SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree

Add feature tree items to a SOLIDWORKS favorites folder for quick access!

SOLIDWORKS Favorites Folder

Want quick access to a feature, sketch or mate without having to scroll or search the SOLIDWORKS feature tree every time? Simply right-click the item from your feature tree and select Add to Favorites. Note: Ensure you have the option to show the favorites folder from Tools > Options > FeatureManager. This creates a SOLIDWORKS Favorites Folder listed at the very top of the feature tree with your selected items nested inside.  This way you can grab access to a master sketch or a commonly reviewed mate within seconds! You can also build sub folders within the parent folder to group certain features together. To do this, select the features again, right click and click Add to New Favorite Folder.

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Leave Rebuild Errors Behind with SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree Organization

Toggle Visualization Arrows for Parent and Child Relationships using the Context Toolbar

One of the greatest assets of parametric 3D modelling is the potential to revise and reuse parts with ease. SOLIDWORKS Feature tree organization is the magic bullet when it comes to maximizing the versatility of your CAD data, and incorporating it into your design methodology is an essential part of establishing best practices within your organization. SOLIDWORKS and Javelin have the tools and knowledge necessary to ensure your team creates robust, valuable CAD models, all while avoiding the headaches of a convoluted feature tree. Dynamic Parent-Child Visualization Prevents Unwanted Surprises The SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree acts as a recipe for the model, showing both the what and when of feature creation. This is useful when determining how a model was created because it allows users to scroll “back in time” and see each step in the design process. However, the ease of feature creation means that it’s possible for unwitting users…

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Bring simplicity to your SOLIDWORKS Sketch through advanced use of basic features

When we start out with a model we usually have every intention of keeping the SOLIDWORKS Sketch clean, simple and easily understood. With continually compressed timelines, even the most basic sketches can turn into a mess…very, very quickly. Consider the case of a simple sketch involving a rectangular profile used to cut a groove into a shaft, as shown in the figure below. Reduce SOLIDWORKS Sketch Entities One method that can assist us in steering clear of messy sketches, is to keep the number of sketch entities as small as possible — by using advanced functionality within our most basic features. While advanced methods can not address a lack of time in the day,  it may at the very least shorten diagnosis if you run into any issues involving the sketched feature and bring some elegance to your feature tree. Typically, the need for this type of shape can lead one…

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Rename SOLIDWORKS Files directly from the FeatureManager Design Tree

A favorite feature of ours that has come along in the 2016 release is an option that will allow us to rename SOLIDWORKS files directly from the FeatureManager design tree while SOLIDWORKS has the file open and loaded. Enable the ability to rename Before we are able to make use of this slick bit of workflow, we need to enable the functionality within the Options Dialog. Pick Tools > Options > System Options > FeatureManager > “Allow component files to be renamed from FeatureManager tree“. Checking or unchecking this option will enable or disable the ability to change component file names directly in the FeatureManager. Now that we are ready to rename a file from the FeatureManager, you can hit F2 on the keyboard to rename your selected component from the parent level of your assembly or from a sub-assembly, deeper within the assembly structure. When we attempt to rename the file, a new…

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SOLIDWORKS 2016 Split the FeatureManager with ease

With the new User Interface in SOLIDWORKS 2016, there have been several subtle changes that makes life a little easier.  One example is a larger divider bar to split the FeatureManager between the Design Tree and Configuration tabs.  While this may seem like a small change, it can save you some grief as previous versions required precise motor control skills with a mouse to grab the 3-pixel tall bar. In SOLIDWORKS 2016 the bar is 14 pixels high and is a lot easier to select as shown in the figure below: In the split Manager Pane, you can display any combination of: FeatureManager design tree; PropertyManager; ConfigurationManager; or Third party applications. TIP: to quickly remove the split and return to a single pane just double-click on the divider bar More SOLIDWORKS 2016 Tips To learn more about what’s new in SOLIDWORKS 2016 software you can review other SOLIDWORKS 2016 update posts here. You might also…

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New in SOLIDWORKS 2015 – Dynamic Reference Visualization [VIDEO]

Another excellent feature that has been added to this 2015 release of SOLIDWORKS is Dynamic Reference Visualization; this is the ability to dynamically see the parent / child relationships between features within the FeatureManager. To quickly view feature dependencies, simply move the mouse cursor over the features in the FeatureManager and arrows will be displayed pointing out the parent and child relationships between features. This new graphical reference tool makes it easy to determine feature dependencies in parts and assemblies and helps you understand the possible effects of any design changes upfront, saving time and effort. Dynamic Reference Visualization will also assist you in preventing any circular references that may slip past your guard when modeling in the context of an assembly. To learn more about SOLIDWORKS 2015 Attend a Canadian SOLIDWORKS 2015 Launch Event in a city near you this October to experience live demonstrations of SOLIDWORKS 2015 and integrated 3D solutions; so…

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Save time when Finding and Opening SOLIDWORKS Sub-assemblies [VIDEO]

Sometimes you just need to change the techniques in your existing workflow in order to reap huge benefits from SOLIDWORKS. As a rule, you are more productive when paying 100% attention to what’s happening in the graphic area and not breaking your concentration by having to select items from the SOLIDWORKS FeatureManager Design Tree. Because of that, my SOLIDWORKS tip deals with the assembly environment which allows the selection, opening, viewing mates, suppressing or unsuppressing, hiding or showing of any subassembly directly from the graphic area. Not only will you save time when building and editing your assemblies, but, more important, you will keep your attention focused on what’s important – your model.

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How to Navigate the SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree Using the Keyboard Arrow Keys [VIDEO]

SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree

Since I wrote the “Shortcuts for Navigating Your SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree ” article, I discovered a few more ways you can save time navigating your SOLIDWORKS feature tree. Watch this video for productivity focused tips in using the SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree effectively:

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