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The Pulse of the Graphics & Design Community
Get More With SolidWorks Tutorials
I find that the best way to learn about the tools available in SolidWorks is by using them. And one way that SolidWorks helps you to do this is by including an extensive selection of tutorials on a wide range of tools. These tutorials are fully incorporated into SolidWorks and are available in the SolidWorks resources tab of the task manager, or under the Help menu.The tutorials are not only great examples of how to use the tools available to you in SolidWorks, they can also be used to try out some of the tools that you may not have used before such as Routing or Simulation. There is also a large section of tutorials for the newest additions to the software such as the new user interface for the Section Tool and Orientation Dialogue Box.The tutorials are organised into easily navigated groups so that you can get straight to the relevant subject area. By hovering your mouse cursor over the tutorial links, each of the tutorials will describe to you a rough timing for completion and also an overall description of what you will achieve upon completion.Then to open the tutorial, simply click on the one that you want. Each Tutorial will start with an overview describing the process to be followed.The tutorials then describe exactly what the process is for the lesson, guiding you through step by step and helping you to understand not only what you are doing, but also describing why. There are clear instructions that include images of the process that is being carried out so that you can check your progress.When opening the SolidWorks tutorials, your SolidWorks window automatically resizes to allow room for the tutorial window to be shown at the same time. And the interaction between SolidWorks and the tutorials doesn’t end there.In the instructions for carrying out the tutorial, if you need to use a tool, both the name of the tool and what the button for that tool icon looks like in SolidWorks are given. If you are unsure at any point of where that tool is in SolidWorks, you can simply click on the button in the tutorial text and it will be highlighted in the SolidWorks user interface.Also contained within the instructions are links to open SolidWorks models that can be used for the tutorial content.All of this combines to make the tutorial set that is built in to SolidWorks a valuable knowledge resource for learning more about the software that you use [more...
Convert that old legacy data to SolidWorks!
A lot of cutomers don’t realise how quick the process of converting legacy files into SolidWorks format has become recently. By using the tools incorporated into SolidWorks such as Import Diagnostics, Feature Recognition, and Fully Define Sketch, Legacy files can be quickly converted into SolidWorks files.The video at the end of this blog shows a .STEP file being opened and converted into a SolidWorks file with recognised features, fully defined sketches and a drawing sheet. All of this was done in less than three minutes by using the tools available within SolidWorks Professional and Premium.The process starts by opening the file directly within SolidWorks. This instigates the Import Diagnostic tool that is part of the FeatureWorks Add-in available in SolidWorks Professional and Premium versions. In this case, the imported geometry had no issues, but Import Diagnostics would allow opportunity and help to repair faulty geometry. Another function of the FeatureWorks Add-in is Feature Recognition. In the property manager for Feature recognition, the types of feature to look for in the part geometry can be defined. SolidWorks will then automatically associate features with the imported part geometry and create a Feature Manager Design tree containing the required Sketches and Features. The Sketch geometry can now be edited and dimensions and relations automatically added by using the Fully Define Sketch available in the contextual menu shown when right-clicking the graphics area in the sketch. Once all features and sketch geometry has been defined, the part can be quickly inserted into a drawing sheet. Inserting the model items into the drawing sheet will then pick up and insert all of the dimensions onto the drawing sheet as well.Using this process a fully defined and editable SolidWorks part and associated drawing file were created without modifying any of the original geometry or sizes, creating an exact SolidWorks copy of the original file [more...
SolidWorks World 2013
Join us at SolidWorks World 2013 in Orlando, Florida. Starting January 20th at Walt Disney World, the usual action packed few days will be filled with new developments, SolidWorks training and presentations from various speakers. Get registered today for a cadtastic experience [more...
SolidWorks 2013 is here!
The latest version of SolidWorks was announced by Dassault Systèmes recently amid a frenzy of press releases and blog posts. Release 21 comes with more powerful tools, enhancements to the interface and performance upgrades. Over 200 enhancements overall leave you safe in the knowledge that you're designing with the best release of SolidWorks ever! Here at TMS CADCentre, we get even more excited at this time of year because it gives us the opportunity to meet with our customers and show you some of the major developments in the software.Our launch events are always packed with new users and veterans of the CAD industry. Plus, we know its not just SolidWorks 2013 you'll be hungry for, lunch is on us too! The local launch events will be held next on the following dates:Glasgow - November 13th Edinburgh - November 14th Aberdeen - November 15th Click on any of the above locations to register for this event or give us a call at 01324 550760 [more...
Using SolidWorks Plastics to plan your mould
You may be aware of SolidWorks Plastics, but are you aware of the benefits that its functionality could give you? SolidWorks Plastics is a fully integrated tool set for SolidWorks that allows users to simulate the injection moulding process for your SolidWorks designs. For this example, a basic plastic cup made from ABS Polycarbonate is used.Using SolidWorks Plastics Professional to run a simulation study, it can be seen that the original wall thickness of the cup was too thin which caused a “short-shot” and the cup would not have been moulded fully. This is where the plastic material reaches a solidified state through cooling before it can completely fill the mould and is often evident where thin sections of the design cause the plastic to cool too quickly.As SolidWorks Plastics is fully integrated into SolidWorks, it is simple to return to the Feature manager design tree and edit the wall thickness to increase it. A re-mesh is required when the physical geometry of the model has been altered. Using the same settings as the previous simulation, the cup now fills with no issues.As injection moulded plastic components are typically used for large runs of plastic components, we can use the functionality of SolidWorks Plastics Premium to start considering a multi cavity mould meaning that more than one cup can be moulded at the same time.Multiple copies of the Cup part were inserted into a new part file positioned as they would be in a mould. A sketch was also created to use for runner creation letting the flow of plastic be controlled to each component.The runners for each part should be roughly the same length to ensure even filling of the mould cavities. In this example, the runners have been made exactly the same length. These runners are then defined in the study and a Gate location is set at the start of the runner system. And, as we know that the cup now fills correctly, we can create a shell mesh of the parts to simulate how multiple cavities will fill.With the shell mesh completed and the material and moulding machine chosen, the study can be run.SolidWorks gives a wide range of results including the Fill time and the Cooling time. This allows you to estimate production run times taking the cooling time before ejection from the mould in to account.There are also options to view areas where Sink Marks, Weld lines, and Air traps may occur so that you can consider alternate gate locations and vents in the mould tool.By using SolidWorks Plastics Professional, it is possible for designers to fully consider the manufacturing capability involved in the final production of their plastic designs. This allows them to anticipate and re-design at a stage in the design process where the cost implications are minimal.By using SolidWorks Plastics Premium, the mould tool can also be considered through the introduction of family moulds and runner systems. This has the possibility to save on costly re-working or re-designing mould tools [more...
Race For Renewable Energy
The Scottish government recently announced the Grand Challenge Phase of the £10 million Saltire Prize for renewable energy companies to encourage development of tidal and wave energy devices.Over a two year period, Aquamarine Power, Pelamis Wave Power, Scottish Power Renewables and MeyGen will be racing to produce the most amount of electricity possible from Scottish waters. Aquamarine’s Saltire Prize project will see its Oyster wave energy converter deployed off the Isle of Lewis. Three projects will compete in the Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters - Pelamis' wave power device at Farr Point, MeyGen’s tidal energy project in the Inner Sound and ScottishPower Renewables at Ness of Duncansby with the HS1000 tidal turbine developed by Andritz Hydro Hammerfest. As well as developing new technology and producing renewable energy, the competition will also benifit Stromness on Orkney where a new access point and pier will be constructed.Two of the four companies taking part are customers of TMS CADCentre, utilising SolidWorks for the design of their 'green' machines. We would like to wish Pelamis and Aquamrine Power the best of luck in their quest for the Saltire Prize!“I am delighted to see Aquamarine Power and Pelamis being recognised for their work in the renewable sector. Their commitment and desire to provide a better and greener alternative to current energy technologies is truly inspiring. We wish both of our clients the very best in their quest for the Saltire Prize” – Alex Lowe - TMS Director Aquamarine Power Pelamis Wave Power [more...
Wonders of Weldments
3+ Way Mitres in WeldmentsWhen building steel frames, particularly in circular tube you can strange results when 3 or more tubes come together and you and to trim them all back.You could end up with something like this:So how can I make it look like this?It's all in the trim order.Edit the Structural Member feature and click on the joint so you get the Corner Treatment Dialogue box.What we are looking for is the Trim Order settings at the bottom.For each of the groups simply set the Trim order to 1 and they will all mitre together.It even works for 4 or more segments:To see this in action you can check out our youtube page.Creating a profile wrap for cuttingWhen working with tube in this way it can be tricky to work out how to cut the tube back to the correct finish so that it will fit first time.What a number of people do is create a flattened version of the tube and print it out so that they can cut out the printed profile and wrap the paper around the tube so that it can be marked for cutting.Here's how to do it.First we need to save the bodies out. I could do this in the original part, but I'd prefer to keep these files separate.You can either save each of the bodies out to individual parts, or you can do as I did here, right-click on the CutList folder and select insert into new part. Then do a 1 degree cut in the tube:Ensure that you only cut that one body.Then use Insert bends from the sheet metal toolbarSetting the K-Factor to 1 ensures that the outer face of the tube will not change in length when flattened.Repeat for the other bodies and you are then ready to print the profiles. Simply create the flat patterns for each.You could also use the export to .dxf to create quick simple profiles for the guys on the shop floor.So there you have it a couple of tips for working with weldments [more...