More control in SP4

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DriveWorks 6, service pack 4 has a great new control for your dialog boxes. It allows your users to enter in linear dimensional values in any units they choose and DriveWorks will do the conversion for you. Users can even enter in mathematical formulas. It acts like the dimensional input box that you use in SolidWorks! This is certainly one of those “I cannot believe it took them this long to add it!” -but it is nice that they did.

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New design automation web sites

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There is now a web site completely devoted to supporting the growing DriveWorksXpress community. If you get a chance go check it out. It has forums, tutorials and videos, FAQs and examples -everything you need to keep your design automation heart happy! Speaking of design automation, have you seen SolidWorks’ new design automation micro-site? DriveWorksXpress has been available as a free download for several years now. Isn’t it amazing how much more interest there is in design automation now that […]

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On the fly email notifications

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A common PDMWorks Enterprise enhancement request is to give the users the ability to pick and choose who gets notified when a document goes through a workflow transition. While personally that request seems like it would make a loophole users could use to get around the system i.e. not notifying your manager or quality control if a document is approved. -I’ll grant there may be cases where it would be useful. So I thought I’d give you a little application […]

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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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Let my file go!

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Since PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 will not support custom applications written in VB6, I know a lot of you are busy converting your code to .NET. Here is a little “gotcha” to watch out for: I had a little routine that would write to a file’s datacard at check in time. [EdmCmd_PreUnlock] It worked great in VB6 but when I converted it to .NET, PDMWorks Enterprise could not finish the check in operation telling me that the file was in use […]

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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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