GoEngineer’s Technical Support FAQ Series: Contours, Traffic Symbol, Feature Tree

by Erick Vega


How do I select contours?

Contours, those little devils! They allow us to use broken sketches to keep moving forward and make more intricate parts with the use of a single sketch. You can select them in the Extrude feature task pane under “Selected contours”. From there, you can choose single lines for thin features, solids, multiple lines (hold Ctrl key) and regions to be extruded independently.


You can also select contours out of the Feature commands by right clicking anywhere blank and choose the “Contour Select Tool”. Keep an eye open on sketch symbols too. When contours have been used from a sketch, the feature tree symbol will go from picture 1 to picture 2 below:

Traffic Symbol

What does the traffic symbol mean?

The traffic symbol means Rebuild.  Letting you know that part needs to be rebuilt to represent the changes that have been made to it. You can click the traffic symbol on the top menu or press Ctrl+B. And beware of assembly circular references! You may be stuck in a never-ending loop of Rebuild!

Feature Tree

What does the ->? mean in my feature tree?

Did someone rename an assembly or move a file by just “copy and paste”?

The “->?” lets you know the part is “out of context” meaning the file to be referenced is no longer in the location it used to be. You have to put the file back to where it belongs, with the name it used to have for SOLIDWORKS, to recognize it.

If you REALLY want to change the location of the file you should do it via SOLIDWORKS Explorer in your start menu under the SOLIDWORKS folder.

You can also Right click the file and use the SOLIDWORKS option to Rename, Replace or Move. This will move the reference with the file.

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