While it's possible to do manually, the SOLIDWORKS automated rectangles feature makes drawing rectangles even easier. Available in a number of rectangle styles, the platform enables you to get the rectangle that's just right for your design. In this video, you'll learn how to create rectangles automatically with the SOLIDWORKS software.
The rectangle command is nothing more than four line segments, and some relationships auto created by SolidWorks. There are several types of rectangles preloaded into the SolidWorks tools. And we can use them, or we can create our own. Depending on the tool we use, the relationships are added differently. Let's take a look. I'm going to start over here on the top plane. Click and start a new sketch, and we're going to come up here to the top of the screen, onto the Sketch toolbar, and were going to come here and grab the very first rectangle, which is a Corner Rectangle. To use this rectangle, we just go ahead and click on the origin, or anywhere else on the screen.
Click once, and then drag the rectangle out to whatever size we'd like, and notice, it gives us a couple heads up display, size in x and y, so we've got a two by four, so I want to drag this out to roughly about four inches on the x and roughly about two inches in the y. And just click OK. Then I can come back, grab the smart dimension tool, dimension one of the legs, I get 4.0, and dimension the other leg, 2.0, to create the rectangle. Notice, everything turns black. That means it's fully defined, knows exactly where it is, and it's tied to the origin, so it knows exactly where that is as well.
Notice how this is created. It uses two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Makes it really simple to create a rectangle, and does all that behind the scenes. And we could create this exact same rectangle just using the regular line command, and adding those relationships manually, but using the rectangle command really make it a little faster to do that. Let's go ahead and delete this. So I'm going to click and drag over the rectangle and hit Delete on my keyboard. Next I'm going to use this center point rectangle. This one here, I'm going to start again on the origin. Click and drag out the size we'd like, and notice this one gives us automatically two center lines going through the rectangle and it ties it in to the origin and makes it's own mid point.
It makes it really handy to design something that's origin-centric. Again, let's go back and add a few dimension. So I'm going to dimension from the left to the right. And then place the dimension down here at 4.0. And again from the bottom to the top and the place the dimension at 2.0. There's my rectangle, fully defined and black again. Go ahead and delete that. This time we're going to come down to the three-point corner rectangle. Now I can start out in space or I can start right at the origin. So start at the origin, click, drag out.
Notice I get a dimension as well as an angle. Click and then drag to your second dimension and click OK. This one here, if I dimension it, I can give it maybe a four inch dimension here and I can click on one of the corners and I can drag this rectangle around. Notice it moves around that center point. If I add a dimension here to the other leg. Keep in mind, look what's happening right there when I click on that. Notice it's not actually aligned with the line. So if I get close to the line, it will do that. If I move further away, it gives me a dimension here, or if I move up here it gives me a dimension here. So be real careful with that, making sure that you're getting the right dimension.
If you don't like that, hit Escape, and dimension from this line to this line, and that way you're always going to be tied in, in the exact spacing between the two lines. 2.0 Once I have that, I can then grab one of the corners and can rotate that around to any angle I like. In fact, if I'd like to use an angle, what I can do is, I can add a center line from the origin, just extend it out a little bit, and I can add a new dimension from that center line to one of these bottom edges here, and type in, maybe, 35. Right, that means everything's fully defined, and now the angle's set as well.
When you're done with that go ahead and window over everything and hit Delete. Then come down here to the Three Point Center Rectangle. Again, start the origin, drag out a line, drag out the other line again. Place a couple of dimensions, give this one 6.0. Move this one, 3.0, and then we want to determine whatever that angle is. So on the angle, again I'm going to start from the origin. Draw out a line and make sure that line does snap to horizontal. In this case it didn't because I just clicked a little too soon. So I want to make sure that I am going to snap that to horizontal.
If you don't automatically add the relationship, click on the line and say, Make Horizontal. Notice you will have that little green check mark box directly below it. Then I can dimension from that line to one of these other lines and set the angle. Pretty handy. 'Kay. Let's go ahead and delete those, come back here, and this time we're going to grab the parallelogram. From the origin again, drag a line out, drag a line over and there's my shape. I might want to add a horizontal line, and then I can dimension from that line to the bottom line.
And give this maybe a fifteen degree angle. Now I'll dimension from the lower leg to the adjacent leg, make that 45. In this case here, I'll dimension from this line to this line here, make it 2.0. And finally, I'll dimension from here to there. Give it dimension it that way or, what I can do, is I can dimension the line on the top here. Make it 4.0, and now we have a fully defined shape. Then later, if I wanted to change the angle, just double-click it, type in a new angle, click OK, and everything automatically updates.
Then keep in mind, though, we're just using these tools to create rectangles or parallelograms, really it's just four line segments. So if at any point in time you'd like to actually change the way it's created or change the lines, you can go back and actually just delete some of the dimensions or delete some of the relationships. So notice we have a relationship here between the two lines. And I click on either one of those little green boxes and hit Delete. As soon as I do that, this line now is free to move around. So if I wanted to make this one a square corner I could hold down Ctrl, select those two adjacent lines and make them perpendicular.
Now I've got a new shape that I created from a starting shape of a parallelogram. It's a really quick way to utilize some of the built in tools in SolidWorks to create whatever you'd like as far as your final design.
- 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