There’s a lot that goes into creating SOLIDWORKS drawing templates – sheet formats, linked custom properties, document properties, and more. With all of this, one topic that often gets overlooked is how to keep your title blocks neat and organized. Here are some tips to help.
Archive for the ‘SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD’ Category
The zebra stripes tool (view>display>zebra stripes) allows us to see small changes on a surface that may be hard to see with a standard display. This tool mimics the reflection of long stripes of light on a very shiny surface. With zebra stripes, we can verify that two adjacent faces are in contact, are tangent, or have continuous curvature. As can be seen in the image below, the zebra stripes for contact do not have the same direction or size. The zebra stripes for tangent have the same direction, but change sizes where the tangency occurs – there are two points of tangency. And the curvature continuous stripes share the same direction and the same size throughout the entire surface.
Note: This blog is intended for users who have a combination of either onboard Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA graphics cards or onboard Intel HD Graphics + AMD graphics cards on their computers.
Let’s start this blog post with a little story. I was so excited when I found out I was going to be getting a new laptop that had better performance specifications. Mainly what mattered is that I was going to get better performance for my SOLIDWORKS designs. After security and antivirus program installations were done, it was time to install SOLIDWORKS! The software managed to install itself with a smooth sail and my next step was to download my SOLIDWORKS settings from my previous computer using the Copy Settings Wizard that comes with any standard installation of SOLIDWORKS. With my customizations set in place, I was ready to play! So, my final step was to open my model and keep adding more details to it but I encountered a graphical issue I did not expect.
Every time I would try to rotate or move the model, my screen would get really glitchy and the graphics didn’t want to update and I became frustrated very fast. My first thought was that I did not have the latest driver for my NVIDIA graphics card. In order to do this, there are two options how a user can check the latest driver available for their graphics card:
Here at Hawk Ridge Systems, we have three digital manufacturing labs which are a great place to experience additive manufacturing. The lab’s house some awesome technology in the form of 3D Scanners and Printers. They recently just got the new HP Jet Fusion 3D and asked some of us application engineers to make some designs that they can print. After hearing this I took full advantage of the situation because, how often do you get to use production quality machine for your own amusement? The new HP machine is unique and revolutionary because of its immense speed, precision, recycling capability, and cost. The material it prints with is called VESTOSINT, which is a Nylon 12 Polyamide, and each print can use up to 80% recycled powder. HP generates a product that is almost isotropic with only 6 percent difference in tensile modulus for the Z print direction. This is achieved by using a fusing and detailing agent and saving the fusing process till near the end of the print.
One way to increase assembly performance is by using simplified configurations that can be selected when opening an assembly. Simplified configurations reduce the amount of data that must be loaded into RAM which increases graphical performance by requiring fewer edges and details to be displayed. When simplifying components general guidelines are useful for determining what can be removed and what is important to retain.
Every year, Hawk Ridge Systems offers live Launch events for its customers to introduce the new enhancements of that year’s release. What if you were unable to make one of the 2018 live sessions? Don’t worry – we have you covered! We recorded the live stream (HawkLive 2018) of our first Launch event and separated it into 8 modules so you can easily digest what’s new in SOLIDWORKS 2018! Even if you’ve attended a launch in another city (besides San Jose, where this one was recorded), it’ll be different and exciting content! In today’s blog article, we’ll introduce some of the main topics we covered in Module 1, which includes a brief introduction to Hawk Ridge Systems, what to expect from the upcoming modules, and SOLIDWORKS customer’s we’re using to demonstrate the new enhancements of SOLIDWORKS 2018.
Introduction to Hawk Ridge Systems
Before we dive into the content, did you know that Hawk Ridge System offers:
- All products that are currently developed by SOLIDWORKS and Dassault Systemes
- A full range of 3D Printers and Scanners from HP, MarkForged, and Artec
- SIMULIA Abaqus as our high-level analysis software
- SOLIDWORKS CAM post processors
- CAD, Technical Communications, Analysis Consulting, and Mentoring Services
- Classroom, Online, and On-Demand Training Offerings
- Custom written software like XBOM and PDMTeamWorksPro
- Live Support chat (in addition to phone, email, and web)
- Comprehensive Support documentation
- Active and ever-growing YouTube channel, blog (like this one!), weekly webinars, and much more
What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018
Nearly half of the development projects SOLIDWORKS undertakes are based on quality and performance, which means, speeding up tasks, stability improvements, and bug fixes. The other half is the new features and enhancements that will be introduced in this blog and video series! There are over 230 pages (239 pages, to be exact) in the What’s New 2018 PDF, alone. It’d be nearly impossible to cover every single enhancement, but our team hand-picked some of the best ones they believe could benefit SOLIDWORKS users the most. Here’s a run-down of the 8 videos and what they’ll be covering:
- Module 1: SOLIDWORKS 2018 Overview
- Module 2: SOLIDWORKS User Experience and Sketching
- Module 3: SOLIDWORKS Detailed Design
- Module 4: SOLIDWORKS Simulation and Flow Simulation
- Module 5: SOLIDWORKS PDM & Electrical
- Module 6: SOLIDWORKS Drawings and MBD
- Module 7: SOLIDWORKS CAM
- Module 8: Technical Communication and Future Product Roadmap
There are numerous benefits for creating your part design as a multibody part ranging from performance to file management in SOLIDWORKS. However if you have tried to apply a material to a multibody part you will notice that the materials folder of the feature manger will apply the same material to every single body in your design. This works fine if you have a weldment structure which is all made out of steel, but most designs use a combination of materials to accomplish their design goals. In this example for a conveyor belt, there could be aluminum, steel and even rubber. One material could be applied to the entire design, however our mass property and simulation results would be inaccurate.
Using the standard SOLIDWORKS tools and features from the CommandManager is already an extremely efficient method to quickly bring concepts into a three dimensional model. However, many users prefer to leverage a variety of both standard and custom shortcuts through hotkeys or context menus for an even faster workflow. This article covers many of the most impactful default keyboard shortcuts in SOLIDWORKS, and describes how to customize them for maximum time savings.
While using SOLIDWORKS, all of the standard Microsoft keyboard shortcuts are available. As expected, CTRL-O can be used to open a document, CTRL-S will save the current document, and CTRL-Z will undo the most recent action. However, many additional SOLIDWORKS-specific keyboard shortcuts exist that can make potentially tedious point-and-click commands obsolete.
A few of the more popular shortcuts include using the spacebar to bring up the Orientation menu, which provides access to many standard views, as well as any custom views that have been saved. Pressing the R key will display a list of recent documents, and specific documents can even be pinned to the list permanently. Another great shortcut is CTRL-B, which will automatically rebuild your model. A table of some of the most popular default SOLIDWORKS keyboard shortcuts has been provided below:
One exceptionally popular keyboard shortcut is the S key. This opens a context-sensitive shortcut menu for rapid access to your favorite commands. Since the menu is context-sensitive, different menus will be presented depending on whether the part, assembly, drawing, or sketch environment is active. An example of this menu is shown below:
The tools found on this menu can be customized by right clicking on the menu once it has been activated and choosing Customize, or by simply clicking the options dropdown and choosing Customize. The resulting dialog is shown below, and several tabs are available for customization.
The Keyboard tab, shown above, can be used to modify existing shortcuts or create custom ones for any SOLIDWORKS command. Simply click in the Shortcut(s) cell for the command and type the keyboard shortcut to apply it. Multiple hotkeys can be added if desired.
The Shortcut Bars tab can be used to modify the shortcuts available in the S key shortcut menu. Commands can be dragged and dropped both on and off of the menus as needed, and the shortcut bar for each environment can be customized individually.
Additionally, mouse gestures are another great way to optimize workflow. Similar to shortcut bars, mouse gestures can be customized by dragging and dropping commands onto the context-sensitive wheels. To activate mouse gestures, simply hold the right mouse button and drag the cursor in the direction of the desired command. The customization menu for mouse gestures is shown below:
These shortcuts are an excellent way to optimize your workflow, ensuring that designs are created as efficiently and effectively as possible. For more information, get a SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD quote or contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems today. Thanks for reading!
I like nice curves and I cannot lie. And in SOLIDWORKS we can control exactly how smooth our curves are. When it comes to curves in SOLIDWORKS, there is a difference between what is smooth and what looks smooth. This blog will discuss how we can analyze our curves and control how smooth they really are by using surface evaluation tools and different spline tools.
The quality of a great surface lies within the curve that defines it. These curves are ideally created and controlled through splines. The spline sketch tool creates a smooth curve through the position of control vertices, or CV’s. Controlling the quality of our splines will ultimately control the quality of our surfaces. Splines can be analyzed using the curvature combs tool. The curvature combs tool graphically shows the amount of curvature at a given point on a sketch element. A smooth curvature comb is desired to produce the smoothest surface. As shown below, both splines look the same until we look at their curvature combs. The spline with the smoothest curvature combs (i.e. no flat spots or dips exist) will produce the smoothest surface.
To create smooth curvature combs, splines should be created with the least amount of points possible. Just as seen above, both of these splines are identical. The difference in curvature combs is due to the fact that the spline on the left was made with just 2 points, whereas the spline on the right was made with 5.