In SOLIDWORKS you can add comments to various places to enhance your data about the design or to communicate in more depth to a user. The comments will be included in a folder that is created when the first comment is added.

Comments can be added at the file level, such as by right-clicking on the Claw-Mechanism line in the above illustration, or at a component or feature level. The example for entering the comment below is at a component level (note the component highlighted in blue).

Once the right-click, context sensitive menu is displayed, hovering over the Comment selection exposes the Add Comment choice which brings you to a dialogue box in which you can enter your comments. Images can be added as well.

This technique can enhance the communications ability of the designer and document design intent for the reader.

Comment indicators can be displayed or “turned on” by right-clicking the top node in the FeatureManager design tree. Then click Tree Display > Show Comment Indicator. This will display an icon in the feature or component indicating that there is a comment there.

Resulting icon added to design tree.

Thread Enhancements

Trimmed Threads
You can align threads to end faces. A Cut thread is extended and cut to match the end
face. An Extrude thread is cut to match the end face. In the PropertyManager, under
Thread Options, select Trim with start face and Trim with end face.

Before Trim


After Trim

Extrude from: new options

In SOLIDWORKS 2017  you can Extrude from any size planar face. You can create boss, cut, and surface extrudes from any size surface, face, or plane. The surface or face must be planar.

Previously the From > Surface/Face/Plane selection needed to encapsulate the entire sketch.

To extrude from any size planar face:
              • In parts, click Extruded Boss/Base (Features toolbar) or Insert > Boss-Base > Extrude.  This functionality is also available for Extruded Cut and Extruded Surface.
              • In assemblies, click Insert > Assembly Feature > Cut > Extrude. Select a sketch. Under From, select Surface/Face/Plane, and select a planar surface or face, or a plane.

Enhanced Sweep Feature

Sweep Profile Selection of Faces, Edges, and Curves
In SOLIDWORKS 2017 you can select faces, edges, and curves directly from models as sweep profiles. Enhanced selection is supported with Boss, Base, Cut, Surface, and Assembly cut sweep features. Previously you needed to create an extra sketch with converted entities as the profile.
You can select:
                    • Faces from model geometry.
                    • A single edge or reference geometry curves that contain a smooth, closed loop.
                    • A group of edges or curves selected as a loop using SelectionManager.
To access this functionality, click Swept Boss/Base (Features toolbar) or Insert > Boss/Base > Sweep. In the PropertyManager, under Profile and Path, select Sketch Profile, then select a face, edge, or curves.

SolidWorks Advanced Holes

Solidworks 2017 has introduced many new features. One of those is called Advanced Holes. It is located with the Hole Wizard and is accessed by clicking the down-arrow next to Hole Wizard in the command manager.

It enables you to create smart holes like the Hole Wizard, but with greater flexibility to personalized the options:

Each of the portions can be edited to your liking and you can add multiple sections to the complex hole.

You can find out detailed information by accessing the What’s new PDF from the Task Pane and searching for Advanced Holes when the PDF opens.

Mastercam 2018 is Here

Educational Solutions


“Mastercam has helped us for more than two decades with regard to both student and industry. Whether the student is a recent high school graduate or a middle-aged worker coming from another field, we use Mastercam to teach them to be trained, confident CNC programmers and machinists.” Francisco Martinez, Precision Mfg Technologies Program Head, Renton Tech

Why Choose Mastercam?


A remarkably easy interface has you cutting parts quickly.


Get the most robust toolpath generation available.


Learning tools are available to make classroom application easy.


Packaged and priced specifically for schools.


Work with the most professional, knowledgeable reseller network in the industry.

Mastercam is the most widely used CAM software worldwide* and is the program of choice among both industry and education.

From middle school, high school and technical schools to colleges and universities, everyone requires CAD/CAM software that can live up to the increasing demands of the classroom. Mastercam delivers a powerful set of industry-standard toolpaths and teaching aids to schools across the globe ranging from local extension classes to centers of higher learning:

  • Specially packaged to deliver CAD, mill, turn, router and wire EDM.
  • Educational pricing makes the software highly affordable.
  • QuickPart introductory module gets students cutting fast.
  • Wide variety of teaching aids and learning tools.
  • Students learn the world’s most widely-used CAM software.

Software that is ideal for CAD/CAM education is only one ingredient for success. A global community of Mastercam users, experts, educators and enthusiasts helps you get the most from your investment. Our Educational Division and local Mastercam Educational Resellers bring years of practical experience, helping to ensure that you’re getting what you need today, while preparing students for tomorrow.

* Source: CIMdata, Inc.



The NEW 2017 – 2018 Edu Edition is here . . .

The new bundles now include many new add-ins:

Classroom (up to 60 users)
Campus (up to 200 users)
Campus Plus (up to 500 users)
Network Site (up to 2,000 users).

  • Each of these bundles will include:
    • SOLIDWORKS® Premium Software
    • SOLIDWORKS® Simulation Premium
    • SOLIDWORKS® Motion
    • SOLIDWORKS® Routing
    • SOLIDWORKS® Flow Simulation, Electronic Cooling and HVAC
    • SOLIDWORKS® Plastics Premium
    • SOLIDWORKS® Composer
    • SOLIDWORKS® Sustainability
    • SOLIDWORKS® Electrical Professional
    • SOLIDWORKS® Design Checker
    • SOLIDWORKS® Toolbox Library
    • SOLIDWORKS® Toolbox Utilites
    • SOLIDWORKS® eDRAWINGS Professional
    • SOLIDWORKS® PhotoView  360
    • SOLIDWORKS® Visualize Professional
    • TolAnalyst
    • CircuitWorks
    • FeatureWorks
    • SOLIDWORKS Treehouse
    • SOLIDWORKS Toolbox
    • HVAC Module for SOLIDWORKS
    • Electronics Module
    • MBD Standard
    • Autotrace
    • MySOLIDWORKS Standard
    • DraftSight Premium (separate download and separate serial number)
    • FREE Student Engineering Kit – Faculty and Students Downloads (includes all of the above)
    • FREE Certification Program, which now includes CSWP
    • Access to our online educational community, plus our library of articles, tutorials, product resources, and more.


Those customers with less than a 60 User network license will be allowed to renew at those levels however many of the features listed above will not be available. If you would like to explore the option of moving up to the Classroom Bundle or higher please let us know and we will provide you with a quote.

Frank Gregorio – CT, RI, VT & (413) W.MA –

Mark O’Bryan – NH, ME & most of MA –

SOLIDWORKS Breadcrumbs

When you select an object or part or surface in the SOLIDWORKS graphics area in 2016, a new feature appears in the upper left hand corner of the area. It is “Breadcrumbs” and allows you to navigate to various context specific positions within the thread of processes that created the element selected.

For example, if you select or point your cursor, to the Breadcrumb Sketch above you will see the sketch appear on the part you have selected and can click there to access the sketch for editing.

Another example, you can select one of the “mates” displayed in the Breadcrumbs, say the Coincident mate, and see reflected in the model, the elements of the mate and, of course, access the mate for editing by selecting that Breadcrumb.

Library Load Error

Load Library Error correction

From the knowledge base:


This error relates to a faulty driver for the AMD and ATI graphics cards. To resolve this issue, follow these steps:

1.     Open a Windows® Explorer window and locate the file ‘atig6pxx.dll’. The default location of the file ‘C:\Windows\System32.’
2.     Right-click on the file >  ‘Rename’ > add the “.bak” file extension at the end of the file name. The new file name becomes ‘atig6pxx.dll.bak’.
3.     Close Windows Explorer and run the SOLIDWORKS® software.

If the problem persists, create a SOLIDWORKS Rx file and submit the issue to your local reseller for further technical support.\

Toolbar Reset

SOLIDWORKS – Resetting Toolbar when it has been changed.
In SOLIDWORKS, the toolbars are associated with the PART, ASSEMBLY OR DRAWING files and I have found that the best way to insure that they are “able to be reset to some default that you create” is by setting the toolbars as you would like them to be through “customize” under the “tools” dropdown menu,


and then to SAVE A TEMPLATE with a name reflecting the use of that template.



For example, I set up a template that has settings for my toolbars to be all off except for the COMMAND MANAGER with LARGE BUTTONS WITH TEXT checked,


and then use it exclusively. I also set things like the UNITS and DRAFTING STANDARD from the OPTIONS/DOCUMENT PROPERTIES to reflect my choice.


This way when I open that template my toolbars, drafting standard, and units are set and I know this by the title I give the template. This process is done by opening a blank file, let’s say a part, setting this up as you desire, then doing a “save as” and changing the “save as type” to the appropriate template type.


You also need to consider where that template is to be saved and where it is accessed from. Access is set in the OPTIONS/SYSTEM OPTIONS/FILE LOCATIONS, under “Document Templates” file location.


You can save up to 5 locations which become tabs in the “open new” file selection process on the advanced tab.


There also is a new feature in 2016 that allow you to lock the toolbars once you have them set up.


Resetting the toolbars to factory default is done by clicking the RESET TO DEFAULTS button at the bottom of the page displayed above.

One item that is not so easy is to “re-find” a lost Command Manager. The Command Manager, as all toolbars, can be “un-docked” and therefore slid to a point that is virtually out of sight. When the Command Manager is visible, but out of dock position, you “grab” it by the top blue area and then move the cursor, dragging it to one of the three docking points, top center, right center or left center and release, to re-dock it.


If it is “lost” you need to find it somewhere on the screen to relocate it. (sometimes not easy)