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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Custom Packaging Design (Part 1 of 2)

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Recently I was asked to deliver onsite customized classroom training to one of our customers. This meant transporting our entire training lab, containing 10 ea BOXX workstations, 22” Dell LCD monitors, keyboards, and mice, from our office, 181 miles to the customer site. Since we didn’t have the individual packaging for the workstations and monitors, and the cost of commercial custom packaging was prohibitive, I needed to create custom packaging. This meant acquiring crates that could hold all the equipment […]

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SOLIDWORKS: Modeling Twisted Wires

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SOLIDWORKS has some exceptional tools for technical communication. We have photo-rendering with SOLIDWORKS Visualize, product documentation with SOLIDWORKS Composer, and even eDrawings to generate and share an easily viewable file. With these tools, your ability to communicate is dependent on how accurately your parts were modeled. If you want very realistic results, you may consider modeling the finer details in your designs. This would include features like threads, decals, and individual wires. Here, we will look at an easy way […]

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How to get your SOLIDWORKS models ready for a quad patch mesh export

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When it comes to design software SOLIDWORKS is great and so is its rendering and animation capabilities. But sometimes we must outsource rendering, animations, and or surface sculpting to other departments and firms. When this happens, they either ask for an OBJ/STL/VRML format and maybe STEP / IGES if they are a little more advanced with file conversion. Typically, when they receive a mesh formatted file from SOLIDWORKS they are not very happy with the default export from the meshing […]

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Mate References With and Without Names

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Today we are going to look at the difference between Mate References with a name and Mate References without a name. It turns out that the Mate Reference acts totally different if it has a name. Just as a quick reminder, a Mate Reference allows you to realize the benefits of drag & drop mating (SmartMates) without the requirement of having the part open. You can pre-identify and store in the part model the faces, edges, or vertices that you […]

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SOLIDWORKS Helical Parts Don’t Have to Be Round

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There are a few different ways to make helical parts in SOLIDWORKS. Most of these will leave you with cylindrical parts. Sweeping along a Helix, or sweeping along a path using ‘Twist along Path’. Using a touch of surfacing and the ‘Intersection Curve’, it’s possible to make helical parts that aren’t cylindrical. Let’s start with the shape we want to make a helix from: With this shape, the first thing to do is create a Surface-Extrude the length of your […]

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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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