In this tutorial, you will learn how to merge solid bodies in SOLIDWORKS. Combine is the feature that is used to merge multiple bodies in a single file. The boundary condition entails that the two bodies must coincide with each other and have to exist in the same part file. If not, then the feature won’t be applicable.
Firstly, we will need two bodies in the same part file which will be either joined together or mated with each other through a link. For example, take the sldpart as shown below. In the image below, you can see that this is a multipart body with one body featuring the flat head screw and the other comprising the main body supporting and locking the screw. Take a look at the top left where there are two bodies in the black box mentioned in the model tree i.e. Redondeo18 and Redondeo 22. To “combine” both bodies to make them a single part, we can proceed to the next image for navigation of the SOLIDWORKS Menu Bar.
Image 1: MultiBody Part and Model Tree
You must navigate towards the top left of SOLIDWORKS where there is an arrow pointing towards the SOLIDWORKS logo. Once you hover your mouse over that arrow, a menu bar will appear as shown at top of the application. Scroll down and click the “Features” option to open another dropdown menu. The “Combine” feature is located in the latter part of the list. Once you click it, the following options will appear as shown in the image below.
Image 2: SolidWorks Menu Bar and Features Toolbar
The Property Manager on the left side shows Operation Types where you can choose from add, subtract, or common. Here we check the Add type of mode for merging the screw with the body by clicking the circle before it.
Image 3: Combine Feature Operation Types and Bodies
Moving on to the next parameter, we have Bodies to Combine. Simply select the two bodies present i.e., the screw and its plastic housing, shown below, and click the green tick mark. That’s it!
Image 4: Selection of Bodies to Combine
Image 5: Model Tree difference after Merging Bodies
The model tree has modified the body’s name to Combine1 to indicate a whole highlighted single body. You can use a similar method to combine multiple body parts which you create using different methods but want them to be a single body for 3D printing purposes and much more. Thank you for reading and hope you come again to view other tutorials you want help learning.
Here is another example:
Combining Bodies in CAD is a very major operation. The “combine” feature helps in reducing the number of bodies by making one single body for multiple bodies. In the combine feature, we have three options “Add”, “Subtract” and “intersect”. In this article, we will look into the steps needed to use the “combine” feature. We will be using this drone as an example. Here we will combine the propeller and the rod.
The steps are as follows:
- Go to “Insert”.
- Click on “features”.
- From the feature drop-down click on “Combine”.
- As soon as you click on combine operation, in property manager a selection panel opens.
- Select the component to perform the operation.
- Select the add option and click on “OK” to finalize the combined operation.
These are the simple steps that need to be followed to combine the components. Finally, you can see an icon in the feature tree.
Limitations and Potential Drawbacks of Merging Bodies in SolidWorks
There are several potential issues that users should be aware of when merging bodies in SolidWorks, including:
- Increased file size: Combining multiple bodies can increase the file size of the SolidWorks model, which can affect performance and make it more difficult to share or collaborate on the design.
- Reduced performance: As the file size increases, it can also reduce the performance of SolidWorks. This can make it more difficult to work with large assemblies or to perform complex simulations.
- Decreased flexibility: Once bodies are merged in SolidWorks, it can be more difficult to make changes to the model. Users should ensure that the bodies are prepared and positioned correctly before merging to avoid the need for major modifications later on.
- Impact on feature tree: Merging bodies can also impact the feature tree of the SolidWorks model, making it more difficult to track and modify individual features or components.
- Compatibility issues: Merging bodies from different sources or versions of SolidWorks can sometimes cause compatibility issues, which can lead to errors or unexpected behavior in the model.
Therefore, users should be mindful of these potential drawbacks and limitations when deciding whether to merge bodies in SolidWorks, and should carefully weigh the benefits and costs of doing so for their particular design needs. It is important to ensure that the merged bodies are optimized for the intended application and that they do not compromise the overall functionality or efficiency of the design.