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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.
Data sheets supply all types of data about electrical components and some of the mechanical fasteners we're going to be using in our design. It's really important to keep track of these data sheets because they're going to be giving us the information we need to put in to our design to make sure we're cutting the right size holes or putting the right type of mounting features into our design. We're going to take a look at a few different data sheets and see what kind of information we're going to get. This is one I just downloaded from McMaster cars. When I was downloading this as a 3D file, I was also able to download the PDF version of this screw. You can remember this is the screw that we used to attach the panels together in our design.
And like I said, it's telling you the, the head height, it's giving you the angle of the screw, the length of the screw. And this is great, it can also give you a part number, so if you need to order the part later, it's a great thing to keep this data in a organized fashion, especially if you have a lot of hardware being used inside of a design. You definitely want to keep track of it and know where it is, especially when it comes time to buy or purchase all the parts for your design. So, I'll just show you how I normally organize data sheets. Click on exercise files under chapter three, and it's 3.3. In here I have a folder called Ref.
And in there I've got by manufacturer or supplier, all the different information we're going to be using. Under McMaster, I've got several different dwg or dxf files, as well as a pdf file of that same screw we just looked at. If I go back, I can take a look at PEM hardware. We can open that file up. You can see here that this is the information needed to install this PEM, for one, and also if you zoom in here at the bottom, you can see some really important information when we actually go and build the tabs that this is going to go into. For one, we've got a mounting hole diameter, so we know how big that hole is going to be.
So it's a 166 hole plus 3 1000ths minus nothing. That's really important. This one has a minimum of 40,000 thick material, and we're using 50,000, so we're within that range, which is great. It's got some panel hardness, but we're using aluminum, so there's no really issue there. And then this one's real important as well. Minimums, center line to edge. And remember, we had those little tabs that are 0.4 by 0.4, so that's actually 0.2 wide from center line to edge, so we're within that. We're just barely over the minimum for that and that's why we chose those numbers, to make sure that we're making the tab not overly large but within the spec.
If I close that one down, I can also take a look at a few other items here. On the internet, you can see, here's a company called Samtec, and they have a lot of great parts you can download off the internet, as well as data sheets. I just want to point out, if you look over here under mini-connectors, your prints and footprints, you can download all that information. Then you can come down here and you can download models as well. So, all that information's available, the data sheets can be downloaded as well as the 3D cad files so it really makes it easy to work with the stuff, and keeping track of that when you're going through your design is really important. In this case here, I already downloaded that file.
It happens to be in Ref under Samtec. And you can see if we open this one up, it gives us the panel cutout for that connector and to giving us tolerances, sizes and all that information, and that's exactly what we want to use when we go ahead and design and build that enclosure that's going to use this connector. Enclosure designs can have a lot of components and data that we'll need to access as we design. Keeping track of all those data sheets and information can make your life a lot easier.
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