This article will go over the new “Bounding Box” feature introduced in Solidworks 2018.
Every component or piece of geometry created in Solidworks always has a bounding box drawn around it. In the past, however, this bounding box was drawn internally and usually could not be seen by the user. If a user was creating a sheet metal part, Solidworks would show the user the bounding box, but a non-sheet metal component was not able to create a visible bounding box around itself.
To address this, Solidworks 2018 introduced a new feature called “bounding box” which generates a 3D Sketch that shows the bounding box. This new bounding box feature automatically updates as you work, adjusting for new bodies and new geometries that you add to your part and you can even tell Solidworks to ignore or include hidden bodies and surfaces in your file.
Accessing the Bounding Box Feature
To create a Bounding Box, you’ll have to open the part file that you wish to edit and follow the steps below:
1. Click on “Insert”
2. Click on “Reference Geometry”
3. Click on “Bounding Box”
Once you’ve clicked on “Bounding Box”, the Bounding Box Property Manager will appear:
From here, you can see that we have two options: Best Fit and Custom Plane. Best Fit will attempt to create the smallest volume around all visible, non-surface geometry. You can change the reference plane using the Custom Plane option.
Once you’re finished, click on the green check mark to finish your Bounding Box creation. This will also add a “Bounding Box” as the first feature in your feature tree. You cannot have more than one Bounding Box feature in a given part file.
Including Hidden or Surface Bodies
By default, the Bounding Box will try to create the smallest volume around visible and solid geometry only. To include surfaces or hidden bodies, simply check on the appropriate options in the Property Manager. Your Bounding Box will automatically adjust itself to enclose the relevant geometry types that you’ve set.
Hiding and Showing the Bounding Box
You can hide or show the bounding box by either using the View menu:
Or by using your Heads-up-Display:
You can also right click on the Bounding Box feature in the feature tree and suppress, hide, or delete as you would any feature:
Viewing your Bounding Box Parameters
You can view important information concerning your Bounding Box’s properties by going to File -> Properties -> Configuration Specific. Here, you will see the dimensions and volume properties of your Bounding Box.
These values will be shown in the unit system that you’ve defined for your part file.
If you’d like to learn more about the Bounding Box feature, feel free to check these links down below:
If you’re having trouble creating your Bounding Box, feel free to submit a support email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at our Technical Support hotline 877.266.4469 (US) or 866.587.6803 (Canada).