Tabs and slots are commonly used to align interlocking sheet metal components, and the new Tab and Slot feature in SOLIDWORKS 2018 allows for corresponding tabs and slots to be created in one operation. This is definitely easier than using a complicated design library feature or separate extrude, cut, and pattern features.
The required selections for the Tab and Slot feature are the edge to add tabs to and the face for the slots. The tabs can be offset from either end of the edge. The spacing can either be set with an equally spaced quantity or spacing length. The length of the tabs needs to be specified and the height of the tabs can be defined with different end conditions. Fillets or chamfers can be added if needed. And the clearance between the tabs and slots can be specified.
Some other notes about the Tab and Slot feature:
- Two linked features are created in the FeatureManager Design Tree (one for the tab and one for the slot).
- It can be inserted at any position along the slot body.
- Groups can be used to manage multiple edges.
- It works with planar and cylindrical geometry.
- The bodies do not need to be in contact.
- It works on regular, non-sheet-metal solid bodies as well.