August, 2011 | CADD Edge Blog - Featuring SolidWorks 3D CAD Design Software

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Isometric Section Views


Can you make an image like this in a SolidWorks drawing?

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Sure you can.  All you have to do is:

  1. Open your assembly.
  2. Make a configuration.
  3. Create an assembly feature that cuts away the outer casing.
  4. Make a drawing of that configuration.
  5. Apply the hatching as a drawing feature.

While you were doing that I added shadows to mine.

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How about adding a parts list that cross highlites to the geometry and can be viewed in a web browser?  Like this one. 

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If you are browsing with Firefox you can view an interactive version of the file.  I don't have the web skills to make it work on other browsers, but since I can view the SVG file in IE I can't imagine its that hard to do.

I made these images while preparing a webinar we just ran on the new features in 3DVIA Composer V6R2012, the latest release that came out this summer.  This release now support the multiple section planes that I used in the earlier images.  Prior to that I could only have one section plane in an SVG image. These views are great for service manuals, product documentation, or spare parts catalogs.  And best of all the tool is designed for anyone to use.  You don't have to be a SolidWorks user, so you can let the person who needs the image create it based upon your designs instead of creating it for them.

If you missed the webcast we'll be doing it again so keep an eye on the schedule.

No NESWUC this year?


I just read in the NH SolidWorks User Group newsletter that the New England SolidWorks User Conference will not be happening this year.  They are planning its return for next year and have already set a date of September 21, 2012. It has been a great event in the past and I hope it returns better than ever next year.

I guess this means you will have to come down to the Cadd Edge User Conference October 26th and 27th if you want to attend a regional SolidWorks based conference.  Because its spread over two days, you get to attend more sessions and learn more great stuff. In addition to training sessions, you can also meet with other SolidWorks Users, 3D Party Vendors, and sit down with a Support Engineer for live 1-on-1 support session.  Don't forget to Pre-Register to lock in the discounted rate.  The more people that come down the better the event will be.

Everyone is welcome.

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How to Represent a Knurled Surface in SolidWorks


The question comes up all the time "How can I model a knurled surface in SolidWorks?"Knurl image from Wikipedia

My answer to that is, "You don't want to model a knurled surface."

  When my Jedi Mind Trick fails and they press me on why, I explain that a knurled surface would create thousands of extra faces in their model which would increase file size, bog down their graphical performance, and make the folks at NVIDIA really happy because they have an excuse to market a Graphics Card with a Terabyte of RAM. If you really want to model a knurled surface, and there are reasons to do it, like you are making a plastic part and the mold will be made from your model, it can be done.  Our Advanced part modeling class will teach you the skills needed to model a knurl. (Hint:You'll need to use SWEEPS, and CIRCULAR PATTERNS)

It is however, important to be able to represent a knurl, and that is what we are going to focus on now. Depicting a knurl is a simple process of Defining the Region to be knurled, Apply a Texture to be knurled, and Calling out the Knurl on your detail drawing.  Here are the steps.

  1. Create a sketch on a plane that you can project the region onto your surfaces.  In my case I used a plane along the axis of my cylinder.

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2. Sketch two lines that intersect the edges of the cylinder and dimension them as required to define the region to be knurled.

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3. Choose Insert>Curve>Split Line... Use the Projection option and select your sketch and the face to split.  Now you have a face that you can change the appearance of to represent the knurl. 

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4. Select that face and then the Edit Appearance "Beach Balldescribe the image".  You can select on of the predefined knurl patterns that ship with SolidWorks, or simply select a knurled image.  Note: The SolidWorks knurl appearances are texture maps and require realview graphics to display.

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    When it comes to detailing the knurl Your texture from the 3D model will not appear but we don't need it to.  A knurl is commonly depicted with a callout and hatching of the area to be knurled.

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    You will find that you cannot attach an area hatch to a cylindrical face however.  Simly sketch a rectangle and attach it to the corners of your knurl region, and hatch the rectangle.  The more I researched this the less convinced I became that the hatching was necessary.  But now you know how to do it. 

    Keep an eye out for a YouTube version of this tutorial as well.


    Thanks to Stefanie for the suggestion of this article

    CADD Edge User Group News

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    We announced back in May that the CADD Edge user group would be returning to the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in October.  I have had few details to share since then but I can assure you a lot has been going on in the background.  The AEs are hard at work preparing their workshops and our marketing group is taking care of the logistics.  If you've attended in the past you know what a great event it is.  However, this year we are trying to make it even better with, more sessions and some additional twists on our old format.

    I'm glad to share that this morning the pre-registration page went live.  Pre-registering will save you $50 dollars on the registration fee and guarantee you are kept up to date on all the details as they are made available.

    Also keep watching the blog.  Many of the presenters will be sharing content from their presentations.  They may also be looking for some guidance from on the direction to take their presentation.  What could be better than attending a  presentation custom tailored by you? 

    Pre-register today and we'll see you in October. 


    SolidWorks 2012 Beta 2 is now available for download


    This is your last chance to try out the Beta of SolidWorks 2012.  Beta is the best time to get problems specific to your files fixed in the upcoming version.  Even if you know your company won't be upgrading for some time it is still worth your time to give it a look.  I made the case for beta testing in an earlier post, so I won't go into detail here.

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