I always think it’s amazing what you learn just by watching someone else “do something” in SOLIDWORKS.
Last week during 3DEXPERIENCE WORLD 2021 I caught on to an “undocumented” (at least in my book) feature in the SelectionManager tool while watching someone else’s presentation.
In SOLIDWORKS training classes (Advanced Part Modeling & Surfacing) we use that SelectionManager to either use many selections and treat them as one thing, or to “split up” a more complex sketch and only use part of it for one thing. Usually this is for a sweep path or profile or a loft profile or guide.
But, here is what I didn’t know you could do…
You can actually use the SelectionManager to select “less than” a whole segment of a sketch!
For example let’s say I have the following 2 sketched curves.
If you just used them as is for a Boundary Feature, you would get the following…
But maybe you realize to get true symmetry with the rest of what you want in this model it would be easier to make the Boundary Surface with 1/4th of this model so that you can later mirror to get the other halves. You do not have to edit those sketches and trim them back!
Instead, enter the Boundary Surface command as usual (or whatever command you want to use this with), and before you select any sketches or curves, right click on the graphics screen and choose SelectionManager.
In this case you’ll want to use the “Open Loop” selection button on the pop up toolbar and then select the first sketch/curve.
Don’t hit OK just yet! Instead, notice that there is a white “ball” on either end of the sketch/curve… You can actually grab that and “drag back” to select how much of the curve you want to use! It will even “snap” to the other curve.
Then once you have the “portion” of the sketch/curve you want, you can hit OK. Then you can repeat this same procedure with the other sketch/curve for your direction 2 section and you would end up with this. What a time saver!
Then of course you could continue on with the rest of your design on only 1/4th of the model and then mirror twice when you are finished!
This could be used in many, many different situations to only select a “portion” of your sketch/curve. You could even then use that sketch again (or a different portion of it) to so something else!
Hope you can put this trick to use in your next SOLIDWORKS project.
Sr. Application Engineer, Emerging Products
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.