5 Rules For Better Solidworks Models
Looking to improve your Solidworks Skills. Here are a few of the requirements that we use at Tamarisk to make sure our CAD models are robust, efficient, and scalable. This especially hold true as the scope of the projects move past just one designer and are worked on by a team of contributors.
1 Make Sure that ALL of your sketches are defined.
Having features inside of your model that are generated by undefined sketch elements can lead to the sketch being inadvertently changed without knowing it. It also runs the risk that updates made to the model may make undesired changes in other parts of the model that have coupled relationships.
Solidworks makes this easy to identify by highlighting all undefined elements in blue and all defined elements in black Additionally there will be a "-" next to all solidworks sketches in the history tree that are not fully defined.
2 Avoid using the fixed constraint
In almost all cases the use of fixing either a sketch element or a component in an assembly is a sign that some corner has been cut.
3 Use a part numbering system
As assemblies start to scale and the number of projects in your vault or drive begin to accumulate, it quickly becomes unmanageable to only use short names to keep track of what is what. No matter what system you use (usually simple is better), we highly recommend that you implement a part numbering system of some kind. When it comes time to turn your digital design into a manufactured design this will pay serious dividends.
4 Use coincident origins for at least one part in the assembly
By default when you import your first component into a solidworks assembly, it will fix the part in whatever orientation you place it. This is often not a great starting point for creating models that are easy to interact with. Chances are this part is not aligned with the origin of the assembly. We recommend that you take the extra step to align the origin of at least one component in the assembly with the assemblies own origin. Equally as effective is to logically align features of at least one component in the assembly with the assemblies planes.
5 When possible, there should only be one physical part in a part file
Designing a welded frame constructed out of multiple tube sections? It maybe tempting to design each of the tubes inside of one part file to reduce the overhead of generating your CAD model. In general though, this is considered a shortcut that will a create problems when it comes time to generate your manufacturing files by causing exceptions in how costs are accounted for, BOM management, and inventory management.
This will also lead to parts with shorter design history trees and accordingly fewer dependencies that can cause problems.