Join Leon van den Heever for an in-depth discussion in this video Workflow tools frequently used during the course, part of Modeling a Motorcycle Engine with SOLIDWORKS.
- In this video, we will briefly look at some of the mine workflow tools I used during my modeling process. Which assist us in being more efficient in accessing certain commands, and how to customize these tools, so we can (tweak) them to suit our modeling style. Solid Works has a user friendly uni-face, and developed a strife to bring the required modeling commands, figuratively speaking, to our fingertips for speedy access. The first user tool I mostly use is mouse gestures. This tool can be activated by clicking the right mouse button in the graphics view area, and moving the mouse slightly in any direction.
Once activated, we are presented with a wheel populated with common commands relevant to the (illic) mode I'm in. The commands and locations of the commands on the wheel can be customized, with our preferred commands and the location. A shortcut key you'll want to remember is the S key. When pressing the S key on your keyboard, an in-context tool bar will be presented at the current position of your mouse pointer anywhere on the screen. The usefulness of this should be self-evident from an ease of access consideration. This tool bar is again populated with commands relevant to the current modeling environment state and too can be customized.
Let's look at the customization options of these tools on the menu bar. The last icon to the right has a drop-down menu where we can access the customized command. When selected, we are presented with the customize window. We have a number of tabs at the top, and we'll briefly look at a few of them. Select the Shortcut Bars tab. Note that we have a different context tool bar for parts, assembly, drawings, and sketches. To add a command select the relevant category from the tool bar drop-down, select the command icon from the button section, and drag and drop it onto the context tool bar.
To removed it, simply drag it back to the button section. Note you can re-size these context tool bars as well. Select the Commands tab from the category windows, select the Standard category. From the buttons icon, drag the redo icon and place it beside the undo icon on the menu bar. I would also remove the select icon and print icon, since I can access them from other menus or tool bars. Looking at the Mouse Gesture tab, make sure eight gestures is selected, so we have space for additional commands.
Selecting the share only commands box will list the currently assigned commands on the gesture wheel. To assign a command, find it by the search field or by category, then select the relevant drop-down field corresponding to the command and column you want. Select the position for the command on the gesture wheel. Click on okay to lock in our changes. If you have forgotten where a specific command is, we have a fantastic command search tool at our disposal, which instantly finds available commands for us.
At the right-hand side of our menu bar, we have a search box. Select the drop-down arrow and select commands. Let's search for near. Here we are instantly presented with irrelevant command or commands, which we can run from this location. Drag to our command bar or ask Solid Works to show us its easiest access location. The right mouse button is always your friend. So use it to see what the available commands are relevant to what you are doing at that time.
An important habit that needs to be cultivated when using Solid Works is to, when selecting a feature icon in the feature manager, an edge, or face, or sketching, learn to pause for a second. As you have just seen, we will always be presented with a context tool bar with commands Solid Works thinks might be useful to us within this specific environment. Yet, another efficiency tool in our (arsenal) have to play with all these tools, customize them, and practice accessing them for a few minutes before continuing. I'll see you in the next video.
Need a better background in SOLIDWORKS before you can continue? Check out SOLIDWORKS 2014 Essential Training.
- Sketching the flywheel
- Building and cutting the flywheel shafts
- Filleting the flywheels
- Splitting the connecting rod
- Building the sprocket
- Modeling the camshaft
- Combining parts into an assembly