Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Methods to Effectively Reuse the Design Data

Have we ever imagined how many workman hours we lose in trying to Reuse the Data which is supposed to be saving the time and money instead of losing them? It includes time spent on,
  •  Searching right version of the data among many file versions created by our team members.
  •  Finding missing references of data.
  •  Recreating the File/Folder structure.
  •  Maintaining Filenames/Folder names.
The losses may sum up nearly the savings we make from data reuse. Hence it needs a system that is as much effective as possible to ease the pain and improve the Return of Investment spent on maintaining and reusing the older project files. The system we are proposing for this data reuse is SOLIDWORKS Product Data Management. Being a proven data management solution, SOLIDWORKS PDM provides excellent data management and reuse tools like Search tools, copy tree, Branching and Merging.


The initial time-consuming process in data reuse is running searches for various files and its references. To overcome this SOLIDWORKS PDM provides two kinds of search options – Embedded Search and PDM Complete Search Tool. The Embedded Search is same as we have in windows explorer that runs search for files and folder whereas the PDM Search tool provides a flexible and customizable search options. The Search keyworks can be filenames, folder names, file extensions and meta data combined with Operators like AND, OR & NOT. The SOLIDWORKS PDM Search tool provides a separate window exclusively with,
1. Search Toolbar – provides options like Run, Stop, Delete & Save searches.
2. Search Favorites – lists the frequently made searches and searches added to favorites list.
3. Searches – lists the different default and customized Search Cards based searches.
4. Search in Vaults – lists all the available vaults to make searches in multiple vaults at same time.
5. Search Form – Displays form of selected search card where we can provide search criteria.
6. Results – Lists the files and folders relevant to the search criteria we provided in search form.
7. Tabs – Shows file preview, data card, Version details, Bill of Materials, etc.

Note: The Embedded Search is available both in SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard as well as PDM Professional Whereas the Complete Search tools is available only in SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional.

Copy Tree Dialog Box:
Once finding the right data is a success, the next step is extracting the data without missing any file references and organizing them with proper file name and folder structure. For this, SOLIDWORKS PDM provides a tool called Copy Tree which acts similar to the SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go tool. Here the major difference is Copy tree tool can preserve the folder structure for parent and child reference files with Preserve Relative Path option. Also, PDM features like regenerating Serial Numbers for file Number, replacing file name with Serial Number, File Warnings, Check-in options are available with which projects can be copied and organized as per our requirement. The file versions can be either the version of the selected file or the latest version. Copied files can be developed as a new project without affecting the source data.
Note: SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional has a similar tool called Move Tree which moves the Selected file and entire file structure to the destination location.

Branching and Merging:
Branching a file is like taking a copy of source file to work with for a sustained development period and later merging it with the source file to combine the file as a new version to the source file. This can be done to both CAD and Non-CAD documents. The same source file can be branched many times. The branched files can also be re- branched if needed. The branching and merging dialog box are similar to Copy Tree dialog box with all the options available similarly. In addition, branching dialog box will have a separate test box for providing a name to the branch operation. The branching operation will be recorded to the history of the file so that it can be referenced in future. Merging dialog box will provide no option for destination file location since the files will be merged only to the source file in the source file location. With branching and merging source data can be reused to build a separate project as a version of source project and later if needed both projects can be merged to make the source project as a updated revision. Hence Branching and Merging not only provides data reuse capability but also the older data replacement capability for minimizing duplicate file stack-up inside the vault

Friday, 24 July 2020


The Property Tab Builder is a stand-alone utility that you use to create a customized interface for entering properties into SOLIDWORKS files.

Traditionally, designer's use to modify the drawing template to insert custom property such as Description, Part No, Material, it’s a manual method. so, designers have to modify the custom property or metadata on each time, simultaneously BOM creation is also manual which increases a run time and errors in BOM table. It's also delayed the release of entire project.

Three ways to create a customized interface for property template.
  • In the SOLIDWORKS software, on the Custom Properties tab in the Task Pane, click Create now.
  • In the SOLIDWORKS software, on the SOLIDWORKS Resources tab of the Task Pane, click Property Tab Builder
  • From the Windows Start menu, click All Programs > SOLIDWORKS version > SOLIDWORKS Tools > Property Tab Builder version.

To create the property tab, you will need to first create a new file inside of SOLIDWORKS. A new application window called the Property Tab Builder will pop up. In Property tab builder have three columns.
The left side column is a list of types of properties can be used. Mid column is what will be shown in SOLIDWORKS when the property tab is ready. The right column is the options/settings for each parameter.
Group Box: The Group box is essentially a container that allows you to group the other items.Textbox: This item accepts free-form text and stores it as an associated property.
List: List boxes present users with a list of predefined values that once selected will be stored.
Number: A number box accepts only number inputs to store as a property.
Checkbox: With a checkbox you can have the user select between two predefined values to place as a property.
Radio: Radio buttons allow you to define a selection of up to three predefined values that can be used to show or hide elements in the dialog.

By Assigning attributes to the properties. You will get final Property Box.
To Save the tab templates in the same location as the properties.txt file. You can create multiple templates for each document type. The file extension indicates the template type
➢ . PRTPRP for part
➢ . ASMPRP for assemblies
➢ . DRWPRP for drawings
➢ . WLDPRP for Weldments

This is done the same way you would for your custom templates. But instead you’ll select the “custom property files” in System Options > File locations.

You can see the applied properties in file property in below image.
Property Tab Builder lets you to create your specified properties in a single window and can be share it to all users so that properties can be applied by a single click, resulting in saving design time.

Friday, 17 July 2020


SOLIDWORKS Visualize is a standalone software package designed to take 3D CAD data and transform it into photo-realistic images and animations that are ready for print and web in minutes.

The intuitive interface allows even non-technical users to develop rich, life like visual content with ease. With more robust images, internal team members and external stakeholders can quickly select, validate, improve and market their best and most robust design concepts before committing precious time and resources to a product. 

The SOLIDWORKS Visualize Add-in offers four options for exporting your active model from SOLIDWORKS to SOLIDWORKS Visualize. 

To use the add-in, in SOLIDWORKS, click Tools > Add-in and select SOLIDWORKS Visualize.

Export Simple

This option provides you with fastest way to paint and take photos of a model you created in SOLIDWORKS. To achieve faster rendering, it minimizes the number of parts in the Visualize Scene Tree.

Click Export Simple to save a copy of the active model and load it into SOLIDWORKS Visualize using Appearance mode part grouping.

Export Advanced 

This option gives you more flexibility if you update your model often. 

Click Export Advanced to save a copy of your active model with Automatic mode part grouping and Monitor File enabled.

If you have Visualize Professional and the model includes a motion study, the Select Motion Study dialog box lets you save or not save the motion study, or save only the camera motion.


This option exports the latest version of your active model and triggers an update in Visualize. 

Click Update and confirm that you want to re-import the model into SOLIDWORKS Visualize and update it. 

Save Advanced 

This option saves a copy of your active model and motion studies to a specific location, so you can import the model into SOLIDWORKS Visualize. You can use this option to export the model to other users who do not have SOLIDWORKS installed on their computer. 

Click Save Advanced and specify a directory in which to save the model. If you have Visualize Professional and the model includes a motion study, the Select Motion Study dialog box lets you save or not save the motion study, or save only the camera motion.


Monday, 13 July 2020


Do you want to control the action of your assembly to show different position?
Look no further.

Mate Controller will help you manipulate specific mates that control degrees of freedom for a design. You can edit the positions, save and recall saved positions and mate values. You can also create animations based on the saved positions.
The allowable movement between components should be defined by adding mates to your assembly.
Supported mate types:
PathMate (Distance Along Path, Percent Along Path)
Slot (Distance Along Slot, Percent Along Slot)
Width (Dimension, Percent)
Your assembly should include at least one supported mate type.

1. Begin by adding supported manually or use collect all supported mates automatically

2. Define the position by entering the mate values or using the slider and lock the values and add the position using.
3. Add multiple position by specifying the different value for mates.

4. Note that, at any time you can edit the value of the mates in different positions and update.
5. You can also save the positions as a new configuration.

6. View the working of the assembly by using the animation option and specify the time for each action.

7. Save the animation as a video.

With the help of this, you can easily and quickly create and show the working of your assembly to show different positions and actions.
You can communicate precisely how your product should move—and show off how your product works in general with the aid of Mate Controller.


Thursday, 9 July 2020


SOLIDWORKS has an extensive large material library, but some of the users often need to create new custom materials for their project or design. The ability to add custom materials enables users to calculate an accurate mass or simulation of a part or assembly.

You can create custom material by following the below steps:
1) Before creating a material, we will see how to add a material to a part or assembly
A) In a part, materials can be changed by going to the design tree, right clicking Material, and selecting Edit Material.

2) Now we have seen how to add material, now we will create a new material or custom material to the material library, For that you need to access material library, which can be done by searching in search box in SolidWorks or by going to Edit> Appearance> Material Edit

3) Ones the Material Dialogue box is open, scroll to the bottom of the material tree. Right click on custom material and select New Library, then create a New Category within the Library. For this I have used is Strongest Metal and category called Vibranium

4) New materials can be created by copying and pasting a similar material, or entering the material properties manually. Existing SOLIDWORKS materials cannot be edited.

To copy a material, simply click on a material in the existing SOLIDWORKS Library, right click and select copy. Right click in the new category and select Paste. Click Apply.

5) As we have copied the properties of other material properties, we have to edit material properties for our new material. The main property you need to add for your material are as follows

A) Tensile Strength

B) Yield Strength

C) Poisson’s Ratio

6) To edit the values just double click the box as shown in the above image, after inserting required data for your new material click apply and close the material box

7) Now you have successfully added the new custom material to the material library, now you can just add that material to the part as instructed in step 1

Friday, 3 July 2020

Rigid – Flex PCB Solutions for Consumer Electronics

Consumer electronics have beheld increased adoption in the past decade. In fact, traditional consumer electronics products are improved a lot such as smartphones, laptops, personal computers, and digital devices to more advanced products such as Fitness band, Health activity tracker, and smartwatches. Consumer electronics design plays a pivotal part in the consumer electronics industry and the burgeoning of R&D activities we can anticipate seeing Flexible and Rigid-Flexible PCB in every product soon. As a result, Global Consumer Electronics Market can deliver us cost-effective

Solidworks PCB is a pioneer to support the consumer electronics design globally and delivering innovation in your hand. In 2020, Solidworks PCB comes with Rigid-Flex PCB Design to enrich the traditional PCB Design.

To create Rigid – Flex in Solidworks PCB
Step 1: Define The Board Shape
Define the Board shape from the Solidworks PCB or using the Collaborative CAD-like Solidworks Mechanical (Complex PCB Form and Fit) 

Step 2: Configure the Layer Stack Manager 
Configure the Layer Stack Manager as per the application, add rigid and flexible stacks separately. Make sure to check the “Flex” checkbox option in the stack properties and name the stacks for easy identification.

Step 3: Define the Split Line and Bend Line 
Edit the Board Shape and define the Split Line and Bending Line over the Flex Area of the PCB 

Step 4: Define the Names for the Board Regions
Once the Board Split is completed, give the board names as per the stacks configured. For the Flex region, the “3D Locked” option should be unchecked. Duplicate board names are not allowable
Step 5: Animate the Board to Check the Bending 
View the Board in 3D, it will be viewed as flat PCB. To animate the flexible operation, shortcut key “5” should be pressed. This board can be pushed concurrently to the Solidworks Mechanical CAD through PCB Connector to ensure the form and fit with the mechanical enclosure 

3D view of Flat PCB

Animated View – Flexible Board view 

Rigid-Flex Board advancement is not stopped here. At this juncture, ECAD tools will be our pinnacle of the technology for the consumer electronics industry. So does your company has envision competing and achieve greatness in the electronics industry among others or already invested and waiting for development. These solutions will make you one step ahead of others and give technology the upper hand to your business.