Many people think that sustainability means healthy ecosystems and environments. They ain’t wrong, but few have realized that SolidWorks handed them a phenomenal function inside SolidWorks Sustainability that can help them save money(Another kind of green). What Material is similar?…
Working years on the shop floor I know how materials can become the biggest pain in the neck. Some crazy engineer have decided this part should be made out of the weirdest material found to man. Price has gone up. Material is not available because a truck is stuck or a mine is shut down. Whatever!…The leading manager asks the question you for some reason should know on your fingertips. What material is similar? Find Similar
“Find Similar” hidden inside SolidWorks Sustainability and SustainabilityXpress (Yes, more free stuff from SolidWorks) is your answer when looking for materials with similar properties. This tool will look right into your SolidWorks Material library and let you filter through all the material properties using cool in-depth conditions. Tools->Sustainability(Xpress)->Find Similar->Set your criteria Narrow it down Select each material
You can quickly narrow down you search by selecting check boxes next to the materials and then click “Show only selected” above. That will filter down to the materials closest in properties and give you a nice overview with the Environmental dashboard. Giving you Carbon, Energy, air, water and my favorite, Material Financial Impact.
If you are anything like me, we both thought it was kind of cute when SolidWorks got all “Green” and stuff, but brother this “Find Similar” tool is resulting in going green making you save time and money. What’s not to like?
Want to see a little more about SolidWorks Sustainability? check out this video that I recorded recently.
SolidWorks has a couple of really great functions most people miss rushing to get some dimensions on their models.
I think we all have a tendency to get stuck in our set ways and many do not use some of the great less known buttons and functions SolidWorks has.
Here is 3 favorites in regards to dimensioning. Dimension names…
Probably the most known and yet not often used. If you do a lot of equations or Design Table you might use it frequently, but what about an easy way to earmark a dimension for easy recognition. Insert Tolerance in your model dimensions…
Practice is to model too normal and then apply tolerances on the SolidWorks drawings. However applying the tolerance on critical dimensions on the model and use Model Items on the annotation toolbar to make them appear in your drawing secures that important information is on the actually part file. This will help raising a red flag when making one of those hectic design changes when under a time crunch. Dimensions Read Only…
If there is a dimension in your design that absolutely never should change, make it ready only. You are really doing everyone a favor by not giving someone an opportunity to screw up.
Just a couple of things to possible add as standard “Best Practices” in your daily design routine.
Know all the bells of “SolidWorks Enterprise Product Data Management”(aka EPDM)?
This long fancy title does come with a lot of functions. Data security, Project creation, Rev control and so much more…Misconception is that this product is expensive and only for huge companies…However…
Came across this little manufacturing problem:
“CAM programmer is starting out another wonderful day creating code for a later run on B-shift. Upon verifying, simulating and post processing the heck out of the part he ends up with the g-code for the CNC machine. He saves this over the network to a folder on the manufacturing computer for the B-shift Operator to grab and run later that night.
Right before day-shift ends however, the shop floor supervisor gets notified about a design change causing re-programming needed. He never gets the information send through the right channels, and the end result is the B-Shift Operator runs 5 runs of the now obsolete g-code at a “boat anchor” price of $3500 a piece. Ouch!!”
Check out this video on how EPDM could have made this process a lot easier to avoid:
I think that SolidWorks EPDM has a huge potential on the shop floor from as seen in the video. Keeping data in its right place, but also things like eliminate drawings with multiple Rev’s circling around.
If you are not familiar with SolidWorks EPDM, this little video is one of my favorites when it comes to a quick overview.
5 SolidWorks Tips that may possible be helpful kick starting your 3D day. 1.To dimensions from tangent edges of an arc or circle, hold Shift and select the tangent edge closest to the desired placement. 2.You can create parts in the context of the assembly. This is known as top-down design. 3.If your default units are inches, you can enter metric values in value boxes (for example, enter 25mm). SolidWorks automatically converts the value to the default units. 4.You can copy all of the referenced files of an assembly to a new directory. Click File, Find Reference, Copy Files. 5.You can create a sketch point at the virtual intersection of two entities. Ctrl-select the entities and click Point(Sketch toolbar). To change the appearance of the point, click Tools, Options, Document Properties, Virtual Sharps.
The most underrated new feature in SolidWorks 2013, “The 3D Boundary Box!”.
If you missed it, don’t worry. No one will blame you even if you attended your SolidWorks resellers 2013 Rollout or you studied the “What’s New 2013″ found under the help drop down.Reason is that this feature has been camouflaged as an Weldment feature, but it is so much more.
If you are like me, cut lists, square tubing and welding takes 2nd place compared to the smell of coolant and chips slamming against the Plexiglas. The new bounding box feature found under SolidWorks Weldments might not seem like worth taking a look at…Well, Wrong!
SolidWorks had all the reasons to present this feature as a weldment. The example introduced was a quick way to update the description field in a weldment cut lists with Length x With x Thickness of a giving part and this is defiantly a cool function.
However for me this feature came as the answer to a function I know many CAD/CAM User have asked for “Give me my stock size” Well, here it is. Check out this short video where we will dive into the most underrated feature of SolidWorks 2013.
5 SolidWorks Tips that may possible be helpful kick starting your 3D day.
1.You can press the space bar to bring up the Orientation dialog box.
2.When dimensionsing, right-click to lock the orientation of the dimensions (inside/outside angle or horizontal/vertical/parallel). Then you can drag the value to position the text wherever you want without the orientation changing.
3.The entitity selection filter toolbar can be turned off/on by pressing F5, and active filters can be turned off/on by pressing F6.
4.In order to view multiple sheets in a drawing at once, go to Window, New Window, and then tile the windows. You can select a different drawing sheet in each window.
5.Use the filter field at the top of the FeatureManager design tree to search for features of a part, assembly, or drawing.
Ever had one of those things on your to-do list that you know you should have done something about a long time ago?
There is a lot of cool things you can spend time learning about in CAMWorks. The material library might not be on your top 5. However there is most likely not a option in CAMWorks that can earn your money back quicker than spending a little time teaching your CAM what data you want applied when setting that CNC in motion.
A list of benefit of spending the next 10min getting familiar with this function could look like this:
1. By limited time spend you can comfortably forget about feeds and speeds when programing your standard parts
2. In conjunction with CAMWorks philosophy, you can teach the Material library how your do things in your shop
3. Picking a Material to machine and the software recognize what machine and conditions you are up against and adjust the feeds and speed accordingly
4. So easy to adjust that it silly not to use
5. Less experienced CAM programmer can easily trust on the software giving them good data
So lets jump in and see what can be done with this CAMWorks feeds&speed tool.
This idea came from one of my customers and frankly this is why I love my job. SolidWorks is not just a tool taking your design and turn it 3D on the screen.
This program also has great Metadata Power!
Metadata can be a deep subject, but we are going to keep it on a light note in this blog post. Objective is to capture some predefined values our designer can choose to add for oversize, when ordering stock material for the manufacturing floor. We want to save this information with our part (Custom properties) but also having it display automatically on our 2D Manufacturing drawing.
I have always seen two announces in regards stock material.
You have to order it days or weeks before you need it, many times when the actually design and concept is not even finalized
When you are ready to start your project you stand with this piece of material in your hand. Wondering if this was really what you actually ordered (Can’t find the dang yellow sticky note)
Using Metadata and automatically link it to other documents accomplishes
One entry (Effective)
One entry (Less likely making mistakes)
One entry (When a design changes, 1 and 2 is more important then ever imaginable!)
Check out the following video. In 12min. we are going to cover Custom Property Tab Builder, Custom Properties, Equations, Link to Property and General Tables in 2D Drawings. Friends, that is less than 3min. per subject…proving that SolidWorks can do more than just 3D Modeling and frankly it is pretty easy to add some Metadata Magic.
CAMWorks is handing out a helping hand to the fabrication community!
1st. thing that stands out to me is how easy this add-on is to use.
You have just finished your stress full design process, and getting things to actually result in something that can be cut on the Laser, Waterjet or speed through the Wood router seems like an impossible task. Well, CAMWorks Nesting might just be the tool that is going to prevent you from another late night fighting stock sizes and layouts.
5 SolidWorks Tips that may possible be helpful kick starting your 3D day.
1.When you create a new projected, section, or auxiliary view, by default it is aligned with the parent view. To break the default alignment, hold down Ctrl as you select a location for the view.
2.You can control whether you want to see the contents of a drawing view while dragging a view. Click Tools, Options, System Options, Drawings to set the ‘Show contents while dragging drawing view’ option.
3.You can specify whether drawing views update automatically when referenced model changes. Use the shortcut menu on the drawing name in the FeatureManager design tree to set the Automatic view update option.
4.You can format a dimension in a drawing using the heads-up Dimensions Palette. Select the dimension and hover over the Dimension Palette icon.
5.You can switch between diameter and radius dimensions on a circle or arc. Select the desired option in the dimension’s shortcut menu.