Articles by: Chris Briand, CSWE

Chris has been educating and supporting Engineers, Designers and IT Personnel within the 3D CAD industry since 2002, and was adopted into the fantastic team of applications experts here at Javelin Technologies in early 2006.  Chris enjoys the continuous learning driven by the ingenuity and challenges Designers bring forward. Innovation using 3D Printing, 3D CAD and other technologies, combined with a diverse background as a technologist, allows Chris to find solutions that accelerate Designers, and take Design Teams to new heights. Chris is currently being held at an undisclosed location, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Change Multiple Sheet Formats at Once!

Changing the sheet format of any SOLIDWORKS drawing can be an unwanted task, especially if one has multiple sheets upon which to swap the format.   SOLIDWORKS 2017 has new functionality that swoops in for the assist. A new “Select Sheets to Modify” button now appears within the Sheet Properties dialog as shown in the figure below: This option will allow you to select from a list of existing sheets, so that you can apply sheet properties, sheet formats,  and zone parameters to as many sheets as you would prefer — all at the same time! Changing a SOLIDWORKS Sheet Format Open the Sheet Properties dialog via right-click on any Sheet. From the Sheet Properties tab, select the “Select Sheets to Modify” button. Select the sheets to change by selecting the checkboxes and Select OK. Set the desired Sheet Properties and Zone Parameters. Click Apply Changes. The results are exactly as you…

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Reduce SOLIDWORKS assembly open times by specifying external reference search locations

If there is one topic that repeatedly sends our customers to sleep, it’s file references. But what if I could tell you that could save time whenever you open an assembly? Where is this magic time saving switch you ask?   It is squarely located within the “External References” section of the SOLIDWORKS 2017 options dialog, found under Tools > Options > System Options > External References. Typical External References In many cases our referenced file locations are pointing at locations that we (or our team) turn to for the most commonly reused components. If you have things setup in a logical manner it may mean that these directories are shared and that only a few people on your team have “gatekeeper” access to the location to add files.  If this is the case, it is more than likely that any files that you have misplaced are not located within your…

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SOLIDWORKS 2017 Mate Controller now supports Path Mates

If you are a newcomer to the Mate Controller functionality within SOLIDWORKS, then check out the video below to learn how it works: For SOLIDWORKS 2017 a number of new features have been added to the Mate Controller which make its operation easier than ever before. Among these features are: The ability to set Assembly mates to a “Driven” state, so they can be pushed around or “influenced” by other movements in the assembly. The ability to generate configurations from positions you create within the Mate Controller. The ability to use a Path Mate for specifying a position with the Mate Controller. Using a Path Mate: In order to select a path mate for use within the Mate Controller, the path mate is required to have the “Distance Along Path” or the “Percent Along Path” option chosen. Once your path mate is in place in the assembly, You will be able to select it as…

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Lock Column Width & Row Height formatting in SOLIDWORKS BOM Templates

BOM Tables in SOLIDWORKS can sometimes create as many issues as they often solve, as you take the time to manipulate the shape of your table against a given drawing template.  After all of the manipulation via dragging columns and rows to a perfect height, you discover you have to do it again, for the very next table. The advanced formatting in tables can assist us to some degree, as the ability to Lock row heights and column widths was introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2010. SOLIDWORKS 2017 will save oodles of time when inserting BOM tables as Lock Column Width & Row Height settings are now saved with the template! This is only available when saving the template as a *.SLDBOMTBT file, as the other template options do not retain the same data when saved. Getting started Follow this simple procedure to get started with a BOM table template immediately: To…

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SOLIDWORKS 2017 Add Configurations from within the Mate Controller

The Mate Controller had been a handy tool in past releases that could be used to review the positions of an assembly when attempting to drive multiple mates at one time. SOLIDWORKS 2017 provides us an additional outlet to explore our designs as we can take those positions and save each position to an individual configuration for later use (perhaps a drawing). In order to generate configurations from the Mate Controller Dialog: Open the Mate Controller (Insert > Mate Controller). Collect all the supported mates (or mates required) Leave “Position 1” at a time of zero and select “Add Configuration” Change the position of a desired mate to move the assembly into a new position Save a new Position as “Position 2” Select the “Add Configuration” while you have “Position 2” selected in the drop-down list. Continue to repeat steps 4 through 6 in order to continue on saving multiple configurations….

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SOLIDWORKS 2017 brings relief to your sheet metal three bend corners

One of the common flange challenges that a sheet metal designer bumps into is the need to add a corner relief in their designs. In many cases this is where two bends come together, in other cases it is where three similar bends come together in a single corner. SOLIDWORKS 2017 has the tools to address both of these sheet metal needs with the introduction of the SOLIDWORKS 3 bend corner relief option, that has been added into the corner relief command as shown below. This SOLIDWORKS 3 bend corner relief option takes some getting used to, mainly due to the fact that the three bends included in the operation must all have bend lines that meet exactly at one point. SOLIDWORKS makes the selection option easy however as there is an auto-collect option that will automatically pick up the correct corners for additional processing .  Once the corner and the bends…

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SOLIDWORKS 2017 allows you to create an Exploded View of a Routed Assembly

In previous releases of SOLIDWORKS we bore witness to many interesting behaviors when attempting to create an exploded view of a routed assembly.  This has been corrected in SOLIDWORKS 2017. After a test drive of the expanded functionality, we are pleased to report that exploded views of routed assemblies and sub-assemblies can be generated with the same ease as any other type of assembly. The steps to create the exploded view are identical to those steps involved in creating any type of exploded view.  Both Regular and Radial step exploded views are available. Prior error messages that were generated by the interaction between the routed sub-assemblies, and the explode tool should no longer appear. One limitation is you cannot use the exploded view tool on a flattened route. Our hope for the SOLIDWORKS 2017 exploded route functionality is that it will save you time allowing you to avoid using workarounds to…

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SOLIDWORKS 2017 Offers Enhanced Drawing Performance in several areas

One of the areas in SOLIDWORKS that everyone likes to see improve is drawing performance. With SOLIDWORKS 2017 three areas of overall drawing performance were addressed: Optimization of Center Mark auto-insertion while creating a drawing view Lightweight Drawing Opening Time has been improved An option to disable the Automatic population of the View Palette has been added. I am going to focus on the last bullet, the option to disable the population of the View Palette. Time spent waiting for the View Palette to develop the hidden line views for a large or complex assembly is usually an unwelcome delay. From the standpoint of SOLIDWORKS 2017 Drawing Performance, turning off the Auto-population of the View Palette is one of the small tips that we would highlight during our SOLIDWORKS assembly training. SOLIDWORKS 2017 now gives us the option to completely disable the auto-population of the View Palette, so that you…

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