How to Make Threads in SolidWorks

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In this tutorial, I will show you how to make threads in SolidWorks while creating a hexagonal bolt. By following this tutorial, you will also learn about the basic menus in SolidWorks, how to draw polygons, how to use the CHAMFER command, and finally, how to add cosmetic threads to your design. A cosmetic thread is used in a variety of real-life applications. A few examples include bolts, screws, tapped holes, and several other applications.


What will you learn?

The following topics will be covered in this tutorial. You can skip to a specific topic by clicking on one of the headings.


Creating a NEW Sketch in Solidworks

The tutorial will model a bolt with cosmetic threads using SolidWorks 2013. If you are using other versions of the software, do not worry because the procedure is the same. Also note that, there are many types of bolts but this example will design a bolt with a hexagonal head. Let's get started!

First, select the Top plane and create a New Sketch. See Figure 1 below.

Create a brand new sketch in Solidworks

Figure 1: Create a brand new sketch in Solidworks


How to Create a Polygon

Next, click on the Polygon icon in Command Manager.

Polygon option in Solidworks

Figure 2: Polygon option in Solidworks

Now, you will notice a new window to enter parameters of the Polygon. Since hexagonal bolts have 6 sides, enter 6 into the option box. Next, draw a polygon with center coordinates (0,0) for the X and Y positions, respectively. After doing so, click New Polygon. These steps are shown in Figure 3 below.

Create a bolt with 6 sides using Polygon Menu

Figure 3: Create a bolt with 6 sides using Polygon Menu

Next, We have to add dimension for keyholes. Click on the Smart Dimension in Command Manager and select two horizontal and parallel lines of the polygon. Then, type 22 mm and click OK. See Figure 4 and Figure 5 below for details.

Smart Dimensions Menu

Figure 4: Smart Dimensions Menu

Smart Dimension option

Figure 5: Smart Dimension option

We will now add a 3rd dimension by extruding this Polygon. Click on Features tab in Command Manager and then on Extruded Boss/Base, which is shown in Figure 6.

Extrude Boss Base a polygon

Figure 6: Extrude Boss/Base option

You will see a new window open on the left side with several options for extrusion. Type 8 mm in Depth box, and click OK. See Figure 7 below.

Change Depth in Extrude Boss Base window

Figure  7: Change Depth in Extrude Boss Base window

Select the Top Face of the polgyon and create a New Sketch. Draw a Circle with center in (0,0) and Radius of 11 mm and that Circle will tangent all edges of the polygon. See Figure 8 and 9 below.

Tangent polygon in solidworks

Figure 8: Select the top Face

Select TOP face and create a new sketch

Figure 9: Create a new Sketch with Top face selected

Next, click on Features tab in Command Manager and then on Extruded Cut. See Figure 10 below for details.

Extrude Cut command in Solidworks

Figure 10: Extrude Cut command in SolidWorks

A new window will appear on the left side. Follow these steps:

  • Set Direction: Through all
  • Check “Flip side to cut
  • Activate “Draft” by clicking on icon and type 60 degrees
  • Click OK

The selections are shown in Figure 11 below for clarity.

Cut Extrude menu options

Figure 11: Cut-Extrude menu options


How to add a Shank to a Polygon

Next, we have to add a Shank. To do this, create a New Sketch of the bottom Face.

Add Shank to Custom Thread Bolt

Figure 12: Add Shank

In this Sketch, draw a Circle with a center in (0,0) and radius of 6 mm as shown in Figure 13.

Draw another circle for both thread

Figure 13: Draw another circle for both thread

Extrude this new circle by clicking on Extruded Boss/Base and type 30 mm in “Depth” field and click Ok.

Extrude the circle

Figure 14: Extrude the circle


How to make Threads in Solidworks

Before adding Cosmetics Thread, we have to CHAMFER edges. The location of this option is displayed in Figure 15. Click on Chamfer and set it to 1 mm with angle of 45 degrees. Then, select the bottom edge as shown in Figure 16. Finally, Click OK.

CHAMFER edge before adding Cosmetic Thread

Figure 15: CHAMFER edge option

Select chamfer then click on bolt

Figure 16: Select CHAMFER command then click on bottom of Bolt

The final step is to add a Cosmetics Thread. Go to menu Insert -> Annotations -> Cosmetics Thread. This is illustrated in Figure 17:

How to make Threads in Solidworks

Figure 17: How to make threads in SolidWorks

A new window will appear on the left side. Choose the parameters as shown in Figure 18 below:

Add Cosmetic Thread to Bolt

Figure 18: Add Cosmetic Thread to Bolt

After clicking OK, you are finished and have successfully created a hexagonal bolt with threads.


Final Thoughts

In this tutorial, I showed you the step-by-step procedure of creating a hexagonal bolt with cosmetic threads. Specifically, I wanted to explain how to make threads in SolidWorks, since it is an important skill to understand. You can now take these skills and create more detailed 3D CAD models.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I hope you were able to learn from this SolidWorks exercise. Good luck!


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