SOLIDWORKS Sensors

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SOLIDWORKS Sensors are very near and dear to my heart and have to be the most underutilized feature in all aspects of design and analysis in SOLIDWORKS.  As I was teaching a class a few days back, this topic came up much to my excitement.  Yes I know I am kind of weird.  Anyway, the question was “can SOLIDWORKS sensors be added to a part template so that they always alert the users to a model exceeding a certain weight restriction?”  The answer my friends, is YES!

Here’s how to do this.  Start a new part model, and create some solid shape.  I created a new sketch on the Front Plane, and drew a rectangle .01” x .01” with an extrude thickness of .01”.

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Next we add a Sensor.  Right Mouse Click on the Sensor folder in the FeatureManager Tree, and choose to Add.  Select the Mass Properties option, and enter in an alert type.  I chose to alert when the mass is greater than 25lbs.

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Next in the FeatureManager Tree, Right Mouse Click and choose to Hide/Show Tree Items.

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In this System Option dialog box, switch Solid Bodies to be set to Show instead of the default of Automatic.  Next we will Right Mouse Click again on the newly displayed Solid Body item in the Solid Bodies folder, and Delete the Body.

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Now we are ready to save the new template.  

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Once you start a new part, select the new template as your template:

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Now as you create your new model, and once you Rebuild the model, the Sensor will update showing you the new up to date Mass:

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So, please use these Sensors in your next design.  They are really powerful and will allow you to focus on design creativity, and not the busy details of checking clearances, mass, or even Simulation data.  Enjoy!

Brian Reel
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.