Five (5) of my Favourite SolidWorks Features Used in the Past Weeks #SolidWorks

It’s been a hectic few weeks!


I’ve been involved in the resurrection of the Sydney SolidWorks Usergroup which has been dormant for a few years!  As I was unsure on how the initial meeting was going to go I thought it best that I prepare a few Presentations!  The first:  SolidWorksGetting Help, Keeping Informed and Other Ways to Network that covered what I read, who I listen to and whom I follow in an endeavour to stay SolidWorks educated! 


I thought I should also share a few of my favourite SolidWorks 2012 features that I had been using over the past few week!


Five of my most favourite SolidWorks 2012 Features!


1: You don’t even have to get too far into the system to find the first! 

Pin Files to Recent Documents.  

I’ve only just started using this over the past few months (slow learner I know!) but I’ve learned the joy of Pinning my Assembles that I’m currently working with!   


2: Tab to Hide Feature.

Borrowed from another Dassult Systemes product – 3DVIA it is one of those features which has changed how I work!    I covered this early this year : Hide – An Accidental Short Cut Discovery


3: Bend Tables  

I’m fortunate that I deal with some very good Sheet metal, laser cut, computer fold companies.  I can get away with suppling a layout drawing, a 3D model and a dxf file! But lately I discovered the joys of Bend Tables.

Pre 2012 when you inserted a Flat Pattern with bend information it could be a little all over the place.   The more complicated the part, the more difficult to position the information and read!


However with SolidWorks 2012 the Bend Tables feature was introduced.  The Bend Tables are not standard on the Table Tool Bar (I really should add to my Tables Tool Bar!)


They can be found by RMB Select > Tables


Or Insert > Tables


The Bend Table shown.  Cleaner and easier to read the Bend Information


4:Copy and Paste from DraftSight into SolidWorks.

This was introduce in DraftSight in V1R2 (previous release from this week new release) I know about this for all the wrong reasons! (Reasons I don’t want to go into now. It may end in a very ugly rant)


To copy and paste. Start a new sketch (in SolidWorks) on the required face.


Make the required selection from the DraftSight drawing. Copy – Ctrl C


Paste – Ctrl V into the sketch in SolidWorks. It can be a bit random of where it will
paste the sketch. Use the More Entities to position the sketch then add relationships/ dimension to fully define the sketch  


5: Auto-Rotate View Normal To when selecting a new sketch  

This was automatic when you started a new Part and selected the first plane.  So it was nice to see it introduced in 2012 for every sketch.  For it to be used for every sketch it needs to be set in Options>Sketch


There are times however that I don’t prefer that orientation!


Although not new to 2012 this is still is a favourite trick!

You can set the orientation by Selecting the face (1) (you require Normal To) then holding Ctrl and selecting the direction top(2).  Then Select Normal To (on the Orientation Box)


Which gives you this result!


That’s it!  Five of my most used and favourite feature over the past few weeks!  What are yours?

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