The SolidWorks Treehouse tool often gets overlooked with so many other enhancements and new tools being added to the SolidWorks suite recently. With minimal setup Treehouse is a great way to plan and even reuse assembly structures across multiple engineering projects. This tech tip will cover the basic setup and export of an assembly structure into SolidWorks.
To open SolidWorks Treehouse go to Start > Programs > SolidWorks (version) > SolidWorks Tools > SolidWorks Treehouse (version)
You’ll start with a blank canvas like this with only the available templates, file menus, and an options button.
First the options can be updated to the appropriate template folder location along with a few preference options.
The options menu allows changes to the display of the structure along with setting the folder for the SolidWorks templates that will be used for the structure.
Once you have set you’re preferences and template folder location the menu along the left of the window should reflect your available templates for parts, assemblies, and drawings. To begin hover over the assembly template and the available SolidWorks template files will be shown in the menu like below. Click and drag the desired template(s) to the center of the window.
Here we started with the assembly and dropped it into place. Now a part can be added to the assembly file by dragging it out into the window to the assembly icon.
Now that the structure has been started the templates have options available to setup configurations, custom properties, and file names.
Adding or Modifying Configurations
On the template icon the configuration button will bring up the Configurations Menu allowing configurations to be added or removed as needed.
Updating Custom Properties
The next button down opens the SolidWorks custom property menu. Here the Document Name and
Here the Document Name and Summary information can be added to the files. All of this information will propagate to the new Assembly and Part files when they are created from the Treehouse template. Custom Properties can be edited based on what is available in your template files as well as configuration specific custom properties.
Finished Assembly Structure
With the properties updated and file names assigned the finished structure is ready to use. The drawing file icons can be collapsed back to the part or assembly template by hitting the X in the corner. While the typical Windows use makes this seem to be closing or deleting the drawing it simply shifts the icon back to the parent icon.
Creating the SolidWorks Files
Creating the SolidWorks files to match the structure of the Treehouse template is a simple export from the top menu shown here.
This will bring up the folder selection dialog for where the files will be saved to.
Once the location has been chosen Treehouse will open SolidWorks and create the files and structure in the chosen folder. With the export complete the top level assembly now has all of the sub-assemblies with the part files structured. Inside of the chosen folder there will also be all of the associated drawings to the components as well.
That’s all there is to it. Treehouse is a simple way to plan out small or large projects in advance to communicate to other team members or even for setting up CAD standards within the engineering department.