In early February, over 5,000 attendees—many of whom were only too happy to flee their snowy, frigid hometowns—filled the halls of the Phoenix Convention Center for SolidWorks World 2015. The weather wasn’t the only thing heating things up at the show. Intriguing general session speakers and many new products were introduced—both by SolidWorks and its many partners—so in case you missed it, we thought we’d share some of the more significant announcements made by SolidWorks at the show.
SolidWorks Industrial Design
Though this product was first announced last fall, attendees during the general session were given a more extensive demo of the product and the crowd seemed impressed. The software, which runs on Dassault’s 3DExperience platform, provides a highly flexible, interactive workflow that combines the benefits of hand sketching, freeform Sub-D, feature-based and history-free modeling in a rather unique way.
Highlights of SolidWorks Industrial Design:
- Concept sketching provides easy-to-use tools for creating sketch-based concepts and ideas.
- Integrated freeform and parametric surface/solid modeling merges the benefits of freeform sub-division, parametric solid and surface modeling with direct editing, which allows you to quickly develop and capture ideas the way you want.
- Direct editing easily transforms both native and imported solid geometry, reducing remodeling time and allowing you to focus on innovation.
- Rendering tools can be used to produce realistic images that help convey exactly how the finished product might look.
- Simplified design evolution quickly moves your concept from sketches to complex 3D geometry helping accelerate time-to-market.
Conceptual Design gets new name and boost in functionality
SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual was recently renamed SolidWorks Conceptual Design. According to the company, this was done to support the change from a product targeted at designers to one that will support a more general concept design workflow.
SolidWorks Conceptual Design provides design tools that augment existing CAD solutions for engineers creating conceptual mechanical designs. Users can rapidly capture ideas digitally; quickly create 2D and 3D concept models; receive timely feedback from design participants; and collaborate and manage data on the cloud.
This second release of the product includes many customer-driven enhancements. Among these are dynamic analysis, enhanced interoperability and intelligent history bases mates, where users are showed mating options based on previous usage.
SolidWorks Model Based
Another product that was previewed in September, but officially launched at the show, was SolidWorks Model Based Definition (MBD), a drawingless manufacturing app. SolidWorks MBD provides engineers with a 3D tool for model-based design that the company said will improve technical communication, accelerate design and manufacturing processes and save production time and costs.
With the SolidWorks MBD application, engineers can now generate one master document for all product and manufacturing information, downstream processes and compliance with regulations and standards—without having to produce and maintain separate sets of expensive 2D engineering drawings.
Using SolidWorks MBD, engineers can define, organize and publish product and manufacturing information directly in 3D to improve communication between design and manufacturing teams and reduce the risk of errors. The app serves multiple use cases, including communicating part and assembly information required by manufacturing, request for quotes by purchasing and inspection reports for the QA department.
SolidWorks EDU hits two million milestone
Another announcement at the show pertained to the wildly popular SolidWorks Education License, two million of which are now officially installed at educational institutions worldwide.
SolidWorks applications offer educational institutions a specialized suite of tools for engineering design, documentation, simulation and sustainable design in one easy-to-learn software package that helps teachers and students develop student skills for careers in the engineering and industrial design job markets.
Video tutorials, PDF guides, project files, demo clips, the SolidWorks STEM Teacher Blog and other specialized curriculum and support resources help educators optimize student learning. Students have access to 3D CAD, simulation, product data management, technical communication and electrical design tools for hands-on product design training.
MySolidWorks adds new services
For those of you unfamiliar with MySolidWorks, it’s an online resource that provides single-point access to all SolidWorks communities and content. Launched last year, the site now offers new features to help 2.7 million SolidWorks users get the best answers to their questions, sharpen design skills and share expertise—all from their mobile device or desktop.
MySolidWorks new services include:
- MySolidWorks Training. 120 new online training modules tailored to meet SolidWorks users’ needs, including SolidWorks Certification prep courses. New training content includes SolidWorks Essentials, Advanced Part Modeling, Sheet Metal Design and Assembly Modeling.
- MySolidWorks Drive. Connects cloud-based file storage services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, with MySolidWorks. It enables SolidWorks users to easily share large designs files with manufacturers, colleagues and vendors from anywhere, as well as view their designs online with the eDrawings online viewer.
- MyVAR. This service allows resellers to promote information and technical content to their users. Resellers can plug in their content feed for blogs, videos and news, and display a schedule of events, such as webinars and seminars.
- MySolidWorks Manufacturing Network. Designed to connect users and reliable manufacturers with capabilities in 3D printing, sheet metal, CNC machining and injection molding. Today, manufacturers can register to get listed on the Manufacturing Network and users can recommend manufacturers to be added. In the future, users will be able to find and connect with these manufacturers to get physical parts made quickly, while manufacturers will be able to reach SolidWorks users more directly to promote their services and respond to RFQ’s.