Working with Display States

Display States are a great way to control the visual properties of our models in SOLIDWORKS. Think of them as the visual settings’ sibling to configurations – we can create different display states of our assemblies to modify the visual settings of specific components. It seems most users do not take advantage of this versatile tool, so my job today is to inspire you to try it out.

USING SOLIDWORKS DISPLAY STATES TO SHOW INTERNAL COMPONENTS

What is a Display State…?

Let’s first talk about what can be controlled in a display state. You can define a custom combination of settings for visibility, appearance, display mode, and transparency of components within an assembly, and then save them in display states. Having these states available also allows for quick access to toggle back and forth between them without having to manually switch between parts. Display states are listed separately from configurations within the Configuration Manager tab for your SOLIDWORKS part or assembly.

DISPLAY STATES ARE STORED IN THE CONFIGURATION MANAGER TAB

How to Create a New Display State

1.Without anything being selected, right-click in the blank area in the Configuration Manager > click Add Display State

2. In the Feature Manager Design Tree > click the to the right of the tabs to show the Display Pane. Make changes here to define the new display state.

DISPLAY OPTIONS FOR DEFINING A DISPLAY STATE

Let’s try it…

I am going to create a new display state for a Miter Saw assembly which will only show the components associated with the blade in full color, while the remaining components will be transparent. The purpose of creating this display state is to easily view all blade components in relation to the rest of the head subassembly by simply toggling the new display state on. I followed the steps in the previous section to create a “Blade parts only” display state, and then modified the settings within the display pane to show only head components.

SETTINGS APPLIED FOR NEW DISPLAY STATE

Display States in Drawings

Good news – Display States can be toggled on and off within drawing views too! In your SOLIDWORKS Drawing file, simply bring the drawing view in focus and toggle between display states in the Property Manager.

TOGGLING DISPLAY STATES FOR DRAWING VIEWS

Pretty cool right?? There’s no limit to the combination of ways you can show off your assemblies. An application of using display states might involve color coding manufactured in-house versus purchased parts. Or perhaps you’d like to highlight the internal components of a large assembly for further clarity, as I did in the Miter Saw example. It is even possible to link display states to configurations! Crazy, right?

Try it out!

Explore what you can do with display states in your own SOLIDWORKS parts and assemblies, I’m sure you’ll quickly realize that it’s a very powerful tool to implement in your design process.