Last week I received a bracket from a customer similar to the one shown in the picture below. They were asking us to figure out what the net weight of the part would be on a component like this, sounds simple enough right? I thought so until I realized that the model was designed out of .048” thick material and they were looking for results from and .052” thick material. It can’t ever just be an easy fix can it?
Well, actually it can. I utilized a tool that I rarely touch called Move Face. You can access it by going to Insert > Face > Move. Once you are in the command the first option you are going to want to select is how you want to move the face. You can offset, translate, or rotate. In my case all I needed to do is offset it .004” to get my desired thickness. After you select that option, you will want to select which faces you want to alter. I selected all of the “outside faces” so that everything was going to move in 1 direction compared to the part. After this is completed all you need to do is specify how much you want to move the selected faces and which direction you want to move them. VOILA, done! My imported customer part was now at .052” thick instead of .048”.
But let’s add another twist, what if instead of making my stock thicker I wanted to rotate the top tab up by 20°. Easy as well. For this however, you will want to turn on your temporary axis so that you can select one of them to rotate around. Now you will want to select only the faces that you wish to rotate and then tell SolidWorks to rotate around the axis of your choosing. In my case, I would probably want to rotate around the axis of the radii between the vertical and horizontal legs of this part.
This is just a quick way for you to manipulate data that has no feature history. I hope this gives you an idea of how you can use this sometimes overlooked functionality.