Author Archive

About Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP
3DVision Technologies

Here are my most recent posts

What’s (hopefully) New In SolidWorks 2016

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Here is a compilation of a bunch of WHAT’S (hopefully) NEW in SolidWorks 2016 that was shown at SolidWorks World 2015 in Phoenix this past February. Some of it makes sense just reading it and some of it you had to see. I also say “hopefully” because there of course is the chance that ANY of these could get dropped from the software between now and when SolidWorks 2016 gets released in October. Some of these are really great, time saving enhancements as you can see from my excitement !!!!!

24 Possible New Features for SolidWorks 2016

1. Hide/Show Main Planes
2. Select Sketch Mid Point without a Rt+Clk !!!!!
3. Sketch Context Toolbar Stays Visible even after moving away !!!!
4. Plane For Pattern Direction
5. Convert Entities – Internal Loops
6. Hide/Show Bodies w/ Tab Key
7. Bi-Directional Sweep
8. Flatten Surface Enhancements (new functionality in SW2015)
9. SolidWorks PDM Standard !!!!!
10. Extended Quickmates
11. Toolbox Favorites Folder
12. Copy & Paste Mate Support
13. Copy With Mates Enhancements
14. Change Toolbox Fastener Type
15. Rename Part !!!!!!!
16. Drawings – Direct Scale Change
17. Drawings – Nested Balloon Sorting
18. eDrawings – Spin About Screen Center
19. eDrawings – Tabbed Documents/Multi Window
21. PhotoView360 Scene Illumination Proof Sheets
22.User Interface REVAMP – “Modern Look” (you mean “boring, bland, 1990’s cad look”???)
23. Child Feature Reference
24. Breadcrumbs

Be sure to participate in the SolidWorks 2016 BETA program starting around June or July!!

Continue to Check out our Events Page for our upcoming SolidWorks 2016 Rollout Events

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

Adding relations is faster/easier in SOLIDWORKS 2015

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Often the small, simple things are the ones that can save you the most time. Perhaps because they are easy to remember to use?! SOLIDWORKS 2015 has many of these awesome time savers just waiting for you to take advantage of. Today we are going to look at the NEW super easy way to add relations in SOLIDWORKS 2015. This will be great for new users to the software because it is so instinctive, but also save experienced users tons of time as well.

Adding Relations Method 1: “JUST DRAW IT”

One of the quick and easy methods for adding relations in SOLIDWORKS 2015 is to just do nothing! Just draw a line as you normally would. As soon as you end the line or arc or spline at the endpoint of another entity, you will be instantly be prompted if you want it to be tangent, collinear, perpendicular, paralell, curvature continuous, etc.! No more drawing it, deselecting it, then going back and ctrl+ selecting both entities just to get the relation… Can’t get much easier than that!

Adding Relations Just Draw It



Adding Relations Method 2: “Click the VERTEX”

The other super easy way to add relations, in this case after the entities have been drawn, is to simply click the vertex (corner) of the two. You’ll get the familiar relations pop up you were used to in the past by ctrl+ selecting the two entities, but with less clicking and less to remember!


Adding Relations Click the Vertex

Hope you implement SOLIDWORKS 2015 sooner than later so YOU can start taking advantage of all the great time saving enhancements!

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

Make Your Voice Heard! Vote for the SOLIDWORKS World 2015 Top Ten List!

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Voting is NOW open on the annual SOLIDWORKS World Top Ten List!

Just folow the link below to log on to the SOLIDWORKS World 2015 section of the discussion forum. You can give the thumbs up or down to as many ideas as you like. But HURRY, voting closes on Friday, January 23, 2015.

Vote Here

The ten ideas with the most votes will become the Top Ten List for 2015. This list will be presented at SOLIDWORKS World 2015 in Phoenix, AZ in February. If you don’t vote you are passing up on an easy way to tell SOLIDWORKS how they can improve the software to meet your needs.

So please review and VOTE VOTE VOTE for submitted ideas.

SolidWorks World 2015

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

Power Select

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

In this blog I am going to talk about a VERY under used, and almost unknown tool in SOLIDWORKS.


Ever wanted to select all the fillets/cuts/extrudes/etc in a part ?
How about all the faces/features/parts/etc that are colored a certain color ?
All the convex or concave edges ?
The possibilities of obscure things you can select with this tool go on and on…

I know that some of this selection can be achieved by using the FILTER box on the top of the Feature Manager / Assembly Tree, or possibly by using the F5 filters, but nothing like what the POWER SELECT tool can do for you !   Plus it is all in one place !

The tool is located under TOOLS — POWER SELECT. (great time for you to assign a keyboard shortcut !)

PowerSelect Menu

It then launches over in the Task Pane and has primary selection options for Edges, Features, Faces, and Loops. Then subcategories under each of those such as Feature Type, Face Color, Feature Color, Edge Convexity, and Surface Type just to name a few. There is then a 3rd category of refinement for Fillets, Cuts, Concave, Plane, Cylinder, etc depending on your other choices.
One of the neatest ones is the Select by COLOR, and then an option to let you select what color by picking on the graphics screen and it will select all the faces, features, etc. matching that color.
The posibilities go on and on with this tool of course.

PowerSelect PM

Play with it for 2 or 3 minutes yourself and I guarantee you will start using it !
A LOT !!


Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

Designing Better Beer w/ SOLIDWORKS

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Say WHAT ??
Free BEER on 3DVision ?

Join 3DVision Technologies for a jam-packed happy hour seminar as we demonstrate how SolidWorks tools seamlessly integrate the complete design process. We’ll take a light-hearted approach, as “master home brewer” Randy Simmons, Elite Application Engineer Robert Warren, and Paesol Veerakitti, highlight the process of designing a “home brew rig” in SolidWorks.

Learn the process of “designing beer” while seeing how the fully integrated tools work together to speed up all aspects of design, analysis and documentation, so you can get your designs brewing faster than the competition.

And did we mention that you all get FREE BEER and FOOD !?
How can you say NO !?

WED MAY 14th @ 5th Street BrewPub, Dayton, OH 2:30-5:00pm

Please click to REGISTER:

Hope to see you THERE !

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

Miami Valley SW User Group (Dayton, OH)

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

The Miami Valley SW User Group (i.e. Dayton Ohio area) will be having their next meeting on TUES March 11th.

It will be held at a customer location this time (NOT AT GANDER MOUNTAIN).


7211 Taylorsville Road Huber Heights, Ohio

Room 103

I will be presenting “Sheetmetal: Beyond the Training Class” during the meeting.

BTW, Steve @ QC Applications says if you are using a iPhone to navigate there it will take you to the WRONG PLACE !


Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

EPDM: Copying data card properties from Part to Drawing

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Hey happy EPDM users !
Have you ever wanted to make a SW Drawing “copy” its properties from the SW Part card ?
I have ran into several customers wanting to do this for various reasons.
For example: You might want the DESCRIPTION from Part card be auto copied to the Drawing for that part.  (they would be the same usually, right ?)

Here’s how you do it:
In the DESCRIPTION variable, add a new ATTRIBUTE with BLOCK NAME of “$PRPSHEET” and ATTRIBUTE NAME set to same value as the Custom Property attribute (i.e. most likely “description”).

When you go to test this, you need to MAKE SURE you put some geometry into your test part and insert at least ONE VIEW onto the test drawing !!

This will also work just fine if the description is entered in the Save As dialog box for the part vs the data card. It all goes to the same place.

Holy cow… Did I just write a Blog on EPDM !??!

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

What’s New in SolidWorks 2014 VIDEOS

Sunday, December 29th, 2013


Merry Christmas ! and Happy New Year !

The COMPLETE “What’s New in SolidWorks 2014″ videos are up for viewing on our website !

FYI, There is a table of contents on the left hand side that will allow you to skip to any section you want to view.


Videos for What’s New in SW Electrical, SW Composer, SW Simulation, and EPDM will also be up soon…

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

“Configured” Weldment Profiles for SolidWorks2014

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

New in SolidWorks 2014 is the ability to have Weldment Profiles with CONFIGURATIONS in them.

This is a significant improvement as far as file management goes.

Just for example if you had downloaded the 2013 ANSI Inch profiles from the SolidWorks content area of your Design Library (you knew you could do that right ??), the Rectangular Tube folder alone had 233 files to manage ! One for EACH different size.
If you wanted to add a property to your profiles or modify a few of the profiles you had to open EACH ONE and make the changes… whew !

The other fantastic thing about this is if you build a weldment and then want to change the structural members to a different size, in 2013 and before you were physically changing to a different FILE and most likely had to re-position the profiles to locate them, and/or would lose mates to the members if you were using the weldment in an assembly.
NOT in 2014 !! If you want to make this change in 2014 you are just changing to a different configuration so nothing gets lost or moved.

Now, where do you get these new 2014 Weldment profiles with the configurations ??
Eventually you will be able to get them from the SolidWorks Content area in the Design Library, but for now, just download them at the link below !

Don’t say 3DVision doesn’t take care of you…  :-)

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

INDENT w/ Cut is not indent at all…

Thursday, September 19th, 2013


Ever wanted to do a COMBINE — Subtract function but KEEP both bodies ?

You can’t do it with the Combine command, but you CAN with the INDENT command !

Yep, inside of INDENT is a little radio button option for “CUT”.   If you turn this on it will basically do what the “subtract” option in the Combine command does, but it will NOT go ahead and get rid of the body used for “cutting”.

This can come in handy in mold design for making cores, etc.

Of course there is a CORES tool too…  but that’s another story…

HAVE FUN playing with your new found toy, the Indent with CUT !

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

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