First introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2018, the Tab and Slot feature creates tabs on one body and slots (holes) on another body to interlock the two bodies. The Tab and Slot feature speeds manufacturing of fabricated products by allowing assemblies to “snap” together for final assembly or for welding, thereby eliminating the need to design and manufacture expensive jigs and fixtures for assembly and welding operations. Tab and Slot is commonly used in the metal fabrication industry, especially for low to medium volume production runs.
The Tab and Slot feature is available in all parts, not just sheet metal parts. You can use it in single bodies, multi-bodies, and parts in the context of an assembly.
In SOLIDWORKS 2019 the Tab and Slot feature has been enhanced in several ways:
- Tab and Slot now always creates a through all slot independent of the selected option. There is now an additional option that lets users disable the default through all option.
- It’s now possible to define different offsets for the length and the width of slots.
- An additional option was added to create circular cutouts in the corners of the slot.
- The center of the cutouts is always located at the vertices of the slot. The diameter can be defined.
- It is now possible to define tab and slot features for circular edges.
- Tab and Slot groups can be linked together. This makes it possible to alter the feature parameters once and all groups will update accordingly.
- After the external reference of Tab and Slot features are broken, the feature can be edited without impacting the formerly corresponding feature.