One of the tricks we previously used in SOLIDWORKS 2017 and prior was creating bounding boxes: calculations of boxes that give dimensions to contain the max volume of a box surrounding a part. People would ask how this could be done and the answer was to make the part a weldment, which allowed for bounding box calculations.

While this got the job done, not everyone wanted the part defined as a weldment just to get the bounding box. In SOLIDWORKS 2018, we have a new solution: a Bounding Box function available in any part.

The Bounding Box is a feature in the FeatureManager that you can hover over to get information and edit as any other feature. It also generates Custom Properties.

The new Bounding Box has several options that can prove very useful. For one, you can control whether the Bounding Box is sized to fit as close as possible to the model volume or align with a plane or planar face. Note the difference between the two options below:

Note these pictures show a multi-body model. When a body is hidden, there is a choice as to whether the Bounding Box includes the hidden body or not, as shown below:

Thanks to SOLIDWORKS 2018, getting maximum cubic volumes for single and multibody parts is now a simple, universal function. Whether you want it for stock estimates, packaging, or some other purpose, the new Bounding Box feature will make your life that much easier.