For nearly a decade, I’ve enjoyed using “Shaded with Edges” to display my models in SOLIDWORKS. It clearly shows me where my edges are, since Shaded can sometimes make these edges difficult to see after 10 hours of staring at my computer screen. I started using it and never looked back. However, seldom known to many users, there are a couple of options for customizing how these edges are displayed. I’m going to show you a few of them now!
Display Option #1: Tangent Edges
You’ll notice that the edges of my fillets appear as solid lines. These solid lines represent where the curvature of the fillet starts and ends (hence the name “Tangent Edges”). On a drawing, we control this using the Tangent Edge control (right-click on a drawing view, select Tangent Edge from the menu, and select “Tangent Edges with Font”). This turns the lines into phantom lines that can make a drawing view less cluttered. You can also choose to show them or remove them. Did you know that you can do the same thing at the part or assembly level? Check this out:
That’s easier on the eyes. To change this on your system, go to Tools > Options, then under the System Options tab, select Display/Selection from the list on the left, then in the “Part/Assembly tangent edge display” choose “As Phantom.”
Other options include “As visible” (the default setting) or “Removed” (see below). You can also control this in the menus by going to View > Display > Tangent Edges _____ (the ____ being whichever option you choose). Of course, this means you can also assign a hotkey to it!
Display Option #2: Wireframe
Now, let’s say I wanted to go the other way: that I wanted to show the model in wireframe. We’ve all tried to use wireframe mode, but it can be cumbersome. Often times, it’s easy to become lost as to which faces are close to you and which are far away. Well, there’s a solution for that as well:
Now that’s less ambiguous than wireframe. For this, I chose the “Wireframe” option under “Edge display in Shaded with Edges mode”. By default, this is set to HLR (Hidden Lines Removed). Of course, it’s far more useful if you also adjust the “Selection of Hidden Edges” (indicated in blue above) such that both checkboxes are ticked. This will allow you to select the hidden lines rather than just look at them.
So there you have it. Now you can adjust your SOLIDWORKS Shaded with Edges mode so that it behaves the way you want it to.
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