Tag Archives: Configurations

SOLIDWORKS: Controlling Scale Features in Configurations

We all use Scale feature in the model to quickly scale up or down a model. The idea is to quickly change the geometry of the model for various purpose. For e.g. in a plastic mold, components are usually scaled up to take care of shrinkage. The scale value depends on the plastic material. It does not scale dimensions, sketches, or reference geometry but only the model geometry (body). One can scale a solid or surface body about its centroid, the model origin, or a coordinate system depending on the requirements.

Applying a Scale:

1. Open the model you want to apply scale to.

2. Go to Insert > Feature > Scale OR use Scale icon from the toolbar.

3. Select from the drop down for “scale about”

4. Fill in the required value and click OK.

5. Scale feature is added to the model.

You can scale selected bodies in case of a multi body part.

You can also scale with different values of X, Y and Z directions by deselecting uniform scaling and adding required values for X, Y and Z directions.

Now if you have various configurations, you can easily control the scale factor value for them using two simple methods.

Method 1: Scale Property Manager (might not work for older versions than 2014)

1. Open the Model having the configurations

2. Go to Insert > Feature > Scale OR use Scale icon from the toolbar.

3. Select from the drop down for “scale about”

4. Choose uniform scale or uncheck it.

5. Key in the desired scale value.

6. If you have more than one configuration in the model, then you would see another box for the configuration selection. Select the desired option and configuration accordingly.

7. Click OK and Scale feature is added to the model.

Method 2: Design Table

1. Open the Model having the configurations.

2. Insert a design table (Insert > Tables > Design Table) OR edit the existing design table

3. If you already have a scale feature then it should get added to the design table. If not then add the column headers for controlling the scale feature.

4. In case you want to keep the uniform scale, add column header as $X_AXIS@Scale Feature Name and desired value for each config.

5. In case you want different values for X, Y and Z directions, then add three column headers as $X_AXIS@Scale Feature Name, $Y_AXIS@Scale Feature Name, $Z_AXIS@Scale Feature Name and desired value for each config.

6. Exist the design table and your scale feature in now controlled via design table.

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Different Mate Values for Different Configurations

Do you ever need to set up different mates vales (Distance and Angle mates) for different configurations in the Assembly.

You can download the files used from here to do this exercise/tutorial.

1. Open the Assembly the switch to configuration manager.

2. Add the configuration as required. I already have two configurations in the assembly: Closed and Open.

3. Activate the configuration named Open.

4. Expand the mates folder.

5. Double click on Angle1 mate (so that the dimension displays up in the graphics area).

6. Double click on the dimension.

7. Set the value to 120 and set the option “This Configuration

8. Click OK to set the value and exit the dimension edit box.

9. Rebuild if required.

10 Switch to configuration manager and check both the configurations.

Similarly you can set different values for distance mate too in your assemblies.

Multi Configuration in Assy BOM

Do you know you can show multiple configuration in single BOM. Check the steps to know how to do it in case you need it.

The assembly I have used here has two configurations, named Full and Cut Out. The difference is the number of clamp part plus cutout in one of the configuration.

  1. Insert the drawing view as required.
  2. Insert BOM table by right clicking on the View, selecting Tables > BOM OR select the inserted view and then go to Insert > Tables > BOM
  3. If you don’t have a view selected, you’ll be prompted with a message to select a view.
  4. You can select the view by clicking on it.
  5. Now BOM property manager will appear. Under BOM Type select “Top Level only” and under Configurations, select all the configurations or the required one. I have selected all in the list i.e Full and Cut Out.
  6. After setting up the options, click on OK.
  7. Place you BOM as required OR if you have a fixed anchor, you can set the BOM to attach to anchor under table position in BOM property manager. Check the quantity of desired parts. In this case it was the Clamp part whose quantity is correct as required.