Since the xApps don’t care which operating system is being used because they are cloud-powered, today’s walk-through will be done using a Macbook Pro. Traditional CAD environments require Windows as the operating system as most continue to use it. However, using this platform we are expanding our options and can use a number of operating systems to design, share and collaborate amongst our team.
Watch the video below for the full walk-through of how we use the 3D Creator Role and the xDesign App for this phase of our project:
Switching Apps in 3DEXPERIENCE Works
When opening the dashboard in the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, we see that it very conveniently shows the circular saw project on the home screen under recent documents. As you can see, we have landed in the xDocument app (which will be used later in this series) but that’s no problem. We can switch apps on the fly!
As you can see below, we can switch apps by pressing the ‘x’ key. In this case, we have purchased various other roles so that we can create structures, sheet metal components, organic shapes and the like.
Creating a New Component
The first thing we need to do here is to create a new component. On the action bar, create a new part in the context of the product design. There is no different interface if we are creating parts or assemblies here. This is a single modeling environment.
Creating a new part is a breeze. Other geometry can be easily referenced in the product. So, stealing geometry from diameters, in this case, is easy. We can create a couple of concentric circles that are coincident with the center of the mating screw.
Completing the Sketch
To continue the sketch, we can add dimensions or relations to helpfully define the 2D sketch. Blue indicates under defined. Black is fully defined. Color and visual feedback is great, and tells the user where he or she is in the process. You can single left-click geometry to describe further its dimension and/or relations to other geometry. Here, we are moving forward with adding some things to help define the lines of this handle. There are very powerful shortcuts at the user’s fingertips, such as the ‘s’ key, which allows for quick access to some of the most common tools.
In this case, we just want to see the new part isolated so we are viewing only the geometry needed for that portion.
Creating 3D Content
Creating 3D content is quick. On the action bar at the bottom of xDesign, you can create an extrude – this is a super feature! You can add, cut or do additional Boolean features directly in this very powerful all-in-one command.
For the pocket of the screw, we have created an additional circle that we will cut back into the circular boss below.
An additional extrude below sees our part come into context. It’s really starting to take quick shape.
We can also literally just drag on the sketch to extrude the contour- as seen below, we are extruding this to a specific value of 10 units by hovering the drag bar over the ruler.
Adding Fillets and Exporting
As we get closer to the final shape here, one of the last things we will do is fillets/chamfers. When we select edges for the fillet, xDesign is very smart. We can multi-select various edges that the software will understand serve similar design purposes. This saves the designer a lot of time. We don’t have to select dozens of edges because in a couple of clicks, we get a nice series of rounds in the design.
In this case, to let our team members know that the design is progressing, we will color it yellow – this lets everyone clearly see the new part and possibly comment on it in our 3DSWYM community.
I can also save this in many other formats on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, such as STL. And with that, I’m ready to send this to my 3D printer!
SOLIDWORKS xDesign is a very capable parametric xApp, and because it lives in the cloud we can use any computer that is connected to the internet to design. We utilized mature CAD functionality all in a browser-based design tool that we can pick up and use on any device anywhere in the world. By using the apps within our 3D Creator Role, you will be able to add crucial parts to your team’s design project from wherever you are.
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