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Often, when you are designing parts or assemblies, you are operating within a particular design envelope; whether it be dimensional, or based on weight, volume, or the structural integrity of the part. Is there any way that SOLIDWORKS can help alert you, you wonder, as you approach or exceed the limits and bounds of your designs?

 

We’re glad you asked.

 

You’ve probably seen it there forever, right under your nose (okay, in the Feature Manager tree, anyway), but never paid it much heed: the Sensors folder.

 

01
Fig. 1

 

If we right-click on that folder and select the “Add Sensor” tool, we are presented with the option of creating any one of four sensor types: Simulation Data, Mass Properties, Dimension, or Measurement.

 

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Fig. 2

 

Each will have a corresponding number of Alerts we can place against it; for example, if we were to select Simulation Data, we can choose from a thorough list of values:

 

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Fig. 3

 

And Alerts:

 

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Fig. 4

 

While a powerful tool, here’s a very simple example. I’ve selected a dimension and given it an Alert upper limit of 2. (TIP: It may help to right-click on your Annotations folder and select “Show Feature Dimensions” as you set up your sensors.)

 

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Fig. 5

 

Here’s what SOLIDWORKS now does if I exceed that limit:

 

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Fig. 6

 

How nice is that? Additionally, if you right-click on the Sensors folder and select “Notifications,” you will find additional options regarding warning types and frequencies.

 

Now I have a question for you: Why aren’t you using Sensors more often?

By: Sam Hochberg, Applications Engineer

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