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Real-world projects are vital to mastering SOLIDWORKS, and sheet metal enclosures are a perfect example of a typical project. Sheet metal enclosures house and protect circuitry, wiring, and other sensitive electronic parts and frequently require customization by a professional CAD designer. So take a firsthand walk through designing a sheet metal enclosure for circuit boards and panel-mounted connectors, as well as fans, power cords, and switches, with SOLIDWORKS. Gabriel Corbett covers the key techniques for working with in-context parts and assemblies that dynamically adjust based on the master part model. He'll show you how to use equations to drive the size of the box and calculate vent holes, work with circuit boards, and download connector components. Plus, learn how to add decals before prepping the final drawings for manufacturing.
When you're preparing for manufacturing, you want to go back and make sure you've got all your ducks in a row. You've got logical part numbers assigned to every one of your parts. You've got revision levels. And all those changes have been fully finalized, on all the different parts. Another thing we want to make sure of, is that we've got all that in a bill of materials. And we're keeping track of the hardware. Any other components we may have to purchase from a different vendor. What vendor locations we have, you might want to use an Excel spreadsheet and just lay out all the parts you're going to have, which vendor, or where you're going to be buying them from, the cost, and so on, to keep everything organized so you can easily purchase them, or build them as needed.
So let's go back and look at chapter six, and I'm going to open the chapter 6.1, or actually 6.1 finished. Folder here, and let's take a look at this drawing. So in this case here, let's go look and, it's asking me to go locate a file, so, I'm going to browse through the file and make sure that I know where it is. It's in the Chapter 6 > 6.1> Enclosure folder. There it is, click on OK, open it up, okay, and let's go ahead and save that. Save all those. Great. Now that we have this opened up, you can see we've got the bill of materials here, and, we've got a couple items here that, for instance this 440 screw doesn't have a description.
This item down here, doesn't have a description either. The standoff's okay. You know, these are all things we want to double check. Do these part numbers make sense, because we're going to maybe have to, put together maybe a purchase order, or have to order these things online. So we want to make sure we've got a logical part number for each one of these things. Something like this, which is that RJ-45 connector, that is probably only a portion of that part number. So we want to make sure we're using the correct part number from the manufacturer, so when we put this on an order, they now what we want, and we're getting the right items back in. So, really it's a matter of just going through, and looking each one of these items, and making sure your bill of materials looks good and it's logical.
And a lot of times you're going to have cascading bills of materials. So, you're going to have a top level assembly, with it's bill of materials, and it's going to be calling other sub-assemblies. Which again are going to have a bill of materials. My recommendation on this one, is to go into the bill of materials, on the very top level, and just make sure that from the top level down, that each one of these is correct, it's got a part number. And if you open up an assembly, like a part or an assembly. Right-click on it. Open up that part. Make sure that everything's okay in there. Any changes to the custom properties, come up to File Properties here.
Make sure all this data here is correct as well, and then click OK, and that should propagate back through into the build materials for each one of those levels. Make sure all those, again, just cascade down from build materials to build materials, til you get down to the final things. The last thing is generally going to be hardware. And again, you're probably not going to be building the hardware. You're going to be buying the hardware, so make sure you assign a vendor to each one of those items, and put a cost. And sometimes you might have multiple vendors, so putting all that data together in a nice folder or, like an Excel spreadsheet, will really help you when you go to manufacture and keeping track of where things are.
What revision you're at on something, and especially as things go down. Over time, you might be building multiple revisions of these parts. Keep track of what are the latest revisions, per each order, of that part. That'll really save you a lot of time, in the long run.
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