SOLIDWORKS 2022 is coming! What does that mean for you and me? Simple. New features, functionality, User Interface changes, performance improvements, and possibly a whole host of other changes to SOLIDWORKS CAD, but also SOLIDWORKS Simulation, SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, and SOLIDWORKS Plastics. As I write this, I am unfortunately not able to mention what’s coming. You will find that content in several upcoming blogs written by me and several other of my Simulation colleagues by searching the Computer Aided Technology blog for the hashtag #SW2022.
What if your company does not migrate to the newest version of SOLIDWORKS when SP0 launches in late October? Some companies choose an upgrade path that is a year or more behind the current version of SOLIDWORKS. Where can you find What’s New information that pertains to the version you are migrating to? There are plenty of options, however, I would recommend starting with articles titled “The Best New Features of…” SOLIDWORKS 2019, SOLIDWORKS 2020, or SOLIDWORKS 2021.
While I am anxiously awaiting publication of SOLIDWORKS 2022 What’s New content for the analysis products, I think it is fitting to look at some of the significant changes that we have benefitted from over the past couple of launches. Starting with SOLIDWORKS Simulation, there were enhancements to bonded contact formulation, distributed pins and bolts, and solver enhancements. The improvement to bonded contacts made our SOLIDWORKS Simulation work easier by reducing some of the usually necessary CAD cleanup work. Pins and bolt connectors saw added realism to those virtual connectors in our analyses. Solver improvements are, I think we can all agree, always a welcomed addition when we can solve larger finite element models faster.
What about SOLIDWORKS Plastics enhancements? If you use this powerful injection molding analysis software I don’t think you can argue that there have been some pretty substantial change, most significantly to the User Interface. I might also argue that the expanded geometry-based boundary conditions were as significant, allowing us users to set up our analysis using CAD geometry over mesh geometry. Like any analysis, the results are only as good as the material properties and library we have access to. If you have been using SOLIDWORKS Plastics long enough, maybe you think the best change of the past few years was the workflow for mesh creation. It is enhancements, like these I have mentioned and linked to, that have me – and should have you – excited for what is coming in SOLIDWORKS Plastics 2022.
Finally, when it comes to SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, it always seems the What’s New documentation is limited. The lists of enhancements over the last few releases are linked for SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2021, SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2020, and SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2019. The enhancements that I have utilized the most from the past few releases were fan derating and several improvements to custom visualization parameters.
What are you looking forward to regarding the new features in the version of SOLIDWORKS analysis products you are going to start using? Was there a single enhancement that you have needed for a while and you will finally get access to it when migrating to the next version? Did you participate in Beta 2022 to provide feedback on the up-and-coming new features? Maybe some of the links I have provided are just reminders that there is a heck of a lot we have missed over the past few major versions of SOLIDWORKS. You can always find the list of What’s New enhancements for your current version of SOLIDWORKS by using “Help… What’s New… PDF” from your pull-down menus. Maybe you will encounter something that has been in the software that you have not utilized that makes your day-to-day analysis work easier, faster, or better. I certainly hope so. Now go make your products better with SOLIDWORKS Simulation!
Product Specialist, Simulation
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Computer Aided Technology