Sneak Peek into SOLIDWORKS 2012

SOLIDWORKS World 2011 is now in the books. It started Monday, yet this is my first SOLIDWORKS World post? Yes, I stayed in a hotel that did not have free Internet. When I grow up and become Earth Czar, it will be illegal to be an inn keeper to not have free Internet. [If being an Earth Czar was an elected position that would be the platform I’d run on.]

It is widely known that the third day of SOLIDWORKS World is even more exciting than a Celine Deion concert. This is because they give us our fist sneak peek of what may be in the next version of SolidWorks. I took several pages of notes of new feature happiness. If you are good I’ll go through them with you.

Since I am an “always eat the dessert first” kinda guy, I am going to start with my favorite new feature of my favorite topic on my favorite day.


Large Design Review: The presenters displayed a new option in the SOLIDWORKS “2012” Open dialog named, “Large Design Review”. Very quickly a very large assembly appeared on the screen. Much faster than what a lightweight or perhaps even a speed pack assembly would open. They were able to zoom in and out and rotate the file with great performance. Measure, section views and even the ability to select on parts and see them highlighted in the tree structure were available. It felt like you were looking at an assembly through eDrawings Pro….but here was the real cool thing. They selected a part, chose to open it, made a change to the part. Then when they went back to the assembly the part was updated. Cool. Way Cool.

Think how this is going to be used. First thing in the morning you are going to open the top level assembly in this new review mode, and you are going to use the assembly to choose what parts you want to work on. No more navigating through any directory structure or even using a PDM search trying to find the files you need. The files you need are all right in front of you – a graphical file browser!

I wonder if it might also finally make lightweight nearly obsolete.

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