Planet SolidWorks

September 24, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Tips for Managing your SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Vault

SOLIDWORKS PDM is awesome for storing your files and making sure that everyone follows the rules to get products into the customer’s hand. In SOLIDWORKS PDM, you can locate files by searching for them using the information stored in the database. Even with this searching ability, some companies prefer to have folders to organize their files. So, what can you do to keep your SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional vault organized?

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional provides tools to help you organize your vault:

Using SOLIDWORKS PDM Templates

First off, you can use templates within SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. What are templates, you ask? Templates are commands that let you set up a folder structure or create a file from a right mouse click. Users can start a project by right-mouse clicking in the vault and selecting New Project.

New Project


Folder Sets

This will create a known folder set with a specified name (maybe a project number) at the location you want and whatever folders you need inside that top-level folder. So, the next time you start a project, a new set of folders will be created that match the first set. What’s even better? The user that creates the project may not have the ability to create new folders. They only have the ability to start a project. No more random “New Folder” folders in the vault!

Known Folder Sets

SOLIDWORKS PDM Known Folder Sets

Locating Files

By starting a project from a template, you can prompt users to fill out the information that is important to the project. For instance, you can provide a list of customers, production sites, descriptions, etc. This information can be pushed down to the files that are saved in these folders. By pushing folder information to the files, you can now search for that information. This makes finding files much easier.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Folder Information

SOLIDWORKS PDM Folder Information

Searching for PDM Files

Even if you have the cleanest vault in town, it can be hard to find a file when you’re new to a company. We’ve all had that problem where you are assigned to change a part but have no idea where the existing 3D model is. Someone handed you a PDF and you ended up recreating it. Not a good solution. What can you do? Use the search tool! By using the search functionality, you can search for keywords that you know. Have the part number? Type the part number in. Have the manufacturer, type that in. It goes on and on. Just add what information you have and SOLIDWORKS PDM will help you narrow it down. What if you know what assembly it is in? Great! First, search for the assembly then go to the Contains tab and right mouse click on the file and look under Browse to. Now you can find the file you were searching for.



Don’t forget, you can access search from Windows Explorer, or from the File – Open window as well.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Windows Explorer Search

SOLIDWORKS PDM Windows Explorer Search

By using these powerful and intuitive tools provided by SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional, you can keep your vault organized with folders and not have duplicate parts created when someone couldn’t find the information needed.

Watch the on-demand webinar

Learn all the details on how to organize and find your data in a PDM environment with templates and searches in this on-demand webinar:

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The post Tips for Managing your SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Vault appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at September 24, 2021 06:19 PM


Wood Turn Something Fun by Making This Colored Pencil Whirlabout

woodturned whirlabout

We’ve seen before creations of DIY vases, bowls, and even an eyeball. All of those things had humble beginnings as raw materials which were taken to a lathe and turned into wonderful creations. But while containers and living room pieces are great, they don’t do much in terms of entertainment.

So why not wood turn a toy this time?

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Woodworking enthusiast Ruslan Lysov took a bunch of colored pencils and turned them into a whirlabout. For those who aren’t familiar with it, a whirlabout is a Russian wooden toy that spins like a top. By pumping its mechanism, you can make it spin indefinitely. It won’t win any toy design shows, but there is simply some unrivaled fun in a perpetually spinning top.

woodturned whirlabout

To make this strange toy, Ruslan cast a bunch of colored pencils in some light blue pigmented resin. He poured it but stopped just before the resin had reached the tips of the pencils. After allowing it to harden, he peeled off the plastic wrap and popped the pencils on a lathe.

woodturned whirlabout

That was where the real work began. Ruslan carefully shaped his pencil stump down to size using his tools. After he had achieved his desired cylindrical shape, he cut it down the center using his woodworking tools before splitting it with a saw. And to make room for the spinning mechanism, Ruslan would need to hollow it.

woodturned whirlabout

With two smaller cylinders, Ruslan started hollowing and shaping them into their toy shapes. To allow it to spin on surfaces, he shaped the bottom half to have a pointed tip.

On the other hand, Ruslan shaped the top half differently: a rounded body with a flat upper section. He also drilled a hole on top to allow the mechanism to fit through.

woodturned whirlabout

After shaping everything, Ruslan did a couple of passes with some sandpaper before covering the entire thing in a wood finish.

woodturned whirlabout

Ruslan seemed to have glued the two halves of the whirlabout together and popped what looks like a metal drill bit into the toy.

Pump it a couple of times and watch as your friends get distracted for a few seconds. However, since Ruslan cut the pencils vertically, the toy fails to create an illusion of multicolored striped lines as it spins. With this, it doesn’t provide much in terms of spectacle. Yet, if this craft leaves you thirsty for more woodworking art pieces, you can find more of Ruslan Lysov’s projects on his YouTube channel.

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 24, 2021 01:28 PM

September 23, 2021

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Works xApps Project Part 5: 3D SheetMetal Creator

We are continuing with our 3DEXPERIENCE Works circular saw project by tackling the design of the base plate. The current design is fairly simple, consisting of a flat sheet metal plate. For the redesign, we are going to take advantage of some of the tools available inside of the 3D SheetMetal Creator Role (xSheetMetal App) to add some features and complexity to the part, while ensuring manufacturability.

Watch the video below for the complete details of how we redesigned this base plate!

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Creating a New Base Plate with 3D SheetMetal Creator

The new base plate will generally follow the same design as the original. So instead of starting our base plate from scratch, we can take advantage of our existing geometry and save ourselves a great deal of time. Using the Convert Entities command, we can turn existing model edges into sketch geometry.

3DEXPERIENCE xSheetMetal Base Plate

3DEXPERIENCE xSheetMetal Base Plate

New Base Plate Design

New Base Plate Design

Once the sketch is complete, we can use the Wall command to give it some thickness. When the first sheet metal feature is added to your component, the app will prompt you to specify the sheet metal parameters. These are the parameters that will be applied by default to all subsequent sheet metal features.

3DEXPERIENCE Sheet Metal Bend Radius

3DEXPERIENCE Sheet Metal Bend Radius

Adding Bends to Your Design

We want to ensure that our circular saw will glide easily across a number of materials. To do this, we will bend the front lip of the base plate at an angle. Start by sketching a line on the top face of the base plate where we want our bend to go. Then, using the Bend From Flat command, select the sketched line, a fixed point and the angle for the bend.

3DEXPERIENCE xSheetMetal Adding Bends to Your Design

3DEXPERIENCE xSheetMetal Adding Bends to Your Design

Create Additional Walls

For the other three sides of the base plate, we want to add material in the form of vertical walls coming up from the base plate. The Wall on Edge command allows us to create a wall using existing edges from other walls. Simply select the edges where you want the walls to go, and specify the desired height and angle of the walls.

Create Additional Walls

Create Additional Walls

Notice that the relief options that we had specified previously are automatically applied.

3DEXPERIENCE xSheetMetal Relief Options

xSheetMetal Relief Options

Integrating the Component into the Sheet Metal Design

The current design has a separate angle bracket component. However, in an effort to reduce cost and streamline our design, the angle bracket can be converted into sheet metal flange that mimics the angle bracket.

Integrating Components

Integrating Components

Before we can create the angle bracket, we need to add a clearance cut to our base plate. Using existing model edges, we can add sketch relations to my sketch to ensure correct positioning. We can then use the Cutout command to remove the material from the base plate.

Following the same steps as we did with the design of the new base plate, we can convert the existing geometry into sketch geometry, making any edits to the sketch as needed. Even though this sketch is out of plane to the base plate, it can still be used with the Wall on Edge command to add a wall to our design.

3DEXPERIENCE xSheetMetal Wall on Edge

3DEXPERIENCE xSheetMetal Wall on Edge

Ensuring Manufacturability

The new angle bracket flange looks great, but it will not do us any good if it cannot be manufactured. When working with sheet metal components, we are often looking at our part in a folded or flat state, making it easy to miss potential overlaps being created. The Check Overlapping command detects overlapping geometry in both the flat and folded states. With this information, we can take a measurement of our overlap and edit the dimension for the clearance cut to resolve this issue.

3DEXPERIENCE xSheetMetal Ensuring Manufacturability

xSheetMetal Ensuring Manufacturability

Applying a Material

The last step in the redesign process is to apply a material to our base plate. Using the Apply Material command, we can browse the material library and apply a brushed aluminum material, ensuring that this part has the correct material properties as well as an appropriate appearance for creating realistic renders of the circular saw.

3DEXPERIENCE xSheetMetal Applying a Material

3DEXPERIENCE xSheetMetal Applying a Material

The 3D SheetMetal Creator role with the xSheetMetal xApp make it easy to work with sheet metal designs. Whether you are designing components from scratch or reusing existing geometry, the suite of available tools will make it possible while providing seamless integration with the rest of the 3DEXPERIENCE design apps and fostering collaboration with the rest of your team.

Interested in 3DEXPERIENCE Works?

Visit our website to learn how 3DEXPERIENCE Works provides an online SOLIDWORKS product development environment.

The post SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Works xApps Project Part 5: 3D SheetMetal Creator appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at September 23, 2021 08:43 PM

September 22, 2021


Step Inside A Completely Reflective Room of Mirrors

mirror room

Anyone who has visited a house (or hall) of mirrors before will know just how disorienting the experience can be. To summarize, you have to make your way from one end of a mirror-filled room to the other without accidentally banging your head on the wall. It can be a tad confusing but if you look at the floor or ceiling, you’re sure to get your bearings and find your way out.

But what if both the top and bottom were also made of mirrors?

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That’s what James Orgill of The Action Lab did. However, instead of a room as big as a hall of mirrors, James’ magnum opus is roughly the size of a small storage closet. But don’t be fooled because despite its size, the degree of discombobulation it can make is out of this world! Creating it, nonetheless, is no joke.

mirror room

The biggest issue James had when making his mirror room was placing the mirrors on the floor. Most high-quality mirrors are made of fragile glass, so he had to make sure the surface underneath the floor was flat and hard to prevent the mirrors from breaking. Once he got that done, however, the rest of the mirror room was a cinch to assemble.

mirror room

Entering this mirror-filled room feels like jumping into a kaleidoscope. Since we can’t be there in person, it’s almost impossible to tell what is a reflection and what is real. According to James, the experience is like looking out of a building with reflective walls. So, if you fear heights, this room could probably trigger your acrophobia.

mirror room

He then did a bunch of tests – which is the scientific way of saying that he played around inside the mirror room. He bounced a ping pong ball on the floor, shone bright lights and laser pointers at the mirrors, and generally acted like a goof inside this enclosed space.

mirror room

While the room seems infinite, it is still that small, old space. As a matter of fact, if you look closely enough, you can count the exact number of reflections the mirror room can create. This is due to the fact that mirrors only reflect about 95% of the light directed at them. As each reflection bounces off another, the amount of light gets less and less – up to the point where you can’t see the succeeding reflections. According to James, only the perimeter of the mirrors is infinite and not the area reflected.

James’s mirror room may not be as big as the ones you see in amusement parks, but I’d love to see the concept gets implemented commercially. Imagine ordering one on Amazon and getting lost inside a large mirror room where the walls, floor, and ceiling are all reflective! That would be awesome!

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 22, 2021 12:45 PM

The Javelin Blog

Electromagnetics Engineer with SIMULIA for testing your SOLIDWORKS designs faster!

The need for electromagnetic components is ever increasing. With the use of such devices in multiple industries (Transportation & Mobility, Aerospace & Defense, Life Sciences and Communications), the pressure to deliver products requires visionary designs and rapid but flexible development cycles.

To enable this, our dependence on simulations is now more than ever before and through simulations, we are confident in developing is a strong device that meet legal electromagnetic compliance and compatibility in a shorter time and with greater confidence. This helps avoid costly redesigns and recalls that can jeopardize the reputation of the company.

So now that we know we need simulations, what do we have to offer as a solution? As part of 3DEXPERIENCE Works, Dassault Systems now offers the Electromagnetics Engineer role that leverages industrially validated CST suite of products for SOLIDWORKS users. This empowers you to design products that meet certification requirements on first go! Let’s take a dive into why you need this role.

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Solvers – Tested, Verified, Validated!

CST Studio Suite offers the best-in-class solvers for Electromagnetic simulations that can suite a wide range of scenarios. This is possible due to general-purpose solvers such as Time-Domain and Frequency-Domain solvers.

Modelling and Analysis – Comprehensive and Powerful!

CST Studio suite offers an all-in-one parametric design interface that support a wide range of import/exports for CAD and EDA files as well as complex material models. This enables you to leverage a powerful library for the setup of your simulations. With advance post-processing and visualization tools, we can quickly get design insights and reach the final design in the shortest time possible.

Electromagnetics Engineer Integrated Interface

Integrated interface

High Performance Computing – get results fast!

By tapping into high performance computing on workstations or clusters, we can get simulation results faster to aid in shortening the product cycle time. CST Studio suite works with multi-threading and can leverage GPU and hardware acceleration to enable faster solve times.

Simulation Management and Cloud Collaboration – Connect, Simulate, Manage, Share!

The Electromagnetics Engineer role offered on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform bridges CST to powerful cloud connectivity tools. By doing so, we can not only perform simulations but also collaborate and share data with stakeholders, aiding in the product development process. Leveraging strong CAD associativity to SOLIDWORKS and CATIA, work with the latest-and-greatest for your design while keeping track of the build history. Sharing simulation results is seamless through powerful results visualization apps right from within the platform experience.

Lastly, let’s not forget the readily accessible cloud compute options saving the user the need to invest in expensive machines and IT infrastructure.

Bottom Line – You Need It!

With the Electromagnetics Engineer role, we can simulate conditions that otherwise are painful, time-consuming, and expensive with traditional methods. Leveraging validated solvers offered in the CST suite makes it an easy process pass device certifications, evaluate risks and compatibility.

So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with a Javelin specialist today to learn more!

The post Electromagnetics Engineer with SIMULIA for testing your SOLIDWORKS designs faster! appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Vishnu Chandrasekaran at September 22, 2021 12:00 PM


LastPad Is the Ultimate Reusable Menstruation Pad


Wait! I know this is about a reusable menstrual pad, but hear me out! Its design is incredibly ingenious that it can catch anyone’s attention!

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LastPad takes the concept of reusable diapers and upscales it for grown women. Whereas reusable diapers take in infant pee and poop, LastPad takes in… well, menstruation. There’s no immaculate way of saying it – the LastPad is a reusable menstrual pad made to reduce the number of menstrual pads women use during their periods.

What Makes LastPad Different?


Apart from being reusable, you mean? The LastPad has a triple layer design – with each layer having a specific function.

The top layer (the one which makes contact with your skin) is made from antibacterial polyester. It reduces the formation of odor and bacteria, making emergency changes more hygienic.

The middle layer is the true lifesaver here. It is made from absorbent polyester and 100% bamboo blend which absorbs 40% more liquid than cotton. It’s also soft, meaning you don’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable during runny days.

If the middle layer is where all the liquid goes, the third layer made from Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is the one that ensures it all stays there. There are even elastic, sticky silicone straps on the bottom so that they stay anchored to your underwear!

Once the LastPad has been used, all you need to do is store it inside the provided pouch bag and swap it out for another.

Can It Prevent Stains?


Good question. Not all disposable menstrual pads can completely stop menstruation from staining clothes. The LastPad, on the other hand, is designed to prevent this. Thanks to its thick layers that can effectively contain the blood, there is little chance for it to stain your undies.

As for its cleanup, all you have to do is close the Velcro straps on the wings and toss the menstrual pad in the washing machine. You can also hand wash them at 30°C (or 80°F). The coolest part? It can last up to 240 washes!

Is it Cost-effective?


You bet it is! According to the LastPad Kickstarter page, a woman uses about 11,000-16,000 menstrual pads in her lifetime (that doesn’t factor in tampons). This could cost quite a lot in total! With the LastPad, however, you’ll not only be saving money but the environment, as well!


The LastPad has a 5-year guarantee and can last a long time if properly cared for. It even comes in three sizes, so you have the freedom to choose what fits your current menstrual flow.

Even though the thought of cleaning a reusable menstrual pad is a bit disgusting, LastPad is still an environment-friendly and innovative way of dealing with the problems women face during their menstrual cycle.

It currently has US$309,767 funded on Kickstarter, which is way more than its initial US$12,000 goal. You can learn more about LastPad on its Kickstarter page.

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 22, 2021 11:56 AM

September 21, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Best of What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018 – 2022

Catch up with the new and old SOLIDWORKS updates with the Best of What’s New 2018 – 2022.

Recent releases of SOLIDWORKS have introduced significant enhancements that improve the way you work. Evolutions in assembly performance, graphics responsiveness, and drawing detailing give you time back in your day. New design capabilities allow more flexibility and faster workflows:

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What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018 – 2022 Highlights

Listed below are the essential new features and functionality from SOLIDWORKS for 2018 to the latest release:

SOLIDWORKS 2022 Top 10

  1. Assembly Performance and Workflow: Work faster with large assemblies through expanded workflows and improved performance.
    • Save time when opening, closing, and saving assemblies with improved performance for these functions.
    • Open subassemblies faster using Large Design Review mode. From your assembly in Large Design Review mode, open subassemblies in Large Design Review mode or resolved mode.
  2. Expanded Use of Detailing Mode: Save time when opening and detailing a SOLIDWORKS drawing.
    • Access Detailing mode for all drawings, regardless of the SOLIDWORKS version you saved them in or whether you saved them in Detailing mode.
    • Open a drawing in Detailing mode directly from an assembly in Large Design Review mode.
  3. More Efficient Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing: Work faster and more intuitively when tolerancing your designs.
    • Work directly in the graphics area guided by the user interface in building feature control frames cell by cell.
    • Create tolerance frames per ISO 1101:2017 and the associated standards of ISO 2692, ISO 5458, ISO 5459, and ISO 8015.
  4. Hybrid Modeling: Save time when working with mesh geometry by using hybrid modeling.
    • Create a hybrid solid or surface body that includes mesh BREP geometry and classic BREP geometry.
    • Combine the advantages of mesh data with the accuracy and parametric features available in solid modeling.
  5. Part Modeling Enhancements: Create part geometry faster and more easily.
    • Easily create external threaded stud features using the Stud Wizard.
    • Create draft on both sides of parting lines at the same time.
    • Mirror geometry about two planes at once instead of mirroring twice.
    • Create cosmetic threads more easily with an improved user interface and a more realistic appearance.
  6. Cut List Support in BOM Tables: Take advantage of enhanced BOM functionality with cut list improvements.
    • Save time and create detailed cut lists in bill of materials (BOM) tables exactly the way you want them to appear by dissolving components in indented BOMs automatically or manually.
    • Create balloons for sub-weldment cut list items in BOMs in which balloon properties correspond to the linked BOM.
    • Create detailed cut lists for all BOM types, not just indented BOMs.
  7. Configuration Tables: Save time when creating configurations with simplified integrated workflows.
    • Create table-driven parts with SOLIDWORKS-native tables without the need for Microsoft® Excel.
    • Save time and effort with the automatic creation of configuration tables when parts or assemblies have multiple configurations.
    • Gain design flexibility with the additional functionality provided by Configuration Table, which is not available in the Modify Configurations dialog box.
  8. Structure System and Weldment Improvements: Create weldments faster and more easily with structure system improvements.
    • Easily add end caps to Structure System tube members with circular, square, or rectangular profiles.
    • Create multiple secondary members using Between Points Member for the selected pair and secondary members with the Up to Members method.
    • Save time by defining a reusable connection element and inserting it on a structure system part.
  9. Performance Improvements for Import and Display: Speed up design with performance improvements in the areas of import and model display.
    • Open DXF™ or DWG files into a part sketch faster.
    • Open STEP files in SOLIDWORKS more quickly.
    • Enjoy faster display of 3D textures and silhouette edges.
  10. Improved Collaboration and Data Sharing: Increase your competitive advantage by tapping into the power and breadth of the 3DEXPERIENCE Works.
    • Accelerate innovation and decision-making by connecting SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD to the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, where you can easily manage and share all your data and collaborate with others.
    • Using 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS, access your favorite 3DEXPERIENCE commands from multiple places within SOLIDWORKS, including the File Menu, Command Manager, and Context menu, with support for all 3DEXPERIENCE operations

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Top 10

  1. Drawing Detailing Mode Improvements: Detailing mode allows you to perform typical detailing tasks, such as editing and adding dimensions and annotations. The model does not get loaded, so sharing drawing files is easy, but rest assured, the drawing views are intact, and there is no loss of detail.
    • Improved performance of Detailing Mode to speed up drawing creation even more.
    • Improvements in ability to add hole callouts, edit existing dimensions and annotations, and add Detail, Break and Crop views.
  2. Assembly Modeling Enhancements: Design assemblies with streamlined workflows.
    • Option to automatically resolve lightweight components upon expanding Feature Tree node.
    • Chain pattern along path to use curve length, not chord length.
    • Interference-detection reports exported with images to Microsoft® Excel spreadsheet.
  3. Improved Assembly Simplification: Work better with simplified assemblies.
    • Defeatured models can be saved as a Configuration.
    • Ease of toggling between full and simplified versions.
    • Operation mimics any other configuration.
  4. Performance Improvements: Work faster with large, complex designs.
    • Improved performance for occlusion culling, silhouette edges and drawings; quick configuration switches.
    • Significant performance improvements in Open, Save and Close of assemblies.
    • Detection and reporting of circular references.
    • Adding files to SOLIDWORKS PDM vault is significantly faster.
  5. Work faster with large, complex designs: Gain more options and flexibility for part design.
    • Redo available for over 60 features and commands in parts.
    • Sheet metal for edge flanges on non-planar tangent edges.
    • Complex flanges can be flattened.
    • Ability to add and evaluate equations in file properties and cut list properties.
    • Part-level materials transferable when you insert or mirror part, derived component part, or mirrored component part.
  6. User Experience Delighters: Save time and simplify design tasks.
    • Colour picker tool to pick colour for appearances from external application.
    • Customize dialog box for searching for commands on Shortcut bars and Command tabs.
    • System option shows translated feature names in FeatureManager® design tree.
  7. More Robust Simulation: Enjoy faster, easier-to-use, more robust simulation.
    • Mesh diagnostics identify, isolate and prompt to fix poor quality elements.
    • Faster and more robust meshing due to improvements in bonding accuracy.
    • Improved convergence through contact stabilization.
  8. Improved Electrical Routing: Create electrical routes with more flexibility.
    • Multiple wires/cables can pass through and be arranged through a clip.
    • Wires joined using splice component or spliced without component.
    • Support for end terminations in Connector Tables, Interconnects and Accessories Library.
  9. Streamlined Data Management: Create seamless product development workflows and easily extend them with new tools as your business needs evolve.
    • More consistent Windows® Explorer integration, better thumbnail support.
    • Great flexibility in controlling custom column sets.
    • Reduced risk of mistakes and improved efficiency with support for BOM settings.
    • Icon selection available for workflow states; transitions improved to help determine status of files quickly.
  10. Connected Design-to-Manufacturing Ecosystem in the Cloud: Create seamless product development workflows and easily extend them with new tools as your business needs evolve.
    • Derived Formats Converter enables creation of derived outputs for broader consumption and exact geometry for use in downstream design, simulation and manufacturing applications.
    • Support for multiple sheets and markups on drawings, improved drawings quality.
    • Managing Open Modes offers similar options to SOLIDWORKS when opening data from the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.
    • Ability to control configurations to save in 3DEXPERIENCE Works.

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Top 10

  1. Large Assembly Drawings for Working Faster: Work faster on drawings with many sheets, configurations, and resource-intensive views.
    • Detailing Mode: Open drawings in a matter of seconds while maintaining the ability to add and edit annotations.
    • Graphics Acceleration for Drawings: Improve frame rates when panning and zooming within drawings with hardware-accelerated rendering.
  2. Faster Assembly Design: Speed up assembly design and reduce visual clutter.
    • Envelope Publisher: Include components from a top-level assembly as envelopes in a subassembly.
    • Large Design Review: Create mates to the reference geometry of components, create and edit linear and circular component patterns, edit pattern-driven and sketch-driven component patterns.
  3. Flexible Components: Create assembly designs faster while maintaining an accurate bill of materials.
    • Make Part Flexible: Display the same part in different conditions in the same assembly. For example, show a spring compressed and at full length in the same assembly.
  4. Faster Sketching: Create robust sketches faster.
    • Silhouette Entities: Create multiple sketch entities by projecting the outline of component bodies onto a parallel sketch plane.
    • Torsion Continuity Relation: Achieve G3 curvature between sketched curves, thereby allowing a seamless transition.
  5. Faster Calculations and Improved Accuracy for Simulation: Run faster calculations and better simulation of real-world behavior.
    • Speed and Accuracy: Speed up analysis and improve accuracy by combining linear and quadratic elements in the same simulation study.
    • Pin and Bolt Connectors: Deform faces attached to Pin and Bolt connectors.
    • Beam Models: Import temperatures to perform a stress analysis after running a thermal analysis on a model with beams.
  6. Improved Design Experience: Save time and simplify design tasks.
    • 3D Printing: Access an extensive list of commercially available 3D printer volumes and create slices for 3D printing directly from SOLIDWORKS® geometry.
  7. Expanded Interoperability with 3D Interconnect: Collaborate with more data sources easily.
    • Drag and Drop into SOLIDWORKS: Drag a non-native SOLIDWORKS fi le into an active part or assembly.
    • New File Types: Work with BREP data from DXF™/DWG files and IFC files.
  8. More Flexibility for Surfacing: Simplify and speed up your design with more robust, fliexible surface options.
    • Offset Surface: Identify faces on a surface that cannot be offset, and create an offset surface without them.
    • Thicken: Specify more types of surface direction vectors (other than normal) to a face.
  9. Improvements to SOLIDWORKS Visualize: Enhance flexibility with support of new file formats and customizable materials.
    • XR Exporter: Easily convert your Visualize files to AR/VR experiences.
    • PDM Integration: Manage your files more easily with SOLIDWORKS PDM integration.
  10. Connected Design-to-Manufacturing Ecosystem in the Cloud: Enable seamless product development workflows and easily extend them with new tools as your business needs evolve.
    • Direct Connection: Easily connect SOLIDWORKS 2020 with key tools through the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.
    • Data Sharing and Collaboration: Share models back and forth between SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE tools. Collaborate in real time from anywhere and on any device.
    • Extended Workflows: Easily extend your design ecosystem with new capabilities such as sub-divisional modeling, conceptual design, and product lifecycle and project management in the cloud.

SOLIDWORKS 2019 Top 10

  1. Mesh modeling opens up new design possibilities: Increased capabilities for mesh geometry streamlining reverse engineering and topology optimization.
    • Easily create complex textures by converting 2D appearances into real 3D geometry.
    • Use mesh files like they are solids using the new Segment Mesh.
    • Automatically create 2D sketches at intersections of geometry and a plane with the Slicing command.
  2. New ways to interact with SOLIDWORKS: Be more productive with the latest interfaces devices and SOLIDWORKS.
    • Support for Microsoft® Surface dial from the Surface Studio.
    • Sketch gesture recognition enhancements including splines and slots.
    • Improved Touch mode gestures including copy, select and drag, and 3D rotate lock.
    • Customize task pane tabs.
  3. Extend your SOLIDWORKS experience in AR/VR: Faster performance and new ways to interact with your CAD data in AR/VR.
    • Simplify the path from SOLIDWORKS® to Augmented (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) with a new export option called Extended Reality (XR).
    • Full support of latest graphics card types results in a dramatic frame rate increase.
  4. Create and work with large assemblies faster: Massive performance gains and workflow optimization with large assemblies.
    • Create new assemblies in Large Design Review mode.
    • Enhanced Defeature tool gives more control and usability for IP protection.
    • Save assembly as multi-body part has more options and more control.
    • Automatically lock rotation for Toolbox fasteners.
  5. Clearer and faster collaboration: More options for import and export to make collaboration easier.
    • New export options for AEC and 3D Interconnect now supports IFC import.
    • 3D Mark up on parts and assemblies (also Pen/Touch enabled).
    • Animation can now export .mp4, .flv, .mkv, .png and .jpg.
  6. Improved capabilities for eDrawings: Powerful new capabilities for sharing SOLIDWORKS data and viewing other formats.
    • Measure, mark-up and explode features are all now available in eDrawings Viewer.
    • New file viewing support—JT, Parasolid, NX, ACIS.
    • eDrawings® Professional can now save as 3D HTML for browser-based sharing plus AR/VR.
  7. Powerful new tools for part modeling: Additional capabilities make SOLIDWORKS part modeling more powerful than ever before.
    • Partial Fillet and Chamfer.
    • Interference detection for multi-body parts.
    • Streamlined insertion of a part with a specific configuration.
    • Materials and sheet metal parameters linked for sheet metal.
  8. More flexibility and control for drawings: New view creation capabilities and more control for perfect drawings.
    • Removed Section Views to show slices of the model at selected locations.
    • Drawing Open progress indicator.
    • Cell border thickness editing.
    • Customized Hole Table tags, numbers and order.
  9. 3D annotations for all: Accelerate downstream processes with 3D dimensions and tolerances.
    • DimXpert is now known as MBD Dimension.
    • MBD Dimension is available for assemblies in SOLIDWORKS Standard and above.
    • Carry over annotations from source to derived and mirrored parts.
    • MBD support for sheet metal bend notes, tables, and lines.
  10. More efficient creation of weldments:
    • Easy positioning of weldment profile sketch.
    • Corner treatment enhancements.
    • Multi-edit structural profiles.

SOLIDWORKS 2018 Top 10

  1. Innovative user experience improvements: Making SOLIDWORKS® easier and more intuitive to use.
    • Freehand sketching with pen or touch on compatible devices.
    • Touch and stylus support for many design tasks.
    • Enhanced mouse gestures and user interface customization.
  2. Simulation topology study for optimization of part geometry: Fast, easy design optimization.
    • Automatically optimizes the shape of a design.
    • Considers weight, function, and manufacturing criteria.
  3. SOLIDWORKS CAM for CNC machining: Seamlessly integrate design and manufacturing.
    • Rules-based machining results in easy-to-learn, yet fast and powerful CAM.
    • Powered by CAMWorks™: production-proven, integrated CAM for SOLIDWORKS.
  4. SOLIDWORKS Inspection Support for MBD: Create inspection documentation directly from 3D models with Product and Manufacturing Information (PMI).
    • Includes support for SOLIDWORKS MBD and non-native 3D CAD formats.
    • Automatically interprets SOLIDWORKS MBD models for inspection documentation.
    • SOLIDWORKS Inspection now integrated with SOLIDWORKS PDM.
  5. Sheet metal features that improve manufacturability: Innovative new features improve sheet metal manufacturing processes.
    • Has a tab and slot feature for self-fixturing of parts for welding.
    • Normal cut feature ensures clearance included for manufacturing.
    • Corners that include three bends can be easily created and flattened.
  6. SOLIDWORKS Manage for project and process management: Data management, project management and process management all in one system.
    • SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional plus powerful project, process, and item management
    • Dashboards and reports to manage project stages, timelines, and milestones
    • Create, edit, and compare Bills of Materials (BOMs).
  7. Cloud connected SOLIDWORKS services: The power of desktop with the convenience of the cloud.
    • SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing allows easier use of your license on multiple machines.
    • SOLIDWORKS Login automatically moves customized content and settings to any machine on which SOLIDWORKS is installed.
    • SOLIDWORKS Admin Portal allows easier management of SOLIDWORKS products and services.
  8. Work directly with mesh data: Work directly with mesh data with no need to convert to surfaces.
    • Perform operations directly on mesh such as Cut, Cut with Surface, Interference Check, Combine, Intersect, Split, Move/Copy, and others.
    • Convert solid or surface geometry to mesh.
    • Quickly fit surface bodies to regions of mesh models for reverse engineering.
  9. Work faster and more efficiently with assemblies: Work faster without having to prepare the assembly or use special techniques.
    • “Alt” key hides face while mating.
    • Ghost mode to turn all parts transparent.
    • Allow mating of parts with misaligned holes.
  10. Collaborate more efficiently for model-based enterprise: Speed design detailing and communication
    • Import and export STEP 242 including PMI.
    • Import 3D models along with PMI from all major CAD formats.
    • Display all SOLIDWORKS MBD created 3D Views in eDrawings®.

The post Best of What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018 – 2022 appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at September 21, 2021 08:06 PM

September 20, 2021


What Fruits Can You Explode With Rubber Bands?

rubber banded fruit

You’ve most likely seen videos on the Internet of people stretching numerous rubber bands over a watermelon to the point where the fruit explodes. We already know that isn’t a myth, but will the same experiment work on other fruits?

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Calli and Nate from The King of Random decided to empty a supermarket of their rubber bands and use them to wrap a bunch of fruit. Aside from the tried and true watermelon, they also got their hands on a pumpkin, a pineapple, and a jackfruit. Which one will break the quickest? Only time will tell!

Wrapping the Watermelon

rubber banded fruit

First off: the classic watermelon. Due to its round shape and the thickness of its skin, it’s no wonder why pioneers of the fun experiment picked it as their fruit of choice to wrap hundreds of rubber bands around.

In their test, Calli and Nate had been able to wrap over 200 rubber bands around the thing before it started changing shape. What’s interesting here however is that the initial cracks started in the areas that were bulging out – not at the area where the rubber bands were wrapped around!

Pressuring the Pineapple

rubber banded fruit

Next up was the tough but relatively slim pineapple.

Since the pineapple they picked had a much smaller diameter than the watermelon, the duo decided to double wrap each rubber band around the fruit to increase the tension.

It only took 16 double wrapped rubber bands for the pineapple to start squeezing the juice out of its sides. Unlike the watermelon, this fruit didn’t explode due to its softer peel. However, the pineapple had been slowly squeezed by the rubber bands until, with a bit of help from Calli, it broke in half.

Popping the Pumpkin

rubber banded fruit

The third was the pumpkin. This one is interesting because while the outer skin of the pumpkin is pretty tough, the inside is quite hollow.

It had managed to handle a hundred or so rubber bands until they ripped the pumpkin clean in half – sending fiber and seeds everywhere. If you don’t mind the mess, this is probably one of the more interesting methods of cutting a pumpkin horizontally!

rubber banded fruit

Calli and Nate did have a jackfruit lined up but, unfortunately, it rotted before they could wrap their rubber bands around it.

If you want to see more random experiments with things that will make you curious, check out Nate, Calli, and the whole crew over on The King of Random YouTube channel.

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 20, 2021 03:46 PM

Can You Break a Killer Key?

killer key

For those of us who aren’t that well-versed in the language of lock picking, a “killer key” could prevent anyone from accessing a lock ever again.

The way it accomplishes this locking process is pretty cool. Along with the biting of the killer key is a single groove that captures all the lock’s pins. There are no ramps along the biting so that when someone tries to remove the key, it secures itself to the pins of the lock – ensuring you can’t pull it out. To make things even harder, an excessive amount of force can cause the bow of the key to snap off, effectively jamming the rest of the key inside.

Killer keys are a great tool for landlords who want to keep previous tenants out while they change the locks on their doors, or for law enforcement officials who want to easily deny entry of an area for criminals.

But are they as foolproof as their manufacturers say they are?

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Recently, the LockPicking Lawyer used his lock picking expertise on a killer key which was anonymously sent to him. However, as it turned out, killer keys aren’t really a “killer” in the hands of knowledgeable folks.

killer key

Once you know how they work, all you need is a special tool to lift the pins and pull them out. In the case of the LockPicking Lawyer, he modified one of his notched decoders by adding a little tiny bump on the side of the blade. While the decoder had been lifting the pins, the barb grabbed onto the killer key and successfully removed it from the lock.

As for all of his videos, the LockPicking Lawyer worked his magic at least twice to show everyone his methods aren’t just a product of luck. He also mentioned in this video that killer keys will not slow down someone with the proper tools. According to him, you can even just drill out the cylinder on your door lock should you find one of these inside it. Again, all you need is the right instrument OR a well-versed locksmith.

To see more so-called “impenetrable locks” get their defenses put to the test, check out the LockPicking Lawyer’s YouTube channel.

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 20, 2021 03:07 PM

September 18, 2021


The Stainless Steel Memobottle Gives the Square Bottle a Fresh Look


While no one can deny the convenience of the common water bottle, most designs aren’t exactly bag-friendly. Think about it: most water bottles are round – which goes against the geometry of almost everything inside your bag.

How about having a water bottle that’s square?

That’s the idea behind the memobottle. Initially released in 2014, this flat, BPA/BPS-free plastic container was designed to fit easily inside your bag and reduce the need for one-time, disposable bottles.

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Now the memobottle is back with a brand new look for all its sizes. It now has a food-grade, 304 stainless steel design and is powder-coated with satin to make it scratch-resistant. In relation to this, the stainless steel memobottle will be available in matte black and matte white. You also have four sizes to choose from.

These are the new additions to the original set of features of memobottle. These include the easy-to-clean lid, an internalized thread and machined mouthpiece, but most important of all, the debossed logo showing the type of the memobottle you have.


The A7 memobottle is the smallest of the bunch and has a carry capacity of 250 ml (8 oz). Next up is the A6, which can fit into your handbag and carry up to 500 ml (16 oz). The last and biggest bottle in the A-Series is the A5 – which looks about the size of a man purse and can hold up to 1050 ml (33 oz) of liquid. Finally, there’s the Slim memobottle – named so because of its tall and skinny stature. This one can hold up to 600 ml (20 oz) – putting it in between the A6 and the A5 in terms of capacity.


You may be wondering how on Earth someone is supposed to clean a memobottle, what with its small opening. Turns out all you need are some cleaning tablets! Pop one of these in your memobottle once a month with some water, shake it up, and the inside of your memobottle will be ready to hold more liquids.


I’d like to think others will use the memobottle to up their water intake and not just use it to hide their liquor, but that’s just wishful thinking. No matter what people plan to use it for, there’s no denying the stainless steel memobottle will be just as big a hit as its predecessor. It already surpassed its US$20,000 goal on Kickstarter and is currently hovering at a mark of US$490,453!

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 18, 2021 04:26 PM

Arclight Bike Pedals Illuminate Your Bike Rides for Easy Visibility

arclight bike pedals

There are two ways to increase bike visibility at night. You can either make the bike extremely big, or you can make it extremely gaudy so that everyone in your vicinity will notice you. This bike pedal leans towards the latter.

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The Arclight Bike Pedals are modular LEDs that snap onto your bike peripherals. These motion-based lights can be placed on your bike’s pedals, front, back, and even your helmet to provide ample visibility.

arclight bike pedals

Still, Redshift Sports made these bike LEDs to be particularly placed on the pedals. After replacing your old bike’s pedals with the Arclights, you can easily snap the LEDs on. Thanks to the magnetic locks, they secure themselves into place with a satisfying click – ensuring they won’t fall off during your bike rides.

arclight bike pedals

The wraparound design of the LEDs (coupled with the motion of your pedals while on a ride) assures everyone can see where you are, be it day or night. If the moving lights aren’t still a dead giveaway of your location, the Arclight Bike Pedals can be set to one of three settings to emit a surrounding blend of red and white light on the ground – making you easier to spot in dimly lit environments.

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Moreover, the SmartSet sensors built into the Arclight Bike Pedals switch the lights on and off. This starts when you move the bike’s pedals where the sensor keeps the lights on. On the other hand, when the system senses no activity from the pedals, it automatically turns off.

The same SmartSet sensor tech allows the colors to change, as well. Backlights, such as those on the rear of your pedals, helmet, and under your bike seat will always be red. Inversely, those on the front of your pedals and handlebars will always be white.

Each LED can be connected to a USB port for charging or you can use the nifty charging dock that comes with the Arclight Bike Pedals to charge 4 LEDs at once.

arclight bike pedals

While the Arclight Bike Pedals are made of aluminum, the LED casings are made of durable ABS plastic. Both of these pieces are weatherproof and they can withstand a lot of punishment while still making sure you’re visible even in the harshest of conditions.

You can’t put a price on safety, which makes it no surprise that the Arclight Bike Pedals are already fully funded on Kickstarter. Currently, it has a funding of US$183,317 – almost ten times its initial US$20,000 goal.  Nonetheless, the Arclight Bike Pedals Kickstarter page is still definitely worth a look, as you’ll find a ton of interesting behind-the-scenes footage of the manufacturing processes and stress tests of this illuminating bike attachment.

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 18, 2021 03:28 PM

September 17, 2021

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS 2022 Review

SOLIDWORKS 2022 has been revealed and at the annual live streaming event hosted by Dassault Systèmes, we got the first public look at the significant enhancements that have been introduced in this upgrade. Among them are evolutions in assembly performance, graphics responsiveness, drawing detailing and new design capabilities that allow more flexibility and faster workflows.

As always, there is a lot to unpack and understand and we’re here to help! If you missed the live presentation from DS SOLIDWORKS, we have our review video below along with a list of the key feature enhancements, so that you can get up to date quickly!

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What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2022 Key Feature List

  • SOLIDWORKS User Experience — SOLIDWORKS 2022 continues to refine your experience with delighters such as the new Command Search in Shortcut Bar. Enhancements to section view, reference geometry display, Selection Sets, and redesigned notifications will bring you a cleaner and more efficient interface.
  • SOLIDWORKS Parts — Combine the advantages of mesh data with the accuracy of parametric features with enhancements to hybrid part modeling. Create the geometry you want faster with the external threaded stud feature, bi-directional draft, and mirroring about two planes. Enhancements to Structure Systems allow you to generate weldments more rapidly.
  • SOLIDWORKS Assemblies — Assembly performance has never been better, and SOLIDWORKS 2022 introduces simplified approaches to working with lightweight modes. Pattern-driven patterns are enhanced to give you more flexibility. A new Configuration Table enables you to do more with your design without leaving SOLIDWORKS.
  • SOLIDWORKS Drawings  — A redesigned Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing interface lets you work faster and more intuitively. You can open any drawing in Detailing mode directly from your Large Design Review assembly. Weldment cut lists are now available directly in your Bill of Material.
  • SOLIDWORKS Import — Open DXF or DWG files into a part sketch and import even the largest STEP files more quickly. Enhanced filtering when importing IFC files allows you to bring in only what you need.
  • SOLIDWORKS Visualize — Improvements to Animation such as multiple camera tracks, grouping and re-ordering, and camera path give you highly requested capabilities to bring your products to life. With new Instancing, you have more freedom to create and control patterns. Enhance realism with the new Shadow Catcher feature.
  • SOLIDWORKS Inspection – Inspection 2022 gives you native support for SOLIDWORKS Assemblies and Drawings, which drastically improves workflows. API support in the Inspection add-in expands your ability to automate documentation processes.
  • SOLIDWORKS Graphics — SOLIDWORKS 2022 takes another step in refining its graphics architecture to make your experience smoother. Redesigned Cosmetic Threads allow you to clearly visualize your design.
  • SOLIDWORKS Simulation — Use the new Linkage Rod connector to represent a wider variety of physical components. Save time preparing your model with enhanced meshing and contact definition. Solve studies faster with parallel processing enhancements and automatic solver selection.
  • SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation — Save time loading exactly the results display you want with the new Scene Plot. Locate critical results in your design with the new Merged Plots, which allow you to clearly see differences between studies at a glance.
  • SOLIDWORKS Plastics — Get optimal results faster with the Injection Location Adviser. Expanded runner shapes allow you to create more real-world studies. With enhancements to Symmetry, you can represent multi-cavity molds that solve quicker than ever.
  • SOLIDWORKS PDM — Save time previewing your SOLIDWORKS files by accessing all eDrawings features from within Windows Explorer. Enhancements to Web2 allow you to view even more 3D formats and data cards directly from a web browser. Improved content readability helps you quickly understand the scope of operations.
  • SOLIDWORKS Manage — Share Bill of Material data with external users in an efficient and controlled web link to easily get feedback. Integration with Microsoft Office lets you work more effectively with the most common non-CAD documents. New integration with the SOLIDWORKS Task Pane means you can do more directly in CAD.
  • SOLIDWORKS Administration — New administrative image options give you more control over deploying and managing SOLIDWORKS installations. If you’re supporting remote users, the new image types will greatly reduce installation times.
  • SOLIDWORKS Routing — SOLIDWORKS 2022 significantly accelerates the routing of 3D wires, cables, and harnesses in your product so you can evaluate more ideas during the design cycle. Refinements to Bend Radius control help you avoid errors. Create more robust routes when combined with SOLIDWORKS Electrical.
  • SOLIDWORKS Electrical – Improved performance with large and multi-user Electrical projects will save you time creating, changing, and copying your work. Smart PDF documentation improves the quality of your reports. Enjoy more complete representation and documentation of backshells.
  • 3DEXPERIENCE Works Cloud-Based Sculpting – Complement your SOLIDWORKS with 3D Sculptor – a cloud-based subdivision (Sub-D) modeling solution that’s part of 3DEXPERIENCE Works. Create organic shapes and complex surfaces intuitively and quickly. Explore designs using natural push-pull interaction and powerful underlying technology that keeps surface quality high.
  • 3DEXPERIENCE Works Cloud Data Management – How do you connect your design, engineering, and business teams together? With 3DEXPERIENCE Works, connecting everyone else to SOLIDWORKS is just a few clicks away. Improve your collaboration, productivity, and innovation with 3DEXPERIENCE Works – it all starts with cloud-based, hassle-free data management.
  • 3DEXPERIENCE Works Simulation Without Limits – Powered by SIMULIA, the 3DEXPERIENCE Works simulation tools offer you comprehensive ability to simulate complex physics at scales never before attainable. With structural, fluid flow, plastic injection, and electromagnetic simulations, you are empowered more than ever to design better products and exceed your goals.

Upcoming Tech Talks Event

Become a SOLIDWORKS Expert by watching a LIVE Broadcast in October to learn What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2022, plus learn about 3D Scanning, and Additive Manufacturing.

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The post SOLIDWORKS 2022 Review appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at September 17, 2021 10:38 PM

How to Reduce Production Cost with Additive Manufacturing

As a manufacturer, you are always looking for ways to reduce your production costs. The latest solution you may be considering is 3D printing / additive manufacturing. In this white paper learn how 3D printing reduces manufacturing cost with the latest materials and techniques.

More manufacturing companies are rapidly adopting 3D printing. Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) includes 3D printing among the “essential eight” technologies poised to have the largest impact across multiple industries. In a 2020 article, PwC noted that the worldwide pandemic only hastened the adoption of these technologies, with manufacturing being an area of concentration for 3D printing.

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Advanced, high strength polymers

Further augmenting 3D printing’s role in manufacturing is the continued emergence of new, non-metal materials. Advanced, high strength polymers are already available and employed in mission critical applications. With continued development, 3D printing adoption and applications will continue to grow, challenging years of incremental improvements in conventional manufacturing.

Another way to look at this is by taking the limited view of 3D printing’s capability for manufacturing, your company is being left behind, to the benefit of your competition. That fact was echoed in a 2016 Forbes article quoting an astute CEO of a leading Midwest industrial equipment manufacturer. The CEO recognized her company needed to disrupt itself before the market did, by relying on advanced technologies like 3D printing.

Manufacturers of discrete products employing 3D printing technology with high-performance materials are moving faster than competition and realizing time and cost efficiencies that non-3DP adopters aren’t. These are documented facts, exhibited in this white paper.

Why you should consider 3D printing to reduce costs

To help you assess your current assumptions about the impact 3D printing can have on manufacturing, consider the following questions:

  1. How much would your production efficiency increase and costs decrease with more effective and quickly replaceable tools and manufacturing aids?
  2. Would the adoption of high-performance materials provide new opportunities to decrease cost by replacing metal parts and/or tools with lighter yet strong 3D printed alternatives?
  3. How much would functional rapid prototyping with high-strength materials decrease your product development cycle and how much would that decrease your costs and accelerate time to revenue?

If you’ve tried 3D printing with desktop printers, have you assessed their true cost in terms of reliability, repeatability and build quality, in comparison to 3D printers designed for manufacturing?

The reality is that Stratasys FDM® 3D printing technology provides easy, effective solutions for the typical challenges manufacturers face every day:

  • Reducing cost
  • Improving production efficiency
  • Minimizing lead times and delays

This white paper will highlight examples of these solutions and show you how small to large manufacturers benefit from 3D printing technology.

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The post How to Reduce Production Cost with Additive Manufacturing appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Stratasys Ltd. at September 17, 2021 03:50 PM

Customizing SOLIDWORKS Productivity Tools

Customizing your SOLIDWORKS productivity tools is the first step in becoming as efficient as possible. This video covers the steps to customize SOLIDWORKS Keyboard Shortcuts, Shortcut Bars, and Mouse Gestures so you can spend less time looking for tools and more time designing. Let’s take a look at how customization can give you access with just one click.

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The first productivity tool to customize is the Shortcut Bar, which appears wherever your cursor is located in the graphic area. There are four different shortcut toolbar menus based on the major functions of SOLIDWORKS. They are Parts, Sketches, Drawings and Assemblies.

Customize SOLIDWORKS Shortcut Bars

Customize SOLIDWORKS Shortcut Bars

To add commands to the toolbar, select the icon and drag and drop onto the toolbar. Keep in mind that you are not limited to the amount of commands that you want to add. Once customized, to activate the toolbar window press the “S” key on your keyboard and the toolbar will appear to the right of the cursor. This easy shortcut dramatically reduces mouse travel saving you a lot time.

SOLIDWORKS Keyboard Shortcuts

The second productivity tool is Keyboard shortcuts. Keys are already mapped by default in SOLIDWORKS, but you can map any key to activate a command on the keyboard.

SOLIDWORKS Keyboard Customization

SOLIDWORKS Keyboard Customization

Keys can be customized to your preferences, by searching out the command you want to map and entering the key or key in the shorts column.

SOLIDWORKS Mouse Gestures

The third productivity tool you can customize is SOLIDWORKS Mouse Gestures. By clicking and holding down the right mouse button and slightly moving it, a circular pallet will appear with up to twelve commands that you can activate. The commands are specific to four major functions; Parts, Sketches, Drawings and Assemblies.

Customize SOLIDWORKS Gesture Wheels

Customize SOLIDWORKS Gesture Wheels

To customize the Mouse Gesture wheel, click the Mouse Gestures tab in Customize and enter the command you wish to find in the search box. The command will be filtered out to match what you are typing. Here’s a great tip to expand the efficiency of your workflow: Typing short in the search box will bring up the shortcut bar. By adding the shortcut bar to one of your functions, you can expand the Mouse Gesture to even more than twelve functions. This further limits your mouse travel and increases your efficiency.

Not every interface is the same, and SOLIDWORKS makes it easy to customize your tools so you can spend less time searching for tools and more time designing cool stuff way faster!

The post Customizing SOLIDWORKS Productivity Tools appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at September 17, 2021 01:17 PM


Create Your Own Ball Bearing Track With Some Galvanized Steel Wire

steel marble track

If you have some extra galvanized steel lying around your home and a ton of free time, then why not make your very own ball bearing track?

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Designer and machine maker Daniel de Bruin shows some easy tricks you can do to make use of the excess materials lying about your workshop. With the help of some solder, a wire cutter, and an electric drill, you too can create your own custom tracks.

Prepping the Galvanized Steel

steel marble track

First things first: you want to stretch out the steel into straight, workable pieces. Since galvanized steel is usually wound up when you buy it, you’ll want to stretch it out with some pliers while unwinding it using an electric drill.

Do this a bunch of times and cut the steel into workable threads. These will form the backbone of all your tracks.

Making Crosspieces

steel marble track

Measure out the diameter of the ball bearing you’ll be using and find a bolt whose width measures about 4/5ths of that measurement. You’ll want to attach this bolt to your drill and slowly wrap some galvanized steel threads around said bolt. Once you have a spiral thread, mark it in the middle and cut out a bunch of semi-circle shapes. When soldered to your tracks, these will serve as crosspieces which will hold the whole build together.

Building the Straight Tracks

steel marble track

By far the easiest tracks to assemble are the straight ones.

Daniel de Bruin created an easy to make template which fits his ball bearing in the middle perfectly. Using the lines as a guide, he placed the straight tracks and applied soldering flux to the crosspieces before soldering them on.

After letting the solder dry for a few minutes, the track should easily pop off the template!

Curving the Tracks

steel marble track

Creating curved tracks is a little harder than making straight ones, but all you really need is a bunch of round objects.

Different circumferences result in different curves, so make sure to find the round objects that suit your needs! Once you’ve found some that make the curves you want, wrap your straight steel materials around the objects to bend them to your will.

steel marble track

The hard part about making curved tracks is that you have to find another round object which makes a similar curve to the first, only with a slightly smaller circumference. You’ll want both pieces of the track to have just the right amount of space between them before soldering the crosspieces on. Should the ball bearing constantly fall off when hitting the curve, just twist the track slightly inwards to keep the ball on track!

The Spiral Lift Loader

steel marble track

You can actually make a pretty amazing track with just the straight and curved tracks, but Daniel indulged us with a spiral lift loader that makes it easier to get the balls at the end of the track and put them back to the start point.

This is made using yet another template – only instead of making a flat track, this one is a spiral. Solder a center rod and a modified track and you just made a makeshift elevator for your ball bearings! Just don’t forget to add those exit tracks so your balls have somewhere to go.

As Daniel said, this part would require more trial and error than anything else. Finding the correct angle to place the tracks so that the balls load and exit properly can be a chore, but the result can be very satisfying. The same goes with the adjustments you need to deal with just to find the correct spacing between the spiral loader and the vertical flat track.

steel marble track

It will take a bit of time to create the spiral lift loader but once you’ve soldered everything together, you can sit back and hand crack your ball bearings back to the top with no problem.

Take note that the track shown above is Daniel’s own creation. You don’t have to follow it to a tee; so make something even more outlandish and amazing!

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 17, 2021 06:38 AM

September 16, 2021

The Javelin Blog

3D Printing Use Case: Ford Mustang Quarter Glass Alignment Fixture

Ford Motor Company, founded by Henry Ford in 1903, is a leading American automobile manufacturer headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan. The Ford Mustang line has been produced since 1964, making it the longest-produced Ford car.


The fixture used to accurately position and install the quarter glass in the Ford Mustang had several problems that needed optimization.

  • Costly – manufacturing the tool required time-consuming CNC machining and welding
  • Inefficient – the current configuration restricted sight lines, adding difficulty to the installation process; external pneumatic air lines added to the fixture’s bulkiness
  • Heavy – the complete metal fixture with air lines and locating fixtures was heavy, not ergonomic and difficult to use
Ford Mustang traditional alignment fixture

Alignment fixture before using additive manufacturing


Making a new 3D printed fixture using FDM additive manufacturing enabled several design improvements:

  • A trigger-style on/off switch for improved ergonomics
  • Reusing current fixture locator details, mounting brackets, and pneumatic controls
  • Integrated pneumatic tubing retainers and optimized pneumatic valve and switch mounts
  • Ergonomic handles
  • Added material where strength is needed, and lower density where not needed
Ford Mustang 3D printed alignment fixture

Ford Mustang 3D printed alignment fixture


After producing the first design iteration, Ford was able to see additional improvements to be made. The line of sight to the window hanger details were blocked by the main frame’s upper bar. In addition, deflection was found in the lateral direction when the main vacuum cup was activated. To address these, the upper rail was moved up and detail brackets were redesigned to provide better sight lines for production. An internal rib was also added to reinforce the frame and increase lateral stiffness without changing the external geometry. Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber was used for this fixture which reduced its weight, without compromising strength or rigidity.

The 3D printed alignment fixture was reduced to 10.65 lbs. fully assembled, easing the burden on its operators. Additive manufacturing enabled Ford to implement design improvements, test them out, and make additional changes, lower cost and faster than using CNC machining.

Production 3D printers for manufacturing challenges

Stratasys production 3D printers are manufacturing machines for tooling, jigs and fixtures, end-use parts, and short production runs. Learn more about our Stratasys production 3D printers.

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by Stratasys Ltd. at September 16, 2021 01:12 PM

September 15, 2021

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Works xApps Project Part 4: 3D Creator & Sculptor

In this part of our 3DEXPERIENCE Works Circular Saw Project, we are designing the hand grip for the front of the saw.  The hand grip needs to be ergonomic, and therefore will require the main grip body to be a smooth, organic shape. We will also need more rigid parametric features for the base, stem and mounting holes. So to accomplish all this we are going to utilize design tools from the SOLIDWORKS 3D Sculptor Role (xShape) and SOLIDWORKS 3D Creator Role (xDesign) to create our component.

Watch the video below to learn about using 3D Creator and 3D Sculptor:

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Starting in xShape

We will begin by opening the assembly in xShape, the modeling xApp included with the 3D Sculptor Role. Our goal in xShape is to form the ergonomic hand grip feature. One approach when working with subdivision modeling is to start with a rough sketch to use as a guide. We have already sketched out our idea for the main body’s profile shape and size, so now we will insert that scanned image into the modeling environment.

Adding a Sketch to the Modeling Environment

Adding a Sketch to the Modeling Environment

Inserting and Manipulating a Primitive Shape

The first step in subdivision modeling is to insert a “primitive shape”. This is the starting shape of the body, which is then manipulated through freeform pushing, pulling and dragging of entities on the body. Here, we are starting with the primitive shape of a cylinder.

Inserting a Primitive Shape

Inserting a Primitive Shape

We will need to reorient and resize this cylinder to make it more like the elliptical profile we had in mind from my original hand-drawn sketch. We will apply a 90-degree rotation so that the cylinder is horizontal, and in the image below you can see the new elliptical shape and size of the body after applying a non-uniform scale.

Applying a Non-Uniform Scale

Applying a Non-Uniform Scale

Then, we will drag the body into place and rotate it so that it matches up with the guide image.

Using Guide Image in xShape

Using Guide Image in xShape

Once the body is in place, I am going to select the outer edges and use the quick scale on the triad to shrink the selected entities. Then, I’ll drag the selected edges down and back. This quickly produces a unique freeform shape which would be far more time-consuming using parametric surface modeling tools.

Quick Scale

Quick Scale

Switching to xDesign

Switching from xShape to xDesign

Switching from xShape to xDesign

To create the stem and base for the hand grip, we will switch over to xDesign, where we can add sketch-based, parametric features. This is the modeling app included with the 3D Creator Role. Switching to xDesign from xShape is easy – just press “x” on the keyboard. The same file will remain active for editing, but an entirely different set of design tools will be available.

Creating In-Context Features

For the base of the hand grip, we want the profile shape to match up perfectly with an existing face on the outer red housing of the saw. We can create an in-context feature that uses the existing face as the profile input for an extrusion, rather than creating a new, separate 2D sketch. Using this face as the profile for the Extrude tool means that if the geometry of the original red face is ever modified, the new extrusion will be updated as well.

xDesign In-Context Features

xDesign In-Context Features

The next feature will be an elliptical profile extruded “up to” the hand grip body.

xDesign Elliptical Profile Extruded

xDesign Elliptical Profile Extruded

Utilizing Super Features

Super Features are a unique capability in xDesign which allow the user to edit an existing feature and change what type of feature it is (i.e., Extrude, Revolve or Sweep). This way, the user does not have to delete the original feature and add in a different one, which often leads to broken downstream references. For the hand grip, we decided on a curved, sweeping stem, rather than a straight extrude. After sketching a Sweep Path, we simply edited the original Extrude feature and changed it to a Sweep.

xDesign Sweep Path

xDesign Sweep Path

Finishing Touches

In order to mount this hand grip to the outer housing, we will add a few cuts and holes to the base. And lastly, add some fillets to smooth out any sharp edges.

Adding Holes in xDesign

Adding Holes in xDesign

Upon saving this file, the latest version of the assembly and the hand grip will instantly be available for the rest of our team.

Hand Grip Completed

Hand Grip Completed

Interested in 3DEXPERIENCE Works?

Visit our website to learn how 3DEXPERIENCE Works provides an online SOLIDWORKS product development environment.

The post SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Works xApps Project Part 4: 3D Creator & Sculptor appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at September 15, 2021 05:30 PM

September 14, 2021


Your Morning Coffee Will Taste Better in This Coffee Resin Mug

coffee mug out of coffee beans

For others, coffee is an essential part of their lives. Some folks can’t even start their day without that hit of caffeine in their system! If you are one of those coffee addicts who treat coffee like gold dust, you’ll probably love this mug made entirely out of coffee beans.

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Preston Miller WoodWorking explained exactly why there aren’t many ‘coffee cups’ that are literally made of, well, coffee bean material. For starters, coffee beans by themselves can’t be easily shaped. They’re brittle and have a ton of gaps in and between them, so any attempt to turn them into a craft usually ends up in a ton of wasted coffee.

So what’s the solution? Preston used resin.

coffee mug out of coffee beans

By curing the coffee beans inside the resin, they became a lot stronger and easier to work with (though not by much). To ensure there were absolutely no gaps or air pockets between the beans, the pressure tank was set to a higher PSI of 80 rather than the usual 60.

coffee mug out of coffee beans

The solidified resin/ coffee bean mold was then taken to a lathe for shaping. Our woodworker mentioned that apart from the initial shaping and drilling, absolutely no blade touched the coffee beans. To give the mug its finer details, high-grit sandpaper was run across the outside and inside of the mug. This method is less hard on the already brittle material and made it easier to shape the object without causing breakage.

coffee mug out of coffee beans

A wooden base was set on one side of the mug while the other side had the excess resin chopped off and hollowed out to form the inside. After a good bit of sanding and cleaning, the mug was polished and shined so that it could hold your favorite cup of coffee.

How about the cover? For what is a coffee mug without a coffee mug lid?!

coffee mug out of coffee beans

To make the lid, an excessively large piece of wood was cut down to fit the lip of the mug. A thick inner ring coupled with a slightly wider ring above it makes for the perfect lid. To keep it secure, a rubber strap was cut and added.

Drill in those air and drinking holes, polish it up, and it’s done! While the polish and sanding process might have removed some of that good coffee smell from the mug, it still retains its coffee bean aesthetic.

Lastly, to turn it into a cup that is safe to drink from, Preston Miller WoodWorking added that he came back and coated the whole mug in food-grade epoxy.

Coffee lovers will certainly love this craft and you should probably create one for yourself, or perhaps for a friend of yours or a loved one. And with the market still in search of a good coffee mug product that is literally made of coffee, this is probably the sign for you to try it. So gather those precious beans, mix some food-grade resin, and start crafting a mug the world will love!

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 14, 2021 03:34 PM

The Javelin Blog

Meet the Stratasys Neo – Proven Stereolithography 3D Printing Technology

The Neo 3D printer is designed for building 3D models using the stereolithography (SL) technique, a form of 3D printing technology used for creating prototypes, rapid tooling and master patterns in a layer-by-layer fashion.

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What is stereolithography?

Stereolithography, an additive manufacturing process, uses a vat of liquid UV-curable photopolymer resin and a UV laser to build parts one layer at a time.

Using the photopolymerization process, light causes chains of molecules to link together, forming polymers that make up the body of a three-dimensional solid.

Many industries are investing in stereolithography (SL) 3D printing technology for industrial-scale manufacturing. This is due to the time and cost savings achieved with 3D printing compared to traditional methods of manufacturing.

Highly accurate part side-wall quality and detail

Build complex parts with smooth finishes due to exceptional layer to layer scan repeatability.

Stratasys Neo Stereolithography Build

Stratasys Neo Stereolithography Build

Reduction in lead times, improving time to market

Curing speeds of SL technology means parts are built faster and as SL produces more accurate parts, it reduces the need for post-processing saving on time and costs.

Complete design freedom, quick iterations

Parts produced can be customized with complex, intricate designs that can be quickly reiterated and reprinted if changes are required.

Variety and range of SL materials

SL offers users the ability to produce parts for a range of different applications requiring different properties, all from one technology. In partnership with Covestro Additive Manufacturing (formerly DSM) and its Somos® resins, the Neo SLA 3D printers can run the most technically advanced stereolithography materials:

SL Material Details Colour
Somos® WaterShed XC 11122 Versatile, good all-round polymer, very easy to use Clear
Somos® WaterClear Ultra 10122 Versatile, easy to use, exceptional clarity Clear
Somos® WaterShed Black Versatile, good all-round polymer, very easy to use Black
Somos® PerFORM Very high heat and stiffness, ceramic White
Somos® PerFORM Reflect Very high heat and stiffness, ceramic, developed for PIV Orange
Somos® Taurus High heat and toughness, thermoplastic like performance Charcoal
Somos® EvoLVe 128 Very tough and durable with great surface finish White

Reduced reliance on global supply chains

3D printing offers users the ability to localize manufacturing rather than rely on overseas supply chains to get products to market. This reduces carbon footprint, reduces logistic and storage costs, and creates more jobs, locally.

Stratasys Neo 3D printer

Build prototypes, rapid tooling and master patterns with the state of the art Neo® stereolithography / SLA 3D printer range.

The reliable and proven Neo builds high-quality parts with superior surface quality, accuracy and detail. Designed with an open-resin system, offering customers the ability to utilize any commercially available 355 nm hybrid resin chemistry.

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by Stratasys Ltd. at September 14, 2021 02:36 PM

September 13, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Introduction to Stereolithography 3D Printing / Prototyping

Designers, engineers and part providers are increasingly choosing stereolithography (SL) printing technology for prototyping applications because of its ability to print complex designs with a high degree of accuracy, fine resolution and smooth part sidewalls.

Parts produced using SL technology require little or no post-processing, resulting in cost savings and faster time to market, compared with traditional manufacturing methods.

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Included in this white paper:

In this white paper, we’ll look at the most common prototyping applications produced using SL technology and highlight why the Stratasys Neo® is fast becoming the stereolithography 3D printer of choice for prototyping.

  1. What is stereolithography?
  2. Why stereolithography for prototyping?
  3. Concept and communication models
  4. Functional form-and-fit prototypes
  5. Why customers choose Stratasys Neo for prototyping
  6. Benefits of the Stratasys Neo stereolithography 3D printer
  7. Stratasys Neo: Open-resin system stereolithography
  8. Stratasys Neo: best-in-class stereolithography for prototyping applications
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by Rod Mackay at September 13, 2021 07:17 PM

September 11, 2021

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Works xApps Project Part 3: 3D Creator & 3D Printing

As we move further into our 3DEXPERIENCE Works design process for our Circular Saw project, we are now going to work with the mechanical design using the 3D Creator RoleSOLIDWORKS xDesign App.

Since the xApps don’t care which operating system is being used because they are cloud-powered, today’s walk-through will be done using a Macbook Pro. Traditional CAD environments require Windows as the operating system as most continue to use it. However, using this platform we are expanding our options and can use a number of operating systems to design, share and collaborate amongst our team.

Watch the video below for the full walk-through of how we use the 3D Creator Role and the xDesign App for this phase of our project:

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Switching Apps in 3DEXPERIENCE Works

When opening the dashboard in the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, we see that it very conveniently shows the circular saw project on the home screen under recent documents. As you can see, we have landed in the xDocument app (which will be used later in this series) but that’s no problem. We can switch apps on the fly!

3DEXPERIENCE Switching Apps

3DEXPERIENCE Switching Apps

As you can see below, we can switch apps by pressing the ‘x’ key. In this case, we have purchased various other roles so that we can create structures, sheet metal components, organic shapes and the like.



Creating a New Component

The first thing we need to do here is to create a new component. On the action bar, create a new part in the context of the product design. There is no different interface if we are creating parts or assemblies here. This is a single modeling environment.

Creating a New Component in xDesign

Creating a New Component in xDesign

Creating a new part is a breeze. Other geometry can be easily referenced in the product. So, stealing geometry from diameters, in this case, is easy. We can create a couple of concentric circles that are coincident with the center of the mating screw.

Completing the Sketch

To continue the sketch, we can add dimensions or relations to helpfully define the 2D sketch. Blue indicates under defined. Black is fully defined. Color and visual feedback is great, and tells the user where he or she is in the process. You can single left-click geometry to describe further its dimension and/or relations to other geometry. Here, we are moving forward with adding some things to help define the lines of this handle. There are very powerful shortcuts at the user’s fingertips, such as the ‘s’ key, which allows for quick access to some of the most common tools.

Completing the Sketch

Completing the Sketch

In this case, we just want to see the new part isolated so we are viewing only the geometry needed for that portion.

Isolating a Part

Isolating a Part

Creating 3D Content

Creating 3D content is quick. On the action bar at the bottom of xDesign, you can create an extrude – this is a super feature! You can add, cut or do additional Boolean features directly in this very powerful all-in-one command.

Creating 3D Content

Creating 3D Content

For the pocket of the screw, we have created an additional circle that we will cut back into the circular boss below.

Circular Boss

xDesign Circular Boss

An additional extrude below sees our part come into context. It’s really starting to take quick shape.

Extruding in xDesign

Extruding in xDesign

We can also literally just drag on the sketch to extrude the contour- as seen below, we are extruding this to a specific value of 10 units by hovering the drag bar over the ruler.

Extruding the Contour

Extruding the Contour

Adding Fillets and Exporting

As we get closer to the final shape here, one of the last things we will do is fillets/chamfers. When we select edges for the fillet, xDesign is very smart. We can multi-select various edges that the software will understand serve similar design purposes. This saves the designer a lot of time. We don’t have to select dozens of edges because in a couple of clicks, we get a nice series of rounds in the design.

Adding Fillets

Adding Fillets

In this case, to let our team members know that the design is progressing, we will color it yellow – this lets everyone clearly see the new part and possibly comment on it in our 3DSWYM community.

Design Colours

Design Colours

I can also save this in many other formats on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, such as STL. And with that, I’m ready to send this to my 3D printer!


Saving the design

SOLIDWORKS xDesign is a very capable parametric xApp, and because it lives in the cloud we can use any computer that is connected to the internet to design. We utilized mature CAD functionality all in a browser-based design tool that we can pick up and use on any device anywhere in the world. By using the apps within our 3D Creator Role, you will be able to add crucial parts to your team’s design project from wherever you are.

Interested in 3DEXPERIENCE Works?

Visit our website to learn how 3DEXPERIENCE Works provides an online SOLIDWORKS product development environment.

The post SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Works xApps Project Part 3: 3D Creator & 3D Printing appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at September 11, 2021 01:12 PM

September 10, 2021


RocketFire Instantly Lights Your Barbecues and Fire Pits With Its Tri-Cone Tip


For those of you pyromaniacs who want instant fire, this will be right up your alley: RocketFire. It is purportedly the fastest fire starter out there. By connecting this baby to any fuel canister, you can light a fire in seconds.

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The secret behind this incredibly dangerous and fascinating piece of technology lies in its tip. Most fire starters only have a single hole where the flame emerges. The RocketFire, on the other hand, boasts three. This is all possible through its stainless steel tri-flame cone tip!


With this unique tip, it spreads flame at a 60° angle with an output of 25,000 BTUs.  Considering most conventional fire pits hover around 40,000-100,000 BTUs, having a fire starter with this high BTU can be truly impressive. Further, even with the tip itself removed, the fire starter can still retain that high level of heat.


Since the RocketFire is made specifically for starting barbecues and fire pits, it has a 17-inch wand that can give you a safe distance from the flame. The wand is just as durable as the tri-cone tip and is made of stainless steel, carbon fiber, and brass.


As I mentioned earlier, you can connect the RocketFire to any moderately-sized fuel canister – be it propane, MAAP gas, or some unknown type of biofuel. If it’s in a can, chances are it can connect to the RocketFire.


Considering the RocketFire has already been fully funded on Kickstarter, the world must be full of pyromaniacs and barbecue enthusiasts. As of writing, it currently has a funding of US$174,186. Unexpectedly, the amount being collected just keeps on rising almost every minute. You can find out more about this instant igniting invention over on its Kickstarter page.

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 10, 2021 09:42 AM

Make Curved Wood Legs With the Same Amount of Wood

curved wood legs woodworking

Straight wooden legs are cool, but curved wooden legs are even cooler. Unfortunately, it usually takes more wood to make the latter. This is why not all woodworkers spend too much attention on them. James Hamilton of Stumpy Nubs is not one of those folks.

In one of his projects, James showed an easy woodworking trick you can do to make a curved leg with the same amount of wood you would use to make a straight one. And the best part? All you need is a band saw, some wood glue, and a couple of clamps.

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After milling your piece of wood, you want to trace a short straight line down one edge before drawing in your curve. Make sure your line stays within the confines of the wood, otherwise it will be difficult to curve it later. Once that’s done, cut your wood on a band saw with a narrow blade. This allows you to precisely cut the wood and make adjustments on the fly.

curved wood legs woodworking

Once you’ve cut your wood into two, trace that curve onto a piece of paper. You will use this template to trace the same curve later. Now, tape the two pieces of wood together. Turn to the uncut or untaped side of the wood and use the template to imitate the same curve.

curved wood legs woodworking

Take the newly traced piece of wood back to the band saw and cut it by following the line you’ve drawn. This will split the wood into two pieces again. Remove the tape and keep them grouped into two. While still separated into two halves, reverse the position of pieces in each half.

Glue the two halves first before connecting them together. Once ready, join the two halves like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and you have yourself a curved leg! To assure that the glue will work, use a couple of clamps to hold the whole thing down.

curved wood legs woodworking

Since working with the assembly of wood pieces can be a tad confusing for beginners, James recommends numbering each piece to make everything faster and easier.

James has also said that you don’t really need that stencil to make the second cut. If you want your curved leg to be a bit more free-form, make an entirely different cut than the first. The crazier and more different the curve is, the weirder the finished leg will be!

curved wood legs woodworking

James Hamilton has a ton of these woodworking tips and tricks, all of which can be found on his YouTube channel, Stumpy Nubs. Be sure to check it out if you want to add some extra flair to your wood projects!

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 10, 2021 08:30 AM

September 09, 2021

The Javelin Blog

How to Render in SOLIDWORKS

There are a number of different ways to render an image in SOLIDWORKS. The option you choose will depend on which SOLIDWORKS version you have and which graphics card you are using. To get started, we’ll start with the options available in SOLIDWORKS Standard and move our way up to see what is available for SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium. We’ll be using the Raspberry Pi, a single-board computer, as an example. Let’s dive in!

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RealView Graphics

If you’re working with SOLIDWORKS Standard, the go-to rendering option you have is RealView Graphics. First, make sure that RealView Graphics is activated, and you are using an approved graphics card on your machine. Next, with your library content panel open, simply drag and drop the desired material, or appearance, from the panel on any part in your assembly, and voila! Your part has a new look!

SOLIDWORKS RealView Graphics

SOLIDWORKS RealView Graphics

You can also insert a background into your image to give your model a more dynamic look and feel. To turn it up a notch and get a more realistic appearance, you can turn on the Ambient Occlusion feature. This feature creates shadows that cast from your parts. A nice way to get a shaded image from SOLIDWORKS Standard.

PhotoView 360 for Photo-realistic Renders

PhotoView 360 is a visualization and render tool included with SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium and is available as an Add-in. It is based on the SOLIDWORKS Intelligent Feature Technology (SWIFT). It’s a simple-to-use interface and provides an interactive environment for viewing designs as well as for creating photo-realistic renderings that can be used to showcase your designs.

SOLIDWORKS PhotoView 360

SOLIDWORKS PhotoView 360

PhotoView 360 allows you to create a rendering within the SOLIDWORKS window. When you mouse-click Render Tools and Display Manager, you will see options to create a scene, add and adjust lighting, and also the option to add a camera if you like. Once you’re finished, you can click on Final Render to invoke a PhotoView 360 rendering. With PhotoView 360, you don’t need a photography degree to create stunning images.

SOLIDWORKS Visualize for End-use Marketing Material

SOLIDWORKS Visualize provides industry-leading rendering capabilities with visual design-oriented features and workflows in place. This allows for fast and easy creations of visual content that communicates a designer’s vision and showcases your part in the most stunning way.

SOLIDWORKS Visualize Render

SOLIDWORKS Visualize Render

SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard is included with SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium. When you launch SOLIDWORKS Visualize, you see an enhanced environment where you have access to many adjustments and customization options. Visualize Professional also allows for more advanced file output, such as 360-degree rotations of parts and assemblies and even Virtual Reality content! The possibilities are endless to make your designs stand out from the competition.

The rendering tools in SOLIDWORKS offer many ways to generate photo-quality imagery and interactive animations. The rendering tools in SOLIDWORKS make it easier to communicate and showcase your designs and prototypes to others.

Want to learn more about Visualize?

Take a live online SOLIDWORKS Visualize Training Course to learn more about rendering in SOLIDWORKS.

The post How to Render in SOLIDWORKS appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at September 09, 2021 04:14 PM

September 08, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Get Ready for SOLIDWORKS 2022 with an Update Guide

Are you ready for your SOLIDWORKS 2022 update? Get your company, department and individual users ready by downloading our comprehensive guide.

SOLIDWORKS 2022 is coming soon, in October we are running SOLIDWORKS 2022 What’s New Online Training Sessions to help you get up to speed with the new release. But what about licensing, budgeting, and installation? This guide will help you to get answers to those questions and determine the next steps for updating your business.

SOLIDWORKS 2022 Update Guide


This SOLIDWORKS 2022 Guide will help to:

  • Survey your existing SOLIDWORKS installations
  • Make a SOLIDWORKS budget for 2022
  • Complete an essential checklist to help you update to SOLIDWORKS 2022
  • Identify training classes specific to your industry

Once you read through this guide, you will be able to analyze user trends, evaluate your licensing options, prepare for the SOLIDWORKS 2022 update requirements and access launch resources and training.

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The post Get Ready for SOLIDWORKS 2022 with an Update Guide appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at September 08, 2021 02:58 PM


This Polymer Clay Minecraft World Is Small in Size But Big in Detail

mini nminecraft cave

Minecraft has been the source of inspiration for many creations, from in-game libraries all the way to real-life blocks. Speaking of real-life blocks, these tiny Minecraft worlds made by YouTuber WUZU clay are probably some of the smallest recreations of the video game I’ve ever seen.

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I mean, just look at this tiny cave which represents the 1.17 lush cave patch of the game. Not only it is a recreation of a tiny slice of the world made out of polymer clay, but it is also filled up with so much detail and characters that it looks like it could come to life at any moment.

Creating the Blocky World

mini nminecraft cave

To bring the blocky world of Minecraft to life, WUZU clay painstakingly sliced different colors of polymer clay with a razor blade and fitted them onto a tiny corner of plastic. The clay seemed moldable at the start but after a while, it began to harden and stick. Pieces of rock, dirt, and grass were all placed randomly by WUZU clay – some even jut out in mid-air just like in the game!

After the polymer clay had settled in, the plastic was removed and the polymer was painted with some adhesive to keep everything together.

Adding In the Flora

To bring this piece of Minecraft nature to life, WUZU clay crafted some teeny tiny (and I really mean TEENY TINY) leaves and vines out of the same polymer clay.

mini nminecraft cave

WUZU clay made some of the vines by molding the clay beforehand with some tools. After placing them on the cave diorama, each green leaf was carefully attached by hand onto each vine to give them some extra detail.

mini nminecraft cave

The other vines were crafted by twisting some polymer clay and placing multi-colored leaves on them. To cap it all off, WUZU clay placed a slightly large pink flower on top of the cave.

Bringing the Creatures of Minecraft To Life

mini nminecraft cave

On the other end of the spectrum, cave wildlife wouldn’t be complete without some of Minecraft’s iconic creepers.

These silent harbingers of death were made by sticking together pieces of clay blocks and drawing in their smug faces. WUZU clay made not one, but three of these annoying buggers and placed them near the Minecraft’s silent protagonist, Steve.

mini nminecraft cave

Speaking of Steve, he and some of the axolotls (the brand-new water creatures) were made by combining polymer clay of different sizes. Once the general shapes had been achieved, WUZU clay drew in some extra detail with a couple of markers. Seeing the creator draw in such intricate detail on such a small figure is both amazing and anxiety-inducing.

Making a Tiny Pool

While Steve and the creepers can live just fine on land, the axolotls will need a watery place to stay.

mini nminecraft cave

With that in mind, WUZU clay made a tiny pool out of resin for these watery creatures to swim around in. Using a piece of plastic as a mold, WUZU clay filled out a small corner of the cave with some light blue resin and used a UV light to help it harden quicker. As an additional detail, a small water bucket was placed in the cave where an axolotl can be seen enjoying itself.

mini nminecraft cave

Put it all together and you have a Minecraft diorama that can be measured in inches. Thanks to its compact size, this cave can serve as the perfect tabletop companion on your computer desk as you play Minecraft on your PC. And the best part? No creepers can destroy it!

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 08, 2021 11:14 AM

This Wheelie Trainer Will Help You Pop Some Sick Tricks

wheelie trainer

Those of you who used to rely on training wheels know how invaluable they are. But now that you know how to ride a bike, how about learning some new bike tricks such as the wheelie stunt? Well, that seems tough. You’re probably wishing for a trainer specifically built for the job and thankfully, there is!

YouTuber The Q built a wheeling trainer with a mechanism following the similar concept of your old training wheels. Only, instead of riding on two wheels, it teaches you how to pop a rear wheelie. You can also build one. All you need is some wood, a disposable cycling trainer, and a strong adjustable strap.

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The Wooden Training Area

wheelie trainer

The wood is for, you guessed it, making a makeshift rear ramp. You’ll have to cut and shape a couple of planks into two triangular shapes and drill them towards the edge of a flat wooden board. The board will serve as your training space while the triangular ramps will hold a couple of extra training pieces.

The Cycling Mechanism

wheelie trainer

If you or your relatives happen to have an old cycling trainer lying about (let’s be honest, you only use it to hang clothes anyway), take the gear mechanism apart and attach it on top of one of the triangular ramps.

The Wheel Roller

wheelie trainer

The gear mechanism is connected to quite possibly the most important part of this build: the wheel roller. This fancy-sounding part is actually just a piece of PVC pipe fitted onto a metal rod with some wood and nuts.

wheelie trainer

Attaching a bicycle gear on the same side as the gear mechanism will allow you to run a chain on both pieces. The wheel roller’s purpose is just that: to provide your bike with a platform to spin on whilst you’re practicing your wheelies.

Attaching the Bike

wheelie trainer

In order to secure your bike to the trainer, you’ll have to create a makeshift rod that can fit on the end of your bike. Slap this baby on top of your triangular ramp and you’ll be good to go!

Add In a Front Strap

wheelie trainer

You can definitely use this ramp with just the rear support, but The Q added in a strap on the front wheel to prevent the bike from toppling backward. Considering the majority of users of this wheelie trainer will be novices, I think it’s a great addition to the build.

wheelie trainer

With this, you can practice your wheelies safely and in the privacy of your own home. Once you’ve got the trick down, you can actually flip your bike around and practice doing front wheelies on the trainer! Your friends will never see you take a fall ever again!

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 08, 2021 10:27 AM

September 07, 2021

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Online Training Free Preview

Our experienced team of engineers spend hours in SOLIDWORKS and are constantly adding to their skillset with the latest “What’s New” additions. Whether you are looking for a new tool, keyboard shortcut, or concept, come experience a shortened sketching lesson and see what it is like to attend a training class with one of our instructors.

Join us on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at 10:00 AM ET for our webinar, as TriMech Application Engineer, Nicole Spandley, will deliver an introduction to our SOLIDWORKS Online Training system. Nicole will demonstrate the style, pace and content of our training courses by doing a shortened lesson in sketching. She will also discuss the learning paths TriMech recommends for our SOLIDWORKS users, as well as our offerings for 3D printing and 3D scanner users.

In this webinar you will obtain:

  • Insight into TriMech training options
  • Hands on experience with our digital training interface
  • What you need to create a fully defined sketch
  • How to pay attention to cursor feedback
  • Gestures to start commands with less mouse travel

About The Presenter

Nicole Spandley, Application Engineer

Welcome Email_Nicole SpandleyNicole has 4+ years of SOLIDWORKS experience, is a CSWP and has a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt in Process Improvement. Before joining TriMech, she spent time conducting standardized and custom physical and analytical testing for ceramic tile, natural stone and other installation products. She specializes in SOLIDWORKS training, providing technical support and teaching other engineers how to use the software.


The post SOLIDWORKS Online Training Free Preview appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at September 07, 2021 12:00 PM

September 06, 2021

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Works xApps Project Part 2: Project Planner

The success of any project starts with a good plan and a team that understands what that plan is. In this second part of our 3DEXPERIENCE xApps series, we will cover how the Project Planner role included with SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Works can assist us in ensuring the success of our projects through better data visibility, improved collaboration and purpose-built project management applications.

With the right tools, your team can collaborate securely with a task-specific file repository, activity stream, real-time summary charts, real-time notifications, a schedule to help meet project constraints and resources and much more! Watch the video below for the full walk-through of how we set up our Project Planning xApp for our Circular Saw design:

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Project Planning xApp

The Project Planning xApp is part of the Project Planner role on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. This app promotes team-based planning through simple planning, execution and monitoring of projects. The app allows you to integrate your project management efforts with your resources, tasks and deliverables, while providing end-to-end visibility into the project.

3DEXPERIENCE Project Planning xApp

3DEXPERIENCE Project Planning xApp

Creating a New Project

Before we can start a new project, we will need to add the Project Planning xApp to our 3DEXPERIENCE dashboard. The Project Planning xApp can be found in your Compass. Simply drag and drop this app onto a new tab in your dashboard.

Creating a project is simple, click Create New Project, and give the project a name. You can also include a project icon and a description. If this is not your first project and you would like to reuse elements from an existing project structure, simply select the existing project under Create from Project.

Create New Project

Create New Project

Adding Stakeholders

Once the project has been created, navigate to the Members tab. Here we can click on the + icon to add project collaborators and viewers so that all stakeholders can stay connected and informed on the project. You can control their levels of access rights by assigning them as a Leader, Author or Viewer.

3DEXPERIENCE Project Planner adding Stakeholders

3DEXPERIENCE Project Planner adding Stakeholders

Adding Tasks

We can create specific tasks to be assigned to team members under the Tasks tab in the Project Planning app. Click on the + icon, give the task a name and click on Add and Open. This will open the task properties pane, where we can add further details such as a description, priority, duration and even a repository where users can add all of the project files as they relate to their task.

Adding Tasks

Adding Tasks

To assign a task to an individual user, click on the People tab and find the user by typing their name under Assignees.

Adding Users

Adding Users


When a task is created, it will get added to your schedule. The project schedule will be defined based on the duration that you specify for the tasks, and the start and end date specified in the task properties.

Project Planner Scheduling

Project Planner Scheduling

Often, project schedules must remain fluid, so instead of defining set start and stop dates for individual tasks, we can link our tasks together to create dependencies. This allows us to link the start date from one task based on when a different task is marked as complete. To do this, click and drag the + icon at the start of a task and drag it to the + icon at the end of another task.

Project Planner Dependencies

Project Planner Dependencies

If any schedule changes occur, the start and end dates will adjust automatically for any of the downstream linked tasks.

Project Summary Tab

To get a quick overview of a project at a glance, we can use the Summary tab. This provides you with insightful graphical representations of your project status, helping you get a better understanding of your resources and due dates.

Project Status

Project Status

Remember, all of this is accessible from any device with an internet connection, so you can update your project at any time and ensure all your stakeholders stay on the same page. These tools allow you to leverage the power of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to enhance how you plan, execute and monitor projects.

Interested in 3DEXPERIENCE Works?

Visit our website to learn how 3DEXPERIENCE Works provides an online SOLIDWORKS product development environment.

The post SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Works xApps Project Part 2: Project Planner appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at September 06, 2021 06:36 PM


Create Your Own Invisible Flame With Ethanol

hand sanitizer invisible flame

Have you ever accidentally set your hand sanitizer on fire? No? Well, good for you. You’re probably using it right! But in any case you are wondering, yes, that cleaning liquid is actually fuel for the fire.

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Science YouTuber Steve Mould shows that igniting hand sanitizer creates an almost invisible flame. Dim the lights and set your camera to proper settings and you can capture the outlines of a light blue flame flickering just above the sanitizer.

The culprit behind this unique flame is ethanol, a substance commonly found in cleaning agents such as ethyl alcohol. It can even be found in small quantities in a couple of alcoholic beverages and foods.

hand sanitizer invisible flame

Normal red and orange flames usually have a lot of substances mixed with them. The chief substance which contributes to their color, Mould explains, is soot. Considering most readily flammable objects consist of different materials, igniting them causes the flames to burn impurely. Ethanol flame, on the other hand, is nearly invisible due to the fact that ethanol is burned into carbon dioxide which can’t be seen with the naked eye.

hand sanitizer invisible flame

While it does give off a light blue flame, the heat emanating from burning ethanol isn’t hotter than any other visible fire. In fact, igniting your hand sanitizer results in a flame that is actually cooler than normal. It’s still hot and can burn you if you touch it though, so be careful when meddling with invisible flames!

This opens up a ton of possibilities for cool experiments. Say the world goes back to normal again; you can take a bottle of ethyl alcohol and use it to create a line of invisible flame to impress your friends at barbecues. You can even have fun solo and just indulge in lighting fireworks with the clear flame once the New Year comes around.

No matter what you decide to do with this newfound knowledge, just remember that this is the fire you’re playing with. It is smokeless and invisible, so completely extinguishing it can be hard. So please don’t go all caveman and burn everything in sight!

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 06, 2021 10:49 AM

Here’s How Important Concrete Reinforcement Is

concrete reinforcement

Have you ever passed by a construction site and seen all the rebars making up the skeleton of a structure? Apart from serving as a great way to forward the plot of a movie or show with injuries, rebars are essential in reinforcing the concrete they are cast into.

It’s not such a big ask, really. Considering concrete structures are subject to a ton of punishment (weather, natural disasters, and human interference are just a few things it has to deal with), it only makes sense to give it some backup.

Concrete by itself is very good at handling compression – meaning it can take a lot of beating which is aimed at pushing the material together. What it isn’t good at, however, is handling tension – the pressure aimed at pulling materials apart.

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Grady Hillhouse, a civil engineer and owner of the Practical Engineering YouTube channel, showed in his demonstration just how little tensile resistance concrete has. Using a single batch of concrete as a control point, he cast two similar cylinders and subjected them to two different stress tests.

concrete reinforcement

The first test deals with compression. Appling a 1,000-pound weight using a press machine caused the sides of the concrete to crumble. While you wouldn’t want a batch of this concrete to fortify your buildings, the center mass of the cylinder stayed intact – proving that concrete can indeed stand up to a lot of compressive pressure.

concrete reinforcement

Compare that to the tension test. Pulling on the concrete cylinder with a meager 80 pounds caused the other cylinder to instantly snap under the pressure. For reference, that’s not even 1/10th of the compressive strength.

Hillhouse goes on to explain that most (if not all) structures aren’t just made solely out of concrete. They always have some form of reinforcement in them to help deal with the different kinds of stresses put on them.

This is why rebars are implemented. These relatively cheap steel bars aid the concrete by improving its tensile strength and ensuring the damage done to the concrete isn’t immediate.

concrete reinforcement

You may have noticed how the concrete cylinder almost immediately snapped when put under too much tensile stress. That’s something the rebars are trying to avoid. By reinforcing the concrete, tensile damage will gradually appear throughout the structure that is usually in the form of cracks. This gives construction workers and engineers enough time to fix the affected area (or to tell everyone in the building to get out).

Hillhouse goes even further, explaining that rebars that have been pre-stressed provide even greater reinforcement. Usually, this means adding tension to the rebars as the concrete is being cast, but tension can also be applied after the concrete casting.

concrete reinforcement

In a post-tension method, plastic sleeves are cast inside the concrete. Once the concrete has solidified, steel bars are placed inside the sleeves, whereby they are stressed by tightening the nuts around them. While a valid method, the nuts in post-tension have to be strong enough so that the tension put on the steel bars has the desired effect.

These are just the basics of concrete reinforcement. There are a lot more factors that play into strong concrete structures. Different concrete mixtures, the thickness of rebars, and nut quality and type are just a few of the things many engineers spend their whole lives researching – all just to keep you safe and sound.

If you want to know more about engineering but don’t have the time for another degree, Practical Engineering is where you want to be. Grady Hillhouse not only makes engineering topics fun to learn about, but he explains them in such a simplified manner that anyone can understand them.

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 06, 2021 10:34 AM

September 04, 2021


Louie Schwartzberg’s Methods for Filming Growing Fungi Are Time-Bending

fungi time-lapse capture

Louie Schwartzberg is a director, cinematographer, and visual artist who has spent the better part of his career pioneering the time-lapse game. He’s spent three decades continuously filming time-lapse footage non-stop in his home studio using his cameras in a controlled environment.

His nature series, Moving Art, has already run for three seasons on Netflix and focuses on six aspects of nature:  underwater, waterfalls, flowers, forests, deserts, and oceans. His nature film, Fantastic Fungi, delves into the lives of various types of fungi.

So how did Schwartzberg film the growth of such slow-growing fungi?

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The short answer? One frame at a time. In an interview with WIRED, Schwartzberg explained that by connecting cameras and lighting to an intervalometer, he was able to take shots of the fungi at 15-minute intervals. This means for every hour, the cameras would take 4 shots. Stretch those 4 shots over 24 hours and you have a total of 96 shots/ frames in a day. Those 96 shots then translate to 4 seconds of footage in the film.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-155601" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_155601" style="width: 560px">fungi time-lapse capture<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-155601">Image Source: WIRED</figcaption></figure>

According to Schwartzberg, predicting where and how the fungi will grow is a skill he has developed over the years. The positioning of the grow lights, humidity, and type of fungi all play a role in determining the growth of the fungi. Get everything right and the fungi will grow magnificently.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-155602" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_155602" style="width: 560px">fungi time-lapse capture<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-155602">Image Source: WIRED</figcaption></figure>

Since audiences and cameras are focused on the growing fungi, Schwartzberg can use false backgrounds that imitate a natural environment. See those faraway trees that are slightly out of view? Yup! Totally fake!

Thanks to the intervalometer, cinematographers can also move the camera along a dolly. This can make some jaw-dropping camera pans of the fungi as they continue to grow.

As for the fungi’s mycelium, Schwartzberg used photographs taken from a microscopic camera and got a bunch of animators to recreate this part of the fungi digitally.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-155603" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_155603" style="width: 560px">fungi time-lapse capture<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-155603">Image Source: WIRED</figcaption></figure>

Watching fungi grow might sound like the most boring thing to do on the planet, but the way Schwartzberg films it is just so mesmerizing. Also, his philosophy of seeing the camera as a time machine is truly alluring.

Realizing people live their bustling lives like a slow-growing fungus will make you want to stop for a moment and think about where you’re actually going. It kind of makes me want to take a break for a while and watch Fantastic Fungi on Netflix to help me reflect on life and time.

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 04, 2021 03:57 PM

September 03, 2021

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Works xApps Project Part 1: Kickoff with 3DSwym Community

3DEXPERIENCE Works provides a place where everyone on your team can collaborate for successful design results. To help demonstrate this, we are going to walk you through a project where we will make various changes to a design and package it up to show stakeholders. Today, we are kicking it off by setting up our 3DSwym (Say What You Mean) Communities.

Think of a 3DSwym community as a message or project board. It is a place where the entire team, from concept to final production, can communicate on a project. Easily align sales, marketing, engineering, production, shipping, all to a common goal. Since 3DSwym communities are project boards within the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, they are geared toward a design environment. This makes them better suited as project boards than other tools available. Let’s get started!

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Adding the 3DSwym App to the Dashboard

We start by creating a new tab on the dashboard, which we will label “Communities”. After creating the tab, we access the compass and drag and drop 3DSwym from the list of apps onto our blank tab. We will access all our project communities in this app, along with creating our new community.

3DSwym App on Dashboard

3DSwym App on Dashboard

Creating a Community

Now that we have the app in our dashboard, the next step is to create our saw design community. The list of communities is on the left-hand side of the app, along with a link to Show All.

Creating a 3DSwym Community

Creating a 3DSwym Community

Selecting Show All will open a screen with all the communities available to my user. There is a + in the upper right-hand corner that will allow me to create a new community. All that is needed to create a community is a title and a description.

3DSwym Community Title and Description

3DSwym Community Title and Description

When creating a community there are three levels of access available: Public, Private and Secret:

  • Public means that anyone in your company can see this community. They have to be part of your company and invited to your platform. It is not available to anyone on the entire platform. So this is public within your company, not public for the entire domain.
  • Private means that anyone in your company can see the community when they select Show All but they will need to ask for permission to view the community.
  • Secret means that a user has to be added as a member to even see that the community is there, but once added can see all the content in the community. For our saw project, we will create a secret community and invite all project members. We will also create an Idea Funnel so the team can share ideas for the project and eventually turn those ideas into a plan.
3DSym Idea Funnel

3DSym Idea Funnel

Creating a Group

Before we get started adding members to the community, we will create a group with the design team. This way, when adding them to the 3D Space, the Community and any place else needed, only one entity will need to be selected.

After selecting User Groups from the compass, you can simply add a new group and add the users to the group. This group will now be available to select when adding members to the community.

3DSwym Group Name and Description

3DSwym Group Name and Description

Adding Members to the Community

Since the community created is secret, we will need to add any members that need access to the content. This is done through the members link on the right-hand side. This will list all the members of the community and their access level. Members can be added to the community with the + icon. The access levels are Contributor, Author and Owner:

  • Contributors can create questions and ideas.
  • Authors can create any content.
  • Owners can create any content, as well as control membership and idea status.
3DSwym Adding Members

3DSwym Adding Members

For our saw project, we are adding the design team as well as a few sales and marketing members.

3DSWYM Team Members

3DSwym Team Members

Adding Content to the 3DSwym Community

Now that the community has been created and the team members have been added, we are ready to start adding content to the board. Adding content is simple. When adding content, you just select the type of content you wish to add. The most common are posts and media. A post can be viewed like a discussion and media is used to store videos, images and even 3D Models. Anyone on the team can spin and interact with these models using 3D Play, embedded directly in the post. You can also create wiki pages, ask questions of the team and create tasks right from within the community.

3DSwym Adding Content

3DSwym Adding Content

In the upper-right corner of the community, you can filter content. This allows you to sort on a specific type of post. If you want to only see ideas, simply click on the idea icon. This is an easy way to narrow in on what you want to see.

Interested in 3DEXPERIENCE Works?

Visit our website to learn how 3DEXPERIENCE Works provides an online SOLIDWORKS product development environment.

The post SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Works xApps Project Part 1: Kickoff with 3DSwym Community appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at September 03, 2021 08:11 PM

September 02, 2021


Make Your Own Matchstick Rocket Assembly and Launch Kit

matchstick rocket kit

It isn’t the Fourth of July anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a little explosive mayhem! Everyone loves fireworks (except for, you know, the ones who’ve been injured by them), and making them smaller for the sake of portability is the best way to enjoy them any day.

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Inspired by a video he saw about a year ago, Grant Thompson of The King of Random made his own method for creating a matchbox rocket kit. All you need are some cut-up matchstick heads, a barbecue skewer, aluminum foil, aluminum tape, and a pre-made template Grant was kind enough to post online.

The Do-It-All Template

matchstick rocket kit

You can’t have a light show without rockets, so take a bunch of those matchstick heads and store them in a container for later use.

Meanwhile, you’ll want to print out Grant’s template and cut it out on a piece of cardboard. With this, you’ll be able to cut your barbecue skewer down to size, create squares out of aluminum tape for the rocket fins, and trace the template on the aluminum foil to make multiple rocket bodies.

matchstick rocket kit

You’ll also need to make a couple of fins and bodies and store them away for later. Everything you need can then be stored perfectly inside your large matchbox. This also serves as a launch pad and assembly station.

Making the Mini-Rockets

matchstick rocket kit

Now that you have everything you need in your matchbox, it’s time to make some rockets!

Using the template as a guide, take a matchstick head and place it on top of the barbecue skewer. Tightly roll it in a rocket body using the skewer while leaving enough space above the matchstick head so you can crimp the foil down with a pair of pliers.

matchstick rocket kit

To make the rockets look like actual rockets (and more importantly, give them some balance), slide the aluminum tape fins through the body and stick them right at the bottom of the rocket. Congratulations! You just made your first matchstick rocket! Now go make ten more then we’ll really have a party!

T-minus 10 to Launch

matchstick rocket kit

Puncturing a hole at the top of your matchbox assembly kit allows you to position the rocket and adjust the angle at which you plan to launch it. Just light a fire under the tip of the rocket and wait until the foil gets hot enough to ignite the matchstick head.

matchstick rocket kit

These rockets may be easy to make, but they’re no slouch in terms of blasting off. They can fly pretty far and according to Grant, some can reach distances of up to 40 feet away.

If you want to find more projects you can easily recreate in the confines of your home, definitely check out Grant and the rest of the team at The King of Random.

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 02, 2021 03:59 PM

Creating a Film-Accurate Woody Doll Is Harder Than It Looks

film accurate woody

Folks who have watched Toy Story 2 before will remember that one scene where toy cowboy protagonist Woody gets his arm ripped off. It’s a cathartic moment watching his arm being repaired in the movie. Besides his arms getting fixed, watching the character receive the full restoration he deserves gives us absolute satisfaction.

Sadly, the official, real-life versions of Woody are a far cry from what we see on the screen. Apart from not coming to life when owners aren’t around, the Woodys you find in toy stores just don’t conform to movie standards. To be specific: aesthetically.

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="433" loading="lazy" src="" title="Making a Film-Accurate Woody out of a Woody from a Garage Sale (Full Video | Parts 1-4 Combined)" width="770"></iframe>

Eager to make his own movie-accurate Woody doll, Duane of Duane Made It took a bunch of garage sale Woody dolls and repurposed their parts for his special project. He split the creation process into 5 parts but for the sake of giving an overview, here’s how he made some of the Pixar cowboy’s iconic features:

The Torso

film accurate woody

Official Woody torsos are either too thin or too small, so Duane made a custom piece using the top and bottom joints of a garage sale Woody and an old pillbox. He used plumber’s epoxy to glue the pieces together and added some hinges to make it easier to reach the voice box inside.

The Voice Box

film accurate woody

Thanks to the Internet, finding clean footage of Woody’s voice lines from the movie isn’t that hard. Duane had trouble finding one particular line, though. However, instead of scouring the darkest corners of the Net, he recorded his own Woody impression and compressed it to fit the programmable voice box.

Connect that voice box to a battery pack and Woody’s iconic pull string and you have yourself a talking cowboy!

The Arms and Legs

film accurate woody

Everyone knows Woody as that lanky cowboy with too much joint movement. To mimic this, Duane used cut glue sticks to fill out Woody’s arms and legs.

Woody’s shirt is repurposed from an older Woody model, but Duane thinned down the sleeves to give them that movie-like look.

film accurate woody

The pants, on the other hand, are made from real denim jeans and sewn specifically for this Woody model alone.

The Head

film accurate woody

Molding Woody’s head seems to be the toughest part, considering how hard it is to bring life to a literal plastic face.

Duane employed a mix of sanding, plumber’s epoxy, and epoxy putty so he could sculpt over an old Woody head. He added layers to the cheeks, eyebrows, and mouth to make them pop, as well as a bunch of details to Woody’s hair using sculpting tools.

film accurate woody

Being satisfied with the sculptured face, Duane sanded it down and applied acrylic paint in five layers. After applying two spray paint layers as a primer, he was finally able to paint Woody’s head.

The Cowboy Hat

film accurate woody

Woody can’t ride like the wind on his trusty steed Bullseye without a hat, so Duane bought an old Woody hat online and cut it down to the perfect size. He then hand-stitched some fishing line through the sides to make the ridges of the hat look more authentic.

Other Accessories

film accurate woody

Other parts of Woody, such as the boots, belt buckle, and gun holster were made using plaster of Paris molds. Duane then used polymer clay to sculpt the buckle and holster, while the big boots were sculpted using plumber’s epoxy.

film accurate woody

As for Woody’s iconic vest and bandanna, Duane hand-painted both pieces before donning them on his custom-made cowboy.

film accurate woody

Unlike the store bought counterparts, Duane’s Woody version definitely has a hand-crafted feel to it. All five parts of Duane’s project are worth watching, especially if you’re a sucker for custom toy designs.

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 02, 2021 03:27 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Online Design with 3DEXPERIENCE Works xApps Series

As the workplace transitions to a remote setting naturally, or out of necessity, being connected with your team is more important than ever. 3DEXPERIENCE Works provides SOLIDWORKS online design xApps that allows your team to collaborate on a project during its entire lifecycle.

In this multi-part video series, we will be walking you through the design completion and stake-holder presentation of a circular saw prototype using only a web browser and SOLIDWORKS online xApps available with 3DEXPERIENCE Works. This will give you a great idea of how 3DEXPERIENCE Works can empower you and your team to create using a real-time ecosystem that connects people, ideas and data. Take a look at the video below for a quick overview of 3DEXPERIENCE Works:

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="281" loading="lazy" src="" title="3DEXPERIENCE® Platform Overview" width="500"></iframe>

Sample Circular Saw Project

Our sample project is almost complete but there are some last-minute changes that need to be made. The team is all working remotely and it’s not clear if the desktop computers they are using have the needed software installed. To solve these problems of time and resources we’re going to use the cloud power of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to virtually bring all the different team members together and give them instant access to the tools they need.



On-demand Webinar: Get to know the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. View Now »

Why use 3DEXPERIENCE Works for this project?

Cloud-based tools are not like traditional software you install on individual computers or a shared internal network. Instead, they live on protected external servers that are accessed via a web browser and an internet connection. This means that your 3DEXPERIENCE tools can be accessed whether you’re on your work PC, home Mac or mobile device.

It doesn’t matter which operating system you are using, or where you are, like it does with traditional software that use serial numbers tied to a specific machine. To access your entire platform of cloud-based tools, simply log in via your favorite web browser using your individual user credentials, and everything is at your fingertips wherever you are.

SOLIDWORKS Online Design with xApps

With this series, we’ve broken up the project by the different 3DEXPERIENCE Works applications (SOLIDWORKS xApps) that best fit the stage of the project. Depending on how you want to configure your users within the platform, different users can have access to single or multiple 3DEXPERIENCE xApps, but most importantly everyone will be able to collaborate on the project with SOLIDWORKS Online Apps in a centralized location.

  1. Kickoff with SWYM – SWYM (Say What You Mean) communities are a core feature of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. They are places where the entire team, from concept to final production, can communicate on a project.
  2. Project Planner – Establishing a centralized plan can significantly increase the success of a project, through better data visibility, improved collaboration and purpose-built project management applications.
  3. 3D Creator with 3DP Prototyping – As we move further into our design, we’re going to work with the mechanical design using the xDesign xApp on a Macbook Pro (because we can).
  4. 3D Sculptor and 3D Creator – Utilizing tools from the SOLIDWORKS 3D Sculptor and 3D Creator Roles we will create the handgrip component. The handgrip needs to be ergonomic, and therefore will require the main grip body to be a smooth, organic shape.
  5. Sheet Metal Creator – For the redesign, we are going to take advantage of some of the tools available inside of the xSheetMetal xApp to add some features and complexity to the part, while ensuring manufacturability.
  6. 3D Mold Creator – We walk through how the powerful mold tools in the platform can be utilized for functionality on our complex design geometry. All from the comfort of our hotel room (because we can).
  7. Product Document Creator – We want to make a few modifications and create a drawing that can be shared with fabricators and other external members, so we will use the xDocument xApp.
  8. Product Communicator – Communicating with the customer is key and we need to make sure that the instructions that accompany products are clear and concise. We will use the xHighlight xApp to generate technical illustrations that will be included in our User Manual..
  9. 3D Render – Using xStudio, we can create photorealistic renders so we can create great-looking marketing material as well as make more informed decisions on the aesthetics and form of our designs.
  10. Product Release Engineer –Now that our project design is complete, we’ll see how we can use Product Release Engineer to finalize the information about the components, release the parts, and generate multiple Bills of Material.
  11. Wrap up using a 3DStory – Our project is coming to a close, but we want to end it with a flourish to demonstrate the success we have experienced. We are using the 3DStory xApp to share those wins with key stakeholders.

Interested in 3DEXPERIENCE Works?

Visit our website to learn how 3DEXPERIENCE Works provides an online SOLIDWORKS product development environment.

The post SOLIDWORKS Online Design with 3DEXPERIENCE Works xApps Series appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at September 02, 2021 12:00 PM


TOSY Flying Duo Is An LED Frisbee and Boomerang All-In-One

tosy flying duo

If you love playing games in the dark, then this will be right up your alley. High-tech toy start-up company TOSY has combined two throwing tools to create the TOSY Flying Duo: the ultimate outdoor LED light sport experience.

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This all-in-one package is made up of two toys which fit perfectly together; making them easier to carry and charge.

The Flying Disc

tosy flying duo

On one hand, you have the LED Flying Disc – a 175-gram Frisbee with built-in LEDs with 6 timer modes and brightness levels. The brightness levels are pretty self-explanatory, but those timer modes are a god-send for Ultimate Frisbee players.

tosy flying duo

For those who want a bit more competition, the timer modes determine how long the LED lights stay illuminated after being thrown. You can set them to light up for 0 seconds to 10 minutes for some chill rallies, but you can also set them to ‘Ultimate 7’ or ‘Ultimate 10’ for some added pressure.

When set to either of the two Ultimate modes, picking or catching the Flying Disc causes the LEDs to blink for each second that passes. Think of this as like a ticking time bomb. You have to pass the disc over to your teammate within the given time limit (7 seconds for Ultimate 7 and 10 seconds for Ultimate 10). When your time is up, the Flying Disc will glow a bright red – signalling a turnover to the other team. It sounds complicated when I describe it but just like with any sport, it’s much easier to understand when you play it yourself.

The Boomerang

tosy flying duo

The other toy which makes up the TOSY Flying Duo is a boomerang – the lonely version of the Frisbee.

Just like the Flying Disc, the TOSY Boomerang has built-in LEDs which make it look even cooler in a night time setting. Unlike the Flying Disc though, this boomerang comes with its own launcher, further simplifying the process of tossing a toy that automatically comes back to you.

tosy flying duo

There isn’t quite as much to do with the boomerang, seeing as it’s mostly a one-man game, but it’s always mesmerizing when you launch it off into the distance only to see it come hurdling right back at you. Plus, you can even toss the boomerang at any flat surface and it will stick to it whilst spinning – just like a top.

tosy flying duo

The Flying Disc and the TOSY Boomerang are both waterproof and extremely durable. They can even be snapped together, making them extremely portable. Should you want to play with one of them, all you need is to snap them apart, charge the toys on the provided USB-C charger, and get tossing!

The Flying Disc has a 3.7V 500mAh Li-Po rechargeable battery and takes about 30 minutes to fully charge. Depending on the brightness level and timer mode you set it to, you can play on a full charge for hours before needing to recharge it again.

The Boomerang on the other hand, has a 3.7V 50mAh Li-Po rechargeable battery and also takes 30 minutes to completely charge. As it combines with the launcher, the Boomerang can only be played for about 45 minutes non-stop. It does have a charged lifespan of about 270 launches, which is more than enough for you to get your Boomerang fix before you get tired and move on to something else.

tosy flying duo

If you like running around in complete darkness, you can find more about these bright LED throwing toys on Kickstarter. The TOSY Flying Duo has already reached its funding goal of US$25,000, and currently has a funding of US$130,263.

by Carlos Zotomayor at September 02, 2021 01:13 AM

September 01, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Get To Know SOLIDWORKS 2022 Webinars

Not sure what this latest SOLIDWORKS 2022 release can do for you and your business? Are you new to a specific SOLIDWORKS product or considering trying a new product suite? If you answered yes to any (or all) of these questions, then look no further with a webinar!

Starting in October TriMech are kicking off their popular Get to Know SOLIDWORKS webinar series. These will be product specific and hosted by experienced Application Engineers, who eat, breathe and sleep all things SOLIDWORKS; so you know you’ll be getting the best information from a true professional.

SOLIDWORKS 2022 Webinars


The SOLIDWORKS 2022 webinars will cover topics such as:

  • Exploring the ins and outs of SOLIDWORKS 2022 core software and add-in packages
  • Getting a closer look at the user interface
  • Learning the basic features and key advantages
  • Taking a look into the SOLIDWORKS Standard and Professional versions (where applicable)

Most Importantly: You’ll have the opportunity to ask Application Engineers your questions about SOLIDWORKS 2022 enhancements and become your company’s upgrade guru!

Register for a SOLIDWORKS 2022 Webinar

Click on the links below to get all the details for the individual webinars and register!

SOLIDWORKS 2022 Topic Date (start at 10AM ET)
Get to Know SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD October 12, 2021
Get to Know SOLIDWORKS PDM October 14, 2021
Get to Know SOLIDWORKS Simulation October 19, 2021
Get to Know SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation October 21, 2021
Get to Know SOLIDWORKS CAM & CAMWorks October 26, 2021
Get to Know SOLIDWORKS Inspection October 28, 2021
Get to Know 3DEXPERIENCE November 4, 2021
Get to Know SOLIDWORKS Electrical November 9, 2021
Get to Know SOLIDWORKS Manage November 11, 2021
Get to Know DELMIA | Works November 16, 2021
Get to Know 3DEXPERIENCE Works Simulation (SIMULIA) November 18, 2021
Get to Know 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS December 2, 2021
Get to Know SOLIDWORKS Visualize December 7, 2021
Get to Know DriveWorks (SOLIDWORKS Automation Add-in) December 9, 2021
Get to Know SOLIDWORKS Composer December 14, 2021
Get to Know SOLIDWORKS MBD December 16, 2021

The post Get To Know SOLIDWORKS 2022 Webinars appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at September 01, 2021 02:29 PM

August 31, 2021

The Javelin Blog

How to Copy and Paste in SOLIDWORKS

First off, SOLIDWORKS is made specifically for Windows. When the first release of SOLIDWORKS came out in 1995, it was designed to be fully compliant with Windows. This is beneficial to anyone who is proficient in Windows File Explorer as it means you already have an understanding and a skillset that is relevant in SOLIDWORKS. One of the fundamental aspects of a common Windows function is drag and drop and copy and paste in SOLIDWORKS.

Check out the video below to get to know the ins and outs when it comes to the copy and paste, drag and drop functions that you can use to your advantage when working in the SOLIDWORKS environment:

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="281" loading="lazy" src="" title="SOLIDWORKS Tech Tip: Cut, Paste, Drag and Drop in SOLIDWORKS" width="500"></iframe>

Copy and Paste SOLIDWORKS Items

What can we copy and paste in SOLIDWORKS? Just about everything! In SOLIDWORKS you can copy and paste:

  • Sketch
  • Feature
  • Parts within an Assembly
  • Assemblies within an Assembly
  • Drawing Views and Drawings

It’s very robust. We can copy these items within the same, document to document, and we can even do our initial selection from the feature tree or from the graphics area. The takeaway is if you think you can get some sort of Windows actions with copy and paste or drag and drop, try it! Chances are you will get something that you may work the same way as Windows.

Copy and Paste in SOLIDWORKS

Copy and Paste in SOLIDWORKS

Drag and Drop in SOLIDWORKS

The cousin of copy and paste is drag and drop. The key is that you must press and hold the <Control> key as you drag. In this example, as we hold the <Control> key, we can click on a fillet within the assembly and drop it on a different edge in the same assembly to get a new fillet. Notice that we can also do this from the feature tree as well.

Copy Feature in SOLIDWORKS

Copy Feature in SOLIDWORKS

As we are holding the <Control> key, we can click on the filet in the feature tree and drag it to the assembly. As soon as we touch a relevant reference in the model and release the mouse button, you’ll notice that we get the opportunity to apply the filet there as well. Can we do this in multiple documents? Sure can! In this video, I will show you how to do that by applying a 3mm from a part file to a part that’s currently being edited in an assembly file.

Create Drawing View with Copy and Paste

Lastly, we can also create drawing views if we wish. For example, if we:

  1. Pick the top of a feature tree for a component and select Edit > Copy
  2. Then go to a drawing and select Edit Paste
  3. SOLIDWORKS has now inserted, or pasted, a copy of that component in a model view in the drawing.

Similar functions can be done between drawing views such as copying drawing views from sheet to sheet using the same protocol that we know and love – Edit Copy Edit Paste.

Create Drawing View with Copy and Paste

Create Drawing View with Copy and Paste

Drag and Drop a Reference Plane

One final trick has to do with a super-easy way to create new reference planes. The requirement is that you must have a reference plane visible on your screen. If we want a copy of this reference plane and want the new reference plane to be parallel, just press and hold the <Control> key and click and drag on the perimeter, or the border, of a reference plane, it automatically invokes the reference plane tool with the offset option selected so that you can key in the exact distance you need.

Copy reference plane in SOLIDWORKS

Copy Reference Plane in SOLIDWORKS

Learn more SOLIDWORKS Essentials

Take a SOLIDWORKS Essentials course live online to learn other essential skills for creating parts, assemblies, and drawings in SOLIDWORKS.

The post How to Copy and Paste in SOLIDWORKS appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at August 31, 2021 02:03 PM

August 30, 2021

The Javelin Blog

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2022 Live Tech Talks Digital Event

Attend the TriMech and Javelin – A TriMech Company, 2-Day Live Broadcast Event to discover What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2022 plus the latest in technology for 3D Scanning, 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing, and Cloud-collaboration.

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What you will learn at the 2-Day Digital Event

Get What’s New Tips & Tricks for SOLIDWORKS 2022, 3D Scanning, 3D Printing, Automation, and Data Management.

Monday, October 4, 2021

  • 10 AM ET: What’s New at TriMech.
  • 11 AM ET: SOLIDWORKS Greatest Hits – Sketches (New Features and Throwback Tips & Tricks).
  • 12 PM ET: Integrating 3D Scanning into your SOLIDWORKS Workflow.
  • 12 PM ET: Live Shop Tour (US).
  • 1 PM ET: SOLIDWORKS Greatest Hits – Assemblies (New Features and Throwback Tips & Tricks).
  • 2 PM ET: A Better Way to Manage Projects.
  • 3 PM ET: Implementing a Drawingless MBE process.
  • 4 PM ET: Manic Flexible Assemblies.
  • 5 PM ET: SOLIDWORKS The New, The Old and Everything In-Between.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

View a detailed agenda and register now »

Why Should You Watch the Tech Talks?

  • Discover New Technology — See the latest tools for 3D Scanning and 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.
  • Improve Your Skills — Learn the new features and enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2022 from our team of expert trainers.
  • Streamline Your Workflows — Watch demonstrations of automation add-ins and techniques for improving your data workflow.
  • Design-to-Manufacturing in the Cloud — Find out how you can easily connect SOLIDWORKS 2022 with key tools through 3DEXPERIENCE® Works to better manage every aspect of developing and delivering products in one place accessible at any time and on any device.

The post What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2022 Live Tech Talks Digital Event appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at August 30, 2021 04:21 PM

August 29, 2021


Take a Gander at How New Keycaps Are Made

keymacs keycap making

Keymacs is a small, family-based company that specializes in making hand-crafted keyboard kits. While their production isn’t quite as automated or streamlined as industry giants like Razer or Logitech, the fact that they put so much effort into their made-to-order keyboards gives them an edge unlike any other.

The video below delves into the three-day processes the company employs in making its unique keycaps:

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Needless to say, their keycap crafting process is quite unique. They are even using actual LEGO bricks as makeshift resin mold!

In one of the main processes, a set of LEGO molds is just snapped together to create rubber-like molds which will then be used to make the first keycap mold. (talk about mold-ception!)

keymacs keycap making

Once completed, the keycap mold is shaped by a machine before going back for another round of LEGO mold casting. This time, four molds are used to create the pieces which will allow the keycap to connect to the keyboard.

keymacs keycap making

It’s a little different this time, as they use a number of tiny wooden pegs and a pin to create the tiny holes in the keycap. The molds are then bound together with rubber bands before being injected with polyurethane.

keymacs keycap making

By now the keycap is almost finished. All it needs now is a little more machining and a quick injection of black polyurethane to give it that clean finish.

keymacs keycap making

And there you have it: custom-made keycaps which fit your keyboard kit. To save on time, Keymacs makes a number of these keycaps at a single time. While they don’t exactly fill out the machining trays, they try to get as many keys made as possible. It sure saves them from having to constantly assemble and disassemble those LEGO molds, after all!

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 29, 2021 11:25 AM

“Swingly” Makes Playing House a Space-Saver


As a boy, I spent most of my formative years playing with action figures and reading comic books. Nonetheless, I also got to play house with my female cousins when they wanted to. Who says you have to be a girl to play house, anyway?

We would use plastic toys, paper, and sometimes real cutlery to mimic the scenario of a happy family living in a house.  Given the freedom we have back then, we could use anything we could pick in our garden and garage. Need food? We had leaves. Need to build a castle? We had boxes. Basically, we used every junk we see and with some imagination, we could turn them into something handy for our game.

That’s the problem with the lives of kids now. With the pandemic preventing them from having playdates, exploring the garden, or even visiting the park, they are stuck inside their homes with limited things to play with. Well, this is where Swingly comes into action.

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Swingly is a modern-day take on that same house concept; however, instead of a plastic house no normal-sized child can fit in, you hang a poly-cotton blend fabric sheet in the middle of your doorway.


Setting up this fabric play area looks easy enough. All you have to do is find a 32.5-inch wide and 81.5-inch high doorway to attach the detachable hanging strip and the Swingly fabric. Once you’re done, you just have to make sure you have a very sturdy doorstop so no one gets hurt!


swingly There are four themes for the Swingly – all of which were designed by Black Lamb Studio illustrator Isabel Serna. In addition to your standard Malibu House and Boho House designs which aspiring homemakers will love, you have the Farmer’s Market and Camper Food Truck that can inspire the inner entrepreneurs in your children.


Each theme is double-sided and comes with its own unique features and accessories. Take my favorite Camper Food Truck theme, for example. The main fabric has a roll-up window that store owners can use. It also has one taco, one hot dog, and one menu that players can further use to completely immerse themselves in an outdoor food stall setting.


Once playtime is over, clean-up just involves putting the accessories back in the Swingly’s pockets, detaching the fabric from the hanging strip, and rolling it all up. It takes up way less space than a cumbersome toy house, plus it’s easier to clean. The fabric is machine-washable and the inks used to print the themes are totally non-toxic – which is good since this is an object marketed towards kids.

If you want your kids to get away from the computer screen and stretch their imagination in the real world, Swingly is currently live on Kickstarter. As of now, it has a total of US$7,405 fund out of its US$15,000 goal, so it doesn’t have that much further to go!

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 29, 2021 10:33 AM

August 27, 2021

The Javelin Blog

How to use the SOLIDWORKS Options Search

With the SOLIDWORKS Options Search you can search through the system options and document properties. This will save you a lot of time that you would normally spend digging through the list of countless options or document properties. It’s a must know for any novice or even power user. Watch the video below to learn how to use the search:

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What is the SOLIDWORKS Options Search?

If you’re new to SOLIDWORKS, this tip will help you navigate through the system options. If you’re a SOLIDWORKS Expert, then this is the quickest way to access any option or document properties.

SOLIDWORKS Options Search

SOLIDWORKS Options Search

First, access your system options. Do this by clicking on the gear icon at the top of the interface. If you have a document open, you’ll be able to see the document properties here as well. In the upper right corner of the menu is the search box. Whatever you type in this box, letter by letter, will filter a list of relevant results. For example, if you type the letters “n, u, m” you’ll be presented with a list of any result that includes these letters. Use the arrow keys to go through the results. As a result is selected, the menu automatically brings you directly to the selection. This makes it incredibly easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Once you use this feature, you’ll see that you don’t need to remember where every option or document property is in the menu. You can simply search and automatically find it. Think of this not as a way to find something, but rather as the quickest way to get to the option you want. Now you can get to spend less time in the menus and more time on the models!

Learn more at a Training Course

Take a Live Online SOLIDWORKS Training Course to learn more efficiency tip and tricks.

The post How to use the SOLIDWORKS Options Search appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at August 27, 2021 12:00 PM

August 26, 2021

The Javelin Blog

How to change your SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree Display

The SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree is where we organize our model. It helps us extract information, show dependencies, filter what is shown on screen and more. Watch the video below to learn how we change the SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree display in both parts and assemblies to make ourselves more productive:

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Parent/Child References

Certain features may be dependent on others. We call these parent/child relationships. An example of this would be a hole placed in an extruded block.

SOLIDWORKS Parent Child icon

SOLIDWORKS Parent Child icon

The hole can’t exist without the block; therefore, the hole is a child of the extruded block and the block is a parent of the hole. We can easily visualize these relationships by right clicking on the part at the top of the feature tree and toggling on the Dynamic Reference arrows.



SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree Display Options

We can drastically change the way our SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree looks in both parts and assemblies.

  1. Right-click on the top-level part or assembly in the Feature Tree.
  2. Select the option “Tree Display” from the menu.
  3. Select the options that best suit how you want the tree to look.


Most of the tree display options are available in both parts and assemblies. In part mode, you get the unique option of a Flat Tree Display. This will take things, like sketches that are typically absorbed by features, and display them in the Feature Tree so there is no need to expand features to see them. In Assembly Mode, you have the unique option of grouping like instances of components which will show in the assembly tree as a double-part icon with the number of instances in parenthesis at the end of the name.


There is a very useful tool that has continued to see improvements over the last few years and that is the filter bar located above your SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree. In the part mode, you can filter for types of features, feature names, sketches, folders, mates and user-defined tags. At the assembly level, we also have option to display only the filtered items as well as search properties such as material. To see these options, select the dropdown arrow next to the filter icon.



Can I display parts only in my assembly tree?

This is a frequently asked question and the short answer is “no”. This is due to the way in which assemblies are resolved. All is not lost, however, as you can access this information by utilizing a Bill of Material that displays parts only either on a drawing, or by inserting the table into the 3D model itself.

Learn more about the Feature Tree

Attend a Live Online SOLIDWORKS Training Course to learn more.

The post How to change your SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree Display appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at August 26, 2021 07:04 PM


Light Up Your Man Cave With These Fake Windows

fake window

Over the past year or so, people have been doing their best to improve living conditions inside their homes. This is the “new normal” after all, so we might as well make the best of being cooped up in a single place for the time being.

One important aspect of home improvement is lighting; it can mean the difference between embracing the day with arms open wide or shunning humanity like Gollum from The Lord of The Rings.

In order to get some much-needed sunlight into his friend Josh’s son’s bedroom, Bob Clagett of I Like To Make Stuff collaborated with the man of the house to make some windows. Fake windows, to be exact:

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Since Josh’s son resides in a basement bedroom, he doesn’t have any form of natural sunlight. These “windows” the duo made are actually flat panel light boxes that were fitted into the wall and made to look like actual windows.

Doing the project only required Josh and Bob the simplest process.

fake window

After cutting out the appropriate holes and covering the exposed wires, they added in some wooden supports for the windows. The frames for the windows were made by taking the 2ft. x 4ft. LED light panels and encasing them in 1 x 1 boards.

fake window

To make the fake windows look more like windows, smaller wood pieces were used to create “muntins” – those strips of wood or metal which separate and support the glass panes of a window. After some caulking and paint, the fake windows were ready to be installed.

fake window

The cool thing about these fake windows is that their light sources can actually be dimmed to mimic actual sunrise and sundown. While the initial plan was to create a smart system that would automatically adjust for the time of day, the duo eventually settled on a system using a 110-volt input, 110-volt output, as well as a 0-10-volt dimmer output which can be controlled using a switch. They screwed the fake windows into place and added some frames on the side.

fake window

This lighting method works well in scenarios that could use a little more illumination. The panels work great, and they give off a light that isn’t too blinding and delivers that “fake sun” feel.

For more home improvement ideas, you can find more of Bob and Josh’s work on the I Like To Make Stuff YouTube channel. Their builds aren’t that hard to make, and you can use them in different scenarios as well!

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 26, 2021 12:47 PM

August 25, 2021


Restoring a Century-Old Michelin Man Statue to Last Another Hundred Years

michelin man restoration

Distinguishing the Pillsbury Doughboy from the Michelin Man can boggle the minds of some folks. Here’s a tip, though: the former has a white chef’s hat while the latter has a body that looks like stacked white tires. Even better, here’s a restoration of a 1918 Michelin Man statuette by Marty from Awesome Restorations. This should end your confusion between these white, chunky mascots.

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The restoration video starts with a statuette Michelin Man covered with rust. At first glance, it looks almost like a latte art drawing on the foam. Sadly though, this piece is inedible; as consuming rust would more likely get you sick than satisfy your caffeine cravings.

Disassembly and Rust Removal

michelin man restoration

Marty removed the bolt holding the two halves of the statuette together, but age and rust caused the bolt to break into two pieces. However, he still managed to disassemble the Michelin Man and found out that the inside is actually hollow and just as rusty as the outside.

michelin man restoration

Getting all the rust off pushed Marty to do some hardcore sandblasting. A bit later, it turned the once white Michelin Man into a black blob. He sandblasted both halves of the statuette, as well as the tire stand which it stands upon.

Sanding and Filing

michelin man restoration

Due to a century’s worth of age, there was still a lot of metal pitting visible even after the rust had been removed. To smoothen the statuette, Marty employed a mix of hand sanding (P400 sandpaper worked really well, BTW) for the surfaces and hand filing for the edges. Once he had smoothened every essential spot, he slathered on some grease remover to prepare the Michelin Man for powder coating.

Powder Coating and Painting

michelin man restoration

Powder coating this century-old statuette makes more sense than painting it. Besides the superior color retention the process can offer, it can help it last for another century.

michelin man restoration

Powder coating cures the color to the surface it’s applied on, allowing for a stronger bond that is more resistant to wear and tear.

Marty applied white powder coating to both the inside and outside portions of the Michelin Man’s body before baking the parts in an oven at 190°C for 16 minutes. After powder had melded to the statuette, he airbrushed the sash yellow and spray painted the tire stand matte black.

Putting In the Logo and Eyes

michelin man restoration

To give the Michelin Man his iconic logo, Marty chopped up some foam strips and dipped them in black paint. He used these black paint strips to dab the letters onto the sash, letting everyone know the make and year of the statuette.

Of course, Marty didn’t forget about the Michelin Man’s beady eyes. While it might not have been on camera, I assume he used the same foam strip technique to paint the eyes.

michelin man restoration

Pop in some new bolts and there you have it: a Detroit 1918 Michelin Man statuette brought back to its former glory. Thanks to the new parts, sandblasting, and powder coating, this baby’s chances of making it through another century look better than ever!

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 25, 2021 12:28 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS 3D Sketches Tips & Tricks

Traditionally when working with SOLIDWORKS sketches, one of the axes is ignored to allow for a simpler method of creating feature profiles. However, when working in a three-dimensional space as opposed to traditional two-dimensional, your sketching may become difficult without the right knowledge or skills. Are you ready to learn some of the best tips and tricks for SOLIDWORKS 3D Sketches?

Join us on Thursday, September 9, 2021, at 10 AM ET for our webinar as TriMech Application Engineer, Stephen Choi, discusses his favorite features of the 3D sketching tool. Stephen will demonstrate how to create sweeps, lofts, and structure systems with a high level of control and confidence. Whether the goal is to design a weldment structure, model organic shapes, or cable routing, 3D sketching is ready to assist you with your complex design.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • The differences between 2D and 3D sketches
  • Available relations in a 3D sketch
  • How to create lines in a 3D sketch to create a weldment set/structure system
  • Sketching splines and using 3D sketch planes to control sketch entity location
  • Creating lines and curves on 3D surfaces for lofts and boundary surfaces

Reserve your spot by registering now. Can’t attend? Register anyway and we’ll send you a recording!

About the presenter

Stephen Choi, Application Engineer

Stephen is an Application Engineer based out of Orlando, Florida who focuses on supporting and teaching SOLIDWORKS CAD, 3D printers and scanners. He obtained his CSWE certification within a year of working with TriMech and continues to learn and expose himself to as much as possible to better assist his fellow engineers.

The post SOLIDWORKS 3D Sketches Tips & Tricks appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at August 25, 2021 12:00 PM


Studson Studio Turns Junk Into Howl’s Moving Castle Model

howl's moving castle from junk

If you haven’t seen it yet (in which case, you definitely should), Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle is a… well, moving story about the love between two opposite characters. Think Beauty and The Beast, only instead of a gorgeous woman and beast-like man, you have a gorgeous young man and a woman cursed with age. But besides the romance of the two, there’s another remarkable detail in the story that left a permanent mark on its fans: Howl’s moving castle that literally moves.

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In Episode 4 of an ongoing series where he replicates Studio Ghibli pieces, Studson of Studson Studio took on the daunting task of making a 21” tall model of Howl’s moving castle. He used no model kits or instructions to make the castle; just good, old ingenuity and a MOUNTAIN of trash.

howl's moving castle from junk

Yep, you read that right. Since the moving castle in the movie looks like a hodgepodge of junk, Studson decided to use materials that would replicate that aura. Plastic bottles and rice bowls were used to create the different towers, while a gallon kimchi jar was turned into the main body of the castle. Multiple bits and bobs were then added to the model to give it more detail.

howl's moving castle from junk

Creating this 4.2-pound junk castle took up most of Studson’s trash collection – a treasure trove of recycled pieces which he uses for his series. He used a plastic milk bottle to create the iconic segmented tongue, as well as different Gundam model kit pieces to fill out the metallic parts. Coffee stirrers and chopsticks were used for the patios, wooden doors, and windows. Diced foam tossed in rock-filled jars, on the other hand, was turned into weathered bricks. To give the castle a more uniform look before painting, he added a ton of rivets in every place imaginable.

Those were just some of the pieces Studson repurposed to create the moving castle. It’s amazing to see his eye for ingenuity at work. Put a shampoo bottle in front of him and he’ll be able to come up with multiple ways to cut, glue, and paint it to fit his needs.

howl's moving castle from junk

The pre-painted model came out a bit strange, but after priming it in black and adding the correct paints (Studson used a mix of both wet and dry-brush techniques), the castle’s appearance dramatically improved. The finished model shows the most intricate details, as if the castle would move just like in the movie.

howl's moving castle from junk

If you have 52 minutes to spare, I definitely recommend watching Studson’s whole video. Apart from his very detailed explanations of his thought process, he also has some hilarious commentary that will keep you company throughout this episode.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 25, 2021 10:34 AM

The Javelin Blog

How to Manage Your SOLIDWORKS Design Using Global Variables & Equations

Change is an important part of the design process, which is why building your design intent into your models is extremely important. Global variables and equations allow us to build intelligence into our parts by creating mathematical relationships between features and dimensions. If a design change comes your way, it is much easier to update your model instead of editing every sketch and feature to get your finished product.

In the SOLIDWORKS Global Variables Webinar

Join us on Thursday, September 23 at 10:00am EST for our webinar, as TriMech Application Engineer, David Cano-Mejia, will demonstrate how to create and use SOLIDWORKS global variables and equations in your models. David will discuss some advanced techniques such as using if/then statements in your equations as well as using linked equations to share equations among models. Finally, he will touch on creating equations in your custom properties, which is a new feature available in SOLIDWORKS.

In this webinar, David will cover:

  • Creating and using global variables
  • Creating and using equations
  • Linking dimensions together
  • If/then statements in equations
  • Importing/exporting linked equations

About The Presenter

David Cano-Mejia, Application Engineer

David is an Application Engineer out of the Richmond, Virginia office where he provides software training and support. David holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia and has previous experience as an F-16 Crew Chief in the United States Air Force. He is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional.

The post How to Manage Your SOLIDWORKS Design Using Global Variables & Equations appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at August 25, 2021 02:54 AM

August 23, 2021


How Do Igloos Keep You Warm?

igloo design

You have probably seen an igloo before (even just on videos) and wondered just how in the world some frozen water can keep a person warm. I mean, it’s made out of ice! But according to Joe Hanson of It’s Okay To Be Smart, there are specific reasons that can explain the igloo’s ability to encourage favorable temperature: the type of ice used and the residents inside it.

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Contrary to popular belief, igloos aren’t made with solid ice but rather from freshly cut snow from the ground. Newly fallen snow is mostly composed of air, which makes it easy to carry and is a good insulator.

igloo design

Folks living in the Arctic take this ground snow and arrange it in a catenary. “Catenary” comes from the Latin word “catena” – meaning chain. If you flip an igloo over, it forms a curve that looks very much like a free dangling chain. This shape is the most efficient way of making sure the igloo is stable while using the least amount of snow.

igloo design

Inside your igloo, you have different levels. The entrance of the igloo is carved quite low, allowing the colder air to sink. As you reach the igloo’s body (the part where people actually live, eat, and sleep), it elevates to allow hot air to rise.

But what generates heat inside an igloo?

igloo design

Why, it’s you! Your body is like a giant radiator that emanates heat. The air in the packed ice bounces the heat you give off around the igloo, causing the temperature inside to get a 40- to 60-degree increase. Of course, the more people inside an igloo, the hotter it gets. So if you want to get warm in the quickest way possible, bring a buddy into your icy abode.

Ingenious designs like this can show just how innovative humans can be when faced with a problem (in this case, it’s freezing to death). If you want to know more about, well… stuff in everyday life, be sure to check out the It’s Okay To Be Smart YouTube channel.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 23, 2021 04:35 PM

Descending Down a Wind Turbine Using the Emergency Exit

climbing wind turbine

Have you ever seen a wind turbine and wondered how in the world people keep them in good condition? Well, simple: they climb the dang things.

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A few months ago, Tom Scott climbed one of Octopus Energy’s wind turbines in the UK. This wasn’t a luxury trip, however. After climbing the 50-meter tall ladder installed inside, Tom would leave through the emergency exit on top and descend back down to Earth.

climbing wind turbine

Climbing the wind turbine is a lot safer than you think it is. On the way up, maintenance workers strap themselves to what Tom calls a “fall-arrest system.” At the crux of this system is a fixed steel cable that runs along the length of the wind turbine. Workers strap themselves to the cable with a special metal slider that follows them as they climb the ladder. If the person suddenly falls, the slider locks into place, preventing him/ her from hitting the ground or anyone below them.

climbing wind turbine

Blade technician Ben Hayes explained that there are a bunch more fail-safes set in place to prevent workers from falling. To keep everything checked, they are required to use the emergency exit at the top once every two years.

It’s also handy that maintenance workers undergo a good amount of training before even being allowed to access the wind turbine. Couple that with extensive bi-yearly medical check-ups and there’s no way you’re going to be able to climb up a turbine without the proper training or physical condition.

climbing wind turbine

Once at the top, Tom looked at the electromagnets powering the turbine before popping the hatch on top for an amazing view. Then, after mustering up his courage, he attached himself to the emergency harness and slowly climbed down.

climbing wind turbine

As he was descending, you could see Tom did not have to put in any effort at all. That’s because the emergency exit is meant to allow people who can’t climb down the ladder to reach the bottom with ease. This can be helpful if one of the workers encounters an injury or some other unfortunate event. If the person can’t get down the normal way, they simply attach themselves to a descender and float down.

climbing wind turbine

And that’s it! There is no giant elevator that brings maintenance workers to the top; just that good, old 50-meter ladder and, of course, the optional descender. That being said, in any case things get hairy, workers of Octopus Energy always have the option to make their way down in the most exciting way!

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 23, 2021 04:03 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to 3D Print from SOLIDWORKS with the Print3D Tool

As 3D printing becomes more common in the workplace, users are turning to SOLIDWORKS to better understand their designs in the context of 3D printing. SOLIDWORKS offers several 3D print visualization and analysis tools and all of them can be accessed through the Print3D tool (File Print3D).

Let’s take a look in the tech tip video below:

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Does My Part Fit on My Printer?

The first step in analyzing your design for 3D printing is to ensure that it will fit inside the print area. Under Printer, you can select the 3D printer that you will be using. If this is your first time using the Print3D command, you will need to add your printers to your favorites list. Click on Manage Favorites to browse all available 3D printers

SOLIDWORKS has added a comprehensive list of 3D printers with up-to-date envelope information so you can quickly find your most used printers and add them to your Favorites for easy access. If for some reason your 3D printer is not listed under this library, you can define a Custom Printer by manually inputting the print volume dimensions.

SOLIDWORKS Print3D Manage Favorites

SOLIDWORKS Print3D Manage Favorites

Under Print Bed Location select a plane, or planar face, to be defined as the bottom plane of the model. This will automatically orient your model on the print bed. If the model is larger than the print volume, the geometry outside the print volume will be highlighted in red and you will not be able to print. If you need to change the orientation of the model, you can use the translation controls, manually type in the desired print bed angle and offsets in the Print3D PropertyManager, or click Orient to Fit to let SOLIDWORKS orient your part or assembly for you.

SOLIDWORKS 3D Print bed location and orientation

SOLIDWORKS 3D Print bed location and orientation

Under Scaleyou can also choose to print your design at a scale other than 1, which is the current size of the model in SOLIDWORKS. To do so, type a value for the scale factor. The new value is saved as a document property in the SOLIDWORKS file so if you print the model again, the saved value is used still there. The Scale to Fit option sets the scale to the largest value that will still fit inside of the print volume.

Scale Options

Scale Options

Can I Analyze My 3D Print?

Sure! You just have to switch over to the Preview tab in the Print3D PropertyManager. There are several analysis tools that you can use to get a better understanding of the design to be printed.

  • Build Analysis: This allows you to preview the faces of your model that may require supports. Depending on the printer being used, at a certain overhang angle, the print quality is greatly affected unless supports are used. Type in the maximum angle for the faces that will require support. I recommend changing the Support face color to red and checking Show As Transparent to make it easy to visualize all of the faces that will need support.
SOLIDWORKS Print3D Build Analysis

SOLIDWORKS Print3D Build Analysis

  • Layer Height
    • This option lets you visualize the height of each print layer in order to determine whether the print resolution is sufficiently fine to produce the desired print. Type in a layer height and turn on Show Striation Lines in order to get a preview.
    • If you are planning on exporting your file as a .3MF (3D Manufacturing Format), you can choose to let SOLIDWORKS generate the slices for the 3D print and embed those into the .3MF file instead of slicing the model using the printer’s slicer software
3D Print Slicing

3D Print Slicing

  • Thickness/Gap Analysis: If you are using FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) for your prints, this calculates the ideal wall thickness/gap based on the material that you set and the layer height.
Thickness/Gap Analysis

Thickness/Gap Analysis

How Do I Export the File to Be 3D Printed?

When you are done analyzing and visualizing your design, you are ready to export the 3D print files. You can export part and assembly files to STL (.stl), 3D Manufacturing Format (.3mf), or Additive Manufacturing File Format (.amf) files.

  • STL (*.stl)
    • This ASCII or binary format file describes only the surface geometry of a 3D object as a raw, unstructured triangulated surface.
  • 3D Manufacturing Format (*.3mf)
    • This is a 3D focused file format that contains 3D model, material, and property information for sharing full-fidelity 3D models to other applications, platforms, services, and printers.
  • Additive Manufacturing File (*.amf)
    • This xml-based file lets you select export options that store the color, scale and materials of the object to be 3D printed in the .AMF file, as well as the geometry of the model.

Under Save To File, select your desired format and click Save File. Once you have one of these files, you can import it into your printer’s slicer software to generate the G-code that the printer will use to print your design.



Can I Print Directly From SOLIDWORKS?

Yes, but only if your 3D printer manufacturer uses the SOLIDWORKS 3D Print API. As soon as you finish using the Print3D command and click OK, the 3D printing rapid prototyping dialog box will open to ensure that your printer’s build area is empty. The printer will start to warm up get ready to print. If your 3D printer does not use the SOLIDWORKS 3D Print API, you can still export the file as described above and import it into your printer’s slicer software.

How Do I Set My 3D Printing Options?

If you are planning on printing directly from SOLIDWORKS, you can set the 3D printing options that you would typically set in the slicer software. Job Quality corresponds to the print layer height and is the printer’s approximation to match that resolution. Infill Percentage lets you select the percentage of the part that is solid. You can select between 0%, 10%, 40%, 70%, and 100%. Infill percentage can greatly affect print times and part strength. Include Raft builds the print output on top of a raft of disposable material that you can remove after printing. This option is cleared by default. Include Supports adds supports for model faces that are in open space with no part of the model supporting the face. This option is selected by default and resets to the default each time that you open the Print3D PropertyManager.

SOLIDWORKS 3D Print Options

SOLIDWORKS 3D Print Options

The tools available inside of the Print3D command are easy to use and set up. Even if a different slicer software ends up being used to send the model to the printer, these tools can serve as a great starting point to understand the 3D printing requirements that your specific design may have.

The post How to 3D Print from SOLIDWORKS with the Print3D Tool appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at August 23, 2021 01:28 PM

August 22, 2021


TickrMeter Is a Slice of Stock Market in the Palm of Your Hands


As someone in my early thirties, my knowledge of the money-making process is as follows: you go to work, get paid, end of the story. I have yet to wade through the vast ocean that is the stock market. I heard it’s also a good way of making money, provided you know which companies to invest in.

It never hurts to get an early start on this stock market thing. But with so many numbers to look out for, it seems like a daunting task to keep afloat in it. So, is there any way to at least ensure your success here?

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The TickrMeter is a piece of equipment that will keep an eye on your favorite publicly-held companies. You can set this bar to whichever company you think is making a killing on the market. Be it the current stock, cryptocurrency, or foreign exchange market prices, it can give you the updates you need.

The people behind this real-time stock display partnered with to perfect the accuracy of their financial data. Information on your TickrMeter is accurate, reliable, and has a mean latency of 20ms. Considering buying and selling stocks is the name of the game, you’d want to stay up to date on these numbers as much as possible.


You can program your TickrMeter to display data in two modes. There’s the static mode which shows only one company’s ticker, and the cycle mode which allows up to 10 tickers to cycle on a single display.

All of this can be programmed using the TickrMeter app. From the companies you want to follow (which can be set into playlists) all the way to the time frames and alerts, you can set exactly what you want to see on this little screen.


What if you want to keep track of more numbers than a single TickrMeter can provide at a given time. With their built-in magnets, you can stack multiple TickrMeters on top of each other and program them to display different data at the same time. It’s like having your own mini-stock market screen built from LEGOs!

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Instead of using an LED or LCD screen, Tickrmeter employs an E-paper display to show its data. According to its Indiegogo page, E-paper “drives ink droplets by electricity to make natural, clear images on the screen.” These droplets are then illuminated using ambient lighting, so they won’t produce any glare or use that much electricity.

TickrMeter is currently live on Indiegogo and has a funding of €232,606, way more than its initial €5,000 goal. If it can help you make a killing in the stock market, the investment put into this crowdfunded stock market display might pay off in dividends.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 22, 2021 02:28 PM

Using Tires as Gun Silencer Is a Clever Way of Muting Rifles

tire gun silencer

You might have seen a gun equipped with a silencer in your favorite movie, show, or video game before. With a long, metal tube attached to the barrel of a firearm, you would hear the iconic *tfft* of muted bullets as they whiz towards their targets. But fiction is rarely anything like real life, and silencers cannot completely eliminate the sound of a gunshot emanating from a gun.

There’s a lot of sciencey stuff behind it but to make things more digestible, gun silencers create a chamber for high-pressure gas to dissipate. Firing a gun requires gunpowder, and the air pressure generated from firing a bullet is massive (around 3,000 psi). Add that to the fact that most bullets break the sound barrier regularly, and you’ve got a portable mini fighter jet in the palm of your hand.

What gun silencers provide is a controlled environment for both the air pressure and the sound. This regulates them before being ejected into the outside world. The muzzle flash and noise from a silenced gunshot aren’t eliminated entirely, but they are significantly lowered.

That said, it would take a comically large silencer to attain the same amount of muted sound and muzzle flash you hear and see in pop culture firearms. You could do the smart thing and wait for gun manufacturers to do just that, or you could be like YouTuber Alex C. Vincent and make a custom-made silencer of your own:

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="433" loading="lazy" src="" title="Gun silencer prototype made of tires" width="770"></iframe>

In the short but sweet video, Alex demonstrates how 9 car tires stacked side by side can be used to mute the gunshots of a WK180-C semi-auto rifle. With two planks of wood stacked on either side of the tires, it severely decreases the sound and flash from the 5.56 mm bullets.

Take note that even with this large setup, the gunshots are still nowhere near as quiet as those you hear on TV. They still echo loudly within the tires, but aren’t as noticeable in the distance.

tire gun silencer

The larger the silencer, the more quiet the gunshot. Of course, this rule trades silence for portability. It would be hilarious to see a hitman carry car tires to his bedroom only to use them as a makeshift silencer for his sniper rifle. Silly. Yet, this experiment from Alex has proved something here.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 22, 2021 01:05 PM

Adding Apple AirTags to Your Socks Means You’ll Never Lose Them Again

airtag socks

When Apple released its object-finding AirTags back in April, it probably expected us to snap them on some expensive belongings. You know: wallets, keys, those sorts of things. I mean, you’re paying $29 for a single AirTag; might as well keep it on something valuable.

But in the case of Matty Benedetto, creator and product designer at Unnecessary Inventions, his prized possession just happens to be a pair of very white and suspiciously new-looking socks.

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I’m not one to judge but there are two glaring issues when it comes to sticking AirTags onto socks. One: socks are usually made of thin fabrics and there is no natural way they could hold these metal circles. Two: AirTags aren’t built to be waterproof or water-resistant.

Thankfully, Matty has figured out how to address the first issue. The first step: create a pair of silicone holders that can be glued onto the sides of the socks.

airtag socks

To do this, he took the AirTag’s measurements and used them to design a reverse mold in Fusion 360. Once it was 3D printed, all he had to do was pour in some Mold Star 20T silicone rubber. To make the silicone holders pop, he also mixed in some red pigment.

airtag socks

Matty gave a pretty useful tip about the 3D printing mold, as well. Provided you won’t be using the mold again, you can actually break it apart using a heat gun. Considering the materials you are pouring into it have a higher heat capacity than the actual mold itself, you can heat up the mold and peel it off quite easily with no damage to the actual product.

airtag socks

After the silicone settled and all the air bubbles were removed, he popped out the silicone holders and glued them to the socks.

With these babies connected to your socks, the AirTags will never slip out while providing you the exact location of your foot mittens.

airtag socks

I have to admit, they have a certain allure to them despite their questionable design – kind of like how tube socks look both cool and tacky at the same time.

airtag socks

This AirTag idea is certainly a huge aid when your dog (or child) snatches one of your socks and leaves it somewhere. All you have to do is open up the Find My app and your Apple device will lead you straight to it.

airtag socks

Sadly though, there isn’t much these socks can do regarding the waterproof/water-resistant issue. Like it or not, both super glue and AirTags have their limits. While they might survive a light rinse, going through a whole wash cycle in a washing machine is another story – which is a shame since this is where most people lose their laundry (and by that, I mean socks).

The design is pretty cool, though. Picking the red pigment for the silicone holders seems to have been the right choice, as the color blends really well with the white of the cotton socks. To see more of Matty’s unnecessary inventions, check out (what else) Unnecessary Inventions!

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 22, 2021 12:30 PM

Drinkie Automates Your Pet’s Drinking Time


Owning a pet means a boatload of responsibilities. This is why getting a short break from all those tasks (or at least making them easier to manage) feels like a huge relief. We already saw it with the auto-filling litterbox on Kickstarter. Nonetheless, our pet’s doo-doo isn’t the only thing we need to mind when we’re not at home. They need to drink, too! Well, this is where Drinkie comes into action.

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Drinkie is an automated drinker that streamlines the grueling, arduous tasks of constantly filling and cleaning your pet’s drinking bowl. Instead of refilling a normal bowl multiple times a day, Drinkie will just require you to do it once a week.

How does it do this? Technology and automation.


First, you need to manually fill the 106-ounce (3 liters) detachable storage tank and connect it to the Drinkie. Then, it will use a dispensing mechanism to automatically fill the bowl with just enough water to quench your pet’s thirst.


Next comes the refilling process after your pets have had their fill.

The Drinkie rinses out the dish and replenishes it with new water. It tops it up when only 4/5ths of the water is left in the dish during the day and when 1/5ths of the water is left during the night (since, you know, most pets aren’t nocturnal).

As an added bit of comfort for your animal companion, the Drinkie has sensors that command it just to refill the dish when your pet isn’t nearby. If you happen to have a dog or cat that startles easily, this is a godsend!


As for the old water, the Drinkie flushes it away into an airtight, 1-liter waste water tank. Unsightly stray fur, smelly scraps of food, and any stray particles which happen to find their way into the Drinkie bowl get whisked away until your weekly clean comes around. And when it does, all you need to do is hand wash the tanks and dish with some warm water and they’ll be ready to go again.


Of course, no modern piece of technology would be complete without app integration; and the Drinkie is no exception. With the Drinkie app, you can check your smart bowl’s water levels, set a refilling schedule, clean the bowl, and more! This makes it great if you don’t have someone to look after your pet when you go to work. (You still need to make sure your pet is fed, though!)

The app even checks your Drinkie’s battery levels but there’s no need to worry about it, since its rechargeable batteries can last for a full week. Moreover, you also have the option to plug it into an electrical socket for continuous power supply.

Lastly, the app intrudes on your pets’ private life by sharing their drinking habits with you and anyone else who owns the app. This may seem like nothing, but when you’ve got pets that need to hydrate constantly, you’ll be glad you’ve kept tabs on them.

drinkie specs

Drinkie is made using a mix of SMMA, SAN, PP, and silicone – all of which are pet-safe and recyclable. The materials are scratch-resistant, meaning the machine will be able to bear the nails of your curious pets.

As of now, the Drinkie has a US$260,352 current fund on Kickstarter – a large sum above its modest US$10,000 goal. Well, there’s nothing really surprising about it. I mean, every pet owner needs it…especially if you have 10 cats at home hissing at you whenever they find their water dish empty.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 22, 2021 11:25 AM

August 20, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Working with the SOLIDWORKS Mirror Feature

The SOLIDWORKS Mirror Feature makes adding symmetry to your 2D and 3D sketches a breeze and facilitates fully capturing your design intent.

There are a number of different ways to mirror sketches, features and assembly components in SOLIDWORKS. Knowing all of these methods will enable you to work faster and more efficiently; watch the video to learn how to add symmetry:

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Mirroring in a Sketch

Mirroring in a sketch is the easiest way to mirror. First, I want to sketch a centerline. Next, in the sketch toolbar, I will select the Mirror function. With the Mirror function selected, I will then select what I want to mirror and what I want to mirror about. In this case, I want to mirror about the centerline I just sketched and hit OK.

Centerline Mirror

Centerline Mirror

A quick time-saving tip – if I highlight the centerline AND the geometry all at once and proceed to click on Mirror, SOLIDWORKS will automatically fill the dialog box and clicks OK for me. I won’t see the dialog box at all.

Also, when mirroring in a sketch, there is the Dynamic Mirror option found under Tools > Sketch Tools > Dynamic Mirror. What the Dynamic Mirror allows me to do is when I highlight a centerline, anything I sketch on one side of the line is automatically mirrored over to the other side. Sort of like a mirror as you go – very efficient.

Mirroring a Feature

Mirroring a feature is a little different. Features in SOLIDWORKS require a plane to be mirrored. To create a plane, I will highlight two faces in my sketch, then select Reference Geometry Plane. SOLIDWORKS will automatically add a MidPlane between these two faces. No math needed!

Mirror a Sketch

Mirror a Sketch

By selecting the Mirror function, I can also mirror a feature by selecting the mirror function under the Linear Pattern icon in the toolbar. When I mirror about the MidPlane and select the feature that I want to mirror, SOLIDWORKS will add the same feature to the other side of my part.

Adding a Plane

Adding a Plane

One important thing to note is that a Mirror exists in the Feature Manager. If I add a fillet to my original feature, it doesn’t apply it to the mirrored feature. Why? Because the fillet occurs after the mirror in the Feature Manager. When mirroring in SOLIDWORKS, be aware of feature order. But wait, there’s more! If I drop and drag the mirror below the fillet, it’s still not there. Why? Because I still need to tell the mirror that I also want the fillet included in my mirror. Once I do that, the fillet appears on the other side.

SOLIDWORKS Mirror Feature for an Assembly

With the Assembly tab active, I will find Mirror Components in the Linear Component Pattern tab in the tool ribbon. This allows me to mirror all the parts I choose in my assembly. Here, I will select some faces and components. I will mirror about the Front Plane as you see in the image to the right, and within the dialog box, I can choose whether I want the same part of the version copied, or a right- and left-hand version. I can also choose whether I want the Mates to transfer as well. And lastly, I can rename these parts as part of the mirror process.

SOLIDWORKS Mirror Feature for an Assembly

Mirror an Assembly

Learn more about Mirroring

Attend a live online SOLIDWORKS training course to get more mirroring tips and tricks.

The post Working with the SOLIDWORKS Mirror Feature appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at August 20, 2021 05:33 PM

August 19, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Five SOLIDWORKS Sketching Techniques Every User Should Know

In this video tech tip we’ll cover five SOLIDWORKS sketching techniques that you can incorporate into your workflow so you can optimize your sketch creation process and significantly reduce time when working in SOLIDWORKS.

We’ll be taking a look at Quick Relations, Symmetry Relations, Virtual Sharps, Dimensioning to circles, arcs and diameters, and a new feature added in SOLIDWORKS 2020 called Silhouette Entities. Let’s take a look at these techniques in the video below:

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SOLIDWORKS Quick Relations

Quick Relations allow you to select geometry on a sketch and quickly add relations on the fly. By selecting a common endpoint between two lines, you can easily add a relation to your sketch. The key takeaway is that you can quickly do this by clicking on the geometry to add relations.

SOLIDWORKS Quick Relations

SOLIDWORKS Quick Relations

Symmetry Relations

You can apply symmetry between two lines by adding a relation between those two lines and a construction line. To do that, Control-Select the two lines and also clicking on the construction line as part of your selection. Next, you can add a symmetric relation. This makes it easy to adjust your design by dragging the line back and forth and both lines stay symmetrical to the construction line.

SOLIDWORKS Symmetry Relations

SOLIDWORKS Symmetry Relations

Virtual Sharps

You can create virtual sharps of two sketch entities even when the actual intersection no longer exists. By selecting two lines where you want to apply a virtual sharp and activating the “point” command in the context toolbar, a virtual sharp is quickly added.

Virtual Sharp

Virtual Sharp

Dimension to Circles, Arcs and Diameters

You can add dimensions to circles, arcs and diameters by selecting a line and also selecting the centerline. By moving your cursor below the centerline, you’ll notice that it will display the diameter versus the radius. Once you enter the first one, you can quickly see how you can add dimensions with every new line that you select. When you add a dimension to your circles, by default it’s always going to measure the center of those arcs. But, if you’re trying to go from the tangency points, you can do that by holding the Shift key and clicking on the outer sides of the two circles. The Shift key allows for that quick option to dimension inside or outside of your arcs.

SOLIDWORKS Sketch Circle Dimensions

Dimensions on circles

Additionally, after manually adding a dimension to an arc and selecting the Leaders tab in the left panel, you have the option to adjust the Arc Condition and control where the dimension is on your sketch when you’re dimensioning to circles and arcs.

Silhouette Entities

This new feature introduced in 2020 allows you to project the silhouette, or outline, of a part in an assembly onto a parallel sketch plane. Found in the Tools menu under Sketching Tools. This feature works very similarly to Convert Entities and is easy to use. You can access this feature from the Tools > Sketch Tools > Silhouette Entities. Once the tool is active, there will be a selection box for bodies as well as an option for external silhouettes. It’s an extremely powerful addition to the SOLIDWORKS toolset which enables you to leverage your geometry in different ways that weren’t possible in the past.

SOLIDWORKS Silhouette Entities

Silhouette Entities

Learn more about Sketching

To learn more techniques for sketching take a SOLIDWORKS Advanced Part Modeling training course live online from Javelin.

The post Five SOLIDWORKS Sketching Techniques Every User Should Know appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at August 19, 2021 05:56 PM

August 18, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Daikin Applied uses FDM 3D printing to produce HVAC panel spacers

Established in 1924, Daikin Applied is a world-leading provider of air conditioning and heating systems for residential, commercial and industrial properties. With over 100 production facilities worldwide, Daikin employs leading technologies like additive manufacturing to create solutions that improve air comfort and quality.


Spacers are used in the panels of HVAC cabinets to distribute the loads created at the screw locations during their installation. However, standard stock spacers usually need modification to fit the design. Custom injection-molded spacers require expensive tooling and have a six-week lead time. Also, molded spacers sometimes have varied tolerances and do not fit properly. Since multiple spacer configurations are usually required for a given design, these methods of spacer fabrication offer slow and/or inconsistent results

Injection mold alternative solution

To expedite a new HVAC cabinet design, Daikin engineers 3D printed the spacers in lieu of using injection molding or modifying stock spacers. Using a large-format F770™ printer, engineers printed the full complement of spacers required for the design in a single print using ABS thermoplastic.

Injection mold alternative 3D printed HVAC panel spacers Daikin Applied HVAC Panel Spacers printed on F770


3D printing the spacers took 1-2 days instead of 6 weeks which is the typical lead time for injection molded parts, representing a 93% time savings. The F770’s large build area allowed engineers to easily print batches of spacers in the proper quantity with the accuracy and low variability needed. It also afforded the ability to quickly iterate and produce different designs to arrive at the best spacer configuration, reducing production labor hours, which wasn’t possible with past design schedules.

F770 3D printer

The Stratasys F770™ 3D printer makes printing large, complex parts affordable, reliable and easy.

The F770 embodies the same industrial-grade components and design philosophy that make FDM Technology a class leader for reliability and consistent performance. It is proven technology that simply works.

Get a Quote

The post Daikin Applied uses FDM 3D printing to produce HVAC panel spacers appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Stratasys Ltd. at August 18, 2021 01:34 PM

August 17, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Mastering the Rotating Functions in SOLIDWORKS

Here are a few tricks that every user should know about the rotate functions in SOLIDWORKS. We’ll take a look at steps to take that will help you be as efficient as possible when rotating your part and sketch text.

We’ll start by clicking and holding down the middle button to rotate an assembly, or part, and finish by taking a look at the rotating functions and formatting text within a design. Watch the tech tip video below to learn more:

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Rotate a Part or Assembly

To start, the wheel acts as a button. If I highlight a face in my model with the wheel and click and drag the part, the model rotates about that face. I can do the same with an edge. Highlight an edge and click on the wheel, and now I’m able to make my model pivot on that selected edge. This is a great way to move an assembly to get the best possible viewing angle. Another hidden setting that can be turned on for parts and assemblies is called Rotate About the Scene Floor. This slightly changes the behavior of the rotate function and acts as a great presentation tool when showing a design.

Rotate Part with Edge

Rotate Part with Edge

Something I would like to point out that is not part of the rotate command is that, if I have a second part within an assembly and click and drag that part with the left mouse icon, I can move and drag that part within the assembly. If I click and hold down with the right mouse button, I can now rotate that part independently of the rest of the components in the assembly.

Rotate Second Part

Rotate Second Part

Rotate Text

Now let’s take a look at creating and rotating text in SOLIDWORKS. When working with a sketch, I want to first add a line or an arc. Next, I want to navigate to Tools > Sketch Entities > Text and enter the text that I want to create in the left panel. Next, I will select the line or arc where I want to place the text. I can then proceed to format the text. To format the text, I can center it, mirror the text and also have the text appear on the top or bottom of the sketch line. I can also increase the spacing as well as rotate the individual text.

Add Text to a Sketch Line

Add Text to a Sketch Line

If I’m in a drawing, on the other hand, and I have a note inside of my drawing, the rotation for a text in the note is found in the Note Property Manager, a convenient way to rotate text in a drawing.

Add text to a drawing

Add text to a drawing


Rotating your assembly should be easy and smooth without impeding your design. Adding text and formatting should be just as smooth. With just a few clicks you can easily master the rotation functions in SOLIDWORKS and have more control when navigating through 3D space.

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS Rotate functions in one of our live online training courses »

The post Mastering the Rotating Functions in SOLIDWORKS appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at August 17, 2021 02:30 PM

August 16, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Medical 3D printing will take the stage in Lions’ Den competition next month

Three medical pitches. Five lions. Half a million dollars.

Mark your calendars! You do not want to miss this night of ingenuity and health care innovation. Watch as three medical teams are paired with creative directors and tasked with developing a video to pitch their idea to business leaders across Canada for a chance to win $500,000 supporting improved care for the province.

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If you are familiar with Dragons’ Den, this medical competition film by Saint John Regional Hospital brings the stakes even higher, with pitches that have the potential to save lives.

One of the three teams participating in the competition is pitching a 3D Artificial Intelligence Lab that includes medical 3D printers. 3D printing continues to empower doctors, researchers, and medical device manufacturers to create solutions faster, test concepts thoroughly and customize solutions. The lab will help surgeons and clinicians hold 3D images in their hands to help plan and practice surgery.

This will be an exciting opportunity to hear about 3D printing and the impact from medical professionals. We cannot wait to check out the film on Friday, September 10. Sign up for the online premiere date below.

Sign up to watch

Medical 3D Printers from Stratasys

We are dedicated to helping doctors train, plan and practice complex medical procedures and achieve better outcomes. We offer many 3D printer solutions including both FDM and PolyJet technologies that are used in the medical industry.

The two 3D printers for printing realistic medical models are the Stratasys J750 Digital Anatomy printer and the J5 Medijet. Both printers use PolyJet technology, which offers a range of material properties including rigid, flexible, opaque, and transparent. These printers can produce complex, anatomically accurate medical models at less cost than traditional methods.

3D printing medical models that are biomechanically realistic, functional and can be completely customized for specific patients improves clinical outcomes, increases efficiency, and reduces waste. The ability to create a model that is highly realistic and customized is a game changer for the medical industry.

Spine medical models 3D printed on the J5 Medijet Cardiac 3D printed medical model

Learn More

The post Medical 3D printing will take the stage in Lions’ Den competition next month appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Kelly Clancy at August 16, 2021 02:18 PM

How to Automate Sheet Borders and Title Block Options in SOLIDWORKS

In this video tech tip, we will be setting up Drawing Sheet Format borders using the Automatic Border tool in SOLIDWORKS and also launching the Title Block Wizard to take a closer look at the functionality of links and properties that you have control over.

Let’s look at these powerful tools in the tech tip video below:

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SOLIDWORKS Automatic Border

If you’re working on a template or trying to create a new paper from scratch, it’s a good idea to use the Automatic Border tool to automatically create this border with parameters that you can set. Here you can set Zone Size, Zone Formatting, Border, and Margins. When setting up Automatic Borders, you can also set up a Margin Mask where you wish to not have any borders.

Automatic Border

Automatic Border

Once you do this, all the zones will be automatic, so they’re going to space out and create intelligent zone markers for each of those locations. This is great because it’s easy to navigate. Tools like inspection ballooning, or revision ballooning, will track the location of those in 2D space.

SOLIDWORKS Properties and Title Blocks

The fields in the Title Block are all linked to data. When setting up a field, you will use the Note tool to add the note in the selected field. When you place that note, you will want to link it to a property in the left-hand panel. This will give you the option to link to the current document or the model.

SOLIDWORKS Title Block Properties

SOLIDWORKS Title Block Properties

In conclusion, these great tools allow you to customize the Sheet Format of a drawing, enabling you to work more efficiently downstream.

Learn More with a Training Course

Take a SOLIDWORKS Drawings Live Online Training Course from Javelin to learn more about SOLIDWORKS Automatic Border, Title Blocks and Templates.

The post How to Automate Sheet Borders and Title Block Options in SOLIDWORKS appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at August 16, 2021 01:25 PM

August 15, 2021


Print Your Own Invisible Ink Designs On Fake Money

bank notes invisible ink

You might not notice it because of how fast it leaves your hands, but paper bills have some neat tricks up their sleeves.

Everyone knows about serial numbers and security ribbons, but did you know certain national banknotes (US Dollars included) have a layer of invisible ink that makes them even harder to counterfeit? That’s right! Just pop a dollar bill under a UV light and watch parts of it glow!

bank notes invisible ink

Some banknotes have invisible ink designs which are flashier than others. The 100 Brazilian Real note, for example, has a numeric “100” printed on its left-hand side. Another one is the 5,000 Hungarian Forint note that has a very elaborate system of cogs running down the middle in addition to the numeric “5,000” invisible ink print. Regardless of their complexity and unique designs, these invisible ink prints all serve the same purpose: to authenticate the bills as real money.

Sadly, not all banknotes have the same amount of creativity put into them. The US$100 bill for instance, only has a slim bar that runs down the length of the bill. Compare that to the Hungarian Forint and you can see which country’s treasury has more free time on its hands.

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Eager to put some pizzazz into some boring bills, Christopher Burton (who goes by his online moniker “Half-Asleep Chris”) decided to spend a lot of money on a new printer and some very expensive invisible ink to print his own designs onto some paper bills. Of course, defacing real money is illegal; so Chris tried to find a way to print his designs on a fake paper bill.

bank notes invisible ink

The bodies of real banknotes do not glow under UV light. This is just another security feature countries have put in to make counterfeiting the bills more difficult. And this was one of the biggest problems Chris had to face since most types of ordinary paper glow brightly under UV light.

To combat this, Chris searched high and low for alternatives – eventually settling for some Nepalese Lokta paper made all the way from the bottom of Mt. Everest. This particular paper doesn’t glow, making it the perfect canvas for Chris’s totally legal money printing project.

bank notes invisible ink

But is it really safe to print and design your own money… even just for fun? Some countries do allow you to print fake money, provided you adhere to certain rules and regulations. After looking through these things carefully, Chris came up with the design of his own play money. It seemed to resemble the original bills but for compliance purposes, Chris had to accentuate its fake features.

Armed with his legally abiding fake bills, he turned on his printer and got to work. Printing with invisible ink is a gamble since it is not just like printing any typical document with visible marks afterward. The only way to check its success is to take it out of the printer, turn off the lights, and shine a UV light on it.

bank notes invisible ink

Wow. Seeing Queen Elizabeth II burn down the Eiffel Tower with her eyes is something you would never see on a British 5 Pound note and yet, I still kind of want it to be made official. Normally you would get imprisoned for doing this to a real banknote but thankfully, Chris only defaced his own cartoon play money for this.

bank notes invisible ink

Who says UFOs aren’t real?

Wanting to put some cosmos onto the US Dollar, Chris filled up the empty space on his cartoon US$20 bill with a spaceman, moon, and various heavenly bodies.

bank notes invisible ink

By far, the most complex print Chris has made is the lifelike image of Steve Irwin beside his cartoon drawing of Queen Elisabeth II. I’m pretty sure he just got an image off of the internet, but seeing the jolly Aussie get represented on a bill is something I’m sure people would appreciate.

Provided you can get your hands on some Lokta paper and invisible ink, you too could try your hand at spoofing money. Just make sure you aren’t breaking any counterfeit laws while doing so!

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 15, 2021 01:27 PM

August 13, 2021

The Javelin Blog

What Every Engineer Should Know About SOLIDWORKS Virtual Component

This Video Tech Tip is all about working with a SOLIDWORKS Virtual Component; what they are? Why they’re great, and how to use them.

Watch the video below to learn more:

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What is a SOLIDWORKS Virtual Component?

A Virtual Component is used for assembly modeling in SOLIDWORKS and they are special parts because they are saved internally in the assembly file instead of in a separate part or subassembly file. This means they only exist inside the assembly and not physically on the hard drive somewhere. At any time, a virtual component can be saved to an external file. You’ve probably seen this message at some point in your SOLIDWORKS modeling career.

Virtual components are especially useful in top-down design instead of bottom-up design. Those are the two main methods used for assembly modeling. Bottom-up typically requires the parts to exist first and then put together like LEGOs™. While top-down is a method that involves creating the parts in place in the assembly. Virtual components really are the functionality behind the scenes that makes top-down modeling possible. It’s so integrated to this modeling process that by default, when you create components in the context of an assembly, SOLIDWORKS saves them inside the assembly file as virtual components.

SOLIDWORKS Virtual Component Advantages

During the conceptual design process, when you frequently experiment with your models and constantly make changes to the assembly structure, using virtual components has several advantages over the bottom-up design method:

  • You can rename these virtual components in the FeatureManager design tree, avoiding the need to open, save as a copy and use the Replace Components command.
  • You can make one instance of a virtual component independent of other instances in a single step.
  • The folder where you store the assembly is not cluttered with unused part and assembly files resulting from iterations of component designs.

A Virtual Component makes it extremely easy to work with your assembly, just remember that they don’t exist on the disc somewhere. Rather, they are saved within the assembly. That is one reason why sometimes the largest assembly by file size is not the top-level assembly.

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS Assemblies

Master the use of SOLIDWORKS for creating and editing assemblies by taking a live online SOLIDWORKS Assemblies training course with Javelin.

The post What Every Engineer Should Know About SOLIDWORKS Virtual Component appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at August 13, 2021 12:00 PM

August 12, 2021

The Javelin Blog

3 Reasons for Using SOLIDWORKS SLDPRT Files Instead of STL for 3D Printing

When you first put an STL file next to an SLDPRT file in GrabCAD Print, you might have noticed it can be difficult to tell them apart. However, looks can be deceiving, and the native SOLIDWORKS SLDPRT file format packs a surprising amount of functionality into a 3D model. In this blog post, we are going to dive into the three primary reasons you should be using SLDPRT files instead of STL for 3D printing.

Watch the video below to learn more:

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Importing STL Faces and Curves into SOLIDWORKS

An STL file is composed of a series of points that are used to create triangular faces. These faces mesh together to make a 3D model which historically has been very difficult to modify. When you import an STL file into SOLIDWORKS, you can see the triangular mesh lacks any real addressable surfaces or curves. Unlike a SOLIDWORKS SLDPRT file, it’s not possible to select a surface or curve on this model in GrabCAD Print. This makes adjusting infill and wall thickness a less granular setting. When importing an SLDPRT file into GrabCAD Print, each individual face and curve can be individually addressed to selectively add infill and wall thickness for complex parts.

Importing Faces and Curves

Importing STL Faces and Curves into SOLIDWORKS

Importing Colour Information

Colour can be a critical part of the design communication process. The ability to add colour in SOLIDWORKS to a solid model makes this process simple without requiring any third-party modeling programs. Simply applying a colour to a face in SOLIDWORKS and saving the file are the only steps required to export a model with colour. When imported into GrabCAD Print, the SLDPRT file will automatically have the colour mapped to each face and can be printed in full colour using Stratasys Polyjet 3D Printing technology.

Importing Colour Information

Importing Colour Information

Simplifying Version Control

If you’ve used a 3D printer before, you probably have a folder filled with STL files labeled “Part_Final.STL”, “Part_Final_Fixed.STL”, “Part_Final_Fixed_MK2.STL”, etc. These outdated STL files can cause serious confusion when finalizing a part for manufacturing. Reducing the size of this folder can increase efficiency.

GrabCAD Print A/B Test

GrabCAD Print A/B Test

By using the SOLIDWORKS SLDPRT file format, simply saving the file will automatically update the current model, so you can create multiple configurations for testing without having to save multiple models. Simply activating the configuration and dragging it into GrabCAD Print will load the latest model allowing you to do A/B testing without requiring exporting multiple files.

Learn more about GrabCAD Print

GrabCAD Print is a cloud-based solution that brings connectivity and accessibility to 3D printing.  GrabCAD Print software is available for most of the Stratasys 3D Printer range.

The post 3 Reasons for Using SOLIDWORKS SLDPRT Files Instead of STL for 3D Printing appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at August 12, 2021 12:00 PM

August 11, 2021

The Javelin Blog

3 Simple Steps to Reduce File Size of Imported Models in SOLIDWORKS

In this tech tip learn how to reduce the file size of an imported electrical component in SOLIDWORKS using three simple steps.

Let’s face one simple fact: it’s a 3D world we live in. Even electrical design, done mostly in 2D design packages such as SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic is not 100% excused from this reality. A symbol may be small and concise on paper, but significant when bolted to a frame. A wire drawn mere inches on a print can be many meters when actually strung out in an assembly.

Imported file example

Capturing an electrical design requires additional tools such as SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D, and to really get the most out of the software you need accurate 3D models for all electrical components. Invariably, these models come directly from the manufacturer, but with a catch, they are almost definitely a neutral file format like IGES, STEP, or Parasolid.

This can present some problems, specifically with regards to file size. Directly imported model files can really weigh down your assemblies. Let me give you an example: just the other day I was browsing a parts catalog for a CompactLogix PLC controller. I found what I needed and downloaded the model. This is what I got:

Need to reduce this step file size

Need to reduce this STEP file size

28 THOUSAND kilobytes!? That’s almost 30 MB! For one tiny PLC!? That’s insane considering I only need it for determining wiring and space requirements. Something had to be done to reduce the file size and that something is what I wanted to share with you today.

Reducing File Size in SOLIDWORKS

Here are three steps to reduce file size of an imported model in SOLIDWORKS:


Depending on the manufacturer, many times the neutral file they provide contains not just a part file, but an entire assembly. But we’re not assembling this thing, hopefully we’re purchasing it. One part number, one file I always say! So the first step is to simplify our assembly by saving it as a part file:

With the imported assembly open, browse to File > Save As and change the “Save as Type” field to “Part (*.prt, *.sldprt).” Make sure that for “Geometry to Save” you select either “Exterior components” or “All components,” unless you love surface bodies!

Compress STEP file

Compress STEP file

Current File Size: 28,517 KB

Wow, that file size is pretty good actually. I should have called this “One weird trick to cut unwanted file size.” But can we go even further?

STEP 2: Combine All the Bodies

This part file is an improvement, but it contains a lot of discrete bodies. These can still have a significant impact on the performance of our SOLIDWORKS assemblies. To simplify it further, we can use the Combine feature to add all the solids together to form a single body! That should do the trick, right?

Combine Bodies in SOLIDWORKS

Current File Size: 8,507 KB

Wait, wait, wait, hold up – 15 MB!? We wanted to go down, not up! What gives? Well, as it turns out, although we simplified the model by combining the bodies, we made the file more complex by doing so! The file has to carry around that parametric combine feature in case we want to change it in the future. But what if we don’t want to change it, like, ever…?

STEP 3: Export & Re-Import

Well, this certainly sounds like taking two steps back to keep moving forward, doesn’t it? But there are times when reimporting a file can actually be very useful. When you export a file to a neutral file format, the feature history is stripped away. This reduces the complexity of the file and as a result, the file size decreases.

Parasolid Binary File in SOLIDWORKS

Parasolid Binary File in SOLIDWORKS

Current File Size: 15,316 KB

When exporting a file in this way, I’d highly recommend saving the file as a Parasolid file type. Since SOLIDWORKS is built on the Parasolid modeling kernel this reduces the chances of anything coming back broken to almost zero. After exporting the file, reimport it by selecting to File>Open in SOLIDWORKS and browsing to the file. The new part file comes in with only a single, simple body, and the new low file size reflects this.

Final File

Final File

Final File Size: 7,551 KB

So in just three simple steps, we took a 28 MB file which would have reduced performance in our electrical assemblies and turned it into a svelte 7.5 MB file that is much more easily managed. What a difference!

If we wanted to, we could actually take it even further. Reducing the number of external faces and edges a model has (by filling the hollow interior with a solid and removing text) would decrease the file size even more. However, this would be a much more involved modeling process and the return on your time investment would be minimal.

Try it yourself! Take your downloaded electrical components and run through the same process I’ve just described.

Learn more with training

Get more tips and tricks for SOLIDWORKS with a live online training course from Javelin.

The post 3 Simple Steps to Reduce File Size of Imported Models in SOLIDWORKS appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at August 11, 2021 01:05 PM

August 10, 2021


How Animal Logic Studio’s Attention To Detail Makes LEGO Movie CGI Feel Like Stop Motion

lego movie

You may just write it off as another animated film, but most people consider The Lego Movie as a big leap for LEGO animated features. That’s because prior to Chris Pratt taking center stage as Emmet Brickowski, LEGO features were quite unrealistic and focused more on the CGI rather than the strengths of LEGO.

So what happened?

Animal Logic was what happened. Instead of using CGI to make LEGO figures look and act more like living beings, this Australia-based digital studio took inspiration from fan-made LEGO stop motion films to make The Lego Movie. The result gave us the first-ever LEGO feature film to blur the lines between stop motion and CGI.

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According to a video by Vox, directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller wanted audiences to be confused as to whether The Lego Movie was made using CGI or stop motion. Turned out, the entirety of the movie was done in CGI; with a small portion being shot with real cameras (no spoilers, please). What even makes the filming method tricky to discern is the fact that Animal Logic emphasized the movements of real-life LEGOs.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-154562" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_154562" style="width: 560px">lego movie<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-154562">Image Source: Jack Stone/ Artworld UK</figcaption></figure>

LEGO bricks and minifigs are mostly static objects with little to no points of articulation. They don’t bend, contort, or flex. So it comes off weird and unrealistic when you watch any of those official LEGO features before 2014’s The Lego Movie and see LEGO figures move like they’re made of rubber and not plastic.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-154563" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_154563" style="width: 560px">lego movie<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-154563">Image Source: The Lego Movie</figcaption></figure>

In contrast, you could take any frame from The Lego Movie (or any LEGO flick that came afterward) and practically recreate it in real life. Even the fire, smoke, and water effects. All of them were made using real-life LEGO pieces as references.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-154559" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_154559" style="width: 560px">lego movie<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-154559">Image Source: The Lego Movie</figcaption></figure>

And then there are the stars of the show: the minifigs. The amount of detail put into these guys and girls must be something. From their individual expressions to their static appendages, these computer-animated characters look almost lifelike.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-154560" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_154560" style="width: 560px">lego movie<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-154560">Image Source: The Lego Movie</figcaption></figure>

With 15,080,330 “bricks” and 182 uniquely animated minifigs in the film, Animal Logic needed all the help it could find to make The Lego Movie.

As mentioned before, they used stop motion films like Lars and Henrik Hassing’s En Rejse til Månen (Journey To The Moon) and Lindsay Fleay’s The Magic Portal as references to get the realistic LEGO feel right.

When you realize the two films came out decades before CGI was even a thing (En Rejse til Månen came out in 1973 while The Magic Portal was released in 1985), you will see the impact LEGO and stop motion have on each other.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-154561" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_154561" style="width: 560px">lego movie<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-154561">Image Source: The Lego Movie</figcaption></figure>

Another nifty tool Animal Logic put to good use is the totally free LEGO Digital Designer. This gave the studio full access to LEGO’s vast library of bricks and tools, which they then used to create mock-ups of the various scenes and objects for the film. Once a general layout was completed, they brought the scenes over to Maya, where each object was modeled and detailed to give it that distinct LEGO look.

You should definitely give the entire video a watch, even if you only have a passing interest in LEGO. At the very least, it’ll make you want to watch The Lego Movie all over again (or for the very first time).

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 10, 2021 02:14 PM

The Javelin Blog

Are you smarter than a SOLIDWORKS Smart Component?

Imagine we have an assembly with multiple, differently sized, pipes and we need to add bushings to the end of all of them. Now imagine this is something we are doing regularly, frustrating right? If this sounds like you, I hope you’ve been taking advantage of tools like SOLIDWORKS Smart Component and Auto Size to make your life easier.

The drawback is that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  You must decide between;

Option A

SOLIDWORKS Smart Component (coincidence and concentric) + manually changing the cap configuration (size)

Smart Component Option A

Smart Component Option A

Option B

SOLIDWORKS Smart Component (concentric and Auto Size) + manually adding a coincidence mate

Smart Component Option B

Smart Component Option B

What if I told you that in this case, we can have our cake and eat it too and we don’t have to worry about any manual additions.  In order to achieve this let’s choose Option B and Auto Size our component.  The only option while creating the Auto Size is to choose either a Cylindrical Face or Axis, this isn’t ideal but we’ll revisit this!

Edge Option

Smart Component Edge Option

Now if we edit the Smart Component feature you will notice that we no longer have that restriction.  We can now remove the face selection and choose the edge we wanted from the beginning.

Smart Component Feature

Smart Component Feature

No more having to choose! Enjoy your cake!

Smart Component Auto Sized

Learn More

Want to learn more about SOLIDWORKS Smart Components? Take our SOLIDWORKS Assemblies training course live online and you will learn how to parametrically relate different components in the context of an assembly. Master the art of creating and managing all types of mates, save time designing complex mechanisms; create multiple variations of your design, perform quick selections of components, and become confident working fast with large assemblies.

The post Are you smarter than a SOLIDWORKS Smart Component? appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Robert Gemmell at August 10, 2021 01:07 PM

August 09, 2021


ForeverPen: The Perfect Miniature Marking Companion


It’s amazing that even with so many multi-tools on the market, very few of them have the one thing most people need: a writing apparatus. I mean, what good is a mini-ruler/blade/tape measure when you don’t have any marking tool to use with them?

With this, the folks at World’s Tiniest have decided to make one of the smallest pens you can simply add to your set of multi-tools.

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The ForeverPen is a tiny, 0.99-inch pen that can last a really, really long time. Using a hard-wearing silver tip, it will leave a solid mark on any surface without having to use liquid ink. This allows you to do things you couldn’t do with a normal pen: writing upside down or shaking it real hard without spraying ink all over the place.

Contrary to its namesake, however, the ForeverPen doesn’t actually write forever. Like all things in this world, the silver tip will eventually run out. This will leave you with nothing but a pointed metal keychain. Still, the ForeverPen can last longer than most pens and is way more durable to boot.


You already know about the silver tip, but the body of the ForeverPen is made out of a solid metal of your choosing. You could have it in gray titanium, a copper tinge, or a bright yellow brass – all of which are made to handle the harshest writing conditions. The pen is machine-milled with weight and balance in mind, allowing it to fit snugly between your fingers.


With durability and portability in mind, the ForeverPen looks to be the ideal pen for on-the-go writing. My only issue is how small it is. I have big fingers, so holding the pen that isn’t even an inch long might prove troublesome. Then again, this pen is meant for jotting down quick marks and notes – not for an essay-long composition. If you’re looking to make a swift memo, this pen will certainly get the job done without any fuss.


The ForeverPen is still in the prototype stage, but it already has a current backing of £389,318 on Indiegogo.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 09, 2021 02:37 PM

The Javelin Blog

Hidden Gems in SOLIDWORKS 2021 and Later

This year TriMech painstakingly reviewed each of the new SOLIDWORKS 2021 features and enhancements that were delivered with the latest release. We read through the documentation and picked out the best content so you didn’t have to!

TriMech released the ‘Top 11 Features in SOLIDWORKS 2021’ to share a portion of these improvements, but there are a few more hidden gems in 2021 that you should know about! This blog will review some of the lesser-known enhancements released with SOLIDWORKS 2021.

Accelerated Zoom

Can’t seem to zoom the viewport fast enough? Well, now you’ll be able to zoom faster than ever before!

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Accelerated Zoom

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Accelerated Zoom

In the graphics area, you can press Shift + Mouse Wheel for accelerated zooming. To use accelerated zoom:

  1. Close all documents.
  2. Click System Options > Display.
  3. Clear Display scrollbars in graphics view for parts and assemblies.
  4. In an open document, press Shift + move the mouse wheel and zoom in or out.

Redo Support for Part Features

Have you ever accidentally clicked Undo too many times? Take advantage of the new Redo capabilities in part files!

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Redo Support Hidden Features

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Redo Support

You can use Redo for more than 60 features and commands in parts. Previously, Redo was only available in sketches. You can reverse multiple Undo changes by clicking next to Redo and selecting an item on the list. Not all part commands support Redo in SOLIDWORKS 2021. Exceptions Include:

  • Annotations
  • Hole features
  • Instant3D modifications
  • Mold tools
  • Sheet Metal
  • Weldments

Correct Cut List Length of Weldment Member

Do you sometimes struggle with a weldment cut list reporting incorrect lengths for odd-shaped bodies? It is now easier than ever to calculate the value you expect!

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Cut List Length

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Cut List Length

You can calculate the correct cut list length of a weldment member in the cut list properties. You can calculate the correct length when you:

  • Use a Move Face or Move/Copy Body feature and then extrude a cut or a hole
  • Create the part that contains multiple sketches by selecting Merge miter trimmed bodies
  • Create an extruded cut or hole that modifies multiple faces across groups

Need Training? Check out our Upcoming SOLIDWORKS Weldments Classes

Spacing Options for Chain Patterns

Have you ever needed to define spacing in a chain pattern based on the distance along the path rather than just a linear distance? Well, now it is as simple as selecting the option!

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Chain Patterns Spacing Options

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Chain Patterns Spacing Options

You can define the spacing between chain pattern instances as a measure along a path for Distance and Distance Linkage chain patterns. In the Chain Pattern Property Manager, select a spacing method:

  • Distance along path: Spaces pattern instances at the specified distance as measured along a path.
  • Linear distance: Spaces pattern instances at the specified distance as measured as a linear distance.

New features and enhancements like these might not steal the limelight amongst the 100+ other enhancements released each year, but you never know when one may greatly help you in your day-to-day modeling. Whether these yearly enhancements allow us to work faster, avoid mistakes or do something completely new, it is always worth taking a look to see where you’ll benefit from the ever-evolving tools in SOLIDWORKS.

SOLIDWORKS Update Training

Try our SOLIDWORKS Advanced Update training course to learn the advanced functionality within the core SOLIDWORKS product including all the features you wish you had known about before; including content from the most recent releases of SOLIDWORKS, the training will help you to develop an efficient skillset with the most advanced features and functionality.

The post Hidden Gems in SOLIDWORKS 2021 and Later appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at August 09, 2021 12:46 PM

August 07, 2021


Delving Into The Scummy World of Inkjet Printers

printer scam

I’m happy we live in a prevalent digital age. Things are pretty instant now to the point that you don’t need to move a muscle just to have a specific task done. Need to sweep the floor? There’s the Roomba. Need breakfast ready when you wake up? There are self-timer kitchen appliances. So, how come despite these improvements in technology, printers still manage to jam? It’s 2021 and things shouldn’t be like this! Or should they?

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In an eye-opening video by Austin McConnell, he detailed just how scammy inkjet printers can be. To be specific, he talked about how these ancient noise machines work in tandem with their plastic refills to deliver the worst possible customer experience ever; all in the hopes of selling you more of the same stuff.

printer scam

For instance, while printers themselves are sold relatively cheap, the ink they use is so crazy expensive that buying a couple of cartridges already offsets the cost of the printer.

There are no high-end materials used in production. In fact, Austin found out the cost of making a single inkjet printer cartridge doesn’t even add up to a single US quarter. This is just a ploy by printer companies and ink manufacturers to get you to pay for the ability to use your printer.

printer scam

And once you have that ink in your printer, there’s no telling what and when problems might occur. The printer might not print properly anytime; requiring you to use that precious ink you just bought to print several pages just to find out what’s wrong. By the time you’ve fixed the error, your printer might already be low on ink and require yet another cartridge.

printer scam

Here’s where it gets even worse. Ink cartridges are designed with chips inside them. According to Austin, these do nothing to make printing easier or more efficient. What these sneaky chips do is tell your printer that a specific ink color is low when it actually isn’t. This will obviously prompt your printer to stop printing.

If you’ve ever wondered why printers won’t print even if you aren’t using that ‘low-level’ color, there’s your answer. Unless all the colors are refilled to reach the acceptable level mandated by the printer, it won’t start working.

printer scam

“I’ll just use the black ink, then,” you said. But would it work? Possibly not.

As it turns out, certain printers are designed to mix in some colors of ink (usually cyan) with your blank ink documents. They do this under the guise of telling you the color comes out better, but it’s just a ploy to get you to spend more on colored ink which you rarely use. (I don’t even recall the last time I printed something in color!)

To add to all this, printer and ink manufacturers constantly update their hardware so it won’t work on the older models. Did you buy a printer back in 2010? Chances are you’ll be hard-pressed to find cartridges that still fit it. Your only option then would be to buy a new printer that complements the current market cartridges (which might also become obsolete in a few years’ time). What happens after that? It starts all over again.

It’s a never-ending cycle.

The entire video is definitely worth watching, especially that most of us own a printer or two at home. And in case you find yourself doubting it, feel free to give your old printer a test and wait till it goes loco for no apparent reasons.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 07, 2021 06:28 PM

August 06, 2021


Can a US$15 Walmart Fan Compete With a US$650 Dyson Fan?

fan comparisson

Not everyone has an excessive amount of money to burn… including me. That’s why when I desperately want something fancy and expensive, I find cheaper alternatives.

That’s what I exactly did when the last of my fans at home died and saw the alluring ad of that Dyson fan. The power? Check. The price? US$650. The alternative? US$15 fan from Walmart. But is it worth it?

This led me to this helpful video.

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YouTuber Mark Spurrell recently bought a brand new, highly expensive US$649 Dyson Pure Cool fan. He then compared it to his old US$15 Walmart fan he picked up in the appliance aisle. By taking into account the multiple features of each fan and using an anemometer and a sound-level meter, he pitted the two fans against each other. The end results are just shocking.

Features at Length

fan comparisson

Apparently, there is just no way a US$15 fan can compete with the system of a US$600 fan. Apart from the 10 speed options, the Dyson Pure Cool also comes with an air purifier which constantly checks and filters the air around it.

fan comparisson

All of this information, from the current air speed to the amount and type of substances detected by the air purifier, is displayed on a tiny LCD screen located at the front of the fan. It even updates you on the air purifier’s filter life! To top it off, the Dyson Pure Cool can be controlled via a downloadable app on your phone or the remote control which comes with the fan.

The Walmart fan, like most ordinary standing fans, has four physical buttons which allow you to adjust the speed or turn it off. It isn’t the most complex button layout in the world, but it has served mankind well during hot summer days.

The Blades

fan comparisson

Take one look at the Dyson fan and you’ll notice a giant hole without any fan blade. That’s because unlike most fans (the Walmart fan included), Dyson’s fan blades are hidden from sight.

The blades are basically located inside the fan’s pedestal. They suck up the air and release it through these tiny slits on the side of the fan; all without any exposed blades that could harm children, pets, or a very inquisitive owner.

This all feeds into a fan’s integral purpose…

Wind Speed

fan comparisson

Here’s where it gets interesting. You’d think that a US$650 fan would outdo a cheap US$15 fan in all categories, but Spurrell discovered that the Walmart fan actually beats Dyson Pure Cool in terms of wind speed.

fan comparisson

Spurrell used an anemometer to measure the fans’ maximum wind speeds at 3 ft and 6 ft distances. The result? The Walmart fan produced wind speeds of 6.5 mph and 5.1 mph, respectively; while the Dyson gave out a maximum output of 4.9 mph and 3.1 mph, respectively. With all this, you can clearly see who the winner is.

The unique designs of the two different fans would probably explain their wind speed performances. The Walmart fan prioritizes wind speed, while the Dyson highlights the aesthetics and safety.

In the end, this led the cheap fan to beat out a fan 43 times more expensive than it is in the most important category.


fan comparisson

With all that wind power emanating from the fans, noise can be a primary concern. To figure this out, Spurrell used a sound-level meter to measure the noise each fan could make on different power levels at a 3ft distance.

Producing 56.3 decibels at maximum power, the Dyson fan appeared louder than the Walmart fan which only reached 45.4 decibels.

As long as you won’t be pushing your fans to their maximum speed all the time, this won’t be a problem. However, it could be a problem if you want to enjoy the full potential of the Dyson fan, given it has 10 speed levels.

fan comparisson

So there you have it: simple, timeless design beating out expensive innovation.

While the Dyson fan definitely has its reputation due to its advanced features, it might not be worth the hundreds of US dollars if you could not enjoy it to the fullest. As Mark Spurrell wisely stated in his video, it might even be better to get a separate fan and humidifier at a cheaper sum.

So, what would I be buying? Oh, you know it.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 06, 2021 06:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Ryerson Formula Racing team uses carbon fiber 3D printing to create strong, durable parts for their racecar

Ryerson Formula Racing (RFR) is a team of students from different programs who collaborate to design, build, and race a formula-style open-wheeled race car. The team participates in multiple race events including the most anticipated annual Formula SAE Michigan international competition.

The RFR team approached Javelin’s Additive Professional Service’s team to help create a strong, durable heel cup part for the pedal box that could be used across cars. Javelin has partnered with the RFR team for many years, and we are proud to collaborate and support students.

3D printed heel cups

Heel cups 3D printed using FDM Nylon 12CF

The Challenge

RFR’s first electric vehicle required some improvement to the heel cups of the pedal box, an essential part to the operation of the vehicle. Due to the design of the pedal box, the driver’s feet rest above the throttle and brake mounts to line up with their respective pedals. The heel cups are designed to hold the driver’s legs in position under all driving conditions as well as give the drivers the ability to have accurate pedal inputs for acceleration and braking.

The heel cups are difficult to traditionally manufacture and that is where 3D printing can have an impact. The previous heel cups were manufactured from aluminum sheet metal that was folded and curved into the desired shape and then welded. This method was labour intensive and resulted in errors. Using sheet metal caused ergonomic and mounting limitations due to the shape and forming constraint of metal. 3D printing eliminates these barriers and allows complex geometries to be manufactured quickly and easily.

The Solution

The heel cups were 3D printed using a carbon-filled thermoplastic called FDM Nylon 12CF. The material is comprised of a blend of Nylon 12 resin and chopped carbon fiber. The combination produces one of the strongest thermoplastics in the FDM material portfolio providing one of the most durable and strongest 3D parts. Nylon 12CF is available on the Fortus 450mc and F900 3D printers and can be used to replace parts that are traditionally metal. The team chose to use carbon fiber material due to its strength to weight ratio and durability. It is a material the team is familiar with and has used for previous vehicles.

Heel cup final 3D printed part in Nylon 12CF

Heel cup final 3D printed part in Nylon 12CF

The Outcome

The final product is a strong, high-quality nylon carbon fiber part that has been tumbled to provide a smooth surface finish. 3D printing the heel cups reduces design constraints, allowing the team to design with ergonomic features while reducing part weight and increasing stiffness.

Additive Professional Services

Javelin’s Additive Professional Services team provides expert advice and services to help you scan, design, and make your products. The team has over 25 years of Canadian manufacturing experience and has access to the latest manufacturing equipment and software from Stratasys, Artec 3D, Universal Laser, and SOLIDWORKS.

Learn More

The post Ryerson Formula Racing team uses carbon fiber 3D printing to create strong, durable parts for their racecar appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Kelly Clancy at August 06, 2021 04:07 PM

August 05, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Learn from a SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Pro

Want to sharpen your Sheet Metal skills? This presentation from a SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Pro offers some of the greatest tips, tricks, and best practices to make you more efficient and help get your Sheet Metal jobs done faster.

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There is nothing more old school than Insert Bends. But did you know that Insert Bends is still very useful? We’ll show you why. How can you be more productive with Base Flange? Got that covered, too. And learn why Covert to Sheet Metal is probably the coolest way to create your sheet metal designs. And much more.

About the Presenter

You will be led by SOLIDWORKS power-user favorite Toby Schnaars, who makes learning entertaining and enjoyable. His tips are a must for any SOLIDWORKS user.

Want to learn more?

Attend a SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal training course live online with Javelin.

The post Learn from a SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Pro appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Dassault Systèmes at August 05, 2021 01:52 PM

August 04, 2021

The Javelin Blog

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Tutorial Part 13: Project Wrap Up

We’ve come to the end of our 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Tutorial series. With this Carving Knife project, we’ve used tools available with 3DEXPERIENCE Works to process a design change of a carving knife from a corded version to a cordless version. Here is a summary video of the tools we used, and how we were able to use them:

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Project Planner

Tracy was able to use the Project Planner role to lay out tasks for each engineer to accomplish. Project Planner allows the tasks to be organized based on date and allows for tracking of resource usage and what is at risk of running late. Each engineer then gets the task listed in their platform and can move it to In Work and Completed to let everyone know how the project is progressing.

3DEXPERIENCE Project Planner

3D Product Architect

I used the 3D Product Architect role to lay out the desired project structure of the knife in a web browser. The role allows existing and new parts to be added to an assembly structure, so that when the assembly is opened in the CAD system, the components are ready for creation or assembly. It allows for the interrogation of assemblies without the need for the parent CAD system.

3DEXPERIENCE 3D Product Architect

3DEXPERIENCE 3D Product Architect

3D Sculptor

Sarah used the 3D Sculptor xShape App to create a new design using subdivision modeling techniques right inside her web browser. This allows for many design iterations to be quickly and easily created and then brought into SOLIDWORKS. Subdivision modeling provides a more robust ability to make changes than traditional surfacing techniques.




Wayne was able to use the same SOLIDWORKS tools as desktop SOLIDWORKS in the cloud-connected version called 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS which is licensed and launched from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. It is web-connected from the start. It allows users to quickly open and manipulate designs done in xDesign or xShape and build the manufacturing features around them. Since it is connected to the platform from the beginning, all designs are automatically saved to the platform where every user has access to them.



Structural Mechanics Engineer

Suman was able to use the Structural Mechanics Engineer role to perform a drop test simulation on the new handle design. These tools, built on the powerful ABAQUS solvers, allow for the accurate solving of highly nonlinear situations found in these impact-type problems. The role also opens up the ability for cloud computing. Studies can be solved on cloud servers in a much faster timeframe than if the same problem were run locally.

3DEXPERIENCE Structural Mechanics Engineer

3DEXPERIENCE Structural Mechanics Engineer

Plastics Injection Engineer

I used the Plastics Injection Engineer role to perform a mold fill analysis on our handle design. With a few quick steps, guided by an assistant panel, you can set the material, mold parameters and gate location to determine if a part will fill easily in a mold. You can also analyze sink marks and vent locations and make any needed changes before cutting tooling.

3DEXPERIENCE Plastics Injection Engineer

3DEXPERIENCE Plastics Injection Engineer

Shop Floor Programmer

Paul used the Shop Floor Programmer role to write a 3 Axis toolpath on our complex handle insert. The role has 3 axis surface programming along with full machine simulation to allow for quick manufacture of your designs.

3DEXPERIENCE Shop Floor Programmer

3DEXPERIENCE Shop Floor Programmer

This design shows how tightly integrated SOLIDWORKS is with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. We were able to easily accomplish a design change using only tools available on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. We took the cordless knife from concept to manufacture and were able to follow the entire process along the way. If you enjoyed this design, please join us for our next series where we will complete and document a design entirely within tools available in a web browser.

Interested in 3DEXPERIENCE Works?

Visit our website to learn how 3DEXPERIENCE® SOLIDWORKS® connects the industry-leading SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD desktop solution to the 3DEXPERIENCE Works platform, a cloud-based product development environment.

The post 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Tutorial Part 13: Project Wrap Up appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at August 04, 2021 04:21 PM


“GTA GeoGuesser” Takes In-Game Screenshots and Turns Them Into Fun Geographic Game

gta geoguesser

If you haven’t heard about it, GeoGuessr is a nifty (and sometimes free) web-based geographic game designed by Swedish IT consultant Anton Wallén. It uses Google Street View or Mapillary images which randomly plop you in a region of your choice. When the game starts, you have to figure out your exact location using your surroundings.

The gameplay always centers on a unique gameplay loop that is easy to understand. With multiple countries, modes, and even pro leagues to play in, GeoGuessr has brought in tons of players since its release in 2013.

What about GTA GeoGuesser?

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-154234" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_154234" style="width: 560px">gta geoguesser<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-154234">Image Source: Rockstar Games/ GTA GeoGuesser</figcaption></figure>

Much like the original game it’s based on, GTA GeoGuesser takes in-game screenshots of the massively popular Grand Theft Auto 5 and Grand Theft Auto Online video games and uses them to place players in a random location in the fictional state of San Andreas. Once there, the hunt for your location begins!

If you’re someone like me who plays video games more than he travels, this is a perfect way to test your knowledge of the in-game map. Considering GTA 5 and GTA Online have been out for almost a decade now (and the original versions of the games were launched in 2013), lots of players can instantly determine where they are without the use of a minimap.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-154235" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_154235" style="width: 560px">gta geoguesser<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-154235">Image Source: Rockstar Games/ GTA GeoGuesser</figcaption></figure>

I’ve played a couple of rounds of GTA GeoGuesser and it was scary knowing how fast and accurately I recognized where I was on the map. And compared to my numerous failed attempts at playing the original GeoGuessr, I already have my telltale sign that I should get out more.

GTA GeoGuesser was made by a man called Louis Klimek and is completely free for everyone to play. It just currently features a difficulty slider, a timer, and the ability to enable or disable your movement; nonetheless, let us hope that the creator would consider more modes and options in the near future.

So, should you want to help support the project, you can do so on Patreon.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 04, 2021 03:17 PM

How to Turn a Rusty, Old Cleaver Into a Handsome Kitchen Cutting Apparatus

restoring old cleaver

There’s just something about restoration projects that really fascinates me. It might be the joy of seeing the years of wear and tear being removed from something old. It could even be the intricate process of restoration. Or, perhaps, it’s just that I see the sentimental value in every single stuff. No matter what the reason is, it’s always nice to see something get a second chance at life.

Forgotten Shine Restoration is a relatively new YouTube channel dedicated to restoring old things to their natural splendor. This often involves a lot of rust removal, sanding, and, on occasion, making a couple of improvements to very old designs.

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Just take a look at how they restored an old cleaver found in a flea market. The video is best watched for yourself as it includes a lot of satisfying visual and audio ASMR, but I would like to point out a couple of clever tricks they used to bring this cleaver back into the kitchen.

Removing Rust With Electrolysis

restoring old cleaver

You’ve seen people use rust remover to chip off years of the flaky orange stuff, but not everyone knows you can use electrolysis to achieve similar results.

By attaching a couple of electrical wires to the cleaver and dipping it in a sodium hydrogen carbonate solution, they were able to create an environment around it where the majority of the rust-removal process would occur. Drop some metal rods to run a current through it and what do you get after 16 hours of waiting? Layers of rust that can be easily scraped off.

Grinding and Shaping the Sides

restoring old cleaver

While not an obscure trick, grinding the jagged edges of the cleaver made it look cleaner and allowed it to be sanded and sharpened more easily. This also brought back some of the shapes the cleaver lost over the years due to rust and corrosion.

Using the belt grinder also removed all of the pitted corrosion on the side of the cleaver; returning its shine and reflectiveness.

The Knife Sharpening Jig

restoring old cleaver

You would normally use a grindstone to sharpen your knives, but did you know that knife sharpening jigs exist? Because I sure didn’t!

This handy tool lets you sharpen your knives at just the right angle. For this project, the cleaver was attached to the end of the knife sharpening jig and run along a length of sandpaper at 30°. This restored the cleaver’s fine cutting edge. The process also made it easier to sharpen the cleaver using a grindstone afterward.

Iron (III) Chloride and Coffee

restoring old cleaver

Want to give your metals that cool, blackened look? Dunk them in some iron III chloride!

After giving it time to stick to the metal (around 5 minutes), they removed the cleaver and scrubbed it underwater with some steel wool. They repeated this four more times until the metal was nice and dark.

restoring old cleaver

To cap it all off, they dunked the blackened cleaver in some instant coffee and left it for a day. This made the cleaver look even darker and grittier (I’m sure it smelled like a café for a while!) To make it shine and maybe remove some of the smell, they slathered the metal in cooking oil.

restoring old cleaver

The blackened cleaver is paired with an ebony handle which, thanks to the mixture of wood glue and ebony wood dust, looks fantastic. It may not be the exact same cleaver it was years ago, but it definitely looks better and cuts now with a sharp edge!

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 04, 2021 02:27 PM

August 03, 2021

The Javelin Blog

What You Need to Know Before the SOLIDWORKS 2022 Release

SOLIDWORKS 2022 has been in public beta since June and the new version is scheduled for release in late November. Whether you update every year or only occasionally, there are things you should do that will assure your SOLIDWORKS update is an interruption-free process.

Join us on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at 10:00 AM EST for our webinar, as TriMech Elite Application Engineer, John Landis, will help you plan for the update and what you can do to set yourself up for success. John will discuss the best practices, backing up your system, and getting the most out of your user settings. This is also a great time to evaluate your organization’s overall SOLIDWORKS installation, assess your PC hardware, and tweak Windows settings for optimal performance with SOLIDWORKS.

In this webinar you will learn:

  • SOLIDWORKS and PDM system requirements
  • Installation type options
  • Custom file locations & best practices
  • Backing up system & user settings
  • Multiple versions of SOLIDWORKS

Can’t attend? Register anyway and we’ll send you a recording!

About The Presenter

John Landis, Elite Application Engineer

John started with TriMech in 2006, bringing nearly 20 years of real-world engineering, design and manufacturing exposure. He has experience with chemical processing equipment, industrial kilns and design for close tolerance high precision machining. In addition to his expertise in SOLIDWORKS, he also is a 3D Printing Field Engineer.

The post What You Need to Know Before the SOLIDWORKS 2022 Release appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at August 03, 2021 06:56 PM

August 02, 2021


Magnapot Turns Your Workspace Into a Modular Garden


Most desk jobs nowadays involve staying indoors in front of a computer screen. While this is fine for introverts and shut-ins, it doesn’t bode well for those who long for the great outdoors. So why not bring a small and manageable piece to your workspace?

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Magnapot is a series of modular ceramic pots which you can use to spruce up the insides of your home. With the neodymium magnetic tips found on each pot’s side, you can add more pots to your ever-growing garden with zero effort.

Each Magnapot measures 5.25 inches long, 4 inches wide, and has a height of 3 inches. They also weigh 1 pound each; indeed, they are quite heavy for something you’re supposed to snap together like pieces of LEGO.


Unlike other small pots, Magnapots are wick-integrated. The Magnapot nourishes your plant without any help from you as long as the wick touches the water;  nonetheless, I’m pretty sure you still need to manually change the water!

Magnapots can hold all sorts of small plants, from the tiny bonsai tree to my personal and low-maintenance favorite: the cactus.


Apart from serving as a potted plant holder, the Magnapot can also hold your office supplies and knickknacks. You can dump your pencils, paints, pens, and many other small objects that start with the letter ‘P’.

As for another P, painting, you can actually use the water-containing properties of the Magnapot to mix your watercolor paints. You can easily moisten your brush with a set of Magnapots near your canvas, as long as you’re ready to clean up some mess afterward.


With different pots having different magnet configurations, you can be creative with the Magnapots in any way you want. The standard Magnapot box comes with four spherical pots: 2 with four tipped magnets and 2 with two tipped magnets. They aren’t still that distinctive from each other, but the creators are working on making new designs that will liven up your Magnapot collection.

Magnapot is currently live on Kickstarter and is backed by a ton of plant lovers. Currently, it has a funding of US$11,685 – almost double its initial US$5,000 goal. Well, I guess people have been cooped up so long that they want a piece of the outdoors with them in their homes!

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 02, 2021 05:51 PM

The Javelin Blog

Favorite Time Saving Tips for Epic SOLIDWORKS Performance

Are you a SOLIDWORKS user looking to strengthen your epic performance? This webinar is for you! Come learn all the tips and tricks to get faster at modeling, tackle large assemblies and gain back more time in your day.

Join us on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 10:00am ET for our webinar, as TriMech Elite Application Engineer, Stephen Petrock, will share his favorite tips for epic modeling speed and performance. During this webinar, you will learn how to become more productive and how to save time with your modeling. Stephen will show you a few tricks on how to dominate large assemblies and get the performance for your drawings you have been missing.

In this webinar, you will will learn:

  • How to get more SOLIDWORKS performance with large assemblies
  • Keyboard short cuts to use for modeling speed
  • How to be a performance pro with workflow and steps
  • How to spend less time modeling

Can’t attend? Register anyway and we’ll send you a recording!

About The Presenter

Stephen Petrock, Elite Application Engineer

Stephen has been with TriMech for over eight years. He received his Elite Application Engineer certification in 2012 and has focused on the simulation product suite for TriMech. He lives in Florida but enjoys traveling to meet with clients and help them optimize their designs and engineering processes to help improve their businesses.

The post Favorite Time Saving Tips for Epic SOLIDWORKS Performance appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at August 02, 2021 02:20 PM

August 01, 2021


Flagship Light Turns Skillets Into Grills

flagship light

There’s just something about the smokey, outdoorsy smell and flavor of well-grilled foods that get me. But as summer ends and the weird weather approaches, chances to cook on an outdoor grill become few and far between. So instead of hoping for good weather, why not bring the grill inside your home?

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Flagship Light isn’t another pan or skillet you need to buy. Instead, it takes your preexisting 10 and 12-inch bottom skillets and effortlessly turns them into cast iron grills.

This 1 cm thick (0.4-inch) piece of cast iron is machined to be as thin and light as possible. Those iconic ridges (which give the telltale signs that the food has been grilled) are actually leveled, allowing the fats and liquids to drain to the outer area of the pan. This also lets the entirety of the piece of food be equally heated and cooked properly, making for some really fine grilled foods.

Even if you don’t own a skillet (or if you just feel like using it), the Flagship Light can also be used as it is. That said, you can directly use this piece of cast iron onto your kitchen stove or simply place it on top of any outdoor fire to grill some fine foods.

Moreover, campers and outdoorsmen can easily carry the Flagship Light in their packs without taking up too much space since it is so thin and lightweight.

Flagship Lights are non-stick and you can easily clean them with some hot water. If you don’t want to burn yourself on a searing hot piece of metal, there are also some stainless steel Easy Grips which you can get. This should allow you to move the Flagship Light around without touching it.

This cast iron attachment is currently live on Kickstarter, where it has already raised more than 20 times its initial US$5,000 goal. Now, it has whopping funding of US$101,872. The reason? Well, I guess people just really love their grilled foods!

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 01, 2021 01:45 PM

Can Car Windows Break Fingers?

car window experiments

When I was four, I had that stupid idea of stopping the blades of an electric fan… using my tiny fingers. Really just a child curious about things. Long story short, I wasn’t able to point at things for a while. But, the good news is I still have that finger (in case you were wondering), satisfied my curiosity, and learned a very important lesson.

That was with a fast-spinning fan. But what would happen if you stuck your finger in something slower? Like say, a car window?

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After finding out a German-made Volkswagen’s windows would automatically pull back once it has detected an obstruction, YouTuber William Osman turned into a curious little child. With the bizarre idea somewhat similar to the one I had as a kid, he wanted to test how far could fingers go in terms of car windows.

Osman would use a Ford Taurus’s more dangerous, non-automated windows for the said experiment. Exciting. However, being an intelligent adult, he had the foresight to not put his own fingers in harm’s way.

car window experiments

The American car easily broke through a couple of food items found in William’s fridge, but those didn’t have bones, ligaments, or skin. So, to test if the car window could actually break a human finger, William’s team had to make something with similar components as a human finger.

Four “fingers” were created for the experiments, each with different makeup.

Ballistic Gelatin

car window experiments

The first finger was made from simple ballistic gelatin – which was basically Jell-O with no “bone” inside whatsoever. The Ford Taurus made short work of this finger; as it had almost no resistance when crushed by the car window.

Synthetic Ballistic Gelatin

car window experiments

The second finger also had no bones inside of it but was made from a more expensive synthetic ballistic gelatin. Unlike the first finger, the synthetic gel was supposed to be reusable and better simulate the ballistic properties of gelatin.

When pitted against the Ford Taurus’s windows, the synthetic gel bent just as easily as the first finger, only it didn’t break. So if you happen to have no bones in your fingers, I guess you wouldn’t have to worry about getting them stuck on a car window!

Oak Dowel and Synthetic Ballistic Gelatin

car window experiments

Eager to see some bones snap, Osman tried a much newer American car.

For the finger though, he used a mix of synthetic ballistic gel with a piece of oak dowel inside to simulate a human bone. He put the finger in place, raised the window, and it just snapped the oak in two!

Since human fingers have thick ligaments and bones inside them, I don’t think this would prove that a car window could actually break a finger. The oak dowel used was actually quite thin, and it isn’t really the best representation of what would happen if you stuck your finger in a car window.

Human Bone and Synthetic Ballistic Gelatin

car window experiments

But you know what is a good representation of human bones for the experiment? Actual human bones!

Osman never really checked if the finger bones he bought online were actual human bones, but I would rather give him the benefit of the doubt than find out the truth. Just like with the oak dowel finger, he coated the bones in synthetic ballistic gelatin and left it to solidify before beginning the experiment.

Crushing this finger in the car window destroyed the gel, but the bone itself was left untouched. They even tried positioning the finger at a specific angle so that the biggest bone would get pinched by the window. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the dried-up human bone didn’t break.

So there you have it. While you might end up with a couple of bruises and even a broken fingernail or skin (should you be unlucky), there just isn’t enough crushing force in a normal car window for it to completely break your finger. Thank goodness for that!

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 01, 2021 01:02 PM

Make a Simple Heron’s Fountain Out of Bottles and Straws

Heron's fountain

Have you ever wondered how one of those perpetual Heron’s fountains works? You know, those ones with a seemingly infinite supply of water?

You could look it up on Google, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, why not have YouTuber DaveHax explain it with a miniature Heron’s fountain built out of bottles and straws?

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The build itself is quite simple. Drill a couple of holes slightly larger in diameter than the straws into three bottle caps. Two of these caps should be glued together, allowing one bottle to stand upside down atop the other.

The upside-down bottle should have two drilled holes on its bottom (which is now its top). This will allow the straws to pass through to the fountain top. The Heron’s fountain top is made by cutting out the plastic top of the third bottle.

Heron's fountain

Getting the lengths of the straws is a bit tricky but with a little bit of color coding, anyone can get it right.

Two connected straws (denoted by their red color) should feed into the three bottles. A shorter combination of straws (yellow) should protrude just a few inches through the top of the bottom bottle. However, it should also cover most of the space inside the upside-down bottle. Finally, a set of blue straws should run down the length of the upside-down bottle and protrude slightly from the bottom of the Heron’s fountain top.

Got all that? No? Well then, here’s an image DaveHax made which better explains the straw placements:

Heron's fountain

As you can see, the Heron’s fountain works using water displacement and air pressure. When you fill up the fountain above, water flows down the red straw to the bottom bottle. The air inside the bottom bottle then gets pushed via the yellow straw into the upside-down bottle, which in turn pushes the water inside that one through the blue straw on top of the Heron’s fountain.

Heron's fountain

The Heron’s fountain will continue working until the water totally fills up the bottom bottle or goes below the blue straw in the upside-down bottle. Once that happens, all you need to do is flip the fountain upside down. This fills up the upside-down bottle, and whatever excess water remains should fall into the bottom bottle. You can then take this excess and use it to fill up the fountain top above; starting the process all over again.

In more sophisticated Heron’s fountains (i.e. the ones you see in malls and parks), an electronic mechanism pours more water into the fountain above. This eliminates the human element; bringing the world one step closer to machine domination.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 01, 2021 11:08 AM

July 30, 2021


Here’s Dom the Robot: The Next Great Domino Artist

mark rober dominator

Mark Rober, a former NASA and Apple engineer, always has something up his sleeve. This time, his newest project is a domino-stacking robot he nicknamed “Dom” (short for “Dominator”).

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As said, Dom has one specific function: to stack as many dominoes as fast and as accurately as possible without a single misplaced piece. Why, you ask? Because stacking millions of dominoes in lines would probably cost any person’s sanity. Plus, who doesn’t love toppling them over without the fear of doing it again because you have a reliable domino-stacking robot?

This makes the robot extra special compared to Mark’s previous projects. And though it took him and three undergraduate engineers five years to complete Dom, Mark feels satisfied with his creation.

mark rober dominator

But before we get to Dom, we have to first look at the impressive loading station made primarily out of Hot Wheels tracks and various custom 3D printed parts.

mark rober dominator

Using conveyor belts, dominoes are loaded by color onto the station where a Kuka robot arm at the top awaits them. The arm picks up the dominoes one by one and places them into 1 of the 300 chutes, which are all made of plastic Hot Wheels tracks measuring 2.7 miles or 4.3 km in length.

Once the dominoes are loaded, Dom swoops in under the loading station and waits for them. The lower layer of dominoes is dropped and off he goes to place them!

mark rober dominator

Dom himself is just as impressive as the loading station. Thanks to a pre-programmed route and GPS sensors, the robot knows exactly where to go to place the dominoes. As Dom comes closer to his destination, its positioning gets fine-tuned with the aid of infrared cameras and trackers on the ground.

mark rober dominator

To get around, Dom is fitted with omnidirectional wheels. While your normal wheel can only go forwards or backward, omni-wheels have small discs on them which allow for fine movements in any direction. With these wheels combined with a few brushless servo motors, Dom can make accurate and minimal adjustments to his position very easily.

mark rober dominator

Dom also has some 3D printed parts on his front end which funnel dominoes into the slots. Once the dominoes are loaded, a servo slides out a tray underneath the dominoes; effectively placing them in the desired location. Of course, that’s only scratching the surface of the Dominator. If you want to find out more about Dom’s design, you can check it out here.

Now, for Dom’s actual business:

mark rober dominator

After easily besting mere human domino artist Lily Hevesh in a stacking competition, Dom set his sights on filling an entire warehouse with over 100,000 stacked dominoes.

mark rober dominator

As you would expect from a machine built specifically for this purpose, the Dominator stacked all the dominoes in order without a single accidental topple. The end result was a beautiful 100,000-domino mural of Super Domino Bros.

The build took a little more than 24 hours. Nonetheless, considering it took a group of domino artists a hellish week to do the same thing only to experience sorts of error, Dom’s performance can be considered truly impressive.

mark rober dominator

With the dominoes in place, the only thing left to do for the team was to knock them down! Mark Rober made a special mechanism which pushed a series of pipes down onto the domino art. After 5 years of hard and grueling work, hearing those dominoes fall in sync must be 10 times more satisfying for them than for any of us who can just witness the marvel on YouTube.

by Carlos Zotomayor at July 30, 2021 04:45 PM

The Javelin Blog

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Tutorial Part 12: Shop Floor Programmer for CAM

In the previous part of our 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Tutorial series we reviewed mold design. In this tutorial we are reviewing the features in Shop Floor Programmer that make it very easy to create the program for our carving knife handle as we program half of the mold for the handle that has been created.

When a new product is developed, it is important to gain a clear understanding of how variables will impact production. Shop Floor Programmer helps us do that and is available inside of the 3DEXPERIENCE Works. It includes 2.5 and 3 Axis Milling operations, kinematic machine simulation, 3 + 2 Machining and Probing.

Watch the tutorial video below to learn how we simulated the machining of this part:

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Reviewing the Mold for CAM Programmer

We can access and review the mold prior to programming. Files programmed in Shop Floor Machining can be leveraged from the 3DEXPERIENCE design tools or from an external resource.

3DEXPERIENCE Shop Floor Programmer Mold Review

3DEXPERIENCE Shop Floor Programmer Mold Review

Shop Floor Machining

Shop Floor Machining allows for setups of machining cells that can be reused. In this case, we will use a Tormach Machine already set up. The carving knife mold simply needs to be inserted and positioned. After identifying the work offset and rough stock, it is ready to be programmed.

3DEXPERIENCE Shop Floor Machining Tormach Machine

3DEXPERIENCE Shop Floor Machining Tormach Machine

CAM Tool Selection

We are provided with Axial, Prismatic and Surface Machining Options for programming. Once a machining method is selected, we can leverage tool selection through a created and saved Tool Catalog.

Shop Floor Machining CAM Programmer allows for full customization of the operations, including entry, retract, step overs and feeds.

3DEXPERIENCE Shop Floor Machining Operations Customization

3DEXPERIENCE Shop Floor Machining Operations Customization

Machine Simulation

Once the part is fully programmed, the Machine Simulation is a click away. There are options for Stock removal and Toolpath visualization during the simulation.

Machine Simulation

Machine Simulation

The Shop Floor Programmer CAM role is a complete solution for 3 Axis Milling. Leveraging the tools in Shop Floor Machining, the carving knife mold can be programmed and verified within minutes. This allows for a seamless transition between the other apps in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

Interested in 3DEXPERIENCE Works?

Visit our website to learn how 3DEXPERIENCE® SOLIDWORKS® connects the industry-leading SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD desktop solution to the 3DEXPERIENCE Works platform, a cloud-based product development environment.

The post 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Tutorial Part 12: Shop Floor Programmer for CAM appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at July 30, 2021 12:00 PM

July 29, 2021


How Much G-force Can an Average Human Withstand?

human centrifuge

Even with the human body’s natural ability to adapt, we aren’t exactly made to withstand too much g-force. You can chalk this up to humans’ inability to fly or run at supersonic speeds. So, why do some folks even bother going to high-G training? Well, it’s to up their g-tolerance before getting in an aircraft. But how do they do it? And how did it start?

In the 1950s, pilots would willingly strap themselves to rocket-propelled sleds and would get boosted across vast open areas. After attaining the specific amount of g, the sled would slow down with help from water troughs. Needless to say, it wasn’t the safest method in the world for g-force training.

Nowadays, aircraft pilots and astronauts train using a human centrifuge – a machine that spins them around at increasingly fast speeds. By gradually increasing the speed, people inside the centrifuge can practice proper routines without the fear of crashing a million-dollar aircraft.

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Thanks to the Royal Air Force, YouTuber Tom Scott was able to take a ride in their human centrifuge to see how much g-force a normal person can withstand.

human centrifuge

Of course, you need at least some form of basic training before getting in the centrifuge. Spinning in a rapidly accelerating capsule causes the blood in your body to flow towards your feet, so you need to tense your muscles to keep some of that blood in your upper regions. To be more precise, tensing your buttocks and legs forces the blood to go back to your head.

human centrifuge

Another exercise involves a breathing method that increases the strain in your upper chest. This not only increases the blood pressure in the greater blood vessels, but also makes sure your brain stays awake.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, the one big thing astronauts and pilots are trying to avoid is passing out. G-LOC, short for g-induced loss of consciousness, occurs when your brain doesn’t have enough blood. If your body fails to adapt to the g-forces properly, your brain undergoes cerebral hypoxia and you pass out. Apparently, you don’t want that when you’re hundreds of feet above the ground.

Even with the proper exercises, it takes time for the body to get accustomed to the g-forces exerted on it. Pilots normally can withstand up to 5gs. They can also tolerate up to 7gs with a special g-suit that restricts blood from leaving the upper body and brain.

human centrifuge

Unfortunately, Tom, who doesn’t have that much g-force training nor a g-suit, passed out from only 3.7 g-forces. When you compare his limit to that of John Paul Stapp’s record at 25 g-forces, you can see just how useful proper training and preparation can be.

by Carlos Zotomayor at July 29, 2021 03:24 PM

The Javelin Blog

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Tutorial Part 11: Mold Design

In the previous part of our 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Tutorial series we reviewed the plastic injection analysis process. In this tutorial we are going to show how the mold design tools can be easily utilized for functionality on this updated geometry.

Developing a tooling split can be an arduous process using lesser design tools. When using 3DEXPERIENCE Works, the workflow is very direct. With powerful mold tools built in, regardless of what access level you have in 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS, you can efficiently create a tooling split when building molds. With our carving knife handle, this is no exception.

Watch the tutorial video below to learn how we were able to design additional mechanical features and ultimately get to the final design with the powerful, built-in mold tools afforded to all 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS users:

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Organizing Steps

As you can see below, 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS organizes the mold operations very conveniently. Generally, I would recommend working just left to right in this command manager, in completion of the necessary steps to create the tooling split. However, for more complex molds, there are a variety of surfacing commands that will help along the way. If I back up a step further, I would highly recommend for all users looking to generate molds to take our SOLIDWORKS Surface Modeling and SOLIDWORKS Mold Design training classes.

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Mold Process Organization

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Mold Process Organization

Accounting for Part Shrinkage

In the screen below, I first scaled the handle at 6% to account for shrinkage after the injection molding process is complete.

Mold Shrinkage

Mold Shrinkage

Generating a Split

Next, we need to generate a split line that will dictate the separation between the core and cavity. The parting line command helps with respect to a draft angle color code whether there is a positive or negative draft, and this allows for quick visualization of these areas in the final part.

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Mold Process Generating a Split

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Mold Process Generating a Split

In this case, given the nature of the tight radiuses in the geometry, I chose to use the manual operation with the parting surface. This allowed me to create a very simple radiated surface perpendicular to the pull direction that will helpfully separate the upper and lower halves.

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Mold Process Manual Operation

Mold Process Manual Operation

Execute Tooling Split

The last operation to the mold tools operation is to execute the tooling split. This command will conveniently create the upper and lower solid bodies based on the prior commands being run in succession. Because we created a parting line, we can generate a parting surface, and all the necessary steps in terms of the core/cavity functions are created automatically for us, which is super convenient.

Execute Tooling Split

Execute Tooling Split

Below we can see the effect of running the move bodies command. Here, we can see all the pertinent participants in the mold.

Move Bodies

Move Bodies

Interested in 3DEXPERIENCE Works?

Visit our website to learn how 3DEXPERIENCE® SOLIDWORKS® connects the industry-leading SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD desktop solution to the 3DEXPERIENCE Works platform, a cloud-based product development environment.

The post 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Tutorial Part 11: Mold Design appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at July 29, 2021 12:00 PM

July 28, 2021

The Javelin Blog

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Tutorial Part 10: Plastic Injection Engineer

In the previous part of our 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Tutorial series we learned about drop test simulation. In this tutorial, we will start with a simple part fill analysis to check gate location and determine if the part will fill in a mold. It will show us sink marks and venting locations as well. This will allow us to make any design changes before starting the mold design or cutting any tooling.

In this tutorial we will be using Plastic Injection Engineer, this is a role on the 3DEXPERIENCE Works platform that allows the performing of fill analysis on plastic injection molded components. It will handle a simple part fill analysis to an entire mold study.

Watch the tutorial video below to learn about part-fill analysis with 3DEXPERIENCE Works Simulation:

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Plastic Injection Engineer

Since Plastic Injection Engineer is built on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, we have full revision capabilities, not only for our part designs, but also for any simulation study. For our example here, a branch revision is created on the part. This will allow any design modifications specific to our analysis to stay with the study and not impact the production part. It maintains a link to the original part, so we always have a history of what we have completed.

3DEXPERIENCE Plastic Injection Engineer Branch Revision

Plastic Injection Engineer Branch Revision

Now that a version of the knife handle specific to the analysis exists, it can be opened in 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS and modified to fit the needs of the study. In this case, the study will be run on one half of the part, so we can delete the body to modify the design for our simulation. The design is then simply saved back to the platform.

3DEXPERIENCE Plastic Injection Engineer Saving for Analysis

Saving for Analysis in SOLIDWORKS

Plastic Part Filling

The part is now available for analysis in any 3DEXPERIENCE Works Simulation app. Once opened in our Plastic Part Filling Application, a wizard will guide us through the steps needed to complete the analysis.

3DEXPERIENCE Plastic Injection Engineer Materials

3DEXPERIENCE Plastic Injection Engineer Materials

Process Settings

The next step in the analysis is to define our process settings. Once the step is highlighted in the wizard, the process settings icon appears below and allows us to define the injection conditions. If you’re not sure of the initial conditions, a set of defaults is applied for you.

3DEXPERIENCE Plastic Injection Engineer Process Settings

Plastic Injection Engineer Process Settings

Injection Location

Next, we simply apply an injection location where plastic will enter our mold, and the assistant shows us that the study is ready to solve.

Plastic Injection Location

Plastic Injection Location

Within a few minutes, we can set up a simple fill study and analyze the results to determine if any changes need to be made to the design. Since the study is on the platform, we can also view the results in our web browser, allowing for an easy way to perform a design review with the rest of the team. We can then simply post these results in the community for the rest of the team to review.

3DEXPERIENCE Plastic Injection Engineer Injection Simulation

Plastic Injection Engineer Injection Simulation

Now that we’ve determined that the part will easily fill, and sink marks are acceptable, we can share the design for core and cavity creation.

3DEXPERIENCE Plastic Injection Engineer Fill Study

Plastic Injection Engineer Fill Study

Interested in 3DEXPERIENCE Works?

Visit our website to learn how 3DEXPERIENCE® SOLIDWORKS® connects the industry-leading SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD desktop solution to the 3DEXPERIENCE Works platform, a cloud-based product development environment.

The post 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Tutorial Part 10: Plastic Injection Engineer appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by TriMech Solutions, LLC at July 28, 2021 12:00 PM

July 27, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Customer Story: ICAMP’s success in bringing client’s products to market faster with the help of production 3D printers

The Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping (ICAMP) from Canadore College in North Bay Ontario is an innovation center that helps their clients design, develop, prototype, and manufacture products to get them to market.

ICAMP, located in North Bay, has 13,300 square feet of industrial laboratory and design space. Clients can access the space, machinery, and expertise for research and training, demonstrations and testing, and prototype manufacturing.

Watch the short video below to hear more about how ICAMP ‘s team are working on hundreds of projects, helping close to 300 businesses with the help of production 3D printers.

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Production 3D Printers

ICAMP purchased two industrial 3D printers -the Stratasys F900 and the Stratasys 450mc. These two printers are the ultimate manufacturing-grade production 3D printers, providing the widest array of engineering-grade materials, maximum throughput, large build platform, highest accuracy. They are built for reliability, repeatability, and durability for demanding manufacturing production.

“We needed to invest in FDM technology on a larger scale, not only to be able to print more, but also because clients need stronger parts for jigs and fixtures. Clients in mining, aviation, consumer products, and the arts community are all interested in using the F900.”

The F900 3D printer has one of the largest build area (36 x 24 x 36 in.) allowing for one large part of many small parts. It also offers 15 production-grade materials so your parts can meet high heat, caustic chemicals, sterilization, and high impact application requirements.

The F450 printer also has a large build envelope (16 x 14 x 16 in) and 13 production-grade materials including FDM Nylon12CF, Antero 800NA, ULTEM 9085, and PC-ABS. The material capabilities are perfect for real manufacturing applications such as tooling.

Below are some of the sample parts printed on our large FDM production 3D printers:

Ultem parts printed with an FDM Production 3D Printers Blow Mold Automotive Air Duct FDM Nylon12CF fixture printed on a production 3D printers

Learn More

The post Customer Story: ICAMP’s success in bringing client’s products to market faster with the help of production 3D printers appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Kelly Clancy at July 27, 2021 01:56 PM

July 26, 2021


Can the Minecraft Wooden Pickaxe Work in Real Life?

minecraft wooden pickaxe irl

Ask anyone who has played Minecraft for 5 minutes and they’ll tell you how things start off. You are dropped into a random world, then punch some trees to get wood, and you make yourself some wooden tools on a workbench. Well, the question is: can a wooden pickaxe break anything in reality?

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To find out, Louis Weisz made a couple of wooden pickaxes in real life and pit them against a number of rocks in his local forest.

Following the Original Minecraft Design

minecraft wooden pickaxe irl

The first pickaxe got its design directly from the crafting recipe found in the game. Using a forest stick and a 4×4 piece of hardwood lumber, Louis made his first pickaxe as crudely as possible.

minecraft wooden pickaxe irl

Just like in the game, he took his pickaxe outdoors and tried it on some shale. While not as solid or strong as the stones found in Minecraft, the shale broke with little effort from the pickaxe.

minecraft wooden pickaxe irl

Unfortunately, you can’t make a stone pickaxe out of shale. So to up the difficulty, Louis used his wooden pickaxe to a harder piece of sedimentary rock. It worked just as you would expect it to – with the wooden pickaxe splintering.

Upping the Materials

minecraft wooden pickaxe irl

Proving that the design can actually work, Louis went back to the drawing board and began improving the materials used.

Instead of hardwood lumber, Louis used lignum vitae to make the new pickaxe head. It is arguably the strongest wood in the world. He attached his new pickaxe head to a long, custom-made hickory handle; making the tool look more like a sledgehammer than an actual pickaxe.

minecraft wooden pickaxe irl

Armed with his lignum vitae pickaxe, Louis returned to the forest and easily broke down a small sedimentary rock in half. Confident that it could break a whole boulder with a little more tweaking, he returned to his workshop to fine-tune the pickaxe’s final form…

The Flint/Wood Pickaxe

minecraft wooden pickaxe irl

Taking a cue from Minecraft once again, Louis figured the best way to focus the wooden pickaxe’s force would be to hammer in some sharp flint at the tip.

Flint is a material that can be easily found in the game. While it isn’t used for making pickaxes, its sharpness is used to start fires.

With the improvements in the lignum vitae axe installed, Louis returned once more to the forest and tried to break a giant boulder.

minecraft wooden pickaxe irl

While the flint did chip a few segments of the boulder, it would take way too much effort and time to break the boulder into workable pieces. So unless you’re content with breaking multiple small rocks, you won’t be making a durable stone pickaxe in minutes just like in the game.

minecraft wooden pickaxe irl

Since he already had a wooden pickaxe, Louis thought it would be cool to pit his tool against other real-life Minecraft blocks.

Granite, while having the same hardness and breaking time as stone in the game, is way denser in real life. There is just no way a wooden pickaxe can break down such a hard material, let alone make something useable out of it.

You probably think that obsidian would also be very hard since it is a material that is needed to fashion some of the late-game weapons and tools. In reality, however, it can be so brittle that even the first pickaxe (the one with a 4×4 head) that Louise made was able to break it easily. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t believe everything you see in video games!

by Carlos Zotomayor at July 26, 2021 04:48 PM