SOLIDWORKS Tip

SOLIDWORKS Cosmetic Thread Display in Parts, Assemblies and Drawings

There are many options and settings to adjust the display of a SOLIDWORKS Cosmetic Thread in the various environments.  Here is a breakdown of the options available that may be useful if you find that your Cosmetic Thread is missing. Part Environment: When you add a tapped Hole Wizard feature in a part, you should see the cosmetic thread dashed line around the hole as shown in the figure below: First, verify that Hole Wizard feature is actually a tapped hole and that you’ve enabled the option to include the Cosmetic Thread. Then right-click on the Annotations folder in the Design Tree and choose Details. Ensure that BOTH ‘Cosmetic threads’ and ‘Display annotations’ are selected. Optionally you can also select ‘Shaded cosmetic threads’ if you want a graphical representation of the threads on the hole face. Under the View menu, choose Hide/Show and verify that ‘Hide All Types’ is deselected and ‘All…

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How to use the SOLIDWORKS Belt/Chain Assembly Feature to control a Chain

The Chain Component Pattern introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2015 is a powerful tool to pattern chain links around a path.  It also includes a Dynamic option to show the motion of the chain.  See Chris’s chain component pattern blog post with a demonstration video. However in order for the chain beginning and end to visually appear to line up, the path length must be correct so the number of chain links matchup.  Otherwise there will be a gap if you have too few links, or overlap if you add an extra one. Using the Belt/Chain Assembly Feature To save yourself some time in generating the path curve, try using the Belt/Chain Assembly Feature.  This can be found in the assembly environment under Insert > Assembly Feature > Belt/Chain.  All you need to do is insert your sprockets into an assembly.  Position them in the correct locations and allowed to rotate, but let…

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Selecting Faces with the SOLIDWORKS Select Other tool

The ‘Select Other’ is a common tool used in SOLIDWORKS, but some may not be aware of its functionality or the extra right-click option.  This command has been around for a long time and is one of many tools and techniques taught in SOLIDWORKS training courses to improve your efficiency. Perhaps you need to select a face on the opposite side but it’s hidden or difficult to access.  Save yourself some time when defining mates in assemblies by not needing to rotate around to see each face. Simply right-click on a face that is in the way choose the ‘Select Other’ command from the context-sensitive toolbar.  This will hide the face you right-clicked on and bring up a pick list of all other faces that were behind.  You can hover your cursor over the items in the pick list and see the highlighted faces and make your selection. Or you can move…

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My SOLIDWORKS Drawing Pack and Go has an Extra File Reference!?

On rare occasions, you may see an extra referenced model when making a Drawing Pack and Go, even if the model is not in a drawing view.  While this won’t affect your assemblies or drawing files, it does copy the extra file with the Pack and Go. What is the cause? This is actually caused by the View Palette referencing another component from the drop-down.  By default it only references models contained in the drawing views.  However if you had other files open in the background and accidentally changed the drop-down reference to another component, it keeps this reference with this drawing.  Or if you clicked the “…” button beside the drop-down, you can reference another file in the View Palette but may not have added a view to the drawing. To remove the extra file reference To remove the extra reference, simply: Open the drawing file, Expand the View Palette tab, Click the “Clear All”…

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Hole Wizard Thread Data Not Found When Using Newly Created Hole

The ‘Hole Wizard Thread Data Not Found’ error message may appear when using a newly created Hole Wizard hole. This is usually the result of a mismatch between the Size in the Sizes Tab… …and the Full Size in the Thread Data tab, as shown below   To avoid the error copy the contents of the Size cell into the Full Size cell. A restart of SOLIDWORKS may be required to complete the change.

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Getting started with SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer software [VIDEO Series 1 of 4]

Example Model created with SWID

When I first started using SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer (SWID) I was thrilled to test out all of the exciting new functionality that I had heard about. Eager to begin, I started up the software on the Dassault Systèmes 3DExperience Platform and was greeted by a visually appealing, well thought out user interface. Not knowing where my buttons lay, I spent some time poking around the software to orient myself and became familiar with where the tools were. Once I became familiar with the software, I began creating models with complicated geometry in minutes – which would have taken hours or days with other 3D design software. I am very impressed with the 3DExperience Platform and can easily say I haven’t had this much fun modeling in a very long time. Today and over the next few weeks I will be sharing my knowledge of the software including some tips and tricks which will aid you in a quicker…

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Creating SOLIDWORKS Custom Appearance Files [VIDEO]

SOLIDWORKS installs with a large library of appearance files that you can apply to your models, but you can also create a SOLIDWORKS Custom appearance file from any image you wish. Create a Custom Appearance File To create a new custom appearance file, you need to start by editing an existing appearance with a texture.  Make sure you are editing the appearance using the “Advanced” option, this way you can change the path for the texture file. Go to the “Image” section of the dialogue and click browse to select the image file that you wish to use as the basis for the new appearance.  Select the image file and click “Open”. Once the image file is applied to the appearance you can make any additional changes you wish, such as adjusting the color tint or the scale of the image mapping. To save these setting to a new appearance file, go to…

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Using Tree Display to De-clutter the SOLIDWORKS Feature Manager

One pet peeve that I have with the SOLIDWORKS Feature Manager, is the need to scroll back in order to see long component names inside an assembly. The culprits behind this are Display and Configuration names of a component. I could expand the Feature Manager in order to display all of the components information, but this takes up too much screen real estate. What I prefer to do, is set the Feature Manager Tree Display, to not show Display and Configuration names. I do not always need to see the Display and Configuration names and I can easily display these later if I wish. To remove the Display and Configuration names from the Feature Manager, right-click the Assembly in the Feature Manager > Pick Tree Display > and just Show the Component Names, and uncheck the other options as shown in the figure below: To retain these settings I then save my blank assembly as an assembly template.

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