SolidWorks Video Tip: Layout Sketches and Planes

December 1, 2008 21 Comments »
SolidWorks Video Tip: Layout Sketches and Planes

This SolidWorks Video Tip shows off a few tricks in the utilization of layout sketches in parts and how to create planes that can change with the sketch.  As I talk to different users from across the world, one of the options that seems to be forgotten in the Plane creation dialog box is the “At Angle” option.  This video demonstrates one way to use this option.  Also included is a tip that shows how you can create multiple planar SURFACES with one feature which can be used as a substitute to separately creating Plane features for sketching.  Click on the image below to play the video.

Stay tuned….more to come!

UPDATED 12-2-08:  I have replaced the video link above with a new one that loads the video in three parts.  This should allow the video to load faster and will fix the “no load” errors a few of the readers received.  I’m still testing to obtain the best possible settings for the flash videos so you will see continued improvement in the future along with possibly alternate viewing options.   Thanks to Jeff Sweeney for his Camtasia settings advice.

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  • Great tip Ricky. I especially like the part on creating surfaces to use for building sketches. I had considered doing this before in some of my parts but backed off from it. I was not sure if it was a really good thing to do or not. Now that I see how easy it is and it really has no effect on the model, I will probably start using the surfaces for a reference when it is not easy to create a plane.

  • Nice, your voice is so calming as you tear through that surfacing tip. GOLDEN.

    ps. thought of putting these on YouTube or Vimeo? I had a terrible time getting it to load. Flash script error. maybe it's my computer.

  • Thanks Rod! I'm glad the tip was useful. Surfaces can certainly help when you need to create Planar objects for sketching. It is definitely situation dependent though.


  • Hey Josh,

    Yes…the whole video format issue is without a doubt something I need to address. Vimeo and YouTube are blocked by many corporate sites. Even wiith that said I see the value of maybe posting them there as a secondary offering since the sites are so popular and it would give some folks options at least. I can produce the videos to Quicktime and the results are just as good as flash. What are your thoughts on possibly using QuickTime?

    I would love to hear some feedback from all the readers on this. Perhaps it is time for a survey. :-)


  • quicktime would be good, could download it then i guess. I think the load time is part of my issue too. It times out with a flashscript error. again, could be my puter, but I don't usually have that problem.

    I don't want to make you do any extra work!

  • You should post to CADJunky along with YouTube or Vimeo…would be a more fitting venue.

    Also, unlike the other two sites, CADJunky is not blocked here (yet).

  • Vimeo is really the only one of the three where you can post videos and still have decent quality. My biggest gripe about YouTube is the quality hit you take….I will research it more and see what can be done. I agree that as a secondary option, I need to start getting the videos up on one of those sites. I am also working on making the High Quality Videos load faster.


  • weewilly

    Hi Ricky,

    Very nice screencast. Well done on the Layout Sketches and Planes. Nice to know.

  • I was surprised how long it took to download the video, is that the normal
    amount of time before it starts?

  • Great suggestion Brian, I have hit CADJunky a few times before also. It is not blocked at work by WebSense because it it a more of an educational site compared to YouTube.

  • Ricky, maybe if you just post a disclaimer to let us know it will take a while to download the video and suggest we get some liquid refreshment and a snack while it is downloading. That would work for me :).

  • Rod,

    Have you tried the new link I posted last night? It is the same one you might have seen posted via Twitter yesterday. Please let me know if this one performs better than the original one in the post. I think the disclaimer is a GREAT idea. My goal though is in the next few days develop a better video set which loads faster. If I am unsuccessful in this, I will post the disclaimer.

    Thanks for all your feedback.


  • I'm glad you found it useful. I'm always looking for more content ideas so if you have suggestions, send them my way! :-)


  • No, I will go check it out right now!

  • Hi Ricky,
    Wow sure am learning a lot from my fellow blog squad members. You guys are showing me what is possible when I haven't even come across it yet in my imagination when I use SolidWorks. I think the question might come to mind about getting to the nuts and bolts of the question. “What can't SolidWorks do.” Since it seems to be able to do everything in a very safe and regimented way, I'm not sure what else could be added. Seeing what all of you can do with this program keeps me constantly amused and inspired at the same time. Bye for now. Richie.

  • Hi Again Ricky,

    I was recently asked about scaling parts inside of SolidWorks. I did some reading on it but admittedly I do not understand a lot of it in the Help Menu. I tried scaling up to enlarge things but could not figure out how to reduce things. Or is that even possible? Sure would appreciate some direction on this one if you want an idea. In advance I thank you.


  • Rich,

    Maybe I am misunderstanding, but you can enter a value less than 1 in the Scale command and your part will get smaller.


  • Hi Brian,
    Yes, I did find out before your response that it is possible but not exactly in the way that I was trying to do it. There is another reduction parameter that must coincide along with the reduction size you wish to attain. It is in that little window box right up above the size you type in. I'm having a small problem with the computer right now or I would pull up the program. From memory told to me by someone else that when you use the scale tool and the property manager shows up you must choose the centroid paratmer to reduce the scale of the whole part. Hope that answers it. Glad to share it with you and as soon as I can straighten out my problem I will try what I just relayed to you. Take care.

  • nbenitezg

    muchas gracias

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