SOLIDWORKS Sketch

Managing the Automatic Sketch Relations options

Occasionally while sketching in SolidWorks you may not wish your sketch entities to automatically snap to existing geometry.  This can be troublesome when sketching in a large assembly as there may be lots of other geometry nearby that the SolidWorks sketcher is eager to snap to.  There are a couple of options in SolidWorks, enabled by default, that you could try disabling to see if it may help with this. The options are in the SolidWorks system options under Tools -> Options -> System Options -> Sketch -> Relations/Snaps.  They are titled “Automatic Relations” and “Snap to Model Geometry”. With Automatic Relations disabled, then no relations are added at all (as the name implies).  This can be helpful if you have a lot of sketching to do and don’t want any relations by default. The second option “Snap to model Geometry” is interesting too.  This one can be used for the…

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3D Sketching Techniques – Insert points and Connect the Dots

This method assumes that you have a list of points that you wish to sketch to.  Start a 3D sketch as usual.  Using the “point” tool on the sketch toolbar, drop in the needed number of points.  Click on each point in turn in the model window and set the point location in the PropertyManager, once the point coordinates are set, add a fix relation to each point.  Once all the coordinates are set, you can now start the line or spline tool and click on each point to achieve the desired sketch path.

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3D Sketching Techniques – Create a Curve From a Text File or Table of Values

Use the command: Insert -> Curve, Curve through XYZ points.  Either enter the values into the table manually or open a text file that you have created earlier.  Once all of the coordinates are entered into the dialog, Click OK to insert the curve.  The created curve is a separate entity in the Feature Tree, however it can be copied into a 3D sketch through the use of the “convert entities” sketch tool.

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3D Sketching Techniques – Multiple Viewports

Although a 3D sketch in SolidWorks does allow us to draw in 3D, we are more or less limited to sketching in 2D planar directions (XY, YZ, ZX) at any one time.  Here’s what I mean: If you have attempted to sketch in 3D in your model using any sort of Isometric view orientation, you’ll know that it can occasionally be a challenge to accurately place your sketch points in space.  A simple solution is to sketch normal to a plane contained within the model.  When you are done sketching in one plane, switch to another as needed.  The sketch is then only created in two directions at a time in this scenario.  This is a much more predictable method.  Splitting the model window into 4 viewports accomplishes the same thing and allows you to click in a viewport that is at the orientation desired for the sketch.  Three of…

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3D Sketching a Helix for a Pipe Route for SOLIDWORKS Routing

When using SOLIDWORKS Routing, a simple way to have a coil of tubing for strain relief or packaging reasons, is to create the helix outside of the 3D Route sketch and then use convert entities to copy the helix into the Route sketch. The basic steps for Helix for route are: Insert a dummy part to create the helix in Create the 2D sketch to control the diameter of the helix Create the helix for route using the standard helix sketch feature Edit the 3D sketch and use the ‘Convert Entities’ sketch tool to transfer the helix into the 3D sketch Lastly, tie in the transferred helix into the route sketch. Learn more about SOLIDWORKS Routing To learn more about SOLIDWORKS Routing you should attend our SOLIDWORKS Routing training course either online or in a classroom near you.

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How to Dynamically Avoid Adding Automated Tangent Relations in SolidWorks Sketches

I have always loved simple tips and tricks. You know… those shortcuts that save time and always make you look like a magician when you show them to any audience? For example I remember the time when I was a student in Rob’s Essentials class and he demonstrated the seamless transition from line to arc and back, showing us how to be 10 times more productive than normal. Even now, I still consider that shortcut the most amazing time saving procedure you can learn in SolidWorks. Like an avid collectioner, I kept gathering these little tips until I reached the point where I started to suspect that I had them all. I was a magician myself, but without any new tricks.

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Hot, hot, hot! Dynamic Undo during Power Trimming

Not too long ago, if you would had asked me what is my favourite SolidWorks command, I would have answered “The Power Trim”. It is fast, elegant and intuitive and, until 10 minutes ago, I was sure I knew everything there is to be known about it. Surprise, surprise! I have just found out a hidden gem inside this command, thanks to Richard Doyle, who brought this little treasure all the way from England.

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Speed up your sketching with “on screen numeric input on entity creation”

Sketch Dimension Input

Introduced in SolidWorks 2009 is the option to “Enable on screen numeric input on entity creation”.  Though it’s name doesn’t do it justice, this feature can really have a big impact on your ability to create accurate sketches quickly.

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