When designing systems, defining the path a mechanism or object will follow and controlling the actual length of travel can pose a difficult challenge. An often overlooked tool called Path Length Dimension solves this challenge as quickly as placing any standard dimension.
The path can be a closed or open profile. Path Length Dimension can be driving dimensions that control the overall length or can be a driven dimension used to monitor the length of travel while other critical parameters are edited throughout the design.
Create a Path Length Dimension in SOLIDWORKS:
Step 1: Select the Path Length tool in Tools > Dimension > Path Length.
Step 2: When initially creating a Path Length Dimension, you will be prompted to select each of the entities included in the path.
Step 3: Once the entities are selected choose OK and the dimensions will be placed on screen.
Step 4: When the dimension is driving it will be editable to control the overall length of the path.
Now that you’re familiar with this tool, controlling the length of a path or monitoring the distance an object travels will be easy.
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Written by Cole McLeod
Cole McLeod is a Senior Application Engineer at Alignex, Inc. It’s rare for Cole to have a spare moment between teaching classes and tackling a diverse set of fast paced engineering challenges, but when he does, you’ll most likely find him on a track leading a race team crew.