CATI Tech Notes

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

Customizing SolidWorks Toolbox

I recently had a customer who called into support and was looking for a way to add some custom features to Toolbox. In particular they were looking for: “On  a number of Hex bolts that I use I need to have 3 different styles of the same size.. Say Ø1/4-20 X 2" Hex Bolts…, (1) Ø1/4-20 x 2" Grade 5, (2) Ø1/4-20 x 2" Grade 8, (3) Ø1/4-20 x 2" Stainless Steel. Some of my hardware, I need several more styles for given size..  Different color anodizing, coatings, Zinc plate, Chrome, etc… All these variations of same size have different part numbers on my end..  So the assembly BOM lists

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Posted in CAD Administration, Modeling, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

Free SolidWorks Sheet Metal Training Kicks off the CATI Virtual Classroom

The CATI tech team has been working on a new way to get our customers the training they need without the time and expense of travel to attend a class. After a lot of research and development, we are happy to be launching the CATI Virtual Classroom. We are calling it CATI Virtual Classroom, because the technology we are using allows us to run a class just as if you are in the training room. You will see and hear the instructor and their presentation live. You will be able to ask questions and give feedback. The students use our training lab through the system, so you don’t have to

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Posted in CAD Administration, General Info, Modeling, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

The Dreaded Failed to Save Document Error

I know that everyone has seen the dreaded failed to save document error and it usually comes at the worst time, like doing 4 hours of work without saving and the boss telling you that he needs the project finished before you can go home for the day. Generally, these errors are due to some kind of minor corruption with the assembly that you are working on, or one of the assemblies parts or subassemblies, and we generally see these errors with users who are saving their files across the network. Here are a couple of good old Redneck Work Arounds that have worked for all of us on the

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Posted in CAD Administration, General Info, Modeling, Redneck Workarounds, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

Sketch Text

When trying to create text in a part with different orientations you can use centerlines.  For instance, if trying to create text in a circle just draw a circle and select "For Construction" in the property manager.  Once in the property manager for Text, select the circle and start typing the text.  It will populate along the circle. Another problem someone might see is that when you have straight centerline lines the text populates backwards and upside down.  This is because the line was drawn from right to left and not left to right.  When you select the line, check to see what angle the line is drawn in.  If

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Posted in Modeling

Adding Parts to the Design Library that have existing Custom Properties

Like any good redneck I like it when they make a button that will make your job or life simpler. What I do not like is when that button that was suposta make you life easier breaks what you have already done, and that is what we have here. Below is a great feature that SW has but it has a little flaw in it, we have reported this issue to SolidWorks and it is in the process of being corrected by SW Development and has been issued SPR 432438. If you would like to be added to the notification list when this is corrected please contact your VAR to

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Posted in Modeling, Redneck Workarounds, SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

Xpress It!

Make sure you explore the new DriveWorksXpress feature inside of SolidWorks 2008.  This is a cut down version of the Design Automation software DriveWorks.  This tool allows you to capture knowledge and rules from your design and engineer-to-order.  For a quick simple example, let’s say our company makes tables that come in any size.  That table consists of four leg components, a table top, and two support beams.   A customer requires a table with a different height and width.  First we need to think about how we are going to store and track these model changes.  Is this going to be a new configuration of the assembly using new configurations

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Posted in Modeling

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