INTRODUCTION TO SOLIDWORKS

 In our last content we saw some of the basics of the solidworks; such as sketch and dimensioning. Now in this content we will see some of the important command manager tools and their roles in 3D modelling.

Command manager tools available on solid works screen:

  • Features
  • Sketch
  • Surfaces
  • Sheet metal
  • Evaluate
  • DimXpert
  • SOLIDWORKS Add-Ins
  • SOLIDWORKS MBD

Let us see all of these tools one by one.

 

(A). FEATURES

Features command tool is basically used to convert our sketch into 3D model. Many tools inside the features are available to assist this process. Here we can make different shapes of 3D models as per our requirement.

                   Features command tool manager (sub tools)

(B). SKETCH

This tool is used to make sketches, which are the base of all the 3D models. Many shapes are available to in command tool bar.

                                  Sketch command tool bar

Tools like line, circle, rectangles, arc, splines, ellipse, slot, polygon, fillet & many more helps us to build the proper sketch.

 

(C). SURFACES

      Surfaces is the tool which creates closed sketches which are non-intersecting. This allows to create different surfaces; also we can delete the unwanted interrupting surfaces very easily. Surfaces are used widely to make complicated designs with ease.

                                 Surfaces command tool bar

The surface tools are most likely to be similar with the Features tools. By using Thicken tool, one can make solid body from the thin surface. Major examples of surfaces tool are creating a car model, airplane model, mouse etc.

 

(D). SHEET METALS

This is the trending tool now a days. All the parts of some specific machinery are being made by the help of this tool. Sheet metal command tool bar provides direct tool of some process such as bending, folding, flanges etc. These mentioned works can also be made with simple sketch and features but it is time consuming; whereas in sheet metal it can be done within a single click.  One of the common examples of sheet metals is CLAMPS which are used for mounting various equipment.

                                Sheet metals command tool bar

 

(E). EVALUATE

As the name itself says, Evaluate tool bar is used to evaluate various parameters & analysis of the 3D model. Here number of options are provided for making a perfect 3D model. Analysis of cut, thickness, deviation, part, geometry etc. can be done. We can also check the mass and section properties of body. Apart from this surface analysis can also be done from Zebra stripes to make A grade surface finish till some extent.

                                  Evaluate command tool bar

 

(F). DIMXPERT

DimXpert provide perfect dimensions for the fabrication & tolerances to the model parameters. It gives 3D annotations to the model manually as well as automatically as per the user’s decision. We can also provide Datum to the model from which the dimensions can be drawn out. Scale changing can also be possible (many other options are also available for changing the scales).

                               DimXpert command tool bar

(G). SOLIDWORKS ADD-INS

Solidworks Add-Ins enables us to perform advance options such as motion, rendering tool, circuit works, routing, flow simulation etc. Here we can give motion to our 3D model. Solidworks motion is directly available in a new window so that one can access both 3D model and motion file in one file.

                     Solidworks Add-Ins command tool bar

 

(H). SOLIDWORKS MBD

       Solidworks MBD manages the 3D annotations. This command tool is similar to the DimXpert; we can say that the Solidworks MBD is the extension of DimXpert tool.   We can make Bill of Materials (BOM), Design table, title block table etc. One can also make exploded view of assembly, capture 3D view and much more. We can also create additional notes to guide the fabricator.

                                 Solidworks MBD command tool bar

 

Things to keep in mind while using solidworks:

  • Verify the dimensions set on which you are working; choose proper set and then start modelling.
  • Giving dimensions to the sketch plays a vital role so give perfect measurements to the sketch and make it fully defined otherwise it will be an obstacle in your upcoming processes.
  • Maintain your feature manager design tree. Optimize the design tree by making the model in relatively less steps. This will give very less load on the software as well as the system.

The feature manager design tree is provided on the left hand side of the solidworks screen. This design tree contains all the steps which we have followed to design a model. One can directly modify a particular feature from this design tree.

 

  • Efficiently use the Heads-up bar available at the top of sketch window.

  • Make use of Solidworks tools library whenever needed. It is given at the right hand side of the screen.
  • Save the documents frequently.
  • Save the part files (give proper file name) in one folder so that it can be easily accessible at the time of assembly.

Apart from this customisation of tools can be possible as per our requirement. 

So, this time we had a brief overview of the command tool bars; next time we will see all these command tools in detail with their sub tools one by one.

If you missed the previous content then go to contentcity.net/blog/basics-of-solidworks

 

*For any suggestions or query drop your mail at urjapandya@contentcity.net