SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 420 - Envelope Workflow

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Envelope Workflow:

This podcast covers the new updates envelopes in SolidWorks 2013 and how they have been redesigned to be easier to incorporate into design use.  Topics covered:

- Introduction to SolidWorks Envelopes

- Details about enhancements in 2013

- Applications and uses for envelopes in design

- Downstream effects of envelope use

- Tips and preferences

Envelopes in SolidWorks have been around for well over 10 years but ironically was not used by a bulk of users in the community.  I have talked about envelopes a few times on the show and despite my personal use of the feature, one aspect that made using envelopes was the workflow that needed to be followed.  In the past, parts would need to be created as envelopes or inserted into assemblies as envelopes which made using the feature cumbersome.  

Benefits of envelopes were always in the subtraction in mass properties and BOM items, however in 2013 the barrier of workflow was broken down and the flexibility has made this tool much more streamlined and I imagine will be adopted by more users in the design process.

I have a long history using envelopes and am excited to see useful tools like this get some love in the new release.  I covered envelopes about 2 years ago in EP-286 and this might be the first time envelopes actually have been given new features.  If you have not tried them before or had and thought they were too much work to use, take a look again.  ~Lou

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 286 - Assembly Envelopes

Assembly Envelopes:

This podcast covers SolidWorks assembly envelopes which are reference components that can be used for easy selection and visibility control without impacting BOM and mass properties. Topics covered:

- Assembly envelope introduction (features and tools)

- Adding / building envelopes for reference

- Applying envelopes for selection

- Applying envelopes for hide/show operations

- Use cases and applications

I wanted to get back to basics and cover more hidden core functionality inside of SolidWorks for assembly design.  I love envelopes and they work well when you need a reference component to represent a space (work envelope), volume (liquid in a container), or a foundation product (existing truck for after market parts).  The beauty of this tool is how SolidWorks understands the intensions of an envelope, automatically making the envelope part transparent.

There are a number of features envelopes add for component selection (both native to envelopes and integrated in the Advanced Selection tools) and show/hide using the inside/outside/crossing criteria.  Possibly one of the best aspects is how SolidWorks negates envelopes from showing up in Bills of Materials and mass property calculations.  

Just another hidden jem in the software that many are not aware of.  If you use assembly envelopes and have a unique or practicle use case, leave a comment and share it with the community. ~Lou

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