Join Gabriel Corbett for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating sketches, part of Learning SOLIDWORKS.
- Inside of SOLIDWORKS we're going to be creating a 3D model based upon a 2D sketch. You can think of a sketch like a 2D drawing you might draw on a piece of paper. Now we need to have that piece of paper. So instead of SOLIDWORKS that piece of paper is either a face or a plane. Now there's no faces because we don't have anything built in our model already. So we have three fundamental planes inside of SOLIDWORKS every time we start a new document. We have the Front plane, the Top plane and the Right plane, and if I click on this little eye here, I can show all these different planes, showing how they look in 3D space. I can spin that around, you can see that these are in 3D already.
Now I can click on the plane itself by left mouse clicking and then come up here and click on Sketch. That's one way to do it. I can come up here to Sketch right here, and it's going to ask me which plane or face would I like to start my sketch entity on. So I can choose something like the Front Plane, and now I just move into a Sketch mode inside of SOLIDWORKS. I can also do the exact same thing by right clicking on any one of these planes over here and clicking on "Starting a Sketch." Now I'm going to go back and I'm going to hide the individual planes, so they don't confuse us when we're looking at the drawing. So now I'm in the Sketch mode of SolidWorks.
I'm in an active sketch. You can tell that because this icon up here is highlighted. Over here on the right hand side of the screen I have Exit Sketch as well as Cancel. Now I have these tools available to me. I have smart dimension, I have lines, rectangles, slots, circles, arcs, polygons, splines, ellipses, sketch fillets, text and a whole bunch of different editing and modifying tools over here. So to get started I'm going to show you the basics for creating a sketch. I'm going to use the corner rectangle tool.
I'm going to start right at the origin here. I'm going to draw out a rectangle. Notice as soon as I do that I get four different lines that create a rectangle. I get these little green boxes, and those little green boxes are what's called "relationships". It's saying these lines on the left and right-hand side, they're vertical. The line here and the line here, those are horizontal. And that's creating a true rectangle for me. Now if I start another rectangle here, I'm going to click once, and drag out a rectangle. Notice I get a couple of little heads-up dimensions showing me the size of the rectangle.
Now I can type those values in, so I can type in 2.0 and then maybe 3.0 or 30, and it will create the rectangle with those exact sides. So it makes it really easy to create shapes the right size right from the beginning, but you don't need to. You can change them on the fly. If I go up to smart dimension, I can click on that, drag out a dimension and notice it already has that three-inch dimension there. Now if I want to change it to four, just click on 4.0 on your keyboard, hit enter, and it changes it to four inches. Then notice, my sketch shows up in blue. Blue sketches have the ability to be drug around the screen.
Because I've already defined it's four inches long, I can't change the length, but I can change the width, I can drag it in and out until I add a dimension. As soon as I add a dimension between here, or an angle, or whatever else you want to add, you want to type in 2.0. Now I can't change the size, but I can move it around. But notice everything is blue. It's blue because it's undefined or under-defined. It doesn't know where it is inside of the sketch plane. So I always want to tie something into the origin. The origin is right here in this little red arrow going both directions.
If I click on this corner here, I can click and drag that and snap it over to that corner. Notice that now it turns fully defined in black. If you have some other lines you don't want in your sketch, you can click on the individual lines, they highlight in blue. Hit delete in your queue bar to get rid of them. That's a quick way to get rid of those. We have some relationships here showing this is connected to that point which is called coincident. I have some vertical relationships, and I have some horizontal relationships. We're going to be getting more into relationships as we go. But that's the basics for creating a sketch inside of SOLIDWORKS.
We're going to use some sketch tools, we're going to add some dimensions, then we're going to add some relationships to define where that is in the sketch window. When your happy with your sketch, you can go over here and click on Exit Sketch, and it's going to take you out of the sketch mode Now notice you have Sketch Number 1, over here on the left hand side. It's showing this related to the origin as well as the front plane, when I click on that. And then this is going to be turned into either an extruded shape, maybe a revolved shape, swept shape. I have a whole bunch of things I can do with this sketch once I've created it. But first things first, we need to realize how a sketch is created and how it is modified.
Now if I want to go back in and change the sketch, go over, right click on it, and click on Edit Sketch. Now notice we're back in that sketch environment. If I hit the spacebar on my keyboard, it will spin that model around so I'm looking straight at it. If it doesn't automatically spin, you might get a view queue pop-up and then go ahead and click on normal two or choose one of those faces so it does show up directly, so your looking at that sketch head-on. I can scroll in and out, just using my mouse wheel, and I can pan around just like I would in a regular 3D environment, except this one is purely a 2D environment.
But it is a purely 2D environment, however I can spin it around in 3D just like I could a 3D model, but sometimes it's a lot easier to look at it when your looking straight on it as a 2D sheet of paper that you might be drawing on. Now I can continue adding to the sketch, I can modify it, I can delete things. Anything I do with the sketch is going to be contained in Sketch Number 1. Now I can have as many sketches as I want, but pretty much we're going to be turning these in to some type of 3D solid. So let's jump ahead here and get a glimpse at what's going to happen. I'm going to go over here to features, click on extruded box or base, and that sketch is going to be dragged out into a 3D solid by defining the depth, put in a value of 3.0 and then click on OK.
And there it is, our very first 3D CAD model.
- Navigating the SOLIDWORKS 3D workspace
- Creating sketches
- Extruding 3D parts from 3D sketches
- Using the Spline tool
- Adding dimensions
- Trimming and extending sketches
- Using the Mirror tool to repurpose geometry
- Referencing geometry
- Adding fillets, chamfers, and patterns
- Mating parts in an assembly
- Creating part drawings