Using the Fully Define Sketch Tool in SOLIDWORKS

By Chris Joren on

Fully defining a sketch is often an essential part of a good design process. With few exceptions, every sketch you create should be fully defined with your design intent inserted via sketch relations and dimensions. Unfortunately, with some sketches are very difficult to do this, and we’re often left wondering what needs to be done to change those blue lines to black. This is where the “Fully Define Sketch” tool can come into play.

>> Watch how to use the Fully Define Sketch tool 

The Fully Define Sketch tool is a great troubleshooting option. While the tool will typically add dimensions and relations to define the sketch, it can also be used to figure out what exactly is under-defined. This is a great way to ensure that your sketch won’t change further down the line, as some options can actually alter the sketch itself (belts in assemblies, etc.) unless they are fully defined. 

While this tool is a great way to troubleshoot your under-defined sketches, or to quickly define something that already has your design intent explained, it can also cause unnecessary burdens if relied upon exclusively.  

With this in mind, it is essential to first clarify those parts of the sketch that you may change later and then use the tool to define the rest. Always check that any sketch relations (equal, parallel, etc.) are appropriate before moving on. This will ensure that your design intent is achieved, while still saving time.

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