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Posts Tagged ‘3D CAD’

SOLIDWORKS: Tips for Creating Organized Title Blocks

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

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.

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SOLIDWORKS: Continuity and Curvature Part II

Saturday, March 24th, 2018

In Part I of this series, we looked at how the smoothness of curves can be analyzed and controlled. Now we’ll be taking a look at some additional analyses tools to further evaluate our surfaces as well as ways to improve our curvature continuous connections.

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.

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Dual Graphics Cards Causing Issues with SOLIDWORKS Graphical Display

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

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:

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SOLIDWORKS: Improving Assembly Performance with Simplified Components

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

SOLIDWORKS

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.

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HawkLive 2018 – Module 1: SOLIDWORKS 2018 Overview

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

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

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What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018: How to Set the Material for Individual Bodies of a Multi-Body Part

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018


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.
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Useful Keyboard Shortcuts and Workflow Customizations in SOLIDWORKS

Friday, January 5th, 2018


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:

SOLIDWORKS: Useful Keyboard Shortcuts and Workflow Customizations

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:

SOLIDWORKS: Useful Keyboard Shortcuts and Workflow Customizations

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.

SOLIDWORKS: Useful Keyboard Shortcuts and Workflow Customizations

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:

SOLIDWORKS: Useful Keyboard Shortcuts and Workflow Customizations

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!

SOLIDWORKS: Continuity and Curvature

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

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.

SOLIDWORKS: Continuity and Curvature SOLIDWORKS: Continuity and Curvature

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.

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What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018: Touch/Pen Input for Sketching

Monday, November 20th, 2017

Hi everyone! In this blog, I’m going to showcase a brand-new feature available in SOLIDWORKS 2018 to help you design faster! Have you ever had an idea and either not had a mouse or wanted to sketch it freely rather than using a mouse? With this new release and your Windows 10 touch-enabled device, now you can live out those wants with Touch Based sketching.

I’m working on the gas cap for my RC car and I’ve decided that I want to really make it unique by adding a design to the front of it. I’m going to put a cloud to symbolize a gas cloud (and because there’s a reason I became an engineer instead of an artist.) I also found a picture that I want to use as a sketch picture and that’s in a sketch that I’ll unhide.

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018: Touch/Pen input for Sketching Figure 1: Gas Cap Isometric View

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018: Touch/Pen input for Sketching

The first thing I want to point out is the new Sketch Ink Command Manager tab, which where all of my touch sketch commands will be. This can be turned on like any other command manager tab, right-click on an existing tab and select it from the list.

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018: Touch/Pen input for Sketching Figure 3: Sketch Ink Command Manager.

I’ll start my cloud sketch by selecting the gas cap face and hitting Sketch. There’s a pulldown to allow me to select a 2D or 3D sketch, touch sketching works with both. Next, you can customize your pen color and thickness. Use the slider to adjust the latter.

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018: Touch/Pen input for Sketching

Next to that is an eraser tool if you need to delete any errant strokes, and the select tool to select geometry. The eraser works similarly to Power Trim, where swiping over existing geometry with it turned on erases it. The select tool turns your stylus or finger into a mouse pointer.

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018: Touch/Pen input for Sketching Figure 5: Remaining Sketch Ink Commands

The Touch button is next to that. I’m using a stylus, but you can use this mode with your finger. Without that button pressed, swiping on my screen causes the model to move around. Therefore, to start sketching I’m going to click that button. Next, there are 2 ways to sketch entities: Auto Shape and Auto Sketch Entities. I’ll use Auto Shape to sketch the cloud, converting my pen strokes to smooth geometry. These are just conceptual, but I can use Select and hit Update to Entities which will change them to sketch entities.

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018: Touch/Pen input for Sketching Figure 6: Cloud drawn using Auto Shape.What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018: Touch/Pen input for Sketching Figure 7: Update to Entities command.What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018: Touch/Pen input for Sketching Figure 8: Updated Entities.

If you prefer to go straight to sketch entities, use the Auto Sketch Entities button. I’ll switch over to that and sketch a lightning bolt. This will also imply sketch relations. Now I have a sketch that I can use to create a feature like a boss or cut, or a split line.

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018: Touch/Pen input for Sketching Figure 9: Using Auto Sketch Entities.

As you can see, touch sketching can bring more of your ideas to life with pretty minimal effort. For more information, check out our YouTube channel, get a SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD quote or contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems today. Thanks for reading!



YouTube Direkt

What’s New SOLIDWORKS 2018: 3D Interconnect Imports Custom Properties and Material

Monday, November 13th, 2017

New enhancements to 3D Interconnect in SOLIDWORKS 2018 allow for the import of custom properties and materials of third-party CAD Files. For those that don’t know, 3D Interconnect is an awesome tool added in SOLIDWORKS 2017 which makes it possible to work directly with third-party CAD files, rather than using the standard import and translation methods. 3D Interconnect allows SOLIDWORKS to directly read these parts and assemblies without translation, removing the possibility of translation errors that Import Diagnostics would need to fix. It also creates a parametric link to the original part or assembly file, allowing it to update if the file is changed in its third-party CAD software. Finally, 3D Interconnect maintains face and edge IDs so that when the file is updated, any mates or additional features added inside of SOLIDWORKS are preserved. File types that currently work with 3D Interconnect are:

  • ACIS*
  • Autodesk® Inventor: .ipt for V6 – V2016, .iam for V11 – V2016
  • CATIA® V5: .CATPart, .CATProduct for V5R8 – 5–6R2016
  • IGES*
  • JT*
  • NX™ software: .prt for UG 11 – NX 10
  • PTC® Creo: .prt, .prt.*, .asm, .asm.* for Pro/ENGINEER® 16 – Creo 3.0
  • Solid Edge®: .par, .asm, .psm for V18 – ST8
  • STEP*

*File types now supported in SOLIDWORKS 2018

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