I'm a newbie at Solidworks, and I'm not sure how to do this.
See the attached screenshot. There are 10 keyswitches in there (the complex part with the pins). These are third-party components that I purchased. Around each keyswitch, there's a dark square. That's the part I want to print in a 3d printer. These squares will fix the keyswitches in place. Of course, they need to be connected to something to hold the keyswitches!
I want to connect them to each other. I want to draw a bunch of thin plastic rods from each plastic square to its neighboring plastic squares, so they'll hold up in their positions after being printed. (Being careful of course not to block the paths of the other components.) This means that I'll have to create about 15-20 such rods.
Now, there are 2 things here that confuse me:
1. How do I create the rods? I could simply create parts, but then I'd have to create >10 different parts, all almost identical except for their lengths, which I'll have to measure in advance. Sounds like it'll take too long. Is there a way to tell Solidworks, "create a rod between this part and this part, figure out the length yourself?"
2. After I've created the rods, I want to merge them with all the dark squares to be one body; either in Solidworks or when importing, but in any case I must end up with an .STL file that has the merger of all the dark squares and the support rods, so I could then print it. How do I do that?