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Mass/Section Property Options

Use the Mass/Section Property Options dialog box to modify measurement units and the material density used by the Mass Properties and Section Properties tools.

To modify measurement units and material density:

Click Options in the Mass Properties or Section Properties dialog box, select from the following options, then click OK.


  • Scientific Notation. Select to display values in scientific notation (for example, 5.02e+004 for 50200).

  • Use document settings. Select to use the units and material properties defined in Document Properties.

If you want to change the units and material properties defined in Document Properties, click Tools, Options, then on the Document Properties tab, select:

    • Units. The units used for reporting mass properties are displayed under Mass/Section property units.

    • Material Properties. The density value is displayed under Density.

Changes made in Document Properties apply to all mass properties in the document, including those specified in custom properties in the Summary Information dialog box.

  • Use custom settings. Changes the units of measure used when reporting values in the Mass Properties and Section Properties dialog boxes:

    • Length. Select a unit of measure for properties that involve length. For example, if you select Centimeters, then Volume is reported in cubic centimeters, Surface Area is reported in centimeters^2, and moments of inertia are reported in <mass_unit> * square centimeters.

    • Mass. Select a unit of measure for properties that involve mass. For example, if you select grams, then Mass is reported in grams, Density is reported in grams per <volume_unit>, and moments of inertia are reported in grams * <square_length>.

    • Per unit volume. Select a unit of measure for the volume portion of the Density unit of measure. For example, if you select inches^3, then Density is reported in <mass_unit> per cubic inch.

    • Decimal places. Set number of decimal places to display.

These custom settings apply only to values related to the Mass Properties and Section Properties dialog boxes. They do not override document properties for any other mass property functions.

Material Properties

Density. When Use custom settings is selected in Units, you can type a value for Density. You can enter the density value using any units. For example, if the units of the part are grams and millimeters, you can enter a density value using pounds and inches. The software converts the value to the document’s units when you click OK.

Accuracy Level

Select one of the following:

  • Default mass/section property precision. Calculation used in versions previous to 2003 of the SolidWorks software.

  • Maximum property precision (Slower). Provides greater accuracy of the calculation, but the computation is slower.

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