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Techniques For Opening Corrupt Assemblies

The Dreaded Error Message

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: “SolidWorks has encountered an error and needs to close”. Have you ever tried to open an assembly and encountered this error? Fortunately, it happens rarely, and many SOLIDWORKS users have never experienced this error. For those who have, it can be very frustrating.

The error is more common with assemblies and even more so with assemblies that contain components imported from other CAD programs or downloaded from the internet. In such situations, there are two techniques that can help you open the assembly and salvage most of your work. This blog will explain these techniques.

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Creating Custom Symbols in SOLIDWORKS

When thinking of symbols in SOLIDWORKS, your first thought may be blocks, or it may be symbols attached to a string of text. This blog will focus on symbols associated with text, inserted as a note. Specifically, we will discuss how to create your very own custom symbols.


Let’s start off easy with basic symbol insertion. We will assume you know how to insert a note into a SOLIDWORKS document. Once you have clicked the Note command and clicked somewhere to position the text box and are ready to start typing, you will gain access to the Add Symbol command, shown in Figure 1.

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Creating a Fidget Spinner in SOLIDWORKS

Getting our kids into STEM has always been a priority for our family. What better tool to jumpstart their love for engineering than SOLIDWORKS? When our trip to several stores to buy the latest toy craze left us empty-handed, I was able to turn it into a “teachable moment.” I was able to teach them about patience and more importantly, if you can’t buy something… design and build it!

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Everyday Problems: Creating an Enclosure for Raspberry Pis

My name is Rob and as anyone that knows me well will tell you, I have a problem with Raspberry Pi’s. They are my uncontrollable addiction and I cannot get enough. I currently have six of them with plans for more in the near future, if I see a used one for sale I have to have it. I use them for a variety of things such as, media centers, game emulators, home security systems, and various servers.

One of my latest projects was using an Arduino to control the temperature and water level in one of my saltwater fish tanks. The Arduino measures the water temperature and checks the water level via some external sensors. It then displays information about the tank to an LCD display, and sends serial data to a Raspberry Pi that stores the information in a database which can be queried and plotted through a web interface. Everything works flawlessly, but I didn’t have anywhere to put all of the components which would keep everything together and neatly organized. This is where SOLIDWORKS comes in.

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New Thread Wizard Tool

In 2016 SOLIDWORKS introduced an amazing new feature to create threads on a part. The new Thread Wizard tool allows you to quickly and easily create threads on your model. SOLIDWORKS has many different thread profiles in their library all ready, but let’s say you have a custom thread that isn’t listed. Well good news! I will show you how to create your own custom thread profile that you will be able to use in your modeling adventures.

First you will need to locate the Thread Profile Library file which will most likely be in C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 2017\Thread Profiles. To create a new thread profile you will have to open one of the existing profiles (.SLDLFP) in SOLIDWORKS.

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Building a Bridge over the Skilled Labor Gap

Ask a machine shop owner what they see as the biggest problem facing the industry at present: chances are high that they will say the “lack of skilled labor.” For the greater part of the 20th century, machine shops and manufacturing plants were amongst the fastest growing industries in the country; employing a large portion of the American workforce. In today’s landscape, however, a 15-year labor shortage is predicted to extend the labor deficit currently burdening this sector. Not to worry, though.  Technology is circling a shiny, silver lining around the situation to at least help ease the workload; more on that later.  It first might help to gain a firmer grasp of the factors leading to the labor shortage.

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NEW Flexible Licensing with SOLIDWORKS 2017

I make many visits to customers and run across a common theme. Their SOLIDWORKS Licensing requirement needs are constantly changing. SOLIDWORKS Engineering teams and startups have one thing in common: they both need to be able to add capabilities and licenses of SOLIDWORKS without long term commitments.  Hopefully the information in this blog will address that need.

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May the Legos Be With You

If most of you out there reading this are anything like me, I grew up playing with the coolest toys… Legos!  My brother and I would dump our giant plastic tote and build houses, cars, spaceships, really anything that we could think of.  So when I learned about our interns’ Lego project, a task to help them become proficient in SOLIDWORKS, I quickly asked if I could join in.  I mean, who honestly wouldn’t want to play with Legos at work!

The purpose of the project is to model each individual Lego piece, and then build the assembly in SOLIDWORKS.  The project started with getting my Lego kit.  I was lucky enough to get an 87-piece Star Wars Resistance X-Wing Fighter.

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Cooling your room without Air Conditioning - Simulation

When Derek came up to me with the question “What will cool a hot room down faster, window fans that point in or out?” I had to think for a minute. It’s been a while since I lived without A/C, but I remember always pointing the fans OUT, to “push” out the warm air. But does this make sense? I know they sell window fans that spin in opposite directions, could this be the answer?

So I told Derek to model up his room and we could use Flow Simulation to run some scenarios and monitor the room temperature. We would have an answer once and for all!

See Derek’s Blog here on how he used SOLIDWORKS tools and other online resources to create a mockup of his room quickly and easily.

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