SOLIDWORKS Patterns, propagate visual properties check box

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Working at Computer Aided Technology, Inc. as an instructor I receive a lot of questions on how to use SOLIDWORKS. One of the most common questions I get asked is "What does that check box do?" Today's check box is Propagate Visual Properties. It can be found in all of the pattern commands. This check box will drive the colors, textures, and cosmetic thread data of the patterned instances. To demonstrate its effect I will be using the mirror pattern feature. […]

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How does guide curve influence work in a SOLIDWORKS loft feature?

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I get this question often when I am teaching students how to use a loft command. Here, I will show a few examples that will explain in more detail what the differences are. Let's start with "to next guide." This option only makes a difference when you have more than one guide curve. If you only have one guide curve it will behave exactly the same as "global." In this example I have a simple loft with two guide curves. […]

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Sketch vs. feature order in SOLIDWORKS

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Recently, I had a support call with a customer and when he would go to edit a sketch towards the bottom of the feature tree it would suppress other features that seemingly had nothing to do with that sketch. Here is an example of that part. Watch what happens when I edit the sketch that belongs to cut-extrude2 which is made up of four through holes. Cut Extrude-1 does not exist even though it is higher up in the feature […]

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Happy holidays! Using SOLIDWORKS to design a ring.

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My sister is a fan of the Harry Potter series and for Christmas I created an inspired design in SOLIDWORKS and 3d printed it. The ring depicts the Deathly Hallows and Harry's glasses. To create this I used a lot of wrap features and combines with a little bit of surface modeling. The most important feature was the internal diameter so I started with that. Then I added .100" all the away around for strength. The outer diameter is where […]

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How to assign material to different bodies in SOLIDWORKS

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When creating part files in SOLIDWORKS by default the entire part is assigned one material. There is an easy trick when working with a multi body part file to assign each body as a different material designation. With a multi body part file created we can see that the material specified in the feature tree is for the entire part. Instead of right clicking on material, right click on the body in the solid bodies folder. This way each body […]

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SOLIDWORKS: How to Create Ordinate Dimensions in a Detail View.

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When creating a drawing in SOLIDWORKS you may have a series of holes that are cleaner to dimension using an ordinate scheme. This ordinate system can be used inside of a detail view should you need one. Let's look at this example of a part with a tight series of holes on one side I have created a detail view of the section that I want to see more clearly. I start the horizontal ordinate dimension tool and add my […]

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SOLIDWORKS 2015 What’s New – Simulation Mesh and Shell Manager #sw2015

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In SOLIDWORKS 2015 understanding what components failed to mesh is simplified. In the Mesh Failure Diagnostic window a button has been added to only show bodies which failed to mesh.   SOLIDWORKS 2015 also drastically improves the ability to use shell bodies in your Simulation studies. The new shell manager gives you a list of all the shell bodies that exist in your part or assembly. Each shell body can have the thickness, type, material, and offset defined quickly. There […]

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SOLIDWORKS 2015 What’s New – Costing #SW2015

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Costing has been enhanced in SOLIDWORKS 2015 to support additional manufacturing types. In addition to sheet metal and machined components, we can now do costing on weldments, plastic injection molding, 3d printed and cast parts. Let's first take a look at this weldment structure.  SOLIDWORKS has broken it down into multiple categories to take in to account sheet metal, weldments, general machined parts like gussets and even the cost of welding based on a cosmetic weld bead. Diving deeper with […]

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SOLIDWORKS Explorer – Where Used Function

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SOLIDWORKS Explorer is a powerful tool, it is similar to Windows Explorer but gives you added functionality. In particular, it can give you information about the assembly a part file or sub assembly is used in. In order for this to work properly you have to define the search location. To bring up SW Explorer you can access it from the tools menu in SW or the windows start menu under the SOLIDWORKS tools folder. SW explorer starts up like this. […]

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Adding fasteners to rolled sheet metal in SOLIDWORKS

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If you need to add fasteners to a rolled sheet metal part in SOLIDWORKS this outlines the correct procedure. You may be familiar with the technique of creating a rolled sheet metal part and then rolling back in the feature tree to show the flat pattern. You can add a hole wizard to this flat pattern but when you roll it back up the holes are no longer circular. Instead we will insert the holes when it is in the […]

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