Approach to Modeling Overview

2D CAD systems and the SOLIDWORKS application have fundamentally different approaches. In 2D CAD systems, you design in a 2D environment. In SOLIDWORKS, you design in a 3D environment, and you create 2D drawings based on the 3D model. The first three lessons of the SOLIDWORKS Tutorials cover basic part, assembly, and drawing concepts.

Types of Models 2D drawings 3D solid parts and assemblies, from which you generate 2D drawings
Sketching versus Drawing drawings sketching is the basis for features, which are the basis for parts; drawings are generated from part and assembly models
Feature-based Models models are viewed as a set of lines in 2D parts are made up of features, as assemblies are made up of parts
Types of files .dwg files

.sldprt (parts)

.sldasm (assemblies)

.slddrw (drawings)

Glass Box Visualization visualize 3D models into 2D drawings visualize (and convert) 2D drawings into 3D models
Templates drawing templates part, assembly, and drawing templates
Dimensions geometry drives dimensions dimensions define the geometry
Design Intent accurate lines describe objects design intent is captured by dimensions, relations, and equations
Configurations configurations drawn manually configurations of part or assembly models created in the model document
Exploded Views exploded views drawn manually exploded views are created as configurations in assembly documents