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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.
Now that we have the enclosure complete, I'd like to go ahead and start making the assembly drawings, so we can fully document our project. To get started, let's go to File and Make Drawing from Assembly. We're going to choose the Lynda template and click on OK. And as soon as you do that we've got a bunch of options over here on the right hand side, that should pop up. Showing you the different available views we can drag and drop into our design template, or our drawing. So in this case I'm going to choose the Back, and drag that in, and then it automatically turns on the projection mode.
So I'm just going to drop the top view here, and then an isometric view. That's all I really need here. Now, these look a little bit small to me and it looks you also have some sketches showing up here so let's go up to Vew, let's turn Sketches off, so we don't see that. And also come over here to View. Looks like there's maybe some center lines and some things like that, got turned on. Sometimes if you have automatic center lines or automatic center point turned on, this might be added to your drawing by default, and a quick way to get rid of those is actually come down here and we're going to use the Selection Filter.
So, if you don't have that on, right-click up here. And come down and choose Selection Filter. And, it's right there, Selection Filter. And it's already turned on, so I don't need to turn on. And then, come down and I can choose center marks and, I can just window over these. It selects all the center marks. I hit Delete. It takes those out and, then again come down here to centerlines. And just kind of browse over until you see them there. Filter Centerlines. Click on that one. Select all those out and delete those. And you can do those at the same time, by the way as well.
Same thing up here. If you got center lines, center marks, let's choose all those. Delete them out. Don't really need this. So for this drawing and same thing over there if there's anyone. Okay, now let's adjust the scale. So, actually turn off the Selection Filter. Now right-click and say Properties. And we can see what our scale is right now it is 1 to 2. Let's try 1 to 1 and see how that looks. That looks pretty good. That looks perfect for me actually. because I want to have these kind of big because this is the assembly drawing, right? We're not putting all our dimensions in these drawings. We're just showing what the assembly looks like.
And we might have a few different views here. But we're really just documenting what parts are in this assembly. I might give it one more view here. If I just go up to View Layout > Projection View. And just show that top view. It's going to be upside down, but it's showing those connectors. And again if it adds those centerpoints and centerlines by default. Quickly get rid of those. And just turn that Selection Filter on. I'll write around them, delete them out. Now we want to add is a bill of materials. So, choose which view you want to use as your bill of materials call. I normally choose the Isometric View.
And then go to Insert > Tables > Build Materials. And you got a few different options and when this comes up, you can do Top level only, or Parts only or Indented bunch of different ways depending on how many parts you have in your assembly and how do you want to show it. Traditionally you probably use just Top level only, and that will just show your sub assemblies as individual assemblies and not show all the individual parts inside of each one. But if you're using a small level assembly, you might want to show, Parts only it's going to show you everything in there, so depending on how you're working, you might want to use either one of those.
You can also choose a template up here. I'm showing you the default, and click OK. And that's going to drop that right there, and wherever I click, and I also get a few different things going on here. One is, this is wrapping around, so I can grab this divider here and I can drag that out, so it's a little bit better. I can also drag this little row height up and down as well to adjust that. And if something starts looking funny like one's big, one's small. You got issues like that, you can click and highlight all these different rows, by holding down Ctrl, by doing this.
Right-click on it, and you can say, Formatting > Row Height, and looks like they like 0.35. And that adjusts them all to the same height. Makes them look all cleaner. Also to over here, you notice a lot of these don't have the descriptions laid into them. I can get in to each one of these parts very easily, by right clicking on it. And say opening that part. Then I can come up here to the File Properties,and I can go up here and call this, maybe we call it the BASE. And it'll be all caps. BASE and click OK.
Then when you come back to the Assembly that should automatically propagate through. You can do the same thing over here. Right-click on that one, Open that apart, here's our cover, click on the File Properties, so by the way notice a lot of these file properties are already pre filled out for you, because we're using this template. Now, I gave you some templates that I pre-created for the Lynda course. And it's just got some generic names in here, so you probably want to go in and open or copy those templates for yourself, add in your own name, your own company and make a few different small adjustments to those templates.
And then they have all the stuff pre-filled out for you, which really makes things a lot easier when you go through and start documenting your projects. So we'll call this COVER. Click OK, and back to the assembly. Great, and we can continue doing this for the other components. But, we don't need to cover that right now. Same thing with the assembly here. If I open up that assembly, Open Assembly. Again, there is no description for that, it just has a dash. So, I'll just call it ASSY for now, but you can call that anything you want.
Click OK. And then again, that should propagate through, to the description, right there in the title bar. Same thing with revision, drawing number. And that information about who drew it and what date they drew it on. Okay, so that's looking pretty good. You've got a bill of materials, you've got some different views. Now we want to go in and we want to add some balloons. Now you can do an auto balloon routine. If I cancel out of that, I can click on Auto Balloon by just choosing one of the views and click on Auto Balloon, and it just kind of balloons everything out. The only problem with auto balloon, is, sometimes, it doesn't really pick the right or clearest way to show something like that.
So, I had, I'm just going to cancel and undo out of auto-balloon. And just go to my regular ballooning technique. So, I'm just going to click, and, you know, here I'm going to show the cover, I'm going to show the base piece here, something like a screw. Little place over there, and then you know for the board, we can't really see much of the board here. So I'm just going to choose, one of the components showing where the board is, and if you want to move something around, you can always move it around later.
So you can see we got one, two, three, four in there and we actually have six, so we have some standoffs and we have this SRE. Standoffs, we can't see from this view, so those are on the bottom, that's part of the bottom enclosure. We actually probably want to reorder that assembly because those standoffs really aren't part of the top level assembly, they should probably be part of the sub-assembly of the base. And we've already covered how to rearrange that assembly. So, we're not going to cover that right now. But that is, sometimes, when you start getting to these documentation things, you go, well, maybe that should be part of another assembly.
And you really start thinking about how everything gets put together. So, hopefully, I've shown the methods for rearranging and changing which parts are in which assembly and how to document that. And like I said, when you get to this final step of documenting and doing the assembly drawings, that's really the time to kind of figure all of that out. Make sure that you've got the correct file names,the correct descriptions, the correct hardware. And kind of double check you've got all the information you're going to need for when you go forward and build your part. Over here for the revision table, we've got revision a, preset up at initial release.
If you wanted to add some more revisions to this, I can always just right-click anywhere on that table and come down to Revision, say Add Revision. It'll automatically add a B or whatever the next letter is. And then come in here. Click in this item here, type out whatever changes you might happen to the design. It auto date stamps it and then you can approve it just by typing your initials down here. Real quick way to add the revision, and like I said, if you didn't want to do that you can always click on it again, go to Revisions. And, actually I was coming out here to delete, and you can either delete a row or table.
So I'm just going to delete that row. It takes that out. Looking pretty good. And we'll just go ahead and save that out,so click Save As, and go to chapter 6, and I'm saving it in 6.1 finished. And we're going to go 6.1 SolidWorks drawing and click on Save As, save the components. Working with assembly drawings the key components here is to document which components are in which assemblies, and clearly define what those components are and what hardware and how they were assembled together.
You also might want to add notes or other information about assembly techniques like, how to screw things together or maybe it might be welding something or whatever those techniques are that's going to be in your top level assembly in showing all the components, how they're put together and those final finishing techniques.
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