SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech Thu, 16 Sep 2021 17:10:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – September 2021 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/09/solidworks-support-monthly-news-september-2021.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/09/solidworks-support-monthly-news-september-2021.html#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 06:20:17 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=29148 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. Why I can’t dimension holes in the flat pattern By Mario

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy

Bishwaraj Roy

Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products.
Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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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.

Why I can’t dimension holes in the flat pattern

By Mario IOCCO

 

Error “The SOLIDWORKS Document Manager Library is invalid. Please see your administrator.” while doing Pack and Go

By Vinod KALE

Recently, an issue was reported while performing a ‘Pack and Go’ from SOLIDWORKS or Windows Explorer shows an error ‘The SolidWorks Document Manager Library is invalid. Please see your administrator’.

The ‘Pack and Go’ in SOLIDWORKS allows you to collect all related documents into one file. This is useful for quickly saving and sending entire projects.

Generally, the ‘Pack and Go’ functionality depends on the SOLIDWORKS Document Manager DLL (swdocumentmgr.dll) that is located in ‘C:\Program Files\CommonFiles\SolidWorks Shared’ directory. This issue can occur if the version of ‘SwDocumentMgr.dll’ is not correct.

So what could be the causes for incorrect DLL version?

  1. With multiple SOLIDWORKS versions installed, repair or install of older version of SOLIDWORKS after the newer version can cause the wrong version of DLL to be registered.
  2. With third party application installed (that uses different version of SOLIDWORKS Document Manager), there are chances that ‘Pack and go’ uses the ‘SwDocumentMgr.dll’ of third party application instead of SOLIDWORKS. Some Autodesk products like ‘Desktop Connector’ uses the different version of ‘SwDocumentMgr.dll

There are couple of ways we can fix this issue:

  1. Rename ‘SwDocumentMgr.dll’, and then repair the SOLIDWORKS installation
  2. Uninstall the third-party application, so that ‘Pack and Go’ will use the correct SOLIDWORKS Document Manager DLL.

How to find out whether ‘Pack and Go’ is reading the correct swdocumentmgr.dll?

— Capture the issue using procmon log and search for the following entry:

‘C:\Program Files\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Shared\swdocumentmgr.dll’

In this case, the ‘Pack and Go’ performed from windows explorer was reading the ‘swdocumentmgr.dll’ from Autodesk product ‘Desktop Connector’ location, as shown in image:

 

How SOLIDWORKS Costing considers different CAM processes to calculate cost of manufacturing a part?

By Gaurav GAYAKWAD

SOLIDWORKS Costing calculation mainly depends upon the Material Removal Rate (MRR) of recognized feature instead of defining it for specific machine type.

Kindly see below explanation as given in help document for Machine parts.

Machined parts start as a block of material or a plate stock of material (such as metal plates or cylinders). Machined parts are drilled, milled, or turned, and then cut by a water jet or plasma to create the final shape.

When you calculate the cost of machining a block-shaped or cylindrical stock body, the Costing tool incorporates the cost of the following:

  • Milling operations (such as face, flat end, or ball end milling, and chamfering)
  • Drilling operations (such as blind and through drilling, reaming, and tapping)
  • OD turning, ID turning, and face turning operations for cylindrical parts
  • Library features
  • Custom operations (such as painting, anodizing, and heat treat)
  • Machine or process setup operations (such as milling machine setup costs)

You can find detailed information about SOLIDWORKS costing in the help section. Kindly find below link for same.

http://help.solidworks.com/2021/english/SolidWorks/sldworks/c_costing_top.htm?id=9ed20ae6debc461d92aafcbaae0b1f9d#Pg0 

The SOLIDWORKS® costing tool is mainly designed to estimate the cost for manufacturing a particular product. The costing tool is not designed to determine the exact manufacturing strategy, but SOLIDWORKS has tried to include the biggest contributors to the cost that are derived from the manufacturing process.

Accuracy of costing

A costing estimate is an accurate way of determining basic costs for machining, and these costs have a variety of ways they can be refined on a feature-by-feature basis if the customer finds it necessary. The costing tool is also only as accurate as the information the user inputs into the costing template, so if they are trying to mimic their own manufacturing processes, it is important to create these costing templates accordingly.  Of course, it is obvious that it is difficult to include every manufacturing variable at the moment, so usage of this tool should be done with the knowledge that its primary intent is to give designers a better understanding the approximate cost of the part and how changes to the part can affect its cost.

You can exclude any cost that’s been added by right clicking on the cost and selecting exclude.  These operation will then move under ‘No Cost Assigned’ folder.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW Is there a SolidPractices document available on the topic of “Moving SOLIDWORKS® Data to the 3DEXPERIENCE® Platform?”

Yes. The attached SolidPractices document in the Solution Id: S-079337 outlines the current tools and methods available for moving SOLIDWORKS® CAD data from a Windows® File Explorer folder structure to the 3DEXPERIENCE® Public Cloud platform.

icon - SW Is there a SolidPractices document available on the topic of Productivity Tools for CAD Administrators?
Yes, The attached document in Solution Id: S-079375 provides guidance to CAD administrators, and introduces productivity tools that enable them to get the most out of SOLIDWORKS®.

Icon - EPDM Why is the SOLIDWORKS® PDM icon in the task tray missing and does not show at all on some systems, making menus for vault ‘log in’, ‘log off’, ‘Presence note’ and ‘Task host configuration’ inaccessible?

On some operating systems (primarily server operating systems), the ‘Explorer.exe’ process starts in ‘Elevated’ mode. This can also cause elevation of the SOLIDWORKS® PDM ‘Edmserver.exe’ process. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-079329

In SOLIDWORKS® Flow Simulation is there an example that compares these predefined fluids: H2O (Ideal) vs. H2O (Real) vs. Steam?

Yes. Refer to the attached example in Solution Id: S-079202 and the explanation.

That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller.

 

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. You can enter them below.

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy
Bishwaraj Roy
Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products. Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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Wooden Ice Cream Stacker Tutorial https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/09/wooden-ice-cream-stacker-tutorial.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/09/wooden-ice-cream-stacker-tutorial.html#respond Thu, 09 Sep 2021 15:00:14 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=29139 For this SOLIDWORKS tutorial for a wooden ice cream stacker, see how equations are used to make quick dimension changes to sketches and features to create multiple parts quickly, the parts are then used to create a final assembly of the toy.

Author information

Jade Crompton

I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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For this SOLIDWORKS tutorial I designed and modelled this ice cream stacking toy. I used this model to feature the use of equations, for quickly amending sketch and feature dimensions. The tutorial demonstrates a very simple use of this feature to create 4 different parts. All the decals seen in the tutorial are available to download from here.

 
I applied equations to the initial revolve sketch height and width, an extruded cut for slotting onto the cone base, and two separate fillets. There is a comments box at the end of each equation, here I input for my own reference what the equation applies to. This is especially useful when you have many different equations, without this, it could get quite confusing. You can choose to automatically rebuild a model as you input each dimension, but I kept this unticked, my model would rebuild once all the equations are all applied. As mentioned in the tutorial, this is a very simple use of the equations, and the initial setup of the equations for the first ice cream layer does take longer than it would take to model the part normally. However, by setting up all the equations, the other 3 ice cream layers will be modelled much quicker. Once the first layer is modelled with equations and saved, save as is then used to rename the part for the second ice cream part and the equations can be tweaked with new dimensions. This process can be repeated until all 4 parts are modelled. This feature can save you so much time for editing dimensions of sketches or features quickly, especially for projects where a part may need quick dimension tweaks.

When adding the decals during the tutorial, you may see some of the tricks I use to apply my designs to circular or spherical faces. This includes using label or cylindrical mapping settings. Decals are also designed to overlap into each other. PNG file decals were used so that the background could be masked using decal image alpha channel, this allows the decal to sit on top of an appearance, the appearance will then show up through the masked areas of the decal. The best example of this can be seen on the cone part of the toy. The diamond cone design I created for this tutorial was exported without a background as a PNG file, so when it is brought in, the background of the design will show through with the applied wooden ash appearance. It was fitted to the cone using label mapping, it was resized with fixed aspect ratio unticked, so that I could overlap the decal around the cone shape.

With all the finished parts, I created an assembly of the finished toy. All pieces were mated onto the cone base, and an exploded view was added to the assembly with auto-spaced components. This is a quick way of moving several parts in one direction all together. The exploded view was used in a motion study and exported into SOLIDWORKS Visualize, the finished rendered animation can be seen in the tutorial.

Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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Making Life Easier With Routing Electrical – Part 1 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/09/making-life-easier-with-routing-electrical-part-1.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/09/making-life-easier-with-routing-electrical-part-1.html#respond Sat, 04 Sep 2021 15:00:50 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=29099 Routing Electrical is a great tool for incorporating the electrical aspect into your 3D models however, it can sometimes be a little time consuming. There are several different tools than can make this process a whole lot easier and quicker.

Author information

TMS CADCentre

TMS CADCentre is a SOLIDWORKS Reseller based in Scotland providing CAD Design Software, analysis software & product data management software. Founded in 1981, TMS CADCentre is the only UK SOLIDWORKS Reseller based and funded within Scotland and have been providing SOLIDWORKS software, training and support since 1996 when the product was first launched in the UK.

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Routing Electrical is a great tool for incorporating the electrical aspect into your 3D models however, it can sometimes be a little time consuming. There are several different tools than can make this process a whole lot easier and quicker. Using standard cables and/or the from/to tables we can semi-automate several processes. In this 2-part series we will explain each method in turn.

Standard Cables

If you use standardised cables, if they are bought in or even made inhouse they generally have a fixed length. Using standard cables in Routing Electrical, you can set these cables up for use time and time again. This means there is no longer a need to go looking for those connectors that you can never find or even trying to remember the cable that is used for this configuration.

So how does it work? Well, there are two methods that can be used here, you can either configure your cable directly from within the Standard Cables command. Or for those of you who insist on using excel for everything you can even do it that way.

 

Method 1 – Within SOLIDWORKS

 

 

Step 1:

From the Standard Cables property manager, you get the options as seen on the left. You can either select a pre-existing cable to insert into your design, or you have the option ‘Add New Cable’ where you can configure a new cable to your specification. This new cable will be automatically added to your library for future use.

 

 

Step 2:

When creating a new cable, we first get the option to assign a part number for the cable. The part number will be what is displayed as the route name in your feature tree. We also get the option to add a description, it is this description that will be displayed in the available cables drop-down seen in the previous image.

 

 

Step 3:

Next up is specifying the connectors that will be used for this cable. The connectors can be given a reference which will be used while inserting the cable into your design. We can then assign the part file for the connector. As you can see from the image on the right, we can specify the ‘From Connector’ and the ‘To Connector’. Finally, we can specify what configuration of the part file you want to use. This way if you have a connector configured with different numbers of pins then we can select the appropriate on for this cable configuration.

 

 

Step 4:

The final stage to configuring your cable is defining the details of the cable itself. For this we can define the cable length, diameter, and minimum bend radius. Once you have done this all that is left to do is hit the green tick and your cable has now been added to your library and is ready to be inserted into your design.

 

Method 2 – Using Excel

As previously mentioned, Microsoft Excel can also be used to setup the Standard Cables that you require. To access the Standard Cables excel file, you can find the file location specified in the Routing Library Manager. The default location for this is -C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 20XX\design library\routing.

In this file you will notice that the Header row number is specified. This is where the application starts to read the information from the file to create the Standard Cables. All cables are then listed underneath with no blank rows in between. If a blank row is present, the application will stop reading at this point and any further cables will not be selectable in the application.

 

Along with all the cables listed in the excel file, you will also see that all the properties that were defined in the previous method have their own column. This means that we can simply define all the properties in excel, then once we are finished simply save the file and the new cables will be visible when using the Standard Cables command.

Please note the information mentioned at the top of the excel document to ensure you enter the properties correctly.

In part 2 of this series, we will look at the use of From/To tables and how we can leverage them to speed up out electrical incorporation into our 3D models.

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Kieran Young is an Elite Applications Engineer at TMS CADCentre, a SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller in Scotland.

You can read more from Kieran on the TMS CADCentre blog

Author information

TMS CADCentre
TMS CADCentre is a SOLIDWORKS Reseller based in Scotland providing CAD Design Software, analysis software & product data management software. Founded in 1981, TMS CADCentre is the only UK SOLIDWORKS Reseller based and funded within Scotland and have been providing SOLIDWORKS software, training and support since 1996 when the product was first launched in the UK.

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Ride-on Electric Unicorn Car – Part 3 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/ride-on-electric-unicorn-car-part-3.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/ride-on-electric-unicorn-car-part-3.html#respond Fri, 27 Aug 2021 15:00:36 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=29018 In the first and second parts of this series we recreated and fixed our previously broken ride-on car using the power of SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical. Now that it’s up and running, our final mission is to give it a

Author information

Loretta Stiurca

Loretta Stiurca

Loretta is a mom, a wife, and an engineer. She is a CSWE and has been using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical for more than 6 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with the puppy, playing Dungeons and Dragons, thinking up crazy inventions, learning magic tricks, juggling, making her baby girl laugh, and going on adventures.

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In the first and second parts of this series we recreated and fixed our previously broken ride-on car using the power of SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical. Now that it’s up and running, our final mission is to give it a quick upgrade. We have the need for speed! In this blog, we’ll start by planning our upgrade and wiring it up in SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematics and along the way we’ll double-check that everything fits well in 3D.

The biggest goal of this upgrade is to make our car speedier, so we’ll modify everything based on a battery upgrade from 12 volts to 24 volts. For this type of upgrade, it is important that we reevaluate our motor, gearbox, and tire choices, making sure that we won’t burn anything out along the way. It’s also going to be important that we make sure our new battery/batteries will fit in the front compartment of our car.

Before we get going, it’s always a good idea to make a revision and keep a copy of our work as it is. SOLIDWORKS Electrical allows us to do this with built-in revision control and, one of my favorite features, Snapshots. Let’s jump into the software and do this together.

One simple way to archive our work as it currently is would be to simply go to Process > Take snapshot and Archive our project using this functionality so that it will show up in our Snapshots manager. In this case, however, we want to make an actual revision and there’s a shortcut for making a snapshot through our revisions manager, so let’s go that route.

We can start by right-clicking our Book in our Document Tree and selecting Revisions… .

This brings up Revisions management and we can see that no revisions have been made so far. To make a new revision, we first need to click the Validate button and then the Verify button. Please note that these buttons might also be checked by separate engineers, but since we are doing this ourselves, we get to do it all!

Once the current revision has been validated and verified, we will want to close out of our revision manager and re-open it. This will give us the option to add a New revision as can be seen below.

When we click the New revision button, an option pops up for us to save a PDF of our work as it is. I went ahead and exported the book. Next, an option pops up to take a snapshot. This is AWESOME! I still remember the year this feature was added and how happy everyone was to see it. Of course, we select Take snapshot since this is a major revision.

Once we click this button, SOLIDWORKS Electrical actually Archives our project and stores it in a special folder within the SOLIDWORKS Electrical Data folder. This allows us to return to the state the project was in at the time the revision was made at any time… you know – in case we make a mistake or want to take the project in a different direction.

Now that our project is saved, let’s get to modifying! First things first, we want to swap out our battery. I jumped online and found several 24 volt batteries with a reasonable price tag, but there’s a problem – after looking at the dimensions and comparing them with our model, we can see that none of them fit! Bummer. What to do? A quick Control + Click & Drag of our original 12 volt battery (this is equal to a copy/paste), along with a slight repositioning allows us to see that we can instead use two of our 12 volt batteries, connected in series. Brilliant! Let’s jump into SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematics and update our Line Diagram and Schematic.

To update our Line Diagram, all we need to do is Copy/Paste our original BAT1 symbol. SOLIDWORKS Electrical automatically creates a new component and attaches the same part while increasing the number after the Root Mark for us.

Now that our component is added to our project, we can open our schematic, find BAT2 in our component tree, and simply Right-Click > Insert before selecting our symbol. After placing our symbol we can extend our wires by drawing off of our existing wires. In this case, we don’t even have to select a wire type – SOLIDWORKS Electrical automatically matches the wire type we are drawing off of for us.

Once we place our second battery, we can see a small problem – the +12V and -12V terminals need to be swapped! Luckily, all we need to do here is Right-Click > Orientation > Invert.

This flips our leads around, allowing us to keep our schematic nice and clean. So easy!

Now the only thing left to do is to upgrade our electric motors and our gearboxes. We previously purchased an assembly of the two put together, so I went ahead and searched for another one of these, but with upgraded parts… and I found it. Thanks, ML Toys! This assembly includes 775 motors with internal cooling fans and a 7R Gearbox Mold with improved tolerances. The first gears are also made of hardened steel with ball bearings instead of plastic. I did some research and, with this new gearbox-battery combination, we should get a lot more low-end power in addition to a speed boost. This is a serious upgrade and is perfect for what we need!

Now that we know exactly what we need, let’s quickly create a part and switch it out with our old gearbox assembly. The easiest way to create our new part is to Copy/Paste/Modify from the part we are replacing in our Library. To do this, all we need to do is go to Library  > Manufacturer Parts Manager, find our original part and Right-Click > Add manufacturer part… and change a few things.

The most important thing to change is the Reference because this is what makes it a unique part. I also updated the web link under User Data 1.

Now that we’ve created our part, all we need to do is update our component with the new part. To do this, we can double-click MOT1, delete the old part, and add the new one.

Note: If we want to use the same 3D model (we do in this case – everything is the same size and looks basically the same), we will want to open our assembly up and Right-click > Dissociate for MOT1 and MOT2 before deleting these parts in 2D. This will allow us to reassociate later. Otherwise SOLIDWORKS Electrical will delete the 3D Model from our assembly when we delete our part.

Voila! We’re actually 99% done updating everything since our symbols automatically update in both the Line Diagram and the Schematic. The (second to) last thing left to do is to renumber our wires and we could potentially re-route our wires quickly in 3D as well. However, since the wire length update is so minimal here, I opted to skip this step. Instead, I decided to manually add a length in 2D by simply Right-Clicking the wire between the two motors > Wire Properties and selecting the wire itself. This opens a properties dialogue box and we can manually put in a length here as can be seen below.

Note: If we ever do decide to route wires in 3D, this length will automatically be update with the new, calculated length.

To renumber wires, I went to Process > Renumber Wires, choosing to renumber all of our wires for the whole project. Here’s what our Schematic looks like:

Our final step is updating our reports. The simplest way to do this is to Right-Click the report we want to update in our Document Tree and select Update report drawings.

In a matter of seconds, everything is up-to-date and in sync. I didn’t have to switch back and forth between pages, double-checking that everything matches. So good.

Here’s the final result after we Validate and Verify our revision:

(and the PDF with links if you’re interested) Notice how the revision number automatically updates in our title blog along with the date and name of the author. I also added a specific note in the CHANGES section for the schematic sheet by right-clicking the sheet and editing the specific revisions information there. So easy!

Now that our car is upgraded, it’s time to DRIVE! Unfortunately, we are still waiting on the parts to come in for this, but as soon as they’re here and installed we’re going to be absolute speed demons.

Thanks for following along! As always, please be sure to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas for future topics you would like to see covered. Bye for now!

 

 

 

 

Author information

Loretta Stiurca
Loretta Stiurca
Loretta is a mom, a wife, and an engineer. She is a CSWE and has been using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical for more than 6 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with the puppy, playing Dungeons and Dragons, thinking up crazy inventions, learning magic tricks, juggling, making her baby girl laugh, and going on adventures.

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Miter Joints with Different Sized Weldment Profiles in SOLIDWORKS 2021 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/miter-joints-with-different-sized-weldment-profiles-in-solidworks-2021.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/miter-joints-with-different-sized-weldment-profiles-in-solidworks-2021.html#respond Tue, 24 Aug 2021 15:00:11 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=29044 Creating structural members for welded, bolted of framed designs has always been a breeze in SOLIDWORKS, thanks to the SOLIDWORKS WELDMENTS functionality found in the SOLIDWORKS Standard, SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium software bundles. For years, SOLIDWORKS users have enjoyed

Author information

Toby Schnaars

Toby Schnaars

Toby Schnaars is a Solution Consultant at Dassault Systemems SOLIDWORKS, based in the Northeastern region of the United States. He has been helping customers with SOLIDWORKS tips, tricks and instructor-led training since 2001.

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Creating structural members for welded, bolted of framed designs has always been a breeze in SOLIDWORKS, thanks to the SOLIDWORKS WELDMENTS functionality found in the SOLIDWORKS Standard, SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium software bundles. For years, SOLIDWORKS users have enjoyed the benefits of working from a library of simple 2D profiles and applying these profiles to a “framework” of 2D or 3D sketches. This allowed user to create a structure similar to what is shown in the following image:

But the above image shows a challenge that SOLIDWORKS Weldment users have long struggled with: How do you miter a joint that occurs at the intersection of 2 different sized profiles?

In previous versions of SOLIDWORKS, the user would have to manually “match” these 2 structural members at the mitered corner. This typically meant creating a sketch and calculating the correct “matching angle”, then doing a cut-extrude at each of these corners. This became a time-consuming process as it required several features – typically a sketch, a cut extrude, and an extend feature.
SOLIDWORKS 2021 introduces a great new tool to address this challenge: the option for FULL FLUSH corners when using the Miter Trim/Extend feature.

In the current challenge (shown in the image below) we can see that we have a series of 60mm x 40mm rectangular tube members coming together with some 40mm x 40mm square tube members.

When working with SOLIDWORKS Weldments in previous versions of SOLIDWORKS, users had struggled with the challenge of matching 2 different sized profiles at a mitered corner. When users attempted to work with the trim/extend tool and use the miter joint option, they would be presented with the solution shown in the following image:


This option worked great when the 2 structural profiles were the same size, as SOLIDWORKS would calculate the bisecting angle between the two members, and create a miter at this bisecting angle leaving an equal angle miter cut on each structural member. But when the structural member profiles were of 2 different sizes, this would not be the desired result, as you will need to cut 2 different angles. A true bisecting angle would leave one member too long, and one member too short, as shown in the above image.


In the new Tim/Extend interface found in SOLIDWORKS 2021, we can see a new option – the FULL FLUSH option. This option automatically solves the correct angle for structural member 1 and structural member 2. It then performs both a trim and an extend, with a different angle on each structural member, to leave you with a perfectly flush miter between the 2 structural members. This reduces the number of features needed and the amount of time it takes to calculate the perfect angle between these 2 differently shaped structural members.


SOLIDWORKS 2021 introduced a great new miter option in the Trim/Extend command – the FULL FLUSH option for a structural member miter joint. With this tool users can quickly match 2 differently shaped structural members with a perfectly flush miter. This will be a great time saver for any SOLIDWORKS users who work with the SOLIDWORKS Weldments commands!

Author information

Toby Schnaars
Toby Schnaars
Toby Schnaars is a Solution Consultant at Dassault Systemems SOLIDWORKS, based in the Northeastern region of the United States. He has been helping customers with SOLIDWORKS tips, tricks and instructor-led training since 2001.

The post Miter Joints with Different Sized Weldment Profiles in SOLIDWORKS 2021 appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

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Marble Run Tutorial https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/marble-run-tutorial.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/marble-run-tutorial.html#respond Fri, 20 Aug 2021 15:00:38 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28994 In this SOLIDWORKS tutorial, a range of simple modelling features such as extrude boss and cut, lofted and swept cuts are used to create a set of track parts. These are then mated together into a fixed assembly in preparation for a motion study. The marble part for this tutorial is available to download from the blog.

Author information

Jade Crompton

I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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In this fun SOLIDWORKS tutorial you can follow simple steps to create different blocks and track pieces for a wooden Marble Run set. By the end of the tutorial, you will be able to create a marble run track either by copying the set up in the tutorial or by creating your own, it’s about being creative! Feel free to create new track parts or edit existing ones. The marble part for the tutorial is available to download here.

The sweep tool was used for several of the track pieces, but it was very useful when creating the winding track ramp. A guide sketch was created to split the ramp into 4 parts before using the 3-point arc sketch tool to draw out the winding path alternating the arc. the start and end of the path start straight but have a fillet added to soften the join up to the arcs. The path was then used to sweep a circular profile along it.

Once all 10 track pieces are done, I added stained wooden appearances to each before re-saving the parts and closing them ready for the assembly. When creating the assembly, it’s always easier to start with the end track and work up, I added components in stages to overwhelm myself with parts to mate. Ensure that all the parts are fully mated in place, so they don’t move as you’re adding more parts too. With the marble run fully assembled I fix all the track parts ready for the motion study. If you don’t fix these parts, they may just fall through the floor of the assembly, doing this also ensures that they don’t interfere with the analysis. The marbles are dropped into the assembly at the top of the starting track block and are mated with a tangent mate, but only temporarily for placement.

For the motion study of the assembly, I used motion analysis, and added gravity to the y-axis, and contacts to all the parts in the assembly. With those added I suppressed the tangent mates on the marbles, and run the analysis. The interesting thing about the analysis, is that I can get different results depending on where the marble starts on the ramp. I enjoy using the motion analysis for simple motions like this, as the finished animation can be very fun to watch.

When your analysis is complete, if you have access to SOLIDWORKS VISUALIZE you can export it directly into the programme ready to render into a video animation. Use export advanced within the SOLIDWORKS VISUALIZE tab, and under the drop-down menu, select your motion study, it will then open in VISUALIZE with the animation keys in place. If you watch the tutorial to the end, you will see how I make the camera ratio larger, edit the background and backplate. I could then render the animation into an mp4. file with a few easy steps. VISUALIZE also allows you to control how many frames per second are rendered for the animation, this is useful for when I want to edit and slow down parts of the animation later without losing video quality. I haven’t played around with extra camera angles for the rendering because it is such a quick animation. For this model its best to stay still to see the whole animation from one viewpoint, start to finish.

You can see the finished rendered animation at the end of the video tutorial. Once you have created your own marble run, share it with us, we would love to see what you can do.

 

Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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SOLIDWORKS 2021 Performance Improvements https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/solidworks-2021-performance-improvements.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/solidworks-2021-performance-improvements.html#respond Tue, 17 Aug 2021 15:00:54 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=29031 Just like every year, SOLIDWORKS has added hundreds of enhancements to SOLIDWORKS 2021.  And, one area that the R&D team always focuses on a lot is PERFORMANCE.  Over the years, as users create larger and more complex models, SOLIDWORKS has

Author information

Jenn Doerksen

Jenn Doerksen

Jenn Doerksen works for Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS, as a Senior Industry Process Consultant. She has been part of the SOLIDWORKS community since early 1997, when she bought her first license of SOLIDWORKS. Since then, she has worked for a local Value-Added Reseller, presenting, teaching and supporting SOLIDWORKS for several years, and has worked for SOLIDWORKS directly since early 2005. She has a Bachelor’s of Engineering from the University of Victoria and lives with her husband and three dogs in Vancouver BC, Canada.

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Just like every year, SOLIDWORKS has added hundreds of enhancements to SOLIDWORKS 2021.  And, one area that the R&D team always focuses on a lot is PERFORMANCE.  Over the years, as users create larger and more complex models, SOLIDWORKS has had to innovate to ensure that our CAD software will enable you to design even more.

The word “Performance” encapsulates quite a lot, and in 2021, many areas of SOLIDWORKS got a performance boost, including:

  1. Installation
  2. Model Display
  3. Sheet Metal
  4. Assemblies
  5. Detailing & Drawings
  6. PDM
  7. Simulation

Installation: The SOLIDWORKS 2021 Installation Manager downloads and extracts installation media faster. Internal testing shows that the download time is improved by 25% or more compared to the methods used before SOLIDWORKS 2021.

Model Display: SOLIDWORKS 2021 improves performance for GPU-based occlusion culling, GPU-based silhouette edges, zooming and panning within parts, assemblies and drawings, and switching configurations in large assemblies.  This means that your graphics card will help offload rendering resources from your CPU, making your general experience faster and smoother.  This enhancement was initially released in 2019, and it is on by default in 2021.  If this option is grayed out for you, please update your graphics driver.  If it is still grayed out, please ask your reseller for help.

Sheet Metal: In SOLIDWORKS 2021, Sheet Metal flat patterns use efficient algorithms to identify bend connections. This new algorithm reduces the time to flatten complex sheet metal bodies with many flanges by about 20-25 times!  It is similar to the geometry pattern option when patterning the same feature multiple times.

Assemblies: This performance boost means you can open large assemblies with thousands of components in seconds using Lightweight mode.  Lightweight components are now automatically loaded into memory when expanded in the feature manager.  Opening assemblies with parts that have many configurations is also much faster.  It takes less time to update assemblies that have many mates – although it is always a best practice to define mates between components in sub-assemblies, rather than all in one main assembly.  Closing assemblies without saving is also much faster in 2021.

Detailing & Drawings: In Detailing Mode, the model is not loaded into memory, which is a big time-saver while working in a drawing of a large assembly.  Robust referencing saves you a dramatic amount of time by eliminating the need to resolve and save to maintain final annotation and dimension associativity. Previously, you had to fully resolve and save the drawing to avoid dangling dimensions and annotations.  In Detailing Mode in 2021, you can create and modify break, crop, and detail views. You can also add dimensions and annotations to the views, as well as add and edit hole callouts.  Additionally, for existing dimensions created in resolved mode, you can edit tolerances and line/arrow type, as well as add or remove chain and baseline dimensions, and edit notes.

PDM: SOLIDWORKS PDM 2021 has performance improvements that make file-based operations and related workflows much faster.  This is important since the time it takes to work in the vault is based on the efficiency of the database.  Improvements in system performance help you to quickly open, add, check in, and change the state of files with large reference structure.  On average, adding files is 150% to 300% faster, and checking in files is about 25% faster.  Of course, the level of improvement can vary depending on the number of files, network bandwidth, and CPU cores.  Overall though, you should see a substantial improvement in speed.

Simulation: The performance of simulation solvers has been improved for linear static and nonlinear studies.  Study run-times have been reduced due to parallel multicore processing.  There are four levels of Simulation tools within the SOLIDWORKS product line:

a)       SOLIDWORKS Premium (which includes Static studies and Time-based Motion)

b)      SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard

c)       SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional

d)      SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium

SOLIDWORKS Premium (a) and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard (b) are limited to 8 physical cores and will see some performance improvements.  However, SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium have no limit on the number of physical cores used, so those two products will see the biggest performance improvements in 2021.

 

 

Author information

Jenn Doerksen
Jenn Doerksen
Jenn Doerksen works for Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS, as a Senior Industry Process Consultant. She has been part of the SOLIDWORKS community since early 1997, when she bought her first license of SOLIDWORKS. Since then, she has worked for a local Value-Added Reseller, presenting, teaching and supporting SOLIDWORKS for several years, and has worked for SOLIDWORKS directly since early 2005. She has a Bachelor’s of Engineering from the University of Victoria and lives with her husband and three dogs in Vancouver BC, Canada.

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Stained Glass Window Tutorial https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/stained-glass-window-tutorial.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/stained-glass-window-tutorial.html#respond Fri, 13 Aug 2021 15:00:19 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28977 This is a SOLIDWORKS tutorial for a stained-glass window, follow the tutorial to see how you can utilise convert entities to create a beautiful window design. Circular pattern, conic sketch and thin feature are used to create the intricate lead frame of the windows glass. Then relax and add colour to your window glass using appearances.

Author information

Jade Crompton

I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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For this tutorial I wanted to highlight the power of Convert Entities select all inner loops. I also showcase the use of circular pattern to create the window architectural molding and the window design itself. During the tutorial you can follow to create the below window design, or create your own design using the techniques from the tutorial, by the end, you will be able to ‘color in’ your window panes to create a beautiful stained glass design.

 
A sweep profile was used to create the outer molding design of the window, as a ceramicist I would use a method called ‘sledging’ which is a similar method or technique as a sweep, you take a profile or template and run it along a path to create a 3d swept profile. This is actually the method used to create architecture plaster moldings you see in homes. The sweep was split into 12 separate bodies using a thin feature, so that I could create a boundary in between each molding piece to look like cement.

Circular pattern, and the conic sketch tool was used to create most of the sketch for the inner metal frame of the window. The conic sketch tool allowed me to create even pointed arcs that resembled the tips of petals. Circular pattern was used in stages to build up the design, patterning different entities at a time. Once the design was finished, thin feature was used to thicken all of the sketch entities to create the frame, this again was created in stages as SOLIDWORKS began to slow down with all my selections.

Once the inner window frame was finished and in one whole piece or body, I needed to create a sketch of all the inner loops to create the individual window panes of glass. To do this quickly I used Convert Entities: select all inner loops. This tool can save you so much time, rather than having to select individual loops at a time, I was able to convert all the inner shapes at once, allowing me to simply extrude all the individual glass panes.

The final part of the tutorial is the fun part, adding color! This is where you can be free to sit back and add color to your window design, almost like a calming coloring book. As I mention in the tutorial, I added the color to the face of each glass pane, rather than to the whole body of each pane, this was to save on time during the tutorial, but if you have the time, and are planning on rendering the window, I would suggest adding the frosted glass appearance with color to the body of the parts too.

Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – August 2021 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/solidworks-support-monthly-news-august-2021.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/solidworks-support-monthly-news-august-2021.html#respond Thu, 12 Aug 2021 06:21:03 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=29080 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. Enabling Measure Functionality in SOLIDWORKS for eDrawings file By Sagar Agrawal

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy

Bishwaraj Roy

Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products.
Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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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.

Enabling Measure Functionality in SOLIDWORKS for eDrawings file

By Sagar Agrawal

We’ve had multiple queries over the past months on how to enable measure functionality in SOLIDWORKS for eDrawings file.

There are two ways to output eDrawings from SOLIDWORKS.

  1. You can Publish to eDrawings from the File menu,
  2. You can do File > Save As > choose eDrawings (*.easm, *.eprt, or *.edrw).

After each step, you have to select  the Options button in the pop-up window

After you click the options button you will redirect to the eDrawings settings page here make sure the option “Okay to measure this eDrawings file” is checked.

When the user selects the most common method i.e. Publish to eDrawings. There is an extra step i.e. to enable the measure which is generally missed.

If you notice, you can use the measure function in this file.  But when it is saved and closed and then reopened, you will see in the status bar that measurement is disabled.

To enable measurement when using this method to create the eDrawings file, when the file first opens in eDrawings Professional you have to choose File > Save As and make sure to check the “Enable measure” option and save.  This step has to be done before the eDrawings Professional session is closed; that option will not be available if you reopen the eDrawings file.

 

Three ways to manage SOLIDWORKS Simulation SolidNetWork Licenses (SNL)

By Jay Seaglar

You may already know that there are four possible common product license types that can give you access to the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Add-In:

  • SOLIDWORKS Premium
  • SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard
  • SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional
  • SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium

Each of these license types provides access to a different combination of study types in SOLIDWORKS Simulation (among other differences – click Compare features on this page for details). For example, with SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard, you get Static and Fatigue studies, but with SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional, you also get Buckling, Frequency, Thermal, Topology, and others.

If you have network (also known as “floating”) licenses configured using SolidNetWork License (SNL) Manager, and your SNL Manager includes two or more of the above license types, you may occasionally find that you cannot create or run the study type that you want. Or perhaps you receive messages from colleagues asking you to release a more feature-rich license because someone else needs it more than you do.

For example, your computer may have pulled a SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional license automatically when it loaded the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Add-In on start up. However, maybe you only plan to run Static and Fatigue studies that day, so you can get by with a less feature-rich SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard license instead.

To make things easier, here are three ways that you and your admins can manage access to the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Add-In using network licenses, starting with the easiest (and least persistent):

  1. On client systems: You can click the down arrow at the bottom of the SOLIDWORKS Simulation button in the SOLIDWORKS Add-Ins CommandManager to directly choose the license you want to use to load the Add-In. This is an “on-demand” workflow that is applicable only to the current session of SOLIDWORKS Simulation.

You may also want to consider clearing the Start Up checkbox option for SOLIDWORKS Simulation in Tools > Add-Ins to avoid automatically pulling a license for SOLIDWORKS Simulation each time SOLIDWORKS starts.

  1. On client systems: Use the License Order tab in SolidNetWork License Manager Client to move license types up or down as needed.

The relative order of the license types determines which licenses SOLIDWORKS will attempt to pull (starting at the top of the list) the next time you load the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Add-In. If the first license type that can authorize the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Add-In is not available to you, SOLIDWORKS will work its way down the License Order list to the next possible license type, and so on.

Each Windows User account on each client system can have its own custom License Order specified, but you will need to unload, then reload the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Add-In to swap licenses. As a best practice, after you are done making changes to License Order, click on the License Usage tab in SolidNetWork License Manager Client or click the OK button. This will save the changes you made to the License Order. Note that any changes that you make will persist for future sessions unless you make an adjustment before loading the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Add-In.

See Knowledge Base Solution S-021131 for additional information.

  1. On a server system: Talk to your admin about setting up (and subsequently maintaining) an SNL Options File. This approach is the most complicated of the three, but also the most powerful because it allows admins to precisely manage license allocation. Unlike changes to License Order (which can be adjusted through SolidNetWork License Manager Client), this method must be done through the SolidNetWork License Manager Server.

The strength of this approach is that it allows admins to create custom licensing rules to achieve things like reserving a number of licenses of a certain type for certain groups of users or even excluding specific users to prevent accidental license “hoarding”.

The downside of this approach is that it may require some trial and error to get the rules just right, and it will subsequently require ongoing maintenance by admins (for example when users come and go or when there is a change to the license types they need).

Individual users can still adjust License Order on a given client system, but whether they are granted a certain license types will depend not only on whether there is at least one free/available license in the license pool, but also on rules established by the Options File. This can be a source of confusion and frustration because only an admin with the proper knowledge of the custom Options File rules syntax requirements will be in a position to view/edit the Options File to interpret expected behavior and make changes.

See Knowledge Base Solutions S-068782 & S-077940 for additional information, including an example of an Options File as well as in-depth guidance about SOLIDWORKS Licensing and troubleshooting licensing issues.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW What changes are being made for SOLIDWORKS® Online Licensing?

SOLIDWORKS® Online Licensing became effective with the release of SOLIDWORKS 2018 SP0.0 as an alternative to machine-based activation licenses. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-079284

icon - SW How do I change my license type from SOLIDWORKS® Online Licensing to SOLIDWORKS Machine Activation?
SOLIDWORKS® Online Licensing is being phased-out with an effective date of February 12, 2022. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-079286

Icon - EPDM When using SOLIDWORKS® Manage, why do I not see all users in the object field list of my process?

It is possible that you did not provide full control access to the users. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-079289

In SOLIDWORKS® Flow Simulation, is it possible to simulate a choking incompressible flow?

No. No single-phase computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver can simulate a choked flow in a pipe or valve with incompressible fluid. SOLIDWORKS® Flow Simulation is a single-phase solver. The choked incompressible flow is inherently a two-phase flow phenomenon. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-079272

That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller.

 

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. You can enter them below.

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy
Bishwaraj Roy
Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products. Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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Master Model Technique with xShape https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/master-model-technique-with-xshape.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/master-model-technique-with-xshape.html#respond Wed, 11 Aug 2021 15:00:50 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28962 The master modeling technique is nothing new. In fact it’s been a common practice in 3D CAD since before SOLIDWORKS even came on the scene in 1995. If you aren’t familiar with it, the basic idea is that your end

Author information

Andy Barnes

Andy Barnes

Andrew Barnes is a Solutions Consultant at SOLIDWORKS. He is a certified expert in all things SOLIDWORKS, but he specializes in weird swoopy shapes and additive manufacturing. If he had to be away from his computer, he would prefer to be on a big mountain, in knee deep powder, strapped into a snowboard.

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The master modeling technique is nothing new. In fact it’s been a common practice in 3D CAD since before SOLIDWORKS even came on the scene in 1995. If you aren’t familiar with it, the basic idea is that your end product, let’s say some industrial designed enclosure, is one continuous shape, but it’s actually manufactured as many different bodies, sometimes made of different materials that are then assembled together. Rather than making a bunch of individual parts, you create one “Master Model” that represents the overall shape and that drives the shapes of all the downstream components that contain all of the little details, like lips and grooves, fastening features, or cut outs and vents. Now when a change is made to the overall shape, it can be made in one place and all of the downstream components update. You may have come across an example if you’ve ever taken the SOLIDWORKS Advanced Surface Modeling training course where a master model for a computer speaker is created by using the “Insert Part” feature into the beginning of each of the components feature trees.

In this example when a change is made to the master model…

Everything downstream will update according the newly updated “Insert Part” feature…

Obviously this is a very simplistic example. There are only two components and a handful of features in each one. But you could imagine that as a part becomes more complex and more and more detail is added to each one, this also becomes very handy for rebuild time because each component only contains the detailed features for itself and not the entire model.

So if this has been going on for so long, why are we talking about it today you ask?

Great question, the reason I’m bringing it up is to let you know that when it comes to utilizing 3D Sculptor on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, you can keep using this exact same workflow. The only difference is that when you create your master model, xShape makes it extremely quick and easy to achieve your complex industrial designed organic shape.

Let’s take a look at this example. It’s an electric carving knife that we want to redesign.

You can see that the old handle no longer fits our new battery pack, and to be honest it’s a bit dated. All I need to do is save it to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform with the SOLIDWORKS Connector that’s included in the 3D Sculptor role.

Then I can just open it directly inside of xShape (also part of the 3D Sculptor role).

Once it’s in xShape, creating a sleek industrial designed organic shape takes just a few minutes.

Now I’ve created my master model. That’s it. No massive complicated surfacing tree. Just a matter of minutes of pushing and pulling in xShape. Now I just need to use the “Insert Part” trick we talked about earlier. The same one we’ve been using for decades.

Now it’s just a matter of adding some good ol’ parametric SOLIDWORKS features to split up the model and add some manufacturability to the model.

We’ll start with a fancy grip pattern built off the top surface.

Next I’ll add some fillet blends and an overmold created from a sketch that is directly related to vertices on the master model (some of you are probably wondering if they will update okay…)

After that I’ll split the left and right sides, add some ribs and mounting bosses and create a separate charging port in the rear.

I could have easily put the “Insert Part” feature into every component like we did with speaker in the first example. But for this one I decided to make all my features here and then use the “Save Bodies” command to create a separate .SLDPRT for each body.

Now I have 5 components that I can insert into my carving knife assembly.

Since they are all controlled by the master model. I can simply change that master shape and watch them all update. The only difference here is that the master shape was created in xShape on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

That was really fast. Honestly, how many sketches and features would have needed to change in traditional parametric modeling?

Now it’s just a matter of saying “Reload from Server” in the SOLIDWORKS Connector task pane on the right.

Just like that, everything updates, no errors, first try.

I love it when a plan comes together…

 

Author information

Andy Barnes
Andy Barnes
Andrew Barnes is a Solutions Consultant at SOLIDWORKS. He is a certified expert in all things SOLIDWORKS, but he specializes in weird swoopy shapes and additive manufacturing. If he had to be away from his computer, he would prefer to be on a big mountain, in knee deep powder, strapped into a snowboard.

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The Lions Tour SOLIDWORKS Challenge https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/the-lions-tour-solidworks-challenge.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/the-lions-tour-solidworks-challenge.html#respond Tue, 10 Aug 2021 15:00:47 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=29065 Why Compete: With the upcoming British and Irish Lions Tour of South Africa, MECAD Systems from South Africa and Solid Solutions from the United Kingdom have decided to partake in a 3-part series of challenges of our own. A fantastic

Author information

MECAD

MECAD

As SA's largest and preferred SOLIDWORKS partner, we provide the complete engineering solution under one experienced and highly qualified roof.
MECAD Systems provide the total engineering solution that leaves no need unaddressed.
From conceptual design and design analysis to draughting, design collaboration, product data management and machining – we are the complete engineering solution under one highly qualified and experienced roof. We contribute our success in the industry to not only the provision of technically superior products but also our relentless commitment to provide ongoing customer support and training by highly qualified mechanical engineers and computer specialists.

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Why Compete:
With the upcoming British and Irish Lions Tour of South Africa, MECAD Systems from South Africa and Solid Solutions from the United Kingdom have decided to partake in a 3-part series of challenges of our own.

A fantastic way to, not only get into the spirit of competition between our two nations but also to continue in the pursuit of excellence. As history has shown, mankind is always made better through trials, challenges, and competition!

The Scrum machine:
For the first challenge, MECAD and Solid Solutions was tasked with designing a scrum machine from scratch.

Read how Solid Solutions did their Scrum Machine in their blogs around Modelling Tips & Tricks and Virtual Testing.

Here is what MECAD came up with:

Design intent:
As all of us who work in this industry of design, innovation, and production know, we are driven by the need of the end-user. This can clearly be seen by the difficulty a new technology faces when entering the market.

Our question however was: How do we approach the design of a scrum machine when it is already a long-existing product in a seemingly saturated market? There are two possible approaches:

1. Be radical
With any product where the competition is so numerous, it can be invaluable to radicalize your business model or the products you sell. Standing head and shoulders above the competition take innovation and resources, but it can also thrust you into new markets and financial success.
In a moment we will discuss how this was the initial process followed. Though we can already say that there is a reason nobody has reinvented the wheel…
2. Do not reinvent, Improve
While the wheel has been around for ages, it never really remains the same wheel for long. From round stones to wooden cartwheels and even to the ultra-high-tech wheels you find on the Mars Rover; Improve, streamline, and perfect has been the unending and unceasing name of the proverbial game.

There are many ways we achieve this and the way we improve is usually decided by financial factors. In our case, this was exactly what drove the reasoning behind our design.


Design intent

The Radical method:

Like most engineers who believe in the beauty of innovation, we opted for the radical method and immediately wanted to make this the most incredible scrum machine the world has ever seen. With ideas and features to be added like:
⦁ Rollers instead of a platform
⦁ Spikes on these rollers to air out the ground while the player’s practice
⦁ Brakes on the roller that coaches can control to better simulate different scrum resistances
⦁ Adjustable scrum pads
⦁ Sensors on the scrum pads to analyze the way each player and the entire scrum applies the scrumming force.

But, alas, after further research and investigation, it was clear to see why no such machine has been built before. While making innovation the priority in a design is a fantastic testament to the pursuit of excellence, it is seldom more than an opportunity to learn and realize where there is room for improvement, but also how cost-effective that improvement can be.

Though every boy dreams of driving a Ferrari, it is still Toyota and Volkswagen who are the most successful car manufacturers in the world!

Improve and perfect method:

Our approach with the design then placed a big emphasis on a cost-effective, durable, and easy to manufacture machine. We realized that the most effective way to design this scrum machine would be to create something where we spend as little resources on this product, while still maintaining impeccable build quality.

As we go through the processes in the design we will elaborate on where and with what we applied these principles.

Our design:

The use of Weldments and Sheetmetal: With the cushions being the only exception, the entire scrum machine was designed using Weldments and Sheetmetal in SOLIDWORKS. This allows the product to not only be easily manufacturable but also very editable, should the need for alterations arise.

Minimum manufacturing processes: Another priority was to keep the number of manufacturing processes to a minimum to speed up the manufacturing process. We also ensured that most of the processes could be automated, apart from the welding process, to ensure consistent and superior build quality.

The Frame: The frame of the scrum machine consists of 80x80x6mm square tubing, requiring a mere 8 cuts to be made before they are welded together. We then add a 10mm sheet metal plate, with 20mm perforations, to the front of the frame where we will later be able to attach the scrum cushions at different heights and widths.

Next, we use 80x80x6 angle iron and 10mm rough-finish sheet metal to create the platform of the scrum machine. The platform consisting of 4 pre-manufactured platforms bolted onto the frame. A 6mm piece of sheet metal is added to the middle/supporting beam of the frame, acting as a spacer for the steps.


The cushions for the scrum machine are fitted to a frame consisting of two pieces of sheet metal, both welded onto a 400mm 60x60x5mm piece of angle iron. They then get bolted onto the plate in the desired position.


The foot of the machine consists of sheet metal flat bars welded together and then rounded off. Welded onto that base are two sections of 60x60x5 square tubing and two sheet metal brackets welded onto them, which will hold the entire substructure to the machine.

The base of this substructure might look difficult to manufacture, but the way in which it is made allows for a simpler approach too, should rounding it off be too time-consuming. We can leave the plates welded onto one another and reduce the number of plates used if we should choose to reduce the weight of the part.


After all the parts, nuts and bolts have been added the scrum machine weighs in at 891kg. This without using aluminum for any of the parts. The machine consisting of the cheapest possible steel. Here is what the completed product looks like before rendering in SOLIDWORKS Visualize:

Concluding remarks
While innovation and creative new ideas are invaluable for progress and improvement in the world of engineering and design, it is also clear to see the value of elegantly effective design ideas. With simplified designs, we can revolutionize the manufacturing processes of almost any industry, and it is clear to see through our design processes and the product that it generates, how SOLIDWORKS is an invaluable tool in making this possible.

Although design and engineering have been around for centuries, the use of CAD software has revolutionized and streamlined our field unlike any other tools we have used before, and at the head of plethora of software that can be used for this purpose, SOLIDWORKS stand alone in its effective application of design and engineering principles.

Not to mention how fantastic it presents itself.

Enjoy some of these brilliant Visualize renders done by Wian Vermaak.

Author: Pieter Hougaard
Design: Pieter Hougaard
Visualize: Wian Vermaak

Author information

MECAD
MECAD
As SA's largest and preferred SOLIDWORKS partner, we provide the complete engineering solution under one experienced and highly qualified roof. MECAD Systems provide the total engineering solution that leaves no need unaddressed. From conceptual design and design analysis to draughting, design collaboration, product data management and machining – we are the complete engineering solution under one highly qualified and experienced roof. We contribute our success in the industry to not only the provision of technically superior products but also our relentless commitment to provide ongoing customer support and training by highly qualified mechanical engineers and computer specialists.

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Updating SOLIDWORKS Composer Files https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/updating-solidworks-composer-files.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/updating-solidworks-composer-files.html#respond Thu, 05 Aug 2021 15:00:52 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28839 Have you ever been working away on a project, only to be told the CAD file you’ve been using is out of date? Going back to square 1 and starting again is probably the last thing you want to consider

Author information

TMS CADCentre

TMS CADCentre is a SOLIDWORKS Reseller based in Scotland providing CAD Design Software, analysis software & product data management software. Founded in 1981, TMS CADCentre is the only UK SOLIDWORKS Reseller based and funded within Scotland and have been providing SOLIDWORKS software, training and support since 1996 when the product was first launched in the UK.

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Have you ever been working away on a project, only to be told the CAD file you’ve been using is out of date? Going back to square 1 and starting again is probably the last thing you want to consider in this situation.

One of the handiest features of SOLIDWORKS Composer is the way it separates the files you’re working on from the CAD file you originally imported, allowing engineers to continue working on the CAD file while we build up our Composer document. Composer also allows us to update our project with the modified CAD file, which can be a huge time-saver.

So, let’s have a look at the process.

 

Let’s say we have been working on the .smg file below. We’ve created some views with our exploded view steps and we’re happy with our work, but we’ve just been told some changes have been made to the assembly.

Some modifications have been made to the blue bracket component, including some dimensions changes and chamfers, and an orange set screw has been added to the crank subassembly.

In Composer, with the original .smg file open, we can simply go to File > Update > SOLIDWORKS Composer Document, browse to the modified SOLIDWORKS file, and click Update.

IMPORTANT – The SOLIDWORKS file you select here must be the same file that the original .smg was created from. If you use a similar assembly, or one with a new name, Composer will not recognise it as the same file and the update will not be successful.

As we can see in the above image, the .smg file has been updated to reflect the changes made to the SOLIDWORKS assembly, and our exploded views we made earlier are still intact, with the new set screw actor present and correct.

So, there you have it, if you’ve been working hard on some views or animations in Composer and you receive the dreaded news that the SOLIDWORKS file has changed, not to worry, Composer is ready to get you back on track.

 

Other things to note for the update process:

  • The names of the original CAD files cannot be changed.
  • The actors cannot be rearranged in the Assembly tab. They cannot be dragged to a different sub-assembly or inserted into a new assembly group. The update function will try to recreate the original CAD structure.
  • Actors that you merge into an assembly using the Merge into the current document option on the Open dialog box are removed during the update process. This is because their IDs do not exist in the updated assembly and will be treated as old parts to be deleted.
  • You should use the same import settings for the updated CAD file as used when importing the original CAD file. For example, if you select Merge file into one actor per part for the original assembly, but not for the updated assembly, the update process will fail. We recommend setting the Import profile on the Open dialog box to SOLIDWORKS (default) every time unless you have a reason to change this setting.

 

***

Scott Hope is an Applications Engineer at TMS CADCentre, a SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller in Scotland.

You can read more from Scott on the TMS CADCentre blog

Author information

TMS CADCentre
TMS CADCentre is a SOLIDWORKS Reseller based in Scotland providing CAD Design Software, analysis software & product data management software. Founded in 1981, TMS CADCentre is the only UK SOLIDWORKS Reseller based and funded within Scotland and have been providing SOLIDWORKS software, training and support since 1996 when the product was first launched in the UK.

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Assembly Delighters with SOLIDWORKS 2021 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/assembly-delighters-with-solidworks-2021.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/assembly-delighters-with-solidworks-2021.html#respond Wed, 04 Aug 2021 15:00:16 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28924 On every new release of SOLIDWORKS, we are always looking forward to those subtle but yet very useful changes that affect our everyday SOLIDWORKS life. We all know that SOLIDWORKS is always looking for great ways to increase your productivity

Author information

Juan Chapa

Juan Chapa

Juan Chapa has been using SolidWorks since 2006 and his background includes design and simulation in heavy machinery and food processing equipment. Juan worked as an Elite Application Engineer with a SolidWorks Valued Added Reseller for 12 years assisting customers with training, technical support, and implementation services. He joined the DASSAULT SYSTEMES SolidWorks team as an Industry Process Consultant in March of 2020. Juan resides in the Rio Grande Valley in the great state of Texas and specializes in 3DEXPERIENCE Works, Data Management, Simulation, and SOLIDWORKS Electrical.

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On every new release of SOLIDWORKS, we are always looking forward to those subtle but yet very useful changes that affect our everyday SOLIDWORKS life. We all know that SOLIDWORKS is always looking for great ways to increase your productivity and help you not just get to market faster, but smarter. What better subject to discuss a few of those new very valuable features than using Assemblies. Several great new features and functionality were introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2021. Some of the features are truly game changers but in this case, we will be discussing three Assembly Delighters.

One of the extremely necessary MUST DOs on any assembly created in 3D CAD is to check for interferences. SOLIDWORKS has had for a very long time the very useful Interference Detection Tool found under the Evaluate Tab while in assembly mode. I know that this tool has saved many projects from complete fabrication failures. So what else could be done to improve this fantastic functionality? Yes, you guessed it, Exporting Interference Detection Results!

SOLIDWORKS 2021 now offers the option to save these interferences out in a spreadsheet. You can even save a thumbnail for each of the interferences as it also contains the part groups that are interfering with each other.

This is a great new feature since it can be used and shared as a checklist of the items that might be intended interferences or to be able to make the proper design changes to correct these interferences. This document, if using a data management solution like our very own SOLIDWORKS PDM, can be also included in the project workflow and revised accordingly to keep a history of the changes and reason for such changes during the project.

Of course, being a csv or excel document, this can also be further edited to completely correspond your company’s requirements. What a great way to stay informed with critical assembly data!

Let us now talk about Assembly Performance. When working with assemblies, a large assembly might be one with 10 or 10,000 components depending on many possibilities such as file sizes of components, hardware, or file storage infrastructure. There are many options to help with opening and working with large assemblies, but one of the very helpful and common form is using Lightweight Mode. When a component is lightweight, only a subset of its model data is loaded in memory. The remaining model data is loaded on an as-needed basis. You can improve performance of large assemblies significantly by using lightweight components. Loading an assembly with lightweight components is faster than loading the same assembly with fully resolved components. Assemblies with lightweight components rebuild faster because less data is evaluated. Only components that are affected by changes that you make in the current editing session become fully resolved.

You can perform the following assembly operations on lightweight components without resolving them:

⦁ Add/remove mates
⦁ Edge/face/component selection
⦁ Assembly features
⦁ Measure
⦁ Section properties
⦁ Mass properties
⦁ Exploded views
⦁ Physical simulation
⦁ Dimensions
⦁ Interference detection
⦁ Collision detection
⦁ Annotations
⦁ Assembly reference geometry
⦁ Section views
⦁ Advanced component selection

When a component is lightweight, a feather appears on the component icon in the FeatureManager design tree.

 

To open an assembly or even an assembly drawing using lightweight mode:

Click Open  (Standard toolbar) or File > Open.

 

1. In the dialog box, select the assembly you want to open, and then in Mode, select Lightweight.
2. Click Open.

You can set a system option to open assemblies in lightweight mode by default. To enable automatic lightweight loading of components:

1. Click Options (Standard toolbar) or Tools > Options.
2. On the System Options tab, select Performance.
3. Under Assemblies, select Automatically load components lightweight.
4. Click OK.

If you have not been using Lightweight mode, we strongly suggest trying it and you will notice a difference in opening times right away.

What’s new about Lightweight Mode in SOLIDWORKS 2021? For assemblies now opened in lightweight mode, top-level components and subassemblies resolve automatically when you click to expand the item in the FeatureManager® design tree. Components in subassemblies remain in lightweight mode until you expand them.

This will be extremely useful and no reason why not to use the automatically load components option. Eliminating having to RMB click on each subassembly or component and selecting to set resolved to lightweight.

While on the subject of saving time while opening or closing files, working with configurations in 2021 is also much faster. You will notice that switching between configurations on files that have been saved as 2021 files will now be significantly faster.

Overall, SOLIDWORKS 2021 focused a lot on Performance, we recommend this Assembly Performance Video that provides additional details about what you might be missing out if you are not yet using SOLIDWORKS 2021 and working with assemblies or assembly drawings.

 

Author information

Juan Chapa
Juan Chapa
Juan Chapa has been using SolidWorks since 2006 and his background includes design and simulation in heavy machinery and food processing equipment. Juan worked as an Elite Application Engineer with a SolidWorks Valued Added Reseller for 12 years assisting customers with training, technical support, and implementation services. He joined the DASSAULT SYSTEMES SolidWorks team as an Industry Process Consultant in March of 2020. Juan resides in the Rio Grande Valley in the great state of Texas and specializes in 3DEXPERIENCE Works, Data Management, Simulation, and SOLIDWORKS Electrical.

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Mechanism Library: Multicolor Pen https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/mechanism-library-multicolor-pen.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/08/mechanism-library-multicolor-pen.html#respond Tue, 03 Aug 2021 15:00:31 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28904 I’ve had the privilege of interviewing over 50 engineers while co-hosting the “Being an Engineer Podcast.” I’ve noticed a trend of senior mechanical engineers mentioning that tearing apart and reverse engineering products/gadgets is one of the optimal ways to improve

Author information

Rafael Testai

Mechanical designer of medical devices & consumer products at TeamPipeline.us who’s breaking into the world of mechanical design. Co-host of “Being an Engineer” podcast. Ask me how I received 100% perfect score on my CSWP. Pre-med honor degree in Genetics. Sold my first software company out of college. I believe in learning by doing, follow my journey on 👉LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/testai/ 👉Instagram: @Rafael_Testai

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I’ve had the privilege of interviewing over 50 engineers while co-hosting the “Being an Engineer Podcast.” I’ve noticed a trend of senior mechanical engineers mentioning that tearing apart and reverse engineering products/gadgets is one of the optimal ways to improve one’s mechanical engineering skill set.

I have a passion for optimizing my learning curve, which led me on the path of developing this video playlist called “The Mechanism Library,” in which I’ll tear apart products all around us to teach you their inner working mechanisms using SOLIDWORKS. (So that you don’t have to, and can learn them in less than 8 minutes per gadget). Join me on the journey to becoming a better mechanical design engineer in the most efficient way.

This week I’ll tear apart a multicolor retractable pen.

Note: For a full, rich explanation on how the inner mechanisms work, make sure the watch the video below and leave a comment. You won’t be disappointed.

A few key features/geometries photographed below. Explanations are provided in the video above.

 

Any recommendations of a mechanical product you think I should tear apart next? Feel free to reach out to me on Linkedin or Instagram. I read all correspondence.

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/testai/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rafael_testai/

 

 

Author information

Rafael Testai
Mechanical designer of medical devices & consumer products at TeamPipeline.us who’s breaking into the world of mechanical design. Co-host of “Being an Engineer” podcast. Ask me how I received 100% perfect score on my CSWP. Pre-med honor degree in Genetics. Sold my first software company out of college. I believe in learning by doing, follow my journey on 👉LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/testai/ 👉Instagram: @Rafael_Testai

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2021 Toyota Supra – Turbo Manifold – Part 2 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/2021-toyota-supra-turbo-manifold-part-2.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/2021-toyota-supra-turbo-manifold-part-2.html#respond Wed, 28 Jul 2021 15:00:54 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28755 As mentioned in the first part of this blog post, a backup manifold needed to be designed and built in time for Round 7 of the FD season. The schedule left approximately 48 busy hours for design and programming of

Author information

Full-Race Motorsports

I’m Mathew Velders. I run product design engineering at Full-Race Motorsports in Phoenix, AZ. We’ve been in business for 18 years and the only thing we talk about every day is turbocharging. Our customers want to blast down a track at the fastest possible speed…as much as their hardware, and physics, can allow.

Over the years we’ve formed an amazing set of partners. From major automakers and OEM suppliers to professional race teams, we’re helping professionals make the right decisions about turbochargers. We have arrangements with major OEM manufacturers. That lets us keep prices low. And we can source any turbocharger a customer needs (plus, we crunch the numbers for them).

Now, we're a small company. But every day, we help someone, somewhere, with these calculations. And with customers in 100 countries around the world - we’re super dedicated to making happy customers.

The post 2021 Toyota Supra – Turbo Manifold – Part 2 appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

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As mentioned in the first part of this blog post, a backup manifold needed to be designed and built in time for Round 7 of the FD season. The schedule left approximately 48 busy hours for design and programming of the CNC cut manifold parts to be done in Canada. Another 48 hours remained for the talented staff at Full-Race in AZ to digest the 2D prints, 3D print the fixtures, cut the parts, and create the first prototype fabricated manifold before shipping it to Papadakis Racing in California.

Start of Fabricated Manifold

In the interest of time savings the goal for the fabricated manifold was to follow a similar collector, wastegate and runner layout/routing to the additive manufacturing manifold, in fact the Part File for the AM was saved as a copy with a new name to retain the same initial layout sketches.

The 3D Print design allowed for nearly unlimited freedom regarding sizing, shapes, and layout. A fabricated manifold requires the use of standard pipe sizes including diameter, centerline radius and bend angle. This time the first step was to create a solid body for the turbine flange. This represented a standard flange that Full-Race keeps in inventory for a wide range of manifolds.

Although the turbine flange position remained the same, the original collector centerline sketches were modified to suit the new manufacturing method. In this case the manifold sections were modelled using Solid Extrudes and Solid Sweeps. The pipe specifications such as outer diameter, wall thickness and bend centerline radii were set up as Global Variables so they could easily be added to sketches and adjusted should a different pipe be needed. Transitions between pipes and flanges were not modelled for this manifold (as seen above, the round pipe has gaps around the rectangular port shape). The individual pieces were CNC cut as modelled and hand formed to their final shape where needed. The end result is a smooth transition not extremely different from the AM transition.

Care needed to be taken to ensure good fit between manifold pieces to minimize frustration for the welders and maximize weld quality and strength.

Where complicated joints and pipe intersections needed to be created (the collectors) the preferred method was to use Extruded Surfaces so that the shape could be precisely trimmed and knit into individual bodies.

This time the selection of the wastegate locations was started earlier in the design process due to having less design freedom. However, details like wastegate runners and collectors were continually adjusted over the course of the design process.

Once again, the runner is designed using 3D Sketches, however they can only contain Arcs and Line Segments. These sketch components represent the pipe segments being used. The final sketch looks simple but it takes time making a centerline that adheres to the selection of centerline radius and bend angle, and also remains tangent from start to finish. Maintaining tangency is more work during design but it will reduce the amount of hand finishing required by parts, as well as guaranteeing smooth runners. 3D Sketches are fully defined to ensure every piece is done with intention and nothing is overlooked.

Runner segments are done with individual Swept Bosses which are kept as separate bodies. It is possible that SolidWorks weldments could be used for this design style, however I have found that this method works well for my workflow for sending the pieces to the CNC CAM software.

The above process is repeated for runners 2 – 6. Chamfers are added to the weld joints; however, this was done more for visual effect as any chamfers needed are added by hand by the fabricator.

Cut features were added for the wastegate runners.

Finally logo placement was selected and a final check was done with supplier CAD to verify fit with the scan data.

The last part of my involvement in the project was to create a 2D drawing package that contained a BOM for the order of the components used for each runner and to provide a visual reference of the layout. As well as the design of a temporary fixture that could be 3D printed to build the collector as well as locate the collector in relation to the head flange.

Once the collector was finished the runners were built.

With the robotically TIG welded runners and finish welding complete the manifold below was the final result.

End of Fabricated Manifold

With the competition car strapped to the dyno, new fabricated manifold installed, the engine was mapped and final power figures were measured… to see if the new setup had resulted in the lost power we were all hoping for. I won’t make you hold your breath in anticipation… It did. The car gained power everywhere (red lines below). It made max figures of 995 hp and 840 lb∙ft of torque. A power and torque increase of 15% and 20% respectively (all figures are without the use of nitrous oxide).

As exciting as the peak power and torque gains were, it was more exciting to see that the engine made more power and torque from aprrox. 2750 rpm to the rev limit.   In this day and age of hyper competitive turbochargers – it’s rare to find huge no-compromise power gains.  But they were here; earlier turbo spool, an increase in area-under-the-curve and faster turbocharger response.  Win/Win/Win.  We also proved wrong the theory that a 2-Port head might outperform the 6-Port head in the lower engine speed range.

Other areas of interest on the above dyno plot is the area around 5200-5300 rpm where the engine is now making 27% more power than before, as well as the elimination of the dip in power around 7800 rpm. At that point the engine is making 30% more power and the elimination of that dip creates a smoother powerband that will help Fredric’s sense of feel for the car’s behavior. This enhances his ability to control the car, a crucial factor in a sport where the driver with the most accurate car control often wins.

And win he did. With nitrous oxide pushing the car to 1100 hp Fredric was able to pilot one of the most powerful cars of the field to another 1st place finish at Round 7 of competition. Unfortunately, the extra power also helped find the next weak link in the engine package. Fredric therefore dropped out of Round 8 leading to a 4th place finish in the 2020 season. It was a thrilling start for a new chassis and engine combo however, and we can’t wait to see how Fredric Aasbo and Papadakis Racing do in the 2021 Formula Drift season.  And what tricks we will be able to apply through development and technology.

I hope you enjoyed this look into the development process for a fun and very unique turbo manifold project. The Full-Race team is thrilled to work with 3DS and deliver insights to the CAD and car enthusiast communities alike.

Author information

Full-Race Motorsports
I’m Mathew Velders. I run product design engineering at Full-Race Motorsports in Phoenix, AZ. We’ve been in business for 18 years and the only thing we talk about every day is turbocharging. Our customers want to blast down a track at the fastest possible speed…as much as their hardware, and physics, can allow. Over the years we’ve formed an amazing set of partners. From major automakers and OEM suppliers to professional race teams, we’re helping professionals make the right decisions about turbochargers. We have arrangements with major OEM manufacturers. That lets us keep prices low. And we can source any turbocharger a customer needs (plus, we crunch the numbers for them). Now, we're a small company. But every day, we help someone, somewhere, with these calculations. And with customers in 100 countries around the world - we’re super dedicated to making happy customers.

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SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing Discontinuation https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/solidworks-online-licensing-discontinuation.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/solidworks-online-licensing-discontinuation.html#respond Sun, 25 Jul 2021 15:00:28 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28878   Dear SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing User, SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing is a named-user licensing model that was introduced with SOLIDWORKS 2018 SP0.0 as an alternative to machine-based licenses. However, the vast majority of our clients continue to use machine activation. Given

Author information

SOLIDWORKS

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.

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Dear SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing User,

SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing is a named-user licensing model that was introduced with SOLIDWORKS 2018 SP0.0 as an alternative to machine-based licenses.

However, the vast majority of our clients continue to use machine activation. Given the low adoption of online licensing, it is not feasible to maintain the complex infrastructure needed to support it. Consequently, we have decided to discontinue SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing.

The target phase-out date is February 12th, 2022.

For SOLIDWORKS 2018 to SOLIDWORKS 2021 users:
SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing will continue to be available until the phase-out date.
We recommend that you contact your SOLIDWORKS Administrator to plan ahead and work with them to switch your licenses back to machine activation directly from the SOLIDWORKS Admin Portalbefore the phase-out date.

Administrators can identify the products configured to use online licensing in the Products tab by doing the following: Under Activated, check the Online Licensing filter and click Search.

After the phase-out date, your licenses will automatically be switched to machine activation when you start SOLIDWORKS. This process will take a few minutes and should not result in any downtime.

For SOLIDWORKS 2022 users:
Online licensing is not available. SOLIDWORKS 2022 products will not use online licensing if enabled. Before running SOLIDWORKS 2022 products, contact your administrator to ensure your licenses are set up for machine activation.

Additionally, you cannot install SOLIDWORKS 2022 products with the Login feature in the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager. You will need to enter serial numbers manually.

Moving SOLIDWORKS to a different machine:
If you need to move your SOLIDWORKS products to a different machine, you will need to activate and deactivate licenses manually directly from your SOLIDWORKS application: Help > Licenses > Activate/Deactivate.

Additional changes:

Starting with SOLIDWORKS 2021 SP5.0, logging into SOLIDWORKS will require a 3DEXPERIENCE ID as opposed to a SOLIDWORKS ID. If you wish to continue to use this feature to synchronize your settings across multiple machines you will need to update to SOLIDWORKS 2021 SP5.0. If you are using SOLIDWORKS 2018 to SOLIDWORKS 2021 SP4.0, the feature will be discontinued starting March 31st, 2022.

Thank you for your understanding and attention to this change. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Value Added Reseller.

Regards,
The SOLIDWORKS Team

 

Author information

SOLIDWORKS
Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.

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3D Printed Bee House Tutorial https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/3d-printed-bee-house-tutorial.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/3d-printed-bee-house-tutorial.html#respond Fri, 23 Jul 2021 15:00:16 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28828 This is a SOLIDWORKS Tutorial to create a Bee House for 3D printing. With Spring here and Summer fast approaching this Bee House is a perfect addition to your garden. Follow the tutorial to see how Fill Pattern and Move Face was used to create the honeycomb design.

Author information

Jade Crompton

I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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I have created several bee themed videos before for SOLIDWORKS, the reason for this is to spread awareness for bees. They have lost much of their natural habitat in the past 60 years with threats from pesticides, intensive farming and climate change. So for this tutorial I wanted to give back to our bees and create a bee-friendly space in my garden. Bee houses are used as breeding places by cavity-nesting solitary bees like Mason, Leafcutter and Yellow-faced bees which naturally nest in hollow stems or holes in dead wood.

In this tutorial, the fill pattern was used to create the honeycomb design. By extruding one hexagon shape onto the back face of the bee house, it could be patterned to fill the face shape, you can even have the feature offset over the edge of a face so that it is totally covered.

It was important while designing and modelling the bee house that there was a cavity for the bees once they got into the house, this was achieved with the shell feature. Bodies were kept separate through the tutorial steps so that the cavity could be created. This design is 2mm thick overall for anyone who is thinking of 3D printing the model. I scaled up my model a little before 3D printing and the finished print was 75.6 x 88.6 x 38 mm. Feel free to go larger but be aware that these bees only need a minimum hole diameter of 6mm to get in, so if you print too large the holes may be too large for the bees and not offer them the shelter they require.

Once the house was modelled, to try and mimic the varied hole sizes found in nature, move face with an offset was used. The inner faces of different hexagons were offset with varied dimensions.

If you do 3D print the bee house here is some information on where to hang your house.

Your house should be placed in full sun, facing south or south east and must be at least a meter off the ground, with no vegetation blocking the entrance. Secure it firmly to a wall, fence or free-standing post while in use, there is a slotting screw or nail hole on the back of the design for hanging. The Bee House should be placed against a flat surface and located in an area protected from high winds. You will need to move your bee house in the autumn and winter to protect any possible bee eggs inside. Anywhere dry and unheated. Do this from October to February, and then put it back in the sun in March.

Below is my 3D printed bee house, I coated mine in a waterproof lacquer paint to protect it from rain as it was printed in a dyed yellow Polyamide (SLS), the surface has a sandy, granular look, and is slightly porous, so the lacquer should seal it from the elements.

Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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2021 Toyota Supra – Turbo Manifold – Part 1 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/2021-toyota-supra-turbo-manifold-part-1.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/2021-toyota-supra-turbo-manifold-part-1.html#respond Wed, 21 Jul 2021 15:00:37 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28716 This is the first blog post of a series, so make sure to sign up to the mailing lists if you want to see how our partners at SOLIDWORKS, Creaform and Jabil Inc. are helping us to bring new ideas

Author information

Full-Race Motorsports

I’m Mathew Velders. I run product design engineering at Full-Race Motorsports in Phoenix, AZ. We’ve been in business for 18 years and the only thing we talk about every day is turbocharging. Our customers want to blast down a track at the fastest possible speed…as much as their hardware, and physics, can allow.

Over the years we’ve formed an amazing set of partners. From major automakers and OEM suppliers to professional race teams, we’re helping professionals make the right decisions about turbochargers. We have arrangements with major OEM manufacturers. That lets us keep prices low. And we can source any turbocharger a customer needs (plus, we crunch the numbers for them).

Now, we're a small company. But every day, we help someone, somewhere, with these calculations. And with customers in 100 countries around the world - we’re super dedicated to making happy customers.

The post 2021 Toyota Supra – Turbo Manifold – Part 1 appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

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This is the first blog post of a series, so make sure to sign up to the mailing lists if you want to see how our partners at SOLIDWORKS, Creaform and Jabil Inc. are helping us to bring new ideas to life and build more value in the products we create. I’m Mathew Velders.  I run product design engineering at Full-Race Motorsports in Phoenix, AZ. We’ve been in business for 18 years and the only thing we talk about every day is turbocharging. Our customers want to blast down a track at the fastest possible speed…as much as their hardware, and physics, can allow.

Over the years we’ve formed an amazing set of partners. From major automakers and OEM suppliers to professional race teams, we’re helping professionals make the right decisions about turbochargers. We have arrangements with major OEM manufacturers. That lets us keep prices low. And we can source any turbocharger a customer needs (plus, we crunch the numbers for them).

Now, we’re a small company. But every day, we help someone, somewhere, with these calculations. And with customers in 100 countries around the world – we’re super dedicated to making happy customers.

Over these last 2 decades, we’ve seen the thinking change about turbochargers – and the tools used to design them.  For the last 10 years, since the debut of BorgWarner’s twinscroll EFR turbochargers – Full-Race supplied turbo systems to Papadakis Racing, the most winning drift team in history.  While preparing their Toyota Supra for the 2020 Formula D season Papadakis Racing turned to us for the turbo system to achieve 1000hp with their “2 port” B58, 3.0 liter, inline 6-cylinder engine.

The turbocharged B58 engine in the 2020 Supra utilizes a Twin-Scroll manifold/turbine design to produce 335 horsepower and 365 lb∙ft of torque. Twin-Scroll means that the engine’s cylinders are grouped into a pair by their firing order. In the case of the B58, cylinders 1-2-3 are grouped together to flow into the first scroll, or volute, of the turbine; cylinders 4-5-6 are grouped for the second scroll of the Twin-Scroll arrangement. This grouping of cylinders greatly reduces the exhaust pulse interference in the turbine entry. Rather than a single grouping of six cylinders paired in one scroll with an exhaust pulse every 120° of engine rotation, there are two groups of three with a pulse every 240°. This means there is a smoother, consistent delivery of energy to the turbine shaft of the turbocharger, resulting in better turbine response and engine power. While the Twin-Scroll layout is not new, the application of it in this engine uniquely uses an IEM (integrated exhaust manifold) incorporated into the cylinder head of the engine. This means the 6 cylinder engine only has two exhaust outlets, one for cylinders 1-2-3, and one for 4-5-6. These outlets flow almost directly into the two scrolls of the exhaust turbine.

This is done on modern vehicles to simplify component packaging, reduce ‘turbo-lag’ and help meet emissions requirements but it could be a bottleneck when chasing the massive horsepower levels required to win a Formula Drift championship.

Full-Race constructed our ‘top mount’ turbo manifold to suit the 2-Port Supra’s cylinder head and unique chassis. The turbo manifold connects the turbo to the engine, and is the foundation for the entire turbo system.

It had to fit a massive turbocharger like the BorgWarner 9280, rated for 110 lb/min of airflow and featured two ports for twin TiAL Sport MV-R external wastegates. We got on the dyno and managed 1000hp@38psi (with nitrous oxide). The first time out with a brand new car – our Full-Race turbo system allowed driver Fredric Aasbo to win the first round of the season.

These results were promising; however, Fredric and Papadakis Racing are in it to win championships and they need more than just ‘promising’. The engine in the Supra was producing approximately 860hp without nitrous, and while this sounds like a mind altering level of power to the average enthusiast, it wasn’t enough to win a championship in a field of cars regularly producing 1000hp (and some competitors running close to 1200hp).

It was clear to Full-Race and Papadakis racing there was a lot more power left on the table – considering the massive 110lb/min airflow rate of their BorgWarner EFR 9280 turbo. This lack of power was a problem.  And to make matters worse the final two rounds of the 2020 Formula D season were being held at Irwindale Speedway, a track favoring big horsepower.

As mentioned previously, it was suspected that the two exhaust port cylinder head represented a flow restriction that prevented the engine from generating >1000hp off the bottle. Fortunately for Papadakis Racing, Toyota was in the process of releasing their updated Supra for the 2021 model year. The new car featured better engine performance, 382 hp and 368 lb∙ft, thanks to a new cylinder head and exhaust manifold design. This time the cylinder head featured a traditional six port design – one port for each cylinder.

Swapping to the new cylinder head proved to be surprisingly simple. All of the components were compatible with the previous version; we used the same valves, valve springs, sensors and hardware.  The only massive change required was the new turbo manifold. One that would keep the flow from all six cylinders completely separated until right before the turbo charger – where a smooth merge collector could efficiently combine the flow from the two groups of cylinders.

Full-Race was called on to create the new manifold but the situation was complex. There was only 5 weeks before the final two events of the season, COVID-19 was in full swing, the car was in California, Full-Race Motorsports in Arizona, and myself the design engineer in British Columbia Canada. Thankfully this was the exact type of situation that Dassault Systemès had in mind when they were developing their new 3D Experience platform/SolidWorks Connected. They stepped in and set Stephan Papadakis and I up with a cloud connected CAD software package that allowed us to collaborate in real time through a shared project environment. This environment allowed us to collaborate on design ideas, project scheduling, task management and generally streamline project management between teams scattered around North America.

This leads us to the part that my fellow CAD and design enthusiasts will hopefully enjoy; a detailed look at how SOLIDWORKS was used to design the 6-Port turbo manifold for the Supra. First we will look at the design intended for additive manufacturing (AM), printed in Inconel 625. After that, we will run through the process of the CAD designed, hand fabricated manifold that eventually became the production part that can be purchased for your 2021+ Toyota Supra.

START OF AM DESIGN PROCESS

Before the design process could begin we needed to bring the Supra’s engine bay and B58 engine into the SolidWorks digital world. As previously mentioned, the design was being carried out remotely and with covid lockdowns in place we were unable to bring our Creaform HandySCAN SILVER to Papadakis Racing (for more information on our Creaform scanning setup and how we use it stay tuned for future blog posts). So Stephan had the scans done locally and emailed us once complete. The data included scan meshes, as well as iges files with sketch and surface geometry from the CMM probe arm. The meshes were imported into SolidWorks Part files as Graphic Bodies to define the design envelope in a visually clean and light weight (for the computer) setup. Below are screenshots of the engine as well as part of the front subframe, chassis leg/engine bay, and the underside of the carbon fiber hood.

Once a unique part file was created for each portion of the reference geometry, the part files were combined into an assembly.

The CMM probe data was overlaid to create a datum point to base the new manifold design around. It was already decided that the turbo location should remain the same as the Full-Race production manifold linked earlier in the story, so its turbo manifold dimensional data was digitized and included for reference.

With all of the reference material assembled design of the new manifold could begin. In a new part file 3D Sketches and Planes were used to locate the turbine flange coincident with the probe data.

Then a 3D Sketch laid out the centerline for the cylinder 1-3 collector. The collector area where the three runners merge has a circular shape and the T4 flange layout for the turbine has rectangular ports, therefore a series of boundary surfaces were used to create the transitions from round runner to round collector, and round collector to rectangular flange.

Surface Trims, Fillets and Knits were used to create the shape of the first collector. The approach used was to design the internal ‘flow’ surfaces, then external surfaces/solids, finally the internal volume was cut out of the solid.

With the cylinder 1-3 collector complete, the cylinder 1, 2, 3 runners were designed using Surface Lofts, Extrudes and Sweeps. The port transitions used a 3D Sketch with Arcs and Line Segments.

Because of the 3D Metal Printing process we weren’t restricted to any set runner shape so fully defined Style Splines were used to define their centerline path. An attempt was made to make the exhaust path as smooth as possible while avoiding tight bends.

It’s important to note that when using Lofts, Boundary Surfaces, and Splines to take the extra time to ensure surfaces are smooth and free from wrinkles and strange artifacts. This attention to detail will improve the quality of the results.

The same process was repeated for runners two and three, then the surfaces were all Knit together. Many people may be curious about the runner lengths and why they are not all equal. In short it wouldn’t be practical for metal additive manufacturing. Equal length runners would have driven the part count, and thus printing complexity through the roof when we were confident that direct, low pressure drop runners would provide the power needed. However, if you’re interested in monitoring the runner length for your project, the centerline sketches can be measured to give that information.

With the Bank 1 internal surfaces completed they can be viewed, as above, with RealView Graphics where it can be seen to be smooth and free of wrinkles or kinked surfaces.

The above steps are repeated for the Bank 2 (cylinders 4-6) collector and runner layout.

Keep in mind the collector and runner layout wasn’t determined on the first try as the above process may lead you to believe, there were hundreds of adjustments made while finding a runner and collector layout that worked for all six cylinders. Of course the design was also checked for interference with the rest of the scans.

At this point the CAD models for the TiAL Sport MV-R wastegates were added in to help determine a suitable location for them, which would’ve also required a few more refinements to the collector and runner designs. The following shot also shows the BorgWarner EFR turbine housing. Keep in mind that if you don’t have access to supplier CAD and 3D scans, a lot can be done with simple measuring tools and patience.

With the tentative wastegate location selected the wastegate tube design was started. This was done using very similar techniques to the collectors.

Special attention was paid to making a smooth, large radius transition on the inside of the ‘bend.’ This is done to ensure accurate boost control and eliminate boost-creep.

The collector, runner, and wasegate tube design process was repeated, this time for the external solid body. There were many ways to approach this, and sometimes experimentation is needed to figure out what approach works best. In this case the centerline 3D Sketches were reused, with new profile sketches offset by the desired wall thickness.

The external features were capped and Knit with the ‘Create Solid’ option checked. The flanges are modelled using basic solid Extrude and Cut commands and the bodies are combined.

At this point the basic design of the manifold was complete but many many more features were added for a variety of reasons. Anywhere that there was enough space material was removed. Metal printing is largely priced by weight, so anywhere excess material can be removed, money can be saved. Some supports were built in to help support high stress areas of the part, Full-Race and Papadakis Racing logos were also added along with some features for cool looks. At this point the internal surfaces were cut from the main solid body, resulting in the one piece manifold below.

The one piece manifold above was far larger than what could be printed in one piece, also any area on the part with an angle shallower than 45° from the build plate requires support material. Because of this the manifold had to be sectioned into pieces that would fit the printer build volume and prevent supports from being built inside the collectors or runners. The support material is laser welded to the part and can be difficult to remove, if support occurs inside a runner it can’t be removed at all, therefore the sectioning up of the design was a subject of much discussion amongst those collaborating on the project. The more these printing principles can be kept in mind during the design phase, the more likely headaches will be reduced when it comes time to print.

With the part sectioned into ten portions that could be welded together post printing, the solids were exported. A slight variation was also made to the design that allowed it to be easily printed in plastic to verify the fit.

End of AM Design Process

With the final design for additive manufacturing complete and the printer(s) at Mimo Tecknik working furiously, we had come down to the wire and didn’t know if the Inconel manifold would be printed and welded together (let alone tested)  in time to make it to Round 7 of the FD season. The call was made to start on a Plan B turbo manifold – Fully CAD designed in SOLIDWORKS using the same 3D scanning, design, and plastic prototype printing technology used for the printed Inconel manifold. This manifold would be built in the traditional hand fabricated / robotic TIG welded style that Full-Race is known for. The design of the hand fabricated manifold will be covered in Part 2 of this blog post.

Author information

Full-Race Motorsports
I’m Mathew Velders. I run product design engineering at Full-Race Motorsports in Phoenix, AZ. We’ve been in business for 18 years and the only thing we talk about every day is turbocharging. Our customers want to blast down a track at the fastest possible speed…as much as their hardware, and physics, can allow. Over the years we’ve formed an amazing set of partners. From major automakers and OEM suppliers to professional race teams, we’re helping professionals make the right decisions about turbochargers. We have arrangements with major OEM manufacturers. That lets us keep prices low. And we can source any turbocharger a customer needs (plus, we crunch the numbers for them). Now, we're a small company. But every day, we help someone, somewhere, with these calculations. And with customers in 100 countries around the world - we’re super dedicated to making happy customers.

The post 2021 Toyota Supra – Turbo Manifold – Part 1 appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

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Six SOLIDWORKS Solutions – PDM Part II https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/six-solidworks-solutions-pdm-part-ii.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/six-solidworks-solutions-pdm-part-ii.html#respond Mon, 19 Jul 2021 15:00:27 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28277 Next chapter in “Six SOLIDWORKS solutions”, this time with the subtitle PDM Part II. In this blogpost I will cover some more SOLIDWORKS solutions that i have come across in my works as a technical supporter at PLMGroup Some of

Author information

Lennart Tinndahl

User success at PLM group

I started working with CAD systems in 2003, and have since 2012 worked solely with SOLIDWORKS. I am a certified Technical support specialist as well as a SOLIDWORKS Certified Expert.
Since 2016 I have helped PLM Group customers to work smarter, not harder.
The inspiration for most of my posts comes from the support cases i work on.
When writing blogpost I try to focus on the everyday use of SOLIDWORKS.

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Next chapter in “Six SOLIDWORKS solutions”, this time with the subtitle PDM Part II.

In this blogpost I will cover some more SOLIDWORKS solutions that i have come across in my works as a technical supporter at PLMGroup

Some of them are trouble shooting tips, some of them are tips to make your everyday easier when using SOLIDWORKS PDM

Using Edrawings interface in PDM explorer

When working in PDM explorer you haver several options on how to preview your files.

When viewing a 3Dmodel file, most people are used to this preview

EDrawing no user interface

However you also have the option to use the Edrawings interface.

EDrawing user interface

When in explorer, go to “Display”->”Options”->”Show full UI in SolidWorks preview”7

EDrawing user interface added

On some occasions you might need to restart your explorer for it to take effect.

Please note that this is disabled in order to increase performance, so in you experience a drop in performance, i would recommend that you disable it again.

 

Wrong license installed.

Problem: When starting your PDM you get the following message

And you are quite sure that the number of licenses has not been exceeded

Solution:

This issue is most likely due to a wrong client type installed

During the installation “PDM Cad Editor” was selected, instead of “PDM Contributor”.

You do not have to reinstall or modify the installation.

Simply open your administrator module

go to “Help”-> “About SOLIWORKS PDM Administration…”

License type

Here you have the option to change the client type,

Change PDM license type

After the client type has been selected, restart your computer and you should be good to go

 

See Properties in the PDM add-in

This is not a fix to a problem but a tip that you may find useful

When using the PDM add in, it can sometimes be useful to see specific properties of a CAD model, for instance “Part number”

To achieve this do the following:

Ensure that you are logged on to the vault

Open SOLDIWORKS and make sure that you have the PDM add-in turned on

Go to Tools->SOLIDWORKS PDM->Options”

See Properties in the PDM add-in

And press the “view settings” pane

Under “Display Information” you can select the variable you want to appear and select where you want it to appear

see properties in the PDM add-in

Be aware that the settings is for your SOLIDWORKS machine, meaning that if you have several vaults, this variable will appear on all of your displays regarding what vault you are logged into

When you have set it up, you will be able to see it the properties

see properties in the PDM add-in 3

 

Clean up generation tasks

In PDM you have the option to generate different different files automatically.

However, over time the list of “Completed” and failed tasks can grow quite huge.

This will slow the process down when you want to have a quick view of the tasks.

To reduce the number, simply open your admin module and open the task list

Reduce task list

Press “Options” and change “record all completed tasks” to “record the specified number of completed tasks”

Change the number to a number that you find sufficient

Do the same for the number of failed tasks

Reduce task list

This will speed up the opening of the “Task List”

 

Set values in Copy Tree

“Copy Tree” is a great PDM alternative to Pack and go, as it uses the PDM database to collect the required information when copying an assembly and its components.

However, sometimes it can be required to reset certain values when using this feature, for instance if you have some sort of revision information or if your file cards are set to a certain value.

Clearing the values can be done both on both user and group level. In this example i will do the change on user level (admin)

Open the administration module, right click on the user and press settings.

Set value when using copy tree

Go to the “copy tree” section and press “Add”.

Select the variables to be set (or reset) when performing a copy tree

Set values when using copy tree

 

Read only when checking out files

This troubleshooting tip could also be put under “Six SOLIDWORKS solutions – Opening files”, but for some reason I mostly talk to PDM users about it.

In this scenario, the user has checked out the a part and a drawing.

The drawing has been opened and after reviewing the drawing, it is decided that a change is required.

Read only file

The quick way to open is to right click on the view and open the drawing.

The part is read only despite the fact that it is checked out.

Read only

in most cases this is due to a SOLIDWORKS setting.

Go to Tools->Options->System Options->External references, and make sure that “open referenced documents with read-only access” is not checked off.

Read Only
Restart SOLIDWORKS and open the file again

If this does not solve the issue, contact your VAR as there may be some issues with your PDM connection

Author information

Lennart Tinndahl
I started working with CAD systems in 2003, and have since 2012 worked solely with SOLIDWORKS. I am a certified Technical support specialist as well as a SOLIDWORKS Certified Expert. Since 2016 I have helped PLM Group customers to work smarter, not harder. The inspiration for most of my posts comes from the support cases i work on. When writing blogpost I try to focus on the everyday use of SOLIDWORKS.

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Adding a New PDM Standard License https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/adding-a-new-pdm-standard-license.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/adding-a-new-pdm-standard-license.html#respond Thu, 15 Jul 2021 15:00:55 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28542 Have you just purchased a new license with a PDM Standard CAD Editor, or a Contributor/Viewer license and need to get up and running with it ASAP?  Providing you already have a PDM Standard installation, these quick and easy to

Author information

TMS CADCentre

TMS CADCentre is a SOLIDWORKS Reseller based in Scotland providing CAD Design Software, analysis software & product data management software. Founded in 1981, TMS CADCentre is the only UK SOLIDWORKS Reseller based and funded within Scotland and have been providing SOLIDWORKS software, training and support since 1996 when the product was first launched in the UK.

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Have you just purchased a new license with a PDM Standard CAD Editor, or a Contributor/Viewer license and need to get up and running with it ASAP?  Providing you already have a PDM Standard installation, these quick and easy to follow steps will help you to get on your way in no time at all….

 

Step 1

Open the SolidNetwork License Manager Server, easily found by using the search bar on the server.

 

Step 2

Before moving on any further, you’ll want to make sure that none of the licenses are in use at the moment. This may require an email round to all SOLIDWORKS users, or simply a shout around the office, but you can always double check the status before proceeding.

To check all licenses are free, we can click on the “License Usage” tab in the SolidNetwork License Manager. If the number of total licenses is equal to the number of free licenses, we know that no licenses are currently in use.

 

Step 3

Now we want to stop the server and block access for anyone who is eager to get back to work before you have finished.  This can be achieved by navigating back to the “Server Administration” tab.

 

Step 4

Adding the New License.

To add the new license to your SNL, you will need to go to “Add or Remove Programs” and select to ‘Modify’ the SolidNetwork License Manger.

Here you will need to click ‘Next’ through the wizard until you are asked to add your new serial number.  You will need to separate your serial numbers with a comma (, ) when adding them all to the correct field.

You can now continue through the Installation Wizard and select ‘Finish’ at the end.

 

Step 5

Activating your new serial number within the SNL.

This can be done easily by selecting ‘Modify’ on the SolidNetwork License Manager in the “Server Administration” tab.

You will first need to select ‘Activate/Deactivate Your SOLIDWORKS Product’ and click through until you are given the option of which serial numbers you want to activate, where you can click “Select All”.

You can then click ‘Next’ and ‘Finish’ after the serial numbers have been activated.

 

Step 6

Checking the new license has been activated.

To check the license has been activated you can go back to the “License Usage” tab and you will now see that the total number of licenses has increase by the number of new licenses. This shows the activation has been successful and you are now ready to start using it.

Step 7

The last step is to restart the SNL (if it hasn’t already done so). You’ll find this option back on the “Server Administration” tab.  Once this has been completed, all other users can log back in and continue as before.

Hopefully these quick and easy steps help you with adding any new serial numbers to your SNL, and get you working with them as soon as possible.

 

****

Kieran Mooney is an Applications Engineer at TMS CADCentre, a SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller in Scotland.

You can read more from Craig on the TMS CADCentre blog

 

Author information

TMS CADCentre
TMS CADCentre is a SOLIDWORKS Reseller based in Scotland providing CAD Design Software, analysis software & product data management software. Founded in 1981, TMS CADCentre is the only UK SOLIDWORKS Reseller based and funded within Scotland and have been providing SOLIDWORKS software, training and support since 1996 when the product was first launched in the UK.

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SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – July 2021 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/solidworks-support-monthly-news-july-2021.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/solidworks-support-monthly-news-july-2021.html#respond Thu, 15 Jul 2021 05:57:20 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28854 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. Troubleshooting Tip: Why particular annotation view is not available in the

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy

Bishwaraj Roy

Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products.
Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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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.

Troubleshooting Tip: Why particular annotation view is not available in the list of possible annotations views?

By Mario Iocco

Frequently, a user wants to move a dimension to a different annotation view. However, sometimes that particular annotation view is not available in the list of possible annotations views. In the below video we explain the reasons why those specific annotation views are not displayed in the list.

Optimizing Visualize Project file size

By Richie More

SOLIDWORKS Visualize allows you to create stunning photo-realistic images and videos with the existing design CAD data.

Creating Visualize Project involves importing of 3DCAD data, applying appearances, scenes, adding cameras, etc.

While the user does a combination of addition of assets to the project, the Visualize Project File size may increase beyond expected. This is because even when the assets are not used for the Project, the ones added will be retained in the project.

We can easily optimize the Project file size with the following Process.

Procedure to optimize project file size

Step 1– Open the large file size Visualize Project. (file size for the test project is 91,948KB )

Step 2– Navigate to Project > Delete All unused Objects

Step 3– You may select individual entity and analyze, or select all and analyze the unused Objects to be deleted.

Step 4– You may select individual entity and analyze, or select all and analyze the unused Objects to be deleted. Also the option “Save after Cleaning” saves the project after hitting clean button.

Step 5– You may select individual entity and analyze, or select all and analyze the unused Objects to be deleted. Also the option “Save after Cleaning” saves the project after hitting clean button.

Once the Clean is complete, notice that the Visualize Project file size is optimized. (File size for the test project reduced to 34,333KB)

Note- Objects once deleted, cannot be restored. Thus kindly verify the objects selected after analyzing which are set for deletion.

Publishing multi-sheet PDF’s from DraftSight

By Gayatri Keskar

Batch print command in DraftSight allows users to send a set of drawings and Sheets to printers in few mouse clicks. It is very helpful when we are working on a big project and want to print multiple .dwg files to PDF format.

Using default settings we get multiple PDF files, with one sheet on each PDF. What if we want to create single PDF file from all the drawing sheets?

We can change it in Batch Print dialog by clicking on PDF Options:

  • Type BatchPrint in DraftSight command line to launch below window.
  • Click in Add files\Add folder to includes files to print

  • Click on PDF Options and select ‘Publish as multi-sheet PDF’ as below:

We can also enter the name of printed PDF file by unchecking option ‘Specify PDF file name on file dialog’ so that printing operation will be performed without user intervention.

In order to use Batch Print command model and all the sheets must have Print Configuration assigned. In this case we want to print sheets to PDF format hence default printer in print configuration should be PDF as below:

Note: ‘PDF Options’ button will be available only for sheets which are using PDF build in printer in print configuration. Hence while creating print configuration make sure to use correct printer.

DraftSight Professional, Premium, Enterprise and Plus packages have ability to Batch Print.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW While opening SOLIDWORKS® using SolidNetWork License (SNL) Manager licenses, why I see the error ‘Could not obtain a license for SOLIDWORKS Standard. License does not support this version. (-21,126,0)’?

his error message may indicate the presence of a license file on the client computer. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-079217

icon - SW In the SOLIDWORKS® software, how can I customize sheet metal tables to avoid translation issues with the flatten feature for multinational companies with offices that speak different languages?
The attached PDF document in Solution ID: S-079218 shows the basic details for a recommended approach in SOLIDWORKS®.

Icon - EPDM How do I filter the resource object within a SOLIDWORKS® Manage process?

To filter the resource object inside a process, create a field inside the resource object and the condition inside the process object. For a demonstration of how to achieve this result, see the attached video in Solution Id: S-079228

In drop test studies in SOLIDWORKS® Simulation 2021 and newer, why is the Blended Curvature Based mesher (BCB) not available for studies with more than one solid body?

For drop test studies with multiple solid bodies, the only available meshers are Standard and Curvature-Based (CB). For more information, see Solution Id: S-079234

That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller.

 

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. You can enter them below.

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy
Bishwaraj Roy
Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products. Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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Geometric Shark – SOLIDWORKS https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/geometric-shark-solidworks.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/geometric-shark-solidworks.html#respond Sun, 11 Jul 2021 15:00:51 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28809 This tutorial for a geometric shark demonstrates how you can use images on sketch planes to guide a 3D model, the loft tool and chamfer is used to create most of the design. The shark image files and shark decal are available to download from the blog below.

Author information

Jade Crompton

I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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This tutorial for a geometric shark demonstrates how you can use images on sketch planes to guide a 3D model. A png image file of the shark was added to the top, right and a plane off the front plane. The images can be brought into a sketch from, tools, sketch tools and then sketch picture to use as reference points for sketches and creating the 3D model. it helps to have multiple views of the 3D object you’re trying to recreate. For the shark I used png files, which meant I could remove the white background using the image masking tools, this makes it easier to work with. The png files are available to download here.

Planes were placed along the body of the shark, rough sketches are then drawn over the top of the shark images and are lofted along in segments to create the sharks body. Cut extrude and chamfer was used to create more geometric details.

The side fin of the shark was mirrored over to save time modelling, and chamfer was used again to add more detail. Fillet was also used to soften the sharp corners of the fins and round off the shark nose.

Finally and decal was applied top the shark body using projection mapping, the decal is available to download here.. You can see the finished design below which was rendered in SOLIDWORKS Visualize.

 

Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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Ride-on Electric Unicorn Car- Part 2 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/ride-on-electric-unicorn-car-part-2.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/ride-on-electric-unicorn-car-part-2.html#respond Fri, 09 Jul 2021 15:00:48 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28797 In this blog we continue to work on our ride-on electric unicorn car by adding the electrical components needed to make things move!

Author information

Loretta Stiurca

Loretta Stiurca

Loretta is a mom, a wife, and an engineer. She is a CSWE and has been using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical for more than 6 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with the puppy, playing Dungeons and Dragons, thinking up crazy inventions, learning magic tricks, juggling, making her baby girl laugh, and going on adventures.

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In the first part of this series we recreated our broken car in SOLIDWORKS and gave it a new paint job. It turned out awesome, but our car still isn’t running, so in this blog we set out to draw a schematic for the electronics and add the components to 3D. Then we wire things up and I’ll do a quick repair on the actual car to make sure everything is working IRL. Let’s jump into SOLIDWORKS Electrical and get started with our Line Diagram.

Line Diagrams are great because they help us plan out our project and visualize it from a high level. They are also efficient because almost all the work we do now can be reused when we draw our schematic. Since this is a brand new project and I’m working off of a fresh installation of SOLIDWORKS Electrical, we can start by making some symbols.

Of course, we want to minimize the amount of work and time we put into this, so let’s create our battery symbol simply by copying and modifying an existing one.

The main modification we will want to make to any Line Diagram symbol is updating the graphic, so I went ahead and got some realistic photographs of our components and saved them in .bmp format in preparation. Since most pictures don’t come in bitmap format to begin with, all we need to do is find a picture in any format, open it up in MS Paint, and go to File > Save As > BMP. This preps it for use in SOLIDWORKS Electrical.

Now that we have our pictures saved, we can go to Library > Symbols Manager, find an existing symbol we like, Copy/Paste, update properties (Right-click > Properties), and double-click to modify. Literally the only thing we need to replace is the picture, so let’s delete it and then go to Draw > Insert Image to add our custom image in. Here’s what our Motor Gearbox Assembly looks like after we modify it:

I went ahead and repeated this for 3 additional Line Diagram symbols and created some parts to go along with them, and we’re good to go! Here’s what our project looks like so far:

Note: Creating new parts is also easy! The way I decided to do it was from the symbol > double-click >  Manufacturer part and circuits > Create manufacturer part.

The most important thing to remember here is that our part has circuits and terminals that need to be added in addition to Reference and Manufacturer. Technically we don’t have to add them now, but remember – we get to re-use this work, so I opted to do it upfront.

Now that we’ve added all of our parts and we have a high-level overview of our project, we can do one of two things: we could continue on to draw the schematic *or* we could switch gears and create our assembly in SOLIDWORKS 3D. If there were two of me, I would do both of these things at the same time, but there’s just one of me so I decided to move to 3D for a bit and have some fun.

I started by creating parts for each of our electrical components that we’re going to be wiring up. This was actually quite relaxing. I just busted out my trusty digital caliper, dissected the car, and went about approximating the parts. Approximating at this stage is an art – too simple and we won’t know where the wires attach or how our parts fit in space, but too complex and we waste time. I like to err on the side of wasting time because I just enjoy the process so much, but you do you. Here’s what the finished Electric Motor looks like:

I repeated this process for the remainder of the parts and then decided to go ahead and add some electrical intelligence to my models using the Electrical Component Wizard (Tools > SOLIDWORKS Electrical > Electrical Component Wizard).

When we launch this tool, we get some pretty nifty options that simplify things significantly. For example, my favorite way of adding connection points to a model is directly from the manufacturer part (that we created earlier).

To do this, we can simply select CPoint from manufacturer part and then click Add. Next we can select our part from our library and Right-click > Create Connection Point before clicking on a sketch point (or a face in an approximate position) to create our routing point and associate it with the terminal in our actual part.

The last thing we want to make sure of is that our newly created routing points are pointing the correct direction. In this case, they are correct because they point out towards where the wires should come out of our part. If they were reversed, we could correct them quickly by finding and editing the routing point features in our FeatureManager Design Tree.

Fantastic! There are other steps we could take to simplify insertion of our models, but I decided to skip this step and save my models after just adding routing points. The next step is creating an assembly with all of our parts.

Let’s start by creating our assembly. From SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2D, we can quickly do this by going to Process > SOLIDWORKS assembly and selecting just our top Project-level assembly for creation. If this project were much bigger, I might consider splitting things up into subassemblies based on location, but this one is relatively simple, so we can do everything in one assembly without getting confused.

After creating our assembly, we can double-click it in our Document Tree to open it directly in SOLIDWORKS 3D. From here, I decided to insert all of my parts first and then Associate them to my parts in SOLIDWORKS Electrical later. This technique is also incredibly useful if you already have previously-made assemblies that you want to re-use. The only thing we want to remember here is that if we insert a fully completed assembly into our SOLIDWORKS Electrical assembly, we should dissolve it so that the subassemblies and parts are visible in our new tree. In our case, we can just start inserting components from Assembly > Insert Components. Once we have all of our components in place, the next step is super incredibly simple thanks to the power of our purpose-build tool (SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D). All we need to do is jump over to our SOLIDWORKS Electrical tab and Right-Click on each component > Associate.

Now all we need to do is click on the 3D model that matches the part. The program helps us avoid accidentally double-associating to the same model by turning already associated 3D models transparent during this command. So simple, easy, and fast! We’re done with our work in 3D for now, so let’s jump back into SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2D and create our schematic with detailed wiring.

To start off our design, we need a symbol that represents a battery. Since SOLIDWORKS Electrical comes with a ton of pre-loaded standard symbols, we don’t need to create or even modify a symbol here. We can simply go to Schematic  > Insert Symbol and select one of our Battery symbols to use out-of-the-box. Once we place our symbol, our properties box automatically pops open. From here, we can quickly Associate our symbol to the component we already created when we made our Line Diagram. Simply click on the correct component in the tree on the right and then click OK.

Don’t you love design re-use? The best part is that once we do this, our circuits come over as well. But wait! Since we used a symbol we didn’t create, let’s double-check them.

Taking a closer look, we can see that our circuit types don’t match so the circuits aren’t associating. Eek! We could solve this by modifying the circuit type in our part or by modifying the circuit type in our symbol, but I decided I was in a hurry this time, so I took a shortcut. Another way to solve this issue is simply by dragging and dropping the red onto the blue (red = circuit on the page, but not available in parts, blue = circuit available in part but not represented on the page). This forces an association and we’re good to go! Just remember to click Yes when the program points out that the circuit types are different.

Laziness success! Of course, if we were going to do projects like this repeatedly with this part and symbol, we would want to opt for changing the circuit types, but this is a perfect solution in our situation.

Moving on, I went ahead and used some standard connector symbols and a DC Motor symbol to complete the design. The only custom symbol I created was a simple Connection Label for the 6 pin connectors in the Shifter Assembly to clarify the layout. I did this by opening my Symbols Library and selecting to import a dxf file. From there, I made sure to specify that it was a Connection Label type of symbol and I added numbers to specify the location of terminations. Here’s the final product:

To insert, I simply right-clicked the part in the tree and selected Insert Connection Label for Components.

We’re almost done! Our last step is to create some custom wires and hook everything up.

One way to access the Wire syles Manager is by going to Project > Configurations > Wire styles….

Now we can create some custom wires. Note that these wires are stored on a project level, so if we want to use them again, we will need to either create a Macro out of them or save them in our Project Template. I started by creating a new custom group and a single 14 AWG wire. Then I copy/pasted the wire four times and modified the clones so that they were all unique colors. I also modified the Equipotential Formula so that it would include the wire color since white and black wires are difficult to differentiate between in schematics. Here’s what our finished custom wire styles look like:

Now we get to wire everything up! This is incredibly simple as long as you know where everything should go AND as long as you have SNAP turned on. If you don’t have SNAP on, you can turn it on by Right-clicking in the bottom right corner or by simply hitting F9.

The very last step is to number our wires, so let’s go ahead and finish this step and take a look at our beautiful schematic. Simply go to Process > Number New Wires and select OK. We’re done!

Now that all of our wires are in place, we get to jump back into 3D and actually run our wires. This is probably my favorite part because it feels like magic.

Since all of our components are already placed and associated, we could technically simply click Route Wires and it should work, but it would look a bit like spaghetti, so I went ahead and gave it one more piece of information – a Routing Path to guide the wires in the correct general direction. To add one yourself, simply go to SOLIDWORKS Electrical in the Command Manager and select Create Routing Path. This opens a new 3D sketch where you can be as detailed (or not) as you like. A couple of tips for creating 3D sketches: (1) start at a point in space that is already defined such as a point on an actual face – even if you need to delete this line later, you’re better off than randomly clicking in space and (2) TAB and rotating your model are your friends – this will help you understand where your next line is in 3D space and gives you a chance to adjust by hitting tab again etc. Also, keep in mind that your routing path does NOT need to touch any of your components. It just needs to be close enough to where you want your wires to be that it ends up helping to guide them.

Here’s what our routing path looks like:

Now for the fun part! All we need to do is go to SOLIDWORKS Electrical > Route Wires and let the program do its magic. At this point, SOLIDWORKS 3D is looking at our schematic for connection information, wire color, wire diameter, and then looking back at our model for connection points and trying to route along the path we just drew all within a matter of seconds. I always like to choose the 3D Sketch option initially because it is faster and allows us to troubleshoot any potential bamboozles that pop up while routing. I also like to check the box next to Show Errors so that it’s easier to find and fix potential problems. Below, we can see that an error was detected:

Since the error specifies that No valid path [was] found, I decided to further investigate by going to SOLIDWORKS Electrical > Route Wires and selecting the Draw Graph option at the bottom of the properties dialogue box to get an idea of all possible routes. When we do this, we can see the problem clearly:

The program isn’t detecting any connection to the indicated terminal on our connector part! After zooming in, however, I also realized an even bigger mistake – my wiring was all upside down! I fixed this, rerouted, adjusted my routing path, and we’re back in business! No errors at all and everything is wired up nicely except…

Yuck! My wires aren’t following the path in this section and it’s causing an intersection. Luckily, I have an incredibly simple trick we can use that doesn’t involve re-drawing our routing path. In fact, all we need to do is edit our path sketch and insert a few Points.

When we do this, it forces our wires to try and hit these specific points. Now all we need to do is click Route Wires one more time and…

So. Much. Better! As a side note, we can also adjust our Routing Parameters or modify our Routing Path to tweak things further, but I’m happy with this result and it took two seconds, so let’s move on! At this point, we can go ahead and click Route Wires a final time but select the SOLIDWORKS Route option to get actual solid wires. I went ahead and did this and the results are beautiful.

That being said, if all we’re interested in is wire length, we don’t need to take this step at all. The SOLIDWORKS Route option is great if we want to understand Duct Filing Ratio or if we are planning on rendering our work in SOLIDWORKS Visualize as I did above. Now that we have our wires routed, let’s finish everything up with a quick report so that we can fix the car!

Jumping back into SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2D, all we need to do is go to Project > Reports and add the List of Wires by Line Style report from the standard reports list if it doesn’t already exist in our project. From here we can modify the report to suit our needs. I ended up modifying the formula for the From/To information so that it wouldn’t include the path of each component (F1 L1 …). To do this, all we need to do is modify the formula and add “parent” to one of the variables as can be seen below:

Now all we need to do is click Generate Drawings and select to create this report. When we do, we get the following fantastic reference:

How cool is that? Now we know how much of each wire type we need and we can even pre-cut our wires if we want to. Another trick I like to use in the report is to modify the Length formula to include 10% more wire than what was routed. This gives manufacturing a built-in safety net.

The final thing I did was export my project to PDF by going to Import/Export > Export PDF Files. I absolutely LOVE the PDFs we can get from this program. I’ve noticed more and more companies are switching to having tablets or computers with large screens on the manufacturing floor as an eco-friendly solution, but also these PDFs are so easy to navigate because of all the hyperlinks that are automatically inserted for us. For example, if we click on MOT1 in our Line Diagram, the PDF will jump to the representation of this motor in the Schematic. There are also hyperlinks in our reports that can help us navigate and understand our project quickly and simply. Here’s what our PDF looks like once exported:

We’re done! Thanks so much for following along. In our next blog we will revise our work and create a SUPERCAR version of this ride-on electric car, so be sure to check back in soon! As always, feel free to share and comment below if you have any questions or if you have an idea for something you would like to see in the future. Bye for now!

 

Author information

Loretta Stiurca
Loretta Stiurca
Loretta is a mom, a wife, and an engineer. She is a CSWE and has been using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical for more than 6 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with the puppy, playing Dungeons and Dragons, thinking up crazy inventions, learning magic tricks, juggling, making her baby girl laugh, and going on adventures.

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Ride-on Electric Unicorn Car – Part 1 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/ride-on-electric-unicorn-car-part-1.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/07/ride-on-electric-unicorn-car-part-1.html#respond Fri, 02 Jul 2021 15:00:22 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28634 When I was a kid I dreamed of someday having my very own electric car, so as a grown adult with a toddler, I decided that my daughter NEEDS one. Recently, I was browsing our local Buy Nothing group and

Author information

Loretta Stiurca

Loretta Stiurca

Loretta is a mom, a wife, and an engineer. She is a CSWE and has been using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical for more than 6 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with the puppy, playing Dungeons and Dragons, thinking up crazy inventions, learning magic tricks, juggling, making her baby girl laugh, and going on adventures.

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When I was a kid I dreamed of someday having my very own electric car, so as a grown adult with a toddler, I decided that my daughter NEEDS one. Recently, I was browsing our local Buy Nothing group and I found an absolute jackpot – a FREE electric car. Two seats, four wheels, and… oh yeah, it doesn’t run. Details, details, right? We can fix broken things! We are engineers! We picked the potentially functional car up and, after taking a couple of measurements with my multimeter, I determined that the issue was the electric motor – NBD, as they say. The only other issue was the paint job – it could use an upgrade.

So… in this blog and in the following two blogs, we set out to (1) recreate the car in SOLIDWORKS and give it a new paint job, (2) draw a schematic for the electronics and add the components to 3D, and (3) give the car an upgrade (MAKE IT GO FASTER) but modifying the electrical components and giving it a pair of new wheels. Let’s get started with the mechanical bits.

Step 1: Get orthogonal pictures of the model vehicle.

This is really important because these pictures are going to be our reference. If they aren’t orthogonal, the points on the side view won’t match up with the points on the top view, no matter how much image manipulation we do.

That being said, with all of the cameras and technology that we have at our fingertips today, this should be easy, right? Errrrr… turns out not-so-much. Well, I suppose it depends on your circumstances. I’ll show you a picture to explain mine:

Without distraction or interruption, however, the technique is quite simple. All you need to do is take a zoomed-in picture from as far away as possible. This imitates an orthogonal lens and, at least in my case, is the closest I can get. I also recommend taking these pictures during daylight hours unless you have a well-lit house and a long corridor. I learned this the hard way so that you don’t have to! I made sure to get TOP, BOTTOM, FRONT, BACK, LEFT, and RIGHT images, but technically that’s a bit overkill for this project since there is a lot of symmetry in this model.

Step 2: Rotate, Crop, and edit.

The first two steps are necessary in order to make sure the pictures will line up, and the “edit” step is a trick I use – I like to remove the background to make it even easier to line my pictures up. This also helps me because I really zoom in and I can find the imperfections/non-orthogonal bits of my pictures as I go. Like I said earlier, the pictures are close, but not perfect. You can use any photo editing app to do this as long as you have the ability to Rotate, Crop, and Remove Background. I like to use GIMP because it is free and it even allows you to crop directly to content after you remove the background, but my husband swears by photopea.com which is also free and doesn’t require an installation. Here are some of the photos I collected and edited:

We’re off to a good start! Now the fun part – we get to open SOLIDWORKS!

Step 3: Add your pictures to a new SOLIDWORKS part.

Take a few measurements and add your pictures to your SOLIDWORKS model, being sure to scale as you go. A trick I used here was to create a 3D sketch first with a “cage” around the exterior measurements that I took. This made it easy to visualize where each picture should be. I also created planes for each sketch picture to match and inserted my pictures directly onto these planes (Tools > Sketch Tools > Sketch Picture). The simplest way to scale these pictures is to set the Width or Height in the properties box and move them using the X and Y positioning boxes.

Here’s what it looks like so far:

Off to a good start! Now let’s get to modeling.

Step 4: Choose a place to start and dig in.

This is the second-to-last step, but it is a big one. My goal in this next section is to step through most of the techniques used to finish the mechanical design using the reference pictures. If I attempted to step through every single thing, you would be reading a chapter book, so I won’t do that. You’re welcome. However, if you do want more details about any of it, feel free to comment below or send me a message on LinkedIn.

Because we have so many perfectly imperfect photos, it is important to pick one or two as your “default” – as in, if things aren’t matching up, you know where to go. I chose the LEFT side view as my default and FRONT as my backup for most things. Another tip before we dig in to the nitty-gritty is to organize features into folders in your FeatureManager Design Tree. This is a good idea for any model that is going to have a large number of features because it allows you to quickly edit specific sections as needed without looking through a thousand features first. Also, for the reference pictures specifically, it allows you to very quickly turn them on/off by suppressing the Folder itself rather than having to find and Shift + Select the group of sketches. For reference, here’s what our FeatureManager Design Tree looks like so far:

The first part of the car we are going to work on is the hood and the technique I used here involves surfacing. Many moons ago I recreated a Delorean using 99% surfacing, so I figured this would be a fun way to start things off.

We’re going to create a Surface Loft, so we need two sketches. Looking at our LEFT side view, we can see that these sketches will need to be on non-default planes, so let’s create those first. Sketching on the Right plane, I created two lines representing the start and end of our loft.

From here, I selected the lines individually and used the shortcut key (S) to select the Plane feature. The first reference is the line and the second reference is a plane – in this case we can select the RIGHT plane and make sure to select the Perpendicular relation.

I repeated this for the second plane before switching to a FRONT view and opening a sketch on the plane we just created that is closer to the front (I renamed this to “Grill Plane” in my tree for the sake of organization and sanity). Now we get to trace the front of the hood! Note: it is important here to trace our reference picture in a FRONT view rather than in a view normal to the angled sketch plane that we just created. I tend to personally gravitate towards using lines and arcs here instead of splines, but you could use splines just as easily. Here’s what my trace looks like:

Another trick to use here is to take advantage of symmetry. I only traced half of the vehicle, making sure to add a tangent relationship to a horizontal construction line at the middle so that, once mirrored, the surface would look smooth. From here, we can use the Surface Loft command, selecting the two sketches we made to loft between and then Thicken them, using the FRONT view as a reference for how much to thicken them. At this point, I realized the fatal flaw in this technique: our front and back edges end up being curved.

I could have gone back and finished tracing/creating sketches that would have allowed me to do a normal loft, but at this point, I was committed to the technique, so I went back and added a few steps to correct this. First, I rolled back in my tree to right after the surface was created and used Surface Extend to create a larger surface than needed.

Then I rolled back to the end (after thickening) and used the Cut with Surface command, along with the two planes we originally created, to cut away the extra. This leaves us with two beautiful planar faces at the start and end of our hood. Here’s what the hood looks like after applying Mirror to the half we created:

Way better! Now all that’s left to complete this feature is to add a couple of fillets, although we can easily leave this as the last step in modeling (this is often advantageous, but in this case, it is fine to add them now). Either way, it’s all good in the hood.

The next portion of the car I modeled was the grill, but I used simple extrudes and cuts here, so let’s move on to the front bumper.

The technique I used here involves the massively useful Intersect command. We begin this technique by sketching the basic shapes we see in the bumper from the TOP and FRONT views. I sketched these on the default TOP and FRONT planes.

Now we extrude each shape out past the point where the material actually exists, making sure to un-check the Merge box in each feature. We get this crazy thing. Don’t panic – it will get better, I promise!

Now it is time to activate the magical Intersect command. After activating the command, we want to select all of the bodies we just created and click the Intersect button after selecting Create both in the properties box. Then we can start clicking in the graphics area to remove excess material. I find this to be the simplest way of getting exactly what I want, especially with a large number of bodies, but we could have also checked and unchecked boxes in the Regions to Exclude area of the properties box. Once we have exactly what we want, we can select Merge result and hit ok.

Now all that’s left is to Mirror our body on the RIGHT plane, add a quick Extrude for the connector (traced from the BOTTOM reference picture), and add some fillets to get rid of sharp edges.

Beautiful and fairly simple really, considering all of the shapes we created with a single command!

The next part of the car I decided to tackle was the front fender. I could have used the Intersect technique again, but because it was so simple I decided to just use the Extrude and then Cut-Extrude technique here. From the LEFT side, I traced the profile and used the Extrude command to draw out a solid close to the correct size.

From here, I traced the profile from the TOP, and cut away the excess material using a Cut-Extrude by selecting Flip side to cut in the command and selecting the body we just created under Feature Scope.

Next, I added a couple of fillets to match the original side profile before running into an issue! Due to the imperfectness of our pictures, the profiles didn’t line up correctly, resulting in an unwanted flat face at the front.

Yikes! Luckily, this is a super easy fix. All we have to do is right-click on the face and go to Delete Face, being sure to select Delete and Patch in the properties box.

Instant fix! Now, all we need to do is add a couple of fillets, Mirror our body, and move on to the next feature.

At this point, I basically used the techniques we discussed above to create a bunch more geometry – wheels, the windshield, the side panel, the dash, steering wheel, side step, floor, front axle, back axle, back bumper, and the back panel/bumper were all fairly straightforward with few new techniques of note, so let’s fast forward a bit to the floodlights because these are a bit more interesting. Just to catch you up, here’s our model so far:

For the support portion of the floodlights, I started by tracing the profile for the first segment from the LEFT side view and then from the TOP view (modified slightly so that things line up later) like so:

Then I selected the sketches and used the Project Curve command to project the first sketch onto the second sketch, essentially defining their intersection. Here’s what the resulting curve looks like:

This is perfect, *except* it is obviously missing a portion. I got around this by creating a 3D Sketch, selecting the curve and using Convert Entities to bring it over, and then drawing in the portion that was missing manually, being sure to double-check my sketch against my reference pictures. I also took advantage of the fact that we can Mirror within a 3D Sketch now to complete the curve on the other side.

Beautiful! Now it is time to Sweep some actual material into existence. Many moons ago we would have had to first create a profile consisting of a circle at the end of our path, but today SOLIDWORKS makes it incredibly easy with the Circular Profile option inside of the Sweep command. I opted for this, obviously, setting it to a diameter of 1.25in based on the reference pictures. Then I repeated the process for the second support beam and reused the same paths (using Convert Entities in two additional 3D sketches) to create the T-joint.

Gorgeous! Creating the Flood Lights themselves was actually pretty basic, so I won’t go into a ton of detail here except to say that I used a Revolve to create the connector and I used a Circular Pattern to create the detailed cuts around the edges of each light. I also went ahead and added fillets.

Now that we have most of the external car parts  (besides seats, which were also created using the techniques previously discussed), it’s time to move on to the internals. This part was actually a bit trickier since our reference pictures don’t show everything inside the vehicle, but also critical since we are planning on adding in our electrical components and then modifying them in subsequent blogs. The trick I used here was to actually go back to the physical car and look at it… with my eyes. This required getting up, which was a good idea at this point anyway, so it was a win-win. I then approximated some of the sketches and measured some parts using digital calipers.

For the battery compartment in the front of the car, I started by hovering over the hood and hitting TAB to hide it. Then I sketched out the approximate shape that I saw after looking under the actual hood and extruded it to a depth based on the LEFT side reference picture. Next, I used the Shell command, selecting to remove the top face and extruded a top to the compartment using existing geometry and using Convert Entities.

Fairly straightforward so far, right? Next, I added what I’m called the “underbelly” – again using the partial information we get from the side view – before moving on to the pedal and the area that houses the electronics from this and connects to the battery area in the front. The rest of the conduit was fairly simple after going back and forth, but I do want to mention one place that I made a mistake the first time using the Shell command. Essentially my technique was to Extrude the conduit and then Shell it out to create a path for our wires, but the timing of the Shell matters. Make sure you can visualize the end product before hollowing it out because you might want to combine multiple bodies before activating this command. Here’s what most of our conduit looks like in isolation and then in the context of our whole vehicle.

Now that our car is pretty much done, it’s time to add some details to the back and front bumpers. Jumping into a BACK view (Ctrl 2) we can trace the geometry from our reference picture.

From here we can use the Split Line command, being sure to select the appropriate faces along the back bumper, to split our faces and prepare them for painting. I repeated this on the front and added some fun text at my daughter’s request.

The final piece I added in was a custom unicorn horn “windshield wiper,” again at my daughter’s request, using a simple Extrude and some Fillets.

We’re done! We made it! Now it’s time to make it shiny and give it a paint job.

Step 5: Give your vehicle a dream paint job.

There are so many different ways to add appearances, but the way I like to do it is mostly from the graphics area. All we need to do is click on a part of the car we want to “paint” and then select the largest relevant area to paint. What I mean by this is that we want to first apply to the part, then to bodies, then features, and finally faces if we are getting really specific. I’ll give you an example.

The majority of the car is going to be one color – blue, as selected by (you guessed it) my toddler. Let’s start with that by clicking anywhere and selecting the part before grabbing our blue appearance from the task pane.

This turns our entire car blue!

Now we can start getting a bit more specific. The seats and the window’s glass are separate bodies, so we can apply an appearance at this level. The same thing goes for most of the grill, so we can apply an appearance and get more specific with the lights and turn signals later.

Next, we can apply to specific features (the wheels and the headlights require this), and finally any faces that need to be unique. This technique ensures that we are being as efficient as possible. I also want to mention that we can copy/paste appearances between sections as needed as well using the same menu.

Fantastic! Our new coat of paint looks awesome.

The last thing we want to do is add some decals (NEEDS MORE UNICORNS), but let’s wait until we are in SOLIDWORKS Visualize to do this since we need to reapply there anyway. Note: I added a unique appearance to the unicorn horn in preparation for exporting so that applying a decal would be easier in Visualize.

With our SOLIDWORKS Visualize tab activated, we can go ahead and click Export Advanced to jump into Visualize. Applying decals in Visualize is easy – all we need to do is activate the Appearances tab and right-click in the background > New Decal > Image… before selecting the picture we want to use.

From here we can simply drag, drop, and reposition/resize as needed before rendering. I also changed the scene to brighten things up a bit and exported a video of the turntable. Here are the resulting images in all their glory:


 

 

 

 

ISN’T IT MAGICAL? My daughter is so pleased. Thank you for following along on this electric vehicle journey. I hope you will join me next time as I wire everything up using SOLIDWORKS Electrical. As always, feel free to ask questions, share, and add suggestions in the comments.

Author information

Loretta Stiurca
Loretta Stiurca
Loretta is a mom, a wife, and an engineer. She is a CSWE and has been using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical for more than 6 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with the puppy, playing Dungeons and Dragons, thinking up crazy inventions, learning magic tricks, juggling, making her baby girl laugh, and going on adventures.

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SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Remote Solver (Network Solving) https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/06/solidworks-flow-simulation-remote-solver-network-solving.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/06/solidworks-flow-simulation-remote-solver-network-solving.html#respond Mon, 21 Jun 2021 15:00:28 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28536 Author: Scott Durksen, CSWE @ Javelin Technologies   SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation software provides the ability to share the calculations of a project over a network connection to a SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Remote Solver. Resources are then freed up on the local

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Javelin Technologies

Javelin Technologies is a provider of technology solutions since 1997. We are experts in 3D design and have helped thousands of companies with solutions for mechanical design, electrical design and 3D printing.

Large or small, we have the skills, experience, and services to propel your organization to new heights so you can aim high.

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Author: Scott Durksen, CSWE @ Javelin Technologies

 

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation software provides the ability to share the calculations of a project over a network connection to a SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Remote Solver.

Resources are then freed up on the local computer to continue other work without reduced performance as the solver is running.  You can open a new SOLIDWORKS window to continue working on other files.  This can be useful where multiple users have computers with limited hardware, but can share a powerful desktop computer to run calculations with increased speed.

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

The processing is shared between the local and remote machine:

  • Local Machine — Meshing, creation of the flow results file and pre-processing prior to first iteration calculation
  • Remote Machine — All solution iterations

NOTE: The calculations can only be performed on one remote machine

Setup:

SOLIDWORKS and Flow Simulation need to be installed on both the local and remote machines, and both must be on the same version and service pack.

Licensing:

While SOLIDWORKS and Flow Simulation must be installed on the remote machine, it does not require authorization.  Only the local machine will need access to the SOLIDWORKS and Flow Simulation license.  While solving, the local machine will still utilize both the SOLIDWORKS and Flow Simulation license.

  • If using a single node-locked license of SOLIDWORKS and/or Flow Simulation, activation is not needed on the remote machine
  • If using shared network licenses of SOLIDWORKS and/or Flow Simulation, the remote machine will not utilize any additional licenses

Options:

Remote Solver options can be found on the local machine under Tools > Flow Simulation > Tools > Options.

Communication between local and remote machines is done through a TCP port over the shared network.  By default the TCP port 30950 is used.  This can be modified within the options or before solving if another application requires the use of the default port.  Have your IT ensure that both inbound and outbound communication is allowed through the defined port in network firewalls.  Run a Telnet test to verify connectivity to the remote machine.

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Remote Solver Options

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Remote Solver Options

While the solution is run, results are being saved to a temporary directory on the remote machine.  By default this is saved under C:\Windows\Temp but can be modified in the Remote Solver options as shown above.  New subfolders are created to store the results while solving.  When the solution is complete, the results are copied to the local machine and the temporary subfolders are deleted from the remote machine.

Solving:

To solve a project, the Run dialog gives the ability to selectively choose the remote computer.  By default this is set to ‘This computer’ which indicates that all iterations are solved on the local machine.  Changing to ‘Add computer’ allows you to browse to a network computer or manually add the remote machine name.

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Run Remote Solver

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Run Remote Solver

The local machine does have access to regular previous, goal plots and plot previews while calculations are being performed.  The remote machine will have nothing displayed on screen, only a process ‘efdsolver.exe’ will be running in the background.

Author information

Javelin Technologies
Javelin Technologies is a provider of technology solutions since 1997. We are experts in 3D design and have helped thousands of companies with solutions for mechanical design, electrical design and 3D printing. Large or small, we have the skills, experience, and services to propel your organization to new heights so you can aim high.

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2021 What’s New in Model Based Definition https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/06/2021-whats-new-in-model-based-definition.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/06/2021-whats-new-in-model-based-definition.html#respond Wed, 16 Jun 2021 15:00:22 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28677 Over the past several releases Model Based Definition or MBD has been enhanced to include more functionality to cover more use cases. If you’re unfamiliar with MBD think of it as a 3D Drawing. You’re able to add Product Manufacturing

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Mike Sabocheck

Mike Sabocheck is a Technical Sales Director with Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS. Mike has been with DS SOLIDWORKS for 21 years. Prior to SOLIDWORKS he worked for Xerox for 17 years and then for Intergraph. His specialties are applying SOLIDWORKS to different design and manufacturing processes.

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Over the past several releases Model Based Definition or MBD has been enhanced to include more functionality to cover more use cases. If you’re unfamiliar with MBD think of it as a 3D Drawing. You’re able to add Product Manufacturing Information or PMI to a 3D model with dimensions, annotations, notes, and tables in an organized and easy to understand manner. Instead of printing a 2D Drawing you publish a 3D PDF instead. The advantage to 3D PDFs is the ability to rotate the model around to see all sides of the model as opposed to looking at orthogonal views on a 2D drawing. Even though the 2D drawing has an Isometric View it still doesn’t have the impact a 3D model has when it comes to understanding the fit, form and function of the model. For a novice that doesn’t fully understand how to read a 2D drawing a 3D PDF will provide a better means to convey design intent.

MDB is being used more and more in manufacturing especially when CNC machining and fabrication is being used. When a 2D drawing is created every dimensions is needed to fully define the part on the drawing. With MBD you only need to add the critical dimensions that would be used for inspection. The rest of the dimensions are taken directly from the 3D model since its being used to drive the CNC process.

For 2021 sheet metal parts can now have their Bend Table included in the 3D PDF. Bend Tables were introduced to MBD in 2019 but the Bend Table wasn’t included in the 3D PDF which limited its usefulness. Now in 2021 a bend table is created in the PDF and each bend is tagged with an alpha character along with its direction, angle and inner bend radius in the table as shown here in this 3D PDF.

Another MBD enhancement in 2021 is the addition of Datum Targets for GD&T dimensioning. A Datum Target is a line, point or a defined zone on a target with which used in order to establish a Datum plane. In our example of the sheet metal part shown on the PDF above the flat face of the part could be warped or bent a small amount on a local area. That defect could possibly throw off the inspection process enough to reject the part as unusable. If Datum Targets are used to define a plane based on 3 points on the face of the part then that plane is used for inspection purposes. Here’s what the Datum Targets look like when applied to the sheet metal part. The Targets on the left are point targets and on the right a defined circular zone of a 0.25 inch in diameter. The targets are located using dimensions and honor the dimensioning standard set in Document Properties.

Here’s the Property Manager for MBD Datum Targets.

Using Model Based Definition can be a real time saver for downstream manufacturing processes. It also reduces the number of files being managed by PDM or manually. MBD with PMI truly creates the single source of truth: the 3D Model.

Author information

Mike Sabocheck
Mike Sabocheck is a Technical Sales Director with Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS. Mike has been with DS SOLIDWORKS for 21 years. Prior to SOLIDWORKS he worked for Xerox for 17 years and then for Intergraph. His specialties are applying SOLIDWORKS to different design and manufacturing processes.

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Event-Based Motion Analysis https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/06/event-based-motion-analysis.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/06/event-based-motion-analysis.html#respond Mon, 14 Jun 2021 15:00:31 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28297 Motion analysis is a tool to help us simulate and analyze the movement of the mechanism in the assembly. In the motion analysis, we can include the effect of various kind of element, such as forces, springs, dampers, and friction,

Author information

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

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Motion analysis is a tool to help us simulate and analyze the movement of the mechanism in the assembly. In the motion analysis, we can include the effect of various kind of element, such as forces, springs, dampers, and friction, etc. It could also inherit, constraints from SOLIDWORKS, as fixture, and mate condition.

Motion studies have two types of study: time-based and event-based.

Time-based: Describe the response to time changes in motion elements, by timeline and keyframe. Keyframe to save the position/properties differences of selected component, and store the time and event in the timeline

Event-based: Event-based motion can automatically generate time sequence for element change, defined with a set of motion actions resulting from triggering events.

A trigger-action event you can imagine it as flipping a light switch. Flipping the switch is the trigger. The light bulb lighting up is the action. In event-based motion, you could set different kind of combinations of trigger and action. Below is a list of categories:

Triggers: Time, Sensors and Tasks Actions: Motors, Forces and Mates

 

In my example, I had set 2 kind of triggers. First 2 tasks are using Time as a trigger. The Rotating Arm and the Valve will start moving, at 0s and 4s correspondingly.

Sensors are the next set of triggers. For example, I have set the sensor location on the diagonal face, highlighted in blue as shown below. Trigger is when the ball reached the select face.

The resulting action is to rotate a model with 1,2,3 label, which is hidden in the column under the sensor.

Furthermore, I could add 3 different sensors, to control the rotation degree of the labelled model, displaying the ball’s number that sitting above the sensor.

During calculation of the motion, when the sensor triggered the task will enter the starting and ending time automatically.

Finally, the event-based motion simulation simulates the interaction between the balls and the rotating action. Then utilizing trigger and action task provide us the result of the ball’s order sequence as 2 > 1 > 3.

Event-based motion analysis require with SOLIDWORKS Simulation® Professional added in.

Written by Benjamin Cheung, Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

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Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.
Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.
Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

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SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – June 2021 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/06/solidworks-support-monthly-news-june-2021.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/06/solidworks-support-monthly-news-june-2021.html#respond Fri, 11 Jun 2021 07:45:17 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28649 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. Synchronizing a Patterned Component to a Seed in SOLIDWORKS 2021 By

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy

Bishwaraj Roy

Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products.
Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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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.

Synchronizing a Patterned Component to a Seed in SOLIDWORKS 2021

By Deepika Pujari

In SOLIDWORKS 2020 and earlier versions, when patterning components in a SOLIDWORKS assembly, there have been options to vary the configuration of one or more patterned component instances, so that a user can have a different configuration than the pattern seed.  However, sometimes we need to ensure that all instances use the same configuration as the seed.

Starting with SOLIDWORKS 2021, you can turn on Synchronize seeded patterned component configurations to synchronize the configuration of all patterned instances with the seed component configuration in the assembly. For every type of Component Pattern, and for Mirror Components, we can see a new checkbox in the Options section.

 

By default, the option checkbox is UNCHECKED/OFF.

In the case of an existing component pattern, which has instances where the configuration already differs from the seed configuration, the user gets warned that the configuration of the patterned instances will be set back to match the seed.

Now the results in the assembly,

With this option CHECKED/ON, a user cannot change the configuration of the patterned/mirrored instances via

a) Component Properties: The Referenced Configuration section is disabled (greyed out).

b) Configure component command: The Configuration section is disabled (greyed out).

c) Context Menu: Configuration dropdown list is not available.

Controlling the display of hidden edges of Geometry with Composer 2021

By Richie More

SOLIDWORKS Composer helps Documentation Team get up to speed with creation of Documentation content with use of CAD files. Most of the process involves selection of Components or mere highlighting them.

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS Composer 2021 is the ability to control the intensity of the SELECTION color and the HIGHLIGHT color.

Procedure to control Edge display.

Step 1– Open any project in Composer 2021

 

Step 2- Navigate File > Properties > Document Properties > Selection

Step 3- Modify the intensity for SELECTION and HIGHLIGHT. Hit Apply and OK. This will modify how the SELECTION and HIGHLIGHT actors are displayed in the Composer viewport.

For Comparison :

Composer 2020 :

Composer 2021:

 

SOLIDWORKS PDM 2021 uses Bill of Materials options specified in SOLIDWORKS. 

By Rohit Magar

SOLIDWORKS PDM 2021 now supports the “Show”, “Hide” and “Promote” Bill of Material options used with SOLIDWORKS. When you use the configuration of the subassembly in main assembly, these settings are available under Bill of Material Options in Configuration Properties.  The settings control if and how the child components appear in a bill of materials of the top-level assembly.

These Bill of Material options specified in the Configuration properties PropertyManager in SOLIDWORKS CAD, will now be used in the Computed BOMs of SOLIDWORKS PDM.

SOLIDWORKS Bill of Material Options

Let us see what each of the three BOM options provide:

Bill of Materials Options: Show

Selection of this option will shows the child components in the BOM if dictated by BOM Type in the Bill of Materials PropertyManager. Child components do not show in a Top-level only BOM.

Notice in the above image, it shows the subassembly and all the child components within it when “Show” option is selected.

Bill of Materials Options: Hide

Hides the child components in the BOM, the subassembly appears as a single item in the BOM.

Notice in the above image, it show the subassembly but hide the child components within it.

Bill of Materials Options: Promote

For instance, when “promote” is used, only the subassembly child’s components are visible at the computed BOM level. Dissolves the subassembly in the BOM and shows the child components, even if the BOM Type does not show them.

Notice in the above image, this option dissolve the subassembly but shows the child components.

Link to Parent Configuration option for derived configuration:

Additionally, there is an option for the Part number displayed when used in a bill of materials.  Link to Parent Configuration option will set the setting same as the parent configuration name. This option is only available for derived configurations.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW When I use SOLIDWORKS® default file properties such as ‘SW-Mass’ and ‘SW-Density’ to define any dimension when using equations, why do I receive the ‘…potential circular reference…’ warning?

This is intentional behavior. SOLIDWORKS® default file properties (like ‘SW-Mass’ and ‘SW-Volume’) are driven properties. These properties update after solving the equations and rebuilding the part. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-079096

icon - SW In the SOLIDWORKS® software, after saving an imported assembly with 3D Interconnect, once dissolved, how do I avoid seeing the message ‘More than one components are saved at the same location’?
This behavior probably occurs because virtual components with the same name exist in different subassemblies. When the link with the 3D Interconnect feature is broken, SOLIDWORKS® does not permit the saving. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-079097

Icon - EPDM When I use the SOLIDWORKS® PDM 2020 or later software, why does the Windows® Application event log on the SQL Server® computer show many ‘Process ID NN was killed by hostname’ messages?
The SOLIDWORKS® PDM 2020 software introduces asynchronous loading of data when you browse between folders in the file vault view. This also happens when you view the ‘Contains’, ’Where Used’ and ‘BOM’ preview tabs, and when you load files in SOLIDWORKS® while the SOLIDWORKS PDM add-in is active.. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-079067

Is there an example showing how SOLIDWORKS® Flow Simulation estimates the operating point of an axial fan from its curve?

Yes. See the example file and image in the attachments of Solution Id: S-079106

That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller.

 

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. You can enter them below.

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy
Bishwaraj Roy
Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products. Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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Treehouse vs. Product Structure Editor for SOLIDWORKS Users https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/06/treehouse-vs-product-structure-editor-for-solidworks-users.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/06/treehouse-vs-product-structure-editor-for-solidworks-users.html#respond Thu, 10 Jun 2021 15:00:48 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28429 Written by Kai Inge Midtgård Rokstad, MSc. Business Consultant – CAD / FEA / PLM It can be challenging to adopt new tools and a new way of working, especially if you struggle to see the similarities and differences between

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TECHNIA

TECHNIA

At TECHNIA, we pave the way for your innovation, creativity and profitability. We combine industry-leading Product Lifecycle Management tools with specialist knowledge, so you can enjoy the journey from product concept to implementation.

Our experience makes it possible to keep things simple, personal and accessible so that together, we transform your vision into value. With over 30 years’ experience, more than 6000 customers worldwide and world-class knowledge in PLM & Intelligent Engineering, we work together as true partner and extension of your team to create an exceptional PLM experience.

Our team of more than 680 people work from 32 locations around the world, across vertical industries, delivering a premium service with a global infrastructure and a local presence. We adopt the latest technology and agile methodologies so, even as technology changes, our relationships last a lifetime.

Visit https://www.technia.com/ for more information.

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Written by Kai Inge Midtgård Rokstad, MSc. Business Consultant – CAD / FEA / PLM

It can be challenging to adopt new tools and a new way of working, especially if you struggle to see the similarities and differences between the way you worked in the past and the way you might work in the future. However, we hope to be able to make your life easier by comparing the core desktop products for SOLIDWORKS with the corresponding functionality of cloud-apps from 3DEXPERIENCE.

In this blog we take a closer look at the differences between the classical Treehouse tool when compared with Product Structure Editor on 3DEXPERIENCE.

The main aim for these tools is to assist the user with modification of assembly-structure. They each do this by presenting the end user with a graphical overview of the entire assembly hierarchy. Both tools are great for defining a new complex assembly, modifying an existing one, or creating a variant of a substructure. Often – though the needs and situation remain the same – there are some different ways of doing things. So, let’s get a better understanding of the main differences between the two tools.

Treehouse vs. Product Structure Editor for SOLIDWORKS users

(Image courtesy of: https://media.mehrnews.com/d/2019/07/21/4/3185382.jpg)

 

What is SOLIDWORKS Treehouse?

This desktop application was introduced with SOLIDWORKS 2015. This is a standalone application which comes with the standard license, and comes with some of the SOLIDWORKS Tools, such as RX, Task Scheduler etc. This means that all users will have this installed already. If you’re not sure, just search for, “Treehouse” in your start menu.

Below you can see the interface for the application with display on both graphical- and table-view. As we can see from the table view we can easily see the custom properties either for configuration or part specific. It is also easy to make modifications to these as needed.

Treehouse vs. Product Structure Editor for SOLIDWORKS users

Core features:

  • Visualize and rearrange Assemblies, Parts and Drawings
  • Drag existing files into the assembly with the graphical interface
  • Create Configurations and modify custom properties

Strengths:

  • Export to SOLIDWORKS Documents and Automatically Create Files
  • Modify custom properties from a table directly, or, via Excel
  • Integration possible with PDM Professional

 

What is ENOVIA Product Structure Editor?

This web-application comes with the 3D Product Architect role and is part of the ENOVIA portfolio. When starting the app, two windows will appear. One displaying the assembly-components (either in list or graphical mode), and the other one is a model-view where the up-to-date model will be shown.

The screenshots below show the general interface in both table- and graphical view. For the table view we can easily modify the information shown, and pull in information directly from the entire PLM system as needed. In addition to this we can directly perform additional operations for Collaboration, Configuration, Lifecycle and more.

In the graphical view we can also make modification to hide thumbnails and change the orientation of the hierarchy either way we would like. In the graphical mode we can perform positioning of components and other view operations like sectioning, measure, hide/show etc. The Product Structure Editor supports perform volume-queries and metadata filtering and more.

Treehouse vs. Product Structure Editor for SOLIDWORKS users

Treehouse vs. Product Structure Editor for SOLIDWORKS users

Core features:

  • Visualize the assembly hierarchy either in table or graphical view
  • Add existing files and assemblies or create new from template
  • Integrated up to date 3D-View of the Assembly

Strengths:

  • Directly perform additional PLM-operations like: Lifecycle, reservation/checkout, ownership, checkout/reservation
  • Direct placing/mating of added components
  • Mix models from various sources to build a complete Multi-CAD assembly

 

Comparison

As mentioned above, these two products both have good qualities for the same task: administering product structures. And, when comparing directly, we see that all the capabilities of Treehouse area available with Product Structure Editor.

In addition, Product Structure Editor also have quite a few additional features. Among these is the support for multi-CAD assembly, and the ability to perform PLM operations directly – to make sure the lifecycle, revision, etc., are correct.

The Treehouse tool is a separate application which integrates with SOLIDWORKS or PDM. However, Product Structure Editor is available in-browser, and can be accessed from any device – even when native CAD-tools are not installed at all.

The integrated mode view of the assembly provides great features to rearrange or place your components where they need to be, even without opening files from the native CAD-tool. Relevant components are easily identified from the graphical view, which greatly enhances the capabilities of the tool when dealing with assembly modifications.

For situations where you’re investigating or navigating, rather than modifying, the Product Structure Viewer has a familiar interface. This tool can be opened directly from the 3DEXPERIENCE tab inside of the SOLIDWORKS application.

In Our Experience…

If you’re a frequent user of SOLIDWORKS, we highly encourage you to take a look at Treehouse. The best thing is you already have it installed! As the initial use case, you’ll find the graphical view to be a great way to both communicate and discuss about complex assemblies.

But, if you’re already familiar with Treehouse and are looking for some extended capabilities, then using the Product Architect role, or 3DEXPERIENCE, should be a natural progression.

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TECHNIA
TECHNIA
At TECHNIA, we pave the way for your innovation, creativity and profitability. We combine industry-leading Product Lifecycle Management tools with specialist knowledge, so you can enjoy the journey from product concept to implementation.

Our experience makes it possible to keep things simple, personal and accessible so that together, we transform your vision into value. With over 30 years’ experience, more than 6000 customers worldwide and world-class knowledge in PLM & Intelligent Engineering, we work together as true partner and extension of your team to create an exceptional PLM experience.

Our team of more than 680 people work from 32 locations around the world, across vertical industries, delivering a premium service with a global infrastructure and a local presence. We adopt the latest technology and agile methodologies so, even as technology changes, our relationships last a lifetime.

Visit https://www.technia.com/ for more information.

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SOLIDWORKS How-To: Add Relations with Shared Sketch Endpoints https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/06/solidworks-how-to-add-relations-with-shared-sketch-endpoints.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/06/solidworks-how-to-add-relations-with-shared-sketch-endpoints.html#respond Tue, 08 Jun 2021 15:00:37 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28568 Did you know that some sketch relationships can be added simply by selecting a shared point common to 2 sketch entities? While we are all familiar with selecting 2 lines to make them perpendicular to each other or selecting a line

Author information

GSC

GSC fuels customer success with 3D engineering solutions for design, simulation, data management, electrical schematics, PCB, technical documentation, and 3D printing, as well as the most comprehensive consulting, technical support, and training in the industry. As a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS solutions, HP, and Markforged 3D printing technologies, GSC’s world-class team of dedicated professionals have helped numerous companies innovate and increase productivity by leveraging advanced technologies to drive 3D business success. Founded in 1989, GSC is headquartered in Germantown, WI. For more information about GSC, please visit www.gsc-3d.com.

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Did you know that some sketch relationships can be added simply by selecting a shared point common to 2 sketch entities? While we are all familiar with selecting 2 lines to make them perpendicular to each other or selecting a line and an arc to make them tangent, we can accomplish the same thing by simply selecting the common point shared by both entities.

Relationships Available

Just pick on a point connecting 2 sketch entities and look at the relationships available in the pop-up. While some of these are for the point itself, others will be for the elements connected at that point.

Less Clicks, More Time

It’s the small things that can add up to make a big difference. While you are “only” saving a keyboard click and mouse click, think of how many times a day you add these relations and the clicks add up fast!

Available Since 2015

And if you’re wondering, “Had this always been in the software?” the answer is no, it’s relatively recent in the history of SOLIDWORKS: this behavior was added in SOLIDWORKS 2015.

Relationship Examples

See the following examples:

And there you have it! Why don’t you consider signing up for one of our live online classes to learn even more? Just go to our class catalog, pick out your class, and I’ll see you online!


Read other blogs by John, or find more videos on our YouTube Channel including more Tips and Tricks.

About the Author

John SetzerThis blog is authored by John Setzer, GSC’s Training Product Manager. John discovered his love of teaching early in life. He worked his way through college as a youth coach, umpire, and referee before earning his bachelor’s degree in education. As Training Manager at GSC, he has been sharing his SOLIDWORKS wisdom with GSC customers ever since – over 20 years! John is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert (CSWE), a Certified SOLIDWORKS Instructor, and a Certified SOLIDWORKS Technician. As the only CSWE with a state certification in teaching, John is well-versed is teaching all types of learning styles. John is a regular contributor to the GSC blog, available at www.gsc-3d.com/blog.

Author information

GSC
GSC fuels customer success with 3D engineering solutions for design, simulation, data management, electrical schematics, PCB, technical documentation, and 3D printing, as well as the most comprehensive consulting, technical support, and training in the industry. As a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS solutions, HP, and Markforged 3D printing technologies, GSC’s world-class team of dedicated professionals have helped numerous companies innovate and increase productivity by leveraging advanced technologies to drive 3D business success. Founded in 1989, GSC is headquartered in Germantown, WI. For more information about GSC, please visit www.gsc-3d.com.

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The Magic of the Square Circle https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/05/the-magic-of-the-square-circle.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/05/the-magic-of-the-square-circle.html#respond Tue, 25 May 2021 15:00:36 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28401 In this blog we create and test a classic magic trick from my childhood – the square circle. The effect of the trick is simple and effective. The magician starts by showing the audience the outer “square” and confirms that

Author information

Loretta Stiurca

Loretta Stiurca

Loretta is a mom, a wife, and an engineer. She is a CSWE and has been using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical for more than 6 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with the puppy, playing Dungeons and Dragons, thinking up crazy inventions, learning magic tricks, juggling, making her baby girl laugh, and going on adventures.

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In this blog we create and test a classic magic trick from my childhood – the square circle. The effect of the trick is simple and effective. The magician starts by showing the audience the outer “square” and confirms that it is empty. Then they show the inner “circle” and show the same. Finally, they say the magic words and produce all kinds of outrageous objects from the previously empty cylinder.

I have fond memories of being 10 years old and performing this trick at a magic show (with my best friend, of course) for a party of 5 year old kids. I believe we originally found the instructions to make this trick in the Mark Wilson Book of Magic and I don’t think we could have been more proud of the results.  Here’s the original, for reference:

As you can tell, the trick has aged a bit, so I decided that it was time for a revamp… using SOLIDWORKS!

Let’s get started with some simple extrudes. To make life easier, I used the Thin Feature checkbox to get some thickness to my shapes without sketching an offset.

This will be our “square.” To create our “circle” we will also use an Extrude with Thin Feature checked, but to capture design intent with out dimensions we can use a trick. Usually Smart Dimension will dimension from the center of a circle to another entity, but in this case we want the measurement from the outer edge to the inside of the box. To do this, we can (1) activate Smart Dimension and select the circle, (2) hold down Shift, and (3) click on the inner edge of the box.

Now all we need to do is extrude our geometry, add a second (secret) circle concentric to the first, and then we can move on to add some fancy cutouts.

So far, very simple, right? Here’s where it gets fun. You may have noticed that my original 10-year-old self added a bunny cutout to the front. I’d like to do the same here, but slightly more complex and with less work thanks to the Autotrace feature in SOLIDWORKS Premium. First things first, we need to enable the add-in, so let’s make sure we have that checked.

Now we can open a sketch on the front face of our “square” and insert a picture we want to trace from Tools > Sketch Tools > Sketch Picture. Once the picture is inserted, relocated, and resized, we can click the right-arrow in our properties box. This takes us to Autotrace.

From here, we (1) use a selection tool to select the part of our picture we want to trace, (2) click Begin Trace, and (3) un-check Show source image to see our resulting geometry before (4) making adjustments until the image looks just right.

The final step is clicking Apply and the green checkmark. I also chose to right-click the original image and Suppress it after tracing just to clean things up a bit. Then we can just cut as we would normally, but in this case it took us 5 seconds to draw a bunny instead of 15 minutes.

Things are starting to look more magical already! The next step is to add more cutouts. The trick works best if there’s fairly good visibility through the square to the circle, so I decided to use a Fill Pattern here with stars. All we need for our fill pattern is an initial cut and a boundary drawn out in a sketch as can be seen below.

Fill Pattern allows us to select the Pattern Layout as well as the spacing within that pattern. I played with these parameters until the preview looked almost perfect. Then I specified a few stars that I wanted to leave out under Instances to Skip. These stars would have over-crowded the bunny, so I’m glad I had the option to quickly remove them. Note: another option would have been to offset the bunny design in the boundary sketch so that none of the stars would have gotten quite as close to begin with, but in this case this was a great option as well.

Gorgeous! I love how the pattern feature has so much flexibility and allows us to get so much done in so little time. Now things are reallylooking magical.

Before doing a Save Bodies and moving into my assembly, I also added a very thin extrude to line the “square” and represent the velvet inside that we need for the illusion to work. For the sake of presentation, I went ahead and extruded a table as well. Here’s what it looks like so far:

After right-clicking the Solid Bodies folder and selecting Save Bodies, I selected the option to make an assembly, opened the assembly, right-clicked my components (except for the table) in the tree, and selected to Float them before adding mates. One tip here: most of the mates I added were between primary planes (ie. the Front Plane of the cylinder mated to the Front Plane of the assembly itself. The only special mates I added were Limit Distance Mates between the bottom of the “square” and the table and also between the bottom of the “circle” and the table.

At this point, I also decided to go back and add some flair to the inner cylinder. Luckily, this is sinch – all we need to do is simply click on the part we want to edit and select to open it from the in-context toolbar that pops up.

After opening the part, I quickly sketched out the likeness of a hat on the Front Plane.

Now we can use the Wrap feature to Deboss our design onto the cylinder.

After applying a bit of paint, our design is complete!

Now we can move on an create the object we will make appear – a pear, of course! (Yes, I did that on purpose. No, I am not sorry.)

Creating the pear was simple – all I did was draw a profile, Revolve, sketch a stem and Sweep it out using a circular profile (that I didn’t have to draw), and then, for artistic effect, I used Move/Copy Bodies to add a tilt using the Rotate feature.

For the apPEARance, I actually used the default Sponge appearance and added a green color to it. I also changed the mapping under the Advanced tab so that it was more dense than a sponge. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out overall. What do you think?

Alright, now it’s time to make some MAGIC happen with an animation. We start my creating a new Motion Study and selecting the type as Animation on the left. From here, I like to make sure that Autokey is turned ON. This will allow us to click on a time in the time line and move a component to automatically create a new step in our animation.

I used the following steps to create my animation: (1) selected the part I wanted to move on the left, (2) clicked on the timeline 2 seconds after the last key, (3) moved the part, and (4) repeated the process. I moved the “circle” first, then the “square,” and lastly we can see the pear appear! (Say that 10 times fast!)

It looks great *except* the illusion doesn’t work well here. The problem is that we need velvet inside our square and outside our hidden cylinder to conceal the secret. For this, we need to use SOLIDWORKS Visualize. Not only will this make everything look super spiffy and realistic, but it is also essential because the velvet appearance doesn’t exist in SOLIDWORKS alone.

Actually, opening up Visualize Premium, I realized that velvet doesn’t exist here either by default. Luckily, there’s a GIGANTIC online database of additional appearances, scenes, etc. on MySolidworks.com. I did a simple search and found some black crushed velvet immediately (here’s the link). To add it to our library, all we need to do is click to download it and then move the file to your default location or, most likely, something like “C:\Users\<username> \Documents\SOLIDWORKS Visualize Content\Appearances\Fabric” as can be seen below.

Now that it exists in this location, it will show up in our Visualize software as well!

Ok, so back to business – we want to get our entire assembly along with the animation we just created into SOLIDWORKS Visualize. Sounds like a lot of work, right? Nope. It is never a lot of work. Here’s the trick – the SOLIDWORKS Visualize Add-in and Export Advanced. (Thank you, developers, for making everything so easy!)

The first step is making sure the SOLIDWORKS Visualize Add-in is checked on in Add-ins. Then we should be able to access it in our Command Manager and we want to click  Export Advanced. Once we do this, it will allow us to select our Motion Study for export and then recalculate it to make sure it is up-to-date before we jump into Visualize.

SOLIDWORKS Visualize automatically opens – just make sure you hit the T shortcut to show the timeline if it doesn’t show up at the bottom of your screen to begin with. So simple! Our entire animation came over automatically. Now let’s make a few tweaks before we export everything.

To add our Black Crushed Velvet appearance to our design, all we need to do is jump over to the File Libraries tab on the right and navigate the Fabric folder. From here we can drag and drop this appearance onto our table, our inner cylinder, and the velvet liner we designed for our outer box.

We don’t need to get too fancy with changing things up at this point since it looks pretty good already, but on the Scenes tab, I went ahead and also changed the Environment to High Contrast Ramp so that the white box would appear more clearly.

That’s it! We’re done. All that’s left to do is export our video. To do this, all we need to do is click on the Output Tools symbol in our heads-up toolbar.

From here, we want to select to output our Animation on the left and then we can give our file a name and tweak settings like FPS. We can also change our render settings on the second tab.

Depending on your settings and the speed of your computer, this might take a bit of time. I think it took my dinky laptop about an hour to render the whole movie – not bad considering the quality of the result! After the movie finished rendering, I went ahead and also rendered a few still beauty shots.

So… the moment of truth – check out our magical animation below:

Abracadabra! We made a pear appear! As my favorite magician Kent Cummins would say, FANTASTIC! Thank you all so much for following along. I hope you had fun and learned a few tricks along the way.

Don’t forget to comment below if you have any questions or if there’s something specific you would like to see in the next blog.

 

Author information

Loretta Stiurca
Loretta Stiurca
Loretta is a mom, a wife, and an engineer. She is a CSWE and has been using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical for more than 6 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with the puppy, playing Dungeons and Dragons, thinking up crazy inventions, learning magic tricks, juggling, making her baby girl laugh, and going on adventures.

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Spring Cleaning with SOLIDWORKS https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/05/spring-cleaning-with-solidworks.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/05/spring-cleaning-with-solidworks.html#respond Fri, 21 May 2021 15:00:06 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28499 Ok, so I may have binge watched The Home Edit on Netflix recently and taken some inspiration from it. Among other things, the clear acrylic, perfectly labeled, bins that they use to organize on this show are absolutely beautiful (and

Author information

Loretta Stiurca

Loretta Stiurca

Loretta is a mom, a wife, and an engineer. She is a CSWE and has been using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical for more than 6 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with the puppy, playing Dungeons and Dragons, thinking up crazy inventions, learning magic tricks, juggling, making her baby girl laugh, and going on adventures.

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Ok, so I may have binge watched The Home Edit on Netflix recently and taken some inspiration from it. Among other things, the clear acrylic, perfectly labeled, bins that they use to organize on this show are absolutely beautiful (and practical, too, since you can see everything inside without having to pull the bin out), but there’s one problem that comes up consistently – the size of the bins doesn’t necessarily perfectly match the size of the space they need to fit into or the objects that need to fit inside.  So, what’s the solution? Do we settle for a slightly smaller or larger bin than we need?

Never! We are engineers and we have SOLIDWORKS, so we make our own!

In this blog, we will quickly design and create some highly configurable, laser-printable, custom acrylic storage so that all of our spaces can be *perfectly* organized without any wasted space. As a bonus for any of you out there with allergies, we will also create a double tissue-box holder where one side can be used as a mini trashcan using a configuration of the same design.

Since we plan on using this design to create many different storage containers AND a tissue box, we need to make sure we design with intent. To do this, I like to start by asking the question: What will all of my designs absolutely definitely have in common? Followed quickly by: What will change? In this case, the basic shape will always be a rectangular prism, so let’s get started by sketching one of these out.

I haven’t always been a huge fan of 3D sketches, but I’ve found that the more I play with them, the more I start to really enjoy them. Plus, a rectangular prism is such a simple shape to sketch out quickly in 3D space, so let’s get started!

We can find the option to start a 3D sketch in the drop-down menu beneath our regular Sketch command.

Once we activate this option, we can start drawing. I like to start at a known, fixed point. In this case, this means we start at the origin. Another trick for drawing in 3D space is to make sure your view is normal to the “surface” you want to draw on. I started by drawing a quick rectangle on the Front Plane. You can see it below.

It looks great *except* we need to give it a bit of direction, if you will. If we click the upper line which is supposed to be horizontal, we get the option to Make Along X in the heads-up toolbar that pops up. After adding this relation, our rectangle is straightened out as it should be.

I repeated this process on the Right Plane and then changed everything to construction geometry before drawing out my actual rectangular prism. This next step was made simple because all of my dimensions were already there – I simply needed to draw more rectangular prisms and add relations between them and the already existing geometry. At this point, our basic shape is complete!

Simple, right? We’ve already started adding Intent to our design, but there’s a bit more that we can add here using Equations. For each of our dimensions, we want to go back and edit them with “=” and then either “Height” or “Width” or “Depth.” This creates global variables that can be accessed and changed later.

I also want to note that at this point I decided that these dimensions would represent the inside of my container so that I can size it to its contents. I could have easily decided to keep these dimensions as outer dimensions, but this conversion is simple enough if I want to change it later, so let’s keep moving.

The next step is to start extruding walls around our sketch. Before doing this, I used a trick to make sure that my Extrude command wouldn’t default to Merge Result; in this design, we want to create a multibody part so that we can laser cut pieces individually. By adding a Weldment feature, the box next to Merge Result defaults to being un-checked, so let’s add that quickly.

Now we can start extruding walls, making sure that the additional sketches we make use the pre-existing Global Variables we created.

Oh! I also created a variable for thickness called MatThickness (we can’t use just “thickness” since this is already used by Sheet Metal) and set it to 0.25. Here’s what our box looks like so far:

Now that we have our basic box, it is time to add some tabs and some slots that will allow us to “stick it together” after we cut it. Back in the day, I would have done this using Extrude for tabs and Cut-Extrude for slots on the corresponding body, but SOLIDWORKS developers added a tool for us that makes this incredibly simple and quick (THANK YOU). So, let’s activate the Tab and Slot command from the Sheet Metal tab in our Command Manager or from Insert > Sheet Metal > Tab and Slot.

After activating this command, we select (1) a linear tab edge, (2) a face in a direction normal to the tab face, and (3) a planar face shared by the tab edge. The first two are quite straightforward, as can be seen below, but the third face is a tiny bit tricky because we can’t see it! In order to select this face, we can right-click over the area where we know it exists and choose Select Other.

From here, we can hover over our options until the correct face is selected and highlighted in orange.

Now we can move on to additional options, including Tab Length, Thickness, etc., making sure to use our global variables in equations as much as possible since these values will be changing constantly depending on the contents of our container.

At this point, we can click the green checkmark to accept our command and take a look at the results. Looking more closely, we can see that two new features have been added to our design tree and our walls can now fit together perfectly with tabs and slots added. Fantastic!

Next step: repeat! I repeated this for all edges, but then I ran into a problem! The two edges seen below can’t be joined with the Tab and Slot feature because they don’t share a common edge of the same length. Yikes!

To solve this, I decided to use some trickery. First, I sketched a tiny little box on the Top Plane where I wanted to remove material and fully dimensioned it using only Global Variables (box has sides = MatThickness) and the Origin. Then I used a Cut-Extrude to temporarily remove the corners of the top and bottom pieces.

Next, I went ahead and added Tab and Slot features to the four (now matching) edges.

Finally, I re-used the same sketch used to remove corner material to Extrude new material in each corner. The important thing here is to make sure we check the box next to Merge Result and select the body to merge our new material with.

Problem solved! Now we can add some handles and edit our material.

For handles, I simply sketched a Slot on the Right Plane and used Cut-Extrude with Through All- Both selected as the end condition. I should also note that I made the width of the slot dependent on the Depth of the overall box. Again, building in Design Intent!

I also created a new configuration from the Configuration Manager called “No Lid, Handles” and suppressed the upper Tab and Slot features before deleting the top “lid” body using Delete Body.

Now let’s add our material. To do this, we can simply Right-click on Material in our tree and select Edit Material. Then we can type “Acrylic” in the search bar, select our material from the list, and click on Apply.

This adds all of our material properties to our part so that we can calculate mass and it also adds the appropriate appearance! Beautiful.

Now, all we need to do is make the dimensions super easy to change and we’re in business. There are so many different ways of doing this (another good option is a Design Table, for example), but today I decided I wanted to be able to use the Custom Property Tab Builder to change dimensions on the fly – just for fun and a bit of challenge.

To do this, we want to do the following:

  1. Add Custom Properties to the file.
  2. Modify our Equations so that these properties define our Global Variables.
  3. Create a custom Property Tab Builder file that allows us to capture (and change) these values.

First, let’s go to File > Custom Properties and add the relevant variables.

Super simple! (Note: Make sure you are on the Custom tab for this one and not Configuration Specific). Now we can right-click Equations in our FeatureManager Design Tree and select Manage. From here we want to select and clear the Value/Equation next to each variable and then click to select File Properties > [the corresponding file property from the list].

After repeating this for all of our Global Variables, we are ready to move on to the last step – building a custom Property Tab Builder configuration.

We can access the Property Tab Builder from the Custom Properties tab in our Task Manager (on the right) or from Start > All Programs > SOLIDWORKS > SOLIDWORKS Tools > Property Tab Builder 20XX.

Since we don’t have another configuration file, let’s click Create Now from the Task Manager tab (first method). This opens our (free) utility and we can start building a configuration!

To start, we can select the default Groupbox control from the middle column and change the caption to read “Inner Dimensions.”

Then we want to drag a few of the Textbox items from the left column into the Groupbox we just re-captioned. For each of these, we want to change the Caption and the Name to match the Custom Properties we created and then enter a Value. We also want to make sure that Configurations is set to ALL.

Finally, we can Save and close and go back to our part. Now, we play! Here we can see our highly configurable storage box in action:

Awesome! Now we can store ANYTHING!

But wait, one last step! We need to create a dxf to send to our laser cutter. To do this, let’s quickly select Create Drawing from Part (under File). For Sheet Properties, we want to select to make this a Custom Size (about 20” x 40” should be more than enough space for this design) and we want to make sure the Scale is set to 1:1 before selecting Apply Changes.

Now we can drag all of our orthogonal views onto our sheet from the View Palette, and lastly, we can select each view and choose Select Bodies… to select only the corresponding body for each view.

Now, all that’s left is to do a quick File > Save As… and select the type .dxf from the drop-down menu before sending this off to the printer!

We’re done! Here’s what the final product will look like once it is assembled.

 

… and, to demonstrate the power of Design Intent, here’s what a slightly modified version looks like that was designed to hold tissues:

It’s perfect! Now the only thing left to do is GO CRAZY organizing my pantry, my fridge, and my closet.

Thanks for following along! If you liked this tutorial or if you have any questions or even if you would like to see something different in the next blog, please feel free to comment below and share with friends and family. See y’all at the end of spring!

Author information

Loretta Stiurca
Loretta Stiurca
Loretta is a mom, a wife, and an engineer. She is a CSWE and has been using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical for more than 6 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with the puppy, playing Dungeons and Dragons, thinking up crazy inventions, learning magic tricks, juggling, making her baby girl laugh, and going on adventures.

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Building Up Your 2D Layout Library in SOLIDWORKS Electrical – Part 2 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/05/building-up-your-2d-layout-library-in-solidworks-electrical-part-2.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/05/building-up-your-2d-layout-library-in-solidworks-electrical-part-2.html#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 15:00:02 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28405 You’ve begun working with the 2D cabinet layout feature in SOLIDWORKS Electrical. Now you wonder, “Where do I get the part graphics to place in my 2D layout?” The first place to look is the SOLIDWORKS Electrical content portal. On any

Author information

GSC

GSC fuels customer success with 3D engineering solutions for design, simulation, data management, electrical schematics, PCB, technical documentation, and 3D printing, as well as the most comprehensive consulting, technical support, and training in the industry. As a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS solutions, HP, and Markforged 3D printing technologies, GSC’s world-class team of dedicated professionals have helped numerous companies innovate and increase productivity by leveraging advanced technologies to drive 3D business success. Founded in 1989, GSC is headquartered in Germantown, WI. For more information about GSC, please visit www.gsc-3d.com.

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You’ve begun working with the 2D cabinet layout feature in SOLIDWORKS Electrical. Now you wonder, “Where do I get the part graphics to place in my 2D layout?”

The first place to look is the SOLIDWORKS Electrical content portal. On any given day, there are millions of parts available in the electrical content portal, many with 2D symbol representations.

The site has expanded capabilities as well, allowing you to search for an individual part or series, displaying the results of downloadable part information, symbols, and 2D representations. And, you can browse the portal by a manufacturer to download the entire series. The available content covers most of the bases to get you going and save loads of time over creating from scratch. But there are ALWAYS some unique needs, and a few million is scratching the surface of how many parts are actually out there.

So, let’s say you’re in need of a laser beam that just so happens to attach to a shark’s head and (shocker) you can’t find it in the content portal. Luckily, there are a number of other ways you can go about creating those 2D layout symbols for your library!

A professor in college once told my class that engineers are by nature lazy, spending weeks, months, and years automating or simplifying a task (especially brainless tasks) that may take seconds or minutes to accomplish otherwise! For me, CAD drawing is one such area. When it comes to drawing with DraftSight, I have two left hands, all thumbs, and NO patience. ANY methods developed to save time down the road are well worth it to cut down on my time spent generating lines and splines.

So, here are my top 3 methods for quickly and easily adding 2D symbols to your library!

1. You can get help from one of your fellow draft gurus in-house to draw new part geometry using SOLIDWORKS Electrical. One helpful trick is to insert and scale a bitmap of the part you are creating, and reproduce the part lines by tracing over the image! This is especially useful for simpler parts to get the job done quickly.

2. If you have the part available from a previous package, you can export, open, and edit the symbol using SWE or Draftsight. When finished in Draftsight, save, import the .DWG into SOLIDWORKS Electrical to finish the symbol.

Draftsight may provide a more familiar feel, and the expanded set of drawing tools will cut some of the time out of developing your symbols.

3. My favorite method as of late is to find and import the part graphics by downloading manufacturer .DWG or converting .PDF files. In the case of a PDF manufacturer sheet, there are a host of converter tools to put the sheet content into DWG form! Keep in mind, the higher quality the source material, the higher quality the resulting imported drawings will be.

 

Once converted, you can trim out the extraneous content and scale to size in Draftsight before importing as a .DWG, as described above, to finalize adding to your library.

One last suggestion, read here if you’re interested in controlling the Wipeout Frames that SWE introduces into your 2D Cabinet layout drawings! You can add a wipeout to the symbol in your library to generate a unique shape, rather than the rectangle that SWE adds by default.  Finally, you’re ready to finalize symbol properties and begin using your symbol in your designs!


Contact Us

Did you like this list? There’s more where this comes from. Find other blogs covering SOLIDWORKS Electrical by Evan or more on our YouTube Tech Tip videos.

Have a question? We’re always available to talk over the phone, for you to leave a message, or for you to submit a request – just contact us.

About the Author

GSC’s Evan Stanek has over 10 years of experience as an Electrical Applications Engineer. Prior to GSC, he worked as an engineer in the broadcasting field designing panel layouts and schematics / installations for transmitter control systems, as well as network and control layouts for radio studios. Evan is a certified SOLIDWORKS Electrical Trainer and Electrical Applications Engineer (CSWE).

 

 

 

Author information

GSC
GSC fuels customer success with 3D engineering solutions for design, simulation, data management, electrical schematics, PCB, technical documentation, and 3D printing, as well as the most comprehensive consulting, technical support, and training in the industry. As a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS solutions, HP, and Markforged 3D printing technologies, GSC’s world-class team of dedicated professionals have helped numerous companies innovate and increase productivity by leveraging advanced technologies to drive 3D business success. Founded in 1989, GSC is headquartered in Germantown, WI. For more information about GSC, please visit www.gsc-3d.com.

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SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – May 2021 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/05/solidworks-support-monthly-news-may-2021.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/05/solidworks-support-monthly-news-may-2021.html#respond Tue, 11 May 2021 10:45:58 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28441 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. Displacement Mapping in Visualize 2021 By Richie More SOLIDWORKS Visualize facilitates

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy

Bishwaraj Roy

Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products.
Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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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.

Displacement Mapping in Visualize 2021

By Richie More

SOLIDWORKS Visualize facilitates addition of bump textures to appearances, enabling users to create realistic component visualization for the renders.

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2021 is the ability to add and control displacement of the bump textures to have even more realistic renders. Also, Displacement density can be controlled to create a complicated component surface within Visualize interface, without a need to create the same in CAD Environment.

Procedure to create Displacement Bump Maps.

Step 1– Open any project in Visualize 2021. Create primitives such as sphere, cube, etc.

Step 2-Navigate to Appearance > (Add any appearance over the Primitives)

Step 3-Edit the applied appearance, Texture > Bump. Add a bump as required.

Step 4- In the Texture Tab, Select the Bump > Modify the Type to Displacement.

Step 5- Select the Target Geometry in viewport over which appearance is already applied. In Texture Mapping tab, Add Displacement Density value > Apply to Geometry.

Notice that the Texture Displacement is mapped over the selected geometry.

Additional texture controls such as Invert texture, Depth, Tile, Rotation, etc. can be used to obtain a varied Displacement Output.

How to reset to the preferred column set for a user in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2021

By Tor Iveroth

In SOLIDWORKS PDM 2021, you can centrally administer column sets for many operations in a file vault.

A column set that you define as a ‘Preferred’ column set will become active the first time a user accesses the vault. After that, once the user logs in and is assigned the preferred column set, the active column set settings are stored in the user’s ‘HKEY_Current_User’ registry hive.

The registry store changes made by the user in the active column set, such as modifying the position or sizes of the columns displayed.  The registry also tracks which column set is active for each operation type.

There is currently no option to force a particular column set to reset back to an administrator defined column set once the registry value is created for the user. Please refer to enhancement SPR 1187104 for this functionality.

The following example shows how a preferred column set for ‘Contains’ works.

  1. You create a new column set for Contains and set it as the preferred column set to a user group.

 

2. When user accesses the vault for the first time, the preferred column set is used.

3. The active column set will be stored in the user’s registry under:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\RefDlg\ContainsDlg

4. The column set information is stored per vault and user.

5. From now on, the selected column set and the local user modifications are retained in this registry key.  If a different column set for the same operation type is set as preferred, it will not override the previously used column set for the user.

If you wish to reset to the preferred column set, or clear the user modifications back to their defaults, do as follows:

  1. Exit SOLIDWORKS PDM from the tray icon.

2. Open the registry editor and delete the following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\RefDlg\ContainsDlg

3. When the user browse into the vault view again, the preferred column set is used and set as active.

The different column set types will store the column details in a similar structure per vault and user, but under different registry sections.

<registry_path>\<vaultname>\<username>\<column_set_ID>

To reset the user back to the default (or preferred) column set, follow the steps outlined above and delete the “<username>” hive under appropriate registry key based on this table. Alternatively, delete the whole “<registry_path>” hive to reset column sets for all vaults and users on the system.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW Why does interference detection in the SOLIDWORKS® 2021 SP1 – SP3 software take longer than SOLIDWORKS 2020 depending on the model?

A general hotfix is available for this critical issue in the SOLIDWORKS® 2021 SP3.  To resolve this issue, download and run the hotfix file attached to Solution ID: S-079075

icon - SW Why does RealView not work on a workstation with the NVIDIA® ‘T’ or ‘RTX®’ series graphics cards?
NVIDIA® has released a number of new graphics cards, which no longer uses the Quadro® brand for these cards. This change means that the naming convention for the drivers prevents RealView from working with those cards To get more information, see Solution Id: S-079120

Icon - EPDM When a SOLIDWORKS® PDM task host or Web2 IIS server runs on VMware®, why does SLDWORKS.exe not close, PDM tasks hang ‘In Process’, and Web2 eDrawings® previews continuously show ‘File conversion in progress’?
The following problems can occur on VMware® Workstation and on VMware ESXi™ with certain versions of the ‘VMware SVGA 3D’ display adapter driver. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-079071

In a SOLIDWORKS® Simulation 2D ‘Axisymmetric’ simplification study, what are the considerations when defining loads or fixtures on edges or vertices that are coincident with the axis of symmetry?

To define a 2D ‘Axisymmetric’ simplification study, you must select an axis of symmetry. The software applies an inherent boundary condition to this axis to enforce axisymmetry. For more information, see Solution ID: S-078968

That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller.

 

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. You can enter them below.

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy
Bishwaraj Roy
Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products. Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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Instances to Vary Option in Pattern Feature https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/05/instances-to-vary-option-in-pattern-feature.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/05/instances-to-vary-option-in-pattern-feature.html#respond Mon, 10 May 2021 15:00:14 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28309 Did you use the ‘Instance to Vary’ option in a pattern feature before? It is a useful option to help you change the dimensions and locations of instances in linear or circular pattern. Let’s look at this option in details. Part 1: Direction

Author information

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

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Did you use the ‘Instance to Vary’ option in a pattern feature before?

It is a useful option to help you change the dimensions and locations of instances in linear or circular pattern.

Let’s look at this option in details.

Part 1: Direction 1 Increments

This part controls the spacing of instances. It can increase and decrease spacing of instances cumulatively. In this box, you can keep value at zero, input positive or negative value.

If the value is 0, the pattern will keep in equal spacing (35mm of Direction 1).

If you input positive value, the spacing of instances increase cumulatively (e.g. Input 5mm: 35, 40, 45, 50 mm).

If you input negative value, the spacing of instances decrease cumulatively (e.g. Input-5mm: 35, 30, 25, 20mm).

Part 2: Choose Feature dimensions to vary in Direction 1

This part controls dimensions of instances. It can increase and decrease dimensions of instances cumulatively. First, you need to select the smart dimensions which was added in sketch of bear before. Then, you can input increment value (e.g. -1mm, -0.7mm). The radius of bear face and ear will decrease cumulatively (e.g. 14, 13mm… and 4.3, 3.6mm…)

Part 3: Modified instances

This part can choose individual instance to change its dimension and position. This instance will not be affected by setting in part 1 and 2. First, left click on the purple instance modifier, choose ‘Modify Instance’. A box will pop out and then you can change the dimension and position of instance (e.g. 12-> 18mm, 2.9->6mm). Afterward, check the modified instances box to make sure modify setting is added. Finally, click ok and you can see the changes.

This option is very helpful for the one who wants to vary instances cumulatively.  Don’t forget that circular pattern also has this option. Let’s try to use this option to make interesting pattern!

Written by Sandy Kwok, Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Author information

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.
Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.
Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

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Backup and Restore PDM https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/05/backup-and-restore-pdm.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/05/backup-and-restore-pdm.html#respond Thu, 06 May 2021 15:00:48 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28356 Backups are never something anyone wants to have to resort to but are a critical necessity for all companies to reduce data loss should certain issues arise.  No matter if the need is due to someone permanently deleting/destroying a file,

Author information

TMS CADCentre

TMS CADCentre is a SOLIDWORKS Reseller based in Scotland providing CAD Design Software, analysis software & product data management software. Founded in 1981, TMS CADCentre is the only UK SOLIDWORKS Reseller based and funded within Scotland and have been providing SOLIDWORKS software, training and support since 1996 when the product was first launched in the UK.

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Backups are never something anyone wants to have to resort to but are a critical necessity for all companies to reduce data loss should certain issues arise.  No matter if the need is due to someone permanently deleting/destroying a file, hard drives failing, flooding, viruses, or just that you want to move all your data to a new server, a working backup is key to keep things running smoothly for any company.

Do you need to back up a PDM Vault?

Everyone who uses SOLIDWORKS PDM (Standard or Professional) still needs to make sure their vault and all its data are backed up regularly. The PDM System does allow users to revert to previous versions or revisions but this is not the same as a regular backup often carried out by your IT.

There are two main ways that a PDM Vault can be backed up.

  1. Backing up the Individual components of PDM separately (manually or scheduled) to allow you to fully restore PDM without the need to restore the full server.
  2. Backing up the entire server in general. This is most common with Virtual Machines, where ‘snapshots’ can be created to quickly revert the entire server to any previous backup.

There are also other methods such as how a full Server Backup may allow you to recover specific components as required, but these often do not always allow you to just restore the required SQL Databases or Archive Settings correctly.

What needs to be backed up?

In the remainder of this blog, I will take you through the process of manually backing up the four components required to fully restore a PDM vault.

 

Component 1 and 2

The first two components are the Databases used by the vault/s. If you open “SQL Server Management Studio” and log into your SQL Server/Instance you should see a database for each vault on your machine and a single “ConisioMasterDB” database, each of which will need to be backed up.

These databases contain all the information related to username, passwords, file names, file metadata, file references, vault setup, etc. However, they do not contain any files themselves.

If you prefer to back these up manually, you can right-click the database in question selecting Tasks > Backup, where you can select options such as your backup location.

This method is great however it does not allow for a regular backup cycle to be created. If you have SQL Standard or Enterprise (not Express) then there are built-in tools inside SQL Server Management Studio that you can use to create your backup cycles. If you have SQL Express, there are various 3rd party software tools available to automate this process for you such as a piece of software called “ExpressMaint” which we have used for some of our customers in the past.

If you would like any additional information on this tool, please just let us know.

Note – this tool is not developed or maintained by TMS.

 

Component 3

The next component that will need to be backup up is the PDM Archive, which contains the raw files and all the different version/revisions themselves so this is the section which can get very large depending on the file size of your vault.

The default location of the Archive is on the C Drive of the Server where there will be a Windows folder with your vault name, inside which will be a set of folders with Hexadecimal names such as the below image. If you have multiple vaults, you will also have multiple Archives each of which will need backed up.

Since the location of this Archive could be located elsewhere or even on a second drive you can check the location of the Archive in the Windows Registry under the following location.

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\ArchiveServer\Vaults\Craigs Vault\ArchiveTable Note – “Craigs Vault” should be replaced with the name of your vault.

If you wish to back this up manually you can just copy and paste this archive folder to your backup location, although you may want to automate this solution. Many tools are available to do this with one of the more common tools used by our customers being “RoboCopy” along with the Windows Task Scheduler.

Note – RoboCopy is not developed or maintained by TMS

 

Component 4

The final component that you will need to backup is the PDM Archive Settings which controls some of the higher vault permissions, notes important server names and locations for various registry keys and controls and monitors the related PDM Services on the machine amongst other things.

This is backed up using a programme called “Archive Server Configuration” which is installed as part of SOLIDWORKS PDM. Where you can select Tools > Backup Settings, to both take manual backups and set scheduled backups.

Inside the Backup Settings, you will start by having the option to backup individual vault or all vaults. I would recommend including all vaults unless you do not want to backup any test vaults you may have. You can also select a backup location and schedule here, so there is no need for extra software to schedule these backups. There is also an option to password protect this backup so nobody can fully restore your vault backup without this. You can leave this password field blank if you want, but if you do set a password, please do not forget this is you will be unable to restore your backup without it, rendering the backups useless.

Clicking “Launch Backup” will take a backup there and then with the “ok” button starting the schedule assuming you have one set at the schedule option selected.

Summary

With your databases, archive (multiple if more than one vault) and archive settings backed up you will be able to fully recover your vault if required or use these backups to move everything to a new server.

Testing the Backup

It is recommended that you check your backups by testing them every so often to not only double-check that you are backing up the correct components but also to make sure the backups work and that you are familiar with the process of recovery.

If you plan on testing the backups on a spare/test server (such as a new VM), there are a few extra steps you will need to carry out during recovery including installation of the PDM software and telling both SQL and the Windows Registry the name of the new server once the backups have been restored. You do not need to carry out these extra steps if you are recovering the vault on the original server.

If you have any question or require any assistance testing your backups, please just let us know.

Conclusion and Other Info

In conclusion, we cannot recommend highly enough that customers are taking regular backups to ensure that any data loss is minimised should any issues arise.

Users can also take their own local backups of SOLIDWORKS files while they continue to work by enabling both the backup and recovery options inside their SOLIDWORKS System Settings.  This can be really handy if SOLIDWORKS ever crashes, or their laptop runs out of battery.

It is also recommended that PDM users “check-in” their PDM files regularly so that that they can be included in the regular IT Server/PDM backups and a copy is also on the server should there be any issues with a user’s machine.

Some additional information on both backup and Recovery can be found on page 125-132 at the below link.

INSTALLATION GUIDE SOLIDWORKS PDM 2021/SOLIDWORKS Manage 2021

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Craig Girvan is an Applications Engineer at TMS CADCentre, a SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller in Scotland.

You can read more from Craig on the TMS CADCentre blog

Author information

TMS CADCentre
TMS CADCentre is a SOLIDWORKS Reseller based in Scotland providing CAD Design Software, analysis software & product data management software. Founded in 1981, TMS CADCentre is the only UK SOLIDWORKS Reseller based and funded within Scotland and have been providing SOLIDWORKS software, training and support since 1996 when the product was first launched in the UK.

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Measuring Spoons – Tutorial https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/measuring-spoons-tutorial.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/measuring-spoons-tutorial.html#respond Fri, 30 Apr 2021 15:00:19 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28346 For this SOLIDWORKS tutorial learn how to create a set of measuring spoons. In this tutorial see how the mass properties tool can be used to show the volume of the spoons.

Author information

Jade Crompton

I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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The spoons in this tutorial have been designed to the milliliter measurements but are also represented in tablespoon and teaspoons. You will also see how the outward shell tool and sketch text tool was utilized for the spoons scoop and how the measurement details were added to the spoon handles.

The most important step in creating the spoons was to figure out the radii needed to create the correct volume for the spoons scoop. In the tutorial the spoon radii is rounded up to 3 decimal places to save time, but as mentioned in the tutorial, you can input the exact radii to get the exact volumes. Below you can see how the radii was calculated to create the exact volumes, you could apply this formula to create any spoon or cup sizes you want.

Calculations for spoon scoop Radii

You can work out the radii yourself from a given volume.

The formula for this is V= 4/3 π r³.

I like to work out the radius from a sphere, so I just double the volume of the spoon for the working out.

You start by dividing the known volume by 4.19, I get this number from the formula which is 4/3 x Pi and rounding it to the nearest 100.

Then using 4.19, find the cube root of volume divided by 4.19, which should give you the radius of both the sphere and hemisphere.

 

Below are the exact radii for each spoon if you wish to get the exact volumes.

1TBS = 15ml =      19.275732104070492331046758976931r    or 19.27573210 =     15000 cubic milliliters

½ TBS = 7.5ml =   15.299158709729347301503352793848r    or  15.29915871 =    7500 cubic milliliters

1tsp = 2.5ml =       13.365046175719757785412097349579r    or   13.36504618 =    5000 cubic milliliters

1/2 tsp = 2.5ml =   10.607844179470552438696378719751r    or   10.60784418 =    2500 cubic milliliters

1/4tsp = 1.25ml =   8.4194515048031483637742857047463r   or  8.41945150 =       1250 cubic milliliters

Once the spoons volume was created using the revolve tool and checked with mass properties, the shell tool was used to create the outer scoop of the spoon. By selecting the top face of the revolve and the shell feature, the thickness of the shell was chosen, but shell outward is selected, this causes the walls to shell outward by the desired thickness, with the inner mass disappearing to leave a spoon scoop to the volume created.

 

Another feature of the tutorial is the use of the text tool to apply the measurements of each spoon. Guide sketches were created before the sketch was added so that it could be applied to an exact spot on the handle, the font could then be edited by font type, font style and the font size. Once the first spoon was finished, the part was saved but kept open. It was then used to create the other 4 spoons by rolling back features and editing the sketch of the spoons radius, then double checking the new volume. The handle length was increased so that each spoon sits into each other with the ring hole lined up. And finally, the text was edited to represent the spoon size. Each spoon was then saved with a new name, this method can save you so much time when created similar shaped parts.

When the parts are all complete, the spoons are mated onto the ring concentric in an assembly ready to create an exploded view. In the exploded view, the temporary axis of the spoons handle holes and metal ring were used to define the axis of rotation for the spoons, to ensure that they rotated on the ring and not from there own centre axis. The exploded view could then be brought into a motion study, using animation and the exploded view I edited the keys of the exploded view to speed up the movements of the spoons and then exported the motion study to SOLIDWORKS Visualize.

The exploded view was used to create the final animation seen at the end of the tutorial.

 

Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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A Simple Way to Create a Cat Mask https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/a-simple-way-to-create-cat-mask.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/a-simple-way-to-create-cat-mask.html#respond Tue, 27 Apr 2021 15:00:06 +0000 http://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28108 In this blog, I would like to use Solidworks to create a simple cat mask of A Whisker Away. This blog will be divided by two parts. Shape of cat mask Details on cat mask Shape of cat mask  First,

Author information

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

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In this blog, I would like to use Solidworks to create a simple cat mask of A Whisker Away. This blog will be divided by two parts.

  1. Shape of cat mask
  2. Details on cat mask
  3. Shape of cat mask 

First, use sketch picture to place the front view and side view on front plane and right plane respectively. Then, open new sketches on front and right plane and draw the outline of mask.

Use surface tool-“Boundary Surface” to create a surface between sketches. You may add “Normal to profile” on start and end constraints.

You may need to adjust the shape of cat mask. You can use trim surface tool in surface tab. For example, you want to adjust the side view of mask. You can open a new sketch on right plane and use spline tool to indicate positions need to trim. Then, use trim surface tool .

(Type: standard, trim tool: sketch, Remove selections> select the surface to remove).

Use “Thicken” feature to add thickness to the surface. Then, use fillet to smooth out the edge of mask.

Then, you can start to make the ear of mask. First, open a new sketch on front plane and draw the outline of ear. Then, use extrude boss to extrude the sketch. Then, use move body to move the ear to suitable position and use combine feature to combine the face and ear to one solid body. Finally, add fillets and use delete face tool to smooth out the transition

between the ear and face.

 

  1. Details on cat mask

First, open a new sketch on the front plane and draw the outline of eye and use extrude cut to cut eye shape.

There are two ways to make other details on mask. You can use split line feature to project the sketch on the face of mask. The face of mask will be split so you can apply different appearances on the face.

The second method is to use projected curve feature to project the sketch on the face of mask.  The sketch on mask will be used as a path for sweep feature. Then, use sweep feature to make the details into 3D. Repeat same steps for cat ears. Finally, use mirror feature (Remember to use Body to mirror tab) to get whole cat mask. The cat mask is finished.

Written by Sandy Kwok, Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Author information

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.
Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.
Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

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3D Printed Silver Earrings Tutorial https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/3d-printed-silver-earrings-tutorial.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/3d-printed-silver-earrings-tutorial.html#respond Fri, 23 Apr 2021 15:00:49 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28332 For this SOLIDWORKS tutorial, see how you can create a set of feather earrings to be 3d printed using a sketch picture. To follow this tutorial and create the design, you will need to download the feather PNG. files, and earring back part from the blog.

Author information

Jade Crompton

I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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In this tutorial I demonstrate how you can use a single sketch picture to trace over and create the feather earring design. The earrings created for the tutorial have been 3d printed in wax, a mold is created from the wax print, the wax is then melted out of the mold so that molten silver can be poured in to fill the cavities left by the wax. The earring backs were bought separately as they have rubber inserts to help it stay onto the earring stem. If you want to 3d print these earrings too, make sure you check all the 3d printed material guidelines before you design them, as you may need to thicken or enlarge your model to account for print tolerances.

Download these files here to follow the tutorial.

The PNG image I created for the earrings has been drawn in a vector software, and the lines have been colored differently for each feature. The PNG file was brought in as a sketch picture, the image transparency was changed to from file so that the background of the image disappeared. This can make it easier to see where it is being placed. The image was centered and resized onto the earring stem, one tip I would give is to always untick enable scale tool when you resize a shape, as it becomes part of the model, so when you change your views the SOLIDWORKS window zooms out to account for this. Once the image is in place the sketch was closed.

The next part to do, was start tracing over the outer shape of the leaf, to do this the spline tool was used, this is easiest to do in sections, and some parts had to be tweaked. but once the whole shape was created, tangent relations were added between joint spline to ensure the sketch was smooth. Its important when tracing that you try not to add too many spline points as this can make the fillets harder to do, or not work at all. The tracing of the shape does not need to be perfect.

The sketch picture was also used to create the inner feather details using a cut extrude. and then the feather stem which was extruded. It is important when creating the traced sketches that each shape for the feather detail cut-outs become shaded, but also that the sketches are smooth, so if drawn out in separate splines or lines, you should add tangent relations before applying the cut extrude.

All bodies were kept separate so that fillets could be applied individually. The combine tool was used to combine all the earring solid bodies into one and a final fillet was applied between the earring stem and feather back, strengthening the join.

The earring back part was inserted into the part and mated into place using move/copy bodies and the constraints tool. The constraints tool allows you to mate parts into place as you would in an assembly. A concentric mate was applied to center the earring back onto the stem, while a coincident mate was used with a specified distance to add space between the earring back and the feather.

With the complete left earring part finished, mirror part was used to create the right earring. The best thing about mirroring a part is the automatic updates of the models, If any changes are made to the original left earring, the changes apply to the right earring part too. Another option for the right earring was to create a slightly different shaped feather earring, which is why there is a right feather earring PNG. file is included in the downloads of this blog. Because the earrings were being 3D printed, I decided to use that opportunity to have two different feather earrings which you can see in the below rendering. The earring is still a feather and they still ‘match’ in style and size, but the design is different. If you wanted to, you could just mirror the earring, create the slightly different earring from the other PNG. file, or create a different earring altogether.

As mentioned in the tutorial, the earring back is available to download, and is inserted into the part, but only for visual reasons and for creating renderings. The earring back were bought separately as they come with a silicone back which helps them to grip onto the earring stem. 3D printing the earring backs could come with a host of issues due to 3D printing tolerances, plus when prints are polished parts may not fit the way you want them to. The earring backs I ordered are for a 0.8mm earring stem. You must ensure that you suppress the earring back when saving the part as an STL. file for 3D printing.

Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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Create Your Own Flexible Component (Part 3) : Advance Flexible Component https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/create-your-own-flexible-component-part-3-advance-flexible-component.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/create-your-own-flexible-component-part-3-advance-flexible-component.html#respond Tue, 20 Apr 2021 15:00:13 +0000 http://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28096 [A New Balloon Air Pump Design]   Welcome to The Last Chapter! This is Part3 of Flexible component, for those who seeing this blog for the first time, you can go to the “Part1 – Introduction of Flexible Component” and “Part2 –

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Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

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[A New Balloon Air Pump Design]

 

Welcome to The Last Chapter! This is Part3 of Flexible component, for those who seeing this blog for the first time, you can go to the “Part1 – Introduction of Flexible Component” and “Part2 – Basic Flexible Component” for better understanding.

This time our goal is to create a flexible balloon which is a little bit complicate then the spring part, it needs to use some tips and tricks on the sketches to achieve. But no worry, we will go through the details in steps. Before we start, let’s see the full version of the air pump assembly in sketch with those two flexible parts (spring & balloon)!

 

Step 1 For Flexible Balloon (Ref. Plane)

The most important thing is to setup the reference top plane (Ref TOP P) for external reference in assembly. I use the bottom of the handlebar as the reference point because I want to create a situation that while pushing down the handlebar, the balloon will become bigger.

 

Step 2 For Flexible Balloon (Guide Line)

(this design is just my idea, it can be any style you can think of)

 

Step 2 is to setup the “orange guide line” for the moveable range of the balloon sketch, and it is related to the moveable range of the handle bar. To achieve this situation, we can simply create reference line “A” & “B” for finding the intersection point “C”, then we can move to next step to continue.

Step 3 For Flexible Balloon (Balloon Sketch)

Based on step 2, we create a construction line that coincident with point “a”, “b” and “c”. Then, for the balloon sketch, create arc line “d” and “e” which are not fully defined, and make the joint coincident with the point “c”. The reason is to simulate when pushing down the handle bar, the balloon sketch will move simultaneously along with the “guide line”.

         Below is my entity sketch and movement relation for your reference:

 

Step 4 For Flexible Balloon (Part Feature)

I would like to use 3 steps to create the balloon body as shown on above. When the balloon part is finished, you need to add it into the assembly with correct position.

Step 5 For Flexible Balloon (External Reference)

Now we can setup the external reference for the Balloon Ref TOP P. Again, the external reference also will be the handlebar bottom surface, just like the spring setting.

Step 5 For Flexible Spring (Make Part Flexible)

Last step, apply “Make Part Flexible” feature to your balloon part. Inside the make part flexible feature, select the handlebar bottom surface as the flexible references. And you should be able to make the balloon become flexible.

Written by Roy Fu, Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd

Author information

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.
Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.
Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

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SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – April 2021 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/solidworks-support-monthly-news-april-2021.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/solidworks-support-monthly-news-april-2021.html#respond Wed, 14 Apr 2021 05:44:04 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28280 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. Draco Compression for glTF and glB Exporter in Visualize 2021 By

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy

Bishwaraj Roy

Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products.
Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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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.

Draco Compression for glTF and glB Exporter in Visualize 2021

By Richie More

SOLIDWORKS Visualize facilitates export of complete project into glTF (Graphics Language Transmission Format) and glB (Binary variant) formats.

These files are either self-contained or refer to external assets which represent 3D geometry, appearances, scenes, and animations. glTF / glB files are mostly used in AR/VR applications, native web applications such as displaying a 3D model on Website or attaching them to Microsoft Documents (Word / Power Point) for 3D Visualization.

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2021 is the ability to export Visualize projects as Draco-glTF and Draco-glB. Draco Extension results in smaller (compressed) file size, thus results in small downloads and fast transfer of 3D data when used in AR/VR applications, or Web Applications.

A. Procedure to Export Draco Files.

Step 1– Open any project in Visualize 2021.

Step 2- Navigate to file > Export > Export Project.

Step 3- From the drop down list, Select appropriate Draco format.

B. GLTF/GLB vs Draco GLTF/ Draco GLB

As Draco extension extremely compresses the files, let us check the compression level with memory stats for the files exported.

As we can clearly observe, Draco extension highly compresses the exported files.

Visualize Project used – C:\Users\<username>\Documents\SOLIDWORKS Visualize Content\Projects \ Camaro.svpj

How to avoid caching all assembly files when you open or preview PDF files with attached user defined references in SOLIDWORKS PDM. 

By Tor Iveroth

In order for an application to open a file from a SOLIDWORKS PDM file vault view, that file has to first become cached to the local disk. Caching a file refers to the automated process that copy the file from the archive server to the local file vault view folder on the client. Once the file is cached, the application will open the file.

This cache procedure normally happens when you need access to the physical file, for example, when you preview or open the file.

If the file has references to other files in the file vault, those references are cached at the same time. This ensures that all related files are available for the application to load them. For example, in order to open an assembly, the subassemblies and parts must be accessible.

If you create a user defined reference relationship between a PDF (and any other non-CAD file type) to a drawing or an assembly, then by default, when you preview or open that PDF all the file references will cache.  The following example illustrates this:

  1. A PDF file has a user-defined reference to an assembly.

2. Run the ‘Clear local cache’ command on the folder so that the physical PDF and its referenced CAD files are not available in the local vault view.

3. Double click the PDF to open the file. This will automatically cache the PDF file and the referenced assembly with child components.

4. The same automatic reference cache happens by default when you preview the PDF file.

This means that opening a PDF file can take some time, as there are potentially hundreds of referenced files cached to the client at the same time.

As a PDF by itself often do not need the referenced CAD files in order to open in a PDF application or to preview, you can control how the referenced files should automatically cache when accessing the PDF.

To access these settings, log into the SOLIDWORKS PDM administration tool and expand the ‘File Types’ node. Right click on the ‘PDF extension and select ‘Properties’.

  • Enable ‘Preview does not need referenced files’ to stop the automatic reference cache from happening when you preview the pdf file.

  • Enable ‘View file command does not need referenced files’ to stop the automatic reference cache from happening when you used the ‘View’ command on a PDF file via the action menu, history dialog, context menu or in a notification link.

  • Enable ‘Open file command does not need referenced files’ to stop the automatic reference cache from happening when you open a PDF file from the vault view via right click ‘Open’ or double click.

To manually cache the referenced files when you have enabled these options, use the ‘Get Version’ or ‘Get Latest Version’ command.

These examples show how you configure the reference cache options for the PDF file type. You can use same options on any other file types that have referenced files in the file vault.

We recommend that you use the reference cache options primarily on non-CAD file types that do not need the referenced files in order to load or preview.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW Why does SOLIDWORKS® 2021 SP2 crash when saving as a STEP or EASM file?

This behavior might occur because of a fault in SOLIDWORKS® 2020 SP2. To resolve this issue, download and run the hotfix file attached to Solution ID: S-078987

icon - SW Why do I see the following warning? ‘This file was created in SOLIDWORKS 2007 or earlier. The model contains Surface Fill and related features, which could contain …’
Files created in SOLIDWORKS® 2007 and earlier versions allowed use of unsupported surface fill technology. The software allowed faces that were not G2 continuous at the boundary. Later software versions resolve this issue. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-078980

Icon - EPDM In the SOLIDWORKS® PDM software, how do I delete a workflow state that contains a SOLIDWORKS CAD BOM that is separate from the state of the parent assembly or drawing?
When a SOLIDWORKS® PDM workflow state has any files or named BOMs referencing that state, the state and the workflow of the state fail to delete. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-078870

For a single SOLIDWORKS® Plastics analysis, does an increase in the number of CPU core processors reduce the solve time?

As of the release of SOLIDWORKS® Plastics 2021, tests show that a CPU with 16 core processors is the upper limit for reducing solve time. Fore more information, see Solution ID: S-078825

That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller.

 

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. You can enter them below.

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy
Bishwaraj Roy
Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products. Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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How to fix Empty SOLIDWORKS Drawing Views https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/how-to-fix-empty-solidworks-drawing-views.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/how-to-fix-empty-solidworks-drawing-views.html#respond Mon, 12 Apr 2021 15:00:13 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28241 Are you seeing empty views when opening a SOLIDWORKS Drawing?  Where did the Views and Annotations go? In this tech tip I’ll describe the blank view problem and provide a solution. Why are my Drawing Views empty? If the urge

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Javelin Technologies

Javelin Technologies is a provider of technology solutions since 1997. We are experts in 3D design and have helped thousands of companies with solutions for mechanical design, electrical design and 3D printing.

Large or small, we have the skills, experience, and services to propel your organization to new heights so you can aim high.

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Are you seeing empty views when opening a SOLIDWORKS Drawing?  Where did the Views and Annotations go? In this tech tip I’ll describe the blank view problem and provide a solution.

SOLIDWORKS Drawing Blank Views

Never fun to see our drawing views displaying like this

Why are my Drawing Views empty?

If the urge to swear out loud is overpowering at this point, then we understand your pain.  What likely happened is that the referenced model(s) have been moved from their previous folder to another one, but the drawing wasn’t informed of this change, and so it opens with blank views because the referenced model is not where the drawing expects it to be.

If the drawing was open while the model was saved to the new location, then there wouldn’t be this issue…the drawing’s references would be updated.  Same as if the model were moved in Windows using right-click > SOLIDWORKS > Move > update where used.

Resolving the empty view Issue

  1. Close the drawing (no need to save)
  2. Select File > Open select the drawing, but do not open yet > References double-click the model  > browse to the model’s new location
    Find new File Location

    Double-click the model to browse to it’s new location

  3. The new folder path appears in green in the dialog box, to confirm the change press OK

The drawing should now open with all views populated, and all annotations present!

Drawing Views now populated!

Drawing Views now populated!

Content contributed by John Lee, CSWE; Javelin Technologies

Author information

Javelin Technologies
Javelin Technologies is a provider of technology solutions since 1997. We are experts in 3D design and have helped thousands of companies with solutions for mechanical design, electrical design and 3D printing. Large or small, we have the skills, experience, and services to propel your organization to new heights so you can aim high.

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Rocking Carousel Horse Tutorial https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/rocking-carousel-horse-tutorial.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/rocking-carousel-horse-tutorial.html#respond Fri, 09 Apr 2021 15:00:45 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28261 This SOLIDWORKS tutorial for a rocking carousel horse will show you how you can use a single DXF file of a design to create a 3D model of a rocking horse. You will also see how png decal files can be used to apply a decal with an appearance underneath.

Author information

Jade Crompton

I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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This SOLIDWORKS tutorial uses a single DXF file I created in vector software to create a full 3D design of a carousel themed rocking horse. The DXF I created is a 2D side view of the rocking horse, it includes all the profiles needed within one file to extrude, revolve, cut extrude or mirror features. The DXF file used in this tutorial is available to download here. Within this file you will also find the decals for the final model. 

 

The DXF file was brought into SOLIDWORKS as a reference sketch. It was then used to create individual features by selecting the chains of the sketch and converting the entities. Most parts were extruded mid plane or revolved, and all parts were kept as separate bodies. When I am creating designs like this, I ensure to keep all the bodies separate this is so I can see how many parts the wooden toy is made up of. It also makes it easier to export them for assemblies and creating a bill of materials in a SOLIDWORKS drawing.

The model has been designed as a concept design and so it doesn’t have any screws, if It was designed for production, then parts would need to have recesses for the wood to slot together and be screwed into place. Once all the bodies are in place, appearances were added to the model before I brought in decals. The main carousel horse decal was created to be projected onto multiple faces of the design including the other side of the horse. I often use projected decals as it is useful for designs with multiple faces, and parts that are the same on both sides. The projection mapping was also useful when it came to applying the pole decal. The stripes of the decal when projected from the front, wrap around the pole, and join up seamlessly creating almost a twisted pole effect.

As I mentioned in the description of the tutorial, I used a PNG decal for the pole. The reason I used a PNG over a jpeg was because the decal design was white stripes. Had I exported out the decal as a jpeg, the background would also be white, and you wouldn’t see the design. Also, had the background of the design been colored in with a contrasting color it would have covered up the gold appearance of the pole underneath. When you export the white striped decal as a PNG however, the background is transparent. So, when you are in SOLIDWORKS, you can tick use decal image alpha channel under image mask options, and this makes the background transparent. Allowing you to see both the decal stripes and the appearance of the pole, which in this case is gold. You can see the effect more clearly in the rendering. The renderings were produced in SOLIDWORKS VISUALIZE.

 

Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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Understanding 2D Cabinet Layouts in SOLIDWORKS Electrical – Part 1 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/understanding-2d-cabinet-layouts-in-solidworks-electrical-part-1.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/understanding-2d-cabinet-layouts-in-solidworks-electrical-part-1.html#respond Tue, 06 Apr 2021 15:00:30 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28218 As an engineer, you are on a never-ending quest to efficiently produce meaningful designs to generate amazing and profitable results. On your quest, you must be resourceful and you sometimes must use new methods to get where you’re going! There are

Author information

GSC

GSC fuels customer success with 3D engineering solutions for design, simulation, data management, electrical schematics, PCB, technical documentation, and 3D printing, as well as the most comprehensive consulting, technical support, and training in the industry. As a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS solutions, HP, and Markforged 3D printing technologies, GSC’s world-class team of dedicated professionals have helped numerous companies innovate and increase productivity by leveraging advanced technologies to drive 3D business success. Founded in 1989, GSC is headquartered in Germantown, WI. For more information about GSC, please visit www.gsc-3d.com.

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As an engineer, you are on a never-ending quest to efficiently produce meaningful designs to generate amazing and profitable results. On your quest, you must be resourceful and you sometimes must use new methods to get where you’re going! There are also rules along the way to help you get where you’re going with much less hassle and strain…never starting land wars in Asia comes to mind.

An important tool for your quest as a SOLIDWORKS Electrical user is the 2D Cabinet layout feature. It’s no surprise the 2D cabinet layout tool in SOLIDWORKS Electrical is quite proficient at laying out your cabinet enclosures and is filled with ducts, rails, and all of your design components. But, recent versions of SOLIDWORKS Electrical have made the feature easier to use and also much more versatile. So much so, the “2D Cabinet” name of the feature can be a bit…misleading. Consider that we’ve helped customers use the feature for it’s namesake, but also top level assembly layouts where key components are labeled (sensors with their IO addresses, Motors, switches, etc.), or harness layouts can be efficiently represented using this drawing type as well!

 

 

First, the layout of your design parts can drive the wire cabling order based on their relative position. I don’t know about you, but the less time I spend manually ordering wires is a win! You can also get creative, using the space as a scalable area for laying out harnesses, placing tables, connection label information, or describing special relationships between design locations. But, before you dive into the possibilities, you need to know the background and settings that influence your results.

 

 

2D cabinet parts have their own Library section. You can use existing symbol geometry (copy, paste, and change symbol type) if you had a connection label or a line diagram symbol for which you can use the geometry.

 

 

As soon as you change the symbol type, that 2D cabinet symbol will ONLY be available in the 2D cabinet library manager.

 

 

Inserting parts into 2D cabinet layout can be as simple as right-clicking on your part in the 2D cabinet layout feature and inserting.

 

 

You can insert non-electrical parts directly to your location, such as enclosures, rails, ducts, and wire management accessories. Anything added with a part assigned in this way will show up on your final BOM reports as well!

On your quest, you may encounter “POUS,” or “parts of unusual size.” Conquering these buggers can seem intimidating at first as your parts can look scaled or warped. Both instances are by design, so fear not, the fix is not far away!

 

 

First, the layout will obey the scaling you’ve set for the 2D cabinet layout tool. You can change this setting on the fly, and the elements on the page will scale accordingly.

 

 

The second thing to check is if the 2D part dimensions are accurately defined as these dimensions will override the drawn symbol and scale it inappropriately. When you have made the changes to the dimensions, update the 2D symbol drawing. (As a side note, if these dimensions are correct, but no specific symbol has been applied to a particular part, inserting the 2D footprint can be represented by a simple box with the dimensions following the part size settings.)

Once your parts are properly proportioned and you’ve finished assembling your space, including your 2D electrical component footprints, you may also use the “Optimize Wire Cabling Order” command to reset your wire numbering order based on the proximity and location of the parts in your 2D layout drawing.

Not only will it re-order the wiring in your design, but it pays dividends in 3D as the routing algorithms will need fewer iterations to process the results. The larger the design, the more this benefit will have a positive impact.

Next time, with the background of the feature in hand, we will take a look at the specifics of filling up our library with the specific parts used on a day-to-day basis in your designs.


Contact Us

Did you like this list? There’s more where this comes from. Find other blogs covering SOLIDWORKS Electrical by Evan or more on our YouTube Tech Tip videos.

Have a question? We’re always available to talk over the phone, for you to leave a message, or for you to submit a request – just contact us.

About the Author

GSC’s Evan Stanek has over 10 years of experience as an Electrical Applications Engineer. Prior to GSC, he worked as an engineer in the broadcasting field designing panel layouts and schematics / installations for transmitter control systems, as well as network and control layouts for radio studios. Evan is a certified SOLIDWORKS Electrical Trainer and Electrical Applications Engineer (CSWE).

 

 

 

Author information

GSC
GSC fuels customer success with 3D engineering solutions for design, simulation, data management, electrical schematics, PCB, technical documentation, and 3D printing, as well as the most comprehensive consulting, technical support, and training in the industry. As a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS solutions, HP, and Markforged 3D printing technologies, GSC’s world-class team of dedicated professionals have helped numerous companies innovate and increase productivity by leveraging advanced technologies to drive 3D business success. Founded in 1989, GSC is headquartered in Germantown, WI. For more information about GSC, please visit www.gsc-3d.com.

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Chocolate Egg Tutorial https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/chocolate-egg-tutorial.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/04/chocolate-egg-tutorial.html#respond Fri, 02 Apr 2021 15:00:48 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28209 This is a SOLIDWORKS tutorial to create a chocolate egg complete with geometric design, using the wrap tool and then render the final model with Visualize. The DXF file used to create the egg pattern is available to download from the blog below. You will need this to follow the tutorial.

Author information

Jade Crompton

I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

The post Chocolate Egg Tutorial appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

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For this tutorial, download the DXF file for the egg pattern here and see how you can wrap a simple eggshell with a geometric pattern. I created the DXF file in vector software, but you could easily create your own design in SOLIDWORKS. To create the egg, a simple profile was sketched and revolved. the egg was then split into two parts using the right plane as the split line. Only one side of the egg was kept and shelled out to a 2mm thickness.

A new plane had to be created off the right plane, and sit parallel to the egg face. The DXF file could then be imported into SOLIDWORKS onto the new plane, a few things to remember if you haven’t used DXF files before is that you can not import a DXF file while in an active sketch, you must only select the plane you want the DXF to import into. You can dictate where the DXF will import onto the plane by its location in your vector software, I tend to centre my DXF to the centre of my document before exporting into SOLIDWORKS. There are however further options in SOLIDWORKS when importing the file for inputting the exact location of the DXF. Another tip would be to ensure that you switch the units of imported data to the units the DXF sketch was exported in. For this design millimetres was used for the units. Finally, before you can wrap a sketch, ensure that the sketch you want to wrap onto a surface is closed.

Once the DXF was imported onto the new plane, I closed the sketch, selected wrap, and change the wrap method to wrap on a spline surface. This is a very clever tool in SOLIDWORKS, I have quite a complex pattern which can it can wrap easily along this egg-like shape. The design was wrapped with an emboss, and goes off the edge of the egg.

The wrap design was filled to soften the shapes and look like softer chocolate. The half shell was then mirrored over using mirror bodies, but merge result was unticked to keep both bodies separate. By doing this, I could save one of the half egg bodies into a new part from the solid bodies drop down. The reason for doing this is to create the assembly of the two chocolate egg halves, but also by saving the body into a new part, any changes made to the original egg part will apply to the half egg part too.

The parts were all assembled into an assembly before exporting into Visualize. If you follow the whole tutorial, you will see how I created a foil-like appearance using textures. The foil was created using a metal appearance, the metal then had a bump texture applied with moulded plastic. Then to add some brightness into the texture I added the splatter specular. I always enjoy experimenting in Visualize to see what appearances I can create with a few simple changes. There are so many different combinations to play around with.

Once I was happy with the render background and appearances, I wanted to add more eggs to the assembly. I didn’t need to change my original SOLIDWORKS assembly, I could do this within Visualize. So, I duplicated the whole egg parts and moved, scaled and rotated them into place. Appearances were also duplicated and applied to the new egg copies, the duplicated appearance colours could then be changed to create some more interesting renderings.

 

Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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Wooden Xylophone Tutorial https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/03/wooden-xylophone-tutorial.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/03/wooden-xylophone-tutorial.html#respond Fri, 26 Mar 2021 15:00:48 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28144 In this SOLIDWORKS tutorial learn how to create a wooden xylophone, the tutorial uses linear sketch patterns and a sketch driven pattern to create the xylophone. Also, see how the new colour eyedropper tool was used to create the rainbow keys.

Author information

Jade Crompton

I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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For this SOLIDWORKS tutorial, I wanted to design something where I could test out the new SOLIDWORKS color picker tool to create a colorful wooden xylophone. The jpeg used in the tutorial for the color picking is available to download here, or feel free to use your own colorful jpeg to select colors from for each key. The xylophone mallets are also available within the download. You will need these to follow the final part of the tutorial.

When designing and modelling the keys of the xylophone I had to create a linear pattern of keys, delete the pattern relation, and add smart dimensions to keep the distance between the keys, and the width of each key the same, but, I needed each key to get larger. So, after adding the smart dimensions, I used the scale from point sketch tool, and scaled up all of the keys by 1:1, until all the keys were larger. The good thing about doing it this way is that the keys kept their smart dimensions, even though within the scale preview all of the keys entities enlarged, they would adjust when applied and only scale up in height.

With all the keys scaled, I used guide sketches to create an end point for a linear pattern to create the key holes. The key holes needed to be center to each of the keys along one line. Using the linear pattern tool, I could drag the direction of the pattern from the arrow and snap it to my guide sketch. The same process was used for the bottom row of key holes. The sketch was extrude cut from the keys to create holes in the keys, for them to sit onto pegs of the xylophone.

Moving onto the pegs, I created one of the pegs as a separate body within the part. I then created a sketch using the point tool and added a point inside each of the holes along the top. I realized while editing that I should have added points to all the holes at once and then applied the sketch driven pattern feature, as the peg would have patterned into all the holes at once. So, as you can see below, I went back into my model and did just that. In the video tutorial, I pattern one half, and use mirror bodies for the other side, which works too but it is much quicker to pattern them altogether.

Once the xylophone was fully modelled, I wanted to add a colorful rainbow palette across the keys. I had a jpeg image of a rainbow gradient that I wanted to use as the color palette. While in appearances, I selected a wooden appearance for the key, keeping the options open, I could select the new picker tool from the 2021 SOLIDWORKS update. I opened the rainbow jpeg next to my document window seen below, and just dragged the picker tool over to the jpeg over which color I wanted and apply it directly to the key. This new tool saves me so much time, as a designer, I am constantly making models that need to follow strict colour pantones or palettes. I would normally find out the RGB value of a color and manually add it through the color swatch in SOLIDWORKS, the new tool cuts this step out.

Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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Playing With Trains https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/03/playing-with-trains.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/03/playing-with-trains.html#respond Fri, 19 Mar 2021 15:00:19 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28166 Infinite Possibilities Wooden Toy Train

Author information

Loretta Stiurca

Loretta Stiurca

Loretta is a mom, a wife, and an engineer. She is a CSWE and has been using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical for more than 6 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with the puppy, playing Dungeons and Dragons, thinking up crazy inventions, learning magic tricks, juggling, making her baby girl laugh, and going on adventures.

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Who doesn’t love a good train? Trains are so fun whether you’re 2 or 42. In fact, my two-year-old got a wooden toy train for Christmas this year and we have ALL been having a blast playing with it since. There’s just one problem – there are NEVER enough pieces. Honestly, this has to be the fundamental issue with most building and STEM-oriented sets that exist out there, so I set out to solve the problem using… SOLIDWORKS!

In this blog we step through the process of making a virtual wooden train set using skills like making blocks, making library features, and sticking everything together with the incredibly cool magnetic mate. Let’s get started!

The first step in this process is going to be creating the train track pieces. For simplicity, let’s create just three of them – a long straight track, a short straight track, and a curvy piece for twists and turns.

I started by creating a simple cross-section and extruding it out. For the sake of versatility and consistency, I decided to add tracks on both sides of most pieces.

The next step is to add connectors to both ends – a male and a female. Thinking ahead and realizing that ALL of our tracks will need these pieces, I decided to make the sketches for the connectors into blocks. (Note: There are so many ways of reusing design elements in SOLIDWORKS. This one just made me happy.) To do this, all we need to do is create our sketch, select the elements we want to reuse, and select Make Block.

After we make our block, we can define the insertion point…

and then save it for future use!

I repeated this for the male connection point as well and then cut/extruded each piece as necessary. Note: When re-using this block, we need to right-click > Explode before cut/extruding.

We’re almost done with our track piece already! The last part is the precursor to a bit of magic – magnetic mates! To add a magnetic mate, all we need to do is add a couple of sketch points in the middle of our connectors (it can be in a single sketch) and then go to Tools > Asset Publisher to define our connectors.

Within the Asset Publisher command, we first need to define our Ground Plane (in this case, the Top Plane will do nicely) and then select a point for connection and a face for direction. Then we click Add Connector and move on to a second connector if there is one before clicking the green checkmark to accept the command.

The next two pieces of track are much like the first, so I won’t go into any detail here, except to say that the curved track was created using a 45 degree revolve and therefore when we insert the male connector, we need to make sure that we rotate the sketch by 315 degrees. This can be done using the Rotate command once we are inside the sketch.

Now that we have our base train track, we can quickly create a bridge as well. This will allow us to make a figure 8 shaped track which is incredibly fun.

I started by taking a shortcut and doing a Save As on a straight train track to get the basic track shape into our bridge. Then I deleted most of the features and extruded the basic bridge shape. To add the tracks to the basic bridge, we can take the track shape from the original track and Sweep it along the top of the bridge, making sure to NOT merge the result immediately.

The one tricky part is that, upon initial sweep, the end isn’t quite right.

To fix this, all we need to do is check the box next to Align with end faces. See the difference? All better!

From here, the Intersect command can be used to combine the two bodies and get exactly what we need.

I also ended up breaking the bridge into 3 pieces using a simple sketch and the Split command. Once we have 3 separate bodies, we can right-click the Solid Bodies folder and use the Save Bodies… command to save out individual pieces before adding our connectors. In this case, I opted to add a revolve to the male connectors to make them more robust so that they can connect larger pieces. I finished the pieces with magnetic mates as we did before, and we’re done!

Chugging ahead, let’s create our train! Each train car consists of some very basic elements: a basic shape, four wheels, and at least one connector. I started the cab by extruding the basic shape and then used the Revolve and Dome commands to create the magnetic connector on the back side. Since each of my cars will also need magnetic connectors, I decided to make a Library Feature Part out of these elements.

To do this, all we need to do is (0) SAVE THE PART as it is, (1) select the features that we want to add to our library in our FeatureManager Design Tree and (2) go to File > Save As and choose Lib Feat Part (*.sldlfp). (Note: It helps if we build specific references into these features so that, during reuse, the features can be located.)

I repeated this process for the train’s wheels and then finished the part off with some paint and a Magnetic Mate just as we did for the train track pieces. Here’s our finished cab in all of its glory:

To make the rest of the train pieces, I extruded the basic shapes and then re-used our work from the first train by dragging and dropping our features from the library in the Task Pane. For the wheels, I created simple sketches to locate the library features as soon as they were dropped onto the part.

Voila! Our train is complete!

Now for the REALLY fun part – sticking everything together. Since we added magnetic mates, this is basically magic. Notice how I’m not adding any specific mates in the following video – just dragging parts until they are close enough that a line indicates that they will match.

It is just as easy to build the train on top of the track and the really cool part is that it’s SUPER simple to rearrange and add/remove cars with the magnetic mates in place. Check it out:

Here’s a quick render of the final product in SOLIDWORKS Visualize:

So fun! I hope you had fun following along and that you learned something along the way. Now please excuse me while I go make the most EPIC train that has ever been known. I think making one that circles my house is a good start, yeah?

 

Author information

Loretta Stiurca
Loretta Stiurca
Loretta is a mom, a wife, and an engineer. She is a CSWE and has been using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical for more than 6 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with the puppy, playing Dungeons and Dragons, thinking up crazy inventions, learning magic tricks, juggling, making her baby girl laugh, and going on adventures.

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Sliding Picture Puzzle Tutorial https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/03/sliding-picture-puzzle-tutorial.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/03/sliding-picture-puzzle-tutorial.html#respond Fri, 12 Mar 2021 16:00:43 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28131 In this SOLIDWORKS tutorial learn how to create a sliding picture puzzle. The tutorial is very easy to follow, it involves making simple parts to create an assembly. Within the assembly, using move components is used to move the puzzle tiles and solve the slide puzzle.

Author information

Jade Crompton

I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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When I was younger, I remember getting a little 3 by 3 square tile picture puzzle toy out of a party bag. I decided I wanted to not only model it in SOLIDWORKS, but also play with it inside of SOLIDWORKS in real time. To do this I needed to create two parts, the base for the puzzle tiles, and also a tile.

The decals used for this tutorial are available to download here, the decals are 38 by 38mm each and with 8 of them they make up an image. Feel free to create your own decals for the puzzle, just ensure that your number each square to ensure they are in the right order. It is possible to place the tiles into the base in the wrong order, and the puzzle becomes unsolvable, so if you’re following the tutorial, it is best to follow the order I place the tiles. I used the one tile part to create all 9, after inserting the first decal the part was saved as Piece 1, then keeping the part open, I changed the decal to the second decal, and used save as to save the part as Piece 2. I repeated the process for the next 6 pieces,

The parts were then assembled and mated into place. It is important to ensure that all the pieces are properly mated otherwise this will affect move components further into the tutorial. I placed all the tiles into the base in a random order so that I could solve the puzzle afterwards. All the mates were then suppressed apart from the mates that kept the pieces onto the puzzle base. Next using move components with physical dynamics on, I had to turn down the sensitivity to minimum, so that the pieces would slide more smoothly, and finally I changed the move direction to move along assembly XYZ. Without these settings the tiles could move diagonally, also by using move component with physical dynamics I can drag one tile that is behind another and both move together.

During the tutorial, I give out some troubleshooting tips just in case you run into any issues moving the pieces,

  • Ensure that the tile is fully moved to an edge before trying to move the next piece
  • If the piece seems a little stuck try moving the tile slower, and make sure other tiles are fully in place.
  • Only move the tiles while in these settings.
  • You can move two tiles at once like this if you have the one from behind selected.
  • If you run into a collision, stop moving tiles, close move component and undo a few of your steps. Then go back onto move component with the same settings and just continue solving your puzzle.

You could always mate all the tiles into the right place first, then mix up the pieces in move components, that way you can retrace your steps if you’re struggle to solve your puzzle.

 

 

Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – March 2021 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/03/solidworks-support-monthly-news-march-2021.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/03/solidworks-support-monthly-news-march-2021.html#respond Wed, 10 Mar 2021 12:11:02 +0000 http://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28181 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. Equations in Assemblies Part III By Mario Iocco This month we

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy

Bishwaraj Roy

Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products.
Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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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.

Equations in Assemblies Part III

By Mario Iocco

This month we continue to explore equations in assemblies, we are going to explore how to use the fourth row from the top from the Equations in Assemblies from the SOLIDWORKS online help

Here is a visual demonstration of how to achieve this:

SOLIDWORKS Configurations Support in Visualize 2021

By Richie More

Exporting SOLIDWORKS Parts and Assemblies to Visualize is simply a click on “Simple export” within the Visualize Add-in Tab. However what if we wish to add many configurations of the same part/assembly to the Visualize Project?

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2021 is the ability to import any or all configurations to the same visualize project. This short Tip will explain how we proceed to get the project ready, importing multiple configurations and pushing it to Visualize, finally rendering the same.

Step 1– Open part or assembly file into SOLIDWORKS 2021.

Step 2– In the Configuration Manager, Right Click and Add Display Data Mark to configurations which you wish to export to Visualize Project.

Step 3 – Save the Assembly file.

Step 4 – Click on Export Simple, to export the Assembly file to automatically create a Visualize Project.

Notice that Configurations with Add Display Data Mark appears in Model Set list.

Now you can set the Viewport as per required appearances, environments, cameras and get the render output of multiple configurations within the same Visualize Project.

Using this new capability will enable user to reduce multiple project imports and setting the scene/appearances/camera processes, saving a lot of productive work hours.

 

Embedding DraftSight® drawing files in Microsoft Excel

By Nav Mahajan

Embedding DraftSight® drawing files in Microsoft Excel is highly useful in passing the restricted information of a drawing from one user to another. Also, it can be helpful when you want to present a new product or architectural design along with a comprehensive Excel spreadsheet breakdown of costs.

The drawing files from the DraftSight® can be embedded into Microsoft Excel by following the below steps :

  1. Open DraftSight® and select the Drawing or the portion of Drawing to be embedded.
  2. Right click on the selected Drawing, select ‘Copy with Reference Point’ and specify a reference point of the drawing.

3. Open a new document in Microsoft Excel, right click on any cell and select ‘Paste Special’ .

4.Select the option ‘DraftSight Document Object’ and click OK.

5. DraftSight® drawing is now embedded in Microsoft Excel .

To open the drawing in DraftSight®, simply double click on the embedded drawing in Microsoft Excel, it will open the Drawing in DraftSight®.

 

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW Is there a SolidPractices document available on the topic of “Working with Imported 2D Data”?
Yes, The attached SolidPractices document in Solution ID: S-078802 examines use cases and workflows for SOLIDWORKS® customers to work as efficiently as possible with 2D CAD data. It also covers how to import and convert 2D designs to 3D parts, validate designs and data, and edit files in their native DXF/DWG format.

icon - SW When opening a SOLIDWORKS® file, what is the meaning of the message ‘This file was created in SOLIDWORKS 2007 or earlier. The model contains Surface fill and related features…’?
Effective with the release of SOLIDWORKS® 2021, the application includes additional geometry verification. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-078872

Icon - EPDM Why does the SOLIDWORKS® PDM Database Server service report the following error in the Application log? ‘Connect to server ‘[Hostname]\[Instance]’ Failed…’
This error indicates that the SOLIDWORKS® PDM Database Server service cannot connect to the SQL Server® hostname or instance. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-078843

That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller.

 

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. You can enter them below.

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy
Bishwaraj Roy
Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products. Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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Shading in SOLIDWORKS Composer: Story Tutorial https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/03/shading-in-solidworks-composer-story-tutorial.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/03/shading-in-solidworks-composer-story-tutorial.html#respond Mon, 08 Mar 2021 16:00:13 +0000 http://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28075 Are you taking full advantage of SOLIDWORKS Composer’s tools, such as shading? If you’re not, dive into this story below to learn more about your custom rendering options. Sol & Sal Story Tutorial Well, it’s been a while since we last visited

Author information

GSC

GSC fuels customer success with 3D engineering solutions for design, simulation, data management, electrical schematics, PCB, technical documentation, and 3D printing, as well as the most comprehensive consulting, technical support, and training in the industry. As a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS solutions, HP, and Markforged 3D printing technologies, GSC’s world-class team of dedicated professionals have helped numerous companies innovate and increase productivity by leveraging advanced technologies to drive 3D business success. Founded in 1989, GSC is headquartered in Germantown, WI. For more information about GSC, please visit www.gsc-3d.com.

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Are you taking full advantage of SOLIDWORKS Composer’s tools, such as shading? If you’re not, dive into this story below to learn more about your custom rendering options.

Sol & Sal Story Tutorial

Well, it’s been a while since we last visited Sol, our veritable expert of all things SOLIDWORKS, and Sal, his somewhat simpler sidekick. And after their recent professional skirmishes and legal close calls, one can only wonder what they’re up to now….

“Hey, Sol, not bad, eh?” Sal smiled and steered Sol’s eyes screenwards.

“Yes, not bad” Sol said, looking at Figure 1.

 

Figure 1

 

“Not bad at all, I think, for my first SOLIDWORKS Composer job! This really is as nice and easy as you told me. And I like easy!”

Sol sighed and scrutinized Sal with a sideways glance, but subsequently softened. “Hey, I have a neat trick for you. Have you thought about having different appearances on different parts?”

“Like one part shaded, another not…like that? But how do you do that? All I saw was one overall selection!’

“Well, Sal, remember individual actors have properties just as the entire scene does…right?”

Sal’s eyes sparkled. “Are you saying that…”

Sol sensed Sal’s steps towards sentience. “Yes, Sal, and here’s how you do it. First, we have to select ‘Custom’ as our Render Mode. Take a look down there at Figure 2.

 

Figure 2

 

“Now you’ll see that after selecting an actor, such as the car body, it has its own Rendering options. See down there in Figure 3?”

 

Figure 3

 

“Sure do, Sol!” Sal sensed something stupendous was soon to be seen.

Go click where it says ‘Smooth’ and see the other options in the pulldown menu. I suggest selecting ‘Silhoutte’ for the car body!”

“Well, I’ll be…” said Sal, looking down at Figure 4, “you can see all the stuff inside!”

 

Figure 4

 

“Don’t make a scene, Sal.”

“What?”

“It was a rendering joke, Sal, get it?”

“Nice! Remind me, Sol, where is it that you’re always getting this great SOLIDWORKS information?”

“Why, GSC’s blog, Sal. GSC’s blog.”

 


Contact Us

Did you like this blog? There’s more where this comes from. Find other blogs by Sam.

Have a question? We’re always available to talk over the phone, for you to leave a message, or for you to submit a request – just contact us.

About the Author

 

Sam HochbergSam thrives on showing people how to make better stuff, faster. He consults students and customers through this process with pre- and post-sale discussions and implementation of their CAD tools. Forever a teacher and trainer, Sam enjoys empowering others through providing technical knowledge and product solutions.

 

 

Author information

GSC
GSC fuels customer success with 3D engineering solutions for design, simulation, data management, electrical schematics, PCB, technical documentation, and 3D printing, as well as the most comprehensive consulting, technical support, and training in the industry. As a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS solutions, HP, and Markforged 3D printing technologies, GSC’s world-class team of dedicated professionals have helped numerous companies innovate and increase productivity by leveraging advanced technologies to drive 3D business success. Founded in 1989, GSC is headquartered in Germantown, WI. For more information about GSC, please visit www.gsc-3d.com.

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Tips & Tricks for Structure Systems https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/03/tips-tricks-for-structure-systems.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/03/tips-tricks-for-structure-systems.html#respond Thu, 04 Mar 2021 16:00:42 +0000 http://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28042 The Structure Systems feature has been available since 2019 for all packages of SOLIDWORKS, but what have we learnt about it since then? I want to focus on the nuts and bolts so that you can dive right in and

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Solid Solutions Technical Team

Solid Solutions Management Ltd was founded in 1998, originally as a SOLIDWORKS training and support provider. Now a Group with over 20 offices across the UK and Ireland, Solid Solutions is not only the leading SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD reseller in both regions, it also offers expert professional design solutions and consultancy services to more than 15,000+ customers. With over 200 employees and the largest SOLIDWORKS technical team in the world, Solid Solutions is focused on growth and on its customers’ development and success.

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The Structure Systems feature has been available since 2019 for all packages of SOLIDWORKS, but what have we learnt about it since then? I want to focus on the nuts and bolts so that you can dive right in and start using it for yourself. If you haven’t already checked out our overview of Structure Systems, take a look here.

Weldments vs Structure Systems

The Structure Systems feature has great potential to replace weldments in most situations. Even small numbers of members are quick to set up and provide more modelling flexibility. So why should you think about using Structure Systems:

  • Members can use different profile types and sizes seamlessly in one feature.
  • The path of the members can be defined using planes, points, surfaces, and lines. This provides the freedom to choose how to define your weldment. This is also a faster and more intuitive way than through 3D sketches
  • Members will trim automatically where they intersect, with only occasional manipulation needed. This makes a feature tree full of manual trimming features a thing of the past.
  • Manipulating a large weldment structure is easier than ever as all members are stored in one feature. Locating a member’s definition and corners takes just a couple of intuitive clicks. Important parameters like the profile type and pierce location can be changed for an individual, several or all members at once. Large structures are therefore still manageable and easy to edit.

 

 

To show its potential, we shall use the above crane to demonstrate the tips and tricks. Let us go through what you can expect when setting up a Structure System.

Setting up your profiles

The first step is ensuring you have your profiles setup correctly. Structure Systems has a prerequisite that the profiles need to be configured (the profile sizes are stored as configurations rather than separate part files). Since 2019, the weldment profiles provided with SOLIDWORKS are configured. However, if you are still using the profiles from 2018 and before, they will be non-configured. Make sure you have set yourself up with the correct type of profile before starting. See our blog here on how to create a configured profile.

Structural Systems requires configured profiles that are best setup using a design table

Member Definition

To start, the Structure System feature is selected from its own tab. A sub-environment like when starting a sketch is entered. Primary members can then be defined, followed by secondary members. A ‘confirmation corner’ icon is available to exit the sub-environment. Note that if members have been defined before exiting, you will first enter the second part of the feature, corner management. This will be gone over later.

‘Structure System’ will enter a sub-environment where members can then be defined

‘Exit Structure System’ or the confirmation corner will initially exit to the corner management tool

Primary members can be defined through using planes, sketch segments, points, and intersections. Primary members therefore rely on reference geometry for their path. Unlike Weldments, the members do not need to be parallel or consecutive to each other. They may also be defined using splines and can use different profiles.

4 primary member types are possible. ‘path segment member’ (above) uses sketch lines like weldments

‘Ref Plan Member’ definition requires two planes to define the start and end of the profile, and then two intersecting planes to create an axis. If appropriate, multiple planes can be used to create multiple members

Secondary members use primary members to define their positioning to quickly build up supporting weldments. The distance along / length ratio of the primary member is used to define them. Note that initial selections are rough distances and then the values should be defined afterwards. Pre-created planes can also be used for positioning. Finally, these members can even use primary members from other Structure System features, making it easier than ever to build up large structures piece by piece.

Secondary members are defined in-between primary members and use their length for definition

Corner Management

Once all members have been defined and you exit the feature, the corner management will be processed. All corners will be automatically defined but can be overridden. The corners are split into type depending on their complexity: simple, two-member, and complex.

Simple corners occur when no trim order is needed as only one member end is present. The trim type can use planar or body trim, with full contact or first contact possible.

A simple corner with full contact planar trim

Two member corners occur when two member ends meet. Trim types available are mitre, planar, and body trim, with the trim order editable.

A two-member mitre trim corner

Complex corners occur when more than two members meet. A trim tool member uses this member to cut all others, trim orders can then be set for remaining members, and ‘planar trim’ can be used to trim via face/plane as well.

A complex corner with three members

Managing the Structure System Feature

The Structure System feature will generate a relatively large folder system, but it can be broken down and managed easily, let’s go through each component.

First off is the Structure System Grid. This is really an internal feature and is a result of all the hard work done when defining the members. Each member defines a sketch line for its path, these lines are then combined to build up a 3D sketch without ever needing to define 3D relationships. This is parametrically linked so that if members are modified, even the pierce point or any offsets, this sketch will also change.

Underneath this are the created members, separated into unique profile folders. Once outside the Structure System feature environment, each folder/member can be edited individually to modify its parameters through just a couple of clicks. Whereas in weldments, locating the member could be arduous due to large numbers of weldment features and groups, and changing a profile would change all members profiles. This is also where members are deleted by right clicking the top-level profile folder/member and choosing delete.

The last folder is for the corner management. One of Structure System’s main advantages is all corners are trimmed automatically between all profiles. Like structural members, the corners can be modified individually or as a group. The easiest way is to edit the sub-folder the corner belongs to and then find the corner from the graphics area.

Graphics Manipulator & Pierce Point

A new feature released in 2021 is that the profile can be manipulated dynamically if the initial profile alignment is incorrect and no axes are available to align it with. Simply drag from the triad to position the profile in the desired orientation. It can also be useful to visually position the profile roughly before using the ‘profile alignment’ option to align exactly.

Member profiles can be manipulated easily with a triad

A final feature called ‘pierce point’ on the Structure System tab pre-defines pierce locations on the profiles. This allows pierce locations to be easily identified and selected during member definition. It is made specifically for, but is not limited to, I-beams. This saves the sometimes-awkward selection process that requires locating and zooming in on the profile and selecting through geometric entities. To set these, simply open the profile, select the pierce point feature, and assign a vertex/ sketch point to its correct reference. These will then be available to select when using the profile.

Pierce Points can be pre-defined within a profile to make easier selection later

Building up your model

Once the Structure System has been finished, additional features can be added to the framework. During this process it may become clear that the Structure System needs refining or to be iterated. A few tips to help this process are:

  • Bodies and Structure Systems can be both patterned to save the trouble of repeating work. Keep this in mind from the onset so that you can recognise patternable structures initially and create only unique members.
  • The corner management folder is a process-heavy feature and suppressing this can speed up the rebuild time significantly. Use this to your advantage when refining the initial framework sketches and members. It will allow you to work in and out of the structure system feature quickly when creating new members without having to wait for all corners to be built. Just remember to unsuppress afterwards once complete.
  • A second Structure Systems feature can still be trimmed by the first Structural System feature members. Therefore, the framework can be split into sections to ensure the feature is manageable while still generating automatic corner treatment.

Structure Systems recognises the capability of weldments and builds more freedom and more functionality into it. Weldments will still be helpful for smaller models that consist of the same profiles, but structural systems can provide a faster and more friendly workflow for larger or more complex models. The age of weldments is coming to an end, long live Structure Systems!

Author information

Solid Solutions Technical Team
Solid Solutions Management Ltd was founded in 1998, originally as a SOLIDWORKS training and support provider. Now a Group with over 20 offices across the UK and Ireland, Solid Solutions is not only the leading SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD reseller in both regions, it also offers expert professional design solutions and consultancy services to more than 15,000+ customers. With over 200 employees and the largest SOLIDWORKS technical team in the world, Solid Solutions is focused on growth and on its customers’ development and success.

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Rocket Ship Lamp Tutorial https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/rocket-ship-lamp-tutorial.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/rocket-ship-lamp-tutorial.html#respond Fri, 26 Feb 2021 16:00:57 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=28034 Blast off to 2021 with a Rocket Ship Lamp made in SOLIDWORKS!

This blog details the process of conceptualizing and creating a rocket ship lamp using SOLIDWORKS.

Author information

Loretta Stiurca

Loretta Stiurca

Loretta is a mom, a wife, and an engineer. She is a CSWE and has been using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical for more than 6 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with the puppy, playing Dungeons and Dragons, thinking up crazy inventions, learning magic tricks, juggling, making her baby girl laugh, and going on adventures.

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I LOVE astronomy and everything outer space, so, naturally, that had to be the theme of my daughter’s room. We even had a good friend (thank you @JenHeartsArt) come over and paint her ceiling to look like space.

Yes, the ceiling glows in the dark at night. It’s incredible.

Anyway, the one thing we are still missing from this room is a lamp, so of course I decided to design one using SOLIDWORKS and make it using a laser cutter. I started with a simple sketch. To be clear, I’m not an artist, but it doesn’t actually matter as you’ll see later.

A simple sketch like the one above is literally all you need to get started designing in SOLIDWORKS. To be clear, you don’t actually *need* a sketch, but I find it helpful and you will see why in a minute.

Let’s get started! The first thing we want to do is open a sketch on the Front plane and insert our beautiful “napkin sketch” from Tools > Sketch Tools > Sketch Picture. From here, we can scale our picture in Properties. I decided to give the lamp a height of 15 inches before centering it approximately on the origin and setting the Y insertion to 0.

Awesome! We now have the shape we need and we can simply trace it. I like to do this in a new “Layout” sketch to keep everything neat and tidy.

Note: Initially I decided to sketch this using a mix of splines, arcs, and lines, but later I went back and removed most splines, replacing them with arcs and lines because I feel like this (1) gives me more control and (2) allows me to offset, trim, etc. with more precision.

From here, we can start by extruding the primary shape that will make our rocket ship come to life. I extruded this to a depth of ¼” since the goal is to laser cut this out of ¼” wood. I also made sure to hollow out the top using an offset to make room for a light bulb!

The next step is a trick I like to use when I’m working in a multibody part (and therefore I *don’t* want new Extrude/Revolve features to Merge with other bodies by default). I inserted the Weldment feature to keep bodies separate by default.

This feature appears in our tree and it also creates a Cut List for us with identical bodies grouped together – PERFECT for this application!

Now we can continue by extruding the wing (and adding some stars for decoration) to the same thickness. I also used Split to section off the top of the rocket ship that will act as a lid so that we can insert the light bulb.

The next part is to add supports and support cuts so that the rocket can piece together like a puzzle when we assemble it. This is actually a tiny bit trickier that I originally assumed because all cuts need to be normal cuts so that this can actually be manufactured. The first time I did this, I used Revolve and Intersect to create the geometry but then I realized that I had created curved faces where there should be flat ones, so I tried again. Luckily, it didn’t take too long to realize my mistake and I was able to quickly correct it.

Support cuts were added using a simple Cut Extrude before the corresponding supports were created using Revolve and then normal cuts were made to each support (and patterned using a Circular Pattern) to create the interlocking piece.

Finally, we can use two circular patterns to create the rest of our primary geometry before using Combine to merge the wings with the main extrudes at four points. I also added a window and cut corresponding pieces out so that it fit into the puzzle at this point.

Now we’re REALLY getting somewhere!

It looks amazing, but we still need to add the light itself. I opted to purchase an incredibly simple lamp off of Amazon and finish the design around this. As soon as the lamp arrived, I removed the shade, took a few measurements using a digital caliper, and reverse engineered it into SOLIDWORKS for design reference.

(Left is the manufacturer’s picture, Right is my quick reverse engineer of it in SOLIDWORKS)

I also quickly modeled a light bulb and the ring that was used to secure the lamp shade and I threw everything together in an assembly. In the assembly, I selected Section View from the Heads-Up Toolbar and right-clicked the Rocket Lamp part > Edit Part to edit it in context. This allowed me to modify the position of supports and create cuts as needed so that the lamp shade would be able to accommodate the lamp itself.

We’re done, right? Almost. We still need to create a dxf to give to the manufacturer, but luckily SOLIDWORKS makes this a piece of cake.

From the lamp part, all we need to do is right-click the Cut List and select Save Bodies…

From here, we can create an assembly (as shown above). After opening the assembly, we notice that all of the parts are fixed in place. To change this, we simply select all of the parts in the tree to Right-click > Float. This allows us to move our parts around and mate them to the Top Plane so that we can get a nice layout for our dxf. The last step before exporting is to quickly go to File > Make Drawing from Part and select a sheet scale of 1:1. This ensures that our parts will print at the correct size.

To export, all we need to do now is go to File > Save As… and select dxf.

 

Ready for manufacturing!

Just for fun, I decided to make an exploded view that shows how everything fits together…

… and paint everything before quickly rendering in SOLIDWORKS Visualize.

Now we’re really ready to blast off!

Thank you so much for following along. I can’t wait to get these parts cut and put this in my daughter’s room. Such fun!

Here’s hoping 2021 is out of this world.

Author information

Loretta Stiurca
Loretta Stiurca
Loretta is a mom, a wife, and an engineer. She is a CSWE and has been using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Electrical for more than 6 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with the puppy, playing Dungeons and Dragons, thinking up crazy inventions, learning magic tricks, juggling, making her baby girl laugh, and going on adventures.

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22 Years of Model Mania® https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/22-years-of-model-mania.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/22-years-of-model-mania.html#respond Mon, 22 Feb 2021 19:00:17 +0000 http://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=19729 Every year SOLIDWORKS hosts one of the largest engineering conferences in the world. Since SOLIDWORKS World 2000, Model Mania® has been an attraction for many engineers wanting to show off their SOLIDWORKS skills. Model Mania, for those not familiar, is a

Author information

Mark Schneider

Mark Schneider

Mark Schneider (CSWE) has been with SolidWorks since 1996, and creates technical content for all sorts of product demos, What’s New videos and more. He has also run the Model Mania® contest at SOLIDWORKS World since 2002.

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Every year SOLIDWORKS hosts one of the largest engineering conferences in the world. Since SOLIDWORKS World 2000, Model Mania® has been an attraction for many engineers wanting to show off their SOLIDWORKS skills. Model Mania, for those not familiar, is a design challenge where you are measured on both time and accuracy.

First, you are first given a 2D drawing of a part. Your goal is to create that part in SOLIDWORKS as quickly and as accurately as possible. Seems simple, right? Well the second “Phase” is when things get really interesting. For Phase 2, you are given a modified version of that drawing; you can consider it an engineering change if you like. Your goal now, similar to before, is to make the design change as quickly and as accurately as possible and run a simulation to determine the factor of safety.

At SOLIDWORKS World, all of the entries are judged on accuracy first, and time second, because in the real world, it doesn’t matter how fast you get something done if it’s not right.

Over the years, many people have asked for access to the Model Mania drawings so we are happy to make them available to you.  Below you will find links to the Phase 1 and 2 drawings and a video solution to each year’s Model Mania Challenge.  Feel free to use these for your user group meetings, internal company training and we hear that many schools use them for their exercises.

The models, drawings, and other materials created for the Model Mania® Challenge and distributed by Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corporation (DS SolidWorks) are intended for the sole use of DS SolidWorks, its partners, and customers, and may not be used for commercial purposes except by DS SolidWorks partners without written consent from DS SolidWorks

Model Mania 2000
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2001
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2002
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2003
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2004
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2005
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2006
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2007
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2008
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2009
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2010
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2011
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2012
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2013
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2014
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2015
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2016
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2017
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
 

 

Model Mania 2018
  Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
Model Mania 2019
Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution video
Model Mania 2020
Phase 1 drawing
Phase 2 drawing
Solution Video

 

Model Mania 2021

Phase 1 drawing
Solution Video

 

Author information

Mark Schneider
Mark Schneider
Mark Schneider (CSWE) has been with SolidWorks since 1996, and creates technical content for all sorts of product demos, What’s New videos and more. He has also run the Model Mania® contest at SOLIDWORKS World since 2002.

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Six SOLIDWORKS Solutions – BOM and Balloons https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/six-solidworks-solutions-bom-and-balloons.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/six-solidworks-solutions-bom-and-balloons.html#respond Mon, 22 Feb 2021 16:00:45 +0000 http://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=27581 When working with SOLIDWORKS support, I receive questions multiple times, and most of the time the answer is the same. So in this and some of my other blog posts, I will be giving some examples of questions I receive

Author information

Lennart Tinndahl

User success at PLM group

I started working with CAD systems in 2003, and have since 2012 worked solely with SOLIDWORKS. I am a certified Technical support specialist as well as a SOLIDWORKS Certified Expert.
Since 2016 I have helped PLM Group customers to work smarter, not harder.
The inspiration for most of my posts comes from the support cases i work on.
When writing blogpost I try to focus on the everyday use of SOLIDWORKS.

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When working with SOLIDWORKS support, I receive questions multiple times, and most of the time the answer is the same.

So in this and some of my other blog posts, I will be giving some examples of questions I receive when working in support, as well as offer solutions for them.

In this blog post the focus will be on BOM and Balloons, as that can also prove to be quite a handful on occasions.

All of the solutions offered here can be done by most users

BOM reference

Sometimes it can be useful to have multiple views and BOM in a drawing due to different configurations.

However, if you delete one of the BOMs your Balloon on the referring to view with the deleted Table does not match the remaining BOM.

Reinserting the Balloon does not help.

To solve this you have two options:

  1. Insert a new view.
  2. Make sure the existing view refers to the correct BOM

 

I will not go over option 1, but instead focus on option 2.

Right click on the view and press “Properties”

Properties

Under balloons, set a checkmark on “Link Balloon text to specified table” and select the table you want to link to.

 

BOM Order

Sometimes it can be useful to have the same assembly in different configurations on the same drawing.

And even if possible, make sure that the BOM numbers match in the view.

Wrong BOM number

It is possible to rearrange the numbers manually, but doing this is a time consuming task and errors can occur.

I recommend rearranging the parts and subassemblies with the suppressed models in the bottom as shown in the below video.

This way the BOM will always update and if a new configuration is inserted, it is automatically sorted in the right order.

You only need to make sure that “Follow assembly order” is checked, and your BOM should match up nicely.

follow assembly order

Bill of material options

When working with subassemblies on BOMs 
you can sometimes experience one the 
 following issues.

1) Your parts does not appear on the BOM, only the subassembly.

BOM options

2) Or the subassembly it self does not appear on the BOM.

In most cases this is due to a setting in the configuration in the affected subassembly. To resolve it, open the assembly and go to configurations, right click on the active configuration and press “Properties.”

Subassembly options

Find “Bill of Materials Options”, and the section “Child component display when used as subassembly.”

Bill of matiarial options

Here you have 3 different options on how to show the assembly when it is used as a subassembly in another assembly AND when the BOM is set as “Indented”;

Show:

This shows the entire assembly with both assembly name and parts.

Show

Hide:

This hides the parts completely in the BOM, and only the Subassembly is visible

Hide

Promote:
When this radio button is marked, only the parts of the assembly is shown and not the assembly itself

Promote

 

All of these have different uses, depending on what you want to show in your BOM.

 

Size of balloons

In SOLIDWORKS you have many options on how to customize your drawings.

One of these is the size of the balloons.

On the below image you can see an example of to large Balloons.

Balloon size

This is set within the document properties and saved in the template.

Go to Tools->Options->document properties->Annotations->Balloons

Balloon size

You have the option to modify the size and shape of the balloons for both single balloons and stacked balloons.

Once you have found the size and shape you want, press ok and save the template.

However the existing balloons you need to change them manually.

Click on the individual balloon or select multiple balloons and change them in settings.

Manually change balloon size

 

An Asterisk (*) Instead of a number, 

When placing a placing a balloon on a drawing it can sometimes occur that instead of a number you get an asterisk (*)

Asteriks in Baloon

If you have inserted a BOM Referring to a configuration where the particular part is missing, you can get this error:

BOM configuration

In the below example I have created a configuration with “The train” Missing, the result is an asterisk in the balloon.

Asteriks in balloon

This being a simple assembly it is relatively easy to locate the error.

Another reason for the asterisk, could be if the part (or subassembly) has “Exclude from BOM” option checked.

To find out if this is the issue, go to your assembly, left click on the part or the subassembly and press properties.

part options

Here you have the option to “exclude from the bill of materials”,

Exclude from BOM

If this is checked, you will see an asterisk as well as the part or subassembly will be missing from the Bill of Materials.

 

Balloons do not snap to the parts

Balloon snap

This is a problem that occurs if you have created your own view in perspective mode and used it in a drawing.

perspective

Create a new view where perspective mode is turned off to solve this.

To achieve this easily, select your customized view and make sure that the perspective mode is NOT active.

perspective unselected

Now save the view as a new view, by pressing space and selecting the New view icon.

new view

Now select the new view in the drawing orientation.

select view

 

And your balloons should snap to the parts just fine.

Author information

Lennart Tinndahl
I started working with CAD systems in 2003, and have since 2012 worked solely with SOLIDWORKS. I am a certified Technical support specialist as well as a SOLIDWORKS Certified Expert. Since 2016 I have helped PLM Group customers to work smarter, not harder. The inspiration for most of my posts comes from the support cases i work on. When writing blogpost I try to focus on the everyday use of SOLIDWORKS.

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Car Racer Track Tutorial https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/car-racer-track-tutorial.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/car-racer-track-tutorial.html#respond Fri, 19 Feb 2021 16:00:59 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=27903 This SOLIDWORKS tutorial is for a toy car racing track. In this tutorial I will show you how to create a car race track and a motion analysis to see it in action. The DXF file used in the tutorial, any decals, the toy car and screw parts are available to download in the SOLIDWORKS blog. You will need these to follow the tutorial.

Author information

Jade Crompton

I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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I have seen many variations of these car racers recently, and even bought one for family. I find them quite interesting to watch the little car go down the tracks flipping over as it goes. I’m not sure how long they would’ve entertained me as a child, but I think they are a novelty toy all the same. To follow this tutorial you will need to download this file here. Within this file you will find the DXF file needed for the front panels. The DXF file was created in a vector program called CorelDraw to map out where the screw holes would go for the car ramps. There is the screw part which is inserted into Car Racer Track front panels to hold the ramps in place. This is just as an example for the construction of the toy, there would be more screws needed to construct this design. Then there is the four colored cars parts, and a set of wheels that are all assembled together at the end of the tutorial. Finally there are two decals which you can add to the car racer if you wish to, I added these to the front and back panels, and the base panel. 

The DXF file I imported for the front panels already had the screw holes added to it, however sometimes you will find when you export a circular profile from a vector program your circular profiles come in without a center point to use as a guide. Because of this, I had to convert all the circles in the sketch for construction and draw new circles in SOLIDWORKS and manually move it into place with move entities. The circles where then used with hole wizard to create custom countersink holes for the screws to be added later on.

For this tutorial the most useful tool was the offset entities sketch tool. it was used in several steps of the tutorial. I used it to create the ramp sides by sketching out a spline, and offsetting it bi-directional (both ways) but also capping the ends to close off the offset into a profile. Here you can choose to cap the ends with either an arc or line. For this shape I chose line, and then added a small fillet to the corners afterwards. The offset entities was also used to create the ramp itself, by offsetting the side profiles and then offsetting that entity in one direction and capping off the ends with lines. The sketch could then be extruded to create the ramp.

Mirror Bodies came in handy too for this design, it was used to mirror over the front panels, but also to mirror over the ramp sides. I always like to start my models center to the parts axis so that you have the front and right plane center to the model. In this case I started the base of the model from the center of the axis on the top plane. This meant that i could use the mirror bodies feature straight off the front plane without the need for a new plane. The feature was also used for mirroring over all the screw parts from the front side to the back panels too. This tool always saves me so much time.

The screws are added using insert part, they are then mated into place using move/copy bodies. There is a constraints option within here that allows you to mate the parts into place like you would in an assembly. The only differences are that the part you bring in cant move around by dragging it, and you have to mate each part individually.

Once you have completed the cars racing track part, you will start creating an assembly, the race track goes in first, then you can bring in the individual car parts into the assembly dropping them near the tracks. For this tutorial I have only showcased one car going down the track, but you could line them up on the starting ramp to see how they all fall during the motion analysis. The wheels are mated onto each car with concentric and coincident mates, and the car that is on the ramp has additional tangent mates attaching it to the ramp floor. I also added a parallel mate to the side of the car to the ramp sides for positioning the car in place. Both the tangent mates and the parallel mate were suppressed for the analysis. Gravity, and contacts were added to the analysis before it was run, this finished rendered result can be seen at the end of the tutorial.

 

Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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Valentines Day Card – Tutorial https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/valentines-day-card-tutorial.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/valentines-day-card-tutorial.html#respond Fri, 12 Feb 2021 14:00:08 +0000 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=27912 This is a SOLIDWORKS tutorial to create and render a Valentine’s Day card. In this tutorial I will demonstrate some features in SOLIDWORKS Visualize, from render aspect ratio, environments and backgrounds, editing and adding appearances. All the parts to create the card are available to download from the blog below.

Author information

Jade Crompton

I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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The first part of this tutorial involves creating an assembly with these parts here. There are a range of different ways illustrated in the tutorial in which you can assemble the parts to create different card layouts seen below. Feel free to follow the tutorial or tweak the outcome to create your own design using the parts available.

There are three different sized heart beads, the decal/photo frame and the ‘LOVE’ lettering to assemble, the assembly I created in the tutorial is for a portrait card, but you can layout the design to be horizontal too. The heart beads are mated using a combination coincident mates using sketches, and coincident mates using two planes. The beads could then be dragged along the outer ring of the frame for placement.

The decal/photo was applied to the frame by opening the part itself and applying the decal to the center face. If you want to follow the tutorial you will need a photograph to apply as a decal. Base appearances have already been added to the parts in preparation for rendering, you can apply all the appearances in visualize, but by doing this you can quickly edit the current appearances in visualize as the appearances are already grouped by parts or faces.

Once the assembly is finished, I can export the model directly into SOLIDWORKS Visualize. For this model I needed to use export advanced. This then exports the assembly with all the parts visible in the model tree in Visualize. If I had used export simple, it would export as one whole part, which makes it very difficult to change individual appearances. It also makes it easier to move individual parts within Visualize without the need to amend the assembly.

The tutorial demonstrates how to change the rendered image aspect ratio, which allowed me to create a photo sized rendering. I also demonstrate how to edit the render background, for studio changes, background color and floor effects. For this project I decided to use the blurred studio because the light reflections are blurred and softened on very reflective appearances such as metal which was perfect for the meatal appearances I applied.

The appearances of the parts are edited within Visualize by changing the color, material roughness, and also adding texture. The below screenshot shows added bump texture which I applied with an increased depth of 200, and a tile size of 5 by 5, I wanted to create a jeweled like finish to some of the hearts. All the appearances I used were metal apart from the white plastic on the lettering and frame. I managed to create a rose gold effect using the metal appearance, zero roughness and inputting precise color values into the color swatch of the appearance.

I uploaded the final rendered image to a create your own card website to have printed just in time for Valentine’s Day. Its very simple to do, but if you’re low on time you could always email it with a note, after all handmade is always best!

 

Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

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SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – February 2021 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/solidworks-support-monthly-news-february-2021.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/solidworks-support-monthly-news-february-2021.html#respond Thu, 11 Feb 2021 06:33:11 +0000 http://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=27949 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.   SOLIDWORKS Detailing Mode By Bishwaraj Roy SOLIDWORKS Detailing mode helps

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy

Bishwaraj Roy

Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products.
Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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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.

 

SOLIDWORKS Detailing Mode

By Bishwaraj Roy

SOLIDWORKS Detailing mode helps to enhance productivity by letting users to open complex drawings consisting of large assemblies, many views with lots of sheets and annotations very quickly, which are otherwise very much resource consuming.

Detailing Mode allows a user to load a drawing without having to load the referenced components. The model does not get loaded but the drawing views are intact, so there is no loss of detail.

How to open a drawing in “Detailing mode”?

Drawings can be opened in Detailing mode from the “File” menu and navigating to “Open” and then when selecting the drawing, “Detailing” mode is available.

After selecting open, SOLIDWORKS shows what operations can be done in Detailing mode:

When a drawing is opened in detailing mode, you can see the note “detailing mode” appear next to the drawing and sheet name like below:

How is “Detailing” mode different from “Detached drawings”?

  • Detailing mode is similar to detached drawings, but different because a drawing does not need to be first saved in detailing mode like detached drawing.
  • Detailing mode has the advantage that when any referenced components have changed, and while opening the drawing, a dialog box will pop up which warns user that the drawing needs to be updated and user can continue opening in detailing mode or resolve all the model data and update the drawing.

What are the capabilities which we can do in Detailing mode?

Some of the capabilities of working on drawings with “Detailing” mode are:

  • Notes, including notes with leaders
  • Weld callouts
  • Linear and circular note patterns
  • Geometric tolerances
  • Surface finish symbols
  • Datum feature symbols
  • Datum target symbols
  • Revision symbols
  • Revision clouds
  • Radial and linear dimensions, including use of the Smart Dimension tool
  • Locations labels
  • Balloons
  • Ordinate dimensions
  • Magnetic lines
  • Angular running dimensions
  • Change the position, rotation, and labels of drawing views.
  • Copy or cut drawing views and paste them onto the same or other sheets within the same drawing.
  • Within annotations, add links to the displayed values of dimensions and other linkable annotations.
  • Insert sketch blocks.
  • Add general and revision tables.
  • Save the file as a PDF/DXF file, or print as a PDF.

With SOLIDWORKS 2021, some major enhancements in detailing mode are:

  • We can create Break, crop and Detail views (It is necessary to first save the drawing in SOLIDWORKS 2021)
  • Add hole callouts: In Detailing Mode, we can add and edit hole callouts for holes that use Hole Wizard, Advanced Hole, Hole, Extruded Cut, Swept Cut, and Revolved Cut features.
  • Editing Existing Dimensions and Annotations in Detailing Mode: In Detailing Mode, for existing dimensions and annotations created in resolved mode, we can edit additional characteristics. It is possible to do the following:
    • Edit dimension tolerance values
    • Edit dimension characteristics such as line type and arrow type
    • Add and remove dimensions in sets of chain and baseline dimensions
    • Edit annotation note characteristics and content

Here is a short video showing some of the functionalities in Detailing mode in SOLIDWORKS:

Terminology changes in SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021

By Julien Boissat and Jay Seaglar

SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021 introduces a broad range of changes in terminology for contacts and component interaction.

The goal of these changes is to improve clarity and better align the terminology in SOLIDWORKS Simulation with industry standards.

The implementation of the terminology changes will take place gradually over the course of the Beta phase of SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021 and may benefit from adjustments when necessary.

1. Contact ==> Interaction

One of the benefits of the new terminology is to reserve the term Contact (if you’re confused, don’t worry – read on). The new general term for how bodies behave with each other is Interaction. So out goes the expression Bonded contact (an oxymoron), replaced with the clearer Bonded interaction.

This change allows getting rid of the former No Penetration type of Interaction, and simply calling it Contact. Similarly, Free is the new name for Allow Penetration.

A downstream effect of these changes is the new term Interaction Viewer to replace Contact Visualization Plot.

2. Compatible / Incompatible bonding

The concept of Compatible and Incompatible bonding has been well established in SOLIDWORKS Simulation. It appeared in version 2006, which introduced Global bonding with incompatible mesh for assemblies. Although the terms Compatible and Incompatible were effective in distinguishing between the methods, the words did not describe well the underlying technology. Eventually, these terms remained unique to SOLIDWORKS Simulation, and the rest of the industry did not adopt them.

Furthermore, the trend in the industry has favored Incompatible bonding over Compatible. Reasons for this trend include:

  • New technological developments in constraint equations made Incompatible bonding more accurate.
  • Meshing coincident bodies to enforce common nodes between touching boundaries (Compatible bonding) is a common cause of mesh failure
  • Meshing bodies independently (Incompatible bonding) produces better quality elements.

After 13 years of having Compatible bonding as the default, version 2020 already made the switch to having Incompatible bonding as the default.

Version 2021 completes the transformation started in version 2020. SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021 seamlessly achieves Bonded interactions after meshing bodies independently using a Bonding formulation of either Surface to surface or Node to surface constraint equations.

Users can still opt for the alternative and choose to boundaries when meshing using the Standard or Curvature Based meshers.

3. Gap (Clearance) ==> Contact Offset

The Gap (Clearance) option takes on the new name Contact Offset in Contact Interactions. This terminology change combines two benefits:

  1. It is consistent with the terminology in place in SIMULIA.
  2. It is coherent with the name of the new Contact Stabilization option.

Always ignore clearance takes the new name Unlimited gap distance. With this option, the program enforces the Contact offset irrespective of the gap between the selected entities.

Ignore clearance if gap is less than is shortened to If gap is less than.

4. Other miscellaneous changes

Here is a list of some other changes.

The Show advanced options for contact set definitions (no penetration and shrink fit only) option is ON by default. Therefore, the option to show these settings is now obsolete and has been removed from

The Simplified and More Accurate bonding formulations take more explicit names, respectively . The Bonding formulation and Contact formulation now use consistent terminology.

5. Summary and chart

Refer to the following charts for a color-coded, side-by-side comparison of the terminology.

 

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW When installing the SOLIDWORKS® 2021 SP1 or earlier software, what can cause the error ‘A newer version of this application is already installed’ and how do I resolve this issue?
This error appears because of a change in the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) version 7.1, introduced in the SOLIDWORKS® 2021 SP2 software.. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-078838

icon - SW When opening a drawing file in the SOLIDWORKS® 2021 application, why are shaded drawing views missing or distorted?
There is an issue with some AMD video cards where the new graphics functionality in SOLIDWORKS® affects the display of shaded drawing views in SOLIDWORKS 2021. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-078884

Icon - EPDM When using SOLIDWORKS® Manage in a high latency environment, are there any recommendations to help improve performance?
In general, a network response of over 200 milliseconds leads to performance issues within the SOLIDWORKS® Manage software. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-078834

How does the ‘List Heat Power’ tool work and what are the limitations?
The ‘List Heat Power’ and ‘List Heat Energy’ tools first became available with the release of SOLIDWORKS® Simulation 2011. These tools make it possible to determine the heat power generated or dissipated through selected entities accurately for steady state and transient thermal studies.. Please see solution Id: S-078712 for more details.

That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller.

 

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. You can enter them below.

Author information

Bishwaraj Roy
Bishwaraj Roy
Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products. Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

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Create Your Own Flexible Component (Part 2) : Basic Flexible Component https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/create-your-own-flexible-component-part-2-basic-flexible-component.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/create-your-own-flexible-component-part-2-basic-flexible-component.html#respond Thu, 04 Feb 2021 16:00:32 +0000 http://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=27852 [A New Balloon Air Pump Design] Welcome! Here we are again! This is Part2 of Flexible component, for those who seeing this blog for the first time, you can go to the “Introduction of Flexible Component – Part1”  for better understanding. To

Author information

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

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[A New Balloon Air Pump Design]

Welcome! Here we are again! This is Part2 of Flexible component, for those who seeing this blog for the first time, you can go to the “Introduction of Flexible Component – Part1”  for better understanding.

To be continuous, I will demonstrate how to create the spring sketch for the flexible components feature in details.

 

Step 1 For Flexible Spring (Sketch)

First, we must create the reference top plane (Ref TOP P) to control the spring boundary sketch and for external reference in assembly. (you can think it as the spring top plane)

Then create the spring boundary sketch that coincident with the reference top plane.

Step 2 For Flexible Spring (Sketch)

       We are going to create 3 individual sketches for the spring structure, the reason is to fully define bottom and top sketch, and leave the middle sketch become a “Driven Value” while the Ref TOP P being shift in assembly.

 

Step 3 For Flexible Spring (Part Feature)

       Nothing special in this step, we are going to use swept boss feature to create spring body by using the 3 individual sketches, you may combine it together result as one solid body.

 Then cut the extra spring body to make it flat on top and bottom just like below picture.

Step 4 For Flexible Spring (Part Feature)

       This step will show you how to create the external reference for the Ref TOP P. First of all, create the assembly file and add mate relation to place the spring in right position.

Then go to the feature manager to choose the spring part and edit the Ref TOP P, you need to delete all origin references first, then select the handlebar bottom face as external reference and click OK. So that now the spring length is “driven by” handlebar position.


Step 5 For Flexible Spring (Assembly)

       Finally, you can apply “Make Part Flexible” feature into your spring part. The feature you can find in Customize > Commands tap > Assembly categories. Or you can direct use the search commands function to find it.

       

After enter the make part flexible feature, select the handlebar bottom face as the flexible references. And you should able to make the spring become flexible.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In addition, there will be one last chapter in this topic as “Part3 – Advance Flexible Component”. In coming chapter, we will create more complicated sketch for the flexible balloon.


Written by Roy Fu, Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Author information

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.
Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.
Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

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Top 5 New Features in SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2021 https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/top-5-new-features-in-solidworks-electrical-2021.html https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2021/02/top-5-new-features-in-solidworks-electrical-2021.html#respond Mon, 01 Feb 2021 16:00:32 +0000 http://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/?p=27867 SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE rolled out a little differently this year. If you treated yourself to one of GSC’s virtual 2021 What’s New Recaps, you saw our 25-year veteran Jeff Setzer unveil myriad new features in 2021 through the eyes of

Author information

GSC

GSC fuels customer success with 3D engineering solutions for design, simulation, data management, electrical schematics, PCB, technical documentation, and 3D printing, as well as the most comprehensive consulting, technical support, and training in the industry. As a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS solutions, HP, and Markforged 3D printing technologies, GSC’s world-class team of dedicated professionals have helped numerous companies innovate and increase productivity by leveraging advanced technologies to drive 3D business success. Founded in 1989, GSC is headquartered in Germantown, WI. For more information about GSC, please visit www.gsc-3d.com.

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SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE rolled out a little differently this year. If you treated yourself to one of GSC’s virtual 2021 What’s New Recaps, you saw our 25-year veteran Jeff Setzer unveil myriad new features in 2021 through the eyes of Square Robot’s AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle).  And just as in years past, this 3 hour ‘deep dive’ proved to be only the tip of the iceberg!

Just like an iceberg, most of the mass is below the surface, so let’s take an ‘in depth’ look at a few of our favorite SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2021 enhancements and how you can put these to work right away once you make the switch!

(Need a refresher? View our SOLIDWORKS Electrical page)

Below is a list and brief description of several new features where I show you my top 5. But don’t take my word for it, read over the notes and see how 2021 can benefit you!

5. Use Splines & Arcs to Define Your Routing Path (EW_Path)

Check out this video displaying new possibilities in 3D Routing, also embedded below this text. Where our routes always resulted in lines and splines for our routes, we now can use splines, along with lines and arcs to guide our routes.

The ability to use this extra sketch type gives us more control over the route’s path to ensure clearance in geometrically complex mechanical frameworks, and also can help avoid some of the common “bend radius” warnings that appear during routing by giving our EW_PATH splines to smooth out tight corners.

4. SOLIDWORKS Electrical Viewer

With the addition of the Electrical Viewer (present on anyone’s machine at time of install of 2021), users can now review and even export or print drawings without using a license of SOLIDWORKS Electrical. If your team is hard at work and no licenses are in the pool and you just need to get in and review portions of the design, this is a great tool to have. It’s simple to pull up, and can avoid interruptions to your team that is hard at work and focused on laying out your next big thing.

 

 

3. Exclude From Bill of Materials (BOM)

While SOLIDWORKS teams have had a convenient way to hide items from their BOM, Electrical users had to develop their own methods, typically via USER DATA and Filtering. Now Electrical users can join the party, getting their own “Exclude from BOM” function.

This is handy for when you want to use the convenience of a part’s data (attributes, footprint, symbols etc.), but it’s project inclusion may be assumed (and ignored) or accounted for by the mechanical team. Now adding that extra documentation is cleaner and easier. If a part NEVER belongs on your BOMs, you can check the box in your Library. If it is a case-by-case exclusion, you can address it on the part properties, and update only that component.

Now run your reports with the Exclude FILTER or hard code into your custom query via a “WHERE” statement (i.e. WHERE “exclude from BOM” == 0) and those parts will dissolve from your reports!

Also check out this bonus feature for your BOMs…what can this do for your Electro-Mechanical Collaboration? It’s good to have options!

2. Wire Options

It took me a minute to fully understand the impact of this one, but trust me, this is BIG. I recently worked with users sharing several ideas they had to build into SOLIDWORKS Electrical. They described how each time symbols on a node changed, the wire flow also changed automatically. However, their intent was typically to remote a component and replace it with something else, preferably leaving the wiring as it was. Now in our Project configuration, we can solve exactly this!

You’ll notice when you fire up your projects, 3 new boxes that will be checked by default to maintain legacy behavior. However, changing these settings unlocks some serious time savings!

Unchecking the first 2 boxes now allows wiring to maintain its state by keeping the nodal indicator and setting a “PENDING” state on the open end of the wire, meaning that wire exists in the database as a flying lead, and also stays in place when another component comes into play.