SOLIDWORKS 2016

Tech tips for SOLIDWORKS 2016

Using the SOLIDWORKS Save Bodies command without creating multiple copies

SOLIDWORKS Save Bodies

Have you previously used the SOLIDWORKS Save Bodies command on a weldment feature only to find that all of the identical parts were made into individual files? Why use the SOLIDWORKS Save Bodies command? The SOLIDWORKS Save Bodies command can be used on any multibody part which allows you to create an assembly at the part level and then save it out as an assembly if that is the fastest way to model your parts. It can be very useful with Molds as they are easily modeled at the part level, but an assembly drawing may be the simplest way to annotate the resulting bodies. Multiple instances of ejector pins or identical cores can also needlessly clutter the design folder. For example, this model of a picnic table has 78 individual bodies, however there are multiple instances of each piece such that there are only 14 unique bodies. There is…

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Customized SOLIDWORKS Section Views using Parallel to Screen Planes

The SOLIDWORKS Section View is a great tool to investigate the details of complicated parts and assemblies. For instance you can use the section view when: A Shell command is used with or without multi-thickness checked, A Hole wizard is used to make sure holes are aligned, Assembling many parts and you need to make sure they don’t collide, You need to examine the motion of a mechanism. Considering the fact that SOLIDWORKS models are often complicated in design and orientation, Customized SOLIDWORKS Section Views can be very useful to cut the model in a specific orientation and depth.  To make a customized section view a custom plane is required. Therefore, a reference plane must be defined to be utilized with your section view. Custom reference planes are defined based on principal planes, or other predefined planes, or faces on the model. However, defining a reference plane takes a bit of time and sometimes has limits. What if…

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SOLIDWORKS Composer Animation Timeline Enhancements

SOLIDWORKS Composer like all other SOLIDWORKS products is constantly being improved from year to year.  One of the biggest enhancements for the 2016 release in my mind has been the improvements made to the animation timeline. In previous versions, the animation timeline had a limited number of rows representing the animation keys.  There was a row for properties, for camera views, and for digger keys.  These were navigated through the colors of the keys or by using the key filters.  In the screenshot below you can see how the animation timeline looks in the versions prior to 2016: In SOLIDWORKS Composer 2016 a number of rows have been added to improve the timeline navigation as shown in the image below: To show you exactly what each row refers to it has now be labelled in the timeline.  A location row and a viewport row have been added, and you can also see that the properties row now shows the most used properties…

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Why you should be using a SOLIDWORKS Hole Table

SOLIDWORKS Hole Table

A SOLIDWORKS hole table is an excellent way to convey hole information in a convenient and organized manner.  Columns can be created to show such information as hole tag, size, location, and more. SOLIDWORKS has an automated function to help you generate your hole tables faster and easier than ever.  All that is needed is an origin datum, and the software will automatically calculate hole size and position for any specified holes in your model. Imagine a simple plate with a number of holes placed such as the drawing given below: Let’s try dimensioning this simple plate by just using standard horizontal and vertical linear dimensions.  This can get fairly disorganized quite quickly as the image below shows. To improve upon this, we can first take a look at using ordinate dimensions.  As shown in the image below the drawing is now more organized and easier for manufacturers to read and interpret. To improve upon…

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How to Link SOLIDWORKS Flag Notes to Balloons or Notes in a Drawing

One of the great new features that has been introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2016 is “Flag Notes”. Flag notes are a method of cross-referencing one area or feature of a drawing to a list of notes. In order to add SOLIDWORKS flag notes to a drawing you have to follow these steps: Add a Note to your SOLIDWORKS drawing Click on Number from the Formatting toolbar to apply number formatting to the text. Now click on the number in the text box. Check off the Add to Flag Note Bank option in the Note PropertyManager. You can also define a specific symbol for your note from the Border drop down menu in the PropertyManager. You can add extra lines to your note and then go through steps 3 to 5 to add them to the flag note bank as well. After adding a note and associated a symbol to it, you can then add balloons that will…

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How to control the visibility of SOLIDWORKS Bodies with your mouse & keyboard

Hide a solid body

Last year during the launch of SOLIDWORKS 2016 we showed you the new component visibility toggle functionality to quickly hide and show components in your assembly. Well did you know that this functionality also applies to bodies? Here is an example of a SOLIDWORKS weldment comprised of solid bodies. I’ll use the SOLIDWORKS bodies visibility tools to hide and show weldment sections: Hide Body If you want to quickly HIDE a body simply hold down the <Tab> key and move your mouse pointer over a body, the body will then be hidden from the display: Show Body To SHOW a hidden body you can hold down the <Shift> and the <Tab> key and move your mouse pointer over the position where the hidden body is located and it will be made visible again. Temporarily show all The show body technique described above might be difficult to use when there are multiple hidden bodies as you might not…

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How to bring back SOLIDWORKS Classic Icons & Colours

For those that have been forced to undertake a change to your SOLIDWORKS User Interface in 2016, there is good news – The COLOURS ARE BACK! in SOLIDWORKS 2016 SP3. In order to return the Icons to their “Classic” colored styling, do the following: Navigate to the new option “Icon Color” (Tools > Options > System Options tab > Colors) and choose the “classic” setting. Confirm the selection by clicking “OK” and closing the Options dialog. SOLIDWORKS will now have the classic icons in the CommandManager, toolbars and the FeatureManager design tree as shown in the figure below:

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SOLIDWORKS PDM Set Revision

Do you have a special workflow for migrated data? Does it look something like this: Or this: New Set Revision function These workflows aren’t necessary anymore with the new Set Revision function in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2016. Let’s take a look… In this example, all the data cards have the appropriate revisions and need to be synced with the systems revisions, so they increment appropriately when transitioned through the production workflow. Select all the files you would like to sync, then via explorer go to Modify > Set Revision: Right-click > Select All Right click within the grid and select Set All New Revision Values To Card Variable Value Note: you can also add a comment to this process. Click OK then: review the data Now the data card revisions will match the system revisions and increment appropriately as per your production workflow without the need of a special workflow. Learn more about SOLIDWORKS…

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