Configuring Dimensions To Create Multiple Configurations

There are a number of handy tools that get under utilized, but can be huge time savers.  Configuring dimensions is one of them.  If your creating parts with multiple configurations this will be a great tip for you to try out.

Lets use this bracket as an example:

 

 

Bracket 1

What were going to do is create a few different configurations of this part.  We want to create different configurations that have different lengths of the L shaped feature.  By clicking on the face of the L bracket, we can see the linked dimensions that drive the feature:

Bracket 2

The next step is to control-right-click the two 3 inch dimensions and choose configure dimension:

Bracket 3

Clicking that will bring up the Modify Configurations Manager window:

Bracket 4

The next step is to create a couple of configurations using the information below:

Bracket 5

What that allowed me to do was to create three additional configurations, and to give them each a different value for the two dimensions I originally clicked to configure.  The next step is one of the best features of this tool because it allows me rebuild all the configurations at once instead of having to rebuild them independently.  You click the pull-down menu on the rebuild icon and select rebuild all configurations:

Bracket 6

Imagine if you had lots of configurations, this is one easy way to rebuild them all.  Another great part of this tool is that it will instantly tell you if one of the configurations has an error in it:

Bracket 7

As you can see the 1 and 2 inch configurations are now red.  SolidWorks is telling me that those two configurations have rebuild errors.  I can now adjust those dimensions until they rebuild without errors.

So this tool gives you a quick way to not only create configurations, but to also check them without having to manually rebuild every one.  Is there another way to configure things in SolidWorks?  Stay tuned!

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