While there are a lot of modeling and engineering programs on the market right now, SolidWorks remains one of the most popular pieces of software among engineers and 3D modelers. According to a study from 2013, there were already more than two million engineers actively using SolidWorks on their projects. Today’s push towards 3D printing makes SolidWorks an even more versatile piece of software to use.
As with other programs, SolidWorks is not without its issues. There are bugs and problems that can disrupt your workflow and put your project on hold. Fortunately, many of those issues can be resolved easily, which is why we are going to discuss the most common problems with SolidWorks and how you can deal with them in no time. Let’s get started, shall we?
If you are an engineer working in SolidWorks, mate problems are among the most common problems you will come across. Mate symbols are heavily used in projects, but they are also the source of some common errors. Thankfully, SolidWorks has icons and error messages to help you identify mate problems quickly.
For example, a mate may over-define the assembly. You will see a detailed error message that says “This mate is over defining the assembly. Consider deleting some of the over defining mates.” When the mate itself cannot be resolved, the error message will say “This mate cannot be solved.”
Identifying mate problems is easy; actually fixing the problem is another story. In the case of the previous two error messages, you are most likely dealing with a redundant mate that is already in the project. Simply look for mates with an error icon and investigate further. Find how you use those error-causing mates and you should be able to rectify the issue right away.
Another common problem with SolidWorks is the missing Palette controls on the user interface. This is an issue that happens a lot if you work with multiple screens and you love moving the Palette controls – or other control tabs – to another monitor for a cleaner, more manageable work area.
When you return to a single-monitor setup without docking that Palette tab, particularly when you close and reopen the app, that undocked Palette is nowhere to be seen. The cause of this issue is the SolidWorks XML file not storing information about that tab or pane correctly.
With the XML file corrupted, activating the Palette tab from View > Show Palette no longer works. The app simply recognizes Palette as being already active in the screen somewhere. You can use this solution to solve missing palette in SOLIDWORKS Visualize.
SolidWorks use sketch as a foundation to the 3D model you create. Most projects start with getting the sketch right, and then building a 3D model based on that sketch. Unfortunately, the approach also means that your 3D model will fail when the sketch itself is broken.
Many things can go wrong with your sketch and figuring out what it is that causes the problem is not always easy. To anticipate this issue, SolidWorks has a built-in Repair Sketch feature under Tools > Sketch Tools.
The Repair Sketch dialog box is very intuitive. You can find issues with elements between two points in the sketch by entering a value for a minimum gap. This is a good way to identify sketches that cannot be extruded into models. The Repair Sketch tool doesn’t only highlight the potential issue with your sketch but adds explanations to that error too.
On top of that, the repair is done automatically. Small sketch entities can be deleted automatically whenever they are detected. The same can be said for overlapping sketch lines; Repair Sketch can identify those lines and make the necessary adjustments – usually by merging the overlapping lines – to fix the issue.
The next common problem is with SolidWorks itself. While the software is very reliable in most cases, there are times when small details and changes to the system can cause serious instability issues. The last thing you want is for the software to crash with a project unsaved.
There are several ways you can better identify the cause of SolidWorks instabilities. The first thing you want to do is check your drivers and make sure they are all up to date. If you have recently updated your drivers, it is also a good idea to revert back to the previous version one hardware at a time.
SolidWorks software also has a Diagnostics page that you can use to further identify potential driver issues. Another thing you can do to uncover the real cause of the instability is to open different files or projects and see if the software runs smoothly. A corrupt XML or a broken project file could also cause SolidWorks to crash.
To be on the safe side, it is also a good idea to run a complete repair of the software. Run the SolidWorks installer and choose Repair the Individual Installation to let the program fix itself.
Simulation has always been one of SolidWorks’ selling points. Aside from being able to create your own sketch and build a 3D model from it, you also have the option to use software like the SolidWorks Simulation Standard to simulate different things.
Still, you may see an error message that says, “No results saved,” or, “Model may not have adequate features,” signaling that there are issues with the model you are trying to simulate. Simulation errors are perhaps the trickiest kind of errors to deal with, simply because there are so many factors you have to consider before finding the actual cause.
Worry not, because you now have websites like GoEngineer.com helping you figure out what went wrong with the simulation. There are tutorials and resources to help get your simulation running smoothly. Combined with the tips and tricks we have discussed in this article, dealing with common issues that you come across when using SolidWorks will not be a problem. The better you are at dealing with these issues, the more efficient you will be as a SolidWorks user.
Republished by Imagincreation