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2005 Eastern Region SolidWorks User Conference: Tips and Tricks from SolidWorks World Or, good solutions to problems that you didnt know you had…

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Presentation on theme: "2005 Eastern Region SolidWorks User Conference: Tips and Tricks from SolidWorks World Or, good solutions to problems that you didnt know you had…"— Presentation transcript:

1 2005 Eastern Region SolidWorks User Conference: Tips and Tricks from SolidWorks World Or, good solutions to problems that you didnt know you had…

2 Getting even more from multibodies How do you turn off [x] Merge bodies/features default behavior? Insert Weldment, even if you will not create structural shapes, the [ ] merge option will now be off by default. Is there an easier way to have individual detail drawings of welded on tabs without making a weldment into an assembly or modeling extra parts? Make a derrived part by using Insert Part, to embed the weldment part inside a new blank part file. In the derrived part, hide the bodies that should not show in the tab detail drawing. (repeat as needed) Caveat – hole callouts will not be hole wizard intelligent

3 Performance power ups Fewer features – always rebuilds faster, sometimes smaller file sizes. Use mirror, linear pattern, circular pattern of 1 instance, and exploit any symmetry you can find in your part. Divide profile sketches with a center/symmetry line and use contour select for feature generation. Pattern Feature vs. Pattern Sketch? Feature patterns rebuild faster, and make it easier to skip an element Sketch patterns result in smaller part file sizes. Shapely sweeps – make the profile and path as simple as possible Put the splines and arcs in the guide curves to get the desired shape. Use contour select with edges, centerlines and other items in addition to the sketch to get the desired profile.

4 Speeding up Large Assemblies Hardware considerations & technique changes RAM, lots of it. Fast video, bigger CPU, fast front side bus, and SCSI drives T100 network dedicated to SolidWorks users (no T10 Switches!) Keep all apps at the same SP level Use plenty of swap space (not on the network), keep your journal file local, and for goodness sakes defrag your hard drive every now and then Use templates to store as many settings as possible Use fully defined sketched if possible Combine features sensibly Resolve rebuild errors Dont model threads, dont use text for features, and minimize unnecessary detail Dont featurize imported geometry (leave it dumb)

5 Still more resource saving techniques… Use the `thread texture on a part face (rotated 90) to simulate knurl grooves, wires, and similar. Select face, then: RMB Appearance Texture Thread… Use sheet metal to simulate ribbon cable, plastic clips Apply Jog, Hem, and Sketch Bend as needed…

6 Shortcut for `in-context flexible parts 1.Connector parts have lines in hidden sketches for building a surface loft 2.Create new part in assembly (ribbon cable part) 1. Close 2D sketch 2. Open 3D sketch 3.Convert all lines that will be used for surface loft 4.Create Surface Loft using contour select for sections 5.Thicken surface

7 The lesser known shortcuts… Insert a design table to set multiple configuration specific custom file properties at one time. column headings are $propname…cells hold property values Table can later be deleted and properties remain set Table can be copied from one part file to another Use Structural Steel sketches from the Toolbox pull down menu to add new Weldment profile sizes. Save as - C:\Program Files\SolidWorks\data\weldment profiles\ansi inch\square tube\MyNewSize.sldlfp Remember to set custom file property `Description as: TUBE, SQUARE X X RMB – Move or Copy Entities, also works to position or copy sketch text easier and more precisely SolidWorks 2005 sp1.1 and later…

8 And did you know (or remember)…? You can [Ctrl] and select multiple mates in an assembly to edit them at the same time. Scroll down in the Mate Property Manager that pops-up and the Mates group box will list the mates, with the current one highlighted. When using the mouse wheel to Zoom In/Out, the center of the Zoom effect is on the mouse cursor. Useful for working in drawings to edit revision block and title block with just 1 smooth operation. Design Library panel turns every folder into a part pallet folder… Folders – Desktop – My Documents\…

9 How about these… You can quickly undo many changes/mistakes in one step Ctrl+Z to Undo Ctrl+Y to Re-Do (also, toolbar item) Trim & Extend are the same tool Use the right mouse button (RMB) to switch between them 2005 Trim has many more options… `Trim to closest is the prior version behavior Power Trim can be used to over- ride coincident point relations

10 Misc. Use the SW Task Scheduler to make backup copies of large projects at night. Schedule copy of a specific list of files or folders to a removable drive or similar and set it to occur at 11pm Or to save as *.pdf, for an unattended project archive or documentation CD set To correct multiple mate errors work backwards through the history from last to first. `flip mate alignment Suppress more difficult cases and move on to another. CTRL-F will search for text in all notes on a drawing Using Component Line Font combined with colored layers Gives you easier colored assembly drawings Allows component layers to pass through to AutoCAD & help keep parts as parts. Use a black layer `format to force sheet formats to print black on any printer and under any condition. Avoids the inactive gray color syndrome

11 Avoiding Errors Rebuild errors come from change Endeavor to make relations to things that change predictably! Relate to planes instead of faces Relate to sketches instead of the edges and vertexes they create Use surface snapshots for up to references Sneaky errors come from unexpected effects of change Make effects of change predictable Use geometric sketch relations instead of equations Use linked values instead of equations Exercise your sketches

12 The (not so) minor details You can now drag a block by any vertex in the block and have it inference & snap into position. Not just the base point Area Hatch – Works with sketch entities, model edges, and any combination of the two Halo around text – Automatic when any annotation is over a hatch Use the [alt] key to move drawing views Not necessary to select the view by its border With ALT key down in 2005, you can pick anywhere to initiate the drag

13 Drawing Compare Use it to compare two drawings to see the specific changes between revisions, or to find out what may have changed in your local copy versus the one on the network Difference window Zoomable windows of drawings being compared

14 The shell game What to do when shells wont Use variable thickness walls (+/- 25%) to handle disappearing faces (at fillets) that might cause it to fail Test with Offset Surface command If offset surface fails shell will also fail Change wall thickness while it is suppressed, and it will repair & rebuild faster

15 Where to find more… /DesignPosts/SolidWork(ing) Eng-Tips.com (SolidWorks forum & FAQ) SW forum threads SW FAQ top SW related websites Scott Baugh SolidWorks World Tips & Tricks – Phil Sluder, Triaxial Design Yahoo Groups & SWUGN Newsgroups Comp.cad.solidworks

16 How to keep track of it all Create a `tips document in MSWord Use bulleted or numbered outline format Use headings and other text formatting Hyperlink between key listed items and major topics Save as *.html, in the network /SolidWorks Data Download a copy of this presentation Start a `tips blog or forum in your local Users Group website. services.com/designposts/viewforum.php?f=8 /DesignPosts/SolidWork(ing)

17 Technique samples & Tutorials Content Central – User Library Mike Wilson s_files.htm SWUGN – Paul Salvador DiMonte Group FIRST CAD library, USFIRST & other robotic parts Free utilities for users group members

18 Thank you… John Nolin, CSWP NH – SolidWorks Users Group, Program Manager DesignSmith LLC Fax

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20 Nearly free tools Shareware viewer/converter Dwg, Dxf, Hpgl, Bmp, … Structural shape data Shareware… PDF publishing from any Windows application Win2Pdf – installs as a pseudo printer driver Small Business dedicated fax number https://www.efax.com/en/efax/twa/signupFree Free incoming fax number https://www.efax.com/en/efax/twa/page/efaxPlus Full service subscription at ½ cost of a 2 nd line…

21 Low cost web & promotion tools Free, Java editor platform Adobe PageMaker trial PageMill 3.0 free app on some HP driver CDs Brochure & web page tools


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