the SolidWorks Properties Tab, and some of the convenient ways to use the SolidWorks Properties Tab.
Property Tab Builder
To locate the Property Tab Builder, click on the Start Menu, scroll down until you find the folder called SolidWorks 2018 Tools, expand that folder and select the Property Tab Builder 2018.
Figure 1: Start Menu
Once the application is open, it should look like so:
Figure 2: Property Tab Builder
On the left-hand side of the window are the various elements that can be used to enter part property attributes. We break these down into further detail below. To add an element to the customer properties tab, click and drag the element into the Custom Properties column. Throughout this blog, we will be showing examples of how certain elements can be used in the workforce.
A groupbox is a feature that allows the user to group elements together within the Custom Properties and create sub-headings by dragging the elements into the desired groupbox area.
Figure 3: Groupbox
The textbox field is used if you wish for the user to type in a value.
Figure 4: Textbox
The caption is what will appear as the title of the data entry box within the Customer Properties Tab. The name of the custom property attribute is what the inserted text will be assigned to within the part. The value is what the customer will be inputting when filling out the customer properties.
In this example, we will be using the textbox field to enter a part number the user wishes to assign to the part, as shown in the image below.
Figure 5: Textbox Information
The list element can be used to create a drop-down list for the user to select from a variety of values.
Figure 6: List
One example of how to use the list element is by having the user select what category the component can fall under. In this case, the user has the option to select Manufactured, Purchased, or Fastener.
Figure 7: List Properties
A number element is a useful tool for a user to increase or decrease a numerical counter for the desired attribute.
Figure 8: Number
One example of using the number element is by creating a counter for the desired quantity of a part to be manufactured, whether there are more than one in an assembly or a replacement part is desired. The image below shows the use of using the number element for BOM quantities.
Figure 9: Number Properties
Another custom property element that can be used is the checkbox.
Figure 10: Checkbox
An example of the checkbox is using it as a Yes or No indicator. In this case, we are using it as an indicator for the user to identify whether the component is constructed out of sheet metal or not.
Figure 11: Checkbox Properties
The radio button element is very similar to that of the checkbox, but it can allow the user to select from a variety of variables.
Figure 12: Radio Button
A popular practice in the sheet metal industry is to indicate the surface class of a part. We used different surface classes as the variables for the radio button element as shown below.
Figure 13: Radio Button Properties
Once all the elements and attributes you wish to include have been added to the custom properties, save the file to your desired location. You can save the file as a part, assembly, drawing, or weldment custom property file by changing the type under the Control Attributes column.
Figure 14: Property Types
SolidWorks Property Tab
If you open a new part using the templates provided by SolidWorks, the part properties should be blank like so:
Figure 15: Blank Part Properties
Now go through and link the file location of the custom property files to the location where you save the custom part property file. Once that is completed, go to the Custom Properties Tab on the right-hand side of the screen. You should see the part properties we created in the property tab builder.
Figure 16: Custom Properties Tab
Now fill out the elements within the tab as shown below and click apply.
Figure 17: Custom Properties Tab Information
If we go back to our part properties, they should include all the information we added to the custom properties tab.
Figure 18: Part Properties Populated
The custom property files are a great tool for implementing part properties into STEP files that you have downloaded, or even for updating the properties of a file that might be out of date. This is a more efficient method than copying part properties from one file to another.
That’s all for now! You now know the basics to create a custom property file. If you like the content or have questions, signup for our email list to stay in the loop for solutions or weekly content. Cheers!