Even if SolidWorks is very intuitive, sometimes it is hard to figure out how to do something or what is the best way to do it.
It takes time to do things properly, and even more time to correct something and make it compliant with the established rules. Do it right the first time and it will save you and your team a lot of efforts later!
In this section you will find articles that describe how to do this or that and why it is probably the best way to do it. Or maybe you know a better way, please feel free to post a comment!
With the Bill of Materials, there is an underlining concept of level of details you want. Depending of whom is going to use the BOM, you need to adjust the zoom level. To each line in a BOM corresponds something that you need to get with one way or another. Buying it or manufacturing it yourself won’t be done with the same level of details. This is the concept of the Scope of Supply: the more you zoom, the more lines you have in your BOM, the more components you have to source yourself.
A component is a generic name that you can give to anything in SolidWorks. It can be an assembly or a part, having a geometry or be empty, being a virtual file or an external file, having or not having a related drawing and a related Bill Of Materials. This term is used a lot on this website when the subject applies to any classes of SolidWorks or real world entity.Continue reading
The most important properties of a component are the ones that permit to define it unequivocally. This should be accomplished with the minimum information for clarity and simplicity. In your Bill Of Material you want to have the minimum number of columns that display information to identify a component.Continue reading
Components have to be uniquely identified in some way to avoid information collision. Having different things with the same unique identifier could lead to confusion and inconsistency and create a nightmare for stock inventory or accounting in the real world, but also for file naming or database query in the virtual world for example.Continue reading
Several file formats can be imported into SolidWorks but some are more effective than others. When you have the choice between multiple formats, you should pick the best one: the one which contains the most information. One should not just simply import a model into SolidWorks, there are good importation practices to follow.
Within a team, having a file naming system is very important to have consistency. It is not only to make it look good but it is also to make your life easier when you need to modify someone else’s work. It improves readability and clarity as everything is formatted the same way. It also sets the path towards the integration with a file management system like SolidWorks PDM, miniPDM or company software like ERPs.Continue reading
Within a team, having a defined folders structure is as important as having a Files Naming convention. Properly classifying the files helps to quickly find them, helps to avoid duplicates, facilitate backup and save hard drive space.Continue reading
Configurations are very useful when you want to show different positions in an assembly, to have similar parts with different sizes in a family, when you want to hide something specific in a drawing, etc… But like file names, the configurations names are used by SolidWorks as an identifier, as a reference. If that name is changed, an assembly or a drawing using it will throw an error.Continue reading
The Description property is one of the most important property in SolidWorks as it is one of the few properties that you can access in a third party software. It is also the only one that you can show in the construction tree.Continue reading
The main purpose of an assembly is to show the components assembled together which translate into the Bill Of Materials with some kind of chronological order. Accordingly to the assembly drawing, to consider a top level assembly complete, you need to have assembled all the sub-assemblies, and each sub-assembly cannot be complete without having assembled all its sub-sub-assemblies, etc… Thus, it is possible to use an assembly not only to make sure that everything is assembled following the right sequence, but to sequence anything!