Equations galore

Note: I completely rewrote and updated this post. Read the new version here.

SolidWorks equations are underappreciated.

By using equations, you can make your model more adaptive to changes. You can make it smarter.

Furthermore, you can use equations to evaluate values or mathematical functions, suppress features or use them in custom properties. Even nested IF statements are a possibility.

Using equations to drive a model
Create a smart model using equations

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Creating drawings with individual weldment sections

Note: An updated version of this post can be found here.

Once you have learned how to use weldments, you will wonder how you have done without them for so long.

You can quickly sketch, build up and redesign complex frames made from standard pipes and beams. A single drawing will usually suffice.

But sometimes, you just want to create a detailed drawing for one or more weldment sections. Here’s how.

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Customizing the bill of materials quantity

Parametric 3D CAD makes the life of the engineer so much better.

It doesn’t necessarily make it easier, nor does the first iteration of a design go much faster. But revisions will happen. And when they do, parametric designs will certainly be updated significantly quicker than 2D AutoCAD designs or drawings by hand.

But sometimes you just want to do something that was a piece of cake when drawn by hand. Adding a few milliliters of oil to the bill of materials (BOM) of a gearbox assembly  is such a matter.

It can be done however. I’ll show you how to do it manually and by using the API.

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Turning a radius dimension into a diameter

An updated version of this post can be found at the CAD Booster blog.

In my first years, suppliers frequently came back to me with questions and missing dimensions. One time I received the remark: “Why is there a radius dimension on the drawing when a diameter would be more useful? I can’t believe you let your software determine what you can or can’t do.”

I told him he had a point, but that I couldn’t change the dimension to a diameter. Turns out I was wrong.

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How to get started with SolidWorks macros

Note: I completely rewrote and updated this post. Read the new version here.

Did you ever have to do some extremely boring task over and over again in SolidWorks?

Jobs like creating 2D drawings of hundreds of sheet metal parts. Or assignments like exporting all fifty configurations of a part separately.

Oh by the way, could you also write down the mass of each configuration?

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How to fix non-functioning macro buttons

Macros can be great for replacing repetitive manual labor (usually in the form of mindless clicking) with robotized micro-tasks. If you can think of a task that you have to do often enough and if it can be standardized, you can probably automate it.

You can even add buttons to your SolidWorks toolbar. But sometimes they just stop working. I get a help request for this every week or so. Luckily the solution is very simple.

Macro buttons
My macro buttons

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