SolidWorks: Freeze Bar
If you work with large, complex assemblies in SolidWorks then it’s likely that you’ve experienced lengthy rebuild times. Or, worse yet, a set of unwanted updates that occurred while rebuilding a part or assembly. Fortunately, SolidWorks has a feature known as the Freeze Bar which can help with both issues.
First things first, you’ll have to make sure the Freeze Bar is enabled on your computer. Go to the options window, which can be located under Tools → Options, or by selecting the gear icon to the right of the save button at the top of your window. Under the System Options tab, on the General page ensure the selection box for “Enable Freeze bar” is checked.
When you open a part file, you should now see a yellow bar at the top of your feature tree. This is your Freeze Bar.
You can now drag this down into your feature tree. Any features above its placement will now be “frozen”. This will be signified by a lock symbol next to the features and this freeze will be applied across all configurations of a part.
For the example provided in the image above, now no features above the Cut-Extrude5 will rebuild regardless of what changes are made. Even if the features are referenced to another part within an assembly that is updated, they will remain as is until the Freeze Bar is moved back above the feature. This tool is best utilized as you are creating individual parts of an assembly. Once you have a part to a point in which you don’t want the features to change you can implement the freeze bar. Otherwise, once you have your assembly to a point at which you are content, you will have to go into each individual part file and place the freeze bar where desired. If you are working with large complex assemblies, this could be very time consuming.
If you edited your part within the assembly in reference to another part, froze the features, and then changed the part which you referenced to, you will see a rebuild symbol next to your frozen part.
Even if you rebuild the assembly, this symbol will remain, as the frozen part has not been rebuilt to reflect the updates. When you open the frozen part, the rebuild symbol can be seen next to the features that would be affected by the updates if the freeze bar was taken back and the part was rebuilt.
Whether it is to save you from the frustration of lengthy rebuilds or unintentional changes, the Freeze Bar is a tool that can save you time and stress on any SolidWorks project.