Applying Material to all components of assembly (Advanced Selection Filters)

Sometimes when modeling, the realization that you did not apply materials to components kicks in when you have gotten pretty far along in the design process. At the top level assembly, everything should have the same material for mass properties, but since there are sub-assemblies, a Shift+Select of all the components will not work.


Cannot apply materials when assemblies are selected

If you could select all the parts, you could Right Click and set a material for them all, but going through all the sub-assemblies can be tedious and you may miss some.


You can open the feature tree and manually select the parts, then apply materials, but this make be tedious based on the complexity of your model.


This example would be simple, but with multiple sub-assemblies, this task may take a while and you risk missing some components

Fortunately for us, using Advanced Select, we can quickly grab all the parts and apply the material. My assembly model is greatly simplified, but this works great with complex assemblies.

First, you want to create an advanced selection. Do this by selecting the drop down menu associated with the mouse cursor on the top of your screen by default. Then select the "Advanced Select..."



A new window appears that lets you search. For this specific case, we want to select all the parts, so we are going to select "Document Name -- SW Special" under the 'Category1' column. This will gray out the 'Category2' column. Then set the condition to "Contains" and type in "SLDPRT" under the value. This will cause SOLIDWORKS to search the document name for sldprt, the file extension for all parts.


You can also use this for many other filtered selections, and SOLIDWORKS has a few already filtered results listed (Hidden Components, Suppressed, etc...) but for this article we are sticking to SOLIDWORKS part files

Selecting "Apply" will grab all the results for the criteria, but you can also save this search and it will be saved to your system options so you can make the same selection at a later time.


Name and save the search.


When you go back to the selection drop down, the saved search results will be listed under Advanced Select

Regardless if you save it or not, hitting apply or the saved search will result in all the parts within the assembly being selected. You can now right click on any of them and apply the desired material to all the parts simultaneously.



If you have any further questions regarding this topic, please contact Hawk Ridge Systems technical support at 877.266.4469  (US) or 866.587.6803  (Canada) or email us at

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