Why You Should Care About Partial Fillets

By Chris Joren on

The SOLIDWORKS 2019 update includes the ability to create fillets that don’t run the entire length of the edge and you may be asking yourself, “Why would I need that?” If you’re not producing awesome injection molded enclosures with crenelations for curb appeal, you might not care, but your machinist does. In this week’s Video Tech Tip, we’ll walk you through creating a partial fillet.

Design for manufacturing doesn’t just mean proper geometric dimension and tolerance (GD&T), perfect drawings and using appropriately sized drill bits and chamfer angles; we also must consider how this thing is going to be made. We’re spoiled in college, pretty much everything we designed could be 3D printed with ease, but that’s not how the real world works. In the real world, your machinist is doing more to fix your drawings than you can imagine, and one of these fixes is not allowing a fillet or chamfer tool to run into a vertical member because you designed it wonky.  

SOLIDWORKS Fillets Model

With the ability to now back fillets away from vertical members, we can easily figure out exactly what diameter the tool is that the machinist is using and back off half that amount (give some positive only tolerance here). This allows us to create a fillet or chamfer feature that can be directly run from your 3D model, which is especially important with feature-based machining. That last little bit might have to be hand filed, or run with a different tool, but they were doing that anyway (and just charging you more for fixing your drawing).

 Machining Model SOLIDWORKS 2019

This is one of my favorite improvements in the 2019 update because I saw the rage on my best friend’s face when I asked him what he hates from engineers while doing research for my Design For Manufacturing (DFM) webinar. These things that you may ignore because you think they’re tiny can actually be a huge issue and cost a lot of money in the long run, so make sure you read the What’s New PDF for every SOLIDWORKS upgrade.

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