SOLIDWORKS 2018 includes over two hundred new features that were developed based off of user requests. Users want a 3D CAD software that is going to help them complete designs easier and bring their products to market faster. By using SOLIDWORKS 2018 along with all the new features and enhancements, meeting demands and completing a design couldn’t be easier.
Below, you will find the top 10 SOLIDWORKS CAD enhancements in the recent release. Check back to see more top 10 enhancements in the SOLIDWORKS Simulation, Product Data Management (PDM), Electrical, and more in the SOLIDWORKS portfolio.
Freehand sketching and mouse gestures
Users who have a touch enabled compatible device are now able to freehand sketches or sketch with a touch screen pen. The touch screen and stylus can be used for several design tasks such as being able to be convert drawings into shapes or directly into sketch entities that can be used in future creations. These enhanced mouse gestures and user interface customization creates a faster and more intuitive way to interact with SOLIDWORKS.
Enhanced SOLIDWORKS 3D Interconnect
SOLIDWORKS 2018 3D Interconnect now supports more files such as ACIS, STEP, and IGES and updates changes when new versions are received making it easy to insert into an assembly and access more internal properties from 3D Interconnect supported files. New enhancements to 3D Interconnect eliminates reimporting files and the migration of data from other design tools.
Cloud connected SOLIDWORKS licensing
An exciting new feature involves SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing, which allows you to use your license on multiple machines. Now you don’t have to leave anything behind because all of your customized content and settings will move with your from machine to machine. Also, the SOLIDWORKS Admin Portal allows for easier management of SOLIDWORKS products and services.
Work directly with mesh data
SOLIDWORKS 2018 offers new ways to use data from other sources including mesh data in different formats. Users can use mesh data as a surface or solid geometry or convert solid or surface geometry to mesh. Users can also perform operations directly on mesh such as cut, cut with surface, interference check, combine, intersect, split, move/copy, and more.
Tab and slot sheet metal features for improved manufacturability
Looking to reduce assembly and setup costs in the manufacturing process? The new SOLIDWORKS 2018 feature with the tab and slot tool automates that design step. There is now a tab and slot feature for self-fixturing parts for welding and normal cut features ensure clearance for manufacturing. Corners in a design that include three bends can now be easily created and flattened.
Enhanced drawing capabilities
The enhanced drawing capabilities in SOLIDWORKS 2018 include support for advanced hole wizard callouts, broken-out sections can be added to detail, alternate position, and section views. Users can also apply hatches to specific layers which will inherit the properties of the layer. These are comprehensive capabilities for high quality engineering drawings.
Enhanced design communication with eDrawings
Design communication just got simpler, faster, and more secure. SOLIDWORKS 2018 lets you display all MBD generated 3D views across multiple configurations of a model, as well as allowing you to include decals without needing to send a separate decal file. These features allow for a streamlined workflow, setting options, and password protection.
Fully immersive experience with SOLIDWORKS Visualize
What’s a better way to review your design than with a 3D virtual reality environment? With the latest release of SOLIDWORKS visualize, users can create panoramic virtual reality content with support for 360 stereo animations. Create sun studies, camera fly’s, exploded views, part animations, and more.
Assembly performance improvements
Creating assemblies in SOLIDWORKS now has more flexibility. Concentric holes no longer need to be perfectly in-line to be used for assembly mates, there is a large assembly performance evaluation tool, and now users are able to temporarily hide faces when mating by using the ALT key for faster assembly components.
Part features that streamline manufacturing
New features in this area include a customizable bounding box description for weldment cut lists. Users can also link cut list folder names to cut list properties for faster detailing of weldments. You can also have an automatic bounding box creation for an entire part which includes the bounding box properties. These new features will speed downstream operations by automatically including more information needed for manufacturing.
We hope you’re just as excited about these top 10 CAD enhancements for SOLIDWORKS 2018. To see more and explore SOLIDWORKS 2018, join us at one our Design to Manufacturing events at a city near you.
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About the Author
Ken LaVictor’s background is in mechanical engineering and machine design. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University. He also received his MS in Systems Engineering from Oakland University. He has worked in the industry for about 16 years, implementing SOLIDWORKS in two previous companies before joining Fisher Unitech as an Applications Engineer. Since joining Fisher Unitech in 2004, Ken has received numerous certifications, including the CSWProfessional and CSWExpert, as well as being one of the first ten in the world to receive the Elite AE award. As an Application Engineer, Ken’s focus is on pre-sales support, training, and implementation of SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD and SOLIDWORKS Simulation software.