If you’re like me and probably most other SolidWorks users, you fancy yourself as having a fairly strong sense of spatial acuity (at least as far as CAD programs are concerned). Interpreting 2D CAD drawings was never my strong suit, but I feel that I have a relatively good grasp of a design as long as I can see a 3D model.
That being said, there are plenty of situations in SolidWorks when things aren’t quite so crystal clear; one in particular that comes to mind is with section views. Lucky for us, SolidWorks has two abilities that should help out.
One of these tools is the checkbox called “Keep cap color” which allows the user to paint all sectioned faces on a model with a specified color. This comes in especially handy for those certain section views that you may not immediately notice, such as this lens assembly from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, NOAO.
You can even do a multi-plane section view and paint each group of sectioned faces with different colors, which proves especially useful for transparent parts! Just check the box for Section 2 to add another section plane, and click the button for “Edit Color.”
Finally, SolidWorks also gives us the ability to remove the section cap entirely, revealing the details of your model underneath. To do this, simply uncheck the box named “Show section cap,” which is on by default. This is a great way to examine the innards of an assembly, such as these socket head cap screws, without going through your feature tree and hiding a bunch of parts first.
So, if you have updated to SolidWorks 2012 or beyond, save yourself the potential embarrassment! Use these new section view options and always be in the know.