Figuring out OnShape connectors

After watching the tutorial again, and sinking another night into learning OnShape, I’m not only in danger of dying prematurely because my body didn’t break down enough sugars and triglycerides, but I’m also in danger of becoming effective at creating Assemblies.

Perhaps I should explain for those SketchUp users out there.  OnShape (and FreeCad) work on the basis of creating parts, and then assembling the Parts.  The closest analogue to a Part in SketchUp is a Component or a Group.  Essentially, a Part is something that for the purposes of the model does not need to decompose.

For my model, I will be drawing individual parts whenever I plan to manufacture them separately.  So, the frame above is composed of six parts – two for each layer of etched NS on the sides, and two pieces of insulation.

Once the parts are drawn, they are connected together.  The tools offer multiple types of connectors – from fixed connectors, which act like glue, to sliding connectors, which act like an ice rink and a figure skater (and which turned out to be the key for the bearings working within the frames).

Theoretically, various connector types could actually enable you to model a moving assembly.  I could drive the model down the track and see how it behaves in different scenarios before actually cutting any metal.  Well, theoretically, at least.  I suspect that a lot of time disappears into such simulations, and who wants a simulation when you could have the real thing?

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