What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2021 On-demand Webinars

Article by Rod Mackay updated November 4, 2020


We recently ran a Virtual Tech Conference where our certified SOLIDWORKS experts unveiled the new features and enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2021. You can watch the What’s New recordings in the videos below, they are broken down into four different parts, Core CAD enhancements, Simulation, Data Management and Communication tools:

Part 1: Core CAD Enhancements

Discover the latest core CAD enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2021 with Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert Scott Ellery:

Featured in this SOLIDWORKS What’s New Session:

Scott Ellery highlights the latest features in SOLIDWORKS for User Experience, Parts, Assemblies and Drawings:

  • User Experience: SOLIDWORKS has long been known to have an intuitive and customizable user interface. However, by listening closely to the user base, SOLIDWORKS 2021 comes packed with enhancements that make it even easier to use and more customizable. You now have an improved colour picker that can reference other applications such as a web browser. A command search within the Customize dialog making it easy to customize toolbars, a collapsible Command Manager which gives you more space to work, as well as semi-transparent dimensions that make it easy to select entities on dimension creation.
  • Part Design: SOLIDWORKS 2021 introduces many enhancements to extend the already robust capabilities when working with parts. Part design enhancements include redo on more than 60 features, Edge Flanges on non-planar edges, Equations in File Properties, and the ability to use the colour picker anywhere.
  • Assemblies: As you spend time creating and working within your assembly designs in SOLIDWORKS 2021, you will find more streamlined tools to help you assemble, pattern and analyze your assemblies. New in SOLIDWORKS 2021 is an option to synchronize the configurations of all component instances created by a pattern. Finally, Interference Detection is a powerful tool to quickly find issues within your design. SOLIDWORKS 2021 now offers the option to save the interference out in a spreadsheet. You even have the choice to capture a screenshot of each interference so that they can be shared and reviewed with others inside of your organization.
  • Drawings: Drawing viewing performance is now super-fast, thanks to the performance improvements added in SOLIDWORKS 2021. Detailing mode allows you to perform typical detailing tasks, such as editing and adding dimensions and annotations. The model does not get loaded, so sharing drawing files is easy, but rest assured, the drawing views are intact, and there is no loss of detail.

Part 2: SOLIDWORKS Simulation, Flow, & Electrical

Discover the latest enhancements in SOLIDWORKS Simulation, Flow Simulation and SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2021 with Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert Vicky Guignard:

Add-ins featured in this SOLIDWORKS What’s New Session:

  • SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021 makes it easier than ever to succeed with your Simulation-driven design efforts. The analysis process is simplified and more flexible. And with the accuracy and speed improvements, there’s something for everyone, new and existing users alike. Including mesh diagnostics that will identify, isolate and prompt to fix poor quality elements. Faster and more robust meshing due to improvements in bonding accuracy; and improved convergence through contact stabilization.
  • SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2021 expands the types of CFD problems you can solve and continues to improve how project results are processed. Rotating Region is a powerful feature that is used to simulate fluid driving motion of rotating components. Now, in Flow Simulation 2021, Rotating Regions can be combined with the Free Surface feature. This is ideal for mixing tasks and can be leveraged further to gain more insight on product performance.
  • SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2021 has enhanced Routes Harness functionality to now support the use of both Splines and Lines to create Route Paths. Supporting Splines, along with lines and arcs, in creating a Routing Paths for electrical harnesses greatly improves the versatility of routing electrical harnesses in geometrically complex products. It is a common practice to have multiple cables starting from a single connector and then have each of the cables go to different parts of the electrical system. Routing all these different cables as a single assembly does not provide flexibility designers want.
  • SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic 2021 has improved Cable Properties by including a new field ‘Separate 3D route assembly’. The same parameter can also be controlled in SOLIDWORKS Route Cable command to provide maximum flexibility on how and where to initiate this new parameter.

Part 3: SOLIDWORKS Data Management

See the latest enhancements for SOLIDWORKS Product Data Management (PDM) and eDrawings 2021 with Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert Scott Ellery:

Data Management tools featured in this SOLIDWORKS What’s New Session:

Scott Ellery highlights the latest features in SOLIDWORKS PDM, Manage and eDrawings 2021:

  • eDrawings 2021 excels at allowing you to share your 3D concepts while protecting your intellectual property. eDrawings 2021 gives you more options to make communicating your ideas easier than ever.
    • You can now view Custom and Configuration specific properties right inside the eDrawings viewer. Commands like measure have been significantly improved as well. Finding the center-to-center distance of two circular or cylindrical objects has always been available but now, with eDrawings 2021, you can choose to view the minimum and maximum distances.
    • You can also measure the normal distance between planar and cylindrical faces. Sharing your 3D designs without the requirement to install the free eDrawings viewer is easy, just save as Web HTML.
    • Also new in 2021 is the ability to move and rotate bodies making it easy to interrogate large projects without having to dig through an assembly tree.
  • SOLIDWORKS PDM 2021 provides seamless product development workflows and easily extend them with new tools as your business needs evolve:
    • Explore and document references with the highly-requested Treehouse View for Contains and Where Used. Workflow Icons build in visual recognition and awareness of your processes across the team. Bill of Materials account for more CAD workflows, and everyday PDM operations are faster.
    • SOLIDWORKS PDM 2021 introduces expanded configurability and increased performance to help you manage your team’s file-based processes and deliverables better than ever.
    • One of the best features of SOLIDWORKS PDM has long been the integration with Windows Explorer.  In 2021, support for the latest Windows 10 elements like the Ribbon interface, is even better.
    • While icons are visually appealing, ‘Details’ is where the power of PDM reveals itself. Columns define specific sets of visible properties for users as they work in ‘Details’ view. In PDM 2021, you can customize columns even further, in more places, AND provide choices with Multiple Column Sets.
  • DS have added many new enhancements to SOLIDWORKS Manage 2021. The latest release provides new ways to manage your projects, edit your Bills of Material, and interact with suppliers, increasing your design management efficiency and collaboration like never before:
    • You can share files from SOLIDWORKS Manage with anyone, even if they do not have SOLIDWORKS Manage installed. To share a file, right-click and select Share. You can then edit settings for each shared file from the File Sharing tab in both the desktop and the Plenary web client interface.
    • SOLIDWORKS Manage offers more capabilities for managing and exporting Bills of Material.
    • Managing multiple projects is common for most project managers. New for Manage 2021 is the ability to create project lists. Lists can be created to meet individual needs or defined by an admin and shared globally. Project lists provide easy visibility to powerful resource management tools like scheduling, capacity planning, and load charts, helping you make informed decisions about project start dates.
    • SOLIDWORKS Manage 2021 provides new ways to visualize project tasks. Out of the box task dashboards are accessible directly from the project and provide clear visibility to project task burn down as well as status and priority.

Part 4: SOLIDWORKS Communication Tools

See the latest enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2021 Communication Tools with Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert Vicky Guignard:

SOLIDWORKS Communication Tools featured in this What’s New Session:

Vicky demonstrates what’s new with SOLIDWORKS Visualize, Composer, MBD, and CAM:

  • Since the introduction of SOLIDWORKS Visualize, creating eye catching, photorealistic images from CAD data has never been easier, and in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2021, the integration between SOLIDWORKS CAD design and Visualize is even better.
  • Whether you’re documenting assembly procedures, product installation guides, user facing safety and maintenance manuals, or part replacement catalogs, technical publications play a critical role in any product launch. And with SOLIDWORKS Composer 2021, creating this content has never been easier.
  • SOLIDWORKS MBD 2021 extends the ability to organize product and manufacturing data (PMI) by adding the ability to add datum target symbols to your DimXpert dimension scheme, and including bend tables in 3D PDFs.
  • SOLIDWORKS CAM 2021 gives the manufacturing floor more automation with expanded stock options, enhanced drill operations, and control over where you’re managing posts. SOLIDWORKS CAM enables seamless design to manufacturing, powering your everyday milling and turning.

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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.