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Introducing SolidWorks


Configurations are dealt with in detail in Chapter 10.

Working with Associativity

Associativity in SolidWorks refers to links between documents, such as a part that has an associa- tive link to a drawing. If the part changes, the drawing updates as well. Bi-directional associativity means that the part can actually be changed from the drawing. One of the implications of this is that you do not edit a SolidWorks drawing by simply moving lines on the drawing; you must change the model, which causes all views of the part or assembly to update correctly.

Other associative links include using base parts, where one part is inserted as the first feature in another part. This might be the case when you build a casting. If the part is designed in its “as cast” state, it is then inserted into another part where machining operations are performed by cut fea- tures and the part is transformed into its “as machined” state. This technique is also used for plastic parts where a single shape spans multiple plastic pieces. A “master part” is created and split into multiple parts that could, for example, become a mouse cover and buttons.

One of the most important aspects of associativity is file management. Associated files are kept connected by filenames. If a document name is changed, and one of the associated files does not know about the change, then the association between the files can become broken. For this reason, you should use SolidWorks Explorer to change names of associated files. There are other tech- niques that work, as well as some techniques that you should avoid.

It is considered poor practice to change filenames, locations or changing the name of a folder in the path of documents that are referenced by other documents with Windows Explorer. Links between parts, assemblies, and drawings can be broken in this way. Using SolidWorks Explorer or a Product Data Management, or PDM, application is the preferred method for changing filenames. BEST PRACTICE


Refer to Appendix A, Implementing SolidWorks, for more detailed suggestions for file management techniques.

Tutorial: Creating a Part Template

This simple tutorial steps you through making a few standard part templates for use with inch and millimeter parts and some templates for a couple of materials, as well.

  • 1.

    Select from the menu Tools, OptionsSystem OptionsFile Locations, and select Document Templates from the Show folder for list.

  • 2.

    Click the Add button to add a new path to a location outside of the SolidWorks installation directory; for example, D:\Library\Templates.

  • 3.

    Click OK to dismiss the dialog and accept the settings.



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