3D CAD drafting is the future of design. Companies and businesses all over the world are changing to 3D modeling. This is because of the desire to take their businesses to the next level in terms of increasing their market share and be ahead of competitors. As of 2016, 3D users were more than 73% in terms of market share. As far as 3D modeling is concerned, Solidworks is one of the best software in the market. It is easy to use and effective making it possible for any business to transform its ideas into products within the shortest time. Solidworks integrates 3D designing environment with object advancement elements ensuring great optimization and efficiency.
Solidworks uses parametric solid modeler in its 3D modeling. In parametric modeling, dimensions are related to each other and allow modifications and changes throughout the design process. Modification of parametric dimensions leads to changes to any associated solids parts and subsequent documents. A designer is then allowed to think in terms of the changes required/expected for the 3D part and the processes (i.e. manufacturing) that can cause such changes. In other works, Solidworks 3D modeling allows for design-for-manufacturing. In other words, it allows transformation of the initial design intent to the actual component.
In Solidworks, modeling of parts parametrically follows the following steps:
- Creation of basic 2D sketch of the part that represents a rough shape of that part. This could be circles, rectangular, squares, slots, polygons, ellipses, etc.
- Application or modification of the geometric dimensions and relations to the 2D sketch.
- Use of solid features such as extrusion, revolving, lofting, or even sweeping to create the parts’ base solid feature.
- Identify the feature relationships and apply parametric features to the part to complete it.
- Various analysis through the evaluation command to refine the part design as may be required.
- Finally, the drawings representing all the views of the part are developed for the purposes of documentation and communication.
Irrespective of the complexity of a part, each basic feature is added to one another by the following above steps until it is completed.
This 3D parametric modeling in Solidworks is very practical in the modern world. This is because the computers in use today have 2D inputs and outputs. To capture design intents, designers have to first conceptualize their design ideas through sketching. In this regard, parametric modeling conforms to this design process: sketching as the first step in parametric modeling. Other capabilities of Solidworks that go hand in with 3D modeling are a simulation and sustainable design.
Solidworks 3D CAD software developers have come up with three bundles. These are SOLIDWORKS Standard, SOLIDWORKS Professional, and SOLIDWORKS Premium. Each of these bundles has the capabilities tiered to the needs of various companies and businesses. It is the responsibility of the designers and IT specialists to determine the bundle that is required according to the parts being designed. Cost is also a selection criterion for the bundles given that their costs also vary.