MCAD Tech News (#273)12 Nov, 2009 By: Cadalyst Staff
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.
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.
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December 1–4, 2009
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