SolidWorks’ Power Hide Tool

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The Tab+Mouse Hover in SolidWorks is an extremely fast* way to hide parts in an assembly that is often overlooked. Give it a try; (1) Open an assembly, (2) Put the cursor over a part, (3) Press the TAB key on your keyboard. Viola! That part is hidden!   If you'd like a "Full Auto Mode"; Keep the Tab key held down as you move the mouse around. – Parts will disappear one right after the other!   *Full Auto […]

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Using “Select All” in SOLIDWORKS

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I like to post information about things I see people struggle with, or questions that I get from people I’m trying to help. One such struggle involved someone who was trying to select all (or most of) the part files in his assembly. He would use the Ctrl key to select them individually, or the Shift key to select the components in groups.  So naturally, I told him how he could ‘Select All‘ and then deselect the couple of items […]

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How to Isolate Simulation Results in an Assembly

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Recently, I have been asked on a couple of occasions how to ‘isolate’ the Simulation results in an assembly. After running an analysis, we can certainly visualize the results on the entire assembly, but what if we wanted to localize those results on a single component for reporting purposes? The first thing people try to use is the Isolate command. The problem is that once you isolate the component, as soon as you select the study tab at the bottom, Isolate […]

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SOLIDWORKS 2013: Image Quality and Assembly Visualization

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Many of us may not be aware of how SolidWorks displays the models that you see in the graphics area. We are all aware of the “Image Quality” slider that exists in the Document Properties tab, but here is some insight. When you sketch a circle and extrude a cylinder, SolidWorks calculates a perfect cylinder. It then hands that information to the graphics card, which breaks up the faces into a series of triangles and then it “paints” over the […]

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SOLIDWORKS Tech Tip: How to see shared mates between assembly components

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Once you start creating mates between assembly components, it can be easy to get lost in trying to remember what mates you shared between two components.Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to easily distinguish what mates were shared? Well, you can. Let me show you how. Take the image of two blocks below. As you can see, the blocks share two Coincident mates. The Top block (indicated with yellow top) also has its OWN additional mate to a separate […]

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What Can’t You Design In SolidWorks? #2

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RC Hovercraft #2 – SolidWorks To review, I had 4 main design criteria for the Remote Control Hover Craft. Utilize the SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Suite of software to develop and optimize the hovercraft design. The RC Hovercraft’s main components will be 3D Printed using the Stratasys UPrint. Easy to Assemble. I want to make the assembly as easy and as straight forward as possible with concise instructions. For purchases components, use low cost, off the shelf components including the […]

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What Can’t You Design In SolidWorks?

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RC Hovercraft #1 For this blog series I wanted to design something from scratch.  Not necessarily a new idea but something fun and cool.  My intention is to design a Remote Control Hovercraft from the ground up. I want to give you a brief description and history of a Hovercraft: A hovercraft or air-cushion vehicle is a vehicle capable of travelling over variable surfaces, such as land and water.  The hovercraft operates by forcing a high pressure of air between the bottom of […]

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How to Hide & Show Components Fast

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Here’s a cool shortcut, added in SOLIDWORKS 2012, to hide and show components in an assembly; “Tab” key. If you move your mouse over a component and press the “Tab” key, the component gets hidden.  If you hold “Shift“+”Tab“, it will bring the component back.  Try holding the “Tab” key down and moving your mouse over the assembly and see what happens. You can learn some other good tips in regards to assemblies in the Assembly Training Class.  We will […]

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Assembly Visualization – the search for the missing file properties

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Releasing your drawings to the machine shop with missing information makes a machinist angrier than a baby boomer looking at a teenager that doesn’t have his pants pulled up all the way. As we all know, looking through a large assembly, checking file properties can be a tedious task. (At least that is the excuse I always use.) I’ve found Assembly Visualization can be a great tool to quickly skim through your assembly’s components looking for missing information. Here’s how I […]

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Game Show: Why won’t these references update? – The Solution

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In Wednesday’s competition we learned neither our champion nor challenger’s method of updating references worked. Did you figure out why? The problem they ran into was caused by how SOLIDWORKS finds referenced files when assemblies are opened. SOLIDWORKS has a set of rules to go by when trying to find components of an assembly. It is important to know and understand SolidWorks’ method. Try to use an already loaded file Look in the paths listed in the “Referenced Documents” list […]

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