Learn how to apply dimensions to sketch entities.
- [Narrator] In this video, I want to cover the smart dimension tool. And we've already been using it a little bit, but we haven't really fully explained it so I want to show exactly how we can use that tool to the best ability. So, first thing's first, let's go ahead and activate the smart dimension tool. Alright, once the tool is active, notice over here we've got a cursor that has the little dimensioning tool on there. Now, for something like a rectangle, we've got a couple different options. One is you can just choose a line itself. Choose the line, and then just go ahead and place the dimension with your second click wherever you'd like it to be.
And now I can type in a value. Something like 2.5, type it in right there, hit the enter key or the green check mark, and that will define the shape of your object. You can do the same thing over here just by clicking once on the line and then clicking again where you want to place the dimension. Works pretty good. Alright, if you want to delete those, hit delete on your keyboard by selecting them and hitting delete. The other option is we can choose from one dimension on one side of the part, all the way over here to the other side to create a dimension. So I'm dimensioning from this line to this line over here, and then third I'm going to place the dimension.
So it's also still 2.5 so click on OK. And that's actually a better way to dimension something, by dimensioning from one side all the way to the other side because if you ever make any modifications to this part, like a chamfer or a radius on the corner, this like is actually going to get shorter. It's not going to be the full distance from one side to the other. So I generally try to recommend dimensioning from one side of the part all the way over to the other side of the part, and then placing the dimension. That's a more robust way to dimension your design. Here's an example of how that would not work if you just chose the one line. So if you deleted this and maybe we came over here and we used a filet command and we said hey let's go ahead and add a .5 filet.
I'm going to filet this one corner here, click on OK, and now there's my dimension. Now if I use that same smart dimension tool, I click over here on this line, notice it's only the length of the line up to that one point, right. It doesn't go all the way to the other side of the part, it's only dimensioning this one line. If you wanted to dimension to the entire side of the part, you'd have to choose from the top all the way to the bottom, and then place the dimension. So that's generally why I recommend that type of dimensioning scheme. Alright, the next thing is an angle. So you can dimension from one leg over here to the other leg and then place a dimension.
Now, depending on where you actually click to place that dimension will define what style dimension you're going to be placing. So in this example here I'm on the inside of this angle, and if I click here it'll place the dimension here. If I go to the other side of this line, notice that it actually changes the dimension. So, it still pretty much creates the same angle, but I'm defining it from the other side. Same thing if I go over here past this line here, I can actually create a dimension this way, come over here it's going to create a dimension over here. And as you move around the circle, the way you're going to place that dimension is going to change.
So in this case here, I'd probably prefer to place that dimension right in here. You can type in your value and then your model will automatically update to what your dimension is. Alright, the next thing is this circle. So, click on the outside of the circle to place the dimension. Notice depending on how, again, if you come over here to the right, it dimensions it this way. If you come over here to the upper quadrant, it dimensions it a little bit differently, and as you go around the model it does the exact same thing. So go ahead and just place that dimension. I'm going to say two inches. Alright, and then of course we can always define where something is by clicking on maybe the center point to the origin.
I can place that dimension, and of course as you move around that it also changes how we're placing that dimension. So which one is the most relevant to your dimensioning scheme, here. So in this case here, this looks pretty good. I'ma type in 1.5, do the same exact thing. Click here, click here, and this time place it down here. And now that's going to be fully defined because I placed it going in the horizontal orientation, and this one is in the vertical orientation. So now we've fully defined where that circle is, and the size. And I do want to cover again the color of the sketch.
Notice this one is fully defined and it is black. If it's undefined, or underdefined, it's going to be blue. And if you cause some type of a conflict, it'll either be yellow or red. And that's signifying something you need to fix to actually make that sketch work. Here's an example of that. If I added another dimension here, right over here, it's going to conflict with my existing dimension 'cause I'm already controlling that with the 45 degree angle. So you can either say hey, I'd like to make this dimension a driven dimension, or I'd prefer to keep it as a driving dimension and cause trouble. So here's the trouble.
We do have a couple errors down here. So if you delete either one of these, it'll actually solve the problem. So I click on this one over here, delete that one, and everything's back to being happy because generally you can't add two dimensions to control one object. So these are the basic dimensioning skills that you probably need to use inside of SolidWorks. Definitely get familiarized with the smart dimension tool. It's a pretty powerful tool, and there's a lot you can do with it. And before we move on, I do want to show you one more thing here. Click on that smart dimension tool, let's click on a dimension, something like this, go ahead and place it. Over here, we also have a bunch of different options as you can actually type in those values and modify them as needed, you can also adjust these up and down.
Also over here, you can import that dimension into your drawing if you'd like to, and you can switch it around to a different size, reverse the same dimension. You get a whole bunch of different options you can do right here in this box. Hopefully this movie gives you a great introduction to the smart dimension tool. It's something you're going to be using all the time as you work your way through 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