SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS


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

                                                                              How to Link Variables in SOLIDWORKS PDM to a Newly Created Drawing

                                                                              Jodi Degenaer by Jodi Degenaer on September 8, 2017

                                                                              Often times, linking the variables in SOLIDWORKS PDM (Product Data Management) to newly created drawings can seem like a puzzle with a piece or two missing. Fortunately, this can be mitigated by arming yourself with a step-by-step system that I’ve found to be very useful.

                                                                              In this blog, I’ll take you through the steps to easily link variables in SOLIDWORKS PDM to newly created files. Let’s get started.

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                                                                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                SOLIDWORKS Network Licensing: Installing/Upgrading the SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager on the Server

                                                                                Jon Sauerbrey by Jon Sauerbrey on September 1, 2017

                                                                                SOLIDWORKS-Network-Licensing-Installing-Upgrading-the-SOLIDWORKS-SolidNetWork-License-Manager-on the-Server-1Our technical support department often gets questions from customers regarding installing and upgrading processes. Depending on the situation, this can be an extensive support case. This blog is going to take you through the entire process and instructions for installing/upgrading the SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork license manager on the server.

                                                                                Before installing, upgrading, or reinstalling the SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Server, you must first check the system requirements and review the “SOLIDWORKS Network License Server section. Now let’s get started.

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                                                                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                  How to Create a Custom OCR Dictionary in SOLIDWORKS Inspection

                                                                                  Nady Osmat by Nady Osmat on August 25, 2017

                                                                                  How-to-Create-a-Custom-OCR-Dictionary-in-SOLIDWORKS-Inspection-1Inspection software aids tremendously with the creation of quality control and planning documentation. If you are using the standalone version of SOLIDWORKS Inspection to balloon PDF or Tiff files and create inspection reports, you may run into a situation where the drawing you received has a non-standard font. This may result in inaccurate extraction of dimensions and/or notes.

                                                                                  Keep reading to learn how to avoid this issue and gain a quick tip on how to fix the problem.

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                                                                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                    A Quick Lesson on SOLIDWORKS Treehouse

                                                                                    Ken LaVictor by Ken LaVictor on August 2, 2017

                                                                                    Often when I teach SOLIDWORKS training classes, my students will ask me what the best way is to copy an assembly in order to ‘reuse’ the design. Though there are a few ways to easily copy existing assemblies, I find that the best method is through a tool that was introduced a couple of years ago called SOLIDWORKS Treehouse.

                                                                                    In this blog, I’ll give a quick lesson on what SOLIDWORKS Treehouse is, and how it can save you time when creating a design.

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                                                                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                      Tech Tip: The difference between a sheet format and a drawing template in SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                      Matt Haywood by Matt Haywood on July 7, 2017

                                                                                      Almost every SOLIDWORKS user has the need to insert a unique company title block into the SOLIDWORKS drawing template. In this blog, we’ll discuss a few handy strategies that will streamline your process. Understanding the terms “Sheet Format” and “Drawing Template” in SOLIDWORKS terminology will be central to your success. Although they might look the same on the screen, they have distinctly different jobs within the SOLIDWORKS file infrastructure.

                                                                                      In general drawing templates are used to start a new drawing. A sheet format is an overlay or title block that we might see on the initial drawing template, but it can be hidden. Also, sheet formats are useful on multi-page drawings as you might want a different looking title block on subsequent pages in a multi-page drawing. Before we get to saving anything, let’s make sure we cover some background information. Here’s an outline of the topics we will cover.

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                                                                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, ELECTRICAL, SOLIDWORKS PCB

                                                                                        How to Insert a Printed Circuit Board in SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                        Ken Reinert by Ken Reinert on June 14, 2017

                                                                                        As I was walking around town recently, I noticed a woman pushing a baby stroller that had USB ports. Her phone was plugged into one and a travel mug was plugged into another. It occurred to me that so many things today are designed with a printed circuit board, even something like a baby stroller.

                                                                                        Designers today have to consider not only the aesthetics of products, but how to integrate all the electronics that go with it. Trying to document that integration can be challenging without the proper tools. When you select the “Insert Printed Circuit Board” icon in SOLIDWORKS Electrical, you are given four options. Keep reading to find out what each of those options mean.

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

                                                                                          What's New in SP3.0: Import SOLIDWORKS BOMs Into SOLIDWORKS Composer

                                                                                          Sean O’Neill by Sean O’Neill on May 26, 2017

                                                                                          A few weeks ago, I was teaching a rather large SOLIDWORKS Composer class. It was comprised of ten students, all hailing from one of our larger customers. With each passing lesson on how to make their product assembly instructions more decipherable and their product exploded views much quicker/lighter, I couldn't help but notice them giving those "where have you been all my life" eyes.

                                                                                          While discussing bill of materials (BOM) tables, one of our more actively-involved students asked a very intuitive question: "Can we import our bill of materials from our SOLIDWORKS files into SOLIDWORKS Composer?" My answer then was different than my answer today because of a great timesaving enhancement to SOLIDWORKS Composer 2017 SP3.0.

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                                                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                            How to Use the ‘Pack and Go’ File Management Feature in SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                            Matt Haywood by Matt Haywood on May 15, 2017

                                                                                            In my opinion, one of the better file management features in SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD is Pack and Go, which was introduced around 2007. Included in every release of SOLIDWORKS since then, this feature is still very useful today.  I’ve been providing SOLIDWORKS tech support for nearly 14 years and it’s fun to show unsuspecting users Pack and Go.

                                                                                            In this blog, I’ll take you through two scenarios:

                                                                                            1. Duplication of a data set for sharing or repurposing
                                                                                            2. Organizing a data set by renaming multiple files simultaneously

                                                                                            It’s true that these tasks can be done outside of Pack and Go, but I think you’ll find that through the use of Pack and Go, these processes will be completed faster and you will have fewer problems with mixed up file references.

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

                                                                                              Using Custom Search Columns to Create Simple Reports from PDM Searches

                                                                                              Peer Larson by Peer Larson on May 10, 2017

                                                                                              It can often be very useful to collect information about your files from a high level, such as if you were interested to learn the internal PDM Document ID or who in your department approved what when.

                                                                                              You can use custom search columns to change how a search card displays information and then export your search results to Microsoft Excel. This can also be useful when tracking project management documents, as you can have all of your relevant fields show in the PDM search card and then export those results to Microsoft Excel for easy portability and communication.

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

                                                                                                How to Deal with Fixture Warnings in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

                                                                                                Drew Buchanan by Drew Buchanan on May 3, 2017

                                                                                                How-to-Deal-with-Fixture-Warnings-in-SOLIDWORKS-Simulation-00You sit down at your desk to finalize the design for a new product you are working on. You want to verify that the product does not fail under loading, and expect the finite element model to be fairly easy to set up and run.  However, much to your chagrin you run the model and a warning pops up.

                                                                                                If you have been working with SOLIDWORKS Simulation for a long time, you most likely have seen this warning box before. In today’s blog I will show a handy tool which can remedy this issue very quickly. It should be noted that all tips in today’s blog pertain to a traditional Linear Static Analysis, which is available in SOLIDWORKS Premium,  SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard, SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional, and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium.

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