CATI Tech Notes

SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks and Info on Professional 3D Printing with Stratasys from the Technical staff of CATI

SOLIDWORKS: Difference Between SOLIDWORKS Loft & Boundary Features

What’s the Difference Between Loft and Boundary Features?   Loft and Boundary features are very similar but have a few differences. They are alike because they both allow you to blend together different shapes. They are different because you control each feature in different ways.   The differences show in the property manager. You will notice that the loft feature has sections called Profiles and Guide Curves. The Boundary feature has sections called Direction 1 and Direction 2.     In a Loft, Profiles are the primary influence of the shape. Guide curves are used to shape the outside of feature between profiles. Loft feature also contains a centerline parameter

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, Modeling, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

SOLIDWORKS: “ALT” the Under-Used SOLIDWORKS Shortcut Key

“ALT” the Under-Used SOLIDWORKS Shortcut Key If you have been using Microsoft Windows or OfficeTM for any length of time, you should know there are a plethora of keyboard shortcuts to help improve efficiency. Most of these shortcuts start with the “CTRL” key. (i.e. CTRL-O, CTRL-S, CTRL-Z etc.) What many people do not know is there are many other predefined keyboard shortcuts that begin with the “ALT” key. The reason for this is that it’s likely easier to find the CTRL key and there is little documentation available. For those of you familiar with the keyboard shortcuts in SOLIDWORKS 2017, you will recognize that most of the predefined shortcuts from

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, Modeling, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

SOLIDWORKS: Bend Note Formatting

Bend Note Formatting     Bend notes, in your sheet metal part drawings, are a clear way to provide the required information for manufacturing. They can be automatically inserted into the flat pattern drawing view. These bend notes will describe the bend direction, bend angle, and bend radius for each bend, within SOLIDWORKS.     In many cases, the manufacturer will have to determine the exact bend radius based on their tooling options. If this is your scenario, you may desire to have this bend radius information omitted from the bend note. The brute force method is to edit each note individually and remove this portion of the text. Another

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, General Info, Modeling, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

SOLIDWORKS: Raiders of the Lost Arc-Length for 3D Splines

SOLIDWORKS 3D Splines   Occasionally, you may need to find the Arc Length of an equation-driven 3D spline.     Easy enough you say, ‘Just use the measure tool under the Evaluate Tab’.         But what if you need to find the length between two specific points on the spline? Smart Dimensions won’t help you here.         To do this, we can utilize a nifty SOLIDWORKS command called “Split Entities.” This is a convenient tool sometimes used in SOLIDWORKS Surfacing to define extruding edges. It essentially splits a sketch into selectable sections much like a split line creates selectable faces. You can find it

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Posted in CAD Administration, Modeling, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

SOLIDWORKS: Modeling Springs for Assemblies

Modeling Springs for SOLIDWORKS Assemblies   Why is my assembly so slow!   This is a topic that comes up a lot. No your SOLIDWORKS is not broken. Yes, maybe it was the latest Microsoft Security patch that they forced on us, but it is not always the fault of the software. More often than not, it comes down to modeling methodology and the amount of detail we are trying to cram into our models.   There is a time and a place for detail. Having highly detailed parts for piece part manufacturing is perfectly acceptable and necessary. Placing highly detailed parts into large assemblies can cause severe performance issues.  

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, Modeling, Redneck Workarounds, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

SOLIDWORKS 2017: Converting 2D to 3D

Converting 2D to 3D   This Blog article is going to be a picture heavy walk through of how to do a simple 2D to 3D conversion in SOLIDWORKS. This file is a DWG file, but this method works on DXF files as well.   Contents:   2D to 3D toolbar DXF/DWG Import tool Import options Converting 2D to 3D methodology     2D to 3D toolbar         We start by opening up our DWG/DXF just like we would any other file within SOLIDWORKS.         Once we OPEN the file, the Import tool pops up.     DXF/DWG Import Tool     The picture

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, General Info, Modeling, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

SOLIDWORKS: Adding to Existing Selection Sets in SOLIDWORKS

Adding to Existing Selection Sets in SOLIDWORKS   Ever wondered how to add additional selections to existing selection sets? It is quite easy.   Below I have a selection set but I accidently selected only 2 of 3 faces I wanted to put in the selection set.     To add this face to the existing selection set you need to hold Ctrl–>click the desired selection set–>click the items to add–>right click–>update selection set. (Important: It is vital to hold Ctrl through this entire process or Update Selection set will not show up).     Thanks for taking the time to read and I hope this blog helped you understand how to add

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, General Info, Modeling, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

SOLIDWORKS: Fix-A-Fillet

Fix-A-Fillet with SOLIDWORKS     If you are creating models with smooth surfaces and elegant rounded edges in SOLIDWORKS, you will have trouble creating fillets where sharp edges merge into smoother surfaces.     For example, we have this part here:           We need to place a .25 inch fillet, which blends smoothly into the adjacent surfaces.     If we use the symmetric fillet with a curvature continuous profile, in the preview I see this:         Let’s look at the result with curvature analysis:         Notice that the blending looks good at the top but gets quite odd at

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Posted in Maximizing SolidWorks Performance, Modeling, Redneck Workarounds

CATI Makes a Splash at AMUG

For the second year in a row, CATI was a Platinum sponsor at the Additive Manufacturing User Group (AMUG) Conference held at the Hilton Chicago last week.  For more information on the AMUG conference visit their website.     This is the first year in the 29th year history of the conference that it was sold out.  A total of 1600 were in attendance, with over 700 being first time attendees. In our suite, we featured Stratasys 3D printed parts, 3D printed injection molds and Creaform hand-held scanners including our new MetraScan.     Also on display, was the new F123 series of printers from Stratasys.  These printers are the next

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Posted in 3D Scanning, Digital Prototyping, Modeling, Rapid Prototyping

SOLIDWORKS: Instances to Vary

Instances to Vary   You all have probably used Instance to Skip, but have you used Instances to Vary?   SOLIDWORKS has created this great tool to use when you want to create more complex patterns.   Let’s take a look at a simple linear pattern with the spacing of 40mm with 8 instances.     A design change has taken place and an equally spaced linear pattern is no longer needed. Rather than creating multiple linear patterns or some other crazy way of getting different spacing between the features, just use Instances to Vary.     The first thing I want to show you is the Direction 1 Spacing

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, Modeling, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

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