Do you sensor your stuff in Solidworks?

Header

Using sensors in Solidworks is not only for constructions of power plants and streamlining parts for a Formel 1 racer, even us regular people can find use for these sensor functions from time to time.

But before we start looking at this adorable tool, lets make sure that if you do not already see the “Sensor” folder in the top of your FeatureManager tree, we will get it turned on with 4 easy steps.

Power up the sensor folder

sensor 

1)~Options

2)~FeatureManager

3)~Choose Show from the Sensor drop down menu

4)~And confirm it is now there.

Sensor the mass

weight

With a “right-mouse” click on the sensor folder it is quick and easy to add a new sensor.

Mass Properties can be your best friend when designing parts. You set up your parameters at the start of the design process, so when you are playing with fillets or thin features Solidworks will make sure to warn you gently if you skate outside your boundaries. 

But of course Solidworks doesn’t  stop with options there… :-)

Dimensions

Dimensions 

It is a huge advantage that you can set sensors on dimensions that absolutely can not be modified while you are working on a part level.

Dimensions2

So when someone with not enough caffeine in there blood, decides to modify your part on the 500+ assembly gets a clear warning signal. This is an easy way to assure you stay on top of things, even if it is really out of your hands.

Be aware there is an enhancement request for the Dimension Sensor…

The method you have to use to choose you dimension is defiantly a bit of a work around;

Right-click on ‘Annotations’ folder in FeatureManager design tree and select ‘Show Feature Dimensions’. This will make dimensions visible >now select add measurement sensor and select required dimension.

Interference Detection

Interference Detection1

In assembly mode you get “Interference Detection” and “Proximity” available. Here is an example of “interference Detection”.

If you ever design something where keeping an area clear of other object is essential “Interference Detection” might just be the tool you will appreciate.

On the picture above you will see the square frame has been selected for true interference.

Interference Detection2

And you really have to put in an effort not to realize that the FeatureManager tree is NOT pleased when the basketball enters the “No Go” zone.

Conclusion

I think Sensors in Solidworks is one of those functions you easily can forget about if you do not have a regular use for them. Yet I think you will agree with me that they can be a pretty fabulous tool to throw around at your design at times.

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