SOLIDWORKS Composer Assembly Components missing fix

If your SOLIDWORKS Composer Assembly components are missing when trying to import a large assembly, this is the tutorial for you…

If you’re using SOLIDWORKS Composer, you’ll already know that it’s the perfect tool for creating high quality technical documentation like high-res images, vector graphics, bills of materials, videos & other interactive 3D content. If you work with large assemblies (and you’re reading this tutorial), chances are you’ve noticed that your SOLIDWORKS Composer Assembly components are missing when trying to import them. Take a look at the following two images for example.

How your large assembly looks in SOLIDWORKS


SOLIDWORKS Composer Assembly files missing fix 3


How it looks in SOLIDWORKS Composer


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SOLIDWORKS Composer Assembly components missing!


Before we can make sense of what’s going here, it’s important to understand what’s going on “under the hood”. Here’s what happens when SOLIDWORKS Composer opens a SOLIDWORKS file: SOLIDWORKS launches in the background, opens up the assembly, then converts it to a the native SOLIDWORKS Composer file type, which is called “.smg”.  If SOLIDWORKS is not on the same machine as SOLIDWORKS Composer, a SOLIDWORKS “Converter” is installed. This Converter is essentially SOLIDWORKS and it is doing the same thing in the background. However, it cannot be opened as a program in its own right.

How to fix missing SOLIDWORKS Composer Assembly components

The issue with missing SOLIDWORKS Composer Assembly components is all to do with how the SOLIDWORKS assembly is opened prior to it being converted to .smg format. The components must be fully resolved, and you must not be in Large Assembly Mode or Large Design Review Mode.

Why Assemblies are opened in Large Assembly or Large Design Review mode

In the SOLIDWORKS options you can toggle large assembly mode to be switched on automatically when you open an assembly with over x number of components. By default, Large Assembly Mode is set to 500, & large Design Review is set to 5000 and that number can be modified to suit your requirements.


SOLIDWORKS Composer Assembly files missing fix 3


Also, a SOLIDWORKS Assembly can be set to open referenced documents automatically in lightweight mode. Do this in System Options -> Performance as per the below image.


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If your components are opened when Lightweight, Large Assembly, or Large Design Review Mode is active, your assemblies will not import correctly into SOLIDWORKS Composer. Simply turning these options off prior to importing your assemblies into SOLIDWORKS Composer will negate this issue.

Large Assembly mode/Large Design Review and Lightweight Mode are very useful tools, so you may want to consider turning them back on after you’ve imported your file into SOLIDWORKS Composer. Keep in mind you will have to turn them back off again when updating the composer file too.

If you’re using the aforementioned SOLIDWORKS converter, you can’t open the program standalone, which means these options aren’t available. There is a workaround for turning these settings on and off through the Windows registry.

Rather than modifying the registry directly, the relevant keys can be downloaded directly from the knowledge base article S-053656 which can be found on the SOLIDWORKS customer portal. Alternatively you can call your SOLIDWORKS reseller for assistance with this. If you’re an Innova Systems customer on support, you can contact Innova Systems here.

We hope you found that useful!

Have you seen our blog archive where we have posted plenty of helpful articles? We also have a fantastic video library filled with easy-to-follow videos on a number of topics inspired by other SOLIDWORKS users – take a look. Also, don’t forget to follow Innova Systems on Twitter for daily bite size SOLIDWORKS tips, tricks and videos.