Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Within SolidWorks, we can use all the power of Microsoft Excel to drive our parts in various configurations of the same part. To get started, we need a base part that we're going to drive. Let's go ahead and get started with 16.3 dash 1. It's just a simple block with a hole in the center. We're then going to link the values to derive the size within a design table. To get started, let's go ahead and take a look at the sketch that underlies this part. And open up sketch one. Take a look and you can see we've got a couple of values in here. We've got 5 inches wide, 4 inches tall, 3 inch hole in there with a quarter inch radius.
And those are the values we're going to be overriding and using within the design table. Let's exit out of that and come up here to insert, tables, design table. And use the auto create function, which is great. Click on OK, and what it does now is it actually asks us which of the values that we want to bring into the table to be driven. So, I need to choose at least one, but you can choose all of them or any combination of the items you'd like to use in the table. So, I'm going to click on the first one, hold down shift, click the last one, and bring all those into the table.
Click, OK. And there is my design table. Notice it puts a default configuration here, and it also gives us those values that we looked at from the sketch, in the table. Now, if I want to a new configuration, go ahead and click on New, and fill out the values. Let's use 0.5, let's type in 8 by 5, and make that hole a little bit smaller. We'll type in 2. And for our thickness, we'll put in 2 as well. Soon as you're happy with that, click anywhere else outside of the table, and it should say we've got a brand new configuration, which it does.
Click on, OK. Now if I come back to the feature manager, if I go over two tabs to the configuration manager you can see, if I double-click on the new configuration. The part changes over and we have a completely different looking part based upon the same input values. It's really the same style or part, it's just different sides. I can flip back to the original rebuild it, and there's my original part. So I've just created a brand new configuration of the same part, with just different input values. Now, one thing I want to do is, notice when we created the table, those variables, we didn't really know what they mean.
What does D1 in sketch form, what does that mean? What I'd like to do is actually go back and rename those values to something that makes little bit more sense. To do that, I'm gona go ahead and open up 16.3 dash 2, which I already have open, and there it is. And now, what I'm going to do is exactly the same thing, but before I start the table, I'm going to rename the features. So, starting off with feature number one, Boss extrude one, let's go ahead and click on this twice and type in my boss, for instance. But really you can name this anything you wanted, and I would recommend naming it something that makes a lot of sense in your design.
Now directly below MyBoss is Sketch1. Well, I can rename that as well, so I'm going to call that the BossSketch, okay. And now, if I want to edit that sketch, go ahead and right-click on it, Edit Sketch. These values now, if you click on one of them, you'll notice it says D2@BossSketch, so it actually already used that new sketch name in my variable. But I still don't know what D2 is, so go ahead and override it. Let's call this thing Length. Great click, OK. How about this one over here? D3? What's that? Let's change this to maybe Width, or W, or it doesn't really matter.
Whatever the variable you want to use is just fine. Come down here and how about this one? What is D4? I don't know. How about Whole? Sure, makes sense, and then, maybe up here. Maybe the radius. Let's just give it an R, simple sketch names make a lot more sense. Click, OK. Now we have all those updated with relevant names, now I'm ready to go back and start that design table. So exit out of the sketch exactly the same thing, it was cool to insert tables, design table, auto create.
Bring all these variables in, click OK, there's my new configuration. These make a lot more sense now. Now if I know hey I want to change the radius, I'm going to change R, or the length, or the width. Makes more sense. Again, let's go create New. Type in 0.5, 8, 5, make a small hole 2, and over here we'll make a thickness of 2 again. Now any time you want to a new row, just go ahead and fill it all out, or you can use some Excel commands like selecting the whole thing, bringing it down and hitting Ctrl+D for down.
Which is fill down, or you come up here to the screen and click on Fill down. Notice, the top of my screen up here is Excel, it's Microsoft Excel. The entire ribbon change and now I'm actually working within Excel. I have all the power of Excel. I can use functions like concatenate, or add cells together. In fact, you can add graphs and other things if you wanted to in the cell table as well. So, a lot of power. Another thing I can do is add new configurations. Notice, instead of just new and new, you can't have the same variable twice or the same name twice. So this one's got to be, maybe New two and if I wanted to do a Fill down, I could say, select all those things.
Come up here to Fill down and this one I could call New three. Then you can change some of the values but not all of them. In this case here, maybe I wanted only a 1 inch thick version. Or how about if I make the hole in this version much bigger. What if I made it the same like 12 inches? Then I'd get some weird things that might be happening. So let's take a look what's going to happen there. Go ahead and click, OK. It creates these values. Here's our new configurations, so new two and three. Click, OK. And now if I go over here to my configuration manager, click on New it's the same one we looked at before.
Click on New two. The variables didn't change so it's exactly the same. Click on New three. Wow, what happened there? Well what happened is, we made the circle much bigger than the rectangle, so now that is on the outside of the shape, and the same part. But now changed into a different shape because I'm changing those values, and because of those things changed, the part looks differently. So, you can do a lot of neat things with the design tables. And these parts can be later used to do something else. Again, the configurations are all here. You can use them in your design.
You can change things around. And, if you want to go back and make changes, it's easy, right? Notice new and new 2 are the same. We made an error. Let's go back and change it. Let's go back to tables, Design table, right-click on it and say Edit Table. Again, that opens up the table and there it is. Configurations and we can click on OK. And notice new and new two we didn't change anything so go in here and change the thickness of new two to maybe four inches thick. And then go ahead and click anywhere outside and now you can see my part automatically updates. So, you can go back to the default configuration and let's not show that again.
Rebuild it. Go to the new configuration. Go to to the new two configuration, and go to the new three configuration. So you can quickly flip between all three of those. Really powerful. I also want to point out before we close is that in design table, if I right-click and say Edit Table, that's one option. But I can also say, Edit Table in New Window. It'll actually open up a full version of Microsoft Excel, so I can edit the table there. And when I'm done with it, go ahead and click Exit, and it'll take you right back to the part. Using Excel and design tables allows you to create a collection of similar parts. This comes in very handy if you're working with something like a bolt.
They all look about the same, however they have different sizes and lengths. The features are created the same, with different values. If you have a design that's similar to a bolt example, design tables will be a great choice.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
100 Video lessons · 11624 Viewers
56 Video lessons · 10688 Viewers
83 Video lessons · 8546 Viewers
109 Video lessons · 4148 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.