Have you tried out the fastener feature in SOLDIWORKS assembly? You ever wonder how this screw has been designed in the design library? But when is the correct situation when we need to use fastener in our assembly? Are you aware that, you can design your own fastener files to easy your BOM process?

In Assembly, how fastener works?

Fastener is one of the features in SOLIDWORKS assembly to speed up the workflow. The call out for the screw and nuts base on the hole wizard setting you use in the part design. All the screws and nuts will also be included in BOM to provide more accurate data for the purchasing departments to buy all the necessary items for the assembly projects.

Smart fastener will identify the screws and nuts standard when we select the hole.

The feature only can identify the standard part files, when we use hole wizard to create holes in our cad design.

Hole wizard setting that manipulate the data in assembly fastener

Let us understand, how the hole wizard data will control fastener file in the assembly. As we all know that, hole wizard not just a feature to perform cut extrude feature in SOLIDWORKS. Hole wizard is using the standard hole standard in different region, and different type based on user requirement. Main type of the screws can be found in SOLIDWORKS, which are counterbore screw, tap screw, and hole screws. If you expand the other options, it come with different type of standard, such as ANCI MM, ANCI Inch, and ISO, with standard size for the screws.

Hole wizard consist of the standard data for screws and nuts

Thread feature, allow you to create your screw and nuts component

Thread feature, allow us to design our screw and nuts, with the correct parameter and standard in SOLIDWORKS. Normally, when we manually draw it, we tend to use sweep feature, with the profile that we found on the internet, and manual estimation for the pitch diameter, and length of the thread profile.

Feature to provide more flexibility and customization when come to designing our own screws, bolts and nuts design

Why we need this? In certain cases, we need to keep re-using these files without using hole wizard

Why do we need thread feature in SOLIDWORKS, if we can use hole wizard and smart fastener in assembly? Sometime, when we want to save more time designing the profile, we tend to manually design the hole cut in our 3d model. This is where thread feature needed, to design our own screws and nuts standard to be use in assembly, when we can’t use smart fastener feature in SOLIDWORKS assembly.

Certain situation when we want to reduce the design workflow, we always prefer the manual way to create the hole.

Thread feature, create screw

First, we can create our own screw profile, and shape, with correct diameter. Diameter if the screw is important, if your screw size do not match with the standard size you need in project, you might have issue create the thread profile for your screw.

When you move into thread feature, setting will request you to select the edge to create the thread pattern. The end condition will up to the user design, whether the thread profile goes until the next surface, or specify a fix distance to create a partial thread screw.

Several type of thread type can be sued in your screw, make sure you clear of what type of screw standard you need in your assembly design. Followed by the size, make sure your thread size is not bigger than the hole you want to apply in your design. Thread method is based on your own preference, some may prefer cut thread, some prefer extrude thread, make sure you understand the difference between these two options. The screw turning direction, will depends if your thread feature is using left-hand thread or right-hand thread.

Design your own screws, size and length that you need.

Thread feature will need you to select the starting edge and the end conditions before proceeding to the size and standard.

Thread standard selected and using the extrude thread for this case.

Thread feature, create nut

When comes to create nut using the thread features, the steps are similar, make sure your nut internal diameter is same with the screw diameter. The thread feature will create the curve or cut, fit nicely for the screws and nuts.

After you design your nut, you may start using the thread feature. As usual, select the edge for the thread location and the end condition for the thread feature. Make sure the type of thread and size is same with the parameter of the screw. When come to the thread method, instead choosing the extrude thread, we will be using cut thread for this case, as we creating the thread profile on the internal cylinder surface. In order to have a smooth opening for both side of the nut, we extend the end condition, with extra blind distance, to make sure the thread feature cut thru the whole screw.

As usual, design your own nuts profile, make sure the internal diamter is the same as the screws.

To ensure the thread cut through the nuts, we use blind in end condition, and ensure the distance apply is passing through the nuts.

Make sure you select the same standard that you used for the screws.

After selecting the correct size and standard in thread feature, you can easily to use in your assembly project.

If you interested on these hidden features in SOLIDWORKS.

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– Henry Chai, Application Engineer, IME Technology Sdn Bhd