SolidWorks World 2014, Part 1: Software on Stage

4 Feb, 2014 By: Cyrena Respini-Irwin

At the annual user conference, Dassault Systèmes customers get to see what’s in store for SolidWorks — and more.

Ten to Grow On

The Top Ten, a countdown of the year’s most-desired enhancements to SolidWorks, included the following user suggestions:

  1. Equal spacing options for linear patterns
  2. Rename components in the Feature Manager Tree
  3. Draw a line from the midpoint
  4. The Esc key should always stop the current calculation and return control to the user
  5. Unlimited Undo/Redo
  6. Redefine (flip) angular dimensions after they’ve been placed
  7. Redefine a fillet to a chamfer (and vice versa)
  8. List quantity of identical holes in a hole callout
  9. Purge Data command to reduce file size
  10. Automatically hide components while mating to improve selection.

Dassault Systèmes stresses that it takes these user requests to heart, and strives to incorporate them in future releases. “We build SolidWorks exclusively on your input,” Kelly told the audience.

Many currently available features — including slot mate, edge bleed through, and eDrawings for Android devices — are fulfillments of past Top Ten requests. “Over the past 14 years, we’ve implemented the vast majority of all items on all Top Ten lists,” said Bruce Holway, director of Product Definition. Indeed, it appears that some of these requests will be answered in SolidWorks 2015 (read on for more on that topic).

The Adventures of SolidWorks 2015

Many SolidWorks World attendees are eager to learn what features the next release holds, and they were not disappointed. In a plenary session presentation that would make Adam West proud, costumed crime-fighters CADMan and Ribbon showcased highlights of the forthcoming SolidWorks 2015 while battling design delays.

If you have need to design a grappling-hook gun, escape from the Meeting Room of Doom, or do battle with archvillain The Marker, enemy of efficient design processes, the following enhancements may come in handy:

  • Define asymmetric fillets
  • Split surfaces
  • Convert feature to body pattern
  • Render only one portion of the model (to check for desired outcome without waiting for the entire model)
  • Vertex adjacent constraints
  • Create line from midpoint
  • Rectangle creation options (support for orthogonal lines)
  • Segment tool finds number of segments, and segments lines equally
  • Convert to style spline (from a standard spline curve)
  • Weldment costing
  • Live analysis results (view progress while SolidWorks Simulation is running)
  • Cutlist folder description options (apply weldment properties to folder names; set the folders to always update)
  • Routing supports rectangular ducting
  • Dynamic chain patterns in assemblies
  • Profile center mate; two planar faces made coincident and centers aligned
  • Width mate now supports geometry limits; width mate limits automatically update
  • Drawing sheet zones to identify location of drawing elements
  • Open model in same orientation as drawing view
  • Layer print control (prevent certain information from showing in printed version)
  • Model break and pipe break views; drag break lines to desired locations; break isometric view
  • Angle dimension manipulator
  • Enterprise PDM mobile web client runs on any browser, making projects accessible via a tablet or phone
  • SolidWorks Inspection extracts important data such as tolerances; automatically creates inspection documentation for quality control; can operate within SolidWorks or as a standalone application (SolidWorks Inspection and SolidWorks Inspection Professional will become generally available in April 2014).

With asymmetric fillets, the user has more control over the way fillets smooth out edges like these.

The SolidWorks 2015 portfolio will be integrated with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, providing users with access to Collaborative Sharing capabilities. Collaborative Sharing is a cloud-based data management and social solution that will enable collaboration between Mechanical Conceptual and SolidWorks 2015 users. Collaborative Sharing for SolidWorks 2015 is expected to be available in November as part of the 3DEXPERIENCE 2015 release.

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