Archive for August, 2013

The Design Looks Great, But How Much Does It Cost? Let SolidWorks Costing Tell You.

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

The world is full of ‘what ifs’. What if I knew I could drive as fast as I wanted to work every day because I knew the police would never stop me for speeding? What if I knew moving my investments from one broker to another would guarantee me an additional 10% in earnings this year? What if I could simulate the cost of manufacturing my product before it ever left my computer?

SolidWorks can’t help you with getting to work faster or growing your investments, but it has a great tool for doing ‘what if’ analyses on your sheet metal and machined parts. It’s called Costing and it’s available in the Professional or Premium SolidWorks license.

You create templates with manufacturing and material information and in turn they drive the Costing tool to determine the manufacturing cost. In the templates, you can specify the material used to create the part, the manufacturing processes (such as laser cutting, bending, or milling), and the associated costs of these materials and manufacturing operations. The templates also let you create custom operations such as packaging, ERP entry, painting, or cleaning.

The tool is great for both designers and manufacturers: it helps designers make design decisions based on the cost to manufacture and it helps manufacturers create quotes for customers. Whenever you change your SolidWorks design, you can see the new, updated cost immediately, along with a detailed cost breakdown. Additionally, you can generate automatic cost reports.

‘What if’ scenarios are important to both Designers and Manufacturers because making smart decisions about costs means retaining a robust design while maximizing profits. Changing your SolidWorks models by removing features, changing materials and using different manufacturing processes gives insight into the cost of the design before it is actually built – saving you time and money. For the manufacturer, the Costing tool gives you an accurate, repeatable system that can adapt to changes in material or labor costs.

Set yourself apart from your competition by utilizing Costing to produce the lowest cost design that maintains your design intent for your sheet metal, machined, and multibody parts. See the following link to get more detailed information and get started.

Chris Snider

Application Engineer, CSWE 3DVision Technologies

Register Now for the Central Indiana SolidWorks User Group (CISUG) Meeting Thursday, September 19th

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

3DVision invites you to register for the Central Indiana SolidWorks User Group (CISUG) meeting Thursday, September 19th. There will be a technical presentation over maximizing your software and modeling performance capabilities as well as a presentation over Smap3D plant design.


4:30pm Registration and Networking
5:00pm Meeting Starts
– Opening remarks and introductions
– Presentation by Michael Mooney- Smap3D Plant Design connects the 2D P&IDs with our Piping application from Smap3D in SolidWorks and automatically generates the piping, reports, and isometric drawings via database driven pipe specs solution
6:00pm Dinner
– Technical Presentation- “Modeling Methodology and SolidWorks Configuration” Maximize your software and modeling performance capabilities
– Tips & Tricks
– Door Prizes- SWUGN have upgraded their offering, so you need to be there to see what’s coming in now!

The event will be held at:
MJ Insurance Building
Ground Floor Conference Room
9225 Priority Way West
Indianapolis, IN 46240

To register, please email

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

Stop Designing with Obsolete Files

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Found an interesting letter in the mail bag this morning:

Dear Engineering Specialist Man,

 Due to your continued brilliance in SolidWorks Enterprise PDM, I am compelled to question you yet again.

 I’m trying to hide components in a particular state from users, but I want them to be available to open when required in an assembly. Is there a way to do that? The application is purchased components that are discontinued. We still need them for legacy assemblies, but I don’t want them to be “visible” to designers.

 Thank you yet again, your pal, Celine Dion

Thanks for the kind letter Celine, glad to see you are back doing what you love, designing better products!

This really isn’t a solution for workflows nor directory rights, because if you hide the files from your users, you are hiding them from SolidWorks too.

Perhaps you can add an “Obsolete” state to your workflow. You could make this state read only and beat anyone who adds a file from this state into their new assemblies.

(I’ve found that beatings are usually the most economical solution to many problems.)

Since most users find files with the search tool, we can filter out all files that are in the obsolete state. This makes it slightly less likely that an obsolete file will accidentally be used.

First, make a variable, call it something like “State” and place an edit box pointing to the “State” variable it on your data card. (You can hide it from the users if you wish.)

Next in the transition going to this new Obsolete state, set that variable to the value “Obsolete”.


Now you can tell your search routine to filter out all files except those where the “State” variable equals “Obsolete” You can do this by creating a search favorite with this setting:


I like this idea because if ever you do need to search for obsolete files, you can change the value. However if you want your obsolete files to never show up in a search, open the search card in the card editor, go to the default values,


and tell this search card to never include “Obsolete” files in the search.


Don’t forget to turn off the option “Search in all versions“, -you wouldn’t want old non-obsolete versions of your obsolete files to be found.

Lastly, consider making obsolete files only readable within engineering. So if a file does fall through the cracks and gets out of engineering, at least the file won’t be seen by others and hopefully won’t/can’t be requisitioned.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Register Now for the Northern Indiana SolidWorks User Group (NISWUG) Meeting Tuesday, September 10th

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

3DVision invites you to register for the Northern Indiana SolidWorks User Group (NISWUG) meeting Tuesday, September 10th. There will be a presentation on design tables, basic to advanced usages and a presentation on using the equation manager, equations, configurations and linking equations.

5:00 – 5:30 Meet, Greet & Eat
5:30 – 5:45 Group Discussion
5:45 – 6:00 Break
6:00 – 6:45 Design Tables, Basic to Advanced Usages
6:45 – 7:00 Break
7:00 – 7:45 Formulas and Equations. Using the Equation Manager,
Equations, Configurations and Linking Equations
7:45 – 8:00 Giveaways & Wrap up

The event will be held at:
LMC Bertrand Crossing
1905 Foundation Drive
Niles, MI 49120

To RSVP for this meeting, please email

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

PhotoView 360 Tips

Monday, August 19th, 2013

PhotoView 360 (only available in SolidWorks Professional and/or Premium packages) is an amazingly easy way to extract even more value out of your 3D models.  Having already modeled your entire assembly, you’re only a few clicks away from a stunningly realistic photo quality rendering.  Without any knowledge of the product, you can create a render using the simplest of workflows:

1.  MAKEUP:  Apply materials/appearances to each of the parts in your assembly
2.  LIGHTS:  Select a scene and rotate the environment until a desired lighting (and shadows) is acquired (I usually rotate the environment by 15 degree increments until I achieve the desired results in the preview)
3.  CAMERA:  Activate the perspective view mode, and modify it to a lower value for a more dramatic view (I prefer a value of 0.5)
4.  ACTION:  Click PhotoView 360’s final render button

Also, notice that you can complete steps #1-3 with the Standard version of SolidWorks.  The only step that requires Professional or Premium is #4.

For those of us that enjoy using the right side of our brains, there are a ton more options than what’s listed above.  These options can allow our imaginations to run wild as we use PhotoView 360 to create completely customized renders of any object in any setting.  To preview some of these options, you can view the presentation I used in a recent webinar below. This presentation will be updated over time, so feel free to bookmark it.

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

Understanding Flow Simulation HVAC Webinar Tuesday, August 20th

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Ever walked into a room and experienced a cold or hot spot? Feel uncomfortable because of a draft? Need to account for solar radiation entering a room through a window? Flow Simulation and the HVAC module can help designer account for common design hurdles.

Join us for an introductory webinar on the basics of the HVAC design module and Flow Simulation.

Date: Tuesday, August 20th
Time: 11:30am – 12:30pm

Click here to register for this webinar.

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

Register Now for the Greater Evansville SolidWorks User Group (GEASWUG) Meeting Thursday, September 19th

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

3DVision invites you to register for the Greater Evansville SolidWorks User Group (GEASWUG) Meeting Thursday, September 19th Evansville, Indiana. Harold Davidson of Remington Arms will be presenting about how Remington uses SolidWorks in the creation of guns and ammo.


5:00: Doors open

5:00 – 5:30: Network and Dinner

5:30 – 5:45: Opening Remarks

5:45 – 6:45: Harold Davidson of Remington Arms

6:45 – 7:00: Break

7:00 – 8:00: 2nd Presenter

8:00 – 8:30: Network

The event will be held at:
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Blvd.
Evansville, IN 47712

To register for this meeting, click here.

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

eDrawings for Android Available for Download

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Have you been getting a lot of grief from your iPhone and iPad friends? Are they constantly rubbing it in your face that they have eDrawings on the iPad and you can’t get it on your Android device? Suffer no longer my faithful Android followers. eDrawings for Android is finally available. Put down those Angry Birds and head on over to the Play Store.


To read more about it on the SolidWorks Blog, go to eDrawings on the SolidWorks Blog.

Scott High

Technical Services Manager 3DVision Technologies

While You’re Out, Pick Up Some Milk and a 3D Printer

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

MakerBot (recently acquired by Stratasys) have partnered with Microsoft to sell their MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer and filament refills in Microsoft Stores. Both companies are very excited about the future of 3D printing for consumers and businesses. Microsoft, in their recent release of Windows 8.1, have given developers native Windows API’s to integrate 3D printing right inside the standard Windows Print Dialogue box (see 3D printing API’s in Windows 8.1 for more information). This is definitely a technology that is gaining a lot of traction and is not a flash in the pan, like 3D TV’s, HD-DVD’s, or the Google Nexus Q. This technology is here to stay. I am constantly amazed at what our customers are doing with their Stratasys printers. For more information, check out the story as covered by CNET.

Makerbot at Microsoft Store

Scott High

Technical Services Manager 3DVision Technologies

3DVision Technologies Customer, Farber Specialty Vehicles, Success With DriveWorks

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

3DVision Technologies Customer, Farber Specialty Vehicles, is a manufacturer of custom built units for police, medical, dental, Homeland Security, communications, education and business interests.

All of the company’s units include custom built cabinetry designed to meet customer specifications. They have had great success using DriveWorks to help accomplish this.

Some of the benefits FSV has gained through DriveWorks are:

  • Decreased engineering time
  • Flexibility for change
  • Standardization in engineering and production
  • FSV

    Looking to streamline your design process? With DriveWorks Solo you can automate your designs, create your sales quotes and BOM’s as part of the same process. Sound interesting? Then try it FREE today here.

    Click here to see what else DriveWorks can do for your company.

    3DVision Technologies

    Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

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