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.

Be careful using SOLIDWORKS Convert to Bodies on models with referenced drawings

Convert to bodies references blown apart

In an earlier article, I introduced the New Convert to Bodies functionality available in SOLIDWORKS 2017. If you are considering the use of the “Convert to Bodies” functionality be cautious of models that have drawings referenced to them. Below are the details that are worth knowing before you get yourself knee-deep in dangling dimensions. The “Fine Print” on SOLIDWORKS Convert to Bodies Be aware that the use of SOLIDWORKS Convert to Bodies can have an impact on dimensions that appear in related drawings during the process of discarding the feature data from your model. The behavior will differ, depending on how the dimensions were created on the drawing. If the “Model Items” tool was used to import the dimensions directly from the model, they will become a set of dangling dimensions you see in the image below. If the smart dimensions tool was used to create reference dimensions within the drawing,…

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SOLIDWORKS 2017 has nipples?

SOLIDWORKS Pipe Nipples that is! This is a safe for work blog after all. Another requested feature among those folks who use the Pipe & Tube Routing functionality within SOLIDWORKS has been the inclusion of Pipe Nipples in order to connect two fittings within a route assembly. Our apologies for those who stumbled upon this article while searching for something else entirely, just to clarify: a Pipe Nipple is a short length of pipe with a male NPT thread at both ends. SOLIDWORKS Pipe Nipples available The routing component wizard now has built-in support for the creation of the following: Barrel Nipples Hex Nipples Close Nipples Weld Nipples Hose Nipples The included pipe nipples are fully featured with multiple configurations which drive a range of sizes from 1/8″ up to 12″ in some cases.  Route Points and Connection Points are also included so that the Nipples can be dropped into the desired…

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SOLIDWORKS 2017 Tree Display options reduce visual clutter in the FeatureManager

With all of the information that the SOLIDWORKS feature manager design tree is able to relay to users, enhancements that reduce the visual clutter in the Feature manager are always a welcome addition. Having default configuration names displayed when there is one solitary configuration leads to visual clutter and ultimately makes it more difficult to find items in the feature tree. This can be especially true for assemblies with any subassembly structure. SOLIDWORKS 2017 is no different in this regard. We now have a new option within the FeatureManager Design Tree that will hide configuration names or display state names if there is only a single configuration/display state in the file. SOLIDWORKS 2017 Tree Display for Configuration names To hide configuration and display state names in the FeatureManager Design Tree: In the FeatureManager design tree, right-click the top node and show the Tree Display sub-menu. Select the “Do not show Configuration/Display State Names…

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SOLIDWORKS 2017 Emphasized Outline Section View will help you read between the lines

Emphasized Section View

For those of us that remember a time before SOLIDWORKS was a common tool in the shop, the ability to automatically create a section view from a 3D assembly is a marvelous thing!   With that said, every so often we have a complex assembly where the section view is a little lackluster.  SOLIDWORKS 2017 comes to the rescue on this issue with a conveniently located checkbox that will allow you to add an “Emphasized” line font to outline of the sectioned edges within the Section drawing view. Note the SOLIDWORKS Emphasized Outline Section View on the right in the image below, and when you compare it to the regular view on the left you can see a significant difference Emphasized Section Outline Settings As nifty and as direct as the SOLIDWORKS Emphasized Outline Section View is, it does not stand on it’s own. In order to have your emphasized line font…

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Driving vs Driven: Choose which mate dimension is in the driver’s seat with SOLIDWORKS 2017

A Friday Afternoon in Peril: It is the end of the day, a Friday no less – and you have already put in three hours or so on your concept assembly design. In bringing this concept together you have been tossing parts into the assembly file without any real regard for the conflicts you may be introducing while adding Mates to the components.  All of a sudden WHAM, there it is…Ketchup and Mustard stains (Mate Errors) in the assembly feature tree?! A savvy SOLIDWORKS user may attempt to use the View Mates tool in an effort to solve the conflict, and depending on the system of mates involved that is always a reasonable option. As has been proven on so many occasions, SOLIDWORKS is a stickler for accuracy, thus getting a bigger hammer to pound an assembly component into place has never been an option — until SOLIDWORKS 2017. To the…

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SOLIDWORKS 2017 is now more efficient at handling Externally Referenced files

SOLIDWORKS External References

If your typical workflow involves opening SOLIDWORKS files with any number of external references, you may have fallen victim to a common affliction — that all of the referenced files have opened in the background too! More than one instance of this happening with a large assembly will have you hunting for a solution to save the time it takes to close all of the SOLIDWORKS referenced document windows. SOLIDWORKS referenced documents can be handled more efficiently in the 2017 release with a new system option to load the documents into memory only, located in Tools > Options > System Options > External References > Load Referenced Documents. If your Load referenced documents option is to “All” or “Changed Only” then the referenced documents will be opened in the background. But with the new checkbox, “Load documents in memory only” enabled the references will be loaded into memory instead and updated without the need for SOLIDWORKS…

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SOLIDWORKS 2017 provides direct import of 3D Scanned Data

SOLIDWORKS Import Mesh File

If you work with 3D scanned data on a regular basis, we are certain that the ability to directly import 3D mesh files into SOLIDWORKS 2017 will be among your favorite enhancements in this latest release. Several types of mesh files can now be directly imported without the need for the ScanTo3D Add-In (which was required in previous releases, and is available with SOLIDWORKS Pro, or SOLIDWORKS Premium). The mesh files that SOLIDWORKS will now import directly are: *.stl, *.obj, *.off, *.ply, and *.ply2 files. As shown in the dialog below simply select File > Open and choose Mesh Files from the file type filter. In the System Options under Import (Tools > Options > System Options > Import) you can specify how you would like to have the mesh file format imported, as either a: Graphics Body Solid Body Surface Body In many cases SOLIDWORKS will import a fully enclosed mesh and convert it directly…

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SOLIDWORKS eDrawings 2017 “Fix it and Forget it” option for read-only files

eDrawings 2017

Along with SOLIDWORKS 2017, the eDrawings viewer also has some new functionality that has been added in this release. eDrawings has had a “read-only” checkbox contained within the Open dialog box for some time now as shown in the figure below:   The 2017 release of eDrawings has an additional option for “read-only” at the foot of the General tab in the Options dialog. One purpose behind the eDrawings read-only option is to ensure that ALL files that are opened with eDrawings will be “read-only” by default.  This will force users to intentionally uncheck the read-only option to overwrite the file. This will assist downstream users of eDrawings so they do not accidentally save unwanted changes. Learn more about the other new enhancements in eDrawings 2017 by watching the related launch video below: SOLIDWORKS 2017 Resources Access our resources page to get everything you need to learn what’s new in SOLIDWORKS 2017; including tech tips, demonstrations, and upcoming product webinars….

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