Join Gabriel Corbett for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating sketches, part of SOLIDWORKS 2017 Essential Training.
- So far we've seen a few sketches already created but this time in this movie, I want to really dive in and go into the real basics of what goes on behind the scenes in creating a sketch. Now we've already talked about what is required to start a sketch. First things first, is we need a plane or a face to start drawing on to create that sketch. Notice we have the three fundamental planes, so Front Plane, Top Plane, and Right Plane. We also have the ability to create other planes and reference geometry to start drawing on but anyway you look at it we have to have some flat surface to start drawing on.
So to get starting I'm going to choose the Right Plane and just start a brand new sketch here. Notice it spins around, so I'm looking straight at that face, now I can start drawing. I'm in the sketch mode and if you look at the upper right hand corner of the screen you can see I have two options. One is the Exit Sketch icon and the other one is cancel. When you're done with your sketch, generally you're going to be wanting to choose Exit Sketch, that's going to take you out of the sketch but it's going to keep the sketch. If you click on cancel, it's just going to delete the sketch all together. So first thing I want to do is I want to come up here and start choosing some of these drawing tools.
I can use lines, circles, arcs, rectangles, you name it. Let's start with a rectangle, first click here, second click there, I've created a rectangle, pretty basic. Now we're going to be going more into all the different drawing tools later on in this course but I want to just focus on what a sketch actually means. So at this point in time I'm just going to click on OK and I'm going to exit out of that sketch and notice over here on our FeatureManager, I have what's called Sketch1 and there it is. Now I can click on the Front Plane or the Right Plane or the Top Plane and I can start another sketch.
This time, I'm going to start a sketch over here and I'm going to start and just draw a hexagon. Click OK, exit out of the sketch. Now notice I have Sketch1 and Sketch2. This is what's called the history bar or the FeatureManager. So my history bar's right here, I can drag that back so you have nothing. I can drag it forward so I can see here's my first sketch and I can go one more, my second sketch. That's the history bar and these are the feature's that we're using to create this part. Now either one of these sketches can then be turned into a solid model.
So if I choose that first sketch, I can click on Features and click on Extrude Sketch, drag that out and create a part. Now I can also choose that same sketch number two and do the same thing if I wanted to. This time I can drag it the other direction and that would be OK as well. Now if I want to continue on building the feature I can click another face, another face here, anywhere I want, start a sketch and start some other type of geometry and go ahead and extrude it out or even cut it out, I can extrude a blind distance or it can go through wall, bunch of options here to create geometry but what I want to point out is over here, is each one of these features, if you click on the drop-down directly below it you can see the sketch there is what drives that shape.
If you click on the drop-down next to each one of these you can see, here's the feature, there's the sketch, here's the feature, there's the sketch, here's the feature, there's the sketch and I can even share sketches between features if I wanted to. What's interesting about this is if I go back and change anyone of these sketches the feature will automatically change. So let's go back to Sketch1, edit the sketch, now I'm going to click on one of the corners and I'm going to make it just a lot bigger, exit back out of the sketch and notice it automatically updates to a lot bigger shape because that Sketch1 is what's defining the shape of what's going to be extruded.
Now the feature itself which is Box-Extrude1 determines only the depth that it's going to be extruded. So if I click on Edit Feature, I can then change the depth of that shape by dragging it out or typing in a different value here but the shape itself is defined by the underlying sketch. So if you want to change the shape, you change the sketch. If you want to change the depth of the feature you go back to the individual feature itself. So keep that in mind, each feature has it's own sketch. If you want to modify the shape itself, you click on the sketch, you click on the pop-up window that says Edit Sketch, I can then change that shape or move it around, I can add dimensions, I can tie it into the origin, I can do all types of different things here.
I'm going to type in six inches to make it a lot bigger, click on normal to here, I'm going to tie that somehow into the origin with a line. If you have a line like this, we're going to have an error, so I have to make sure that's a construction line. Any time you see a dash line it doesn't do anything to the actual shape, it just allows us to lay things out in the window. Once I have the shape, I can then drag things around, I can make them bigger, I can define the shape of this internal circle, it's a lot I can do. I'm going to type in 12 inches here, make it a lot bigger.
Notice over there, if I add another dimension to define it, it'll give me an error saying hey there is actually already a dimension over here defining the size of this thing and if you try to place that dimension it's going to cause an error, so let's not do that or I can turn it into a driven dimension which is basically just a heads-up view of the size. If you don't want to do that, click on cancel and just get rid of that dimension. Exit out of that sketch and you can see just how easily I've updated that entire part with much bigger pieces, just by changing the underlying sketch that was created, to create these shapes.
That's the basics for understanding what sketches are and how they're created. You can use any available flat face to start a sketch on and each one of those sketches is the fundamental building block for the underlying features. Some of the more advance features like sweeps and lofts can have multiple sketches to create one individual feature. In fact, if we start getting into surfaces and things like that you can have a lot of sketches that are all required to create one individual shape, so your basic Boss-Extrude, Revolve and Extrude and Cut and things like that are just going to use one but those sketches can be quite complicated and you can have a lot of information there.
Now throughout this course we're going to be getting into each individual tool, so you have a thorough understanding of each one of those but in this case I just want to point out what a sketch means and how to create and get into that sketch mode and how to get out of it and back into it and make modifications to your parts, to your sketches, so you fully understand everything you need to do to create effective models inside of SOLIDWORKS.
- Advanced Sketch tools
- Creating sketches
- Modeling with the Extrude and Revolve features
- Applying materials, colors, and backgrounds
- Sketching basic shapes and polygons
- Working with planes, axes, and the coordinate system
- Creating smooth and angled corners with fillets and chamfers
- Advanced part modeling with the Loft and Sweep features
- Creating circular patterns
- Using surfaces to build solid models
- Using design tables
- Adding assemblies to drawings
- Including a bill of materials