SOLIDWORKS® Support Monthly News – August 2022

Hello to all,

Welcome to the new edition of the SOLIDWORKS® Support Monthly News! This monthly news blog is co-authored by members of the SOLIDWORKS® Technical Support teams worldwide.

Time-dependent simulation with solar radiation showing how the shadow of an object follows the motion of the sun

In SOLIDWORKS® Flow Simulation, you can define Solar radiation by location, time and weather. If you want to simulate the solar radiation conditions in some place you just need to select one of the cities available in Engineering Database and specify date, time and weather conditions (cloudiness). You can also add your own locations to Engineering Database or you may specify the latitude and hemisphere directly. In the case of transient analysis, the solar radiation parameters will change with time, allowing you to simulate movement of the sun during the day.
There are many industries that can make use of this: HVAC, architecture, consumer products, etc. This type of simulation is easy to set up.
To illustrate this, what would be more timely and appropriate than an example showing how the shadow of a parasol follows the motion of the sun? Let’s consider this model:


In defining the Physical Features of your project, select Conduction, Radiation and Time-Dependent. For simplicity and solution time, you can unselect Fluid Flow.

In the Solar radiation branch, you can select the location, day and time of your choice.

In the Calculation Control Options, set the duration of the simulation as the Physical time. Define the Time step of the simulation and the delay between saved results in the Solving and Saving tabs respectively. In the present case, these can be relatively large. Saving results every 6 minutes for a total duration of 3 hours produces 36 images in the animation of the results. This is sufficient to clearly see the how the shadow of a parasol follows the motion of the sun.

The sharpness the shadow is a direct consequence of how fine your mesh is. Refine the mesh sufficiently. You can create an animation and save it as an animated gif. See below.

In conclusion, move your towel or your parasol frequently, and do not forget the sunblock.

Note: The model in attachment contains two equivalent projects, one that used the Discrete Ordinates method of radiation simulation (for those of you who have the HVAC module), and another project using the Discrete Transfer method (for all SOLIDWORKS flow Simulation users). Download the sample model from here.

One Minute Tip : Why Linear pattern holes are missing from the part?

By Mario IOCCO

How to display time in the SOLIDWORKS® Electrical revision dates?

By Javier OJEDA

By default, SOLIDWORKS® Electrical does not show this information:

You can go to the project general configuration and set the Display format field to the value %m-%d-%y %H:%M:

This way you will display time in revision dates:

It will also activate time in the title block attributes related to revision dates, and in the creation date and modification date attributes of the project:

This way you will be able to differentiate revisions created on the same day.

When does the Toolbox database file (‘swbrowser.sldedb’) get updated when the Toolbox is stored in SWPDM?


When you configure the SOLIDWORKS® Toolbox configuration, the ‘swbrowser.sldedb’ (i.e. the Toolbox database file) is checked-out by SWPDM.

However, the ‘swbrowser.sldedb’ file is updated (gets a new version) only if the ‘Step 1. Hole Wizard’ or ‘Step 4. Permissions’ is updated – see following description:

Step 1 – Hole Wizard 

Browse to the SOLIDWORKS® Toolbox Configuration step ‘1 – Hole Wizard’ – The ‘swbrowser.sldedb’ is checked out

Make a change and the ‘Save’ icon becomes active:

Confirm the above change by clicking ‘Save’. There is now a newer version of the ‘swbrowser.sldedb’ in the local view (note the file has not yet been checked in to the SWPDM vault)

Close the SOLIDWORKS® Toolbox Configuration and the ‘swbrowser.sldedb’ is checked-in at a new version

Step 4 – Permissions

Browse to the SOLIDWORKS® Toolbox Configuration step ‘4 – Permissions’ – The ‘swbrowser.sldedb’ is checked out

Create a password (the ‘OK’ button is not yet clicked)

Confirm the password update – the ‘Save’ icon is now active:

Confirm the above change by clicking ‘Save’. There is now a newer version of the ‘swbrowser.sldedb’ in the local view (note the file has not yet been checked-in to the SWPDM vault)

Close the SOLIDWORKS® Toolbox Configuration and the ‘swbrowser.sldedb’ is checked-in at a new version

If any of the following steps are updated in the SOLIDWORKS® Toolbox configuration, the ‘swbrowser.sldedb’ file is checked out but it is not updated and will not get a new version, even if a change is made.

Step 2. Customize Hardware; Step 3. User Settings; Step 5. Smart fasteners.

In the above cases the software performs an undo checkout operation.

Understanding the ‘ByLayer’ and ‘ByBlock’ Properties in DraftSight®

By Pratiksha DAHOTRE

Imagine a filing data that has only one category into which you have to put all the records. For a small work data, this system will work but as you start to accumulate more data, it becomes hard to organize it. To find the documents more easily and to maintain an efficient workflow you would want to start organizing them into meaningful categories like alphabetical order etc.

The same logic is applicable for drawing. If you have a simple drawing with few objects, you can organize them without layers. However, as soon as design becomes bit complicated you require layers to sort out the objects to keep drawing simple, organized and easy to handle. Layers too help us identify which objects belongs to which category.

‘Layer 0’ is default layer in DraftSight. Every time you create new 2D drawing it will be on default layer which is ‘layer 0’. This layer cannot be deleted. By default, objects take on the ‘color’, ‘line type’ and ‘line weight’ of the layer to which they are assigned. It is called as ‘Bylayer’ properties.

Most of the users know about the ‘Bylayer’ characteristics. There is one more factor, which is used to define object properties such as color, line weight etc. it is called as ‘Byblock’ properties, and it has quite interesting characteristics. The purpose of this article is to explain more about ‘Byblock’ properties.

‘Layer 0’ has special importance in layer management. When object is assigned to ‘layer 0’ as part of a block and then if this same block is inserted on a new layer which have completely different characteristic, it is observed that block will adopt all characteristics of a new layer or any layer on which the blocks are inserted. After inserting block on the new layer, try to change its object properties like color, line type, and line weight. Block will not override any other properties. This behavior of block is due to its ‘Bylayer’ properties.

The block which we created on ‘layer 0’ has object properties as ‘Bylayer’. If ‘Byblock’ properties like object color, line weight and line type are assigned to the same block which is created in ‘Layer 0’ and then it is inserted to another layer, then Block will take characteristics of a new layer and will be able to override new properties.

Block created on other layers (except Layer 0) and inserted into different layer will show its original layer properties and these properties cannot be overridden. To understand above theory follow below example:

  1. Draw two rectangles on ‘Layer 0’, and then assign one of the rectangle as ‘Bylayer’ properties and another as ‘Byblock’.
  2. Make them as a two different blocks and name them as ‘Rec1’ and ‘Rec2’.
  3. Assign ‘Rec1’ block to ‘Bylayer’ blocks and ‘Rec2’ block to ‘ByBlock’ values.

    Rec1_Object Properties

    Rec2_Object Properties

  4. Insert those blocks into new layer say ‘Layer 1’. To get more clarity in property, assign ‘red color’ as ‘LineColor’ and ‘CENTER line’ as ‘LineStyle’ for ‘Bylayer’ properties to ‘Layer 1’.
  5. When you insert block created on ‘Layer 0’ to ‘Layer 1’, that block will take ‘Layer 1’ properties.
  6. Then select both block and apply different color or line type to it. You will see only ‘Rec2’ block is able to override the properties.
  7. Take a new dwg file
  8. Create two new layers say ‘Layer 1’ and ‘Layer 2’.
  9. Set ‘Red color’ as ‘LineColor’ and ‘CENTER line’ as ‘LineStyle’ for ‘Bylayer’ Properties in ‘Layer 1’ and for ‘Layer 2’ set ‘Cyan color’ as ‘Line Color’ and ‘Zigzag line’ as ‘LineStyle’ for ‘Bylayer’ characteristics.

  10. Draw 2 rectangles on ‘Layer 1’ set one as ‘Bylayer’ and another as ‘Byblock’. Form a two different blocks using those rectangles name them as ‘Rec1’ and ‘Rec2’ (Again assign ‘Rec1’ as ‘Bylayer’ and ‘Rec2’ as ‘ByBlock’ Properties).
  11. Insert blocks on ‘Layer 2’. ‘Rec1’ will show its original layer properties while ‘Rec2’ shows new layer properties.

Conclusion – If you want to control the object properties like line weight, color, line type etc. of some part of the block, you can assign the ‘ByBlock’ value to that part of the block, which means that this part of the block does not have any value assigned until it is inserted in a drawing.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW When I right-click a part, drawing or assembly file, why does the SOLIDWORKS®  file utility label not appear?This problem could happen after a Windows® or SOLIDWORKS® update. To get more information, see solution ID: S-079838

Icon - EPDMWhen I use the SOLIDWORKS® PDM quick search or integrated search functionality, why do the SOLIDWORKS file open or save dialog boxes stop responding (hangs or crashes)?This problem can happen on a SOLIDWORKS® PDM client workstation if the file type associations for SOLIDWORKS files are incorrect. To get more information, see solution ID: S-079778

What can I do if every SOLIDWORKS® Flow Simulation project I run shows a ‘Preparing model’ Solver Monitor status indefinitely and any FloXpress analysis never finishes the ‘Meshing in progress’ step?To get more information, see solution ID: S-079776

Akhil C

SOLIDWORKS User success Engineering Specialist at Dassault Systemes
Mechanical Engineer with overall 5 years of experience in mechanical domain - Academics and Industry. 4+ years in Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products. Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator