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Saving, renaming, and managing files


SOLIDWORKS 2014 Essential Training

with Gabriel Corbett

Video: Saving, renaming, and managing files

Saving your work is essential in all software. However, in SolidWorks, it's very important to understand how files interconnect. In this video let's go ahead and open up under Exercise Files, Chapter One, 1.4, and go ahead and choose 1.4.SLDASM for SolidWorks Assembly. And go ahead and choose Open. By the way, if you don't see that file, make sure you have both the parts and assembly icons turned on. If you didn't have that, you wouldn't see it. Go ahead and choose first one and click on open. And that should open a little stack of blocks, look like this.
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  1. 1m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 31m 13s
    1. Launching SOLIDWORKS for the first time
      3m 55s
    2. Accessing and customizing the Ribbon
      4m 14s
    3. Touring the shortcut bar and identifying essential keys
      7m 27s
    4. Saving, renaming, and managing files
      10m 28s
    5. Working with the new view cube, or View Selector
      2m 36s
    6. New features in SOLIDWORKS 2013 and 2014
      2m 33s
  3. 14m 11s
    1. Understanding the 3D world
      2m 31s
    2. Creating your first part
      3m 15s
    3. The virtual, parametric prototyping environment
      1m 56s
    4. The FeatureManager and feature-based modeling
      3m 43s
    5. History-based modeling and the rollback bar
      2m 46s
  4. 28m 32s
    1. Starting a new sketch
      6m 50s
    2. The six steps used in almost all modeling features
    3. The Line and Centerline tools
      3m 25s
    4. Using the Circle tool
      1m 51s
    5. Adding and removing relationships and dimensions
      6m 56s
    6. Understanding relationship types
      3m 58s
    7. System options, units, and templates
      4m 40s
  5. 18m 28s
    1. Drawing rectangles
      5m 31s
    2. Creating arcs in a sketch
      4m 8s
    3. Drawing splines in a sketch
      4m 57s
    4. Sketching polygons
      3m 52s
  6. 36m 5s
    1. Trimming and extending portions of a sketch
      3m 54s
    2. Creating offset geometry
      3m 13s
    3. Moving, copying, rotating, and scaling elements
      3m 13s
    4. Erasing, undoing, and redoing actions
      2m 24s
    5. Using the mirror tools
      2m 24s
    6. Creating repeating patterns in a sketch
      4m 55s
    7. Using construction lines to build robust sketches
      3m 25s
    8. Applying fillets and chamfers to a sketch
      2m 32s
    9. Working with slots
      3m 46s
    10. Adding text to parts
      4m 1s
    11. Using the Convert Entities command
      2m 18s
  7. 9m 33s
    1. Working with planes
      5m 28s
    2. Placing and using axes
      2m 22s
    3. Placing a coordinate system
      1m 43s
  8. 17m 50s
    1. Extruding a sketch into a 3D object
      4m 36s
    2. Using Revolve to create 3D parts
      2m 42s
    3. Using Loft to create complex shapes
      4m 40s
    4. Refining a loft shape with guide curves
      2m 22s
    5. Using the sweep to create wire and pipe shapes
      3m 30s
  9. 20m 23s
    1. Modifying parts using the Extruded Cut tool
      5m 42s
    2. Working with the Revolved Cut tool
      6m 19s
    3. Using the Lofted Cut tool
      3m 32s
    4. Cutting holes and grooves with the Swept Cut tool
      4m 50s
  10. 21m 5s
    1. Using fillets and chamfers to smooth corners
      5m 58s
    2. Creating repeating rectangular patterns
      3m 16s
    3. Creating a circular pattern
      2m 27s
    4. Mirroring objects
      4m 0s
    5. Using the Shell and Draft tools
      3m 52s
    6. Scaling parts
      1m 32s
  11. 9m 39s
    1. Working with reusable sketches and blocks
      2m 47s
    2. Creating blocks
      3m 51s
    3. Designing with blocks
      3m 1s
  12. 29m 45s
    1. Understanding the tools for beginning a new assembly
      4m 46s
    2. The basic steps in creating an assembly
      3m 18s
    3. Mating parts together in an assembly
      6m 43s
    4. Working with subassemblies
      2m 9s
    5. Linear and circular assembly patterns
      4m 56s
    6. Downloading premade parts from the Internet
      3m 32s
    7. Using Toolbox
      4m 21s
  13. 15m 8s
    1. Mating parts with coincident, parallel, and distance mates
      4m 35s
    2. Mating parts with width mates
      5m 53s
    3. Mating parts with path mates
      2m 5s
    4. Mating parts by aligning planes
      2m 35s
  14. 10m 20s
    1. Getting started with the Hole Wizard
      4m 38s
    2. Positioning holes in layout sketches
      5m 42s
  15. 15m 27s
    1. Linking sketches to other parts
      4m 28s
    2. Linking to layout sketches
      6m 48s
    3. Using the Hole Wizard in context
      4m 11s
  16. 17m 15s
    1. Understanding threading concepts
      7m 17s
    2. Using a helix and Swept Path to create a thread
      4m 2s
    3. Understanding internal threads
      5m 56s
  17. 17m 25s
    1. Using equations to drive a sketch
      5m 5s
    2. Working with complex calculations
      2m 6s
    3. Integrating Microsoft Excel to manage design tables
      7m 10s
    4. Building assemblies using part configurations
      3m 4s
  18. 23m 17s
    1. Working with drawing templates
      6m 49s
    2. Setting up drawing options and sheet properties
      3m 43s
    3. Choosing the correct projection angle
      2m 21s
    4. Adding model views to a drawing
      10m 24s
  19. 16m 8s
    1. Creating general dimension notations
      6m 37s
    2. Creating ordinate and running dimensions
      3m 0s
    3. Dimensioning holes and curved features
      3m 8s
    4. Using the autodimension tools
      3m 23s
  20. 14m 38s
    1. Creating holes and callouts
      5m 8s
    2. Adding center marks and centerlines to a drawing
      3m 46s
    3. Adding item notes
      2m 57s
    4. Making drawing revisions
      2m 47s
  21. 11m 42s
    1. Adding assemblies to drawings
      2m 10s
    2. Including a bill of materials
      1m 42s
    3. Adding balloons to specify parts on an assembly drawing
      1m 39s
    4. Adding a title block and sheet properties
      2m 8s
    5. Building an exploded view for an assembly drawing
      4m 3s
  22. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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Watch the Online Video Course SOLIDWORKS 2014 Essential Training
6h 20m Beginner Dec 09, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

SOLIDWORKS is the world leader in 3D software for product development and design. Start creating manufacturing-ready parts and assemblies, as well as detailed drawings and bills of materials. In this course, author Gabriel Corbett shows how to create 2D sketches that will become the basis for your 3D models. You'll use the Extrude and Revolve tools to turn 2D sketches into 3D parts, then create more complex geometry with sweep and lofts. Then learn how to use the cut features to remove material and shape parts, and use mirroring, patterning, and scaling to modify parts. Next, you'll combine parts into movable assemblies and subassemblies. Finally, you'll create accurately annotated drawings, complete with itemized bills of materials that relate the final parts and assemblies to a manufacturer.

Topics include:
  • Creating your first part
  • Starting a new sketch
  • Adding and removing relationships and dimensions
  • Sketching polygons
  • Creating offset geometry
  • Moving, copying, and rotating elements
  • Working with planes, axes, and the coordinate system
  • Using Revolve and Loft to create 3D objects
  • Trimming with the Revolve, Loft, and Sweep cuts
  • Creating smooth and angled corners with fillets and chamfers
  • Designing with sketch blocks
  • Working with subassemblies
  • Creating threaded parts
  • Integrating Excel to manage design tables
  • Adding dimension notations to a drawing
  • Rendering an image of a part or assembly
Gabriel Corbett

Saving, renaming, and managing files

Saving your work is essential in all software. However, in SolidWorks, it's very important to understand how files interconnect. In this video let's go ahead and open up under Exercise Files, Chapter One, 1.4, and go ahead and choose 1.4.SLDASM for SolidWorks Assembly. And go ahead and choose Open. By the way, if you don't see that file, make sure you have both the parts and assembly icons turned on. If you didn't have that, you wouldn't see it. Go ahead and choose first one and click on open. And that should open a little stack of blocks, look like this.

And we're going to go ahead and work through a few of the saving options for this. First off, let's understand how the file system works. The SolidWorks file structure looks a lot like this. At the top level we have basically a top level assembly, which is then built up of individual parts, and those parts can have drawings made of them. And then you can also have subassemblies that are under the top level assembly, and then we can have drawings of that top level assembly. It can go further down by this subassembly here as part 2 and 4, with drawings 6 and 7 as well as being made up again of another subassembly and another drawing.

So that drawing is a drawing of this assembly, and this drawing here is a drawing of this assembly, so you can see, it keeps going and going. Many layers deep. Anyways, the point is, if you changed the name of one of these, for instance, sub Assembly3, if you were to change the name of that to, say, sub Assembly12. What would happen is sub Assembly2 would be looking for Assembly3, and it just wouldn't find it. And it's all based upon what you actually name that file. So it will then have a broken link, and then all the items below Assembly3 would now be broken as well.

So these would be kind of all orphaned parts and assemblies and drawings, because I can't find Assembly3. It's been renamed to something else, outside of the SolidWorks environment. And that will break all those links, so we have to be very cognitive about not making those changes. When we save files, you basically have an Assembly, followed by a Part, by a Drawing. And they're all linked together by their file names. So associated files will look for that same file name relative to their location. So if they're all in the same folder, they'll actually first look for those other parts of Assembly inside that folder. If not, they'll look for the last pass to where that was.

So if you've got parts in assembly in many different folders and across different systems, sometimes it can be a pretty big web of files, on all types of different locations. And it can kind of difficult to bring all that back together in one easy to understand architecture. If you do want to copy the entire design to one folder, it's a great way to put everything in one condensed folder, where all the links are internal, and it makes things much more easy. When you use the Save As command in SolidWorks, what happens is it actually replaces the links that are internal there. So for instance, here you have assembly A is pointing to part over here and then they have a drawing of that.

Now, if I do the Save As, basically it changes these arrows in these links to point to a different part. What happens then as the original part is just left orphaned on your file system, and all the links are now updated to the secondary part or wherever you saved it as This a lot of times can cause issues because you have the old version of the file and the new version of the file both in the same file system. It can get really messy. So I recommend not using the save as unless you really want to have a secondary copy of the file in that state and the links are now pointing to the latest file. So make sure you think through the file structure and naming scheme before you start a project, it'll really help out.

Naming in SolidWorks is really important and doing it in the beginning will really save you a lot of time in the long run. What happens is many people will start their designs. And by default, SolidWorks will come up with a part name like Part number one. And then you're going to have Part number two, three, four and there's really nothing telling you what those parts are. And later on, you might want to actually change those names. Well, the problem is, if you change the names using, for instance, Windows Explorer, then all the links that they're linked together will all be broken. So that's generally a bad thing to do. So the best thing you want to do is actually name them, with a good, logical name, right from the beginning, to make things easier.

Here's an example of what I would recommend. First off, you want to come up with some type of a company designator, followed by a project designator, followed by a part number. Fallback configurations. So for example, this company is called two tress olive oil and they are producing an olive press. We'll call it, olive press 1. And this is going to be your machine part and we are going to give a designator of part number 30. And we're going to use configuration 1. So that would boil down to a part number looks like tt dash op1 dash 3030 dash 1. This is really nice for when your using accounting software or an ERP system and you have to put these files in if you use this same type of situation all parts and designs by two trees would automatically all be in the same list.

Under the TT. All parts of the Olive Press One would automatically also be in descending order around OP one. And then, if you use some type of a naming scheme using some kind of part level designator, such as this 3,030, then all of your for instance, machine parts, would be in the 3,000 levels. So you can have 3,000 30, or 3030, 3031, and they'll all be in descending order. If you have sheet metal parts, they might be in the 4000 levels. Maybe molded parts in 5000 levels, and then your sub assemblies and top level assemblies would be in the 2000 and 1000 levels.

That way if you quickly look at a part number, you know exactly what type of part it is. Where it fits into the assembly, and where it fits in the hierarchy makes things a lot easier. And definitely doing that from the beginning makes a lot of sense. In fact, what I would actually do is go ahead and before you start a project, figure out what your part numbering scheme's going to be. That way we can figure out what your top level assembled parts are going to be, what sub-assemblies will make those up, and then what machine parts, machine metal parts, and you can give blocks of parts to different designers. Or working in your team. So if for instance if you're working on machine parts, you might give the three thousand one hundred block to one designer.

You might give the three thousand two hundred block to another designer. That way they can freely assign part numbers within that three thousand one hundred level part. And they're not going to be steeping on each other's toes. And it can also designate whose working on which part by that level of adesignation in the part number. It makes it really easy. Jumping back over to SolidWorks, let's take a look at what's going to happen here. If I were to open a part like this, click on File, click on Open Part, come up here to File, and I'm going to go to Save As what happens is it gives me a little dialog box pops up, and it says, hey, if you do a Save As This references will be changed over to wherever the new file is, but I have a couple other options here.

I can save a copy and continue, or I can save a copy, and then open that new copy up, which will then leave that orphan part on the file system. So I just wanted to point out, that's several of the options we have when we do a save as, because it's going to replace all those links with a new saved file. A lot of times you don't want to do that, you would prefer to actually just change the name of the file, and keep it the same. So I'm going to cancel that. In fact I'm going to close both of these. I'm going to close this, I'm going to close that, and then I'm going to jump over to SolidWorks Explorer. And on my desktop, notice I've got SolidWorks Explorer 2014.

Go ahead and click on that. If you get this error it's okay, because what happens is, SolidWorks Explorer is automatically built in with Workgroup's PDMWorks. If you don't have Workgroup PDM installed on your computer. It's okay, you can just go ahead and click OK, but if you do, this integrates quickly with the PDM system, allows you to check things in and out of the vault. If you're working with a bigger group of people, or you want to have revision level of control, used by the PDM system. When you first open up SolidWorks Explorer, you can see it's pretty much like Windows Explorer. Go ahead and click on the Desktop, and I'm going to choose Exercise Files.

And come down here to chapter one, and 1.4. You can see if I click on the any of the individual parts, shows you what it is, nice little screen. And if I wanted to change the name of one of these things, for instance I'm going to choose 1.4.2. Right click on it, and just say rename. Notice, it searches the file system, and find all the assemblies that are using that part. If there is drawings, it would find the drawings as well, but notice that it find's its drawing. Come up here, you change it to whatever you'd like, and then click OK. I don't really want to change the file name at this point and time, but I want to point out, that is the best way to make a file change, and it automatically updates all the links so that all your files work together well.

Let's jump back over here to SolidWorks now, and I want to point out about saving, so let's go back and open up that same assembly. When I want to actually save out these files, I can obviously come over here to File > Save, it saves it out, or at the top of the screen here just click on Save, it saves the latest version, that's great. But what about Autosave? What about like, backup versions? What happens if I'm working on this great design? I forget to save and I loose all my work. Up here at the very top of the screen, the far right, you click on this Option tab and if you come over here on the left hand side under System Options.

Come down to back up and recover, notice I get a couple options here. So first off I get auto recover, so it's going to save autofile. And in this case every ten minutes. You know what? I don't really want to go back ten minutes, let's just go back five minutes. It's not a big deal, especially if you have a faster computer. And then where do you want to save these files to? In this case here this is fine but generally I like to have this on a separate drive or some other separate system in case my entire computer were to crash I then have access to my auto recovered files. But backup's actually more important here. So click on Backup, and notice, you can keep multiple copies of the same backup.

So every time I save, for instance here, if I turn it to 3, it saves three individual copies of that file to the backup folder. So any time I need to go back in time, I can go back actually three saves of that file and then grab that folders back. In this case here, again it's trying to save it to my local user account. I don't really want to use that, so go ahead and choose this little icon on the far right, and let's choose a new folder. Now if you had a network drive, this would be the ideal place to be saving your file to a network drive. That way if something happened to your computer, you'd automatically have a backup on a network drive or to a file system that's not actually on this local machine.

I'm going to go to Computer, and I actually have a D drive. So I'm going to go in there and I'm going to say SW-Backup and click OK. And now all my backup files are going to be stored in that folder and I'm going to have three different copies of each file. Also you're going to have Solidworks prompt you to save your file every 20 minutes and you can also choose how long it takes for that notification to automatically dismiss. A couple great things that'll save you a lot of time especially working on a big complicated project. And, the computers maybe a little bit unstable, maybe it's crashing, and you have some issues.

This will quickly get you back to the point you were. And you can always go back and grab those back up copies. It'll really save you a lot of time in the long run. Solo-works is an amazing software. You can create amazing things. However along the way, to make sure you save your work, naming files correctly the first time will save a lot of time and in the long run, can lead to less clutter and better designs.

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