How to Promote Your Children in a SolidWorks BOM

June 24th, 2011

Here at 3DVision we don’t shy away from opportunities to promote our family members or draw inspiration from our children. So I am taking the theme and running with it.

After downloading Craig Thierren’s SolidWorks World presentation on “Understanding Large Assemblies and Drawings“, you may have decided to create more sub-assemblies in your large assembly file for the purpose of improving performance on your computer. The performance improves because the mates in a sub-assembly are not solved during a rebuild unless necessary, unlike mates for top-level components that get solved every time the assembly is rebuilt. Less mates to solve upon rebuild = less time to rebuild = more happiness in your life.

However, when creating the Bill of Materials (BOM) for the top-level assembly, you are not really interested in listing the sub-assembly in the BOM, since it was only created to improve performance and not as part of your manufacturing workflow. You have 2 options to remove the sub-assembly and promote the components in the BOM:

1) After creating the BOM in the drawing, display the assembly structure column by clicking on the left-side handle of the BOM (has the three arrows), right-click in the sub-assembly cell and choose ‘Component Options’. Under ‘Child Component’, you can Promote the child components of the sub-assembly, which removes the sub-assembly structure from the BOM table and promotes the child components to the parent level.

Promote component in BOM


2) In the sub-assembly itself, pull up the properties of the configuration you will use in the drawing and choose to promote the child components of the assembly when it is used as a sub-assembly. The benefit of this option is that it will automatically promote the child components in the BOM and it will behave this way in any drawing.

Promote component in assembly

See the help file for more details and enjoy!

Chris Snider

Application Engineer, CSWE 3DVision Technologies

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2 Responses to “How to Promote Your Children in a SolidWorks BOM”

  1. eric wilde says:

    I’ve tried to get this to work several times but all I get is an asterik in the balloon for the item and non of the sub-components show up in the bom.
    If I dont have the bom inserted and just put balloons then theres a number assigned but it goes away as soon as I insert a (solidworks) bom.

    I have only one config for the sub-assy and I’ve tried having it resolved as flexible’ and ‘rigid’ in the top assy.

    My tech support had no idea what I was talking about when I tried calling them.

    any ideas? How do you get this to work?

  2. csnider says:

    eric wilde, I discovered a couple of limitations here that might be at issue for you.

    1) If you promote a sub-assembly (A) that has a sub-assembly (A.1), the balloons for A.1 will show with an asterisk, but the item number will still list properly in the BOM. You have to also promote A.1 to get the balloons to update. I don’t think this is intended functionality.

    2) If you are using the ‘Indented’ BOM type, notice that it only allows you to choose one configuration. So if your top level assembly and sub assembly are using different configuration names, and and you specify the top assembly configuration name, the sub assembly (with the different config name) will not show in the BOM and you will get an asterisk in any balloons that existed prior to the promotion.

    I think #2 is your issue.
    Have your VAR attach you to SPR 532072 and use the same configuration names if you can as a workaround.

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