Design 4 times faster using Hotkeys in Solidworks free tips

Designers can perform tasks quicker than using menus or mouse clicks. Consequently, it will boost your productivity. In Solidworks, Apart from mouse gestures and any other shortcuts, you can simply press a key for a tool or features.

In Solidworks, it’s easy to setup keyboard shortcut. You can assign any keys you want to any tools and features in Solidworks. For example, pressing “C” at sketch mode to draw a circle or press Alt+S for a sweep.

I used keyboard shortcut when I design the multi-layer coil in this video.

Before assigning any other hotkeys, it is preferable to see all Solidworks default Keyboard shortcut.

To see all default keyboard shortcuts, go to the top bar / left click / Customize and Click on the Keyboard tab. On the “Show” Section, choose Commands with Keyboard Shortcuts

You can download this Solidworks default shortcut list here.

If you do not want to assign any other shortcut keys, that’s fine. You can just memorize and be familiar with the default keyboard shortcut that has already assigned.

But you can design quicker if you assign hotkeys for the tools and features that you use often. Sketch tools at least.

As suggestion, you can assign hotkeys for:

  • Line
  • Rectangle
  • Circle
  • Arc
  • Offset
  • Convert entities
  • Trim
  • Toggle to construction line
  • Some common constraint
  • Measure

Memorizing All hotkeys might be overwhelming.

Hence, Here are 2 tips:

  • Assign a keyboard shortcut for tools and features that you use frequently.
  • Choose a hotkeys that you are familiar with. Like mine, I have chosen the first characters of the features or tools. Combined it with Alt, shift or ctrl if it is the same character.

But I can assure you that the longer you use it, the more you like it. You can try it for free in solidworks.

I hope it will help you to design faster in Solidworks.

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Spring with taper profile in Solidworks

Creating spring with taper profile is quite tricky with Solidworks. Sweep feature does not have yet an option of taping the profile while using circle as profile. 

Fortunately, it is possible to create such a design by using a loft feature. I will show you the main step of it. 

1. Create the base Sketch of helix

base sketch

Choose a working plane such as Top plane and sketch a circle that you will use for helix path.

2. Create the helix path

Helix path

Create the helix from the circle base sketch by using helix function. Put all needed parameters you need to create your helix. In my case, I have chosen height and revolution as a based definition. You can have a look at creating rectangle spring to know some details of where to find the helix and spiral function. You can check also this Youtube video for a basic knowledge of Helix and spiral.

3. Create the first profile

first circle profile

Choose a plane normal to the start of the circle and create your first circle profile. In my case, the first start of the helix is normal to the right plane. So I chose the right plane to draw the first circle. Draw it to the center point of the path. To get that center point, derive the 3D helix.

4. Create the second profile

2nd cirle profile

Like the previous step, draw the second profile to the normal plane of the end of the helix path. In my case, the front plane is the normal plane of the end. Note that I have chosen 3.25 as the number of revolution in order to have different normal drawing plane of the 2 profile. But in most cases, the normal plane of the 2 profile is the same.

5. Create the spring with Loft

Last step, use loft feature to join the 2 different profile sketch. As we draw the profiles to the center of start and end of the path, we will put the helix path as centerline parameters.

So instead of guide curves, use Centerline parameters.

Taper helix

Now you know how to create this kind of spring. It seems simple, but sometimes we have a struggle in using some option on Solidworks features. 

Keep practicing and see you next time.

Spring with taper profile in Solidworks Read More »

How to use Solidworks for free.


Solidworks is one of the most useful CAD in the industry. Thus, many schools and universities use Solidworks to train students. Besides, there are many people trying to learn this application because it is a required skills, fun and mainly a most powerful. However, Solidworks license is quite expensive for personal use and many people cannot afford it. Fortunately, we can test and use Solidworks for free. In this article, I will show you how to use Solidworks for free step by step. If you want to know other existed free CAD software, I have a list of the top 5 free powerful CAD software you can use.

So, let’s get started.

To have the access of free Solidworks, what you need are an Internet, a device with an Internet browser. Recommended Internet browser are Google chrome or Safari.

First, open your browser and search on Google mysolidworks and go to this site

Signup in mysolidworks

After that, signup. You can find the signup link on the top right of the website.

Then, follow these 6 steps carefully.

1. Provide your e-mail address and check I am not Solidworks customer or I do not have Solidworks license. In case you have Solidworks license or Solidworks customer, you will check the second one and put your license in the filling box bellow. Then, click Next

Provide email

2. Go to your e-mail address and copy the validation code you receive. You will get this validation code instantly. In case you encounter any error during the process of signup, go back to this step to request a new validation code.

Validation code

3. Paste it to the validation code area and click next.

paste validation code

4. Next, provide the information, including your institution/company and physical address.

About you

5. After that select the account you have created in the previous form and click on pick this account

pick an account

6. This is the last step. You fill out forms about yourself and create a password. Read Solidworks Privacy policy and check that you agree.

Then click next.

More about yourself
Privacy policy

After that, you will receive a welcome email to confirm that you register to Solidworks online account.

welcome email

Therefore, you can log in to try Solidworks online and use it for free. You can see login next to signup on the top right of the main page. Use the e-mail address you use to register and put your password and login.

login with solidworks

After login, click on “Try SOLIDWORKS” menu

Try Solidworks

Then scroll down to the next section after the header, check the agreement, choose language you want and Launch Solidworks.

launch online solidworks

Wait until Solidworks launch. While launching, there is a license agreement that will pop up. Click accept and Solidworks will open

Solidworks license agreement

Finally, you have access to Solidworks. You can fully test Solidworks for free with all functionality, features, and news.


Solidworks launch succesfully


You may ask if you can import external Solidworks files to online Solidworks. And, you may also ask if you can save the project you made to your local device.

The answer is YES. And I will show you how to do it

Model example

First, let us start with process of saving the project you worked on Solidworks trial to your local device.

1. Save your project. Go to file/Save. Save it in “home folder” or “template folder”.

Save to home folder

2. Then, click on the “My files” (As shown in the pictures below) menu of the launcher. Go to the folder you saved the file previously by double-clicking on it. After that, click on the “arrow down” on the right of the file you want to save locally and click download.

Specify the download path on your device, and you have your design saved locally.

My files

Second, if you want to import your file from your device to be used on the Solidworks trial, follow this step.

1. Go to “my files”/ Upload files. You can see the upload files button on the top right of my files dialog box.

2. After that, browse to the file you want to import from your device, then open

Solidworks file in local device

3. You have your files uploaded. 

Then you can just go to your working area. Go to file/open. And open the file you have just uploaded.

Uploaded files

There is a video available here to show this step by step.

Enjoy it and hope you discover something when you try Solidworks online.

To start with you can design a spring by following this step-by-step tutorial.

How to use Solidworks for free. Read More »

Top 5 Free CAD software in 2022

Here is 5 Free CAD software that you can use to do your design project.It is crucial for a company and industry to find something new to make people’s life easier. Consequently, projects or companies need expert design engineers such a job, by finding new things, creating new machines. And one of the main tools that engineers use is software that allows them to design something. However, much professional software is very expensive. Moreover, many people cannot afford it. Hence, the easiest way to learn CAD design is to use Free software which is very useful for fresh engineers and students.

On that account, I will state 5 free CAD software that you can use and learn with their advantages and drawbacks from my experiences.

Solidworks free CAD software trial Online access

Solidworks is one of the most common CAD software because many companies use it. Its Interface is very common and very easy to use. On the one hand, cost of the software is very expensive for professional use. On the other hand, it is less expensive if you want to learn it or use it as hobbies.

Therefore, subscribe to the Solidworks website to have free access to it.

Free Solidworks CAD software

After that, if you want to use it offline and Standalone, you can buy a hobbits license from here. It’s about $99/year.

Advantages of Solidworks:

  • Many Industries and companies use Solidworks.
  • The interface is user-friendly.
  • Very intuitive because of its powerful tools and features
  • Plastic Add-ins, mold, and sheet metal make work quicker. So you do not need to design these features from scratch.
  • There are FEA and CFD tools with Solidworks.
  • Can export files for 3D print, CNC, and 2D floor-plan for manufacturing.
  • On the contrary, Solidworks standalone needs a workstation, while online access needs a browser with high-speed internet and great CPU and RAM.


  • You should have access to the internet network.
  • Even though it is online access, you should have enough resources like CPU and RAM to run it smoothly.

After some research, we can upload the file we designed with mySolidworks Online to your local disk. And vice versa, you can upload your file from your local disk to mySolidworks.



Onshape free CAD software Online access

It is also one of the most powerful online CAD applications. Moreover, Onshape interface is very similar to Autodesk fusion360 and Autodesk Inventor. Hence. I really prefer this software and recommend it to those who want to use CAD.

Therefore, subscribe to the Onshape website to have free access to the software. Furthermore, you can upgrade your membership in order for you to secure your project and to have more storage.

Onshape CAD software

Advantages of Onshape:

  • Like many professional CAD software.
  • Easy to use.
  • Import many other files from other CAD software like Solidworks file, fusion360 file, Inventor file, PTC file, ProE file, …etc.
  • Similarly, you can export and use with other CAD software such as Solidworks, fusion360, Inventor …etc. Hence, you can solve locally.
  • There are many partnerships with Onshape.
  • It does not need a workstation.


  • Online only.
  • Unfortunately, projects are available publicly for a free license.
  • Better with a good internet speed, high CPU, and high ram.

FreeCAD software

FreeCAD is mostly used by students. Apart from that, Linux and Apple users can use this software because it is open-source. Moreover, there are a lot of features called Workbenches. Plus, many Archi engineers use ArchiCAD with its powerful BIM features. On the other side, as it is an Opensource software, you can use Blender for the best visualization and rendering.

If you need more details about it, go to its official website. FreeCAD is totally free CAD software.

FreeCAD CAD software

Advantages of FreeCAD:

  • Free and Open source, available for all operating systems.
  • Does not require a powerful workstation to run the software.
  • A lot of workbenches and scripts to help do work faster.


  • The user interface is not friendly.
  • Slower than other CAD software.
  • A lot of design limitations.
  • Better to know python programming for advanced users.

You can check this to get started with Freecad.

Salome Free CAD software

Few words to say about Salome. It is like FreeCAD. It is an open-source one. What makes it different from FreeCAD is on User Interface. For more details go to its official website.

Besides, one advantage of Salome is its ability to run the advanced numerical simulation with it.

Salome is totally free CAD software.

Fusion360 free CAD software

Fusion360 is an Autodesk product that allows the industrial designer to design something. In addition to that, it is one of the most powerful CAD software regarding its tools and ease of using the software. Besides, Fusion360 offers a free version for hobbits and students in order to explore and learn CAD.

To get access to the free version of this software, please visit its website by clicking this link. Explore this website and choose the plan suitable for you.

Unlike Onshape and Free Solidworks, Fusion360 can be installed on Windows as software and you can use it offline. But I recommend you to stay connected while using Fusion360.

Advantages of Fusion360:

  • Powerful tools and Interfaces are user-friendly.
  • You can save files locally as a Fusion360 file.
  • It allows preparing files for 3D print and CNC.


  • The free license has a limit of file edition.
  • No dwg, Dxf, and pdf export for a free license. To extract a pdf with a free license, choose the print option.
  • Simulation on Fusion is not free.

Therefore, people like students, hobbits, or someone who are keen on using CAD can get and learn for free by using one of the listed free CAD software. Moreover,  it is a versatile software. Other than that, the listed CAD software has its own advantages and disadvantages.

I, personally, prefer using Onshape because I can import and export a variety of other CAD files with it. Besides that, there are a lot of things available on the Onshape AppStore that you can use as an Onshape extension such as Onscale for numerical simulation that personally I really need it. There is a lot of paid extensions of Onshape also available in the Onshape AppStore.

Ultimately, you can try to test all the 5 free CAD software listed above and use the one that you are familiar with.

Leave a comment.

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Rectangle spring in Solidworks | 2 best methods.

Solidworks is one the most powerful CAD software that most people and companies use. Beginners and even experts sometimes have a hard time finding some functionality or features to design something. For example, creating non-circle coils. So how to create a rectangle spring in Solidworks? I will give 2 step-by-step methods for it.

I have made this guide because I needed to create a rectangle spring in Solidworks on my project. However, we can get a helical sketch in Solidworks only from only a circle. Hence, I try to find one on YouTube and I found a lot of tutorial about it. Unfortunately, my computer is always stuck when doing it. Therefore, I try to find another method of creating it.

12V DC motor with rectangle coil in solidworks

So let’s get started.

1st method: Extract the rectangle helical sketch from a circle helical surface to generate the rectangle spring in Solidworks

The first method is almost used and taught by many designers. Here is some of the best guide to it. But here is how I will proceed on it.

  1. Create a rectangle sketch in one plane and extrude it for the length you need (and add fillet),rectangle profile in Solidworks
  2. Create a circle in the center/bottom plane of your rectangle (not bigger than the main surface) and use Helix/Spiral command to create the coil sketch. Choose the right setting for your spiral which includes height, pitch, revolution, …etc.Helix/Spiral command in Solidworks
  3. Create a line at the end of the coil sketch and normal to it. This line should cover the volume of the rectangle,
  4. Go to Surface/sweep to create a surface coil. Use the line as profile and spiral as the path.Sweep surface in Solidworks
  5. To extract the rectangle Sketch, go to the menu Tools/Sketch tools/ Intersection curve. Then Select all surfaces and OK.Intersection curve function to generate 3D sketch spring path in Solidworks
  6. Finally, you have your Rectangle 3D sketches. Go to Features/sweep. Choose a circular profile and use the 3D sketch as a path and define a diameter.Rectangle sprin in Solidworks. 1st methodYour rectangle spring is done.

The main advantages:

  • Quicker with high specs workstation
  • It can generate many other types of shapes such as cone, sphere spring, …etc.

A disadvantage:

  • It is not efficient for low specs laptop or desktop

Depending on your need, you can choose this first method for your purpose.

2nd Method: Generate 3D non-circle sketch from 2D sketches to generate the rectangle coils in Solidworks

These are the main steps for the 2nd method

  1. Create 4 planes that limit your rectangle. Tips: always create it from the center.create new alternative plane in solidworks
  2. Start sketching in the first plane and do the sketch as shown in the pictures below. Before doing the sketch, choose all of your helix parameters in advance regarding mainly the pitch and revolution. Then pattern it from the revolution you have chosen.
  3. Then choose the next plane perpendicular to it and sketch the other line. Proceed like the 2nd step.
  4. After finishing sketching the 4 planes, verify it. All lines should coincide with each other apart from the start and end.Conicidence verification. 3D sktech path spring in solidworks
  5. Next, create a new 3D sketch, and choose all lines you have created by using the Convert entities command. Add fillet in the 3D sketch.Derived sketch and filleting
  6. Finally, you have your Rectangle 3D sketches. Go to Features/sweep. Choose a circular profile and use the 3D sketch as a path and define a diameter.

The main advantages:

  • Nothing new to creating the 3D sketches
  • Design is very clean
  • It is better to use this method for visualization purpose
  • This method is more convenient to create multiple-7layer coilsMulti-stage rectangle coil in Solidworks

A disadvantage:

  • Spending more time using this method.
  • Spring path is too straight, not like a regular spring path.

That is all I have discovered about this design. If you need more clarification in creating, please follow the tutorial video above so that you are not lost in each step.

Solidworks gives us a better tools to create such a simple design that seems too complicate. Rectangle spring designed are mostly used in electrical and electronic field. For example, a motor coil in rotor or stator. And, we need sometimes rectangle spring details in vizualisation.

Hope you find the above guide useful, and you will not get trouble again in creating rectangle spring or any other profile.

Rectangle spring in Solidworks | 2 best methods. Read More »

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