solidworks tipsWith all the crazy stuff going on in the world it’s kinda nice to get away once in a while from the all the busyness and concentrate on the details that really matter, like catching up with old friends, spending time with family and cleaning up your part geometry.

Yes, I know cleaning up your part geometry is always on your mind and working in assemblies can be a pain, especially the big ones. If only there was a tool that would make it easier. There is and I find myself using it more and more. It’s the SolidWorks Isolate Tool and its here to bring a little clarity to the wonderful world of 3D CAD bliss.

This was actually added in SolidWorks 2007 to help out when working in Assemblies and it couldn’t be more simple to use.

Seeing through a mess of a part
I use this a lot to clean up parts in top-down assemblies and for product reviews. It saves a little time having to open a part or switch between the part and the assembly to see what’s going on.

To use it, just right-click on the part on the screen or in the FeatureManager and select Isolate.


What just happened?
This changes the visibility of the other parts to show you only the part you’ve selected. If you want to isolate more than one part, just Ctrl-select or window-select the parts you need, right-click and select Isolate.

The box that pops up gives you several option. You can change the visibility of the hidden parts to wireframe or transparent, and additionally save the view as a Display State. This would help if your doing a lot of top-down design or conceptualizing in the assembly.


Even with the other parts in the assembly shown as transparent or wireframe, using this can bring more clarity to what your working on.

Extra Bonus
Since you can save these as Display States you can use views of your assembly for things like:

  • Provide product views to Technical Publication
  • Set up Display State for Design Reviews
  • Quickly set up Assembly Construction Views
  • Use along with Exploded Views to Display internal components

There’s probably a lot more you can do with this as well. Try it out if you haven’t already.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.