Archive for June, 2009

Measure works in Speedpak

Friday, June 26th, 2009

You know how when you try to click on a face not included in the Speedpak you can’t? Try this: Start the measure command and try to select one of those faces. Saaaaay! The measure tool works even with SpeedPak-ed faces!

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

SolidWorks Sustainability Xpress

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

You drive your Prius to work, you’re reading this blog on an energy efficient monitor, but the burritos you ate last night are not doing the planet any favors. How do you remove this feeling of contrition?

How about making your designs more planet friendly? SolidWorks Labs now has the beta version of SolidWorks Sustainability Xpress. (I think they called it Sage at SolidWorks World.) With this new tool you can experiment with materials, manufacturing techniques and even manufacturing location to see how these factors affect your part’s “footprint”.

That video leaves me scratching my head. Is it marketing hype? Think you could use it? Think others will use it? How much of your designs will you let Sustainability Xpress dictate?

All that said: the included “find similar material” tool is worth the price of admission alone. “Show me all materials with the same or better strength but lower density”, “Show me similar materials but have a lower thermal conductivity”, etc. You can do these searches on the following properties: Thermal expansion, specific heat, density, elastic and sheer modulus, thermal conductivity, Poisson’ ration, tensile and yield strength. Now this is cooler than the sour cream you were eating!

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

NISWUG Announcement

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Have you ever been to a public library before?  They’re great aren’t they?  They’re a free supply of knowledge for everyone to use at his/her convenience.  Your libraries may even stock books on SolidWorks if your city is hip enough.  But even better than a library is a live SolidWorks User Group (SWUG) meeting.  Whether you want to become more efficient at work or you’d like to network with others facing the same challenges as you on a daily basis, SWUG’s are the place to do it.  Each state has multiple regional SWUG’s that host meetings at least once a quarter.  They host informative presentations, there’s free food, they’re scheduled during non-work hours, they’re a fun time, and there’s absolutely no reason not to attend them.  But don’t take my word for it…

If you’re interested, here’s a meeting that I’ll be attending and presenting at:

NISWUG (Northern Indiana)
Date: June 23rd
Time: 5pm-8pm
Lake Michigan College
Room #109
1905 Foundation Dr
Niles, MI
-Utilization of New 2009 Feature
-Intro to DWGEditor of SW Users
-Top Down Ass’y / In-Context
-Basic Design Table Usage

See you there!

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

Lay your hands on PDM

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Some people can sit back and watch a demo jock show off his software and get a good feeling if the software they are looking at is right for them. I am not one of them. I need to touch, feel, and experiment on my own.

handsYesterday in Dayton several of our customers had just this opportunity. Don Hope and I had a “Hands on with SolidWorks Enterprise PDM” seminar. The concept was pretty simple. I gave a brief introduction of basic PDM usage, then stood back and let everyone play. Users experimented with concurrent engineering, searches and even got to experiment with Enterprise’s workflow basics.

I think the users enjoyed the opportunity to “kick the tires” on their own and test the features that were most important to them. Everyone seemed surprised how quickly they learned the software basics and were using Enterprise with such little instruction.

Think you would like to touch SolidWorks Enterprise PDM? Give your sales rep a call.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Recommended Enterprise Upgrade Procedure

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Recommended steps for upgrading SolidWorks Enterprise 2009 either service packs or from a previous version. (If upgrading from an old version, ensure you have a license file before starting.)

1. It is recommended that all files are checked in.

2. If possible, do not uninstall all old SolidWorks Enterprise PDM clients until the upgrade is completed.

3. Backup the SQL-server SolidWorks Enterprise PDM database.

4. Make sure that no users are working in the SolidWorks Enterprise PDM file vault.

5. Upgrade the SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Archive Server software (this includes the web server if you are using it).

6. Upgrade the SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Database Server software.

7. On the database server, run \Upgrade\Upgrade.exe

8. Check the vault in the administration tool, if it has a red plus, RMC click and choose “UPGRADE”

8.1. If this is an upgrade from a previous version, enter your new license file in the Administration tool.

8.2. Since you have everyone out of the vault anyway, this may be a good time to upgrade your SQL to 2008?

9. Upgrade Clients

10. Optionally you may choose to upgrade your SolidWorks files to the new SolidWorks 2009 format. This can be accomplished with “\Support\File Version Upgrade\File Version Upgrade.exe”

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

SpeedPak your parts

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

SpeedPak is the best thing for large assemblies since…ever.

speedpakI won’t even listen to complainers who gripe about their slow assemblies if they aren’t using SpeedPak. Not using SpeedPak is like pushing your car around town rather than driving it. The only ding I have against it is that it only works on assemblies -you can’t speedpak parts. [Light bulb]…but you can put parts into assemblies.

I just took a single part that took 21 seconds to open, put that part into an empty assembly and then speedpack-ed it. That one part assembly opens in 5 seconds. So my suggestion is to put this one-part assembly into your designs, not the part. Granted it costs an extra file, but this is a great solution for those of you that get large imported models that you have to use in your designs.

I hope all of you turn in “Add speedpak support for parts” as an enhancement request for SolidWorks 2010.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Do-it-yourself DWX Class

Friday, June 12th, 2009

For me the best way to learn something new is to simply try it on a little non-production data set.

I’ve put together the simplest little play data set I could come up with -just one part and a drawing file…in less than five minutes you’ll have a very basic understanding of what ‘Xpress can do and you’ll have a set of files you can expand on to learn more.

(DriveWorksXpress can work with assemblies, but again, we are going to keep this example very simple, so I can keep you under the five minutes I promised you.)

Let’s imagine we sell tubing and have these design constraints:

  • Stock OD’s can be sold from 3-6″ in 1/4″ increments
  • If the OD is greater than 5″ the tube thickness needs to be 1/4″ else it should be 1/8″
  • This tube is stocked at 6″ long, but can be cut down to any length the customer requests
  • Your customers like to have their name on the drawing and in file name

Here is all you have to do to try it:

  1. Download this file, and extract the three files into an empty directory
  2. In SolidWorks, Tools -> DriveWorksXpress (you may get a notification about a database not being found, this is normal (’cause you haven’t made one yet), click okay)
  3. Choose “Create/Change Database” and click Next
  4. Find the “tube.mbd” file and click “Open”
  5. Click the “Run” tab in the top right side of the DriveWorksXpress dialog
  6. Enter in your desired values and click next.
  7. Done! You should now have two new files in your directory describing your new parts. You can now run the specification over and over.

That’s it. I’m done holding your hand. Play around see if you can reverse engineer it.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Stop! Beta Time!

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

The SolidWorks 2010 beta site went live today. After the official roll out of a release, this is my favorite day of the year.

You and M.C. Hammer may ask why you care about beta time? A wise man once mentioned these words.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

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