It’s interesting, isn’t it, how long 3D softwares, including parametric feature-based modelers such as SolidWorks, have been around now. It is also interesting how similar yet how very different they can be. Techniques, features, and best practices can vary to a greater extent than one might think.
It’s funny this topic should come up now, too, as Sol, our intrepid SolidWorks power user, and his sidekick Sal were just discussing that very thing.
“It doesn’t matter, does it, Sol? Y’know, where I start my part in 3D space?”
“Let me ask you this, Sal. Have you ever had issues with orienting parts in drawing views or assemblies? Have the guys in the shop ever had issues generating toolpaths for manufacturing? Do we ever need to get accurate center of gravity information?”
“All the time!” admitted Sal. “Nothing that I haven’t been able to work around, though.”
Sol bristled at the words “work around.”
“Here’s a couple things that I think can help you, Sal. First of all, do you put much consideration into which plane you start your part on? Or its relation to the origin, or X0Y0Z0 point?”
“The planes and origin point you’re showing me how to display, in Figure 1?
“Yes, Sal” sighed Sol.
“What you’re saying is that a few minutes considering planes and the orientation and positioning of my part on the origin can help me later in orienting and locating the part in other documents?”
“Not only that, Sal, but think how much happier the tooling guys and the engineers will be when they no longer have to manipulate the part to fit their needs, either.”
Sal scratched his chin. “Yes! I see!”
“Okay, then. What’s the other thing I am always telling you?”
“To empty the coffee pot at night when I leave?”
Sol grimaced. “Just for that, Sal, I think we’ll wait until next week for my lesson on the BORN Technique.”
Check back on the SolidNotes blog on Tuesday, April 1 for The Basics - Part 2. Do you want more Sal and Sol? Click here to read a post on Preventing Rotation in Concentric Assembly Mates.