SolidWorks 2014 adds new functionality to the Section View tool. Now you can select components to exclude from the section, or alternatively select only the components you want to include. This provides the ability to see through portions of your model without cutting everything. The video below shows the different selections, along with the “Enable selection plane” option to make it easier to choose any hidden components.
Enhancements have been added to the Recent Documents window in SolidWorks 2014. The Recent Documents dialog can be opened through File > Browse Recent Documents, or press the keyboard shortcut “r”.
Now in SolidWorks 2014, hovering over a recent document has the option to expand the Open options. You now have all the same options as you do in the Open dialog window.
You also have the option to drag and drop files from the Recent Documents window into other files. Drag components into assemblies, derived parts into other parts, parts and assemblies into drawings to create a new view, or open a file by dragging onto the SolidWorks background (no files open). You can also drag into Windows Explorer to create a copy of the file to that directory.
New in SolidWork 2014 is the ability to replace drawing view references to other models when a drawing is open. In previous releases, the drawing would need to be closed and then go to File > Open, select the drawing file and click the References button to change the file references.
You can now modify the model reference when the drawing is open by going to Tools > Replace Model.
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The Lofted-Bend tool in SolidWorks has now been enhanced giving you the option to created formed lofts or made up of several bent segments. The new Bent option gives you several methods to control the number of bends in each region. This provides a more realistic shape if the part is being manufactured on a press brake.
The following video illustrates the two lofted options and their controls.
If you haven’t used the SolidWorks freeze bar before, here’s how you can become a little “cooler”. This functionality was added in SolidWorks 2012 and it’s a great way to reduce the rebuild times of your complex part files when working on them and avoid editing the wrong features.
You may not have noticed this tool as it’s not enabled by default. Browsing to Tools > Options > System Options tab > General allows you to ‘Enable Freeze Bar’.
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Suppose you need to make an animation of a 6 degree-of-freedom robot. However you only need to show the end-effector moving from point A to point B to point C, etc. You aren’t concerned with the movement of each joint at the moment.
Have you ever tried free-dragging something with six degrees of freedom? I guarantee you will have it flipping around and inverting due to the fact that there are too many positions and orientations possible. As you are looking at a 2-dimensional screen, the robot could be at any depth; and it’s also possible to satisfy the position with the joints inverted.
So how would you go about animating this robot? You could run some inverse kinematics to determine each joint position required for the desired position of the end-effector, then add motors to each joint, or you could figure out some distance/angle mates that you can control in the animation. But in the end, you just wanted a simple animation showing the end of the arm moving from here to there with all the joints and arms to follow without flipping.
Here is a video showing the steps of how to quickly create an animation with mates to the end-effector at various locations.
Sometimes you may need to completely uninstall SolidWorks, including all Program Files and Registry Keys. Perhaps the computer will be used by someone else who doesn’t use SolidWorks and you need to free up some hard drive space. This can also be required if the original installation was performed without following best practices (restricted user permissions, antivirus running, User Account Controls enabled). If you don’t plan on reinstalling SolidWorks on the same computer again, ensure that you have transferred the SolidWorks license to free up the activation (http://www.javelin-tech.com/blog/2012/03/transfer-sw-license/). This blog post runs you through the options during the Uninstall process.
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When dimensioning models in a SolidWorks drawing it’s very simple to switch the dimensions from inches to millimeters to meters by changing the drawing files unit system. Regardless of the unit system being used in the model file (the part or assembly), as soon as the drawing units are changed, the dimensions update.
Unfortunately, the same is not true for mass values displayed in notes in the drawing. This value is linked to a custom property from the model file. Because the value is written to the custom property within the model file, it’s value will be locked to that file’s unit system, not the drawings.
To get the mass note to display in the desired units, a few additional steps are needed.
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There are several Sheet Metal Forming tools available in the Design Library that can be easily dragged onto a Sheet Metal part to add features. Just be aware that SolidWorks Sheet Metal does not account for material deformation during the forming process. The part will have a uniform thickness through the formed feature even if the process would cause the material to thin or stretch. By default, these features will remain visible when the sheet metal part is flattened but there are additional options to show the blank without the features.
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A SolidWorks drawing has several colour options that can be customized. Most of these can be located under Tools > Options > System Options tab > Colors. There are the standard listings for “Drawings” that includes things like the Paper Color, Visible Model Edges, and Tangent Edges.
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