Utilizing Radial Steps For Exploded Views in SOLIDWORKS

Creating exploded views in SOLIDWORKS is paramount for communicating how components are put together in an assembly. While exploded views often exist in drawings, they can also be used to create a very captivating animation. The SOLIDWORKS Exploded View tool is extremely intuitive making it a quick process. We will use this linear actuator assembly to highlight the “Radial Explode” option found on the Exploded View tool.

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Our exploded views can contain numerous steps. Each step can be either Regular (translate/rotate) or Radial. The Radial step option allows us to define the component’s position aligned radially or cylindrically about an axis. The Radial Step option exists on our Explode property manager. This setting is defined individually for each step in the exploded view.

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Using the Radial Step option, we can explode the five Cap Screws outward from the axis of the actuator in a single step. It only requires selecting the components and a center axis.

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Continuing the creation of this exploded view, using additional radial and regular steps, we end up with an exceptionally clean result. We can clearly see all the components of our Linear Actuator assembly.

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Using a Regular explode step will allow us to define any direction to translate the selected parts. This radial explode option makes it easy to have multiple parts move in multiple directions in a single step. Without the Radial Step option, this example would require a separate step for each socket head cap screw. With this Radial Step, we can move them all in the single explode step. This is especially advantageous when we are using the exploded view in an animation. The single step will give the animation the smooth coordinated movement of the screws moving simultaneously.

Hopefully, you can take advantage of this Radial Step option the next time you create your SOLIDWORKS exploded view!

Greg Buter
Application Engineer Manager
Computer Aided Technology

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