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Key Enhancements to the Sweep Feature in SOLIDWORKS 2016

Vince Farrell

By Gabe Crisologo

With every new release of SOLIDWORKS, I’m always excited to see what new enhancements or features are added to the software. A few of the enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2016 is with the Sweep feature. One of which allows us to automatically create circular swept profiles. This means that we no longer need to create a separate sketch containing the circular profile in order to create the sweep feature.

When you go to create a sweep, you’ll notice slight changes to the property manager. We now have the option to choose between two types of profiles, Sketch profile and Circular profile. The Sketch Profile option functions similarly to previous versions, requiring us to select a sketch to use for the profile to create the sweep.

Sweep menu in SOLIDWORKS

The Circular Profile option allows you to automatically create a circular swept profile, without using a sketch. This new option is available for the Swept Boss/Base, Swept Cut, and Swept Surfaces. With this option selected, the selection box for a profile disappears, and we get a numeric box to input a diameter value. All you need to do is select a path, key in a value for the diameter of the circular profile, click OK, and your sweep is created.

Sweep menu - Circulat profile selection in SOLIDWORKS

In previous versions, reference curves used for the sweep are absorbed by the sweep feature. This makes it difficult to edit those reference curves because when you do, you aren’t able to access the other geometry, making adding relations a difficult task.

Sweep menu in SOLIDWORKS

In 2016, you’ll also notice that once the sweep is created, the reference curves are no longer absorbed by the sweep feature. This is very convenient as it allows us to make edits to those reference curves, and be able to access the other features while doing so. This makes adding relations between the geometry much simpler.

Sweep menu in SOLIDWORKS

Another great enhancement to the sweep feature is something that I’ve been asked about a handful of times in my SOLIDWORKS classes, and that’s the ability to create Bidirectional sweeps. This means that we can now create sweeps with the profile located anywhere along the path, and we have the option sweep in Direction 1, Direction 2, or Bidirectional. You can even specify independent twist values for each direction.

Sweep menu in SOLIDWORKS

One thing to note with bidirectional sweeps is that it cannot be used with guide curves, and we can’t set the start and end tangency. I hope you’re as excited about these enhancements as I am! Check out our YouTubec hannel for videos on these new features in 2016!

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