Chapter 16. Modeling in Context


  • Understanding in-context design

  • Dealing with practical details of in-context modeling

  • Other types of external references

  • Tutorial: Working in-context

In-context modeling offers a gateway to a world of expanded modeling possibilities in SolidWorks. The topic of in-context modeling is often a source of sometimes questionable advice and suggestions from even experienced users. In this chapter, I offer a balanced explanation with each suggestion so that you can evaluate the suggestion for yourself.

If you are well disciplined in your modeling practices, and understand the potential problems of in-context modeling, then you can avoid these problems. After one bad experience, some users focus on this experience, and fail to see the positive side of using in-context modeling. Although dangers do exist, they often result from disregarding the rules.

Understanding In-Context Design

In-context modeling is also known as top-down modeling. It is a technique that is used to create relationships between two parts in an assembly, where the geometry of one of the parts is controlled by both the other part and the mates that position them relative to one another.

In-context, or top-down, modeling may be contrasted against bottom-up modeling. Bottom-up modeling involves making the parts in their own individual windows and assembling the finished parts into an assembly with mates.

In its most common form, a sketch in one part in an assembly is related to another ...

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