After 20 Years, SolidWorks Still Striving for Improvement

12 Sep, 2013 By: Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Dassault Systèmes looks to the future while updating its product design portfolio for 2014, but steers clear of the controversial cloud.

  • Sheet Metal Tools
    • Gusset tool: Lets users add stiffening ribs across bends. "It's a very simple, easy way to create what can be a complex feature," said Mark Schneider, SolidWorks product marketing manager.
    • Lofted bends: Control the bend lines in the individual part.
    • Corner treatments: "It closes up those corners with basically a single button click," Schneider commented.
    • Conic fillet controls: Create smoother fillets, as evidenced by the "zebra stripes," similar to contour lines on a topographic map, that help users visualize transitions in the model.

Among the new sheet metal tools is the lofted bend option. Further options control the creation method, and each bend region can be controlled individually. Click to see complete image.

  • Integrated Workflows
    • More mobile support: eDrawings mobile support has been expanded from iOS only to include Android-based mobile devices.
    • Streamlined SolidWorks Enterprise PDM workflow: Includes new Microsoft Office integration and enhanced web client with graphical preview.
    • Improved SolidWorks Electrical integration with Enterprise PDM and eDrawings: Users can optimize, share, and track electrical designs more easily.
    • Faster cost estimation: Users can make quick machining cost estimates without setting up templates, and can adjust materials and processes inside costing.
  • Increased Performance
    • In-context Quick Mate toolbar: Helps speed assembly creation.
    • Default mates: Automatically determines the appropriate mate and avoids overconstraining parts.
    • Slot hole wizard: Change holes into slots and vice versa; mate screws, axes, and even a slot to a slot. "We could have done this in the past," said Schneider, "but [it would require] extra steps and maybe would not be as intuitive as you would like."

The new Quick Mate toolbar appears below the context toolbar. Click to see complete image.

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