What Is an Assembly in SolidWorks?

An assembly in SolidWorks is a powerful feature that allows you to bring together multiple parts and components to create a complete product. It is an essential tool for designing complex mechanical assemblies, providing a realistic representation of how all the parts fit and interact with each other.

Why Use Assemblies?

Assemblies offer several benefits:

  • Visual Representation: Assemblies provide a visual representation of how different parts come together to form a final product. This helps in understanding the overall structure and functionality.
  • Movement Simulation: With assemblies, you can analyze the movement and interaction of different components. This is particularly useful for mechanisms like gears or hinges.
  • Interference Detection: SolidWorks can automatically detect any interference or collision between parts within an assembly, helping you identify and resolve design conflicts.
  • BOM Creation: Assemblies enable the creation of Bill of Materials (BOM), which lists all the individual components required for manufacturing or procurement.

Creating an Assembly

To create an assembly in SolidWorks, follow these steps:

  1. Create or open the individual part files that make up your assembly.
  2. Select ‘New Assembly’ from the ‘File’ menu or click on the ‘New Assembly’ button in the toolbar.
  3. In the assembly environment, use features like ‘Insert Component’ to add parts into your assembly workspace. You can position and orient them as needed.
  4. To establish relationships between components, use tools like ‘Mate’ or ‘Align’. These tools help define how parts are connected, such as by coincident faces or concentric edges.
  5. Continue adding and positioning parts until your assembly is complete.

Working with Assemblies

Once you have created an assembly, you can perform various operations:

Moving and Rotating Components

To move or rotate components within an assembly:

  1. Select the component you want to move or rotate.
  2. Use the ‘Move Component’ command to translate or rotate the selected component. You can specify the desired distance, angle, or direction.

Creating Exploded Views

An exploded view shows how different components separate from their assembled position. To create an exploded view:

  1. Select ‘Exploded View’ from the ‘Assembly’ tab in the command manager.
  2. Select the components you want to include in the exploded view and define their separation distances and angles.

Performing Motion Analysis

SolidWorks allows you to simulate and analyze motion within assemblies. You can define motion constraints, apply forces or torques, and observe how components interact.


In summary, assemblies are a fundamental part of SolidWorks that enable designers to bring together multiple parts into a cohesive product. They provide a visual representation of how different components fit together and allow for movement simulation, interference detection, BOM creation, and more. By mastering assemblies in SolidWorks, you can design complex mechanical systems with precision and efficiency.