SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 403 - SolidWorks 2013 Sneak Peak


SolidWorks 2013 Sneak Peak:

This podcast covers a few sneak peak features slated for the new SolidWorks 2013 release due out on September 10, 2012.  For the past couple of weeks, SolidWorks has been leaking out a few tidbits to get the the momentum moving for the launch next month.  Topics covered:

- Referencing center of mass in drawings and assemblies

- Automatic routing along existing geometry

- Autodimension while sketching

- Insert multiple components in assemblies

Although most of the sneak peaks thus far have been additions to existing functionality, they do add that little "rounding of the edges" that we all like to see.  I enjoy more enhancements to existing functionality than new features so for me these were nice to see.  That is not to say that we won't see plenty of new functionality, especially since they debuted two brand new products in Plastics and Electrical.

It is interesting that the ship times seems to be around the same time but the trends in path to FCS (First Customer Ship) seem to be different than in past.  Many of you might remember the days of 3 to 4 betas and then 2 pre-releases before we saw the final bits. Another trend is happening with me... I am doing less and less beta testing since I am too busy to simply dig in and find bugs, although I do miss finding the easter eggs...

I will be curious to see at what point Windows 8 will be supported since this is not my only operating system even though it has only hit RTM (Release To Manufacturing).  I vaguely remember that when Windows7 shipped it was not till the first major SP that support came.  Thus far I have not found any issues but an official stamp would be nice to see sooner than later!  ~Lou

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**UPDATE**  I mention in the cast that the bits would be shipping on 9/10/12 when it is just the launch date when the embargo of beta will be lifted and everyone can talk about it.  It has not been said when the exact date of FCS (first customer ship) will be....

SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 384 - Belt & Mechanism Tools Revisited

Belt & Mechanism Tools Revisited:

This podcast covers some tools in SolidWorks to conceptualize mechanisms and other mechanical interfaces. Topics covered:

- Creating belts in sketches

- Inserting belts into assemblies

- Interface options

- Traction relation

- Make path options

- Applications

It has been a couple of busy weeks and I have not been able to sit down and dig into a few shows that I have been planning, but the show must go on.  In lieu of that, I have reached back into the archives, about 5 years ago, and pulled up one of my favorite tool sets in core SolidWorks.

For those of you who have to do R&D or any sort of "idea storming", the layout tools are great to help verify before any real heavy modeling has to take place.  I typically have used these tools for verifying things like range of motion and sketching seems to be the best way to tweak the design in the early stages.

Once in 3D many of these relationships can be utilized for easy of not only fit, form and function testing but also for animations and other visual content creation.  If it has been a while since you have tried them out, lookup "Layout Sketches" or "Belts and Pulleys" in the SolidWorks help. ~Lou

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 359 - Equationomics


This podcast covers the new equation editor and new implementation introduced in SolidWorks 2012.  I talk about the new UI, new features introduced and how to get the most out of the re- implementation of equations.  Topics covered:

- New equation UI

- Overview of equation/dimension/list view

- Automatic rebuild and solve order

- Improved usability of external equation files

- Adding equation on the fly from the Modify dialog

- Naming dimensions on the fly

- Various tips and tricks to get the most out of equations

Currently I am 2 weeks into SolidWorks Rollout season at DDi and have done 5 events showing off the new features of SolidWorks 2012.  Although this release has a few things that are getting a lot of coverage and are new features, the stuff that really gets people excited are the little things.

SolidWorks 2012, in my opinion, is about the little enhancements.  There are so many little enhancements that make this release one that I have enjoyed using more and showing to users alike.  It is releases that address the enhancement requests and fine tune functionality that is used every time we use SolidWorks that begins to gain user confidence they are listening.

Equations, for me, is an example of how to add a few new features but take all the existing functionality and make it work better.  If you are a long time user of equations in SolidWorks, you are in for a treat, and if you don't use equations much, you will start!  ~Lou

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 337 - Layout Sketches Revisited

Layout Sketches Revisited:

This podcast covers the technique of using layout sketches in SolidWorks to quickly verify and change designs before 3D modeling.  Topics covered:

- Technique definition

- Layout relations (Traction, Belt/Chain, Make Path)

- Creating and using blocks

- Creating layouts in parts and assemblies

- Converting layout sketches into parts

- Discuss 2 SPR issues within asssembly "Layout Sketches"

- Tips for using layout sketches

- Using layout sketches with SolidWorks Motion

This week we are going to talk about layout sketching and some of the uses for this capability.  Layout sketches in SolidWorks are a top-down assembly modeling technique to assist in adding associative elements to a design before starting the 3D model.  This technique has been integrated into SolidWorks as a "feature", however many of us who have been using parametric modeling software have approached designs using this same technique using standard sketches.

I have talked about layout sketches 2 other times on the show and the last time (8/9/2009) I had discovered a couple of issues when using this feature from assemblies in SolidWorks.  I describe the issue in detail in the show how the "Belt/Chain" (SPR-375387) and "Make Path" (SPR-393207) options are greyed out within the "Layout Sketch" functionality in SolidWorks assemblies.  These have been verified as bugs and have SPRs (above) associated with them.  I tested this again in SolidWorks 2011 SP4 and the issues remains. I really hope to see this fixed in 2012!

I also mention in the show how you can assign mass properties to blocks in layout sketches and perform motion analysis as well.  If you have not used it or it has been a few years, give it a go! ~Lou

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