It’s a well-know fact that parasitic aliens love highly optimized part files in SolidWorks. It makes their job of attacking your nerve bundles to gain control over your salivary glands much, much easier.

And like parasitic aliens, configurations give you control over the parts that show up in your lovely ‘nerve bundles’ of SolidWorks Assemblies. So, we’re gonna show you how to plop that egg sack of configuration control into your workflow.

Deploy the egg…laying… thingy

How do you get a list of configurations after you insert a part into a SolidWorks Assembly? It’s oh, so simple. It’s also a question I keep getting. So, I’m gonna take care of it HERE and NOW.

How to Get Configurations to Show Up When Inserting a Model
If you have a part with configurations in SolidWorks and you want to see a list of configs to choose from when you put the part into an assembly, all you have to do is add the part to the design library.

If you want to do it quick, pull up the Task Pane (right side of screen), go to the design library and add a location, like your Desktop. If you want to do it right, add a shared network location and save your files there.

Now, when you drop the part in from the Design Library you get a list of configurations to choose from.

For even more options…

Check out the Configuration Publisher (debuted in SolidWorks 2010) that allows you to build a Property Manager for Configurations. If you use that, then you get the list, or options for creating configurations, in the PropertyManager. Slickness… but still needs development to get in all those things you love about MS eXcel.

So, guard your faces, the attack should begin momentarily.


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.