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Help with underdefined sketches please!

Question asked by Elizabeth Bailey on Apr 6, 2008
Latest reply on Apr 7, 2008 by Anna Wood
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!

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