The ability to create multiple offset reference planes and derived sketches has been in SolidWorks for some time. However this created multiple independent planes which required seperate editing. In 2011 SolidWorks introduced the ‘Grid System’ reference geometry feature which bundles reference planes and derived sketches in a single, easy to edit feature. The resulting planes and derived sketches can be used for large structural weldment features or as the basis for creating planes for a more complex lofted feature.
Sketch the desired profile for the weldment or just a simple rectangle if the desired output is just a series of related reference planes.
After exiting the 3DSketch the GridSystem FeatureManager will appear and allow you to specify the number of levels (planes), a default distance between levels and an ability to deviate from the pattern on a level-by-level basis.
Additionally the ‘3DSketch Split Lines‘ option will join the outer sketch nodes with a single 3DSketch. This can be useful if the intent is a large weldment feature.
- You cannot edit a derived sketch or reference plane used in the grid system independently of the Grid System feature. However, enabling Instant3D can make editing the Grid System feature very easy.
- Using a Split Line sketch feature while creating the original sketch will have the effect of creating additional 3DSketch lines located on the split location.