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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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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