Lightweight Drawings

Lightweight drawings are analogous to lightweight assemblies. By default, most assembly drawings open as lightweight, so only a subset of model data loads in memory. The remaining model data loads as required.

Performance of drawings of large assemblies improves significantly with lightweight drawings. Lightweight drawings are efficient because the full model data loads only as required.

With lightweight drawings, you can:
  • Create all types of drawing views
  • Attach annotations to models in views
  • Dimension models in views
  • Specify edge properties
  • Select edges and vertices
  • Set drawings of subassemblies to lightweight or resolved

If you print a lightweight drawing when it is out of synchronization with its model, the drawing prints with a watermark: SOLIDWORKS Lightweight drawing - Out-of-Date Print

Lightweight options are available when Manually manage resolved and lightweight modes is selected in system options. To select this option, click Tools > Options > System Options > Performance.

Setting Assembly Components

To set assembly components to lightweight or resolved:

Right-click a component and select Set to Lightweight or Set to Resolved.
When a component is lightweight, a feather appears on the part icon in the FeatureManager design tree.

Setting Drawing Views

To set drawing views to lightweight or resolved:

Right-click a drawing view and select Set Resolved to Lightweight or Set Lightweight to Resolved.
A feather in the FeatureManager design tree also indicates lightweight views .

Lightweight Drawing Exceptions

With some exceptions, assembly drawings are loaded as lightweight.

The following are loaded resolved:
  • Any component that contains a weldment part
  • Any component whose model items are imported into the drawing
  • Any component whose units differ from those of the drawing
  • Any component whose model is not updated to SOLIDWORKS 2009 or later