Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. has unveiled the SolidWorks 2011 product line.
The company says the new SolidWorks 2011 family of products includes hundreds of improvements requested by customers.
"There are big changes," says Robert Teele, lead mechanical designer for Nuvera Fuel Cells, a clean energy products company in Billerica, MA. "Our production and marketing departments, for example, are eager to use the new walk-through animation capability to explore our equipment designs and our custom on-site installations with customers."
SolidWorks 2011 includes:
- New drawing detailing functions in SolidWorks CAD software are designed to eliminate the time and effort of manual dimensioning. Users can automatically align, stagger, or center dimensions in a single click without any overlap, according to the company.
- New 2D Simplification helps speed up parts analysis. Users select an intersecting plane and apply the loads and restraints to perform static, nonlinear, pressure vessel, and thermal studies. SolidWorks Simulation calculates the results and displays them on the full 3D model.
- A new Electronics Cooling Module lets users set up and execute thermal simulations, helping ensure that heat doesn't melt a product's electronics. A new HVAC module works the same way for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Expanded part libraries now include fans, materials, two-resistor components, and integrated circuit packages. New analysis variables include local air quality, ambient temperature, and Joule heating.
- A new menu bar in SolidWorks Enterprise PDM product data management software slips right into Windows Explorer.
The company says all SolidWorks 2011 products improve speed and reliability by using memory more efficiently when working with large designs and during prolonged work sessions.
SolidWorks' collaboration and visualization capabilities have also been improved. New in SolidWorks 2011, for example, is the ability to create photorealistic renderings in PhotoView 360. It is now fully integrated into SolidWorks CAD software. SolidWorks users can also lead their customers through designs using new Walk-Through capabilities.
SolidWorks customers can work more closely with partners by sending them detailed designs that aren't "too detailed." The new Defeature tool facilitates the removal of unnecessary detail or sensitive intellectual property before sharing.
3DVIA Composer technical communication software introduces a "storyboard" capability that helps customers deliver process instructions through interactive images. Users can create a step-by-step linked narrative for recipients. Users drag and drop views to create interactive procedures.
SolidWorks 2011 includes new features that automate weld placement and documentation. Users select and visualize weld bead paths with the Smart Weld tool, and they specify weld type and prepare joints with enhanced fillet and groove features. SolidWorks automatically compiles data on weld counts, length, and type in new weld tables, enabling breakdowns for cost analysis and bidding. Users can apply new visible weld gaps to fitting-to-fitting, pipe-to-pipe, and fitting-to-pipe connections to ensure successful welds.
Creation of pipe, tube, and conduit runs (especially when supports and hangers are involved) promises to be simpler with new routing capabilities. Users can now trace existing geometry, e.g., a steel beam or wall segment, to guide the route path. SolidWorks associates the outside diameter (not the centerline) of the pipe/tube/cable/conduit with the geometry.
Designers can also catch sheet metal errors early with new bend calculation tables that let them quickly calculate the developed length of parts.
The new integration of SolidWorks Design Checker into SolidWorks Enterprise PDM software helps streamline the release of designs to manufacturing, according to the company. Designers can also weigh the impact of manufacturing decisions on a product's carbon footprint through an expanded range of manufacturing and use regions in SolidWorks Sustainability software. The software also offers new support for custom materials.
Relying on these capabilities and more, the SolidWorks 2011 product family streamlines the successful handoff of designs to manufacturing.
For more information about the SolidWorks 2011 product family, visit the SolidWorks 2011 launch site.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company's website.