Store your scribble and notes in Solidworks

My reseller told me that it is rare he see people actually using the Design binder, and checking some Solidworks file I have received, it is true that people are defiantly not writing there life stories in them, (what might be all good), however new Soldiworks users should know its existence(it can easily hide on you).

You can say that the design binder is like one of those old metal filling cabinets, but before we are going into detail, lets make sure it is turned on.

Go to Options=>System Options=>Feature Manager and set the drop down menu next to “Design binder” to “Show”. This should make the Design binder visible at the top of the feature manager tree.

When hitting the ‘+’ sign on the design binder you will find it contains a design journal that is a Microsoft Word document that is intended to be used as a engineering journal. The Design Journal contains heading for File Name, Description, and Material, you can also paste an images of you model. The rest is a place you could scribble your thoughts and prayers doing the design process such as “Check valve pressure before AX226 is added”or “check supplier for package material”.

The Journal is customizable, mine is located

C:\Program Files\Solidworks\lang\english=>journal.doc

By placing the cursor where you want your link and go “Insert”=>”Field”

You will get the Field Manager where if you scroll to “DocProperty” in Field Name, you will get a list of Field Properties there are linked back to your Solidworks Custom Properties.

The picture below is just a basic Design Journal, with a image pasted on there.

Another cool thing about the Design binder is the capabilities to attach or link documents right to your Solidworks file. Right click on the binder and choose attach.

As you can see on the picture above this works for all file types, and double click will actually open them, even your Mastercam file. This is a good way to organize and keeping handy the different documents and files that belong in relation to your assembly or model.

Mastercam do not currently offer anything like this, however there is a company named Verisurf that have made a free add on that lets you store notes inside a file in style with “notepad” it can be downloaded from emastercam.com if you register (You have to provide Sim number to join).

It is never a bad idea getting in a habit of leaving yourself or better yet people who is going to fellow up on your work some notes, and the Design binder could be a perfect place to start, now off course the next step would actually be getting people to look in it.


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  • Vance

    Should you expect to see a dramatic file size increase, even if the files are linked.

  • Vance

    Should you expect a dramatic increase in the file size, even if you just link the files to the design binder.

  • Lars Christensen

    Hi Vance,
    I linked a 32mb pdf document and that increased my assembly with 0.6mb, that ain’t bad.
    But I did attach (Not link) a Mastercam file to the Design Binder and saw my Solidworks assembly size increase the amount of the Mastercam file (what makes sence) then I deleted the attached Mastercam file from the design binder and did not see the Solidworks file go back down in size, ended up with a lot of garbage in that file.

  • Vance

    That’s what I was experiencing also.