Anyone decent with SolidWorks?

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by cowman, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Got my free copy from EAA about a year ago after I ran out my trial version of Rhino 3D. I'm pretty much a tinkerer using these programs to make stuff to print out on my 3D printer.

    I made all kinds of stuff with Rhino for the International Scout I was restoring- door clips, spacers, brackets, adapters, plugs, etc. Nothing too complex but a lot more involved than say 2 cubes stacked ontop of each other. I took CAD courses in high school and college using AutoCad and some drafting in HS as well so while I'm no pro I at least do have a clue...

    I mention this because I'm trying to draw exactly that in SolidWorks right now... I'm trying to make a jig to hold 2 different sized square tubes together in alignment so I can tack weld them up. It's literally just two boxes one stacked ontop of the other. Simple as can be and just like every time I use this program I want to tear my hair out because I can't figure out how to make this very very simple shape. In rhino I'd just draw my two 3d boxes, select one by it's centerpoint at the bottom and snap it to the centerpoint on the top of the other and I'd be done, it would take me less than a minute.

    So I've figured out solidworks wants you to draw things in a 2d sketch an then extrude them out... so following that logic I drew two rectangles with their centers lined up. Then I tried to extrude the "inner" one out to it's full length. Ok, check... and now I try to extrude the other rectangle out... and NOPE. I can't even select it. In fact if I click exactly wrong somehow my entire outer rectangle disappears. Tried doing it the other way- extruding the outer one first and it works as it should but then I can't seem to do the inner one???

    I assume I'm either fundamentally misunderstanding how I'm supposed to draw things in this program or not understanding the interface or it's just a really really quirky finicky thing. I'd go back to Rhino but it costs hundreds of $$$s per year IIRC and that's not worth it for my hobbying/tinkering.
     
  2. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    ...and I just solved my own problem after I figured out I can extrude my big rectangle out then draw my second smaller one on top of it and extrude that. Still no idea why plan A wouldn't work but I was able to make it so off to the printer.
     
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  3. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Meet the Fokkers
    Now we know who to ask if we need help with SolidWorks ;)
     
  4. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Feel free to reach out to me if you have any more problems. It's really my job so I'm pretty decent :)
     
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  5. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I'm definitely no help but thanks for letting me know about the EAA license.

    Nauga,
    drawn
     
  6. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Fusion 360 is another freebee.
     
  7. scottfromboston

    scottfromboston Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’m a couple years rusty but glad to help too.

    Can’t really visualize your issue, but contour selection (multiple features from same sketch) can be a bit wonky until you get used to it.

    Big fan of OnShape now.
     
  8. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Good to know there are some people here I can ask about this stuff. My next project if I ever get to it is trying to draw a plastic latch pin/clip thing from a cooler that broke. Perfectly good cooler the lid just doesn't latch down now... if I can make the model I can print it in nylon and it ought to work. Thing has some curves to it I gotta get right or at least close so this will be a bit more of a challenge than two boxes on top of each other.

    Also my jig printed, worked perfectly. Unsurprisingly the plastic melted a little where I did the tack welds but it held up long enough for me to get those in place and remove it so I could finish the weld. This was actually a PTO driveshaft for a tractor implement so the alignment needed to be pretty darn good. My welds are ugly but I think it's straighter than the rest of the machine is so I'm happy with the outcome.