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Use 3D Drawing Views to Ease Section Depth Selections

I’d like to create a broken out section view of my reading light to show how the shade and the elbow fit together.

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I want to make sure the section depth cuts directly through the middle of my shade, but when I pick the silhouette edge from my top view, I get an error: “Selected silhouette cannot be uniquely identified for the current operations. Please create a split line by using Split Line operation with the Silhouette option.”

section depth

Do I really have to create a split line to make a silhouette selection? Nope! Check out the 3D Drawing View Tool.

section depth

First, start your Broken-out Section tool, select your sketch, and make your Section Scope selections:

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Then, turn on 3D Drawing View (it’s been hiding in plain sight on your Heads-Up Toolbar!):

section depth

Now, rotate your view as needed to make your preferred depth pick. Before you can make your pick, you’ve got to turn off the rotate command! – as always, it’s a toggle, but this time, you’re turning off the rotate command within the 3D Drawing View Toolbar that appears above the view you’re working in – and pick the same silhouette edge you attempted to select from the top view.

section depth

Red X out of the 3D Drawing View Toolbar (because we don’t want to permanently rotate this drawing view), complete your broken-out section operation and viola!  Broken-out Section view locked to the correct depth! 😎

Fun fact, you can also save model views from this toolbar for those moments when you’ve found a view you simply can’t live without. To learn more about this awesome tool, check out the SOLIDWORKS Help Article.

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