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Askold Shcherbakov
Askold Shcherbakov

Part And Assembly Modeling With SolidWorks 2013

SolidWorks 2013 includes some GREAT enhancements in working with Mass Properties. The first tool we will explore today is the Center of Mass tool. Inserting the Center of Mass is very straight forward. You activate the feature from the Reference Geometry menu and the center of mass tool is placed at the top of the FeatureManager. The first example shown below involves inserting the Center of Mass into a Part.

Part and Assembly Modeling with SolidWorks 2013

There is ANOTHER tool associated with the COM feature. Since the Center of Mass is placed at the top of the FeatureManager, it is always calculating the proper CG as it should. If you want to however display a reference point where the CG WAS located at some particular point in the FeatureManager, you can insert a Center of Mass Reference Point. In the example shown below, I have placed a few points to show the progression of the CG as features are added. (Note the position of the rollback bar as the point is added.)

Now lets go up to the next assembly. If you insert a COM for that assembly, the CG for the part (yellow) and the assembly (black/white) display different. As shown in the image below, you can turn the display of COM symbols on/off globally.

All of these enhancements to Mass Properties in SolidWorks 2013 can be HUGE time savers to those who design with these attributes in mind. For those industries who rely on this type of data, an early transition to SolidWorks 2013 might just be in order.

When the body data for a component of the assembly is missing (think of a small bolt that the assembly requires in one of its inactive configurations), the part needs to be rebuilt during the loading phase of the assembly. After rebuilding, it is identified by the assembly as a changed component. That triggers the rebuilding of all subassemblies containing it all the way to the top level, thus drastically increasing the opening time.

Opening an assembly calling for the Orange configuration takes 4 seconds. Opening an assembly that uses the Blue configuration takes 24 seconds, most of that taken by the rebuilding of the part, followed by the rebuilding of the assembly. That is six times slower.

When SOLIDWORKS 2013 was released, everyone praised Purging Configuration Data as an extraordinary enhancement. IT departments were thrilled because SOLDIWORKS files shrunk instantaneously and free space on the server grew.

This option should never be checked in production by users. The response of the graphics would be horrendous, especially when working with complex parts or assemblies. You will encounter pronounced lag when spinning, panning or zooming the viewport. Also, any other operations like selecting or highlighting entities would have a visible lag.

Unfortunately, when working with large assemblies, waiting for the item to scroll into view in the FeatureManager tree will be time consuming. Even worse, if you have SOLIDWORKS 2020 or older, attempting to isolate several components from an assembly opened in Large Design Review mode would trigger a lag that could last hours as SOLIDWORKS tries to bring each selected component into view one at a time).

The Large Design Review mode is a very powerful tool for significantly improving the productivity of large assembly users. About 50 percent of the most common tasks performed on a large assembly can be done in this mode. Opening assemblies in seconds and starting working is very tempting but with great power comes great responsibility.

Opening assemblies so fast in this mode was made possible by using solely the graphics data saved in the assembly file. You could actually email someone else only the assembly file and they should be able to open it and access a lot of information about the assembly and its components. Starting with SOLIDWORKS 2020, they could even modify your assembly and send the revised version back to you.

Some of the most frequent checks that a complex part designer performs when modeling is Deviation Analysis, Curvature Analysis or Zebra Stripes display to ensure that certain faces are tangent to each other.

If this option is not selected, the saving time will be increased significantly as SOLIDWORKS checks and displays the list with all perceived modified components. In reality, maybe only the main assembly and one or two subassemblies had to be saved, so ignoring the read-only files could greatly improve efficiency.

Computer-Aided Engineering Design with SolidWorks is designed for students taking SolidWorks courses at college and university, and also for engineering designers involved or interested in using SolidWorks for real-life applications in manufacturing processes, mechanical systems, and engineering analysis. The course material is divided into two parts. Part I covers the principles of SolidWorks, simple and advanced part modeling approaches, assembly modeling, drawing, configurations/design tables, and surface modeling. Part II covers the applications of SolidWorks in manufacturing processes, mechanical systems, and engineering analysis. The manufacturing processes applications include mold design, sheet metal parts design, die design, and weldments. The mechanical systems applications include: routing, piping and tubing, gears, pulleys and chains, cams and springs, mechanism design and analysis, threads and fasteners, hinges, and universal joints. The sections on engineering analysis also include finite element analysis.

It is written using a hands-on approach in which students can follow the steps described in each chapter to: model and assemble parts, produce drawings, and create applications on their own with little assistance from their instructors during each teaching session or in the computer laboratory. There are pictorial descriptions of the steps involved in every stage of part modeling, assembly modeling, drawing details, and applications presented in this textbook.

The following sections are included: Gears and Power Transmission Spur Gears Creating gearsPower descriptionSupport plate sizingGear assembly modelingAssembly of the support plate, pin, and gearsAnimation Rack-and-Pinion Gears Problem descriptionGear assembly modelingAnimation Belts and Pulleys Problem descriptionBelt-and-pulley assembly modelingAnimation Chain Drive: Chains and Sprockets Problem descriptionChain-and-sprocket assembly modelingAnimation Further Reading

Those are my top 15 tips for engineering managers. Each one of them is focused on improving the daily work of someone not doing core modeling operations, but who still needs to work with SOLIDWORKS models. With these 15 tips, I hope you can save time and get your design out the door faster than ever before. 041b061a72


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