Home » Tips & Tricks

CADFanatic’s Tips & Tricks Tuesday – Derived Sketches

26 May 2009 13 Comments

Leg Brace Weldment Utilizing A Derived SketchHow do you recreate an identical sketch on another face/plane? Convert edges is fine if you want to project a sketch to a parallel face or plane, but what if the face in question is not parallel? You could copy a sketch and then mess around with linking all the dimensions, but what if you want the sketch in a different orientation? Enter the Derived Sketch command.

The Derived Sketch is a cool tool; it creates a copy of a sketch that is tied back to the original. After deriving a sketch, it’s only a matter of orienting and positioning it in its new location.

Take the leg brace weldment shown above for example. A Derived Sketch will allow you to keep your design intent by ensuring that the two end flange plates are always the same shape and size. Let’s look at how it works.

First, you create one of the plates as you normally would:

Leg Brace With Base Bracket

Then, you select the original sketch and the face or plane you wish to position the new sketch on and choose Insert|Derived Sketch:

Inserting A Derived Sketch

Now it’s just a matter of orienting and positioning the new sketch.  Any changes to the original sketch will be reflected in this sketch as well.

Derived Sketch Placed Derived Sketch Rotated Leg Brace With Derived Bracket

To finish things off and make sure that the full design intent is there, you can link the thicknesses of each plate:

Show Feature Dimensions Linking Values of Bracket Thicknesses Naming Shared Linked Value Showing Linked Values of Bracket Thicknesses

So there you have it!  A couple of things to note is that you cannot add any additional geometry to the Derived Sketch, and in this Rectangluar Cutout Added To Base Bracketexample I had trouble getting some of the constraints to work out like I wanted. Also, any new geometry added to the original sketch will be propagated to the Derived Sketch.

In the image to the left, a square cutout was added to the lower base bracket, and you can see that it was propagated to the upper bracket.

Do you have any special tips or tricks you use to make working with SolidWorks faster or easier? Email them to us at [email protected] and it may be featured on a future CADFanatic’s Tips & Tricks Tuesday!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn Post to Delicious Post to Ping.fm Post to Digg Post to StumbleUpon Post to Technorati Post to Reddit Post to Slashdot

  • I have found Derived sketches are a great shortcut for creating the same geometry on a parallel surface in a different location. Thanks for the tip to remind us of this underused tool

  • Yes, they can be very useful! I had forgotten about them until a SolidWorks class I recently took…

    I have had several instances here in the last few months where I was actually copying and pasting sketches and having to reconstrain everything. When this came up in the class, I wanted to bang my head on the table!

  • Pingback: CADFanatic’s Tips & Tricks Tuesday - Derived Sketches, by Brian McElyea()

  • Great post, and nice model. Would be nice if you could brake the link to the original and start adding new stuff to your derived part.

  • Lars,

    I just wanted to make clear that in this example I am not deriving a part, I am deriving a sketch in a part. You can add additional features to the body created from the derived sketch.

    When deriving a part, you can add new features to it too.

    Thanks for the comment!

  • Nice I forgot about this one too. Thanks for the reminder. lol hitting my head

  • Nice I forgot about this one too. Thanks for the reminder. lol hitting my head

  • nice work,nice model,thanks

  • nice work,nice model,thanks

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think that this is worthy of a review by a writer of your caliber.

  • Nicolas

    I tried it and it can’t change the orientation.
    I asked Solidworks about it and they told me its not possible to rotate the derived sketch.
    Only to drag and place. SW even proposed me to ask for an enhancement request for this issue.

  • Nicolas

    Sorry Again,
    For the orientation
    It works with Tool/Sketch Tool/Modify.

    My boss told me 😉

    Should maybe be added in the text…

  • Hi Nicolas,

    It’s been a while, but I believe I rotated the sketch by using constraints (in this case, I think I applied a Horizontal constraint to the sketch centerline).

    Also, not sure who at SolidWorks you talked to, but if you fix say, a point, of the derived sketch, you can drag and rotate the derived sketch to any orientation you wish.

    Thanks for reading!