SOLIDWORKS 2016 New “Equal Curve Length” Sketch Relation

Article by Alin Vargatu, CSWE updated November 12, 2015


This is the second article from the “What’s Really New in SOLIDWORKS 2016” series, where we continue to extensively test the new functionality introduced in the latest version of SOLIDWORKS.

For the first time in 10 years, SOLIDWORKS added a new relation to the sketch environment and it is really good. It is so useful that for many people this could be the main reason for upgrading to SOLIDWORKS 2016!!!

The new relation (Equal Curve Length) was sorely needed and complements the old Equal relation. The old relation is not very consistent: when applied to 2 lines, the lengths are equal, but when applied to 2 arcs, the diameters are equal.

The new relation establishes the equal length between curves like lines, arcs and splines. At this time it does not work for conics, including ellipses, parabolas and hyperbolas. Also, does not work for applying equal length relations between arcs and edges.

Unfortunately, for legacy reasons we now have to live with two relations with similar names, but different functions, dependent on the type of entity they are applied to.

If this would have been the first release of SOLIDWORKS, I imagine that the Equal Length relation would apply to both arcs and lines and would mean exactly that – equal length. Then, there would be a second relation that would apply to arcs and could be called Equal Radius. This way there would be no confusion about the functionality of the 2 relations.

Currently we have the old Equal relation that means something for arcs and something totally different for lines. Moreover, the new Equal Length Curve relation applies to arcs, splines in all situations and only partial to lines. For example, I can apply the new relation to a line and an arc, or a line and a spline but not to two lines. Actually, the moment you have more than one line in your selection (let’s say two lines and one arc), the new relation is no longer available.

While that could be confusing for users that are just moving to 2016, I welcome the new relation. It was sorely needed and am sure its functionality will be further enhanced in future releases. As it is today, it could be a great time saver in consumer goods design, machine design, furniture design, architecture and for setting up motion studies.

One more time, SOlLIDWORKS proved that it listens to its users (this was generated from an ER and an idea submitted to the SOLIDWORKS WORLD Top10 in the past two years by Javelin’s AEs on behalf of Javelin’s Customers).

I will give SOLIDWORKS an 8 out of 10 mark at this time.

Watch the tutorial video to see how well it performs:

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS 2016

To learn other SOLIDWORKS 2016 what’s new tip and tricks you should watch a recording of our recent launch event broadcast.

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Alin Vargatu, CSWE

Alin is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and an avid contributor to the SOLIDWORKS Community. Alin has presented multiple times at SOLIDWORKS World, Technical Summits, and User Group Meetings, while being very active on the SOLIDWORKS Forum.