A common issue I’ve come across lately is customers having issues with their models hanging whenever they make a change. The majority of the time when this happens it is a result of the model trying to rebuild after a change. Since SolidWorks rebuilds features sequentially from the top of the feature manager tree to the bottom, any change to a feature may cause subsequent features to have to rebuild. If any of those features are system intensive features such as large patterns for hole wizard features then the rebuild may take a considerable amount of time.
The fun part of this is figuring out what feature is bogging the system down. In large parts and assembly this can seem like trying to find a needle in a haystack! If it is a part, this isn't such a daunting task when you use Feature Statistics because it gives you directly how long it takes to rebuild each feature.
What if though this happens in a large assembly with hundreds of components. There is no Feature Statistics in assemblies, well at least not explicitly. I came across this the other day while troubleshooting an assembly that was taking forever to switch between configurations; a colleague brought up Assembly Visualization. This isn't a feature you normally think of to be used for troubleshooting but in this case it worked great! We did some digging and you can actually pick rebuild time as a parameter and then sort the components to find the components that is slowing down the rebuild. Once the component causing all the problems is found, Feature Statistics can be used from within that part to narrow it down to the individual feature!
After you track down that feature that is making your life so miserable you can explore other options to make it rebuild quicker; one such option is the Geometry Pattern...check it out here!
By: Chris Olson, Simulation Applications Engineer