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Showing Articles written by Lauren McGarry

In SOLIDWORKS, solar access studies are a kind of motion study used to simulate the motion of the sun as it passes over a model. This type of study is useful for applications like deciding where to place solar panels on a roof. 

Breadcrumbs in SOLIDWORKS are a UI tool intended to cut down on mouse travel and, in doing so, streamline workflow. When you left-click on an element in the graphics window, breadcrumbs appear in the upper left corner. They display a hierarchical tree of related elements.


Heat Pipe is a feature available in the SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Electronic Cooling module that, as its name suggests, simulates heat pipes. Heat pipes efficiently transfer heat from a hotter surface to a colder surface using the principles of phase transition and conductivity. 


In SOLIDWORKS, Variable Size Fillets have different radii at different points along the selected edges. The user can specify the radius at the edges' endpoints and at control points along the edges' length. If you've used this feature before, you may have noticed that, while it's possible to set the radius to zero at the end-points of an edge, it isn't possible to specify a zero radius at any of the intermediate control points.


Freezing features in SOLIDWORKS improves performance by excluding them from rebuilds. It also prevents any unwanted changes to the frozen features. To enable the Freeze bar, go to System Options > General and check the box for Enable Freeze bar. Once enabled, the Freeze bar is the horizontal yellow line at the top of the Design Tree.



The SOLIDWORKS Model Based Definition (MBD) add-in includes the capability to generate 3D PDFs of parts and assemblies created in SOLIDWORKS. 3D PDFs can be opened with the standard, free Adobe Reader program and contain 3D Views and Product Manufacturing Information (PMI).

When experiencing mesh failures in SOLIDWORKS Simulation, we can resolve mesh errors using the Mesh Failure Diagnostics tool and Mesh Controls. Typically, if a study is not meshing, we need to refine the mesh by reducing the element size. 


Animating a result plot is a helpful tool for sharing the results of your SOLIDWORKS Drop Test Simulation studies. To animate a result plot, right-click it and select Animate in the right-click menu. The first time performing a SOLIDWORKS Simulation Drop Test study is typically a little slow to load as the steps are being rendered.


No matter how long you've been using SOLIDWORKS, you'll still run across new tips or tricks to improve your workflow that make you say, "I wish I'd known about this sooner!" We polled our Technical Support team, and they shared some of their favorite SOLIDWORKS tips, features, tools, and best practices that they wished they'd known about sooner and want you to know about now!