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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 roughed out and we have the board, pretty much laid out with the components on there, we can go ahead and build our assembly with the board in the enclosure. So I have the two files opened up here, I have the 4.1 assembly, and I have the 4.1-2 board assembly, and let's just go ahead and drag and drop this in, so I'm going to grab it from the tree over here. Click and drag it in, and there it is, let's go ahead and expand out that assembly. Now, we're going to be putting this board on some little stand and we're going to be doing that in the next movie. So in this one we just want to place it where we need it in the design.
I'm going to spin it around first because I do actually want on this side. And, let's go ahead and hide the cover for right now, so click on that and just click on hide, so you can just see in there and see what we're working with. Now, I'm going to say I want to make it over here to assembly, click on mate, and let's make these just parallel. So, they're going to be parallel surfaces, and that's great so now I can move it around, up and down it moves freely. Then, let's go ahead and use this front face here or this front edge of the board if you happen to choose the edge, click on it again.
Oh, hold on, sometimes it gets a little finicky but make sure you're picking the face itself, and then spin it around and pick the inside face over here. And then let's give it a dimension here, and if it's going in the right direction, you always flip it over. Let's just say we're going to need about 20,000 off the inside face, we're going to go two and click okay. Okay, now we're about 20,000 off, and you can see if we slide this down, we have a couple components that are popping through, and that's exactly what we want. And the space seems pretty good here, again, we're going to be putting some standoffs in there, so right now I want to leave that floating so that when we actually put the standoff in, we'll have the ability to adjust the board based on the standoff.
Now we just want, all we need to do is locate it right to left, and a couple ways to do that, one of the best ways I find to that, is show some of the plains. Computer view, plains, so we can see what we have, and as far as the assembly itself lets go ahead and show that right plain so click on show. And you can see that I have a right plain of the board here. So this whole board assembly here right plane, and that's a good one to use as a reference. Now, it doesn't really matter which reference we use, but if we use the planes, we know they're always going to be there, they're not going to be destroyed.
So, let's go ahead and mate those together, click on mate for that. Spin it around and you can click on this plane here, and those slide together and that's really not what we want so we add dimension here or distance. And like I said we'll put it right in the middle of the, enclosure at this point in time, so we'll say 2.5. And if you did want to add for instance, have this board directly in the middle of the enclosure, because sometimes you want it to the right or to the left. The way you do that, is you open this assembly up and here it is. So, open that up or open the part up, but in this case here I want to open the assembly.
And we're going to create a plane in the middle of it. So I'm going to say Reference Geometry, plane. Choose this side, and choose that side of the board, you can see it drops a plane right there in the middle. Click on OK, and then come back to my assembly, click on OK, and there's that plane. So, instead of doing the design like we just did, what I would do then is I'd go back, come down here to mates at the bottom, choose that distance mate we just used, and I'll just delete it by hitting delete on the keyboard. Then I've got this plane here we've just created, I can click on mate, choose the right plane of the entire assembly.
And then you have it perfectly aligned in the center of the enclosure, and any changes to the board is really not going to affect anything because we're using those planes. And if I make the board larger, it will still always be in the center of the enclosure. If I change the enclosure around or adjust its size, again, always going to be centered. So a great way to bring the board in, and get it centered up.
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