Article by Rod Mackay updated October 24, 2015


SOLIDWORKS 2016 is packed with new, customer-focused enhancements. Whether you design single components, incredibly complex equipment, or even entire facilities, SOLIDWORKS 2016 delivers easy-to-use tools to help turn your ideas into higher-quality products. Check out the SOLIDWORKS 2016 Top 10 List for the features to look out for:

SOLIDWORKS 2016 Top Ten List

SOLIDWORKS 2016 Top Ten List

1. Bring your designs to life with SOLIDWORKS Visualize

SOLIDWORKS 2016 provides more realistic photo-quality rendering in less time:

  • Improved functionality for media-ready images, movies and immersive content
  • Use both CPU and GPU to speed up rendering — less time to quality result
  • Included with SOLIDWORKS 2016 Professional and Premium

2. Enhanced Part Modeling Capabilities

Expanded modeling capabilities improve accuracy and speed design:

  • Thread Wizard tool to create internal and external threads
  • Bi-directional sweep and curvature continuous edge fillets
  • Flatten surface includes flattening of curves
  • Sheet Metal allows cuts in the bend area of swept flange and edge flanges can now be longer than the attachment edge

3. Streamlined Assembly Development

SOLIDWORKS 2016 reduces the time to create assemblies:

  • Component preview window for mate selections
  • Mate Controller for fast capture and recall of mate positions
  • Replace multiple failed mate references in one step
  • Copy multiple components and retain mates

4. Faster 2D Drawing Creation

Provides simplified creation of drawings:

  • Automatic Border tool controls sheet format border
  • New model Break View tool
  • Turn off view scale for center marks and other detailing improvements

5. “Drawingless” Manufacturing Enhanced

Faster creation of 3D dimensions and tolerances, as well as streamlined downstream manufacturing functions:

  • Create DimXpert dimensions in Assembly
  • Display and associate model coordinate systems automatically
  • Publish and print multiple sheets, tables, and viewports in 3D PDF

6. Improved Electrical Design and Communication

Improved productivity for electrical design:

  • Streamlined workflow with contextual information display
  • SOLIDWORKS Electrical for DraftSight® add-in with real-time redline, annotation, and reporting


Top ten list for SOLIDWORKS Electrical

7. Making Design Easier

Reduced “picks and clicks” for functionality you use most often:

  • New “breadcrumbs” tracking/selection of items in model hierarchy
  • Better support for high-resolution monitors and expandable Property Manager input panels
  • Sketch: dynamically manipulate dimensioned sketch entities
  • MySolidWorks: Search function available inside SOLIDWORKS 2016

8. Simplifying Design Validation

Faster, more intuitive design validation:

  • Simulation: Find unconstrained degrees of freedom, turn constraints on and off, and perform mesh sectioning
  • Plastics: Enhanced Solver performance and improved indirect flow front tracking
  • Flow: Improved mesh refi nement controls and transient solver speed

9. Connecting Design and Manufacturing

Extending SOLIDWORKS capabilities for manufacturing:

  • 3D Printing: 3D print preview using textures and show areas requiring supports
  • Inspection: OCR Editor to customize and improve optical character recognition dictionaries and output horizontal inspection reports
  • Costing: Cost an entire assembly, nesting for sheet metal, and rules to modify settings automatically
  • Compare Geometry: Save geometry differences directly into either model being compared

10. Expanded Communication and Collaboration

New, better data management and collaboration tools:

  • SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard: New product offer based on SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM (now named SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional for 2016) designed for smaller workgroups to manage SOLIDWORKS data and provide an easy upgrade to SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional
  • SOLIDWORKS PDM Set Revision: Enables streamlined management of revision levels and properties for existing and newly imported data
  • eDrawings®: AR for Android™; 3D Views and annotation views for assemblies; Component descriptions; Weld beads; Undo/Redo
  • Import/Export: Export material properties to IFC 2×3, export IFC 4.0, import PTC® Creo® 3.0, import large STL models and FeatureWorks®; supports ANSI inch hole upon import
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Rod Mackay

Rod has been using 3D CAD software for over 25 years and has trained thousands of designers to use their CAD systems more effectively. Rod is the Javelin Webmaster and is based in Ottawa, ON., Canada.