SOLIDWORKS 2018: Tab and Slot Feature

by Olly Washington, SOLIDWORKS Technical Consultant

Have you ever needed to join two parts together with Tabs and corresponding Slots? Of course you have otherwise you probably would not be reading this! In SOLIDWORKS 2018, the new feature makes the process of creating Tabs and Slots quick, simple, and automated.

This brand new Tab and Slot feature can be used on both sheet metal parts and standard solids too. Essentially this also means, along with easily joining two sheets together, joinery features such as the Mortice and Tenon are easy to create.

As we know, interlocking parts together makes for stronger bonds between the parts. Also linking parts together using Tab and Slots reduces the need for complicated jigs, as the parts could well be self-supporting.
To get a full understanding of the Tab and Slot Feature, take a look at this video where Mr Sheet Metal falls in love.

Let’s have a look at how easy it to produce the Tabs and Slots in SOLIDWORKS 2018:

SOLIDWORKS 2018: Tab and Slot Feature
As you can see, there is an easy to follow PropertyManager for the Tab and Slot Feature, also showing you a full preview. The flexibility in this tool is also very useful.

The Property Manager is as simple as:

  1. Selecting the edge the Tabs start at
  2. Clicking the face the Tabs go towards
  3. Set your required offsets
  4. Select your Spacing, either by:
    1. Setting equal Spacing
    2. Setting your Spacing Length
  5. Set your Tab lengths and height either by:
    1. Up to the surface you selected
    2. Blind (any height you like)
    3. Offset from the surface
  6. Set your corners to either:
    1. Flat sharp corners
    2. Chamfered
    3. Filleted
  7. Finally insert your required Slot gap

You’re not limited to perpendicular faces; you can also create Tabs and Slots at angles on either the same body or in multibody parts. Take a look at a couple of variations I created in seconds. Showing that you are not limited to flat, sheet metal parts!

Don’t forget to check out our video too!

NT CADCAM is the UK's most established SOLIDWORKS reseller in England, Scotland and Wales. Offering a fully supported CAD and CAM product portfolio and high levels of expertise internally, makes NT CADCAM unique within the SOLIDWORKS community, giving customers the confidence and assurance they need that their support issues will be dealt with both promptly and efficiently. As a SOLIDWORKS Certified Training Centre, NT CADCAM provides clients with fully certified and accredited trainers who are experienced engineers. NT CADCAM is part of the Solid Solutions Group.