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The SOLIDWORKS Mounting Boss Tool Tutorial

Take apart any modern consumer item, such as a Laptop or TV, and it’s likely that that you’ll find a common feature – the mounting boss. Mounting bosses (sometimes called standoffs) are used to attach different items together. They are an extremely common feature in modern product design, especially in plastic parts. Mounting bosses can be used to join two halves of enclosures together or to internally mount items such as PCBs or other components.

The Solidworks Mounting Boss Tool tutorial
Typical Mounting Boss features that can be found in a huge range of products

In SOLIDWORKS, Mounting Bosses can be manually modelled but there’s actually a specific Mounting Boss Tool that can be used to speed up their insertion, especially if creating more complex bosses with ribs or stepped holes.

Using the Mounting Boss Tool

The Mounting Boss tool can be found under Insert>Fastening Feature>Mounting Boss and provides a wide range of options using a straightforward visual interface.

First, the position and direction of the boss have to be selected. Any face can be used, or users can specify a certain point or circular edge. The exact position of the boss can also later be specified by dimensioning the centrepoint of the boss feature after it is inserted. If using a non-planar face then the direction of the boss can be also be set, but for a planar (flat) faces the boss will be placed normal to the face.

Solidworks mounting boss feature tutorial: Set the Mounting Boss position
Set the Mounting Boss position

Next, the type of boss can be selected – either a hardware boss (that is designed to accept a screw) or a pin boss which fulfils a similar function but without additional fasteners. For each choice a male or female (head and thread, or hole and pin) can also be selected.

solidworks mounting boss tutorial:Choose Mounting Boss Type
Choose Mounting Boss Type

Next the actual size of the boss can be set using the various parameters that are linked to visual guide in the tool. The height can either be set manually by entering a value, or can be specified using a mating surface. This allows the size of the boss to change automatically if the mating face changes. Many options are available, including draft angles and lead-in steps (for a straight hole, simply set the step diameter to the same as the main hole diameter).

solidworks mounting boss tutorial: Set Mounting Size
Set Mounting Size

Finally, fins can be added to boss, if needed. The direction, number, spacing and size of these can be set in a similar manner to setting the main boss size. If no fins are required then a value of zero can be entered.

Solidworks mounting boss tutorial: Specify Fins – enter zero in the number of fin, if none are required
Specify Fins – enter zero in the number of fin, if none are required

Once the first mounting boss feature is complete and added it can then be patterned or mirroring in the standard way to add more instances.

solidworks mounting boss tutorial: Add more Bosses using Patterning or Mirroring
Add more Bosses using Patterning or Mirroring

Mounting Boss Top Tips

Solidworks 2021 - Intensive training course for complete beginnersThe Mounting Boss Feature can really speed up the addition of more-complex mounting bosses and provides an intuitive visual interface that allows items to be added using a only a single feature. When using the Mounting Boss try to remember the following process:

  • Open the Mounting Boss Tool and select the position for the Boss
  • The exact location can be specified later by dimensioning the Point inside the Mounting Boss Feature
  • Choose the type of Boss
  • Set the exact size, using the visual guide
  • Specify fins if needed, or enter zero for no fins
  • Pattern or Mirror the Boss to add more instances

Happy modelling and rendering!


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About the Author: This is a guest post by Johno Ellison, a design engineer with over fifteen years or experience, who specializes in SolidWorks 3D CAD modeling. Johno is the author of the following online SolidWorks courses:
Master Solidworks 2021 – 3D CAD using real-world examples
Master Solidworks 2019 – 3D CAD using real-world examples
Master Solidworks 2018 – 3D CAD using real-world examples

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