Articles by: Adam Bridgman, CSWE

Adam Bridgman in SOLIDWORKS Certified Expert proving customers with technical support and training

Add-in Series 1 – How to install the SolidWorks Software Development Kit (SDK) [VIDEO]

This video demonstrates how to download and install the SolidWorks Software Development Kit. It is part one in the series because the SDK is the easiest method for creating a new add-in. Creating a SolidWorks Add-in using the SDK is very simple, but a lot of people have trouble getting it set up in the first place.  If you have an active subscription it is possible to download it from the customer portal.  Just follow the steps in the video below.  Please note that the SDK only works for full versions of visual studio.

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SOLIDWORKS View Manipulation with Mouse and Keyboard [VIDEO]

Man using a SolidWorks keyboard

Using the mouse to its full potential can be very useful in SOLIDWORKS.  Almost every view command in SOLIDWORKS can be accessed using the mouse and modifier keys.  Fit the current model in the graphics area (zoom to fit) by double clicking the middle mouse…

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SolidWorks Tutorial: Keyboard and Mouse – Controlling the Viewport Orientation [VIDEO]

There are modifier keys for every SolidWorks environment, their functions sometimes differ by environment but many of them are common. Many modifier keys affect how the mouse buttons behave, especially regarding controlling the view. Sometimes a combination of selections and hot keys also affect the behaviours. As of SolidWorks 2012 selecting view, normal to, aligns the view to the nearest primary plane if nothing is selected.  If one planar face is selected the view will be aligned to that face, but it is pretty difficult to determine at what angle that face will appear. To control the orientation it is possible to preselect 2 faces, the first one selected is the face the view will be normal to, the second face will become horizontal. Many keys affect the…

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SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional: Write Drawing Card With Part Card Variables [VIDEO]

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional is capable of copying values from a part or assembly card and writing them to a Drawing card.  The setup to do this is actually quite easy. To set up this link do the following: Open the drawing card in the card…

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Sketching Tips [VIDEO]

When sketching in SolidWorks for the first time there is a lot to take in.  Even with the best of instructors the first time through you might forget some of the nice features.  In this series I am going to compile the very basics of sketching that and generate a table of all the modifier keys in one succinct location. To start off with when creating a shape with lines there are two methods, click click, and click drag.  Click Click will automatically start another entity of the same type, click drag will not.  Click Click will have the same effect as click drag when closing off a profile, or when creating an entity that is closed, such as a rectangle or a circle. Once…

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SolidWorks 2014 – Solar Access Studies [VIDEO]

A solar access study requires that sunlight be added to the model. Sunlight is added the same way as all other lights, on the appearance manager. Once the sunlight is added a solar access study can be added using the motion study animation wizard. There are two forms of Solar Access Studies, fixed date variable time, or fixed time variable date. These can be used to show a day or a season. All other appearances can be modified using the timeline like normal so it is possible to show the effects of the season along with the motion of the sun. SolidWorks takes care of all of the details. Enter the obvious details and accept, then calculate the study. Play back to review.

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SolidWorks 2014 – Delighters [VIDEO]

Sometimes it is the small things that make the biggest difference in day to day use. In this series I am going to show off the delighters in SolidWorks 2014. When selecting multiple parts in an assembly it is now possible to mate them in the context menu, just like relations in a sketch. When selecting a part in an assembly the feature tree scrolls to the part (if the option is set), but when you deselect it, it scrolls back to where it was. Smart mates now has a toggle button to easily add several smart mates without modifier keys. Lasso selection now allows a more freeform shape for making selections. It is simple enough that it is possible to use without any adjustment time.  It simply…

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SolidWorks 2014 Tutorial – Mirroring Asymmetric Components using The Bounding Box [VIDEO]

SolidWorks has been steadily adding options to Mirror Components for the last few releases. One of the missing details was the ability to control the point about which components were mirrored. In previous releases components were always mirrored about their centre of mass. For symmetric components this worked out well, however not all components are symmetric. The part I have created exaggerates the effect of using this option. When mirroring without reorientation these options have no effect. But as soon as the components are reoriented the effect can be clearly seen. Center of mass is the option previous releases of SolidWorks used. Now in 2014 we can mirror the asymmetric components using the bounding box. This means that the outside shape of the part controls the output position rather than the center…

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Marble Roller Coaster Create Start of Loop (Part 6 of many) [VIDEO]

Create Loop Start To read the previous article of this series, CLICK HERE. Many people believe that the shape of the loop should be circular, the problem with a circular loop is that it has an abrupt change in curvature and in the case of…

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