SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 384 - Belt & Mechanism Tools Revisited

Belt & Mechanism Tools Revisited:

This podcast covers some tools in SolidWorks to conceptualize mechanisms and other mechanical interfaces. Topics covered:

- Creating belts in sketches

- Inserting belts into assemblies

- Interface options

- Traction relation

- Make path options

- Applications

It has been a couple of busy weeks and I have not been able to sit down and dig into a few shows that I have been planning, but the show must go on.  In lieu of that, I have reached back into the archives, about 5 years ago, and pulled up one of my favorite tool sets in core SolidWorks.

For those of you who have to do R&D or any sort of "idea storming", the layout tools are great to help verify before any real heavy modeling has to take place.  I typically have used these tools for verifying things like range of motion and sketching seems to be the best way to tweak the design in the early stages.

Once in 3D many of these relationships can be utilized for easy of not only fit, form and function testing but also for animations and other visual content creation.  If it has been a while since you have tried them out, lookup "Layout Sketches" or "Belts and Pulleys" in the SolidWorks help. ~Lou

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 337 - Layout Sketches Revisited

Layout Sketches Revisited:

This podcast covers the technique of using layout sketches in SolidWorks to quickly verify and change designs before 3D modeling.  Topics covered:

- Technique definition

- Layout relations (Traction, Belt/Chain, Make Path)

- Creating and using blocks

- Creating layouts in parts and assemblies

- Converting layout sketches into parts

- Discuss 2 SPR issues within asssembly "Layout Sketches"

- Tips for using layout sketches

- Using layout sketches with SolidWorks Motion

This week we are going to talk about layout sketching and some of the uses for this capability.  Layout sketches in SolidWorks are a top-down assembly modeling technique to assist in adding associative elements to a design before starting the 3D model.  This technique has been integrated into SolidWorks as a "feature", however many of us who have been using parametric modeling software have approached designs using this same technique using standard sketches.

I have talked about layout sketches 2 other times on the show and the last time (8/9/2009) I had discovered a couple of issues when using this feature from assemblies in SolidWorks.  I describe the issue in detail in the show how the "Belt/Chain" (SPR-375387) and "Make Path" (SPR-393207) options are greyed out within the "Layout Sketch" functionality in SolidWorks assemblies.  These have been verified as bugs and have SPRs (above) associated with them.  I tested this again in SolidWorks 2011 SP4 and the issues remains. I really hope to see this fixed in 2012!

I also mention in the show how you can assign mass properties to blocks in layout sketches and perform motion analysis as well.  If you have not used it or it has been a few years, give it a go! ~Lou

Remember to check out the SolidWorks: Heard! Blog and to follow me on TwitterFacebook and THE HEaRD!