SOLIDWORKS Sketch

Mirror Sketch Entities using Reference Planes and Planar Faces in SOLIDWORKS 2018

In all versions of SOLIDWORKS in the past, we had to draw a center-line to be used with the Mirror Sketch tool. Either the center-line or a straight edge of a solid body was necessary for Mirror Sketch to work. In SOLIDWORKS 2018, planes and faces of solid bodies have been added to the mirror about list. Now you can select any of the following to mirror your sketch about: A center-line, A straight edge of solid bodies, Principal planes, Reference planes, Faces of solid bodies, Or surfaces. In the following images, the Sketch Mirror Tool is demonstrated for three different conditions:

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SOLIDWORKS 2018 Automatic Solve and Undo for Sketches

Using Automatic Solve specifies whether SOLIDWORKS should automatically do the computation to solve the sketch geometry of your part as you create it. When you are in the process of changing many dimensions in an active sketch, you may want to turn off the Automatic Solve option temporarily. Same as older versions of SOLIDWORKS, the Automatic Solve could be turned on or off from Tools > Sketch Settings > Automatic Solve. A check mark next to the menu item means that computations are solved automatically. SOLIDWORKS 2018 Now in SOLIDWORKS 2018 you can enable and disable SOLIDWORKS Automatic Solve Mode and Undo, and modify the threshold limit for sketch entities. Previously, when you worked with large sketches, the Automatic Solve Mode and Undo would repeatedly turn off in large sketches. Note: When Automatic Solve is off, a message in the status bar says Auto-Solve Mode Off. When you are in the process of changing many dimensions in an active…

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An option to reverse arc and spline tangency is now available with SOLIDWORKS 2018

For the longest time when creating a tangential arc in a SOLIDWORKS sketch it was hit or miss if the arc was aligned correctly. We would create our arc and hope it would be in the right direction…If not, we would need to delete it and recreate it being careful with our mouse movements. Now in SOLIDWORKS 2018, we can at last correct the error if our arc has snapped into the wrong direction. Simply right-click on the arc and select Reverse Endpoint Tangent from the Relations shortcut menu as shown below: This works with splines as well.

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Select the outside of an Arc rather than the center when adding a dimension in SOLIDWORKS

When adding arc dimensions, you should always select the actual arc rather then the centre point. Doing so will give you more options for the dimension. As you can see in the image below, under the leaders tab after selecting a dimension, we can select the Max, Centre, or minimum Dimension for the arc. These options are only available if the arc is selected rather then the centre point. So that was one way of changing the dimension after it was created. Below is how it can be done as you are creating dimensions which will save you time. When placing a dimension the Shift key can change the condition depending on the placement of the mouse, giving you the option to choose where you want to dimension from.

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SOLIDWORKS Quick Snaps Toolbar

Imagine you have a very crowded sketch in your part. Let’s say you want to pick an end point but the midpoints of lines, centerline or even the center point of a circle becomes selected. As shown in following image, all of the “Sketch Snaps” are activated by default in SOLIDWORKS under Tools > Options > Sketch > Relations and Snaps. Therefore, moving the mouse cursor close to any sketch entity would highlight the snaps. If too many sketch entities are gathered in one small location compared to the size of a big model, then selecting the right snap point would be a challenge even by zooming in to the spot.  Some of the snap options could be turned off from the list by un-checking, but you would have to go back and check them off the next time – not the recommended way of doing this. Quick Snaps Toolbar…

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Show a SOLIDWORKS Sketch in a Specific Drawing View while Hidden in all other Views

Let’s assume we have a sketch drawn in a part file and we have not used it to create a feature. By default in SOLIDWORKS, this sketch will remain shown unless we hide them in the part level. Usually, designers hide those kinds of sketches because it can interfere their design process by showing unrelated sketch entities while drawing other sketches. Now, let us assume that the sketch we created in the part level needs to be shown in the drawing level. What do we do then? The way that SOLIDWORKS works is that if the sketch is set to “Show”, in other words, if the sketch was not hidden in the part level, it will show in all drawing views at the drawing level. Having that sketch shown in all views may cause some issues and for that reason we set any sketches that were not used for feature…

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SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Sketch Transformations

SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal includes a Sketch Transformation folder in the Flat Pattern feature when a sketch is added to a face that is not the fixed face (i.e. a face that moves when the piece is flattened).  Within this folder is a derived sketch of the original so it stays on the face as it flattens.  You cannot edit this derived sketch as its shape/position/size is controlled by the parent sketch. With a part in the folded state, a sketch is applied to a face that is not fixed when it flattens. Now when this part is flattened, the Sketch Transformation folder and derived sketch is added to the new location of the face. NOTE: If a sketch was created on the non-fixed face and then used to create a feature like a Cut-Extrude, there will be no Sketch Transformation folder as the geometry of the cutout will follow the…

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Is your SOLIDWORKS Sketch Dimension difficult to Delete or Modify?

To delete a SOLIDWORKS Sketch Dimension you typically select the dimension and hit Delete.  To edit the value of the dimension you would double-click on the value to open the Modify dialog. Are you having difficulties performing these steps?  See if you have the option Instant2D enabled.  This was introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2016.  If you are unaware of what this option does, read through this blog post. If you single click on the dimension value, it provides a quick way to update the value.  But this doesn’t allow the dimension to be deleted.  Instead of clicking on the value, select one of the leaders or extension lines and then you can delete the dimension. The other thing that may be a bit more difficult is to open the Modify Dimension dialog, you have to double-click on the value a bit faster.  If you’re too slow on the second click it…

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