Saturday, April 2, 2011

SolidWorks: Correctly Oriented

Directional choices are crucial in SolidWorks. Choosing the wrong plane for sketching can result in serious alignment flaws. Choosing the wrong direction for a series of features or an assembly explosion can make for some humorously impossible pictures on-screen. My first attempt at this pizza cutter failed, when I had used the wrong sketch plane for the handle and so the guard and blade were cross-ways.

Thursday and Friday I managed to squeeze in a little drawing time. I finished rebuilding the handle Friday. I might have been able to correct my error by editing the sketch plane, but I wanted the drawing practice, and it went much faster this time.

Fortunately, changing the orientation of a series or most any directional feature is as simple as clicking a button. Pressing the button indicated (below) would flip the gray arrow downwards, but I want a series of grooves (copying the extruded cut made using the small square illustrated in the previous post) repeated upwards, so the currently pictured direction is correct.

With the spacing and quantity set to a measurement that will actually fit on the handle, just another press of the green check-mark button will set the grooves in place.

After finishing the handle, I went on to assemble the parts and was very happy when all the mates went together as expected this time.

Now my pizza cutter looks functional!

Next I can move on to modifying the handle for injection-molding knowing it will align correctly.

I'm really very excited to be learning SolidWorks. I looked at a sample CSWP test Friday and was a bit daunted by the complexity of the illustrated parts. But quite frankly, I need to learn this stuff. After I finish this library book I'm working through now, I'm likely going to have to purchase a book, as the next books I want are not in the library catalogue. I requested an inter-library loan on the chance another state might have one, but I'm not holding my breath.

Now that it's the weekend I suppose I should go put some time in the yard and garden. I missed having my own okra and tomatoes last year. Mmmmm.

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