Friday, February 25, 2011

Tutorial: Patterning a flange in sheet metal part

A sheet metal part will always contain the basic flanges such as base/tab, miter and edge. Some of the sheet metal design may need a set of the same geometric flanges. In SolidWorks 2011, these flanges are allowed to be copy instantaneously. Within this tutorial I will show you how to create a flange and pattern it. We will be creating this Fin to learn on how to use these tools.

1.  Create a sketch for a base flange from Front Plane with dimension as stated below. 
TIPS: You can always start with only one line as sheet metal do not require close sketch to create a part.
2.  Specify the thickness and the radius of this model as 2mm and 1mm respectively. Use K-Factor 0.5 and Auto Bend Relief as Obround with 0.5 Relief Ratio. Set the direction of the thickness to be in Reverse Direction.

3.  The base flange result will look like this.
4.  Create the edge flange. Click on the Edge Flange Features and click on the desired edge. Use parameters as shown below.

5.       The Edge Flange will look like this.
6.  Copy the Edge Flange by using the Linear Pattern. Set the parameters as shown below.

7.     The copy of the flanges will look like this.
8.  Then, use the Right Plane to Mirror the edge flange and the linear pattern to the other side. The mirror part will look like this.
9.  Again, Mirror the whole body with the Front Plane and add a hole 5mm to the center of the part. The end product will look like this. The part then can be flattening.
Warhamni ( a.k.a 我爱你 (i love you),she is the trainer for CADCAM training centre, SolidWorks Authorized training centre. Although she is the latest join member but trust me, she is good in 'playing' SolidWorks and a fast learner. She can easily answer you in no time.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Performance: Graphic card testing (part 1)

Sales    : Yes, anything that I can help you?
User    : I’m looking for a graphic card, any recommended?
Sales    : What type of graphic card you are looking for?
User    : For SolidWorks CAD software application.
Sales    : We do have the model from NVIDIA, ATI, GIGABYTE, ASUS, SAPPHIRE, MSI……
User    : I think I choose NVIDIA.
Sales    : Which model you prefer? Quadro FX1700, Quadro FX1800, GeForce, GeForce GTS, GeForce GTX…?
User    : @.@

Having difficulty to choose a graphic card? Maybe I can help to solve your problem. Found that your newly installed graphic card is not up to your satisfaction? Pay for a huge amount of money but the graphic seem to be not functioning well in SolidWorks? Not sure what is the root cause for this phenomenon? Don’t worry, try the following step.

Go to Tools > Options > System Option > Performance. Select Use software OpenGL.

Why doing this? When you select the option Use software OpenGL, SolidWorks will operate in OpenGL mode, which mean that SolidWorks will not using the graphic card accelerator to process the image, but display it through the OpenGL feature.

Through this method, if your SolidWorks works fine in OpenGL mode, it means that the cause of the poor image display is from the graphic card hardware itself. With that you will need to check is your graphic card installed properly or it might due to the driver of the graphic card. The most important thing will be is your graphic card certified by SolidWorks?

Stay tuned for my next article part 2 : Is your graphic card certified?

More about OpenGL can refer from here.

Chan ( is the Application Engineer (AE), specialist in SolidWorks and SolidWorks simulation for IME group of companies. His analytical skill solve a lot of customers' stress and fatigue.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why go for SolidWorks EPDM?

SolidWorks Enterprise Product Data Management (SW EPDM)- a Product Data Management solution that can be used to help you MANAGE, FIND, SHARE & REUSE valueble data, both within Engineering Department and throughout the Organization.
However, PDM is a term that easy to speak out but still not much people aware the importance of it. This article is about introduction of SW EPDM and what benefits that a company can gain after SW EPDM implementation:
o   Restrict someone from accessing highly confidential document
Ø  Permission Control
Ø  Security of files (Intellectual Property of Company)
o   Miscommunication within organization
Ø  Right data to the Right Person at Right Time
o   Time wasting on searching files
Ø  Enhance for design re-use
o   What is the History and revision of file tracking
Ø  Reduce wrong file used to minimize faulty works
o   Files life cycle control that comply with your ISO
Ø  Flexible workflow control

·         SOLUTIONS & BENEFITS by SolidWorks EPDM

o   Easy to Start, Easy to Use
Ø  Quick Implementation Plan (10-15 days)
Ø  Unique Window Explorer interface
o   Secure Access
Ø  Right Data to Right Person at Right Time
Ø  Second Layer of Security (Admin, Folder & Workflow Permission Setting)
o   Design Re-use
Ø  Customize Variable can be created such as: Revision, Cost, Material, Approved by, Approve Date and more...
Ø  Customize Data card enhanced searching result

Ken ( is the Application Engineer (AE), specialist in SolidWorks and SolidWorks enterprise PDM for IME group of companies. He may not have a good fighting skill but he is good in providing solution to manage your company data.

o   Flexible Workflow and Automated Revision Control
Ø  Enforces company processes
Ø  Maintain regulatory compliances such as ISO
Reduce chances of using wrong files (Latest Revision)
o   Tracking File/ Admin Vault History
Ø  Tools for investigation

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tips & Tricks: "link to the thickness" in solid

Have you ever wonder “link to the thickness” cut that we did in Sheet Metal can be applied to solid modelling? Here is the tip that I would like to share with you.
Most of the time, we have to perform an extrude cut, double click on the depth dimension and select link value, which involve few steps. This tips is to guide you how to link value when select the extrude feature.

Let’s say I build the model as shown above and I link one of the dimensions and name it as a “Thickness”. Don’t ask me why, but it works only with the word “thickness”. I try others but don’t seem working.

Next, I create one sketch to cut a hole and under Extrude Cut Property manager you can see there is a checkbox for “link to the thickness”. You won’t see this appear if you didn’t have the link value “thickness” done earlier.

Now the deep dimension is link to the “thickness”. I bet this is a great time saving feature for tools maker who often putting relation between dimension. Give a try..
Suhaila ( beside a great singer, she is the trainer for CADCAM training centre, SolidWorks Authorized training centre. Her experiences in SolidWorks help to explore a lot of great tips and tricks to allow us to design faster.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Realize your ideas @SMK serendah

IME group of companies cooperate with MACRI ( Malaysia association creativity & innovation recently have a "Program Budaya Kreativiti & Inovasi" seminar and technical sharing for SMK Serendah to inspire and introduce the most innovative 3D CAD application to the younger generations.

Young lads always come across some ideas, but how many of the ideas from these young talents become a feasible application that helping in our daily life? Mr. Robest Yong, a famous local inventor share his passion and idea to invent great marketable products to over 50 young man. Invention is just ABC.

Most of the ideas are not developing because most of the people do not know how to communicate the idea to others and conceptual it becomes visible model. "That’s a waste for the brilliant young and innovative ideas going to no way." said the Senior Application Engineer, Sew from IME group of companies. "That's why our CEO Madam Julia Wee is very support on this event." Our mission is to guide the young talent to use the right tool to deliver their idea in the more "Solid" ways.

After that, he share with the students on the latest 3D technology, SolidWorks which can serve as a great tool to realize their idea in a simple and fast way, meanwhile can use for presentation.

At the end, students took the opportunity to ask and learn from Mr. Robest on invention mind set and technology update with Sew.

We are not only telling them about this but we also set up few computers for them to have a test drive so that they have a better understanding on what we are trying to explain to them. It is beyond business, to help the young talent to realize their ideas and develop dream are always bring bigger fulfillment and make our group complete.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sustainable Design: Fad or future?

Melvin Poi explains why thinking green might just put your company leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.
Advocating green initiatives is no longer the exclusive burden of environmentalists. Global awareness of our ravaged environment and the fragility of the planet has never been more acute.
With tightening regulations and increasing environmental awareness, government and private contracts are increasingly placing requirements that its suppliers’ products be eco-friendly. Every day more and more consumers are basing their purchasing decisions on the environmental impact of the product.
A product impacts the environment at every stage of its life - from material production, manufacturing and product use right up to its end-of-life disposal. And just how do legislators evaluate the ‘greenness’ of a proposal or product? The answer is in its carbon footprint.
Measured in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), carbon footprint is defined as the total greenhouse gases emitted as a result of the manufacture of a product or of any industrial activity. Every stage of design and manufacturing is taken into account.
It goes without saying then that engineers, architects and manufacturing designers have a direct input in determining the carbon footprint of their product or building. Hence the impetus is on these professionals to practice Sustainable Design.
Sustainable Design is something that we here at IME Technology take very seriously indeed. Being at the forefront of providing engineering design solutions to the manufacturing industry, we have an obligation to promote low-environment impact design and production to our customers. By doing so we will preserve the environment as well as ensuring our customers’ future competitiveness in their industry. Having them partner with SolidWorks with its built-in Sustainability solution makes it easy for us to do just that.
Sustainable Design focuses on the three key concepts of Material Optimization, Material Selection and Energy Efficiency.
Material Optimization refers to using the optimal amount of material in the manufacture of a product so as to reduce waste. This is because improperly managed waste has ecological and human health consequences. The powerful simulation and analysis tools in SolidWorks enable one to prevent from over-engineering the product and help conserve resources.

Material Selection is increasingly becoming a very important consideration. Using recycled or low-environmental impact material can help manufacturers stay ahead of regulations and boost consumer demand for their products. 3D digital drawings allow for comprehensive experimentation in a virtual environment to choose from a variety of materials that meet weight, tensile and regulatory specifications.
SolidWorks Sustainable Design helps optimize energy usage through efficient product design. This can start from circuitry design to industrial machinery and plant layouts. Even the size and weight of a mechanical part has energy consequences.
It is only a matter of time before every government agency, company and individual examines your carbon footprint as a mandatory part of its purchasing considerations. If you’re still persisting with antiquated design practices, if you’re still employing 2D CAD or manual drawings, then you’re going to be stuck up a creek without a paddle.
Start thinking green - apart from saving our precious planet, you could well put your company ahead of the competitive curve.
Melvin Poi ( is the Head of Business and Planning for the IME Group of Companies, the country’s largest and most established solution provider of CAD/CAM/CAE, portable CMM Inspection, non-contact scanning for reverse engineering, design analysis and simulations, rapid prototyping.
Company website:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Workshop: Reduce your carbon footprint with SolidWorks Sustainability

We are pleased to invite you to attend a hand on workshop “Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with SolidWorks Sustainability”

The agenda will be to give a hands-on experience on the Sustainability tools namely Sustainable Design overview, Environmental Design Dashboard, Material Selection tools, automatically generated Environmental Reports, Lifecycle Assessment.

The event details are as below for your kind reference.

Date    : 25th Feb 2011 (Friday)
Time    : 9pm – 1pm
Venue  : IME CTSP Center, Petaling Jaya

Call us for more detail: 603-7783 6866