So, how many times are you sitting admiring the sunrise, contemplating the various ways to mirror an assembly in SolidWorks when you suddenly realize that’s not a bagel you stuck in the toaster, but your right thumb.
With files sizes on the mind, you may have a tendancy to avoid mirroring SolidWorks assemblies as much as toasting your appendages. However, there’s a really simple way to mirror assemblies while keeping your drawings looking as brilliant as that sunrise. Here’s how.
Last week we looked at How to protect your SolidWorks Data. One way in particular saved an assembly as a part, minimizing what was shown by including only the exterior faces which greatly simplifies sharing the data.
That process can also simplify an assembly that needs mirrored. Sometimes, only a representation of a mirrored assembly is needed – something that:
- provides a visual of an opposite configuration
- can be called out in a BOM
- can show conceptual possibilities
To start we’ll follow the same process for saving an assembly as a part.
Save Assembly as Part – In any assembly, select File, Save As… and select Part (*.prt, *.sldprt) in Save as Type. Select the Exterior Faces if a minimal representation is all that’s needed.
Open the part – The easiest thing you’ll ever do in your whole life besides blinking.
Select face/plane for Mirror – This can be any planer surface. I’ll usually set up planes, center planes and such to use as mirror planes, in parts and assemblies to make it easier when trying variations of opposite assemblies.
Select Insert, Mirror Part…. Here you have the option of transferring various features. The most common would be Solid Bodies, Surface Bodies and Custom Properties.
Congrats. You now have a simplified mirrored representation of an assembly. Do you find this easier? There’s some disadvantages to it. You won’t be able to create a BOM of the ‘assembly’ but it does allow a quick way to create mirrored assembly without picking through what to mirror and what not to mirror. Have you used this method before?