Solidworks 2021 contains cutting-edge functionality, increased performance, and some new productivity tools to increase your efficiency. These new features and functionality are exciting and fun to explore. The enhancements to installation options and other administrative features are not quite as flashy, but often just as helpful. In this post, we are going to look at some of the new settings options for SOLIDWORKS 2021 installations when using an Administrative Image.
If you are not familiar with using administrative images, it is a more controlled method of installing software on multiple computers from a single network location. It can save time and gives you (or IT staff) the ability to lock things down to ensure consistency between all software installations. With an administrative image, the installation options are pre-defined with the admin image which is then easily deployed to the clients for the individual installations. One big advantage with this method is the time savings. You do not need to run around to every computer for the installs. You, instead, can email the users a link to start the install when clicked. The other attractive aspect of Admin Images is the total control of the client options. You can do things like make sure all users are on the same version and service pack. Are all users pointing to the same templates, toolbox parts? What about using the updated drawing sheet formats? These settings can be configured when the original administrative image is created and pushed out to the client installations.
This brings us to one of the new enhancements of SOLIDWORKS 2021. There are now a few more SOLIDWORKS system options that can be applied by the administrator when creating the administrative image. In SOLIDWORKS 2021, we can configure the settings that ensure that all parts and assemblies have the same background colors and appearances.
To see how to lock these color and appearance settings can be applied, let us look at the basic steps for creating the administrative image.
On the initial SOLIDWORKS 2021 Installation Manager screen we select “Create a new image using default settings.”
Once complete, access the Administrative Image Option Editor. This is where you can configure the options for the client installations. This includes selecting the products to install and the serial numbers to be used on these client installations. You can also add specific user settings to override the global settings. This is great for the scenario where majority of users are getting the network serial number (Global Setting) and a few specific users are getting standalone serial numbers and, perhaps, a simulation license.
We can access the SOLIDWORKS system options that will be used on the installations by clicking on “Launch Settings Administrator”.
Starting with the Default set of options……
Now, we can further edit these options as we see fit. Check boxes are used to identify the settings we want loaded with the new SOLIDWORKS client installations. Additionally, we have control of when these options are loaded. The administrator can have these settings only loaded the first time the user starts SOLIDWORKS, or they can choose to have these reloaded every time the user starts up SOLIDWORKS. The locked column allows us to identify the settings that we wish to lock-down. If locked, it will require the password for the end user to modify them.
This brings us to one of our new updates to SOLIDWORKS 2021. We can now configure and lock the system options for the Colors and Background. This will help make all installations and user interfaces consistent across every machine. Here you can see the new SOLIDWORKS 2021 options compared to the 2020 version. Back in SOLIDWORKS 2020, these color settings were greyed out because they could not be configured or locked.
I hope this part of the What’s New series gives you a better understanding of the new features and functions of SOLIDWORKS 2021. Please check back to the CATI Blog as the CATI Application Engineers will continue to break down many of the new items in SOLIDWORKS 2021. All these articles will be stored in the category of “SOLIDWORKS What’s New.”
Managing Application Engineer, CSWE
What is DI Month? We’re declaring October Design Innovation Month—again! It’s a month-long series of special events focused on what’s new in design and manufacturing technology. You’ll learn about enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2021 that deliver new capabilities for improved performance, streamlined workflows, and a connected design ecosystem. Find out what’s new in 3D printing applications and 3D scanning to integrate into your design process.