Archive for the ‘SOLIDWORKS Training’ Category

GrabCAD: A Learning Resource for All

Monday, December 30th, 2013

If you’re a SolidWorks user, and you’re not familiar with GrabCAD, you’re missing out on a great free learning resource.  Already with one million registered users, GrabCAD is becoming the standard for sharing 3D models online.  Run by the users and for the users, there is no limit to what you might be able to find and download from the site.

SolidWorks users, specifically, can reap some of the biggest benefits from GrabCAD.  SolidWorks (with its own user base greater than 2.25 million users world wide), is expectedly well represented in the GrabCAD community.  40% of the models uploaded are in native SolidWorks format (notable competitors: Inventor – 10%, Pro/E – 3%).

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So what does this mean for a SolidWorks user?

  1. Save Time – Can’t find a 3D model from 3D ContentCentral or a supplier’s website?  Then download one another user has already created for free!
  2. Learning Resource – Tasked with creating some complex geometry and you have no idea where to start?  By downloading a file in the native SolidWorks file format, you’ll be able to go through the entire feature tree and check every parameter to see how a very advanced user got it done.

A GREAT example (wink wink) of using GrabCAD as a learning resource was covered in Sara Sigel’s blog post.  I’ve uploaded this football helmet model as an example of how to use the SolidWorks’ Part Reviewer functionality to our advantage.  Just open it up, fire up the Part Reviewer, and click through my notes of how/why I created the features that I did.  Stay tuned for more models like this from me in the future.

There are many talented users on GrabCAD.  Create an account and start following them to enhance your skills.

Jordan Tadic

Certified Elite Application Engineer 3DVision Technologies

What’s New in SolidWorks 2014 VIDEOS

Sunday, December 29th, 2013


Merry Christmas ! and Happy New Year !

The COMPLETE “What’s New in SolidWorks 2014″ videos are up for viewing on our website !

FYI, There is a table of contents on the left hand side that will allow you to skip to any section you want to view.


Videos for What’s New in SW Electrical, SW Composer, SW Simulation, and EPDM will also be up soon…

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

How Much Does it Cost?

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

When you create a new design, you need to know how much it costs.  Are you going to be over budget or under?  How do you find the cost of your sheet metal or machined parts?  I would guess that you have an elaborate spreadsheet that you use to “guess” the price or you just compare it to a similar design.  Well if you have SolidWorks Professional or Premium, you could use SolidWorks Costing.

Costing Icon

SolidWorks Costing is a cost estimation tool that uses 3D geometry to estimate the final cost.  It doesn’t matter how the part was created in SolidWorks, it’s all about the geometry.  SolidWorks Costing will detect cuts, holes, bends, slots, etc.  It then applies a cost to each of these giving you a total cost.

Costing Folders

Where do you find this tool?  It’s under Tools>Costing.  There is just one button for Sheet Metal and Machining.  It will add another tab to the FeatureManager Design Tree.

Costing Folders Multibody

It will also add another tab to the Task Pane.  The Task Pane is where you fill in information about the costing such as number of parts to be made, material type, blank size, etc.


Where does it get the prices?  SolidWorks Costing uses templates that you can customize.  You add in the price of the material, the machines that you have, etc.  There will be a Sheet Metal template and a Machining template.  The Sheet Metal template would be for all Sheet Metal parts.  The Machining template would be used for all milled and turned parts.


Once you have the cost analysis done, you can create a report.  This can be exported as a Word or Excel document.  SolidWorks also allows you to add specific cost properties to the Part Properties.  These can be pushed to a BOM, to the drawing, or to Enterprise PDM.

Costing Properties


Now you will be able to discover how much your designs cost.  Give it a try.  If you have questions, check the help file or give your VAR a call.

Josh Spencer

Elite Application Engineer, CSWE 3DVision Technologies

“Configured” Weldment Profiles for SolidWorks2014

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

New in SolidWorks 2014 is the ability to have Weldment Profiles with CONFIGURATIONS in them.

This is a significant improvement as far as file management goes.

Just for example if you had downloaded the 2013 ANSI Inch profiles from the SolidWorks content area of your Design Library (you knew you could do that right ??), the Rectangular Tube folder alone had 233 files to manage ! One for EACH different size.
If you wanted to add a property to your profiles or modify a few of the profiles you had to open EACH ONE and make the changes… whew !

The other fantastic thing about this is if you build a weldment and then want to change the structural members to a different size, in 2013 and before you were physically changing to a different FILE and most likely had to re-position the profiles to locate them, and/or would lose mates to the members if you were using the weldment in an assembly.
NOT in 2014 !! If you want to make this change in 2014 you are just changing to a different configuration so nothing gets lost or moved.

Now, where do you get these new 2014 Weldment profiles with the configurations ??
Eventually you will be able to get them from the SolidWorks Content area in the Design Library, but for now, just download them at the link below !

Don’t say 3DVision doesn’t take care of you…  :-)

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

Win a Free Wireless SpaceMouse This October!

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Throughout the month of October, 3DVision Technologies is offering a chance to win a FREE Wireless SpaceMouse for anyone who purchases a SolidWorks Essentials Plus 3 Training Bundle or a SolidWorks Advanced Training Bundle.

3Dconnexion has released the world’s first wireless 3D mouse and we are giving you the chance to win it for FREE!


For the first time, SpaceMouse Wireless combines 3Dconnexion’s 6-degrees-of-freedom sensor with 3Dconnexion 2.4 GHz wireless technology to deliver the reliability of a wired device, without the clutter of cords.

The SpaceMouse Wireless battery lasts up to one month. When it needs recharging, simply connect the supplied micro-USB cable and continue working.

Contact our Training Coordinator, Sarah Stephens, at or 513-745-2700 ext. 125 with questions or to sign up for training.

Carrie Patrick

Marketing Manager 3DVision Technologies

INDENT w/ Cut is not indent at all…

Thursday, September 19th, 2013


Ever wanted to do a COMBINE — Subtract function but KEEP both bodies ?

You can’t do it with the Combine command, but you CAN with the INDENT command !

Yep, inside of INDENT is a little radio button option for “CUT”.   If you turn this on it will basically do what the “subtract” option in the Combine command does, but it will NOT go ahead and get rid of the body used for “cutting”.

This can come in handy in mold design for making cores, etc.

Of course there is a CORES tool too…  but that’s another story…

HAVE FUN playing with your new found toy, the Indent with CUT !

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

Do 3 things at once ! INTERSECT command (pt. 3)

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

This post will show one last example of the INTERSECT command that is new in SolidWorks 2013.

As mentioned in my last two posts (  & this new command can be used to perform in one easy step what used to take multiple, time consuming commands to complete in the past.


In this example we have a “cavity” type area that we need to “fill” with a solid…


In the past you could have Offset all the inner faces to get surface bodies, Knit them together, and then tried to Thicken them to hopefully get a Solid Body inside the void.


In SolidWorks 2013 just use the INTERSECT command to do all this in one command !

In the INTERSECT command, choose the two Solid Bodies and click the Intersect button.   For the Regions To Exclude, select the same two original bodies.



Hit OK, and there you have it !


A Solid Body easily created from the “void” of two other Solid Bodies.


Other uses for this would be if you wanted to quickly find the VOLUME of a void (like inside a bottle…)

Example from Jordan Tadic of 3DVision:

Intersect Volume Fill

So Easy !    Give it a try !


Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

e Drawings Augmented Reality For IOS Mobile Devices

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Released for 2013 e Drawings is a new feature called Augmented Reality (AR). Being July already, this topic may not be new to many of you but I wanted to go over what AR is all about and a helpful trick I learned when utilizing it.


AR is a portion of e Drawings that allows a user to view their model in a real world setting.  AR utilizes the mobile devices rear facing camera and a QR code.  Simply place the QR print out on the ground or wall and point the mobile device towards the print.  The model is superimposed over the background image the camera is taking.  Zoom, Pan, Rotate, and scaling is all available when using AR.

Augmented Reality

The limitation I found is with the mobile devices camera. The QR code is only recognized up to about 5 feet away, after that the QR is not recognized.   This is limiting with large models that you would need to be farther than 5 feet away to properly scale in the room.  Because we cannot change the camera properties of the device lets change the QR code. To increase the range of recognition is simple,  enlarge the QR code.  I have found that this is fairly proportional.  a QR at 100% size is recognized at about 5 feet, a 200% sized QR code is recognizable up to 10 feet, and so on.


Below are some links and additional information on this exciting technology.



Robert Warren

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Do 3 things at once ! INTERSECT command (pt. 2)

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

My last blog ( showed an example of performing what used to take multiple, time consuming steps to complete in the past, done with one step in SolidWorks 2013 with the new INTERSECT command.

This post will show another very powerful example…


Here we have an open surface body (open on the bottom), and we want to add that to a solid body.


In the past this could have been done a few different ways, such as offsetting a surface from the top faces of the solid, knitting those together and using that to trim the surface body back to hopefully get a closed volume so that it could be thickened into a solid.  Then you would still have to use the Combine command to add the two solids together.  WHEW !


In SolidWorks 2013 just use the INTERSECT command to do it all in one step !

In the INTERSECT command select both the Surface Body and the Solid Body then click the Intersect button.



No need to select any Regions To Exclude (because we want to keep both), and be sure to turn ON Consume Surfaces at the bottom.

Hit OK and there you go !    One Solid Body that is the combination of the surfaces and the solid !


Easy easy !

Give it a try…

Stay tuned for another great example of the INTERSECT command.

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

Do 3 things at once ! INTERSECT command (pt. 1)

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Ever wished you could do 3 fairly involved SolidWorks commands all with the push of a button ??

Well you CAN with the new INTERSECT command in SolidWorks 2013 !

This one tool basically can replace the need to Offset Surfaces, Trim Surfaces, Knit Surfaces, and Thicken Surfaces to make a Solid ! (Hey, that’s 4 things at once !)

To keep these blogs short and to the point I am going to do a small series of blogs showing the many different uses of the INTERSECT command.

So… on with the first example…


Lets say you have a bunch of imported surfaces (or even surfaces you created in SolidWorks) and the goal is to create a solid body from the combination of the surfaces.


Rather than doing a TRIM (with the mutual option), spend 5 min trying to figure out what to keep and what to discard, and then having to turn the knitted surfaces into a solid with the THICKEN command, just do it in one step with the new INTERSECT command.


(located under Instert–Features–Intersect or by using the button on your Features tab of the Command Manager)

Once you are in the Intersect command, just window select all of the surfaces, hit the INTERSECT button in the property manager, turn on the “consume surfaces” option at the bottom and hit OK…   (no need to choose any “regions to exclude” because there is only one solution)






End Result:



So EASY !    Give it a try !

Stay tuned for another great example of the INTERSECT command (new in SolidWorks 2013.

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

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