SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS


  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

    How to Make a Cube in SOLIDWORKS

    Sean O'Neill by Sean O'Neill on March 18, 2019

    how to make a cube in solidworks blogAh, the cube. It’s such a fundamental geometric shape that SOLIDWORKS decided to incorporate it as part of its own logo. It might not be the most exciting shape to create, but everyone has to start somewhere, right? And besides, it doesn’t have to be boring, right? ‘Right’ - on both counts! In this blog post, we’ll go through the most straightforward way of making a cube in SOLIDWORKS. Then, I’ll show you some other ways to make and manipulate cubes. One or two of these ways might seem silly, and that’s OK. The goal is to expose you to different ways of doing the same thing, in an ultimate effort to expand your SOLIDWORKS toolkit. Let’s get started. 

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    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

      Effective Usage of the SOLIDWORKS PDM File Version Upgrade Tool

      Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on March 13, 2019

      Upgrade ToolSo you’ve recently upgraded to SOLIDWORKS PDM but now all of your assemblies are taking forever to open. Why? Isn’t a new version supposed to be better and faster? Well, you’ve upgraded the software version, but not the SOLIDWORKS files. Every time you open models in SOLIDWORKS they will need to be converted to the newest version. This can be especially frustrating if they’re released files, so you can’t just check them out, update, and check them back in. Now every time you open the same file, it’s upgrading and therefore taking much longer.  Fear not! There is a solution called the File Version Upgrade tool. It is important to plan and run the tool responsibly. That’s where this blog comes in. Let’s get started.

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      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

        Take Control of Your SOLIDWORKS Network Licenses Using Options Files

        Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on March 11, 2019

        SOLIDWORKS Network LicensesSOLIDWORKS Network Licenses allow companies to let users share licenses between each other to make better use of the licenses that they own. But sometimes, it can feel a bit like you’re playing tug-of-war.   

        Let me introduce you to the SOLIDWORKS Network License options file. Options files allow you to control who can get what licenses and for how long. This allows organizations to ensure licenses are available to the users who need them and the end of the tug-of-war game for your licenses.

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        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

          How to Create a Sandbox Vault in SOLIDWORKS PDM

          Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on February 21, 2019

          sandbox vaultIt is very important after creating a vault in SOLIDWORKS PDM and going live to not try and make changes on the fly. Any changes should always be tested in a Sandbox vault (or test vault) first before carrying them over to your production vault. The steps it takes to create a Sandbox vault are effortless and you’ll be happy you took the time to create it. Making changes outside of a sandbox vault can cause irreversible setbacks. Here’s how it’s done.

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          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

            How to Change Units in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

            Nathan Sneller by Nathan Sneller on February 12, 2019

            how to change units in solidworks simulationChanging units in SOLIDWORKS CAD itself is easy. If you’re working in inches but need to enter a metric dimension, it’s as simple as typing the dimensions with the units after it. Ever since the units dropdown was added to the bottom right of the graphics window, it couldn’t be easier. You can change the default units in a part drawing or assembly without accessing a special window or settings page. It’s so seamless; you can make a part in millimeters, make a drawing in inches, and an assembly in meters without any trouble.

            Using SOLIDWORKS Simulation isn’t the same as using SOLIDWORKS CAD, so here are some tips for managing and changing units, significant figures (the accuracy of the number), and whether the units are displayed in scientific notation or standard notation.

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              Where is my SOLIDWORKS Design Library?

              Nathan Sneller by Nathan Sneller on January 28, 2019

              where is my solidworks design libraryNearly every year when I teach a course on SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal to students at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I have to field a handful of concerns regarding the SOLIDWORKS design library. The two most common being “my design library is missing,” or SOLIDWORKS is asking “Are you trying to make a derived part” when trying to use forming tools. Admittedly, it’s rather frustrating to try and use a design library when it’s not available or doesn’t work properly.

              The issue these students have is always the same and can be remedied with a three-part solution. In this blog, I’ll cover those three steps to enable forming tools when they aren’t available. Let’s get started.

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                Top 10 SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks of 2018

                Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on January 25, 2019

                solidworks tips and tricksRegardless if you’re new to SOLIDWORKS or are a power user, learning about new tools or enhancements that allow you to design faster or easier is always a plus. We posted a ton of tutorials and SOLIDWORKS tips and tricks in 2018 on a range of different subjects to help you achieve your design goals. Let’s take a look back on the top 10.

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                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                  Leveraging the Where Used Tab in SOLIDWORKS PDM for Standard Parts & Toolbox Components

                  Jenny Johnson by Jenny Johnson on January 3, 2019

                  Where used tab Do you ever need to know the specific where used of your parts with configurations in SOLIDWORKS PDM? Have you explored the options on the Where Used Tab?

                  Depending on how you have your dropdown configured, you could be missing out on important information. If you select a file in SOLIDWORKS PDM and choose the Where Used Tab are you presented with many different options on how to filter the where used information. In this blog, we’re going to explore those options. Let’s get started.

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                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                    Using XML documents as Templates in SOLIDWORKS PDM

                    Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on December 27, 2018

                    XML DocumentsXML Templates afford the most flexibility in styling your documents. With this method, the XML can be copied and repeated, while there will only be one associated XSLT file in the SOLIDWORKS PDM vault. The XSLT utilized Extensible Stylesheet Language to transform an XML file into a styled format for display and printing. It is important to note that the document can only be edited from the data card.

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                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                      Using Excel as a Reporting Tool in SOLIDWORKS PDM

                      Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on November 30, 2018

                      SOLIDWORKS PDM AdminSome SOLIDWORKS PDM administrators want to gain more use of their data. Installing and using Reporting in SQL Server can be very powerful, but it requires a foundation of knowledge in setting up reports, permissions, and additional installations that some companies are not willing to give a PDM administrator.

                      SOLIDWORKS PDM can also generate reports using the Report Generator, but it can only deliver the results in table format. Reporting in Excel can be more flexible and allow you to analyze the data with formulas and graphs without the need for installing and setting up the SQL Server Reporting Services. There are a few ways to import SQL data into Excel, but this is one way it can be done.

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                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                        Replacing Control Logic with a Tab Control: SOLIDWORKS PDM Tech Tip

                        Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on November 2, 2018

                        Control LogicControl Logic is a powerful tool for use in SOLIDWORKS PDM, but it does come with its limitations. Control Logic conditions can only be assigned to one control at a time. This means that if you have many controls that need to be shown or hidden at once, each one will need to be individually set up with Control Logic.

                        Also, there isn’t a tooltip or other visual aid when editing a data card that would let the administrator know that Control Logic has been used. This can be frustrating if more than one administrator is modifying the data cards. The only way to see that Control Logic was employed is to enter the correct interface from each control on the card.

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                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, ELECTRICAL

                          How to Import Symbols into SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic

                          Ken Reinert by Ken Reinert on October 29, 2018

                          SOLIDWORKS Electrical SchematicIf you’ve used SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic Professional or Standard then you know how easy it is to develop your electrical systems thanks to the integrated library database which houses thousands of symbols and tools that can be used throughout your design. However, it is sometimes necessary to import a symbol into the symbol library in lieu of creating a symbol from scratch or modifying an existing symbol.

                          In this quick tip, I’ll show you how to import symbols into SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic quickly and easily so you can continue your electrical design without a hitch. Let’s get started.

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                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                            SOLIDWORKS Simulation Tutorial: Using the Soft Spring Method

                            Drew Buchanan by Drew Buchanan on October 24, 2018

                            SOLIDWORKS Simulation tutorialImagine it’s 4:48 PM on a Friday and you’re running a static simulation in SOLIDWORKS Simulation when this message pops up, “Model may not have adequate fixtures.” As you slam your fist against your desk, you wonder if you’re going to be able to get this analysis finished in time. In this SOLIDWORKS Simulation tutorial, I’m going to show you a great new technique to overcome this pesky error and help you get the simulation results you need in order to meet your deadlines!

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                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                              Deleting Already Used Workflows and States in SOLIDWORKS PDM

                              Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on October 15, 2018

                              workflows and statesIf you’re a SOLIDWORKS PDM Administrator, you have most likely run into this issue: You need to change your workflow but if you try to delete a workflow state and save you get the dreaded message “The workflow was successfully saved but some states could not be deleted since there are files that are or have been in those states.”

                              The reason this is strictly controlled is because of the file history. If the file is ever rolled back to the point in time it was in that workflow state, it needs to exist.

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                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                How to Make a Sphere in SOLIDWORKS

                                Sean O'Neill by Sean O'Neill on October 3, 2018

                                how to make a sphere in solidworksHistorically, whenever I’ve taught our SOLIDWORKS Essentials training class, I’ve imparted to following advice: Let’s start simple and let’s start with the basics. Oh, but you design airplanes? Dredging systems? Floor plans? To me, it doesn’t really matter. You can’t skip steps. If you start out small, you can scale your skills swiftly.

                                Figuratively-speaking, that means you should start with primitives. In computer programming, this means understanding data types like integers (1, 5, 17, etc.) and strings (“Hello world!”) first of all. In 3D CAD modeling, this means learning the primitive shapes, like how to model cubes and how to model spheres in SOLIDWORKS.

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                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                  Installing the SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard Server

                                  Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on September 27, 2018

                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                  Installing the SOLIDWORKS PDM Client

                                  Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on September 24, 2018

                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                  How to Scale in SOLIDWORKS

                                  Sean O'Neill by Sean O'Neill on September 21, 2018

                                  how to scale in solidworksSay you just modeled a sheet metal bracket and it has a couple of cuts and some flanges on its end. Now you have to make another one that is exactly twice as large as well as another that is half the current size. How would one accomplish this? Well, just like all things in SOLIDWORKS there are multiple ways to do so. One way is using the Scale tool which I’ll discuss the benefits and disadvantages of - at a practical level - in this blog post. Let’s take a look at how to scale in SOLIDWORKS.

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                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                    How to Mirror a Part in SOLIDWORKS

                                    Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on August 17, 2018

                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                    Adding Serial Numbers to Your SolidNetWork License Manager

                                    Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on August 14, 2018

                                    SolidNetWork License ManagerThe SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager (SNL) is responsible for managing and distributing all of your SOLIDWORKS Licenses. This includes Network licenses, Network add-on licenses, and all SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard and SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional licenses.

                                    If you find yourself in the position where you have received a new license and need to add this license number to the SNL, the steps below will walk you through the process of adding and activating your new SOLIDWORKS license.  Let's dive in and take a look.

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                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                      How to Change Material in SOLIDWORKS: Customized and Standard

                                      Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on August 10, 2018

                                      how to change material in SOLIDWORKSWelcome back to my how-to blog series, where I’ve been discussing common questions from new SOLIDWORKS users. In my first blog, I showed how to make a screw in SOLIDWORKS, in my second blog we took that same model and I demonstrated some tips and tricks while making a helix, and in my third blog, I showed how to make basic and custom threads in SOLIDWORKS. Today we’re going to talk about how to change material in SOLIDWORKS and I have some useful hacks on how to make them customizable to your specifications. Let’s get started.

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                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                        How to Make Threads in SOLIDWORKS: Basic and Custom

                                        Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on August 3, 2018

                                        make threads in SOLIDWORKSWelcome back to part three of my “how-to” blog series. In part one of this series I showed how to make a screw in SOLIDWORKS, and in part two I showed how to make a helix in SOLIDWORKS. In today’s blog, we’re going to take a look at how to make threads in SOLIDWORKS. The good news is that ever since the release of SOLIDWORKS 2016, the process couldn’t be easier. There are basic threads and custom threads. I’ll show you how to make both. Let’s get started.

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                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                          How to Make a Helix in SOLIDWORKS

                                          Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on July 27, 2018

                                          make a helix in solidworksWelcome back to my “how-to” blog series. In this blog, I demonstrate how to make a helix in SOLIDWORKS. One of the most common applications for making a helix is in order to cut threads onto a model - and that’s exactly what I’m going to cover today. In my last blog, I demonstrated how to make a screw in SOLIDWORKS, and to continue with this blog series, I’m going to be working with that same model. Let’s get started.

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                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                            How to Make a Screw in SOLIDWORKS

                                            Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on July 20, 2018

                                            make a screw in SOLIDWORKSFor today’s tech tip we’re going to talk about how to make a screw in SOLIDWORKS. This is the first in a series that will cover the process - we’re going to start out by making the head of the screw, we’re then going to create a helix, followed by sweeping some threads along that helix, then we’re going to assign the material to the screw, and finally we’ll create both a left hand a right-hand version of the screw. Let’s get started.

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                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                              Simplified Configurations and Working with Large Assemblies in SOLIDWORKS

                                              Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on July 6, 2018

                                              Simplified ConfigurationsLarge assemblies in SOLIDWORKS can often be slow to open, slow to save, and slow to work with, and throughout this blog series, we’ve been exploring different options one can take to help with lag, locking up, and wait time. In this blog, we’re going to continue talking about large assemblies that are slow to work with and working with simplified configurations.

                                              I often like to say that there is no silver bullet when it comes to working with large assemblies, it’s really a combination of a lot of different settings, but if there was one silver bullet it would be to learn how to utilize working with simplified configurations. Overly detailed models in your top-level assembly will significantly slow down your assembly performance and overly detailed models in your top level assembly are the number one contributor to lag.

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                                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                How to create Manual Configurations and Design Tables in SOLIDWORKS

                                                Madison Bryce by Madison Bryce on June 21, 2018

                                                manual configurationHave you ever needed to create a series of parts that were similar but slightly different in a few features, dimensions, colors, etc? In SOLIDWORKS, you can easily create a part then configure it to the exact specifications necessary for the other parts without the tedious recreation process. In this blog, we will use K’NEX pieces to demonstrate this process.

                                                This is the first in a series of two blogs based on configurations modeled by K’NEX. Today we will discuss how to manually configure K’NEX connectors and then how to use a design table in SOLIDWORKS to configure K’NEX rods. In part two, we will discuss how to configure a K’NEX assembly and how to use tools like DriveWorks to create configurations. Let’s get started.

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                                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                  SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Tutorial: Fluid Flow Problems

                                                  Drew Buchanan by Drew Buchanan on June 15, 2018

                                                  Flow Simulation tutorial

                                                  Testing fluid flow problems used to be a fairly complicated and difficult process to execute. With the advent of technology, you can now run fluid flow problems virtually. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been around for the past 30 years, and it has become even more user-friendly and powerful than it was 30 years ago.

                                                  One of the most common questions I hear from users new to CFD is how do I get started? In this SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation tutorial, I am laying out how to prepare a model for a fluid flow problem. Let's get started. 

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                                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                                    Improve Your Archery Game with SOLIDWORKS PDM Tasks

                                                    Peer Larson by Peer Larson on June 8, 2018

                                                    SOLIDWORKS PDM Tasks If you’re like me, then you like archery. There’s a lot to like about it - the serenity of nature, the simplicity of a bow and arrow, and the cool morning breeze as you line up your shot. While there are many of you out there that are far better at it than I am, we can all agree that practice is the key item that makes good archery possible. Also, a great excuse to do it more.

                                                    So how does SOLIDWORKS PDM play into this? As it turns out, there are a number of factors that can get in the way of our precious practice time. One of them being work; specifically tedious and repetitive work. We’ve all dreaded those late nights and weekends where we have to open hundreds or thousands of drawings, check a standard or property, and make a simple adjustment all before release day (or ISO inspection day) - usually Monday morning. If this is a nightmare you’ve experienced, are soon dreading, or simply don’t wish to encounter you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get started.

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                                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                      SOLIDWORKS Tips for Large Assemblies That Are Slow to Work With

                                                      Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on June 1, 2018

                                                      SOLIDWORKS Large Assemblies In my SOLIDWORKS Large Assemblies blog series, I’ve talked about how large assemblies can be slow to open, slow to work with, and slow to save. Earlier in the series, we opened the assembly with a bunch of older version files and I was opening it from a network and it took seven minutes and thirty seconds to open. I went through the assembly and moved all the files to a location where they were getting the fastest possible data connection, opened all the files in a resolved state and made sure we had read/write access, we looked for any files with an unusually large file size and shrank those files, we resolved any errors in the assembly, sub-assemblies, and part files, and then we saved the assembly and all parts in the current version of SOLIDWORKS. After that, we closed the assembly and we toggled on the option to load components lightweight. I ended up cutting the total time down to just about twenty seconds just by following the steps talked about in previous blogs.

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                                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                        How to Leverage Animation Data from SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD Within SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional

                                                        Matt Haywood by Matt Haywood on May 25, 2018

                                                        SOLIDWORKS Visualize ProfessionalSOLIDWORKS Visualize, introduced to the SOLIDWORKS product suite in 2016, currently offers the option to export animation files from SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD to the SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional package. If you are running SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard, it will NOT be possible for you to render animation files. SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional is a requirement.

                                                        While it is possible to fully define your animation within the SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional interface, you might save some time by exporting your existing animation from SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD. You might also find that you are most familiar with the SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD commands for creating animations. In this blog, we will take a simple assembly from SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD, create a simple animation, and export to SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional with just a few easy steps.

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                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAM

                                                          SOLIDWORKS CAM Tutorial: Customizing Tools and Tool Cribs

                                                          Amanda Osbun by Amanda Osbun on May 18, 2018

                                                          SOLIDWORKS CAM tutorialSOLIDWORKS CAM is a great tool that helps eliminate repetitive manual tasks, reduce errors, and avoid unwanted and unexpected costs that prolong time to market time. However, I often hear from SOLIDWORKS CAM users challenges they face regarding tools and tool cribs.

                                                          In this blog, we’re going to look at customizing tools, creating and customizing tool cribs, as well as creating new tools using solid geometry. Let’s get started.

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                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                                            Are you sure it's a SOLIDWORKS PDM Permission?

                                                            Jodi Degenaer by Jodi Degenaer on April 27, 2018

                                                            PDM PermissionSOLIDWORKS PDM permissions can be tricky at times to the point where you don’t know for sure if the issue you are having is actually a permission issue at all. The best way to test if it’s permissions is to log in as the admin user and see if you can perform the action. If you can it’s a permission issue.

                                                            What permission could it be? In this blog, I’m covering a few tips where you might want to start looking. I also give a couple examples that demonstrate some common troubleshooting processes in looking for a permission.

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                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                              Slow SOLIDWORKS Load Time? Check This Setting

                                                              Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on April 5, 2018

                                                              Slow SOLIDWORKSTrying to work effectively with a slow SOLIDWORKS large assembly that is slow to open, slow to work with, and slow to save is frustrating and can cause unwanted setbacks. In this blog series, we’ve been covering different steps SOLIDWORKS users can take to avoid delays and make working with large assemblies a much smoother process.

                                                              In previous blogs, we’ve found that checking for errors and saving files on the most current version helped, as well as using the Automatically Load Components Lightweight option and checking your network for bottlenecks also made a significant impact. In this blog, I’m going to be showing you a certain setting that could be hurting load time and how to fix it so you’re no longer taking that lag.

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                                                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                                                Resetting the PDM Admin Password in SOLIDWORKS

                                                                Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on March 30, 2018

                                                                PDM Admin passwordA question I often hear from new SOLIDWORKS administrators is “how do I change the PDM Admin password in SOLIDWORKS?” When I hear this question, it’s usually for one of two reasons. Either, the administrator needs to change it to a more secure password, or the administrator has misplaced the password and needs to reset it.

                                                                In this blog, I demonstrate step-by-step instructions and tips on how to simply change the PDM Admin password. Let’s get started.

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                                                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                  Beginners Surfacing Breakout session at SOLIDWORKS World 2018

                                                                  Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on March 16, 2018

                                                                  Beginners SurfacingIn February of 2018 I was honored to be selected by to present at the annual SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2018 user conference. This year the conference was held in Los Angeles, California. My breakout session was focused on SOLIDWORKS Surfacing and was called “Beginners Surfacing for Beginners” and took place on Tuesday, February 6th at 10:30 AM.  It was attended by 181 SOLIDWORKS users.

                                                                  The goal of this presentation was to help users who have little or no experience with the SOLIDWORKS Surfacing tools get a better understanding of how and when surfaces can and should be utilized.  SOLIDWORKS Surfacing tools are a great addition to any SOLIDWORKS user’s toolbox, and I wanted to take this, often avoided area of SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software, and make it more accessible to newer users.

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                                                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                    SOLIDWORKS Multibody Parts Using “Hybrid” Sketching

                                                                    Jay-Shan Jackson by Jay-Shan Jackson on March 14, 2018

                                                                    SOLIDWORKS Multibody partOver the years I’ve had many opportunities to use SOLIDWORKS for different projects either for work, home, hobbies, teaching, and more. Working in the industry that I’m in you also tend to observe several habits for better or worse regarding design strategies. One habit that seems to be very consistent, is that people don’t seem to like 3D sketching.

                                                                    Of course, saying people don’t “like” 3D sketching is one of the biggest understatements of all time. It’s kind of like saying that the Ford Pinto wasn’t an “ideal” racecar. No, the truth of the matter is that people seem to fear and loathe 3D sketching, to the point that they’d rather find any other way to get their design done. Let’s change that. In order to help spread the word, I presented this at my SOLIDWORKS World 2018 breakout session, so if you weren’t able to make it to the last event then you’re in luck. Let’s take a look at what you missed.

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                                                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                      Introduction to SOLIDWORKS Mold Tools

                                                                      Chaz Stipkovic by Chaz Stipkovic on March 9, 2018

                                                                      SOLIDWORKS Mold ToolsAnother exciting SOLIDWORKS World event has come to a close, where over 5,000 SOLIDWORKS users attended and brought home new knowledge to incorporate into their everyday workflow. If you weren’t able to attend, or you’re new or unfamiliar with SOLIDWORKS Mold Tools, this blog is for you.

                                                                      SOLIDWORKS Mold Tools are available in SOLIDWORKS Standard, SOLIDWORKS Professional, and SOLIDWORKS Premium and is offered for online and classroom training from our training team. The following blog was presented by our own Fisher Unitech SOLIDWORKS Expert Chaz Stipkovic, adapted from his breakout session at SOLIDWORKS World 2018. Let’s take a look.

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                                                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                        Simplify Your SOLIDWORKS Custom Property Input with the Custom Properties Tab

                                                                        Rachael Buhl by Rachael Buhl on March 8, 2018

                                                                        SOLIDWORKSSOLIDWORKS World 2018 offered many different breakout sessions on an array of interesting subjects. However, if you weren’t able to make it to the Los Angeles, California event this past February doesn’t mean you should miss out on informative presentations. This blog covers what Fisher Unitech SOLIDWORKS Expert, Rachael Buhl, presented to users on how to simplify your custom property input with the custom properties tab.

                                                                        Properties are simply details about a file which can be searched, and even referenced by other files. There are Windows-based properties and SOLIDWORKS based properties. Windows-based properties, such as file size, date created, and date last modified can be seen by right-clicking a file in Windows Explorer and clicking Properties. SOLIDWORKS properties, on the other hand, are very customizable. They may include anything you need. Common examples are Description, Part Number, Weight, or Material, just to name a few.

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                                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                                                          What You Missed at SOLIDWORKS World: How to use SOLIDWORKS Treehouse and Templates to Create Assemblies Faster

                                                                          Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on February 27, 2018

                                                                          SOLIDWORKS TreehouseOne of the most highly anticipated events at a SOLIDWORKS World conference is being able to attend break-out sessions that are hosted by Certified SOLIDWORKS users on an array of different subjects. If you weren’t able to make it to this year’s conference then you’re in luck. This blog covers what Fisher Unitech SOLIDWORKS Expert Heather Dawe presented to users to show how SOLIDWORKS Treehouse and templates can be used to create assemblies faster.

                                                                          SOLIDWORKS Product Data Management (PDM) templates are one of the most commonly used automation processes in a PDM vault. They can be used for everything from creating new project folder sets, to writing ECO’s/ECR’s, to generating new SOLIDWORKS files. Many companies already use PDM Templates to create new project folder sets. These folders can be used to implement project-wide variables and can be populated with pre-designed template files to create a uniform, organized project folders. What a lot of users don’t know is that by using a little-known tool called SOLIDWORKS Treehouse, you can take your assembly to the next level and use you PDM templates to kick-start your project planning and create your assemblies quicker.

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                                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                                                            2 SOLIDWORKS Tips For Working with Large Assemblies

                                                                            Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on February 13, 2018

                                                                            SOLIDWORKS Large assembliesDo you often find that your SOLIDWORKS large assemblies are sluggish? Do you experience slow open time, lag, and a slow save time? If you do, you’re not alone, but there are several variables you may not have considered that could be causing this lackluster performance. In this blog series I’ve been covering each of those variables to help you get your SOLIDWORKS large assemblies opened, working, and saving faster.

                                                                            In my first blog, I showed several examples of a large assembly that was slow to open, slow to save, and slow to work with. We were able to remedy that by opening the assembly locally, we turned off shadows and shapes, real view, and changed the display to shaded. In part 2, I talked about network bottlenecks and the differences in hard drives and how those can affect how your large assembly performs. Part 3 introduced the “Automatically Load Components Lightweight” option in SOLIDWORKS and how to reduce the amount of data being opened. Continuing with that trend, today we’re going to talk about a couple of best practices for working with assemblies in general but especially with large assemblies.

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                                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                              Why You Should use the Automatically Load Components Lightweight Option in SOLIDWORKS

                                                                              Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on January 26, 2018

                                                                              TAutomatic Load Components Lightweightoday we’re going to talk about what we can do to reduce the amount of data being opened by using the automatically load components lightweight option. In my first blog we talked about SOLIDWORKS large assemblies that are slow to open, slow to work with, and slow to save, and in my previous blog I had a specific focus on how the assembly was slow to open taking approximately seven minutes and thirty seconds to open.

                                                                              What happens when opening an assembly in SOLIDWORKS is that information is moved from your fixed disc into RAM and the things that can affect how long it takes to open an assembly during this process are the data transfer speeds, how quickly the data can move from fixed disc into RAM, and the amount of data being opened. The first step we can take, I think, is pretty straight forward and that is we can examine our directory for unusually large part files. Each part file is going to be opened from fixed disc into RAM when you open an assembly. Therefore, if you have any unusually large part file size that’s 5 MB or more, you really want to open that part file and do what you can to reduce the overall file size, which is going to reduce the amount of data being loaded into RAM and make your assembly open more quickly.

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                                                                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                Help! My SOLIDWORKS Large Assembly is Slow to Open

                                                                                Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on January 19, 2018

                                                                                SOLIDWORKS large assemblies slow to open Welcome to part two of my “Large Assemblies and How to Make Them Faster in SOLIDWORKS” blog series. In this blog, I’ll be discussing different actions you can take to make your assemblies easier and faster to work with.

                                                                                Just a quick disclaimer: There are a lot of variables when it comes to working with large assemblies in SOLIDWORKS and when it comes to slow computer performance in general, so you want to make sure you realize that there may be instances outside the scope of these examples that you can do to also speed up your computer. Try rebooting regularly to make sure your RAM cache is clear or maybe learning about the topic of Windows and GDI. These are a few things that are a little more nuance that can definitely help you with large assemblies in SOLIDWORKS, but during this series I’m going to be giving specific examples I have found that help almost every user when it comes to large assembly performance. Let’s get started.

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                                                                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                  Large Assemblies and How to Make Them Faster in SOLIDWORKS (Part 1)

                                                                                  Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on January 12, 2018

                                                                                  SOLIDWORKS large assemblies The term large assembly is a bit subjective. I often ask my customers a handful of questions, such as does your assembly take a long time to open, save, or rebuild? Does your assembly take a long time to make a drawing or work with drawings, does it hang your computer when you rotate, insert components, edit parts, or when adding mates? If they’ve answered yes to some or all of these questions, then you’re probably working with large assemblies.

                                                                                  In this blog series, I’m going to talk about large assemblies and how to make them faster. For more SOLIDWORKS tips and tricks, join my free monthly webinar. Let’s get started.

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                                                                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                    SOLIDWORKS Frequently Asked Questions: Top 10 Tips and Tricks of 2017

                                                                                    Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on January 4, 2018

                                                                                    SOLIDWORKS Tech Tip-1“How do I do..?”, “What’s the difference between..?”, “Where do I find..?” These are all common phrases SOLIDWORKS and 3D Printing users start with when seeking answers to their questions. Often times, there is a question that is asked time and time again. In 2017, here at Fisher Unitech, we answered lots of questions and closed over 22,000 customer support cases. Some of the most popular questions we published on our blog. Here are the top ten SOLIDWORKS tech tips our readers searched for in 2017. Did you?

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                                                                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                      Forgotten SOLIDWORKS Tools and Reasons to Use Them

                                                                                      Jay-Shan Jackson by Jay-Shan Jackson on November 15, 2017

                                                                                      Within SOLIDWORKS, there are some useful tools and features that many users overlook or simply forget about during their daily grind. In this blog, I’ll be discussing one of my favorite additions to the software that is often forgotten about: SOLIDWORKS Up to Reference Patterns.

                                                                                      The SOLIDWORKS Up to Reference Patterns tool allow the user to create patterns that are driven by the geometry of their part. Conditions can be set for the spacing, number of instances, but references for where the instances are measured from as well as where they end. Up to Reference Patterns allow the user to create dynamic patterns that change with the size parameters of their part geometry. Keep reading to learn more about this useful tool and why you should start using it now.

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                                                                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                        Where is the SOLIDWORKS Command That Lets Me Do…

                                                                                        Paul Kutolowski by Paul Kutolowski on October 27, 2017

                                                                                        where-is-the-command-that-lets-me-doA common lament among new SOLIDWORKS users, and especially of those coming to SOLIDWORKS from another 3D CAD platform, is “Where is the command that lets me do..." You know the action you want to perform but you can’t remember where the command icon is located to let that happen.

                                                                                        SOLIDWORKS has a search tool for just such questions and coincidently it’s called “Search Commands”. In this blog, I’m going to give you a quick tip on where you can find this tool, how to use it, and how to keep it handy for further use.

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                                                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                          Bringing Flat Files into SOLIDWORKS to Create Models (Part 2): Pictures

                                                                                          David Janicki by David Janicki on October 13, 2017

                                                                                          This is the second part to a blog I wrote on how to bring flat files into SOLIDWORKS. In my first blog, I showed how to bring in drawings and DXF files. In this blog, I am going to show you how to bring in pictures.

                                                                                          If you’re a conceptual designer, just mocking drawings up on a whiteboard or napkin sketch, you may be wondering if it is possible to bring those 2D sketches or pictures into SOLIDWORKS. With the ability to directly import and size a picture, we are able to bring in our sketch-up and move through the process of part creation. Let’s get started.

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                                                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                            The Power and Value of the SOLIDWORKS Hole Wizard

                                                                                            James Reeher by James Reeher on September 29, 2017

                                                                                            The-Power-and-Value-of-the-SOLIDWORKS-Hole-Wizard-1I am often surprised to discover how many SOLIDWORKS users are not taking advantage of the SOLIDWORKS Hole Wizard and all the capabilities that it brings to the table. The SOLIDWORKS Hole Wizard provides a myriad of hole options from threaded and clearance holes to pipe threads, dowel holes and slots.

                                                                                            What many people don’t realize is that by using the SOLIDWORKS Hole Wizard you can automatically bring in your hole callouts into drawings, have the toolbox match the appropriate fastener size to the hole, and even have SOLIDWORKS automatically populate your holes with the correct fastener. If you do not use the Hole Wizard then you are manually performing all of these actions, which is a lot of extra design work that could be better spent on other tasks.  It’s time to work smarter, not harder.  Keep reading to learn more about the SOLIDWORKS Hole Wizard.

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                                                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                              Bringing flat files into SOLIDWORKS to create Models: Drawings and DXF Files

                                                                                              David Janicki by David Janicki on September 22, 2017

                                                                                              In the current state of CAD affairs, everyone is either using or has heard of 3D CAD. But for users who have been using a 2D system for many years and have an exorbitant amount of data, making the switch isn’t always as easy as deciding to.

                                                                                              Inside of SOLIDWORKS, there are a multitude of tools to help you take and convert your old 2D drawings, and begin to create 3D parametric models with them. In this blog, I’m going to take you through those steps to ensure none of your data gets left behind in this smooth and easy process.

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                                                                                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                                Removing Padlocks in the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal Area

                                                                                                Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on September 15, 2017

                                                                                                One of the most useful resources available to subscription service customers is the ability to access the SOLIDWORKS customer portal. From this section of SOLIDWORKS, users may access the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base, grab a copy of the full download of SOLIDWORKS, examine the API support, and get some great tips and tricks from the SOLIDWORKS community.

                                                                                                However, when first creating a SOLIDWORKS customer portal account, users may find themselves in a situation where many of these terrific resources are “padlocked” and the user is unable to access these sections of the customer portal. In this blog, we will explore how to properly register your software and remove these padlocks.

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