Even if you have never used Solidworks or a similar computer automated design (AutoCAD) software you can still jump right into the fun and create a car key!
My Own Experiences:
I learned how to create three dimensional drawings on Solidworks by following a set of instructions to make certain parts then I created parts that I had an interest in making.
How to Get Started:
To get started open up the Solidworks program on your computer and learn how the software is set up. If your computer does not have Solidworks or an AutoCAD program you will have to download it onto the computer you are using. Often universities provide short-term licenses for their students, if this would pertain to you check with your university.
Step 1: Learn About the Software
In Solidworks there are five tool bars entitled Features, Sketch, Evaluate, DimXpert, and Office Products. You will only have to use the first two tool bars, Features and Sketch, for the type of part that we are making.
Step 2: Use the Side Toolbar
The side tool bar shows you where you are in your project. You can click on previous steps to edit past drawings and features. The side tool bar is featured below.
Step 3: Learn How to Sketch
The Sketch toolbar is where you will start all of your drawings. You will first click on the toolbar tab entitled "Sketch" then click on the Sketch icon. Draw the outline of the part then click on the Exit Sketch icon,
Step 4: Learn to Use the Features
Once you have drawn your sketch, you should click on the Features tool bar. Depending on what you would like to creat select on of the many options. In this tutorial we will be using the Extruded Boss/Base, Fillet, and Extruded Cut features. The Features tool bar is shown below.
Step 5: Start the Project
I will describe how I made my car key step-by-step in order to show you how to make this part.
Draw the outline of the key. Select the Sketch tab then click on the Sketch icon, Pictured below is a rough outline drawing of the key shape that I wanted. Next, you will make the picture look more like a real key.
Step 6: Use Your First Feature
Click on your drawing it should appear blue when selected. Now click on the Features tab and select the Extruded Boss/Base icon. The Side Toolbar will ask for the direction and length of the extrusion. Enter the values that you would like then click on the green check mark to finish the Extruded Boss/Base Feature.
Step 7: Create Curved Corners
Now click on the Features tab and select the Fillet feature with the drawing still selected. Select the corners and arch radius dimensions to create the curved corner design. Click on the green check mark when you are finished.
Step 8: Make Extruded Cuts
The next feature that you will make is an Extruded Cut. This feature is similar to the Extruded Boss/Base feature, but instead of extending a shape you are cutting away at the shape. The Extruded Cut is also made in a very similar way to the Extruded Boss/Base.
Step 9: Finish the Extruded Cut
Sketch a triangle shape at a 90 degree angle from the surface of the key. Select the drawing and click on the Extruded Cut Feature. Denote the length and direction of the cut then click on the green check mark.
Step 10: The Last Step
Next you will make a random rigid pattern on the surface of the key to make the out line of the teeth. Make sure the line starts and ends at the very edge of the key so you can create a smooth cut. Once you have finished the line use the Extruded Cut feature to finish the design.
Step 11: Finish the Drawing
All photos were taken by myself using the "Snipping Tool" on Microsoft. I simply created the drawings and then took a picture of the image.