Applications for SOLIDWORKS on a stick

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This year at SOLIDWORKS World, SOLIDWORKS announced to a select number of people they are piloting a project where they installed SOLIDWORKS on a USB jump drive! I, like nearly everyone else in the room were pretty impressed and looked forward to playing with it….but really had a hard time coming up with practical applications for it. I figured if nothing else, once the trial period timed out I was getting a free 2GB jump drive. I played with it […]

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Flattening Imported Sheet Metal Part Files

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SOLIDWORKS gives you some great tools to flatten imported sheet metal part files. The tool called “Insert Bends” automates this process. After identifying the fixed face, SOLIDWORKS adds sheet metal information such as Bend Allowance, Auto Relief, as well as Rip Parameters. This works great as long as you have a part with uniform wall thickness. If you find yourself with a part who’s thickness varies (as is the case often in bends), then here is a trick to try […]

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Invest in your SOLIDWORKS setup

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You know how Granny in the Sylvester and Tweety cartoons always says: “You reap what you sow”? Who do you know is wiser than Granny? You made an investment when you bought SolidWorks. SOLIDWORKS is making you money, but your investments shouldn’t stop after you purchase your software. You need to customize your system so it works its best in your environment. The easiest customizations are keyboard shortcuts, toolbar configurations, file properties and drawing templates. (You would be amazed how […]

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EZ SOLIDWORKS Watermark

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I’ve seen quite a few strategies for putting a watermark on SOLIDWORKS drawings….putting them on their own layer, embedding a Word document, special fonts, etc. However they all have the common weakness of requiring either API or a manual process of removing them. My favorite watermark method is to use file properties instead: Open your SOLIDWORKS drawing template and create a file property called “WATERMARK”. Assign the value “FOR REFERENCE ONLY” for the value of this property. In your sheet […]

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The Best SOLIDWORKS World Technical Training Session Ever

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What do you get when you take the best two SOLIDWORKS World presenters and put them in the same room? Simply the best SOLIDWORKS World Technical Training session ever! Ed Eaton of the Dimonte Group is an industrial designer who has been doing his “Curvy Stuff” presentations at SOLIDWORKS World for years. Even though I have hardly ever designed curvy stuff in SOLIDWORKS I have never missed one of his presentations. Ed’s understanding of how SOLIDWORKS “thinks” always fascinates me. […]

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More normal than usual

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Here is a nice little SOLIDWORKS UI tip: Click the “Normal To” button twice to get the opposite “Normal To” view! …and keyboard fans: <Ctrl-8><Ctrl-8> works as well.

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Christmas Cards in SolidWorks!

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Each year we send out a Christmas card to our valued customers and partners. This year, we decided to create our own image for the front of the card. We challenged our application engineers to create a rendering using only SOLIDWORKS and PhotoWorks (a photo-realistic rendering software that runs inside of SOLIDWORKS and is included in any of the SOLIDWORKS Office products.) What they came up with may suprise you. PhotoWorks has made leaps and bounds in its ability to […]

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Can Windows SharePoint be used as your SOLIDWORKS PDM?

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Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 has been out for nearly a year now. It certainly adds a lot of collaboration tools over WSS 2.0. I think that just the simple fact that 3.0 now supports blogs and wikis makes WSS a nice design collaboration tool. With all these new collaboration tools now included, can it replace PDMWorks Enterprise? There certainly is a lot of overlap between WSS and PDMWorks Enterprise. Both products allow you to check in and out documents, […]

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Use eDrawings as your ECN document

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I’ve seen a lot of different strategies for ECN documentation. – Word, pdfs and Excel are most typical. The problem is that often times it can be difficult to describe where in the part/assembly you want the change made. Have you considered using an eDrawing as your ECN document? With eDrawings you can point right at the location you want to make the change, add a comment balloon then if you need to be even more verbose in the description […]

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SOLIDWORKS Hardware

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“What hardware do you recommend to get the most out of SolidWorks?” This is a question that I am asked at least a few times a week, and to be honest it is a hard one to answer because “it depends.” It depends on quite a few variables such as: -What is the complexity of the CAD data that you will be working with? -Are you looking for a stationary or mobile workstation platform? -Are you tied down to a […]

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