On Wednesday at SOLIDWORKS World they announced live on stage the 2016 edition of the TOP 10 ENHANCEMENTS. This top 10 list is compiled by pure votes from SOLIDWORKS users. Starting in September or October of each year, users are allowed to submit ideas (via the SOLIDWORKS forum). Then in late December thru late January users are allowed to VOTE on their favorites. The ideas that get the most votes then make this list. Not really sure why they don’t just pull the info from the entire database of Enhancement Requests on the Customer Portal rather than making people submit them again here, but nonetheless, don’t say SOLIDWORKS doesn’t listen! Over 70% of these items from the Top 10 lists of years past have made it in to the software at some point in time. Usually within 2 or 3 releases.
Here it is! With my thoughts after each item…
10: REVERT TO EDRAWINGS 2013 ENGINE AND INTERFACE (for desktops)
Can’t agree with this one more. OR at least fix the problems that came along with the new interface… The “old” interface of eDrawings was not very user friendly on tablets and phones, thus the redesign for that platform to make it more touch friendly. Then later the change was made so that the desktop version and the tablet version looked the same, changing both versions to the tablet/phone interface. I am pretty sure this “enhancement” request is not just that users don’t like the new interface, as there have been several problems since.
9: AUTOMATIC FASTENER BOM FOR LARGE ASSEMBLIES
One of the things about the Top 10 list is we don’t really know the “context” or total details of the enhancement. I am guessing that this person wants a “large” assembly to spit out a totally separate BOM for fasteners vs the “regular” BOM? I guess that would be nice, but I am shocked so many other people do too? You can actually do this now by making a display state (or Configuration) of just fasteners and then just showing that in your BOM.
8: ABILITY TO USE END POINTS OF SKETCH LINES FOR HOLE WIZARD HOLES
Forgive me, but the person who submitted this and everyone who voted for it to get it to number 8 is either an idiot or is still using SOLIDWORKS 2012. You can ABSOLUTELY do this in SW2016 and I am pretty sure it was introduced in SW2013. Once again though, we (and the voters) may not really be understanding what they meant by this. We have to assume that they mean when you are on the positions tab of the Hole Wizard that they want to be able to click a hole location to the end point of an existing sketch line. As stated, this happened a long time ago…
7: AUTOMATE EXPLODE LINE CREATION
I have to give a big old AMEN to that one! I have NEVER been able to understand why the software cannot automatically draw simple dashed lines between your components in an exploded view? It knows exactly where you have placed the part and exactly where the “home” position of the part is. How hard could it be? Right now adding explode lines is a very tedious manual process.
6: ENHANCE FILLET, CHAMFER AND OTHER FUNCTIONS FOR MULTI-BODY PARTS
Hmmmm… Ok? Not really sure what the submitter meant on this one, but apparently a lot of other people agree… Just wish we knew what they meant. Maybe that you could apply these items to edges of multiple bodies at the same time?
5: BOUNDING BOX VALUES FOR ANY COMPONENT
Pretty sure this one will get implemented fairly soon, as we already do this for Sheetmetal and Weldments parts. One way you could do this RIGHT NOW though, is roll to the top of the tree and insert the WELDMENT feature (even if it isn’t a weldment) then you can get bounding box info. But yes, this would be nice (and easy for the programmers?) to implement this.
4: MOVE ASSEMBLY SKETCH TO COMPONENT
As of SW2015 (maybe it wasn’t till 2016…) we now pop up a WARNING message telling you that you are making a sketch at the assembly level (rather than IN a part). That is supposed to help you avoid doing it in the wrong place and wasting all your time drawing something and then wishing you could move it to the part file. But yes, this would be cool to have… #4 though?
3: USE ALT TO TEMPORARILY HIDE FACE UNDER CURSOR WHEN MATING
One requirement to be able to actually SUBMIT ideas to this list should be that you must be using the most current version of SOLIDWORKS or else you aren’t allowed to complain…
Upgrade to 2016!! They added something even better! When you mate now (with the actual Mate command) we automatically make transparent the first part you select. Works amazingly…
2: ABILITY TO EXPORT BOM TABLE WITH THUMBNAIL IMAGES OF COMPONENTS
Cool… but #2??
1: CREATE A “CLASSIC MODE” GUI OPTION THAT EMULATES SW2015 INTERFACE
Wow! The people have spoken!!
When they gave the resellers a survey (way back in 2014) showing us what they were thinking of changing the interface to (and finally DID in 2016), many of us told them they were going to have a REVOLT on their hands. We were right.
I did not like the new interface either at first, but quickly came to like it even better now. My opinion was just “get used to it and quit complaining” but hey, SOLIDWORKS heard you all, and as a matter of fact they announced that coming in SP3.0 of 2016 will indeed be an option to switch back to the “old”/colored icons interface. Be aware however, the change was made in the first place to support scaling problems that the old interface had when going to higher resolution monitors (like 4K, etc). If you go back to the old one, it will probably look like crap on any newer monitor or tv.
There it is! Let us know what YOU think.
And of course, start compiling your list for 2017!