How to ease the pain of writing a PDMWorks Enterprise addin

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Writing and debugging VB .NET addins for PDMWorks Enterprise is not a fun task. First you cannot step through your code and watch your variables update so finding the problem is a lot like finding a needle in a haystack… additionally, between the builds you need to constantly unload the addin, start/stop the explorer.exe process, compile the .dll, then reload the addin. -Too much work for me. I typically write a majority of the code as a “Windows Application” then […]

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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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The Little Book of Rules

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If you are new to DriveWorks or DriveWorksXpress, consider getting a copy of “The Little Book of Rules” by Ian Yates. This book helps you go through the process of taking your design logic -i.e. “We always have an 1/4 hp motor in our machines, unless the customer wants a heavy duty version, in which case we use a 1/2 hp motor.” and converting it into rules for inputting into DriveWorks or DriveWorksXpress. This book would also be good for […]

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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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Is there life beyond DriveWorksXpress?

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I would imagine by now many of you are now enjoying DriveWorksXpress 2008. I have been asked: “since DriveWorksXpress does so many things why would I bother upgrading to the full version?”. That was one of my first thoughts as well! It does appear DriveWorks is giving away the farm in the Xpress package. The control of drawings, parts, sub assemblies is so easy – what more do you need, right? While it is certainly true that DriveWorksXpress (or DWX […]

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What’s New in 2008 Technical Tip: Setting a default RealView Appearance for all parts/assys

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Several people have asked me if/how you can set a DEFAULT RealView Appearance for any part that you open. There are really TWO ways to do this. The RealView Appearance gets SAVED WITH THE PART/ASSY FILE. So, for any NEW parts that you are going to create in SolidWorks2008, if you set a RealView Appearance in your part or assembly TEMPLATE and save the template, it will use that appearance. But the real reason people are asking about this is […]

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Planning for Finite Element Analysis – Part II of IV

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GATHERING PERTINENT DATA Based on the industry, each customer has stringent requirements that are to be met by either the design, or the Finite Element Analysis results, or both. For example, a customer A can have a requirement that states that the factor of safety of the design should be at least 2, and that the maximum deflection on the design should not exceed 0.10 inches upon full-load application. Customer B might require the design to be within a certain […]

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Sneak preview of DriveWorks 6.3

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I installed the “early visibility” of DriveWorks SP 6.3 today. The installation went very quickly – about 5 minutes. (Especially compared with my 49 minute installation of SOLIDWORKS SP 0.1 earlier in the day.) The highlight of the service pack appears to be a new wizard that imports a DriveWorksXpress project directly into an existing DriveWorks group. The wizard was quick and I got pretty good results. I don’t think this wizard will be a normal workflow for people who […]

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