As a former designer of automated machinery, I prefer to stay a stranger to danger by using machine guarding. It keeps the operators safe from my machine and it keeps me safe from litigation. However, since I always want my design to closely approximate what the final product will look like, I don’t want my guarding to be an exception. In this case, I’m using a mesh screen, and I’ve modeled it up using the specs from my supplier. However, my rebuild times are getting pretty bad, since it’s a big machine and has lots and lots of guarding, so I want to use a better method.
Options and Variants is a very powerful and yet easy to use design automation tool. In a short amount of time it helps designers configure systems to provide consistently accurate designs while saving an enormous amount of time and money.
There are so many E3 users raving about this functionality. Check out the video below to see how it works, how easy it is to add these options in your design and to control your design.
You can also check out the Options and Variants Blog series to get more details:
The people consuming your design are not just the designers or the people reviewing your design. It is used by the Manufacturing team, Assembly team, purchasing , support , sales and even the Customer/End User – in essence everyone involved in making or using the design/product.
What can these capabilities help you achieve? How is it helping others?
- E3 with its Intelligent PDFs and Automated comprehensive reports gives you the ability to share your design and your design intent with all these consumers of the information you create with utmost ease while maintaining top notch quality.
- The 1 button reports have given E3 customers the ability to provide information in different formats for different audience in a format that is tailored to the end user.
- The efficiency of producing PDF documents has proven to be a great asset for being a responsible, efficient and quality design team for the company, customers and of course the environment.
Check out the video to learn more:
I finished reading over the Labour Day weekend the latest edition to the Step-by-Step Guide series that SolidWorks has been publishing over the last couple of years. Their newest book is titled “Improving Large Assembly Design using SolidWorks” and was released just a couple of weeks ago. When I received the notice from my good friend at SolidWorks, Michel Cloutier, I immediately ordered a couple for our support team to review and to have as a resource, and I just had to read this!
I’ve since read it cover to cover, and I’m impressed. The authors of this guide did a fantastic job hitting on all the key topics from the impact of hardware setup to how different mate types can impact rebuild times. Coming from a design background involving the design of very large and frequently complex assemblies, I know very well the best practices of large assembly design to maximize performance and usability as the design evolves. I am frequently consulted on this topic. Now I can say, “I know a book you have to read!” Kudos to the training department at SolidWorks – nice work on this guide.
SolidWorks end users have been waiting for a guide like this for many years and I will be recommending to any customer that does anything with assembly designs large or small, as many of the concepts and practices are applicable to everyone.
It’s a $70 investment well spent.
To review the topics covered, the table of contents can be reviewed and copies of the guide can be purchased via our web store.
Some of the modern search functionality within windows 7 is absolutely fantastic. I can type fraction of a word and results from my email, start menu and specific locations on my hard drive begin to appear….instantly.
I am certain that there are still folks out there who hear the words “Indexing Service” with reference to windows and automatically repeat the original online cry of “Shut down the Service”… “It will only slow down your computer”. Well, those particular statements have been floating around the net since Windows desktop search was introduced, and as we know…..the internet never forgets.
Let’s fast forward a bit to 2011 within Windows 7, the search functionality is built into windows and not some “afterthought” add-in. However under certain circumstance, the indexing service can still fire up and reduce your system performance. Let’s talk about why this happens.
In my last post I discussed all of the unnecessary, auxiliary processes that may be running on your system. Items such as update utilities, that generally present themselves as Icons within your System Tray or Notification Area (Near your Clock in the task bar).
In an effort to stop the bleeding of system resources I would like to introduce you to the clotting agent……. MSCONFIG.
Ever wonder what other “Stuff” is running on your PC while you struggle for system resources to finish the task at hand.
The “Stuff” I refer to all of the little extra icons that appear in your system tray in Windows XP, now called the “notifications area” in windows 7 (down by the clock). Each one of those icons symbolize a process or program that is running on your system, using up little snippets of resources (or big snippets in some cases) as you attempt to get your work done.
Windows 7 does a great job of hiding these, so that you don’t even know that they are there most of the time. You can also configure the system icons on or off, such as the clock, volume control, power icon, and action center. Windows XP used to reduce the size of the system tray by hiding the icons, however it was always apparent that there were more icons in the dray due to the arrows “<<” that were ever-present in the system tray.
Windows 7 dedicates an entire dialog to turning off all of those pesky, real-estate hogging icons. This is fine if your intention is to claim back some desktop space, however in this two part post, I would like to take a crack at the root problem – all of those services and processes running in the background in the first place.
My first “computer” was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Using a cassette recorder for I/O and a colour TV as a monitor, it was just amazing. And mine was better than yours because it came with 64 KB of RAM versus your 16.
This is how the “war” started. You got a Commodore 64 with an external floppy disk unit. Three months later I spent all my savings on an IBM XT compatible PC with a 20MB HDD, which was really great for breezing through school projects. The following year I started using the XT for CAD, so the next upgrade consisted in adding a very rare 8087 math processor.
The competition continued throughout university years and involved successive upgrades to AT 286, 386 and 486. More RAM, larger hard drives in this never-ending race…
Even when we had similar hardware configurations, we would still compete in tweaking our systems in order to see who gets the best scores in various benchmarks available at that time. Do you remember CheckIt?
Let’s fast forward to the present. After five long painful years, you have finally got the approval for upgrading to the machine of your dreams and cannot wait to put it to the test. But how? Against what benchmark?
One of the most common questions we receive is in regard to how SolidWorks uses processors that support Multi-Threading and if Multi-Threading should be enabled via a computers BIOS or not.
In addition to the well known advantages with Simulation and Rendering, other operations within SolidWorks that can take advantage of Multi-Threading include:
- File Open
- File Save
- File Conversion
- Line generation
- Mass properties
- Body check
- User Interface Activities (dialog box interaction, redraw, etc…)
- The Swbgproc.exe process which silently updates HLR drawing views to High quality from draft.
In prior releases with older P4 class machines it was suggested that Hyper-threading be disabled in the BIOS to streamline performance. With modern “Nahalem” processors (Core i3, i5 & i7) this additional step is not required.
Read more on multi-core processors & SolidWorks in Scott Durksen’s post here.
Increasing drawing performance can start with the Open dialogue box. By using “Select Sheets to Open”, you select the sheet(s) you need to work on. The remaining sheets can be viewed in “Quick View”, which is a read-only mode that provides a simplified representation of the drawing. To load a sheet, right-click on the sheet or the sheet’s tab and select “Load Sheet”.