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What good is Twitter for? It’s a powerful tool for many people as well as for businesses building brands, but it’s even more powerful where there’s a strong user base. In the CAD world, and SolidWorks in particular, the connection between users just keeps getting stronger. On twitter, you can interact with SolidWorks user, SolidWorks…

I occasionally choose to point the fire hose of SolidWorks tips and information into an unsuspecting person’s face without realizing how overwhelming it can be. A few hours later I see the the expressionless blank stare of a skinless and slightly tattered face gazing, begging me to stop. A few tips to simply get started…

Your SolidWorks drawings are standing out in the open like a very large and overly dressed target of 3D ninja violence. Hey, I’m just sayin. It’s actually a secret society of defected and very agitated ANSI and ISO standard authors that have passed this info on to me. Your fancy drawing is filled with more…

I had a conversation with someone yesterday about how to create really great looking images without using the SolidWorks rendering add-in, PhotoWorks. I told him it was simple and you can do it in just a few steps. ‘No way, show me.’, he said. If you have PhotoWorks, great; you can create some very slick…

Recently, SolidWorks thwarted a would-be Zombie attack by launching the SolidWorks Geniuses marketing campaign. First up was the Leonardo Da Vince Self-Powered (Zombie-eliminating) Cart. You saw it, I’m sure, and desired to get your hands on the model so you too could prevent an ensuing Zombie onslaught. Well, you’re in luck. Rob Rodriguez is putting…

“Son, that boy is faster at sketchin’ some 3D than a greased zebra chasin’ a three-legged yak.” Now wouldn’t you want to be described like that? Well, there’s more to being fast in SolidWorks, than flipping through commands and some fancy assembly tricks. The System Options have a few setting that are not always used,…

Yes, it happens to all of us. We’re cruising along with the mouse, clickin’ this way and that, and typing some notes with the keyboard. Life is simple. Then, we take our hand off the keyboard for a sip of coffee or a little stretch and… suddenly our finger shoots straight into our eye with…

Look, there’s a bunch of things you could do this week, but showering regularly, eating less beef jerky and discovering your unlimited potential for doing cool things with SolidWorks should be at the top of the list, don’t ‘cha think? I’m finding there’s more and more ways of doing things with SolidWorks that have nothing…

Since the dawn of time, man has contemplated the frustrating effects of the big read error icon and has come to the conclusion that, yes, veins can indeed pop out of your head whether your sitting down or standing in a defensive crouch in front of your computer. Computer errors pretty much feel like being…

If you’ve been using SolidWorks 2008 for any length of time, you’ll notice that the RealView setting, along with other view settings, are front and center on that dang on-screen toolbar. Do you like that toolbar? I know there’s lots of opinions both ways about it. I actually don’t mind it too much. For one,…

Ok, I’m gonna try something here. I get a bit of emails asking questions about SolidWorks and alot of them are really good questions that I’d love to turn into posts. So that’s what we’re gonna do. First Person to Ask a Question The first person to add a comment below that asks a question…

It’s amazing how simple this is. You can actually do this in less time than it takes you to learn how to trap small animals and sell them outside Wal-mart. Draw a cube This is like the multi-tool of CAD. If you don’t know where to start, draw a cube. Use the annotation tool This…

For all of you crazed 3D-modeling, equation-using junkies out there, you may be really, really excited to know that your equations will update in real-time when using Instant3D in SolidWorks 2008. Jeff, from ExtensibleCAD, shows this happening when using logical (if-then) equations to drive features. See video below. The equation is set up to change…

Here’s a slightly useful and not-at-all complicated tip on reducing features by using 3D sketches. It’s more fun to have people gather around your desk, get all attentive and then yell the first step very, very loud as they hunker down around your screen… Now move in close people… Two Tips in One This is…

Whoa there buddy, I think you’re getting carried away with all of those colors. That much color is certainly not per procedures and we’re gonna have to beat you black and white. It happens, I know. You want an accurate color for your model and you can’t help but spend hours dragging your cursor through…

Awww, look. That tiny assembly is so… tiny and cute. Makes you want to grab a million of ’em and just give ’em hugs. Now, I know some of you aren’t that attached to your bracket or gasket assemblies, but you gotta admit there’s a special place in that documentation system for those little boogers.…

I know you woke up this morning just rearin’ to be an overachiever that knows absolutely everything possible about solid modeling and then how it relates to the molting season of yaks. All I can tell you is that yaks molt once a year and the wool is woven into blankets and tents. Also, the…

You’ve probably been there – tease and ridiculed for organizing other people’s features, “accidentally” fixing someone else’s sketches or finding the last keyboard combination for a shortcut. It’s a condition that use to be treated with humidifiers and Malox, but that made the affect and smell even worse. So, I’ll just list some of these…

Oh, stop it. That title is just too clever. It’s hard to believe there would be any rude, self-serving miscreants in the realm of SolidWorks, but you watch. One day your helping old ladies take their meds, next day your making everyone change part colors and capitalize the ‘S’ and ‘W’ in SolidWorks for all…

You’ve been working on a 13,000 part mega-assembly in SOLIDWORKS with the most well thought out top-down assembly structure ever devised by man. The next morning, you gingerly sip your coffee as the model ooooopens, and then… something doesn’t look right. Suddenly, that pastry loses its sweetness as you come to grips that all your…

How do you get info out of SolidWorks models? Threats and candy don’t do the trick, but bring out a steamy bowl of button clicking and you’ll be in statistical, property enhanced euphoria to break up the vapid atmosphere of deadlines and cold pastries. If you’re like me, you like your fill of statistics and…

If you mix an interest in web design with an interest in SolidWorks you get a hideous amalgamation of 3D graphics, silly phrases and coffee stains. Couple that with a frustrating inadequacy of font types and its basically pure madness. The Problem Adobe Flash, formerly Macromedia Flash, opened up a lot of possibilities for web…

Last week we talked about naming features to improve your design. Sometimes, on very rare occasions, when your feeling especially detail oriented, you may want to add a special character to a name or note. Fortunately, Windows has a bunch of obscure numbers you can use to add some symbols to you descriptions and it…

You’re driving down a winding road and suddenly your car goes flying off a cliff into a den of wild boar. Not a good situation to be in. While getting some parts to stay on track in SolidWorks is not nearly as morbid, it can be a pain in the neck, especially when it comes…

As discussed in the previous post, SolidWorks is the disco queen of features. Sketches drive these features and sometimes you want to use them in another part or nice Gorgonzola salad. There are library features and copying features, sure, but to get a quick copy of a sketch that you’ve already created, you may want…