The SOLIDWORKS Toolbox is a valuable part of SOLIDWORKS Professional and is a great asset to increase efficiency and leverage industry standards. This universal tool is best used companywide with everyone setup the same way. We will be covering the top 4 startup tips to get SOLIDWORKS Toolbox running smoothly.
Here is the top 4 list:
- Specify a common location for the Toolbox folder
- Include Toolbox into your upgrade plans
- Utilize Admin Images for toolbox deployment from the start
- Control Toolbox access and permissions
TIP #1: Specify a common location for the Toolbox folder
By default, when installing SOLIDWOKRS, a toolbox folder is created for you under this location, “C:\SOLIDWORKS Data”.
Even though this toolbox can be used if left like this, it is recommended to move and save this toolbox folder to a network location or even better, a PDM vault.
Here are the steps to move your toolbox folder for a network location or PDM:
Step 1: Open your File explorer and browser to “C:\”
Step 2: Locate your “SOLIDWORKS Data” Folder and right-click on the folder to select “Cut”
Step 3: Paste it in your desired location on a network drive or PDM vault view, where your other SOLIDWORKS users can access it.
For PDM vault view only, please right click on the folder after moving the folder to check-in the whole folder and then login to the PDM admin tool for you vault > SOLIDWORKS Node > Toolbox Node and follow the screenshot below.
(Note – steps 1 to 3 only need be done once for your whole company)
Step 4: For all SOLIDWORKS users, launch the SOLIDWOKRS program and in the taskbar go to “Tools” > “Options”.
Step 5: Select “Hole Wizard/Toolbox” in the left column menu and then select “…” to browse to the new toolbox folder location. Once complete, select “OK’ and close your SOLIDWOKRS software to save the changes.
TIP #2: Include Toolbox into your upgrade plans
Often people forget that the toolbox database needs to be upgraded as well when doing a SOLIDWORKS version upgrade and will get an error within SOLIDWORKS.
The SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager will automatically do this for you if it detects the toolbox, however there are scenarios where you must do it manually such as if the toolbox resides in a PDM vault.
We will discuss how to run the toolbox database upgrade tool manually:
Step 1: If the toolbox folder you need to update is within a PDM vault, please make sure all the toolbox files are checked-in by all users and then check-out the “swbrowser.sldedb” file.
Step 2: Browse to the following location, C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS\Toolbox\data utilities
Step 3: Right-Click on “UpdateBrowserDatabase.exe” and select “Run as administrator”
Step 4: Select “…” to browse to the toolbox folder and then select “Update”.
Step 5: If your toolbox is in a PDM vault, please check-in the “swbrowser.sldebd” file to complete the upgrade
TIP #3: Utilize Admin Images for toolbox deployment from the start
Earlier in this post, we discussed how you can add a toolbox folder to a shared location. However, you would need to go to each computer to update the toolbox location within SOLIDWORKS.
If you want to streamline this process, it’s recommended that the toolbox location first be added to a shared network location or a PDM vault and then utilize an Admin Image to point to that toolbox location for client installation deployment.
To keep this article short, I will only be highlighting the area in the Admin Image where this toolbox option can be found (see below). If you’re interested in a full guide on setting up admin images, please search online for the “Official SOLIDWORKS Installation Guide”.
Step 1: Launch the “sldAdminOptionEditor.exe” and click “Change”
Step 2: Scroll down to the “Toolbox/Hole Wizard Options” section and select “Browse” to select the correct toolbox folder and select “No, install the Toolbox software without including the data files”
Note: The “No, install the Toolbox software without including the data files” will allow for faster installs and reduce the installation space required, as the SOLIDWORKS Data folder will not be installed
TIP #4: Controlling Toolbox access and permissions
The toolbox is your engineering team’s library and configurator of hardware. You can configure new sizes, add supplier information and other custom properties such as material type.
There are times where you would want to restrict who has permission to make changes to this. We will review how you can manage access and permissions for both a toolbox stored in a folder location and a PDM vault location.
For a toolbox stored in a folder location (not PDM Vault)
Step 1: From Windows, click Start > All Programs > SOLIDWORKS version > SOLIDWORKS Tools > Toolbox Settings
Step 2: Select “4. Set Permissions”
Step 3: Select “Create / Change” to set your password, which will require the user to input a password whenever the toolbox is modified
For a toolbox stored in a PDM Vault
To setup who can view vs. who can view/edit the toolbox, your PDM admin can go into the administration tool and set the following permissions for the PDM groups:
The following SOLIDWORKS PDM state and folder permissions are required to access and configure Toolbox:
- For read/write access and Toolbox configuration:
- Add or rename file
- Check out file
- Read file contents
- Show working versions of files
- For read-only access:
- Read file contents
- Show working versions of files
Toolbox Best Practices
Thank you for coming to DesignPoint’s Resource Library to learn how to maintain your SOLIDWORKS Toolbox. This is a valuable part of your SOLIDWORKS software, and we are here to help you get the most out of it. Please call in to our support line today if you are having any issues (1-844-721-7211×3). No matter how much you already are getting out of SOLIDWORKS and your partnership with DesignPoint always remember that More is Possible®.