Thursday, March 24, 2011

SolidWorks Journey, continued ...

We learn from our mistakes. Yes, yes ... that we do ... Today I learned from the mistake I made far back in the beginning stages. I chose the "right" plane on which to sketch a part instead of the "front" (correct) plane. At the time I noticed what I had done, I shrugged it off and figured I'd be able to rotate the part, but it's not quite so simple when I didn't take into account the placement of two assembly-critical cuts.

So my right plane was the wrong plane and resulted a critical design flaw. I had to laugh at myself - a hand wouldn't be very well protected from this blade:

But I got the opportunity to fiddle around with editing parts far more than the book intended. I cleaned up all the interferences as well; ended up adding another coincident plane to solve the arm insertion problem. I don't think that's what the book intended me to do, but a working solution is a good solution when it comes to mechanical functions.

I ravelled out the differences in the 2007 commands vs. the 2004 version (the book I'm using is for an older SolidWorks - I think 2004 - and while most of the time I have been able to find the moved/renamed buttons and commands easily, the "explode" function has changed dramatically) and managed to create a fully exploded view and learned how to correct direction choices and placements, and I animated the exploded view and played it on a loop (entertaining, and made for quite a satisfied chuckle).

After I was happy with the exploding and collapsing functions, I decided it would really be best if I go back to the beginning and redraw my handle on the correct plane. So with that next on my agenda, I turned back to the beginning of the book.

I did get a little distracted by some simple sketch problems at the end of chapter one. These little problems give instant gratification: sketch a number of lines (just seven on one, a dozen on another), revolve and cut - voilĂ . So fast and simple. Maybe I'll do some of those first, yes, just a little easy fast stuff for fun.

I feel like a kid picking through a candy bowl for my favorites.

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