11 Replies Latest reply on Apr 7, 2008 4:33 AM by Anna Wood

    Help with underdefined sketches please!

    Elizabeth Bailey
      Hi. I am a TOTAL newbie to SolidWorks (less than a week in and only CAD as a background). I am trying to learn SolidWorks on the fly while creating shop drawings for a steel fabricator. I am getting a handle on the very basics, but have run into a problem I can't find a solution to, and it happened in an already created part as well as in a brand new part I created. I have sketched and extruded a wall, then sketched lines for weldments (angle iron) on the wall plane and extruded and moved those off the face of the wall to allow creation of anchor plates on the back of the iron. The trick is, the angle iron runs at an angle down the wall - it is not parallel to the floor plane. Now I am trying to create the plates on the back of the angle iron, but when I create a new sketch for the extruded plates, I can't get my rectangles defined. Because the rectangles are underdefined, I can't create an association between them and the angle iron, and I need the plates to be parallel to the iron. I am using the commands create new boss/base, then selecting the plane on the back of the angle iron to sketch on, then sketching the rectangle on that plane, then using the smart dimension tool to define the size of the plates, but the rectangle stays blue and won't create the association I need with the dimensions. I have messed with some options in the program, primarily selecting custom units and setting dimension units to feet and inches, but otherwise I haven't played too much with settings (some, but not too much - I can't help but push buttons sometimes...). The killer is, I was working in an already partially completed part where I HAD made this work, then as I went on it wouldn't work for me again, so something in the drawing or in my process changed midstream. Because I couldn't get it to work, I recreated the entire part (hours of work) and now it won't work at all in the new drawing. I can't find any answers in the usual places - can somebody please have mercy on me and HELP ME?!? Thanks!
        • Help with underdefined sketches please!
          Matt Lombard
          Have you dimensioned the rectangle to the origin or anything outside the sketch? A sketch needs to be related to something outside the sketch, either by a dimension or a sketch relation.

          Best of luck.
            • Help with underdefined sketches please!
              Elizabeth Bailey
              Hi again, Matt. Just as a test, I went back into the part and tried creating the rectangle in a 3D sketch using the point of origin as my relation, and it still didn't work. I am trying to dimension the two sides of the rectangle using the smart dimension tool. I select the top line segment of the rectangle to dimension, make it 4", then enter it. Then I select the top and bottom lines of the rectangle to establish a side dimension, call out 8", then enter that dimension. The part creates a 4x8 rectangle, but all lines remain blue or underdefined and I don't know how to get past that. And, as I said, when I did this in the original part at an earlier point in time, it worked just fine. (Works just fine means the top line of the rectangle turned black and was defined so I could use it as a reference to the angle iron and rotate the extrusion to match.) I even called another SolidWorks user who went through the same steps over the phone with me in their part drawing, and it worked for them. So what have I done to create this problem? I think I'm going crazy...but thanks!!! If I send a part drawing to someone, can they look in the settings and see what I may have done?
                • Help with underdefined sketches please!
                  Anna Wood
                  Elizabeth,

                  Zip up your files into an archive and upload to the post. We are all really shooting in the dark trying to help you. The files will make it much easier.

                  Cheers,
                  • Help with underdefined sketches please!
                    Matt Lombard
                    3d sketches? well, that might be part of the problem. Also, did you turn off automatic relations, by any chance? (Tools, Sketch Settings, Automatic Relations), it's also found in Tools, Options, Sketch.

                    You're going to have to post a part file to get specific help. If you are using 3D sketches on planes, literally anything could be wrong.

                    Try making things work in a 2D sketch first. Something simple like a line.

                    Make a dimension that goes between a line and the blue part origin. I don't think you understood what I said about dimensioning to something outside the sketch.

                    If you are using 2008 installed on a computer that never had SW before, blue is now the default color for selected items instead of underdefined sketches.


                    Anyway, try to attach a sample part to your post.
                      • Help with underdefined sketches please!
                        Elizabeth Bailey
                        Hi again Matt -

                        Other than creating planes, that's the only time I've really tried creating a sketch in 3D, so that shouldn't be the problem. And I get now what you were saying about dimensioning to something outside of the file - I did try that and kept getting overdefined error messages when I did that. I've tried uploading files and I get an error message when I do that - the error message says that neither my WinZip files nor my SolidWorks files a a file format that is allowed. So now I need MORE help! How can I get my WinZip or my SolidWorks files uploaded to the site? Sorry guys - I really do appreciate your time and consideration!!!
                          • Help with underdefined sketches please!
                            Anna Wood
                            The .zip file should upload to the forum. The SW files will not.

                            You can send me the files at anna.wood@auerprecision.com

                            I will take a look and I will also post them for you.

                            Cheers,
                              • Help with underdefined sketches please!
                                Elizabeth Bailey
                                Hi Anna -

                                Thank you so much for your help. I have forwarded two part drawings to you with an explanation (as if you needed more verbiage from me!). My zip software is WinRAR which may be why I wasn't able to upload the files - they have a .rar extension.

                                I appreciate your help (at your convenience), and I am looking forward to hearing back from you. Probably a simple answer, but I can't find it.

                                Thanks again - it's a tough program to learn in just a few days, but it's really great! I'm enjoying it...
                                  • Help with underdefined sketches please!
                                    Anna Wood
                                    Elizabeth,

                                    Here are your files....

                                    You really can't expect to learn how to use SW in a couple days, with no training (I assume). Especially if you have little experience in 3D modeling packages. It is a much different thought process then the 2D world.

                                    I sent you some suggestions for getting training help. If this work is for a company, your management is short changing you on not getting training. The small amount they think they are saving by not sending you to training they will loss in spades from your lack of knowledge on how to get things done in SW.

                                    I am not up to speed on Weldments as that is an area of the software that we do not use and I am sure some of the other folks here can give you some examples of better modeling technique for the files that are posted.

                                    Cheers,
                        • Help with underdefined sketches please!
                          Elizabeth Bailey
                          I have selected the back face of the angle iron as the sketch relation. Although that worked originally, it no longer works. I also tried creating a sketch relation between the rectangle and the sketch line that created the angle iron (didn't work). I also tried creating a new plane and creating a sketch relation between the rectangle and the plane (didn't work). And I tried creating a relation between the rectangle and a different extrusion in the drawing (an anchor plate) and THAT didn't work. I'm running out of ideas...
                          • Help with underdefined sketches please!
                            Elizabeth Bailey
                            Hi Anna -

                            I'm a contractor, not an employee, and this was a situation of "I need someone quickly - do you think you can tackle it?" I said I'd give it a shot, and as the work itself is pretty basic I think I'll be able to get it done. This is the only bug I haven't been able to figure out well enough to overcome so far. I wish I had someone backing me up by providing training! I'd love it...

                            Thank you for posting the files - I look forward to getting feedback and hopefully an answer.

                            And another question (while I'm thinking about it). If I want to apply a CMU (concrete masonry unit) finish to my extruded wall, I know how to apply it, and I know how to orient it, but I haven't been able to figure out how to scale it appropriately so that it appears in scale on the wall. Is there a way you can tell me to scale the texture? It appears under Texture, Wall, Blocks. The Texture Properties box allows me to scale it somewhat, but it is still WAY out of scale with the real world. Ideas?

                            Thanks again, Anna -

                            Liz
                              • Help with underdefined sketches please!
                                Anna Wood
                                Liz,

                                That is another area I do not get into. I do tool and die design, so have little need for the areas of the software you are getting into.

                                Glad to hear you are getting along somewhat with the software. I have done a crash course, self-taught learning session with ProE a few years back. We got the work done, but it was an awful lot of work and I am sure I wasn't as efficient as I could have been. Luckily it was a one off program that we eventually brought into SW to do the production work with.

                                A lot of caffeine and late nights got me thru it. It was like I was back in college again.... :-) I can appreciate the task you have taken on and having enough gumption to give it a shot. I hope the company you work for appreciates your efforts. I know we appreciate go-getters who are willing to step out of their comfort zones to get-er done.

                                Cheers,