Define a custom property in SOLIDWORKS to designate spare parts in your BOM / CAD product structure

If you are selling spare parts, and those parts (and assemblies) are such which you design yourself in SOLIDWORKS, you might quite often face the challenge of managing the Engineering BOM versus the Spare Parts BOM. I.e., not all parts and assemblies you design are replaceable parts in your Product.

This short article demonstrates one way to manage that spare part BOM by using custom properties with your existing SOLIDWORKS documents and files.

File Properties in SOLIDWORKS

When you open an individual file/document in SOLIDWORKS, you can access its Custom Properties from the menu item located in…

… File – Properties …

… and then selecting the “Custom” -tab from the pop-up window.

Here you could, for example, create a Custom Property with the name “is_sparepart” and set it to Type “Yes or no” in SOLIDWORKS, so it is a boolean type of property.

When you are then designing new Products in SOLIDWORKS, you can then already denominate, what will be a spare part and what not.

NOTE! The plain File Properties might be a little bit cumbersome to use in the long run, so you might want to spend some time learning how the Property Tab builder works in SOLIDWORKS. It requires some time to set up, but it makes life easier for your designers.

SOLIDWORKS property management on steroids!

If you want to extend and optimize the management of your custom properties in SOLIDWORKS, I suggest you try out CUSTOMTOOLS.
  • You can find out more about the property management features here.
  • And you can even sign up for a 30-day free-of-charge demo here.

With CUSTOMTOOLS, it is fast to set up a checkbox control, which is easy and intuitive to use for SOLIDWORKS designers.

Additionally, you can set these properties as mandatory, link them up together, and fill up and calculate property values automatically even, if needed.

Transform your Engineering BOM into a Spare Parts BOM with CT PUBLISHER

Once you have defined what a spare part in your Engineering BOM (in Solidworks) is, you can use SOLIDWORKS Composer and CT PUBLISHER to publish your spare part BOM to a web platform.

In the import-process with CT PUBLISHER, we can automatically read-in the Solidworks property information, such as the “is_sparepart” property you defined above.

We will then use that as a control to identify what should be a spare part in the webshop, what can be added to the shopping cart by visitors, and which other parts and subassemblies are only there for informational and visualization purposes.

This makes for easy management of spare part BOMs, through re-use of your CAD and design data!

With CT Publisher, you can use the Solidworks properties and also complement with properties from other systems and information sources, too – like a Microsoft Dynamics Navision ERP system.

How can I get started?

If you would like to find out how the CT PUBLISHER platform, combined with your SOLIDWORKS designs and metadata, could help you better manage your Spare Part Bills of Materials, we recommend that you schedule your very own demo with us today!


Olli Murto
Sales, Licensing

olli (@)
+358 407 784 386