« on: July 30, 2012, 09:59:27 PM »
While it looks like you're off to a good start as far as your design is concerned, I would like to point out a few things concerning the actual drafting itself. I'm not quite sure how experienced you are with SolidWorks, but I am fairly experienced with the software as well as drafting practices within SolidWorks, so please excuse any comments I may make that seem as though I am being negative. I am simply making suggestions to make the drafting of the part easier, and keeping the design intent in mind while drafting will make your life much easier.
The locations of the planes with respect to your part are a bit odd. I tend to keep one or more of my planes centered within the part, so I would most likely have the Right Plane going straight through the middle of the part, instead of one side as shown in the screen shot. The reason I would do this is because you mentioned the part being produced in halves, so you would want symmetry along that center line of the part. Additionally, should you decide to change certain features' dimensions like your extrusion lengths or heights, you may cause build errors due to some features no longer being able to be solved correctly. By keeping it symmetrical along the main planes where it makes sense for your particular part, you reduce this risk of these build errors occurring and making changes to the design as you go is made much simpler.
In addition, be sure you keep how this part will actually be produced in mind, because it will save you from creating features that will be hard to make. Since this is a fairly simple part however, printing on the 3D printer should not be but so problematic, but you should still keep manufacturing processes in mind, because it will help you optimize your design once you've gotten the basic part completely done.
I would like to see where you go with this, as I have had similar thoughts about this type of project for other weapons, namely the G36, since I don't really care for the designs of the ones currently on the market.