The Configuration Manager in SOLIDWORKS allows modification of features such as the tolerance, sketches, appearance, features etc. on a single component to produce a different configuration for the same component which may be mass produced in the industry.
How to use the configuration manager –
The configuration manager is located on the SOLIDWORKS Manager tab, which are the top most icons on the feature manager tree.
Before we can start using the configuration manager, we first have to import a part workspace or create a component which we want different configurations for.
For example, we added this component to the workspace.
For this component, we want to create a configuration for it with different materials.
First, we click on the Configuration Manager Tab which shows its properties in the feature manager tree.
To add a new configuration, we select the main part, for this example it is the Part8.
Right clicking on it and selecting add new configuration, a common mistake is clicking on the default configuration and adding configuration to it which is wrong.
Selecting the add new configuration opens its properties where we can assign a name to the configuration.
From this tab, we can also select the option to use in the bill of materials when creating one. Accepting this feature creates a new configuration for the use to edit to the desired geometry or feature.
We then see the new configuration on the feature tree.
Double clicking on the new configuration opens it on the works space, now we can access the feature button and change the appearance of the component to the new material.
Adding new appearance to the component results in the image we have below.
Another way of adding a new configuration is by right clicking on a feature on the feature manager tree and selecting configuration feature.
Clicking on this opens a tab where we can make changes.