My SolidWorks 2013 pick of the day is the new quick dimensioning mode in the sketch environment. Now you can dimension sketch entities as you draw them, while still being able to add inferred relations. Mastering this technique could generate huge time savings for most SolidWorks users.
If you want to have any chance at winning the Model Mania competition at SolidWorks World this winter, you need to watch this video for a comprehensive demonstration of the new functionality:
A useful utility that SolidWorks came out with long ago is the Rx Utility. If you are experiencing a frequent crash, you can record the crash and send the recording, logs, and all the files necessary to your VAR for diagnosis. If you’re experiencing poor system performance, there’s a System Maintenance utility to clean up temporary files. There’s even a Diagnostics section to see if your system is running fine and your video card drivers are correct.
Up until now, the utility launched from outside of SolidWorks. You would access it from the Start menu from All Programs > SolidWorks 2012 > SolidWorks Tools > SolidWorks Rx (or whichever year you are using). That can be a bit of a maze if you don’t use it very often, and if your system is crashing then the last thing you want to do is play “Find the Utility.” SolidWorks 2013 has addressed this by putting a link to the utility in the Home tab on the right hand side. Behold:
Accessing SolidWorks RX in the SolidWorks 2013 Task Pane
My SolidWorks 2013 Pick of the Day is the cleaner feature manager structure in the Sheet Metal environment introduced by SolidWorks 2013.
While the new folder structure is an important benefit for users, it introduces a major danger for people who are not familiar with the new interface. Trying to apply the old SolidWorks 2012 workflows for changing Sheet Metal settings might result in wrong Flat Patterns.
That is why it is extremely important to watch this video all the way to the end.
Note: SolidWorks is aware of this issue and will provide a fix in SolidWorks 2013 SP3.0.
Update (2013.Jan.08): Robbie Liotta from SolidWorks provided more information on how the new functionality is supposed to work in SolidWorks 2013. Please read the second half of this article:
My SolidWorks Flow Simulation 2013 pick of the day is the new leakage browser functionality.
Hidden within the lids creation tool is the leakage tracking functionality. It helps you quickly locate holes or displacement gaps within the flow models.
The tool works by selecting a pair of faces, one on the inside of the flow domain and one on the outside of the flow domain and then finds a connecting path between the two faces. The only way to get from one face to the other would be through a hole or a gap.
This tool can really help debug issues with flow domains which would have required a lot of manual effort in the previous releases.
The middle mouse button is your best friend when manipulating the SolidWorks viewport in order to orient the model. Just press and drag, what can be simpler?
SolidWorks 2013 adds more functionality to this little button, providing even more control to the user. That is why my SolidWorks 2013 pick of the day is the new “Rotate about the Scene Floor” setting.
For some users reducing the file size is a must, especially for large assemblies. Before the release of SolidWorks 2013, having multiple exploded views in one assembly implied creating multiple configurations (one for each exploded view) and, since each configuration saves all its Parasolid data, a huge assembly file.
SolidWorks 2013 provides an elegant solution to this problem by allowing multiple exploded views in each configuration. As a result the file size stays small and, at the same time, important time savings are achieved.
In this video I am going beyond just showcasing the new functionality by presenting a complete assembly explode process, comparing the 2012 and 2013 workflows.
Creating realistic looking 3D parts it’s only one of the reasons for applying different appearances on your models. Equally important is using appearances for creating selection groups which will increase speed and streamline the modeling process.
Since SolidWorks 2011 introduced the Display Manager users have been able to use appearances for selecting groups of entities. SolidWorks 2013 enhances this functionality by allowing users to copy and paste appearances at will. Moreover, applying “layers of paint” to components, parts, bodies, features or faces is easier than ever thanks to the new appearance targeting toolbar.
Watch this video for an example on how to create and use selection groups based on appearances.
Note: There is one more important enhancement for appearances introduced by SolidWorks 2013 which will be the subject of a future post.
The Mirror Component(s) tool in the Assembly environment was completely redesigned in the 2010 version of SolidWorks. At that time, the improvements were considered spectacular and the benefits huge in comparison to how the mirror command worked in the previous versions.
Starting with SolidWorks 2010 mirrored components are uniquely located in the universe of the main assembly, based on the position of their parent and of the reference plane used for mirroring. The user has full control on deciding which components need opposite-hand versions and which ones need just re-locating in a symmetrical position in regards to the selected plane.
There was only one thing that SolidWorks 2010, 2011 and 2012 did not do when mirroring sub-assemblies and that was carrying over any mates referring to the origin or the default planes of the original sub-assembly. At best, after mirroring, the user had to spend extra time to edit the new sub-assembly and manually add those mates. At worst, the user did not even know that this potentially dangerous situation existed!
SolidWorks 2013 finally solves this problem. Watch this video for a comparison between the Mirror command used in SolidWorks 2013 versus SolidWorks 2012.
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