Chapter 3. Getting Started with SolidWorks


  • Tools for beginners

  • Identifying SolidWorks documents

  • Opening existing documents

  • Using visualization tools

  • Tutorial: Creating a part template

  • Tutorial: Visualization techniques

SolidWorks uses several file types to accomplish tasks. The most frequently used types are parts, assemblies, and drawings. Beyond these, we have templates for each type and drawing format. The difference between drawing templates and drawing formats is cause for frequent confusion among many SolidWorks users, and so we will spend some extra time on this topic.

Other file types also exist, such as design tables, Bill of Materials, or BOM, templates, and table templates, sheet-metal gauge tables and bend tables, custom symbol and line type files, custom property files, color swatches, library features, and macros. This chapter contains a complete list of these file types. Some of them allow you to customize SolidWorks using simple but little-known techniques, such as the ability to add custom symbols that can be inserted into a string of text, or to create new line types, or to change how SolidWorks creates hole callouts.

If you are a CAD Administrator looking for advice on how to implement SolidWorks, this chapter includes some information, but you should also refer to Appendix A, "Implementing SolidWorks," for additional information and higher-level planning suggestions.

Tools for Beginners

SolidWorks has many tools for beginning users that are available when ...

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