Customizing your Custom Properties list

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Commonly with my blog posts, the idea begins in Technical Support. Last week I was talking with a user about the Custom Property Tab builder. Specifically, what controls the list of available properties? I’m not going into the details of the Custom Property Tab builder in this post. If you’re interested in learning more, look at this CATI blog post by Dennis Barnes: SOLIDWORKS Property Tab Builder. He’ll walk you through the steps of creating your own Custom Property Tabs […]

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Designing Custom Packaging (Part 2)

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If you remember from my last article Designing Custom Packaging (Part 1) I had left off after modeling the components and the containers. Then I created assemblies representing the tightest possible arrangement of the computer lab within the containers, allowing for one inch of spacing for the more delicate components. Clam Shell Rolling Crate To create the negative space for the Rolling crate I began with the model of the crate (shown here in cross-section) Notice here that the crate […]

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Polyjet Accuracy: Matte vs. Glossy

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Anyone who has printed Polyjet parts can tell you there is a difference in geometry between printing the same part in matte mode vs glossy mode. However slight the difference is, running your fingers over the transitions between the two surfaces will tell you right away. It’s easy to tell that the matte surface is indented relative to the glossy surface. I’ve heard this aptly referred to as “puff out”, in reference to the support structure puffing out from the […]

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How to manually upgrade SOLIDWORKS Toolbox: Not Expected Version

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Here we go, the short version updated as it works today in 2020. This will fix the error “not expected version”  Make sure nobody is using it and close your SOLIDWORKS. Create a backup copy by making a zip of the entire C:\SOLIDWORKS Data 20xx folder. Navigate to C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp.\SOLIDWORKS\Toolbox\Data Utilities Right click the UpdateBrowserDatabase.exe and pick Run As Administrator 5. Verify that the first box shows your current toolbox location. If the version number matches then it has […]

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SOLIDWORKS: Add Bounding Box Length to a Linked Design Table in a Drawing

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When utilizing a design table there are times you may want to add it to link it in your drawings to have an up to date table of all your dimensions within your model. Unfortunately, since bounding box length is a driven measurement you are unable to add this dimension to your design table. You can add a sketch on the the face of the flat pattern and then insert a dimension to show this in the design table but […]

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SOLIDWORKS Simulation: Linking Evaluator Results to Studies

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The 2020 release of SOLIDWORKS Simulation includes a new utility for study management. In a prior CATI blog, my colleague, Alon Finkelstein, introduced the Simulation Evaluator, which checks a study’s setup to determine if it will allow a successful simulation. He gave a great description of how the Evaluator verifies the results folder and material assignments and does a comparison of mesh/solid model volumes to ensure accuracy. I wondered about the usefulness of the “Results” section, and if I would […]

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SOLIDWORKS: Stop Collaborate and Listen

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Considering how few of us actually get to start from scratch when it comes to designing, it’s imperative that you’re able to navigate through someone else’s design. If you’ve recently inherited another engineer’s design files or would like to be able to collaborate on designs more easily then this series will help you hit the ground running. Decoding another’s design files can eat up a lot of time and often lead to design errors in the editing process. I will […]

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SOLIDWORKS Composer: How to Change Dimension Units

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There is 1 question that has come up twice this week regarding SOLIDWORKS Composer dimension units:                          “How do I change my dimensions from millimeters to inches in Composer?” Read on to see how and where to change and define Units in SOLIDWORKS Composer. Below, the dimension 374.65 is in millimeters, but it should be inches. Here is the way to make changes to the units for dimensions… Go […]

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SOLIDWORKS Features: Copy vs Move

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I have been using SOLIDWORKS for the past 20 years and I love it when a customer reminds me of the simple things that SOLIDWORKS can do that just make the design life fun again. This topic was focused on when you should Move a feature versus Copying a feature. Did you know that SOLIDWORKS can do both rather quickly without using any toolbar buttons? Let me explain the difference with some screen grabs and a short video. First off […]

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3D Scanning: I Can See It, but How Do I Measure It?

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Sometimes it can be a challenge to get the measurement you need from an existing part. The part may not have any consistent geometry to get a reference from or the part may be installed in an area where physical measurement tools are impractical. These kinds of situation can be an excellent place for 3D optical scanners to help improve your workflow. In this case, the drive shaft alignment on a vehicle needs to be measured after a suspension lift […]

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