CATI Tech Notes

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

3D Sketches

What are 3D sketches and what are they good for? 3D sketches can be a valuable tool while sketching in SolidWorks. Not only do you have use of all of the sketch tools such as Lines, Arcs, Circles and Splines, but you can also use all of the Rectangle sketch tools as well. 3D Sketching can be especially useful when you are creating a path for a sweep or a loft. To create a 3D Sketch go to Insert, 3D Sketch. This puts you in the 3D Sketch mode. Select the type of sketch you want to create like a line, circle, arc etc… You will see that your cursor

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Posted in 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


Perils of Sharing System Options (where’s my journal file)

The Copy Settings Wizard is a very handy tool. Personally, I love the ability to deploy system settings company wide using the .sldreg file in conjunction with an admin. image.  Others just love the ability to share their settings with another user or backup their settings in case of a machine change or registry corruption. Recently, however, an inconvenience has reared its head.  After sharing settings from one user to another the receiving user gets an annoying message saying that they cannot create a journal file.  Now this doesn’t keep anyone from modeling, it’s just an annoyance.  But it occurs every time they launch SolidWorks and it’s totally unnecessary.  It

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

Copy with Mates

I think one of the most under used, but beneficial commands in SolidWorks 2008 is the Copy with Mates. It is one of those sneaky commands that gets put in a right click, but isn’t added to a toolbar by default. So if you are like a lot of SolidWorks users, you get used to the same tools everyday and don’t even notice other options that are around. When I show this to current SolidWorks users they are very excited and talk about how much time that will save them. If it is something you will use a lot, customize your assembly toolbar to include it.  To use it, select the component(s) you

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Posted in SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

Understanding Pretty Pictures!

Interpreting results helps users understand product behavior. “Blue is good, red is bad” is the general adage. While this might hold true in some cases, it is wrong to generalize. As appeasing as color plots may seem, interpreting them could be tricky. Animate….it’s cool! Animations are the best way to understand part or model behavior. If the part or assembly does not move as expected, users need to go back and change the set up. This very basic method should eliminate the majority of set up mistakes. Animations also help with communicating with team members, and marketing in-house engineering capabilities on the company website. Displacement This indicates how much and

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Posted in Simulation

What Do Your Designs Rely On?

Engineers are considered to be logical, thoughtful and precise with everything they undertake. Perhaps this is one reason why everyone calls themselves an engineer. A housewife calls herself a “Domestic Engineer”.  Doesn’t she organize, construct, manipulate, manage, contrive? All used to define an engineer, as per the Merriam-Webster dictionary. So next time you boast your engineering skills, remember that the over-friendly cookie baking lady has exactly the same skill sets. There are certain tools any type of engineer would rely upon. (a) legacy data (b) testing (c) intuition Legacy Data works while designing a family of products. Meaning, similar shaped parts subjected to different magnitudes of load. Hopefully, the initial

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Posted in Simulation

Status code: 9 MATRIX_Singular_OR_INDEFINITE

Some error messages make you wonder, what does it take to get something simple done? I have often wondered how coders come up with names for errors and claim them to be logical? One common bane is “Status code 9." This message is often followed by a second message claiming there aren’t enough restrains defined. Basically, the software cannot figure out how parts are interacting in 3D space. Every solid or surface body has six degrees of freedom available to it (three translational and three rotational). When users define loads and restraints they remove degrees of freedom from the model.  Behind the scenes (in SolidWorks) equations are being written to

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Posted in Simulation

Drawing Views of Individual Bodies

I have recently had a few Technical Support questions regarding how to create drawing views of individual bodies from within a weldment. This is actually very simple and can be completed by using the little known command Relative View.€ While in a drawing, go to €œInsert, Drawing View, Relative to Model€ Select the face of a body in your drawing view. SolidWorks will then switch you to the model where you have the option to choose the €œScope and select €œSelected Bodies€. Select the body you want to detail. For orientation, select a First Orientation€ and a €œSecond Orientation€. Click €œOK€ and the drawing document window will appear. Based on

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Posted in Uncategorized

YouTube COSMOS Tutorials

If you have trouble using COSMOS, just go to www.youtube.com and look up cosmos tutorials.  They have a lot of videos that explain certain types of analysis.  It is not in-depth knowledge on why it works the way it does but it can provide step-by-step instructions on how to create certain studies.  For instance, understanding airflow through a centrifugal pump: http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=solidworks&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7ADBS&um=1&sa=N&tab=wv&oi=property_suggestions&resnum=0&ct=property-revision&cd=1#q=solidworks%20simulation This is just one of the analysis tools that are available for viewing.  They do have other analysis packages that have been recorded so just search through the website. Ketul Patel Technical Support Computer Aided Technology, Inc.

Posted in Simulation

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