3D design software top 10 features, simulation, visualization, electrical; helps with robot design
Lewis and other customers shared insights, and 3DS executives talked about major enhancements to SolidWorks 2014 at a media event on Sept. 4 and 5 at the Solidworks headquarters, Waltham, Mass. Each year more than 200 Solidworks customer user groups globally suggest features, which are prioritized and developed based on maximum impact for the largest number of users, said Gian Paolo Bassi, vice president of R&D, 3DS Solidworks Corp.
The 10 most significant improvements for 2014, according to Solidworks, are:
1) Advanced shape control
• Fast and easy creation of complex geometry with new Style Spline functionality
• Better, simpler control over curvature of spline geometry
• New conic fillet controls create smoother transitions for fillets
Benefits: Conceptualize and design faster and easier with more robust and powerful sketching capabilities.
2) Sketch enhancements
• Replace sketch entity
• Set sketch and sketch picture scale when adding first dimension
• Fixed length dimension for 2D splines
• Path length dimension for multiple sketch entities—belts, chains, cables, perimeters, etc.
Benefits: Create complex surfaces and organic shapes faster, easier, and with more precise control.
3) Enhanced assembly performance and visualization
• Create assemblies faster with new in-context Quick Mate toolbar
• Section view—Include/exclude selected components
• Significantly improved section view performance
• Create part slot features with hole wizard and speed up assembly creation with new Slot Mate
• Add rotation in Explode Steps so parts will automatically rotate
Benefits: Create and view assemblies faster and easier.
4) Design communication and collaboration
• Experience 3D designs in the real world in augmented reality with eDrawings and eDrawings Professional iOS mobile apps
• eDrawings mobile support for Android devices (4.0 and later)
• Create an eDrawings file of your SolidWorks Electrical schematics with one click
Benefits: Experience and communicate your design ideas in a more lifelike way.
5) New sheet metal features
• New sheet metal gusset feature for creation of stiffening ribs
• Improved control over sheet metal corner treatments
• Sheet metal lofted-bend includes information needed for press brake manufacturing
Benefits: Create sheet metal geometry faster, with improved data output for manufacturing.
6) Streamlined simulation setup
SolidWorks Simulation automatically leverages data for simulations:
• Toolbox fasteners definition, with position, bolt materials, and preloads, for bolt connectors in SolidWorks Simulation
• Thermal properties and PCB definition from electrical components in SolidWorks Flow Simulation
• In-mold residual stress and temperature data from SolidWorks Plastics in SolidWorks Simulation
Benefits: Streamline simulation and eliminate duplication of effort to enable concurrent engineering.
7) Faster drawing detailing
• Create angular running dimensions
• Set automatic limits for rows in tables
• Turn a part drawing into an assembly drawing without losing references
• Slot callout notes
Benefits: Perform faster and more automated drawing detailing.
8) SolidWorks Electrical improved integration and performance
• One-button publishing of schematic and assembly files for review in eDrawings
• One click check-in/check-out of electrical project files to SolidWorks Enterprise PDM
• Enhanced wire/cable/harness development capabilities with optimized routing
Benefits: Optimize, share, and track electrical designs more easily for improved project collaboration.
9) SolidWorks Enterprise PDM streamlined workflow
• Customize the user interface with custom data columns for company-specific data
• Automated cache management to cache and clear specified folders at user log-in and log-off
• Enable vault operations directly in Microsoft Office user interface for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
Benefits: Make faster, more accurate document actions and get the latest file versions automatically.
10) Streamlined cost estimating and reporting
• New options enable selection and control of cost estimation methods
• New estimate type based on average cost of material removal simplifies costing setup
• Microsoft Excel integration and output of more costing custom properties improve cost data sharing
Benefits: Cost parts faster and with less setup, then share cost data more effectively with downstream applications.
SolidWorks 2014 new features and enhancements span the full range of SolidWorks software for 3D design, simulation, technical communication, and product data management to maximize productivity, company representatives said.
- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager CFE Media, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org.
See related product release on SolidWorks 2014, showing software screen shots.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.