SOLIDWORKS Bill of Materials

Bill of materials tables are important aspects of any engineering drawing since they identify the number and type of parts present in an assembly, and very many other important aspects of the design. With the Bill of materials feature the designer can also quickly note the materials making up the parts and the number of parts required and therefore come up with the appropriate inventory list. I went with the simple assembly below to demonstrate this capability. We are first required to make a drawing of the assembly in order to insert the BOM table and edit the title block

Creating a knurl pattern in SOLIDWORKS

Surfaces on machine parts sometimes require a rough finish so as to enhance grip when held by the hand. Knowing how to create a knurl impression becomes useful so that a machinist knows when to emboss such a feature on a pattern. There are several ways in which you can create a knurl impression on a part but none works better than a good old fashion cut. Let’s begin by creating a part onto which we can emboss the feature.

SOLIDWORKS Beam Calculator

The beam calculator feature inside Solidworks allows designers examine the effects of forces acting on supported beams. To begin the analysis we first have to enable the Solidworks toolbox add-in inside Solidworks add-ins folder. Enabling this add-in incorporates the beam calculator, Cam design, Bearing calculator and the structural steel design under the toolbox folder. The designer can now be able to run the beam calculator based off the different beam designs i.e.

Solidworks Assembly constraints

Constraints are the most important features of an assembly since they limit the degrees of freedom of a part allowing the designer to specify movability of the part. Several mate constraints exist within Solidworks ranging from simple standard mate constraints like coincident mates that constrains two surfaces to each other, concentric mates that constrains two cylindrical parts to move along the same axis to mechanical mates like cam, slot, hinge and gear mates. I will do some simple mates to illustrate this capability inside Solidworks.

Creating custom appearances in SOLIDWORKS

SOLIDWORKS is a quite versatile CAD modelling software and one of its advantages is that it allows the user to create custom features. An example is the custom form tool feature that allows a designer to create a custom forming tool from a part file in a shape created to suit the designer’s needs. This makes the software useful especially when what one requires is not in the design library. In this demo, I will be taking you through how to create your own custom appearance based on a jpeg or jpg file.

Inserting a pinned support during simulation

Sometimes in Simulation of structural beams, one is required to define different end supports. One particular end support common in most beam analysis is the simply supported beam, i.e a beam fixed at one end and which has a pinned support on the opposite end. So how do we define such kind of supports? Well in the following simple steps, you will be able to set up such supports. First, we need to create our beam part in SOLIDWORKS. A beam with a rectangular cross-section like the one shown above should do just fine.

Working with planes in SOLIDWORKS

One very useful skill to have when working in SOLIDWORKS is working with planes. These set of skills comes in handy when working on parts that require you to insert planes in absurd orientations. Knowing your way around setting up of planes, therefore, becomes a necessary skill. In this demo, I will be taking you through how to work with planes. Go into SOLIDWORKS and create a new sketch. This prompts you to select one of the pre-existing planes so as to create a sketch.

Modelling a golf ball in SOLIDWORKS

Because of SOLIDWORKS superior modelling techniques, then a number of parts with complex shapes is possible. In this particular tutorial, I will be taking you through how to model a Golf ball in SOLIDWORKS. First, we need to create the dome-like structure representing the golf ball. Next, we create one of the golf ball holes with which we will be able to create a pattern of. Do a revolved cut to create the hole.

Creating Section Views

Section views in many CAD modelling software are useful in revealing internal features of a part some of which may be obscured. Features like sunk holes with varying diameters at different depths may be difficult to identify unless with the help of section views. SOLIDWORKS is able to create section views based of the multi-views of a part (front, side or plan view). Section views can either be
  • Half section
  • Full section
A full section involves using a cutting plane perpendicular to a given view cutting the view into two halves.

Projection Curve Tool in SOLIDWORKS

The projection curve tool is used to project a curve from a plane to a surface in SOLIDWORKS. This projected curve can then be extruded or trimmed depending on the purpose of the projection. How to use the projection curve – First, we have to start by importing a part into the graphic area or creating a component. The next step is to create a plane in reference to the surface we would be projecting on.