SOLIDWORKS 2020 Emphasizes End-to-End Product Development Ecosystem

17 Sep, 2019 By: Cadalyst Staff

This time around, the annual update to the portfolio of 3D design and engineering applications boasts seamless movement of products from early design to delivery.

Dassault Systèmes introduced the latest release of SOLIDWORKS 2020 today, heralding new features and capabilities added to the portfolio of 3D design and engineering applications. A primary point of focus for this year’s release is helping users extend their design-to-manufacturing ecosystem from the desktop to the cloud courtesy of seamless connection to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform — “a cloud-based environment that connects your product development process from design through manufacturing and delivery.” Dassault Systèmes has been connecting new and existing applications to the platform for years now, with a goal of providing a single source of truth throughout the complete product lifecycle.

The improved connectivity between 3DEXPERIENCE platform and SOLIDWORKS is not to be confused with 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS, which Dassault Systèmes announced in February. Intended to address the needs of SOLIDWORKS customers and small and midsized companies, 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS is a subset of applications for collaboration, design, simulation, and manufacturing enterprise resource planning [ERP] on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Solutions including 3D Sculptor, which includes the xShape (subdivision modeling) application, 3D Creator featuring the xDesign (parametric modeling) application, 3D Component Designer (data management), Project Planner, and Structural Professional Engineer (advanced simulation) will be part of the 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS portfolio.

Digital Continuity

“It’s all about digitalization and integration through a connected 3DEXPERIENCE platform, to drive faster innovation while reducing the risk of failure,” said CEO Gian Paolo Bassi during the company’s online launch event. He explained that the 3DEXPERIENCE platform will deliver “a connected design-to-manufacturing ecosystem helping you manage every aspect of developing and delivering products, from ideation into the hands of your customers.” Bassi reported that this focus was guided by user requests: “Over this past year, you have told us you want full digital continuity — a seamless process that takes you from design to manufacturing faster than ever.”

Jeremy Regnerus, senior product introduction manager, pointed to other applications in the connected ecosystem where engineering data could be used, making the same data useful not just in design but throughout an organization. These include:

  • eDrawings VR
  • Cloud tools for SOLIDWORKS
  • DELMIAWORKS (After Dassault Systèmes acquired IQMS last year, that company’s portfolio of manufacturing ERP applications for mid-sized manufacturers was rebranded as DELMIAWORKS.)

Improvements in This Iteration

Each year, SOLIDWORKS stresses its efforts to develop features and enhancements based on user requests. As Bassi said, “Every year, we hear from thousands of SOLIDWORKS users … and we get amazing ideas, insights, and requests for what’s next. … We listen very closely.”

The hundreds of resulting enhancements include the following highlights in three categories, Dassault Systèmes reported. 

Improvements to performance: 

  • New Detailing mode and graphics acceleration for drawings. The new mode lets users open a drawing in a matter of seconds, while maintaining the ability to add and edit annotations within it. According to the company, detailing mode is especially useful if users need to make minor edits to drawings of large assemblies or drawings with many sheets, configurations, or resource-intensive views. With graphics acceleration, SOLIDWORKS now fully supports high-end graphics cards for drawings.
  • Envelope Publisher allows users to include components from a top-level assembly as envelopes in a subassembly. This substantially reduces the amount of model data that needs to be loaded while working on large assemblies.
  • Large Design Review mode is the fastest way to open an assembly in SOLIDWORKS, and it now can create mates to the reference geometry of components when users edit an assembly in Large Design Review, and can Hide or Show the reference geometry in the top-level assembly and components.
  • Hybrid Mesh: For Simulation is an improved mesh formulation that allows both Draft and High-quality solid elements to coexist in the same simulation study, reducing solving time. (Draft is faster in solution time; High quality is more accurate.)

Streamlined workflows:

  • Make Part Flexible allows users to display the same part in different conditions in the same assembly, such as a spring in compressed and uncompressed states (see screenshot below). This ensures that the bill of materials (BOM) is accurate. According to the company, Make Part Flexible is useful in a variety of design applications such as springs, bellows, hinges, o-rings, and other parts that can flex or change condition.
  • Simulation Evaluator checks Simulation models for common errors related to result location, material, and mesh volume.

Connected design-to-manufacturing ecosystem:

  • Data, project, and lifecycle management tools on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform connect with SOLIDWORKS desktop (coming in November), enabling users to manage product designs and documents directly from the desktop authoring application.
  • 3D Sculptor is a new 3DEXPERIENCE offering for subdivision (Sub-D) modeling enabling faster modeling of highly stylized and organic designs. 3D Sculptor runs in a browser and is seamlessly integrated with SOLIDWORKS desktop applications.
  • Business Innovation is a collection of collaboration tools comprising a 3D visualization tool and secure storage. Users can create custom dashboards and social communities, and share data, collect feedback, and iterate on designs.
  • Improvements to SOLIDWORKS PDM, the SOLIDWORKS Electrical connector, and a new SOLIDWORKS PCB connector allow for complete electronics design and data management — including the secure storage, indexing, and versioning of all user data — while enabling tighter collaboration between ECAD and MCAD teams. 

For more information about new capabilities and enhancements, visit the “What’s New in the SOLIDWORKS Solution Portfolio” page. 

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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