By Jordan Winger
Creating exploded views in SolidWorks is a great way to show the assembly or disassembly of a complex model. SolidWorks 2014 now adds a new level of realism for animating these explode and collapse views by supporting rotation of components.
One or more components can be selected and rotated about the origin of the last selected part. Alternatively, you can select the option to rotate about each component origin. New rotation rings appear in addition to the linear handles of the manipulator triad.
This new functionality allows you to drag the component(s) to an exploded position, then rotate components the desired amount, all within one explode step.
When components are selected, a manipulator triad appears at the component origin. This triad allows us to manipulate various objects such as 3D sketch entities, certain features in parts, or in this case, parts and components within assemblies. Dragging the arrows will translate the part, while the rings will provide rotation in that specific direction.
This triad can simply be moved or aligned to other geometry to allow for translation or rotation in different directions. It is no longer necessary to hold down the ALT key when dragging the triad, as was the case in previous releases.
This is a very simple and effective way to communicate assembly or disassembly steps in a realistic manner. For more on what's new in SolidWorks 2014, visit our YouTube channel.