A Real-World Example of Re-engineering and Customization

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I recently purchased a cross-over toolbox for my small truck. I was very careful to check with the vendors to make sure that the toolbox would fit into my year/make/model of truck and that I was getting the best price. Well, my toolbox arrived and guess what? It does not fit properly in the bed of my truck. I made the foolish mistake of not getting the critical measurement from my truck bed and comparing them to the manufacturer’s specifications […]

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How To Extract Custom Material Properties in SOLIDWORKS

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Have you received a Solidworks Part File where someone has applied custom materials that you don’t possess? Would you like to share the custom material that you’ve created? There is a way to extract custom material properties from files sent to you, in just a few steps, without having to recreate it in your own materials library. Step 1. Activate your Simulation Add-in. After you activate your Add-in then you will see the Simulation tab added to the Command Manager. Step […]

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“To Power Trim, or To Power Extend? That Is The Question”

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While sketching inside SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS CAM and CAMWorks user interface you invoke the Power Trim command and use it as normal. As a refresher, the SOLIDWORKS Power Trim tool allows you to hold down your Left Mouse Button (LMB) and drag the mouse over any sketch entities you want to trim to the nearest entity. The Power Trim command can also extend sketch entities as well.  This is simply done holding down your Shift Key to convert from trimming to […]

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Common SOLIDWORKS sheet metal issues

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Have you ever seen any of these sheet metal issues with SOLIDWORKS? These are some pretty common sheet metal issues. With the first image above usually one or the other of these situations will occur. You’ll either end up with a flat view of your bent part or, more commonly, you’ll wind up with a bent view of your flat pattern. Understanding how SOLIDWORKS works with sheet metal parts can help us determine what is going on. When you create […]

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SOLIDWORKS: Basics of Reference Geometry Axis

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Reference Geometry includes reference planes, axes, coordinate systems, and points. In this blog, we will discuss the many ways of creating and defining a Reference Axis. The Reference Geometry command lives on the Features toolbar, but you can also access it from Insert > Reference Geometry. The Reference Axis PropertyManager includes a Selections box where you will define your Reference Axis. The combinations of these selections that will fully define the Reference Axis are described and depicted below the Selections […]

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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 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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Wood Panel Design in SOLIDWORKS

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SOLIDWORKS does a lot of things very well. It has a ton of features, specific to a bunch of different industries. However, one missing industry that I’ve noticed is Paneling and Millwork. As an example, if you have a box that is going to be covered in paneling, what’s the best way (in SOLIDWORKS) to accomplish this? There isn’t a real tool built in to SOLIDWORKS at the moment, but we can use some Sheet Metal features to workaround this. […]

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