Articles by: Chris Briand, CSWE

Chris has been educating and supporting Engineers, Designers and IT Personnel within the 3D CAD industry since 2002, and was adopted into the fantastic team of applications experts here at Javelin Technologies in early 2006.  Chris enjoys the continuous learning driven by the ingenuity and challenges Designers bring forward. Innovation using 3D Printing, 3D CAD and other technologies, combined with a diverse background as a technologist, allows Chris to find solutions that accelerate Designers, and take Design Teams to new heights. Chris is currently being held at an undisclosed location, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Always the same story with the Hole Wizard…….Slow Loading

Keeping in Line with my recent theme of performance, when it comes to our blog postings, I thought we should share some insight on a question that comes up month after month, and release after release…….. Why does my hole wizard take so long to load after starting SolidWorks?? The short answer is that SolidWorks is attempting to load the entire Hole Wizard database, with all of the standards attached. The simple solution is to disable the standards that you are not using, I am guessing that most folks have the entire set of standards loaded and only ever make use of two or three of them. Editing the standards that load for the hole wizard is likely the most difficult part of this adjustment, as the location to find the hole wizard standards is a tad non intuitive. To enable or disable a particular standard for the hole wizard,…

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Easily find the character length of particular file paths.

Finding the maximum file path length…No matter how far we advance through operating systems or other software, we often bump into a 256 character limit when attempting to copy or archive files.  The end result is our copy and paste sequence telling us that our “File Path length is too long“, or a zip file that seemingly does not include some of the files you had intended.  Errors such as this can appear random, and it is only after a step back and some analysis, can we see that it is a scenario where the length of the file path is the common factor. What if we could take a look at our directory structure beforehand to see where problems might show up before we go about copying over a complex file structure. The steps to file path length awareness are below: Open the Run Dialog from your version of…

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Is the Windows Indexing Service Helping or Hurting your Productivity.

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. What is the purpose of the Windows Indexing…

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Recovering your Windows System Resources with System Configuration (MSCONFIG)

Windows System Configuration

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 Windows Taskbar). In an effort to stop the bleeding of system resources I would like to introduce you to the clotting agent: System Configuration (MSCONFIG). Microsoft provides the System Configuration utility as a means to tweak your system tray and the processes and services that run when windows starts, however it is rarely mentioned. As I mentioned in my last post: Shutting down processes can result in some programs or services on your machine not functioning as you expect. You may want to consult with your IT department before implementing any changes to your system. Accessing the System Configuration For Windows 7: From your Start menu, choose RUN…

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What is stealing Windows System Resources away from your session of SOLIDWORKS?

Windows Task Manager

Ever wonder what other stuff is running on your PC while you struggle for Windows System Resources to finish the SOLIDWORKS task at hand? The ‘stuff’ I refer to is all of the little extra icons that appear in the Windows Taskbar (under the arrow 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 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 dedicates an entire dialog to turning off all of those pesky, real-estate hogging icons. This is fine if your intention is to…

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Be careful when adding downloaded SOLIDWORKS Fasteners to your assembly

SOLIDWORKS Fastener

I recently had a discussion during one of my SOLIDWORKS training classes regarding common websites that everyone was using to download SOLIDWORKS fasteners for use in assemblies. Some of the most popular sites that came up during our discussion were: McMaster Carr Reid Supply Fastenall GrabCAD 3DContentCentral All of these sites will save you time and effort as you don’t have to model SOLIDWORKS fasteners. However be certain that you are not shooting yourself in the foot by adding unnecessary model detail and subsequent load times to your assemblies. Be aware of adding to assembly load times A recent issue for one of our customers was poor large assembly performance.  After some initial diagnosis, it was determined that a number of the SOLIDWORKS Fasteners included in the assembly that had been downloaded from a website and still contained their full detail of the helical threading. That particular fastener had been copied and populated into several hundred holes and compounded to increase the…

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Why DO Assemblies take longer to open over the network??

If you have ever had to wait a painfully long period of time for a large assembly to open while loading the files from a network location, you’ve likely asked this question.  We had the opportunity at SolidWorks World 2011 to find out exactly why this is.  The following details are courtesy of Mark Johnson, one of the Senior Technical Support Engineers at SolidWorks. Most simply put, the “path” that files have to follow to open from a local hard drive is as follows: − Harddrive -> (Mainboard) Southbridge – > CPU – > (Mainboard) Northbridge – > Ram – and OPEN! If you then compare this against the file path when opening a file from the network: − Ethernet Card – > Router\switch\hub ->…

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Hold on to your 3D motion controllers folks…they just became a whole lot more useful!

Like many folks, I’ve had a 3D motion controller sitting on or near my desk for years now.  One of the things that frustrated me with motion controllers in general, and specifically the motion controllers manufactured by 3DConnexion, was that their usage was limited to a very, very few applications.  3DConnexion has addressed this little hiccup with their 3DxWare 10 driver platform.

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