What are your most impressive tricks of solidworks, Please spread this question to more people.
It is better to list 5~10 tricks for others, we will accumulated more and more in future.
Glenn Schroeder wrote: I've just spent the last 1/2 hour or so cleaning up a model done by my student worker 10 years ago. It had a number of issues. I'm not blaming her, because she didn't have any SW experience prior to me hiring her, and she was learning as she went along. Now that I have the background out of the way, I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but I can't stress enough that for maintaining design intent, and for ease of editing down the road, never use a dimension if you can get the sketch defined with relations, even if you need to add construction lines.
Glenn Schroeder wrote:
I've just spent the last 1/2 hour or so cleaning up a model done by my student worker 10 years ago. It had a number of issues. I'm not blaming her, because she didn't have any SW experience prior to me hiring her, and she was learning as she went along. Now that I have the background out of the way, I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but I can't stress enough that for maintaining design intent, and for ease of editing down the road, never use a dimension if you can get the sketch defined with relations, even if you need to add construction lines.
Reading back over that I realize I could have worded it better. Those of you that agree don't need clarification, but inexperienced users might. In many situations of course you need to add dimensions when sketching, but use relations or construction geometry instead whenever possible. In the simple example below, the intent is to have the hole centered between the horizontal edges. The body is 2" wide, so the 1" dimension is placed from one edge. That's all fine and good until you edit the body and change it to 2-1/4" wide. Now your hole is no longer in the center, so you have to edit that sketch and change the value. Maybe more than once as the design evolves.
The second example has the construction line instead. It has one end coincident with the center of the vertical edge and the other end coincident with the circle's center point, so if the width changes the hole will still be in the center.
As a bonus, if you have "Enable on screen numeric input on entity creation" turned on, you could select "construction line", click on the edge's center point to start it, drag your cursor so it snaps horizontal, and enter the desired value. Hit Enter, then activate your circle command, click on the end of the construction line, enter a value, hit Enter, then exit the sketch. That way you never need to select "Smart Dimension" since you're entering the dimensions while sketching. If you have shortcuts set up properly (keyboard shortcuts, Mouse Gestures, S-key, etc) you can do all that within the space of 2 or 3 seconds.
I have been working on a new product design for the last several weeks and trying to be a zealot about adhering to John Stoltzfus' skeleton / top down approach. It takes a lot of discipline before it becomes second nature. Today it really paid dividends. What would have been a major change affecting countless downstream features... caused one spline to "pretzel" out of thousands. The change plus error diagnosis plus fix took all of 5 minutes. And a big part of this is from also following Glenn Schroeder's tip on defaulting to relations and construction geometry before dimensions.
I expect to see many more "dividends" as the design progresses.
Daen Hendrickson - thanks for the kudos - Sticking to the SSP process will definitely reduce the amount of time spent in diagnostics. "Design For Change" - is what it's all about, change a dimension and see what happens, delete a part and see if other parts error, if they do, you have a relation from Part to Part instead of Part to SSP. There is a big difference in modeling time once you get used to it, much quicker, but 75% of the time is used working on the SSP and 25% or less of actual modeling.
Throw in a couple other tips/tricks, name your sketches and name the dimensions that you think will change, (named sketches are easy to spot and change in the Equation Manager), color your sketches and use folders....
What are these stand alone licenses? Do we still get them? I have so much non work related stuff I could be doing at night.
Yes you can get standalone licenses, but from your comment about working at night I think you mean HUL or Home Use Licenses. And the answer to that is no. They have stopped giving them out and If I understand correctly those of us with them will be loosing that ability by the end of the year.
I "think" there is something online available but I haven't looked.
I hadn't heard that we would loose the ability to use a HUL at the end of the year. (It may be correct - and I would like to know for sure - I just haven't heard anything about that).
I know that Draftsight (free versions) will stop working at the end of the year and you will have to have a purchase version after that that you would renew each year just like the standard SWX licenses.
I do know that if you have been using a HUL and remove it, change hard disks, computers or any thing like that where you would need to reinstall or change it's disk location it will be deactivated and you will not be able to reactivate.
I guess many people will find out the hard way if on Jan. 1st the HUL's no longer work.
I would like to know for sure, as I have a HUL on my home system.
If anybody has more information / clarification on this - please post it.
I thought I read it was sooner than January...Maybe October?
In the UK HUL's were removed a couple of years ago; if not longer.
Matt Peneguy wrote: I thought I read it was sooner than January...Maybe October?
Matt Peneguy wrote:
OUCH, that's gonna hurt
Regarding end of HUL...
So far I actually managed to get them to authorize an installation on my laptop of the same licence as on my desktop after signing away my right to breathe in promises not to use both simultaneously. But it took a lot of arguing!
I have a policy of vigorously protesting any loss of functionality/usefulness that is not accompanied by a corresponding reduction in cost. Not that I get anywhere usually. They usually just succeed in taking more money off us in exchange for less....
Meanwhile it is possible to run an automatic shutdown batch file that triggers your licence to be released from your work pc when it is shut down, so it is available to pick up on your home PC. Just do that. After some large number of licence transfers (like 999 or something) I'm told it will error out and you will have to ring up to get them to reset the counter to let it keep going.
My worry was I could get stuck at home due to snow or something and there would be nobody at the office to release my licence to allow me to work at home.
But now I have remote access to my desktop from my laptop...
Gordon Rigg wrote:But now I have remote access to my desktop from my laptop...
Gordon Rigg wrote:
That's the route they took here. My colleagues can remotely access their desktop machines, so don't even need Solidworks on their laptops anymore. I'm not high enough up the food chain to rate a laptop.
For me I try to place geometry, dimensions and construction according to some "Predicted Future". In your case above the block I'm using may not always need the hole to be central. If indeed I want to hold that hole, say from the bottom of the block as that may be the mounting surface, I would put that dimension there. Also I may make that dimensions a function of the width, or even dimension it from the origin. I also use construction lines as you do or even less clicks and geometry, just add a a constraint horizontal to the the mid point of the line.
My whole point is that I do not think that there is any "You should do it this way". Dimensioning, geometry, design should follow function in nearly every case from start to finish.
For example if the important functional aspect of the above block is that it is held some distance from the edge where, in your first example, the 1.000 dimension is coming from, then I would add that dimension and not constrain it to the mid point. If however on the other hand I believe I will always want that hole to be central to the mid point I would constrain it as such. If however that dimension is some function of something else in the sketch I would make it an equation.
I think all too often we get stuck in "Do it this way" and we don't actually think about what the part is supposed to be doing.
My two cents anyway.
If you want the hole a fixed distance from the edge then of course you should use a dimension. I was merely trying to make the point that you shouldn't use a dimension if you want it centered.
Not sure if I should add this here, or here:
Prompted by Kevin Chandler to add it, anyway. Thanks Kevin!
When using the Property Tab Builder, one of the fields that you can select is a Date Field (using a Textbox field with the "Type" changed to Date):
When you use this Tab Builder template in a part template to create custom properties, you can set it to be a default date.....or you can leave the field blank in your template, and when you select the date drop down, it will default to today:
I originally had a date set up in here and had to keep moving the date in order to keep it near today.....but then I discovered that, if I left the field blank, it would default to today.
There you go.
Hi John StoltzfusStoltzfus,
Hope you are doing well.
Could you please explain the use of this type of template.
Also, kindly share the template that you already made.
Thanks in advance!
Vinoth Kumar N.
What Template are you referring to?
I use 2 templates for parts.
One is for single-body parts, using part properties to fill up the cartridge.
Second is for multi-body parts, using body properties to fill up the cartridge
What John suggested was basically the same. One template with the desired note on it, one template without the note. Then, the person would switch between the desired template.
Vinoth Kumar N. wrote: Hi John StoltzfusStoltzfus,Hope you are doing well.Could you please explain the use of this type of template.Also, kindly share the template that you already made. Thanks in advance!Cheers.
Vinoth Kumar N. wrote:
It is always a good idea to make your own. I usually start with a standard SW template. Make a few modifications, and flow from there.
one place you typed in all the info in to the drawing template.
another place i worked it was set up to work off the parts and assemblies. If you looked in the properties of the part you could find the drawing # rev, ect all and be able to find the drawing.
creating the custom list of properties for parts and assemblies used to be fun, That and setting all the relevant document settings. Then we would have to fill out all that info. Now there is the property manager. That makes things a little easier and a bit more complicated figuring out how to set it up. Once it is set up and working properly drafters and designers can fill out things faster and easier.
I have been kept a few of the drawing templates from some places. the only area i really ever needed to copy was the lower right hand corner. From there it is just a matter of making the border the correct size for the drawing sheet that you are making. Change out a company name here and there. add or replace a logo, and you have something to work with set up to your standards all around. Not something that you copied from someone elsees templates.
I use the same approach. However, a particular annoyance is that I have to click the down arrow to get the calendar to appear (only the down arrow, clicking in the text box will not do), then I must mouse over and click today's date (conveniently highlighted with the red box). Hitting enter will not select the date. This is all with SW2014. Perhaps the behavior has improved in later releases.
What I would REALLY like is: for the text box to automatically pre-fill with today's data until a date has been entered / selected; to additionally activate the calendar popup by clicking anywhere in the box and/or by tabbing into the box and hitting enter. And/or the ability to place a button near the box that will fill the box with today's date.
What you suggest is good and it is what I use as well. But for such a convenience it requires several mouse clicks.
Jim Steinmeyer wrote: I "think" there is something online available but I haven't looked.
Jim Steinmeyer wrote:
Yes it's called On$hape. free, online 3D CAD
But their "Workflow" sucks
Adding a note in the Configuration Description can be used for instructions downstream..
From this thread...
Want to link exploded views to notes in drawings.
You can SAVE the Note
In the Design Library
Then you can Drag & Drop into a drawing view
John Stoltzfus wrote: Adding a note in the Configuration Description can be used for instructions downstream.. From this thread... Want to link exploded views to notes in drawings. $PRPSHEET:"SW-Configuration Name" You can SAVE the Note In the Design Library Then you can Drag & Drop into a drawing view
John Stoltzfus wrote:
Too many options.
Now my head hurts.
Retrieving data ...