13 Replies Latest reply on Sep 8, 2015 1:39 PM by John Kamin

    How to locate features

    Kingsley Hill

      I am new to SolidWorks.  I am want to do a simple thing and while I can think of a few ways to accomplish it, I am sure there is an easy and recommended way to do it.


      I have, for example, a 2D sketch of a stainless tube.  (extruded from circle on the horizontal plane).  I need to locate some holes in the tube.  I need one 1.375" from the bottom (horizontal plane) ... and a few others.  The need to be a certain heights.  They need to enter the tube from different angles, sometimes square to the tube, sometimes at an angle.  Is there a way to turn on a measurement readout for the cursor relative to a specific place or the origin.?


      What is the recommended/trained/easiest way to locate and make the holes?

        • Re: How to locate features
          Mike Price

          Hi Kingsley,


          Are you new to CAD or just SW?


          I ask because while there are certain ways you can approach this in SW versus other CAD programs, the design methodology is somewhat similar.


          For example, are you just talking about a couple holes in the tube, or lots of holes (is patterning a requirement)?


          Are the holes all of the same configuration with regards to size or does each one have a different size?

            • Re: How to locate features
              Kingsley Hill

              Hi Mike,

              Thanks for the response.  I have some experience with 2D CAD (AutoCAD), but never got really good at it.


              This is a rather general question.  I am basically looking for the simple/accepted way to locate a hole on a part.  Patterning and repeating I think I understand.  Slightly more complex is the question of non-perpendicular (to the central axis) holes.


              I could create a plane tangent to the surface of the tube, and then a plane parallel to the horizontal (top) plane offset by the desired distance, then put the hole at the intersection -- but that seems like a lot of work and clutters up the drawing a lot.

                • Re: How to locate features
                  Mike Price

                  Do you have 2015?

                  • Re: How to locate features
                    Deepak Gupta

                    You could utilise the 3d sketch option while creating holes. And then you can position them accordingly either with x,y and z coordinates or dimension. 

                    • Re: How to locate features
                      Mike Price

                      Hi Kingsley,


                      I ask the question do you have 2015, because I believe that you will need to do this using the variable pattern.  I do not have 2015 so I cannot do this (I don't know how to do a pattern like this without using a variable pattern in Solidworks.


                      However, there are a couple things:


                      First, I would never worry about cluttering up the drawing (it's actually called the "model" once you go 3D ) as you can hide the features.  A lot of work is however something to try to prevent when constructing something like this.


                      In ProE (I'm telling you this because there will be someone who reads this post and will say "well if it can be done in ProE, I can do it in Solidworks...), I can create a model like this in less than minute.


                      9-7-2015 6-32-16 PM.jpg


                      This pattern is varying, the angular dimension/the diameter/the position along the cylinder axis all at the same time.


                      In Solidworks, you can create a hole on the outside of the cylinder.  This would be considered a radial hole.  The nice thing is when you go to create that radial hole in SW it creates it so that the hole axis is perpendicular with the cylinder.  However, you can't dimension a 30 degree angle like I've shown in the above picture without some other construction geometry.  So, with that said,  I believe you will want to have the variable pattern functionality to be able to pattern it effectively.


                      But I would think there is some other way I am not aware of in 2014 and earlier to do the above, but my complaint has been that I have not found a way or how been shown how to do so.


                      So I would consider:


                      -A revolved cut that is on a plane that is off one side of the cylinder and then at any angle you like, then you can use the variable pattern to pattern the angular dimension/the diameter/the position along the cylinder axis (The base feature would be Cut-Revolve1 in the attached part)


                      -Create an angled plane and then place a radial hole placed the hole tool, patterning the same attributes above using the variable pattern.  (This is Hole1 in the attached model)


                      In both cases I believe the new variable pattern can be employed to give you what can be accomplished as I have shown in the picture above.

                  • Re: How to locate features
                    John Kamin

                    You can use the hole wizard to add a hole to the outside of the tube, which will always point to the center (or in other words, be normal to the face), and then rotate face of the hole to the desired angle.


                    1) Insert hole using hole wizard.  You can use construction geometry to position the hole as shown below


                    2) Expand the hole feature, right click on the 3D sketch and show it so you can use the hole insertion point in the next step


                    3) Insert -> Face -> Move, and then select the rotate option


                    4) Select the hole insertion point as your axis of rotation, select the hole face, use the handles or just input values for the XYZ to rotate the hole to a desired angle.



                    This is a view from the top (in wireframe) so you can see that the hole is not pointing to the center of the pipe.



                    It seems like a lot of steps, but unless you are making dozens of holes this way, it's not really time consuming, and it keeps the design tree nice and neat.

                      • Re: How to locate features
                        Kingsley Hill

                        Ok John, this is what I am looking for.  BUT (here comes the dunce's question) how do I get that, exactly what I need, display of height and angle from planes/origin that you show in your first picture? 


                        I tried "smart dimension" and it doesn't do it...plus I have never figured out how to make the smart dimension remain in place--it constantly follows my mouse no matter what I do.  (but that is another problem)

                          • Re: How to locate features
                            John Kamin

                            You start off with inserting the hole using the hole wizard (Insert -> Features -> Hole -> Wizard...), select the hole type, size, etc.  Click on the "Positions" tab at the top.  It will give you an option to click on 3D sketch, but you don't need to in this instance, since the pipe surface is not planar, it will automatically give you a 3D sketch when you click on the pipe (cylinder) surface.


                            Place the point somewhere on the cylinder and hit the Esc. button to exist the point command, but still remain in the hole wizard "positions" tab.


                            Now you can add a centerline as construction geometry.  To get a continuous sketch without having to start and stop the segments, I would suggest that you start by hovering over the point that you've inserted and click there to start (don't hold the mouse button down, just a click).  Then go straight down and click on the outer, bottom edge of the cylinder (you will notice that the line wants to snap to vertical - make sure it's vertical).  From there, click on the origin, and then move the mouse horizontally and click somewhere outside the cylinder (make sure that it's snapped to a horizontal).  If it will not snap in the horizontal, hit the tab button to change directions.


                            Now you can dimension the height and angle.  Model is attached, study it...

                              • Re: How to locate features
                                Kingsley Hill

                                I guess I am not getting something.  I am playing with your demo sketch.  I do as you suggest:

                                Screenshot 2015-09-08 13.28.00.png

                                ...and I place a point.  I can sort of roughly use the numbers a the bottom of the screen to get the height above the plane -- is that my only reference?


                                Then I click on the point and move the cursor ... and that is where what you describe doesn't happen:


                                Screenshot 2015-09-08 13.28.33.png

                                No vertical line forms.  Nothing snaps to vertical.  Clicking on the bottom edge and then the origin does nothing.  What am I missing?



                                the 3Dunce