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The SOLIDWORKS 3D Sketch Golden Ticket

I recently tried to re-create Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper, and let me tell you that simple looking little piece of candy was not so simple to model. No wonder Mr. Slugworth was trying to steal the secret! I tried approaching it with several different techniques and, in the end, the results I desired required 3D sketches. I would like to hand you the SOLIDWORKS golden ticket to the secrets I learned and discoveries I made while working with 3D sketches to model this fictional candy.


So Who Even Uses 3D Printers?

“So… What is 3D printing actually used for? - Who even uses it?”

Good questions. I faced a lot of these questions when I worked with 3D printers in college. Regardless of the amount of awesome phone cases or accessories I would show to people, it always turned out that sorority girls didn’t find manufacturing as cool as I did.

Something I learned about this kind of technology is it is a very broad technology – meaning, it can be used for a nearly limitless amount of applications. Unfortunately, the human brain doesn’t tend to think in those terms. We like to put things in a metaphorical box and say “OK, I get this, this thing does this task, and I now understand this thing.” With 3D Printing (3DP), this simply is not the case.

Off the same machine, you can make a part for your car, a keychain, a bottle-opener, a keychain that is a bottle-opener – like I said… limitless.

With the help of mainstream printer manufacturers like MakerBot and XYZprinting, there are now thousands of people using this technology. Users range from high-end, large volume manufacturers, like Nestle Nespresso (coffee) and Sheppard Air Force Base (military UAVs), to the starry-eyed would-be Iron Man working out of his garage.



Conquering the Material Model Roulette of SOLIDWORKS Nonlinear Simulation: Part Two

In the first part of this blog series, we talked about the Linear Elastic material models which obey Hooke’s law to identify material behavior. To read part one, click here.

Hooke’s law is by far one of the most used principles of physics because, simply put, it works! Well, at least in most cases, but not all, because it is only an approximation of the actual material behavior and limited to the linear portion of the stress-strain graph. 

Since no material can be compressed beyond a certain minimum size, or stretched beyond a maximum size without permanent deformation, Hooke’s law is only valid up to the limit of proportionality (L). So basically, Hooke’s Law is an accurate approximation for most solid bodies, as long as the forces and deformations are small. In addition to that, as Hooke’s law is simply a linear approximation, the actual stress-strain graph of many materials do deviate from Hooke’s Law well before the elastic limit (E) point is reached. So the question is, when simulating your parts or assemblies, what if:

  1. There are high loads or deformations (changes in stiffness)
  2. You would like to see what happens to your parts after the limit of proportionality
  3. You would like to see the exact behavior of your parts under load (no approximation) 

Controlling Automatic Updates in Windows 10

If you have already updated to Windows 10, then you are probably aware how Microsoft pushes updates. If you haven’t jumped on board the Windows 10 bandwagon, Microsoft’s new pushy update policy may be the reason. It’s like a waiter in a restaurant that decides what food to serve you, and when to bring it out. Essentially, the only choice you have is to schedule when the food is delivered.

Note: If you want to access the (for the most part useless) Advanced Options shown in Figure 1, click the Windows menu button to the left of your search box (bottom left corner of your Windows desktop), click Settings > Update & Security > Windows update > Advanced options.

Figure 1: Windows 10 "Advanced" update options leave much to be desired.


Inspection Process at RotaDyne

As a member of the sales team at CADimensions, I’m responsible for making sure I put the right products in the hands of customers. Part of ensuring that our customers are happy with their purchase, I like to follow up with them after they’ve used the software for some time. I’ve recently had a chance to speak with Sean Davies, the lead engineer from RotaDyne, in Rochester, NY, about their quality process and how they have been using SOLIDWORKS Inspection over the past year.

For some background, RotaDyne is one of the largest manufacturers of rollers, roll coverings and related products in the world. It addition to manufacturing state-of-the-art rollers, the company has specialty divisions focusing on decorative arts, precision machining and formulated and proprietary molded products. Their division in Rochester primarily focuses on molded and machined products.

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