SolidWorks Tutorial: How to Make a Gearbox Cover Plate

Introduction: SolidWorks Tutorial: How to Make a Gearbox Cover Plate

In this instructable you will be taught how to create a 3D model of a gearbox cover plate using SolidWorks. You will be given step by step instructions which will teach you how to use some of the basic tools in SolidWorks. Therefore, you can be a beginner and still be able to complete the tutorial. If you have trouble with certain aspects of the tutorial you can go to the SolidWorks help website (

To complete this task you will need:

1. A computer with SolidWorks installed on it.

It will take about 30 minutes to complete this task.

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Step 1: Getting Started

When you first open the program the gray SolidWorks screen will appear. In order to start working you must select the type of project you will be working on.

  1. Click on the "New" icon.
  2. A screen showing three options, which include part, assembly and drawing will pop up.
    • Part: selecting this option will give you the ability to create sketches that will become the 3D model of the part you are attempting to create.( in this case the gearbox cover plate).
    • Assembly: will allow you to put multiple parts together to create a more complex part.
    • Drawing: will allow you to create the documents you would actually turn into your employer and will give him the information needed to construct the assembly.

    3.Select "Part" to get started making the gearbox cover plate.

    Step 2: Choosing a Plane

    Once you have selected part, you will need to open a sketch and decide what plane you want to start your drawing on. Each part is unique thus different planes can work for different parts. A good way to make the decision is to start every part at its base and build up.

    To open the sketch:

    1. Click the sketch tool on the sketch tab ( you will see three intersecting planes)
    2. Click on the top plane and it will open a sketch (which will cause the three intersecting planes to disappear).

    Step 3: Starting the Sketch

    All the tools used in this tutorial are found under certain tabs located across the top of the screen.Use the rectangle tool( found on the sketch tab) to create the rectangle base. It is always a good idea to center your parts on the origin, so the best rectangle tool to use is the one that is defined by the center point and one corner point (second option on the rectangle type menu on the tool window located on the far left side of the screen).

    To draw the rectangle:

    1. Click the rectangle tool
    2. Click on the origin (where the two red lines meet)
    3. Drag the rectangle out and click on the screen (which will define the second point)
    4. Click the green check mark to close the tool

    Step 4: Dimenssioning the Sketch

    Once the general shape is constructed you have to dimension the sketch. In order to do so use the Smart Dimension tool ( found on the sketch tab). This rectangle is 4.5 in. by 1.75 in.

    There are two ways you can dimension the rectangle:

    1. Click the line you want to dimension
    2. Or click the lines on either extreme of the line of the rectangle you want to dimension ( for the top line click the left line and then the right line.)
    3. Click the green check mark once you are done
    4. Always remember to verify that your sketch is fully defined (all the lines will turn black)

    Step 5: Extruding Sketch

    In order to make your sketch into a 3D figure use the Extruded Boss/Base tool found on the feature tab. When you click any of the tools, a manager window will appear on the left side of the screen; this is where you will set parameters for features (depth of extrusion, dimension of fillets, etc.)

    To extrude the rectangle:

    1. Click on the Extruded Boss/Base button
    2. Define the thickness of the extrusion (0.25 in.)
    3. Define the direction of the extrusion (click on the double arrow button next to the drop down tab that says blind, by default)
    4. Click the green check mark

    Step 6: Rounding Corners Edge

    In order to round off the corner edges of the rectangle use the Fillet tool also found on the feature tab.

    1. Click on the fillet tool
    2. Select the corner edges you want to round off
    3. Define the radius of the fillet (0.25 in)
    4. Click the green check mark

    You can select what face you are looking at by clicking on the drop menu (which is found on the top of the drawing screen and looks like a square with the front face shaded in dark blue) that will show multiple views. To continue this drawing select the top face and open a new sketch.

    Step 7: Sketching on Extrussion

    To create the elevation (what looks like a step) you can use the Offset tool found on the sketch tab.

    1. Select all the lines that you want to offset (all the lines of the top of the base) by holding the shift key and clicking on the lines (selected lines turn light blue)
    2. Click the Offset tool
    3. Define the distance you want to offset the lines; towards the center of the shape (in this case, 0.25 in.)
    4. A preview will appear in yellow, if it is in the wrong direction, un-check the reverse box
    5. Click on the green check mark
    6. Finally use the Extruded Boss/Base tool again and extrude 0.125 in.

    Step 8: Creating Holes

    There are multiple ways to create holes. For the top cut outs you'll be using a similar method to what you have already been doing.

    1. Open a new sketch on the top face of the part (the extrusion made on step six)
    2. Click on the circle tool ( found on the sketch tool bar)
    3. To place circle in the right location, hover the cursor over the outer arc so that the center point appears, and use the arc's center point as the starting point for the circle (the center point of the arch will turn orange if you have the cursor over it)
    4. Draw a circle with a 0.31 in. diameter
    5. Use the Extruded Cut tool found on the features tab
    6. On the drop down menu (which by default reads "blind") select "up to surface"

    Step 9: Using Mirror Feature Tool

    To get all the corners to have the "cut out" is by using the mirror tool found on the features tab.

    1. Select the Mirror Features tool
    2. Select the right plane by clicking on the design tree found on the top left corner of the sketching screen (selecting the right plane will mirror the feature to the right side of the plate)
    3. Then select the feature you want to mirror (the cut made in step seven)Repeat steps to mirror holes to the bottom. Select the front plane as the mirror plane (you can select more than one feature to mirror at a time)
    4. Click the green check mark

    Step 10: Making Holes Using the Hole Wizard

    To create the second set of holes you will use the Hole Wizard tool (found on the features tab).

    1. Select the Hole Wizard tool
    2. You will be given multiple types of holes that can be created with the tool. For this hole you want to choose the hole tool ( third option on top row)
    3. Go down to the specification section and select 1/8 in. as the size of the hole
    4. To position the holes click on the position tab. This will then give you the ability to place as many holes as you please anywhere on the part. For this part you will want to hover the arc you created in the previous step and make the hole concentric with the arc.
    5. Click the green check mark

    Step 11: Using the Trim Tool

    To create the hole on the bottom plane:

    1. Open a sketch on the bottom face
    2. Use the offset tool to offset the base lines to the appropriate distance ( 0.25 in. for the top and bottom lines and 0.50 in. for the left and right lines)
    3. Since the top and bottom lines are longer than desired, use the Trim Entries tool (found on the sketch tab) to trim the extra lines off
    4. Select the trim entries tool
    5. On the options section select trim to closest (the last option)
    6. Click on the part of the line that surpasses the edges and they will be deleted
    7. Once you have clicked on all the exceeding lines, click the green check mark
    8. Use the Extruded Cut to create the cut out

    Step 12: More Fillets

    Use the fillet tool to round off all the edges.

    To add fillets to all the edges, select the face instead of selecting each edge.

    1. For the cut out corners use a .01 in. radius fillet
    2. For the top face use a .03125 radius fillet
    3. For the bottom hole fillet use a radius of 0.25 in. for the corners edges and 0.125 in. for the inner edges

    Step 13: Appearance

    The final step is the appearance.

    1. Select the appearance tab ( looks like a red, yellow, blue and green sphere) found on the display manager
    2. It will give you option to change color
    3. Double click on the color option
    4. Select the color you want

    You have now completed creating a gearbox cover plate using SolidWorks. Other helpful tutorials can be found on the SolidWorks home tab found on the right side of the screen. Some other helpful video tutorials are found below.

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