Design Intent: Part 1

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Part I I am working with a client who sees the power and value from SOLIDWORKS over AutoCAD Inventor. How to deal with legacy data is always a massive pain point for customers, however. They soon will no longer be able to access data that is still in the native Inventor file format (.iam, .ipt) that their previous CAD software utilized and must find other methods of retaining their intellectual property. Where possible, I suggest converting the files into Parasolid […]

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SOLIDWORKS Upgrade Time!

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With the new year approaching, this is a great time to upgrade your SOLIDWORKS software to the newest release. Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t end up with some important files being thrown out with the wrapping paper. If Santa left you a shiny new computer, this information can also be helpful for getting it setup to match your old one. Browse installation location folders Sift through your SOLIDWORKS installation folder. This directory will be removed […]

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Favorite SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal feature: Tab and Slot

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One of my favorite features in SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal is Tab and Slot. When it was introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2018 (https://www.cati.com/blog/2017/10/solidworks-2018-whats-new-creating-a-tab-and-slot-sw2018/). I was like man, I could have used this back in the day. It reminds me when my mom and dad would buy me model cars for Christmas. You may remember the cement glue that you had to use, and it would get all over the carpet. Well, mom and dad didn’t appreciate that. So, they started buying the […]

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The 3DEXPERIENCE Podcast

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The 3DEXPERIENCE Podcast Today I’m going to talk about tech but in a different way. I want to make you and my SOLIDWORKS friends aware of an extremely informative and interesting podcast out there called, “The 3DEXPERIENCE” podcast. This monthly podcast will discuss everything from business, to latest technologies, as it relates to the process of design and manufacturing. Your more than qualified hosts for “The 3DEXPERIENCE” podcast are John Milbery, Technical Director at Dassault Systèmes – SOLIDWORKS and Mike […]

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SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation: A Tesla Cybertruck Case Study

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When Tesla launched their Cybertruck pickup model in November, I was intrigued by its unique shape. Given the very angular, wedge-like styling, the first thought that came to mind was that I could have designed the exterior shape in SOLIDWORKS in 5 minutes with a few extrudes, cuts and draft features. I have no doubt that I could have saved Tesla millions of dollars spent on their exterior stylists and designers! I also pondered whether this shape performed well aerodynamically […]

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SOLIDWORKS: Becoming a Sketch Expert with SketchXpert

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Imagine: You are putting the finishing touches on a complex sketch, proud of your work. All that is left is one relation to give you the profile you need. Then, red and yellow fill the screen. Something has gone horrifically wrong; the sketch is over defined and unsolvable. There are dozens of relations and dimensions in this sketch—where do you start? Rather than trying to sort through the potential points of conflict on your own, let SketchXpert do it for […]

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How to do a cable “fan out” in SOLIDWORKS Electrical Routing

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Recently when teaching the SOLIDWORKS Routing: Electrical training class I was asked if it was possible to model a “Cable Fan Out” like this… Although this is not exactly shown in the training material it uses the same technique as a SPLICE (that IS taught in the class), just without the actual “splice” part being used. The part file you are “fanning out” to needs to have CPoints (so you can route to them) defined, like shown here: This can […]

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Rename, Replace and Move SOLIDWORKS files with SOLIDWORKS File Utilities

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Courtesy of ‘Captain Obvious’: to rename or move a file on a Windows PC, Microsoft provides a great little program called File Explorer (formerly known as Windows explorer) to accomplish these common tasks. Simply right-click on a file and choose ‘Rename’ and then type in the new name or to move, choose ‘Cut’ and then another right-click to ‘Paste’. This is fine for non-SOLIDWORKS files, but remember that SOLIDWORKS files can have references. Drawing files reference Part or Assembly files and […]

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SOLIDWORKS: Configuring Smart Components with the Configurator Table

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When creating a Smart Component or editing an existing smart component, there is an option available called “Configurator Table”. The configurator table allows the user to define various configurations of the smart components. The first step to do this is to make sure that your parts are configured. In the below pictures, there is the latch that will be used as the smart component and it has 3 configurations. The second picture is the block that will be used for […]

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SOLIDWORKS Upgrade Headaches and How to Avoid Them

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What do these things have in common? Answer: They tend to occur right after upgrading, and these aren’t the only things that can occur after an upgrade. The first one can occur when creating a hole or hole callout because the system can’t find the hole callout information. The second one happens when SOLIDWORKS can’t find the symbol library file. The reasons for this are due to the way that SOLIDWORKS stores information and upgrades. SOLIDWORKS has 2 main file […]

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