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SOLIDWORKS Posts

SOLIDWORKS Auto-recovery and Back up
Tuesday November 8, 2016 at 11:33am

SOLIDWORKS has two different methods to help you recover from an unexpected crash or loss of data, find out about these in this blog.

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SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Olympic Weightlifting
Tuesday August 23, 2016 at 11:00am

Now the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio is over, we can reflect on the strength and determination athletes require to compete and be the best in the world. Using SOLIDWORKS Simulation we'll take a look at how an Olympic barbell is loaded for world record attempts and is engineered to be safe enough to be able to withstand the best that Olympians can throw at it.

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SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineers
Tuesday July 19, 2016 at 4:46pm

Yesterday was a big day for achievements by our extremely talented technical team here at Solid Solutions. 5 of our team were awarded the coveted Elite Applications Engineer status which is in recognition of exceptional SOLIDWORKS skills.

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Sign Writing and Logos - DXF's and Blocks
Thursday April 21, 2016 at 1:54pm

Importing DXF's - particularly ones of stylized images can be a pain - how can this be handled?

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Solid Solutions Welcomes Cadtek
Wednesday March 23, 2016 at 9:34am

We are very pleased to announce a significant and positive change for Solid Solutions, your SOLIDWORKS reseller. With effect from 23 March 2016 we have secured an £8m investment from BGF (Business Growth Fund) to support the continued growth of our core business, and facilitate the acquisition of Derbyshire based Cadtek, the UK & Ireland’s third largest SOLIDWORKS reseller.

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SOLIDWORKS 2016 User Interface Update
Wednesday January 20, 2016 at 5:14pm

The SOLIDWORKS interface has undergone a major overhaul in the 2016 version. Find out what has changed and the latest updates following feedback from the SOLIDWORKS user community.

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Why will SOLIDWORKS not launch after I have applie
Tuesday November 17, 2015 at 9:51am

A problem has been identified with Windows Update KB3097877. After installing this update SOLIDWORKS can fail to launch.

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Monday August 17, 2015 at 10:36am

Sometimes it may be necessary to engrave text on a diametric face which is a simple enough procedure: Create a plane tangential to the diametric face, create some text constrained to a construction line and use the wrap feature. However what happens if the text is required on a tapered diametric face?

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Benefits of having a Fully Integrated CAM Package
Monday August 17, 2015 at 10:20am

There are many CAD and CAM packages out there, however there are many disadvantages of having separate software for CAD and CAM. Some CAM packages require an export from SOLIDWORKS into another format the CAM will understand.

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Configurations - Creating a Manufacturing Process
Monday August 17, 2015 at 9:36am

Configurations are normally used to create similar components with different sizes but can also be used to create a manufacturing lifecycle process. This blog is going to run through the process on how this could be achieved.

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Friday June 12, 2015 at 3:07pm

In SOLIDWORKS we have a toolbox library, materials library and appearances library, one library we don't have is a annotations library. This can easily be rectified allowing you to create an extensive catalogue of frequently used annotations, notes, symbols etc... The process is quick and easy, just follow the steps below

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Friday June 12, 2015 at 2:42pm

In an assembly, it can be quite useful to have different parts shown in different colours. Whether that be to differentiate between parts, to display final colour or to indicate whether a part has been purchased or not. This is easy in an assembly, but when you come to a drawing, the Hidden Lines Visible (HLV) and Hidden Lines Removed (HLR) display modes remove this colour, showing all the lines in black. You can modify this behaviour by going to;

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Friday June 12, 2015 at 11:24am

When sketching, on occasion you may want to add an angle dimension and use a horizontal or vertical sketch line to reference from, but what do you do if none are nearby? In SOLIDWORKS 2015 you now have the ability to dimension between a line and an imaginary horizontal or vertical line.

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Friday June 12, 2015 at 10:48am

Adding foreshortened dimensions are nice and easy, but what about adding foreshortened diameter dimensions to a Detail View of a section? Not so easy, or is it?

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Friday June 5, 2015 at 5:16pm

Are you experiencing random computer crashes or system lock-ups? Are you having instability with SOLIDWORKS? Are you looking to get these issues resolved as quickly and effectively as possible whilst understanding why these issues occur? This technical document will provide you with an insight in to the fundamentals of how computers operate and the common issues that you may encounter. It will explain the basic set up of how hardware and software communicate with each other and will explore the ....

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Preparing SOLIDWORKS Models for 3D Printing
Thursday April 23, 2015 at 12:55pm

3D printing is a topic that’s in the forefront every designer and engineers mind nowadays. The ever increasing array of technologies and cost effective solutions available on the market, mean that the option to use prototyping equipment to prove a design is more readily available to us than ever before. So once we`ve used SOLIDWORKS to finalise those last design details, how do we successfully make the transition from SOLIDWORKS to a 3D printed model?

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How to Model and Ironman Helmet in SOLIDWORKS
Wednesday April 22, 2015 at 1:31pm

Using the IronMan helmet as a fun example we explore how complex shapes can be developed and the differences between solid & surface modelling techniques.

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Thursday April 16, 2015 at 1:57pm

You can select multiple annotations in a drawing and group them so they move together when you drag them. Ungroup annotations so they move independently.

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Assembly, Hide/Show Components
Thursday April 16, 2015 at 1:26pm

In the graphics area, you can press Tab and Shift + Tab to hide and show components of an assembly. This becomes very helpful when you have many small components getting in your way like the model shown below.

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Status Bar
Thursday April 16, 2015 at 10:54am

The status bar at the bottom of the SOLIDWORKS window provides information related to the function you are currently performing.

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Recent Commands
Thursday April 16, 2015 at 9:59am

If you use the same command over and over again, then this quick tip is one for you. The last ten unique commands are available in a command history. The most recent command is at the top of the list.

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Complex Shapes & Surfaces for Beginners
Wednesday April 8, 2015 at 2:33pm

SOLIDWORKS has a powerful and well established toolset for creating complex shapes and surfaces. Learn how to use some of the core features for creating complex geometry such as lofts, sweeps and the solid/ surface boundary tools.

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PhotoView 360 Luxology Appearances
Tuesday March 31, 2015 at 4:00pm

A great feature added back in SOLIDWORKS 2013 was the ability to use Luxology native appearances for PhotoView 360. This enables SOLIDWORKS users to make use of the huge range of additional appearances in Luxology’s online library.

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PhotoView 360 Render Region
Tuesday March 31, 2015 at 11:05am

In PhotoView 360, you can define a region of the SOLIDWORKS graphics area for rendering. Using this render region, you can limit the rendering in the integrated preview, the preview window, or the final rendering to the area of the render region. This lets you rapidly preview or create a final rendering of a subset of the scene so you can assess the impact of changes to the rendering settings, lighting, and appearances of this section of the model.

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Photoview 360 Basic Settings
Tuesday March 31, 2015 at 10:19am

When getting started with PhotoView 360, setting your render options can seem like a bewildering task. Here are a few tips and explanations to get you started.

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Simulate the Solar Eclipse with SOLIDWORKS!
Friday March 27, 2015 at 10:26am

Last week there was a cosmic conjunction in my thinking! The partial solar eclipse in the UK coincided with my son needing help with his "Gravitational Field Theory". Could SOLIDWORKS help me understand both?

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Wednesday March 18, 2015 at 5:04pm

Take a look at this document to find out more information about SOLIDWORKS Student Access and Educational Versions. Are you a student who wants to explore an easy to use CAD package for use in university/college projects? Or are you an academic tutor who requires a practical but powerful CAD solution for your students? Fortunately, there are multiple versions available for educational institutions with student users - allowing for access both on and off campus. This document will break down the....

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Wednesday March 18, 2015 at 3:55pm

Take a look at this technical document on troubleshooting common problems with the SOLIDWORKS Journal File and Auto-Recover errors. This technical document covers; - Some basic functions of the journal file, it's location and the data it records - Common warning messages that appear on SOLIDWORKS start-up - Potential reasons for journal errors and step by step solutions on how to resolve some of these issues. View the Document here

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Temporary Axis
Thursday October 30, 2014 at 11:56am

Temporary axis are those created implicitly by cones & cylinders within the model.

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Virtual Sharp
Thursday October 30, 2014 at 10:34am

A virtual sharp creates a sketch point at the virtual intersection point of two sketch entities.

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How to Calculate Fluid Volume of a Tank
Tuesday October 21, 2014 at 4:02pm

If you are designing a tank or product that has a cavity and you want to know the exact fluid volume (or mass) then here's how.

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Normal To 2 Faces
Monday October 20, 2014 at 5:11pm

Normal to 2 faces command gives the user greater control over the orientation of their model.

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Hole Table Tip
Friday October 17, 2014 at 10:04am

Hole Tables - This blog posts explains what to do if SOLIDWORKS is picking up the hole from the Geometry not the thread detail.

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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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Discover SOLIDWORKS Professional – Costing
Thursday August 14, 2014 at 12:01pm

Discover how to quickly and accurately cost your components using SOLIDWORKS Costing. Available in SOLIDWORKS Professional, SOLIDWORKS Costing is easy to use and comes with standard manufacturing templates which are customisable to your specific needs.

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Discover SOLIDWORKS Premium – Scan to 3D
Thursday August 14, 2014 at 11:53am

Reduce the time required to build complex 3D models of real-world items, such as sculpted objects and anatomical items by using ScanTo3D which is available in SOLIDWORKS Premium. Scanned data such as point clouds or mesh can be imported, parsed, manipulated, modified, and turned into 3D solids and surfaces.

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Stress Values in Specific Places - Sensors
Thursday July 31, 2014 at 4:10pm

An easy way to monitor stress values in critical areas of your model.

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Hole in the Ball!!
Tuesday July 15, 2014 at 10:28am

Well the World Cup is over, so as we are probably all trying to fill the 6 week gap until the start of the new domestic season- here's a blog with football at heart. In this post we look at finding where we have openings in surface models- and the reason why they may not convert to solids. With a football, it won't be much use with a hole in it, so here's a little tip I came across reviewing some of the old SOLIDWORKS World Presentations- it is also one we refer to on the Surface Modelling train....

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Creating Cut-Away Drawing Views
Monday July 14, 2014 at 12:08pm

There are several ways to create cut-away views of assembly’s for use on a drawing in SOLIDWORKS. One method of doing this is to create a cut feature at an assembly level, also known as an ‘Assembly Cut’.

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Beyond Training - Mould Tools
Thursday July 10, 2014 at 3:23pm

SOLIDWORKS Mould Tool functionality gets the attention in this months ‘Beyond Training’ webcast. Learn a selection of Tips and Tricks that complement the certified SOLIDWORKS Mould Tools training course.

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SOLIDWORKS Inspection Overview
Thursday July 10, 2014 at 10:10am

Discover how SOLIDWORKS Inspection could help you streamline the creation of First Article Inspection documents. Learn how to leverage your existing 2D legacy data regardless of whether your drawings are SOLIDWORKS, PDF’s or TIFF files.

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Creating Inspection Reports
Wednesday July 9, 2014 at 4:12pm

Do you ever need to create Inspection Reports from customer drawings or directly from SOLIDWORKS?

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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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The Magic of Spline on Surface
Thursday June 19, 2014 at 3:15pm

Want to create a free form cut out in a 3D surface? The little known 'Spline on Surface' is a great tool for this. Here is how to create an egg with the top chopped off - ready for the soldiers!

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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...

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It's All Gone Dark?!?
Monday June 16, 2014 at 12:24am

One common question on photo-rendering is when you have clear objects why may you get dark spots? The answer is down to the fact that in real life light bends as many times as it needs to pass through a transparent object. However in rendering we have to limit this number of bends (known as refractions) for performance reasons. This is particularly a problem where you have many transparent layers such as a point of sale display. In PhotoView 360 the number of refractions (bends) goes up as yo....

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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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Combining Helixes, Surfaces and Sweeps.
Monday June 9, 2014 at 5:27pm

In this week’s blog I’m going to show how to use a combination of simple commands to create this seemingly complex component. The part will start with a simple sphere, a groove will be then cut using a path that was created using a helix and a surface. A multiple profile sweep will create the variable cut gradient, before pattering the groove around the sphere to achieve the desired ‘notched’ result. After creating the sphere we will create a helix that ‘cuts&rsq....

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Replacing Components in Assemblies
Saturday June 7, 2014 at 7:38pm

Covered on the Assembly Modelling course, the Replace Component tool allows components with different file names to be swapped in and out without causing mate errors or the need to re-make areas of an assembly. Mates are re attached automatically, or if not they are re attached through one by one. Take this example vice assembly; my aim is to swap out the existing blue base with the new green one, perhaps due to a supplier change or modification to a part. Crucially, they are two separate docume....

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Communicating Designs Quickly and Effectively
Saturday June 7, 2014 at 6:19pm

eDrawings There are a number of tools within SOLIDWORKS to speed up the process of communicating designs quickly and effectively to your customers. One of the most popular ways is through a free program called eDrawings.  One of the major benefits with using eDrawings is that entire assembly files are flattened to an individual file which has the added benefit of reducing the file size allowing it easily to be sent via email.  Within the eDrawings product, your suppliers, customers or ....

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Replacing Inserted Parts for Master Modelling
Wednesday May 28, 2014 at 11:49am

Master modelling is the technique employed by many designers that work with external customer data. It allows the user to import a part into another part document. With an inserted part, new geometry can then be referenced to the inserted part ensuring adequate fit and clearances are maintained. Take for example a simple consumer electrical product like an electric shaver- the main body may be used as the inserted master part to allow other items to be designed- such as button details, or the ra....

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Updating Custom Properties within SOLIDWORKS
Thursday May 22, 2014 at 10:42pm

Custom properties are used throughout SOLIDWORKS- they are simply text based information that helps further describe and add information about a document - they are sometimes known as metadata. When created, properties can be used extensively throughout SOLIDWORKS, namely populating Bills of Materials and drawing borders, but also they provide additional items to search on. In this blog we discuss how you can add properties in the first place.   1) File menu > Properties The first and mo....

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Creating multiple angular planes as reference geom
Friday May 9, 2014 at 11:38am

How can you easily create 36 planes at 10 degrees around a central axis?

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A Linear Pattern Design Library Feature – Unistrut
Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 4:52pm

SOLIDWORKS offers integrated Weldment Structure design tools at all levels of the product. Through the ‘SOLIDWORKS Content’ section of the design library, profiles for most types of structural member can be downloaded. The ‘Unistrut’ type is one of these and using it allows us to easily create structural members like the ones shown in the image below and left. The Weldment tools speed up the creation of even the most complex structures. However, due to the way the system ....

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Calculate Internal Fluid Volume using the SolidWor
Monday May 5, 2014 at 10:46pm

Last week during training I had a question asking how to work out the internal volume of a model, and taking this a bit further, how to calculate the volume of a fluid. To answer the query I showed a recent addition to the SOLIDWORKS feature set, the ’Intersect’ command.

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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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Visit SolidSolutions and SolidCAM at MACH 10-11 Ap
Thursday April 10, 2014 at 9:47am

This week SolidCAM UK have been demonstrating the power of iMachining technology on Stand 5242 at the NEC, Birmingham for the MACH2014 Exhibition. They have been overwhelmed by the response they have received from delegates visiting them.   On Thursday 10th and Friday 11th April 2014 Solid Solutions will be joining the SolidCAM UK team, and we would love to welcome you to the stand where you can see live cutting of 10 deep using the unique, revolutionary and patented iMachining technology....

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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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A New Way to Communicate Concept Designs
Wednesday March 19, 2014 at 10:06am

SOLIDWORKS PhotoView 360 2014 adds some new non photorealistic options for your output. The first thing that springs to mind for me is to communicate concept designs. Rather than dusting off the marker pens you  can create a quick concept image in SOLIDWORKS.   To enable the option on the Render Tools tab, select Options.      Next tick Contour/Cartoon Rendering and use the drop down to pick the new Cartoon Style. This will appear on the preview renders unlike the....

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Where is that Command again....?
Saturday March 8, 2014 at 2:26pm

If you're new to SOLIDWORKS, or even if you are not, you are always learning about new features and functions that hopefully make your life easier and products even better. The more commands you use, the tougher it is to keep track of them, and the busier your toolbars will be if you keep adding them again and again.   Many users have I’m sure encountered the frustration of knowing what tool they need to use but the exact location escapes them, this poor man seems to have had such ....

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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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Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 2:00pm

Zoom to Selection  Time for little tip I showed in an Advanced Assembly training course last week that attendee’s seem to like; the little know ‘Zoom to Selection’ tool It’s a great way to target your view in the graphical window right where you need to be, it works on a number of selectable items so let’s take a look; When selecting something in SOLIDWORKS you often see the context toolbar appear, and on the bottom row of icons you’ll find the magni....

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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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Saturday February 22, 2014 at 12:38am

The Curve Driven Pattern is a powerful feature in parts, and now in SOLIDWORKS 2014, assemblies. It allows you to repeat and array features, bodies or parts along a 2D or 3D curve direction, maintaining equal spacing as you go. It is in fact a great alternative to a linear pattern if you use a straight line as the reference sketch- this is the only way to achieve an equal spacing scenario. There is an Enhancement Request to allow equal spacing in a typical linear pattern.   Anyway back to....

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Tuesday February 11, 2014 at 5:22pm

Model Mania @ SOLIDWORKS World 2014 – San Diego After a great week at SOLIDWORKS World in San Diego, I’m now reflecting on how the technical content shown can impact positively our customers business, I hope to add a series of short blogs on a number of exciting developments As an introduction I’d like to share with you my experience of winning the Reseller Model Mania Challenge at the conference and explain how I tackled the modelling challenge… ....

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Friday February 7, 2014 at 1:37pm

Last week I wanted to go through my settings and customise them. I hadn’t done this in a while and didn’t feel like my current set up was working for me. You can get to the customise menu  by right clicking the command manager, going right down to the bottom of the list and choosing ‘Customize’. Alternatively you can use the Tools menu with Customize near the bottom.   The window that appears houses options to customise pretty much every aspect of SOLIDWORKS.&....

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Tuesday February 4, 2014 at 11:59am

As a highpoint in any SOLIDWORKS reseller’s year SOLIDWORKS World is an event Solid Solutions look forward to with eager anticipation and SOLIDWORKS World 2014 most certainly did not disappoint.   Following a packed 72 hours spent learning what SOLIDWORKS will be offering in the near future, the event culminated with the annual SOLIDWORKS World Awards dinner - think the Oscars only with more technical engineers and a few less A-List actors.    The awards celebrate excell....

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Monday February 3, 2014 at 3:36pm

Having been frequently disappointed by the lack of chocolate in often overpriced Easter eggs, the Solid Chocolate Company recently set themselves the challenge of creating a truly solid chocolate egg.   After a series of in-house trials it soon became apparent that 3D CAD software was necessary to design both the mouldable pieces and the mould tool itself, the Solid Chocolate Company chose to outsource the task to Solid Solutions’ customers TronMec Ltd thanks to their extensiv....

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Tuesday January 28, 2014 at 11:46am

A simple yet powerful feature introduced on the SOLIDWORKS Essentials Course is the shell feature. This allows you to remove faces of a part and apply a uniform wall thickness within it, particularly useful for injection moulded product. By delaying the stage at which we use the tool we can use it to enhance internal details from external ones, in this case bosses and fillets. What's more the shell feature can also product multiple thicknesses in different areas of a model for furt....

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Wednesday January 15, 2014 at 4:24pm

Guy Martin and the 112 mph Push Bike Our blog of 6th Jan (Can a Push Bike Be Ridden at 112Mph?) has caused a good deal of interest in a slightly crazy English guy (literally a 'Guy') who has broken the UK land speed record for a push bike. This was featured in a highly watchable Channel 4 TV programme. Achieving 112 mph by pedal power is a pretty amazing feat but it was done with the help of a supercharged racing truck and some clever simulations carried out by Dr Jason Hill at Dynamiq ....

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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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Monday January 6, 2014 at 5:00pm

On August 13th 2013 Guy Martin reached 112.94mph on bicycle cycling behind a modified racing truck at Pendine Sands, South Wales and became Britain’s fastest cyclist. For the preceding eight months Guy Martin had been working with Dr. Jason Hill of Dynamiq Engineering Ltd (a Solid Solutions customer) to develop the aerodynamic and structural modifications for the racing truck necessary to make this record breaking speed possible.  Dynamiq Engineering Ltd, were tasked by....

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Monday January 6, 2014 at 9:52am

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation can be used to create transient studies where the fluid boundary conditions vary with time. This means that inlet and outlet parameters such as velocity, pressure or temperature can vary over a defined time period.   An interesting application of this is the pressure fluctuations that arise when a pressure pulse from a wave passes around a static solid object - like a leg of a pier or a submerged column in seawater. One of our customers wanted to observe this ph....

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Friday January 3, 2014 at 9:50am

What may have started off as a small family venture is turning into something quite phenomenal, Elite Balustrade Systems, a balcony and balustrade sales and fabrication company (and Solid Solutions customer), have grown from a local business in the small town of Clitheroe into a now internationally operating firm, thanks to SOLIDWORKS.    Featured recently in Develop3D, Managing Director, David Martin, discusses the extent to which SOLIDWORKS has allowed the company to develop thanks....

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Thursday January 2, 2014 at 12:33pm

The SOLIDWORKS 2014 discs now have content for multiproducts on them as standard! New additions to the installation manager include SOLIDWORKS Electrical and SOLIDWORKS Composer, so there is no need to download these separately any more! Simply tick the relevant box for the product you want to install and follow through the usual steps.   Upgrading SOLIDWORKS to 2014 couldn't be easier! Why not upgrade today?   Dave Ashford Applications Engineer Solid Solutions Managemen....

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Friday December 20, 2013 at 12:05pm

Christmas is getting close and the pressure to produce the turkey and stuffing whilst getting those little pigs in blankets on the table before the Queen’s speech is mounting and for those with lots of family coming over it’s a certainty that there may be more than one dish in the oven at once but how will your oven cope?    Delphine Genouvrier, a SOLIDWORKS Product Manager, recently ran a series of tests using SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation and Computational Fluid Dynamics ....

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Thursday December 19, 2013 at 3:09pm

With the Christmas season well and truly upon us a seasonal SOLIDWORKS blog seems to be the only possible topic for today’s entry. As the social media pages get the festive touch from our graphics department we have been particularly impressed by Jordan Tadic’s yule tide SOLIDWORKS effort, currently available on GrabCad.com.     As well as being oh so appropriate, the tree truly demonstrates the level of detail offered by PhotoView360 - the pine needles provide an exce....

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Wednesday December 11, 2013 at 2:33pm

SOLIDWORKS Plastics is able to calculate and illustrate the phenomenon of ‘Jetting’ within injection moulded parts. ‘Jetting’ occurs when there is a large amount of empty space in the mould cavity at, or close to, the injection location. Jetting can result in parts that have an undesirable surface finish.       To generate results that will accurately show ‘Jetting’ as it occurs you need to use a ‘Solid Mesh’. Once meshed go in....

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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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Monday December 9, 2013 at 2:19pm

As the new year approaches, I wanted to make you aware of some of the great resources Solid Solutions offer for new users and experienced users a like.   Webcast Wednesday This initiative has been going for around 4 years and we have had huge success and great feedback from the customer base. Every Wednesday one of our technical team hosts short webinars on a range of topics to add value back into the customer base. We cover the full product suite and our most popular videos tend to be t....

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Tuesday December 3, 2013 at 5:33pm

Mold design is relatively simple in SOLIDWORKS with the use of Surface Modelling and Mold Tool commands. These are just two advance courses we train customers in using core functionality of the Software but the workflow and extensions beyond this are vast thanks to the suite of SOLIDWORKS products.   We are able to not only design the product in SOLIDWORKS, but run Plastics to Simulate the filling phase, design the mold and then machine it with SolidCAM.   1) Design in SolidWor....

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Monday November 25, 2013 at 2:43pm

The SOLIDWORKS user base is growing at a massive rate- there are over 2.5million users worldwide, and off the back of this the developers, resellers and customers alike are creating a vast amount of online content for you to tap into. You may already know that we have ourselves created a fantastic online portal, exclusively for our customer base via Solid Solutions TV - all of our weekly webcasts and tips and tricks videos are archived and available to view on demand from your PC, laptop, tablet....

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Monday November 25, 2013 at 1:24pm

Using the swept cut feature, we have the ability to use a second body to represent the tool generating the cut.   For this to work our tool-body has to be a revolved feature using analytical geometry (i.e. lines and arcs), make sure the merge result tick box is unchecked when you create the revolve feature intially so a second body is created.   In this example using the cut-sweep feature, the silver revolved body takes on the role of the tool and will follow the blue helical curv....

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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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Thursday November 14, 2013 at 2:23pm

Which is better for SOLIDWORKS: a Windows 7 Basic theme or an Aero Theme?   For my blog post this week I wanted to highlight the importance of not only checking that you are running a supported graphics card driver as you upgrade to the last service pack of 2013 or even the new 2014 release, but also using an appropriate Windows theme.   GRAPHICS CARD DRIVERS: To check you’re running the latest supported driver for your graphics card look at the RX utility:   STA....

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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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Wednesday November 6, 2013 at 9:43am

In my opinion, it is always best practice to model about the model origin and to make use of symmetry whenever possible.   Dynamic Mirror Entities: The easiest and fastest way to create symmetric elements in a sketch is to use the Dynamic Mirror Entities command. It works like the regular Mirror command, except it automatically creates the symmetric elements on the fly and applies the Symmetric constraint.   The tool is categorised as a Sketch Tool, so found under the Tools dropdo....

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Tuesday November 5, 2013 at 12:21pm

At Solid Solutions we love hearing about interesting and unusual uses for SOLIDWORKS and this could potentially be our favourite yet. Warning: this is utterly adorable.     When we heard about Dudley the Duck in the office yesterday afternoon I genuinely could not wipe the smile off my face. Only having one foot, following an unfortunate encounter with a hen, made swimming and walking a little difficult for the Vancouver based bird but thanks to a 3D CAD Designer at 3 Pillar Solut....

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Friday November 1, 2013 at 4:34pm

Do you have any ideas for a new function or a tweak to an existing one?   Every year SOLIDWORKS ask for ideas which are then narrowed down by voting later in the year to the Top Ten.   You can contribute here   All ideas must be submitted by the 16th of December when voting will commence.   These will be revealed and discussed at SOLIDWORKS World in good old US of A. The last stats i saw showed that around 85% of suggestions that make the top ten also then make it in....

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Friday October 25, 2013 at 3:08pm

Rapid Sketch- you may have seen it, but perhaps haven't clicked it. It is one of the last icons on the Sketch toolbar when part modelling, and has been there for a couple of years. Without having any exposure on our training courses, it is one of those features you will have to explore for yourself, but read on to understand the function and benefits of the Rapid Sketch feature.   This tool allows you to sketch on multiple faces without having to keep opening and closing sketches. ....

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Tuesday October 22, 2013 at 4:34pm

Hi   I have just fixed a long-standing problem for a customer using the Knowledge Base. The customer was not aware that he could have fixed the problem himself - if he just searched it via his Customer Portal.   The Knowledge Base is a fabulous resource with tens of thousands of articles on everything from A - Z in SOLIDWORKS. We use it all the time on Tech Support, but there is no reason why customers on subscription shouldn't search yourself - in fact it is one of the main re....

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Friday October 18, 2013 at 12:59pm

In recent years SOLIDWORKS have released their eDrawings viewer product on Apple iOS Devices and this year at SOLIDWORKS World 2013 they unveiled not only that eDrawings would also be released for Andriod but that a new enhancement was to be added for iOS versions, that being the introduction of Augmented Reality.   There are two products avalible: iTunes: eDrawings at £1.49 iTunes: eDrawings Pro at £6.99 (The Pro version allows markups on your drawin....

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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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Monday October 14, 2013 at 4:30pm

“I think most users will find something in [SOLIDWORKS 2014] that either makes their daily working practices more efficient or allows them to be more productive.”   SOLIDWORKS 2014 has been recently reviewed by Digital 3D, an independent resource for all things digital. From the introduction of Environments, a series of preset user interfaces specifically targeted at different industry sectors and user types through to equation control at configuration level, Develop 3D explor....

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Monday October 7, 2013 at 1:59pm

Buoyancy Calculation in SOLIDWORKS   I have added this blog as it might prove useful to anyone who wants to work out how far beneath the water surface an assy will float. This came up in a training course with our customer Manuplas of Plymouth who make a variety of flotation aids.   Below is an illustration of a typical flotation aid. It is made of a foam internal structure encased in a rubber skin. It has a steel tube through the middle and will have a ballast weight beneath ....

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Friday October 4, 2013 at 2:10pm

The standard line font used in SOLIDWORKS drawings is black lines with constant line weight- this can sometimes mean that being able to differentiate between parts within an assembly drawing can be a little tricky. There are ways around this.   Firstly, a relatively new option in SOLIDWORKS, gives you the ability to override the line colour based on the component colour- take this assembly below- the parts are easily differentiated in 3D, but there is an option in the 2D Drawing to allow ....

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Tuesday September 24, 2013 at 12:54pm

Whilst we don't want to spoil our up and coming 2014 launch events, there is one enhancement in particular that seems to be creating a bit of a buzz in the SOLIDWORKS Community. SOLIDWORKS 2014 now comes equipped with the Replace Sketch Entities tool which on the face of it seems a relatively minor enhancement, but digging deeper it will be of huge benefit to the customer base.   So what is and and how is it used?   First thing you could do is check out the help documentation o....

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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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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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Thursday September 5, 2013 at 3:33pm

The Property Tab Builder, introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2009 makes the input of custom properties easier than ever. Properties are used to add data to SOLIDWORKS files to populate drawing borders and Bills of Materials tables, but can also be used as a search criteria in Windows Explorer and SOLIDWORKS PDM systems.   The Tab Builder allows you to create an Input Form so that values can be entered with minimal effort, but maximum consistency. You can create check boxes, lists and even links to ....

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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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Wednesday September 4, 2013 at 10:23am

This is a really useful gem that is hardly noticed or used - but can come in very handy, especially for anyone doing an animation or Motion study.   Suppose you want to illustrate a movement of an assy - some sort of mechanism. Obviously you will switch to the Motion tab and build an animation using the various tools - motors, forces etc or even by dragging the parts to a new position with respect to the time line. However, because the mechanism is free to move it will not necessaril....

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Tuesday September 3, 2013 at 2:02pm

SOLIDWORKS have always been a leader when it comes to multibody modelling- since its introduction in SOLIDWORKS 2003 developers have continued to strive and improve the way that we can work with them- so much so that multibody modelling rivals assembly modelling when it comes to functionality. In recent releases we have seen the introduction of sheet metal multibodies, enhanced weldment cutting lists, use of mixed materials, and most recently exploded views. The choice whether to use multibody t....

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Friday August 30, 2013 at 9:54am

Implementing a new CAD system not only requires the financial commitment to buy the software, but also a time and resource allocation to get the system off the ground. You want to be using the new software productively as soon as possible, but there are some key considerations that need to be addressed before this can happen. For example- how to install the software, configuring templates and drawing layouts, customising the UI, using the additional bolt ons etc. Whilst we could throw all this i....

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Wednesday August 28, 2013 at 12:28pm

As the next Bank Holiday on our calendars is Christmas (am I allowed to say that yet!!) I thought I would just mention about up and coming training courses that we have for the rest of the year. I plan to put together the 2014 schedules in the coming months, but as we approach the last third of the year you may be looking at those final courses to complete your SOLIDWORKS training passport, or look to use some left over budget to make you more productive in SOLIDWORKS.   Via our website, ....

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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 12:14pm

Found a nifty tool within SOLIDWORKS, buried in the background...   The Live Section plane tool is accessed within a part document under Insert> Feature> Reference Geometry> Live Section Planes, this tools lets you dynamically section models using any plane or planar face. This is not only an analysis tool but a useful tool for direct editing when combined with the Instant3D feature, within SOLIDWORKS. You are able to display multiple Live Section Planes consistently and the....

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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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Thursday August 15, 2013 at 11:33am

You may have recieved a .swb file from a supplier catalogue or a download from their website, but how can you then open and use this in SOLIDWORKS?   A .swb file extention is actually a Macro so all you need to do once you have downloaded the file is to unzip it to a location of choice - then in SOLIDWORKS go to TOOLS-MACRO-RUN to open the .swb file.     This will then create the model for you to save and use.   Simon Beamish Applications Engineer

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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 August 13, 2013 at 12:57pm

Just a quick note that following requests from customers to support Android devices, the eDrawings application for android was released yesterday and its a bit of a bargain in my opinion!  A mere £1.28 will allow you to better collaborate with clients, production etc using android devices.   Users can view SOLIDWORKS parts, assemblies, 2d drawings aswell as exploded views and configurations     More details can be found on the SolidWotks website below, please not....

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Thursday August 8, 2013 at 12:22pm

As well as all of the great stuff we are doing at Solid Solutions with our online blog posts and the interactive Solid Solutions TV website, SOLIDWORKS themselves have created a brand new online portal giving customers access to all the SOLIDWORKS Resources in one place.   My.SOLIDWORKS.com gives subscribed customers access to the latest blog posts, forum threads in various media formats such as videos and downloads. It consolidates the SOLIDWORKS Forums, Blogs and Help documentation all ....

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Tuesday July 30, 2013 at 12:24pm

The weldment features inside of SOLIDWORKS are very popular amongst our customer base, making the creation of fabrications far more efficient. For those who haven't tried them, weldments enable a profile sketch to be swept along a path, automatically trimming and mitering structures to ensure the correct corner details. On top of this you can add supporting gussets and end caps to add those finer details to your designs.     The question we sometimes get as....

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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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Monday July 29, 2013 at 10:31am

SOLIDWORKS 2014 Beta testing is well underway, it would be great to start blogging about the new features and enhancements but unfortunately we're currently bound by a Non Disclosure Agreement, along with all the other Beta testers across the world.   In a recent twitter post, Anna Woods from SolidMuse, an independent SOLIDWORKS Blogger and Beta tester, summed up her thoughts about SOLIDWORKS 2014 rather well "Digging into the SOLIDWORKS 2014 Be....

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Friday July 26, 2013 at 3:42pm

  Converting Parts to Sheet Metal   During the sheet metal course that is part of my training, I was introduced to the “Convert to sheet metal” feature. The tool can quickly be used to convert a block part into a component that can be viewed as a flattened sheet ready for press forming and bending.   1. Select a gauge table to determine the material thickness; in this example I have used a sample table for aluminium and selected gauge 14.     2. T....

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Friday July 26, 2013 at 3:17pm

Smart Fasteners “Smart fasteners” is a really useful time saving tool, allowing you to automatically insert toolbox fasteners such as bolts and screws into an assembly providing there is a standard hole. The tool uses both ANSI inch and metric alongside standard components and provides the opportunity to use your own custom fasteners from the toolbox database. Smart Fasteners can be found in CommandManager, Assembly toolbar or alternatively Menu, Insert, Smart Fasteners.  &n....

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Wednesday July 24, 2013 at 2:07pm

The Contour Select feature is a great addition to a number of commands to allow you to choose distinct regions of a multiple contour sketch (i.e. one with many overlapping shapes). A great application for using this is floor layouts, where in one single master sketch you may want to draw in walls, floors, window openings and desks for example.       Each "shape" in the sketch would likely be extruded to different depths but it is convenient to sketch them all in on....

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Wednesday July 24, 2013 at 1:59pm

Brompton Bikes a long time customer of Solid Solutions and SOLIDWORKS have featured on the BBC website. Will Butler-Adams, Bromton Bikes Managing Director explains how being considered stupid as a student helped drive his determination to be susseful in life. This bike maker has well and truly disproved the doubters. Read the full article at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23239764 About Brompton Bromton Bikes are one of the UK's largest bike manufactures producing over 40,0....

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Tuesday July 23, 2013 at 11:35am

Anyone out there still using Windows Vista?   It's easy for us to assume that everyone is running the latest and greatest but i want to make sure anyone still using Vista has time to change. To run SOLIDWORKS 2014 when it is released this autumn you will either have to upgrade your operating system or PC   SOLIDWORKS 2014  will not install on Windows Vista. The only operating systems that are supported from 2014 are Windows 7 and Windows 8(64bit only)   Solid Soluti....

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Friday July 19, 2013 at 1:56pm

Have you ever seen this icon next to your mouse cursor? It can turn out to be the cause of a lot of frustration as SOLIDWORKS seemingly "locks up" when this icon appears preventing you from selecting parts of you model on screen. The reason for this is that you have inadvertently activated a Selection Filter. Once you know what they are and how to use them hopefully your frustration may ease up and they can turn out to be very handy features.   Take for example selecting edge....

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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 12:14pm

I was working on a model for a customer today and found it very annoying having to swap back and forth between two model windows.   One solution might be to get a second monitor and span SOLIDWORKS across it. Great, but i'm not working at my own desk today so a single screen will have to do!   A lovely little interface feature in SOLIDWORKS is the ability to fit two windows into the single interface by snapping one to the left and one to the right. Similar to how a window or ap....

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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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Friday June 28, 2013 at 8:24am

One of the most common questions I get asked during a training course is “what other things do I do in my role as a SOLIDWORKS Applications Engineer?”  Therefore, I thought it may be nice to share with you one of my recent site visits where one of our customers have added to their SOLIDWORKS portfolio with SOLIDWORKS Composer   The site visit to Ginetta involved the installation of the new SOLIDWORKS Composer license and a short training session with two of the engineers ....

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Thursday June 27, 2013 at 10:45am

Hi   If you follow our blogs you will know that at SSM we are very proud of the fact that we have more 'Elite' Application Engineers than any other reseller - worldwide! In fact, to date, we not only top the worldwide league table, we have twice as many as the next highest reseller (a US reseller). We also have three times as many as the next highest reseller in the UK.   The prestigious 'Elite' AE award is achieved by successfully passing a series of examinations w....

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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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Thursday June 20, 2013 at 12:48pm

One of our customers who manufacture boring machines recently asked me whether they can add Gun Drilled Holes (which have a unique “W” profile at the end of the drilled bore) into the Hole Wizard because they use them all the time. The solution here was to create a legacy hole with the Hole Wizard, edit the sketch profile detail and then add this modified feature into the SOLIDWORKS Design Library. Now whenever they require a Gun Drilled Hole they can drag and drop the feature o....

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Thursday June 13, 2013 at 4:05pm

The zoom to fit command (hotkey "F") is a great way of showing the whole part, assembly or drawing so it fills the screen. However in an assembly it can give you unexpected results making the assembly seemingly disappear. This is actually because one or a number of part models are positioned a huge distance from the rest of the geometry and assembly origin. SOLIDWORKS is actually doing the right thing but these erroneous parts are causing the issue.   After a support call, logge....

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Tuesday June 11, 2013 at 10:45am

I’m always on the lookout for interesting tips and tricks to pass on to our customers and this is a lovely one that will save valuable time and therefore cost. I picked this one up recently….. There is a function available to users of a 3D mouse that is hardly known but great for speeding up your work flow. Toggle Sub-Part Movement allows you to freely manipulate the placing and positioning of individual parts while dragging and dropping into an assembly without the whole assemb....

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Monday June 10, 2013 at 11:22am

Is the SOLIDWORKS Rx tool not opening?   I came across an interesting issue that seems to crop up now and again whilst working on the Support line, which is the problem with the SOLIDWORKS Rx tool not opening, not doing anything, yet there are barely any signs of the cause or anything happening in the background.     The thing that I noticed was the 'sldrx.exe' process pops up into the task manager and immediately disappears. After looking into....

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Tuesday June 4, 2013 at 11:54am

Combine Multiple Custom Properties into one Property The below image demonstrates how I have combined the "Evaluated Value" from the "Material" and "Weight" property into the "Combination" property field and separated with a hyphen. This is not limited to only two as shown in the Image.     Paul Churm - Technical Manager (Northern) - Solid Solutions Management

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Tuesday June 4, 2013 at 11:07am

  Get Certified in SOLIDWORKS   SOLIDWORKS Certifications are an excellent way to test your competence and depth of knowledge of SOLIDWORKS. With a range of certifications aimed at beginners through to advanced user, there’s an exam to suit all abilities. There are very few certified user within the UK, so you really can stand out from the crowd with a SOLIDWORKS Certification. Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate – Beginner (600 in the UK) Certified SOLIDWORKS Professiona....

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Thursday May 23, 2013 at 3:40pm

Expanding and Collapsing all Components in the SOLIDWORKS Model Tree...read more   With the new 2013 functionality of producing a new flat view for parts, wouldn’t it be useful to have a similar setting for Assemblies?     Flat Tree view can also be activated by Ctrl + T   In Assemblies, if you select the top level assembly in the Feature Manger and press the Asterisk Key (*)     To collapse the tree again, you can Right Click and select Collapse....

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Tuesday April 9, 2013 at 2:44pm

Use a Solid State Drive! No I’m not kidding, Solid State Drives (SSD) improve many aspects of a PC’s performance from windows start up and responsiveness to intensive applications like SOLIDWORKS when compared with traditional spinning hard drives. Now CATI, a US reseller of SOLIDWORKS has proved how much difference this makes for SOLIDWORKS beyond my own  basic testing and subjective feedback from users. This showed improvements of 13.1-14.3%  They are in the process of r....

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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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Friday January 25, 2013 at 3:56pm

The SOLIDWORKS certification program is well established worldwide. Arguably the most popular is the CSWP (Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional). Worldwide there are 27000 certified users, but just 850 in the UK, 28 of those are Solid Solutions employees! The certification program proves your proficiency with SOLIDWORKS and is great to have on your CV. The exam is split into 3 parts requiring an 80% pass mark, and more importantly for subscribed SOLIDWORKS customers it is free to take. SOLIDWORKS ....

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Friday December 14, 2012 at 9:26am

If you're interested in efficiency with SOLIDWORKS, check out  the new Dell Precision M6700!!  Running a performance test in Flow Simulation compared against a Dell Precision M6500, the M6700 gives around double the speed!The tests were carried out on a series of problems from the Flow Sim training course.  The table below shows the timed results.  The collum on the far right shows the perfomormance improvement...The detailed spec of each machine....Craig HudsonAppications En....

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Friday December 7, 2012 at 9:59am

Each day we wait for Assembly files to open across the network. These assemblies may contain a number of standard parts that will never change. So, why not use the "Feature Freeze" tool to lock features from rebuilding and cut down on opening times. Introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2012 the Feature Freeze tool allows you to lock all features from being rebuilt. The tool is turned on via a System options>General>Enable Feature Bar. Once enabled, a orange bar will appear at the top of the....

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Thursday December 6, 2012 at 3:44pm

When creating an equation in a drawing general table, is it possible to define the number of decimal places of the cell? For example, making 1/3 (0.33333333) appear as 0.33.Yes, it is possible to set the decimal places in a cell. Use the "{}" button in the equation window, then insert the number of decimal places between the brackets. Then insert the formula.For example:{2}1/3 will give a result of 0.33

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Wednesday November 14, 2012 at 8:57am

Have you ever needed to select parts in an assembly based on a pre-defined criteria such as weight, material, component status or any other custom property? If so, this can be done very easily by using the “Advanced Select” tool in the assembly window. Find it at the bottom of the “Select” pull down menu. You can build the search criteria in a special dialog box similar to the Custom Properties dialog. Using drop down lists and manual input to create a selection rule. Thi....

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Tuesday November 6, 2012 at 9:59am

Every struggled to get some good material data from the internet when trying generate accurate simulation models?I found a great page in the SOLIDWORKS help files which has a few websites I didn’t even know about! See below…Metals (general)• MatWebMatWeb provides material properties for a large variety of materials. MatWeb is freely available and does not require registration.• JAHM Temperature Dependent Elastic & Thermal Properties Database. Provide easy access to ove....

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Friday October 19, 2012 at 11:28am

Global variables are a useful tool for allowing quick changes to key dimensions within a model. This technique is useful when situations require speed modelling, whether this is during SOLIDWORKS exams or to quickly produce variations of a design for your CAD manager. Global Variables can be found in the Equations interface under, Tools > Equations. This menu has had a revamp since SOLIDWORKS 2012 version. For this example I have modelled a simple screwdriver, with a global variables added ....

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Thursday October 18, 2012 at 12:11pm

As promised... Charlie Jessey

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Wednesday October 10, 2012 at 9:58am

Here are a few keyboard shortcuts and mouse clicks to help you save time when modelling. More to come! Charlie Jessey

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Tuesday October 9, 2012 at 8:28pm

I recently visited a customer who asked me to create an enhancement request with SOLIDWORKS for the ability to create Isometric Section Views in drawings, however this functionality already exists! To be honest the option is a little hidden away, so here’s how you do it: - 1. Create a drawing with a conventional section view. 2. Right mouse button on the section view. 3. Select “Isometric Section View” from the menu. 4. Now you will have an Isometric Section View! Chris Wadle....

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Friday September 28, 2012 at 9:54am

If you’re running Professional or Premium then you may not be aware of a utility called the SOLIDWORKS Design Checker. This tool authenticates various design elements against a pre-defined criterion. To enable this first ensure you have the SOLIDWORKS Design Checker selected in your Add-ins before selecting the ‘Build Checks’ option within Tools-Design Checker-Build Checks. Using this utility you’re able to compile a list of criteria (Take a look at the screen shots be....

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Friday September 21, 2012 at 11:26am

I have found this useful on several occasions when I have wanted to make the file size of a SOLIDWORKS part smaller - especially if I want to email it and I am tight to a limit. The method is dead simple - simply create a feature that encloses all other features. I usually use an extruded rectangle and extrude 'Through All' in both directions. Then save it and check the file size. The size will reduce a little for simple parts but by a lot for complex parts like mouldings or parts with lots....

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Monday September 10, 2012 at 3:53pm

SOLIDWORKS offers the opportunity to import external 3D file types such as STEP and IGES files, but the lack of features in the FeatureManager tree means editing these models can be difficult and time consuming. The FeatureWorks add-in is available to SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium customers, and offers the chance to analyse external 3D files and recognise SOLIDWORKS features, converting a single imported body in to a full tree of features. FeatureWorks can be found under Tools > Add-Ins....

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Tuesday August 28, 2012 at 11:30am

For SOLIDWORKS Premium customers in particular, the SOLIDWORKS Content area contains a vast amount of downloadable content to compliment the Routing and CircuitWorks add ins. From the right hand side of the screen, access the Design Library. In here you will see the SOLIDWORKS Content link (internet connection is required). Within this category SOLIDWORKS has made a number of extra files available to download. In the Blocks area you can download pre-made Electrical and Hydraulic symbols to assis....

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Friday August 24, 2012 at 4:35pm

The SOLIDWORKS FeatureManager Tree is the heart of any model or assembly. It is the recipe for how a part or assembly has been built from start to finish. In SOLIDWORKS 2012 we saw the introduction of the SOLIDWORKS Part Reviewer (available via Tools > Add Ins)- a great way to roll through a part's history. Have you taken the time to have a look what else can be done with the FeatureTree- if not keep reading!! You will get different settings depending on which area of the tree you right clic....

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Wednesday August 8, 2012 at 1:15pm

Graham Harris from Blatchford Products explains how SOLIDWORKS Simulation helped them design a state of the art carbon fibre leg for Stuart Hughes, a torch bearer for the London Olympics. What does an Oscar Pistorius-style blade feel like? www.blatchford.co.uk

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Wednesday August 8, 2012 at 10:04am

“SOLIDWORKS 2012 is the last release that will run on Windows XP.” “SOLIDWORKS 2013 will NOT INSTALL on computers using Windows XP.” SOLIDWORKS 2013 is not supporting the Windows XP Operating System and therefore an upgrade is required to guarantee stability with the new release. This is not all “doom and gloom” as the Windows 7 64bit operating system actually opens up many new doors. We would strongly recommend, if you haven’t done so already, that you....

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Friday August 3, 2012 at 10:16am

You know the one about waiting for a bus - then 2 come along? Well after posting a blog earlier this week that we had 2 more Elite Application Engineers at SSM, I can now report that another 2 have come along!!! Congratulations to John Bean and Richard Farries who have just achieved this exclusive status and who join our team of 'Elites' - now 16 in total. We will continue our policy of development of staff and investment in training as we know that this has a real benefit to our customers.....

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Tuesday July 31, 2012 at 5:12pm

Congratulations to Craig Hudson and Dave Ashford, two of our technical team who have just been awarded the exclusive 'Elite Application Engineer' status by SOLIDWORKS. This is achieved by proving a high level of technical expertise across the full range of SOLIDWORKS tools and is tested by examination. In fact, to achieve Elite status requires sitting a total of 15 separate exams many of which are over 2 hours long. Subjects that must be passed are: Technical Support; CSWP; SOLIDWORKS Expert, Si....

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Thursday May 10, 2012 at 9:18am

In SOLIDWORKS 2012 (specifically SP1.0) you may have seen a new add in appear in the list (Tools > Add Ins). The SOLIDWORKS Part Reviewer is designed to help you understand the methodology adopted for a SOLIDWORKS Part. The Reviewer allows you to "step through" the model's history and using the comments function, you can add descriptive text at each step which is great when collaborating with suppliers, customers and even internally with your colleagues. As well as the SOLIDWORKS He....

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Tuesday May 1, 2012 at 10:16am

Dassault Systems today announced the launch of the long awaited and much anticipated eDrawings App! This new App is only available for the iPad and costs £1.49. View, share, and collaborate from anywhere with this easy-to-use, email-enabled software trusted by engineers and non-CAD users worldwide. >>DOWNLOAD TODAY   Key Capabilities include... Review AutoCAD® DWG and DXF files, native SOLIDWORKS® parts, assemblies, and drawings Open files from email,....

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Wednesday March 28, 2012 at 4:00pm

SOLIDWORKS has always had a fantastic certification program, designed to test the most proficient of users' skills. In recent years SOLIDWORKS has revamped its Certification Program to allow users to specialise in key areas of the software. The most popular and established of exams is the CSWP (Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional). This has been around for a number of years and has gone through a number of revisions. Currently the exam is split into 3 segments, ranging between 40 and 90 minut....

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Thursday January 5, 2012 at 12:25pm

Each release SOLIDWORKS adds hundreds of new enhancements. Most of these (over 85%) are those requested by the customer base. In preparation for the SOLIDWORKS World event next month in San Diego, ideas have been proposed to the SOLIDWORKS developers and voting has now commenced. Have your say on what should be added to future releases by voting now (link). Adam Hartles Training Manager

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Monday December 19, 2011 at 4:08pm

How symmetrical is your part? If you knew, then you could work on the smallest segment and mirror the body after you've made your changes for easy part modifications. Or for Simulation, you could work with that segment alone to speed up an analysis. Let SOLIDWORKS find out for you. If you have SOLIDWORKS Professional or Premium, go to the command search at the top right of the window and type 'Symmetry Check' (will filter as you type). Then just choose the button below - this is your o....

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Tuesday December 13, 2011 at 11:41am

I was teaching the SOLIDWORKS Motion course recently and was surprised by a comment made by a trainee. He said he had not appreciated beforehand how sophisticated Motion was as a tool for solving engineering problems. Other trainees agreed. It seems that many customers regard Motion as a means of creating animations. This may be true for the 'Animation' and 'Basic Motion' options but certainly not for the full 'Motion Analysis' tool (available for all SOLIDWORKS Premium users). The Motion tool ....

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Monday December 5, 2011 at 4:47pm

If you missed our launch events across the country, this Wednesday there will be a live Webcast going through the highlights of the 20th release of SOLIDWORKS. To register for this webcast, go to http://www.solidsolutions.co.uk/solidworks-Training/Webcasts.aspx At the launch days, we also launched a new website, exclusively for Solid Solutions Subscription customers www.solidsolutions.tv  As the URL suggests, it is mainly video tutorials, video tips and tricks, as well as archived Webcast....

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Saturday November 5, 2011 at 4:41pm

Have you reserved your seat to see SOLIDWORKS 2012? The two midlands events at the Heritage Motor Museum, were attended by over 250 of Solid Solutions' customers# As well as seeing all of the new features in SOLIDWORKS 2012, many engineers took part in the hands on challenges and four winners took home some excellent prizes# The "Model Mania" competition was a test of modelling speed and accuracy and the winning times were very impressive, both win....

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Monday October 24, 2011 at 11:03am

I took a call on the helpdesk last week from a Customer reporting that SOLIDWORKS was often slow to start first thing in the morning. A little investigation found this neat little trick to stop SOLIDWORKS from checking (via the internet) for updates when it starts up. When you start SOLIDWORKS from the installed Desktop shortcut it actually fires up swspmanager.exe (SOLIDWORKS Service Pack Manager). This in turn uses the Check For Updates portion of the Installation Manager to search the Intern....

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Wednesday October 12, 2011 at 3:58pm

Our 2012 training schedules are currently being uploaded to our website. We are aiming to run more courses than ever next year to ensure you have the best opportunity to attend training as locally as possible. Continue to check our training page www.solidsolutions.co.uk/training or subscribe to our RSS feed by clicking here to see new additions to our schedule emailed directly to your inbox.  Adam Hartles Training Manager Solid Solutions Management

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Friday October 7, 2011 at 4:51pm

What's New SW2012 - Command SearchThere are some nice new additions for 2012, one of my favourites is the command search. In 2012, from the SOLIDWORKS search bar dropdown, you can select a new option to utilise this tool. If you type in the name of any command the tool will show you where on the command manager the option is, or, if its hidden away in the menus, it will open up the menus to reveal the location! This tool is great for beginners, or those that spend time trying to find the command....

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Friday October 7, 2011 at 2:11pm

I’ve just supported my first WPDM 2012 server install and found that it now asks for the SW serial number and it then asks you to generate a unique code before it will installChris WadleyApplications EngineerSolid Solutions Management

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Tuesday October 4, 2011 at 10:14am

SOLIDWORKS 2012 is now available to download from the SOLIDWORKS Customer portal (http://customerportal.SOLIDWORKS.com) Want to see what's new? Register for a Solid Solutions Launch Event by clicking the banner above or if you can't wait until then... take a look here SOLIDWORKS 2012 DVDs have not been produced yet. As soon as we receive the shipment from SOLIDWORKS Corp, you will receive them automatically as part of your SOLIDWORKS subscription with us. Not on subscription? Se....

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Friday September 30, 2011 at 12:53pm

The Solid Solutions SOLIDWORKS 2012 launch events are just over a month away, but I'm sure that is too long to wait for many keen SolidWorkers out there! So, if you want to take a look at some of the new functionality why not take a look at the SOLIDWORKS 2012 Launch site?  Click here to go straight there. You can also register here for the launch events themselves but if you just want to register you can go to www.solidsolutions.co.uk/SW2012

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Friday September 23, 2011 at 6:07pm

Unlike our usual customer only Webcasts, this one is open to anyone. So feel free to register through this link and join us next Wednesday. Look forward to presenting it to you, Oliver Duncan - Presales ManagerSolid Solutions Management

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Wednesday September 14, 2011 at 4:39pm

Over the last year or so I have been asked more and more about "apps" for viewing SOLIDWORKS files. Now, there are many options available. There are two which I would recommend looking at. The first one, is a partner product of SOLIDWORKS, called CADFASTER. It doesnt make your machine run any quicker unfortunately but does allow you to show off your designs on your ipad (not your iphone though). The app itself is free and you have 100mb of space on "the cloud" where you can....

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Monday September 12, 2011 at 11:20am

SOLIDWORKS have just released a brand new self study training manual focused on best practice advice for Large Assembly Design. The manual brings all the advice together including file management, system options and settings and modelling techniques to try and get the most from your larger designs. There is also a fully up to date section on hardware advice. If you are interested in purchasing this training manual please email training@solidsolutions.co.uk

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Wednesday September 7, 2011 at 12:28am

Registration for the SOLIDWORKS 2012 Launch events are now open! Here at Solid Solutions, we are proud to announce registration for the SOLIDWORKS 2012 Launch events is now open. This year we are pulling out all the stops to make the events for the 20th release of the 3D MCAD package our best yet. Click the image below to register now! Want to be a part of our customer showcase? Email mrushton@solidsolutions.co.uk

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Thursday September 1, 2011 at 5:21pm

As more and more SOLIDWORKS products are developed to meet the design world's needs, have you ever thought, can't someone just give me an overview of what it's all about, in, say, 10 minutes? We thought so, so I did just that: Enjoy, Oliver Duncan - Elite Applications Engineer Solid Solutions Management

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Wednesday August 31, 2011 at 5:36pm

I wonder how many of us have not really understood bend allowance, bend deduction and K factor options when bending sheetmetal. Of course we could read the SOLIDWORKS Help files but much easier if there is somebody with a nice voice to talk you through it. I found this video on uTube that does it for me. Why not take 5 mins to get to the bottom of the clever stuff that SW does when we just select an edge flange ...

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Tuesday August 23, 2011 at 12:02pm

Whilst prepping for a Webcast (Best Practice...Weldments) I remembered a couple of neat tricks for changing the orientation of the coordinate system whilst in a 3D Sketch...Method 1Use the TAB key whilst editing a 3DSketch Method 2Rotate the model the orientation changes normal to the screenMethod 3 This is my favourite, hold down the CTRL key and then select a plane, planar face, or a user-defined coordinate systemHappy Sketching!!Nick Sibly - Elite Applications EngineerSolid Solutions Manageme....

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