SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD, Tech Tips

Improving Section Views in SOLIDWORKS

By Stephen Petrock on April 9, 2020

As the models get larger and more complicated, we turn to section views to expose inner details and help us easily share our designs. Section views are core part of the SOLIDWORKS toolset so much so that they are taught in the first day of SOLIDWORKS Essentials. In this week’s Video Tech Tip, we are going to showcase section views. We are going to show you how to use some great tools that were added to the section view toolset in previous years that allow you to easily create great-looking section views

You can take your section views to the next level by using the Exclude Components option and the alternative method of zonal sections. It all starts by choosing a plane to slice your model. You pick a plane to slice through the model so you can expose inner details. There are two methods for sectioning your model – planar and zonal. Planar is the traditional section view. Zonal sections work similarly to planar sections in that you pick planes to slice the model, but they are different in that you select the zone created by the intersection of these planes.

In the example below, we have a zonal section created with three planes. This makes eight intersection zones. You can then pick which of the zones you’d like to activate to slice the model. This gives you a lot of flexibility in creating your section views.

zonal section with three planesZonal sections were added to SOLIDWORKS in 2015. The year before, in 2014 we saw the addition of the include/exclude components in section views. This functionality greatly improved section views in SOLIDWORKS. It offers a way to target the section view behavior so that it only cuts the components you want. Having it set to include components means the section plane will cut only these components and leave the others unaffected. Just graphically pick the ones you want, and the section only applies to those selected components.

Section views in SOLIDWORKS

Complicated looking section views are easy to accomplish with these tips.

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