Design tables can be a very powerful tool in SolidWorks. A design table is basically an excel sheet that can be used to edit any dimension of a 3D part. It can also be used to create multiple configurations of the same part. These configurations can use complex equations in the design table to achieve any desired outcome. These different configurations can then be used in an assembly where only one part file is imported, but different configurations are used to build the assembly.
In this tutorial I will show you how to create and edit a SolidWorks design table. I will also show you how to add dimensions of new features to an existing design table.
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Step 1: Creating a Part
To begin, we must first create a SolidWorks part. In my example, I created a 5mm x 3mm x 2mm block, but you can create any type of part your heat desires.To do this, I created a 5mm x 3mm square sketch in the front plane and extruded it by 2mm.
Step 2: Creating the Design Table
To create the design table, we must go to the Insert tab, then Tables, then Design Table. There will be a few choices such as Blank, Auto-create, and From file. In most cases, the Auto-create choice will be used, so that is what we used for this tutorial. After we click the green check mark, the design table will show up.
Step 3: Changing Feature, Sketch, and Dimension Names
To easily select the desired dimensions in the design table, we must change the names of the feature, sketch, and dimensions. First, delete the new design table by going the the configuration tab, right clicking the design table, and selecting delete. Then go to the part tree, go to the sketch, and double click a dimension. A box will pop up, allowing you to change the name of the dimension. Repeat this for the other dimension. To change the name of the sketch, slowly click the sketch name twice and it will allow you to change the name. To change the thickness dimension, double click the extrusion feature and then double click the thickness dimension on the model. The same box will show up where you will be able to change the name of that dimension. Then you can change the name of the extrusion the same way we changed the sketch name. Now when we create the design table again, we can easily see the names of the dimensions and what they correspond to. We will hold the control key and click all of the dimensions and then the OK button to add them to our design table.
Step 4: Adding Configurations
Now that we have a design table, we can add a couple of configurations to our part. To do this create a new row below the default row. The first column is the name of the configuration and the rest of the columns are the dimension values corresponding with the column titles. Once the new configurations are added, click in any part of the 3D model space to close the design table. Now when we go to the configuration tab, we see the new configurations and can double click each one to view them.
Step 5: Adding to Design Tables
After adding a new feature to the part, we now want to add this new dimension to the existing design table. To do this, start by going to the configuration tab, right click on design table, and click edit design table. Click on the cell to the right of the last dimension. Go to the part tree, click on the sketch and then click on the dimension that needs to be added to the design table. The name of the dimension and the default value will be automatically added. The name of the feature can also be manually entered, but it is much easier to use the part tree. To add the feature to the configurations, just add the desired values in the corresponding rows for that column. Exit out of the design table and go back to the configurations. Double click each configuration and unsuppress the hole feature in each configuration. We have now added the new feature to the design table and all configurations.