A Comfortable Workflow

One of the cool things about SolidWorks is how it can easily adapt to your work style. No matter what CAD system you came from, chances are you can adapt to the SolidWorks interface, and continue to use it the in the way that best suits your method of work but with probably a lot more of the Windows functionality and ease of use that is possible in other CAD systems.

One workflow that SolidWorks supports is a “modeless” approach to modeling. What does this mean? For instance, some systems have rigidly hold to the fact that you must first determine what exactly you want to do, and then upon entering into that “mode” you make your selection/s and choose your options and complete the command. Other systems have you first “pre-selecting” what you want to affect then upon selection, you enter into a command or feature that you want to affect the selection.

The great thing about SolidWorks is that it lets you work either way. It is “modeless”. For example, take for instance the workflow of creating a solid cube in SolidWorks. One user’s approach would be to first create a sketch by clicking edit sketch, choosing a reference plane to draw on, creating a rectangle and then invoking the Extrude Boss feature (Insert/Base/Boss/Extrude), entering an extrusion distance and completing the command. Another user’s approach, would be to first invoke the Extrude Boss feature, click on a reference plane, draw a rectangle, then click on the confirmation corner to complete the sketch thereby automatically entering them into the extrude distance and completing the feature. Both approaches are equally valid.

It is a matter of choice and SolidWorks does not “take sides” with either approach treating them both as valid work flows. This is just one small example but with some exceptions, this modeless modality is throughout the entire SolidWorks GUI.


Fielder Hiss

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