SolidWorks: a design tool, much more than CAD
According to the company, more than half of SolidWorks users use it for more than 70 per cent of their working time. Someone that uses a tool for so long come to meet her, and love her or hate her with intensity. This must be the reason why SolidWorks is called herself "customer-focused". To meet him, they don't courtesy of thirty minutes, they sit next to it during one or more days of work, with the aim of sharing "what they do and what they feel". The result has resulted in 260 enhancements and new features in SolidWorks 2009 Premium in relation to the previous version, SolidWorks 2008. They can probably be summarized in one sentence: a 65% speed increase.
The speed increase has been calculated by measuring the gains in productivity during the creation and modification of complexes formed by a large number of pieces, using commonly used by business users real workflows. It is not, therefore, the increase in speed of an operation in particular, but of the entire process. According to the company, all of this has been no change in functionality or features of the product. That is, that the user does not need to spend a time of learning before this advantage.
In addition to the pure speed improvements, SolidWorks 2009 introduces a new concept to work with sets composed of a large number of pieces, and who have called the SpeedPak. It's a new approach to the problem, that allows to substantially reduce the memory and time required to work, but that maintains a full graphic detail.
Designing better products
The ideal of a designer is that the differences between the first physical prototype of its design and production parts are null and void. The only possible method is simulation. Bernard Charles, Director General of Dassault Systèmes, parent company of DS SolidWorks, it summarized in a sentence "to not build anything physical so everything has proven virtually". Thus simulation is the main tool to eliminate errors and, accordingly, to reduce costs. Among the improvements in this regard, SolidWorks, through your choice of simulation, allows to control during the design, that the pieces do not exceed certain voltage limits, dimensions, interference, displacement, weight and safety distances. In this way, it helps to avoid the oversized 'just in case'.
The necessary degree of simulation can become really very high. Thus, Domingo Ochoa, Director-General of GTA engine and GTA Concept, Valencian company that designs and builds racing cars, told us that he managed to make "simulation in wind tunnel, without a physical model and wind tunnel".
On the other hand, on a planet in which Electronics is virtually everywhere, SolidWorks 2009 incorporates a specialized software called CircuitWorks, which enables to combine electronic and mechanical design.
SolidWorks 2009 also simplifies the design of plastic parts; such as the casing that surrounds an electronic circuit. For example, the lips and insert slots intended to unite parts can be designed with ease thanks to specific commands, save multiple steps of design and that do not require recourse to advanced modeling.
The tool called PhotoView 360, incorporated into this version of the program, allows a 'rendering' photorealist of a particular scene, while the user is still working on it. This feature is part of the so-called 'SolidWorks Intelligent Feature Technology (Swift)'.
The periphery of the design
Designers rarely work alone. Especially when is the size of the projects becoming respectable. Design teams can be decentralized, and distributed between the client and its suppliers. In addition, it must be send to the Department of marketing information to star the new product, in addition to being so, is known and is sold. In other words, the needs communicated to distributed design teams, linked with other departments of the company, customers and suppliers is vital. And when that communicates form part of the intellectual property of the company, we must ensure the protection of the data that allowed easy access to them who actually requires it. If this will join the time required to organize information, archive, monitor their versions and ensure that there is the necessary copies of safety… and find it when you are looking for: the data management become a key element.
PDM ('Product Data Management' - 'Product data management') of SolidWorks aims to facilitate all this management in an integrated way.
By way of summary
Already long time which is difficult to think in designing parts, and, above all, assemblies, without using 3D tools. And, increasingly, what we want to make faster, why we will pay the same for a design much more complicated than last year.
In addition, starts to be difficult to think of designing parts, and, above all, assemblies, without to share information with our customers and suppliers, and to check that the piece that we designed will work without breaking, without heat up too much or fatigue.
SolidWorks has a range of products whose intention is to (help to) solve these problems. According to the company, 840,000 users (338,000 commercial users, and 502.000 users of education) show that the proposal is good.
In addition, when the solutions offered by SolidWorks are over, they begin other proposals by Dassault Systèmes, SolidWorks matrix, and whose brands include such household names as Catia, Delmia and Simulia.