Improve Productivity with SOLIDWORKS Toolbox
SOLIDWORKS Toolbox is an entire library of standard parts including fasteners, bearings, O-rings, power transmission components, and more. It reduces the need to spend time modeling commonly used components, searching supplier’s catalogs for hardware specifications, or surfing the web for 3D CAD models to download. And, SOLIDWORKS Toolbox automatically sizes the hardware as it is dragged into the assembly, allowing the correctly-sized fastener to be dropped into the correct hole in seconds.
The SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Add-in is included with SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium and is a simple way to improve daily productivity.
The Toolbox Library is customizable, meaning custom components can be added to the Toolbox and custom properties such as the name of the manufacturer, manufacturer’s part number, or component cost can be added to any Toolbox component making them easily tracked or populated into bills of material.
A wide variety of standards including ANSI Inch, ANSI Metric, and many more are included in the Toolbox. Using the Configure Toolbox option, the desired standards can be enabled or disabled.
Then, within these standards, specific types of fasteners and even specific sizes of fasteners can be enabled or disabled.
Limiting the components that are enabled in the Toolbox can allow a company to restrict designers from selecting only the preferred hardware that the company stocks, helping to standardize designs and reduce inventory costs.
The Toolbox folder can be located on a network drive or even in a SOLIDWORKS PDM vault so that all users have access to the same Toolbox components.
In addition to the library of components, SOLIDWORKS Toolbox also contains a ‘Toolbox Utilities’ add-in that contains the following easy to use functions:
1. Bearing Calculator – Select from a library of bearings, specify the operating conditions, and the Bearing Calculator utility calculates the bearing’s capacity and life.
2. Structural Steel – Select from a complete list of structural steel standards, profile types, and sizes and the Structural Steel utility provides all of the profile dimensions and section properties.
3. Beam Calculator - Quickly select a standard structural member size, specify its length, load type and load, and the Beam Calculator utility instantly calculates beam stresses and deflections.
4. Grooves – Specify an O-ring or retaining ring size and the Grooves utility provides the recommended groove dimensions and even creates the groove feature on the part.
5. Cams – Specify the cam type and the desired type(s) of motion along with other desired dimensions, and the Cam utility will automatically create a model of the cam as a new SOLIDWORKS part document.
These functions included in the ‘Toolbox Utilities’ add-in combined with the vast number of components in the Toolbox Library add-in, let SOLIDWORKS Toolbox greatly reduce CAD modeling time resulting in products getting to market faster and at a lower cost.
About the author
Doug Enns, one of MLC CAD Systems Application Experts, is focused on helping companies improve their designs and reduce product development time and cost through the use of computer simulation. He is a licensed professional engineer and has his SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer certification.