Archive for the ‘SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD’ Category

Multiple Flow Result Plots in E-Drawings for 2014

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

New for 2014, The ability to save multiple result plots in one E-Drawings file.  Previously the result plots needed to be saved in individual E-Drawings files. This caused more files to be generated and shared than need be.

To generate multiple result file plots in one E-Drawings file follow this procedure.

  • Show all plots desired to be included in the E-Drawings file
  • Right Mouse Button on the Results Folder and Select Save Image
EDrawings Save Image

E-Drawings Save Image

  • Choose the E-Drawings File Format
EDrawings Pull Down

E-Drawings Pull Down

Once in E-Drawings you can turn on or off the individual plots as needed to convey the content you wish to show.

Multiple Flow Plots E-Drawings

Multiple Flow Plots E-Drawings

Robert Warren

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Designing Better Beer w/ SOLIDWORKS

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Say WHAT ??
Free BEER on 3DVision ?

Join 3DVision Technologies for a jam-packed happy hour seminar as we demonstrate how SolidWorks tools seamlessly integrate the complete design process. We’ll take a light-hearted approach, as “master home brewer” Randy Simmons, Elite Application Engineer Robert Warren, and Paesol Veerakitti, highlight the process of designing a “home brew rig” in SolidWorks.

Learn the process of “designing beer” while seeing how the fully integrated tools work together to speed up all aspects of design, analysis and documentation, so you can get your designs brewing faster than the competition.

And did we mention that you all get FREE BEER and FOOD !?
How can you say NO !?

WED MAY 14th @ 5th Street BrewPub, Dayton, OH 2:30-5:00pm

Please click to REGISTER:

Hope to see you THERE !

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

Weldments and Bill of Materials

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

There are many different ways to create structural frames.  One method might be creating it as an assembly with many individual parts.  Another method, which is my preferred  way, would be as a single multibody part…as a Weldment.
Weldment Icon
The Weldment way allows for easy design changes, automatic structural member trimming/extensions, and creation of cut lengths.  This however is typically just a portion of the overall design.  There might be many more pieces that go on the frame.  This is when you would add your Weldment design to an assembly.

Now with your Weldment in the assembly and the other components attached, you need a Bill of Materials (BOM).  It’s possibly to show the cut list for all the structural members in an assembly BOM.  You will need to choose a BOM Type of Indented in the PropertyManager.

BOM Property Manager
Once you choose the indented type, the BOM will show as a cut list.  The QTY column shows a total length for the structural member.

BOM Image
If you then choose “Detailed cut list” in the BOM Type, it will break each member out in their own row with a length value.

BOM Image Detailed
Now your assembly BOMs can show all the individual items even in the Weldment.  But what if you are using Enterprise PDM.  Can you see the cut list in EPDM?  Of course you can.  It is under the Bill of Materials tab.  You would need to set-up a Weldment Cut List template in EPDM but that is very simple.

EPDM Cut List
As you can see, the cut list item names can be shown to make finding the correct member easy.  Just like in a drawing, you can choose to see a Weldment BOM.

EPDM Weldment BOM
This will group all the members together giving you a total quantity.  If you select the “Contains” tab, and RMB on a Weldment member, you get some more useful functionality.

EPDM Contains Tab
When you choose “Properties”, you can see the members data card with the length.

EPDM Data Card Weldment
You will need to add the length field to the card and map it to the “BOM Quantity” variable.

Josh Spencer

Elite Application Engineer, CSWE 3DVision Technologies

Miami Valley SW User Group (Dayton, OH)

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

The Miami Valley SW User Group (i.e. Dayton Ohio area) will be having their next meeting on TUES March 11th.

It will be held at a customer location this time (NOT AT GANDER MOUNTAIN).


7211 Taylorsville Road Huber Heights, Ohio

Room 103

I will be presenting “Sheetmetal: Beyond the Training Class” during the meeting.

BTW, Steve @ QC Applications says if you are using a iPhone to navigate there it will take you to the WRONG PLACE !


Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

EPDM: Copying data card properties from Part to Drawing

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Hey happy EPDM users !
Have you ever wanted to make a SW Drawing “copy” its properties from the SW Part card ?
I have ran into several customers wanting to do this for various reasons.
For example: You might want the DESCRIPTION from Part card be auto copied to the Drawing for that part.  (they would be the same usually, right ?)

Here’s how you do it:
In the DESCRIPTION variable, add a new ATTRIBUTE with BLOCK NAME of “$PRPSHEET” and ATTRIBUTE NAME set to same value as the Custom Property attribute (i.e. most likely “description”).

When you go to test this, you need to MAKE SURE you put some geometry into your test part and insert at least ONE VIEW onto the test drawing !!

This will also work just fine if the description is entered in the Save As dialog box for the part vs the data card. It all goes to the same place.

Holy cow… Did I just write a Blog on EPDM !??!

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

Register Now for the Greater Evansville Area SolidWorks User Group (GEASWUG) Meeting Thursday, March 20th

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

3DVision invites you to register for the Greater Evansville Area SolidWorks User Group (GEASWUG) Meeting Thursday, March 20th. SolidWorks Product Manger PDM Solutions, Kurt Lundstedt and SolidWorks Research and Development, System and Tools, David Leblanc, will be joining the meeting. 3DVision’s very own Application Engineer, Chris Snider will be presenting, “Multi-bodies are Better than One.”

5:00-5:30 Network and Dinner
5:30-5:45 Opening Remarks
5:45-6:15 Kurt Lundstedt
6:15-7:00 David Leblanc –“CAD Admin Dashboard & Beta”
7:00-7:15 Break
7:15-8:15 Chris Snider from 3DVision – “Multi-bodies are Better than One”
8:15-9:15 Giveaways and Networking

Berry Plastics Corporation

For more information, email

Click here to RSVP.

Lauren Hiller

Marketing Associate 3DVision Technologies

Register Now for the Northern Indiana SolidWorks User Group (NISWUG) Meeting Tuesday, March 11th

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

3DVision invites you to register for the Northern Indiana SolidWorks User Group (NISWUG) Meeting Tuesday, March 11th. There will be a presentation by ExactFlat Director of Sales, Andrew Rudisill, about ExactFlat Design Studio for SolidWorks. You won’t want to miss what’s new in Sheet Metal as well as some tips and tricks!

5:00-5:30 Meet, Greet and Eat
5:30-5:50 SolidWorks World 2014 Recap
5:50-6:00 Break
6:00-6:50 “ExactFlat Design Studio for SolidWorks” Presenter: Andrew Rudisill- ExactFlat
6:50-7:00 Break
7:00-7:50 Sheet Metal- “What’s New in SolidWorks 2014” as well as “Tips and Tricks”
7:50-8:00 Giveaways and Wrap Up

LMC- Bertrand Campus
1905 Foundation Drive
Niles, MI 49120

Please RSVP to

Lauren Hiller

Marketing Associate 3DVision Technologies

SolidWorks at the 2014 Winter Olympics

Monday, February 17th, 2014

What does SolidWorks have to do with the Olympics? If you attended SolidWorks World in January, you already know that the connection is with Geoff Bodine and Bob Cuneo, the two men behind the Gold Medal winning “Night Train” Bobsled.

Geoff Bodine, winner of the Daytona 500 in 1986, contacted Bob Cuneo, owner of Chassis Dynamics, in 1992 and together they partnered to form the Bo-Dyn Bobsled project.

Click here to watch Bodine explain how he came up with the idea to build an American-made, medal-winning bobsled.

After successfully winning an Olympic gold medal in Vancouver in 2010 with the bobsled, “Night Train,” the Bo-Dyn Bobsled project decided to utilize SolidWorks to create an even faster bobsled.

Due to the difference in the track at the Sochi Games compared to the Canadian track, Bodine knew they needed to try something different. “We knew we needed an accurate and precise 3D design that could give us a realistic and cost-effective way to test and tweak Night Train 2 prototypes. The solution was SolidWorks,” said Bodine.

When it comes to bobsledding, hundredths of a second are extremely important. At the start of the race, the bobsledders run for about 5 seconds and can get up to speeds of over 25 miles per hour.

Watch the Bo-Dyn bobsled team explain how important their head engineer is to their success.

The Bobsleigh Four-man competition at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics will be held on February 22nd and 23rd. We will have to wait and see if Bo-Dyn and Night Train 2 bring home the gold medal!

Lauren Hiller

Marketing Associate 3DVision Technologies

3D Printing for Pinball Wizards

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

I grew up an arcade junkie.  If I had money in my pocket, I couldn’t wait to get to the nearest video game or pinball machine.  I remember when the best video games were in arcades, not something you connected to your television at home.  Which leads me to write about using 3D Printing technology to repair a bit of nostalgia.

My good friend Stuart, an Associate Professor of Communications at the University of Louisville, approached me with a problem during a round of golf.  One of his vintage pinball machines, a wondrous solid-state link to my youth, had broken.  Not the entire machine, just a piece of plastic that separates two possible paths for the pinball to travel.  As you can imagine, replacement parts for old pinball machines are not something you pick up at a local store.  So last fall on the 19th hole – that means drinking a beer to you non-golfers – Stuart handed me the broken piece and later sent me a picture of where it went in his pinball machine.

2014-0212a Broken part reference

I began by scanning the broken off plastic next to a ruler.  Using SolidWorks, I inserted the scanned image into a sketch of a new part.  I then resized the sketch picture to use as reference.  With the broken part, the scanned image, and the picture, I had everything I needed to create the replacement piece.  Other than having to make a few guesses about the metal standoffs for a secure fit, the solid model was fairly simple to generate.  The key aspects of the design are the slot cutout on one end for adjustment and the split U-shape for wrapping around the standoff posts and capturing the end of the still attached plastic.

2014-0212b - First SW Part Design

With my design completed, I used a Mojo Desktop 3D Printer to build a prototype.  I built up the sides a bit to help withstand the impact of the pinball into the part.  As a self professed Pinball Wizard, I didn’t want to chance the part breaking shortly after installation.  That would be like three fast drains after you start your game.

2014-0212c Initial Printed part

Other than time, like golf season when I started and Christmas season when I saw Stuart again, it was time to try out the repair kit!  One evening on the way home from work, I stopped by to visit Stuart and help him with the 3D Printed repair part install.  The installation process took about twenty minutes.

2014-0212d - Initial Part Installation

As you can see, I missed a little bit on the diameter of the metal standoffs, causing one side of the part to flare out into the path of the pinball.  While this was easily fixed with an exacto knife, I did revisit the design and build a second prototype.  The second prototype was installed on a Sunday during the NFL Divisional round of playoffs.  I recall it well as I scored one of the highest games that a guest has played on that machine!

I did learn and confirm a few things while creating this 3D printed repair part.  First, pinball games are still great fun!  Second, a picture and a broken part are enough to repair a pinball machine.  (At least this one.)  Third, I have found a new business opportunity for a budding entrepreneur!  In closing, while my normal tagline is ‘go make your products better with SolidWorks Simulation’, this time I’ll go with ‘now go make your product on a 3D Printer’!

Bill Reuss

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

What Can’t You Design In SolidWorks? #3

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

RC Hovercraft #3 – SolidWorks Simulation

To review, I had 4 main design criteria for the Remote Control Hover Craft.

  • Utilize the SolidWorks and SolidWorks Simulation Suite of software to develop and optimize the hovercraft design.
  • The RC Hovercraft’s main components will be 3D Printed using the Stratasys UPrint.
  • Easy to Assemble. I want to make the assembly as easy and as straight forward as possible with concise instructions.
  • For purchased components, use low cost, off the shelf components including the electric motors, electronic speed control (ESC), batteries, and propellers.

The next step of the design process is to verify using  SolidWorks Flow Simulation  that the motor and propeller combination will provide a proper amount of air flow to lift the hover craft.

Flow Simulation provides an understanding of  flow in an internal or external volume.  Flow Simulation calculates flow with media including Gases, Fluids, Real Gases, and Non Newtonian Fluids.  Flow Rate, Velocity, Pressure , Vortices, and many other parameters are calculated during the solution.

The following  calculation with the provided manufacturer information was used to calculate the flow parameter boundary conditions for the simulation.

CFM = Cubic Feet per Minute = Volumetric Flow Rate

Mass Flow Rate = (Density) x (Volumetric Flow Rate)

Newton’s Second Law of Motion:  Force = (Mass) x (Acceleration), or F = ma

F = ma = (Mass Flow Rate) x (Velocity), given a constant flow velocity

(i.e., constant propeller speed and pitch angle).

Velocity = (Volumetric Flow Rate) / (Area), where Area = (Pi) x (r^2), the

length of a propeller blade is a good approximation for the radius, r.

Thrust = (Density) x (CFM^2) / ((Pi) x (r^2))

Note: Keep track of your units!

The hover craft’s Flow Simulation was approached from an external analysis type.  A volume was specified around the  hover craft to capture flow into the  inlet and out of the bladder, and its effect from the surrounding environment.  A fan was used to provide the draw of air through the inlet into the internals of the hover craft.  Parts of the hover craft were removed including the canopy cover batteries, and escs.  These components are unnecessary for teh flow run and would increase computational time.


Air Velocity

Air Velocity

Air Velocity Top

Air Velocity Top

The results from the Flow Simulation run show a symmetric and even outlet pattern of flow from the Hover Craft’s “Bladder”.  The parameters provided by the flow simulation suggest that the motor and propeller combination should be sufficient for lifting the craft.

Robert Warren

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

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