Mastering SolidWorks
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More About This Title Mastering SolidWorks


The complete SolidWorks reference-tutorial for beginner to advanced techniques

Mastering SolidWorks is the reference-tutorial for all users. Packed with step-by-step instructions, video tutorials for over 40 chapters, and coverage of little-known techniques, this book takes you from novice to power user with clear instruction that goes beyond the basics. Fundamental techniques are detailed with real-world examples for hands-on learning, and the companion website provides tutorial files for all exercises. Even veteran users will find value in new techniques that make familiar tasks faster, easier, and more organized, including advanced file management tools that simplify and streamline pre-flight checks.   

SolidWorks is the leading 3D CAD program, and is an essential tool for engineers, mechanical designers, industrial designers, and drafters around the world. User friendly features such as drag-and-drop, point-and-click, and cut-and-paste tools belie the software’s powerful capabilities that can help you create cleaner, more precise, more polished designs in a fraction of the time. This book is the comprehensive reference every SolidWorks user needs, with tutorials, background, and more for beginner to advanced techniques. 

  • Get a grasp on fundamental SolidWorks 2D and 3D tasks using realistic examples with text-based tutorials
  • Delve into advanced functionality and capabilities not commonly covered by how-to guides
  • Incorporate improved search, Pack-and-Go and other file management tools into your workflow
  • Adopt best practices and exclusive techniques you won’t find anywhere else

Work through this book beginning-to-end as a complete SolidWorks course, or dip in as needed to learn new techniques and time-saving tricks on-demand. Organized for efficiency and designed for practicality, these tips will remain useful at any stage of expertise. With exclusive coverage and informative detail, Mastering SolidWorks is the tutorial-reference for users at every level of expertise. 


Matt Lombard is the author of all six SolidWorks Bibles as well as several video tutorials and the blog. Since 1995 he has been a mechanical engineer, working in plastics design, microelectronic assembly, contract design, and CAD consultation. He uses SolidWorks every day in his job, and is known throughout the SolidWorks community.


Introduction xxxiii

Part I Introducing SolidWorks Basics 1

Chapter 1 Introducing SolidWorks 3

Installing SolidWorks for the First Time 3

Starting SolidWorks for the First Time 6

Identifying SolidWorks Documents 9

Understanding Feature-Based Modeling 15

Understanding History-Based Modeling 16

Sketching with Parametrics 19

Understanding Design Intent 21

Editing Design Intent 21

Working with Associativity 24

The Bottom Line 24

Chapter 2 Navigating the SolidWorks Interface 25

Identifying Elements of the SolidWorks Interface 25

Making the Interface Work for You 47

The Bottom Line 59

Chapter 3 Working with Sketches and Reference Geometry .61

Creating a New Part 61

Creating a Sketch 62

Identifying Sketch Entities 64

Driving Sketches with Smart Dimensions 83

Using Tools on the Dimensions/Relations Toolbar 86

Inferencing in Sketch 89

Exploring Sketch Settings 90

Using Sketch Blocks 92

Working with Reference Geometry 93

Tutorial: Learning to Use Sketch Relations 98

Tutorial: Using Blocks and Belts 102

Tutorial: Creating Reference Geometry 105

The Bottom Line 109

Chapter 4 Creating Simple Parts and Drawings 111

Discovering Design Intent 111

Creating a Simple Part 113

Creating a Simple Assembly 125

Creating a Simple Drawing 128

The Bottom Line 142

Chapter 5 Using Visualization Techniques 143

Manipulating the View 143

Using the View Tools 149

Using the DisplayManager 157

The Display Pane 173

Part II Building Intelligence into Your Parts 181

Chapter 6 Getting More from Your Sketches 183

Editing Sketch Relations 183

Getting More from Dimensions 189

Working with Sketch Entities 189

Using Sketch Pictures 193

Using Sketch Text 196

Using Colors and Line Styles with Sketches 198

Using Other Sketch Tools 199

Sketching in 3D 201

Tutorial: Editing and Copying 204

Tutorial: Controlling Pictures, Text, Colors, and Styles 208

Tutorial: Using Metadata 211

Tutorial: Sketching Calculator 212

The Bottom Line 214

Chapter 7 Modeling with Primary Features 217

Identifying When to Use Which Tool 217

Understanding Fillet Types 231

Using Chamfers 253

Tutorial: Bracket Casting 256

The Bottom Line 260

Chapter 8 Selecting Secondary Features 261

Creating Curve Features 261

Selecting a Specialty Feature 267

Tutorial: Creating a Wire-Formed Part 280

The Bottom Line 282

Chapter 9 Patterning and Mirroring 283

Patterning in a Sketch 283

Mirroring in a Sketch 289

Working with 3D Patterns 291

Understanding Pattern Types 295

Cosmetic Patterns 307

Mirroring 3D Solids 308

Tutorial: Creating a Circular Pattern 310

Tutorial: Mirroring Features 311

Tutorial: Applying a Cosmetic Pattern 313

The Bottom Line 314

Chapter 10 Using Equations 317

Understanding Equations 317

Using Global Variables 326

Using the Modify Box 327

Using Expressions 329

Controlling Suppression States of Features 329

Linking to External Equations 330

Tutorial: Using Equations 330

The Bottom Line 333

Chapter 11 Working with Part Configurations 335

Using Design Tables 355

Creating a Simple Design Table 357

Using the Configuration Publisher 364

Tutorial: Working with Configurations and Design Tables 365

The Bottom Line 368

Chapter 12 Editing, Evaluating, and Troubleshooting 371

Using Rollback 371

Reordering Features 378

Reordering Folders 379

Using the Flyout and Detachable FeatureManagers 380

Summarizing Part Modeling Best Practices 383

Using Design for Change 385

Using Evaluation Techniques 387

Troubleshooting Errors 397

Tutorial: Utilizing Editing and Evaluation Techniques 406

The Bottom Line 412

Part III Working with Assemblies 413

Chapter 13 Building Efficient Assemblies 415

Understanding the Purpose of Assemblies 415

Identifying the Elements of an Assembly 423

Using SpeedPaks 432

Using Subassemblies 433

Using Folders 438

Working with Tree Display Options 440

Tutorial: Arranging Assemblies 443

Tutorial: Managing the FeatureManager 446

The Bottom Line 447

Chapter 14 Getting More from Mates 449

Applying Mates 449

Mating for Motion 459

Working with Advanced and Mechanical Mate Types 462

Editing and Troubleshooting 471

Examining Mate Options 474

Reviewing Mate Best Practices 475

Tutorial: Mating for Success 477

The Bottom Line 480

Chapter 15 Patterning and Mirroring Components 483

Component Patterns 483

Using Local Component Patterns 484

Using Feature-Driven Component Patterns 491

Creating a Chain Pattern 492

Understanding Other Pattern Options 494

Tutorial: Creating Component Patterns 495

The Bottom Line 497

Chapter 16 Working with Assembly Sketches and Layouts 499

Looking at the Techniques 499

Using the Layout Feature 505

Tutorial: Working with a Layout 507

The Bottom Line 513

Chapter 17 Using Assembly Tools 515

Placing Parts without Mates 515

Using Proximity Tools 520

Selecting Components 528

Reading Assembly Performance Evaluation Results 532

Using Defeature 533

Using the Hole Alignment Tool 534

The Bottom Line 535

Chapter 18 Using Libraries, Assembly Features, and Hole Wizard 537

Using Library Features 537

Creating Library Features 543

Creating Assembly Cuts 551

Making Fillets and Chamfers in Assemblies 554

Using the Hole Wizard 555

Creating Weld Beads 558

Working with Envelopes 560

Understanding Smart Components 562

Using Smart Components 563

Auto-Sizing Smart Components 566

Making Smart Components 568

Tutorial: Working with Smart Components 576

Tutorial: Working with Library Features 579

The Bottom Line 586

Chapter 19 Controlling Assembly Configurations and Display States 589

Using Display States 589

Understanding Assembly Configurations 592

Tutorial: Working with Assembly Configurations 600

The Bottom Line 604

Chapter 20 Modeling in Context 605

Understanding In-Context Modeling 605

Dealing with the Practical Details of In-Context Modeling 615

Using Other Types of External References 630

Tutorial: Working In-Context 631

The Bottom Line 635

Chapter 21 Editing, Evaluating, and Troubleshooting Assemblies 637

Working with Mates 637

Editing File Management Issues 645

Evaluating Assemblies 651

The Bottom Line 654

Chapter 22 Working with Large Scale Design 657

Using Large Design Review 657

Creating a Walk-Through 661

Creating a GridSystem 663

Transferring Data with the IFC File Type 667

The Bottom Line 668

Chapter 23 Animating with the MotionManager 669

Familiarizing Yourself with the MotionManager 670

Using the Animation Wizard 674

Animating the View 683

Animating with Key Points 691

Animating with Basic Motion 696

Using the Mate Controller 700

The Bottom Line 702

Part IV Creating Drawings 703

Chapter 24 Automating Drawings: The Basics 705

Comparing Templates and Formats 705

Creating Drawing Templates 720

Creating Blocks 725

The Bottom Line 726

Chapter 25 Working with Drawing Views 727

Creating Common View Types 727

Creating Other View Types 740

Using Display Options in Views 751

Distinguishing Views from Sheets 756

Tutorial: Working with View Types, Settings, and Options 756

The Bottom Line 762

Chapter 26 Using Annotations and Symbols 765

Using Notes 765

Using Blocks in Drawings 775

Using Symbols 779

Using Center Marks and Centerlines 780

Tutorial: Using Annotations 782

The Bottom Line 784

Chapter 27 Dimensioning and Tolerancing 787

Putting Dimensions on Drawings 787

Adding Tolerances 799

Using Dimension Styles 802

Aligning Dimensions and Annotations 802

Tutorial: Working with Dimensions and Tolerances 805

The Bottom Line 808

Chapter 28 Using Layers, Line Fonts, and Colors 809

Controlling Layers 809

Controlling Line Format 813

Hiding and Showing Edges 815

Tutorial: Using Drawing Display Tools 816

The Bottom Line 818

Chapter 29 Working with Tables and Drawings 821

Driving the Bill of Materials 821

Using Design Tables 830

Placing Hole Tables on Drawings 832

Using Revision Tables 834

Using General Tables 836

Working with Tables in Models 836

Tutorial: Using BOMs 837

Tutorial: Using Hole Tables 841

Tutorial: Using Revision Tables 843

The Bottom Line 844

Chapter 30 Creating Assembly Drawings 845

Combining Parts and Assemblies on the Same Drawing 845

Using Multi-Page Templates 847

Using Views with Special Assembly Functions 849

Using Color in Assembly Drawing Views 860

Setting Up Drawings of Large Assemblies 861

Tutorial: Creating a Simple Assembly Drawing 866

The Bottom Line 869

Part V Using Advanced and Specialized Techniques 871

Chapter 31 Modeling Multibodies 873

Using Powerful Tools Effectively 874

Understanding Multibody Techniques 876

Managing Bodies 897

Tutorials: Working with Multibodies 902

The Bottom Line 906

Chapter 32 Working with Surfaces 907

Introducing Surfaces 907

Understanding Surfacing Terminology 908

Surfacing Tools 911

Tutorial: Working with Surfaces 926

The Bottom Line 933

Chapter 33 Employing Master Model Techniques 935

Master Model Tools and Techniques 935

Using Pull Functions 937

Using Push Functions 940

Tutorial: Working with Master Model Techniques 943

The Bottom Line 947

Chapter 34 Using SolidWorks Sheet Metal Tools 949

Using the Base Flange Features 949

Making Sheet Metal Parts from Generic Models 983

Using Other Methods 989

Using Multibody Techniques with Sheet Metal 991

Tutorial: Working with the Insert Bends Method for Sheet Metal Parts 992

Tutorial: Using the Base Flange Sheet Metal Method 995

The Bottom Line 999

Chapter 35 Creating Sheet Metal Drawings 1005

Making Sheet Metal Drawings 1005

Getting the Flat Pattern 1006

Making Drawings of Multibody Sheet Metal Parts 1012

The Bottom Line 1015

Chapter 36 Creating Weldments and Weldment Drawings 1017

Sketching in 3D 1017

Using the Weldment Tools 1022

Using Nonstructural Components 1032

Using Sub-Weldments 1032

Working with Cut Lists 1033

Creating Weldment Drawings 1038

Tutorial: Working with Weldments 1040

The Bottom Line 1046

Chapter 37 Using Imported Geometry and Direct-Editing Techniques 1049

Understanding the Basics of Imported Geometry 1049

Understanding the Traditional Role of Direct Editing Tools 1060

Understanding the Strengths and Limitations of Direct

Using SolidWorks Direct Editing Tools 1062

Tutorial: Importing and Repairing Solid Geometry 1067

Tutorial: Flex and Freeform 1069

The Bottom Line 1072

Chapter 38 Using Plastic Features 1073

Using Plastic Features 1073

Using Plastic Evaluation Tools 1093

The Bottom Line 1102

Chapter 39 Using Mold Tools 1107

Working with the Mold Tools Process 1107

Working Manually with Mold Tools 1122

The Bottom Line 1124

Appendixes 1127

Appendix A The Bottom Line 1127

Chapter 1: Introducing SolidWorks 1127

Chapter 2: Navigating the SolidWorks Interface 1127

Chapter 3: Working with Sketches and Reference Geometry 1128

Chapter 4: Creating Simple Parts and Drawings 1129

Chapter 5: Using Visualization Techniques 1130

Chapter 6: Getting More from Your Sketches 1130

Chapter 7: Modeling with Primary Features 1131

Chapter 8: Selecting Secondary Features 1132

Chapter 9: Patterning and Mirroring 1133

Chapter 10: Using Equations 1134

Chapter 11: Working with Part Configurations 1135

Chapter 12: Editing, Evaluating, and Troubleshooting 1135

Chapter 13: Building Efficient Assemblies 1136

Chapter 14: Getting More from Mates 1137

Chapter 15: Patterning and Mirroring Components 1138

Chapter 16: Working with Assembly Sketches and Layouts 1139

Chapter 17: Using Assembly Tools 1140

Chapter 18: Using Libraries, Assembly Features, and Hole Wizard 1141

Chapter 19: Controlling Assembly Configurations and Display States 1142

Chapter 20: Modeling in Context 1143

Chapter 21: Editing, Evaluating, and Troubleshooting Assemblies 1143

Chapter 22: Working with Large Scale Design 1144

Chapter 23: Animating with the MotionManager 1145

Chapter 24: Automating Drawings: The Basics 1145

Chapter 25: Working with Drawing Views 1146

Chapter 26: Using Annotations and Symbols 1147

Chapter 27: Dimensioning and Tolerancing 1148

Chapter 28: Using Layers, Line Fonts, and Colors 1149

Chapter 29: Working with Tables and Drawings 1150

Chapter 30: Creating Assembly Drawings 1150

Chapter 31: Modeling Multibodies 1151

Chapter 32: Working with Surfaces 1152

Chapter 33: Employing Master Model Techniques 1153

Chapter 34: Using SolidWorks Sheet Metal Tools 1155

Chapter 35: Creating Sheet Metal Drawings 1159

Chapter 36: Creating Weldments and Weldment Drawings 1160

Chapter 37: Using Imported Geometry and Direct-Editing Techniques 1161

Chapter 38: Using Plastic Features 1162

Chapter 39: Using Mold Tools 1165

Appendix B Finding Help 1169

SolidWorks Help 1169

SolidWorks Website 1170

Customer Portal 1170

Appendix C What’s on the Website 1175

System Requirements 1175

Customer Care 1176

Index 1177