June 10, 2015

Blocks in Sketch

Sketching skills form the fundamental basis of SolidWorks software.  Parts, features, geometries and patterns are all dependent on the first initial sketch.  Therefore learning tricks and shortcuts can potentially positively impact your work flow.  

 Consider a simple part composed of an extruded rectangle as shown below:

sketching solidworks

There will be times when there are repetitions of complex sketch parts.  Whenever there are repetitions you may use SolidWorks pattern features to avoid recreating the part over and over or alternatively you  may choose to use a block.
  The original rectangle drawn requires a curve added to two edge.  The curve has been drawn separately from the part as shown:

solidworks pattern feature

Please note it is undefined and without reference.  Select all entities composing the curve, right click and select “Make Block” from the quick menu.  

blocks in sketch

Select the green check mark to accept the creation of the block

solidworks sketching

The curve now exists as a block and is free to move as a single unit. 

sketching in solidworks

You may copy and paste multiple copies of the block in the sketch.  Please note that if you edit the block, all instances will update to reflect the change.  It is also worth noting that the lines and points on the block may accept relations just like any sketch such as coincident relation and horizontal relation.  Two copies of the block have been added and applied to the top and bottom portion of our part.  A small sketched line completes a closed contour between the block and the original sketch.

blocks in sketch

Completing our changes we may leave the sketch window and rebuild the feature to show the boss-extrude has accepted the new sketch with two instances of a block. 

block sketch solidworks

This saves us the time and effort to recreate the same sketch multiple times.

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