By Steve Robbins
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
SolidWorks 2011, the next release of one of the most widely adopted midrange CAD packages, is here! The launch is marked by a new site that went live last month. The software is introduced by Jeremy Luchini, the host of the company’s multimedia design series called Let’s Go Design.
“We’ve been listening to your feedback for the last year. As your business evolved, so has SolidWorks,” he said, no doubt poised on a swivel chair. (Let’s Go Design is about the design and manufacturing of an ultimate CAD chair.)
In this release, you can use the Defeature command to automatically strip out details from an assembly, leaving an accurate geometric representation of your design without the internal components that would make it possible for the recipient to reverse-engineer your product. In Version 2011, the 2D Simplification function lets you extract 2D planes from a 3D model for analysis. Since meshing, solving, and displaying stress, load, pressure, and deformation for 2D surfaces is faster and easier than doing the same in 3D volume, you’ll be able to use this function where appropriate to save time and computing horsepower (your overworked CPU will thank you for it).
Desktop Engineering blogger Kenneth Wong recently provided a sneak peek of SolidWorks 2011 based on beta code at his Virtual Desktop blog . But if you want to get more details on each new function debuting in this version, SolidWorks’ informational launch site should be among your online destinations. If you haven’t had a chance to download and try out the beta code, the animation clips at the site will give you a clear idea what to expect in Version 2011.
You can also download the What’s New in SolidWorks 2011 PDF document uploaded there to peruse at your leisure. If you’re a SolidWorks user considering an upgrade, or you happen to be in the market for a robust CAD system, the site will help you discover the latest features and make the right decision. So go say “Hello” to Jeremy Luchini there. (But don’t touch his chair—he’s rather protective of it.)
Editorial Director, Desktop Engineering