Hidden SOLIDWORKS Gems: Overlooked Resources & Tools That You May Already Own

In our most recent 10-4 Tech Talk I covered . If you weren’t able to attend you may be interested in some of the products you may already own and resources to which you already have access.

Hidden Gems Matrix

MySOLIDWORKS.com: a great resource for training, CAD  models, and everything SOLIDWORKS community.  Personally I think the user community is what sets SOLIDWORKS apart, so if you haven’t taken advantage yet, now’s a great time.  And here’s the best part….it’s FREE!

Xpress tools: all about making life easier.  And if you have a seat of SOLIDWORKS, guess what….FREE!

DriveWorksXpress is your best bet if you need to create all kinds of variations of a model.

DFMXpress is a fast, easy to use tool that lets you get a second set of eyes (or computer eyes….maybe the webcam? creepy!) on your design to see if there are any aspects you should take a second look at before you start to manufacture or ask for a vendor quote.

FloXpress is an easy to use introductory CFD package.  If you need to check how air or water will flow through your product, provideded there is a closed volume with an inlet and an outlet, FloXpress gives you that easy introduction into CFD analysis.

SimulationXpress is your best friend for simple single part stress analysis.  Nothing is feared more than handing over a design to the boss or up to one of those “analysis experts” only to find out it’s not designed to meet the loading requirements.  Well with SimulationXpress, that’s not a worry any longer.  The easy to use interface walks you through simple step by step process to analyze your single part against the loading requirements you set up.  While it’s not a substitute for higher end Simulation tools that SOLIDWORKS offers, SimulationXpress is perfect to give you that first pass test to make sure you don’t have a design that will get you laughed at.

Visualize STANDARD: all about turning CAD data into photographs.  Best part is if you have SOLIDWORKS Professional or SOLIDWORKS Premium….it’s FREE!

5-10 years ago CAD screen shots were sufficient to show design concepts. With the widespread use of CGI in movies, tv, ads, etc., today’s businesses expect to see fully rendered realistic representations of products, which means more and more designers need to quickly ramp up on their rendering tools.  Before you look outside what you already have, give Visualize a try!  You’d be hard pressed to find better quality results.

PDM STANDARD: all about keeping that engineering data straight.  If you haven’t guessed the theme already….if you have SOLIDWORKS Professional or SOLIDWORKS Premium…it’s FREE!

If you don’t think you need data management, you are wrong.  Rarely do I take a hard stance so definitive, because there are always exceptions to every rule, but with data management there are no exceptions.  You need it whether you’re a lone designer or part of a huge global corporation with team members all over the world.  Data management is simply how do you organize and deal with your data.  So it could be as crude and basic as put everything on the desktop (gross) or use a Data Management program like SOLIDWORKS PDM (STANDARD or PROFESSIONAL).  Data Management programs are all about trying to make the management of the data simple, effective and efficient.  (So if we want to manage data of products, what should we call it….I know Product Data Management [PDM])  If you haven’t tried a data management system like PDM STANDARD and you’re closer to Disorganized Desktop Dave, why not try a free tool like PDM STANDARD.

All in all there’s so much inside of SOLIDWORKS it’s easy to miss a piece of functionality that you’re already paying for, so I wanted to highlight just a few that I see far too many users unaware they already own!

Brandon Nelms
Application Engineer
Computer Aided Technology, Inc

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