Design Tables

SolidWorks Tips & Tricks - Design Tables
My own versions of tips and tricks that I use when working with SolidWorks. These tips are not intended to be a repeat of tips you can find elsewhere on the internet.


  • Familiarize yourself with the following sections in the SolidWorks help file:
    • 'Summary of Design Table Parameters'
    • 'Specifying Design Table Parameters'
    • 'Manually Add Parameters in a Design Table'


  • This is an important concept to keep in mind when working with design tables. Don't attempt to immediately create a complex design table. Use these simple guidelines.
    • Add design table controlled features/components to the model.
    • Add the corresponding parameters to the design table.
    • Insert design table into model to test parameters and formulas.
    As more component/features are added to the model that will be controlled by design table, the more complex the design table can become. Periodically testing the relationships between the model and the design table will make troubleshooting much easier. Remember to start small and work your way up.


  • Use EXCEL's 'CONCATENATE' feature to combine data in multiple cells to automatically generate data such as configuration names, part numbers, custom file properties, etc...


  • Use EXCEL's 'TEXT' feature to format the numerical output of a formula into a predefined text format.


For changes in data that cannot easily be defined in a simple formula, define the data within embedded lookup table(s), and use EXCEL's 'LOOKUP, VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP' features to reference the data in these tables.

  • You must leave a couple of rows between the last configuration to be generated by SolidWorks and the embedded table(s), or create these tables to a separate sheet in the current workbook. If necessary use absolute '$A$1' cell addressing to the specific cells in the tables.


I have had success in using nested statements in EXCEL to a depth of four (4) levels. Don't attempt to build these complex formulas without testing individual statements first. This is nearly impossible to troubleshoot because EXCEL cannot identify the specific statement that is in error. Remember to start small and work your way up.

  • A simple example would be to use an 'IF' statement to determine what equation to use to calculate the output.
  • For complex situations where there may be 4 or 5 different variables that define the value of a cell, it becomes necessary to use multiple levels of nested statements such as IF, VLOOKUP, etc...
  • When building formulas with nested statements, understanding the functionality of each statement becomes more important than ever. It is also becomes more important to understand where and how the values of each variable are calculated. In these situations, it is highly recommended that you test each statement on it's own, then bring a few statements together and retest.
  • Remember to start small and work your way up.