At the center of all that is possible within a SolidWorks assembly model sits the standard bearer of complicated surface geometry villainy… a component that won’t let the darn thing load.

Who knows what it is – CPU, OS, RAM, imported parts, geometry bunions or maybe a new user that patterned his name on every surface. Regardless, there are times when you need to load an assembly model, instead of watching it load and crash. There are a few things you can do. A SpeedPak is another.

SolidWorks SpeedPaks can alleviate the deep emotional abrasion of big-ass assembly modeling and make those assemblies perform more like you want them to. Here’s how to rock it.

We mentioned SpeedPaks back in the SolidWorks 2010 review where they finally gained the ability to be created on Assemblies which have sub-assemblies with SpeedPaks. Here’s an example of a very large aircraft galley assembly that has a SpeedPak applied to it.

The large assembly model in SolidWorks. It's big. Everything is visible, but this is a SpeedPak configuration. What's speedPaked?
The large assembly model in SolidWorks. It's big. Everything is visible, but this is a SpeedPak configuration. What's speedPaked?
The entire structure of the aircraft is added in the SpeedPak configuration, (you can see it ghosted in the upper right corner of the galley model) so it doesn't load, but is still visible.
The entire structure of the aircraft is added in the SpeedPak configuration, (you can see it ghosted in the upper right corner of the galley model) so it doesn't load, but is still visible.

Adding a Speedpak configuration was the only way the top Installation assembly of this model was able to be opened. How do you add a SpeedPak? Simple:

  1. Go to the configuration tab on the FeatureManager
  2. Right-click on a configuration
  3. Select Add SpeedPak
Righ-click a configuration to add a SpeedPak
Righ-click a configuration to add a Speedpak
Select the faces or bodies you want to INCLUDE (i.e. load into memeory)
Select the faces or bodies you want to INCLUDE (i.e. load into memory)

Some tips:

  • You may need to start at a lower level sub-assembly and build SpeedPaks into those before opening the main assembly.
  • Only include bodies or faces in a SpeedPak that you want to select or dimension.
  • Set up SpeedPaks for your common parts, assemblies and installations so you can show everything you want to.
  • Use the same configuration for SpeedPaks throughout the company (i.e. Default or another)

Do you use SpeedPaks? I’d prefer the model would just load without having to do special operations to reduce the time it takes to open and view the model. The hardware just isn’t there and it’s likely software is going to keep pushing against hardware limits, so having the option is definitely useful.

Author

Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, 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.