SolidWorks Tips and Tricks
Phil Sluder

It’s an absolutely packed house. Apparently people want to take home a few tips to amaze their coworkers. Phil Sluder, from Triaxial Design, takes on the obscure and the practical in these SolidWorks tips that should be on the list of any best practices.

Here’s the highlights…


Tip or trick definition – these are the things you won’t find in the help files.

  • Reference Triad Colors – XYZ = RGB (Red Green Blue)
  • Extend with Trim Tool – drag to peice you wnat to extend to. you can also do the opposite with the extend tool. Trim is handier.
  • Center Rectangle in Sketch – use symmetric relation with centerlines. Use midpoint relations on lines.
  • Split across multibodies – take sketch, extrude surface across bodies, split line with intersection.
  • Use plane for for alignment – drag plane edge to intersect model.
  • Arc Length dimension – pick arc first, then both endpoints.
  • Angle dimension – pick origin point then both endpoints.
  • Add symmetric centerline between two edges – pick edges, pick centerline, add symmetrical relation.
  • Merge result in bodies with Feature Scope – keep merge results check, select feature scope and select bodies.
  • Sleazy Feature – Moving faces instead of changing defining dimensions.
  • Trim exterior wall – use move face to change height or to cut
  • Simplify to shell body – copy body, hide original, delete faces to simplify, shell, fill with extrude up to next. subtract result from origin.
  • Manual Shell – use offset surfaces to create wall thickness.
  • Shell trick – Cut out conflicting edge, shell, delete faces
  • Points on a 2D curve to text file – cut circle on curve endpoint, create curve driven pattern, create drawing, create hole table, export as .xls
  • Vary Sketch – use dim to control sketch entity, create linear panel, pick dim for direction, click vary sketch. You’ll need to create another feature to link the solid and pattern as feature instead of bodies.
  • Use Pierce relations without sweep – use pierce instead of coincident
  • Blending two Tubes – two tubes intersecting, open sketch on midplane, create spline to trim away, use split entities to create separate splines, create surface loft.

There were some other tips that got a bit involved to cover. This was a fast session and covered a load of tips. If there’s one above you’re wondering about, want more detail or see how to do it, hit the comments!

If you wait just a bit a video of the session will be available that I’ll link up for you to see Phil showing the tricks in SolidWorks.


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.