Backing up design files can save many hours in the event of a change. In the case of a SOLIDWORKS version update for instance, these files can be overwritten and with them hours of design time. For companies with network drives and servers, some of this may already be taken care of. But more likely to be over-looked are the file document customizations. These are the files like our drawing and part templates or sheet formats and bend tables. Where are these stored and how do we back them up?
Common customized files include sheet formats, templates, design library items and of course toolbox data. Some of these may be stored on a shared drive or PDM system like SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM (EPDM) but if not, the following listed locations should be checked. Watch the video below on our YouTube Channel or follow these steps.
Sheet Formats are the blocks and static properties in drawings. These customizations usually get thrown in with the rest for these. Check the Program Data folder on the main local disk for this one. It may be hidden in which case we need to show hidden files and folders to find it.
To Show Hidden Folders on Win 7, select Computer (From Start menu) then choose the Organize Tab. Next select Folder and Search Options > View Tab > Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives.
To Show Hidden Folders on Win 8, Search for Control Panel from the main serach bar. Then type folder in the CP search bar. Click on show hidden files and folders -> View Tab -> Check show hidden files and folders
Once you've located the Program Data folder on the local disk, follow this folder path: SOLIDWORKS > SOLIDWORKS 2015 > Lang > English > Sheet Format.
Copy the Sheet Format folder to a new safe location.
Templates allow for both custom document settings and pre-loaded features. The place to find these is inside the Program Data folder then SOLIDWORKS > SOLIDWORKS 2015 > Templates.
Note: In some cases templates also appear in the Tutorial folder in Program files. Check the path below to double check. If they are not, double check the file locations tab of system options to see.
Program Files > SOLIDWORKS Corp > SOLIDWORKS > Lang > English > Tutorial
Sheet Metal Tables (Bend and Gauge) and Weldment Profiles
To back up Sheet Metal Tables and Weldment Profiles, go to Program Files > SOLIDWORKS Corp > SOLIDWORKS > Lang > English.
Copy the English folder to include the following and other custom data:
- Sheet Metal Gauge Tables
- Sheet Metal Bend Tables
- Weldment Profiles
The Design Library includes pre-loaded parts and files as well as custom user data. This is a tool that can save time in so many replicated cases of modeling design. By saving a feature, part or sketch in the library, it is quickly accessible at any time during part or assembly modeling.
The default location for this is in the Program Data folder on the local drive. Follow this path: Program Data > SOLIDWORKS > SOLIDWORKSversion > Design Library
Toolbox data includes everything from pre-loaded hardware and hole sizes to customized properties and parts.The toolbox is a topic of concern for many users especially in a collaborative work space. Making sure this is backed-up can save a lot of headache later on. This houses things like hardware standards and hole wizard options.
The default location for this is the root of the local disk in a folder called SOLIDWORKS Data.
Usually located on the Local Disk C: > SOLIDWORKS Data.
Once each of these has been copied to the new location—whether it be a network or local drive—we can reference the new spot for each folder. This is done to prevent a loss of data during a major version upgrade. To access that browse to System Options > File Locations. For each of the entries (except toolbox) choose from the drop-down menu and pick the new location.
Written by Mike Strand
Mike Strand works with both the Marketing and the Application Engineering team at Alignex, Inc. During the week he attends engineering events, edits YouTube videos and writes posts for the Alignex Blog. On the weekend you’ll find Mike driving ATVs, snowmobiling and building tools like a cantilever lifting hoist.