Is it a Part… or a Toolbox Part?

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I was recently talking with one of our customer’s that designs fixtures and related equipment.  Fortunately, this customer is using SOLIDWORKS Professional and has SOLIDWORKS Toolbox for fasteners and hardware to make his life easier!  His dilemma was he no longer wanted to have the Toolbox components of his assembly identified as Toolbox components.  He wanted a group of fasteners that originated as Toolbox parts to be treated as normal parts. What I found interesting is that a Toolbox part […]

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Convert Durometer to Young’s Modulus

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If you work with rubber and plastic materials frequently, you more than likely have access to a stress-strain curve for use in Simulation.  What can you do, though, if you don’t have all the required material properties for analysis?  If you’ve ever searched for material properties via MatWeb, IDES or other sources, you’ll likely find the hardness of plastics and rubbers listed in Shore-A or Shore-D – and no Young’s Modulus.  Fear not!  There is a simple calculation to convert […]

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SOLIDWORKS Louisville User Group Meeting – June 21st, 2011

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The next SOLIDWORKS Louisville User Group meeting – known locally as “the SLUG” – has been scheduled for Tuesday, June 21st, 2011.  It will be held at the University of Louisville Henry Vogt Engineering Center.  The meeting details are below.  If you are located in the Louisville area and have not attended a SLUG meeting, I only have one question – why not? The topic for this meeting is “How do YOU use SolidWorks?”.  Members of the local SOLIDWORKS Community […]

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Mesh Failure Diagnostics, Part 2

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Last month, I wrote about Mesh Control and described a process using the Simulation Advisor to fix mesh errors.  If you prefer to operate without the proverbial ‘phone-a-friend’ option, you can always turn the Simulation Advisor off by un-checking the box in your Simulation Options, as shown.  When you uncheck this box, you still have the option of accessing the Simulation Advisor from the Command Manager by selecting the appropriate Advisor in the pull-down menu. When an assembly failed to […]

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Mesh Control: As Easy as 1-2-3

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When is the last time you saw this warning dialog when meshing?  If your primary responsibilities include FEA, chances are it was as recently as yesterday. As we continue to design and analyze increasingly complex models, our need to access mesh controls will increase proportionally.  Wouldn’t it be nice if accessing those tools were made simple?  Amazingly enough, they already are!  At the conclusion of a failed mesh, just click on the Mesh Failure Diagnostic button. Yes, it is that […]

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Dynamic Clearance-Worth the Price of Admission

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In Essentials class this week, one of the attendees was very impressed with the Dynamic Clearance option available when using ‘Move Component’ in an assembly.  He commented that neither he nor the few other Engineers and Designers he works with knew about this functionality.  Considering this attendees’ company designs and manufactures non-static equipment, I am somewhat surprised. As a refresher, the Dynamic Clearance option is available when using ‘Move Component’ on the Assembly Command Manager tab.  After you select ‘Move […]

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Improve your efficiency with Drawings

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One of the biggest pain points in SOLIDWORKS is drawings.  It’s not that creating a drawing is difficult – far from it.  Creating multiple drawing views is as easy as dragging and dropping predefined views from the View Palette. I believe drawings are perceived as difficult due to the amount of time people spend trying to make their drawing “just right”.  As an Engineer or Designer you spend a lot of time creating your CAD models, adding dimensions and sketch […]

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Keep Balloon Numbering Consistent

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Recently, I received a call from a customer in Columbus, OH, that designs and manufactures a variety of sheetmetal components for shelving and fixtures.  As you can imagine, a complex shelving design may require several drawing sheets to adequately describe the product to the shop floor.  The Shop wanted the Engineer to maintain balloon part numbering from the first drawing sheet to the last drawing sheet.  Personally, I don’t blame the Shop for wanting their information as clean and concise […]

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