Get an overview of the basic interface, tools, and toolbars.
- [Instructor] SOLIDWORKS is the world leader in 3D solid modeling software. SOLIDWORKS is both a history and feature-based parametric modeling program. The software uses a simple set of tools and commands to help you design parts, assemblies, and drawings. Let's head over to the desktop and double-click on the SOLIDWORKS 2018 icon. If you don't see the icon on your desktop more than likely it's available in the Start menu under SOLIDWORKS. Once you double-click on that you can see here I'm using the SOLIDWORKS 2018 Pre-Release.
More than likely this is going to be very similar to the version you're going to be working with. Okay, once you see here we've got a brand new Welcome screen and at the top you can see we've got Home, we've got our Recent documents, we've got some learning resources, and we have some different Alerts that might be available inside of SOLIDWORKS or things that are happening under Technical Alerts. Under the Home icon you can see we've got Part, Assembly, and Drawing. Those are the three major modes that SOLIDWORKS operates in. So we're going to be jumping into the Part mode first off. So once you've created a part or parts, you can then take those parts and assemble them together in an assembly.
Then you can create drawings of both the parts as well as the assembly. You can click over here on the Advanced tab if you'd like to use specific templates. You can click over here on the Open icon to open any available SOLIDWORKS files on your computer. Or you can come down here to the Recent Documents, you can see here we have a couple different documents that have been created, and you can open either one of those. Once you open a new document or a recent document this window, of course, is going to go away. You also have the option of opening different folders that you might have been working on in the past. So let's go ahead and click on just a basic Part, that'll open up SOLIDWORKS in the Part environment, obviously.
And you can see here we have a bunch of different icons in a bunch of different areas on the screen and that's what I want to cover right now. All right, up at the top of the screen's what we call the ribbon bar. The ribbon bar changes by these little tabs. Click on the tabs you get a new set of tools. We've got three tabs right now. If you right-click you can see I have a whole list of different toolbars that I can turn on if you'd like to. Click on something like Sheet Metal, it shows up as a tab, and now you have access to those tools. And if you don't want that tab there right-click again, turn that toolbar off, and there you're back to the toolbars you had.
Okay, at the top of the screen, of course, we've got these sketch tools, which are the ones we're going to be using a lot in this course and we'll be getting into those as we go through the course. Over here on the left hand side is what we call the FeatureManager. This is where we're going to be building our part and using these tools quite a bit. Now before I go any further I want to open up a recent document, so I'm going to click on r on my keyboard and I'm going to open this one called 1.1 and you've got this part looks like that. I'm going to change this background to being just a faded background, so it's a little bit easier to see what's going on.
So here's my part. Now over here on the left hand side you can see I've got the FeatureManager, which is the top here, I've got a couple of different tabs here at the top I can flip through if you want to, but we're going to focus right here on the FeatureManager. The first thing here is the Boss-Extrude1, below that is this Cut for this hole. You've got these holes on the side, and then you've got this little triangle at the top. So that is how that part was built. Now if you click on this little bar here at the bottom, we call that a history bar, if I roll that back to the beginning notice there's nothing there. We've gone back in history. If I roll that forward you can see here I've created a block.
If I roll it forward again I've got a hole. If I roll forward again I've got the two holes on the side, and then again one more time and I've got that little triangle at the top. So you can see here I can go back in history, that's why we call it a history-based modeler. And below each one of these features, if you click on the little twirl down you can see there's little sketches that define that feature. So the sketch is used to create that feature. Okay, up here at the top below the ribbon is kind of the view or heads up view toolbar, and this allows me to kind of move the model around.
Now I can click on this one here, which is Zoom to Fit, which is kind of just brings it into the view. If I want to scroll back out and I click on it again it just brings it right in. I can Zoom into an Area. So I want to go in here, I can zoom right in there, I can see that. The next icon is go back to that Previous View, pretty straightforward and simple. The next one is Section View, very useful. I can click on this, drag it through my model, so I can see inside. I can also switch the Plane, so I can then drag this direction if I wanted to, or switch over here to another Plane and drag through that direction there.
I also have some twist control, so I can twist it up and down, or I can twist it right to left, so either way you want to go. Once you have the section view you're looking for go ahead and click on the green checkmark and the model will stay in that configuration. If you want to turn that off just go up here to the icon and go ahead and turn that back off. The next one is here is Dynamic Views. We don't have any, so we're going to go ahead and leave that off for right now. The next one's going to be View Orientation. If you click on that we get what's called this view cube that pops up and you can click on any one of these facets and the model will spin around, so you can see that face.
Go back up there again, here it is over here. I can choose any one of these individual views as well, just click on that and it'll show you the top of the model. Okay, the next one is how do I want to view my model? So right now I have this what's called Shaded With Edges. I can also click on just purely Shaded, you can see how it changes a little bit, that's a Shaded view. Down here there's a couple more wireframe options, so Hidden Lines Removed. You can see them in dashed lines as well. And then if I wanted to go over here I can see a pure wireframe model. So I can see much different options how you might want to look at that.
And the cool thing about these is you can see into the model and you can see where those features are ending up. When you have a Shaded mode it's a little bit harder to see exactly what's going on inside the model and all the individual features. All right, so we have Display Style, we've already seen that one. The next one is going to be the View, all the things we want to see in our model or we don't want to see. If I want to see a plane I can click over here and show the plane or turn it off. If I want to see axes you can turn them on or turn them off. Notice there are no axes in here, so we're not really seeing anything change, but if you did have these features shown on your model you have the option to either turn them on or turn them off in your view.
The next one is the Edit Appearance. Once you click on that icon you get the Color palette over here, as well as the Appearances and Scene. We have a whole bunch of options here we're going to be covering soon, but this allows you to choose a face or something like that and then change the color of that face or the block or however you want to apply it to modify your part. I'm going to go ahead and get out of that, because we're going to be covering that later on in the course. Okay, below that is the background. So right now I have this 3 Point Faded, I can change to like a pure White background or a Backdrop. This is really just how you want to work and what you want your background to look like when you're working the model.
It also is helpful later on when you start rendering your part and making it look the right way for like a photorealistic rendering. All right, the very last one here is if you want to have RealView Graphics, allows you to change your graphics views, you can change it if you want Shaded Modes or Occlusions and things like, you can turn those on or off down here. You can even turn on Perspective or even Cartoon modes. You have whole bunch of options so you can make things very fancy if you'd like to. I prefer generally to leave all these things off, because it does slow down your actual model when you have all this extra graphics things going on in the background.
So I'd prefer to leave this off most of the time, unless you're wanting to show off your model to somebody you might want to turn it on to give it that little extra pop. That really sells that model. Okay, over here on the right we've got a flyout, we've got the basic home screen here, below that is the Design Library where you can store individual parts, annotations, or drawings that you can then use in your assemblies or your different parts. And it's very, very useful, but we'll be covering that later. Below that is a basic File Explorer. We can look through your Desktop or any open documents in SOLIDWORKS and open them up very easily from inside of SOLIDWORKS.
Below this is grayed out for right now, so we'll cover that later. Appearances, you can add or remove appearances from here, as well as decals and scenes. I will, of course, be covering those later on as well. And then the final one here is Custom Properties, which we can add properties to this, which is kind of like metadata that's attached to a model and then when you use this in an assembly that information would show up in like a build materials, it'd make a drawing of it, that information would show up on the drawing itself. So you can attach those properties to the individual model that you're working on.
All right, those are the basics for the user environment. You can see we've got a whole bunch of different tools and a whole bunch of different areas and we're going to be covering each and every one of these things as we go through the course, but for right now that should give you a basic understanding of where the basic tools are, so we can get started learning SOLIDWORKS.
First, see how to how to use the sketch tools to create two-dimensional sketches that become the foundation for 3D objects. Next, look at extruding and revolving 3D features; creating complex objects using the Sweep, Loft, and Surface tools; and modifying parts. Learn how to create uniform holes with the Hole Wizard, and explore more advanced modeling techniques using equations, mirroring, and pattern tools. Then review best practices for putting parts together in assemblies and building robust structures. The course wraps up tips for creating detailed drawings that relate the final parts and assemblies to a manufacturer, complete with an itemized bill of materials and drawing notes.
- Working with templates
- Creating sketches
- Extruding and revolving features
- Applying materials
- Sketching lines, shapes, and polygons
- Trimming, extending, and transforming geometry
- Adding fillets and chamfers
- Working with planes and coordinates
- Creating patterns
- Modeling advanced parts
- Making holes
- Designing with blocks
- Building assemblies
- Mating parts
- Linking sketches
- Using design tables
- Creating part and assembly drawings
- Creating dimensions
- Adding annotations