The theme of Solidworks 2016 is, ‘Make Great Design Happen’ and that is being pushed through new and enhanced capabilities that are helping a community of 2.7 million strong users innovate more efficiently and get their work done faster.
Powered by Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE platform, the latest iteration of the 3D design and engineering applications portfolio features a new user interface, tools and process enhancements to help designers and engineers get their ideas from concept to final product in record time. Think going from 3:15 minutes to just 19 seconds to create a gasket, that’s how fast we’re talking.
With a global user-base spanning 80 countries, more than 90% of new features and updates in the 2016 portfolio were fuelled by user feedback and requests. New additions include the ability to flatten any surface, visualize and validate design performance, more efficient communication with manufacturing, quick creation of marketing-quality images, and more accessible commands.
The design process has been enhanced to reduce time and effort to achieve desired geometries and increase modelling flexibility. Some of these key features include a new Sweep Command to create complex shapes faster than ever before and a “breadcrumbs” tool to allow quick access to any model without viewing the Feature Tree.
Peter Rucinski, Director Product Portfolio Management, Solidworks Desktop Products, explained: “According to our Solidworks 2016 Beta users, the new “breadcrumbs” tracking/selection enhancement and the redesigned user interface are at the top of their list significantly impact the way designers and engineers use Solidworks every day – making Solidworks faster, easier, and even more delightful to use. The “breadcrumbs” tracking/selection capability allows users to reduce picks, clicks and mouse travel by almost half. There is less mouse travel because the actions and commands they are trying to get to are right at the end of their pointer and context-sensitive toolbars track to where they are on the screen. And the more modern UI provides better support for larger, high-resolution monitors, thereby enhancing the entire design experience.”
Solidworks' simulation feature.
Problems can be solved much more quickly with more efficient analysis to detect potential errors and verify functionality. Industrial design has also been made more efficient with powerful tools for increased productivity and reduction in steps to improve design for consumer products and soft goods.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes is in visualisation with Solidworks Visualize, (formerly Bunkspeed), the tool that enables users to generate and collaborate with high quality graphics. Solidworks Visualize is for users who need to create professional photo-quality images, animations, and other 3D content both quickly and easily. The tool is hardware-agnostic, which means designers, engineers and content creators who use Solidworks or other CAD creation tools for 3D design, can benefit from an enhanced 3D decision making.
Made for 3D Printing
Of course one of the key attributes of good product design software is the ability to ensure it is manufacturable and Solidworks 2016 is pushing that forward with its 3D printing capabilities.
Peter added: “In Solidworks 2015 we added the ability to print directly to 3D printers (called “Print3D”) with 3MF and AMF file format support and we enhanced Solidworks Costing to provide automated cost estimation for 3D printed parts.”
Solidworks' direct 3D printing capabilities.
Solidworks 2016 is taking the speculation out of 3D printing and allows users to run a preview, identify where supports are needed and see what their printed parts will look like. The software has the added ability to re-orient the model to fit the print volume, change the model scale and display striation lines resulting from layering, which gives users an idea of what their part will look like after it’s been printed.
Elsewhere, enhancements have been made across the majority of the portfolio including Electrical to enable easy collaboration between schematic and 3D design, Simulation to make automatic bonding of edges a massive 370x faster than in 2015 and powerful data management to enable more time for design.
Solidworks 2016 arrives just in time for the Solidworks World 2016 event in Dallas, Texas on 31st January – 3rd February. The annual event features a host of technical demonstrations, boot camps and insight from Solidworks users.