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 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.
Now we can use this assembly to make our smart component.
You will see, a window appears on the feature manager tree.
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.
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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