SolidWorks 2014 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Understanding the tools for beginning a new assembly


SolidWorks 2014 Essential Training

with Gabriel Corbett

Video: Understanding the tools for beginning a new assembly

Now that we can build parts, the next step in the
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  1. 1m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 31m 13s
    1. Launching SolidWorks for the first time
      3m 55s
    2. Accessing and customizing the Ribbon
      4m 14s
    3. Touring the shortcut bar and identifying essential keys
      7m 27s
    4. Saving, renaming, and managing files
      10m 28s
    5. Working with the new view cube, or View Selector
      2m 36s
    6. New features in SolidWorks 2013 and 2014
      2m 33s
  3. 14m 11s
    1. Understanding the 3D world
      2m 31s
    2. Creating your first part
      3m 15s
    3. The virtual, parametric prototyping environment
      1m 56s
    4. The FeatureManager and feature-based modeling
      3m 43s
    5. History-based modeling and the rollback bar
      2m 46s
  4. 28m 32s
    1. Starting a new sketch
      6m 50s
    2. The six steps used in almost all modeling features
    3. The Line and Centerline tools
      3m 25s
    4. Using the Circle tool
      1m 51s
    5. Adding and removing relationships and dimensions
      6m 56s
    6. Understanding relationship types
      3m 58s
    7. System options, units, and templates
      4m 40s
  5. 18m 28s
    1. Drawing rectangles
      5m 31s
    2. Creating arcs in a sketch
      4m 8s
    3. Drawing splines in a sketch
      4m 57s
    4. Sketching polygons
      3m 52s
  6. 36m 5s
    1. Trimming and extending portions of a sketch
      3m 54s
    2. Creating offset geometry
      3m 13s
    3. Moving, copying, rotating, and scaling elements
      3m 13s
    4. Erasing, undoing, and redoing actions
      2m 24s
    5. Using the mirror tools
      2m 24s
    6. Creating repeating patterns in a sketch
      4m 55s
    7. Using construction lines to build robust sketches
      3m 25s
    8. Applying fillets and chamfers to a sketch
      2m 32s
    9. Working with slots
      3m 46s
    10. Adding text to parts
      4m 1s
    11. Using the Convert Entities command
      2m 18s
  7. 9m 33s
    1. Working with planes
      5m 28s
    2. Placing and using axes
      2m 22s
    3. Placing a coordinate system
      1m 43s
  8. 17m 50s
    1. Extruding a sketch into a 3D object
      4m 36s
    2. Using Revolve to create 3D parts
      2m 42s
    3. Using Loft to create complex shapes
      4m 40s
    4. Refining a loft shape with guide curves
      2m 22s
    5. Using the sweep to create wire and pipe shapes
      3m 30s
  9. 20m 23s
    1. Modifying parts using the Extruded Cut tool
      5m 42s
    2. Working with the Revolved Cut tool
      6m 19s
    3. Using the Lofted Cut tool
      3m 32s
    4. Cutting holes and grooves with the Swept Cut tool
      4m 50s
  10. 21m 5s
    1. Using fillets and chamfers to smooth corners
      5m 58s
    2. Creating repeating rectangular patterns
      3m 16s
    3. Creating a circular pattern
      2m 27s
    4. Mirroring objects
      4m 0s
    5. Using the Shell and Draft tools
      3m 52s
    6. Scaling parts
      1m 32s
  11. 9m 39s
    1. Working with reusable sketches and blocks
      2m 47s
    2. Creating blocks
      3m 51s
    3. Designing with blocks
      3m 1s
  12. 29m 45s
    1. Understanding the tools for beginning a new assembly
      4m 46s
    2. The basic steps in creating an assembly
      3m 18s
    3. Mating parts together in an assembly
      6m 43s
    4. Working with subassemblies
      2m 9s
    5. Linear and circular assembly patterns
      4m 56s
    6. Downloading premade parts from the Internet
      3m 32s
    7. Using Toolbox
      4m 21s
  13. 15m 8s
    1. Mating parts with coincident, parallel, and distance mates
      4m 35s
    2. Mating parts with width mates
      5m 53s
    3. Mating parts with path mates
      2m 5s
    4. Mating parts by aligning planes
      2m 35s
  14. 10m 20s
    1. Getting started with the Hole Wizard
      4m 38s
    2. Positioning holes in layout sketches
      5m 42s
  15. 15m 27s
    1. Linking sketches to other parts
      4m 28s
    2. Linking to layout sketches
      6m 48s
    3. Using the Hole Wizard in context
      4m 11s
  16. 17m 15s
    1. Understanding threading concepts
      7m 17s
    2. Using a helix and Swept Path to create a thread
      4m 2s
    3. Understanding internal threads
      5m 56s
  17. 17m 25s
    1. Using equations to drive a sketch
      5m 5s
    2. Working with complex calculations
      2m 6s
    3. Integrating Microsoft Excel to manage design tables
      7m 10s
    4. Building assemblies using part configurations
      3m 4s
  18. 23m 17s
    1. Working with drawing templates
      6m 49s
    2. Setting up drawing options and sheet properties
      3m 43s
    3. Choosing the correct projection angle
      2m 21s
    4. Adding model views to a drawing
      10m 24s
  19. 16m 8s
    1. Creating general dimension notations
      6m 37s
    2. Creating ordinate and running dimensions
      3m 0s
    3. Dimensioning holes and curved features
      3m 8s
    4. Using the autodimension tools
      3m 23s
  20. 14m 38s
    1. Creating holes and callouts
      5m 8s
    2. Adding center marks and centerlines to a drawing
      3m 46s
    3. Adding item notes
      2m 57s
    4. Making drawing revisions
      2m 47s
  21. 11m 42s
    1. Adding assemblies to drawings
      2m 10s
    2. Including a bill of materials
      1m 42s
    3. Adding balloons to specify parts on an assembly drawing
      1m 39s
    4. Adding a title block and sheet properties
      2m 8s
    5. Building an exploded view for an assembly drawing
      4m 3s
  22. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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Watch the Online Video Course SolidWorks 2014 Essential Training
6h 20m Beginner Dec 09, 2013

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SolidWorks is the world leader in 3D software for product development and design. Start creating manufacturing-ready parts and assemblies, as well as detailed drawings and bills of materials. In this course, author Gabriel Corbett shows how to create 2D sketches that will become the basis for your 3D models. You'll use the Extrude and Revolve tools to turn 2D sketches into 3D parts, then create more complex geometry with sweep and lofts. Then learn how to use the cut features to remove material and shape parts, and use mirroring, patterning, and scaling to modify parts. Next, you'll combine parts into movable assemblies and subassemblies. Finally, you'll create accurately annotated drawings, complete with itemized bills of materials that relate the final parts and assemblies to a manufacturer.

Topics include:
  • Creating your first part
  • Starting a new sketch
  • Adding and removing relationships and dimensions
  • Sketching polygons
  • Creating offset geometry
  • Moving, copying, and rotating elements
  • Working with planes, axes, and the coordinate system
  • Using Revolve and Loft to create 3D objects
  • Trimming with the Revolve, Loft, and Sweep cuts
  • Creating smooth and angled corners with fillets and chamfers
  • Designing with sketch blocks
  • Working with subassemblies
  • Creating threaded parts
  • Integrating Excel to manage design tables
  • Adding dimension notations to a drawing
  • Rendering an image of a part or assembly
Gabriel Corbett

Understanding the tools for beginning a new assembly

Now that we can build parts, the next step in the design process is to assemble the parts together to create your product. You can think of parts like Legos and the assemblies like connecting the parts together to build your creation. Parts are the building blocks, assemblies are the combination of parts, and we can combine other assemblies to create subassemblies in our top-level assemblies. Parts, assemblies, and subassemblies can all have drawings. The assembly environment is similar to the part environment, with its own special set of tools. To get started, let's go ahead and open several individual parts.

So let's go up to Open, let's jump into the chapter 11 folder, and we're going to go into chapter 11.1. And you can see here, we've got several different files. Make sure you have this quick filter turned on so you're looking at both parts and assemblies. And I'm going to open 11.1-1. And we want to go all the way down here to 11.1-4. Hold down Shift, click on the last one, and click on Open. That should open all the individual files, and it should cascade the windows for you in the drawing environment. You can also go up here to Window, and you can say Tile Horizontally, which then just tiles them across the screen.

We're not going to be using blocks anymore, so if you still have that turned on, go ahead and turn it off. And now we can see, here are individual parts we want to assemble together into an assembly. To get started, you have to choose which one of these is going to be your base part at the base of your assembly. In this case here, it's going to be this 11.1-1 is going to be my base part, and then I'm going to take these other components and I'm going to assemble it to this component here. So, start with whatever your original component is and come up here to File>Make Assembly from Part.

And it's going to ask you for a template. We only have one base template in there right now, so that's okay, just use that one. And click OK. And it's highlighting in here to make sure that is the one you wanted to choose, but you could change to a different one at this point in time if you wanted to. I'm going to go ahead and click OK. And it's going to drop that same part into our new assembly. So we have a thing that's called assembly one. And I'm going to go ahead and save that out now, under File>Save As, and I'm going to call it 11.1 assembly. Go ahead and click on save and, if you have an older file version, you can go ahead and update it to the latest version.

And we could move forward with that. Now that we have that, I'm going to go up here again to Window>Tile Horizontally, and you can see, we have the original file we opened. We have that file now in an assembly. And we have our other parts. What we can do now is, we can do what's called drag and drop. So grab this part here, click on it, and just drag it over into the assembly. Grab this part here. Grab it and drag it over to the assembly. And finally, this part here just click and drag, and drag it into the assembly. Once you have all the components in the assembly, you can go head and expand the window out so you see everything at one time.

Now that we're in the assembly mode a lot of the view and orientation commands work exactly the same. If I hold down the middle mouse button, I can rotate the entire environment around, right to left, or up and down. If I want to move an individual component, I can just click on the component and drag it around. If I want to rotate that component, I can right click on it, and then rotate it around in the environment. I can grab other components. I can spin the entire world around. I can move things around. In fact, if I need another component, I can always hold down Control and Control drag, I can drag out a second copy of the existing component.

So, a lot of things you can do with the environment. I also want to point out, up here at the top of the screen, is the ribbon bar has changed. We now have an Assembly tab with a bunch of tools that we're going to be using to build assemblies. We have layout, we still have sketch, we still have evaluate, but we have a few other tools that are available to us. Also, take a look at the feature manager. It looks a little bit differently. We still have a front plane, a top plain, and a right plane, but those are actually the front, top, and right plane of the assembly, not the individual parts. Then, below that are all the individual parts, one after another.

If you were to expand each individual part, you'll see that each one has the original tree that was created when you made the part. Also, each part has its original front, top and right plane, as well as its origin. So we can use any of those to assemble the parts later, in our assembly here. Notice, at the very beginning, the very first part here has a little f in front of it. That means that part is fixed and it's not going to be moving. Where as all the other parts can freely move around. If you try to grab this original part here, notice it won't move because it's fixed at the origin. Generally the first part you bring in, it's origin here will be at the same location as the origin in the assembly And the planes will be automatically lined up.

Once you start to assemble parts together, you can really start to realize the power of designing in a 3D modelling environment. Your computer becomes a virtual prototyping environment. By assembling the parts in the computer, we can see most of what we'll see in real life. And a lot of the times you will see and find things you might of overlooked while building the parts individually. This ability will save countless hours and dramatically reduce the amount of prototyping that is necessary.

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