Chapter 3: Working with Sketches


Beginning a sketch

Distinguishing sketch entities

Creating relationships in sketches

Examining sketch settings

Using sketch blocks in parts, assemblies, and drawings

Using reference geometry

The workflow for most SolidWorks features goes like this:

1. Create a sketch.

2. Use the sketch to create a feature.

3. Repeat.

So the first step to learning how to create models in SolidWorks is to learn how to sketch. If you are coming from another parametric 3D modeler, many of your skills are transferable to SolidWorks. If you are coming from a 2D application, sketching is just like drawing except that you do it in smaller chunks and on planes in 3D space. If you have never used CAD before, think of the sketch-feature relationship as creating a simplified 2D drawing that represents a portion of the part that you can make with some sort of process such as extruding or revolving.

So far in this book, you have looked mainly at concepts, settings, and setup, which is necessary but mundane. In this chapter, you begin to learn how to control parametric relationships in sketches. Then in later chapters, you begin to build models, simple at first, but gaining in complexity and always demonstrating new techniques and features that build your modeling vocabulary. Beyond this, you use the parts to create assemblies and drawings.

This chapter deals entirely with sketches in parts. However, you can apply many of the topics I cover here to assemblies. ...

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