Have you found that some of your SolidWorks files have just been getting bigger and bigger? No, it’s not because your files have been snacking on all of those computer cookies.
The problem is due to excess display data. Basically the files are so concerned about how they used to look, they’re not concerned about how big they’re getting. What used to be a light file is now a 140MB behemoth. Like anything trying to move something heavy, SolidWorks (and likely your network) will bog down under all that weight.
I recently had a customer that had a 50Mb file that was a sheet metal plate with 4 bends and about 20 slots. The older version of the file was about 5MB, but every time he saved the file it gained 300-500KB. Even with 8GB of memory, his computer would slow to a crawl when any assembly with parts like that was running.
The good news is, SolidWorks 2011 SP3 has introduced a feature that can get rid of that excess weight. It’s easy to use, but does have some side effects. The feature is “Remove all display states.”
You can find it by right-clicking in the Display States area of the Configurations Tab. Using this feature not only removes all of the display states and custom appearances and other visuals, but it also removes all of that background display data that has been piling up. Rebuilding those visual features may take some work, but any diet usually does! After rebuilding the display states and appearances, your file will still be much smaller.
The 140MB behemoth? After the “Remove all” diet it went from 141MB to 4MB. Happy dieting!