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Introducing SolidWorks

FIGURE 1.25 The fully defined sketch cannot be dragged, and there are no degrees of freedom.

Understanding Design Intent

“Design Intent” is a phrase that you will hear SolidWorks users use a lot. I like to think of it as “design for change.” Design Intent means that when you put the parametric sketch relations together with the feature intelligence, you can build models that react to change in predictable ways.

An example of Design Intent could be a statement in words that describes general aspects that help define the design of a part, such as “This part is symmetrical, with holes that line up with Part A, and thick enough to be flush with Part B.” From this description, and the surrounding parts, it is possible to re-create the part in such a way that if Part A or Part B changes, the part being described updates to match.

Some types of changes can cause features to fail or sketch relations to conflict. In most situations, SolidWorks has ample tools for troubleshooting and editing that allow you to either repair or change the model. In these situations, it is often the Design Intent itself that is changing.

When editing or repairing relations, it is considered best practice to edit rather than delete. Deleting often causes additional problems further down the tree. Many users find it tempting to simply delete anything that has an error on it. BEST PRACTICE

Editing Design Intent

Design Intent is sometimes thought of as a static concept that controls changing geometry. However, this is not always the way things are. Design Intent itself often changes, thus requiring the way in which the model reacts to geometric changes to also change. Fortunately, SolidWorks has many tools to help you deal with situations like this.

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