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How to Setup Toolbox in PDM

Whether you are new to PDM or may have simply not known about the ability to manage the Toolbox in PDM, the process to add the Toolbox to your vault is fairly quick and easy. We are going to show you how to set your Toolbox up in PDM from scratch, but if you are currently managing Toolbox in your vault and need assistance updating it, check out this article.

What is Toolbox?

The SOLIDWORKS Toolbox is a collection of standards for hardware as well as holes that can be used to speed up your design processes. By using these pre-configured parts you can reduce wasted time in searching for a specific size and type of fastener online and importing it into your assembly, particularly if you decide you need to change the length of the fastener after importing it. These parts are also better optimized for performance as compared to most files you can download from commercial sites.

Why would I want to manage Toolbox in a PDM vault?

One of the options that PDM gives us to manage the SOLIDWORKS Toolbox within the vault. This allows us to ensure that all users are working from the same set of standardized parts and prevents reference errors due to users having their Toolbox folder located in a different path on their computer.

How to add Toolbox to PDM

Add the Toolbox files to the vault

The first step is to copy the Toolbox files into your vault and check them in. Choose a computer that has a known good Toolbox setup, and verify the current Toolbox location by opening SOLIDWORKS and doing the following:

  1. Select ‘Tools’->’Options…’
  2. Select the ‘Hole Wizard/Toolbox’ node from the left side of the screen
  3. Make note of the path in the ‘Hole Wizard and Toolbox folder’ box
How to Setup Toolbox in PDM

In Windows Explorer, browse to the file location noted above and copy the entire root folder (the default folder name is ‘SOLIDWORKS Data’) into your vault. I recommend either copying it to the root of the vault and renaming it to ‘Toolbox’ or placing it in a folder named ‘Library’ or something similar so that it is easy to locate in future.


Once the folder has been copied into the vault, right-click on the folder in the vault and select ‘Check in’ and check the files into the vault.

Setup Toolbox management in the PDM Administration app

Now that we have the files in the vault, we need to open the ‘Administration’ app to enable Toolbox management in the vault. Open the ‘Administration’ tool and login to your vault.

  1. In the left-hand pane, click on the right-facing arrow to expand your vault
  2. In the left-hand pane, click on the right-facing arrow to expand the ‘SOLIDWORKS’ node
  3. In the left-hand pane, double-click on the ‘Toolbox’ node
  4. Check the box for ‘Manage SOLIDWORKS Toolbox in the vault’
  5. Enter the vault folder location in the vault in the ‘Toolbox root folder path’ box
  6. Deselect the ‘Allow clients to change SOLIDWORKS Toolbox option…’ – This ensures that all SOLIDWORKS users logged in to this vault will use this Toolbox rather than being able to accidentally or intentionally work from their local Toolbox folder
  7. Click ‘OK’ to save the settings
How to Setup Toolbox in PDM

Confirm Toolbox Setup in SOLIDWORKS

Open SOLIDWORKS, or if SOLIDWORKS is open, close and reopen SOLIDWORKS, and then open the System Options->Hole Wizard/Toolbox options screen again to verify that the Toolbox folder is now being directed to the new location in the vault.

Optional – Adjust cache options for the Toolbox folder

For users who are working on design projects regularly I recommend setting the ‘Cache Options’ to ‘Refresh cache during log in’ for the designated Toolbox folder to ensure that designers are always working on the latest version of these files. It is always advisable to apply these types of settings on a group level to make management simpler. To enable this setting you will need to do the following:

  1. Uder the ‘Groups’ node, double-click on the group name you would like to edit 
  2. Select the ‘Cache Options’ node
  3. In the ‘Cache Options per Folder’ section, select the designated Toolbox folder from the tree
  4. In the ‘Cache Options:’ section select the ‘Refresh cache during log in’ checkbox
  5. Click ‘OK’ to save the changes
How to Setup Toolbox in PDM

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