SolidWorks Advanced Customization Techniques


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This presentation provides overview exposure to a variety of customizable areas within SolidWorks. Topics covered: Tags, Mouse Gestures, Shortcut Bars, Sheet Metal Gage Tables, Hole Wizard holes, Hole Callout Format File, and Symbols.

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SolidWorks Advanced Customization Techniques

  1. 1. SolidWorks advanced customization techniques By Matthew Lorono March 23, 2010
  2. 2. SolidWorks customization <ul><li>Goals of this presentation: </li></ul><ul><li>Give exposure to a variety of customizable areas within SolidWorks. </li></ul><ul><li>This presentation will cover beginner to advanced topics. </li></ul><ul><li>Instructions will be complete enough to give users enough information to begin their own explorations into each topic. </li></ul>
  3. 3. SolidWorks customization <ul><li>SolidWorks has many types of customizations; examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Document Properties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>System Options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library files </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Menu and other user interface functions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>API macros and add-ins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sheet formats and templates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Etc… </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>This session will cover these topics: </li></ul><ul><li>Tags </li></ul><ul><li>Mouse Gestures </li></ul><ul><li>Shortcut Bars </li></ul><ul><li>Sheet Metal Gage Tables </li></ul><ul><li>Hole Wizard holes (SHCS example) </li></ul><ul><li>Hole Callout Format File </li></ul><ul><li>Symbols </li></ul>SolidWorks customization
  5. 5. Backup Backup Backup! <ul><li>When editing installed files, always make a backup first! </li></ul><ul><li>When making major edits to a file you create, always make a backup first so you can get back to the last working copy if something goes wrong with your edits. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Tags
  7. 7. Tags <ul><li>What are Tags? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tags are keywords that the user may add to SolidWorks documents or features to make them easier to filter and search. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functionality is available in SolidWorks 2008 and later. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Tags <ul><li>Applying tags to features </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the view pane or FeatureManager design tree, select any feature. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the status bar (lower-right bottom of the SolidWorks window), click the Tags icon. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tags box will pop up near the icon and will include any tags already in use for that feature. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Type new tags into that field, separating each with a semi-colon. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Click on the Tags icon again to close the Tags box.) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Tags <ul><li>Using tags with filter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the filter field (at the top of the FeatureManager design tree), type-in the desired tag. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This will automatically filter out all features which do not contain that tag nor match that text in their description. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To redisplay all features, click cancel x in the filter field. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Mouse Gestures
  11. 11. Mouse Gestures <ul><li>What are Mouse Gestures? </li></ul><ul><li>User-interface tool added in SolidWorks 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Donut shaped menu that pops in view pane when the user drags their mouse and RMB clicks at same time. </li></ul><ul><li>Each direction of the mouse drag motion selects a different command. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Mouse Gestures <ul><li>Mouse Gestures menu may be customized by going to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools pulldown> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customize > </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mouse Gestures tab </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Menu may have either 4 or 8 elements. </li></ul><ul><li>Menu is mode sensitive </li></ul>
  13. 13. Mouse Gestures <ul><li>Tips: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Common practice is to add Standard views to Mouse Gestures menu. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t add commands that end document sessions, such as Exit or Close . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t add commands that trigger activities which cause long waits Pack and Go . </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Shortcut Bars
  15. 15. Shortcut Bars <ul><li>What are Shortcut Bars? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-context pop-up menus that are customizable for four modes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Part </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drawing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assembly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sketch </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Activated by pressing “S” key. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functionality added in SoildWorks 2008. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Customizing Shortcut Bars </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With nothing selected, press the “S” key. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RMB click on the Shortcut Bar after it appears. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select Customize . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Customize window will pop up. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To add a command: drag a tool button from the Button area and drop onto the Shortcut Bar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To remove a command, drag a tool button from the Shortcut Bar and drop it onto Customize window. </li></ul></ul>Shortcut Bars
  17. 17. Shortcut Bars <ul><li>Tips: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add Extruded Boss and Extruded Cut to Sketch Shortcut Bar to reduce feature creation steps and mouse movement. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t add commands that are already in the Context Toolbars (LMB click or RMB click menus) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Place the most commonly used commands towards the upper left of the Shortcut Bar. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you have device such as a high-end mouse or 3DConnexion SpacePilot), map the letter “S” to one of its buttons. This reduces time consuming keyboard usage. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Sheet Metal Gauge Table
  19. 19. Sheet Metal Gauge Table <ul><li>What are Sheet Metal Gauge Tables? </li></ul><ul><li>An excel spreadsheet where sheet metal gage properties are established for a particular material. </li></ul><ul><li>Properties that may be assigned: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gage thickness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allowable bend radii </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>K-factor </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Sheet Metal Gauge Tables <ul><li>Sheet metal gage data is accessible while creating sheet metal features such as Base Flange and Edge Flange. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Sheet Metal Gauge Tables <ul><li>Establish location for gage table files: </li></ul><ul><li>Place custom gage tables at install location, usually C:Program Files<install folder>langenglishSheet Metal Gauge Tables </li></ul><ul><li>Or, point SolidWorks to another location at: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools pulldown> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Options > </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>System Options tab> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>File Locations selection> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sheet Metal Gauge Tables drop down choice </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Sheet Metal Gauge Table <ul><li>Network tip: Sheet Metal Gauge Tables can standardize material sizes through an enterprise. </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple tables may be created for different material types </li></ul><ul><li>(See SolidWorks Help to information about similar Sheet Metal Gauge/Bend Tables.) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Hole Wizard holes
  24. 24. Hole Wizard holes <ul><li>What is the Hole Wizard? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Command that provides a user interface to create many types of hole features. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hole types created with Hole Wizard: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Counterbore </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Countersink </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hole </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Straight Tap </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tapered Tap </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Legacy </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Hole Wizard holes <ul><li>Standard Hole Wizard holes are linked to associated fastener hardware. </li></ul><ul><li>Default hole dimensions are stored within Toolbox Setup with associated hardware specifications. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Hole Wizard holes <ul><li>SolidWorks does not allow modification Toolbox “Standards” that come with the install. </li></ul><ul><li>To modify hardware and hole defaults, custom Toolbox “Standard” must first be created. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Hole Wizard holes (SHCS) <ul><li>Potential issue with “standard” counter-bored holes for socket head cap screws : </li></ul><ul><li>Traditionally, counterbore depths for SHCS holes are equal to the diameter of the counterbore. </li></ul><ul><li>SHCS often use the same depth for their head height too, thus nominally being line-to-line with the top surface of counterbore. </li></ul><ul><li>Tolerances may allow the head to sit slightly proud of the top surface, possibly creating fit issues with other components. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Hole Wizard holes (SHCS) <ul><li>Demonstration task: </li></ul><ul><li>Create customized “standard” for Socket Head Cap Screw (SHCS) counterbore holes with specific head clearance to resolve fit issue. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Hole Wizard holes (SHCS) <ul><li>Create a new Toolbox “standard” based on existing “standard” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Toolbox Setup. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Goto Tools pulldown> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>System Options tab> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hole/Wizard/Toolbox line> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Configuration button> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On Tool Setup, select 1. Select your hardware . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select the standard you wish to copy and modify. </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Hole Wizard holes (SHCS) <ul><ul><li>Select the double-folder icon at the top of the icon view pane. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Type in a name for the new “standard” and select the green checkmark. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: depending on the size of the original “standard”, the copy process may take several minutes. </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Hole Wizard holes (SHCS) <ul><ul><li>Select the new “standard” and navigate the hardware types to reach Socket Head Cap Screw folder. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the Standard Properties area, select Size . A database of properties will display to the right side of the window. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Horizontally scroll the properties view to the far right and enter .02 into each field in the Head Clearance column. </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Hole Wizard holes (SHCS) <ul><ul><li>Once all values are changed, select the save button and exit Toolbox Setup. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Verification: open a part and create a new Hole Wizard hole feature that uses one of the SHCS counterbore holes in the new “standard”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validation: inspect the hole feature using Measure or the feature’s PropertyManager to make sure that new “standard” works as expected. (There are some bugs in older versions of SolidWorks.) </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Hole Wizard holes (network use) <ul><li>Sharing Hole Wizard setting throughout an enterprise means sharing all of Toolbox as well. </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing Toolbox can be simple for some, but complex for others. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Hole Wizard hole (network use) <ul><li>For a tiny to small sized single-site engineering group: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Copy the C:SolidWorks Data folder and all of it contents to a network location. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Point all workstations to network location: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Goto Tools pulldown> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>System Options tab> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hole/Wizard/Toolbox line> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Browse button> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find and select new location for SolidWorks Data folder. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Hole Callout Format File
  36. 36. Hole Callout Format File <ul><li>What is the Hole Callout Format File? </li></ul><ul><li>For drawings, the file used by the Hole Callout command to create callouts for various types of holes. </li></ul><ul><li>File name is calloutformat.txt and is usually in C:Program Files<install folder>langenglish </li></ul>
  37. 37. Hole Callout Format File <ul><li>Potential issue with calloutformat.txt : </li></ul><ul><li>SolidWorks’ tapped hole callout defaults to include drill size. </li></ul><ul><li>Including a drill size within a tapped hole callout may be considered over-specification: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thread callout itself specifies the final form of the hole. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drill specification is process specific. It may actually be incorrect if a different process is used, such as roll forming or molding. (SolidWorks assumes drill process is used.) </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Hole Callout Format File
  39. 39. Hole Callout Format File (tap) <ul><li>Demonstration task: </li></ul><ul><li>Change calloutformat.txt so that drill size is not included in tapped hole callouts when using Hole Callout command. </li></ul><ul><li>(scope limited to blind cosmetic thread hole feature for this demonstration) </li></ul>
  40. 40. <ul><ul><li>Locate calloutformat.tx t and make a backup copy. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then open calloutformat.txt with Windows Notepad or similar. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search for “[ANSI Inch]” and then the heading “TAPPED HOLES”. </li></ul></ul>Hole Callout Format File (tap)
  41. 41. Hole Callout Format File (tap) <ul><ul><li>Right below that heading will be this code: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Replace those two lines with these two lines of code: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Save calloutformat.txt . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TAP-BLIND=;        <hw-threaddesc><hw-threadclass> <HOLE-DEPTH> <hw-threaddepth> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TAP-BLIND=<MOD-DIAM> <hw-tapdrldia> <HOLE-DEPTH> <hw-tapdrldepth>; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li><hw-threaddesc> <hw-threadclass> <HOLE-DEPTH> <hw-threaddepth> </li></ul></ul>Copy text
  42. 42. Hole Callout Format File (tap) <ul><ul><li>Verification: Re-read new lines of code. Make sure that the spacing between tags is correct. (Those spaces sometimes toggle defaults within Hole Callout command.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exit Notepad. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validation: In SolidWorks, create a model with a blind tapped hole. Create a drawing from that model and use Hole Callout on the tapped hole to ensure it displays correctly. </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Hole Callout Format File (tap) <ul><ul><li>Note: SolidWorks can remain open while editing calloutformat.txt . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: Existing hole callouts on drawings will not automatically change, even if a drawing is open while calloutformat.txt is updated. Only new hole callouts will use the new default. Old callouts will still need to be updated directly. </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Symbols
  45. 45. Symbols <ul><li>What are Symbols? </li></ul><ul><li>Symbols are special characters (such as degree, depth, diameter, etc.) that may be inserted into dimensions or annotations by using their text ID (such as <MOD-DEG> for degree) or this button: </li></ul><ul><li>Symbols are stored in a library file name gtol.sym , which is located at: </li></ul><ul><li>c:Program files<install folder>langenglish </li></ul>
  46. 46. Symbols <ul><li>Creating a new symbol </li></ul><ul><li>Symbols must be simple geometric shapes formed with lines, arcs, circles, polylines and alphanumeric characters. </li></ul>
  47. 47. Symbols <ul><li>Symbols exist on an imaginary grid space where 0,0 is the lower left corner and 1,0 is the upper right corner. </li></ul><ul><li>Symbols are not limited to this grid space. Larger numbers than 1.0 are allowed, as are negative numbers </li></ul><ul><li>1.0 represents the height of a font as it is used in SolidWorks. </li></ul>0,0 1,1
  48. 48. Symbols (eye) <ul><li>Demonstration task: </li></ul><ul><li>Create a new symbol to represent visual inspection, such as an eye. </li></ul><ul><li>(Note: Changes made to Gtol.sym while SolidWorks is open will not be available until SolidWorks is restarted) </li></ul>
  49. 49. Symbol (eye) <ul><li>Sketch new symbol on a grid. </li></ul>0,0 1,1 } Height of font as displayed in SolidWorks
  50. 50. Symbol (eye) 0,0 1,1 Center 1,.5; Size .4 Center 1,.5; Size .60 Center 1,1; Size 1.4 Center 1,0; Size 1.4 30°
  51. 51. Symbol (eye) <ul><ul><li>Create the following script based on gtol.sym instructions and the estimates from the sketch: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>#INSP,Inspection Symbols </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>*EYE,Eye </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A,ARC 1,0,.7,30,150 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A,ARC 1,1,.7,210,330 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A,SARC 1,.5,.2,0,180 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A,SARC 1,.5,.2,180,0 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A,CIRCLE 1,.5,.3 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Copy text
  52. 52. Symbol (eye) <ul><ul><li>Close SolidWorks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a backup of gtol.sym . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open gtol.sym with Windows Notepad or similar text editor. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At the end of gtol.sym file, add the new code. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Verification: ensure the code is correct, then save gtol.sym . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validation: Start SolidWorks and open a drawing. Create annotation note and insert the new symbol. Place other text along side to see where the symbol will line up. </li></ul></ul>
  53. 53. Symbol (eye) <ul><li>If the symbol does not appear as desired, exit SolidWorks, re-evaluate your sketch, and make adjustments to your gtol.sym code. </li></ul>
  54. 54. Symbol (eye) <ul><li>Adjusted code: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>#INSP,Inspection Symbols </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>*EYE,Eye </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A,ARC 1, .15 ,.7,30,150 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A,ARC 1, .85 ,.7,210,330 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A,SARC 1,.5,.2,0,180 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A,SARC 1,.5,.2,180,0 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A,CIRCLE 1,.5,.3 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Copy text
  55. 55. Audience questions or comments?
  56. 56. Contact <ul><li>SolidWorks Legion </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Follow me on Twitter </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul>