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The Feature Manager is the main interface for controlling your model. All features and their sketches are listed in order of creation. By selecting a feature, we are able to access a sketch and the properties associated with it. Each feature is independent of others. However, many features are built upon and are relying on earlier features. By selecting a feature of the model, the feature tree now expands and highlights in the feature tree. To give an example, go ahead and choose this feature over here. Notice as soon as I choose it, over here on the left, it shows up as Boss-Extrude3 and it's highlighted.
It goes the other way, as well. If I click on Cut-Extrude 1, notice it highlights it over here in the View window. So that makes it really handy, and a quick way to easily access your features from the tree. Now, if you look at the tree, you'll notice we started with the three fundamental planes, the front plane, the top plane, and the right plane. And this Boss-Extrude1, if you look at the sketch directly below it by clicking on the plus, it expands out. You look at sketch one, you can see that sketch was actually drawn on the top plane. Boss-Extrude2. Its sketch was actually drawn on the top surface of that rectangular block.
And again, Boss-Extrude3 was drawn on the top surface of that cylinder. So they all build upon each other, kind of like legos stacking up on top of each other. If you want to edit or change any one of the features, or the sketches below the features, you can click directly on the features with a left mouse click. For instance, Boss-Extrude1. Click on the feature itself, I can come up here to Edit Feature and what that allows us to do is you change the length of that feature. I can type in, for instance, 4.0. Click OK and it automatically updates.
If I go back, I can just say Undo. That brings it back to where it was before. If I want to change the sketch of something. For instance, over here's Boss-Extrude2, if I change the sketch itself by clicking on the sketch and clicking on Edit Sketch. If I click on the space bar I can look directly normal to it. And then maybe let's go ahead and add a dimension. So over here I'm going to say 4.0 and adjust the size of the sketch. Click on Exit Sketch and you can see it automatically updates. Now if I want to change that again, again just go back to sketch two. Click on Edit Sketch.
And come over here to that four, double-click it and click on 5.0, notice it updates, soon as I exit out of that sketch, it automatically propagates through and all of the other components that were built on top of it are just fine. If you want to select a sketch or a feature, it's best to click on the icon itself, or the sketch icon. But if you want to rename a feature by clicking on the sketch, click on the word itself. And you can change it over here. So we'll call this one rec for rectangle. And over here for Boss-Extrude1, if you click on that, again rec boss.
So I can easily update and change the names. But if you are not trying to change the name, try to make a habit of choosing the icon itself versus choosing the word, so you're not automatically put in the mode of trying to rename that feature or that sketch If I right-click on one of these, notice I get a whole series of icons I can use. So I can edit the feature, I can edit the sketch, or I can suppress. Suppress means it's turning something off. So in this case here, let's try it out. I'm going to turn that off, and notice what happens is both the original cylinder, as well as the hexagon that was built on top of it, are both now no longer there in the model.
However, you can see they still show up over here in the feature tree as Boss-Extrude2 and Boss-Extrude3, however, there is grayed out. So if I want to bring those back, I can click on the icon itself. And click on Unsuppress. Notice the Boss-Extrude3 is still suppressed so go ahead and click on the icon click on Unsuppress to bring those back so you can turn things on or off however anytime you turn something off that has something else reliant upon it, it'll automatically turn that off as well. So keep that in mind when working with the features in the tree. The Feature Manager is a user's main interface for working with the model.
Understanding the key aspects of the interface is an essential skill to being proficient in Solidworks.
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