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SOLIDWORKS 2013 Posts

Sweeps with Guide Curves - when they don't work...
Monday October 13, 2014 at 6:06pm

How you set up the Profile sketch is often the cause of problems with Swept Boss features or Swept Cut features.

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Convert Entities - more than just the outside edge
Thursday June 26, 2014 at 5:23pm

Ever wanted to convert entities on all edges - not just the boundary?

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Wave the Flag?!?
Thursday June 26, 2014 at 4:44pm

Flags? Really? Well, many of our customers build boats, some design toys... Plus Freeform is a command that can be used to modify solids or surfaces

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“Foreshortening” drawing dimensions other than rad
Thursday June 12, 2014 at 5:49pm

Ever wondered how to “foreshorten” a dimension in a drawing?

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Animations - A few recommendations when saving as
Tuesday April 22, 2014 at 10:31am

Animations:        Save As .avi recommended settings I've had a number of calls on the support desk asking for help when saving their animations out as .avi files.  The comments range from the animation appearing ‘rough’ or ‘stuttering’, to the file size being far too big to send to anyone or upload to their website.  As it happens then, there are a few tweaks we can make to the Save As settings that should fix these issue....

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Assembly Configurations - Two Vitally Important Ch
Thursday April 17, 2014 at 10:36am

Being on the support desk exposes you to many ways of applying different techniques in SOLIDWORKS.   While making changes between configurations, a customer was finding that mates were sometimes over defining the assembly, or that too many parts were appearing in certain configurations and not at all in others, leaving the models coming out looking a mess like this.      The key here are the two Advanced Options found in the Configuration Property manager highlighted ....

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Exporting Multi-body Parts to an Assembly
Thursday April 10, 2014 at 10:29am

The multibody part environment is a huge strength of SOLIDWORKS- the diverse range of features we provide in the part mode, means that you can gain fully detailed designs without having to even explore the assembly mode- there may be examples where you wish to convert multibodies to assemblies though- for example: Animations; assigning part numbers; assembly specific features. In this blog we explore some of the ways to do this.   1- Insert into New Part   This option allows you to....

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Weldments - Structural Member Corners
Thursday March 27, 2014 at 2:15pm

Anyone that has used the Weldment command "Structural Member" will know that you can set it to give you mitred corners - here we will look at a situation where we have three lines meeting up at the one corner of a 3D sketch. If anyone hasn't seen it - this is the button that kicks it all off...

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Derivative Design using Save As
Wednesday March 26, 2014 at 4:55pm

Training at SolidSolutions also offers the attendees a chance to ask the instructor other questions about the software not related to actual course, we call this the SolidSolutions Surgery…Pre or Post course time is allocated to all kinds of queries that the instructor is happy to show on the projector to the whole room or individually on the user’s classroom workstation.

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Surface Model a Rubber Duck!!
Monday March 3, 2014 at 9:02pm

During one of my recent training courses, one of the delegates asked about surface modelling. I thought it could be easily digestable by relating it to an everyday common item, so I thought- why not a Rubber Duck!   Initially this type of shape can be a tough challenge but if broken into the small pieces of how this model is actually made it can be a much less daunting task.     First Step was to try and create the largest feature the body, so this is done firstly by drawing ....

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Monday February 24, 2014 at 5:17pm

One of the most important things to do when you have just bought SOLIDWORKS, is set up your own templates. Here we will look at a Part template, later on we will look at Drawing templates.   Start by opening up a new Part file:-     Then go to File and Properties - this button is a shortcut to it: -      This will lead you to this menu: -     You'll want to be on the Custom menu, click on the cell under Proper....

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Monday February 24, 2014 at 9:56am

Congratulations to the latest members of our team to become Elite Application engineers, reaching the pinnacle of SOLIDWORKS certification success.    Over the last year Steven, Simon, Kevin, Jon and Alan  have all acheived SOLIDWORKS Elite status, with over twenty Elite Application Engineers as part of our technical team Solid Solutions now has more Elite Aplication Engineers than any other SOLIDWORKS reseller in the world!    On Friday afternoon Andy Deighton, ....

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Tuesday January 14, 2014 at 11:02am

There has been an issue with the SOLIDWORKS database which may have affected your personal student copies of SOLIDWORKS. Attempting to run the software after 1st January 2014 may have given you the following error:       The solution to this is supplied via a hotfix available to download from the SOLIDWORKS forum article shown below:   https://forum.SOLIDWORKS.com/thread/76418?tstart=0   Please follow the instructions in the link to install the hotfix which sh....

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Friday January 10, 2014 at 10:09am

For the second time this series Channel 4’s “Speed with Guy Martin” focused on a Solid Solutions customer, episode two saw Plymouth based, Sealander Marine International and SOLIDWORKS play an integral role in Guy Martin’s quest to break the distant record for riding a motorbike across water.    Hydroplaning, the act of riding a non-buoyant craft across water, requires complex physics, thrust and lift in order to keep the bike skimming the water’s surfac....

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Tuesday December 10, 2013 at 8:34pm

You may have seen warnings during the last couple of SOLIDWORKS versions about the support for Windows XP and Windows Vista ceasing, so it may come as a shock when attempting to install on a Windows 7 computer that you are hit with the following error:     This has cropped up on the support desk over the last couple of weeks, and in all cases the user was using a Windows 7 operating system- so this message made no sense. On further inspection, it was actually due to a Windows opti....

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Wednesday November 20, 2013 at 3:19pm

Using Delete Face as a cutting tool Today’s little tip is the use of the “Delete Face” as a cutting tool, to save you the time and effort sketching and creating features to remove the model geometry Let me explain below: As you can see, due the sequence of creation, the boss has been added after the cut which has meant the boss geometry appears through where the cut should be… …therefore to avoid having to reorder features or create a....

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Wednesday November 6, 2013 at 12:15pm

Chances are that if you have attended one of the SOLIDWORKS Training Courses you will have been encouraged to rename your Sketches and Features either through a slow double click or hitting the F2 key.   However what if you need to undo this and go back to the default value?   Taking a Hole Wizard Feature as an example what if you were to create a Hole Wizard feature at one size and then rename the command before subsequently changing the size or type of hole for that feature?....

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Monday November 4, 2013 at 1:38pm

While enjoying the end of my annual leave away from the office I couldn't help but notice that on the 24th October 2013 Service Pack 5 was made available for download for customers on Subscription.     The release cycle for SOLIDWORKS 2013 Service Packs was as follows:   Service Pack    Release Month SP0 October 2012 SP1 November 2012 SP2  January 2013 SP3  April 2013 SP4  June 2013 SP5  October 2013   ....

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Tuesday October 22, 2013 at 4:18pm

Essentials Tips During training this week’s SOLIDWORKS essentials, I was reminded of a little tip that has been removed from the course itself over the years but one that I always like to show…. SOLIDWORKS gives the user the ability to use the modify dimension box for more than just entering the value of the dimension Let me explain below: Were you aware you can use the modify box as a Calculator by entering add, subtract, divide and multiply keystrokes, + - / * ....

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Wednesday October 16, 2013 at 2:45pm

During training this week I came across something that a number of my students were unaware of…it’s often these little things that can speed up your day to day work within SOLIDWORKS   SOLIDWORKS gives the user the ability to open parts/assemblies/subassemblies from locations within your 2D drawing without the requirement of you using the standard File, Open and having to browse through your local and network locations   Let me explain below:   Were you aware yo....

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Friday October 11, 2013 at 4:33pm

A popular tool that has caught a few users out over the past year in SOLIDWORKS 2013 has been the Measure Tool and in particular not being able to access various options within it. The reason for this is typically because the 2nd box in my image (Point to Point) is selected.     Deselecting this option allows you to use the first drop down menu and take advantage of: Center to Centre Minimum Distance Maximum Distance Custom Distance   Hopefully these options will he....

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Thursday September 19, 2013 at 1:50pm

Trim/Extend Feature and Weldment Cut Lists   A reminder of one of the main features of the Weldments area of SOLIDWORKS; the Trim/Extent tool.      Having started off with a part containing two weldment tubes and a horizontal Boss-Extrude tube, the weldment features require trimming to the outside face of the extrusion.      Selecting right-hand body, I have assigned the trim boundry to the outside face off the extrusion. Be sure to select the bodie....

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Friday September 6, 2013 at 5:26pm

If you have ever run a SOLIDWORKS Simulation study with a large number of parts you will be aware that it can take a little time to assign the correct materials to each part.   A useful, but often overooked, technique is to drag/copy materials from one part to the next - within the Parts folder. All you do is select the part (or body) with the material you want to copy and drag it to another part. You don't even have to press CTRL! A yellow symbol appears that shows the destinati....

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Thursday September 5, 2013 at 4:00pm

When importing large STL files in to SOLIDWORKS you may come across this error.     This is due to a polygon limit on the SOLIDWORKS STL import utility. Files with more than 20000 polygons cannot be imported as a surface or solid, and only a graphical body, not much use!   Thankfully we can import larger STLs in to SOLIDWORKS, albeit in a slightly different file format.   Meshlab (http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/) is a free piece of software that allows the openi....

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Wednesday September 4, 2013 at 4:57pm

Have you ever seen this thing appear next to your cursor?     If so, you will have found that you can only select certain things - often not the thing you wanted to select! So what is it? How did it happen? And how on Earth do you get rid of it!?! It is a Selection Filter  - there are (as standard) 3 shortcut keys that it is very easy to hit by mistake. They are V, E, X.   Quite appropriate that they spell "vex" if you don't know what you've done! ....

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Tuesday August 27, 2013 at 12:07pm

What is it?   Most users will be aware that the Toolbox included in SOLIDWORKS Professional allows for user to quickly add bolts and connections to assemblies, with automatic sizing and mating applied, however the Toolbox also includes some additional tools to help create custom components, add grooves and even calculate stresses and deflections.   The Beam Calculator calculates deflections and stresses of beams using a variety of pre-set loads types, from single fixture loads to d....

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Thursday August 22, 2013 at 12:50pm

  Generally speaking, when you want to model a part with rounded edges, it is best to use the Fillet command on the Features menu - you can then edit/suppress/delete the fillet feature on the design tree. Many people do use the Sketch Fillet command though - if you are going to do that, it is best to draw your lines, add your sketch relations, dimension the sketch and then add the fillets last - after your dimensions. Why? This is why:-   The bottom left hand corner has a dimen....

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Thursday August 22, 2013 at 10:22am

Switch to Exploded View   A short and basic tip to save time setting up exploded views multiple times:   Exploded views are stored within the configurations tab, double-click the highlighted tab as shown below to activate the exploded view and double-click again to deactivate it.      An alternative option would be to use a separate configuration containing an exploded view; however modifications to one configuration will not pass to the other.    ....

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Monday August 19, 2013 at 4:26pm

In context or Top Down modelling is a very powerful technique for bespoke/ one off assemblies that may change due to customer demands, The main principle is that parts are designed or edited in the assembly environment to benefit from the surrounding geometry. You can dimension to, copy from or extrude up to other geometry to ensure things fit together.   The repercussion of this is that external references are created between components- this is so a change to the driving part automatica....

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Friday August 16, 2013 at 10:15am

Hi,   Another SOLIDWORKS Essentials course completed this week, great to meet our new customers and some new faces from existing customers.   Everyone progressed extremely well and found the training and extra SSM Surgery support extremely useful.   I just thought I would share with you one of the tips I show during Essentials training to all of my delegates learning SOLIDWORKS...   One of the common difficulties people can have when learning new software is where to ....

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Tuesday August 13, 2013 at 2:03pm

Dynamic Mirror - A really quick tip for instantly creating symmetry within a sketch in SOLIDWORKS.   1. Draw a centreline, ideally going through the origin     2. Within the active sketch, select Tools > Sketch Tools > Dynamic Mirror     3. Select your centreline, two parallel lines should appear at either end of the centreline     4. As you create a sketch on one side of the centreline, the Dynamic Mirror tool will automatically create a....

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Tuesday July 30, 2013 at 9:24am

SOLIDWORKS - Creating a Helix/Spiral   The Helix and Spiral tool can be cleverly used to generate 3D curves which can be then used as a sweep path. Ideal for creating springs! The tool will create your desired helix or spiral based on an initial circle sketch and definition values e.g. Pitch and Number of revolutions.    To begin, sketch a circle of the desired initial diameter of the first revolution. Select this sketch and click: Insert > Curve > Helix/Spiral  &....

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Thursday July 18, 2013 at 3:17pm

I must acknowledge the help of my colleague Graham Stephenson with this tip.   I was in a Sheetmetal training class with a customer who uses lofted bends a lot in his sheetmetal products - chutes and hoppers for the food industry. We created a series of lofted sheetmetal parts but the option to add the bend lines and control the deviation was not always available. This is a limitation and affects parts that have loft sections that are not exactly parallel and have dissimilar shapes - e.g.....

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Thursday July 18, 2013 at 10:20am

Fully Define Sketch is a command that is rarely used as it doesn’t appear as standard on the Sketch Toolbar and needs to be manually added.   You will need to add it to your Sketch toolbar but it’s a worthy addition.   Why not use this command in conjunction with Model Items to place dimensions on in the drawing this could save you considerable time when producing Drawings.                        ....

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Tuesday July 16, 2013 at 2:32pm

For those of you who weren't aware SOLIDWORKS 2013 made it much easier to select the view you require either via the shortcut of hitting the space bar on the keyboard or from the menu icons. I picked up a tip today that i think makes it more user friendly particularly for experienced users. During training i was asked  about the delay as SOLIDWORKS zooms out when pressing the spacebar. So I started looking through the options as I can see how this delay could be frustrating when worki....

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Wednesday July 3, 2013 at 4:27pm

This blog post is to coincide with the ‘Direct Editing’ Webcast and Tips & Tricks on our Solidsolutions.tv. I hope for those that attended the webcast and for those that have/will watch it, that you did see one or two new tools (or use of tools) that you haven’t seen before.    I did have one question from the audience, which was to do with the move face command and rotating the angle of a hole, keeping the entrance of the hole in the same place but having the e....

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Monday June 24, 2013 at 1:07pm

If you have ever had the need to create additional sketch planes:-     Then I'm pretty sure that you will have run into situations where "Horizontal" and "Vertical" relations in your new sketch are not how you would like them relative to the rest of your part - like this:-     So what do you do? Well, you could use "Parallel" and "Perpendicular" all the time you are working in that sketch, to position it relative to edge....

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Tuesday June 4, 2013 at 1:29pm

I came across an article back in December by SOLIDWORKS Blogger Ricky Jordan which I'd thought I'd fianlly upload to our blog and share while customers decide to migrate from Windows XP to 7 or 8.   http://www.rickyjordan.com/2012/09/solidworks-2013-on-a-tablet.html   It's an intriguing article at how a Samsung 700T Tablet was running a full version of the new Windows 8 OS and was able to run SOLIDWORKS 2013 ( in OpenGL mode). In his article he also mentions that the ne....

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Thursday March 14, 2013 at 11:55pm

Communicating designs with your customers and suppliers is vital to ensure demands are met during the development stage. In the past you would have had to ensure you were working with the same SOLIDWORKS version to share data with ease. In SOLIDWORKS 2013 files created and saved can be opened in the last service pack (SP5) of 2012. This is called "Interoperability". It will allow you to view "newer" 2013 parts and assemblies and their configurations, to allow you to reference....

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Monday January 28, 2013 at 1:40pm

SOLIDWORKS 2013 has a new option to allow intelligent dimensioning of sketches automatically. It basically allows you to sketch as normal, but if you know the size of the sketch entity you are adding, you can type in what size it should be. If you don't know, simply do not enter a value. The option of adding dimension whilst sketching has been around for a few releases now, so if you are not on the latest version (2013) then you can still use the option, but you will need to control m....

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Wednesday October 10, 2012 at 4:22pm

This service pack is now available to Subscription Service customers. To download, log into the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal at: https://customerportal.SOLIDWORKS.com/ and click Download Software and Updates to access the update.

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