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SOLIDWORKS Elite Specialists

technical tips tricks Posts

Redesigning Santa's Sleigh
Friday December 2, 2016 at 2:21pm

Every year Father Christmas has to fly in his sleigh to deliver presents to boys and girls all over the world in just one night. To put this into perspective, it takes a little under 24 hours to fly from London (UK) to Sydney (Australia) in a streamlined Boeing 747, whereas Father Christmas’ mode of transport is believed to be a rather non-aerodynamic sleigh.

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SOLIDWORKS 2017 – Wrap Feature
Tuesday November 22, 2016 at 4:57pm

One of the many new features within the new release of SOLIDWORKS 2017 is the enhancements made to the wrap feature. Find out More about this enhancement in this blog post.

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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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Robot Wars – Design your own robot with SOLIDWORKS
Friday September 23, 2016 at 9:48am

Robot wars returned this year to the BBC with great excitement and destruction. See how you could use SOLIDWORKS to design your own Robot in this Blog.

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Series 1 Land Rover pedal car made easy with Solid
Wednesday September 7, 2016 at 3:00pm

The Series1 began production in 1948 designed to help get Britain farming after the war effort. It grew extremely popular and today enthusiasts are prepared to throw their life savings at restoring originals from that period.

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How to model the Beau Jeu Ball in SOLIDWORKS
Monday June 27, 2016 at 2:11pm

How to model the UEFA Euro 2016 Football in SOLIDWORKS using tools such as split lines, surfaces and patterns!

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Fatigue Simulation
Monday June 20, 2016 at 10:53am

A colleague asked me to help her with some Fatigue hand calculations on a simple test piece. No problem I thought – quite straightforward, except it did not turn out that way and I discovered a hole in my understanding that is critically important to getting correct Fatigue life predictions! Hence I have written this blog so that you don’t fall into the same trap as me!

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Tech Support Blog: Controlling Layers for Specific
Thursday June 9, 2016 at 2:50pm

Many SOLIDWORKS users still maintain layers in 2D drawings and there are a number of settings to allow you to control which type of annotations can take on layer properties such as line colour and font styles. Much of this can be setup at a template level, but following a support call this week, there is one key thing to bare in mind if you want this to work successfully. So firstly you have to create your layers- this can only be done via the "Line Format" or "Layer" toolbars, so ensure you ac....

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Cardboard Aided Design?
Tuesday May 17, 2016 at 9:33am

SOLIDWORKS Weldments is a powerful function of SOLIDWORKS and can allow you to quickly and easily model weldment structures, Frames and beams that form the backbone of products developed by many industries.

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SOLIDWORKS License Transfer Change
Tuesday April 26, 2016 at 9:56am

In SP3.0 to transfer a SOLIDWORKS license from one computer to another you must now ‘Deactivate’ the license and then ‘Reactivate’ on another machine. Previously, ‘Deactivate’ was called ‘Transfer’, it still functions in exactly the same way.

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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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SOLIDWORKS on a Mac
Tuesday April 19, 2016 at 11:50am

We are often asked if it is possible to run SOLIDWORKS on a Mac computer – the answer is YES you can! We know quite a few users running SOLIDWORKS successfully on a Mac however it isn’t supported by SOLIDWORKS.

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The SOLIDWORKS Rx Tool
Monday April 11, 2016 at 4:14pm

We are often asked by our customers about the SOLIDWORKS rx Tool so we have created a handy document to explain it all.

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Solid Solutions Internal CAD Modelling Challenge
Wednesday April 6, 2016 at 9:30am

How would you design a low cost, easily manufacturable stand for your iPhone that allows it to be inclined on your desk? There are plenty of phone stands currently on the market but we were looking for a fresh idea, suitable for manufacture on our 3D printer.

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Wednesday March 23, 2016 at 9:09am

This was a new problem that I had not come across before on SOLIDWORKS. I was unable to select the “Flatten" icon due it being greyed out.

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Pinball Machine using Event Based Motion
Tuesday March 1, 2016 at 10:00am

Event based motion is part of SOLIDWORKS Motion Add-In. It is a powerful tool that allows to link sensors with actuators and simulate synchronous motion patterns present in various mechatronics devices.

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Creating “BOM” tables in multi-body part documents
Tuesday January 5, 2016 at 3:57pm

In some cases it’s easier to model assemblies using multi-bodies in a single part file. But when it gets to the point where you need to create a BOM drawing, you need to save out the bodies as separate part files and put them into an assembly. This can become quite tedious and will definitely require some additional space on your hard drive

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SOLIDWORKS 2016 Tips and Tricks Part 1
Wednesday December 23, 2015 at 10:15am

The final breakout session from the SOLIDWORKS 2016 launch events was based on some of the best Tips and Tricks from SOLIDWORKS over the last few releases. Join us for this webcast and learn some of the best tips and tricks from our team of Elite Applications Engineers

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3D printing Jigs and Fixtures
Tuesday December 22, 2015 at 9:23am

I spent some time recently walking around town trying to get a battery replaced in my watch. After the fourth jewellers shop failed to remove the back was resided to sending it back to the manufacturer for repair. That was until I walked past the 3d printer in the office one day and had the idea to design make the tools to do the job myself, so off I went!

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Thursday December 17, 2015 at 10:12am

Every now and then there is a need to email a SOLIDWORKS part to a colleague/customer, but the files might take quite a bit of space on disk. And sending a document over 10MB over email is slow and unreliable. If only there was a way to compress the part file very quickly and with least amount of effort...

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Automatically create drawing views with Task Sched
Tuesday December 1, 2015 at 4:51pm

SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler is a great tool to automatically do the work for us, available in all seats of Professional and Premium, we can set up the Scheduler to carry out mundane and monotonous tasks ahead of time.

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SOLIDWORKS Simulation Quadcopter Design Study
Thursday November 26, 2015 at 4:09pm

In this Blog post SOLIDWORKS Simulation has been coupled with the ‘Design Study’ tool to run a batch of static studies and optimise a quadcopter frame.

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A Game Changer… For Rendering
Tuesday November 24, 2015 at 3:34pm

PhotoView360 is an amazing add-on for SOLIDWORKS and can allow you to quickly and easily create sophisticated photorealistic renderings and animations. PhotoView360 allows you to make powerful images and presentations, save time, increase productivity and accelerate the time to market.

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SOLIDWORKS Defeature Tool
Tuesday November 24, 2015 at 10:00am

The SOLIDWORKS Defeature tool is a technique that can be used to simplify assembly components, as it enables you to remove details from a part of an assembly.

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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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Drag Reduction Systems in Motorsport
Wednesday November 4, 2015 at 3:09pm

This blog explains how we can use SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation to examine the effects of Downforce and Drag in Motorsport

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Creating and Editing Macros
Thursday October 29, 2015 at 3:25pm

This blog will cover the basics of macros. If you are familiar with Visual basic, and would just like to know how to implement macros using SOLIDWORKS, this blog is for you. We will go through the following: • Creating macros • Editing macros

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Working with Layers
Wednesday September 16, 2015 at 10:10am

SOLIDWORKS allows the use of layers in a similar fashion to 2D CAD programs. However they may be an occasion where your drawing annotations or dimensions do not conform to the layers you think they are located on.

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Wrap Feature
Tuesday September 1, 2015 at 12:02pm

How to engrave text on a tapered diametric face using SOLIDWORKS.

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Geometry Pattern
Tuesday September 1, 2015 at 11:46am

Building patterns of features is an easy task in SOLIDWORKS. However, having numerous instances of complex geometry may put too much strain on your machine and significantly reduce rebuild times. Geometry Pattern option is a nice trick to reduce the computational complexity of your patterns.

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Configurations - Creating a manufacturing process
Tuesday September 1, 2015 at 10:52am

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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Convert Entities
Tuesday September 1, 2015 at 10:40am

SOLIDWORKS has many tools and functions that make designing and building parts easy. Including; converting entities, Mirroring, and the boss and extrude tools etc. In this blog I’m going to be talking about the convert entities tool.

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Circular Patterning
Tuesday September 1, 2015 at 9:56am

In this blog I will be explaining how to use the circular patterning tool. Patterning can significantly save you time by enabling you to copy and replicate features that you have already done.

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Monday August 24, 2015 at 2:35pm

Adam Green, leader of the SOLIDWORKS User Group Network, North West, take his next meeting to Canon's offices in Birchwood. Adam has been gaining a lot of momentum with his User Group Network and has attracted some great guest presenters as well as presence from the reseller network. To make the event extra special Canon are hosting an exclusive 3D printing competition for our members. Matt Lawrence (CSWP and CSWE) will be sharing with us some of his most recent SOLIDWORKS projects as well as pa....

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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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Thursday July 23, 2015 at 11:19am

SOLIDWORKS EnterprisePDM DataCards for Files, Folders and Searching all support Input Formula that allow for text substitution, manipulation and mathematical calculations. This blog will discuss an example of String Manipulation that resulted from a recent Support Call to the Solid Solutions' EnterprisePDM Support Line.

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Monday July 20, 2015 at 9:46am

SVGs are an exceptionally useful and versatile export option from SOLIDWORKS Composer. This blog explains the process required to export, link and prepare the files for uploading.

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Monday June 29, 2015 at 2:44pm

The SOLIDWORKS Data folder is key to your use of the Hole Wizard and Toolbox Features within the software. When you install SOLIDWORKS you are asked where you would like the SOLIDWORKS Data folder to be stored with the default being the root of your C:\ drive. When a new release of SOLIDWORKS is available customers have one of tow choices: 1- Retain their existing Data folder and upgrade to the new versions.  PROS- keep any customisations and part numbers. CONS- cannot be used by any older ....

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Monday June 29, 2015 at 2:31pm

3DContentCentral is a great online resource allowing you to take advantage of a vast library of SOLIDWORKS CAD models and Macros (applications). You can choose to download supplier parts, or more recreational items, as well as opening account to upload your own components to share to new prospective customers. The site has just undergone an overhaul to streamline its processes- but the key is that the site is still FREE to sign up to. Over 1.3 million users have signed up to the website and som....

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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 12, 2015 at 9:59am

In 2015 you can now "Ctrl" select as many dimensions as you wish, right click and select driven, making your sketch creation process faster and your model more robust.

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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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Wednesday June 3, 2015 at 4:22pm

SOLIDShots are free SOLIDWORKS Quick Tip Videos from our Elite Application Engineers here at Solid Solutions

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Wednesday May 27, 2015 at 4:27pm

During this webcast Kevin will touch on some of the basic mating operations. However more focus and emphasis will be placed on best practices for mates, FAQ’s and some of the options available within the property manager for different types of mates.

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Wednesday May 27, 2015 at 1:59pm

What are assembly features? When would you use them over part features? How can I control the behavior of these features? What is the Feature Scope? All of these questions and more will be covered with the help of examples during this webcast.

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Friday May 22, 2015 at 12:09pm

Moving sketches while in edit sketch mode is not always the easiest of things to do, particularly if your sketch is under defined. You can use the move entities command, but this doesn't always snap to your desired location. However there is another method, if you can remember the clicks;

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Friday May 22, 2015 at 11:41am

Copying a surface can be very useful when you want to build in context relationships between parts. Particularly when you are dealing with difficult imported geometry, such as STEP or IGES files with thousands of surfaces. But how do we do it if there is no "Copy Surface Command?

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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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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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Favourite Materials
Wednesday March 18, 2015 at 2:16pm

If applying a range of specific materials to your models is something you have to do regularly then the materials favourites bar is something you need to be using.

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Toolbox Application
Wednesday March 18, 2015 at 10:03am

Creating new or modifying existing toolbox parts is a very common activity in SOLIDWORKS, however until recently I have never used the toolbox application to do this. Previously I have created my new custom toolbox parts from within SOLIDWORKS by simply adding a configuration. The toolbox application makes this process much quicker and is more conveniently organised so you can stay on top of your components.

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End Point References
Thursday February 19, 2015 at 11:50am

In SOLIDWORKS 2014 to make a line and an arc tangential, you had to select both sketch entities. Now in 2015 you can simply select the common vertex and the same sketch relations are presented. This is true of any sketch geometry that shares a common vertex.

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Up To Reference
Thursday February 19, 2015 at 10:17am

“Up to Reference” is a new option in the linear pattern feature that allows you to create intelligent patterns. The “Up to Reference” option allows you to select an edge, vertex or face as a reference to control how many instances will be created at a fixed spacing. An offset from that reference is also available to maintain proper spacing from the end reference. If the location of the reference is moved, the number of instances is recalculated.

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SOLIDWORKS User Group Network - North West
Monday February 16, 2015 at 2:19pm

Following a week over in Phoenix, AZ, for SOLIDWORKS World 2015, it is clear that the SOLIDWORKS User Community is very strong and one of the many reasons SOLIDWORKS is the number one CAD choice around the world. Whilst User Groups are hugely popular and established in the USA, in the UK they still haven't achieved that level of popularity. However of late we have seen the introduction of the SOLIDWORKS User Group Network- North West (SWUGN-NW) setup by Adam Green, an avid SOLIDWORKS user and CS....

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Black Boxes
Friday January 30, 2015 at 2:38pm

Simple tips for creating and using Black Boxes in SOLIDWORKS Electrical.

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Dragging Dimensions
Friday January 30, 2015 at 2:14pm

When creating smart dimensions in drawing views, we occasionally want to reposition certain dimensions. Rather than deleting a dimension and creating a new one on another view we can simply hold "Shift" and drag the desired dimension to the desired view.

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Dimension Names
Friday January 30, 2015 at 10:55am

One query we get a lot on the support line is what are these bracketed names appearing after my dimensions in a drawing file? Dimension names are automatically created for every dimension you have produced, but whether you have them displayed is up to you. They can be toggled on and off using > view > dimension names.

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Relationship Popup
Friday January 30, 2015 at 10:07am

When you select more than one sketch entity using the "Ctrl" key a relationship menu appears. However after you select one relationship the popup disappears. Hit "Ctrl" to get it to reappear.

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Automatic Sketch Relations
Friday January 30, 2015 at 9:43am

Hold "Ctrl" to turn off automatic sketch relations.

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Flow Simulation 2015
Wednesday January 28, 2015 at 4:36pm

This wasn’t included in the release notes for Flow and is just another example of the really cool gems that SOLIDWORKS give away when you start digging around!

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Normal To
Monday January 26, 2015 at 11:37am

Most SOLIDWORKS users have their N button setup as a keyboard shortcut to their normal to feature, however most haven't stumbled across this tip. Press N once to go normal to your selected entity, press it again to go normal to the reverse side of the same entity.

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Make Block
Monday January 26, 2015 at 9:49am

Blocks are a very useful tool, however most SOLIDWORKS operators don't use them as efficiently as they could. This tip will save you valuable time in your production process.

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Speed up your CFD Solutions using Flow Freezing
Tuesday January 13, 2015 at 10:58am

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation has a very useful, but little known, tool for speeding up thermal fluid dynamics problems. It can cut your run times significantly without sacrificing accuracy. This blog uses an example to illustrate the process and time saving.

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Improving SOLIDWORKS Performance
Wednesday January 7, 2015 at 11:09am

SOLIDWORKS settings for optimised performance speed

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SOLIDWORKS Sensor Tool
Monday December 22, 2014 at 12:24pm

The SOLIDWORKS sensor tool allows a user to set parameters within a model or assembly that can then be monitored by SOLIDWORKS as your design is developed. If a design change you make results in a deviation outside the limits you specify, then the software will alert you, allowing for the appropriate action to be taken.

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Periodic Domain in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
Thursday December 18, 2014 at 4:59pm

The 'Periodic' computational domain option in Flow is little known - but it can be a great tool to use and a real time saver. This blog gives an example of a rack of PCBs in an electronic enclosure to illustrate how it works.

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What’s new in EnterprisePDM 2015: Top 5
Tuesday December 16, 2014 at 11:50am

EPDM 2015 is another feature rich release which focuses on delivering benefits in the areas of "Better Data Manipulation and Visualisation", "Improved User Experience" and "System Performance". From within the long list of enhancements I have chosen my top 5 to explore in a little more detail.

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Shortcuts and other Time Saving Hints
Wednesday November 26, 2014 at 10:05am

Here at Solid Solutions we love little quirks that save us time so I will run down some of the few that time after time leave our customers asking ‘how did you do that?’

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Switchable Graphics for Mobile Workstations
Monday November 17, 2014 at 3:18pm

The recent models of mobile workstations (laptops) for CAD applications are shipped with a battery optimizer called "Switchable Graphics" which aims to run your machine on the less power hungry on-board Intel graphics card rather than the dedicated higher end NVIDIA or ATI card. As SOLIDWORKS is a very graphical application, this automated switch can degrade performance and lead to instability in the software. As a result we advise you disable the switchable graphics option, shipped with yo....

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Using the Gas Dynamic Calculator in Flow
Wednesday November 5, 2014 at 11:40am

Do you need to know how long a tank will take to evacuate or what the Reynolds Number is for a particular flow condition? If so, and you have SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, then why not use the 'Gas Dynamic Calculator' to do the work for you?

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Tip for Getting Exact Position of Cut Planes when
Friday October 24, 2014 at 11:43am

Flow users will know that you can preview a Cut Plot and see the flow behaviour whilst the solver is running. Finding the best location for the plot can be tricky unless you know this little tip

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Bendy Phone
Friday October 17, 2014 at 10:25am

Have you recently broken your new phone by sitting on it accidently? SOLIDWORKS Simulation can help prevent design flaws by stress testing components in a virtual environment to prevent the costly process of trying to correct faults after manufacture.

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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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SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2015 - Search Field Enhancme
Thursday October 16, 2014 at 3:38pm

A quick look at the search enhancement in SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematics 2015

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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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Goal Convergence Symbols in Flow Simulation
Thursday September 18, 2014 at 12:45pm

When solving a cfd project, Flow Simulation provides very useful convergence information. The user's understanding of convergence can be enhanced if the convergence symbols and interval are switched on and their meaning understood. This blog explains how to do this and what the symbols mean.

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Modelling a Bike – The Frame
Monday September 15, 2014 at 10:49am

Modelling a bike Frame in SOLIDWORKS using Sweeps and Lofts

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Using Design Studies Can Save You Hours!
Wednesday September 10, 2014 at 11:25am

This blog describes how to add a transient time step into a Simulation Design Study. This enables users to graph stress results across time steps to see worst case.

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Reusing 'History' in an EPDM 'Text' control
Thursday August 28, 2014 at 11:46am

We often get asked by Customers if there is any way to reuse the text values entered on one DataCard within another file's DataCard. This post will look at how you can use the the special 'History' list to recall and reselect values previous typed into a Combobox Dropdown control.

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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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How to Render Cosmetic Threads
Tuesday July 29, 2014 at 9:44am

This blog post explains how you can Render Cosmetic Threads in SOLIDWORKS to make them look a lot more realistic than the 'screw thread' appearance.

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Getting the correct Orientation in SOLIDWORKS
Wednesday July 23, 2014 at 9:54am

Getting the correct orientation of a model can sometimes be difficult, whether you need a specific view in a drawing or just within the part there are a number of tools to help.

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Leak Tracking in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
Tuesday July 22, 2014 at 2:59pm

Internal Flow projects need an enclosed cavity to run. If there is a gap, no matter how small, SOLIDWORKS cannot calculate the fluid volume. So how do you find the gap if it is very small and the geometry is complex? Here's how ...

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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 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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Copy Settings Wizard
Monday June 23, 2014 at 12:14pm

Video Blog - A brief guide in how to use the Copy Settings Wizard to save out and restore your custom SOLIDWORKS options such as menus, toolbars & saved views.

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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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Flow Simulation Max and Min Table
Wednesday June 11, 2014 at 4:51pm

The Max and Min Table in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation reports the max and min parameter results - as you would expect. However, what is less well known is that the table interactively identifies the location of the max and min values graphically.

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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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Opening references from within Contains / Where Us
Tuesday May 27, 2014 at 9:14am

Follow this tip for a simple way to open files of different types directly from the 'Contain' and 'Where Used' tabs of SOLIDWORKS EnterprisePDM.

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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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Ordering Holes in a Hole Table
Thursday May 8, 2014 at 2:57pm

Can you control the order of the holes in a hole table and the 'tags' that label them? This blog describes a neat method of achieving the hole order you want and gives you control over the tag names too.

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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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The Sketch Driven Pattern Feature
Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 4:37pm

Read on to see how the Sketch Driven pattern can be used for irregular pattern arrays. An often forgotten feature within SOLIDWORKS, sketch driven pattern is extremely useful if a repeated feature is patterned on a planar face without a singular directional vector, or ‘irregular’ spacing. Take this simple example; the aim is to create an array of tapped holes at irregular intervals where the linear pattern would not be applicable- unless it was done with many features.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Creating Rigid Body Groups in Motion
Monday March 24, 2014 at 5:04pm

Rigid Groups in SOLIDWORKS Motion SOLIDWORKS Motion is a great tool for simulating the movement of complex mechanisms. It allows engineers to quantify kinematic and dynamic performance parameters such as velocity, acceleration, energy, torque, power etc. However, Motion users should be aware that care needs to be taken when creating force or torque based results as many real-life mechanisms have in-built redundancies that cause problems for mathematical simulations. To understand mo....

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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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How to Obtain Pin Slip Force in SOLIDWORKS Simulat
Wednesday March 19, 2014 at 9:10am

Many engineering applications require the use of pins which hold components together by an interference or friction fit.  Knowing how much force it takes to make the pin slip is a key area of the design.    This can be obtained in using SOLIDWORKS Simulation, although the approach requires a bit of thought.  Here we have a pin held in a housing…     Using a “shrink fit” with friction on the contacting faces stresses the two components.&nbs....

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SOLIDWORKS Certifications- All You Need to Know
Saturday March 15, 2014 at 12:38am

The SOLIDWORKS certification program is a great way to test competency and efficiency in the software- it is the only industry recognised SOLIDWORKS accreditation and a great addition to your CV. Below is an overview of the main examinations, and we are also able to provide opportunities for you as subscribed customers to sit the exams for free*   The main SOLIDWORKS certification website is www.SOLIDWORKS.com/cswp, this provides detailed information on all the exams and also samples to ....

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Flat Pattern Not Working in Drawing
Friday March 14, 2014 at 4:54pm

Whilst on support the other day I came across a question which I come across at least once a week, Why is the flat pattern not coming through to the drawing even though the view is set to flat pattern ?   Usually the reason for the flat pattern not coming through to the drawing sheet is not completely understanding what SOLIDWORKS completes in the background. So here goes- I will explain what is happening in the background and give a few best practices to ensure the setup is correct. &nb....

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SOLIDWORKS World 2014 Available to All!
Friday March 14, 2014 at 3:26pm

If you didn't manage to make it to SOLIDWORKS World this year or perhaps you were lucky enough to be there but you just didn't get chance to see everything going on be sure to take a look at the SOLIDWORKS World 2014 Proceedings page.   With so much going on at the whilwind conference it seems inevitable that the odd breakout session may have to be missed or an exhibitor's name not caught but this is no longer the case as SOLIDWORKS have made every single breakout session from the confere....

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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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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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Monday February 10, 2014 at 11:42am

The weldments feature set in SOLIDWORKS is a powerful way of generating geometry off the back of standard profiles- whether this be tube, box section or channels. We have always had to rely on creating each profile variant as a separate profile sketch which is then saved to be used for the Structural Member feature.    Looking back at the 2013 downloadable profiles, the ANSI standard has 233 files to download, manage and customise! Now in 2014 SOLIDWORKS has streamlined this process,....

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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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Thursday January 30, 2014 at 1:12pm

PhotoView 360 2014 added many new enhancements, one that wasn’t mentioned in the What’s New guide was Ambient Occlusion output.   Ambient occlusion allows you to visualise areas of a design where light struggles to reach and can be used either on its own as a alternative output style or to bring added depth in terms of shadows to your render.   First you have to turn the output of ambient occlusion on, this is on the Render Tools tab > Options. Then tick ambient occ....

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Tuesday January 28, 2014 at 2:41pm

After reviewing the 2014 Training manual content and getting hands on with the new enhancements I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite features. Toggling Between Flexible and Rigid States Configurations  While in 2013 and previous releases we had to go into Component properties to change the way a subassembly was being solved or even select an alternative configuration - in 2014 we now have the ability to do this within the Feature Manager design tree.   We can sel....

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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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Tuesday January 21, 2014 at 12:25pm

Even after the hype of launch events has died down, we’re still spotting little nuggets of improvement that SOLIDWORKS have put into their latest release.   When using simulation to create a 2D shell mesh, it is now possible to “preview” the virtual thickness when picking which side of the component is used to define it. To see for yourself, choose “Define Shell By Selected Faces” from the simulation tree after creating a study…   Using the....

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Tuesday January 14, 2014 at 11:02am

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

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Friday January 10, 2014 at 12:03pm

If you are using SOLIDWORKS EnterprisePDM to manage your SOLIDWORKS Data it is likely you have implemented the 'Convert' Task to automate the generation of PDF, IGES, DXF etc. as part of your Workflow. I was reviewing a post on the SOLIDWORKS forums recently where somebody was asking how they could make sure that if they 'archived' or 'obsoleted' a Drawing that they could make sure that the associated PDF also changed State and likewise dropped from the general view of th....

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Wednesday January 8, 2014 at 4:00pm

In this weeks Webcast we went Beyond Training - Essentials and covered various customization methods to help you get the best set up for maximum efficiency from the user interface. One of my favorite shortcuts is through the 'S' Key. Simply pressing 'S' on your keyboard we can activate this shortcut bar and through a right-click we can even customize this further with additional command icons or even re-size the toolbar itself. The S key brings up toolbars specifically for the environment you....

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Tuesday January 7, 2014 at 4:05pm

One of the tools in the Sheet Metal Command Manager that is unfortunately overlooked in the official Training Manuals is the 'Vent' command. It is relatively straight forward to use and therefore I have decided to write a short post about it. We can simply by creating a Sketch of our desired vent in conjunction with the command obtain some great features. For this example I have produced a simple sketch offsetting Circles and creating 8 lines spaced 45 degrees apart. In the Vent pr....

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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 3:30pm

In recent years most browsers have added native support for Scaleable Vector Graphics (SVG) files. As the name implies these scale images up and down without losing quality, however did you know they can also be made interactive using SOLIDWORKS Composer   In this case I have chosen to create a series of instructions either for the shop floor or end user where they can click through each step at their own pace. These are supported by most modern browsers * without the need to download add....

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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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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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Wednesday October 30, 2013 at 3:00pm

A conversation I often have with EnterprisePDM (EDPM) Customers is one around the topic of "How do I incorporate scanned data into my Vault's metadata rules, naming conventions and Workflows?". The document in question could come from a number of sources; marked-up printouts, posted documents, material certificates or (the example I will use today) a 'Calibration Report' which is completed by hand but needs to be stored in the Vault, with a rem....

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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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Tuesday October 22, 2013 at 4:18pm

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

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Wednesday October 16, 2013 at 2:45pm

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

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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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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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Friday August 16, 2013 at 5:05pm

If using SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematics; in order to safeguard against losing any data we recommend to regularly produce a backup of all of your projects within the program. This has the additional benefit of saving any configured title blocks, symbols, manufactured parts etc too. The option to execute the backup is "archive environment" found on the file menu (not to be confused with archive within the project manager!).   When clicked, you then tick all of the th....

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Friday August 16, 2013 at 10:15am

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

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Tuesday August 13, 2013 at 2:03pm

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

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Tuesday 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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Wednesday July 31, 2013 at 5:16pm

We all know that Rendering can be very time consuming but the results can also be very impressive. Did you know that within PhotoView 360 utilising Cameras Options such as Camera Lenses in 'Field of View' and 'Depth of Field' can add futher realism and focus levels to your renders?     Simon Beamish Applications Engineer  

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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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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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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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Tuesday July 16, 2013 at 2:32pm

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

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Wednesday July 3, 2013 at 4:27pm

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

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Monday June 24, 2013 at 1:07pm

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

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Tuesday June 11, 2013 at 3:12pm

Many of the processes we map in EPDM for the approval and changing of documents run in a serial fashion with the files moving from one person / state to the next. This is great but can result in bottlenecks when multiple approvers are required for certain activities. One of the great enhancements in EnterprisePDM 2013 was the new ‘Parallel Transition’ within the (fully redesigned) Workflow editor. Let us take a simple process for the Release of an Engineering Document.  In orde....

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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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Saturday June 8, 2013 at 10:42am

It's common knowledge that here at Solid Solutions we promote the use of DELL as our recomended hardware provider. We use Dell Precision Laptops for our Application Engineers and Satalite Training Venues while Desktops in our main offices Training suites. The Dell Precision range is a specifcilly design CAD Workstation grade piece of Hardware so you know you'll be able to get the most out of SOLIDWORKS.   If you've enquired through the Support Desk or noticed on our home page, we have a P....

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Thursday June 6, 2013 at 9:28am

A new feature has been added to SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional and Premium 2013. Submodelling allows you to improve the results at local regions of large models without having to rerun the analysis for the whole model. Refining the mesh for selected bodies or parts only and rerunning the analysis for the submodel saves a huge amount of computation and setup time.   After you set up and run a static or nonlinear static study for multibody parts or large assemblies with a relatively coa....

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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 May 28, 2013 at 9:43am

  Recently several customers have commented that Simulation Reports are fantastic - except for one annoyance: that you can't show a bespoke orientation or zoom state for the results images. I understand their point as often you need to show a stress concentration which is too small with the default zoomed-out state. They were delighted when I showed them that this can, in fact, be done, you just need to be shown how. So here's how.   The first thing to do is to create a '....

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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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Wednesday May 8, 2013 at 12:10pm

Hi Design Studies and Optimisation are great tools for exploring how you can improve the design of a part. Design Studies allow you to make changes to Simulation parameters (e.g. loads, materials etc.) as well as dimensions and then monitor the behaviour (e.g. trends in stress or displacement). Optimisation goes even further and fine tunes dimensions to give you the best possible solution within given constraints. However, when running these studies it can be frustrating to discover that ....

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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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Wednesday February 20, 2013 at 4:37pm

Revision cloud is a new annotation type that lets you create cloud-like shapes in a drawing.Use revision clouds to call attention to geometry changes. You can insert revision clouds in drawing views or on the drawing sheet. Paul Churm Technical Manger (Northern)

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Monday February 18, 2013 at 8:56am

A Certified Enterprise PDM Administrator (CEPA) is an individual who has successfully passed an advanced examination in SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM administration skills and is ready to manage a SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM implementation on behalf of his or her company. http://www.SOLIDWORKS.com/sw/support/27510_ENU_HTML.htm The CEPA exam is already included within the Voucher Scheme for Subscription Customers (see below)... http://www.SOLIDWORKS.com/sw/support/subscription/Certification_Offers.html....

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Tuesday January 29, 2013 at 5:54pm

Previous to SOLIDWORKS 2011 modelling carbon fibre in SOLIDWORKS Simulation was pretty limited.  Practically, if the component was anthing other than flat, fibres weren't able to follow the contours of the surface!Since then, model laminated materials with a fibre direction is much improved!  There is now an option to do "surface mapping."  It works similar to how decals can be applied and allows the composite to follows the contours of the surface in almost any directio....

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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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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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Monday December 3, 2012 at 10:10am

SOLIDWORKS eDrawings for iPad was a long time coming but was well worth the wait. Now, eDrawings Professional for iPad adds to the functionality you have available, including measure and mark up, viewing exploded views in SOLIDWORKS files and all the configurations and display states of a model. Now, both eDrawings and eDrawing Pro are available for the iPhone as well as the iPad! If you were at our SOLIDWORKS 2013 Launch events, you may well remember our humorous (well, it was intended to....

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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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Thursday August 30, 2012 at 3:04pm

EnterprisePDM records the history of all file transactions in the Vault. That means that if your best companies working practices ask you fill in the 'Check In' and 'Transition' comments with useful information then you have the ability to create a History Report with a couple of clicks. Image #1: Check in with Comment I saw this tip on the YouTube channel of a Canadian Reseller and thought it warranted sharing. First locate your File in the Vault, select it and hit the History button either fr....

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Tuesday July 24, 2012 at 5:24pm

Single DataCard – Multiple functions Templates in Enterprise allow you to create and pre-popuate a complete Project Folder Structure. the only downside is that it isn’t possible to include a custom DataCard within a folder created by that Template. That can cause problems if you create Documents within projects that have different requirements for the metadata captured and displayed within them. Let us consider the following example. When I create a new Project I generate 4 Sub-Folde....

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Friday June 1, 2012 at 4:54pm

In this example we will look at how we can use Workflow Conditions to control the route a file takes through a Workflow, without the user being presented with multiple options. Lets say we have an Engineering Change Document that enters a Workflow where, dependant on the type of Change being proposed, a secondary 'Impact Review' may be required. We don't want the initial reviewer to consider this however so the file should be routed according to the metadata defined when the EC was generated. So....

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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 1:15pm

I discovered this by accident recently and can't think why I haven't used this before. If you want to show off an animated simulation result and at the same time be 'inside' the plot, just use a camera view. The workflow is this: 1. Create a simulation 2. Create a camera view with a wide angle lens 3. Switch to the camera view 4. Animate the simulation result (usually with an exaggerated deformation scale). Move around inside the animation using the camera - controlled either by your mouse or th....

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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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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 2:52pm

For customers moving to EnterprisePDM from an unmanaged environment the question of how best to add legacy projects which share common files to the vault can be a tricky one. You don’t want to create duplicate copies of shared parts, yet you may not be migrating all your data at once. A nice enhancement in EPDM 2011 was the ability to ‘Update Broken File References’ when adding data to the Vault. This allows us to make use of a simple process when dragging a set of files into t....

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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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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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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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Thursday August 11, 2011 at 10:33am

Did you Know?...You can... “Pack and Go”, “Rename”, “Replace” and “Move” from within Windows Explorer! "Move" was added in SOLIDWORKS 2011 SP4.0Simply Right Mouse Button on a file, select "SOLIDWORKS", you now have the 4 optionsNick Sibly - Elite Applications EngineerSolid Solutions Management

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Monday August 8, 2011 at 11:05am

I had a call on the helpdesk the other day from a Customer wanting to know if he could check the status on a current project with respect to the creation and release of Drawings so I pointed him towards this tip. If you select a managed Assembly in Windows Explorer and look at the 'Contains' Tab then you can see a list of all the Parts and Sub-Assemblies that make it up, but not the drawings. If you however, toggle the option "Show / Hide Configurations".... ...then all the Dr....

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