It is often hard to know exactly what you wish to model, and as such, it is nice to have the flexibility to go back and change some dimensions or shapes if need be. Thanks to SolidWork’s parametric design system it is possible to do exactly that. This does require a bit more input at the beginning of a part, however the extra time at the start will save you significantly more down the track. When we started our first sketch a couple posts back we started with a rectangle, in this post, we will change that sketch to be a circle instead. All we will need to do is change the initial sketch and the extruded body will simply update to match.
Once you have opened the file from the previous post we can go about editing it. This will be the first time we use the design tree on the left-hand side. This design tree keeps track of anything done, in this case, it only displays the “Boss-Extrude1”. If we click on this feature in the design tree we are greeted with an array of options to select.
We are only interested in the first two out of the eight options that are displayed. These are the ‘edit feature’ and ‘edit sketch’ tools can be seen in the first row of the array.
Edit feature allows you to change the parameters not dealing with the sketch. In this case, this includes values such as the depth and direction of the extrusion.
Edit sketch allows you to go back to the original sketch and modify it, this includes any aspect and is what we will be doing first.
Clicking on the edit sketch button we will be returned to the initial sketch screen with the rectangle we drew in an earlier post, this is where we can make our changes. It will be easier to return to the top view so you can see what you are doing more clearly. Once again press the spacebar to open the orientation menu, this time select the normal to option which will rotate the camera to the desired position. Start by selecting all of the sides of the rectangle and deleting them. Now we will draw our circle, this is done in a similar way to the rectangle. From the sketch toolbar choose the circle option, once again there are many different options/types of circles that can be made, but we will be ignoring them for now. The standard will ask for the location of the centre point as well as a second point to define the radius. Once you have drawn your circle you can press the Exit Sketch button to save the changes. You will now see that your box has changed into a cylinder without changing anything but the initial sketch.
This method of changing the sketch is incredibly useful, however, when the sketches start to become more complicated there are certain things that can cause some trouble. These issues will be discussed in the future as we progress with the tutorial series.
In the next post we will do the exact same thing, except this time we will modify the depth of the cylinder using the Edit Feature command.