What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2019 & Top 10 Enhancents

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The two most exciting times at SOLIDWORKS World for a SOLIDWORKS user is when they preview what will be coming in the NEXT release of the software, and when they announce the results of the Top 10 Enhancements voting.

Last week at SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2018 in Los Angeles they did the What’s New in 2019 a little different and split it up among the 3 days. Here is WHAT’S, hopefully, NEW IN SOLIDWORKS 2019:

  • Interference Detection in Multi-body parts!  (no more using Combine to “almost” get this)
  • Replace a Sub-Assembly w/ Part directly from the top level assembly
  • De-Noiser from Nvidia for 10 times faster rendering results in SOLIDWORKS VISUALIZE
  • Partial length Chamfers & Fillets   (just by dragging the ends shorter than the edge used)
  • Convert image to mesh / bump map
  • Touch/Pen sketching can convert to Splines and Slots   (lines and arcs were introduced in 2018)
  • Microsoft Surface dial for Zoom/Pan/Rotate in SOLIDWORKS
  • Write/Draw on the SW screen for markups
  • VR of your models directly in SOLIDWORKS
  • My.Solidworks.com  CAD Models   (to replace 3DContent Central?)
  • Group mates by “status”   (overdefined, etc…)
  • Component Preview Window enhancements
  • Option to AUTOMATICALLY Lock Rotation on Toolbox components
  • Defeature overhaul/enhancements   (“Massively Defeature” & “Silhouette reps”)
  • Simulation: Factor of Safety and Frequency constraints to Topology Studies
  • Simulation: Mesh Slice tool
  • Keep in mind any of these could be delayed or pulled from the software if not functioning how expected at the time of 2019’s release (October 2018).

As mentioned, another exciting thing to see is the results of the Top 10 Enhancements voting.

Every year SOLIDWORKS over 6000 Enhancement Requests directly from the users.   Starting in November they hold an open voting (on the SOLIDWORKS forum) for all of you to vote on your favorites that you would like to see implemented.   Since 2001, 70% of the Top 10 Enhancements have been implemented in some version of the software.   Proof that SOLIDWORKS is VERY user driven.    ALL of the ideas that are submitted for this Top 10 list are carefully considered for future implementation, regardless of their final vote count, but it is still fun to see what the users push to the top of the list!

This has been done as a break out session over the past 2 years rather than in the large General Session, so this is information is a little more “hidden” than it was before.  My hope here is to get you in the know!

Bruce Holway, from SOLIDWORKS, led the session. He said that this year there was a “glitch” in the voting that resulted in 5 SOLIDWORKS Electrical enhancements getting incorrectly kicked up into the Top 10.  Therefore they presented the Top 10 SOLIDWORKS enhancements that pertained to “core” SOLIDWORKS and showed the 5 Electrical ones as well…

There was also something new this year in the voting.  When you started to vote you had to answer a “general” question first.  This had a slider bar that you could adjust on where you think that development should focus their resources more heavily on.  The choices were Performance, Reliability, and Functionality.   You could then choose how to weight each one.

Here is how that broke down:

  • RELIAIBILITY  43%
  • PERFORMANCE   31%
  • FUNCTIONALITY  26%

Bruce commented that the weight for improving Reliability (quality) is even higher than the 43% shown because a lot of the comments on this indicated that people were a little confused on whether performance meant eliminating bugs and crashes or providing FASTER performance of SOLIDWORKS.   So more than likely the RELIABILITY number would be closer to 50%!!

John Sweeney from the development team talked about how the software development groups have indeed shifted a LOT of effort to improving reliability / quality.   They have developed tools inside of SOLIDWORKS to help capture when someone crashes and what was happening at the time.   HOWEVER, every user needs to be part of the Customer Experience Improvement Program for them to ever get any of this data!    This is an option to be part of when you install SOLIDWORKS, but unfortunately not many people turn it on.   Absolutely NO private information is being sent to SOLIDWORKS if you opt in for this.  If you are worried about this somehow “slowing down” your SOLIDWORKS software, don’t be!   The funny thing is that ALL of the info is STILL being captured even if you opt out, it just isn’t being sent to SOLIDWORKS for troubleshooting.   SO TURN IT ON AND OPT IN!  Its another one of those, “you can’t complain if you don’t help out” situations.

You can enable this after SOLIDWORKS is installed by going to System Options – General and turning on the check box that says “Help make SOLIDWORKS products better by automatically sending your log files to DS SolidWorks Corporation”.

TOP 10 ENHANCEMENTS (2018):

  1. Allow equations (including If/Then statements) in custom properties
  2. Coatings feature
  3. Option for Offset Surface to offset all possible faces
  4. Unbend any profile (tube, pipe, bent component) similar to Sheet Metal
  5. The “What’s Wrong” dialog should have links to each specific problem and beter descriptions
  6. Enhance Cut List table functionality to match bill of material(BOM) table functionality
  7. Add ability to project any type of entity (face, component, body, etc.) on a plane or surface
  8. Make patterns consistent across the board
  9. Close Parent on “Save As Copy and Open”
  10. Add option to limit Coincident mate to area of face selected, for all types of face

As always, some of these seem very strange, and some are kind of unclear… I am unsure how a “Coatings Feature” could have gotten enough votes to be number two. I am also pretty shocked about number one as well. It would be cool to have equations in custom properties, but is it really THAT big of a deal? Without getting more info on number eight we don’t really have any idea what it is inferring. I particularly like #6 and #4.

For what it’s worth, the “glitch” items from SOLIDWORKS Electrical that ended up in the top 10 were:

  • After 3D wiring, wire marking cannot be added.
  • Batch select guidelines to convert to routes.
  • Make the Feature Grid customizable.
  • When drawing multiple wires you cannot automatically skip the unselected wire.
  • In the sketch wiring of a 3D Sketch, consider the two points of minimum bend radius and additional internal wire length.

Bruce also mentioned that BIG changes are coming to the Enhancement Request submission and voting system this year. Along with this there will hopefully not be a need to run the Top 10 Enhancements voting as a separate thing on the forum any longer, but instead incorporate the new system to do this year round. This should mean better awareness for all users and make it easier to participate in the final Top 10 voting!

Now you know what is important to your fellow users and what is (hopefully) coming to SOLIDWORKS 2019 this October!

Randy Simmons
Computer Aided Technology
www.cati.com