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How To: Improve Model Generation Performance (KB22051001)

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How To: Improve Model Generation Performance

The time it takes to generate parts, assemblies and drawings is dependent on SOLIDWORKS.

However, there are some settings that can be applied that will help to make model generation as performant as possible.

SOLIDWORKS System Options

Please ensure the recommended settings, outlined in the topic SOLIDWORKS System Options, are maintained on each machine that will generate SOLIDWORKS files.


General Modeling Techniques

There are many modeling techniques available that will all arrive at the same result.

However, some methods are more efficient than others.

As a rule, keep models as streamlined as possible, avoid overloading models and set the master models to be the most commonly configured sizes.

This will allow DriveWorks to perform the minimum modifications to the models and therefore be quicker in doing so.

Suppress/Delete or Insert Component

Suppression and deletion can be time consuming as SOLIDWORKS will attempt to recalculate the component(s) whenever a change is made.

When a part has many features that are suppressed or deleted, explore if utilizing a more streamlined Replacement Model is a more suitable method.

Suppressing captured Features and Instances in the master model, will speed up loading time.

Image Quality

The quality SOLIDWORKS renders curved surfaces (for models) and displays model edges (in drawings) will impact model generation performance dramatically.

These settings determine how many triangles make up each face of the model.

Reducing the Image Quality of your SOLIDWORKS Models will decrease file size and the workload on a machines graphics card.

This will improve loading and generation time of each file.

Open the captured SOLIDWORKS file, and:

  1. Click Options.
  2. Select the Document Properties tab from the Options window.
  3. Select Image Quality from the list of Document Properties.
  4. From the Shaded and draft quality HLR/HLV resolution section:
    • Adjust the slider towards the Low (faster) direction, until a suitable deviation is found.
    • Ensure Optimize edge length (higher quality, but slower) is not selected.
    • Check the option (if applicable) Apply to all referenced part documents (assemblies only).
    • Ensure Save tessellation with part document (parts only) is not selected.

      When cleared, file size is reduced (often significantly), but the model is not displayed when the file is opened in view-only mode or eDrawings Viewer.

  5. (Captured Drawings only) From the Wireframe and high quality HLR/HLV resolution section:
    These settings control the image quality of model edges in drawings, when Draft Quality HLR/HLV is turned off (for views that are not displayed as shaded).
    • Adjust the slider towards the Low (faster) direction, until a suitable resolution is found.
    • Ensure Precisely render overlapping geometry (higher quality, but slower) is not selected.
    • Ensure Improve curve quality at higher settings is not selected.

View Settings

The following view settings, for models, can add additional strain on a graphics card:

  • RealView Graphics
  • Shadows in Shaded Mode
  • Ambient Occlusion
  • Perspective
  • Cartoon

Turning these options off or having them on a reduced level setting can help improve generation time as models will open and save quicker.

Display Style

The Display Style each captured model is saved in could improve generation performance.

For example using Shaded With Edges, on a model with many edges, requires more resources than a model that uses Shaded only.

Similarly, using one of the unshaded options (Hidden Lines Removed, Hidden Lines Visible or Wireframe) could speed up the loading of that model.

If any models required Shaded With Edges to be applied for any additional file format being created, do not adjust the Display Style.


Remove unnecessary Textures applied to any model.

Window Sizing

Making the SOLIDWORKS window much smaller than the maximized setting has a positive effect on generation performance.

When generating automatically, through Autopilot, the last open window size will be used.

Making the SOLIDWORKS window much smaller than the maximized setting has a positive effect on generation performance.

Reducing window size will have an impact on the size of the image created when using Additional File Formats and the Create Image Generation Task.

Rebuild Errors

Avoid rebuild errors in any resulting driven Part or Assembly.

Dangling Dimensions

Avoid dangling dimensions or annotations in resulting driven Drawings.

See Info: Dangling Dimensions for more information.

Upgrading SOLIDWORKS Version

Ensure the master models and drawings, being driven by DriveWorks, have been saved in the current major version of SOLIDWORKS that is in use.


The following settings, applied in DriveWorks, will also help with model generation performance.

To access DriveWorks settings please see Settings.


Batch delete instances and components

Ensure the setting Batch delete instances and components is enabled.

This can have a very significant impact on model generation time.

Batch delete will allow DriveWorks to select all the elements and delete them in a single command.

This is more performant than individually selecting each element and deleting.

Reporting Level

Reduce the reporting level to Minimal, reporting on every action will add to the generation time.

The higher reporting levels (Normal and Verbose) should be used during testing only.

Model Generation Reporting Level is required to be set on each machine that can generate models.

SOLIDWORKS Settings (for Autopilot)

The health of SOLIDWORKS can cause performance issues if the current session has been active for a long period or many files have been generated.

DriveWorks Autopilot has some specific settings for restoring the health of SOLIDWORKS.

Restart SOLIDWORKS after...

This allows SOLIDWORKS to release its short-term memory.

We recommend setting this to 15 models as a starting point.

This may need to increase if smaller, more efficient component sets are being generated.

It may need to decrease if larger more laborious component sets are being generated.

Multiple DriveWorks Autopilots

Further DriveWorks Autopilot modules can be added to increase throughput from Specifications that have been made.

Additionally, DriveWorks Autopilot has the ability to target component sets that have had a Tag applied.

This can help manage model generation when two or more DriveWorks Autopilot are available.

For example, tagging component sets will allow a specific Autopilot to be responsible for generating models from a specific User or Team.