A highlight of each SolidWorks World is the sneak peek of the next version of SolidWorks 3D CAD. This year Solidtec Solutions is please to report attendees were treated to TWO previews this year since the SolidWorks Cloud technology was shown on Monday. Wednesday’s General Session has in recent tradition been the day where we get to see some new features in the software that will be available to subscription customers later this year.
Reliability & Performance
According to SolidWorks, 50% of the overall effort going into SolidWorks 2011 is going to be focused on improving the reliability and performance of the software. This goes back to the common message of the conference in that their focus is on solving the everyday problems of the common user. Users will certainly appreciate this if some gains can be made without negative effects in other areas of the product. The performance improvements shown include better memory management. A graph was shown that indicates better overall memory utilization which results in as much as 460 Mb LESS memory used by SolidWorks.
The Defeature tool allows users to take assemblies with large amounts of internal components and convert them to part files. This may not sound like a big deal but there are some nice options with this. You can set which components are removed by the setting a physical size filter in the PropertyManager. In the gearbox example shown, the assembly file was converted to a featureless part file with no internal components or cavity. Only the outer surfaces were preserved. This is a great tool for users who are trying to put assemblies like the example show up to 3D ContentCentral but don’t want to share the details of the internal components for various reasons. In fact there is an option in the Defeature tool to upload the model to 3D ContentCentral. Also noteworthy with this feature was the fact that you could come back in and REDEFINE the Defeature and change it at any time.
More Appearance Options & Better Integration with Photoview 360
With PhotoWorks being phased out in SolidWorks 2011, appearances have received some additional settings similar to PhotoWorks. You have more fine tune control over the appearance and you can easily pull up a PhotoView 360 preview window within the SolidWorks software. This will allow users to quickly compare what the PV360 rendering will look like as they are applying and tweaking Appearances where in the past the PV360 program had to be launched separately just to see the preview window. Also announced was tighter integration between PV360 and SolidWorks along with the introduction of rendered motion into PV360.
Planar Simplification in SolidWorks Simulation
Using the simplification tools, you can chose a section of a model and run the FEA on the section itself. With the right scenario, this tool can be used and will save a tremendous about of time since the calculations are only performed on the section. You can then take the resultant plots of the section results and project them onto the 3D CAD model.
Further new features include:
- Improved Model Item Dimension Insert in Drawings
- Spacing Multiple Dimensions
- Dual Dimension Display in Hole Tables
- Design Checker integrated within SolidWorks Enterprise PDM (EPDM)
- Assembly Features: Sweeps
- Assembly Features: Fillets & Chamfers
- Assembly Features: New “Lightweight” Weld Bead tool in Assemblies
- Weld Table in Drawings
- Routing: Piping Weld Gaps
- New Camera: Walk Through
- Feature Lock