Archive for June, 2011

Modeling an iPhone Case in SolidWorks

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

YouTube Preview Image

This is a really quick video demonstrating a basic workflow to create one part that closely references another part utilizing multi-body modeling techniques in SolidWorks 2011.  I created this video for a customer and figured I’d share it with the rest.  Some tips to pay attention to…

  • Don’t judge me on the design, I wanted to keep it simple.  : )
  • Ignore my non-use of the RMB (right mouse button) to exit commands.  I try not to use this shortcut in videos to keep things easier to follow.
  • Leaving the ‘Break link to original part‘ check box in the ‘Insert Part’ command unchecked will allow changes made to the iPhone to propagate to my case design.
  • I do not click in the graphics area to insert the part.  Instead, I simply click the green check mark to have it dropped precisely at the origin of the new part file (this works in assemblies too).
  • I insert a ‘Weldment‘ feature so that my future part features do not automatically ‘Merge result’ and blend the solid bodies together.
  • RMB’ing an edge and selecting ‘Select Tangency‘ can be a big time saver.
  • A lot of times, people forget that you can shell outwards.
  • When working with multi-body part files, always make sure to pay attention to the ‘Feature Scope‘ of your cut features.
  • You can window select multiple corner points when using the ‘Sketch Fillet’ tool.  You can also drag the yellow preview to resize the radius.
  • I could have added the 0.03125″ fillets more quickly by typing “1/32″ and by selecting the top face of the case and the cut face of the ‘Cut-Extrude2′ feature rather than selecting each individual edge.  Selecting a face will always apply a fillet to the face’s perimeter edges.
  • In SolidWorks 2011 SP4, you can accelerate the PhotoView 360 preview rendering by scrubbing your mouse across the areas of interest.


Jordan Tadic

Certified Elite Application Engineer 3DVision Technologies

Dimension Printed Simulation Verified Blow Off Valve Adapter

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Adding a new Blitz Blow Off Valve (BOV) to an aftermarket turbo system lead to no clearance between the valve and the hood of the vehicle.  An adapter was needed to drop the BOV from the high pressure pipe outlet to between the twin cooling fans behind the radiator.


High Pressure Pipe Assembly

High Pressure Pipe Assembly


BOV Adapter

BOV Adapter

The problem statement is as follows:

A custom adapter was developed to accommodate hood clearance.  Before final fabrication out of aluminum a prototype was “printed” using a Dimension Rapid Prototype Printer.  The printed ABS parts are inherently porous and needed to be sealed in order to hold pressure.  The part was dipped quickly  in acetone and then washed thoroughly with soapy water to seal the pores.  The part was then tested to 110 PSI on a test bench before failure.  A second part was then tested on the car.

Because operating pressure is only 10 PSI, a FOS of 10 was provided by the design.

110 PSI Failure

110 PSI Failure

The second consideration is that the BOV is cantilevered off of the high pressure pipe bung .  The BOV weighs approximately 1/8th of a pound. Adding this to the loading still produced a FOS of   5.

Combined Load

Combined Load

Simulation verified the physical test results and showed that the printed part holds up to the design requirements. The printed ABS adapter works so well an aluminum version was never fabricated.  110 passes down the 1/4 mile drag strip, 1000′s of miles, and 4 autocross seasons, and the little plastic adapter keeps on going.

Robert Warren

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

SolidWorks 2012 Hands-On Live Beta Testing

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

It’s that time again. Time to start thinking about the SolidWorks 2012 Beta program.

Have you ever participated in a SolidWorks Beta program? Do you like to see and try the new SolidWorks functionality before service pack zero? Would you be interested in a “Beta Hands-On Test Drive” with our Technical Team at 3DVision Technologies? If so, we have the event for you!

Working in conjunction with the SolidWorks Territory Technical Manager, Larry Moore, the 3DVision Technical Team will be setting up our training labs with SolidWorks 2012 Beta Software.

All you have to do is commit a few hours of your time to use SolidWorks Beta software and bring your CAD files. We’ll take care of the setup and installation! In order to participate, you must have a current Customer Portal login, sign up to participate in the SolidWorks 2012 Beta Program (at and agree to the non-disclosure agreement, and commit to a two-hour time slot at our Training Lab.

We’ll be hosting the “2012 Beta Test Drive” at our Cincinnati office on July 22, 2011. Attendees will be registered to win a 32 GB IPod Touch! To participate please register for one of the following sessions.

8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.
10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Each time slot has a limit of ten (10) people, so be sure to sign up soon. At the end of each session, our Technical Team will give a short presentation on best practices for migrating to a new version of SolidWorks.

So what are you waiting for? Register today and we look forward to seeing you for the “2012 SolidWorks Beta Test Drive”!

Carrie Patrick

Marketing Manager 3DVision Technologies

Off site backups

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

What are you paying for off-site backup storage? You do have off-site storage don’t you? Hey a building is just a building, but you lose your data and it is g-o-n-e!

and aren’t tapes a hassle? Trying to come up with a nice rotation schema, hoping the backups are complete before everyone comes in the next day?

Here is a solution to both of these issues most of you already own. Let SolidWorks Enterprise PDM do this work for you.

It costs nothing to add additional EPDM archive servers, so many of our customers have a simple archive server located off site. I know of at least one archive server sits in the owner’s basement in his home.

This machine doesn’t have to be much of a machine either, since it is never really touched by any users. As long as the machine is realiable (clean it out every once in a while) and has enough diskspace, you can set your system up to push files to this remote computer via EPDM replication as often as you like.

You still have to get your database off site but a SQL backup file could be pushed to that computer too.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Are You Ready to Beta?

Monday, June 27th, 2011

I hope you are ready to start Beta testing because it was just released today!!!

How do you become a Beta tester?  You need to log into the customer portal and under user preferences, select to become a Beta tester.  Now you can download and test 2012 and participate in the beta events .  There are many great prizes that you could win if you find bugs in the Beta version of 2012.

Download it today and happy Beta-ing.

Josh Spencer

Elite Application Engineer, CSWE 3DVision Technologies

How to Promote Your Children in a SolidWorks BOM

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Here at 3DVision we don’t shy away from opportunities to promote our family members or draw inspiration from our children. So I am taking the theme and running with it.

After downloading Craig Thierren’s SolidWorks World presentation on “Understanding Large Assemblies and Drawings“, you may have decided to create more sub-assemblies in your large assembly file for the purpose of improving performance on your computer. The performance improves because the mates in a sub-assembly are not solved during a rebuild unless necessary, unlike mates for top-level components that get solved every time the assembly is rebuilt. Less mates to solve upon rebuild = less time to rebuild = more happiness in your life.

However, when creating the Bill of Materials (BOM) for the top-level assembly, you are not really interested in listing the sub-assembly in the BOM, since it was only created to improve performance and not as part of your manufacturing workflow. You have 2 options to remove the sub-assembly and promote the components in the BOM:

1) After creating the BOM in the drawing, display the assembly structure column by clicking on the left-side handle of the BOM (has the three arrows), right-click in the sub-assembly cell and choose ‘Component Options’. Under ‘Child Component’, you can Promote the child components of the sub-assembly, which removes the sub-assembly structure from the BOM table and promotes the child components to the parent level.

Promote component in BOM


2) In the sub-assembly itself, pull up the properties of the configuration you will use in the drawing and choose to promote the child components of the assembly when it is used as a sub-assembly. The benefit of this option is that it will automatically promote the child components in the BOM and it will behave this way in any drawing.

Promote component in assembly

See the help file for more details and enjoy!

Chris Snider

Application Engineer, CSWE 3DVision Technologies

The 2011-2012 SolidWorks Student Edition is now available

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

If you are student looking for a way to learn or better yet improve your SolidWorks skills, the 2011-2012 SolidWorks Student Edition is now available for purchase.

For as little as $139 you get a 12-month student license which includes SolidWorks Premium software and SolidWorks Simulation design validation tools just to name a few.

With SolidWorks skills you will have a clear advantage in the engineering or industrial job markets. The easy-to-use SolidWorks Student Edition lets you sharpen your skills outside the classroom as you learn to design better products.

The SolidWorks Student Edition is available to high school and degree-seeking students of full-time faculty members using the software for personal learning or academic purposes. Proof of eligibility is required before you can complete your purchase.

A “degree-seeking student” is defined as a student who can confirm enrollment in a degree-granting program, or who can confirm full-time enrollment in a certificate-granting program. Commercial and institutional use is strictly prohibited.

Please note:
Software ceases to function 12 months after registration
Subscription support service is not included
Your license may not be upgraded
Email support is available for installation and registration
Registration requires internet access

The SolidWorks Student Edition can be purchased now at the 3DVision Technologies e-store. Click here for more information or to buy now.

Carrie Patrick

Marketing Manager 3DVision Technologies

“Save As” vs “Save As Copy” PART 2 (get a drawing for “free”??)

Monday, June 13th, 2011

In my last blog I discussed the IMPORTANT difference between Save As and Save As Copy in SolidWorks.

Now I am going to help you with what to do if you have screwed this up in the past !!

Once you understand how this works, you can FIX any references that you have messed up, AND even be able to get a Drawing of a part “FOR FREE” !

Using the FILE–OPEN window, browse to an assembly or a drawing that has incorrect references to a file.
BEFORE you hit the OPEN button, click the REFERENCES button.
You can DOUBLE CLICK on any of the referenced files, and BROWSE to a file that you would like it to reference (i.e. the correct one), OK that window, and THEN hit OPEN.
The references will be swapped !

You can also use this to get a drawing of a part for “free”.
If you have a drawing that looks like a drawing you would like to make of a different part, use the FILE–OPEN window to browse to the drawing, hit the REFERENCES button, double click the existing part file, browse to the file you want to get a drawing of, close the window, and hit the open button.

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

Eight reasons why DriveWorks is better than pizza

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Pizza -without a doubt, mankind’s greatest achievement. It doesn’t take a back seat to being on the moon or even those over-hyped pyramids. However, I’ve argued even DriveWorks is better than pizza. Here is why:

  1. SolidWorks’ “Pack and go” is a nice little application, but you didn’t go to school to spend hours at a time copying existing designs and tweaking them to your needs.
  2. DriveWorks helps ensure you don’t make typos or other silly mistakes looking through charts, lookup tables or trying to remember your company’s “tribal knowledge”.
  3. You don’t get DriveWorks sauce on your shirt.
  4. Taking an average design cycle down from days to minutes would give you time to improve your designs rather and simply putting out the same product year after year.
  5. Allowing your customers to specify your products on-line is crazy cool. (Plus you don’t have to talk to them as often on the phone.)
  6. When your sales force has DriveWorks, they don’t “sell first then ask engineering if they can make it later”….or at least not as often.
  7. You don’t burn your mouth on DriveWorks.
  8. Putting together quotes is faster, easier -and because the CAD work is complete, more accurate. You’ll have more time to do the things you enjoy, like eating pizza.


Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

“Save As” vs. “Save As COPY”

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

I know this may be “Basic Knowledge” to a lot of you, but I still see people struggling with this and screwing up their assemblies and drawings all the time because they don’t understand it.

The only IMPORTANT thing to know about this in SolidWorks is that if you have an OPEN assembly or an OPEN drawing and you do a SAVE AS on one of the files that the assembly or drawing is referencing, it will make the assembly or drawing look at the NEW file instead of the old file !!

SAVE AS COPY will maintain the existing references, and just make a new file on the hard drive for that part.

Once you understand THAT, you will be MUCH happier in SolidWorks.

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

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