On September 1, Dassault Systèmes (DS) SolidWorks Corp. unveiled the SolidWorks 2010 product line, a new set of software products that optimize and bulletproof the core product design functions that make designers and engineers successful every day. Through the use of CAD, simulation, data management, documentation, and environmental impact assessment, organizations will transform their inspirations into innovation, supported by a vibrant community of CAD users, content, technology, and expertise.
This new SolidWorks product line also improves depth and performance by extending the DS SolidWorks tradition of including hundreds of new enhancements specifically requested by customers.
“When I saw the sneak preview of SolidWorks 2010 at the SolidWorks World 2009 conference in Orlando, I was very excited about most of the new functionality,” said Wayne Tiffany, senior machine designer at Automatic Systems Inc. of Kansas City, Mo. “Now that I’m using SolidWorks 2010, I’m already seeing some payback. The new drawing enhancements have helped speed up drawing creation while the new DXF export and preview capabilities have helped make data output for manufacturing faster and more efficient. Most important, using the new assembly visualization functionality, I found a mistake where I had assigned the wrong material density to one of the parts in a recent design and was able to quickly remedy the issue. Bottom line, SolidWorks 2010 is already helping me be more productive.”
What’s new in the SolidWorks 2010 product line
SolidWorks Premium CAD software improves designers’ and engineers’ productivity with a wide range of new capabilities. Patent-pending rapid dimensions, for example, display new dimension placement alternatives and neatly re-arrange existing dimensions to make room for the selection. A configuration publisher lets users easily publish a model configurator interface to the 3D ContentCentral service – a Web-based marketplace for 3D parts, assemblies, and other content – to enable simple selection of model alternatives. Patent-pending heads-up mouse gesturing puts unprecedented power in simple movements of the hand. SolidWorks 2010 also provides greatly enhanced reference plane creation methods, sheet metal functionality, weldment performance, component mirroring capabilities, and direct editing tools. And PhotoView 360 makes it even easier for novices to render photorealistic images like professionals.
SolidWorks Simulation Premium empowers teams by arming them with tools to easily validate design decisions, uncover hidden problems before they affect production, and potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars. The new version adds first-ever capabilities like event-based motion simulation, which mimics the way machines really work, as well as proximity sensors and automatic edge-weld sizing. The overhauled simulation advisor, part of the SimulationXpress software included with every license of SolidWorks CAD software, guides novices through their first few successful simulations, shortening the learning curve and adding a layer of protection against errors.
SolidWorks Enterprise PDM software includes new productivity features for preparing models and drawings for distribution. A new convert, publish, print, and plot capability, for example, automatically converts hundreds of manufacturing drawings into neutral formats for quoting, collaboration, batch printing, and sharing with other systems. The new SolidWorks Enterprise PDM streamlines collaboration with a single centralized SolidWorks Toolbox library and introduces a new suite of rapid implementation tools for quicker return on investment.
3DVIA Composer automatically creates product documentation and keeps it updated with every design change. It helps organizations repurpose 3D assets to quickly create product manuals, brochures, catalogs, assembly instructions, training videos, and more. 3DVIA Composer 2010 further reduces documentation time by repurposing SolidWorks configurations and exploded views, thus putting intelligent design data to work. It includes a new time-saving ability to auto-create explode lines for multiple exploded views. Users can also create richer, more informative documentation with scalable detail views, BOMs in 3D, a shadow caster, and photorealistic background objects.
SolidWorks Sustainability software for the first time makes sustainable design accessible, credible, and SolidWorks simple. SolidWorks Sustainability helps users determine the carbon footprint, energy consumption, and air/water impacts in a product design’s raw material sourcing, manufacture, use, and disposal. An assembly visualization tool color-codes parts based on their total environmental impact. Configuration support in the software also lets users compare multiple design iterations for sustainability concerns.
Included with every license of SolidWorks software, SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress helps users immediately determine the environmental impact of any part. SolidWorks Sustainability products include an environmental impact dashboard, customizable reports, and a tool to find alternative materials to easily compare and instantly improve the sustainability of a part.
Both SolidWorks Sustainability and SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress draw on the expertise, research, development, and data of Germany-based partner PE INTERNATIONAL, the largest and oldest network of sustainability experts in the world, and PE Americas, its U.S. division. Together, the new products give the SolidWorks community a way to make a significant collective impact on the environment by incrementally improving every design.
“SolidWorks 2010 is designed to provide every design team with an improved work experience that can bring them to new levels of success regardless of their industry,” said Austin O’Malley, CTO of DS SolidWorks Corp. “We listened to what the engineering community was asking for, which was a rock solid work experience and depth of functionality to help them work faster and smarter. We’re confident we have delivered. The sustainability capabilities will also help our community make an important contribution to the world in creating environmentally friendly products.”
SolidWorks 2010 products are available for purchase worldwide through SolidWorks authorized resellers and will ship in October.
Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor
It’s September and it’s time for new beginnings. Time to get back to school for some of us, while it’s back to real work for those fortunate enough to be employed. Also, it’s time to launch into the new software release season, and SolidWorks 2010 is one of the first major releases on tap after a relatively slow summer, as is typical.
I’ve had a beta copy of SolidWorks 2010 for several weeks and have taken a preliminary look at some of the new features and capabilities that I’ll discuss below. I also spent a day discussing and demoing with a couple SolidWorks managers -- Fielder Hiss, VP Product Management and Ian Hogg, Product Marketing Manager, Simulation.
It’s hard to believe that SolidWorks 2010 marks the 18th release of the flagship product. It’s really come a long way, but the leaps and bounds, scads and piles of new features that were commonplace have slowed somewhat to a more sane pace and volume. In fact, with SolidWorks 2010, the company continues to stress the importance of software stability and dependability over feature bloat and piling on features that relatively few customers actually use.
Breaking from past tradition, this release of SolidWorks was previewed to a number of different media groups in a number of different ways. The company was trying to get the most bang for its buck, and understandably so, therefore the break from tradition of PowerPoints for the masses and hands-on for those that chose to do so. First, let me say that contrary to some pronouncements and claims by the “new, social media, I (as well as most of my peers) am not a shill, hack, or parrot for software and hardware vendors. We have to stay on top of a broad industry that has diverse needs and requirements. It’s not easy trying to stay on top of hundreds of currently marketed CAD/CAM/CAE/PLM core products, add-ins, partners, and services; much less emerging technologies and R&D efforts. I constantly get requests to demo and review software and hardware (beta and shipping). This year, in fact, I have received 378 such requests, so I am very selective because they can be demanding and time consuming. I wish I had the luxury of becoming an expert with a given software technology or small group of technologies, but that’s not the case. I do not review and report on products that are, in my opinion, obviously bad or “me too” products. Why waste my time and the time of my readers? It just doesn’t make sense. So, the different technical software media have different voices because our media consumers have different needs and expectations. We’re all relevant to the people we try to serve, so tone down some of the self-promotion, self-aggrandizing, and self-importance proclamations by continually stating how great you are and how bad the vendors, their products, and other media members are.
Anyway, back to the issue at hand – some of the more significant aspects of SolidWorks 2010. These are far from all the new features and enhancements, but are the ones that interested me most in evaluating the beta version.