What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2019: Improvements to the Defeature Tool

What's New in SOLIDWORKS 2019

Written by: Shaun Johnson, Application Engineer

Defeature Example - Food ProcessorWith the release of SOLIDWORKS 2019, Engineers and Designers have a wide variety of new and improved tools at their disposal. Among the tools that have seen major improvements is the “Defeature” tool. The “Defeature” tool was developed to give SOLIDWORKS users a workflow to remove internal details of their models in order to protect against Intellectual Property concerns as well as to create a version of their model(s) with a reduced resource requirement.

SOLIDWORKS 2019 adds the ability to create simplified versions of parts and sub-assemblies, with varying degrees of accuracy, which are associative to the original model. These tools are accessed by pressing the new “Silhouette” button upon launching the “Defeature” tool.

The Defeature Tool in SOLIDWORKS

Internal FeaturesIn our example, this food processor has internal details – such as the motor, gears, and other components highlighted in blue – which need to be present in the files transferred to downstream users of the dataset, but those components need to be ‘dumbed down’ to protect the design.

The first set of components that we are concerned about – the motor and switch parts – need to retain some of their original shape so we use the “Polygon Outline” option and select the Top plane to determine the normal direction for profile creation. When we click Apply to create the group, a preview of the resulting bodies is shown to the right.

Polygon Outline

After each step, if the option was selected, Processed Bodies are highlighted to make clear what components have already been accounted for. Next, we simplify the gear parts using the ”Cylinder” option due to their round shape.

Cylinder Option

This time, we make use of the “Tight Fit Outline” to capture some of the smaller details such as the cutting blades and the ribs which are present on the outside diameter of the shaft.

Tight Fit Outline

Lastly, there are a few items which need to be passed along with full detail. For these parts – the outer housings, rubber feet, and the food processor bowl – we use the “None (Copy Geometry)” simplification method.

Copy Geometry

Once the last group has been added and all of the components accounted for, clicking on the blue next arrow brings us to the Results dialog. Here, we can save the resulting bodies as a part file and optionally link the geometry back to the original assembly. If we’re not quite ready to save the bodies as a part, we can store the settings for future use. Then, once we’re finished making changes to the design, we can come back and generate the saved part from the latest design. Lastly, we have the option of publishing the design to the CAD sharing service, 3D ContentCentral.