SOLIDWORKS Sketch

Arc Measurements in SOLIDWORKS

SOLIDWORKS Arc Dimensions

In this post I’ll show you how to use the Smart Dimension Tool to add SOLIDWORKS Arc Dimensions. Arc Length Dimension To add an arc length dimension, you have to select both of the arc’s end points first. St this point the Smart Dimension tool wants to add a linear dimension between the two end points. Now if you click on the arc itself the dimension will change to arc length as shown here. Arc Angle Dimension Like the previous section we start by selecting both end points of the arc. This time instead of selecting the arc we select the center of the arc which change the linear dimension to an angular dimension. Dimension to the Back of an Arc When adding a dimension to an arc using Smart Dimension tool, SOLIDWORKS add the dimension to the center of the arc by default. You can then go to Leaders…

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SOLIDWORKS No Solve Move vs Detach Segment on Drag [VIDEO]

I’ve occasionally run into the issue where a user sketches a closed shape, such as a rectangle, only to find that when they drag an edge of the rectangle that the rectangle falls apart The top line appears to detach itself from the rest of the rectangle. This can be caused by one of two settings. Both can be found in the Tools > Sketch Settings menu. SOLIDWORKS No Solve Move The first is called SOLIDWORKS no solve move. Although this technically does something different, if can manifest itself in this way. No Solve Move will allow you to move sketch entities in a sketch while ignoring their sketch relations. It prompts you to delete the sketch relations if you drag an entity. If you say no, you get a copy of the entity. I demonstrate this in the video. In the case of the rectangle, though, the corners don’t…

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Add Dimensions Automatically while Sketching in SOLIDWORKS

Sketch Line

Did you know SOLIDWORKS can add dimensions to your sketch automatically? Adding dimensions manually can be a tedious job if you have to do it many times a day. SOLIDWORKS Automatic Sketch Dimensions makes this process much faster. Instead of finishing drawing a sketch entity, then selecting the Smart Dimension command, then adding dimensions one by one; the dimensions are added automatically while you sketch. AutoCAD users will appreciate this capability. Because it reminds them of a similar process in AutoCAD. How to Activate SOLIDWORKS Automatic Sketch Dimensions Here is how to activate the automatic dimension function while sketching: Menu Tools > Options > System Options > Sketch Check off “Enable on screen numeric input on entity creation” Also check off “Create dimensions only when value is entered” Start drawing a sketch; Use click-move-click approach to draw the sketch entity Enter the required dimension in the highlighted box, then press Enter If more…

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Hold on…the SOLIDWORKS Power Trim tool can Extend too?!

SOLIDWORKS Power Trim Extend

The SOLIDWORKS Power Trim tool is amazing.  With a quick click and swipe you can trim a sketch line up to the next entity. There’s also the little red box to undo the last line you trimmed if you were a little trim-happy. Did you know that the Power Trim can do more than just trim?  That’s right, this single tool can also extend lines! If you hold down Shift and click/drag across a line, it will extend the line up to the next entity. But wait, there’s more!  Without holding any key, you can click on a line and drag it out as far as you want.  Even snap it on another entity. If you don’t believe me, here’s a quick video demonstration:

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How to Automatically Add SOLIDWORKS Tangent Relations from Lines to Arcs & Circles

Attaching a line to an arc or circle can be automatically snapped with a SOLIDWORKS tangent relation if you hover over the tangent location for a bit. Starting the line from an arc or circle may not add the tangent relation automatically.  However you can hover over the arc to ‘wake up’ the center point, start the line on the arc and drag the line out in the tangent direction.  You can even spin it around the curve and it will remain tangent. NOTE: This method works for Circles and Arcs as they have center points to wake up.  You can start a line from a Spline and wait for the inference lines to snap tangentially, but it won’t follow the Spline with a tangent relation as shown in the video to snap the other end of the line. To see this in action, here’s a video demonstration:

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SOLIDWORKS Arc Dimension

Sometimes you need to add a SOLIDWORKS Arc Length Dimension.  This can be done in both Sketch and Drawing environments.  The Smart Dimension tool, with the correct selections, is used to create a SOLIDWORKS Arc Dimension. Arc Dimension in a Sketch Within the Sketch environment, the order of selections doesn’t actually matter.  As long as you select the arc and the two end points, the smart dimension tool will create the Arc Length Dimension.  It doesn’t matter if you select the two points first and then the arc, or the arc first and then the two points, or even one end point and the arc and the last end point. Arc Dimension in a Drawing However in the Drawing environment you’ll notice the order of selections is actually important.  You’ll need to select the two endpoints first and then select the arc. Adjusting the Leaders The Leader Style can also be…

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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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Why is my SOLIDWORKS Sketch Pattern Under Defined?

In general, it’s good practice to create a Feature Pattern rather than creating all of the geometry in a single sketch with a Sketch Pattern.  Sketch Patterns are usually slower to rebuild than Feature Patterns and you also have less options available. However if you create Sketch Patterns for simple geometry, you may have noticed that it doesn’t fully define the instances, even if you opt to Add Dimensions. In this tech tip we’ll answer the common question: Why is my SOLIDWORKS Sketch Pattern Under Defined? The reason is because the sketch instances can rotate.  You could previously Fully Define the instances by adding a Horizontal or Vertical relation on one of the construction lines tied to the instances. SOLIDWORKS 2017 has been enhanced so that the instances are now locked based on Direction 1 and won’t rotate.  The angle for Direction 2 is the angle between axes (with respect…

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