Smart Components

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BeaconIndia Jun 26th, 2019

When creating large designs or designs in general, we encounter a lot of work that needs to be repeated. These works could be adding holes or placing components repeatedly in a design process or we encounter some designs that are common in different assemblies but still takes a lot of time to add, that we wish these designs could be done in a faster or much efficient way like the below assembly.

 

smart components

Smart component is one such feature that can make your life easy. These are components made in SolidWorks that bring along with it, smart features. Features like cuts, holes, fasteners etc., can be stored inside these smart components and called for whenever it is needed. Let us see how to create a smart component and how they can be used to do the designs in a much productive way.

For example, lets us consider my requirement is a smart hinge. The component smart hinge should have four holes with drill size of 5 mm. When the smart hinge is placed on a component, I want the necessary holes and the fasteners to appear along with it. Let us start by designing a hinge in which we will store all our smart features as shown in the below image.

 

Now that the hinge is created, let’s make an assembly.

  • Make assembly from the hinge part and add create a new component as shown in the below image.
  • The component added to the hinge should have holes cut out just like the holes added to the hinge. And should be mated to the hinge. This hole will be captured by SolidWorks and applied when needed.

  • Now with the help of SolidWorks Professional Toolbox feature, SolidWorks will automatically detect the drill holes and generate the appropriate size fasteners required for the hinge component.
  • This will later be captured by SolidWorks and can be applied as a smart feature too. Use the Smart fasteners option to automatically generate and mate all the fasteners to the appropriate drill sizes as shown below.

Now we can use this assembly to make our smart component.

  • To capture the smart features of the component, go to Tools in the Menu Bar and select Make Smart Component as shown below.

You will see, a window appears on the feature manager tree.

  • Select the hinge as the Smart Component. Select the four head cap screws as the Components and select the four drill holes as the Feature as shown in the below image.
  • Once all the selections are made, click ok and your smart component is created.

SolidWorks will capture all the associated drills you have made and the fasteners. SolidWorks will intimate us that the component is smart component by adding a lightning symbol in front of the part. Now that we have successfully created the smart component. Let us see how we can make use of it in SolidWorks.

 

Save the smart component in the design library and create a part to use the smart component. For example, I have created a sheet metal base flange as shown in the image below.

  • From the design library, drag and drop the smart hinge onto the base flange and mate it to your requirements.
  • Once mated you can right click the smart hinge and you will get an option saying Insert smart features. Select the option and you will be asked for the reference face.
  • Select the face of the base flange and click ok. Once done you will notice that all the drill holes along with the fasteners has appeared in the component.

In the above image, a section view is taken, to clearly showcase the smart component along with the drill holes and their respective fasteners.

Smart component is a powerful feature of SolidWorks that can be saved in the design library and reused when needed. It is one of the features that increases your productivity and will help you decreases your design time.

 

 

 

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