SolidWorks Tech Tips

How to Modify Section Hatching in SOLIDWORKS Drawings

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When you create a section view in a SOLIDWORKS drawing, the faces through which you are cutting will be displayed differently than the faces beyond the section plane. This is often achieved through hatching. The hatching is usually a series of inclined lines running across the cut faces, though the style depends on the material being cut. Drafting standards dictate what pattern to use for a particular class of material, so from the hatching you can identify the type of […]

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Patterns: Changing Instance size with the Vary Sketch Option in SOLIDWORKS

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SOLIDWORKS has always had many ways to create dynamic, powerful pattern features. Buried in the options since almost the beginning of time, and sometimes forgotten, has been a “Vary Sketch” option. Let’s explore this option a bit to show you some interesting ways to use it. For a little bit of background, for the Vary Sketch to work it does require that the Pattern feature use a dimension from the seed feature sketch as a direction reference. That dimension is […]

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Rotate About Scene Floor, AKA “Why does my Rotate cursor look different in SOLIDWORKS?”

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I had unknowingly struggled with this SOLIDWORKS command for several months. I use “unknowingly” here not because I wasn’t aware that I was struggling (I very much was) but because I wasn’t aware that this command was the cause. I write this article in hopes that there are others out there in my former position—knowing the what but not the why. Essentially, it seemed like SOLIDWORKS suddenly stopped letting me perform certain rotations. The model would get “stuck” in its […]

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A Real-World Example of Re-engineering and Customization

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I recently purchased a cross-over toolbox for my small truck. I was very careful to check with the vendors to make sure that the toolbox would fit into my year/make/model of truck and that I was getting the best price. Well, my toolbox arrived and guess what? It does not fit properly in the bed of my truck. I made the foolish mistake of not getting the critical measurement from my truck bed and comparing them to the manufacturer’s specifications […]

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SOLIDWORKS: Shining Some Light on Silhouette Entities

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Silhouette Entities is a powerful new sketch tool that was added in SOLIDWORKS 2020 and has not yet received the full credit it deserves. I expect plenty of seasoned designers might not be aware of it. Hopefully, this post will help change that and develop up some appreciation for Silhouette Entities. We will explore this command by comparing it to some other sketch tools we have more familiarity with. Silhouette Entities creates sketch geometry by projecting the outline of bodies […]

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SOLIDWORKS: Getting Started with Mold Tools

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SOLIDWORKS has thousands of tools and features that cater to all sorts of major industries. Sheet metal, machined parts, structural fabrication, consumer products, automotive, aerospace, medical…the list goes on. Another very important industry that we’ll get into is mold tooling. In this blog post, we are going to introduce the Mold Tool commands. We also have an upcoming webcast that will demonstrate how these tools can be used to accomplish the tasks required for mold tooling design. Accessing the mold […]

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SOLIDWORKS TECH TIP: Metadata Connection – SolidWorks, Toolbox, and Composer

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Metadata Connection:  SolidWorks, Toolbox, and Composer While the geometry of our designs is the essential core of digital manufacturing these days, the communication of metadata attached to that geometry is imperative. How else would we fill out our title blocks, BOM, cut lists, and ultimately enrich our deliverable in SolidWorks Composer? Today I’d like to show the metadata connection between SolidWorks parts, toolbox parts, and SolidWorks Composer.  Watch the short video for a click by click detail. Composer and imported metadata: […]

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SOLIDWORKS TECH TIP: Accounting for Coatings and Determining Pre-plate Dimensions

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For certain precision machining operations, the application of coatings will necessitate machining to a slightly different dimension than the one on the final print. While there is no direct feature in SOLIDWORKS to just remove the coating thickness, this type of operation can be completed in about three steps using a few of the lesser-known SOLIDWORKS features. The basic idea is to create a model of the coating thickness and subtract it from the completed part. It’s actually simpler than […]

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SOLIDWORKS TECH TIP: Meshing Tips and Tools for Better Results (Part 8 – Final)

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Since I am always being asked what makes a good mesh, I decided once again to blog about a list I put together a while ago. This was a general list, in no particular order, of things you can do, things you can use, and things you can look for in creating a mesh; knowing you have a good mesh, you can feel better about the results you are getting. This is the final part in this series. Here, I […]

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SOLIDWORKS TECH TIP: Meshing Tips and Tools for Better Results (Part 6)

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Since I am always being asked what makes a good mesh, I decided once again to blog about a list I put together a while ago. This was a general list, in no particular order, of things you can do, things you can use, and things you can look for in creating a mesh; knowing you have a good mesh, you can feel better about the results you are getting. This is part 6 in the series and will look […]

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