SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 464 - December Tech News


December Tech News:

This podcast covers the SolidWorks and CAD-related tech news that broke since mid-November covering the SolidWorks Blog, various tech alerts and other industry tech news. Topics covered:  

SolidWorks Blogs:
- Need Alpha Channel Images Fast? SolidWorks Composer Can Help.
- Patterning - Tips and Tricks
- SolidWorks Simulation Database files ...
- SolidWorks Tip: Preventing Rotation in Concentric Assembly Mates
- SolidWorks Plastics Professional - Introduction
- HOWZAT - SolidWorks Simulation Bowling us over!

- Thanksgiving and Flow Simulation
- SolidWorks World is coming up fast: Other things to do while in San Diego.
- CSWP-DRWT exam test drawings tools in SolidWorks, not drafting "best practices"
- Is SolidWorks software available for Apple Mac and iOS devices?
- SolidWorks World 2014 Top Ten - Deadline for Idea submissions is coming up quick
- SWW14 Partner Spotlights: TEDCF Publishing and Lenovo
- SolidWorks 3rd Annual Holiday Gift Guide
- I want you to model a box...
- Win a free pass to SolidWorks World 2014 with our Holiday Gift Contest
- SolidWorks World 2014 Top Ten Idea List is now open for voting

Tech Alerts:
- SolidWorks 2014 Service Pack 1 is available for download
- SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2014 SP1 is available for download  
- New version of EPDM Office Integration is now available

SolidWorks Support Monthly News:
- Spotlight on features
- Service Pack News
- Noteworthy solutions from the SW KB.

Industry News:
- Raspberry PI now includes Mathematica and Wolfram Language for free
- Connect Google Photo Spheres
- Snagit makes it's way to Chrome as an extension
- LifeProof launches first Touch ID-compatible waterproof case
- RealView on a Mac...Secrets Revealed!
- Google Santa Tracker

We are finally here, the last tech news show of 2013 and I feel like SWW13 just ended. With SolidWorks World just around the corner and the 2014 Top 10 Idea List closed, the sights are now set on late January.  This year's SolidWorks World will be held in San Diego, CA on January 26-29 and still no word on this years speakers.

Service pack 1 is out for SolidWorks 2014 and many of you have probably read, watched or attended some events for the What's New feature set.  Support call volume is picking up as many companies are beginning to upgrade now that the first service pack has been pushed.

The tech industry is a bit slower at this time of year since all the holiday season new products have shipped and we are in the buying season.  I don't know about you but his is my favorite time of year to enjoy time with friends and family and reflect on the past year.  2014 will be an exciting year for tech and I hope SolidWorks will surprise us all this year at World! ~Lou

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SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 462 - November Tech News


November Tech News:

This podcast covers the SolidWorks and CAD-related tech news that broke since mid-October covering the SolidWorks Blog, various tech alerts and other industry tech news. Topics covered:   

SolidWorks Blogs:
- Solutions to your top 7 fluid flow challenges
- Take the Pain out of Complex Patterns
- SolidWorks Composer: Animations in a Snap!
- Using Library Features to Speed up Design
- Initializing Contact with Simulation
- Flip and Rotate Flat Pattern Drawing View
- Electrical Component Library
- Creating Sweeps using Guide Curves
- In Mold Residual Stress & Displacement (SW2014) 
- The Importance of Design Intent for SolidWorks Files 
- Using Virtual Components with Imported Assemblies

- New interactive SolidWorks workstation selection guide
- Ocean Renewable Power Company...generate power underwater?
- Dudley the duck is getting a 3D printed foot
- @SolidWorksCare on Twitter launches with a stream of daily tips
- SolidWorks World 2014 Top Ten List: Now Open For Idea Submission
- My.SolidWorks November Update 
- It was all sort of an accident, really.... 

Tech Alerts: 
- SolidWorks World Top Ten List open for submissions
- Entitlement ID Issue (Impacting some 2014 customers)
- SolidWorks 2014 SP1 Early Visibility is available for download.

SolidWorks Support Monthly News: 
- Service Pack News
- Noteworthy Solutions from the SWKB

Industry News: 
- Google Ships the Nexus 5 for $350 Unlocked (16GB)
- NASA video captures "Canyon of Fire" on the sun 
- Arizona getting Apple MFG plant run by solar 
- Autodesk Provides 3D Design in a browser 
- SolidWorks and nVidia launch the GRID 
- Android 4.4 KitKat comes to Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and MotoX
- Southwest and other airlines now allow gate to gate WiFi and device use.

Over the past month it has been incredibly busy for SolidWorks resellers as they hold events all over the world to rollout SolidWorks 2014 and show off all the goodies to customers.  "2014 RoadShow" this year was 7 cities for DDi so travel for the past month has been busy.

SolidWorks 2014 seems to be a huge refocus on SolidWork core, bringing enhancements and refinements to the core CAD platform.  Obviously the entire product line was refreshed but customers seems to be stoked about the core updates.

It also appears that many manufactures like Google, Microsoft and Apple now have their updated products in the channel in time for the Holiday season shopping spree.  Google's Nexus 5 has shipped, Surface 2 is out and it is iPad-palooza over at Apple.  Happy Techsgiving! ~Lou

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SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 460 - October Tech News


October Tech News: 

This podcast covers the SolidWorks and CAD-related tech news that broke since mid-August covering the SolidWorks Blog, various tech alerts and other industry tech news. Topics covered:   

  SolidWorks Blog & Tech Blog:
- Design Scenarios for fluid flow in SolidWorks Flow Simulation
- Improving Performance of Large Assemblies
- Dramatically reduce design errors by using SolidWorks Intelligent Feature Technology (SWIFT)
- SolidWorks Lofted Bends for Complex Sheet Metal Parts
- Quicker Access to Tools = Quick Productivity Gains
- SolidWorks 2014 - In Mold Residual Stress & Displacement

- See What's New in DraftSight!
- Check Out the Latest Updates to My.SolidWorks
   Catching Up with the SolidWorks Community at Maker Faire NYC
- Are you currently using workarounds in SoildWorks Drawings?
- Designing for Precision on the Shop Floor at Wamore, Inc.
- Enter The Ocean Cleanup Contest for a chance to change the world (and win prizes)
- TenLinks to Award Top SolidWorks Bloggers
- New Getting Started Video Series Launch on SolidWorks Composer YouTube Channel
- "He's a designer, so he shouldn't touch CAM right?" Wrong - and here's why.
- SolidWorks World User Agenda is Live.
- eDrawings is Updated (Android file association is fixed!)

  Tech Alerts:
- SolidWorks 2014 SP0 is available for download
- SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2014 SP0 is available for download
SolidWorks 2013 SP5 is available for download
- SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2013 SP5 is available for download

SolidWorks Support News:
- Top questions and issues
- update
- Service pack news
- SolidWorks World 2013 proceedings - part 3
- Noteworthy solutions from the SolidWorks Knowledge Base

Industry News: 
- Apple Ships iPhone 5s & 5c, debuts new iPad and Mac line
- Apple Ships OSX update for free along with iLife and iWork with new devices
- Google's rumored Nexus 5 by LG blows away benchmarks
- Google ships Coder for the Raspberry Pi
- Microsoft ships Remote Desktop app for iOS and Android
- Microsoft Windows 8.1 ships

Mid October marks the time when the new SolidWorks product line has been launched, rollout events are underway and the jury is out of how users are responding to the new version.  This time of year is fun for me since I get to travel around to show the shinny new software but something is different this time around.

SolidWorks 2014 marks 12 versions of SolidWorks that I have done these "What's New" presentations and this year we stuck to showing SolidWorks for most of the event.  The trend in 2014 seems to be on so many little front-facing improvements and features leaving these tid-bits out would be a shame.

Since we spent the last few weeks plowing through the 2014 What's New, this issue of the tech news show will skip those news bits and focus on what we all missed over the past 5 or so weeks.  This has also been an interesting few weeks for the big three, Apple, Google and Microsoft.  ~Lou

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SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 450 - September Tech News


September Tech News:

This podcast covers the SolidWorks and CAD-related tech news that broke since mid-August covering the SolidWorks Blog, various tech alerts and other industry tech news. Topics covered:

SolidWorks Blog: 
- Don't Panic, it's most likely NOT "not responding"
- Two tools you might now know about (and might find useful) in SolidWorks
- SolidWorks Modeling Methodology: Part 3
- Working with Multibodies in SolidWorks
- SolidWorks Drawing Tip: Convert View to Sketch
- The Unknown "Golden Tools" in SolidWorks Simulation
- SolidWorks Geometry Pattern: A Simple Option To Make Patterns Regenerate Faster
- Getting ready for SolidWorks 2014
- SolidWorks Composer: Automating the Creation of Control Assembly Instructions

- SolidWorks launches eDrawings for Android!
- Georgia Tech freshman & Iron Man Suit?
- Colorado teenager Easton LaChappelle 3D prints the next generation of prosthetic limbs
- Cardiovascular Systems Inc. and SolidWorks Composer
- See what's new in SolidWorks 2014!
- A lot of posts for the "Sneak Peak" series on 2014

Tech Alerts:
- SolidWorks 2014 Pre-Release 1 available for download
- SolidWorks EPDM 2014 Pre-Release 1 available for download
- 2013 DS SolidWorks Customer Satisfaction Survey
- SolidWorks World 2014 Call for Presentations

SolidWorks Monthly Support FAQ:
Beta 2014 Updates
- Service Pack News
- Noteworthy Solutions from the SW KB

Industry News:
- SolidWorks 2014 What's New series on SWH launching
- Microsoft to launch Windows 8.1 on Oct 17th as a free upgrade.
- Google chops Nexus 4 price $100, hints at Nexus 5 and KitKat
- Google releases 'Coder' a web-based coding environment for Raspberri Pi.
- Apple unveils details on iPhone 5S and 5C
- MyCADBox updates measurement tools.

Labor Day in the US has come and gone which marks the end of Summer for many.  Back to school and the Holiday season tends to be a big catalyst in the tech industry, bringing a rush of great stuff to the market, SolidWorks and technology alike. 

On September 9th the embargo of SolidWorks 2014 beta lifted the shroud of silence on all the specific details of what is to come in the next major release of the SolidWorks' product lines.  The SolidWorks Blog hemorrhaged posts called "SolidWorks 2014 Sneak Peak", outlining details of specific additions and enhancements to come.  

Now that the beta program has come to an end, 2014 rollout season will be starting up in October along with the shipment of a slew of new devices/services from many of the big names like Apple, Google and Microsoft. ~Lou

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SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 420 - Envelope Workflow


Envelope Workflow:

This podcast covers the new updates envelopes in SolidWorks 2013 and how they have been redesigned to be easier to incorporate into design use.  Topics covered:

- Introduction to SolidWorks Envelopes

- Details about enhancements in 2013

- Applications and uses for envelopes in design

- Downstream effects of envelope use

- Tips and preferences

Envelopes in SolidWorks have been around for well over 10 years but ironically was not used by a bulk of users in the community.  I have talked about envelopes a few times on the show and despite my personal use of the feature, one aspect that made using envelopes was the workflow that needed to be followed.  In the past, parts would need to be created as envelopes or inserted into assemblies as envelopes which made using the feature cumbersome.  

Benefits of envelopes were always in the subtraction in mass properties and BOM items, however in 2013 the barrier of workflow was broken down and the flexibility has made this tool much more streamlined and I imagine will be adopted by more users in the design process.

I have a long history using envelopes and am excited to see useful tools like this get some love in the new release.  I covered envelopes about 2 years ago in EP-286 and this might be the first time envelopes actually have been given new features.  If you have not tried them before or had and thought they were too much work to use, take a look again.  ~Lou

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 392 - June Tech News

June Tech News:

This podcast covers the SolidWorks and CAD-related tech news that broke since mid-May covering the SolidWorks Blog, various tech alerts and other industry tech news. Topics covered:

SolidWorks Blog:

- Making $$ Sense of EPDM (Eric van Essen at Javelin Technologies)

- Exporting DXF for MFG (Art Woodbury at CAPINC)

- Every trick in Hide vs. Suppressed (Darin Grosser at DASI Solutions)

- Why materials matter in Simulation (Bill Reuss at 3DVision Technologies)

- Zoom to fit no more! (Matt Lorano at SolidWorks)

- Pushing Configuration Publisher (Josh Altergott at CATI)

- Job Board Forum launches

- Complex mating (Duncan Crofts at TMS CAD Centre)

- Sketches, Design Intent and Proportion (Keith Pedersen at CAPINC)

- Angled holes with ease (Jeff Setzer at Graphics Systems)

- Building Library features with Reference Axes (Brian VanderPloeg at Fisher/Unitech)

- eDrawings for iPad gets an UPDATE

Tech Alerts:

- 3DVIA Composer V6R2013 SP0 ships

- SolidWorks APIs are now easy to find on the web!

- 2012 SolidWorks customer satisfaction survey is out!

- SolidWorks 2012 SP4 Early Visibility is available for download

SolidWorks Support Monthly FAQs:

- Not out for over a month (bummer!)

- Did get a notice about SolidWorks Beta coming soon!  Make sure your registered...

Industry News:

- To3D briefly launches web-based CAD (from WorldCAD Access by Ralph Grabowski)

- How SSDs really work (from Ars Technica by Lee Hutchison) (long but awesome)

- Google Blockly - Graphical programming

- Apple launches 2880x1800 resolution MacBook Pro (That's a lot of pixels!)

With SolidWorks bringing on more and more guest bloggers from the application engineers across the world, the quality of content has boomed and the posts are deep!  It is a welcome change to see so many posts that are beneficial to customers and real users of the software.  From someone who has been critical of the marketing fluff, hats off to SolidWorks for responding BIG!

We are starting to move into Beta season so it will not be a surprise if we start to see more activity building to the release of Beta 1.  There are also more rumblings with cad in a browser, obviously early stages and viewers but steps in that direction non the less.  I am interested to see what will transpire over the coming 12 months and what advancements will be available to the general public.  There are a lot of concepts and ideas but no products that make me want to drop what I use today.

Local hardware still is very appealing especailly with the speeds of SSD and high resolutions screens that are hitting the market.  As much as I love my 17" notebook, I don't really enjoy carrying it around.  Apple introducing a 15" notebok at 4.5lb with the resolution of a 30" high resolution monitor is interesting.  Wonder how that will work for CAD and the horsepower needed on the graphics card! Time will tell.  ~Lou

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 385 - SolidWorks CRUD

SolidWorks CRUD:

This podcast covers tips and tricks on options for CRUD: Create, Read, Update and Delete (dropped D and substituted P for Pack and Go) methods in SolidWorks. Topics covered:


- New SolidWorks docs

- Customize Template Tabs


- Open SolidWorks docs

- Open dialog options (

- Open from recent list (and folder link)

- Drag and Drop (even Zip files)


- Save and Save modified

- Save As (watch out, when it doubt, save as copy)

- Close and Close all

- Close from open documents menu


- Pack and Go vs. Save-As references

- Pack and Go from Windows Explorer

- Other SolidWorks WinEx options (Rename, Replace.... and now Move!)

CRUD is a methodology in programming that I believe applies to much that we do on the computer and so this show is a back to basics to refresh how you think about doing these interactions with SolidWorks.  For a few years now, SoildWorks has added some nice additions to the way we interact while doing these fundamental activities, as we do with most computer applications.

With new releases of software, many of us don't have the time to modify how we use SolidWorks.  We all just want to use SolidWorks to get things done and we fall into our "ruts" of how we interact.  Create, Read & Update actions are all we are doing so getting a refresh of alternative methods can give an an "ah ha!" moment.  This show talks about some of these new methods and other tips to make these frequent interactions more efficient.

Sometime getting back to basics allows us to re-evaluate new functions and methods to ultimately alter our (especially mine) set ways of using SolidWorks.  If you have some interesting modification suggestions, please leave a comment.  ~Lou

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 383 - April Tech News

April Tech News:

This podcast covers the SolidWorks and CAD-related tech news that broke since mid-March covering the SolidWorks Blog, various tech alerts and other industry tech news. Topics covered:

SolidWorks Blog:

- Multiple posts on Simulation products

- Announcing the launch of SolidWorks Plastics

- More posts from the new Demo Library

- More technical content posted via VARS!

Tech Alerts:

- Suggest more learning content to SW

- SolidWorks 2012 SP3 ships

- Activation server issue after SP3 launch (resolved)

- SolidWorks 2012 SP3 Release notes overview

- EPDM/Toolbox issue with Copy Part on

Industry Tech News:

- iPad/tablet market update

- Chromebook changes (web as a platform)

- Windows 8 Metro and CAD

Tax Day!... Ugg.  Here is the US the dreaded April 15th rolls around and for those of us who had to pay...a moment of silence.  Anyway, tech news can be a little thin during this time of year right before the hot beta season kicks off but still a ton going on.

SolidWorks has made some great strides to get more technical content into the SolidWorks blog by inviting some guest bloggers from their reseller (VAR) channel.  This has already brought some great posts into the fold and I hope to see more of it continue over the coming months.

With the release of SolidWorks Plastics, 2012 SP3 and more technical content, tech news is easier to come by these days.  I should get some time on SWPL over the coming weeks and recap the thoughts so far.  We did get it installed yesterday and the interface is really nice and workflow is simple with a lot of configuration options so stayed tuned! ~Lou

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 379 - March Tech News

March Tech News:

This podcast covers the SolidWorks and CAD-related tech news that broke since mid-February covering the SolidWorks Blog, various tech alerts and other industry tech news. Topics covered:

SolidWorks Blog:

- SWW12 Contest winners

- SW Interview with NAO Robot Father

- Riding the free CAM highway

- Saving $$$ on Books and Workstations

- Breaking the Hot Rod Baby Buggy

- New public Demo library

- DraftSight (2D 2M strong)

- 3D, Beer and Cloverleafs?

SolidWorks Tech Alerts:

- New Featured Content Blog (link broke on the alert site)

- Model Mania 2012 files posted

SW 2012 Release Notes (tech highlights):

- SW2013 will be the last version of EPDM to support server 2003

- How to repair equations from SW2011 (multiple instances and externally linked)

- Mirror Components bug squashed in SP2

- Sheet Metal menu rename in SP1

Industry Tech News:

- Experiences with Windows 8 after 2 weeks

- iPad and the tablet market views 

March tends to be a slow news month since the news from SolidWorks World has died down and it is before any of the products are in beta.  However, there are always things to talk about and there were a few good nuggets in the SolidWorks blog worth mentioning as well as some technical alerts and release notes tidbits.

I also share my experiences with Windows 8 Consumer Preview after using it for 2 weeks and the aspects of this new OS that I am looking forward to.  I hear a lot of push back from some users but the reality is, Windows 8 is almost the same as Windows 7 with some nice navigation options and a new platform that can be used across all platforms and input devices (Desktop, Mobile, Tablet, Touch, Mouse and Keyboard).  I call that flexibility.  I am anxious to see how developers will use the Metro UI and what types of applications lend themselves to the full-screen, web tech, touch friendly environment.

I also wonder how the new iPad launch with superior screen and hardware/form factor specs will impact the tablet market.  My fear is the iPad, as a whole, has marked its position at the top of this category like the iPod did before it in the MP3 market.  I hope Google enters into the market with their own device (like they did with the Nexus brand in phones) to show the OEMs how to do it right.  In the end, competition is good for us, consumers, so manufacturers are always on their toes and innovating. ~Lou 

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 378 - SolidWorks on Windows 8

SolidWorks on Windows 8:

This podcast covers the new release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, what is really different, what is the same, and how SolidWorks current lineup installed on the OS.  Topics covered:

- Downloading, installing and testing 

- More Windows8 resources

- Building Windows 8 (Steven Sinofsky's blog)

- WinSuperSite (Paul Thurrott's blog)

- AllAboutMicrosoft (Mary Jo Foley's blog)

- Windows Weekly (TWiT podcast)

- Major differences with Windows 8 vs. Windows 7

- What has stayed the same

- Installation experience of SolidWorks current product line

- Thoughts about how SolidWorks could use the new Metro UI

Last week Microsoft launched the consumer preview of their next operating system, Windows 8.  Since the launch of XP, I have installed early builds of these operating systems, testing the install of the current line up from SolidWorks for compatibility.  Back in October I installed the Developer preview of Windows 8 but the product was not as far along and much could still be tweaked so I opted to wait to test out SolidWorks.

With Windows 8 bringing the "touch first" approach to the user with the new Metro UI, this changes the experience and removes something many users have gotten used to since 1996, the Start button.  With the start menu being removed and replaced with a Metro Start Menu, there is a lot of potential to positively change the way we think about finding, launching and using applications in the new operating system.

The SolidWorks product line faired well, especially since it is considered a "classic" application and would run in the desktop mode, essentially feeling right at home as though it was Windows 7.  I talk about the install and the little differences as it installed into Windows 8. ~Lou

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