April 06, 2011

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Imaginary Materials

Originally published in 2009 In the world of FEA, sometimes the answer has to be “Right” – and sometimes it has to be “Right Now”. This month’s topic is about getting answers Right Now. Every example I’m going to cover here is a cheat of some kind. Purists, Beware! In each of these examples, the … Continue reading

Doll-House Techniques

Originally published in 2009 I’ve written prior articles about the power of Envelope Parts in an assembly. And about ways to leverage the ability to build multiple solid Bodies in a part file. But now lets talk about a way that you can combine these two ideas, to work “Outside-In”. That is, to build detailed … Continue reading

Life-long Mates

Originally published in 2007 Mates are the “glue” that hold your assemblies together. One of the great strengths of Solidworks assemblies is that mates are independent objects which can be applied at any time, in any order. This makes assembly design easy for the CAD novice. It also means that a wide variety of mating … Continue reading

Synchronizing the Toolbox Library

Originally published in 2006 Have you ever tried to open a coworker’s assembly, only to find that all of the fasteners in his assembly have defaulted to some huge size? Have you ever taken work home over the weekend, and found that when you open an assembly on your home computer, some of the fasteners … Continue reading

Taking the Magic Out of the Hole Wizard

Originally published in 2006 The Hole Wizard is probably the most popular “Macro Feature” inside SolidWorks. It eliminates a lot of the drudgery of sizing and locating holes: First, by incorporating a library of standards (a la Machinery’s Handbook), and second, by positioning mutliple holes using a Sketch Driven Pattern. However, there are two subtle … Continue reading

Assembly Templates

Originally published in 2006 The correct use of Assembly Templates can streamline your workflow and help you avoid problems when updating your configurations. Many users incorrectly assume that the software is “buggy” when unwanted parts keep popping up in other configs. Avoid unnecessary frustration by tuning your configuration settings in the default template. In this … Continue reading

Mirrored Parts

Originally published in 2005 There are several methods available for modeling mirror-image parts in SolidWorks. The selection of a technique is dependent on how you want changes to propagate. Should changes to the mirrored part be editable and automatically propagated between similar parts? Or should your mirrored part be independent of editing changes to the … Continue reading

Thinking Inside the Envelope

Originally published in 2005 Creating envelope components in SolidWorks can be one of the most powerful tools in your repertoire when working with assemblies. KAP invites you to expand your thinking about the use of envelopes any time you need hard geometry to design or mate against, but want the geometry treated as “phantom”. This … Continue reading

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