Solidworks 2009 adds the ability to change the length of a toolbox component simply by dragging it longer, or shorter. One quirk though is that it has to be a true Solidworks toolbox component, and not a library item like we currently use. The toolbox item should have the following icon when inserted in an assembly:
Now to actually change the length of a bolt, you simply click on the part itself in the assembly window:
You will notice the green arrow that appears at the end of the bolt. To change the size, click and drag that arrow up or down, and you will get the scale view normally associated with instant 3-D:
The scale will show you the sizes available based on the toolbox database. Move your mouse up and down, and select the new size you want. In an instant, you have the new length of bolt you want:
This can be a very handy tool for those using the toolbox items. We use a library, but this may be enough to convince me to go back to using the toolbox at least for fasteners. Its useful for changing a few items at a time, but if you need to change say 100 fastener lengths, you would be here all day Perhaps someone can recommend an enhancement to solve that scenario?
Today, you get a 2 for 1 deal on whats new in 2009. While creating screen captures for this post I remembered another nice new function in 2009 with respect to toolbox components. When you drag and drop a component in, you get this handy new selection pull down menu that lets you select what size component you want, and then accept it without having to go to the property manager. You still have the option to change the other details of a component in the property manager such as thread type, and display. The intention here is clearly to give you a fast way to choose the main size of a component: