How Do You Create a Bill of Materials in SolidWorks?

Creating a Bill of Materials (BOM) in SolidWorks is an essential step in the product development process. A BOM is a comprehensive list of all the components, parts, and materials required to build a product.

It provides crucial information like quantities, part numbers, and descriptions, making it an indispensable tool for manufacturers, engineers, and designers. In this article, we will explore the steps involved in creating a BOM using SolidWorks.

Step 1: Assembling the Components

To create a BOM in SolidWorks, you first need to assemble your components into an assembly file. An assembly file is a collection of parts that make up your final product. Each part within the assembly should be properly positioned and oriented relative to one another.

Tip: Organize Your Components

Before starting the assembly process, it’s essential to organize your components efficiently. Group related parts together and name them appropriately for easy identification later on.

Step 2: Inserting a BOM Table

Once you have your assembly ready, it’s time to insert a BOM table into your SolidWorks drawing sheet. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open your drawing sheet where you want to add the BOM.
  2. Go to “Insert” in the menu bar.
  3. Select “Tables” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Choose “Bill of Materials.”
  5. A dialog box will appear with various options for customizing your BOM table.

Tip: Customizing Your BOM Table

SolidWorks allows you to customize your BOM table according to your specific requirements. You can choose which columns to display, arrange them in a preferred order, and add custom properties if needed. This flexibility ensures that your BOM accurately represents the information you need.

Step 3: Populating the BOM

After inserting the BOM table, it’s time to populate it with the necessary information. SolidWorks offers two methods to populate your BOM:

  • Automatic: In this method, SolidWorks automatically extracts the required information from your assembly file. It includes part numbers, quantities, and descriptions based on how you have configured your components.
  • Manual: If you prefer more control over the BOM content, you can populate it manually. You can add or remove rows and columns as needed and enter the information directly into the table.

Tip: Updating Your BOM

As your design evolves or changes occur in your assembly, it’s crucial to keep your BOM up to date. Fortunately, SolidWorks simplifies this process by offering automatic updates. Whenever you make changes to your assembly, simply update the drawing sheet containing the BOM table, and SolidWorks will reflect those changes accordingly.

Step 4: Formatting and Styling

To make your BOM more visually engaging and organized, you can apply formatting and styling options available in SolidWorks. These options include:

  • Bold Text: Use bold text for important columns like part numbers or descriptions to make them stand out.
  • Underlined Text: Underline critical information like quantities or total counts for easy reference.
  • Subheaders: Use subheaders (<h3>, <h4>, etc.) to group related sections within your BOM, such as different assemblies or subassemblies.
  • Lists: Use bullet points (<ul>) and list items (<li>) to present information in a clear and concise manner. For example, you can create a list of materials required for each component or subassembly.

Tip: Consistency is Key

While formatting your BOM, ensure consistent use of styling elements throughout the table. This will enhance readability and make it easier for others to understand the information presented.

In conclusion, creating a Bill of Materials in SolidWorks is a crucial step in the product development process. By following the steps outlined above and utilizing formatting options like bold text, underlined text, lists, and subheaders, you can create an informative and visually engaging BOM. Remember to keep your BOM updated as your design evolves, ensuring accurate representation of the components and materials required for your product.