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    Everything New in SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2020: User Rights, Reports, and More

    Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on October 11, 2019

    SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2020SOLIDWORKS Electrical is a powerful tool that lets you design and place electrical schematics and components in an easy-to-use, collaborative environment. SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2020 has added new features and functionality for reports, leader lines, user rights, and more. Learn more about these new enhancements and find out more about what SOLIDWORKS 2020 has to offer here. 

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      Learning SOLIDWORKS PDM with PDM Training

      Tom Starks by Tom Starks on October 9, 2019

      solidworks pdm training There are many benefits to using product data management (PDM) software in project management; when used correctly, PDM can simplify the management of your engineering data, eliminate concerns about data loss, and simplify workflow. But for employees who have never used PDM before (or are not familiar with a certain PDM software), navigating the PDM environment can become time-consuming and less effective than it would be with a more experienced user. This is where PDM training comes in.

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        SOLIDWORKS Plastics Analysis: Design to Manufacturing Series (Part 9)

        Nathan Sneller by Nathan Sneller on October 8, 2019

        solidworks plastics analysisIf you’ve been following along with our Design to Manufacturing Series, then you’ve seen the ins and outs of two design concepts for a functional headset and cellphone stand. We narrowed the design down to two concepts, “The Transporter Project” and “The Holster Project”. In our last blog, we discussed some challenges we faced with the Holster Project and brought in SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard to resolve issues surrounding the spring force. In this blog, we’re going to use SOLIDWORKS Plastics to help us determine how well our project would hold up in mass production.

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          Setting Your SOLIDWORKS PDM Viewer

          Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on October 3, 2019

          TPDM Viewer errorhe SOLIDWORKS PDM eDrawings viewer is used in multiple places in the SOLIDWORKS PDM user interface. It can be used to view previous versions in the history, in the preview, and can be used to view a part or drawing in eDrawings without needing to open the file in SOLIDWORKS. However, sometimes when you attempt to open the viewer, you are greeted with an error message like the one shown to the left. 

          This message indicates that the viewer needs to be set in either the user or group settings. (Note: While the group settings allow the viewer to be set for more users, oftentimes different users have different file locations, so it may be necessary to set up the viewer for each user.) Let’s get started. 

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            SOLIDWORKS 2020 Embraces 3D Printing and Says Goodbye to STLs

            Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on September 30, 2019

            SOLIDWORKS 3D printing3D Printing is on the rise and SOLIDWORKS continues to embrace the technology in SOLIDWORKS 2020. In order to have a successful 3D printed part, it’s essential that your part or assembly will fit inside the print area. New in SOLIDWORKS 2020, is a comprehensive list of 3D printers with up to date envelope information so you can quickly browse or search for your most used printers and add them to the favorites list offering easy access from the dropdown menu. Learn what else is new for SOLIDWORKS 2020 and 3D printing here. 

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              Edit the SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Component to Show a Vendor’s Item Number in the BOM

              Laura Nickerson by Laura Nickerson on September 27, 2019

              edit the SOLIDWORKS ToolboxLet’s set the scene. The SOLIDWORKS Hole Wizard features have defined your holes and you use Smart Fasteners to quickly assemble the corresponding Toolbox Component into your Hole Wizard features in the assembly. You’ve sourced the appropriate fastener in an online catalog for the purchasing department and even wrote a post-it note to remember to add the vendor and item number to the BOM. 

              Wouldn’t it be great to add the vendor information and item number to the toolbox component so that it will show in the BOM? That would ensure the purchasing department orders the correct items. There is a way to add any type of information, not just vendor and item number, as the Description and Comment to Toolbox Components. In this blog, I’ll use vendor information and item number as an example.

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                The Holster Project Springs into Action: Design to Manufacturing Series (Part 8)

                Laura Nickerson & James Reeher by Laura Nickerson & James Reeher on September 24, 2019

                Holster project completeEarlier in our Design to Manufacturing blog series, we introduced The Holster Project, a design concept for our headset and cellphone stand. With the use of additive manufacturing technologies like 3D printing and 3D scanning, as well as a variety of tools found in SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software, we were able to produce a prototype and test how well our design would work. Unfortunately, our design has had its share of challenges. For instance, when we placed it on a laptop monitor without any attachments, it immediately fell off so we designed a spring clip to fasten the stand to the monitor. The spring clips would account for different thicknesses in monitor brands and styles and would also apply pressure to hold the stand in place. However, they didn’t work as well as we hoped and as a result, our prototype ended up in pieces. 

                Before investing time into a redesign that would require a clamping mechanism, we would need a prototype, feasibility study, and a mock-up model just to see if this would work. As I started to feel the pressure of our deadline on my shoulders, I took one last look around my desk. As luck would have it, the solution to my problem was right under my nose: a binder clip. It’s the perfect size, but it is the perfect strength?

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                  Illinois State Archaeological Survey Captures Intricate Artifacts with Artec 3D Scanner

                  Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on September 19, 2019

                  ISAS ScanningThe Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) studies the state’s archaeological heritage, helping to protect, preserve and interpret irreplaceable and non-renewable resources to encourage and promote sustainable development. An integral part of ISAS’s mission includes field and laboratory research projects, as well as the curation of extensive, museum-quality archaeological collections that include artifacts from over 3,000 Illinois sites. 

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                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

                    The Top 5 3D CAD Features in SOLIDWORKS 2020

                    Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on September 18, 2019

                    SOLIDWORKS 2020 Launch blogTo help you get acquainted with what’s new in the launch of SOLIDWORKS 2020, we’ve highlighted the top 5 new features in 3D CAD. You can learn even more at one of our SOLIDWORKS 2020 Design to Manufacturing events. Along with showing you all of the top new features and enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2020, we’ll have educational breakouts, great food and time for networking with peers and experts in your community. Keep reading to learn how SOLIDWORKS 2020 will help speed up every aspect of your design process with these top new features. 

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                      The Ultimate Guide to SQL Backups

                      Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on September 17, 2019

                      SQL backsupsSOLIDWORKS PDM leverages Microsoft SQL Server for its database back end to satisfy its need for a relational data store.  There are countless numbers of IT professionals that dedicate themselves to developing, administering, and architecting solutions for Microsoft SQL Server.  Of these professionals, one common role is the operational DBA (database administrator) – whose responsibility it is to maintain and tune SQL Server environments.  A lot of companies have dedicated database teams that can help, or completely, maintain your database backend for PDM. Far more companies exist that don’t have a dedicated resource to perform this work which requires the responsibility to fall to the implementer of PDM to set up the maintenance of the SQL Server instance.  

                      This blog will offer guidance and general rules of thumb for ensuring your SQL Server instance and databases are backed up and you are able to recover from oopsie deletes and disaster scenarios.

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                        Electronic Fit, Function, and Validation: Design to Manufacturing Series (Part 7)

                        Mark Talbott by Mark Talbott on September 12, 2019

                        Electrical design to manufacturingSpring cleaning has come and gone, yet the clutter persists.  In the act of redeeming a missed opportunity for bettering our work environment, the Application Engineering team at Fisher Unitech has sprung into action to create some elbow room, while hard at work servicing manufacturing.  An all-in-one wireless charging phone stand and headset holder takes center stage. We recently saw two design possibilities: The Holster and the Transporter, which both have been designed using a variety of tools and functionality within SOLIDWORKS.

                        In both of these designs, we were able to overcome a few challenges that involved loads, stresses, and tolerances. We used 3D scanning, motion analysis, simulation, and 3D printing, among others to put us back on track. In today’s addition to our Design to Manufacturing Series, we detail the electrical aspects required for the scope of this project and the tools used to assist in our product development efforts.

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                          Meet The Iron Angels: The First All-Female BUILD Moto Team

                          Corrine Wolff by Corrine Wolff on September 9, 2019

                          Iron Angels For the last two seasons, I have been a volunteer business mentor for The Iron Angels, the first all-female team in BUILD, a non-profit organization that I am very passionate about. BUILD Moto challenges high school teams to work with mentors to turn a vintage motorcycle into a qualified race bike in just six months. The students are provided supplies such as the chassis and engine, but the rest relies on the students to design, fix, modify, and rebuild for the race all while staying within budget. 

                          Along with the technical side and building their bike, teams manage their own Instagram account, fundraise money for their bike, and keep track of their budget and spend. The Iron Angels are mentored by myself and other women who are knowledgeable and experienced with motorcycles. This not only helps with the technical side, but it inspires the students to dive in and get their hands dirty. 

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                            F120 3D Printer Makes Industrial 3D Printing Affordable

                            Dan Erickson by Dan Erickson on September 5, 2019

                            F120With the release of the Stratasys F120, Stratasys continues its trend of offering more affordable 3D printing options for specialized markets. The F120 is an easy-to-use industrial-grade 3D printer in an office-friendly size. Combining the speed and efficiency of the F123-Series with larger material canisters allows greater productivity and design freedom. 

                            Like the rest of the F123 lineup, the F120 is built to be used in an office space and used directly by engineers, designers and the like (even those without prior 3D printing experience) to produce professional prototypes and parts. F120's smaller size and price make sense especially for smaller-scale operations with financial or space restrictions, without compromising quality and accuracy.

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                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

                              Get up to Speed with 3DEXPERIENCE

                              Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on August 28, 2019

                              3dexperienceWith so many stakeholders involved in the design process, it can be difficult for designers to safely share their data and communicate efficiently with other members of their company, especially when non-designers need or want input. The release of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform solves these problems by consolidating all of the tools both designers and non-designers need to collaborate into one cloud-based platform. 

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                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                Back to 3D Printing Basics | A Tip from a Tech

                                Ryan Carpe by Ryan Carpe on August 26, 2019

                                3D printing basicsLet’s talk about acronyms. We see these a lot in the 3D printing world (e.g., FDM, SLS, and SLA). One acronym that specifically stands out to me is B2B. Not Business to Business, but Back to Basics. As a field technician, whenever I start a new case or am stumped on a problem I always go back to the basics. 

                                When I say B2B, I’m talking about proper maintenance for your 3D printer. This is the foundation for keeping your 3D printer up and running and it all starts with proper training. In our fast-paced lives, we can sometimes lose sight of the core basics we learned about machine maintenance. In this blog, I’ll highlight a few basic practices that can help keep your printer in prime condition.

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