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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.
The Tab feature is the third function of the Base Flange Tab tool, and works very similar to the Base tool with the exception that it adds onto existing features. It requires a closed sketch, even along existing edges. And it can overlap existing geometry. Let's take a look at a few of the options. First let's choose this top face here and start a sketch. I'm going to use the rectangle tool. Click on this upper left hand corner here, and drag out a rectangle. I'm going to add a couple dimensions using the smart dimension tool.
And just type in 3.5 and 0.6. When you're happy with that go ahead and come over to the sheet metal. And choose Base Flange Tab. That automatically uses the same material thickness and just goes ahead and adds that little piece of material to my existing base. Click OK and there's that Tab. I can also choose this face here, start a sketch, and using the line tool, I can draw a more complex shape. Make sure you close out that sketch by going back to the original starting point. If you miss a relationship, you can always go ahead and add that in, and make it horizontal.
And then, I can also add in something like circles or holes to my design by adding 'em to the shape. You can even add like a little slot and really can create some complex shapes and tabs just by adding features here. The one requirement is that it has an enclosed boundary so it has lines all around the whole perimeter, and then fully enclosed inside shapes as well. When you're happy with your sketch, click on Sheet Metal, click on the Baselines Tab tool, and just add that to your part. Click OK. The Tab tool is a quick way to add on to existing geometry, and saves you the time of going back and changing the original Base or Flange sketches.
Many times you might want to only add a few lines to create the shape. However, always remember you need to have a fully enclosed shape to create a tab.
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