SolidWorks Installation, Setup, Training and Usage

Summary

The Spartan Robotics Team uses SolidWorks to design our robots.  It is a powerful Computer Aided Design (CAD) tool that generously provided to FRC teams to use by Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.

Installation

Talk to Wyn about how to get installation instructions.

Training

Most students and mentors learn how to use SolidWorks at a basic level by doing the tutorials that are installed with the SolidWorks software.  They then learn more by working closely with other team members and mentors.

Once parts are designed in SolidWorks, they need to have drawings made so that the parts are manufactured correctly.  This is a very important step in the design and manufacturing process.  Parts that are made by our manufacturing sponsors and those made in house may have different requirements.  Notes on making drawings can be found on Google Drive.

Setup/Configuration

  • See the README_971_Templates_and_Settings.html file in the frc971/2014/trunk/cad/971 Solidworks Templates" folder in the team svn repository.  You can view it by opening the link or by viewing it with a browser (Google Chrome for example) on your local computer.
  • Follow these rules whenever working with SVN.  This is especially important with SolidWorks CAD files.
  • Everybody working on CAD, it is very important to pay attention to the properties of Solidworks files that you create. These properties determine what shows up on the drawings we send to manufacturers, so if these aren't done right, we WILL get parts made wrong and/or not all of our parts made. Whenever you create a file, rename a file, copy a file, or delete a file, make sure to update its status both in the robot parts spreadsheet and in the properties for the file. If you aren't sure that you're doing it right, I added a sheet in the robot parts spreadsheet to put filenames for parts that need checking. If you add something there, ask somebody to check and tell you what's wrong before you do too many parts to avoid repeating mistakes.  Brian
  • We're using lances for routing wires.  They are bumps for running zip ties through.  The image shows the punch in red and the lance below.  The way to do that in SolidWorks involves using a forming tool.  I am going to check in a folder for those in the SolidWorks templates folder.  In order to use it, you have to add the "Forming Tools" folder to your path.  OIt is part of the team's svn CAD files.  For the team computers, the full path is "C:\Users\team\Desktop\frc971\2013\trunk\cad\971 Solidworks Templates\Forming Tools".  Put this in the Design Library path (in System Options > File Locations).  If you don't do that, then some parts will not open correctly.