Before you pucker your lips up into your nasal cavity at the sight of something called Smart Components, take a breath. You’ll want to know about them if you haven’t used them already.

Smart Components automatically put features into parts when you mate them into assemblies. They take a little bit to set up, but the results simplify a lot of repetitive modeling and external references. Then there’s the issue of working with them in Large Assemblies. Nothing tells how to man-handle them…

…but you’re in luck. SolidSmack reader, Patrick Girvin, figured out how to trick SolidWorks into obeying your will when it comes to moving, grooving and organizing your Smart Components. Here’s how to do it…

The problem

Once a Smart Component (features and additional parts added) is mated into place and activated, you cannot move them into sub-assemblies, dissolve them or put them into folders.

The solution

To move Smart Components into sub-assemblies, dissolve them or put them into folders follow this 4-step process.

  1. Insert an empty assembly into your overall assembly that contain the smart components.
  2. Using the “reorganize components” tool, select the parts within the smart components in the feature manager.
  3. Move them into the empty sub-assembly.
  4. Dissolve the sub-assembly.

Voila! The smart component folders are now gone, but the associated features are still there, mates are still working, and if you move your Smart Components around, the associated in-context features update properly.

Thanks again to Patrick Girvin for sending this in!


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.