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One of the best ways to build assemblies is to not build the parts at all. Standard parts can be downloaded from a variety of websites and used in your assemblies. Let's take a look. One of my favorites is McMaster-Carr. If you just go to mcmastercar.com, you can download just about any type of hardware you can imagine. Go ahead and just search for whatever you're looking for, and generally there'll be a CAD file to download. To give you an example, let's go down here and click on that very first item, screws and bolts. Let's pick the very first, socket head cap screw and pick a black-oxide one, and let's just go dawn here and pick out, in this case here, I'm looking for a three quarter ten by three inch.
You can see the price. You can click on the item. You can click on the product detail to get the full sheet. Gives you a full 2D drawing and we can also download the CAD file in a variety of formats including SolidWorks. Go and click on Save. You can open the part right away. Click Open. It launches SolidWorks. It might give you a little error, saying that you already have a file open. It's okay. Click OK and it should launch the program. There it is, just that quickly. I downloaded a file from the internet. Notice it is an older file version, but that's totally fine. You can click on Save, you can save that to your file system.
I recommend putting a folder in whatever your working directory is, called hardware and save all these files to that. You can include their original file name or you can rename the file to whatever you'd like. Quick, easy way to download hardware and use it in your design. And you also know exactly the price, and you can even download the 2D drawing to make things a little easier. Jumping back over here to the Internet, for McMaster, obviously I can do that for most of the other items on their site. I can also jump over here to GrabCAD. GrabCAD is a great site for downloading all types of CAD files.
And they work with not only solid works but ockinvenor and several of the other 3D modeling programs. So make sure you're choosing the right type of file and notice you generally see what types of files are available to download, like SolidWorks other idis or step and you can scroll through some of the available files that you might have or you can come up to the top here and search for whatever you're looking for. And search community here or you could even upload your own files to share with other people. So this is a great resource again to download files, use them in your design and share them with other people. Keep in mind, SolidWorks can download not only original solid works files but also step, idis, parasol, and a whole bunch others.
The next resource I'm going to point you to, is 3D content central. This is integrated with SolidWorks, and actually a lot of companies will upload their files to the site, and you have a wide variety of choices, from brackets, cylinders, motors, you name it. You can click on any one of these things and see all the different companies who are providing these files, and most of them are going to be the big name companies who are providing those type of products for sale. Finally I may jump over here to Misumi. Misumi is a configurable engineering company. You can pick out anyone of their products and you can figure it on the fly.
I've come over here to shaft supports. You can choose what type of shaft support you'd like. You can come down here. You can select a shaft support. Take a look at the drawings. And you could configure the CAD files for download. There's all types of files you can download. It makes it really easy to bring these components into your designs. And the best part about it is, once you've used these in your design, you can then easily buy those products. Have them shipped to you directly without having to go and machine them yourself or work through the manufacturing process to do custom parts. When these are semi custom parts you can download, configure and then just purchase and use in your design.
Downloading CAD files can save a lot of time and many times, you'll get a better model. If you're working with stock components, like hardware off the shelf items, make sure to check out the Internet. You'll be surprised by what you can find.
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