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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.

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.

Download Once, Use Everywhere

Considering how frequently installation questions arise during technical support cases, it needs to be discussed more frequently. Specifically, the fact that you can download SOLIDWORKS from any computer and use that file set to install the product anywhere. There is a particular technique to this, so I will discuss what you should do, as well as what you shouldn’t.

There are a couple different ways to get the latest version of the SOLIDWORKS software. For instance, you can…

Check for Updates

Use the SOLIDWORKS Help menu and click Check for Updates...

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.

Forming Tool Tips

In my previous blog, Forming Tools, we examined how pre-SOLIDWORKS 2006 sheet metal forming tools differ from those which can be created today. We examined how to save forming tools as Form Tool part files and what the advantages were of doing so.

When creating custom forming tools, be careful not to create any curved faces (typically fillets) with an inside radius smaller than the maximum thickness material you may be applying the forming tool to. Examine the knockout in Figure 1. The large radius fillet will shrink to .036” if this forming tool is used on a part with a thickness of .050”. Using this tool on a part with a thickness of .086” (or greater) will force the radius to become zero (or even a negative value) and the forming tool will not work.

Be careful with inside radius values.

Figure 1: Be careful with inside radius values.

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