Archive for May, 2008

SolidWorks 2008 Tips & Tricks: Custom Property Modification thru WINDOWS

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

One of the GREAT new features in SolidWorks 2008 is the ablility to

Just rt+click on a part file in Windows, and go to PROPERTIES. Just use the middle tab (Custom) to assign custom properties, or edit and delete existing custom properties.

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

da Vinci used SolidWorks?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Have you seen SolidWorks’ “Real Geniuses” campaign? It is a little heavy on the marketing side of things, but I suppose you should expect that from a marketing campaign? [What’s an eeeeeeDrawing?]

They take one of Leonardo da Vinci’s designs and show how it could have looked if he would have designed in SolidWorks.

I have to admit I learned quite a bit about da Vinci. -I suppose there is a reason why he is called a genius.

New SolidWorks users: take note how they proved out concepts in 2D before converting it to 3D. This step can be a great time saver!

Jeff da Vinci

Jeff Sweeney
Engineering Data Specialist
3DVision Technologies

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

eDrawings is getting smarter

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

[…or should that be “eDrawings are getting smarter”?]

You can think of a SolidWorks file as having two parts. The video data – what the file looked like the last time it was saved, and the mathematical data.

Basically eDrawings reads the video data only. This is great on one hand because it is cheap and fast, but on the other hand your users need to be aware that the file they are looking at may not be the “latest-and-greatest”. You can be assured you are looking at what that file looked like on the last save; but if the file has any references that have changed since the save, you might be in trouble.

Back in the old eDrawings 2007 days, drawings had a double whammy because often times they would have titleblock information linked to file properties…and since many people/PDMs update the file properties without opening the file [especially workflows in PDMWorks Enterprise] –you were pretty much guaranteed that the valuable titleblock information would view/print incorrectly when using eDrawings.

Good news though, in the SolidWorks 2008 format, eDrawings 2008 will now correctly display notes linked to file properties! Special note though…only notes linked to the document properties ($PRP:) display correctly. If you are linking notes to the referenced file ($PRPSHEET:) they still do not display with the new value.

I would love to know if changing a file property updates the file video data in the SolidWorks file or if somehow eDrawings is learning how to display more than just the video information. If it is the latter, that could be a sign of good things to come? [Cross fingers]

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

There are many ways to buy soap flakes

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Back in the early days of the washing machine you went to the general store, plunked your nickel down and bought yourself a nice box of soap flakes. Soap flakes, one size, one variety = clean clothes.

Fast forward a century. Do a Google search for Tide laundry detergent. Liquid, flakes, powder, individual tablets, 1 pound, 2 pound, scented, unscented…there must be hundreds of ways you can buy laundry detergent today. You have to wonder -are your clothes really cleaner today than if you used 5 cent soap flakes?

So why are there so many ways to buy detergent today? -easy because customers want it. To stay ahead in business you need to give the customers what they want. However, so many combinations can create an engineering nightmare. If every “engineer-to-order” project came through engineering, a terrible backlog can occur.

Enter DriveWorks. DriveWorks can give you the ability to give your customers what they want much faster than using SolidWorks alone. DriveWorks can make your parts, drawings, assemblies and even build your quotes and BOMs for you through a user interface you design yourself.

You may not sell soap, but the game is the same. With DriveWorks, you can get the customers what they want much faster and at a better price.

[The concept of this blog entry came from Jon Hirschtick’s keynote speech at DriveWorks World 2007]

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

MVSUG meets at Gander Mountain

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Monday night I had the honor of being asked to present my “SolidWorks Best Practices” presentation to the Miami Valley SolidWorks User Group. (Dayton, Ohio) They had a good turn out, I didn’t count but I am sure there were over twenty members there.

After my presentation, they had a competition of who could submit the best SolidWorks tip, the winner won SolidWorks on a stick. Congratulations to Mark Miller of Force Design for his winning submission showing an easy way to work with extruded aluminum. His solution is pretty simple: The first feature was simply an extruded rectangle, the second feature was the t-slot, hole cutout shape. Thus made it easy to create a simplified configuration and the mates never crashed!

I always enjoy user group meetings, especially ones where the entire group gets together trying to “out tip” each other, or works together to solve a member’s CAD problem.

The door prizes from SolidWorks were top notch -bookbags, windbreakers, pens, glass cleaners, magnets and of course they supplied the pizza!

Group co-leader Randy Adams presents his technical tip working with SolidWorks Explorer. (See Don Hope’s shiny head on the left?)

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

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