Using the Freeform Tool for Real Design

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If you’ve taken the SOLIDWORKS Surface Modeling class you’ve been exposed to the Freeform tool. During the case study, you were shown how to use the tool to modify the surface of a leaf-shaped extrusion to give a more natural appearance. Now seriously, how often are you going to be modelling leaves that look like this? I’d like to show you how to use the Freeform tool in SOLIDWORKS to make changes that are simple and elegant, as well as […]

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SOLIDWORKS: Viewports and Multiple Windows

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Did you know that SOLIDWORKS gives you double vision? You can even have quadruple vision, if that’s what you’re into. It is very easy to spin, zoom, and rotate your 3D models to focus on the specific areas you are working on. After modifying your part, you probably zoom out and look at the geometry from various angles. Maybe, you have custom views created to make this even easier. Another approach is to use additional display windows, shown at the […]

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SOLIDWORKS: How to Display Notes for X & Y Coordinate Points in a Drawing

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Drawings………can’t live without them. For drawings that need a lot of dimensions, this can clutter the entire document making it hard to read. The standard dimensioning schemes are: To avoid dimensions clutter, here’s an alternative method for you. How about adding a note that will show the X & Y coordinates instead of placing Model Items, a Horizontal or Vertical dimension on the drawing like this? Let me show you how you can create a note and link it to […]

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Design Intent, Not Just for Modeling.

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If you have taken a SOLIDWORKS Essentials course from CATI you will have heard the phrase “Design Intent” at least 100 times. Design Intent is not something to be taken lightly in the modeling world. It allows the user to get the most out of their parametric model. So, what is Design Intent? Design Intent is how the model should behave when changed. The way in which the model is created governs how it can change. Automatic sketch relations, equations, […]

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SOLIDWORKS Free Tools: Customizing Your Graphics Area Context Toolbar

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SOLIDWORKS free tools can be commonly overlooked by users. I consider customizing your SOLIDWORKS environment to be one of these free tools. Over the years, SOLIDWORKS continues to create different means for minimizing mouse movements.  From introducing the ‘S’ key for Keyboard Shortcuts or the ‘D’ key for Breadcrumbs or the Right Mouse Button (RMB) click for shortcut menus, just to mention a few. We are going to talk about one of the classics today. SOLIDWORKS 2015 introduced us to […]

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SOLIDWORKS – Part and Sketch Origins: Do you know the difference?

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7 years ago, in 2011, Ketul, one of our Application Engineers, did a blog on the fact that there are two SOLIDWORKS origins: 1 red and 1 blue. Have you noticed? Here is the original link if you’d like to read it. https://www.cati.com/blog/2011/03/why-is-there-two-origins-in-a-sketch-one-red-one-blue/ Now that we’ve established that there are truly 2 origins, have you ever tried to select an origin and it would not select it? Happened to me recently. Here’s the plain truth…. Red Origins (located on a […]

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SOLIDWORKS 2019: Master Modeling with Toolbox Hardware

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A very common question that is asked around the SOLIDWORKS customer base is “How do I modify a standard Toolbox component with extra features thus turning a purchased component into a manufactured one?” Well, it is actually quite easy and over the next few paragraphs, I will shed some light on this process. First, I start a brand new part file. Second, you activate your SOLIDWORKS Toolbox add-in or open a downloaded library part from your supplier: In my case […]

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Control If and How Child Components Appear in a BOM

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Maybe you downloaded the SOLIDWORKS assembly files for something that you intend to purchase for your design. The component files are all there (which is nice in case you need them), but when documenting the bill of materials for the overall design’s top-level assembly, you want this purchased sub-assembly to show in the BOM as a single line item. The problem is that you want to use a ‘Parts Only’ BOM for the overall design’s top-level assembly. What to do? […]

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Insight – Advanced Software for FDM

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  Stratasys FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) software has become quite simple to use with the introduction of GrabCAD Print. GrabCAD Print makes it easy with a few selections to produce an exceptional 3D model of your CAD drawing. GrabCAD Print settings are intentionally minimal and conservative for the novice user to achieve 100% success. But what if you need something special? For example, a sparse interior with a thick outer shell for strength? This is where the advanced Insight software […]

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SOLIDWORKS 2019 What’s New – Cosmetic Thread Improvements – #SW2019

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The Cosmetic Threads Command has seen some improvements in SOLIDWORKS 2019. There were many issues with how cosmetic threads were created, updated and displayed when there are child references in downstream features. This has been resolved. The cosmetic threads feature has a more robust architecture so that they behave more consistently. The improved behavior provides more stable references for edges and faces, along with correct parameters for assemblies, drawings, and graphics.   Some improvements that users asked for were to […]

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