Learn how to use equations to drive your SOLIDWORKS sketches and features.
- [Instructor] In this movie we're going to be looking and working with equations and linked values. Now before we get started, let's go ahead and turn on Equations folder. Over here in the Features Manager you can see we don't have an Equation folder. And sometimes that folder will just pop up when it's being used. So I want to make sure we're showing that right from the beginning. So right click over here on the top level here, which is the first icon. Right click and say Hidden Tree Items, and come down here to Hide/Show Tree Items. Click on that one there. And come down here to Equations.
Automatic is turned on. I want to go ahead and just Show that. And click OK. And now we have the Equations in that folder. So if you right click on Equations, you can say Manage Equations, and you get this little dialogue box that pops up. So it's a pretty easy way to get at Equations. Now right here we can create some global variables. I'm going to go ahead and type in a global variable called maybe, A, and we're going to define what it's equal to. So I'm going to say five inches. And then go ahead and click on the next box below that. Define a global variable of B. And this one we're going to make equal to 10.
And of course I could chose my units if I like to, but if you use the default units it's just going to stay with whatever your inch, pound, second, or millimeter, gram, second unit system you might be working in. Now I defined two global variables here and that's pretty much all I need to get started with. Go ahead and click on OK. Now let's go over and start a sketch. So over here I'm starting a sketch on the Front Plane. I'm going to draw a rectangle here. I'm going to start with the origin, kind of just drag it out And let's go ahead and define a couple of dimensions. So in this dimension over here I'm going to click. And I pretty much want it to be five, but I already have a global variable named A which is equal to five.
So instead of typing the five here I can instead say equal. And now I get the option of selecting one of the global variables that I've already pre-defined, or I can link to a function, or I can even link to a file property. So you have a whole bunch of different things you can do there. Let's go ahead and link that to the A variable which is equal to five. Click OK. And now click on the green check mark, and you can see here I've got this little Σ in front of there and it says it's five. That Σ is signifying that it is a linked value back to that global variable A.
So if I change the global variable A, everything else will automatically change. Now let's go ahead and define the length over here. So now the length, I can define it as linking it to another variable, or I can say something like equals to, and I can say something like global variable A, and I can multiple that times two. And that will equal to 10. So here's my 10 value here and I've actually created an equation on the fly. So I've taken the A variable and then I multiplied that by two.
So now, whenever I change the global variable A both of these values will automatically change. Let's try it out. Go over here, exit out of this. Come over here to my global variables under Equations. I've got A and B. Let's go ahead and Manage those equations. You can see here I'm going to change this one from five to 10, click OK. And notice my sketch automatically got bigger. Let's go back to that sketch, take a look at it. And you can see this one is 10 now, and that one over here is 20, because those are linked to those global variables.
What makes this very powerful is I can use something like a hole size. Maybe I want to start my design using a 1/4 inch hole throughout my entire design. And later on I might want to change it to a 3/8 inch hole. So instead of going back to every one of those sketches and changing all those values from 1/4 inch to 3/8, I can easily change the one global variable and all the holes that are tied to that global variable will automatically update. So it's a really powerful tool. Alright, the next thing I want to do is to click on the Features. Let's go ahead and extrude this thing out.
Instead of typing a value over here, of course we can also link to a global variable as well. So over here, let's go ahead and link that one to the global variable B. And then go ahead and click OK. And now we've linked our entire shape to global variables and equations. If you need to modify any of those equations you can always go back to the sketch themselves or come up here to the Equations, Manage Equations. Now you can see what we've done. So up here is your global variables and down here are your equations. So if you need to modify these you can easily change them right here.
So for instance, if you want to change instead of Ax2, if you want to make it Ax3, no problem, do that. And notice your block automatically updates based upon that information. Okay we can do a few other things as well. So let's go ahead and draw another sketch. And let's go ahead and draw another rectangle in the center of this thing. And let's pull it out. But before we do that, I want to double click on this box right here. So notice if I double click on the first shape I get a couple of these other things that kind of pop up.
Now when I go over here and click on Extrude I can then link this depth here to one of these other values So click on Equal To and then go over here and just grab one of these other values. So now I'm creating an equation basically on the fly again. So I'm saying the depth of this extrude is going to be equal to the depth of that extrude over there Or if you want to get really fancy, you can say it's multiplied by or subtracted by one, or something like that. If you want to be really cool. So let's go ahead and try that out. So we'll say minus one inch. Go ahead and click OK.
And there's that new value. So over here I've got this extrude here. And if you look at the equations, right click on it and say Manage Equations, you can see here, here's the box extrude minus one. So this is a nine inch extrusion and the other one was a 10 inch. So pretty handy way you can kind of use those equations, those linked in global variables, to really control your entire model. And you can really get some pretty interesting and cool effects, and really can save a lot of time by linking to variables. And if you ever take any of these certification exams from SOLIDWORKS, they're going to make extensive use of equations.
So definitely make sure you are aware of how to apply equations, how to use them, and how to link variables to them.
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