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Looking inside - a SOLIDWORKS Composer tip

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... 

Quite recently I've been involved with creating content for customer demonstrations of SOLIDWORKS Composer, a product you can find more info about on our website, http://www.solidsolutions.co.uk/solidworks/Technical-Communication/Packages/Composer.aspx

This has involved taking a customer’s CAD data and replicating their Technical documentation process using SOLIDWORKS Composer, showing them how much quicker and more efficient they could be. 

A number of the data sets I've come across then have involved enclosures and one of the requirement was to clearly show the internal components.  What I thought may be useful then is to use this blog to show how this could be done using the standard technique and how I would enhance the image using a little known technique.

To protect the customer content I've used one of our standard demo models and I wish to show the internal parts inside the casing, my first step would be to get the viewpoint correctly setup and very easily capture the view,


 

Next, the default method would be to select the casing geometry and choose to reduce the opacity in the property pane,

 

and give me the effect shown below…

 

Nice and simple…however the parts inside appear are still hidden a little by the casing.  Therefore to make the internals more prominent I chose a slightly different technique.  Taking the view above as my starting point I switched the model into ‘custom render’ mode, this gives the user complete control over the render display of each and every component,

 

Then (and this is the little known tip) I was able to promote the level of the internal components to make them appear to sit above the casing parts, using the ‘custom rendering’ ‘priority’ settings in the properties pane when a component is selected.  This is a great little feature to either promote or demote each component above or below other items, it’s works in a similar way to typical Microsoft tools like Word and PowerPoint where you can ‘send to back’ or ‘bring to front’

 

The result below now shows the parts and quite importantly its edges sitting above the level of transparent casing parts,

 

Hope it helps!

By Russell Richardson

Elite Applications Engineer

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