The Solidworks interface is the display screen on your Solidworks application where you develop and edit your designs. The SolidWorks interface makes it easy to go through the design cycle. You can customize the Solidworks interface. Each user can construct their own convenient and efficient SolidWorks environment with a configurable user interface. What Is What in Solidworks Interface are features and tools that make Solidworks design more straightforward and faster. After you’ve customized your SolidWorks interface, you can store those settings to take with you and load up your preferences everywhere. The Solidworks interface has eight main components: the menu bar, toolbar, commandmanager, graphics area, manager pane, status bar, property manager, and task pane.
What Is What In Solidworks Interface?
- Menu Bar
The menu bar is positioned in the upper left corner of the SolidWorks interface and provides access to all SolidWorks commands. So, if you can’t find a command any other way, you can use the menu bar to find it.
The menu bar includes the SolidWorks menus, a series of Quick Access tools, the Search button, and the Help tools. There are 7-8 tabs in the menu bar: File, Edit, View, Insert, Tools, and Help. When you move your mouse cursor over a tab, it expands. There are also expandable flyouts within each tab.
The Standard Tool Bar, part of the menu bar, contains the most frequently used commands for managing your SolidWorks files. Most SolidWorks tools, as well as add-in products, have toolbars. Named toolbars help you accomplish specific design operations like applying surfaces and creating curves. The new, open, save, print, and undo buttons function similarly to other programs, allowing you to start new parts, assemblies, or drawings. Open existing SolidWorks files, save your work, print snapshots of your model or 3D print your model, and undo the last step in your modeling process.
The CommandManager is a context-sensitive toolbar that changes depending on which toolbar you want to access. It includes context-specific commands based on the type of file you’re working with and what you’re attempting to accomplish. The command manager consists of tabs that correspond to various SolidWorks functions. The command manager will also look different if you are generating a new part, assembly, or drawing.
The Features and Sketch tabs are the most frequently used CommandManager tabs. To use a command in the CommandManager, navigate to the desired tab and then left-click the command. When you hover your mouse pointer over a command, a description will appear next to your cursor.
- Graphics Area
The graphics area is the interface section where the model is developed and where the user interacts with the model. In the graphics section, you can pick vertexes (points), edges, faces, planes, axes, features, and bodies linked with a model.
- Heads-up View Tool Bar
The heads-up view toolbar, located just beneath the CommandManager in the Graphics Area, controls how the model appears in the graphics area. You can modify the display style, view direction (front, right, top, isometric, etc.), hide or show different components, edit their look, zoom, and generate segment views of your model.
- Manager Pane
At the top of the manager pane is tabs for the feature manager, property manager, ConfigurationManager, dimXpert manager, and DisplayManager. You can manually activate all the tabs. On the other hand, the manager pane is dynamic in the sense that it switches to the correct tab based on activities you take in SolidWorks.
When you activate a feature or sketch command, the manager pane moves to the property manager tab; when you start an appearance command, the manager pane switches to the appearance manager tab. The configuration and dimXpert tabs are only enabled when the user moves to them manually by left-clicking on them. By default, the feature manager tab is selected.
- Feature Manager Design Tree
The feature manager design tree is a critical component of the SolidWorks user interface. This part of the Solidworks interface is where features are handled, edited, inhibited, hidden, and so on. When you add a new sketch or component, it will appear in the feature manager design tree in the order you added it.
The feature manager design tree contains the features, sketches, reference geometry, the origin of the part, material designation, annotation folders, sensors, and modification history. The part name and the active configuration and display state are always displayed at the top of the feature management design tree. Flyouts are the small triangles to the left of the objects in the feature manager design tree. You can expand or collapse them by left-clicking on them.
- Property Manager
The property manager appears differently depending on the current command; even different features have different property managers. The property manager is in charge of the settings of the command being executed. For example, suppose you use the Extruded Cut command to extrude a sketch. In that case, you can adjust every aspect of the extrude using the property manager, including depth (the thickness of the part profile) and draft angle (how much the thickness tapers).
When you activate a command by left-clicking it, the property manager appears with notifications and suggestions for what to do next.
- Task Pane
The task pane is on the right side of the SolidWorks interface window, providing access to SolidWorks resources and add-ins. The task pane contains multiple tabs, including the SolidWorks resources tab, design library tab, view palette tab, appearances tab, custom property tab, and SolidWorks forums tab. However, no options directly affect the model. Since 2020, the 3DExperience Marketplace has also been added to the task pane.
- Status Bar
The SolidWorks window’s status bar displays your model’s status, features and sketches, coordinates (when in drawings), measurements of selected components, unit settings, and the tag and rebuilds icon. When sketching, it will tell you the sketch’s status (if the drawing is fully defined, under-defined, or over-defined). The status bar allows you to modify your units and access complete unit parameters.
The status bar helps gather quick specifications of edges or coordinate points, add tags to the model, determine whether you are editing a part or assembly, or decide what will cause an error when you have them. The most helpful feature of the status bar is determining whether or not a sketch, element, or assembly is fully defined.
- Resources Tab
The resources tab contains links to resources for modelling, designing, and learning SolidWorks. It includes tutorials, product descriptions for SolidWorks and its add-ins, access to SolidWorks services, and other tools for the modelling process.
- Design Library
The design library is a collection of design elements found in mechanical assemblies such as fasteners, bearings, motors, hubs, etc. The items in the collection are typically common supplier-supplied parts for manufacturing firms. You can also add common weldments, assemblies, custom fasteners, structural steel cross-sections, and so on to the library.
- Selection Options
The selection settings allow you to restrict what you may choose in the model to simply edges, faces, and vertexes (points) and choose between box window selection and lasso window selection. Other particular choices are available in the selection options, which you will find as your modelling skills improve.
The rebuild button refreshes the model with the most current model changes. This button will often be underutilized in your modelling because you will frequently make corrections to a model and not see those edits immediately reflected. It is due to limits in computer technology. As a result, to see your model with the most recent revisions, you may need to “rebuild” your design after correcting it.
- File Explorer
The File Explorer tab lets you access files directly from SolidWorks without using the Windows file explorer. An advantage of this is the ability to preview all SolidWorks documents (say, if you forget what you named something) and rename/move SolidWorks documents without breaking file links (such as links between parts and assemblies/drawings).
I hope this article supports you in getting started with Solidworks and knowing what is what in the Solidworks interface.