Tech Tips, SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD

First Look at the New Features and Tools in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2019

December 6, 2018

Over the past few years since SOLIDWORKS Visualize burst on the scene, it has grown to become everyone’s go-to application for creating stunning, photorealistic renderings of 3D CAD files. Since it’s a standalone application, it can be used by anyone without tying up a SOLIDWORKS license like other add-in products. If you’re not already using SOLIDWORKS Visualize, you should be. In this Video Tech Tip, you will find some pointers to help get you started and render better with SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2019.

Tech Tips, SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD

What is the SketchXpert Tool in SOLIDWORKS?

November 29, 2018

How many times have you been adding dimensions or relations to a sketch, and suddenly yellow and red litter your screen! You just over defined your sketch, and hitting undo isn’t always the solution you want. Enter the SketchXpert.

Tech Tips, SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD

Thanksgiving Crafts with SOLIDWORKS and NESTINGWorks

November 22, 2018

It’s Thanksgiving, and in this Video Tech Tip, TriMech Application Engineer Laura Weismantel shows us how she used SOLIDWORKS and NESTINGWorks to help her create these awesome DIY table settings. This is a great example of how SOLIDWORKS and NESTINGWorks team up to efficiently create your designs.

Tech Tips, SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD

Orienting Your Models in SOLIDWORKS

November 15, 2018

When it comes to getting around your models and orienting yourself in 3D space, rotating is key. The rotation command is arguably one of the most used ones. It’s easy too, right? Just click and hold the middle mouse wheel and you can bring your designs to life by spinning the 3D model around your 2D screen. But there’s more to it than just using the middle mouse wheel for what I call “free rotation.” There a handful of other ways to get more control of your model. In this week’s Video Tech Tip we will share with you two great recommendations so you can rotate like a pro.

Tech Tips, SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD

The Best SOLIDWORKS 2019 Tool to Help Size Packaging

November 8, 2018

Have you ever created a design that wasn’t exactly easy to package? Sometimes the irregular shapes of our designs make it challenging to determine exactly what container they might fit within. In the past, users might have had to create a plane and sketch out a rectangle that they could then extrude to figure out the minimum packaging size.

SOLIDWORKS 2019 introduces an improved bounding box, that helps automate that process for assemblies and delivers the results we’re looking for even faster.

Tech Tips, SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD

Creating and Finding Custom Weldment Profiles in SOLIDWORKS

November 1, 2018

I’m often asked by students and tech support why custom weldment profiles don’t work. It turns out that 90% of the time the issue isn’t with the profile itself, but with the location the profile is saved. We’ll walk through not only the steps to create a weldment profile but the common practice of saving to a location that SOLIDWORKS isn’t able to find.

Tech Tips, SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD

Halloween Arts & Crafts with SOLIDWORKS Weldments Part 2

October 25, 2018

Weldments in SOLIDWORKS offers a powerful way to design a structure based on easily drawn sketch segments. All it takes is an outline or skeleton sketch and from that, you can effortlessly piece your design together using structural members with predefined cross sections. But the real power of weldments is in the details and information that can be extracted from your model. One example of this is cut lists. A cut list is a BOM-like table for cut and welded structural shapes. This accurately calculates things like the length and quantity of members automatically based on the design.

Tech Tips, SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD

Halloween Arts and Crafts with SOLIDWORKS Weldments Part 1

October 18, 2018

Have you ever wished you could spend more time using SOLIDWORKS for something other than work? I thought so, and fortunately, there are some great tools you can leverage to use SOLIDWORKS with your kids. It might sound spooky, but one day they may grow up to be better than you (or I) in 3D CAD! Let’s get them started off right with a treat from your work experience. 

In this Video Tech Tip, I will walk you through the process of creating profiles you can use in your weldment structures. For the weldment structure, I’ll be building a spiderweb or at least a reasonable facsimile. Feel free to create whatever you like.

Tech Tips, SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD

Probing Simulation Results in SOLIDWORKS

October 11, 2018

SOLIDWORKS Simulation has revolutionized the design process by enabling designers to perform analysis on their models–no engineering degree required! Simulation is easy to understand because the complexities of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) are disguised by the familiar and intuitive SOLIDWORKS user interface. SOLIDWORKS Simulation is written in the language of 3D CAD. 

As designers leverage the power of simulation in their workflow, they run multiple "what if" scenarios on their models. This offers them insight into their designs never before possible because a quick change can be made, and the simulation rerun instantly gives a designer feedback on their model. Finally, providing the answer to the looming question every designer is compelled to ask, “Was that change helpful to my design?”

As you run all these “what if" scenarios you’ll need to know a few tips and tricks to help make this process as easy as possible. In this Video Tech Tip, we share with you the quickest way to probe your model to get results at a specific location. 

Tech Tips, SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD

Working with Coordinate Systems in SOLIDWORKS

October 4, 2018

When it comes to working with SOLIDWORKS every single part has a coordinate system. This is important because you are working in 3D space in SOLIDWORKS. This sometimes presents inherent complexities with navigating around your parts, especially with assemblies. One trick to make this process a little more intuitive and easier to understand is to leverage the power of coordinate systems. Each part will always have at least one. This is the intersection of the front, top and right planes, or in x,y,z coordinate terms it’s the origin 0,0,0. Just think about it as the home for your part. 

It’s good to know where this is because it’s useful to leverage this in mating parts together in assemblies, setting up a simulation and countless other applications. But sometimes this one coordinate system isn’t enough. It’s frequently necessary or useful to create your own custom coordinate. The biggest use case for this is when exporting your models for 3D printing or use by other engineers because you can control the orientation of the model with a custom coordinate system.