Archive for July, 2013

e Drawings Augmented Reality For IOS Mobile Devices

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Released for 2013 e Drawings is a new feature called Augmented Reality (AR). Being July already, this topic may not be new to many of you but I wanted to go over what AR is all about and a helpful trick I learned when utilizing it.


AR is a portion of e Drawings that allows a user to view their model in a real world setting.  AR utilizes the mobile devices rear facing camera and a QR code.  Simply place the QR print out on the ground or wall and point the mobile device towards the print.  The model is superimposed over the background image the camera is taking.  Zoom, Pan, Rotate, and scaling is all available when using AR.

Augmented Reality

The limitation I found is with the mobile devices camera. The QR code is only recognized up to about 5 feet away, after that the QR is not recognized.   This is limiting with large models that you would need to be farther than 5 feet away to properly scale in the room.  Because we cannot change the camera properties of the device lets change the QR code. To increase the range of recognition is simple,  enlarge the QR code.  I have found that this is fairly proportional.  a QR at 100% size is recognized at about 5 feet, a 200% sized QR code is recognizable up to 10 feet, and so on.


Below are some links and additional information on this exciting technology.



Robert Warren

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Register Now for the SolidWorks Users Group Network (SWUGN) Meeting Tuesday, August 6th

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

3DVision invites you to register for the SolidWorks Users Group Network (SWUGN) meeting Tuesday, August 6th in Columbus, Ohio. This meeting features presentations by SolidWorks Product Managers, local SolidWorks expert users, as well as 3DVision’s own Application Engineer, Randy Simmons. User registration is $40.00 and includes meals.

7:30am – 8:00am Registration opens/Breakfast
8:00am – 8:45am Opening session, orientation
8:45am – 10:00am Automating your Parts with Design Tables
Back Office Essentials
10:15am – 11:30am SolidWorks Sheet Metal Tools
PowerSurfacing for SolidWorks
11:30am – 12:30pm Lunch
12:30pm – 1:45pm Working with SolidWorks Assemblies
Why Use Weldments and Pack & Go?
2:00pm – 3:15pm SolidWorks Drawings Tips
SolidWorks and CAM
3:30pm – 4:45pm More SolidWorks Tips and Tricks

The event will be held at:
Holiday Inn Columbus Downtown Square Capital
175 East Town Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

For more information or to register for the event, please click here.

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

SolidWorks Certification has Never Been Easier with SolidProfessor!

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Take the next step with SolidWorks by getting Certified with the help of SolidProfessor- our online resource for your training needs!

CSWA – Certified SolidWorks Associate
Prep now included with SolidProfessor Standard ($399)

CSWP – Certified SolidWorks Professional
Prep included with SolidProfessor Professional ($599) and Premium ($799)

CSWE – Certified SolidWorks Expert
Overview included with SolidProfessor Professional ($599) and Premium ($799)

Getting SolidWorks Certified has never been easier! Contact 3DVision’s Training Coordinator, Sarah Stephens, at for more information.

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

Hidden Smart Mate Command

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Smart Mates are quite handy for creating commonly used standard mates in your assembly. As a matter of fact, the first time I learned how to create a Smart Mate I figured I would never create mates any other way. Just hold the ALT key down, select a face of a component and drag and drop it onto a face of another component. Confirm the mate and BAM! you are done. Efficiency I say!

But what if I need to rotate my assembly in the middle of creating the Smart Mate? I can’t use the left mouse button to select/drag and also the middle button to rotate at the same time – or else the universe will implode. Foiled I have been! Until now.

I ran across a solution to my Smart Mate dilemma and it was right there all the time – hidden in plain view – on the Move Component property manager.

Hidden SmartMate command

To use this version of SmartMate, click the SmartMates icon shown, then double-click on the face of a component you intend to mate to another component. **At this point you can rotate the model around if you like (Woohoo!)** Then click on the face of the other component and confirm the mate.

Sometimes the best place to hide things is in plain sight…

Chris Snider

Application Engineer, CSWE 3DVision Technologies

3DVision Technologies Customer, Fin Pan, Inc’s, Success With SolidWorks Composer

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

3DVision Technologies customer, Fin Pan, Inc., is the world’s oldest process manufacturer of concrete backer board and inventor of the process. They have developed lightweight installation products such as one-piece niches, lightweight shower pans, and installation products.

Fin Pan, Inc. has had great success with SolidWorks Composer. The company purchased it because they saw the opportunity to create marketable installation videos and instructions for their lines of building products. Contractors and Do-It-Yourselfers prefer having some kind of video to watch in order to learn to install their products and SolidWorks Composer gave Fin Pan, Inc. the necessary tools for creating those videos without the high cost of an animator.

The first experience Fin Pan, Inc. had with SolidWorks Composer was creating their ClearPath video.

“The final animation was put together in less than 12 hours, and we’ve yet to have the opportunity to attend a training course! Within a week, we had customers calling and looking for our curbless shower system that is highlighted in the video,” stated Fin Pan, Inc. Engineer, Ryan Schaffer, “We’ve produced animations for customers in less than 20 minutes. All-in-all, we’re excited to apply Composer into more and more aspects of what we do here at Fin Pan, Inc.”

Click here to see the company’s videos.

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

Do 3 things at once ! INTERSECT command (pt. 2)

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

My last blog ( showed an example of performing what used to take multiple, time consuming steps to complete in the past, done with one step in SolidWorks 2013 with the new INTERSECT command.

This post will show another very powerful example…


Here we have an open surface body (open on the bottom), and we want to add that to a solid body.


In the past this could have been done a few different ways, such as offsetting a surface from the top faces of the solid, knitting those together and using that to trim the surface body back to hopefully get a closed volume so that it could be thickened into a solid.  Then you would still have to use the Combine command to add the two solids together.  WHEW !


In SolidWorks 2013 just use the INTERSECT command to do it all in one step !

In the INTERSECT command select both the Surface Body and the Solid Body then click the Intersect button.



No need to select any Regions To Exclude (because we want to keep both), and be sure to turn ON Consume Surfaces at the bottom.

Hit OK and there you go !    One Solid Body that is the combination of the surfaces and the solid !


Easy easy !

Give it a try…

Stay tuned for another great example of the INTERSECT command.

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

DriveWorksXpress- Not Just for Complete Products

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

While DriveWorks can be used to automate the entirety of a SolidWorks design, sometimes it may be more usefully deployed in automating just one simple aspect of the product design.

By automating a single design element you will be able to focus your efforts on the more complex or bespoke aspects of your design. Thus giving you the flexibility to automate time consuming and repetitive tasks, simplifying your design process, and enabling you to use your time more efficiently.

Remember, DriveWorksXpress is included in every seat of SolidWorks.

Click here to find out more.

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

Reminder: Test Drive SolidWorks Simulation: A Hands-On Guided Tour

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Just a reminder that you can test drive SolidWorks Simulation on July 19th. 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. This event will only be offered once, so don’t miss your opportunity. Space is limited!

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.

Event Details:
July 19, 2013
Indianapolis, Indiana- Sales, Service & Training Center
Click here to register

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

Do 3 things at once ! INTERSECT command (pt. 1)

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Ever wished you could do 3 fairly involved SolidWorks commands all with the push of a button ??

Well you CAN with the new INTERSECT command in SolidWorks 2013 !

This one tool basically can replace the need to Offset Surfaces, Trim Surfaces, Knit Surfaces, and Thicken Surfaces to make a Solid ! (Hey, that’s 4 things at once !)

To keep these blogs short and to the point I am going to do a small series of blogs showing the many different uses of the INTERSECT command.

So… on with the first example…


Lets say you have a bunch of imported surfaces (or even surfaces you created in SolidWorks) and the goal is to create a solid body from the combination of the surfaces.


Rather than doing a TRIM (with the mutual option), spend 5 min trying to figure out what to keep and what to discard, and then having to turn the knitted surfaces into a solid with the THICKEN command, just do it in one step with the new INTERSECT command.


(located under Instert–Features–Intersect or by using the button on your Features tab of the Command Manager)

Once you are in the Intersect command, just window select all of the surfaces, hit the INTERSECT button in the property manager, turn on the “consume surfaces” option at the bottom and hit OK…   (no need to choose any “regions to exclude” because there is only one solution)






End Result:



So EASY !    Give it a try !

Stay tuned for another great example of the INTERSECT command (new in SolidWorks 2013.

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

Configurations or Display States Preparing for Simulation

Monday, July 1st, 2013


Finite Element Analysis generally requires a model to be simplified of extraneous parts or features in order to analyze the model efficiently.  This is common practice among analysts, and is utilized in SolidWorks Simulation.  In this blog I am going to discuss the two main SolidWorks methods of simplifying a model and discuss the preferred method between configurations and display states.


Display States and Configurations:

Display State:

Display States allow a user to specify different hide show states, appearances, display modes, and transparencies, for a part or assembly.  Display states are accessed under the configurations tab in the feature manager tree.

Right-click in an open area of the Configuration Manager and click Add Display State. The new display state is added to the list of display states at the bottom of the tab. Define the new display state by clicking to show the Display Pane and make changes, or by making changes on screen.


Configurations allow a user to create multiple variations of a part or assembly within a single document.  To create a configuration, you specify a name and properties, then you modify the model to create the design variations you want.

  • In part documents, configurations allow you to create families of parts with different dimensions, features, and properties, including custom properties.
  • In assembly documents, configurations allow you to create:
    • simplified versions of the design by suppressing components.
    • families of assemblies with different configurations of the components, different parameters for assembly features, different dimensions, or configuration-specific custom properties.
  • In drawing documents, you can display views of the configurations you create in part and assembly documents.

You can create configurations using any of the following methods:

  • Create configurations manually.
  • Use design tables to create and manage configurations in a Microsoft Excel worksheet. You can display design tables in drawings.

I bring your attention to both the Configurations and Display States because both can be used to simplify a model however one method is preferred within SolidWorks.  Because the configurations use suppress and unsuppress to remove the part or feature from calculation, and not simply hide from view this is the preferred method.

In simulation when a part is hidden it is still seen as a mesh-able entity that requires a material definition, and is included in the analysis.  You can at this point exclude the part from analysis however doing this upfront through configurations and suppression is the easiest method.



The steering bracket and connecting parts in the suspension assembly below require analysis.  To leverage the existing assembly we will use the configuration method from above.

Switch to the Configuration Tab


Right Mouse Button and Choose New Configuration

Add Config

Suppress by right mouse buttoning on the components not needed in the analysis, and choose suppress

Suppressed Parts

Start New Study

Only the Un-Suppressed Parts are available to analyze



Sources: 2013 SolidWorks Help File


Robert Warren

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

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