How to Easily Manage Large Assemblies with SOLIDWORKS

Users can manage the size of assemblies with Lightweight Mode and save them as eDrawings files.

When working with large assembly files, the rebuild time and overall performance of SOLIDWORKS can be less than optimal. A hefty file size can also make it difficult to share your designs with clients and reviewers.

However, there are ways to make your files smaller and easier to work with, as you can see in the video below.

In this video, we learned about SOLIDWORKS Lightweight Mode, and saving designs as an eDrawings File.

Opening your file with Lightweight Mode allows you to edit your design, but significantly reduces memory usage by loading only minimal data.

When the assembly is selected in the open dialogue box, you can choose to open your file with Lightweight mode from the ‘Mode’ dropdown menu, near the bottom of the dialogue box.

Remember that while using Lightweight Mode, components cannot be modified unless they are set to ‘resolved’ in the right click menu. This loads the remaining data only for the component you need to edit, reducing strain on your system for this operation.

By saving your designs as an eDrawings file, you can shrink a large file down to an effective size, making it easier to share with clients and reviewers. To do this, in the ‘Save As…’ dialogue box, change the file type to ‘.EASM’ (eDrawings Assembly File).

eDrawings files can be viewed by anyone with the eDrawings Viewer, which you can download for free here.

You can continue to develop your CAD, CAM & BIM skills by signing up for a free membership at

About Author

Sam Sanchez is an Applications Engineer with SolidProfessor and a CSWP. Sanchez is an alumni of UC San Diego, and in her free time enjoys 3D printing and hanging out with her dog Ruby. You can see more training videos on a wide range of CAD, CAM & BIM topics at