Technical Tips Tricks Posts

Wednesday September 10, 2014 at 11:25am

This blog describes how to add a transient time step into a Simulation Design Study. This enables users to graph stress results across time steps to see worst case.

Read More >

Thursday August 28, 2014 at 11:46am

We often get asked by Customers if there is any way to reuse the text values entered on one DataCard within another file's DataCard. This post will look at how you can use the the special 'History' list to recall and reselect values previous typed into a Combobox Dropdown control.

Read More >

Thursday July 31, 2014 at 4:10pm

An easy way to monitor stress values in critical areas of your model.

Read More >

Tuesday July 29, 2014 at 9:44am

This blog post explains how you can Render Cosmetic Threads in SOLIDWORKS to make them look a lot more realistic than the 'screw thread' appearance.

Read More >

Wednesday July 23, 2014 at 9:54am

Getting the correct orientation of a model can sometimes be difficult, whether you need a specific view in a drawing or just within the part there are a number of tools to help.

Read More >

Tuesday July 22, 2014 at 2:59pm

Internal Flow projects need an enclosed cavity to run. If there is a gap, no matter how small, SOLIDWORKS cannot calculate the fluid volume. So how do you find the gap if it is very small and the geometry is complex? Here's how ...

Read More >

Tuesday July 15, 2014 at 10:28am

Well the World Cup is over, so as we are probably all trying to fill the 6 week gap until the start of the new domestic season- here's a blog with football at heart. In this post we look at finding where we have openings in surface models- and the reason why they may not convert to solids. With a football, it won't be much use with a hole in it, so here's a little tip I came across reviewing some of the old SOLIDWORKS World Presentations- it is also one we refer to on the Surface Modelling train....

Read More >

Wednesday July 9, 2014 at 4:12pm

Do you ever need to create Inspection Reports from customer drawings or directly from SOLIDWORKS?

Read More >

Thursday June 26, 2014 at 5:23pm

Ever wanted to convert entities on all edges - not just the boundary?

Read More >

Thursday June 26, 2014 at 4:44pm

Flags? Really? Well, many of our customers build boats, some design toys... Plus Freeform is a command that can be used to modify solids or surfaces

Read More >

Monday June 23, 2014 at 12:14pm

Video Blog - A brief guide in how to use the Copy Settings Wizard to save out and restore your custom SOLIDWORKS options such as menus, toolbars & saved views.

Read More >

Thursday June 19, 2014 at 3:15pm

Want to create a free form cut out in a 3D surface? The little known 'Spline on Surface' is a great tool for this. Here is how to create an egg with the top chopped off - ready for the soldiers!

Read More >

Monday June 16, 2014 at 2:12pm

Discover a little known tip to help you clearly show internal components of an assembly through the outer level components using SOLIDWORKS Composer...

Read More >

Monday June 16, 2014 at 12:24am

One common question on photo-rendering is when you haveclear objects why may you get dark spots? The answer is down to the fact thatin real life light bends as many times as it needs to pass through atransparent object. However in rendering we have to limit this number of bends (knownas refractions) for performance reasons. This is particularly a problem whereyou have many transparent layers such as a point of sale display.In PhotoView 360 the number of refractions (bends) goes upas you increase....

Read More >

Thursday June 12, 2014 at 5:49pm

Ever wondered how to “foreshorten” a dimension in a drawing?

Read More >

Wednesday June 11, 2014 at 4:51pm

The Max and Min Table in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation reports the max and min parameter results - as you would expect. However, what is less well known is that the table interactively identifies the location of the max and min values graphically.

Read More >

Monday June 9, 2014 at 5:27pm

In this week’s blog I’m going to show how to use acombination of simple commands to create this seemingly complex component. The part will start with a simple sphere, a groove will be thencut using a path that was created using a helix and a surface. A multipleprofile sweep will create the variable cut gradient, before pattering thegroove around the sphere to achieve the desired ‘notched’ result.After creating the sphere we will create a helix that ‘cuts’throu....

Read More >

Saturday June 7, 2014 at 7:38pm

Covered on the Assembly Modelling course, the ReplaceComponent tool allows components with different file names to be swapped in andout without causing mate errors or the need to re-make areas of an assembly.Mates are re attached automatically, or if not they are re attached through oneby one.Take this example vice assembly; my aim is to swap out theexisting blue base with the new green one, perhaps due to a supplier change ormodification to a part. Crucially, they are two separate documents.To ....

Read More >

Saturday June 7, 2014 at 6:19pm

eDrawingsThere are a number of tools within SOLIDWORKS to speed up theprocess of communicating designs quickly and effectively to your customers. Oneof the most popular ways is through a free program called eDrawings. One of the major benefits with using eDrawings is thatentire assembly files are flattened to an individual file which has the addedbenefit of reducing the file size allowing it easily to be sent via email. Within the eDrawings product, your suppliers, customers or manufac....

Read More >

Wednesday May 28, 2014 at 11:49am

Master modelling is the technique employed by many designers that work with external customer data. It allows the user to import a part into another part document. With an inserted part, new geometry can then be referenced to the inserted part ensuring adequate fit and clearances are maintained. Take for example a simple consumer electrical product like an electric shaver- the main body may be used as the inserted master part to allow other items to be designed- such as button details, or the ra....

Read More >

Tuesday May 27, 2014 at 9:14am

Follow this tip for a simple way to open files of different types directly from the 'Contain' and 'Where Used' tabs of SOLIDWORKS EnterprisePDM.

Read More >

Thursday May 22, 2014 at 10:42pm

Custom properties are used throughout SOLIDWORKS- they are simply text based information that helps further describe and add information about a document - they are sometimes known as metadata.When created, properties can be used extensively throughout SOLIDWORKS, namely populating Bills of Materials and drawing borders, but also they provide additional items to search on. In this blog we discuss how you can add properties in the first place. 1) File menu > PropertiesThe first and most c....

Read More >

Friday May 9, 2014 at 11:38am

How can you easily create 36 planes at 10 degrees around a central axis?

Read More >

Thursday May 8, 2014 at 2:57pm

Can you control the order of the holes in a hole table and the 'tags' that label them? This blog describes a neat method of achieving the hole order you want and gives you control over the tag names too.

Read More >

Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 4:52pm

SOLIDWORKS offers integratedWeldment Structure design tools at all levels of the product. Through the‘SOLIDWORKS Content’ section of the design library, profiles for most types of structuralmember can be downloaded. The ‘Unistrut’ type is one of these and using itallows us to easily create structural members like the ones shown in the imagebelow and left.The Weldment tools speed up the creation of even the mostcomplex structures. However, due to the way the system extrude....

Read More >

Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 4:37pm

Read on to see how the Sketch Driven pattern can be used for irregular pattern arrays. An often forgotten feature within SOLIDWORKS, sketch driven pattern is extremely useful if a repeated feature is patterned on a planar face without a singular directional vector, or ‘irregular’ spacing. Take this simple example; the aim is to create an array of tapped holes at irregular intervals where the linear pattern would not be applicable- unless it was done with many features.

Read More >

Monday May 5, 2014 at 10:46pm

Last week during training I had a question asking how to work out the internal volume of a model, and taking this a bit further, how to calculate the volume of a fluid. To answer the query I showed a recent addition to the SOLIDWORKS feature set, the ’Intersect’ command.

Read More >

Tuesday April 22, 2014 at 10:31am

Animations:        Save As .avi recommended settingsI've had a number of calls on the support desk asking for help when saving their animations out as .avi files.  The comments range from the animation appearing ‘rough’ or ‘stuttering’, to the file size being far too big to send to anyone or upload to their website.  As it happens then, there are a few tweaks we can make to the Save As settings that should fix these issues ....

Read More >

Thursday April 10, 2014 at 10:29am

The multibody part environment is a huge strength of SOLIDWORKS- the diverse range of features we provide in the part mode, means that you can gain fully detailed designs without having to even explore the assembly mode- there may be examples where you wish to convert multibodies to assemblies though- for example: Animations; assigning part numbers; assembly specific features. In this blog we explore some of the ways to do this. 1- Insert into New Part This option allows you to take on....

Read More >

Thursday March 27, 2014 at 2:15pm

Anyone that has used the Weldment command "Structural Member" will know that you can set it to give you mitred corners - here we will look at a situation where we have three lines meeting up at the one corner of a 3D sketch. If anyone hasn't seen it - this is the button that kicks it all off...

Read More >

Wednesday March 26, 2014 at 4:55pm

Training at SolidSolutions also offers the attendees a chance to ask the instructor other questions about the software not related to actual course, we call this the SolidSolutions Surgery…Pre or Post course time is allocated to all kinds of queries that the instructor is happy to show on the projector to the whole room or individually on the user’s classroom workstation.Last week during this period I was asked to remind a user how to use Save As to duplicate both the Part AND Drawi....

Read More >

Monday March 24, 2014 at 5:04pm

Rigid Groups in SOLIDWORKS MotionSOLIDWORKS Motion is a great tool for simulating the movement of complex mechanisms. It allows engineers to quantify kinematic and dynamic performance parameters such as velocity, acceleration, energy, torque, power etc.However, Motion users should be aware that care needs to be taken when creating force or torque based results as many real-life mechanisms have in-built redundancies that cause problems for mathematical simulations. To understand more ab....

Read More >

Wednesday March 19, 2014 at 10:06am

SOLIDWORKS PhotoView 360 2014 adds some new non photorealistic options for your output. The first thing that springs to mind for me is to communicate concept designs. Rather than dusting off the marker pens you  can create a quick concept image in SOLIDWORKS. To enable the option on the Render Tools tab, select Options.   Next tick Contour/Cartoon Rendering and use the drop down to pick the new Cartoon Style. This will appear on the preview renders unlike the old contour....

Read More >

Wednesday March 19, 2014 at 9:10am

Many engineering applications require the use of pins which hold components together by an interference or friction fit.  Knowing how much force it takes to make the pin slip is a key area of the design.  This can be obtained in using SOLIDWORKS Simulation, although the approach requires a bit of thought.  Here we have a pin held in a housing…  Using a “shrink fit” with friction on the contacting faces stresses the two components.  An “....

Read More >

Saturday March 15, 2014 at 12:38am

The SOLIDWORKS certification program is a great way to test competency and efficiency in the software- it is the only industry recognised SOLIDWORKS accreditation and a great addition to your CV.Below is an overview of the main examinations, and we are also able to provide opportunities for you as subscribed customers to sit the exams for free* The main SOLIDWORKS certification website is www.SOLIDWORKS.com/cswp, this provides detailed information on all the exams and also samples to prepar....

Read More >

Friday March 14, 2014 at 4:54pm

Whilst on support the other day I came across a question which I come across at least once a week, Why is the flat pattern not coming through to the drawing even though the view is set to flat pattern ? Usually the reason for the flat pattern not coming through to the drawing sheet is not completely understanding what SOLIDWORKS completes in the background. So here goes- I will explain what is happening in the background and give a few best practices to ensure the setup is correct. The....

Read More >

Friday March 14, 2014 at 3:26pm

If you didn't manage to make it to SOLIDWORKS World this year or perhaps you were lucky enough to be there but you just didn't get chance to see everything going on be sure to take a look at the SOLIDWORKS World 2014 Proceedings page. With so much going on at the whilwind conference it seems inevitable that the odd breakout session may have to be missed or an exhibitor's name not caught but this is no longer the case as SOLIDWORKS have made every single breakout session from the conference ....

Read More >

Saturday March 8, 2014 at 2:26pm

If you're new to SOLIDWORKS, or even if you are not, you are always learning about new features and functions that hopefully make your life easier and products even better. The more commands you use, the tougher it is to keep track of them, and the busier your toolbars will be if you keep adding them again and again. Many users have I’m sure encountered the frustration of knowing what tool they need to use but the exact location escapes them, this poor man seems to have had such issue....

Read More >

Monday March 3, 2014 at 9:02pm

During one of my recent training courses, one of the delegates asked about surface modelling. I thought it could be easily digestable by relating it to an everyday common item, so I thought- why not a Rubber Duck! Initially this type of shape can be a tough challenge but if broken into the small pieces of how this model is actually made it can be a much less daunting task.   First Step was to try and create the largest feature the body, so this is done firstly by drawing outlines ....

Read More >

Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 2:00pm

Zoom to Selection Time for little tip I showed in an Advanced Assembly training course last week that attendee’s seem to like; the little know ‘Zoom to Selection’ toolIt’s a great way to target your view in the graphical window right where you need to be, it works on a number of selectable items so let’s take a look;When selecting something in SOLIDWORKS you often see the context toolbar appear, and on the bottom row of icons you’ll find the magnifying gl....

Read More >

Saturday February 22, 2014 at 12:38am

The Curve Driven Pattern is a powerful feature in parts, and now in SOLIDWORKS 2014, assemblies. It allows you to repeat and array features, bodies or parts along a 2D or 3D curve direction, maintaining equal spacing as you go. It is in fact a great alternative to a linear pattern if you use a straight line as the reference sketch- this is the only way to achieve an equal spacing scenario. There is an Enhancement Request to allow equal spacing in a typical linear pattern. Anyway back to the....

Read More >

Tuesday February 11, 2014 at 5:22pm

Model Mania @ SOLIDWORKS World 2014 – San DiegoAfter a great week at SOLIDWORKS World in San Diego, I’m now reflecting on how the technical content shown can impact positively our customers business, I hope to add a series of short blogs on a number of exciting developmentsAs an introduction I’d like to share with you my experience of winning the Reseller Model Mania Challenge at the conference and explain how I tackled the modelling challenge… Here we h....

Read More >

Monday February 10, 2014 at 11:42am

The weldments feature set in SOLIDWORKS is a powerful way of generating geometry off the back of standard profiles- whether this be tube, box section or channels. We have always had to rely on creating each profile variant as a separate profile sketch which is then saved to be used for the Structural Member feature.  Looking back at the 2013 downloadable profiles, the ANSI standard has 233 files to download, manage and customise! Now in 2014 SOLIDWORKS has streamlined this process, har....

Read More >

Friday February 7, 2014 at 1:37pm

Last week I wanted to go through my settings and customise them. I hadn’t done this in a while and didn’t feel like my current set up was working for me. You can get to the customise menu  by right clicking the command manager, going right down to the bottom of the list and choosing ‘Customize’. Alternatively you can use the Tools menu with Customize near the bottom. The window that appears houses options to customise pretty much every aspect of SOLIDWORKS. ....

Read More >

Thursday January 30, 2014 at 1:12pm

PhotoView 360 2014 added many new enhancements, one that wasn’t mentioned in the What’s New guide was Ambient Occlusion output. Ambient occlusion allows you to visualise areas of a design where light struggles to reach and can be used either on its own as a alternative output style or to bring added depth in terms of shadows to your render. First you have to turn the output of ambient occlusion on, this is on the Render Tools tab > Options.Then tick ambient occlusion out....

Read More >

Tuesday January 28, 2014 at 2:41pm

After reviewing the 2014 Training manual content and getting hands on with the new enhancements I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite features.Toggling Between Flexible and Rigid StatesConfigurations While in 2013 and previous releases we had to go into Component properties to change the way a subassembly was being solved or even select an alternative configuration - in 2014 we now have the ability to do this within the Feature Manager design tree. We can select the subassemb....

Read More >

Tuesday January 28, 2014 at 11:46am

A simple yet powerful feature introduced on the SOLIDWORKS Essentials Course is the shell feature. This allows you to remove faces of a part and apply a uniform wall thickness within it, particularly useful for injection moulded product. By delaying the stage at which we use the tool we can use it to enhance internal details from external ones, in this case bosses and fillets. What's more the shell feature can also product multiple thicknesses in different areas of a model for furt....

Read More >

Tuesday January 21, 2014 at 12:25pm

Even after the hype of launch events has died down, we’re still spotting little nuggets of improvement that SOLIDWORKS have put into their latest release. When using simulation to create a 2D shell mesh, it is now possible to “preview” the virtual thickness when picking which side of the component is used to define it. To see for yourself, choose “Define Shell By Selected Faces” from the simulation tree after creating a study… Using the outside face....

Read More >

Tuesday January 14, 2014 at 11:02am

There has been an issue with the SOLIDWORKS database which may have affected your personal student copies of SOLIDWORKS.Attempting to run the software after 1st January 2014 may have given you the following error:   The solution to this is supplied via a hotfix available to download from the SOLIDWORKS forum article shown below: https://forum.SOLIDWORKS.com/thread/76418?tstart=0 Please follow the instructions in the link to install the hotfix which should make SOLIDWORKS....

Read More >

Friday January 10, 2014 at 12:03pm

If you are using SOLIDWORKS EnterprisePDM to manage your SOLIDWORKS Data it is likely you have implemented the 'Convert' Task to automate the generation of PDF, IGES, DXF etc. as part of your Workflow. I was reviewing a post on the SOLIDWORKS forums recently where somebody was asking how they could make sure that if they 'archived' or 'obsoleted' a Drawing that they could make sure that the associated PDF also changed State and likewise dropped from the general view of th....

Read More >

Wednesday January 8, 2014 at 4:00pm

In this weeks Webcast we went Beyond Training - Essentials and covered various customization methods to help you get the best set up for maximum efficiency from the user interface. One of my favorite shortcuts is through the 'S' Key. Simply pressing 'S' on your keyboard we can activate this shortcut bar and through a right-click we can even customize this further with additional command icons or even re-size the toolbar itself. The S key brings up toolbars specifically for the environment you ar....

Read More >

Tuesday January 7, 2014 at 4:05pm

One of the tools in the Sheet Metal Command Manager that is unfortunately overlooked in the official Training Manuals is the 'Vent' command. It is relatively straight forward to use and therefore I have decided to write a short post about it. We can simply by creating a Sketch of our desired vent in conjunction with the command obtain some great features.For this example I have produced a simple sketch offsetting Circles and creating 8 lines spaced 45 degrees apart.In the Vent property m....

Read More >

Tuesday December 10, 2013 at 8:34pm

You may have seen warnings during the last couple of SOLIDWORKS versions about the support for Windows XP and Windows Vista ceasing, so it may come as a shock when attempting to install on a Windows 7 computer that you are hit with the following error:  This has cropped up on the support desk over the last couple of weeks, and in all cases the user was using a Windows 7 operating system- so this message made no sense. On further inspection, it was actually due to a Windows option that ....

Read More >

Monday December 9, 2013 at 3:30pm

In recent years most browsers have added native support for Scaleable Vector Graphics (SVG) files. As the name implies these scale images up and down without losing quality, however did you know they can also be made interactive using SOLIDWORKS Composer In this case I have chosen to create a series of instructions either for the shop floor or end user where they can click through each step at their own pace. These are supported by most modern browsers * without the need to download additio....

Read More >

Monday December 9, 2013 at 2:19pm

As the new year approaches, I wanted to make you aware of some of the great resources Solid Solutions offer for new users and experienced users a like. Webcast WednesdayThis initiative has been going for around 4 years and we have had huge success and great feedback from the customer base. Every Wednesday one of our technical team hosts short webinars on a range of topics to add value back into the customer base. We cover the full product suite and our most popular videos tend to be the &qu....

Read More >

Wednesday November 20, 2013 at 3:19pm

Using Delete Face as a cutting toolToday’s little tip is the use of the “Delete Face” as a cutting tool, to save you the time and effort sketching and creating features to remove the model geometryLet me explain below:As you can see, due the sequence of creation, the boss has been added after the cut which has meant the boss geometry appears through where the cut should be… …therefore to avoid having to reorder features or create a second cut we....

Read More >

Thursday November 14, 2013 at 2:23pm

Which is better for SOLIDWORKS: a Windows 7 Basic theme or an Aero Theme? For my blog post this week I wanted to highlight the importance of not only checking that you are running a supported graphics card driver as you upgrade to the last service pack of 2013 or even the new 2014 release, but also using an appropriate Windows theme. GRAPHICS CARD DRIVERS:To check you’re running the latest supported driver for your graphics card look at the RX utility: START - ALL PROGR....

Read More >

Wednesday November 6, 2013 at 12:15pm

Chances are that if you have attended one of the SOLIDWORKS Training Courses you will have been encouraged to rename your Sketches and Features either through a slow double click or hitting the F2 key. However what if you need to undo this and go back to the default value? Taking a Hole Wizard Feature as an example what if you were to create a Hole Wizard feature at one size and then rename the command before subsequently changing the size or type of hole for that feature? The des....

Read More >

Wednesday November 6, 2013 at 9:43am

In my opinion, it is always best practice to model about the model origin and to make use of symmetry whenever possible.   Dynamic Mirror Entities: The easiest and fastest way to create symmetric elements in a sketch is to use the Dynamic Mirror Entities command. It works like the regular Mirror command, except it automatically creates the symmetric elements on the fly and applies the Symmetric constraint.   The tool is categorised as a Sketch Tool, so found under the Tools dropdo....

Read More >

Wednesday October 30, 2013 at 3:00pm

A conversation I often have with EnterprisePDM (EDPM) Customers is one around the topic of "How do I incorporate scanned data into my Vault's metadata rules, naming conventions and Workflows?". The document in question could come from a number of sources; marked-up printouts, posted documents, material certificates or (the example I will use today) a 'Calibration Report' which is completed by hand but needs to be stored in the Vault, with a rem....

Read More >

Friday October 25, 2013 at 3:08pm

Rapid Sketch- you may have seen it, but perhaps haven't clicked it. It is one of the last icons on the Sketch toolbar when part modelling, and has been there for a couple of years. Without having any exposure on our training courses, it is one of those features you will have to explore for yourself, but read on to understand the function and benefits of the Rapid Sketch feature.   This tool allows you to sketch on multiple faces without having to keep opening and closing sketches. You....

Read More >

Tuesday October 22, 2013 at 4:34pm

Hi I have just fixed a long-standing problem for a customer using the Knowledge Base. The customer was not aware that he could have fixed the problem himself - if he just searched it via his Customer Portal. The Knowledge Base is a fabulous resource with tens of thousands of articles on everything from A - Z in SOLIDWORKS. We use it all the time on Tech Support, but there is no reason why customers on subscription shouldn't search yourself - in fact it is one of the main reasons to....

Read More >

Tuesday October 22, 2013 at 4:18pm

Essentials TipsDuring training this week’s SOLIDWORKS essentials, I was reminded of a little tip that has been removed from the course itself over the years but one that I always like to show….SOLIDWORKS gives the user the ability to use the modify dimension box for more than just entering the value of the dimensionLet me explain below:Were you aware you can use the modify box as a Calculator by entering add, subtract, divide and multiply keystrokes, + - / *  ....

Read More >

Wednesday October 16, 2013 at 2:45pm

During training this week I came across something that a number of my students were unaware of…it’s often these little things that can speed up your day to day work within SOLIDWORKS SOLIDWORKS gives the user the ability to open parts/assemblies/subassemblies from locations within your 2D drawing without the requirement of you using the standard File, Open and having to browse through your local and network locations Let me explain below: Were you aware you can open a....

Read More >

Thursday September 19, 2013 at 1:50pm

Trim/Extend Feature and Weldment Cut Lists A reminder of one of the main features of the Weldments area of SOLIDWORKS; the Trim/Extent tool.   Having started off with a part containing two weldment tubes and a horizontal Boss-Extrude tube, the weldment features require trimming to the outside face of the extrusion.   Selecting right-hand body, I have assigned the trim boundry to the outside face off the extrusion. Be sure to select the bodies to be kept and dis....

Read More >

Thursday September 5, 2013 at 4:00pm

When importing large STL files in to SOLIDWORKS you may come across this error.  This is due to a polygon limit on the SOLIDWORKS STL import utility. Files with more than 20000 polygons cannot be imported as a surface or solid, and only a graphical body, not much use! Thankfully we can import larger STLs in to SOLIDWORKS, albeit in a slightly different file format. Meshlab (http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/) is a free piece of software that allows the opening and editing o....

Read More >

Thursday September 5, 2013 at 3:33pm

The Property Tab Builder, introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2009 makes the input of custom properties easier than ever. Properties are used to add data to SOLIDWORKS files to populate drawing borders and Bills of Materials tables, but can also be used as a search criteria in Windows Explorer and SOLIDWORKS PDM systems.   The Tab Builder allows you to create an Input Form so that values can be entered with minimal effort, but maximum consistency. You can create check boxes, lists and even links to ex....

Read More >

Wednesday September 4, 2013 at 4:57pm

Have you ever seen this thing appear next to your cursor?     If so, you will have found that you can only select certain things - often not the thing you wanted to select! So what is it? How did it happen? And how on Earth do you get rid of it!?! It is a Selection Filter  - there are (as standard) 3 shortcut keys that it is very easy to hit by mistake. They are V, E, X.   Quite appropriate that they spell "vex" if you don't know what you've done! V = ....

Read More >

Wednesday September 4, 2013 at 10:23am

This is a really useful gem that is hardly noticed or used - but can come in very handy, especially for anyone doing an animation or Motion study.   Suppose you want to illustrate a movement of an assy - some sort of mechanism. Obviously you will switch to the Motion tab and build an animation using the various tools - motors, forces etc or even by dragging the parts to a new position with respect to the time line. However, because the mechanism is free to move it will not necessarily ....

Read More >

Thursday August 22, 2013 at 12:50pm

  Generally speaking, when you want to model a part with rounded edges, it is best to use the Fillet command on the Features menu - you can then edit/suppress/delete the fillet feature on the design tree. Many people do use the Sketch Fillet command though - if you are going to do that, it is best to draw your lines, add your sketch relations, dimension the sketch and then add the fillets last - after your dimensions. Why? This is why:-   The bottom left hand corner has a dimensio....

Read More >

Thursday August 22, 2013 at 12:14pm

Found a nifty tool within SOLIDWORKS, buried in the background... The Live Section plane tool is accessed within a part document under Insert> Feature> Reference Geometry> Live Section Planes, this tools lets you dynamically section models using any plane or planar face. This is not only an analysis tool but a useful tool for direct editing when combined with the Instant3D feature, within SOLIDWORKS. You are able to display multiple Live Section Planes consistently and they ar....

Read More >

Thursday August 22, 2013 at 10:22am

Switch to Exploded View A short and basic tip to save time setting up exploded views multiple times: Exploded views are stored within the configurations tab, double-click the highlighted tab as shown below to activate the exploded view and double-click again to deactivate it.   An alternative option would be to use a separate configuration containing an exploded view; however modifications to one configuration will not pass to the other.   Ben Garrett ....

Read More >

Friday August 16, 2013 at 5:05pm

If using SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematics; in order to safeguard against losing any data we recommend to regularly produce a backup of all of your projects within the program. This has the additional benefit of saving any configured title blocks, symbols, manufactured parts etc too. The option to execute the backup is "archive environment" found on the file menu (not to be confused with archive within the project manager!).   When clicked, you then tick all of the thing....

Read More >

Friday August 16, 2013 at 10:15am

Hi, Another SOLIDWORKS Essentials course completed this week, great to meet our new customers and some new faces from existing customers. Everyone progressed extremely well and found the training and extra SSM Surgery support extremely useful. I just thought I would share with you one of the tips I show during Essentials training to all of my delegates learning SOLIDWORKS... One of the common difficulties people can have when learning new software is where to find, or remembe....

Read More >

Tuesday August 13, 2013 at 2:03pm

Dynamic Mirror - A really quick tip for instantly creating symmetry within a sketch in SOLIDWORKS. 1. Draw a centreline, ideally going through the origin  2. Within the active sketch, select Tools > Sketch Tools > Dynamic Mirror  3. Select your centreline, two parallel lines should appear at either end of the centreline  4. As you create a sketch on one side of the centreline, the Dynamic Mirror tool will automatically create a symmetrical shape the other....

Read More >

Tuesday August 13, 2013 at 12:57pm

Just a quick note that following requests from customers to support Android devices, the eDrawings application for android was released yesterday and its a bit of a bargain in my opinion!  A mere £1.28 will allow you to better collaborate with clients, production etc using android devices. Users can view SOLIDWORKS parts, assemblies, 2d drawings aswell as exploded views and configurations  More details can be found on the SolidWotks website below, please note this is th....

Read More >

Thursday August 8, 2013 at 12:22pm

As well as all of the great stuff we are doing at Solid Solutions with our online blog posts and the interactive Solid Solutions TV website, SOLIDWORKS themselves have created a brand new online portal giving customers access to all the SOLIDWORKS Resources in one place.   My.SOLIDWORKS.com gives subscribed customers access to the latest blog posts, forum threads in various media formats such as videos and downloads. It consolidates the SOLIDWORKS Forums, Blogs and Help documentation all in....

Read More >

Wednesday July 31, 2013 at 5:16pm

We all know that Rendering can be very time consuming but the results can also be very impressive. Did you know that within PhotoView 360 utilising Cameras Options such as Camera Lenses in 'Field of View' and 'Depth of Field' can add futher realism and focus levels to your renders?  Simon BeamishApplications Engineer 

Read More >

Tuesday July 30, 2013 at 9:24am

SOLIDWORKS - Creating a Helix/Spiral The Helix and Spiral tool can be cleverly used to generate 3D curves which can be then used as a sweep path. Ideal for creating springs!The tool will create your desired helix or spiral based on an initial circle sketch and definition values e.g. Pitch and Number of revolutions.  To begin, sketch a circle of the desired initial diameter of the first revolution. Select this sketch and click: Insert > Curve > Helix/Spiral   &....

Read More >

Friday July 26, 2013 at 3:42pm

  Converting Parts to Sheet Metal   During the sheet metal course that is part of my training, I was introduced to the “Convert to sheet metal” feature. The tool can quickly be used to convert a block part into a component that can be viewed as a flattened sheet ready for press forming and bending.   1. Select a gauge table to determine the material thickness; in this example I have used a sample table for aluminium and selected gauge 14.     2. The....

Read More >

Friday July 26, 2013 at 3:17pm

Smart Fasteners“Smart fasteners” is a really useful time saving tool, allowing you to automatically insert toolbox fasteners such as bolts and screws into an assembly providing there is a standard hole. The tool uses both ANSI inch and metric alongside standard components and provides the opportunity to use your own custom fasteners from the toolbox database.Smart Fasteners can be found in CommandManager, Assembly toolbar or alternatively Menu, Insert, Smart Fasteners.  1.&....

Read More >

Thursday July 18, 2013 at 3:17pm

I must acknowledge the help of my colleague Graham Stephenson with this tip.   I was in a Sheetmetal training class with a customer who uses lofted bends a lot in his sheetmetal products - chutes and hoppers for the food industry. We created a series of lofted sheetmetal parts but the option to add the bend lines and control the deviation was not always available. This is a limitation and affects parts that have loft sections that are not exactly parallel and have dissimilar shapes - e.g. a....

Read More >

Thursday July 18, 2013 at 12:14pm

I was working on a model for a customer today and found it very annoying having to swap back and forth between two model windows. One solution might be to get a second monitor and span SOLIDWORKS across it. Great, but i'm not working at my own desk today so a single screen will have to do! A lovely little interface feature in SOLIDWORKS is the ability to fit two windows into the single interface by snapping one to the left and one to the right. Similar to how a window or applciatio....

Read More >

Tuesday July 16, 2013 at 2:32pm

For those of you who weren't aware SOLIDWORKS 2013 made it much easier to select the view you require either via the shortcut of hitting the space bar on the keyboard or from the menu icons. I picked up a tip today that i think makes it more user friendly particularly for experienced users. During training i was asked  about the delay as SOLIDWORKS zooms out when pressing the spacebar. So I started looking through the options as I can see how this delay could be frustrating when working....

Read More >

Wednesday July 3, 2013 at 4:27pm

This blog post is to coincide with the ‘Direct Editing’ Webcast and Tips & Tricks on our Solidsolutions.tv. I hope for those that attended the webcast and for those that have/will watch it, that you did see one or two new tools (or use of tools) that you haven’t seen before.  I did have one question from the audience, which was to do with the move face command and rotating the angle of a hole, keeping the entrance of the hole in the same place but having the end f....

Read More >

Monday June 24, 2013 at 1:07pm

If you have ever had the need to create additional sketch planes:-     Then I'm pretty sure that you will have run into situations where "Horizontal" and "Vertical" relations in your new sketch are not how you would like them relative to the rest of your part - like this:-     So what do you do? Well, you could use "Parallel" and "Perpendicular" all the time you are working in that sketch, to position it relative to edges of you....

Read More >

Tuesday June 11, 2013 at 3:12pm

Many of the processes we map in EPDM for the approval and changing of documents run in a serial fashion with the files moving from one person / state to the next. This is great but can result in bottlenecks when multiple approvers are required for certain activities. One of the great enhancements in EnterprisePDM 2013 was the new ‘Parallel Transition’ within the (fully redesigned) Workflow editor.Let us take a simple process for the Release of an Engineering Document.  In order ....

Read More >

Tuesday June 11, 2013 at 10:45am

I’m always on the lookout for interesting tips and tricks to pass on to our customers and this is a lovely one that will save valuable time and therefore cost. I picked this one up recently….. There is a function available to users of a 3D mouse that is hardly known but great for speeding up your work flow. Toggle Sub-Part Movement allows you to freely manipulate the placing and positioning of individual parts while dragging and dropping into an assembly without the whole assemb....

Read More >

Monday June 10, 2013 at 11:22am

Is the SOLIDWORKS Rx tool not opening?   I came across an interesting issue that seems to crop up now and again whilst working on the Support line, which is the problem with the SOLIDWORKS Rx tool not opening, not doing anything, yet there are barely any signs of the cause or anything happening in the background.     The thing that I noticed was the 'sldrx.exe' process pops up into the task manager and immediately disappears. After looking into thi....

Read More >

Saturday June 8, 2013 at 10:42am

It's common knowledge that here at Solid Solutions we promote the use of DELL as our recomended hardware provider. We use Dell Precision Laptops for our Application Engineers and Satalite Training Venues while Desktops in our main offices Training suites. The Dell Precision range is a specifcilly design CAD Workstation grade piece of Hardware so you know you'll be able to get the most out of SOLIDWORKS. If you've enquired through the Support Desk or noticed on our home page, we have a PDF o....

Read More >

Thursday June 6, 2013 at 9:28am

A new feature has been added to SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional and Premium 2013. Submodelling allows you to improve the results at local regions of large models without having to rerun the analysis for the whole model. Refining the mesh for selected bodies or parts only and rerunning the analysis for the submodel saves a huge amount of computation and setup time.   After you set up and run a static or nonlinear static study for multibody parts or large assemblies with a relatively coa....

Read More >

Tuesday June 4, 2013 at 11:54am

Combine Multiple Custom Properties into one PropertyThe below image demonstrates how I have combined the "Evaluated Value" from the "Material" and "Weight" property into the "Combination" property field and separated with a hyphen.This is not limited to only two as shown in the Image.  Paul Churm - Technical Manager (Northern) - Solid Solutions Management

Read More >

Tuesday May 28, 2013 at 9:43am

  Recently several customers have commented that Simulation Reports are fantastic - except for one annoyance: that you can't show a bespoke orientation or zoom state for the results images. I understand their point as often you need to show a stress concentration which is too small with the default zoomed-out state. They were delighted when I showed them that this can, in fact, be done, you just need to be shown how. So here's how.   The first thing to do is to create a 'Ne....

Read More >

Thursday May 23, 2013 at 3:40pm

Expanding and Collapsing all Components in the SOLIDWORKS Model Tree...read more   With the new 2013 functionality of producing a new flat view for parts, wouldn’t it be useful to have a similar setting for Assemblies?     Flat Tree view can also be activated by Ctrl + T   In Assemblies, if you select the top level assembly in the Feature Manger and press the Asterisk Key (*)     To collapse the tree again, you can Right Click and select Collapse Items or th....

Read More >

Wednesday May 8, 2013 at 12:10pm

HiDesign Studies and Optimisation are great tools for exploring how you can improve the design of a part. Design Studies allow you to make changes to Simulation parameters (e.g. loads, materials etc.) as well as dimensions and then monitor the behaviour (e.g. trends in stress or displacement). Optimisation goes even further and fine tunes dimensions to give you the best possible solution within given constraints.However, when running these studies it can be frustrating to discover that the ....

Read More >

Tuesday April 9, 2013 at 2:44pm

Use a Solid State Drive! No I’m not kidding, Solid State Drives (SSD) improve many aspects of a PC’s performance from windows start up and responsiveness to intensive applications like SOLIDWORKS when compared with traditional spinning hard drives.Now CATI, a US reseller of SOLIDWORKS has proved how much difference this makes for SOLIDWORKS beyond my own  basic testing and subjective feedback from users. This showed improvements of 13.1-14.3%  They are in the process of run....

Read More >

Wednesday February 20, 2013 at 4:37pm

Revision cloud is a new annotation type that lets you create cloud-like shapes in a drawing.Use revision clouds to call attention to geometry changes. You can insert revision clouds in drawing views or on the drawing sheet.Paul ChurmTechnical Manger (Northern)

Read More >

Monday February 18, 2013 at 8:56am

A Certified Enterprise PDM Administrator (CEPA) is an individual who has successfully passed an advanced examination in SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM administration skills and is ready to manage a SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM implementation on behalf of his or her company.http://www.SOLIDWORKS.com/sw/support/27510_ENU_HTML.htmThe CEPA exam is already included within the Voucher Scheme for Subscription Customers (see below)...http://www.SOLIDWORKS.com/sw/support/subscription/Certification_Offers.html.......

Read More >

Tuesday January 29, 2013 at 5:54pm

Previous to SOLIDWORKS 2011 modelling carbon fibre in SOLIDWORKS Simulation was pretty limited.  Practically, if the component was anthing other than flat, fibres weren't able to follow the contours of the surface!Since then, model laminated materials with a fibre direction is much improved!  There is now an option to do "surface mapping."  It works similar to how decals can be applied and allows the composite to follows the contours of the surface in almost any directio....

Read More >

Monday January 28, 2013 at 1:40pm

SOLIDWORKS 2013 has a new option to allow intelligent dimensioning of sketches automatically. It basically allows you to sketch as normal, but if you know the size of the sketch entity you are adding, you can type in what size it should be. If you don't know, simply do not enter a value. The option of adding dimension whilst sketching has been around for a few releases now, so if you are not on the latest version (2013) then you can still use the option, but you will need to control ma....

Read More >

Thursday December 6, 2012 at 3:44pm

When creating an equation in a drawing general table, is it possible to define the number of decimal places of the cell? For example, making 1/3 (0.33333333) appear as 0.33.Yes, it is possible to set the decimal places in a cell. Use the "{}" button in the equation window, then insert the number of decimal places between the brackets. Then insert the formula.For example:{2}1/3 will give a result of 0.33

Read More >

Monday December 3, 2012 at 10:10am

SOLIDWORKS eDrawings for iPad was a long time coming but was well worth the wait. Now, eDrawings Professional for iPad adds to the functionality you have available, including measure and mark up, viewing exploded views in SOLIDWORKS files and all the configurations and display states of a model. Now, both eDrawings and eDrawing Pro are available for the iPhone as well as the iPad! If you were at our SOLIDWORKS 2013 Launch events, you may well remember our humorous (well, it was intended to ....

Read More >

Friday September 21, 2012 at 11:26am

I have found this useful on several occasions when I have wanted to make the file size of a SOLIDWORKS part smaller - especially if I want to email it and I am tight to a limit.The method is dead simple - simply create a feature that encloses all other features. I usually use an extruded rectangle and extrude 'Through All' in both directions. Then save it and check the file size. The size will reduce a little for simple parts but by a lot for complex parts like mouldings or parts with lots ....

Read More >

Thursday August 30, 2012 at 3:04pm

EnterprisePDM records the history of all file transactions in the Vault. That means that if your best companies working practices ask you fill in the 'Check In' and 'Transition' comments with useful information then you have the ability to create a History Report with a couple of clicks. Image #1: Check in with Comment I saw this tip on the YouTube channel of a Canadian Reseller and thought it warranted sharing. First locate your File in the Vault, select it and hit the History button either fro....

Read More >

Tuesday July 24, 2012 at 5:24pm

Single DataCard – Multiple functionsTemplates in Enterprise allow you to create and pre-popuate a complete Project Folder Structure. the only downside is that it isn’t possible to include a custom DataCard within a folder created by that Template. That can cause problems if you create Documents within projects that have different requirements for the metadata captured and displayed within them. Let us consider the following example. When I create a new Project I generate 4 Sub-Folder....

Read More >

Friday June 1, 2012 at 4:54pm

In this example we will look at how we can use Workflow Conditions to control the route a file takes through a Workflow, without the user being presented with multiple options.Lets say we have an Engineering Change Document that enters a Workflow where, dependant on the type of Change being proposed, a secondary 'Impact Review' may be required. We don't want the initial reviewer to consider this however so the file should be routed according to the metadata defined when the EC was generated. So ....

Read More >

Monday December 19, 2011 at 4:08pm

How symmetrical is your part? If you knew, then you could work on the smallest segment and mirror the body after you've made your changes for easy part modifications. Or for Simulation, you could work with that segment alone to speed up an analysis.Let SOLIDWORKS find out for you.If you have SOLIDWORKS Professional or Premium, go to the command search at the top right of the window and type 'Symmetry Check' (will filter as you type).Then just choose the button below - this is your one ....

Read More >

Tuesday December 13, 2011 at 1:15pm

I discovered this by accident recently and can't think why I haven't used this before. If you want to show off an animated simulation result and at the same time be 'inside' the plot, just use a camera view. The workflow is this:1. Create a simulation2. Create a camera view with a wide angle lens3. Switch to the camera view4. Animate the simulation result (usually with an exaggerated deformation scale).Move around inside the animation using the camera - controlled either by your mouse or the arr....

Read More >

Monday December 5, 2011 at 4:47pm

If you missed our launch events across the country, this Wednesday there will be a live Webcast going through the highlights of the 20th release of SOLIDWORKS. To register for this webcast, go to http://www.solidsolutions.co.uk/solidworks-Training/Webcasts.aspx At the launch days, we also launched a new website, exclusively for Solid Solutions Subscription customers www.solidsolutions.tv  As the URL suggests, it is mainly video tutorials, video tips and tricks, as well as archived Webcasts&....

Read More >

Saturday November 5, 2011 at 4:41pm

Have you reserved your seat to see SOLIDWORKS 2012?The two midlands events at the Heritage Motor Museum, were attended by over 250 of Solid Solutions' customers# As well as seeing all of the new features in SOLIDWORKS 2012, many engineers took part in the hands on challenges and four winners took home some excellent prizes# The "Model Mania" competition was a test of modelling speed and accuracy and the winning times were very impressive, both winners....

Read More >

Monday October 24, 2011 at 11:03am

I took a call on the helpdesk last week from a Customer reporting that SOLIDWORKS was often slow to start first thing in the morning. A little investigation found this neat little trick to stop SOLIDWORKS from checking (via the internet) for updates when it starts up. When you start SOLIDWORKS from the installed Desktop shortcut it actually fires up swspmanager.exe (SOLIDWORKS Service Pack Manager). This in turn uses the Check For Updates portion of the Installation Manager to search the Interne....

Read More >

Friday October 7, 2011 at 2:11pm

I’ve just supported my first WPDM 2012 server install and found that it now asks for the SW serial number and it then asks you to generate a unique code before it will installChris WadleyApplications EngineerSolid Solutions Management

Read More >

Tuesday October 4, 2011 at 10:14am

SOLIDWORKS 2012 is now available to download from the SOLIDWORKS Customer portal (http://customerportal.SOLIDWORKS.com)Want to see what's new? Register for a Solid Solutions Launch Event by clicking the banner above or if you can't wait until then... take a look here SOLIDWORKS 2012 DVDs have not been produced yet. As soon as we receive the shipment from SOLIDWORKS Corp, you will receive them automatically as part of your SOLIDWORKS subscription with us. Not on subscription? Send ....

Read More >

Friday September 30, 2011 at 2:52pm

For customers moving to EnterprisePDM from an unmanaged environment the question of how best to add legacy projects which share common files to the vault can be a tricky one. You don’t want to create duplicate copies of shared parts, yet you may not be migrating all your data at once. A nice enhancement in EPDM 2011 was the ability to ‘Update Broken File References’ when adding data to the Vault. This allows us to make use of a simple process when dragging a set of files into t....

Read More >

Friday September 23, 2011 at 6:07pm

Unlike our usual customer only Webcasts, this one is open to anyone. So feel free to register through this link and join us next Wednesday.Look forward to presenting it to you,Oliver Duncan - Presales ManagerSolid Solutions Management

Read More >

Wednesday September 14, 2011 at 4:39pm

Over the last year or so I have been asked more and more about "apps" for viewing SOLIDWORKS files. Now, there are many options available. There are two which I would recommend looking at. The first one, is a partner product of SOLIDWORKS, called CADFASTER. It doesnt make your machine run any quicker unfortunately but does allow you to show off your designs on your ipad (not your iphone though). The app itself is free and you have 100mb of space on "the cloud" where you can u....

Read More >

Wednesday September 7, 2011 at 12:28am

Registration for the SOLIDWORKS 2012 Launch events are now open!Here at Solid Solutions, we are proud to announce registration for the SOLIDWORKS 2012 Launch events is now open. This year we are pulling out all the stops to make the events for the 20th release of the 3D MCAD package our best yet.Click the image below to register now! Want to be a part of our customer showcase? Email mrushton@solidsolutions.co.uk

Read More >

Thursday September 1, 2011 at 5:21pm

As more and more SOLIDWORKS products are developed to meet the design world's needs, have you ever thought, can't someone just give me an overview of what it's all about, in, say, 10 minutes?We thought so, so I did just that:Enjoy,Oliver Duncan - Elite Applications Engineer Solid Solutions Management

Read More >

Tuesday August 23, 2011 at 12:02pm

Whilst prepping for a Webcast (Best Practice...Weldments) I remembered a couple of neat tricks for changing the orientation of the coordinate system whilst in a 3D Sketch...Method 1Use the TAB key whilst editing a 3DSketch Method 2Rotate the model the orientation changes normal to the screenMethod 3 This is my favourite, hold down the CTRL key and then select a plane, planar face, or a user-defined coordinate systemHappy Sketching!!Nick Sibly - Elite Applications EngineerSolid Solutions Manageme....

Read More >

Thursday August 11, 2011 at 10:33am

Did you Know?...You can... “Pack and Go”, “Rename”, “Replace” and “Move” from within Windows Explorer! "Move" was added in SOLIDWORKS 2011 SP4.0Simply Right Mouse Button on a file, select "SOLIDWORKS", you now have the 4 optionsNick Sibly - Elite Applications EngineerSolid Solutions Management

Read More >

Monday August 8, 2011 at 11:05am

I had a call on the helpdesk the other day from a Customer wanting to know if he could check the status on a current project with respect to the creation and release of Drawings so I pointed him towards this tip. If you select a managed Assembly in Windows Explorer and look at the 'Contains' Tab then you can see a list of all the Parts and Sub-Assemblies that make it up, but not the drawings.If you however, toggle the option "Show / Hide Configurations".......then all the Drawings can ....

Read More >

Website Design by Zarr