Getting Started with SOLIDWORKS Treehouse

Article by Cassidy Kelsch on Dec 31, 2020

SOLIDWORKS Treehouse is a standalone application designed to build and manage assembly structures before you even start modeling in SOLIDWORKS. Treehouse makes it easy to arrange empty assemblies, import and edit existing assemblies, create new configurations, export documents to SOLIDWORKS and Microsoft Excel, and save your layout for an overhead view. 

Overhead View in SOLIDWORKS Treehouse

Figure 1: Treehouse overhead view

Setting up default templates

When first opening SOLIDWORKS Treehouse, you will need to specify a location for the templates that will be used to create your assembly and the folder in which you import and export assemblies and parts. To add these locations, select the Treehouse options button and add the locations (see figure 2).

Figure 2: Creating template locations

Creating a blank assembly structure

To create a blank assembly structure, drag and drop the desired assembly template into the main workspace and begin adding parts and subassemblies to the structure (see figure 3). 

Adding an Assembly Structure SOLIDWORKS Treehouse

Figure 3: Adding assembly structure

Properties and configurations can be added to each assembly, subassembly, and part in your structure. You can access the property editor by hovering over the part you want to edit and selecting the “Show Document Properties” button (see figure 4).

Show Document Properties with SOLIDWORKS Treehouse

Figure 4: Show document properties button

Once the property editor is open, you can edit document properties such as the name of the part or assembly. You will also need to specify the file location that you want that component to export to when you export the assembly structure (see figure 5). 

Export File Location in SOLIDWORKS Treehouse

Figure 5: Export file location

If more than one of the same parts are needed in the assembly structure, that can be specified by hovering over the part and editing the component count (figure 6). 

Edit Component Count with SOLIDWORKS Treehouse

Figure 6: Edit component count

Once the blank assembly is created, you can select the “Export to SOLIDWORKS” button (see figure 7) from the toolbar to save the structure out and open it in SOLIDWORKS. 

Export to SOLIDWORKS Button

Figure 7: Export to SOLIDWORKS

SOLIDWORKS will then launch and populate the properties and structure that you assigned the assembly in the FeatureManager tree (see figure 8) where you can begin to model each component.

SOLIDWORKS FeatureManager Tree

Figure 8: FeatureManager Tree

Creating an existing file assembly structure

To build an assembly structure from existing components, you will take a similar approach. You will begin by selecting the top-level assembly from a template. Then from there, you can either drag and drop the files you wish to add to your structure from the file explorer into the Treehouse workspace, or you can select “Existing file” from the left side of the window under templates to search for the existing file (see figure 9).

Adding Existing File with SOLIDWORKS Treehouse

Figure 9: Adding existing file

When the structure is complete, you can select the “Export to SOLIDWORKS” button again to launch SOLIDWORKS with the assembly properties and structure specified (see figure 10). 

Exported SOLIDWORKS Treehouse Assembly

Figure 10: Exported Treehouse assembly in SOLIDWORKS

For an assembly structure made from existing parts, the assembly will still need to be mated properly within SOLIDWORKS once it is exported. 


You can also create different configurations based on properties. First, you will add the configuration (see figure 11) by hovering over the part and selecting “Active Configurations” and then adding the configuration name. 

Add Configurations with SOLIDWORKS Treehouse

Figure 11: Add configurations

Once the configuration is added, the properties can be edited in the property editor under the configuration tab (see figure 12). 

Configurations Properties with SOLIDWORKS Treehouse

Figure 12: Configuration properties

Exporting to Microsoft Excel 

Treehouse can export the structure in list form to Microsoft Excel as well. To do so you will select the “Open in Excel” button from the toolbar (see figure 13). This will launch Excel and present the information from your assembly structure.

SOLIDWORKS Treehouse and Excel

Figure 13: Open information in Excel

Learn More About SOLIDWORKS

Design Faster and Smarter in SOLIDWORKS 2021

SOLIDWORKS FeatureManager: Hidden/Forgotten Commands

Using the Curve Through XYZ Points Tool in SOLIDWORKS

7 Ways to Improve SOLIDWORKS Large Assembly & Drawing Performance

Rebuild all SOLIDWORKS Configurations in One Step


About Cassidy Kelsch

Cassidy Kelsch is a SOLIDWORKS Technical Support Engineer and Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Utah Valley University and has over five years experience in CAD design. Cassidy joined GoEngineer in 2020.

View all posts by Cassidy Kelsch