MCAD Tech News (#273)

12 Nov, 2009 By: Cadalyst Staff

SolidWorks 2010: Yes, There's Some Wow

Most development for latest version was under the hood, but we found some fantastic new features on the surface as well.

By Bill Fane

In many ways, SolidWorks 2010 reminds me of the "duck-pond syndrome." Everything seems calm and quiet on the surface, but there's a lot of powerful paddling going on below the waterline.

In a meeting earlier this year, Jeremy Regnerus, product marketing manager for Dassault Systemes SolidWorks, emphasized that SolidWorks 2010 has very few Wow features. Most development work for this version, he explained, has gone into making the product faster, more stable, and more reliable. The truth is, the newest version still has more than 200 detail improvements, most of them originating from customer requests.

Faster Rebuilds

Let's look at the speed issue first. Regnerus demonstrated a part rebuild that performed 95% faster in SolidWorks 2010 than in SolidWorks 2009. As the saying goes, "Your results may vary," so you probably won't get this sort of improvement all the time in every part, but it does indicate the direction of the company’s efforts. I would have liked to see the time savings achieved for a more complex model — after all, a 95% improvement in rebuilding a 3-minute part really would be something.

SolidWorks also has worked on the user interface. The big news here is the new mouse-gesturing feature. Simply right-click and drag in one of eight directions. A halo of commands appears around the cursor, with highlighting to show the one you are about to select. This feature can be customized to your command preferences.

When Regnerus said that there were very few Wow features, he may have fibbed a little bit. Read more »

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Bill Fane is a Cadalyst contributing editor, a registered professional engineer, and a retired instructor at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Autodesk University Virtual

December 1–4, 2009
Various times
AU Virtual brings gives four days of streaming classes, keynotes, and other content to your desktop, providing practical skills, industry knowledge, and professional contacts with no travel required. Read more »

Webinar: Simulating and Optimizing Flow Fields

December 9, 2009
2 p.m. EST
During this one-hour webinar from Mentor Graphics, presenter John Wilson will discuss analyzing the inside of an oven, making sure the heat flow inside is even, and what this means for the overall design of the finished production line. Read more »


May 18–20, 2010
Anaheim, California
Attendees at the RAPID/3D IMAGING conference, a Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) event, will be able to evaluate materials and machinery, compare processes, talk to industry experts, and make contacts. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


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CAD Manager's Toolbox: Free Utility Makes Defragging a Delight
If you're dissatisfied with your disk defragmentation process, IObit's Smart Defrag may be a smart choice. Read more »

CAD Manager's Toolbox: When Internet Explorer Clashes with 64-Bit Operating Systems
Although it seems logical to use a 64-bit browser with a 64-bit operating system, that's not always the best answer. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

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