SOLID WORKS EQUATION TUTORIAL FULL

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SOLID WORKS EQUATION TUTORIAL FULL

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Define dimensions using global variables and mathematical functions, and create mathematical relationships between two

or more dimensions in parts and assemblies.

You can use the following as variables in equations:

• Dimension names

• Global variables

• Other equations

• Mathematical functions

• File properties

• Dimension measurements

CONTENTS

• Accessing the Equations Dialog Box

• Using the Equations Interface

The Equations, Global Variables and Dimensions dialog box includes several different views that you can use to

create and manage your equations.

You can use the Equations dialog box to create, edit and delete equations, and to assign equations to different

configurations of a part or assembly. Global variables and equations are available in one place, and flyout menus help

you create global variables and equations more quickly and accurately.

• Global Variables

You can create global variables to use in equations. You define global variables in the Equations dialog box. For

example, Well_Volume = 20000.

• Configuring Equations

You can configure equations and global variables in the same way as you configure dimensions.

• Linked Values

Use linked values (also referred to as shared values or linked dimensions) to link two or more dimensions without

using equations or relations. When dimensions are linked in this way, any member of the group can be used as a

driving dimension. Changing any one of the linked values changes all others to which it is linked.

When working on a model, you can enter equations and global variables directly in the Modify dialog box for

dimensions. You do not have to open the Equations, Global Variables, and Dimensions dialog box to create an

equation for a part or component.

• Equations in Assemblies

The equation syntax for references between assembly components loads automatically when you select dimensions,

features, and global variables in the FeatureManager design tree, the graphics area, File Properties, and

the Equations dialog box.

When you enter equation and global variables in a design table, the equations and global variables are automatically

reflected in the Equations dialog box.

For many features, you can enter and modify equations directly in PropertyManager fields that allow numerical inputs.

You can create equations with global variables, functions, and file properties without accessing the Equations, Global

Variables and Dimensions dialog box.

• Replacing Equation References for Deleted Features

If you delete a feature that is referenced by equations, you might have errors in your equations. These errors occur

when the equations for a deleted feature contain driving dimensions. You can repair the equations by replacing the

dangling portion of the equations with other dimensions or variables in the Equations dialog box.

Display the Equations, Global Variables and Dimensions dialog box by doing one of the following:

• Click Tools > Equations.

• Right-click the Equations folder in the FeatureManager design tree, and select Manage Equations.

The Equations, Global Variables and Dimensions dialog box includes several different views that you can use to create

and manage your equations.

CONTENTS

• Four Views of Equations

The Equations dialog box offers four views. Each view shows a different combination and sequence of equations,

global variables and dimensions to help you perform tasks such as finding a specific equation, viewing all dimensions

used in a part or assembly, and changing the order in which equations are solved.

You can disable and enable equations in the Equation View , Sketch Equation View , or Ordered View in

the Equations, Global Variables, and Dimensionsdialog box.

Sorting and filtering capabilities make it much easier to find equations and global variables and see how they are

related. Sorting and filtering work in all views of the Equations dialog box.

• Selecting Multiple Rows

You can select multiple rows in the Equations dialog box to perform the same task on all of the equations, for example

to delete several equations at once.

You can undo and redo steps by clicking Undo and Redo at the top of the Equations dialog box.

• Type-Ahead Entry

When you enter an equation in the Equations dialog box and type in one or more characters, a type-ahead feature

displays a drop-down list showing all global variables, mathematical functions, and file properties that start with those

characters. You can select an entry from the drop-down list instead of typing the entire entry.

You can quickly increment or decrement values in equations using the spin arrows that appear at the end of a numeric

input field.

In the Equations dialog box, you can navigate from cell to cell, across rows, and columns using the following keys:

The Equations dialog box includes syntax checking to avoid errors and reduce the time you spend on troubleshooting

mistakes.

You can use the Automatic Solve Order option to automatically sequence the equations in an order determined by the

software to produce accurate results.

SOLIDWORKS identifies circular references, highlights the equations in red, and displays a warning.

In the Equations dialog box, you can link to an external text file that contains equations and global variables. You can

use this option in place of the import and export functions when you want to set up an ongoing link. However, you

cannot use it for a one-time import or export.

• Suppressing Features

You can suppress features in the Equation View and Dimension View to help you troubleshoot equations.

The Equations dialog displays components that are referred by unique instance numbers. You can apply equations to

specific instances. This ensures there is no ambiguity about the instance referenced in each equation.

You can use the Measure... option to create a driven dimension or reference dimension that is based on a

measurement of the part or assembly.

Four Views of Equations

The Equations dialog box offers four views. Each view shows a different combination and sequence of equations, global

variables and dimensions to help you perform tasks such as finding a specific equation, viewing all dimensions used in a

part or assembly, and changing the order in which equations are solved.

To select a view:

• Click the Equation View to see all global variables and equations for dimensions and features.

• Click the Sketch Equation View to see global variables and equations used in sketches.

• Click the Dimension View to see all global variables, equations, and dimensions used in the active part or

assembly, whether they are associated with an equation or not.

• Click the Ordered View to see global variables and equations in the order they are solved.

PARENT TOPICUsing the Equations Interface

Equation View

The Equation View displays all global variables and equations for a part or assembly.

In this view, you can add global variables and equations, edit and delete existing ones, and add comments.

The Sketch Equation View displays global variables and equations used only in sketches.

Sketch equations differ from equations used in parts and assemblies. When you add or edit an equation to an active

sketch, geometric relations between sketch entities are automatically applied, related equations are solved, and the

sketch automatically updates. With equations used in parts and assemblies, the model does not update until you rebuild.

Dimension View

The Dimension View displays all the dimensions used in the active sketch, part or assembly, including those with a

set value and those determined by equations. This view makes it easy to rename or change the values of several

dimensions.

Dimensions with a set value are visible only in this view, not in the Equation View, the Ordered View or

the Sketch Equation View.

In the Name column, names of global variables, features, and equations are enclosed in quotation marks,

while the names of dimensions are not. In the Value/Equation column, dimensions determined by equations

start with = (equal sign), while dimensions with a set value do not start with =.

There are two versions of the Dimension View, one for parts, and one for assemblies.

In the Dimension View for a part, you can:

• Add global variables, and rename, edit and delete existing ones.

• Suppress features.

• Rename and change dimension values or add equations to dimensions.

• Add comments to global variables and features, and to dimensions that have equations.

In addition, in the Dimension View for an assembly, you can:

• Add equations for components, and rename, edit and delete existing ones.

• Rename and edit top-level dimensions of the assembly.

The Dimension View lists dimensions used in sketch equations with an icon. The icon helps you to identify

sketch dimensions from other dimensions used for parts and assemblies.

Ordered View

The Ordered View displays equations and global variables in the order they are solved.

In this view you can change the order of the equations and global variables, if the Automatic solve orderoption is clear.

You can also add new equations and global variables, and rename, edit, and delete existing ones.

Configurations

You can disable and enable equations in the Equation View , Sketch Equation View , or Ordered View in

the Equations, Global Variables, and Dimensions dialog box.

The equations are disabled in all configurations. You can enable the equations if no other active equation controls the

same parameter.

1. To disable equations, in Equations, Global Variables, and Dimensions dialog box, in any view, right-click an equation

and click Disable Equation.

The equation disappears from the view. Ordered View retains all equations. The disabled equations are

unavailable.

2. To enable a disabled equation, in the Equations, Global Variables, and Dimensions dialog box, click Ordered

View .

In Dimension View , you can enable and disable Global Variables and Features, but not Dimensions.

You can also disable or enable an equation across all configurations by specifying a unique identifier (Relation ID) in a

design table. This functionality is available when the Display unique equation identifier option is selected in System

Options > Display. See Design Tables and Equations.

Sorting and filtering capabilities make it much easier to find equations and global variables and see how they are related.

Sorting and filtering work in all views of the Equations dialog box.

PARENT TOPICUsing the Equations Interface

Sorting

1. Select any view in the Equations dialog box.

2. Click any column heading. A small arrow appears on the right side of the cell.

Creating a Filter

1. Select any view in the Equations dialog box.

2. Enter your filter criteria in the Filter field and press Enter.

The filter returns results that contain characters in any column. For example, entering ov might return the global

variable overall length, an equation that includes overall length as one of its terms, and another equation that

has a comment Don’t overlook the ring.

3. Continue to enter criteria until you find the desired global variable, feature, or equation.

You can select multiple rows in the Equations dialog box to perform the same task on all of the equations, for example to

delete several equations at once.

To select multiple rows, position the cursor in the left-most column of a row. A small arrow appears in the cell.

Do one of the following:

• Select several rows by dragging the cursor up or down in the left-most column.

• Ctrl + click the left-most column in one or more rows.

• Shift + click the left-most column in the last of a series of rows.

Then right-click to display a menu and select one of the available tasks.

You can undo and redo steps by clicking Undo and Redo at the top of the Equations dialog box.

Undo and Redo are available in all views. You can undo and redo any edits that you perform since invoking the

dialog box.

If you change configurations while in the Equations dialog box, Undo and Redo lists are reset. Prior steps cannot be

undone or redone.

Type-Ahead Entry

When you enter an equation in the Equations dialog box and type in one or more characters, a type-ahead feature

displays a drop-down list showing all global variables, mathematical functions, and file properties that start with those

characters. You can select an entry from the drop-down list instead of typing the entire entry.

You can quickly increment or decrement values in equations using the spin arrows that appear at the end of a numeric

input field.

For example, use the following keys or key combinations:

• Click the Up or Down arrow to change the value by 10. For example, if the value is 10.00mm, click the Up arrow

to increase it to 20.00mm.

• Press Alt+Up or Alt+Down arrow to change the value by 1. If the value is 10.00mm, Alt+Up increases the value to

11.00mm.

• Press Ctrl+Up or Ctrl+Down arrow to change the value by a 100. If the value is 10.00mm, Ctrl + Up increases the

value to 110.00mm

The units of the Spin Box Increments may vary depending on the settings specified in System Options.

In the Equations dialog box, you can navigate from cell to cell, across rows, and columns using the following keys:

• Enter

• Shift + Enter

• Tab

• Shift + Tab

The Equations dialog box includes syntax checking to avoid errors and reduce the time you spend on troubleshooting

mistakes.

When you enter text into the Name and Value/Equation columns, the text color varies depending on these conditions:

• Valid global variables, features and dimensions appear in blue.

• Incomplete and invalid text displays in red.

• Potentially invalid text, for example text that may include a circular reference, is displayed in yellow. A yellow

warning icon is also displayed in the row.

• Valid operators, functions, and other inputs appear in black.

Positioning the cursor over the yellow or red text displays a warning message. Clicking the warning icon displays a What’s

Wrong window describing the issue or error.

You can use the Automatic Solve Order option to automatically sequence the equations in an order determined by the

software to produce accurate results.

When you select the Automatic Solve Order option in the Equations, Global Variables, and Dimensions dialog box, the

SOLIDWORKS software identifies dependencies and orders equations so that independent equations are executed

before dependent equations. That is, if equation B is defined as a function of equation A, then equation A always needs to

be solved first.

For example, in the following two equations, the software evaluates “D2@Sketch1@part_inside.Part” first, so it

can safely be used as a variable in the equation for "D1@Sketch1@part_outside.Part".

“D1@Sketch1@part_outside.Part” = “D2@Sketch1@part_inside.Part” + 2

“D2@Sketch1@part_inside.Part” = “Side” - 6

You can view the solve order in the Ordered View of the Equations, Global Variables, and Dimensions dialog box.

You must clear this option to manually change the order of the equations

SOLIDWORKS identifies circular references, highlights the equations in red, and displays a warning.

For example, the following equations include a circular reference. The changes in the first equation cause changes in the

second equation, which cause further changes in the third and first equation, creating an infinite loop. SOLIDWORKS

detects the circular reference and displays the text of the equations in red.

“D1@Sketch1@part_outside.Part” = “D2@Sketch1@part_inside.Part” + 2

“D2@Sketch1@part_inside.Part” = “Side” - 6

“Side” = “D1@Sketch1@part_outside.Part” * .5

SOLIDWORKS also identifies potential circular references, highlights the equations in yellow, and displays a warning .

Potential circular references occur when a reference dimension or driven dimension might depend on a dimension defined

earlier in the FeatureManager design tree.

PARENT TOPICUsing the Equations Interface

You can control the display of messages about circular references and potential circular references caused by equations.

1. Click Options (Standard Toolbar) or click Tools > Options.

2. On the System Options tab, click Messages/Errors/Warnings.

3. For Display circular references in equations, select to display the error messages:

• Everywhere

• In equation dialog only

• Never

4. For Display potential circular references in equations, select to display the warning messages:

• Everywhere

• In equation dialog only

• Never

In the Equations dialog box, you can link to an external text file that contains equations and global variables. You can use

this option in place of the import and export functions when you want to set up an ongoing link. However, you cannot use

it for a one-time import or export.

Suppressing Features

You can suppress features in the Equation View and Dimension View to help you troubleshoot equations.

The Equations dialog displays components that are referred by unique instance numbers. You can apply equations to

specific instances. This ensures there is no ambiguity about the instance referenced in each equation.

For example, the following equations refer to the same part BigAndSmall, which has instances <1> and <2>. In

the Equations dialog, you can select which instance to apply to an equation.

"HoleWidth@Sketch1" = "Width@Sketch1@BigAndSmall<2>.Part"

"HoleWidthOffset@Sketch1" = ("Width@Sketch1@BigAndSmall<1>.Part" / 2) -

("Width@Sketch1@BigAndSmall<2>.Part" / 2)

In previous releases, the software did not display the instance number. Instead, it selected the latest instance and action

that was available in memory.

PARENT TOPICUsing the Equations Interface

If you are working with equations from SOLIDWORKS 2011, you might encounter errors in the Equations dialog box if

both of the following conditions apply:

• A part or component referenced by the equations has multiple instances in the model.

• The equations are linked to an external file.

The instance numbers are not initially reflected in the external file. To resolve this discrepancy, update the external file by

exporting the equations to the external file and rebuilding the model.

To resolve multiple instance issues:

The Export Equations dialog box appears. This dialog box includes two columns. The first column indicates the

equations that will be exported to a text file. The second column indicates the equations that will be linked between

the model and the text file, so that changes are replicated in both. By default, all equations are exported and linked.

2. In the Export Equations dialog box, leave all the check boxes selected and click Export.

Link to external file is selected in the Equations dialog box. The file path for the text file also appears.

The Measure Option

You can use the Measure... option to create a driven dimension or reference dimension that is based on a measurement

of the part or assembly.

The value of this dimension might change if the model changes. For example, if an equation includes a measurement of

the height of a part, and that height is doubled, then the equation evaluates to twice the previous value.

The Measure option is available from all four views of the Equations dialog box, and also from the Modify dialog box.

You can select the Measure... option from the flyout menu when you are in the Value/Equation column creating or editing

global variables, features, equations, and dimensions. It appears in the flyout menu whenever a measurement is valid.

Dialog Box

You can use the Equations dialog box to create, edit and delete equations, and to assign equations to different

configurations of a part or assembly. Global variables and equations are available in one place, and flyout menus help you

create global variables and equations more quickly and accurately.

CONTENTS

• Adding an Equation

You can add an equation to a part or assembly using the Equation View, Dimension View, or Ordered View.

You can add an equation to sketch entities using the Sketch Equation View.

• Editing an Equation

• Deleting an Equation

• Operators, Functions, and Constants

• Specifying Units of Measurement

You can specify the units of measurement for global variables, and for the values and equations that define the global

variables. You can define the units in the Equations and Modify dialog boxes for dimensions, and in PropertyManagers

that support equations.

• Changing Dimensions by Configuration

If a part has several configurations, you can decide whether changes to a dimension will affect one configuration, all

configurations, or selected configurations.

You can define equations that conditionally suppress features. You can also suppress features directly in

the Equations dialog box.

You can also use the Visual Basic If function when specifying a model dimension.

Adding an Equation

You can add an equation to a part or assembly using the Equation View, Dimension View, or Ordered View.

• Click Tools > Equations.

• Right-click the Equations folder in the FeatureManager design tree, and select Manage Equations.

• Propagates the dimension name to an empty cell in the Name column and encloses it in quotation marks.

• Moves the cursor to the Value/Equations column and inserts = (equal sign).

• Displays a flyout menu with options for starting the equation.

5. After = (equal sign), add a term to the equation by doing one of the following:

• Select a Global Variable, Function or File Property from the flyout menu.

• Select Measure ... from the flyout menu and use the Measure Tool to create the term.

A appears in the cell to indicate that the syntax is valid.

6. Type + (plus), - (minus) or another mathematical symbol.

The solution to the equation appears in the Evaluates to column and the cursor moves to the next cell in

the Comments column.

You can add an equation to sketch entities using the Sketch Equation View.

• Click Tools > Equations.

• Right-click the Equations folder in the FeatureManager design tree, and select Manage Equations.

• Propagates the dimension name to an empty cell in the Name column and encloses it in quotation marks.

• Moves the cursor to the Value/Equations column and inserts = (equal sign).

• Displays a flyout menu with options for starting the equation.

5. After = (equal sign), add a term to the equation by doing one of the following:

• Select a Global Variable, Function or File Property from the flyout menu.

You must define a global variable in the Equation View before you can apply it to a sketch equation.

The solution to the equation appears in the Evaluates to column and the cursor moves to the next cell in

the Comments column.

10. Add comments to document your design intent.

Editing an Equation

When editing, keep the following in mind:

• Dimension names must be enclosed in quotes.

• Equations are solved left to right (that is, the dimension on the left is driven by the value on the right).

• Equations are solved in the order in which they appear in the Ordered View. You can change the order, if necessary.

To edit an equation:

• Click Tools > Equations.

• Right-click the Equations folder in the FeatureManager design tree, and select Manage Equations.

Use the type-ahead entry, flyout menu of Equations, Global Variables, Functions and File Properties, and syntax

checking to edit the equation.

If you make a mistake, click Undo to clear each consecutive edit. You can clear one edit each time you

click Undo.

Deleting an Equation

To delete a global variable or an equation from any view:

1. Select one or more rows, containing the global variables or equations you want to delete and right-click.

2. From the flyout menu, select Delete or the Delete key.

3. Click OK to close the Equations dialog box.

Deleting a global variable or equation may cause other equations that include the global variable or equation to become

invalid. Syntax checking identifies this situation immediately by displaying a warning symbol and displaying the deleted

term in red anywhere it appears in the Value/Equation field. This can dramatically reduce the time needed to detect and

troubleshoot orphaned equations.

Operators, Functions, and Constants

When you use trigonometric functions in equations, specify the angular units by selecting Degrees or Radians in Angular

Equation Unitsin the Equations dialog box.

Name Notes

Operator

* asterisk multiplication

^ caret exponentiation

Function

arcsin (a) inverse sine a is the sine ratio; returns the angle

arccos (a) inverse cosine a is the cosine ratio; returns the angle

atn (a) inverse tangent a is the tangent ratio; returns the angle

arcsec (a) inverse secant a is the secant ratio; returns the angle

arccosec (a) inverse cosecant a is the cosecant ratio; returns the angle

arccotan (a) inverse cotangent a is the cotangent ratio; returns the angle

Name Notes

Constant

You can specify the units of measurement for global variables, and for the values and equations that define the global

variables. You can define the units in the Equations and Modify dialog boxes for dimensions, and in PropertyManagers

that support equations.

Assigning units of measure in equations ensures that you do not need to edit the equations if you change the unit of

measure property of a document. It also allows you to create equations that mix values with different units of

measurement.

For example, you can create a global variable Length and define it by the equation: =100in + 3mm + 5cm. The

equation includes values with three different units of measurement. If the unit of measurement of the document is inches,

then Length evaluates to 102.087in. If you change the unit of measurement of the document to millimeters,

then Length automatically evaluates to the value of 2593mm. You do not need to edit the equation, or be concerned that

the size of the part will change.

If the part or assembly has multiple configurations, you can also specify a different unit of measurement for each

configuration. For example, you can have one configuration where a global variable is expressed in millimeters and

another where it is expressed in inches.

In the Equation and Modify dialog boxes, type-ahead lists help you assign a valid unit of measurement to each value in an

equation.

To use the Measure option when creating or editing an equation:

• Click Tools > Equations.

• Right-click the Equations folder in the FeatureManager design tree, and select Manage Equations.

• Propagates the dimension name to the empty cell in the Name column and encloses it in quotation marks.

• Moves the cursor to the Value/Equations column and inserts = (equal sign).

• Displays a flyout menu with options for starting the equation.

7. In the Dimension PropertyManager, make any changes to the parameters of the dimension and click .

If a part has several configurations, you can decide whether changes to a dimension will affect one configuration, all

configurations, or selected configurations.

If the dimension applies to more than one configuration, a configuration icon appears in the row.

• This Configuration

• All Configurations

• Specify Configurations

Dialog Box

You can define equations that conditionally suppress features. You can also suppress features directly in

the Equations dialog box.

1. Do one of the following:

• Click Equations (Tools toolbar).

• Click Tools > Equations.

• Right-click the Equations folder in the FeatureManager design tree, and select Manage Equations.

3. Suppress the a feature:

a. In the Equations dialog box, in the Features section, click an empty cell.

b. In the FeatureManager design tree, click the feature to suppress.

The feature name appears in the Features section. The SOLIDWORKS software populates the next cell

with = (equals sign) and displays a drop-down list with options for Global Variables, Functions, File Properties,

and Measure.

You can also conditionally suppress features by using the syntax of the Visual Basic if function.

4. Click OK.

You can also use the Visual Basic If function when specifying a model dimension.

This function returns one of two values depending on the evaluation of an expression.

For example, if the equation specified is "D1@Sketch1" = (If("D1@Sketch4">15, 20, 10)) + 8, then:

If "D1@Sketch4" is ... Then "D1@Sketch4">15, 20, 10 is set to And "D1@Sketch1" is set to ...

> 15 20 28

<= 15 10 18

Global Variables

You can create global variables to use in equations. You define global variables in the Equations dialog box. For example,

Well_Volume = 20000.

You can:

• Define global variables using other global variables and dimensions. For example, Height =

"Well_Volume"/(pi*("D1@Sketch4"/2)^2)).

• Drive dimensions using global variables. For example, D1@Extrude1 = "Height".

• Share global variables among models.

• Configure global variables.

Global variables and their current values appear:

• Under Value/Text Expression on the Custom tab in the Summary Information dialog box.

• Under Value/Text Expression in the Weldment dialog box.

PARENT TOPICEquations

RELATED CONCEPTS

RELATED TASKS

Global variables can be used for many of the same purposes as linked values (also referred to as shared values or linked

dimensions). Global variables are much easier to find, change, and manage than linked values.

1. Create a global variable in the Equations dialog box or the Modify dialog box for dimensions.

2. Set two or more dimensions equal to the global variable.

When you change the value of a global variable, both dimensions are changed to the new value.

To add a global variable in the Equation View:

• Click Tools > Equations.

• Right-click the Equations folder in the FeatureManager design tree, and select Manage Equations.

3. In the Global Variable section, click an empty cell in the Name column.

• Encloses the name in quotation marks.

• Moves the cursor to the Value/Equations column and inserts = (equal sign).

• Displays a flyout menu with options for starting the global variable

5. After = (equal sign), add a term or a dimension to the global variable by doing one of the following:

• Click a dimension in the graphics area. SOLIDWORKS propagates the dimension name in the cell.

• Type a number or a conditional statement.

• Select Measure ... from the flyout menu and use the Measure Tool to create the term.

A appears in the cell to indicate that the syntax is valid.

The solution to the global variable appears in the Evaluates to column and the cursor moves to the next cell in

the Comments column.

Configuring Equations

You can configure equations and global variables in the same way as you configure dimensions.

You can create variations of equations and global variables, and apply them to configurations using

the Equations and Modify dialog boxes. You can also configure equations and global variables in design tables, and in

various PropertyManagers for parts and assembly features.

For example, when you create an equation in the Distance field of the Chamfer PropertyManager, you select

configurations by selecting an option from the configurations option list that appears in the field. You can edit the

equation and assign it to different configurations using the Equations or Modify dialog boxes.

You can also specify a different unit of measurement for each configuration. For example, you can have one configuration

where a global variable is expressed in millimeters and another where it is expressed in inches.

PARENT TOPICEquations

Selecting Configurations

To view global variables, dimensions, and equations for a specific configuration, click the configuration list in the upper

right corner of any view.

To apply a configuration to a dimension or equation, click the Configurations button in the row, and select one of the

following from the flyout menu:

• This configuration

• All configurations

• Specify configurations

• Link to parent configuration

Link to parent configuration is available when the dimension or equation is part of a derived configuration. This option links

the name to the parent configuration.

For parts that contain configured file properties, you must use the following syntax for file properties in equations:

filePropertyName@ConfigurationName@PartName.Part

For example, for the first configuration of a part, the value of a dimension D1@ThisPart might be expressed by the

equation D1@ThisPart= PropA@Config1@ThisPart.part where:

• Config1 is the name of the first configuration of the part

• ThisPart.part is the part name

The value for the second configuration might be expressed as D1@ThisPart =

PropA@Config2@ThisPart.partwhere Config2 is the name of the second configuration.

In this example, if the file property PropA is set at 100 for the first configuration, then in that configuration the

dimension D1@ThisPart is equal to 100, and if PropA is set at 200 for the second configuration, then D1@ThisPart is

equal to 200 in that configuration.

If you do not specify the configuration in the equation, the software might not return the correct value of the file property

for that configuration.

Linked Values

Use linked values (also referred to as shared values or linked dimensions) to link two or more dimensions without using

equations or relations. When dimensions are linked in this way, any member of the group can be used as a driving

dimension. Changing any one of the linked values changes all others to which it is linked.

The variable name you specify becomes the name of the linked dimensions.

Linked dimension names and their current values appear:

• In the Equations folder in the FeatureManager design tree.

• In the Equations dialog box.

• Under Value/Text Expression:

On the Custom tab in the Summary Information dialog box.

In the Weldment dialog box.

1. Right-click the dimension and select Link Values.

In addition to the linked variable names you create, global variables are also available for selection under Name.

You can delete unused dimension names from the Name list. Select the name and press Delete. You cannot delete

a name used by another dimension.

3. Click OK.

appears with the dimension in the graphics area and in the Equations dialog box.

The values of the selected dimensions become linked. Changing any of the linked values causes the others to

change.

Example:

The width and height dimensions of the block are linked. When you change the width of the block to 15, the height

changes accordingly.

To remove the link, right-click the dimension and select Unlink Value.

To link values by using a global variable in the Modify dialog box:

1. Double click the dimension, then in the Modify dialog box, type = (equal sign).

You must enter the equal sign to assign a global variable to the dimension. If you do not enter the equal sign, you

can create a new global variable, but it will not be assigned to the dimension.

4. Click .

5. Toggle the display of the value and the name by clicking the Global Variable button .

6. Find the dimension you want to associate with the global variable. Double click the dimension, then in

the Modify dialog box, type =(equal sign) and several characters of the global variable name.

A flyout menu appears with a name that matches the characters you have typed.

Both dimensions become linked to the global variable.

You can edit the global variable by double clicking the dimensions and using the Modify dialog box, or by editing the

values in the Equationsdialog box.

Global variables are bi-directional, meaning that if two or more dimensions are defined in terms of a global variable, then

changing any one of the dimensions will cause the others to change.

You can share equations and global variables among models.

You can export all equations or selected equations to a text file, and import all equations or selected equations from a text

file. The text file can be shared with other parts and assemblies that use the same global variables and equations.

You can create permanent links with text files using the Link to external file, so that changes to the text file are propagated

to the model.

The Link to external file always creates a link with the external file. The Export and Import processes include options for

one-time exports and imports without a link.

CONTENTS

• Exporting and Linking Equations to External Files

These steps demonstrate the workflow for exporting and linking to text files.

• Importing Equations

You can import equations from a text file into a part or assembly.

You can create equations in a text file and then import them into one or more parts and assemblies.

You can change equations in a linked text file and see the changes reflected in a part.

Files

These steps demonstrate the workflow for exporting and linking to text files.

• Click Tools > Equations.

• Right-click the Equations folder in the FeatureManager design tree, and select Manage Equations.

b. Click Save.

The equations are saved in a text file. The Export Equations dialog box appears.

The Export Equations dialog box includes two columns. The first column indicates the equations that are

exported to a text file. The second column indicates the equations that are linked between the model and the

text file. You can change the equations for the items you link only in the target text file. By default, all equations

are exported and linked.

You can link and unlink individual equations by selecting and clearing the check boxes in the Links column.

You can also link and unlink in the Equations dialog box after you link to an external file.

In the Equations dialog box, the Link to external file option is selected. The file path also appears.

5. In the Equations dialog box, click Open linked file .

6. Change the value of a global variable that a linked dimension depends on and save the file.

All the dimensions that depend on the global variable are updated. The Equations dialog box displays an additional

column for all the entries linked to the external file.

Equations and global variables that are externally linked can no longer be changed in this dialog box. You must use

the external file to modify them. To unlink the linked equations and global variables, in the Equations dialog box,

clear Link to external file.

8. Click OK.

Importing Equations

You can import equations from a text file into a part or assembly.

1. In the part or assembly, click Tools > Equations.

2. In the Equations dialog box, click Import.

3. In the Open dialog box:

a. Select the text file.

b. Click Open.

4. In the Import Equations dialog box:

a. Select or clear Link to File.

b. In the Equations column, clear the check mark for any equation you do not want to import.

c. In the Link column, clear the check mark for any equation you do not want to link to the external file.

When Link to file is selected, changes you make in the text file update the equations and variables in the

model.

d. Click Import.

The equations from the text file are imported into the model.

If Link to File was selected, changes you make in the text file are propagated to the model. Then in the Equations dialog

box:

• A Link column appears and indicates which equations are linked to the file.

• The Link to external file check box is selected and the path to the external file displays.

Equations and global variables that are linked to an external file cannot be modified in the Equations dialog box. They

must be edited in the external file. To remove the link and modify an equation in the dialog box, clear the box for that

equation in the Linkcolumn.

You can create equations in a text file and then import them into one or more parts and assemblies.

1. Open a text file in an application such as Notepad.

2. Type equations in the same format as used in the Equations dialog box.

For example, you might define a global variable, base, and define two related dimensions.

"base" = 20

"D1@Boss-Extrude1" = "base" + 10

"D2@Sketch1" = ("base"*3) + 5

3. Save the text file.

You can import the text file into one or more parts and assemblies with the Equations dialog box. You can choose to link

models to the text file, so that changes you make in the text file update the equations and variables in the models.

You can change equations in a linked text file and see the changes reflected in a part.

1. At the bottom of the Equations dialog box, click Open linked file from any view.

4. In the Equations dialog box, you can link and unlink individual equations by selecting and clearing the check boxes

in the Links column.

When working on a model, you can enter equations and global variables directly in the Modify dialog box for dimensions.

You do not have to open the Equations, Global Variables, and Dimensions dialog box to create an equation for a part or

component.

The equations and global variables that you create in the Modify dialog box are reflected in the Equations dialog box.

CONTENTS

• Creating an Equation

• Creating a Global Variable

• Modifying an Equation

• Changing Global Variables with the Modify Dialog Box

Creating an Equation

To create an equation in the Modify dialog box for a dimension:

The Modify dialog box for dimensions displays, showing the name of the dimension and the current value.

2. In the second line of the Modify dialog box, enter = (equal sign). Then enter an equation in the same way as in

the Equations dialog box.

You can assign units of measurement to each value in the equation by using the type-ahead list or by typing the unit

directly. If you specify different units of measurement to each value, the equation will evaluate to the units of

measurement defined in the document.

3. If the dimension has multiple configurations, click Configurations , and select one of the following from the flyout

menu:

• This configuration

• All configurations

• Specify configurations

4. Click .

The next time you open the Equations dialog box, the new equation is listed.

You cannot change the evaluated value of an equation in the Modify dialog box.

To create a global variable in the Modify dialog box for a dimension:

The Modify dialog box for dimensions displays, showing the name of the dimension and the current value.

2. In the second line of the Modify dialog box, enter = (equal sign). Enter the name of a new global variable

and enclose it in quotation marks.

The text displays in yellow and the Create Global Variable button appears next to the name.

3. Click the Create Global Variable button, or hit Enter, or click and Yes.

The global variable button appears to the left side of the equation. Clicking the global variable button causes the

entry to toggle between the global variable name and the evaluated value.

4. Click to confirm.

Changes to the value of the global variable update all equations and variables in the model that reference that global

variable.

The next time you open the Equations dialog box it will include:

• The new global variable.

• The equation making the dimension equal to the global variable.

Modifying an Equation

To modify an equation in the Modify dialog box for a dimension:

The Modify dialog box for dimensions displays, showing the name of the dimension and the current value.

You can assign units of measurement to each value in the equation by using the type-ahead list or by typing the unit

directly. If you specify different units of measurement to each value, the equation will evaluate to the units of

measurement defined in the document.

Dialog Box

To change dimensions linked to global variables using the Modify dialog box:

1. In the FeatureManager design tree, click a feature with a dimension linked to a global variable.

5. In the FeatureManager design tree, right-click the Equations folder and click Manage Equations.

The Equations dialog box displays the new value for the global variable and for the linked dimension.

Equations in Assemblies

The equation syntax for references between assembly components loads automatically when you select dimensions,

features, and global variables in the FeatureManager design tree, the graphics area, File Properties, and

the Equations dialog box.

Existing equations that do not follow this syntax are marked as errors because they create inconsistent results. You need

to edit these equations to correct the syntax.

In the following example, A1 is a subassembly of A2 containing the parts P1 and P2:

GV1 and GV2 are global variables in the documents. Use the following syntax:

A2 A2 “GV1” = “GV2”

A2 A1 “GV1” = “GV2@A1<1>.Assembly

A2 P1 “GV1” = “GV2@P1<1>.Part@A1<1>.Assembly

A1 A2 “GV1” = “GV2@A2.Assembly”

A1 A1 “GV1” = “GV2”

A1 P1 “GV1” = “GV2@P1<1>.Part”

P1 A2 “GV1” = “GV2@A2.Assembly”

P1 A1 “GV1” = “GV2@A1<1>.Assembly”

P1 P1 “GV1” = “GV2”

P1 P2 “GV1” = “GV2@P2<1>.Part@A1<1>.Assembly”

When you enter equation and global variables in a design table, the equations and global variables are automatically

reflected in the Equations dialog box.

In a design table, equations must be preceded by a single apostrophe and an equal sign ('=). The single apostrophe

ensures, that if the equation is exported to Excel, it is interpreted as an equation and not as a text string.

You can also disable or enable an equation across all configurations by specifying a unique identifier (Relation ID) in a

design table. This functionality is available when the Display unique equation identifier option is selected in System

Options > Display.

In Ordered View of the Equations dialog box, when you hover over an equation under the Name column, a tool tip

displays a unique ID (Relation ID) for that equation.

You use this ID in the following parameter: $Enable@Relation_ID@Equations, where Relation ID is a unique

number that identifies an equation. For example, the $Enable@1@Equations parameter applies to equation 1. Then in

the design table, under that parameter, enter Yes to enable or No to disable the equation for all configurations.

PARENT TOPICEquations

RELATED CONCEPTS

For files created with SOLIDWORKS version 2013 or earlier, you can use configurable equations unless:

• One or more equations are suppressed in one of the configurations.

• The model has two or more equations with the same name, for example D2@Sketch1.

1. Remove conflicts by performing the following actions:

• Delete design tables.

• Remove suppressed equations.

• Ensure that each equation has a unique name.

2. Save the file with SOLIDWORKS version 2014 or later, and re-open the file.

PropertyManagers

For many features, you can enter and modify equations directly in PropertyManager fields that allow numerical inputs.

You can create equations with global variables, functions, and file properties without accessing the Equations, Global

Variables and Dimensions dialog box.

The following table lists many of the PropertyManagers where this capability is available:

Extruded Boss/Base Extruded Cut

Extruded Cut Revolved Cut

Simple Hole Fillet

Revolved Boss/Base Chamfer

Revolved Cut Hole

Fillet Linear Pattern

Chamfer Circular Pattern

Shell

Rib

Draft

Base Flange

Edge Flange

Linear Pattern

Circular Pattern

Curve Driven Pattern

Extruded Surface

Revolved Surface

Fillet Surface

For example, in the PropertyManager for the Extruded Boss/Base feature, you can enter equations in:

• Depth fields for Direction 1 and Direction 2

• Draft fields for Direction 1 and Direction 2

• Thickness fields for a Thin Feature with two direction types

• Offset Distance field

To determine if a numeric field accepts equation input, hover over the field to display the following tool tip: Enter a value or

start with = to create an equation.

Numeric input fields that contain equations can display either the equation itself or its evaluated value. You can toggle

between the equation and the value by clicking the Equations or Global Variable button that appears at the

beginning of the field.

If the feature applies to more than one configuration, a configuration button appears in the input field. You can specify

whether the equation will affect one configuration, all configurations, or selected configurations.

You cannot change an evaluated value when it is displayed in the input field, but you can toggle to the equation and then

edit or delete the equation.

Equations that you create or edit in the PropertyManager, Equations dialog box, or Modify dialog box are reflected in all

areas.

Equations with Exponents of Negative

Numbers or Variables

In the Equations dialog box, if you use an equation that includes the exponent of a negative number, or the exponent of a

negative global variable, you should use parentheses to guarantee correct results. For example, to solve the equation "c"

= -3^2 the software first resolves the exponentiation operator (^), that is:

"c" = -3^2

= -(3^2)

= -(9)

"c" = (-3)^2

= 9

If a global variable has a negative value and you want to calculate an exponent, include parentheses around the global

variable in the equation. For example, if you have a global variable "b" = -4, and you want an equation to calculate its

square, use "c" = (b)^2. Then the equation is solved as:

"c" = (b)^2

= (-4)^2

= 16

Features

If you delete a feature that is referenced by equations, you might have errors in your equations. These errors occur when

the equations for a deleted feature contain driving dimensions. You can repair the equations by replacing the dangling

portion of the equations with other dimensions or variables in the Equations dialog box.

• Click Tools > Equations.

• In the FeatureManager design tree, right-click Equations and click Manage Equations.

3. Under the Value/Equation, in the dangling portion of the equation column, right-click Replace Reference.

4. In the Replace Dimension/Variable dialog box, type a global variable or dimension string to repair the dangling

portion of the equation, or select it from the graphics area.

5. Select one of the following to apply the replacement text and click OK:

• This Instance

• All instances in this configuration

• All instances in all configurations

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