A costly part of manufacturing is creating the fixtures that are used to hold the parts in position during fabrication. That is why many designers are now turning to self-fixturing design technique to reduce the assembly and setup costs in the manufacturing process. In this technique the assembly components will be held together without the need for external fixturing and tooling.
SOLIDWORKS 2018 Tab and Slot feature can be used for this purpose. Tabs and slots can be added to adjoining components to form an interlock between them. Tabs and slots can be created on parts in an assembly, a single part or a multi-body part. The edges and faces must be planar or cylindrical, but they do not have to touch.
The new tab and slot feature not only reduces design time by automating the creation of these features but also reduces the manufacturing costs by minimizing the need to build expensive fixtures that can delay manufacturing.
In this short video I demonstrate how the SOLIDWORKS 2018 Tab and Slot can be used:
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