How to Automatically Add SOLIDWORKS Tangent Relations from Lines to Arcs & Circles

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE updated April 24, 2017


Attaching a line to an arc or circle can be automatically snapped with a SOLIDWORKS tangent relation if you hover over the tangent location for a bit.

SOLIDWORKS Tangent Relation

SOLIDWORKS Snap Tangent Relation

Starting the line from an arc or circle may not add the tangent relation automatically.  However you can hover over the arc to ‘wake up’ the center point, start the line on the arc and drag the line out in the tangent direction.  You can even spin it around the curve and it will remain tangent.

SOLIDWORKS Wake Up Center to Start Tangent

SOLIDWORKS Wake Up Center to Start Tangent

NOTE: This method works for Circles and Arcs as they have center points to wake up.  You can start a line from a Spline and wait for the inference lines to snap tangentially, but it won’t follow the Spline with a tangent relation as shown in the video to snap the other end of the line.

To see this in action, here’s a video demonstration:

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.