SolidWorks has learned a pretty neat new trick from the Composer: balloons can now be attached to Magnetic Lines in SolidWorks 2012, giving designers more control over the alignment and spacing of balloons in drawings.
When working on a big project, it isn’t uncommon to have several different files open in SolidWorks at once. If these files are coming from multiple different folder locations, hunting them down and opening them again each time you close and reopen SolidWorks can be a time consuming process.
That’s where the very first option in the SolidWorks settings come in handy: “Open last used document(s) at startup”.
You may have seen this before, create a detail or section view and it is automatically named View A, great. Except oops that wasn’t the view I wanted so I delete View A and start again … except now the new view is automatically named View B. It’s not the end of the world, I can manually change the view name back to A, but from this point on each new detail or section view I create will automatically generate with the wrong letter. A new option in SolidWorks 2012 can now allow you to change this behavior.
Whenever you go to make a drawing of a part or assembly you have created in SolidWorks, you are presented with a set of predetermined views to chose from, front, top, isometric etc. But what if the view you want to use isn’t in that list? How can you get a drawing view on the sheet in a non standard orientation? One way to do this is to use a custom view.
When teaching the SolidWorks Essentials course one habit that I try to instill in any new (or not so new) SolidWorks users is to always, always, rotate the view normal to the sketch plane when creating a new sketch or when editing an existing one. This helps them to get a clearer picture of their 2D sketch in the 3D world of their SolidWorks part.
Now, a new option added in SolidWorks 2012 allows users to automate, at least, part of that practice.
A great new feature in SolidWorks 2013 is the ability to use Luxology native appearances for PhotoView 360 renders. This opens up to SolidWorks users the ability to make use of the huge selection of additional appearances in Luxology’s online library.
But even better, for customers with an active SolidWorks Subscription contract, the subscription now includes free access to that library. Here is how you can get access to that library and make use of the appearance files available there.
One of my favorite enhancements to the SolidWorks interface is a new addition to the Status Bar, the Unit System quick access button.
The Drawing View Palette is a great way to add standard drawing views to your SolidWorks document. As you drag and drop the Top, Right, Front or other views onto the drawing sheet they disappear from the list. A common question that new users ask is how to get drawing views that have been placed on the sheet but later deleted to be available again on the View Palette.
Do worries about non-sequential drawing balloons keep you up at night? No? Well you still might like a new enhancement that was introduced in SolidWorks 2012 that allows you order the item numbers in drawing balloons sequentially.
The SolidNetWork License (SNL) Manager can distribute licenses to client installations that are directly connected to it through a network, but it can also allow client installations to borrow a license for a period of time and disconnect from the network. The ability to borrow licenses from the license pool may not always be desired however, so how can this feature of the SNL Manager be disabled?