3D CAD, Tech Tips, Technical Communication

Customize Your Mouse Buttons in SOLIDWORKS Composer

March 13, 2015

This SOLIDWORKS Composer Tech Tip shows you how to tailor your mouse buttons to fit your preferences.

SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD, Tech Tips, MySolidWorks

Why I Love MySolidWorks (And You Should, Too)

March 4, 2015

As an engineer, I'm always excited to see the latest and greatest technologies. From streaming devices, iOS apps, TV technology, cameras and phones, I can't help but be drawn to them.
Over the past few months there have been several new "toys" getting a lot of attention. I looked beyond all this noise and discovered SOLIDWORKS released a gem of a product with  MySolidWorks. It's been my browser's homepage ever since. It was love at first sight.

Tech Tips

How To Disable Windows Aero Shake

February 24, 2015

Windows 7 includes a feature that many people find annoying. It's called Aero Shake. It's meant to help users quickly concentrate on a single window while the rest are automatically hidden.


Enterprise PDM 2015 Saw Some Big Changes. Did You See This Small One?

February 20, 2015

The latest release of SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM saw some great new enhancements and extended capabilities. It was hard to miss the new and improved Web 2.0 interface as well as the Microsoft Office EPDM Add-in. However, the same can't be said for some of the more subtle changes.


What's New In SOLIDWORKS 2015, Part 2: Sketching Features

January 30, 2015

There are so many great features in SOLIDWORKS 2015 that we couldn't cover it all in one post. Part 1 of this six part series covered the SOLIDWORKS 2015 interface. In Part 2, we’ll discuss the new sketching features.


What's New In SOLIDWORKS 2015, Part 1: The Interface

January 22, 2015

SOLIDWORKS 2015 includes numerous new features, both big and small, including changes to the interface, sketching, features, parts, assemblies and drawings.

We’ll go through each of these one-by-one in this six part series. In Part 1, we’ll talk about what’s new in the SOLIDWORKS 2015 interface.

SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD, Tech Tips, Electrical Design

Tech Tip: Add Splice Components To An Electrical Route In SOLIDWORKS

January 13, 2015

Sometimes when creating or splitting routes in SOLIDWORKS Electrical, Splice Components need to be added. In this ModernTech Tech Tip, we'll show you the perfect way to simplify schematic design in a matter of seconds.


SOLIDWORKS Tech Tip: The Easiest Way to Move And Rotate Your Models

November 10, 2014

When it comes to working in SOLIDWORKS, quickest and easiest are synonymous. What's quick is easy, and what's easy is quick. Today I'm going to share a quick tip showing you the easiest way to move and rotate your models.

The easiest way to move and rotate your models is by maximizing the out of the box functionality of the SOLIDWORKS mouse controls. Most would agree that the middle mouse wheel is the best way to change the camera view with the pan, zoom and rotate commands, but why stop there?

The mouse can also be used to move and even rotate your models. Better yet, there's no need to actually go in to the move command to do this. SOLIDWORKS will activate the command behind the scenes without you even noticing it.

Here's how it's done:


Introducing the "Biad" - Dimension Faster Than Ever With This New Tool

October 23, 2014

With every release of SOLIDWORKS, we see a myriad of new features and tools, and SOLIDWORKS 2015 is no exception.

This latest release of SOLIDWORKS saw many enhancements both big and small. Some can extend your design and simulation capabilities like rotating mesh, while other smaller enhancements can simply enable you to design more efficiently.

One of my personal favorite enhancements of SOLIDWORKS 2015 is the new way you can create angle dimensions in sketches and drawings. Meet the "Biad." This handy little tool enables you to create an angle dimension between a line and an imaginary horizontal or vertical line without the need for any extra construction geometry. It's sort of like the triad in SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD but in 2D space.

Here's how it works:

When using the smart dimension tool, you simply select a line and a collinear vertex. Then you will see the Biad or (as SOLIDWORKS officially calls it) a crosshair. You then choose one of the segments of the Biad. You will see that you are creating an angle dimension between your model's line and an imaginary horizontal or vertical line represented by the biad (crosshair's segements).

The days of unnecessarily creating extra construction geometry to dimension your drawings are finally over. Thanks to the Biad, those lines are now seemingly extinct.


How to Open Autodesk Inventor Files in SOLIDWORKS

September 19, 2014

If you have legacy Autodesk Inventor files or you have received an Inventor file and need to open it in SOLIDWORKS, it may seem as though there is a washed out bridge in your path - but don’t panic! You CAN do this in SOLIDWORKS.


How to easily create sheet metal hems in SOLIDWORKS [Video]

August 15, 2014

If you dabble in metalworking, you’ve probably had use for sheet metal hems.

Hems fold over the edges of sheet metal designs for added strength or to cover sharp edges. For this reason, hemming is commonly used to produce canned goods, vehicle parts and amusement park rides. In addition to safety concerns, hems make products more visually appealing in general.

In our Video Tech Tip, our excellent SOLIDWORKS Application Engineer, Stephen Petrock, takes you through each of the four hem types (open, closed, teardrop and rolled). You will see how hems can be applied to both straight and circular edges. You’ll also learn how to add materials inside and outside of a hem and the differences between each.

Check it out!


A look under the hood of a SOLIDWORKS file: How you can maximize performance

August 14, 2014

If you're like most SOLIDWORKS users, performance is your primary concern when it comes to modeling. Luckily, SOLIDWORKS has made great strides over the years to improve software performance overall and add great new features.

So far there has been four features added to the SOLIDWORKS tool set. Perhaps SOLIDWORKS 2015 will see the addition of a fifth, but we'll have to wait just a little longer to know for sure. Here's a break down of those four features:

These should be familiar since they represent the modes in which you're allowed to open a SOLIDWORKS model from the open dialog. Obviously there are pros and cons to each of these features. In certain situations, one might be more beneficial and appropriate than another. But to truly understand how these features really affect your SOLIDWORKS performance, we'll need to see what's inside the SOLIDWORKS file itself.

With this better understanding of a SOLIDWORKS file, you're about to make a more informed decision when choosing which special functionality to leverage. So let's pop the hood and see what's inside!

Every file, from the largest most complicated assemblies to the simplest blocks, are all made up of the same four ingredients. These are listed in the table below and you can see a visualization of them in the following image.