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Past Tips

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Tip#12 Thurs 06/07/2001: Intersection Curve

Tip #11 Thurs 02/15/2001:  Mate Reference

Tip #10 Wed 12/13/2000Boosting Thread Performance

Tip #9 Sun 11/7/2000Working with properties and the BOM

Tip #8 Sun 8/6/2000SolidWorks 2000 Add-ins

Tip #7 Mon 5/15/2000Assembly motions cool...

Tip #6 Fri 3/24/2000Rotating a view within the drawing  

Tip #5 Tue 2/8/2000Hiding and Showing a Sketch in a Drawing

Tip #4 Wed 12/29/1999Changing Precision 3 places to 2 places

Tip #3 Tue 12/7/19999Control + Q (Verification on Rebuild) or Force Regeneration  

Tip #2 Fri 11/12/1999:  Creating models from those old AutoCAD drawings or DXF files. (SolidWorks 99 and earlier)

Tip #1 Tues 10/26/1999:  Pierce Relationship

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 8/6/2000

SolidWorks 2000 Add-ins 

This tip is on Add-ins.  In the support I have done, I have been amazed at how many do not use or even know of the add-ins in SolidWorks.  Many are free and just added in when installing a service pack and some are purchased (i.e. CosmosWorks, CamWorks, PhotoWorks).  Since the latter part of SolidWorks 99 SolidWorks has been adding more and more FREE add-ins into this list found under Tools à Add-ins…  A list of all that has been released up to SP6 and a short explanation from SolidWorks help.  If you would like more info on any of them please check out the SolidWorks help under the help pull down in the program

Choose a link below to see its definition:

SldTrans 1.0:   Imports Feature Data from Pro/Engineer part files into SolidWorks.

SldUg 1.0:        Imports Parasolid data from a Unigraphics II file.

SolidWorks 2D Emulator:    Command-line access for SolidWorks 2000

SolidWorks 3D Meeting:       Online meeting tool for SolidWorks 2000

SolidWorks CGR:    Catia CGR Translator

SolidWorks DXF3D:    ACIS from DXF Translator

SolidWorks HCG:    Catia HCG (Highly Compressed Graphics Files)

SolidWorks Inventor:    AutoDesk Inventor® part import Translator

SolidWorks MDT:    AutoDesk MDT® Translator

SolidWorks MTS:    SolidWorks- MetaStream Export

SolidWorks SE:    SolidWorks- SolidEdge® Part Translator

SolidWorks ZGL:    SolidWorks- RealityWave export

 

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SldTrans 1.0:   Imports Feature Data from Pro/Engineer part files into SolidWorks.

The Add-In module SldTrans 1.0 imports a part or assembly file from Pro/ENGINEER® into a SolidWorks part or assembly document. The attributes, features, sketches, and dimensions of the Pro/ENGINEER® part are imported. If all of the features in the file are not supported, you can choose to import the file as either a solid body or a surface model.

When importing an assembly, you can control how to import individual components. Sub-assemblies are supported as well.

Some known limitations are as follows: 

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SldUg 1.0:        Imports Parasolid data from a Unigraphics II file.

The Add-In module SldUg 1.0 imports the Parasolid information of a Unigraphics® II part or assembly into a SolidWorks part or assembly document. Only the Parasolid information is extracted, not the proprietary feature information of a Unigraphics II part.

You can import: 

You have the option to import Unigraphics files as either one single SolidWorks part, or as multiple SolidWorks parts.

Single SolidWorks part

Multiple SolidWorks parts

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SolidWorks 2D Emulator:    Command-line access for SolidWorks 2000

The Add-In module SolidWorks 2D Emulator adds a command line at the bottom of the screen to emulate the AutoDesk® AutoCAD command line.  It has a lot of the default commands that AutoCAD® has.

Known limitation:

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SolidWorks 3D Meeting:       Online meeting tool for SolidWorks 2000

No the option for Net meeting is available in SolidWorks so collaboration between you and your customer or vender is easier

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SolidWorks CGR:    Catia CGR Translator

This add-in module enables you to export SolidWorks documents to CATIA® graphics (CGR) files that users can view in CATIA, CATweb, and DMU Navigator. You can export only parts and assemblies with the CGR translator.

Support includes CATIA version 5, release 3, and above.

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SolidWorks DXF3D:    ACIS from DXF Translator

This add-in module extracts ACIS information from a DXF part file, if that information exists in the file, and imports it into a SolidWorks part. SolidWorks does not create the ACIS information.

Support includes, but is not limited to, AutoCAD® R14 and above.

Note the following add-in limitations: 

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SolidWorks HCG:    Catia HCG (Highly Compressed Graphics Files)

This add-in module enables you to export SolidWorks documents to Highly Compressed Graphics (HCG) files. HCG files, used by CATIA® in CATweb, are optimized for transmission over the Web. You can export only parts and assemblies with the HCG translator.

The exported files contain graphical information only; you cannot edit these files.

Support includes CATIA version 5, release 3, and above.

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SolidWorks Inventor:    AutoDesk Inventor® part import Translator

This add-in module imports AutoDesk Inventor® part files into SolidWorks part documents. The imported part files contain only geometry; features are not imported.

Support includes through version AutoDesk Inventor R2.

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SolidWorks MDT:    AutoDesk MDT® Translator

This add-in module imports part and assembly information from a Mechanical Desktop® (MDT) file into a SolidWorks part or assembly document. You must have MDT installed on your desktop, but it does not have to be running, to use the MDT translator.

MDT files can contain a combination of part, assembly, and drawing files. The MDT translator provides different conversion options, depending upon the contents of the MDT file.

Only MDT version 4 is supported.

NOTE:    Because MDT version 4 does not support Windows 2000; the MDT translator is not supported on the Windows 2000 platform.

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SolidWorks MTS:    SolidWorks- MetaStream Export

This add-in module exports SolidWorks part or assembly documents to Metastream (.mts) files. You can view Metastream files over the Internet using the Metastream viewer. The Metastream files contain the compressed geometry of the model.

The Metastream (MTS) translator also creates an .mtx file, which is in XML. This is the animation and attribute file of the model.  The exported files contain graphical information only; you cannot edit these files.

Support includes Metastream version MTS3.

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SolidWorks SE:    SolidWorks- SolidEdge® Part Translator

This add-in module imports the Parasolid information of a Solid Edge® part into a SolidWorks part. Only the Parasolid information is extracted, not the proprietary feature information of a Solid Edge part. You can import Parasolid information from Solid Edge parts up to and including Solid Edge version 8.

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SolidWorks ZGL:    SolidWorks- RealityWave export

This add-in module exports SolidWorks part or assembly documents to RealityWave's ZGL file format. After exporting the document, you must save the ZGL file into a RealityWave database (VizStream Server). This converts the ZGL file into RealityWave’s streaming format that you then can view over the Internet with the RealityWave viewer.

The exported files contain graphical information only; you cannot edit these files.

Support includes RealityWave version 2.0.

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Mon 5/15/2000

Assembly motion’s cool...

Building parts in the context of the assembly, using in context references to drive features on your parts, is very cool... Unfortunately, the two things are mutually exclusive.  For instance, if you build a part for a door in the context of an assembly, you can choose to make the door so the frame it sits in drives the door's size and shape.  However, if you then use assembly motion to open the door, the geometry of the door part will change! The door will try to access the driving geometry (the frame) from the vantage point of its new position, altering the shape of everything. The work around for this is to leave the door in its original position, RMB click it, and choose to 'hide' it. Then you CTRL drag another instance of the door component from the assembly manager into the assembly window, mating the copy in place (concentric to the hinge, with it's bottom some distance from the threshold of the door). Now this second instance can be
moved all over without altering the in-context relationships of the door part!  In SolidWorks 2000, you can freeze in-context relationships as another work around for this problem, but if you update the geometry of the doorframe, the door part will not change. Using two instances of the door component in the assembly allows you to have your cake and eat it to.

Submitted by:

Ed Eaton

RTC Industries

eeaton@rtcind.com

Thank You Ed!!!

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Fri 3/24/2000

Rotating a view within the drawing

Did you know you could rotate a view within the drawing?  For example if you make a section and want it rotated 90 degrees.  Just select the rotate tool.  The same tool as you use to rotate the model in the assembly or part.  Choose the view you would like to rotate, click and drag.  The view will rotate at incremental snaps with feedback on the screen on how many degrees you have rotated.  Works great for sections, or to fit on screen or for clarity.

One more thing:

Check out Edrawings.  It free its.  And its great.  Download it free from http://www.SolidWorks.com/edrawings

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Tue 2/8/2000

Since I have been so busy the last few weeks I have missed the last tip time so this tip you get two.  Thank you to all that have submitted tips and thank you all for signing up.  Pass the word.

This week’s first tip comes to us from Dave Murray at CADimensions Inc in NY, USA

dave@cadimensions.com

HIDING AND SHOWING SKETCH IN A DRAWING

Hiding and showing sketch geometry is independently controlled between a part and its associated drawing. What this means is if you show a sketch in a part, it will not automatically be shown in the drawing. Furthermore, sketch visibility can also be controlled independent of views in a drawing. If you right click on a sketch in the Drawing Feature Manager, you can show it in that specific view only, giving you a sketch, which may aid in adding reference dimensions. This is extremely beneficial when dimensioning ellipses or spline points.

This week’s second tip comes to us from Stan Heeres at DB Union Pumps in MI, USA

sheeres@netscape.net

ASSEMBLY FEATURE

When creating Assembly Features, the default Feature Scope includes EVERY Component in the assembly. This greatly increases the rebuild time because every part must be evaluated during EACH rebuild. This becomes especially important the more Features that are in the Assembly.

To avoid this, after building the first Assembly Feature, right click on the feature, click on Feature Scope and remove all components except those affected. Make sure to do this after the first Assembly Feature or you will have to individually delete each component from the list for EACH Assembly Feature. After doing this on the first feature, all following features will have ONLY those Components in the list that were in the previous Assembly Feature list. Simply edit the Feature Scope each time an Assembly Feature is created. This has cut the rebuild time on the assembly we are working on by 50%!

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Wed 12/29/1999

CHANGING PRECISION 3 PLACES TO 2 PLACES

Do you have multiple dimensions to change from a 3 place decimal, to a 2 place decimal at one time?  You don’t need to do them separately.  “Ctrl select” all or some of the dims you need to change from 3 places to 2 places.  Right click on the last one selected and choose properties.  You do not have to uncheck the “use documents precision” box and then click the Precision… button and change the value and tolerance to 2 places.  With multiple dims selected all that is need to do is, select the dims needed to be changed, right click properties and uncheck the “use document precision” and click OK.  When this is done with more than one dim selected to change the dims default to 2 places even though you have not changed a number in the Precision dialog box.

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Tue 12/7/1999

Control + Q (Verification on Rebuild) or Force Regeneration

Verification on rebuild also known as Control + Q is a very powerful way to find errors.

     This option can be turned on at all times in the options dialog box.  Click Tools àOptions à Performance, and select the Verification on rebuild checkbox.  I do not suggest checking this box because it can slow down all of your work.  Because anytime you click the rebuild button it will rebuild with verification.       

    Let me explain.  A normal rebuild (the little green light on the tool bar) starts from the last feature worked on in the feature manager tree and rebuilds from there down.  A Control + Q starts at the top of the feature manager tree regardless of what was worked on last and verifies for errors.

    If your model looks incorrect (missing lines, not updated, loft or sweep not looking correct) run a Control + Q.  You can do a Control + Q at any time.  A word to the wise:  It takes about 3 time longer for a Control + Q to run than a regular rebuild.  A good idea to run before release but not to get into a habit as I have every time you want to rebuild, unless you only work on small parts and assemblies.

Just in case I wasn’t clear Control + Q is the Ctrl and the Q button pressed at the same time.

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Fri 11/12/1999

Creating models from those old AutoCAD drawings or DXF files. (SolidWorks 99 and earlier)

Open the drawing that contains the curve entities you want to insert.

Open the part where you want to insert the entities. (New part or existing part)

Open a sketch and click Insert à Sketch from Drawing.

From the Window menu, select the drawing to make it the active window.

Box-select the entities with the left mouse button.

Return to the part window. The entities have been inserted into the active sketch in the part, and you can now edit the sketch, and use it to make features.

The drawing uses the same X, Y, and Z points as the original AutoCAD drawing or translated program for both the drawing part of SolidWorks and the part area of SolidWorks.

After the sketch is in the part document, click on the pull down, Tools à Relations à Constrain all this will add relations of horizontal, vertical, tangent, and any obvious relations that are needed.  This saves you time doing it yourself.!

To move the sketch to the correct space on the model, you can dimension it and move it, or use the *modify sketch tool (Tools à Sketch Tools à Modify) to place a point to a known X, Y value in the model.

*Modify Sketch: Allows you to move, rotate, or scale a sketch.

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Tue 10/26/1999

This week’s tip is on the subject of lofting and sweeping.  Instead of a coincident relationship between your geometry and path, place a pierce relationship between the point and the path that you are sweeping or lofting on.  A coincident relationship can cause problems in future changes or not allow it sweep or loft at all.

Pierce Relationship: A sketch point and an axis, edge, line, or Spline.

A sketch point and an axis, edge, line, or Spline.  The sketch point is coincident to where the axis, edge, or reference curve pierces the sketch plane.

Copyright© 1999 by SolidWorks Corporation.  All rights reserved.

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