Archive for March, 2013

Register Now for the SolidWorks Louisville User Group (SLUG) Meeting Wednesday, April 10th

Monday, March 25th, 2013

3DVision invites you to register for the SolidWorks Louisville User Group (SLUG) Meeting Wednesday, April 10th. The event will take place from 6:30pm – 8:30pm and there will also be food provided.

The meeting will be held at:

University of Louisville
Henry Vogt Engineering Center
3rd and Eastern Parkway
Louisville, Kentucky 40292

For more information, or to RSVP for the event please email Paul McCrorey.

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

Creating a SolidWorks Customer Portal Account

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

The SolidWorks Customer Portal is a web-based hub for SolidWorks that centralizes the access to a wealth of information. SolidWorks Customer Portal allows you to:

  • Find the latest versions of SolidWorks software and service pack updates
  • Access the Knowledge Base, containing a wide range of technical documents and resources
  • Make enhancement requests
  • View your SRs (Service Requests)
  • View your SPRs (Bugs)
  • Review and register your products
  • Edit your profile
  • Participate in a moderated discussion forum
  • The Customer Portal requires an account based on your email address and serial number (for full access). If you do not use your serial number, access will be limited. For full access to all features within the Customer Portal, you must also have a valid subscription service contract and a valid serial number.

    3DVision Technologies

    Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

    Editing Legacy Electrical Data with “SolidWorks Electrical”

    Thursday, March 21st, 2013

    Did you know that SolidWorks Electrical contains a full set of 2D drafting tools for editing electrical drawings? Here are just some of the features that will help you easily maintain your legacy data while also reaping the benefits of creating your new designs faster and better with SolidWorks Electrical.

    User Interface:

    The “Drawings” tab has many familiar drafting tools to quickly change or add details to your drawings. All of the obvious ones are there: lines, arcs, rectangles, circles, text, etc. You’ll also find tools like move, copy, offset, stretch, and mirror.



    One of the most common drafting practices found in electrical drawings is the use of symbols or “blocks”. SolidWorks Electrical can read, edit, and save 2D blocks. 2D users have grown accustomed to managing their drawings with layers and SolidWorks Electrical has that too.

    Layers and Blocks

    Another thing that makes me feel comfortable when utilizing SolidWorks Electrical is its use of Grid, Ortho, and Object Snaps. All those things you’ve learned from using 2D tools, like DraftSight, will help you quickly edit drawings in SolidWorks Electrical.


    Import/Export Capabilities:

    As mentioned above SolidWorks Electrical can read 2D symbols and blocks. In fact, it has a great wizard that allows you to import multiple DWG or DXF files. As you import these files, you have the option to swap older legacy symbols or blocks with new ones that you have developed. You can also swap title blocks or update attributes on the fly as you open the drawings. You can also save these settings in an import configuration file for future use. If you need to continue to provide DWG/DXF files for suppliers, SolidWorks Electrical can export to those formats as well as the widely used PDF format viewable in Adobe Reader.

    Import Export

    When I first delved into the features available for editing legacy DWG/DXF files, I was pleasantly surprised. I was already convinced of the cost and time saving benefits of SolidWorks Electrical, but my customers need to know they can continue to leverage years of legacy data. I was excited to find out that SolidWorks Electrical can not only provide new and intelligent tools for improving the process of creating electrical schematics, it also supports maintaining and utilizing your legacy electrical drawings.

    Scott High

    Technical Services Manager 3DVision Technologies

    Display a graphical history on your data card

    Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

    I thought the idea of putting an image of the workflow on a SolidWorks Enterprise PDM data card was rather clever. Yesterday, I received an email from a customer in Dayton who has taken the concept one step further:


    They put data card controls on top of the image. As files go through transitions, the transition puts the values into the controls. Users can now quickly see the history of the file in a nice graphical form.

    You don’t have control over the order of objects on a data card, but it appears a bitmap is always on the bottom, -which in this case is exactly what you want.


    Jeff Sweeney

    CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

    Include the file’s workflow in its data card

    Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

    Recently I saw a SolidWorks Enterprise PDM data card similar to this one created by one of our customers in Indiana:


    At the bottom of their data cards, they include a [static] picture of the file’s workflow. I thought it was a rather clever idea.


    Jeff Sweeney

    CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

    Why Automate?

    Friday, March 15th, 2013

    DriveWorks is proven technology that reduces the time and money consumed on custom product design and support. DriveWorks lets you automate repetitive tasks and generates all the design and manufacturing output required.

    There are several good reasons why companies want to automate what they do:

  • Reduce the cost of custom designs
  • Respond quickly to sales enquirie
  • Enhance product quality
  • Reduce repetitive tasks
  • The Benefits of DriveWorks

  • DriveWorks lets you capture and re-use knowledge and rules to specify, design and engineer to order
  • It allows you to respond quickly to sales enquiries
  • DriveWorks can capture and protect individual’s knowledge
  • It reduces cost of custom design repetitive tasks
  • DriveWorks can enhance the product quality/audit trail by eliminating human error
  • It bridges the gap between the engineering and sales departments
  • DriveWorks offers a scalable solution all the way to 3D configuration on the web!
  • To learn more about DriveWorks click here.

    3DVision Technologies

    Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

    Form Design

    Friday, March 15th, 2013

    In the old days, the perfect DriveWorks  input form was small and compact. Mouse travel was an important consideration. A good “mouse surgeon” could completely specify his project by barely moving his wrist.

    Now we live in a world with touch devices. The pointing device is the user’s fingers -their fat pudgy fingers. Users like to make large sweeping, fast motions. I’ve learned to give Great Aunt Eleanor a 10 foot radius when she is using her touch devices because her elbows fly!

    The nice tight, compact interfaces of yesteryear maybe a thing of the past. You cannot expect Eleanor to be able to pick the correct radio button from a tight cluster.


    Example DriveWorks Interface

    DriveWorks does give you the ability to “read” what sort of device your users are connecting to your system with, so you could design two different interfaces – one form for touch users, another for mouse users or make a compromise and design all forms for both interfaces.

    Designing two interfaces is “twice” as much work.  Now days I lean more towards designing the input forms for both interfaces. If you use pictures as buttons (i.e. in the image above, the user can click on the picture of the trailer style instead of a traditional radio button.)  the interface doesn’t feel like or look an old DOS application when using a mouse yet it is easy for touch devices as well.


    Jeff Sweeney

    CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

    Test Drive SolidWorks Simulation: A Hands-On Guided Tour

    Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

    3DVision is proud to offer a series of SolidWorks Simulation events that will be sure to teach you a thing or two.

    Have you seen our Simulation webinars, and are intrigued about how easy the Simulation products are to use? Or have you always been curious about SolidWorks Simulation and just want to test drive it? Come and experience the product first-hand as one of our Simulation experts lead you step-by-step through setting up different types of analysis.

    You will:

  • Get a feel of how Simulation can augment product development, and where it can have a significant impact.
  • See how the outputs of Simulation will help you decide if a design change you executed was right or wrong.
  • Understand how you can track your design quality as you make changes and re-test your design virtually.
  • As you experience this FREE learning session, you will be able to relate its usage to your design situations.

    This series of events will be offered at FOUR different dates and locations during the month of April:

    April 2, 2013
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    8:30am – 12:00pm

    Click here to register

    April 4, 2013
    Dayton, Ohio
    8:30am – 12:00pm

    Click here to register

    April 9, 2013
    Columbus, Ohio
    8:30am – 12:00pm

    Click here to register

    April 18, 2013
    Louisville, Kentucky
    8:30am – 12:00pm

    Click here to register

    We hope to see you during this Simulation Series. You are welcome to bring along a sample of your product and show it to our experts so that they can comment on how they would tackle your engineering challenges.

    3DVision Technologies

    Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

    Guided Selling

    Monday, March 11th, 2013

    During the first day of DriveWorks World we had a special guest speaker, Paul Gimbel. I’ve been a big fan of Paul’s work since we first met in Cincinnati six+ years ago. He’s what I like to call a “nugget” speaker. –While the overall message of his talks are good, his talks are packed with little nuggets of gold that can always be applied to make things better.

    Here’s a little nugget he shared with us, [so I’ll assume it is okay to share with you]. He spoke of “Guided Selling”. As your users navigate through your DriveWorks forms, try to present them with additional options that they could also get with your product. Hopefully they’ll learn more about your product and buy more than they originally planned to…i.e. ”Hey I didn’t know I could get that option in this product!”

    You think does this because they are just nice guys? With a well designed DriveWorks form, you could be a “nice guy” too -by helping people buy more products from you.

    Jeff Sweeney

    CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

    DriveWorks World 2013

    Sunday, March 10th, 2013

    DriveWorks World 2013 is over.

    Traditionally, DriveWorks World’s first day is the day after SolidWorks World. Though it makes for a long week, the benefits of having the two conferences back to back are a good time/money saver.

    All good things must come to an end. Given:

    • As attendance for DriveWorks World has grown; the requested topics have also grown and as such there are too many things to accomplish in one day.
    • A [or as I say: “The”] highlight of DriveWorks World is the introduction of the next major release of the DriveWorks. SolidWorks World was early this year –only eleven months between SolidWorks World 2012 & 2013. Eleven months is a tight development cycle for a product as big as DriveWorks.

    …it was logical to hold DriveWorks World in March. In Chicago. During one of the worst winter storms over the past two winters. Thankfully, none of the seminars were held outside.

    This was a fantastic two day event. The first day was kicked off by Glen Smith, our keynote speaker giving us a “state of the application” speech. Glen is an entertaining speaker and crazy smart guy. He certainly conveyed his message that the future of design automation is bright and that DriveWorks is investing in the technologies necessary to keep it [and its customers] one step ahead of it competition. “Customers are beginning to expect their suppliers to customize their products to meet their exact specifications.”

    The rest of the day was devoted to the new release – DriveWorks 10. DriveWorks 9 introduced several new tools that had a huge “WOW” factor and felt like a show pony. DriveWorks 10 is a workhorse release. Not as flashy, but many great tools to help you get your job done. I love the enhancements they have done on the administrator side. Many of them leading to good productivity, form design and data manipulation. Look for the What’s New on the documentation site []

    The second day started off with Maria Sarkar showing several customer case studies. I always enjoy these, it is fun to see the number of different ways people use SolidWorks and DriveWorks together to solve their design issues. The rest of the day, attendees were able to attend several breakout sessions.

    I do enjoy the programs on the agenda, but where I get the most value from attending DriveWorks World, is the one-on-one time you get to spend with the DriveWorks team. No other time do you get to be in the same room with the owners, lead developers, programmers, marketing and support staff. If you have a question about anything DriveWorks related, you can go straight to THE person who would know. [Though don’t bother asking what is going to be in DriveWorks 11 -a topic on which they act like you are asking for the secrets to the Manhattan project]

    I have to question the logic of choosing Chicago over  Orlando, but it was a great educational experience. Maybe we can talk them into someplace warmer next year?

    Jeff Sweeney

    CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

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