SOLIDWORKS Composer: The Transform Tab

Posted in: Tech Communication

This is the first in a 5-part series for the Top 5 Things You Should Know About SOLIDWORKS Composer. This post covers the important features in the Transform Tab. The entire video series can also be found on our YouTube channel.

The Transform Tab

At the top of the Composer UI there are several tabs. All features in Composer are located in these tabs and are organized according to their function. For instance, the Transform Tab includes all features that have anything to do with moving a part or an assembly. This blog covers the select tools you need to know to be effective with Composer.

Transform Tab - Menu

  1. Copy Transformation
  2. Translate
  3. Rotate
  4. Restore Neutral Position

Copy Transformation is one of the most used tools in Composer, and in my opinion the most important. When you move multiple items within Composer it’s easy to forget to grab all the components. In Composer this is not a problem, select what you want to move and move them. Later, if you discover you missed something you can simply select it, then select the Copy Transformation button and then select one of the items that was previously moved. The new item will translate to the exact same position as the previous, which saves a bunch of time.

Translate Tab - Copy Transformation

Translate is the second most used tool in the Transform Tab. This tool is used to move anything along a linear path. If you hold down [ALT], you can select any linear edge within the assembly to translate the selection along. When using Composer correctly, this tool is the second most used since multiple Copy Transition actions are based off of a single Translate action.

Translate Tab - Rotate

Rotate is commonly used to spin items such as screws or to rotate a component along the axis of another. When using Rotate, if you hold down [ALT], you can select any circular edge within the assembly and rotate your current selection around that edge.

Translate Tab - Restore Neutral

Restore Neutral Position is very important but is one of the most difficult features to understand if not explained correctly. I will try to do my best to simplify this explanation. When assemblies and parts are imported into Composer from SOLIDWORKS, Composer records all meta data and location of components from the SOLIDWORKS file. The meta data and location information can be recalled at any time. The Restore Neutral Position button in the Transform Tab specifically looks at the location of components. When pressed, the current selection will jump back to the location specified by SOLIDWORKS. This means exploded views can easily be turned into step-by-step assembly instructions by telling the parts to go back to where they belong.

Transform Tab - Translation of Rim Model Using Restore Neutral Position

Translation of Rim model using Restore Neutral Position

Transform Tab - Translation of Foam model using Restore Neutral Position

Translation of Foam model using Restore Neutral Position

Translation of Tire model using Restore Neutral Position

You can watch the first video in the series here.

October 14, 2014
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