greys anatomyI know, you’re looking at your sketch that has more relations than the cast of Grey’s Anatomy and wonder how in the heck things went south so fast. Well, it has nothing to do with your social skills or being raised in the country, those things just need a little lovin’.

This means it’s time to fine tune things a bit, get rid of any nasty little relation that could be upsetting your sketches and use some methods for getting them to act better. These are general practice, because there’s gonna be exceptions.

  1. Avoid redundant relations
    This would include things like perpendicular, parallel, intersection
  2. Avoid using the Fix relation
    This is a no-no, especially for top-down design. Fully define your sketches.
  3. Use as few relations as possible
    This way if you need to change something you have fewer relations to update
  4. Use sketch envelopes
    Sketch envelopes are a way to quickly relate the sketches for your parts to an area. So, instead of having dimensions and relations to parts that tend to change, you relate it to one sketch.
  5. Set up a standard
    Going by the same process each time will make things faster for you and everyone else will know what’s going on with your crazy sketches.

This will not only clean up your sketches, but will also tend to make models load faster. fewer relations, fewer calculation and you reduce the risk of creating circular realtionships.


Josh is founder and editor at, 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.