December 10, 2015

Sketching Improvements in SOLIDWORKS 2016


 Sketching is perhaps one of the core functionalities in the SolidWorks software.  Sketches allow a user to create 2 dimensional entities that may be used to create complex features.  It is a tool that helps the designer shape the part into the correct geometry.  With SolidWorks 2016 there have been improvements to the sketching abilities to make modeling easier.

Consider the following Valve

sketching solidworks

By opening up the base sketch used in the revolve feature to create the valve body we have the following sketch:

sketch solidworks


Sketches become more complex with the addition of geometrical features.  There may be times when the dimensions constraining the sketch become cluttered to view in the graphical area.  In SolidWorks 2016 there is a new tool to hide sketch dimensions.  This is found under Tools> Hide/Show/ Hide Sketch Dimensions. By applying this filter to the graphical viewing area, it makes it much easier for the designer to inspect the current state of the sketch.

hide/show/hide sketch dimensions

sketching in solidworks 2016


When a designer is dimension or adding relations to a sketch, the midpoint is a useful entity to have available.  Midpoints are now automatically selectable without explicitly defining a midpoint entity.  This change helps expedite the sketching process allowing designers to fully define a sketch in fewer steps than before.

sketching midpoint


In addition, it is no longer necessary to select the smart dimension icon before clicking on the entities that require dimension.  Instead, designers can now select the entities of interest and a fly out menu will appear beside the mouse.  Designers may now select the Smart Dimension icon from that menu and the software will provide the appropriate dimension for the entities selected.  

smart dimension solidworks sketching\

sketching impovements in solidworks 2016


Another useful tool is Instant 2D which is a feature that allows users to modify the value of a dimension with a single click.  Instant 2D can be found on the sketch toolbar.

instant 2D solidworks sketching

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