3D CAD, simulation, product data management, technical communication, electrical design software

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks 2014 3D software suite offers productivity across all industries with a portfolio of software covering 3D CAD, simulation, product data management, technical communication, and electrical design. Beta customers have been using the new release, the introduction and pre-release version is due Sept. 9, with final commercial release expected in October.


Dassault Systèmes (Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), provider of 3D design software, 3D digital mock up and product lifecycle management (PLM) software, introduces SolidWorks 2014, a 3D software portfolio delivering a rich array of product offerings including 3D CAD, simulation, product data management, technical communication, and electrical design software that further the ability of companies to “design without limits,” as company officials said.  

Part mating upgrades in SolidWorks 2014 allow for easier organization of sets of parts within a complex assembly. Courtesy: Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks

The new SolidWorks 2014 release delivers major productivity and usability gains and allows companies to spend more time on knowledge-centric tasks that help advance innovation, the company told media in pre-release meetings on Sept. 4 and 5. Productivity boosters, workflow and mobility enhancements enable users to re-use data more dynamically, expediting the sharing of design data to help accelerate collaboration within product development. Added mobility support for Android and iOS devices allows the more than 2.1 million SolidWorks users to connect and experience new 3D designs anywhere and anytime.

Recent market studies, the company said, reinforce the importance of product aesthetics in that initial customer purchase and experience. Whether the end product is an industrial machine, a smartphone, or a medical device, customers want product functionality and appealing designs. SolidWorks 2014 helps product designers transfer creative ideas from design sketches and images into 3D models faster than before, while expanding the set of design tools to transform ideas into products for new markets, the company said. 

SolidWorks 2014 streamlines Enterprise PDM workflow, with easy management of more data with the new Microsoft Office integration and enhanced Web Client with graphical preview; track history and versions of complex assemblies. Courtesy: Dassault Systèmes

Michael Lewis, senior mechanical engineer, Rethink Robotics, was quoted as saying, “SolidWorks 2014 is the quintessential example of developers listening to what the users want and need, and making that a reality. New features like the ‘history tab,’ which allows multiple users to see and track recent design changes with the click of a mouse, are essential for collaborative work. Enhanced features such as assembly mates, known as ‘common mates’ in the context menu, offer intelligent choices based on previous usage patterns and apply new options that make sense while performing assemblies.” [Read more from Lewis about Rethink Robotics use of SolidWorks.]

Bertrand Sicot, CEO, SolidWorks, Dassault Systèmes “Our commitment is to deliver a product portfolio that recognizes user feedback and protects users’ investments. We support our users’ drive for excellence by giving them the enhancements needed to validate and share their product design – regardless of whether it’s a device to help clean the environment or technology to save a life,” added Bertrand.

3D modeling, mobility

Sharing and gaining early support of 3D models is also done through physical prototypes working with SolidWorks’ 3D-printing partners. With SolidWorks eDrawings software, companies can view 3D designs and demonstrate how products behave in the real world through an augmented reality 3DExperience on any iOS device, such as an iPad or iPhone.

SolidWorks 2014 includes improved design, communication, and collaboration features. Here, the ability to model heat flow from a circuit board design is shown. Improved wiring routing inside enclosures, tied to improved bill of material (BOM) features are

The integrated SolidWorks 2014 product portfolio includes new tools and enhancements to shorten the design process, enhance collaboration and increase productivity across four areas: design tools, integrated workflows, performance increases, and enhanced visualization for improved collaboration. Following are the top user-requested feature enhancements included in SolidWorks 2014: 

Design tools

• Advanced Shape Control – New Style Spline functionality, automatic Sketch Picture scaling and Conic Fillet controls allow users to create complex surfaces and organic shapes faster, easier and with more precise control.

• Faster Drawing Detailing – Perform faster and more automated drawing detailing. 

• Sheet Metal Improvements – New sheet metal features enable faster creation of sheet metal geometry and improved data output for manufacturing. Users gain improved control over corner treatments, the ability to create stiffening ribs such as the indented design seen on mounting  brackets used to reinforce the weight and force placed on the part. 

Integrated workflows 

• SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Streamlined Workflow – Easily manage more data with the new Microsoft Office integration and enhanced Web Client with graphical preview.

• SolidWorks Electrical Improved Integration and Performance – Enhanced integration with SolidWorks Enterprise PDM and eDrawings allows users to optimize, share and track electrical designs more easily for improved project collaboration.

Increased productivity

• Design Communication and Collaboration – With new support for Android devices, mobile users can expand their viewing choice beyond iOS mobile devices.  

• Streamlined Cost Estimating and Reporting – Users are able to cost parts faster with less setup, then share cost data more effectively with their business value chain. For example, key product development data for assembly can now be sent to Microsoft Excel allowing for easy sharing with departments such as manufacturing and purchasing.

Enhanced visualization 

• Streamlined Simulation Setup – SolidWorks Simulation automatically leverages engineering data for re-use in simulations, eliminating duplication of effort and improving design collaboration.

• Enhanced Assembly Performance and Visualization – Creates assemblies faster and easier with the new in-context Quick Mate tool bar and Slot Mate. For assembly in section views, users can include or exclude selected components allowing for a fast creation of more impressive section views. 

Read more about what SolidWorks considers top 10 advancements in SolidWorks 2014, after incorporating customers’ suggestions. (See link at bottom.)

Motion analysis features can show the sun in relation to SolidWorks software architectural model via slider bar at the bottom, particularly useful for photovoltaic solar installations. Courtesy: Dassault Systèmes SolidWorksPowered by Dassault Systèmes’ 3DExperience Platform, SolidWorks design software is touted as simple as it is powerful – enabling any company to bring its vision to life and capture global markets. SolidWorks delivers an intuitive experience in product design, simulation, publishing, data management and environmental impact assessment, helping millions of engineers to design without limits, the company said.

As of Sept. 10, the company will provide more information about SolidWorks 2014, including video demonstrations, at www.solidworks.com/PR_launch2014.

Dassault Systèmes, based in Vélizy-Villacoublay, France, also offers Catia, Solidworks, Delmia, Enovia, Geovia, Exalead, Netvibes, 3DSwym, and 3D Via software and claims more than 170,000 customers.

 - Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager CFE Media, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer, mhoske@cfemedia.com.

Online extras



Also read with links at the bottom of this file:

3D design software top 10 features, simulation, visualization, electrical; helps with robot design (with more photos, including a Rethink Robotics Baxter cutaway view in the software, and application photos of a truck body and 3D printer design with the software.)

Dassault Systèmes acquires fatigue simulation software company

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