SOLIDWORKS 2020 What’s New – Adding Reference Axes and Reference Planes to Mesh Bodies

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As 3D scanning and printing technology continues to become more available, design workflows can be adjusted to take advantage of it. These exciting tools utilize their own software that will ultimately produce files that represent the 3D part geometry. We will look at new functionality in SOLIDWORKS 2020 that allows us to create reference geometry based on this imported scanned data. Scanned geometry can be brought into SOLIDWORKS as a “Mesh Body”. The model is broken down into tens or […]

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SOLIDWORKS Deform Tool: Creating an Over-mold

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Today I’d like to show you how to use the SOLIDWORKS Deform Tool to create and over-mold on an existing tool handle. We’ll start with the Ratchet Handle that was created in Lesson 4 of SOLIDWORKS Essentials: Parts and Assemblies. Let’s start by creating a basic ellipsoid shape that encompasses the handle. Only half of the solid is created, so that symmetry can be applied later. Now a sketch is created to be used to modify the solid. In this […]

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SOLIDWORKS: 3D PDF Files For Technical Communication

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SOLIDWORKS provides several fantastic solutions for technical communication. You can use SOLIDWORKS Visualize to create high quality photo-realistic images of your product. Another great option is to create interactive product instructions using SOLIDWORKS Composer. SOLIDWORKS Inspection, eDrawings, and even 2D prints are all ways to successfully communicate your design information to others. In this article, we are going to look at a lesser known option, 3D PDF files. We’ll look at how to create the file and also what you […]

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Work Smarter, Not Harder: Using Smart Components in SOLIDWORKS

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With the constant push to get designs completed quickly, anything you can do to speed up your SOLIDWORKS modeling is an advantage. Smart Components are a lesser known tool that has been available in all versions of SOLIDWORKS for many years. If you are looking for some tricks to increase productivity, Smart Components should be on your list. Everyone is familiar with setting up SOLIDWORKS part libraries to efficiently create new projects. A single file location for common parts can […]

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Getting Started With SOLIDWORKS 2018

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Getting Started With SOLIDWORKS 2018 If you are new to M.C.A.D. (Mechanical Computer-Aided Design) or you are interested in learning the basics of 3D part modelling using SOLIDWORKS, there are some simple steps you can take to familiarize yourself with the application. There are also self-paced tutorials included with the software which will provide an excellent path to learning the basics of 3D design. After completing the first few tutorials you will be prepared to attend a SOLIDWORKS Essentials class, […]

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SOLIDWORKS DRAWINGS – Ballooning Exploded Views

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SOLIDWORKS DRAWINGS: Ballooning Exploded Views Assembly Drawings always contain an exploded view with the components ballooned to identify them in the Bill of Materials table. SOLIDWORKS has a great tool for automatically adding balloons to your assembly drawing view. This Auto Balloon command will make sure every component is ballooned and that no duplicate balloons are created. Another advantage of the Auto Balloon tool is that the balloon placement is neatly arranged around the view. You can specify the general […]

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Quick Tip: Linear Pattern-Up to Reference

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In SOLIDWORKS 2015, Up to reference was added as an option in Linear Patterns.  Typically you set the distance between the instances and the number of instances.  Now you can specify the distance up to some piece of geometry allowing the software to figure out either the distance or instance count. You still choose an edge for the pattern direction.  You now choose Up to reference and something to reference to.  You are building a much more intelligent model while […]

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What is the Vary Sketch Option in a Pattern?

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I have an option that you might have overlooked or just didn’t know what it does.  It’s the Vary Sketch option. The definition from the Help File says, “Select the Vary Sketch option to let the pattern instances change dimensions as they repeat.”  Let’s take a look at what you have to do and how it might help you. So what I’m going to do is create a triangular part first. Now we need to have a feature added to […]

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Right Sketch, Wrong Sketch Plane

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How many times have you created a sketch and then figured out that it’s on the wrong sketch plane or face.  Even after all the years that I have being using SOLIDWORKS I still do that.  You have the ability to move a sketch to a different plane/face with about 3 mouse clicks. First you need to be out of the sketch.  You don’t want to be editing anything. Find the sketch that you want to move.  The sketch could […]

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Right Sketch, Wrong Sketch Plane

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How many times have you created a sketch and then figured out that it’s on the wrong sketch plane or face.  Even after all the years that I have being using SOLIDWORKS I still do that.  You have the ability to move a sketch to a different plane/face with about 3 mouse clicks. First you need to be out of the sketch.  You don’t want to be editing anything. Find the sketch that you want to move.  The sketch could […]

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