How to Use SolidWorks

by Joshua Mcgee ; Updated September 15, 2017

Items you will need

  • Windows XP or greater

  • Solidworks

  • Design plan

SolidWorks is a computer-aided design application (CAD) that is used to create 3D models for mechanical design. Using SolidWorks, engineers can quickly design and experiment with product ideas. Once a model is created in SolidWorks, they can make detailed drawings that can be used to produce the product. Creating models in SolidWorks begins with creating parts and making assemblies. This tutorial will teach you these basic steps as you begin using SolidWorks.

Create a new Part. Click on "File>New..." In the "New SolidWorks Document" box, select Part.

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Sketch the part. Click on the "Sketch" tab and select "Sketch." Then, select a plane for your sketch. Select a shape tool and draw a 2D sketch of one side of your model. Select "Smart Dimension." Click on a line in your sketch and enter the size of the line. Repeat this for the remaining lines.

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Add depth to the part. Click on the "Features" tab and click on "Extruded Boss/base." Enter the size of the extrusion in the "D1" box. Click on the green check mark to accept the extrusion.

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Add a cut to the part. Select the part's face that you want to cut or remove. Click on the "Extruded Cut" icon in the "Features" tab. Sketch a 2D shape of the cut the same way you sketched the profile of the part. Enter the distance of the cut in the "D1" box. Click on the check mark accept the extruded cut.

Create a new assembly from two or more parts. Click on "File> New..." In the "New SolidWorks Document" box, select Assembly. Click on "Insert Components" in the "Assembly" tab. Browse to the parts or assemblies that you want to insert. Click inside the pasteboard to insert the part. Repeat this step to add additional parts and sub assemblies.

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Mate the parts. Select the two faces of the parts that you want to mate. Select "Mate" from the "Assembly tab." Select the type of mate that you want to create. For example, a coincidental mate will cause the selected entities to be in constant contact while a parallel mate will cause the selected entities to be parallel to each other.

Tip

  • The latest versions of SolidWorks contain tutorials integrated with the help menu that teach these features in greater detail.

About the Author

Josh McGee graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor's degree in English, professional and technical communication, and a minor in marketing. He has worked as a technical writer and illustrator for two large manufacturing companies, ICON Health and Fitness and Cover-Pools Incorporated. He is currently employed full-time for the latter.