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.
I spent the first 10 years of my engineering career in the semi trailer industry where most of our work was symmetrical between road side and curb side so I automatically attempt to center all parts on the datum planes. It worked best for that type of application.
inquiring minds want to know. This sounds very interesting.
I couldn't agree more with this sentiment. Most modeling problems I see come from people just wanting to "get it done" and not really think about what they are doing. I'll admit when I first started out my entire mindset was simply on "create the model as fast as possible while having all the necessary design elements". It didn't take me very many times of trying to revise that piece of junk for me to realize the error of my ways. A bit of forethought into how you model and make feature relations can save you an insane amount of headache further down the road. My favorite quote I always use is "A stitch in time saves nine" which is so true with CAD models.
Thank you, and I agree completely (see also Ben F. quote at end of my post above). Eventually I stopped needing the AdvCompSel tool when I reached the productive triumvirate of training, experience, and attentiveness here on the forums. Without a handful of very generous and wise forum contributors, I'd surely still be making those mistakes from thinking everything looks like a nail because I've got this great hammer. I sincerely thank you and others, most of which I'm pleased have contributed on this thread. In modest comparison to volume over time, I'm pleased to have added my own 2¢.
After some consideration, I'd also like to add to my long description above, after the bold section and suppressing mates, to then "Rinse (exit Isolate) and Repeat." That's primarily why I made a shortcut for it: not to access it at first but rather to access it repeatedly in succession.
It's kinda like whittling towards the solution. Maybe it's like paring the good apple away from the rotten spot. But maybe it's like The Hunger Games, or The Running Man, or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, or most teen horror films, where the plot revolves around reducing the cast, but probably not. (I like similes better than smilies, but anagrams are cool too.)
I model everything with the origin in the middle of the part, all 3 default planes centered in the part, and as if the part is sitting on a table. This makes it easier to align within an assy, and the bottom of the part is on the top plane.
Another click and pick way that I have used over the years is suppress the entire feature tree and then starting at the top unsuppress one item at a time till the errors start showing, start from that point and fix your issues....
Not bragging or complaining, it's been a long time since I needed to do that, did you ever see the Maytag Repair Guy, that's what I'm talking about, took a long time to build the washer and dryer, but no maintenance how cool is that.............
Here's one I use occasionally that may not be well known. When mating a component, sometimes I want to place it with my cursor in a certain position and mate it right there. I can activate the mate command and select two parallel entities (one from the component being mated, and a stationary object (such as another fully mated component, plane, sketch entity, etc.). SW will of course assume a Coincident mate...
...and the component will move accordingly. Now, instead of clicking on OK, click on the Distance Mate icon. The component will move back to where you had it, and the Distance mate will be applied.
Jeff Li -
The most important tip of them all is
The SW Forum
As a beginner, I feel the need to find a way to convert this thread to a PDF and title it " SW Tried and Tested Time Saving Tips"
Check this on right side under actions
Patrick, could you expand a little on the D key.
The "D" key will bring the ok or cancel button close to your cursor. It's works also with the breadcrum menu once you click on a part, face, feature, etc. So instead of having to go all the way to the top right corner for confirmation you can simply press "D" on the keyboard and the buttons comes near your cursor. It's seems to not have been fully implemented yet but I still find it useful and faster.
yes it is cool key
Since I make a lot of parts that are the same just different sized and they all at one point and time need to fit together. I make sure All my planes will work in the same way. That way if I have to replace a part it is much easier to do.
But my greatest trick is to watch these forums, cause almost daily I find ways to make my job easier and faster.
David Nelson wrote: Since I make a lot of parts that are the same just different sized
David Nelson wrote:
Since I make a lot of parts that are the same just different sized
Do you use DriveWorksXpress to create the copies with required changes OR simply save as a copy and make changes for those similar looking parts?
One trick I learned to help me draw furniture frames and upholstery is to "weld" my furniture. By adding a Weldment at the beginning of my process, the merge result is automatically deselected for each feature. This leaves me with a multi body part that I can combine later if I wish. This keeps my frame parts separate for a true cut list for the CNC router.
Worth Berry wrote: By adding a Weldment at the beginning of my process, the merge result is automatically deselected for each feature.
Worth Berry wrote:
By adding a Weldment at the beginning of my process, the merge result is automatically deselected for each feature.
Do you've that in the part template? If not then you can add that into the part template and that would save a click for each new file
also from SW2016 you can turn off automatic creation of 2nd configuration for weldments.
I don't Deepak. I currently have my templates set up based on units. Imperial, metric, or fractional. I may be drawing a multi body frame one minute, and have to switch over and draw solid piece of hardware the next. I will keep that in mind for another template though. Thanks!
It was introduced in SW2015
Interesting approach with #2, I've never thought about doing it that way but I guess it would be useful for designing of parts that are to be hand tooled as it would be both a model and a work instructions in a single file. Unfortunately all the stuff I make is done via injection molding so wouldn't help me currently but I'll keep that approach in mind if I ever work with parts that are made in that fashion.
I too will respect #2 from Scott. It may bring some difficulties while designing but it's not lost because once your done you know the part will be manufacturable.
Eric, even if your parts are done via injection molding you still have to be aware of that because you need to open the mold and eject the part. Not exactly the same but the principle is still valid.
Macros macros macros. With some help from this forum, I was able to create very specific macros for company-specific needs. To clarify some of the descriptions below, we are a multi-functional, transforming furniture company practicing "The Toyota Way" and lean manufacturing.
1. Our saw optimizing software used to be completely manual, hand-typed with fields to enter for assembly, material, grain direction, length, width, quantity, thickness, part number, description, project name and 4 edgeband codes. Every part, every field was hand-typed based on design and measurements from a different CAD program. I created a macro that takes the solidworks indented BOM and generates the necessary .XXX extension file for the optimizing software to directly load with 2 clicks. Then I created user interface that runs through spreadsheets to pick the proper .XXX files from our standard product library instead of having to cross-reference through excel spreadsheets. The macro can also generate prefixes for parts with the same name but different assembly name so the cut parts can be sorted per assembly on racks instead of stacking on pallets and sorting through later on during assembly.
2. Since we create furniture, another macro created helps assign various edgeband within the assembly and changes the color of faces based on selection as well as changing the custom properties of the specific parts within the assembly. This was another completely manual operation and even within a .sldprt document had to be 4 different custom properties entered on each part manually. Now the custom properties can be generated through user selections within a .sldasm document but can easily be overwritten if necessary, then, of course, are automatically entered into the BOM and straight to production files.
3. A macro for filiing out all data fields for the software our CNC operators use to program and run files. Again, before the macro, 21 data fields had to be filled out for the CNC operator to have all the information needed such as file name, size, production routing process. Now it is an export from Solidworks and an import in the other software with a few clicks.
4. A macro that traverses the assembly tree and counts hardware for us without having to add each piece of the hardware itself. For example, the first working version of the macro traversed a wooden shelf .sldasm and told us how many dowel pins there are without us having to add them as parts, or virtual parts, or having to pattern anything. It tells us the hardware needed without taking the time to add (or mate them!).
5. Created a CAM process to program our CNC machines within Solidworks for free. Yes, there is Mastercam, Featurecam and Smartcam that would work for us and I've used them in my career but they cost thousands of dollars. For our needs, there was not a working free CAM process. I established a free process to communicate with our equipment and meet our needs. The original method was to create (as many of you likely have) a very detailed drawing with every x/y/z/depth/etc...listed for manual programming at the machine. Now we provide a quick set-up drawing with critical notes and a program straight from engineering. If there is a new part or revision, the data is all in engineering and we don't need to request manufacturing to take the time re-program their current files.
Edit: and #6: Templates and standards. Template for external vendor blueprint, template for assembly drawing, CNC production drawing, etc. Standardizing sheet formats, part templates, hole types and dimension standards creates rules that can be used for new tools. If something follows a rule, it can be a searchable variable, a boolean or easily implemented into a tool or a new shortcut.
Solidworks is now the central brain that communicates data to 3 other types of company software. This eliminated a lot of manual processes, duplicating information and defects which often arise from the "broken telephone" of one or multiple employees entering the same data in various places and software packages.
Retrieving data ...