• POSTED IN DRIVEWORKS, DESIGN AUTOMATION, CAD, SOLIDWORKS

    DriveWorks Design Automation is a Game Changer for Steiner Technologies

    by Christa Prokos on June 28, 2017

    DriveWorks-Design-Automation-is-a-Game-Changer-for-Steiner-Technologies-1Steiner Technologies produces a family of automatic back boring tools called the Autofacer. They have been using DriveWorks design automation software since 2010. In a recent blog post, Steiner Technologies explained how DriveWorks has significantly improved their processes to make them faster, better and more cost-efficient.

    Read the full blog post below by Matthew Hoyt from Steiner Technologies to learn how implementing design automation has been a ‘game changer’ for them and the many benefits they’ve seen beyond internal operations.

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    • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

      Composite Tooling: Reducing Cost and Lead Time with Additive Manufacturing

      by Jerry Fireman on June 26, 2017

      Composite-Tooling-Reducing-Cost-and-Lead-time-with-Additive-Manufacturing-1One of the biggest challenges in producing fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite structures has long been the cost and lead time involved in making the metal or sacrificial tooling used to lay up the composite structures. Additive manufacturing has been used for a number of years to produce composite layup tooling but was limited by the lack of materials capable of withstanding the temperatures used for curing composite structures.

      The Stratasys new ULTEM 1010 resin can be used at process parameters in excess of 350 degrees Fahrenheit, making it possible to use printed layup tooling for producing most composite structures. Switching from conventional manufacturing methods to additive manufacturing can reduce composite tooling fabrication expense and lead time by up to 90% while providing additional design freedom and weight savings.

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      • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

        GrabCAD Print: Stratasys' 3D Printing Software

        by Lisa Hannon on June 23, 2017

        GrabCAD-Print-Stratasys-Announces-3D-Printing-Software- 1Stratasys recently announced an innovative new 3D printing software called GrabCAD Print. This free, cloud-based solution is designed to streamline the 3D printing workflow, and is built for accessibility and speed. Stratasys users will want to check out this new solution as soon as possible -- GrabCAD Print is the only option for the Stratasys F123 series, and it will eventually support all Stratasys 3D printers. Here’s everything you need to know about GrabCAD Print.

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        • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

          SOLIDWORKS Premium Does it All: Here’s What to Expect

          by Ken LaVictor on June 22, 2017

          SOLIDWORKS-Premium-Does-it-All-Heres-What-to-ExpectAre you creating designs with a comprehensive 3D CAD solution? Do you have a place to store, manage, and analyze your designs? You can get all of that and more with SOLIDWORKS Premium. In this two-part blog series, I will cover toolsets included in SOLIDWORKS Premium. Remember, this is additional functionality not found in SOLIDWORKS Standard and Professional.

          Part one covered Simulation, Motion, and assembly level cost estimation. You can learn more about those toolsets here. In this blog, I’ll be covering three different areas: routing with piping and tubing, routing with electrical cabling and wire harnesses, and advanced surface flattening.

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          • POSTED IN CAD, SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS

            Strength Check Your Designs with SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional

            by David Roccaforte on June 21, 2017

            Strength-Check-Your-Designs-with-Simulation-Professional-1Simulation tools in SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software are so user friendly and widespread these days that we often compare them to a spell checker analogy. Almost every application that requires entering text has a built in spell checker. Similarly every seat of SOLIDWORKS has some form of “Simulation” built in. You shouldn’t send on an email without a quick spell check, so why release a design without doing a performance check?

            Keep reading to find out how to quickly check your design the first time and eliminate repercussions.

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            • POSTED IN FISHER UNITECH NEWS, TRAINING, CAD, SOLIDWORKS

              Meet our Experts: Rachael Buhl - Senior Application Engineer Instructor

              by Angelle Erickson on June 20, 2017

              Meet-Our-Experts-Rachael-Buhl-Senior-Application-Engineer-Instructor-1Rachael Buhl is a Senior Application Engineer Instructor at Fisher Unitech and is based out of our office in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rachael has been passionately instructing students on SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software for three years to help users sharpen their skills and gain their certifications.

              Rachael is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert, with certifications in Mechanical Design and Composer. She has been a SOLIDWORKS user since 2011. Keep reading to learn more about Rachael and what got her interested in SOLIDWORKS.

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              • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                SOLIDWORKS is not just CAD, it’s a Complete Product Development Platform

                by Christa Prokos on June 19, 2017

                SOLIDWORKS-is-not-just-CAD-its-a-Complete-Product-Development-Platform-1Where were you on November 1st, 1995? Perhaps you were a child, or a college student, or already building your engineering career. That was a long time ago. As you reflect back to 1995, you may already know the date’s significance. It’s when SolidWorks 95 was released — the first version of the computer-aided design and engineering software we know today as SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD.

                Now 21 years later, SOLIDWORKS is one of the most widely-used 3D CAD software solutions and a complete product development platform for today’s complex processes. In this post, I will cover how SOLIDWORKS improves collaboration and streamlines workflow with integrated solutions for product design, validation, documentation, and product data management.

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                • POSTED IN EDUCATION AND RESEARCH, CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                  Northwestern University Provides SOLIDWORKS for Students, Researchers, and Entrepreneurs

                  by Christa Prokos on June 16, 2017

                  Northwestern-University-Provides-SOLIDWORKS-for-Students-Researchers-and-Entrepreneurs-1It takes competitive product design and development skills to advance careers in today’s market. Northwestern University, a private research university based in Evanston, Illinois recently upgraded to a campus-wide SOLIDWORKS software solution. The university will provide SOLIDWORKS software in classrooms for students and researchers, and at its incubator space, The Garage, an accelerator where start-ups gather to experiment, collaborate, innovate, and build new ideas.

                  SOLIDWORKS 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software gives users the ability to turn ideas into products with tools for mechanical design, simulation, electrical design, data management, and communication. Individuals can securely share design models for team collaboration and with suppliers throughout the entire manufacturing process.

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                  • POSTED IN DESKTOP METAL, RAPID PROTOTYPING, FISHER UNITECH NEWS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                    Fisher Unitech Partners with Desktop Metal to Provide Breakthrough Metal 3D Printing Solutions

                    by Stacey Clement on June 15, 2017

                    Fisher-Unitech-Partners-with-Desktop-Metal-to-Provide-Breakthrough-Metal-3D-Printing-Solutions-1Fisher Unitech announced today that it has partnered with Desktop Metal to add metal 3D printing solutions to its portfolio. Fisher Unitech will sell and service Desktop Metal 3D printing systems across Midwest, New England, and Mid-Atlantic geographies to provide affordable engineering and manufacturing 3D metal printing solutions covering the full product lifecycle — from prototyping to mass production.

                    “We are excited to partner with Fisher Unitech,” says Desktop Metal’s CEO and Co-Founder Ric Fulop. “Fisher Unitech is an essential partner to help us fulfill our mission to make metal 3D printing more accessible, and we are pleased to have one of the largest sellers of 3D printers as part of our team.”

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                    • POSTED IN PCB, ELECTRICAL, SOLIDWORKS TECH TIPS, SOLIDWORKS

                      How to Insert a Printed Circuit Board in SOLIDWORKS

                      by Ken Reinert on June 14, 2017

                      As I was walking around town recently, I noticed a woman pushing a baby stroller that had USB ports. Her phone was plugged into one and a travel mug was plugged into another. It occurred to me that so many things today are designed with a printed circuit board, even something like a baby stroller.

                      Designers today have to consider not only the aesthetics of products, but how to integrate all the electronics that go with it. Trying to document that integration can be challenging without the proper tools. When you select the “Insert Printed Circuit Board” icon in SOLIDWORKS Electrical, you are given four options. Keep reading to find out what each of those options mean.

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                      • POSTED IN STRATASYS, 3D PRINTING

                        Printing Jigs and Fixtures Leads to Big Gains in Manufacturing Productivity

                        by Jerry Fireman on June 13, 2017

                        Printing-Jigs-and-Fixtures-Leads-to-Big-Gains-in-Manufacturing-Productivity-1Jigs and fixtures that hold parts or tools in just the right way to simplify manufacturing, assembly or inspection operations can dramatically increase shop floor productivity. For example, Digi International uses fixtures with integrated masks in a conformal coating process that eliminate the need for taping parts, saving about $123,750 for a typical production run.

                        CPI Aero produces fixtures that hold aerospace assemblies with complex contours so that they can easily be inspected with gage blocks and calipers, saving dozens of hours per assembly. Genesis Systems Group increases the safety of waterjet cutting by using end of arm tooling (EOAT) for a robot to move the part around the waterjet, eliminating potential safety hazards involved in moving the waterjet.

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                        • POSTED IN FISHER UNITECH NEWS, PCB, CAD, ELECTRICAL, SOLIDWORKS

                          Meet our Experts: David Hofer - Electrical Technical Specialist and CID

                          by Angelle Erickson on June 12, 2017

                          popappengineers-2Meet David Hofer, our SOLIDWORKS Electrical Technical Specialist and Certified Interconnect Designer located out of our Troy, Michigan headquarters. David has been one of our Electrical and Printed Circuit Board (PCB) experts at Fisher Unitech since 2014, specializing in developing electronic designs and helping companies get the best value from their SOLIDWORKS PCB and Electrical software.

                          David really knows his stuff. He’s been working with computer-aided engineering tools since the 1980s when he was programming and designing printed circuit board layouts. A high-speed imaging project arose in 2011 where he was introduced to SOLIDWORKS and the rest is history! Keep reading to learn what gets David so geeked out about SOLIDWORKS Electrical and PCB design software.

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                          • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                            Get a Fully Loaded Toolset with SOLIDWORKS Premium

                            by Ken LaVictor on June 9, 2017

                            Get-a-Fully-Loaded-Toolset-with-SOLIDWORKS-Premium-1As a former mechanical design engineer, I have always felt there were three tools that were a ‘must have’ in my tool belt. These tools include a 3D design tool, a data management tool, and a design analysis/validation tool.  I believe we need to design in a comprehensive 3D CAD solution. We need a place to store and manage those designs, and we need a way to analyze those designs in order to save on material costs and remain competitive. Today, I am fortunate to get some form of all three of these tools in one 3D CAD bundle: SOLIDWORKS Premium.

                            In this two-part blog series, I will cover toolsets included in SOLIDWORKS Premium. Keep in mind, this is additional functionality not found in SOLIDWORKS Standard and Professional. Our webcast on June 20th covered the differences between SOLIDWORKS Standard and Premium. You can watch that webcast here.

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                            • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                              Stratasys Announces Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator

                              by Lisa Hannon on June 6, 2017

                              Stratasys-Announces-Continuous-Build-3D-Demonstrator-1Stratasys recently announced the creation of an innovative new product: the Stratasys Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator. This multi-cell additive manufacturing platform is designed to continuously produce parts, and can be scaled to meet demand. Its innovative features could have major implications for the way additive manufacturing is done. Here’s everything you need to know about the Stratasys Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator.

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                              • POSTED IN CAD, SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS

                                Getting Started: SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard

                                by Drew Buchanan on June 5, 2017

                                Getting-Started-SOLIDWORKS-Simulation-Standard-1In an increasingly technologically driven manufacturing environment, product lifecycles continue to be shortened and shortened. Designers are looking for ways to reduce costly prototypes, and to get a leg up on their competition. With the advent of computer aided engineering (CAE), designers and engineers are able to test out designs and determine if changes need to be made prior to prototyping and fabrication.

                                SOLIDWORKS Simulation is one of the many tools in the SOLIDWORKS CAE portfolio. This blog will provide you with a brief summary of SOLIDWORKS Simulation and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard.

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                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING TECH TIP, FUSED DEPOSITION MODELING (FDM), ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                  How to use GrabCAD Print: FDM

                                  by Dan Erickson on June 2, 2017

                                  GrabCAD Print is the latest 3D Print-Preparation (aka "slicing") software from Stratasys. Today, it supports all current Stratasys FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) machines, as well as the J750 Polyjet machine, offering an intuitive user interface with improved scheduling functionality. For a high-level introduction to GrabCAD Print, check out this article. In today's blog, we'll discuss using GrabCAD Print for FDM  in practice, with a real-world example.

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                                  • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                    Additive Manufacturing Makes Less Expensive Manufacturing Aids in Less Time

                                    by Jerry Fireman on June 1, 2017

                                    Additive-Manufacturing-Makes-Less-Expensive-Manufacturing-Aids-In-Less-Time-1Companies that succeed in manufacturing nearly always develop a wide range of manufacturing aids – custom tools that help manufacturing floor employees do various jobs faster, more accurately, with fewer steps, etc.

                                    For example, Diebold uses many different fixtures to hold small components while they are machined or assembled. Swift Engineering uses sacrificial internal tools to create hollow features in composite structures. BMW uses custom hand tools for attaching bumper supports as well as a wide range of other assembly and testing jobs.

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                                    • POSTED IN TRAINING, CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                      3 Ways to Get the Best SOLIDWORKS Training

                                      by Angelle Erickson on May 31, 2017

                                      3-Ways-To-Get-The-Best-SOLIDWORKS-Training-1Are you comfortable working in your SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software tools? Have you ever stumbled across a challenge that you wish you could have solved on your own but instead had to pass to someone else? Even if you just want to sharpen your skills, it’s never too late to consider SOLIDWORKS training.

                                      SOLIDWORKS training allows users to become more comfortable on a daily basis to manipulate and create designs. Being able to confidently overcome challenges independently means completing a project and getting a product to market faster. Worried that you can’t fit training into your schedule? It’s easier and more convenient than you may think. Keep reading to learn three different ways to get the best SOLIDWORKS training that will work for you.

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                                      • POSTED IN FISHER UNITECH NEWS, TRAINING, CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                        Meet our Experts: Rodney Harper - Technical Training Manager

                                        by Angelle Erickson on May 30, 2017

                                        Meet-Our-Experts-Rodney-Harper-Technical-Training-Manager-1Meet Rodney Harper! Rodney has been our technical training manager here at Fisher Unitech since 2008 and is based out of our office in Troy, Michigan. With over 13 years of experience working with SOLIDWORKS, Rodney wants to guarantee that his students get the best training experience available.

                                        SOLIDWORKS training is offered in class, on site, or online to meet your needs. Rodney manages a team of skilled trainers and training administrators committed to making your learning experience the best it can be.

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                                        • POSTED IN TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION, CAD, SOLIDWORKS TECH TIPS, COMPOSER, SOLIDWORKS

                                          What's New in SP3.0: Import SOLIDWORKS BOMs Into SOLIDWORKS Composer

                                          by Sean O’Neill on May 26, 2017

                                          A few weeks ago, I was teaching a rather large SOLIDWORKS Composer class. It was comprised of ten students, all hailing from one of our larger customers. With each passing lesson on how to make their product assembly instructions more decipherable and their product exploded views much quicker/lighter, I couldn't help but notice them giving those "where have you been all my life" eyes.

                                          While discussing bill of materials (BOM) tables, one of our more actively-involved students asked a very intuitive question: "Can we import our bill of materials from our SOLIDWORKS files into SOLIDWORKS Composer?" My answer then was different than my answer today because of a great timesaving enhancement to SOLIDWORKS Composer 2017 SP3.0.

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                                          • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                            What’s the Difference Between SOLIDWORKS Standard, Professional and Premium?

                                            by Christa Prokos on May 25, 2017

                                            Whats-the-difference-between-solidworks-standard-professional-and-premium-1We often get the question, “What is the difference between the three SOLIDWORKS packages (Standard, Professional, Premium)?” Another common question is, “When does it make sense to upgrade from Standard to Professional or Premium?”

                                            The answer depends on many factors and while there is a SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD matrix that outlines every feature in each package, it can be a bit complicated. This blog provides a quick overview of each package, as well as two easy ways to figure out which package is best for you.

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                                            • POSTED IN RAPID PROTOTYPING, STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                              Disrupting the Supply Chain with 3D Printing: An Introduction to FDM Composite Tooling

                                              by Lisa Hannon on May 23, 2017

                                              Disrupting-the-Supply-Chain-with-3D-Printing-An-Introduction-to-FDM-Composite-Tooling-1The blog below was originally written and created by Ross Jones, Application Engineer at Stratasys. Fisher Unitech is sharing it with our readers due to the compelling story of how the manufacturing industry is solving problems with time and cost to produce tooling prototypes.

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                                              • POSTED IN TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION, CAD, COMPOSER, SOLIDWORKS

                                                Technical Communications Come to Life with SOLIDWORKS Composer

                                                by Angelle Erickson on May 19, 2017

                                                Today, visual images are more important than ever. Just because a physical prototype of a product design isn’t available, doesn’t mean your training materials, assembly instructions, marketing and sales collateral should be put on hold. With SOLIDWORKS Composer you can start producing a range of technical communication graphical assets earlier in the product design process, helping to lower costs and speed time-to-market.

                                                Even nontechnical roles can use SOLIDWORKS Composer. The easy-to-use tools let you work directly from 3D CAD data to create associative 2D and 3D deliverables that automatically stay up-to-date with the latest design changes.

                                                Keep reading to learn more about SOLIDWORKS Composer and check out our recorded webcast "How SOLIDWORKS Composer Improves Technical Communications."

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                                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING MATERIALS, STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                  Nylon 12CF | Innovative 3D Printing Material for FDM Printers

                                                  by Lisa Hannon on May 18, 2017

                                                  nylon-12cf-innovative-3D-printing-material-for-FDM-Printers-1Stratasys recently launched a material in its new family of nylon, Nylon 12CF. This innovative new 3D printing nylon has a very high stiffness-to-weight ratio, and its potential applications are generating plenty of buzz in the 3D printing community. Here’s everything you need to know about Nylon 12CF.

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                                                  • POSTED IN EDUCATION AND RESEARCH, CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                    Steampunks, STEAMworks, and SOLIDWORKS in the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition

                                                    by Amanda Osbun on May 17, 2017

                                                    Steampunks-STEAMworks-and-SOLIDWORKS-in-the-2017-FIRST-Robotics-CompetitionI was a very shy, introverted kid who, although open to trying new things, would never imagine growing up to be the outgoing person I am today. I owe much of who I am to the FIRST Robotics team at Jefferson Township High School in New Jersey.

                                                    The FIRST Robotics team started when I was a junior. One of my woodshop teachers suggested I get involved and here I am nine years later. I was on the team for my junior year and co-captain of the team during my senior year. I have been a mentor for the team ever since I graduated high school. Our team is Team 2600 or Team Falcon.

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                                                    • POSTED IN DATA MANAGEMENT, CAD, SOLIDWORKS TECH TIPS, SOLIDWORKS

                                                      How to Use the ‘Pack and Go’ File Management Feature in SOLIDWORKS

                                                      by Matt Haywood on May 15, 2017

                                                      In my opinion, one of the better file management features in SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD is Pack and Go, which was introduced around 2007. Included in every release of SOLIDWORKS since then, this feature is still very useful today.  I’ve been providing SOLIDWORKS tech support for nearly 14 years and it’s fun to show unsuspecting users Pack and Go.

                                                      In this blog, I’ll take you through two scenarios:

                                                      1. Duplication of a data set for sharing or repurposing
                                                      2. Organizing a data set by renaming multiple files simultaneously

                                                      It’s true that these tasks can be done outside of Pack and Go, but I think you’ll find that through the use of Pack and Go, these processes will be completed faster and you will have fewer problems with mixed up file references.

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                                                      • POSTED IN CAD, PDM, SOLIDWORKS TECH TIPS, SOLIDWORKS

                                                        Using Custom Search Columns to Create Simple Reports from PDM Searches

                                                        by Peer Larson on May 10, 2017

                                                        It can often be very useful to collect information about your files from a high level, such as if you were interested to learn the internal PDM Document ID or who in your department approved what when.

                                                        You can use custom search columns to change how a search card displays information and then export your search results to Microsoft Excel. This can also be useful when tracking project management documents, as you can have all of your relevant fields show in the PDM search card and then export those results to Microsoft Excel for easy portability and communication.

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                                                        • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                          These 9 SOLIDWORKS Blogs & CAD Sites Will Boost Your Productivity

                                                          by Stacey Clement on May 8, 2017

                                                          Starting your Monday by catching up on industry news can be a great way to encourage inspiration and innovation all week long. By starting two-way conversations with fellow designers and SOLIDWORKS professionals worldwide, you can begin to expand your network, share experiences, and learn helpful tips and tricks you’d never find within the confines of your office.

                                                          While we’ve worked hard to stock the Fisher Unitech blog with up-to-date SOLIDWORKS news, regularly synthesizing diverse viewpoints from across the web can help make you a more global designer. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of informative, entertaining, or just downright underrated CAD forums, SOLIDWORKS blogs, and design Twitter accounts—for the betterment of workweek productivity everywhere. So which online community is right for you?

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                                                          • POSTED IN DRIVEWORKS, DESIGN AUTOMATION, CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                            Time to Test Drive DriveWorks Design Automation and Sales Configurator Software

                                                            by Christa Prokos on May 5, 2017

                                                            Time-to-Test-Drive-DriveWorks-Design-Automation-and-Sales-Configurator-Software-1Do you have repetitive design tasks that could be automated? Could the products you design be defined by rules? If you answered yes to these questions, it is time to add design automation and sales configurator software to your toolbox—specifically DriveWorks because you can use it in tandem with SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD design software.

                                                            There are two DriveWorks software packages to choose from, DriveWorks Solo and DriveWorks Pro, which can also be used beyond the engineering department by marketing and sales teams. DriveWorks Solo and Pro provide the ability to automatically generate 2D and 3D drawings of your SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD models as well as manufacturing and sales data. Imagine the time and cost this can save your company and the productivity it can add to your day.

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                                                            • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS TECH TIPS, SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS

                                                              How to Deal with Fixture Warnings in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

                                                              by Drew Buchanan on May 3, 2017

                                                              How-to-Deal-with-Fixture-Warnings-in-SOLIDWORKS-Simulation-00You sit down at your desk to finalize the design for a new product you are working on. You want to verify that the product does not fail under loading, and expect the finite element model to be fairly easy to set up and run.  However, much to your chagrin you run the model and a warning pops up.

                                                              If you have been working with SOLIDWORKS Simulation for a long time, you most likely have seen this warning box before. In today’s blog I will show a handy tool which can remedy this issue very quickly. It should be noted that all tips in today’s blog pertain to a traditional Linear Static Analysis, which is available in SOLIDWORKS Premium,  SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard, SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional, and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium.

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                                                              • POSTED IN EDUCATION AND RESEARCH, CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                Jenison Robotics Team “Game Over” Uses SOLIDWORKS to Design Award Winning Robot

                                                                by Nathan Appel on May 1, 2017

                                                                Jenison-Robotics-Team-Game-Over-Uses-SOLIDWORKS-to-Design-Award-Winning-Robot-1I belong to Jenison Robotics’ team 457B named “Game Over” in Jenison, Michigan, near Grand Rapids. In Jenison Robotics, we use VEX Robotics technology to further our learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and grow skills in teamwork, leadership and problem solving. We also have a lot of fun.

                                                                I started using SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD fifteen months ago when I got a student edition for Christmas. I taught myself how to use the software using tutorials, along with guidance from my dad, who uses SOLIDWORKS at work. Last season, my dad showed my team and I how we could use SOLIDWORKS to design our robot. So, my goal for this year was to learn how to use SOLIDWORKS before the season even started so that when we did start practicing, I could fully design our robot.

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                                                                • POSTED IN TRAINING, CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                  Ramp Up Your Work Performance with SOLIDWORKS Training

                                                                  by Michelle Orleski on April 28, 2017

                                                                  Ramp-Up-Your-Work-Performance-with-SOLIDWORKS-Training-1Are you being efficient or proficient in your workplace? It’s not simply a matter that one is better than the other, but it is important to assess which quality you possess and whether or not you and your employer are happy with your style of performance.

                                                                  In this blog, you’ll learn how to understand your qualities and work ethic from a slightly different perspective, one that your employer may see. You’ll also learn how to determine how to tell the difference between being proficient and being efficient and the ways to enhance your workplace performance.

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                                                                  • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS TECH TIPS, SOLIDWORKS, UNCATEGORIZED

                                                                    How to Utilize the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal

                                                                    by Toby Schnaars on April 26, 2017

                                                                    Did you know that SOLIDWORKS has a customer portal? Whether you’re a new user, an existing user, or just need a little help, the SOLIDWORKS customer portal is an excellent resource available to all SOLIDWORKS subscription customers.

                                                                    This blog will take you through how to use the portal, along with a step-by-step guide on how to get your questions answered before calling technical support.

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                                                                    • POSTED IN PDM, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                      Looking for the SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM Migration "Easy Button"?

                                                                      by Joe Frank on April 24, 2017

                                                                      Looking for the SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM Migration Easy Button 1With the retirement of SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM approaching, I’m getting a lot of questions about what to expect when migrating to SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or Professional. I wish I could say there is an easy button, but there just isn’t.

                                                                      Migrating your intellectual property out of your SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM vault is not an easy process. Many things need to be considered when setting up a SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or Professional vault to accept your data. You want a vault that works for you, not the other way around.  Although there is not a simple program or “Pack and Go” process, I do know how to make the process easier.

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                                                                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING MATERIALS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                        What’s the Difference Between Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing?

                                                                        by Jerry Fireman on April 21, 2017

                                                                        Any industry that is growing rapidly is going to attract more than its share of controversy. With a forecast growth rate of 28.5% between 2016 and 2022, according to MarketsandMarkets, the business of producing parts is no exception. One of the hottest issues at the moment is simply what do we call it – 3D printing or additive manufacturing? Or are both terms valid for different segments of the market? Or do they mean the same thing?

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                                                                        • POSTED IN EDUCATION AND RESEARCH, CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                          Dundee FIRST Robotics Team Goes from Concept to Competition with SOLIDWORKS

                                                                          by Ethan Harper on April 19, 2017

                                                                          Dundee-FIRST-Robotics-Team-Goes-from-Concept-to-Competition-with-SOLIDWORKS-1If you’ve heard of the organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), you probably know that it is directly tied to STEM and STEAM, other common acronyms used in today’s classrooms that stand for: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics.

                                                                          You may not realize that FIRST was founded way back in 1989 “to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology." For me, the FIRST program has accomplished just that, as I have directly benefited from the features of STEAM that come into play every day during robotics. I am currently a sophomore at Dundee High School, in Dundee, Michigan and our team is the Dundee Vi-Borgs.

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                                                                          • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                            The Real Difference Between Standard and Professional SOLIDWORKS CAD

                                                                            by Sean O'Neill on April 18, 2017

                                                                            For many years now, SOLIDWORKS has provided three package tiers of its 3D CAD software: Standard, Professional, Premium. While changes and additions are made to these packages every year, each package has provided the ability for anyone to create parts, assemblies, and/or drawings.

                                                                            The difference between the three packages has really been found in what else it adds to your business. At the Professional level (and Premium, in additional ways), SOLIDWORKS provides tools that realistically accommodate the challenges faced by all multi-employee companies. This article explains how it does exactly this.  You can also learn more by watching the recorded webcast, 7 Key Benefits of SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD Professional 2017

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                                                                            • POSTED IN SIMULATION, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                              Why You Should Use Simulation and 3D Printing Technologies Together

                                                                              by David Roccaforte on April 14, 2017

                                                                              We often joke at Fisher Unitech that simulation technology, also known as Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), and 3D printing technology are competitors. In reality, for product development, they are engineering partners. Each has its respective strengths and weaknesses.

                                                                              It’s kind of like a buddy cop show. One has street smarts and the other is the brainy young whippersnapper. When they work together they solve tough crimes. Simulation and 3D printing technologies work together to help prevent engineering crimes: such as missing project timing dates and quality and performance issues.

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                                                                              • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                How the STEM Program Can Help Shape our Future Engineers

                                                                                by Amelia Pillarelli on April 12, 2017

                                                                                How-the-STEM-Program-Can-Help-Shape-our-Future-Engineers-1In the US, about 20% of engineers are female.  Ladywood High School, in Livonia, Michigan is working hard to raise those numbers with the help of the STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Recently, I had the privilege of speaking to the all-female Engineering Graphics class about my journey as a Mechanical Engineer and experiences with SOLIDWORKS. The girls have been using SOLIDWORKS in the classroom this year to introduce the concepts of Computer Aided Design.

                                                                                My main focus of the presentation was: Don’t quit.  An engineering career isn’t limited to the limited topics studied in high school or college, but the groundwork for a degree is challenging.  Blending together subjects such as calculus, physics, and mechanical design, an engineering degree is not obtained without some hard work, critical thinking, and challenging senior projects. Once the work is complete, this training will be your ticket to a great career in a broad field.

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                                                                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING MATERIALS, STRATASYS, 3D PRINTING

                                                                                  The Future of Manufacturing: 3D Printing Innovations

                                                                                  by Lisa Hannon on April 11, 2017

                                                                                  3D printed prototypes have allowed designers and engineers to turn their ideas into reality with parts they can physically hold and manipulate. This technology The-Future-Of-Manufacturing-3D-Printing-Innovations-1has spurred innovation across multiple industries and changed the way people approach challenges. From a 3D printed splint that clears a baby’s airway to an aerospace part created in half the time, the benefits of rapid prototyping are numerous.

                                                                                  3D printing companies have known the benefits of their products for years and are now getting others up to speed on this innovative way of creating solutions. Stratasys, for example, has been in the industry for more than 25 years and fostered relationships with manufacturers, engineers, and designers around the globe. The company recently released a video highlighting how their products’ capabilities have tapped into people’s imaginations and accelerated progress across industries.

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                                                                                  • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS TECH TIPS, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                    Setting Parts Colored and Opaque when Editing in SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                    by Toby Schnaars on April 7, 2017
                                                                                    Setting-Parts-to-be-colored-and-opaque-when-editing-in-SOLIDWORKS-1

                                                                                    When editing a component in the context of an assembly, SOLIDWORKS automatically makes all of the other components transparent. This makes it easy to see through everything else, to get at what you need, but can bring on its own challenges.

                                                                                    This blog will demonstrate step-by-step instructions on how to override this default behavior to get assemblies looking just the way you need.

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                                                                                    • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                                      Which 3D Printing Solution Fits Your Business?

                                                                                      by Lisa Hannon on April 6, 2017

                                                                                      Do you have an interest in learning more about additive manufacturing with 3D printing solutions? Are you part of a team that wants to bring products to market Which-3D-Printing-Solution-Fits-Your-Business-1faster? 3D printing technologies might be the answer for you but how do you know? At Fisher Unitech, we want to provide you with a guide that can help — whether you are a beginner with 3D printing or someone who already uses the technology but wants to explore more solutions.

                                                                                      No matter what level of knowledge you have with rapid prototyping, the guide “3D Printing Solutions” will help you determine if one of our solutions can help you design faster and smarter, bring products to market faster, or simply educate you further on how the technology works.

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                                                                                      • POSTED IN TRAINING, CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                        Starting off with SOLIDWORKS Surfacing

                                                                                        by Rachael Buhl on April 3, 2017

                                                                                        Surface modeling in SOLIDWORKS can often be intimidating to new users, so I’m here to put your worries aside. Once there is a decent foundation in solid modeling, many aspects of surface modeling will be easy to migrate to because the same tools are used in both processes. For example, in solid modeling, users may do an Extrude, whereas in surfacing users would do an Extrude Surface. The Property Managers for these two like tools are also very similar.

                                                                                        In this blog, I’m going to start from the beginning and start with the basics.

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                                                                                        • POSTED IN CAD, ELECTRICAL, SOLIDWORKS TECH TIPS, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                          How to Handle Multi-Part Components in SOLIDWORKS Electrical

                                                                                          by David Hofer on March 31, 2017

                                                                                          I was recently working with a SOLIDWORKS Electrical project that a customer had developed, and I ran across a situation that I see quite often. Users that develop components that are made up of multiple parts, often run into issues when associating symbols to them in SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic.

                                                                                          Often the problem goes unnoticed until the project is moved to SOLIDWORKS CAD using the Electrical 3D add-in and the wires and cables are routed. Generally, the routing analysis will display an error having to do with the connection points.

                                                                                          In this blog I’m going to show an example where this can easily happen and a way to spot the issue and fix it before entering the CAD environment.

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                                                                                          • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS TECH TIPS, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                            Best Practices when Installing SOLIDWORKS 2017

                                                                                            by Toby Schnaars on March 29, 2017

                                                                                            When the time comes to install or update your SOLIDWORKS software to a newer version, the process can feel a bit overwhelming.  Below is a guide to help you through this process.  Following these steps should ensure a clean and successful installation.  

                                                                                            I have broken down the sections into “RECOMMENDED” and “OPTIONAL”.  Each step in “RECOMMENDED” should be followed and thought of as required.  The sections marked “OPTIONAL” can be skipped, but might give you some good tricks for ensuring that everything goes smoothly on the user end.

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                                                                                            • POSTED IN TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION, CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                              Peak Performance with SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional

                                                                                              by Laurie Luther on March 27, 2017

                                                                                              With SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional, users can transform digital peak-performance-with-SOLIDWORKS-Visualize-Professionalrenderings into realistic 3D animations. Get product photos before the manufacturing stage to work out the kinks, impress investors, and truly visualize the final creation. See a complete 360-degree view of a design, and make real-time adjustments that immediately transition from the program to the screen. The possibilities are endless, and the platform can be used in almost every industry.

                                                                                              In the following, we explore some of the many benefits of SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional and how it could enhance your engineering abilities moving forward.

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                                                                                              • POSTED IN PCB, CAD, ELECTRICAL, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                                How SOLIDWORKS Electrical and PCB Get Rid of the Guesswork

                                                                                                by Angelle Erickson on March 22, 2017

                                                                                                How do companies use SOLIDWORKS Electrical and SOLIDWORKS PCB to solve all of their designing needs? From the very beginning of the idea process, SOLIDWORKS can help electrical and mechanical engineers design every detail leading to the finished product.

                                                                                                One of the most important aspects of working in SOLIDWORKS Electrical and SOLIDWORKS PCB is being able to work together in completing a project. Electrical and Mechanical engineers must be able to communicate thoroughly and smoothly every step of the way. Luckily, SOLIDWORKS makes that process easy by getting rid of the guesswork between electrical and mechanical design teams.

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                                                                                                • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                                                  Fail Your Way to Success in New Product Development with 3D Printing

                                                                                                  by Jerry Fireman on March 21, 2017

                                                                                                  If you are involved in new product development, you are probably facing a difficult paradox. You realize that thinking outside the box and taking risks is required to develop a product that will stand apart from the competition and achieve extraordinary success in the marketplace.

                                                                                                  On the other hand, you also recognize that this kind of risk-taking behavior more often than not leads to failure. And neither you nor members of your team want to be associated with failure, especially the repeated failures that are often required in the early stages of developing an innovative product.

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                                                                                                  • POSTED IN TRAINING, CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                                    9 Reasons to Get SOLIDWORKS Training

                                                                                                    by Rodney Harper on March 17, 2017

                                                                                                    If you or your company recently made an investment in SOLIDWORKS, then you’re probably already reaping the many benefits and capabilities that SOLIDWORKS has to offer. But there’s more to just owning SOLIDWORKS. Learn how you can get the best out of your software and expand your business by getting the proper SOLIDWORKS training and certifications.

                                                                                                    9-reasons-to-get-SOLIDWORKS-Training-1We offer over ten SOLIDWORKS certification programs that allow you to get the best out of your software. Use our Education Roadmap to guarantee you’re going down the right path for your educational needs.

                                                                                                    Training allows users to explore the areas of the software to prepare a team to work intelligently with speed and to be flexible in design for decision changes. We’ve got nine reasons why training at Fisher Unitech can change your SOLIDWORKS experience.

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                                                                                                    • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                                                      First Impressions: Stratasys F370 Review

                                                                                                      by Angelle Erickson on March 14, 2017

                                                                                                      First-impressions-Stratasys-F370-reviewStratasys officially announced the new F123 series at SOLIDWORKS World 2017 in Los Angeles on February 6th to thousands of attendees. The new lineup had big shoes to fill since Stratasys has discontinued production of the Fortus 250 and Dimension printers.  

                                                                                                      So is the new F123 series from Stratasys living up to all the hype? I spoke to two of our 3D printing experts here at Fisher Unitech who work with the full range of Stratasys 3D printers on a daily basis. After having the new F370 for well over a month now, I was interested in what kind of an impact it has been having on its daily users.

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