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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Basics of SOLIDWORKS Reference Geometry: Planes

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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 Reference Planes if you need to use planes other than the default Top, Right, and Front Planes. The Reference Geometry command lives on the Features toolbar, but you can also access it from Insert > Reference Geometry. When the Reference Plane PropertyManager comes up, you will notice that there is a lot of freedom for defining references […]

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Using Hole Wizard on a Curved (Cylindrical) Surface

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Sometimes there is the need to insert a hole on a non-planar/curved surface – so how is this accomplished? When positioning a hole with the Hole Wizard feature, you need to select to insert the hole with a 2D Sketch Plane or a 3D Sketch Plane. I’ll go through both the 2D Sketch Plane and 3D Sketch Plane methods. Inserting a Hole Wizard on a Curved Surface using a 2D Sketch 1. Create a reference plane (Insert > Reference Geometry […]

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SOLIDWORKS 2020 What’s New – Importing 2D DXF or DWG Files as Reference Sketches

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Sketch Blocks are great for reference sketches. Especially when you’re importing a dxf or dwg file. That file doesn’t have dimensions or design intent and you really don’t want to change them anyway. So, a lot of users use blocks to lock down all those under-defined sketch entities and not worry about accidentally changing them with a quick draw double click on a sketch. But you know how painful it is to make sketch blocks? You have to edit the […]

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SOLIDWORKS 2020 What’s New – Defining Hole Depths

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Controlling the depth of your holes using the SOLDWORKS hole wizard or advanced holes just got easier in 2020. You now have the ability to control if you want to measure to the shoulder or all the way to the drill tip. Previously we were only able to measure to the shoulder. This new functionality applies to the following end conditions: Blind Up to Vertex Up to Surface Offset from Surface This is a small change, but it gives a […]

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SOLIDWORKS 2020 What’s New – Creating Alternate Position Views for Parts

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In SOLIDWORKS 2019, the designer would need to create multiple model items or sheets to depict different configurations of a part. As SOLIDWORKS continues to improve, our goal is to also improve how effectively we can communicate designs in a collaborative environment. With SOLIDWORKS 2020, drawings get an important upgrade. You are now able to overlay an additional configuration in the same model view. These modifications can give others a clear indication of different stages throughout the manufacturing process of […]

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SOLIDWORKS 2020 What’s New – Structure Systems – Point and Length Members

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One of the new features of SOLIDWORKS 2020 is the Structure System Point and Length Members. This allows you to create weldments using points. I’m going to create a Structure System/Weldment using the following sketches: The first step is to go to Insert -> Structure System -> Structure System. Then you will go to Insert -> Structure System -> Primary Member. In the Primary Member property manager go to the Profile tab and select the profile that you’d like to […]

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Optimizing Support Material Usage for FDM

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The fundamentally different nature of FDM printing grants a vast amount of freedom when it comes to what can be printed. That freedom, however, usually comes at the cost of large amounts of support material usage. Internal cavities, overhangs, nested parts, and functional joints are all possible because of sacrificial support material. Today I would like to share a method with you that allows for complex features but helps conserve support material. That method is to print multi-part structures fully […]

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Why Isn’t My Weldment Profile Working!?

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This is going to be a real quick post on something I ran across while on Tech Support recently. A user was creating custom Weldment profiles and one was not working. This user was experienced at creating custom profiles, has successfully created several and knew all the details of doing so. The profile was saved correctly as a Library Feature Part (.sldlfp) file. The profile was stored in a folder that contained other custom profiles that work. This folder was […]

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Spring Ends in SOLIDWORKS

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In my last blog article, I went over a fun little topic regarding custom shaped springs. While not always necessary, you usually always have to do something with the end of the spring. SOLIDWORKS doesn’t usually like to fillet to a helix which makes things hard. You can use a bunch of entities for a sweep path and get solid edges, or you can use a fit spline which can work for some transitions: Going back to my last blog […]

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