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Intercad Recommendations

For SolidWorks Users

Intercad Technical Support


User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

For further information please use the following numbers:

Australia Technical Support: 1800 633 701


General Inquiries: 1300 CAD CAM (223 226)

New Zealand Technical Support: 0508 CAD CAM (223 226)


General Inquiries: +64 9 525 9870

For Software Edition: 2015

Copyright Intercad Pty Ltd, 2007-2015


Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

Copyright Notice

This document is copyright Intercad Pty Ltd, 2007-2015

Portions of this document are copyright SolidWorks Corporation (1995 - 2006) and are reproduced
herein with permission from SolidWorks Corporation. Unauthorised reproduction and/or
distribution without prior written permission is strictly prohibited.

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

INTERCAD SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE ..................................................................................................................... 5


TECHNICAL SUPPORT ...................................................................................................................................................... 5
PRODUCT SUPPORT ......................................................................................................................................................... 6
SUPPORT LOG ................................................................................................................................................................ 7
INTERCAD SOFTWARE ............................................................................................................................................... 8
MYINTERCAD .................................................................................................................................................................. 8
TRANSLATIONXPERT ....................................................................................................................................................... 9

INTERCAD TRAINING COURSES ............................................................................................................................ 10


SOLIDWORKS 2015 ANNOUNCEMENTS................................................................................................................ 11
BEST PRACTICE TOPICS .......................................................................................................................................... 12
PC SPECIFICATIONS ...................................................................................................................................................... 12
INSTALLING UPGRADES AND UPDATES (SERVICE PACKS)............................................................................................. 16
Before starting the upgrade or update ..................................................................................................................... 16
Cleaning up afterwards ............................................................................................................................................ 17
Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware ................................................................................................................................... 18
Copy Settings Wizard ............................................................................................................................................... 19
THE SOLIDWORKS INSTALLATION MANAGER............................................................................................................... 20
Downloading from the SolidWorks Customer Portal............................................................................................... 20
Running the SolidWorks Installation Manager ........................................................................................................ 23
Individual Installation .............................................................................................................................................. 26
Administrative Images.............................................................................................................................................. 31
Option Editor ........................................................................................................................................................... 37
Deploying the Admin Images ................................................................................................................................... 42
Running the Option Editor and/or Deploying the Admin Image Manually.............................................................. 46
Individual Installation or Administrative Image? .................................................................................................... 47
INSTALLING A SERVICE PACK ....................................................................................................................................... 48
Prompted by SolidWorks .......................................................................................................................................... 48
Manually Check for Updates in SolidWorks ............................................................................................................ 49
Manually Download the Updates from the SolidWorks Customer Portal ............................................................... 49
ACTIVATION.................................................................................................................................................................. 53
To activate a license automatically over the internet............................................................................................... 53
To activate a license manually using email ............................................................................................................. 54
License Transfer....................................................................................................................................................... 55
THE SOLIDNETWORK LICENSE MANAGER (SNL) INSTALLATION MANAGER ............................................................... 56
Transferring your license (for upgrades only) ......................................................................................................... 56
Uninstall the previous SolidNetwork License Manager (for upgrades only) ........................................................... 59
Install the 2015 SolidNetWork License Manager .................................................................................................... 60
GETTING STARTED .................................................................................................................................................... 66
MODEL PLANNING AND DESIGN INTENT ....................................................................................................................... 66
WORKING WITH TEMPLATES ......................................................................................................................................... 66
Creating Templates .................................................................................................................................................. 67
Drawing Templates .................................................................................................................................................. 67
USING FILE PROPERTIES (METADATA) TO ASSIST IN FILE MANAGEMENT ................................................................... 68
TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE SKETCHING .................................................................................................................................. 69
MANAGING FEATURES .................................................................................................................................................. 69
DOCUMENTING DESIGN INTENT .................................................................................................................................... 70
Comments................................................................................................................................................................. 70
Design Binder .......................................................................................................................................................... 70
Equations ................................................................................................................................................................. 71
Design Tables........................................................................................................................................................... 71
Dimensions............................................................................................................................................................... 71
Configurations ......................................................................................................................................................... 72
Features ................................................................................................................................................................... 72
Documentation ......................................................................................................................................................... 73
Parent/Child Relationships ...................................................................................................................................... 73
ASSEMBLY MODELLING BEST PRACTICES ....................................................................................................... 74
ASSEMBLY PLANNING ................................................................................................................................................... 74

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

ASSEMBLY LAYOUT SKETCHES..................................................................................................................................... 74


Layout Sketches using Blocks .................................................................................................................................. 75
VIRTUAL COMPONENTS ................................................................................................................................................ 75
NAMING CONVENTIONS ................................................................................................................................................ 76
Meaningful File Names ............................................................................................................................................ 76
Meaningless File Names .......................................................................................................................................... 77
ASSEMBLY STRUCTURE/USING SUB-ASSEMBLIES ........................................................................................................ 77
MAINTAINING ACCEPTABLE ASSEMBLY PERFORMANCE .............................................................................................. 77
FILE MANAGEMENT BEST PRACTICES ............................................................................................................... 81
SOLIDWORKS SEARCH .................................................................................................................................................. 81
FILE MANAGEMENT USING SOLIDWORKS EXPLORER................................................................................................... 83
Pack and Go............................................................................................................................................................. 83
Assembly Renaming Procedure................................................................................................................................ 84
FILE MANAGEMENT USING SOLIDWORKS WORKGROUP PDM ..................................................................................... 85
SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Basics ....................................................................................................................... 85
SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Terminology ............................................................................................................. 86
SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Basic Operations ...................................................................................................... 87
Removing Toolbox Tags ........................................................................................................................................... 88
Important notes regarding SolidWorks Workgroup PDM ....................................................................................... 88
ADVANCED TECHNIQUES ........................................................................................................................................ 89
ADVANCED COMPONENT SELECTION ............................................................................................................................ 89
CONSISTENCY CHECKING.............................................................................................................................................. 90
Design Checker Add-in ............................................................................................................................................ 90
Drawing Spell Checker ............................................................................................................................................ 91
WORKING WITH SOLIDWORKS ............................................................................................................................. 92
SHEET METAL DESIGN .................................................................................................................................................. 92
Gauge Tables ........................................................................................................................................................... 92
Assigning Bend Radius Values ................................................................................................................................. 93
Controlling Bend Radius Values .............................................................................................................................. 93
Creating a Sheet Metal Gauge Table ....................................................................................................................... 94
Bend Allowance ....................................................................................................................................................... 94
Bend Deduction ........................................................................................................................................................ 96
How Bend Allowance Relates to Bend Deduction.................................................................................................... 96
K-factor .................................................................................................................................................................... 97
Defining and Editing Bend Tables ......................................................................................................................... 100
DATA TRANSLATION & SHARING ....................................................................................................................... 106
SOLIDWORKS EDRAWINGS ......................................................................................................................................... 106
SolidWorks eDrawings Viewer .............................................................................................................................. 106
SolidWorks eDrawings Publisher .......................................................................................................................... 106
SolidWorks eDrawings Professional...................................................................................................................... 107
TRANSLATION MATRIX ............................................................................................................................................... 108
Importing DXF/DWG files ..................................................................................................................................... 111
DXF/DWG Import Wizard ..................................................................................................................................... 112
Exporting DXF/DWG files ..................................................................................................................................... 112
DXF/DWG Mapping .............................................................................................................................................. 113
SOLIDWORKS TOOLBOX ....................................................................................................................................... 114
ACTIVATING THE TOOLBOX ........................................................................................................................................ 114
CUSTOMISING THE TOOLBOX DATABASE .................................................................................................................... 115
SHARING A TOOLBOX DATABASE ............................................................................................................................... 119

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

Intercad Subscription Service

Technical Support

Intercad has a large team of Certified Support Engineers across Australia and New Zealand. All
our team members are tertiary qualified engineers or industrial designers, trained to respond to,
and answer, your queries.

• Minimum 12 hours a day access to technical support from 6 AM AEST (or 8 AM NZT) to 7
PM AEST (or 9 PM NZT).
• First In/First Out queuing (FIFO) ensures a quality response to queries as promptly as
practically possible.
• Telephone support - entitles the user to a free phone call to register their query.
• Email support – allows for problem models and more “difficult to explain” queries to be
logged with technical support staff.
• Web Support – state of the art web-based support system allows support issues to be
logged directly into the support database.
• myIntercad – Intercad’s own software that allows support issues to be logged directly into
the support database from within SolidWorks.
• Searchable knowledge base for commonly asked questions accessible via the internet 24
hours a day.
• Query Tracking – access to web based tracking of queries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
• Comprehensive Implementation Guide for new users or for existing users starting new
projects.
• Extensive Best Practices Guide aimed at improving the productivity of existing users by
providing additional advanced information in specific areas of the software.
• Specialised Administrator’s Guide specifically for people who manage software
implementation.
• Regular scheduled webcasts covering technical aspects of the software utilization.
• Regular Intercad Technical Bulletin, which highlights a specific area of software usage
with each Bulletin.
• Software enhancement request privileges.
• Access to additional subscription service offerings as they become available.
• Access to partner and reseller products and services.
• Access to SolidWorks Manufacturing network, an extensive international folder of
SolidWorks users who are service providers.
• For SolidWorks users: access to www.3dcontentcentral.com – this web site contains a
comprehensive collection of SolidWorks shareware models containing many commonly
used components.

Technical support can be contacted via:

1800 633 701 (Australia) 0508 223 226 (New Zealand)

support@intercad.com.au support@intercad.co.nz

www.intercad.com.au www.intercad.co.nz

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

Product Support

All new product releases in the 12 month period covered by the subscription agreement.
• SolidWorks and most of its companion products operate on a 6 to10 month release cycle.

Any Service Packs released during the 12 month period covered by the subscription agreement.
• SolidWorks Service Packs are released approximately every 5 weeks. Service Packs
contain enhancements, clarifications of functionality and any relevant bug fixes. Most
companion products offer a similar level of on-going product servicing.

Copyright Intercad Pty Ltd, 2007-2015 Page: 6


Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

Support Log

Technical Support Queries

Date/ Ticket ID Contact Description Resolution


Time
Example 85101 Emailed SolidWorks Sketch disappears after Graphics card driver
only support switching back to SolidWorks from needs to be updated to
another application. current and set to
optimize for SolidWorks.

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

Intercad Software
myIntercad
myIntercad is a SolidWorks “add-in” program and is the first product of its
kind anywhere in the world. It’s a free* tool, exclusive to Intercad,
developed to help our customers get the best out of their SolidWorks
software. It directly connects every one of our SolidWorks customers with
our full range of technical services.

* myIntercad is free to download and use, however certain features within myIntercad require a
current subscription with Intercad Technical Support.

You can download the myIntercad installer (just 4Mb in size) directly from the Intercad website.
Simply go to intercad.com.au/myintercad/. Choose the correct installer (32 bit or 64 bit) and follow
the onscreen instructions.

IMPORTANT: myIntercad is only compatible with SolidWorks version 2012 and above.

After installing myIntercad, to start using it all you need to do is log in by selecting the Settings
icon , entering your current work email address and clicking the red tick. You will see a
“Welcome” message if the log in is successful.

If you enter your email address and see a message saying it can’t find you in the database, please
check your email address is entered correctly. If you still can’t connect, please contact the
Intercad Technical Support team.

myIntercad connects to Intercad’s servers over the internet. It connects to our secure server using
industry standard encryption over SSL. Intercad does not collect any data except when you use
myIntercad to raise SolidWorks queries with Intercad’s Technical Support team (a valid Intercad
subscription is needed to do this, however). For the technically minded, myIntercad uses industry
standard SSL, port 443 with a digital certificate linked to the domain https://myIntercad.com.au.

There are three main areas of myIntercad – myToolkit, mySupport and myTraining.

myToolkit contains over 1000 individual components, with more content


continually being added – useful tools, utilities and other time savers. Most
of the content is free to our customers with a valid subscription token, but
even without a valid subscription you’ll find something useful to help you.

mySupport is your SolidWorks assistant that connects you directly to our


Technical Support Team. You’re able to get assistance by raising a
support case directly from within SolidWorks, and can attach models,
screenshots, files and computer logs. Updates to cases are notified to you
automatically – so you can see how things are progressing. All your
previous cases are also available, so you can review the resolution without
any need to stop work, make phone calls or write emails.

If you have ever attended a training course, or have wondered if it’s time
for a refresh, myTraining provides you with instant access to your courses
– past and future – so you can keep track of them. If you need a copy of a
training certificate, these can be accessed and printed from within
myTraining.

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

translationXpert

Communication – in any language!

translationXpert is a revolutionary new product developed exclusively for


Intercad. translationXpert allows any SolidWorks designer, located
anywhere in the world, to exchange drawings, parts and assemblies with
other designers regardless of language.

translationXpert is an invaluable tool for designers working in today’s multinational environment.


Benefits include:
• saving time and money by automatically translating drawings for customers and suppliers
• quickly translating files that are received in any other language
• local, companywide dictionaries can be created and maintained, or the Intercad global
dictionary is accessible from anywhere
• fully integrated into SolidWorks – no requirement for designers to “work outside” and learn
another application
• fast and efficient – translation takes just a few seconds

translationXpert translates:
• feature names
• drawing annotations
• custom properties
• configuration names
• display state names
• title block data
• tables

translationXpert is ideal for anyone using SolidWorks who:


• needs to collaborate with international partners,
• has overseas clients, or
• wishes to submit their manufacturing files to overseas tender

translationXpert can be obtained via myIntercad.

You can learn more about translationXpert at intercad.com.au/translationxpert/

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

Intercad Training Courses


Intercad offers many training courses on how to use SolidWorks and its related products. Below is
a list of the courses on offer.

Course Offerings

Classroom
• SolidWorks Essentials
• SolidWorks Drawings
• SolidWorks Sheet Metal
• SolidWorks Weldments
• SolidWorks Workgroup PDM
• SolidWorks Routing: Piping & Tubing
• SolidWorks Routing: Electrical
• SolidWorks Electrical 2D
• SolidWorks Electrical 3D
• SolidWorks API Fundamentals
• SolidWorks Simulation
• SolidWorks Simulation Professional
• SolidWorks Simulation Premium: Non-Linear
• SolidWorks Simulation Premium: Dynamics
• SolidWorks Motion
• SolidWorks Flow Simulation – (now 3 days)
• SolidWorks Plastics
• SolidWorks Composer
• DriveWorks Solo
• DriveWorks Pro Administrator

Full details of the classroom courses, including lesson contents and course duration, can be found
at: http://intercad.com.au/training/classroom-courses/

Online
• SolidWorks Advanced Part Modelling
• SolidWorks Assembly Modelling
• SolidWorks Surface Modelling

The online courses comprise four (4) interactive online sessions with each session lasting 3.5
hours. Sessions are held on consecutive days.

Full details of the online courses, including lesson contents and course duration, can be found at:
http://intercad.com.au/training/online-course/

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

SolidWorks 2015 Announcements

IMPORTANT NOTICES – PLEASE READ

SolidWorks 2015 WILL NOT INSTALL on Windows Vista or Windows XP.

SolidWorks 2015 and later WILL NOT INSTALL on 32-bit operating systems.

SolidWorks 2014 is the last release that supports 32-bit operating systems.

Starting with the SolidWorks 2015 release, the SolidWorks Viewer is being retired and will be
replaced by the eDrawings Viewer. The SolidWorks 2015 Viewer will remain available for
download, but will not open SolidWorks 2015 and later models. The eDrawings Viewer 2015 is
available on 64 bit operating systems only.

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

Best Practice Topics

PC Specifications

A personal computer is a general-purpose machine designed for a broad range of tasks, such as
running productivity suites (Microsoft Office). A workstation is designed to meet the requirements
of a number of more specific markets and applications (CAD, Animation, and more).

SolidWorks software will demand a higher level of performance compared to a system used as an
office computer. The bottom line is that your productivity is affected by the decisions made when
selecting a workstation. Purchasing a purpose built workstation-grade computer such as an IC3D
Series 3.3, BOXX 4050 Xtreme, IC3D Series 5.3 or BOXX 4920 Xtreme is highly recommended
as these systems are built with applications such as SolidWorks in mind. They offer CPU speeds
up to 4.6GHz, speeds that are not available from major workstation vendors. The combination of
high CPU clock rates, fast internal data bus, Solid-State Drives and workstation-class graphics
cards that these systems comprise will guarantee optimal performance and increased efficiency.
A higher CPU speed will save you time compared to more cores for the majority of SolidWorks
use. This is because SolidWorks is predominantly a single threaded application, meaning that for
the most time it only uses 1 core while the remainder remain unutilised. The trade-off in cost is
offset by better performance for your users.

System Components

Each of the following sections describes what to look for in each of the components that make up
a workstation. They are listed in order of importance. So when making trade-offs in price, pick the
items that offer the most benefit.

Processor (CPU)

The CPU is the most important factor in selecting your system. This also can be the most
confusing as to the type, speed and number. The following FAQ's should help.

CPU speed
It is the speed of the processor that is really important when modelling, e.g., it would be better to
have a 3.2 GHz single core processor than a 2.2 GHz dual core processor.

Does SolidWorks take benefit from the dual core or multi core?
SolidWorks testing has shown that the Dual Core processors are almost as good performance
wise as having two physical processors and, of course, will be quite a bit cheaper.

Does SolidWorks take advantage of multiple CPU's?


SolidWorks does take advantage of multi-threading and has done for several versions. Therefore,
it will take advantage of multi-CPU systems where possible. However, it is not always possible to
multi-thread each stage of the modelling process since some operations are sequential, not
parallel.

It is not possible to give an accurate number of how much quicker SolidWorks would run on a
multi-CPU system, since it will vary depending on the area of the software being used. For some
operations it could be up to ~20-25% faster.

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

Does SolidWorks take full advantage of and recommend hyper-threading?


SolidWorks does not take full advantage of hyper threading. The overall computer performance
increase as a result of hyper threading is only around three percent and, in fact, SolidWorks
performance would be expected to decrease.

The only advantage to running hyper threading with SolidWorks would be the fact that running
other applications at the same time would be more responsive. SolidWorks shows a slight loss of
performance for many operations with Hyper-Threading enabled, and only a slight improvement
for a few operations. Hyper-Threading is therefore not recommended and should be set to off.

Which processor is better for SolidWorks, AMD or Intel?


Both AMD and Intel offer processors which are supported for SolidWorks. These are listed on the
System Requirements page at
www.solidworks.com/pages/services/SystemRequirements.html

What kind of processors, 32 or 64 bit?


SolidWorks 2015 and later WILL NOT INSTALL on 32-bit operating systems. Refer to the
announcement on page 11.

RAM

The amount of physical RAM on your system will have a significant effect on performance. If you
have enough, you never notice it; if you don't, your system will become slow and unstable.

The recommended amount differs based upon the type of modelling you plan to do within
SolidWorks. SolidWorks will run on as little as 2 GB RAM, but 8 GB is recommended and you
should have more if you plan on working with complex parts (>200 features) or large assemblies
with greater than 1000 components.

Why is it bad to run out of physical RAM?


Once your system runs out of physical RAM it goes to virtual memory (see below). This is disk-
based and slow. Always ensure you have enough RAM for your type of work with the applications
open that you commonly run. Never skimp on RAM.

Hard Disk

The hard disk needs to be big and fast. There are many types. Your selection will be based on
how much information you need to store on your local computer and whether you will configure a
RAID array for performance.

Keeping your SolidWorks files on your local hard disk is not recommended. SolidWorks
recommends the use of a Product Data Management (PDM) system to manage and share
information.

Which Hard Drive do I need? (SCSI, Ultra ATA, SATA, Rpm, IDE drive, SolidState*)
The factors here are speed, data transfer rate, and whether you want to configure them into a
RAID array. (see below)

* Solid State drives (SSD) should also be considered. They are relatively new in the computing
world and offer a massive performance boost compared to the older style of hard disks.

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

Important notes about SSDs:

• They are only really effective if the operating system is installed on them.
• If a SSD is combined with a conventional hard drive(s), the conventional hard drive will be
the limiting factor of the system’s overall performance.
• “Whatever isn’t on the SSD is the bottle neck”.

How will having a Raid array help performance?


There are different levels of RAID and this allows for multiple hard disks to be accessed at the
same time speeding up performance.

This is typically a pretty cheap option as all you need is a RAID controller and additional hard
disks. Also remember with a single hard disk, if that fails, you lose your system as well.

What level RAID should I use?


While RAID level 0 is the cheapest (2 disks required), if either hard disk fails, you lose the system.
There are higher levels of RAID that require additional disks and offer redundancy.

Virtual Memory

Virtual memory is used by the Operating System. When RAM usage is high, the CPU dips into
the virtual memory to keep all processes running smoothly.

Here are some recommendations:

• Set the minimum and maximum value to the same value so the virtual memory does not
become fragmented.
• Make sure the initial values are set to more than 1.5x the actual physical RAM size.
• Run the Virtual memory on a separate hard disk from the Operating System and
applications.

Video Card

The video card is perhaps the most important consideration when selecting a new computer for
use with SolidWorks. The following points are HIGHLY recommended:

• Use a video card/driver combination listed on the SolidWorks Graphics Card web page
(address shown below) as “passing” and that supports functions the user is interested in,
e.g., real view graphics, dual monitor support, etc.
• Run the driver that is certified for your version of SolidWorks.

For more details visit the SolidWorks Hardware and Graphics Cards page at:
http://www.solidworks.com/pages/services/VideoCardTesting.html

Can I use my Game Graphic card with SolidWorks?


While you can, it is not recommended or supported by SolidWorks.

Should I buy the most expensive graphics card?


Having a workstation level graphics card with an up-to-date driver is more important than buying
the most expensive card on the market. From a performance standpoint, the CPU, RAM, and
hard disk will affect system performance more.

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

Operating System

SolidWorks 2015 is designed to run only on Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems.

Windows Home Editions and Windows To Go are not supported.

You can see full details of which Windows operating systems are supported by clicking this link:
https://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/SystemRequirements.html

What about Mac or Linux?


SolidWorks will not run on Mac or Linux operating systems.

SolidWorks will run on Mac-based machines running Windows using “Boot Camp” or “Parallels”,
but it must be stressed that they are not supported, ie, you cannot call for help if things go wrong.

Conclusion

When looking at different options and systems, the best case would be that you test the system in
your own environment. When this is not possible, looking at benchmark results can also be
useful. Information about available benchmarks can be found on the Hardware and Graphics card
page listed below.

Although SolidWorks does not make specific hardware recommendations, SolidWorks will supply
information (Graphics Card, System Requirements, best practices, etc) to help users make
informed decisions: http://www.solidworks.com/pages/services/VideoCardTesting.html

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

Installing Upgrades and Updates (Service Packs)

An upgrade is when a new version is installed on the computer; for example, going from
SolidWorks 2014 to SolidWorks 2015.

An update is going from one service pack (SP) of the same release to another; for example,
moving from SolidWorks 2015 SP0 to SolidWorks 2015 SP1.

Before starting the upgrade or update


The following items should be reviewed:

• All system options have been defined and saved using the Copy Settings Wizard. Save
these settings on a network drive and be sure to maintain one master copy other users can
reference.

• All other SolidWorks settings (i.e., keyboard shortcuts, menu customizations, and toolbar
layouts) have been saved by the individual users using the Copy Settings Wizard. This
should be intuitively named (e.g., SWSetting-user.sldreg) so each user can save and
restore their personalized settings.

• Ensure all customised document templates, Toolbox databases and macros are
stored on the network drive or a location other than the SolidWorks install folder. To find
the location of these items, click Tools -> Options, and select File Locations from the list.
From the drop down menu, select the type of file (toolbox, template etc.) that may have
been customised, and check the file locations. If the original SolidWorks libraries have
been customised, ensure they are copied to a new location before upgrading or reinstalling
SolidWorks. If this is not performed they will be overwritten during the upgrade and
customised parts may be lost. Once the upgrade is complete, add this new location to the
list of file locations.

Note: we recommend that these kinds of customised files be stored in a location OTHER
than the default SolidWorks folder, e.g., a shared location on a network. In this way:

a) they will not be overwritten during updates, and


b) everyone will be working with the same batch of files/templates etc

• Obtain administrative rights to the computer

• Be able to temporarily disable anti-virus software

• Obtain the software. Prior to the shipping of the DVDs, the SolidWorks Support website
has SP0 available for download:

http://www.solidworks.com/pages/services/downloads.html

You can login (using email address and password) with an active Subscription Service
contract.

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

You will need to make the following decisions before starting the upgrade or update
process:

Whether to upgrade the existing SolidWorks or uninstall it and then install the new version.

• For new versions of SolidWorks, while the old version can be upgraded, a better practice is
to uninstall it, clean-up after the install, and then install and configure SolidWorks.

• For service packs, there is no need to go to this extent. Just update the software to the
current service pack.

Whether to upgrade the existing SolidWorks or leave it and then also install the new version.

• Multiple versions of SolidWorks can be run at the same time on one computer, however,
unless the old version is needed, it is best to only have the current version on the
computer.

• If you go with multiple versions, create names for the SolidWorks installation folders that
are based on the version of SolidWorks. For example, “SolidWorks 2015” instead of the
default name of “SolidWorks Corp”.

• Set the common files location based on version and also decide whether to share the data
with others on a network drive. The SolidWorks Toolbox and Hole Wizard database is,
by default, stored in the C:\SolidWorks Data folder. To run multiple versions of
SolidWorks on the same computer make sure this folder has been named to the desired
version of SolidWorks, eg. SolidWorks Data 2015. To update this folder, copy your
existing data to the new version folder, i.e., SolidWorks Data 2015, and point to the folder
during the upgrade. SolidWorks will update the database during the upgrade.

Cleaning up afterwards
By default, when uninstalling SolidWorks software, there are a number of items that are left on
your computer for backup and convenience reasons. Two of these are:

SolidWorks installation folder:


This folder has some files that may have been customized by the user. To avoid accidentally
losing these files, the folder is not automatically deleted by the uninstall process.

To avoid losing accidentally losing these files the best solution is to always change the location
and reference to these files using Tools -> Options -> File Locations.

It is worth noting that when re-installing, SolidWorks will not allow an installation into an existing
folder. If you do not remove the SolidWorks installation folder you might end up with C:\Program
Files\SolidWorks and C:\Program Files\SolidWorks (2).

Windows Registry keys


These remain after SolidWorks has been uninstalled as a convenience to the user. If they exist,
the next version of SolidWorks will read and use these values.

Important note: From SolidWorks 2013 onwards there is an “Advanced Options” section in the
Installation Manager where you can elect to completely uninstall everything related to SolidWorks.

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Intercad Technical Support User’s Handbook for SolidWorks

Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware

Anti-virus and anti-spyware are two areas that should be addressed from an IT side to balance
protection from virus/spyware and performance for the users. The main issues with anti-virus are:

• Blocking the installation or update of system components. Unfortunately this often


happens “quietly”, ie, there is no message given advising that it has happened. The first
the user knows there is a problem is when SolidWorks does not run properly.

Please note, even if you turn off anti-virus during the installation, there are times when the
computer needs to be rebooted and the components registered at that time.

• Real time scan can time out and block opening or saving files.

• Performance. The real time scan takes time and all anti-virus applications are not created
equal.

Important issues to address:

Updated virus definition files.


If the definition files are out of date, your protection is limited at best.

The ability to real time scan files, web pages, email, and more as they are being used.
The disadvantage from a SolidWorks user's perspective is that it will take longer to open a
document if it needs to be scanned. One potential solution to this is to omit .SLDPRT, .SLDASM,
and .SLDDRW files from the real time scan. The risk in doing so is if a SolidWorks file becomes
infected. The SolidWorks files could be scanned at nights and over the weekend to reduce this
risk.

Keep your Anti-virus application version up-to-date.


If your organization is using an anti-virus application that is a number of years old, this could be
the source of your anti-virus issues.

SolidWorks is tested with a number of anti-virus applications. Please go to this link on the
SolidWorks Website for an up to date listing:

http://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/videocardtesting.html

Spy ware tools scan for and detect items added to your computer when installing applications
(freeware and shareware in particular), and when browsing on the Internet. There are a number
of applications that can do a scan of your system and return and fix a list of issues found.

During an update or upgrade of SolidWorks it is recommended to disable all Anti-Virus (AV)


applications. The reason is that some AV programs do not allow system components that are in
use to be updated. So the system component that SolidWorks needs does not get updated or
registered correctly. The other issue Anti-Virus applications has is that when a re-boot is required,
the components do not get registered properly. The best way is to turn off the AV during the
update or upgrade, and also turn it off so it does not start up automatically on reboot. Once the
update is complete, turn the AV application back on.

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Copy Settings Wizard

The Copy Settings Wizard is a feature that can save you a lot of time when setting up a new
system. The Copy Settings Wizard creates a file which contains information on various system
options such as menu customisation, toolbar layouts, keyboard shortcuts and file locations. By
saving all of your customised settings using the Wizard, it is easy to recover these in case you:-

• Upgrade or reinstall SolidWorks


• Move to a different computer
• Want to standardise settings across all users in your organisation

To use the Copy Settings Wizard go to:

Start Menu -> All Programs -> SolidWorks 2015 -> SolidWorks Tools > Copy Settings
Wizard.

From here you can Save the relevant settings to a new filename or in a network folder (or
removable storage device) so they can be restored later on another machine.

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The SolidWorks Installation Manager

The purpose of the SolidWorks Installation Manager is to provide a simple, robust way to
download software for new versions and service packs. The SolidWorks Installation Manager was
designed to streamline and accelerate the installation and/or download process. Instead of having
to pick, download, and extract multiple files, the SolidWorks Installation Manager will detect and
handle this for you.

Another advantage of the SolidWorks Installation Manager is, if the download is interrupted, it can
resume the download.

The SolidWorks Installation Manager can be run from the SolidWorks installation DVD or from files
downloaded from the SolidWorks Customer Portal.

Requirements and notes:


• Access to the Internet
• If your company has a firewall you need to allow access to the following servers for the
Installation Manager – im.solidworks.com and activate.solidworks.com
• For performance log reporting you must also include performance.solidworks.com to
send in the log via HTTP (SolidWorks 2007 and higher)
• The Installation Manager can be used to create or update an individual or administrative
image installation. Administrative images are used to create a common deployment image
for other client computers

Downloading from the SolidWorks Customer Portal

The first step when downloading software is to visit the SolidWorks Customer Portal at
http://www.solidworks.com/customerportal.

Login using your email address and password - you will need an active Subscription Service
contract.

If you have an active Subscription Service contract, but do not have a Portal account, click on the
Click here to create an account link and follow the prompts to create one. You will need your
SolidWorks serial number.

Select Download and Updates from the Download section, as shown below.

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This will open the Software Downloads page, as shown below.

1. Select the required version

2. Select the required product, ensuring you have the correct service pack.

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The SolidWorks Licence Agreement will then appear. Accept it and it will take you to the
Download and Install page as shown below:

The SolidWorks Installation Manager Setup program may automatically start downloading,
depending on your browser security settings. If it doesn’t, click the Download link - this will
download the latest version of the Setup Program.

If you have problems with the download you can click on the link right at the bottom - download,
unzip and install all of the files (not recommended) – and download individual service packs
manually.

Once the Setup program has been downloaded, double-click on it to start it. It is a self-extracting
ZIP file and will prompt you to unzip the files. It is recommended that you leave the settings as
they are and click on Unzip. This will unzip the files and automatically start the SolidWorks
Installation Manager.

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Running the SolidWorks Installation Manager

The following steps are displayed when running the Installation Manager.

The installation manager can run:

• Automatically on the insertion of the SolidWorks installation DVD for a new install
• Automatically after selecting “Download” from the “Download and Install” webpage, as
described above
• Manually when selected from the Installation Manager Program group in the Windows
Start Menu
• Manually when running sldim.exe selected from the D\sldim folder from a set of
downloaded files

The first window to appear will be the Installation Manager Welcome window. It will ask you what
you wish to do. You get the options to:

• Do an Individual installation on your computer


• Create an Administrative image
• Install Server products
• Download only all the files that are on the SolidWorks DVD (see note below)

Each of the screen shots are shown below

Individual:

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Administrative image:

Server products:

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Download only:
Note: you will only get this option if you have downloaded the SolidWorks Installation Manager
Setup program from the SolidWorks Customer Portal, as described above.

Each of these options is described in more detail in the following pages.

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Individual Installation

The following steps will describe the Individual installation. The other installation types will be
covered later.

Click Next to start the individual installation.

The next window asks for your serial number. Enter it in the top set of boxes.

If you have other products, such as SolidWorks Simulation that have separate serial numbers, tick
the appropriate box(es) and enter the serial number(s).

Once you have entered all required serial numbers, click Next.

You will see these images as SolidWorks checks entitlements:

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If available, you will be given the option to install the latest Service Pack. We recommend that you
do not do this. Install the SolidWorks version that you have first and then revisit the service pack
option later, as it may be a substantial download you would prefer to do after hours.

Click Next.

You will now get the option to create a new installation of 2015 (recommended), or upgrade an
older version.

Once you have made your choice click Next.

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The next window shows all the products that will be installed, as well as options for future
download locations, the install locations, (remember it can be worth installing each version with a
year identifier, as mentioned previously) and also the toolbox options.

If you do wish to make changes, click on the Change button next to the item you wish to change.
Click Back to Summary once the changes are made and you will return to this window.

The window below shows the following changes have been made:

a) The Background Downloader has been turned off,

b) The installation location has been changed from the default of “C:\Program Files\SolidWorks
Corp” to C:\Program Files\SolidWorks 2015

c) The Toolbox location has been changed from the default of “C:\SolidWorks Data” to
C:\SolidWorks Data 2015

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The window below shows details of the Change option for the Products. You can see the Back
to Summary button.

When you have everything set as required, click Install Now.

You will then see the following window while SolidWorks is installed.

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Once the installation is complete you will see the following window. The “What’s New in
SolidWorks 2015” document is useful to read. Set the options as you wish and click Finish.

You will now see SolidWorks 2015 in the Windows Start menu.

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Administrative Images

Along with the option for Individual installations, you can create an Administrative Image, or
Admin Image, also sometimes known as a “one step” installer. These are very useful if you need
to install SolidWorks on multiple machines.

One point to note is that you should create the Admin Image at the highest level you have licences
for, because you can limit who gets what once it is created.

To create an Admin Image, select Administrative Image from the first window that appears when
you run the SolidWorks Installation Manager, as shown below.

If you are using the DVD of SP0, but want a later service pack, it can be changed later.

Click Next to continue.

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The next window asks for your serial number. Enter it in the top set of boxes.

If you have other products, such as SolidWorks Simulation that have separate serial numbers, tick
the appropriate box(es) and enter the serial number(s).

Once you have entered all required serial numbers, click Next.

You will see these images as SolidWorks checks entitlements:

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If available, you will be given the option to install the latest Service Pack. For an Individual
installation we recommend that you do not do this. However, when creating an Admin Image you
are not actually installing the software yet, so it is OK to do so.

If you wish to create the Admin Image with the latest service pack, select the relevant radio button
and service pack number.

Click Next.

This will download and start the Installation Manager for the service pack selected instead of the
service pack you started with.

You are now able to specify what is installed. As mentioned before, it is wise when doing an
Admin Image to install at the highest level of your licence.

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There are a number of “Change” options available here. The next few screen shots will show
these. None of these are final as they can all be altered after the image is created.

Click the Back to Summary button once the changes are made in each window and you will
return to the summary window.

Here we see the Change options in the Product Selection area:

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Here we see the Change options in the Download Options area:

Here we see the Change options in the Administrative Image Location area:

Once you have set all the options as needed, click on the Create Now button, as shown below, to
create the Admin Image.

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You will now see the SolidWorks Installation Manager creating the Admin Image,
Image as shown below.

When the admin image has been created you will see the following window:

If you tick the option “Show me how to install this image on a client”, when you click on Customize
Image SolidWorks Help will start and show you the steps involved.

Click on Customize Image to customise your


you Admin Image using the Option Editor.
Editor

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Option Editor
You will see the window below.

These options are global settings; meaning whatever is set here will be applied universally to all
machines that are installed from this image. The serial number(s) should already be there from
creating the image earlier.

You should set these options to be the most common settings, however, they can be over-ridden
for individual computers or groups of computers. This will be shown later.

To edit the settings click on the pencil icon at the top of the window.

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You will now have the ability to change the options, as shown below.

Here are the different sections you can edit.

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When you have finished setting the options, click on the pencil icon again to exit editing mode.

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Individual Computers or Groups of Computers


You can also set the options for individual computers (machines) or groups of computers
(machines). These settings will over-ride the global settings.

Individual Computers (machines)


To add a single machine, click the New Machine icon, as shown below.

You will see the window shown below.

You can either add the machine name manually or click Add Multiple Machines. This is very
useful if you want to install a number of machines quickly and easily.

If you click Add Multiple Machines it will search for workgroups and domains and machines will
appear as they are found. You can then add them, and click OK.

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In the image below a machine called Eng1 has been added.

If you select it and then click the pencil icon you can set the options for just that machine.

Groups of Computers (machines)


To add a new group of machines, click the New Group icon, as shown below.

You will see the window shown below.

Enter a name for the group and click OK.

To add machines to the group, select the group and then click the New Machine icon.

In this case a group called Engineering has been created and two machines added to it – Eng2
and Eng3.

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If you select the group and then click the pencil icon, you can set the options for all the machines
in that group.

Notes:
1. If you want to delete a machine or group, select it and then click the Delete icon .
2. If you want to rename a machine or group, select it and then click on it again. You can then
edit the name.

Deploying the Admin Images


When you have set the options for all the machines and groups, the next step is to install the
Admin Images.

You can deploy installations directly from the Option Editor by using either a Manual or
Automatic method, as shown below.

Use the Deploy Manually page of the Option Editor to email instructions to users on how to start
the installation. Use this method when users have administrative privileges for their machines.

Use the Deploy Automatically page of the Option Editor to push installations automatically to
target machines. Custom uninstalls can also be performed. Use this method when users do not
have administrative privileges to install software on their machines.

To use either method, you must change the administrative image installation folder to a Windows
shared folder, so it is available through a network location, eg,

\\machine\shared_directory or C:\SolidWorks Admin\SolidWorks 2015 SP0).

Note:
A UNC path, eg, \\machine_name\share_name, is the recommended method for specifying a
network location for the administrative image installation folder. However, you can use a mapped
drive, eg, U:\folder_name, provided the installing users all have that same drive letter mapped to
the administrative image shared folder.

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Deploy Manually

Click on Deploy Manually to show the following page:

Select the computer or group on which the Admin Image is to be installed and click the Send
Email button. An email similar to that shown below will be created and can be sent to the
appropriate person or people.

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When they click on the link in the email they will see the following window

Clicking on the Install SolidWorks products now button will start installing SolidWorks on that
computer via the Admin Image.

Deploy Automatically

Click on Deploy Automatically to show the following page:

Tick the boxes next to the computers that are to have SolidWorks installed. Ticking a group will
automatically tick all the computers in that group.

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On the right hand pane, set the options required:

Install Time
• Select Now to install SolidWorks as soon as the Deploy button is clicked
• Select Later to delay the installation – click the Change button to set the required date and
time, as shown below:

Client Options
Select if you want to install/upgrade or uninstall SolidWorks. If you choose to uninstall SolidWorks
you can elect to perform a full or custom uninstall, as shown below:

You can also set the computer to automatically reboot when the install/uninstall has finished.

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Client Credentials
Enter the logon details of the profile to be used to control the install/uninstall.

When all the options have been set, click the button to start the install/uninstall
process.

Creating a Desktop Shortcut to the Option Editor


You can create a Windows desktop shortcut to the Option Editor by clicking on the Create a
Desktop Shortcut to this Option Editor link at the bottom of the window, as shown below.

Exiting the Option Editor


Click OK or Close to exit from the Administrative Image Option Editor.

Running the Option Editor and/or Deploying the Admin Image Manually
To run the Option Editor and/or deploy the Admin Image manually, the required files can be found
in the folder where the Admin Image was installed.

The Option Editor program is called sldAdminOptionEditor.exe.

The deployment program is called StartSWInstall.hta.

Both files are shown below.

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Individual Installation or Administrative Image?

We are often asked the question – “Should I install SolidWorks on each computer individually, or
should I create an Administrative Image?”.

If you are installing on only one computer, or if you manage dozens or hundreds of computers, the
choice is obvious. For situations in between, however, consider the following comparisons.

Individual installation Administrative image


Users can do their own SolidWorks The system administrator can customize
administration. multiple installations using the Option
Editor, specifying installation options such
as creating a new installation or updating an
existing one, running the installation as an
administrative user, running external
commands before or after the installation,
different product groupings, and so on.
The computers must be physically Client computers can be distantly located as
accessible to the person performing the long as they are accessible from the same
installation. network.
You can install different versions, service Using the Option Editor, administrative
packs, or products on different computers, images can maintain consistency in
with independent settings. versions, service packs, products, and
settings for multiple installations.
The computer does not need to be on a A local network connection is required to
network. deploy the application; media drives are not
required on client computers.
Clients can be updated automatically. All
clients deployed from the same
administrative image are at the same
service pack. To maintain multiple versions,
you can create multiple administrative
images.
License activation can be automated.
An administrative image requires additional
disk space on the server; clients require the
same space as individual installations.

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Installing a Service Pack

You can check for and install service packs in a number of ways:

• Prompted by SolidWorks.
• Manually check for updates in SolidWorks.
• Manually download the updates from the SolidWorks Customer Portal

Prompted by SolidWorks
If SolidWorks has been set to prompt for updates via the SolidWorks Background Downloader
then you will be prompted when one is available. Typically the prompt window will appear in the
bottom, right corner of your screen and look like this:

Click on the Click here for Options link to see the following window:

Select what you want to do and click OK to proceed.

Note regarding Early Visibility service packs:


Generally, unless an Early Visibility service pack has been recommended by Intercad Support as
having a specific fix that you require, we recommend waiting for the full version of the service
pack.

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Manually Check for Updates in SolidWorks


You can also check for service pack updates via the SolidWorks Help menu, as shown below.
This is the easiest way to upgrade/update your SolidWorks software.

Manually Download the Updates from the SolidWorks Customer Portal


You can also go to the SolidWorks Customer Portal website and select the update that you want.

The resulting process is the same as described in the section “Downloading from the SolidWorks
Customer Portal” on page 20.

All methods will result in the SolidWorks Installation Manager running, as shown below.

If you originally installed SolidWorks from the DVD you should insert it in the drive now because
the SolidWorks Installation Manager may need it. Cancel the Autorun process that will start after
inserting the DVD.

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If you originally installed SolidWorks from a SP0 download then the download source will be
detected by the install automatically.

The installation manager will confirm the version you want to install with the following window. If
there is more than one new service pack available you can select it from the drop down list.

Click Next when you have selected the required service pack.

If required, SolidWorks will prepare a new Installation Manager, as shown below.

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You will then see the following options. The following steps are for an individual upgrade.

Click Next.

You will then see the installation manager connect to SolidWorks:

You will then get the screen below. Set the options as required. They should be remembered
from the first install so not many changes should be required.

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Click Download and Install to start the update. This may take a while to download so it may be
worth doing this in the evening to minimise disruption to other internet users.

The following screen will be displayed while the files are downloaded and installed.

If you are prompted to reboot your computer after the installation has finished it’s essential that
you say yes and that the same user who installed the service pack is the one that logs in again
afterwards. Once this is complete any user can log in to use SolidWorks.

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Activation

Activation is a product licensing and registration process for SolidWorks standalone and, since
2010, also SolidWorks Network licenses. Activation requires that you have internet or email
access. After activation, you do not need to be online to use the products. If you do not have
internet or email access on the computer where you use the SolidWorks product, you can save an
activation file and send it via email from another computer.

This process:

• Activates all software licenses across the SolidWorks product line.


• Allows you to transfer licensing rights from one computer to another.
• Can be performed immediately or within 30 days of installation.
• Eliminates the need for dongles/hardware locks - however, if you run previous versions of
SolidWorks products that do not use activation, you need to retain the dongle.

To activate a license automatically over the internet

Step 1 - Start SolidWorks, click Help Activate Licenses.

If you have not yet activated your license, the Product Activation
dialog box appears.

Step 2 - Select the Automatically over the


Internet option, enter a contact email address
and click Next.

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Step 3 – You may be asked to supply your contact details and if the software is being used for
home or office. Fill in the required information and then select Next.

Step 4 - The Activation/Reactive Succeeded


dialog box displays the products that have been
activated.

To activate a license manually using email

Step 1 - Select Manually via email in the


Product Activation dialog box and click Next.

Step 2 - You may be asked to supply your contact details and if the software is being used for
home or office. Fill in the required information and then select Next.

Step 3 - Click Save to create a file, then send the


file to activation@solidworks.com.

You should receive an automated response email


within a few minutes, with the license key file
attached. Click Open to load the response file
and activate your SolidWorks.

You may cancel the activation wizard and return


to it at a late time if that suits you better.

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License Transfer

To transfer your license to another computer, first transfer it back to the License Server at
SolidWorks Corporation, and then reactivate it on the other computer, eg, a new, upgraded
computer or laptop for home use.

To transfer a license back to the server:

Step 1 - In SolidWorks, click Help Transfer


Licenses

Select Automatically over the Internet or


Manually via e-mail, select Next.

Step 2 - If you selected Automatically over the


Internet the following screen shown shows:

If you selected Manually via e-mail, click Save to


create a file, then send the file to
activation@solidworks.com. When you receive
the license key, run the transfer procedure again
and click Open to load the response file.

To reactivate, go to the new computer and follow


the procedure above as for the initial activation.

VERY IMPORTANT

You MUST transfer the SolidWorks license off a machine that is


going in for a service, being moved to another department where
SolidWorks is not going to be used, being sold or any other
operation that requires the software to be uninstalled and/or hard
drives formatted in any way.

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The SolidNetwork License Manager (SNL) Installation Manager

Please note:
• SolidWorks does not recommend and does not support virtual machine servers. To avoid
downtime, please install the SNL manager on a physical machine.

• The SolidWorks 2015 license manager is not supported on Windows XP, Windows Vista or
Windows Server 2003.

• The SolidWorks 2015 and Enterprise PDM 2015 server products, including the Network
License Server, will not install on the Windows Server 2008 operating system. Windows
Server 2008 R2 SP1 (server edition of Windows 7 SP1) will be fully supported for 2015
products along with Windows Server 2012.

See https://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/SystemRequirements.html for supported operating


systems

Important! - If a previous version of the SolidNetwork License Manager is installed, follow steps
1 through 3. If this is a new installation of the SolidNetwork License Manager, skip to step 3.

Step 1

Transferring your license (for upgrades only)

Launch the SNL Manager of the previous version and click ‘Modify’.

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Choose the option to ‘Transfer a software license’.

Click Next

Serial Number(s) will


appear here

Insert your email address here

Choose the option to transfer the license ‘Automatically over the Internet’.

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Click Finish

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Step 2

Uninstall the previous SolidNetwork License Manager (for upgrades only)

Go to the Windows Control Panel, select ‘Programs and Features’ and select the SolidWorks
SolidNetwork License Manager program.

Click Uninstall to uninstall the previous version.

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Step 3

Install the 2015 SolidNetWork License Manager

Using the SolidWorks Installation Manager – choose ‘Server products’ and 'Install SolidNetWork
License Manager’.

Click ‘Next’ to continue.

Click "CHANGE" to modify any of the default settings

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Click "Install Now” or “Download and Install”, depending on the options presented

You will see the downloading page, if required, and then the installing page.

Once the installation is complete click ‘Finish’.

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Launch the SNL Manager and activate the license. The SNL Manager can be accessed from
Start -> All Programs -> SolidWorks 2015 -> SolidWorks Tools -> SolidNetwork License
Manager.

You may see the following window:

If you do, choose Yes to activate now.

You can skip the following page of this document.

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If you don’t see the ‘activate’ window, to activate the license, click ‘Modify’.

Choose the option to ‘Activate/Reactivate a software license’

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Accept default if firewall is not being used on the server, otherwise check the firewall option.

Check the ‘Options file’ option if it applies. Click Next.

Server Name Here

Enter your email address and click Next.

Serial Number(s) will


appear here

Insert your email address here

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You will see the activated products, the number of licenses and the version listed.

Switch to the license usage tab and verify the licenses are available for the clients

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Getting Started
Model Planning and Design Intent

Model Planning is critical to producing flexible and efficient parts and assemblies. A little thought
about the modelling process and design intent before modelling begins will save much time and
effort in the future.

Some questions that should be asked before creating the first sketch include:

• Where is the most intelligent place to begin drawing this part so that I can capture the
design intent?
• Which features should I choose to locate about the origin to best take advantage of the
basic reference planes? (Front, Top, Right - keeping in mind that these planes are
convenient to mirror, cut, pattern around or apply mates to)
• On which plane should I place my first sketch to best represent the real-world orientation of
this part? (Front view, top view, right view)
• Can I link common Dimensions in the model or use equations to represent the design
intent?
• What names can I give to features to more accurately represent their purpose? (Base
plate, Lifting Lug, Mounting Flange etc.)
• Will I be using configurations and design tables to represent variants of this model?

Working with Templates

Template files allow customised settings and properties to be maintained every time a new
drawing or part is created. This is useful for maintaining consistency of parts, drawings and
assemblies throughout an organisation. Some of the properties which can be standardised within
a template include:

• Paper/Sheet size (Drawings)


• Title Block (Drawings)
• Detail Settings (Parts)
• Colours (Parts)
• Materials (Parts)
• Standard Notes (Drawings)
• Standard Names for reference geometry (i.e. planes/axes) (Parts & Assemblies)
• Standard Named views (Parts & Assemblies)
• Units (Parts, Drawings & Assemblies)
• Dimensioning Standards (Drawings)
• Custom Properties (Parts, Drawings & Assemblies)
• Common Geometry (Parts)

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Creating Templates

1. Start a new Part/Drawing/Assembly as required.


2. Alter all the required settings.
3. Click File -> Save As.
4. Select the relevant file format from the drop down menu (*.prtdot, *.slddrt, *.asmdot).
5. Click Save.

If templates need to be accessible to multiple users, the template files should be stored on a
commonly accessible location (it is also recommended that all users map this drive/folder to a
common name) and SolidWorks needs to be configured to look for these files when opening a
new document. This is very simple to do:

1. Click Tools -> Options -> File Locations.


2. Ensure Document Templates is selected from the drop down list.
3. Click Add and select the relevant Network location of the template files.

NOTE: Developing an effective template for an organisation is an iterative process. Be on the


lookout for options or properties which are regularly being changed or assigned in the course of
your work. Chances are these options/properties should be standardised using templates to save
time. Also remember to notify colleagues of any changes made to common templates.

Drawing Templates

Creating Drawing Templates/Sheet Formats (Title Blocks)

Many of the fields which occur in an Engineering drawing can be automatically filled in by
SolidWorks to save time and ensure consistency. There are two main elements in a SolidWorks
Drawing which can be customised.

1. Drawing Template

The drawing template holds similar information to a part or assembly template. This includes the
units, dimensioning styles, default fonts, arrow styles etc., along with any predefined custom
properties. Drawing template files have the extension *.drwdot.

2. Sheet Format

The sheet format is where the organisation’s title block is stored, along with the size of the sheet.
Fields in the sheet format such as Title, Revision, Drawing No, DrawnBy etc, can be filled in
automatically from data in the custom properties of either the drawing or the part or assembly of a
view specified in the drawing.

The default SolidWorks sheet formats, although they don’t comply with any industry standards,
contain many of the links to custom properties which may be required. They are therefore a good
base for a customised sheet format. The steps to create a customised sheet format are:

1. Start a new drawing with one of the default SolidWorks templates – File -> New ->
Drawing and select the size of the drawing sheet to be created.
2. Right-click anywhere on the blank sheet and select Edit Sheet Format.
3. It is now possible to modify the layout of the title block as desired - standard sketch lines
and relations can be used to draw the title block.

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4. Right-click and select Edit Sheet to exit the Sheet format mode.
5. Click File -> Save Sheet Format.
6. Select where you want the new sheet format file to be save and give it a name.
7. Add this location to the Sheet format File locations in Tools -> Options.

Some hints for creating effective, flexible sheet formats and drawing templates are listed below:

• To link a note in a Sheet format to a custom property, select Insert -> Annotations ->
Note, and select the Link to custom property icon , the dialogue which appears
allows a number of options for the source of the custom property. The available properties
are in the drop-down list.

• When adding fixed notes to a sheet format such as company contact details or disclaimers,
it is preferable to insert the information as a block. Blocks are groups of sketch entities,
which can be saved externally. The advantage of using blocks is twofold:

1. It is very easy to subsequently insert this block into all the other sheet formats of the
organisation, and
2. if any of the details change (such as a phone number) it is not required to edit the
detail in every sheet format – the block can be edited and the sheet formats will
update
Note: to create a block, select the desired note or sketch entities, and click Tools ->
Block -> Make. Define an insertion point by dragging the blue arrow.

• Notes such as weld details and finishing/paint specs can be added to drawing templates if
they are always the same, but this may end up in templates which are quite inflexible. A
simple way around this is to add these notes to the design library so they can be accessed
from the task pane on the right of the screen. To add a note to the design library, simply
Right-click it, and select Add to Library. It can now be dragged and dropped on to any
drawing as required.

Using File Properties (Metadata) To Assist In File Management

File Properties (or Metadata) allow important


information to be stored along with a model or drawing
file. Consider it a way of adding notes or comments to a
file to assist someone who might be referencing it later.
Properties such as Part number, Descriptions, Revision,
Engineering or Manufacturing approval, Department
and Division, and even mechanical properties of the
model such as Volume and Weight, can be added in the
custom properties tab. The screenshot shows an
example of some custom properties.

Remember that File Properties can be specified in a


document template to semi-automate the process.

Configuration Specific Custom Properties

Custom Properties can also be specified for individual configurations of a part or assembly. This
can be done using the Configuration Specific tab in the Custom Properties window. This is very
useful when creating drawings and BOM’s (Bills of Materials) of models with many configurations
– properties such as dimensions, masses, etc, will be applied to all configurations and updated
accordingly.

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Tips for Effective Sketching

• Always sketch in the ‘Normal To’ view orientation unless it is absolutely necessary to do
otherwise. This reduces the potential for errors due to perspective.

• Pressing the Spacebar in the Drawing window will bring up the view orientation Toolbar.

• Always produce fully defined sketches; a fully defined sketch is completely black, under-
defined sections are blue. Try grabbing an under-defined sketch entity with the mouse
pointer and drag it around to highlight its ‘degrees of freedom’. Apply appropriate Sketch
relations or dimensions to immobilise them.

• Always use the Smart Dimension tool to dimension sketches, NOT the sketch entity’s
property box. Dimensioning can usually be left until the shape of the sketch is finished and
all relevant sketch relations are in place. In a particularly complex sketch it’s a good idea
to add at least one dimension after drawing the first entity to ensure the scale of the sketch
is within proportion.

• Be careful not to add inferred sketch relations where they are not wanted. Keep an eye
out for the small yellow squares or dotted blue lines in the drawing window whilst sketching
which indicate that a sketch relation will be added.

• Pressing CTRL during sketching will prevent any inferred sketch relations being created
when placing your next sketch point.

Managing Features

Clever management of the Feature Manager Design Tree (FMDT) will result in logical, well
structured and efficient models. A good understanding of the operation of the design tree will
allow you to maximise the benefit of Parent/Child relationships, without creating unwanted
relationships which may affect the robustness of your design.

There are three major points to remember when building your features:

1. Be aware of the parent/child Relationships being created - order your features logically in
the order of importance in which you visualise the part.

2. Be sure to give each feature, sketch and reference plane/axis a logical name relevant to its
purpose. If a dimension is to be used in a design table or equation, it should also be
named. Intelligent naming makes it easier to reference these items in equations, design
tables and file properties.

3. Use folders to arrange features into logical categories and reduce the size of the Feature
Manager Design Tree. To add a feature to a folder right click the feature, select Add to
New Folder and type in the folder name. Features can be dragged into or out of the folder
as required.

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Documenting Design Intent

Documenting the decisions made during the design process (design intent) can be valuable in
making your data more understandable to others (and yourself at a later date) and easier to
modify. SolidWorks provides options to capture your design intent.

Comments

You can add comments to features to help explain their use or just for additional pertinent
information. You can also add a date/time stamp to the comment. When passing over the
feature, the comment appears in a balloon (see image). Adding comments is a simple, effective
means of adding notes to your design.

The FeatureManager also has a folder for Comments. Features


that have comments will appear in the Comments folder.

Design Binder

The Design Binder is an embedded Microsoft Word document that allows you to also capture the
screen image so it can be pasted into the document (see example below).

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Equations

When working with equations you should add a comment for each equation to make it easier to
understand the intent of the equation. Note the use of good names and readability.

Design Tables

When creating a design table there are a number of different ways to add comments. The
following diagram shows Comment 1 and Comment 2 that are treated as comments within a
design table because they do not have any values in the columns. The other way is to add
"$COMMENT" as a heading as shown by Comment 3.

Dimensions

When a sketch or feature dimension will be re-used in an equation or design table, give the
dimension a meaningful name. The following diagram shows the difference between a named
dimension (with a good feature name) and one using the default D1. This value can be set by
selecting the dimension, highlighting the current dimension name in the Property manager and
typing in the new name. This will make the equation or design table more readable.

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Configurations

When you are creating a configuration, you can use the comment field to
add a comment to that configuration.

Features

The following images show the difference between a FeatureManager Design Tree that used the
standard SolidWorks names and one where the user gave the features more meaningful names.
The “named” version will be much easier to read and modify.

To make this process easier, go to Tools -> Options -> System Options -> FeatureManager
and enable the Name feature on creation option. This will highlight the feature name and allow
the feature to be named immediately after it has been created.

Another option is to use folders to help force the user to think about grouping features functionally.

Standard SolidWorks names More meaningful names Use of folders

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Documentation

Having formulated a ‘standard’ set of methods and procedures, it is highly advisable to document
these procedures if you are working in a team environment. The procedures may change and
develop over time, but do make sure that all users have access to them.

Parent/Child Relationships

Parent/child relationships define which features depend on or


are dependent on other features. In the process of building
your model, you will most likely use previously drawn features
or reference geometry to define a new feature. By doing this
you are creating a parent/child relationship between the
features. Keep this in mind when structuring your parts.

Note: A child feature cannot be reordered before a parent in


the Feature Manager Design Tree without first removing the
parent/child relationship by deleting or modifying the references
of the child feature.

To view the parent/child relationships of a feature, right-click on the feature and select
Parent/Child. These relationships can be explored by double clicking in the parent/child window.

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Assembly Modelling Best Practices

Assembly Planning

Techniques such as Top-Down or Bottom-Up assembly design, and assembly layout sketches can
produce efficient and robust assemblies, which are also flexible and adaptive to change. Planning
and design intent is possibly even more important in the context of an assembly than in a part, due
to the often large and complex nature of assemblies.

Assembly Layout Sketches

Assembly layout sketches allow the design intent of the assembly to be represented using simple
2D sketches, and reference geometry such as planes and axes. The parts and sub-assemblies
which comprise the model can then be constructed using this layout sketch. This structure gives
the following advantages:

• Simple representation of the design intent.


• Easier collaboration of sub-assemblies and parts, especially if they are worked on by
multiple users within an organisation.
• Robust assembly format and easier modification of the entire assembly to suit different
configurations.

Backhoe Arm Layout Sketch Completed Backhoe Arm

Enhancements have been made that provide a layout-based assembly design environment where
you can switch back and forth between top-down and bottom-up design methods. You can create,
edit and delete parts and blocks at any point in the design cycle without any history-based
restrictions. This is particularly useful during the conceptual design process when you frequently
experiment with, and make changes to, the assembly structure and components.

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Layout Sketches using Blocks

Blocks have been enhanced so you can mix layout-based design with assembly design. Using
this new assembly layout technique, you can:

• Create a new type of sketch, called a Layout, in an assembly.


• Insert a layout in an existing assembly.
• Constrain blocks in the layout to components in the assembly, and vice versa.
• Create parts from blocks in a layout. These parts are:
⇒ Constrained to the blocks so they do not violate the layout, but are otherwise free
for you to constrain.
⇒ Contain instances of the blocks. You can edit the blocks in either the layout or
the parts.
⇒ Created as virtual parts, to streamline the workflow.

The most effective way to use an Assembly Layout sketch is to create the layout sketch in the
assembly, insert and constrain blocks in the layout to the components in the assembly, and vice
versa. The reference geometry can then be used to create subsequent sub-assemblies and parts.

This method of Assembly design is called ‘top-down’. Bottom-up assemblies are assembled by
modelling the individual components independently and mating them together. Most assemblies
will require a combination of top-down and bottom-up techniques.

Virtual Components

When you create components in the context of an assembly, the software now saves them inside
the assembly file, and you can immediately begin modelling. Later, you can save the components
to external files or delete them.

In addition to streamlining the workflow, other advantages include:

• You can rename these virtual components in the FeatureManager Design Tree, avoiding
the need to open, save as a copy, and use the Replace Components command.
• You can make one instance of a virtual component independent of other instances in a
single step.
• The folder where you store your assembly is not cluttered with unused part and assembly
files resulting from iterations of component designs.

To create a virtual component:

• In an assembly, click New Part (Assembly toolbar) or Insert -> Component -> New Part.
• A new part appears in the FeatureManager Design Tree as [PartX^AssemblyName],
where X is a number. The square brackets indicate that it is a virtual component.
• Select a plane or planar face on which to position the new part.

The editing focus changes from the assembly to the new part. An InPlace mate is added between
the plane you selected and the front plane of the new part, and a sketch opens. Construct the part
features, using the same techniques you use to build a part on its own. Reference the geometry
of other components in the assembly as needed.

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To return to editing the assembly, click to clear the Edit Component icon on the Assembly toolbar

or click the icon in the top, right of the graphics area.

To save a virtual component to an external file:

• Right-click the part and select Save Part (in External File).
• In the Save As dialog box, select the part in the File Name list.
• Click Same As Assembly to save the file in the same folder as the assembly, or Specify
Path to choose another folder.
• Click OK.

Naming Conventions

SolidWorks’ file referencing characteristics mean that it is highly advisable that unique file names
are used for every different part, drawing and assembly. It is important that every organisation
develops its own, intelligent naming convention for SolidWorks files.

There are many possible file naming conventions, the best one to suit any particular organisation
will depend on many factors, most importantly -how many people are using SolidWorks in your
company, and what kind of work is being done.

File naming conventions basically fall under two categories – meaningful and meaningless.
Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages

Meaningful File Names

As the name suggests, some kind of information is carried in the filename itself with this system.
This information might include abbreviations for year of the project, Project Name/Number, Client
Name, Engineer/Designer Name, Assembly/Part number and/or a host of other items.

Advantages
• Easy to gain information about the file from a glance at its name
• Easy to keep filenames unique, even in a multi-user environment, but only if the naming
convention is strictly adhered to, eg, ‘bracket.sldprt’ is not a suitable name, whereas
‘06-DRV-003-Bracket.sldprt’ ensures uniqueness.

Disadvantages
• Becomes clumsy if it is likely a file will be used anywhere other than its original purpose,
e.g. a part may have been designed under the banner of one project, but is used again in
another project – does it keep its original file name or get a new one?
• Someone has to come up with intelligent structures and abbreviations which will suit the
entire organisation’s future filenames – they can end up being inflexible.

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Meaningless File Names

Meaningless file names are simply a number or letter combination which carries no relevance or
information about the file for which it applies, other than simply to uniquely identify it. Names
could be assigned on a random basis, or from a list from which they are assigned in some kind of
sequence.

Advantages:
• Doesn’t tie the file to any particular project or area of the organisation, allows more
flexibility than a meaningful filename.
• Can guarantee uniqueness if the filenames are assigned methodically.

Disadvantages:
• Information on the contents of the file not quite so easy to see. (However this information
can be recorded in more detail in File Metadata – see custom properties section)
• Requires some kind of list or generator to ensure the filenames remain unique.

As can be seen there are pros and cons to both systems. Larger, multi-user sites which may use
filenames as part names for inventory purposes would be well advised to use a meaningless file
naming convention, along with a data management system such as SolidWorks Enterprise PDM.
Smaller companies and consultants with 1-2 seats of SolidWorks may find meaningful filenames
to be the most appropriate.

Assembly Structure/Using Sub-Assemblies

Using sub-assemblies within the structure of an assembly is useful for the following reasons:

• Displayed geometry is limited to only what is necessary, improving performance.


• Allows others to collaborate on the design. An assembly layout sketch can be used to
define the basic geometry of the subassemblies and detailed modelling can then take
place concurrently on multiple subassemblies.

The level and grouping of assembly components can be changed at any time. If you change your
mind later as to the assembly structure, the change can be made using the following commands:

• Form New Subassembly Here


• Insert New Subassembly
• Dissolve Subassembly

Maintaining Acceptable Assembly Performance

Large, complex assemblies can be very intensive on system resources. There are several ways
to maintain performance:

• Grouping parts into sub-assemblies which do not all have to be fully resolved at any one
time.
• Using top-down assembly methods to enable referencing of simple, robust entities.
• Suppressing unnecessary geometry.

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Simplified configurations of parts can be created with unnecessary features suppressed.


Unnecessary features may include text cuts, fasteners, patterns, threads, fillets, etc. Use the
‘feature statistics’ tool to identify ‘heavy’ features and suppress them if appropriate.

If an assembly layout sketch is used, all the sub-assemblies and parts which aren’t currently being
worked on can be suppressed, dramatically improving performance. This has the added bonus of
encouraging referencing from the layout sketch only, rather than other components of the
assembly.

Intelligent assembly and component structures will have the greatest impact on the performance
of the system. Following this, there are several system settings that will further improve
performance.

There are three areas where changing settings will improve assembly performance. The windows
are shown below with important settings highlighted in yellow.

Select Tools -> Options to bring up the System Options window.

Display/Selection Settings

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Performance Settings

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Large Assembly Mode Settings

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File Management Best Practices


SolidWorks Search

When a referenced document cannot be found, SolidWorks performs a search to locate the
document. For example, this search may occur when you open a drawing and the referenced
assembly cannot be found or when you resolve a lightweight component in an assembly and the
component cannot be found.

When a referenced document is found, the software updates the path to the referenced document
in the parent document. When you save the parent document, the updated path is saved as well.

The Rules column below describes the search routine that the software uses to locate a missing
referenced document.

The Examples column shows the paths that the software checks using the following scenario:

• The assembly was last saved as C:\zz\a1.sldasm. You move the assembly to
D:\ss\tt\a1.sldasm.
• The first part in the assembly was last saved as C:\qq\p1.sldprt. You do not move this
part.
• The second part in the assembly was last saved as C:\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt. This part is
missing either through deletion, renaming, or some other file management mistake.
• There are two paths in the Folders list of the File Locations Options dialog box: D:\aa\bb\
and E:\cc\dd\
• You click File, Open to open a1.sldasm in its new location.

Rules Examples
If p2.sldprt is in another open document, SolidWorks
1. Uses any open document with the same name.
uses this version of p2.sldprt.
2. Searches the first path that you specify in the D:\aa\bb\p2.sldprt
Folders list in the File Locations Options dialog box.
• NOTE: You must select the Search file
locations for external references check box
in the External References Options dialog
box or else SolidWorks ignores the paths
that you specify.
3. Searches the path in Step 2 plus the last folder in D:\aa\bb\xx\p2.sldprt
the path where the referenced document was last
saved.
4. Searches the path in Step 2 plus the last two D:\aa\bb\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
folders in the path where the referenced document
was last saved.
5. Repeats Step 4 until the full original path has D:\aa\bb\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
been appended to the path in Step 2.
• NOTE: This concept of adding one folder at
a time from the full path will be called
"recursive searching" in the following
steps.

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6. Recursively searches the first path in the Folders D:\aa\xx\p2.sldprt


list, and then recursively searches the path where D:\aa\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
the referenced document was last saved. D:\aa\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
D:\xx\p2.sldprt
D:\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
D:\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
7. Repeats Steps 2 through 6 for the other folders in E:\cc\dd\p2.sldprt
the Folders list E:\cc\dd\xx\p2.sldprt
E:\cc\dd\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
E:\cc\dd\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
E:\cc\xx\p2.sldprt
E:\cc\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
E:\cc\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
E:\xx\p2.sldprt
E:\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
E:\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
8. Searches the path of the active document, then D:\ss\tt\p2.sldprt
recursively searches the path where the referenced D:\ss\tt\xx\p2.sldprt
document was last saved. D:\ss\tt\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
D:\ss\tt\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
D:\ss\xx\p2.sldprt
D:\ss\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
D:\ss\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
D:\xx\p2.sldprt
D:\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
D:\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
9. Searches the path where you last opened a Same as Step 8
document, then recursively searches the path
where the referenced document was last saved.
• NOTE: In most cases, the path of the active
document and the path where you last
opened a document are the same.
The two paths are different if you click File, Open to
open one document, then drag and drop an
assembly from Windows Explorer into that
document. The path of the active document is the
path from Windows Explorer and the path where you
last opened a document is the path from File. Open.
10. Searches the path where the software last found C:\qq\p2.sldprt
a referenced document This is the location of p1.sldprt.
11. Searches the full path where the document was This is useful if you save a part with a UNC path
last saved without a drive designation. such as \\machine\folder\p2.sldprt.
12. Searches the full path where the document was C:\zz\yy\xx\p2.sldprt
last saved with its original drive designation.
13. Allows you to browse for the document yourself.

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File Management Using SolidWorks Explorer

SolidWorks Explorer is a file management tool designed to help you perform such tasks as
renaming, replacing and copying SolidWorks files. You can show a document’s references,
search for documents using a variety of criteria, and list all the places where a document is used.
Renamed files are still available to those documents that reference them.

You can use SolidWorks Explorer with or without the SolidWorks application and with or without
SolidWorks Workgroup PDM added in.

Pack and Go

This procedure can be used to copy all required references of an assembly (or a part containing
references), and then rename this assembly without affecting the original copy.

NOTE: This procedure is most applicable to projects that are NOT stored in a SolidWorks
Workgroup PDMVault (SolidWorks Workgroup PDM has a more convenient way to do this)

Open the assembly you wish to copy and click File -> Pack and Go.

The following window appears:

All the referenced files for this assembly are listed in the window.

• You can save the assembly and all referenced files to a different folder or a Zip file.
• You can select which files are copied using the check boxes.
• Drawings and/or SolidWorks Simulation results and/or custom decals, appearance and
scenes can be included.
• Files can be Zipped and emailed directly from the ‘Pack and Go’ window.
• Copied files can be renamed with a prefix or suffix.
• The Select/Replace button lets you search for files within the list, based on varying
criteria, and perform specific actions on them.

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Assembly Renaming Procedure

To rename or replace a SolidWorks document:

Access the Rename Document or Replace Document dialog box by doing one of the following:

• In SolidWorks Explorer, on the File Explorer tab in the left pane, select a document,
then click SolidWorks Rename or SolidWorks Replace on the Mini Toolbar.
• In Windows Explorer or in the SolidWorks Task Pane File Explorer, right-click a
SolidWorks document and select SolidWorks, Rename or Replace.

Options

• Rename or Replace. - Displays the


full path and name of the selected
document.
• To. - Type the new name for the
selected document.
• With. - Type the name of the
document to replace the selected
document.
• Update where used. - Generates a
list of all documents that reference the one you are renaming or replacing.

Update where used

Select items from the list to update their references to the item you are renaming or replacing.
Items that you clear continue to reference the old name or document.

Used by. Lists the documents that reference the one you are renaming or replacing.

Used as. Lists the type of reference.

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File Management Using SolidWorks Workgroup PDM


SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Basics

SolidWorks Workgroup PDM software provides an efficient, convenient and secure method of
storing and retrieving SolidWorks and other files. Some of the advantages of SolidWorks
Workgroup PDM are:

• Provides secure storage of important SolidWorks and other files in the SolidWorks
Workgroup PDM ‘Vault’.
• Controls the document revision process.
• SolidWorks Workgroup PDM is aware of referenced SolidWorks files and can manage
references effectively.
• The ‘Lifecycle’ feature enables access control and tracks a document through its design
phases.
• Allows convenient copy, rename and movement of SolidWorks projects without loss of file
references.
• SolidWorks Workgroup PDM enforces unique filenames – two files with the same name
cannot exist in one vault.
• SolidWorks Workgroup PDM reduces network traffic because users are working on their
local hard drives.

SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Process Flowchart

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SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Terminology

Vault
The vault is where all the organisation’s files are stored. The vault is a location usually on a
network server controlled by SolidWorks Workgroup PDM (though the vault can also exist locally).
Files in the vault should not be accessed manually, all access is controlled by SolidWorks
Workgroup PDM.

Vault Admin
The VaultAdmin Tool is used to adjust all the settings related to the operation of the PDM Vault.
These settings are accessible only to users with administrator privileges. Along with defining the
basic operations of the vault, the VaultAdmin is used to create new users, create new projects,
control user access to specific projects, define the revisioning scheme, and set up project
lifecycling.

Client
Each user which accesses the vault does so through the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Client
software.

Check Out
Users are able to check files out of the vault, providing they have access privileges to do so. By
checking a file out, they are copying it to their local hard drive so they can view or modify it.

Check In
Users are able to check files into the vault, providing they have Ownership of the file. SolidWorks
files (or others which have revision control capabilities) will be checked in at a later revision. If the
file has not changed, it will not be checked in, as there is already a current copy in the Vault.

Ownership
Having ownership of a file allows a user to check it into the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM vault.
Only one person can have ownership of a file at any one time. If you want to check a file into the
vault which you do not own, the owner must first release ownership, so that you can take
ownership.

Projects
In SolidWorks Workgroup PDM, files are organised into projects and subprojects. Read and/or
write access to projects can be restricted on a per user basis. The names and descriptions of the
projects must be unique.

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SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Basic Operations

This section gives an overview on the basic operation of SolidWorks Workgroup PDM. For more
detailed information, we recommend attending SolidWorks Workgroup PDM training or referring to
the online help manual.

Ensure SolidWorks Workgroup PDM is enabled by clicking Tools ->Add-Ins and checking the
SolidWorks Workgroup PDM boxes. Click the File Explorer icon in the Task Pane. You will
notice that the File Explorer window is split. The top half of the window is similar to the non-PDM
SolidWorks file explorer, the bottom half shows the contents of the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM
Vault (you may need to login first).

Checking in Files

To check an assembly into the Vault, simply right


click on the desired project in the vault and click
Check in Active document (if the assembly is
already open in SolidWorks) or Check in from
Disk. In the Check-In window, SolidWorks
Workgroup PDM automatically displays all
referenced files (if you are checking in an
assembly) and will only select files that have
been modified since last check-in. SolidWorks
Workgroup PDM will automatically increase the
revision of the modified files.

SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Check In Options

The meaning of the five icons which appear next to the file name is listed below:

• If the check box is ticked, this file will be checked into the vault
• The ‘person’ icon represents whether you will retain ownership of this file once it is
checked in to the vault. Click this to toggle its status.
• The ’hard drive’ icon indicates whether or not the file on your local hard drive will be
deleted when you check this file into the vault. Click this to toggle its status
• The circular image represents the result of SolidWorks comparing the file being checked in
to what is already in the vault, as follows:

This particular file is a different (modified) version to one that is already in the vault
This file is the same as the one in the vault – It will not be checked in
This is a new file; it doesn’t yet exist in the vault
This appears to be an older version to one that is already in the vault
This file is not in the vault

• The part/assembly/drawing icon represents the type of file (part, assembly, drawing etc.).

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Removing Toolbox Tags

All files that originate from the Toolbox database have an internal tag that tells SolidWorks that it's
a Toolbox part. Copying the file or moving it does not remove this tag. If you need to remove or
add a toolbox tag to a part so it can be either checked in or not checked into SolidWorks
Workgroup PDM, there is a utility that is included with the SolidWorks install that does this. The
utility is called sldsetdocprop.exe and resides in the C:\Program Files\SolidWorks
2015\SolidWorks\Toolbox\data utilities folder. It allows you to pick files and folders to toggle
the tag settings on. It also allows you to query the setting of files.

Set Document Properties Utility

It can be frustrating for users that want to create a copy of a Toolbox part (like a gear) and
customize it, and then check it into SolidWorks Workgroup PDM. If they have disabled check in of
Toolbox parts they won't be able to check it in until they remove the tag.

You can still edit the Toolbox definition of the part after you remove the tag.

Important notes regarding SolidWorks Workgroup PDM

As your SolidWorks Value Added Reseller (VAR) we need to bring a few points to your attention.

This product has not had any major development work done on it since 2009 with the SolidWorks
Workgroup PDM server not available for a 64 bit system, i.e. It is a 32 bit program only.

There is no statement on the size limit of the vault, but, again, the software was written for 32 bit
systems and vault sizes will only become larger.

The SolidWorks Workgroup PDM software does not allow multi-site and replication of data,
amongst other things.

DS SolidWorks would never remove a product from their portfolio abruptly and we have been
assured that if it was to be retired at some time in the future there would be a suitable upgrade
path and clients would have 2 years from the announcement before the product was taken out
completely.

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Advanced Techniques
Advanced Component Selection

Where to find: Tools -> Component Selection -> Advanced Select

Advanced component selection is a tool which is helpful in finding and selecting a particular
component or components within a large assembly. Selection criteria can include any of the
properties listed in the file’s metadata (see the section on custom properties).

This can have a number of uses such as assisting with tracking of types of parts in an assembly.
For example all the parts in an assembly made from a particular material could be located.
Search criteria can include Boolean expressions.

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Consistency Checking
Design Checker Add-in

The Design Checker add-in is a convenient way to quickly ensure that a particular drawing, part
or assembly conforms to your organisations document and modelling standards. The following
are just a few of the items that Design Checker can analyse.

• Drawings • Dimensioning Standard


• Arrow Style • Custom Properties
• References up to date • Font
• Sheet Format • Check for Overlapping views
• Title Block • BOM Balloon
• Parts/Assemblies • Material Checks
• References up to date • Feature error warnings
• Fully defined sketch • Number of fixed parts in an assembly

To set up Design check, click Tools > Add-Ins, tick the SolidWorks Design Checker box and
then OK. The Design Checker menu should now appear in the Evaluate menu bar. Click Build
Checks to bring up the Design Checker configuration window, shown below.

All the desired checks can be selected and saved to a SolidWorks standards file (*.swstd) which
can be located locally or on a network drive. To run a Design check, simply click Check Active
document and browse for the relevant SolidWorks standards file.

The custom properties check in Design Checker can check for the presence or conformity of
various custom properties such as Description, Part No, Project, DrawnBy, Material etc.

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Drawing Spell Checker

Drawing Spell Checker is a feature which eliminates embarrassing spelling errors in drawing
files. Click Tools -> Spelling while viewing an open drawing to run the Spell Checker. The
default SolidWorks dictionary contains most common engineering abbreviations, though words
can be added or deleted from the dictionary as required.

Design Checker and Drawing Spell Checker have the potential to improve the presentation and
professionalism of your organization’s SolidWorks documents if implemented regularly as a matter
of policy. They can also help ensure models are consistently built to an acceptable standard.

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Working with SolidWorks

Sheet Metal Design

There are many different methods which sheet metal designers and shops employ to determine
the flat length of sheet stock which will give desired dimensions on the finished bent part. Some of
these methods are simply "rules of thumb" which individuals use based on experience. Often
these rules of thumb relate to the material type and thickness, bend radius and angle, machine
type, process speeds, etc. It really is somewhat of an art when the sheet metal process is
implemented.

Computers on the other hand are very analytical in nature and therefore when a computer
program simulates sheet metal bending or unbending it requires an analytic means by which to
represent the process. Certainly specialized programs could be written for each individual shop to
perform the calculations based on that shop's rules of thumb. However, most commercial
CAD/Solid Modelling applications are for general use and therefore, provide a general solution. In
most cases, such programs do provide a means by which you can give input to the calculations
based on your experience and rules of thumb. This is certainly true for the SolidWorks sheet
metal functionality.

There are two most widely accepted analytic representations of simple sheet metal bending.
One representation is based on bend allowance and the other is based on bend deduction.
The SolidWorks software employs the Bend Allowance method. To give users an understanding
of sheet metal calculations in general and how they are used in SolidWorks, this article reviews
the following:

• The definitions of both bend allowance and bend deduction methods and how each of
them relates to the actual sheet metal geometry.
• How bend deduction relates to bend allowance so users who employee the bend
deduction method can easily convert their data to the bend allowance method.
• The definition of K-factor and how it is used in practice, including common ranges of values
which are used for different material types.

Gauge Tables

Sheet metal gauge tables store properties for a designated material. You can access the sheet
metal gauge table from the PropertyManager while creating the base flange. Use a sheet metal
gauge table to assign:

• Gauge thickness
• Allowable bend radii
• K-factor

After creating the base flange, access the sheet metal gauge table by right-clicking Sheet-Metal in
the FeatureManager Design Tree and selecting Edit Feature.

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Assigning Bend Radius Values

You can use the sheet metal gauge table to assign values for the whole part. This is called the
default. However, you can apply bend radius values that are different from the default value in the
sheet metal gauge table to specific features, such as edge flanges.

Controlling Bend Radius Values

• If you select Use Default radius, you can use one general bend radius value from the
sheet metal gauge table for all the downstream features.
• If you select Use gauge table, the bend radius value you use is different than the default
value from the sheet metal gauge table.
• If you clear both Use Default Radius and Use gauge table, you can type in the bend
radius value.

To apply a bend radius value different from the gauge table value:

• Create a base flange, and in the PropertyManager, under Sheet Metal Gauges, select
Use gauge table and then select a table
• Add another sheet metal feature to the part.
• In the PropertyManager, clear Use default radius, and select Use gauge table.
• In the sheet metal gauge table, select another value for the bend radius.

If you change the default value by using a different sheet metal gauge table bend radius value, the
feature maintains its set value and does not change.

To manually assign a bend radius value:

• In the PropertyManager, clear Use default radius.


• Type in a value for bend radius.

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Creating a Sheet Metal Gauge Table

Tables are included in the SolidWorks application, and are located in:
<install_dir>\lang\<language>Sheet Metal Gauge Tables\.

If you create a sheet metal gauge table, use a semi colon - ; - as a delimiter between values.

Bend Allowance

To understand bend allowance, please consider Figure 1 which represents a single bend in a
sheet metal part and Figure 2 which represents the flat form of that same part.

The bend allowance method describes the


flattened length of the part (LT) as the sum of the
lengths of each of the flat portions of the part plus
the length of the flattened bend region.

The length of the flattened bend region is


represented by the value "bend allowance" (BA).
Therefore, the total length of the part can be
represented by the equation:

LT = D1+ D2+ BA
(1)

The bend region, represented as the yellow area,


is the region in which all of the deformation
theoretically occurs during the bend operation. In
simple terms, to determine the geometry of the
flattened part you must:

• Cut the bend region out of the bent part.


• Put the two remaining flat sections down
onto a table.
• Calculate the length of the bend region
after it is flattened out.
• Glue the flattened bend region between the two flat sections.

The result is the flat part.

The somewhat difficult part is determining what the flattened bend region length is, represented by
the value BA. In general, the value BA will be different for each combination of material type,

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material thickness, bend radius and bend angle. Other factors which can cause the BA to vary are
machine process, machine type, machine speed, etc.

Where does the value BA come from?

There are quite a few sources for BA including sheet metal suppliers, experimental data,
experience, and engineering handbooks. One resource is the Machinery's Handbook, Twenty-
Fifth Edition. There is a good discussion of bend allowance and example tables for 90 degree
bends on pages 1246-1250.

In SolidWorks, you have the ability to input BA explicitly, provide one or more tables with BA
values, or use another means to calculate BA which is K-factor (which will be described in depth
later). For all of these methods, you can enter the information to be the same for all bends in the
part or you can explicitly set the information for individual bends if required.

The bend table approach is the most accurate approach as you can specify different bend
allowance values based on different thickness, radius and angle values.

You generally will have one table for each material or each material/process combination. It can
take a little bit of time to set up the tables initially, but once you have them, they can be re-used for
each part.

There is more information on the format of SolidWorks later in this section.

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Bend Deduction

Bend deduction, also often referred to as setback (sometimes represented by setback divided by
two), is simply a different means by which to represent the sheet metal bending process. Again
referring to Figures 1 and 2, the bend allowance method refers to the flattened length of the part
(LT) as the sum of the lengths of the theoretical flat sections extended to the "heel point" (virtual
intersection of the flat sides) minus the bend deduction (BD). Therefore, the total length of the
part can be represented by the equation:

LT = L1 + L2 -BD 1

Bend deduction is again a value which is determined from sheet metal suppliers, experimental
data, experience, or handbooks with equations or tables for different materials.

How Bend Allowance Relates to Bend Deduction

Since SolidWorks uses the bend allowance method, it is important for users familiar with the bend
deduction method to know how the two methods relate. It is fairly easy to derive an equation to
relate the two values using the geometry of the bent and flat parts. So far, we have 2 known
equations by the definition of each of the
methods:

LT = D1+ D2+ BA 2

LT = L1 + L2 -BD 1

These equations can be combined to form:

D1 + D2+ BA= L1+ L2 – BD 3

Please consider the same geometry in


Figure 1 with some additional labels as
shown in Figure 3:

The angle A represents the bend angle or


the angle which the part sweeps through
when bending in degrees.

This angle also describes the angle of the arc representing the bend region so it is shown in two
locations in Figure 3. The inside bend radius is represented by R. Finally, T represents the
thickness of the sheet metal part. A right angle triangle used to help form the relationship has
been highlighted in green and re-labelled in Figure 3. Based on the labelled dimensions on this
right triangle, we can derive the following equation:

4
Put in terms of D1, yields:

The same approach can be used on the other half of the bend region to derive D2:

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Equations (3), (4), and (5) can be combined as follows:

Then it can be simplified to yield:

This equation can be simplified even further for 90 degree bends since TAN (90/2) = 1, yielding:

BA = 2(R +T) - BD 7

Equations (6) and (7) represent a method by which those users who are familiar with bend
deduction values can convert those bend deduction values to bend allowance values based on the
related thickness, bend angle and radius for use in SolidWorks. The bend allowance values can
then be used for an entire part, individual bends, or to populate a bend table.

K-factor

K-factor is a single value which can be used to represent how sheet metal bends fold/unfold over
a wide range of geometric parameters. It is a single value which is used to calculate the bend
allowance (BA) over a range of material thicknesses, bend radii and angles. Figures 4 and 5 will
be used to help define K-factor.

Consider a neutral sheet or axis which is defined


as an imaginary section through the bend region
where there is no stretching or compression. It
represents the only location within the bend region
which does not deform.

This concept is represented by the pink and blue


regions in Figures 4 and 5. The Pink region
compresses during bending where the blue region
stretches. If this neutral sheet does not deform,
then the arc in the bend region along the neutral
sheet has the same length when it is bent as it
does when it is flat.
Therefore, the value BA is equal to the length of
the arc of the neutral sheet in the bend region.
This arc is represented in Figure 4 by the green
arc.

The location of the neutral sheet is dependent


upon the specific material properties such as ductility.
The neutral sheet location is expressed as "t", the distance into the sheet metal part from the
inside mould line (i.m.l.). The radius of the neutral sheet arc can therefore be represented by (R +
t). Using this expression and the bend angle, the neutral sheet arc length (BA) can be expressed
as:

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To simplify the definition of the neutral sheet for use with all material thicknesses, the expression
k-factor is used. K-factor is a ratio which represents the distance that the neutral sheet is into the
sheet metal part as follows:

K = t/T

K is always a value between zero and one.

A k-factor of 0.25 means that the neutral sheet is 25% of the way into the part, 0.5 means that the
neutral sheet is 50% of the way into the part and so-on. Combining the previous 2 expressions,
we get equation (8):

This is the equation which is represented in the SolidWorks manuals and on-line help. The values
A, R, and T are all dictated by the geometry, so where does the value K come from? Again, there
are quite a few sources for K including sheet metal suppliers, experimental data, experience, and
handbooks. In some cases, however, the value is not expressed as "K" and may not be in the
same exact form as equation (8). However, even if the form is not exactly the same, you can
generally find a relation.

For example, the book McGraw-Hill Machining and Metalworking Handbook states that the neutral
axis is "generally accepted as being located at 0.445 x material thickness inside the inside mould
line". This translates to a k-factor of K=0.445. They further give the following equation:

Bend allowance (B.A.) = A (0.01745R + 0.00778T)

This equation is actually just a specific representation of equation (8) at K=0.445. To prove this,
equation (8) is re-written below with the constants factored out and some variables re-arranged:

BA = A (0.01745 R + 0.01745 K*T)

Comparing this equation to the McGraw Hill equation, you can see that 0.01745 K=0.00778 or
K=0.445.
Similarly, the Machinery's Handbook Twenty-Fifth Edition uses similar representations. This book
uses the term "L" instead of BA, but it represents the same value. Page 1246 lists the following
equations for 90 degree bends:

For soft brass and soft copper:


L = (0.55 *T) + (1.57* R)

For half-hard copper and brass, soft steel and aluminium:


L = (0.64 *T) + (1.57* R)

For bronze, hard copper, cold-rolled steel, and spring steel:


L = (0.71 *T) + (1.57* R)

Simplifying equation (7) for 90 degree bends and factoring out constants and rearranging
variables gives the following expression:

BA = (1.57* K*T) + (1.57*R)

Therefore, for soft brass and soft copper, according to the Machinery's Handbook equation, 1.57 K
= 0.55 or K = 0.35. The same concept can be applied for the other material types listed such that
you get the following three values:

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For soft brass and soft copper:


K = 0.35

For half-hard copper and brass, soft steel and aluminium:


K = 0.41

For bronze, hard copper, cold-rolled steel, and spring steel:


K = 0.45

As discussed earlier, there are quite a few sources for K including sheet metal suppliers,
experimental data, experience, and handbooks. If you are to use K-factor to drive your sheet
metal models, you must find a source or values for K which meets your engineering requirements
and gives you results which match your physical part results within your desired accuracy. You
can see that the two reputable sources here list two different possibilities for K. One source gives
a single value for all materials where the other source breaks it down into three material
categories. In some cases, using the K-factor approach may not give you accurate enough results
across your entire range of input values as it is only one number representing a wide range of
possible bending situations. In such cases, to achieve more accurate results, you should use BA
values directly for the entire part, individual bends, or use a bend allowance table to represent the
BA values across the entire range of A, R, and T. You can even use equations to generate the
data for bend tables like the Machinery's Handbook has on pages 1247-1249. If needed, you can
then tweak individual cells of the table based on experimental data or experience.

For further information on sheet metal calculations for bending and unbending, please consult the
following resources:

Machinery's Handbook Twenty Fifth Edition, Industrial Press Inc., New York, 1996, pgs. 1246-
1251.
McGraw-Hill Machining and Metalworking Handbook, New York, 1994, pgs.1200-1204.
"Precise Bend Allowances Equal Quality Parts", Welding Design & Fabrication, July 1996, pgs.
21-26.
"CAD/CAM Software for Stamping Die Design", The Fabricator, October 1996, pg. 90.

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Defining and Editing Bend Tables

This section reviews the basics of creating your own bend tables for performing sheet metal
operations.

Bend Table Format:

You can consider the basic format of a bend table as a 3D matrix. Each layer (a 2-dimensional
matrix of bend angle vs. radius) represents a different material thickness. Within each layer, the
top row denotes bend radius, while the first column denotes bend angle. The bend allowances
are recorded in the cells of each layer.

Each bend allowance corresponds to a specific


angle, radius, and thickness.

For example, with a bend angle of 150 degrees


and a thickness of 1.90mm, you can insert a
bend with a radius of 0.38mm. The bend
allowance in this case is 2.24mm.

If your design parameters fall between the


specified values of thickness, radius, and angle,
SolidWorks calculates the bend allowance by
linear interpolation of the closest values in the
table.

Please note that the bend table values must be


in meters. (SolidWorks bend tables are always
in meters and the meters are converted into the
current document units when used for a part.
You cannot change the units of a bend table,
even if you change the unit text at the top of the
bend table. This text is only there for reference.)

You can calculate bend allowances to enter into a bend table by using equations from sheet metal
reference books or you can specify bend allowances based on your own experience or
experimental data.

Bend Table Editing

You can create or edit a bend table using any text editor. SolidWorks recognizes a bend table by
looking for the .btl extension. When you save your bend table, choose Save As and put " (double
quotation mark) around the file name and the extension. All .btl files must be located in the
lang\english folder of the SolidWorks installation. The range and the increments for values of
thickness, radius, and angle are arbitrary. However, they must remain consistent throughout the
bend table.

For example, you can define bend angles from 5 to 180 degrees at 5 degree increments. Or you
can define selected angles for the bend table that do not conform to linearity (e.g. 10, 20, 30, 45,
60, 90...). Once you have decided how many different angles you want to include in the bend
table, you must include the same set of angles for all the different layers. The same holds true for
bend radius. Basically, each 2-dimensional matrix in the bend table file must have the same
number of rows and columns and the row and column headers (bend radius and bend angle) must
be the same set of values in each matrix. The only values which should vary from one 2-
dimensional matrix to the next are the thickness and the bend allowances. Please note that all of

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the cells of all of the 2-dimensional matrices must contain values, even if you do not plan to use
entries from every cell. Otherwise SolidWorks will not be able to read the table properly. You
should make the range of values of radius, angle, and thickness in your bend table slightly larger
than the actual values used. For example, if your minimum thickness will be 0.001 meters, you
should have one 2-dimensional matrix representing a thickness slightly smaller than that. If your
largest thickness will be 0.007 meters, you should have one 2dimensional matrix representing a
thickness slightly larger than 0.007.

Note: Please remember that all bend table values have to be in meters for all linear dimensions
and in degrees for all angular dimensions.

Bend Table Notes

Bend allowance values in the bend table are material specific. Depending on you need, you may
choose to create different bend tables for different metals, or you may choose to use the same
bend table for metals with similar properties. You can edit the bend table while a sheet metal part
is active. Although the part does not update itself with the new data upon regeneration, you can
click Edit Definition of the Sheet metal feature, select the bend table that has been changed, and
click OK. The part will then update based on the values from the edited bend table.
Example: Bend Allowance from Bend Table

As stated in the theoretical description of flattened sheet metal part lengths (Sheet Metal
Calculations) the user can gather the Bend Allowance value from one of three methods:

• Use a user specified bend allowance (BA).


• Use a bend table (where BA is extracted from the table based on the part thickness, bend
radius, and bend angle).
• Calculate the bend allowance using a user specified K-factor.

This example will show the use of a bend table to


determine the bend allowance and then this bend
allowance will be used to calculate the flattened
length of a model with sharp bends at an angle other
than 90 degrees. A model which will be formed with
sharp bends is initially created with a sharp corner.
The rounded corners will be added when the bends
are inserted. Here is the model to be bent (all
dimensions in this example are given in millimetres):

Notice that the bend angle is 150 degrees and the


thickness is 1.90mm.

When the user inserts bends, he/she is prompted to


enter a bend radius and a method for determination
of the bend allowance. The bends are going to be
inserted with a bend radius of 0.38mm.

The bend allowance will be determined from the following table, where the K-factor is assumed to
be 0.25:

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An arrow has been drawn to the corresponding bend allowance for all of the variables, angle,
radius, and thickness that have either been entered by the user or are driven by the geometry.
Please remember that the bend table values have to be in meters. The bend allowance is now
known to be 2.24mm but what about the overall flattened length of the model? Overall length is
known to be:

L = D1 + D2+ BA

Where D1 and D2 are as pictured on the right, after the bends


have been inserted into the model.

To calculate D1 and D2, the distance between L1 and D1, and L2 and D2, respectively, needs to
be known. For this example, only D1 will be determined but the methodology to create D2 would
be the same. Zooming in on the rounded corner, some new variables will be introduced:

R is the bend radius.


C1 is the difference between L1 and D1.

The angle of 15 degrees is one-half of the opening of 30 degrees,


the complimentary angle to the 150 degree angle of the bend.

D1 is calculated as follows, taking advantage of the right triangle


that is formed with the 15 degree angle and the start of the bend
region:

D1 = L1 - C1

D1 = 50mm - [(R + T)/tan (15degrees)]


D1 = 50mm - [(.38mm + 1.9mm)/.2679]

D1 = 50mm - [2.28mm/.2679]
D1 = 50mm - 8.509mm

D1 = 41.49mm
D2 could be calculated in a similar fashion and its value is 31.49mm.

Therefore, L, the overall length is:


L = D1 + D2+ BA

L = 41.49mm +31.49mm + 2.24mm


L = 75.22mm

as can be pictured here:

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Example: Flat Length with Sharp Bends

The following example shows how the bend allowance and flat length of a sheetmetal part are
calculated for a part which is created initially without bends (sharp corners). In this case, the bend
angle is 90 degrees (dictated by the initial solid geometry).

The original model with dimensions is shown to the right.

When the user inserts bend features, SolidWorks basically "cuts" a


section out of the sharp corner and replaces it with a bent "bend
region". In this case, a bend radius of 0.25 was used. A diagram
of the bent part is shown beneath the original.

For the purpose of calculating the bend allowance, the model is


labelled generically below it such that we can relate the sizes of
this model to those discussed in the theoretical discussion “Sheet
metal calculations”. This generic model can be used for other
examples as well by simply substituting the part sizes.

Remember that the length of a flattened sheet metal part is


represented by:

L = D1 + D2+ BA

Where D1 and D2 are the lengths of the flat sections of the part
and BA is Bend Allowance which represents the length of the flattened bend region.
In this case, the values D1 and D2 cannot be read off of the model directly since the model was
dimensioned as a "sharp" model (without the bends). A simple calculation is necessary to find D1
and D2. This can be represented by the following equations;

D1 = L1 -T - R

and

D2 = L2 -T - R

where L1 and L2 are the lengths of the flat sheet metal sections before the bends are added.
Please note that these calculations would be slightly different if the user has dimensioned to the
inside of the sheet metal edge instead of to the outside - in this case, the dimensions are to the
extents of the part as you can see in the first image.

Bend allowance (BA) is calculated in the same manner as in the theoretical description of flattened
sheet metal parts and in the round bends sheet metal example:

BA = PI/2 (R + KT) A/90

In this example, we will use a K-factor of 0.5

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For this specific example, these values are calculated as follows:

D1 = 2.25 - 0.125 - 0.25


D1= 1.875

D2 = 1.5 - 0.125 - 0.25


D2 = 1.125

BA = PI/2 (0.25 + 0.5*0.125) 90/90


BA = PI/2 (0.3125) * 1

BA = PI * 0.15625
BA = 0.4909

Finally, we can calculate the length as:


L = D1 + D2+ BA

L = 1.875 + 1.125 + 0.4909


L = 3.4909

A graphical representation of the model in its flattened state is shown to the right with labelled
dimensions:

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Example: Flat Length with Round Bends

The following is an example of how to calculate the bend allowance and flattened part length for a
sheet metal part using K-factor and the theory as described in “Sheet metal Calculations”. The
example part shown to the right represents a part which was generated with the bend already in
the model before sheet metal bends were applied to the part.

The important dimensional values of the model


which affect the sheet metal features are:

T = 0.25 - material thickness


A = 55° - bend angle
R = 0.375 - inside bend radius

For this example, let's say that the K-factor (K)


is 0.5 (neutral plane is at the midplane of the
sheet metal).

Substituting the known values shown above into the following equation:

BA = PI/2 (R+KT) A/90

Gives:

BA = PI/2 (0.375 + 0.5 * 0.25) 55/90


BA = PI/2 (0.5) 55/90
BA = PI * 0.1528
BA = 0.48

The total length of the flattened part can be calculated by the following equation (D1 and D2 are
the lengths of the flat sections as represented in the original diagram):

L = D1 + D2+ BA
L = 2.25 + 1.5 + 0.48
L = 4.23

Here is the flattened model with all of the calculated values:

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Data Translation & Sharing


SolidWorks eDrawings

There are three variants of SolidWorks eDrawings – Viewer, Publisher and Professional.

SolidWorks eDrawings Viewer and Publisher are free, SolidWorks eDrawings Professional is
available for purchase, or is included with the SolidWorks Professional bundle (and above).

SolidWorks eDrawings Viewer


The SolidWorks eDrawings viewer is a tool to allow viewing of CAD models and drawings on a
computer without a SolidWorks licence. SolidWorks eDrawings Viewer is available:

• for free download at www.edrawingsviewer.com


• from the SolidWorks Installation CD’s

The Viewer can open SolidWorks files (assemblies, parts and drawings) for viewing, along with
AutoCAD (DWG/DXF) files and any files that have been published in SolidWorks eDrawings
format (these can be from a number of CAD platforms – see below).

The SolidWorks eDrawings Viewer functionality allows users to zoom, pan and rotate, section,
animate and print documents. If the document was published or saved from a licensed version of
SolidWorks eDrawings Professional, it also allows mark-up and can allow measure and export
functionality.

SolidWorks eDrawings Publisher


SolidWorks eDrawings Publisher is also available:

• for free download from www.edrawingsviewer.com


• from the SolidWorks Installation CD’s

SolidWorks eDrawings Publisher allows users from many different CAD platforms to publish their
data in SolidWorks eDrawings format so others can view it. SolidWorks eDrawings files are
relatively small in size (up to 95% smaller than the original cad file), which makes them ideal for
emailing.

SolidWorks eDrawings Publisher is compatible with:

• SolidWorks
• AutoCAD
• Catia V5
• Pro/Engineer
• Inventor
• Unigraphics
• Solid Edge

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SolidWorks eDrawings Professional


SolidWorks eDrawings Professional has all the features of the Viewer/Publisher combination but
with some further functionality. Specifically the ability to:

• Measure
• ‘Mark-up’*
• Export files
• Stamp
• Section

* ‘Mark-up’ allows comments (dimensions and notes) to be added to documents which can be
seen in SolidWorks eDrawings viewer. The comments appear in the left hand menu of the viewer
in chronological order. A view orientation is assigned to each comment.

This is convenient for showcasing the features of a design to a client, for example.

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Translation Matrix

Disclaimer

SolidWorks has always strived to make the import from and export to as many different CAD
formats as possible as simple and straightforward as possible.

The table below is intended as a reference to show the possible means of translation available to
the SolidWorks User. It is NOT to be considered a recommendation, or as complete.

Although all efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, due to the non-
static nature of the systems in question, some information may not be current. Intercad
recommends testing of import/export/translation utilities to confirm currency.

Usage

The columns ‘To SolidWorks’ and ‘From SolidWorks’ give options for translation using a standard
SolidWorks installation. The ‘Notes’ column refers to these translation methods.

The ‘Products’ column lists add-in products that are available for SolidWorks that also deal with
these formats. If the native translation methods are insufficient for your purposes one of these
products may suit your requirements.

Key to Native Translation:

P - Parts supported A - Assemblies Supported D - Drawings Supported

Key to Products:

Please contact Intercad and/or refer to the ‘Solution Partners’ of the SolidWorks website for more
information on these products

1. CIMSW-CAT (CADCAM E.COM inc)


2. FormatWorks (CAPVIDIA)
3. CT4SW (CT Core Technologies Gmbh)
4. SolidWorks translators (see SolidWorks Help) (SolidWorks)
5. PS-Exchange (Delcam International p/c)
6. CADPorter (Elysium Inc)
7. KeyCreator (Kubotek USA Inc)
8. CAT2SolidWorks (Radial Soft Corp)
9. ACIS 3D Toolkit, SDK, JetScream (Spatial Inc)
10. Transmagic (Transmagic)
11. Solid/ME (Maxxsoft Gmbh)
12. ToolWorks (SDH Development)
13. CADfix (ITI)
14. PolyTrans (Okino Computer Graphics)
15. Cadverter (Theorum Solutions Limited)

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Interfacing File To From Product (s) Notes


System/ Extension SolidWorks SolidWorks
Format (s)
IGES igs, iges Native (P,A) Native (P,A) 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 Use
,9,10,13,14, FeatureWorks to
15 parameterise
Parasolid x_t, x_b Native (P,A) Native (P,A) 1,3,4,5,6,10, Use
13,14,15 FeatureWorks to
parameterise
Catia Parasolid Parasolid 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 Use
(P,A), DXF (P,A), DXF ,8,9,10,13,1 FeatureWorks to
(D) D) 4,15 parameterise
Catia V4 (2D) DXF/DWG DXF/DWG 2,4
(D) (D)
Catia V5 cgr Native (P,A) Native (P,A) Graphics format
only
Unigraphics prt, asm Native (P,A) Native (P,A) 1,3,4,5,6,7,1 Native translator
0,13,14,15 for UG II v10 (+)
inc UG NX files.
I-DEAS IGES (P,A), IGES (P,A), 3,4,5,6,14,1 Use
DXF (D) DXF (D) 5 FeatureWorks to
parameterise
JT 4,15
Pro/Engineer Prt, asm, drw Native (P,A), Native (P,A), 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 Parametric
DXF (D) DXF (D) ,9,10,13,14, import available
15
ME10 11
Mechanical dwg Native ACIS (P,A), Parametric
Desktop (P,A,D) DXF(D) 4,15 import with MDT
on same
system.
Otherwise use
ACIS.
AutoCAD dwg Native (D) Native (D) 4,5,7,10,14, Use 2D to 3D
(2D) 15 tools /
FeatureWorks
AutoCAD dwg ACIS (P,A) ACIS (P,A) 4,5,7,10,14, Use DraftSight
(3D) 15 to create ACIS,
FeatureWorks to
parameterise
ACIS sat Native (P,A) Native (P,A) 2,3,4,5,7,10, Use
15 FeatureWorks to
parameterise
Think3 4
CoCreate 6
Maya 14
PDF pdf DXF (D) Native 12 3D Export
(P,A,D) available, use a
PDF to DXF
translator to
import.
3DSMax 4,14
MasterCam IGES (P,A) IGES (P,A) 1,4 Use ‘mastercam’
in options

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Interfacing File To From Product (s) Notes


System/ Extension SolidWorks SolidWorks
Format (s)
SolidEdge prt, asm, dft Native (P,A), Parasolid 1,4,5,8,13,1 Use
DXF (D) (P,A), DXF 4,15 FeatureWorks to
(D) parameterise
STEP stp, step Native (P,A) Native (P,A) 1,2,3,4,5,7,9 Use
,10,13,14,15 FeatureWorks to
parameterise
VDAFS 2,3,4,5,13,1
4
CADDS 2,3,4,13,15
Euclid
CADKEY 3,8
STL Native (P,A) Native (P,A) 3,4,5,6,7,10, Use point cloud
13,14,15 for surfaces.
Rhino IGES (P) IGES (P) 4,5,14 Use import
diagnostics to
repair surfaces
Inventor ipt, ism, idr Native (P,A), ACIS (P,A), 4,5,6,7,10,1 Use ACIS post
DXF (D) DXF (D) 4,15 Inventor 7
Microstation dgn ACIS (P,A), ACIS (P,A), Use
DXF (D) DXF (D) FeatureWorks to
parameterise
Point Cloud txt Native Use tools
to ‘drape’
surfaces (tab
delimited x,y,z)

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Importing DXF/DWG files

AutoCAD drawings can be imported into SolidWorks as a drawing, as a sketch in a part, or


referenced from a drawing. By importing into a part you can quickly build your 3D models based
on existing 2D AutoCAD views.

To import a .dxf or .dwg file into a sketch:

• create a new part, select the desired sketch plane and click Insert -> DXF/DWG
• browse for the required file and click Open
• In the DXF/DWG Import dialog box, deselect the layers which aren’t required (TITLE, DIM
etc.) The result should be visible in the preview window
• Click Next and ensure the correct units are selected
• Click Finish and the geometry should appear as a new sketch. If you can’t see the sketch,
it might simply be out of the viewing window, press the ‘F’ key to “Zoom to Fit”.

It is often required to convert a standard 3-view, 2D AutoCAD drawing into a 3D SolidWorks


model. Once the 2D drawing entities are present in a single sketch, we can use the ‘2D-3D’
toolbar (Tools -> Customise -> 2D-3D) to arrange the sketches on to the required planes. To
create a base feature from a 2D drawing, extract sketches to specify the appropriate views. The
sketches fold up automatically into the correct orientation as though the drawing were a piece of
paper.

This is done as follows:

• Select the entities required to go on the front plane of the model.


• Click Front on the 2D to 3D toolbar, or click Tools, Sketch Tools, 2D to 3D, Front. A
new sketch appears in the FeatureManager Design Tree.
• While still editing the original sketch, select the sketch entities that make up one of the
orthogonal views, such as the top, right, left, bottom, or back. Click the corresponding icon
on the 2D to 3D toolbar or on the Tools, Sketch Tools, 2D to 3D menu. A new sketch
appears in the FeatureManager Design Tree. The sketch folds into the correct orientation
to the Front view.
• Repeat above steps for the remaining views of the 2D drawing, placing them on their
appropriate planes.
• After extracting sketches for conversion to a 3D part, you can align the sketches before
creating the base feature. The sketch selected first moves to align with the sketch

selected second.
• Once completed, the sketches can be used to quickly build the 3D Model.

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DXF/DWG Import Wizard

The DXF/DWG Import wizard can also be accessed using File ->Open and selecting *.dxf or
*.dwg as the file type.

AutoCAD format files can also be imported with constraints and dimensions (in a drawing)
attached so it is quick to build a parametric model. The procedure for this is as follows:

• Import a DXF/DWG file using File -> Open and set *.dwg or *.dxf as the file type.
• In the DXF/DWG import wizard, ensure that Create new SolidWorks drawing and
Convert to SolidWorks entities are
selected, click Next.
• Select the required drawing layers,
including the dimension layer, click Next.
• Set the required sheet size, scale and
data units. Select Centre in sheet to
position the drawing. The red box in the
preview window indicates the size and
position of the SolidWorks drawing sheet.
Once you are happy with the preview,
click Finish.

Under the Tools ->Relations menu, select Scan


Equal. This tool scans the drawing (or sketch if in a part) and allows you to apply Equal relations
to common entities. Perform this operation for all the equal entities found.

Under the Tools -> Dimensions menu, select Attach dimensions. SolidWorks will then attempt
to match the dimensions shown with the entities in the sketch. It should now be possible to
change the dimension values and the drawing will update parametrically.

Exporting DXF/DWG files

Using MAP Files to export to DXF/DWG format with layers.

SolidWorks has the ability to export a drawing file to AutoCAD format (*.dwg/*.dxf) and map
selected entities or colours to different layers. The procedure to do this is as follows:

• With a SolidWorks drawing open, click File -> Save As.


• In the dialog box, select Dxf (*.dxf) or Dwg (*.dwg) in the Save As type dropdown menu.
• Click on the Options button.
• In the Export Options dialog box, under Custom Map SolidWorks to DXF/DWG, check the
Enable box, and ensure that the “Don’t show mapping on each save” box is unchecked.
• Click OK, enter in the relevant file name, and click Save.

The ‘SolidWorks to DXF/DWG Mapping’ dialog box will appear.

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To define a layer:
• Click Add in the Define Layers Tab
• Type the Layer number, and select the
colour and line style.
• Click OK.

Once all the required layers have been defined


in this manner, go to the Map Entities tab:

Click Add and select the desired entity to be


mapped from the Entity dropdown menu. A
colour and Line style can be specified, or a layer
selected (in this case the colour and line style of
the selected layer will be applied).

DXF/DWG Mapping

If you are going to be exporting to DXF/DWG format frequently, it is a good idea to save your
changes to a Map file. To do this:

• Click Map File Settings


• Check the Save map file box,
• Type in the desired filename and click OK.

Map files can then be reloaded as required.

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SolidWorks Toolbox
The SolidWorks Toolbox is a collection of commonly used parts available to insert into an
assembly. Examples of Toolbox parts include:

• Nuts • Bearings
• Bolts • Gears
• Washers • Circlips
• Screws • Pins (Cotter, Spring, etc.)

Toolbox parts are similar to conventional part files and share the *.sldprt file extension. They have
a couple of important differences however.

Toolbox parts contain an internal tag to identify them to SolidWorks as a toolbox part. This tag
can cause problems when trying to check a file into a SolidWorks Workgroup PDM vault. For the
procedure to remove the toolbox tag see the File Management Using SolidWorks Workgroup PDM
section on page 85.

Toolbox parts use a dynamically created configuration using a Microsoft Access database to
generate different sizes of the part. The configuration does not exist ‘naturally’ - it is created as
you insert the toolbox part.

Toolboxes can exist in a shared folder and be customised with organisation-specific parts to
improve accessibility and standardization. Care must be taken when using toolbox parts in a
shared environment, or when opening assemblies containing toolbox parts on a different computer
than they were created on, to avoid a situation where the wrong instance of a part file is opened.
See the section on Sharing a Toolbox Database on page 119 to avoid these issues.

Activating the Toolbox


To activate the Toolbox, select Tools -> Add-Ins
and tick the boxes for the Toolbox entries, as shown
at right.

Click OK to finish

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Customising the Toolbox Database

Basic Procedure
The basic process to create and use toolbox parts with a specific material/description based on
the default inclusions is as follows:

• Copy the existing standard


• Remove unwanted parts and edit data for the new standard
• Modify the template part
• Set default parts
• Add Custom property selections
• Use the toolbox part

Detailed Procedure
You cannot actually edit a Toolbox standard that is supplied by SolidWorks; you must copy the
standard and then edit your copy.

To create your own Toolbox standard:

1. Select Tools -> Options -> System Options.


2. Select Hole Wizard/Toolbox.
3. Click the Configure button.
4. Select 1 – Hole Wizard.
5. Select the standard you want to copy.
6. Select the Copy Standard button, as shown below.

7. Enter a name for your standard, as show below (example name only).

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8. Click the green tick.


9. The selected standard will be copied to the new one – this may take a minute or two
depending on how big the standard is.
10. Your new standard will be shown at the bottom of the list of standards.

To edit your Toolbox Standard:

1. Select 2 – Customize Hardware, as shown below.

2. Select your Toolbox standard


3. Drill down to the required component type – the image below shows Hexagon Head Bolt
Grades AB AS 1110.1 has been selected.

4. The right pane shows the existing holes and their properties. You can view the size
properties or the thread data by selecting the appropriate option under Standard
Properties, as shown below.

5. You can edit the existing data, disable sizes (untick the box), delete sizes completely
(select the row and press delete on the keyboard) or add new sizes.

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6. To add a new size, click on the + sign, as shown below.

7. Add the new data in the window that appears and click OK.
(Please note, the values shown below are for example purposes, they are not necessarily
correct for the hole size specified)

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8. The following window may appear – if it does, click OK.

9. Your new size will appear at the bottom of the list.


10. A similar process can be done to add a new thread by selecting the Thread Data option.

Make sure you save your changes! ☺

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Sharing a Toolbox Database

It is important that you configure the shared folder, the SolidWorks Toolbox, and SolidWorks
before you use the applications so that users:

• Do not overwrite SolidWorks Toolbox parts


• Can concurrently share SolidWorks Toolbox parts

Configuring the shared folder

• In Windows Explorer, go to the shared folder location and locate the Browser folder
• Right-click the folder and select Properties
• On the General tab, select Read-only, then click Apply
• In the Confirm Attribute Changes dialog box, select Apply changes to this folder,
subfolders and files
• Click OK twice

In the Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 operating systems, sometimes the read-only status
does not propagate to the subfolders and files. Expand all subfolders until you reach individual
part files to ensure that the read-only status is set.

The shared folder should reside on a Windows-based computer. Set the folder permissions as
above.

It is recommended that the shared location is on a computer that does not run the SolidWorks
software. The location is typically a server. This ensures that SolidWorks Toolbox document
references are consistent among users.

Note: All clients must have write access to the toolbox folders, but should have read only
access to the part files, and toolbox options set as below.

Configuring the SolidWorks Toolbox

• On each user's computer, start SolidWorks.


• Click File -> New -> Assembly and then click OK.
• Click Cancel to close the Insert Component PropertyManager.
• Activate the Toolbox, if it is not already activated, as described in the Activating the
Toolbox section on page 114.
• Select Toolbox -> Configure from the menu.
• Select step 3 – Define User settings.
• In the Files section select Create Configuration – this means SolidWorks does not create
a copy of the original part when a new size is specified.
• In the Writing to read-only documents section select Always change read-only status
of document before writing. When selected, if SolidWorks Toolbox tries to write to a
read-only document (for example, to add a new configuration to a SolidWorks Toolbox
part), and the document is set to read-only by SolidWorks, then the read-only flag is
temporarily turned off, the changes are written to the file and the document is then returned
to a read-only status.
• Save and close the Toolbox.

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Configuring SolidWorks

• On each user's computer, start SolidWorks.


• Select Tools -> Options -> System Properties -> Hole Wizard/Toolbox.
• Browse for the shared folder by clicking on the button indicated below.

• Click OK to accept the folder.


• Click OK to close the System Options window and save the new Toolbox location.

Adding an existing seat of SolidWorks Toolbox that does not currently access the shared
environment

These instructions apply if your company has an existing shared environment, but wants to add a
SolidWorks Toolbox user (that currently works independently) to the shared environment. The
user who migrates to the shared environment may have assembly documents that reference local
versions of the SolidWorks Toolbox parts. The following issues could arise.

• A user's local SolidWorks Toolbox may contain part configurations that do not exist in the
shared SolidWorks Toolbox parts. The user must add the referenced configurations to
avoid problems when opening assembly documents.

• A user may have assigned part numbers and descriptions to local SolidWorks Toolbox
parts that are different from the shared SolidWorks Toolbox parts. These differences
could cause changes (often in Bills of Materials) when the user opens drawing documents
and the SolidWorks Toolbox parts are loaded from the shared environment.

To add the seat:

• Make sure the existing seats in the shared environment have the same SolidWorks and
SolidWorks Toolbox version and service pack as the seat that is migrating to the shared
environment.
• Identify the shared folder that contains the SolidWorks Toolbox.
• Perform the steps described in the Configuring SolidWorks section above.

After a user's computer is migrated to the shared environment, the user may open an assembly
document that references SolidWorks Toolbox parts that resided on the local machine (not in the
shared environment). When the user opens the assembly document, the SolidWorks software
looks for the local SolidWorks Toolbox parts. However, the user needs to ensure that the
SolidWorks Toolbox parts are loaded from the shared location. There are two methods that a user
can follow to load the referenced parts: manually browse for each part, or automatically have the
SolidWorks software search for external references.

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To manually browse for each part:

• Rename the SolidWorks Toolbox parts folder that resides on the user's local computer.
This prevents the SolidWorks software from loading the local parts.
• Open each assembly document that contains SolidWorks Toolbox parts referenced from
the user's local computer. SolidWorks will not find the SolidWorks Toolbox parts because
you renamed the folder in step 1.
• A dialog box asks if you want to find the parts. Click Yes.
• Browse to the shared location and open the required SolidWorks Toolbox parts.
• Save the assembly.
• Delete the user's local SolidWorks Toolbox parts folder after you are sure that all assembly
documents have been updated.

To automatically have the SolidWorks software search for external references:

• Rename the SolidWorks Toolbox parts folder that resides on the user's local computer.
This prevents the SolidWorks software from loading the local parts.
• In SolidWorks select Tools -> Options.
• On the System Options tab, click External References.
• Tick Search file locations for external references.
• On the System Options tab, click File Locations.
• Select Referenced Documents in Show folders for.
• Click Add, and then browse to the shared location of the SolidWorks Toolbox parts.
• If you have more than one search path listed (e.g. design library components, SolidWorks
Workgroup PDM default checkout folder), it is advisable to have the toolbox path first, the
design library/common parts second, and the default SolidWorks Workgroup PDM
checkout last in the list.
• Click OK.
• Open and save each assembly document that uses referenced parts from the user's local
machine.
• Clear the Search file locations for external references option and delete the user's local
SolidWorks Toolbox parts folder after you are sure that all assembly documents have been
updated.

Creating a multi-user environment from one or more existing standalone SolidWorks


Toolbox installations

These instructions apply if your company has one or more users who currently use SolidWorks
Toolbox independently of each other. That is, none of the users share common SolidWorks
Toolbox parts; each user has their own set of parts. To create a multi-user environment from one
or more existing standalone SolidWorks Toolbox installations:

• Identify the computer whose user who has used SolidWorks Toolbox most extensively.
• Move the entire SolidWorks Toolbox parts folder (for example, C:\SolidWorks Data 2015)
from the user's computer identified above to a shared location.
• Follow the steps in the Adding an existing seat of SolidWorks Toolbox that does not
currently access the shared environment section above.

It is recommended that the shared location is on a computer that does not run the SolidWorks
software. The location is typically a server.

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Upgrading installations

During the installation of SolidWorks with a shared Toolbox it is normally necessary that the
Toolbox folder is upgraded. During the installation process the installer needs to lock full control
of the database files to make the changes. In a local installation of SolidWorks there is rarely a
problem with the installer getting full control of the database. In a network environment, where
there may be multiple clients installing at the same time, the first client installation would get full
control of the database and take responsibility for updating the Toolbox files. The other
installations, not being able to get full control, would silently bypass the upgrade of the Toolbox
files, assuming that another installation is performing the upgrade. If, during the installation, the
installer cannot get full control of the Toolbox files, as another user has Toolbox loaded in
SolidWorks, a manual upgrade process would be needed. See below for details on this.

To manually upgrade a Toolbox:

1. Browse to the SolidWorks installation folder, typically C:\Program Files\SolidWorks


2015\SolidWorks and then into the Toolbox/Data Utilities folder.

2. Double-click UpdateBrowserData.exe.

3. For Database to Update, browse to the Toolbox folder, typically C:\SolidWorks Data
2015 and then into the lang/english folder and select swbrowser.mdb (this path and file
may be pre-selected for you).

4. Click the Update button to upgrade the Toolbox.

Note: if there are problems upgrading the Toolbox you may have to click the Show Advanced
Options button and specify where the older Toolbox database resides.

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