Chapter 7: Modeling with Primary Features


Recognizing the right tool for the job

Defining and creating curves in SolidWorks

Filleting types

This chapter helps you identify which features to use in which situations, and in some cases, which features to avoid. It also helps you evaluate which feature is best to use for a particular job. With some features, it is clear when to use them, but not for others. This chapter guides you through the decision-making process.

I have split the list of SolidWorks features into two groups: primary features and secondary features. Primary features are, of course, the ones you use most frequently, and secondary features are used less frequently. Of course, my definition of primary and secondary may be different from yours, and this subject is too big for a single chapter.

Identifying When to Use Which Tool

I am always trying to think of alternate ways of doing things. It is important to have a backup plan, or sometimes multiple backup plans, in case a feature doesn't perform exactly the way you want it to.

As an exercise, I often try to see how many different ways a particular shape might be modeled, and how each modeling method relates to manufacturing methods, costs, editability, efficiency, and so on. You may also want to try this approach for fun or for education.

If you are familiar only with the standard half dozen or so most-used features, your options are limited. Sometimes, simple features truly are the correct ones to ...

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