The Design Looks Great, But How Much Does It Cost? Let SOLIDWORKS Costing Tell You.

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The world is full of ‘what ifs’. What if I knew I could drive as fast as I wanted to work every day because I knew the police would never stop me for speeding? What if I knew moving my investments from one broker to another would guarantee me an additional 10% in earnings this year? What if I could simulate the cost of manufacturing my product before it ever left my computer? SOLIDWORKS can’t help you with getting to […]

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Hidden Smart Mate Command

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Smart Mates are quite handy for creating commonly used standard mates in your assembly. As a matter of fact, the first time I learned how to create a Smart Mate I figured I would never create mates any other way. Just hold the ALT key down, select a face of a component and drag and drop it onto a face of another component. Confirm the mate and BAM! you are done. Efficiency I say! But what if I need to […]

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Get Design Changes To The Manufacturing Team Quickly With SOLIDWORKS Composer

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Quick – how long does it take you to get your design changes communicated to the manufacturing team? Your answer depends on many things, including stakeholders and workflow, but if the bottleneck is your documentation process, read on to discover a real-world example of how you can repurpose your hard-earned CAD data to also quickly provide manufacturing instructions. In the video below, Yaris Kabin shows us some output from SOLIDWORKS Composer. (Note they are using a touch-screen device on the […]

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Variable Pattern Instances in SOLIDWORKS 2013

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The pattern command in SolidWorks is quite helpful for making quick work of taking a feature, face or body and copying it around in order to create a patterned set of instances. But what if you want to vary the spacing of the instances or the size of the feature being copied? The image below shows the oval-shaped cut on the left side of this muffler guard being patterned down the left side of the guard. Not only is the size changing […]

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Multiple Mate References in One SOLIDWORKS Part

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Recently a customer asked if they could create multiple mate references on a part, so that it would position itself as desired when dropped into an assembly. That is to say that a mate would be created for not only the primary mate reference, but the secondary and tertiary as well.  The answer is yes – and here’s how you do it. The trick is that you have to (also) have a Mate Reference in the part you are mating […]

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Use Luxology Appearance Files When Rendering in SOLIDWORKS 2013

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As far as favorite new features go for SOLIDWORKS 2013, using Luxology appearances to render my SOLIDWORKS models is one of my favorites. Luxology provides the rendering engine behind PhotoView 360 and up until now you were not able to use native Luxology appearances in SolidWorks. They have removed that barrier and now you have access to hundreds of new rendering appearances. To download these new appearances, you have to have a current subscription contract with SOLIDWORKS (you can also access […]

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Customize Your Command Manager Icons in SolidWorks

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Sometimes it’s the little things that can make your day. Thanks to a co-worker, I recently discovered that you can customize the look of the icons in your Command Manager ribbons. So I thought I’d document it for the world to enjoy. You may have gone to Tools > Customize to bring up the Customize interface, where you can customize your Toolbars, Commands, Menus, and Keyboard & Mouse Gesture shortcuts. But did you know that while this dialog is open […]

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Modify Sketch Tool in SolidWorks

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Ever want to move, flip, rotate, or scale an entire sketch? If so, you will want to check out the Modify Sketch command. Found under Tools > Sketch Tools > Modify… , you can use the command while editing a sketch or not. If editing a sketch, you have the full functionality of the command – Translate (move) using a typed-in value or just click and drag in the graphics window Flip (move) by hovering your cursor over one of […]

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Dissection – Quickly Reuse SOLIDWORKS Design Data

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I love to find things that help me keep from having to do something over again. Calculators. Assembly instructions. Programmable lawn mowers. A great SOLIDWORKS tool in this area is Dissection – SOLIDWORKS dissects files to make their components available for reuse. When SOLIDWORKS files are dissected: Parts are dissected into features (extrudes and cuts) Features are dissected into sketches Drawings are dissected into general tables and blocks DWG/DXF files are dissected into tables, blocks and views To use this […]

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Auto Arrange Dimensions

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One of my favorite enhancements to drawings over the past couple of years has got to be Auto Arrange Dimensions. This might be as close as you get to an ‘easy’ button in drawings. See the image below to discover a drawing view with the dimensions in a complete mess. To fix this in flash, SOLIDWORKS introduced Auto Arrange Dimensions the the 2011 release. This function will automatically arrange the selected dimensions for you. The procedure is as follows: Box-select all of […]

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