Using Large Design Review in SolidWorks 2012

Ricky Huynh

By Kelly Scott

One of the new features added in SolidWorks 2012 pertains specifically to working with large assemblies. 

Large Design Review (LDR) was created with the main focus on opening a very large assembly extremely quickly while keeping the memory footprint small.

Large Design Review allows you to do a top level review of a large design but also seamlessly move into opening and editing the assembly or subassemblies.


In the “Open” dialog, you will find it located with the options for selecting Lightweight, Resolved, or Large Assembly Mode.

With LDR, you will see a significant reduction in opening time for your large top level assemblies and the ability to open huge assemblies on computers with moderate hardware specs (you know, like the clunker in the conference room). You should note that this tool is meant for review purposes and not for full assembly design and editing. In addition to viewing, you can:

  1. Create section cuts quickly
  2. Take measurements
  3. Create walk-throughs and snapshots with comments to capture action items before or during a design review meeting
  4. Hide/show/filter components to help with visualization

Your Command Manager will change to reflect the options available to you in LDR mode.


 You can also use either “Open All” or “Selective Open” to edit sub-assemblies in Resolved or Lightweight mode.  This can be very helpful when you want to quickly view the top level assembly and then find the corresponding sub-assemblies you wish to open and edit.  After making the desired changes, come back to the Large Design Review assembly and select “LDR Update.”  You will then see the changes made update at the top level assembly. You will also notice the Feature Manager uses an eye icon over the part/assembly icon to let you know that the components are in LDR mode.


Your appearances tab will also change to a listing of your Snapshots and Walk-throughs.


Check out my colleague Brandon Loeb's Webinar Wednesday presentation on Large Design Review in SolidWorks 2012 for more tips and tricks.

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