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Sheet Metal with SolidWorks: Enclosure Design Project
Illustration by Richard Downs
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Adding standoffs and in-context holes


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Sheet Metal with SolidWorks: Enclosure Design Project

with Gabriel Corbett

Video: Adding standoffs and in-context holes

Okay, now we have the enclosure. Back in assembly let's go ahead and tile horizontally, And then we're going to mate those to the bottom of the enclosure.

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Sheet Metal with SolidWorks: Enclosure Design Project
2h 31m Intermediate May 21, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Working with the Base and Flange tools
  • Building the rough enclosure shape
  • Designing the cover
  • Adding vents
  • Adding components
  • Cutting holes for connectors
  • Adding graphics
  • Making assembly drawings
Subjects:
Prototyping Product Design CAD Manufacturing
Software:
SolidWorks
Author:
Gabriel Corbett

Adding standoffs and in-context holes

Okay, now we have the enclosure. And we have the board placed inside of the enclosure. And we have a few dimensions already added. We have this board, so we can still slide it up and down. And we want to add some PEM hardware to the bottom, to space this board off the inside of the enclosure. So I'm going to go over here to open. I'm going to grab this PEM here, which is BSO-6440. Click on that one. And because it's bringing it in as an imported part just click on no for future works. And it is an older part and a lot of times when you're bringing in files that are downloaded of the Internet or from a vendor it might be a little bit older part, but that's okay.

Click on Window. Back in assembly let's go ahead and tile horizontally, and let's go ahead and drag this part in. Just drag one of them in. Click on Expand That Window and I'm going to spin my enclosure around so I'm looking at the bottom of it. Grab this component here and again I'm just going to zoom in on it and rotate that one around so it's in the right orientation. And then holding down control I'm going to select and drag out three more. And then we're going to mate those to the bottom of the enclosure. Click on Mate. And click on this one over here, which is a multi-mate.

Choose the bottom of the enclosure for the first mate. And then pick the bottom of each of the PEMs here, to mate 'em all at the same time. One, two, three, four. Click OK. Great, those are all mated together. Now, we want to place these PEMs directly below the holes in the board. So I'm going to spin it around so I can kind of see all the PEMs. Click on Mate. I'm going to choose the outside surface of this one and the inside surface of the hole. looks like I accidentally selected that plane so, let's go ahead and delete that out and then go to view and planes, turn that off so that doesn't happen again.

Now choose the inside surface. That PEM shows up right below it, perfect. Choose the inside surface here. Okay. This one here. And then this last hole here. Okay, those all slide together in the right location. Then I can place the board on, directly on top of the PEM. So I'm going to choose the bottom of the board, spin it around, and choose the top of the PEM. Board slides right down, and we're in good shape. Now there's a couple things I can do here. But next thing I want to do is, I want to cut the holes in the enclosure, to match where the PEMs are.

To do so, let's click on the part. Click on Edit Part. Choose a top surface and start a sketch. We will use circle command and I'm just going to snap right to the center of that PEM. I like to draw the holes quite a bit bigger than there really actually going to be. Oh, we've got a little bit of an issue here. Let's figure out what's going on there and we'll come back to that one. So we'll place this one here. And this one here. Let's make sure we're over the top of this circle so we know we're in the right location. It just looks like the PEM, somehow or other got mated incorrectly, but we'll go back and fix that so don't worry.

Okay, so all these are set up in the right locations. Let's go ahead and add an equal relationship to the different components. Hold down Ctrl, select the four different circles, say Equal, and we'll just give one of them a dimension. So I'm going to type in 0.213. That should be the correct size for that PEM, which I pulled from the data sheet. Okay? Once you've got those there, go to Features > Extrude Cut and Link to Thickness. Click OK, and now we've got those holes cut into the bottom of the enclosure.

Exit out. And let's go back and fix this little issue here, figure out what's going on there. So, that PEM, if you look at the mates in it, it's got a mate here which is at the bottom, it's got a so we actually got that by accident so I'll click on delete that, and let's try it one more time. Say mate. And we're going to mate this outside with this hole, bring it together and now we're looking good. Great. So now we've got the holes directly below the PEMs, the PEMs are going to be directly over the holes in the board. So if the board changes, the PEMs will automatically track and so will the holes in the enclosure.

So it makes it a really robust design, allows you to easily adapt the design without having to do really any work at all, because all those parts automatically update.

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