Applications Engineer Tyler Braginton hails from our Reno, NV office, and is a Certified SolidWorks Professional who teaches a variety of introductory and advanced classes across Northern California and Nevada. Tyler holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nevada-Reno, and is an expert in SolidWorks, SolidWorks Electrical, and CAMWorks. When he isn't modeling parts or teaching classes, you can probably find Tyler at a Tough Mudder competition or on his snowboard in Tahoe.
Ever since I made the jump to SOLIDWORKS, my need for blocks has been almost entirely replaced by simply reusing 3D models, like those from the Toolbox. However, blocks still have a place in the 3D world, and you can make and use them easily with SOLIDWORKS.
So you just finished an awesome design that took you quite a bit of time to model, and you are feeling pretty proud of it. That’s usually right about the time I realize I forgot to apply a material to this part so that I can get an approximate weight. If you did, you just witnessed part of your beautiful appearances disappear, or be replaced rather.
If you are a fairly advanced SOLIDWORKS user, you have probably used Global Variables at some point. Global Variables are the easiest way allow certain dimensions to change quickly without having to go in and modify them individually. If I open the Equation Manger by going to Tools > Equations, I can see and control the table of Global Variables. This is where you can change the value of each Global Variable to create a whole new model variation. However, there is an underutilized option from the Equations Manager which will let you take Global Variables one step further, Link to External File. This will give you the ability to control Global Variables or equations from a text or database file.