USING SOLIDWORKS 2018 — SOLIDWORKS ESSENTIAL TRAINING
SolidWorks Part Modeling: Required Sketch Entities, Sketch Modification, Sketch Relations and Dimensions, Features, Material and Mass Properties.
S O L I D W O R K S T O O L B O X INSTALLATION
The Toolbox is a collection of several powerful tools built into SolidWorks. Its can increase productivity and decrease the time required to complete a design. These components can be configured to easily populate Bills of Material with part numbers descriptions or any other custom information that needs to be easily displayed to the user.
Toolbox Installation: By default most users will leave all standards selected, in the Product Selection tab standards can be excluded from the installation. The second part of the installation that pertains to toolbox is the file location and file name of the toolbox. This is on the “Summary” tab in the installation window. By default the toolbox is saved to the C:\ drive and it’s named “Solidworks Data.” Both the location and name of the toolbox folder can be changed by simply selecting change.
Migrating Toolbox Files to a Network Location or PDM Vault: There is one major deciding factor to determine if moving the toolbox to a network location would be advantageous. If the intent is to customize the toolbox with part numbers, custom properties, or add hardware restrictions a network based toolbox would likely be beneficial. There are several infrastructure restrictions to having a network based toolbox. The first is all users will need to have constant access to a network location. This location will also need to have low latency. Any slowdown in data over the network will negatively affect program performance during operations that involve toolbox components.
The first step to migrate the toolbox to a network location or a PDM environment is to locate the toolbox directory that needs to be replicated on all of the user’s machines. The toolbox by default is installed on the computers C:\ drive typically C:\SOLIDWORKS data. If there are multiple instances of the toolbox the most recent version will have the highest number. This folder along with all of its contents can be copied onto the network drive or PDM vault. The next step is to configure Solidworks to use the new location of the toolbox. To edit this navigate to
Upgrading Toolbox Manually: It's recommended to upgrade the toolbox automatically. Before upgrading the toolbox, it's recommended that a back-up is made and moving that copy to a safe location will be sufficient. You cab right click on the folder and choose Send to —» zip. This step isn't required for PDM users since previous versions of the database are indexed in the vault and can be rolled back.
Now need to navigate to —» C:\Program Files\Solidworks Corp\SOLIDWORKS\toolbox\data utilities\. If the folder was renamed during installation, then it will show by the specified name. Navigate In this folder find and launch the application: “Update browser database”. Once in the utility some information will be provided, and some will need to be selected. First, it will display both the directory to the toolbox and its version. This is loaded from Solidworks, if this window is blank simply navigate to the database file “swbrowser.sldedb” it exists at \lang\english. The application will automatically fill out the updating database information. It will reference the folder used to launch the updater from, since this folder contains the updating information. Before using the updater check out the database file swbrowser.sldedb, in the case a file named swbrowser.sldedbold is also found in the directory it will need to be checked out as well.
Run the update utility. Once this is complete the toolbox will be updated. Test functionality by launching the toolbox inside of Solidworks. After the update check-in the database and have users get latest so the changes are reflected for all users.
S O L I W O R K S T O O L B O X SETUP
The toolbox can populate bills of material, contain materials, and automatically be added to assemblies. These functions, though powerful, must be configured up by the user(s).
Permission: Toolbox contains its own permission structure to limit individual user’s ability to edit specific parameters linked to the toolbox. To activate the toolbox permissions simply create a password and security phrase to lock the toolbox. After this has been created all users wishing to change locked aspects will need the administration code to do so. This limits the users from being able to make changes with unintended consequences. Each Content, Custom properties, Adding, Part Numbers, Editing Configuration Names setting has a specific purpose.
Toolbox Settings: The toolbox has a variety of settings that require configuration for the best utilization of the toolbox program. These control how the toolbox functions internally along with what data will be displayed to the user while they utilize the toolbox inside of solidworks. To edit the settings associated with toolbox launch the toolbox settings program ( or choose configure toolbox inside of Solidworks) and select option 3 “Define user settings”. The first major setting is whether toolbox will create parts or configurations when hardware of a new configuration is used. This is an internal setting and will not change how the user interacts with the toolbox utility.
If either method that causes the creation of parts is selected. A folder location will need to be defined to have generated part files deposited into. Solidworks has included a blank directory into the Solidworks Data folder named “Copied parts”, this or any other directory can be defined. It’s recommended to use a directory inside of the toolbox though so that when backups are taken they include all generated toolbox files.
S O L I W O R K S SHEET FORMAT & DRAWING TEMPLATE
In general drawing templates are used to start a new drawing. A sheet format is an overlay or title block that we might see on the initial drawing template, but it can be hidden. Also, sheet formats are useful on multi-page drawings as you might want a different looking title block on subsequent pages in a multi-page drawing.
Sheet Format (.slddrt): The sheet format file has the file extension .slddrt. The .slddrt file is the file containing the sheet format - the geometry and notes that make up the drawing’s title block. This also contains the anchors for the BOM, Revision Table, etc. Users can save off sheet formats from active drawing files. File —» Save Sheet Format.
Drawing Template (.drwdot): The drawing template has the file extension .drwdot. Drawing templates contain all the document specific information that is found in the Tools —» Options —» Document Properties dialog. This includes specifications for units, drafting standard, font selections, arrow sizes, pre-defined views, etc. Some drawing templates may be saved with a sheet format already selected, or they can also be saved as a blank sheet with no sheet format visible.
Create a Drawing Template Linked to a Sheet Format File: