• POSTED IN ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, ELECTRICAL, SOLIDWORKS PCB

    Smart Products & Design for the Internet of Things

    Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on October 16, 2018

    smart productsIf you’ve worked in business you’ve probably heard that it’s important to “fail fast,” but what exactly does this mean? It certainly doesn’t mean that your business should fail quickly, or you should fire an employee at the first sign of trouble. Instead, “failing fast,” should be about embracing small tests, moving quickly, and pivoting if you fail. This is especially true in experimental areas like the Internet of Things (IoT), which is spreading rapidly across industries and driven by innovation. Companies that can create new applications for IoT and the smart products that support them will ultimately be the winners in a market expected to reach a value of $267 billion by 2020.

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    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

      SOLIDWORKS MBD 2019: New Security Settings and More

      Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on October 16, 2018

      SOLIDWORKS MBD 2019SOLIDWORKS MBD 2019 (Model Based Definition) is a powerful solution that enables designers and manufacturers to create and communicate critical design information via the model. SOLIDWORKS 2019 adds support for sheet metal annotations and bend notes can now be automatically inserted directly onto a components flat pattern view explaining each bend direction, angle, and radius. For components that contain many bends a tabular display of the bend details is often the preferred method of capturing and viewing the information.

      Now in SOLIDWORKS 2019, you can capture all of your manufacturing information in a bend table. When a bend table is inserted, each bend on the components flat pattern view is tagged in relation to the table. This, combined with the tabulated bend information enables you to now detail your sheet metal designs in the same manner as a traditional drawing. When finished, all the information can be captured with a 3D view ready to be shared with other members of your design team and organization.

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      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

        Deleting Already Used Workflows and States in SOLIDWORKS PDM

        Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on October 15, 2018

        workflows and statesIf you’re a SOLIDWORKS PDM Administrator, you have most likely run into this issue: You need to change your workflow but if you try to delete a workflow state and save you get the dreaded message “The workflow was successfully saved but some states could not be deleted since there are files that are or have been in those states.”

        The reason this is strictly controlled is because of the file history. If the file is ever rolled back to the point in time it was in that workflow state, it needs to exist.

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        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

          What’s New in eDrawings | SOLIDWORKS 2019

          Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on October 12, 2018

          eDrawings 2019eDrawings is an excellent tool for viewing CAD models and now gets even more valuable in 2019. eDrawings 2019 now supports several new CAD file formats. Parasolid, Solid Edge, Acis, JT, and NX files are now supported for viewing making eDrawings your go-to choice for CAD file viewing.

          Viewing configuration data has always been available for exported EPRT and e-Assembly files. Now with eDrawings 2019, configuration data can be viewed for native SOLIDWORKS parts and assembly files saving the step of exporting the data to eDrawings format. Keep reading to learn more.

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          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

            SOLIDWORKS 2019 3D Markup: A Better Way to Communicate Design Ideas

            Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on October 9, 2018

            SOLIDWORKS 2019 3D MarkupGood communication among design stakeholders is essential to any successful design process. SOLIDWORKS 2019 introduces a brand new way to communicate your design ideas by enabling you to add markups directly to parts and assemblies when using a touch device with the release of  SOLIDWORKS 2019 3D Markup.

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            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS PDM

              How to Leverage SOLIDWORKS Inspection & SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional (Part 1)

              Tom Starks by Tom Starks on October 8, 2018

              SOLIDWORKS InspectionJust say you use SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional to manage your 3D CAD revision control process and you recently purchased SOLIDWORKS Inspection for your Quality team. In order to start leveraging SOLIDWORKS Inspection and SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional with your inspection process, you must first understand that planning is key. In part one of this blog series, we will first discuss what capabilities are available within SOLIDWORKS Inspection and how they can be incorporated with SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional.  

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              • POSTED IN ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

                Manufacturing Day 2018

                Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on October 5, 2018

                manufacturing day 2018Happy Manufacturing Day 2018! Celebrated this year on October 5th, 2018, manufacturers everywhere are recognized for their achievements to streamline and challenge the modern world. With the rise of Industry 4.0 (or the Fourth Industrial Revolution) manufacturers are continuing to bring new products and ideas to life to help improve communicative capabilities and integrated data.

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                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                  How to Make a Sphere in SOLIDWORKS

                  Sean O'Neill by Sean O'Neill on October 3, 2018

                  how to make a sphere in solidworksHistorically, whenever I’ve taught our SOLIDWORKS Essentials training class, I’ve imparted to following advice: Let’s start simple and let’s start with the basics. Oh, but you design airplanes? Dredging systems? Floor plans? To me, it doesn’t really matter. You can’t skip steps. If you start out small, you can scale your skills swiftly.

                  Figuratively-speaking, that means you should start with primitives. In computer programming, this means understanding data types like integers (1, 5, 17, etc.) and strings (“Hello world!”) first of all. In 3D CAD modeling, this means learning the primitive shapes, like how to model cubes and how to model spheres in SOLIDWORKS.

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                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                    Jigs and Fixtures: Changing the Factory Floor with 3D Printing

                    Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on October 1, 2018

                    jigs and fixturesAs we move deeper into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0), it becomes increasingly important that companies adopt new technology and innovate - or risk getting left behind. From automotive and aerospace to medical and consumer goods, industries have changed the way they work to create smarter and more efficient processes and products. 3D printing has been a strong driving force in this revolution and is now gaining prominence on factory floors for its ability to create manufacturing tools like jigs and fixtures faster and more efficiently. Here’s how 3D printing is changing the factory floor.

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                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                      Installing the SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard Server

                      Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on September 27, 2018

                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                      Installing the SOLIDWORKS PDM Client

                      Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on September 24, 2018

                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                      How to Scale in SOLIDWORKS

                      Sean O'Neill by Sean O'Neill on September 21, 2018

                      how to scale in solidworksSay you just modeled a sheet metal bracket and it has a couple of cuts and some flanges on its end. Now you have to make another one that is exactly twice as large as well as another that is half the current size. How would one accomplish this? Well, just like all things in SOLIDWORKS there are multiple ways to do so. One way is using the Scale tool which I’ll discuss the benefits and disadvantages of - at a practical level - in this blog post. Let’s take a look at how to scale in SOLIDWORKS.

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                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

                        Come See What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2019

                        Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on September 21, 2018

                        SOLIDWORKS 2019If you’re wondering what’s new in SOLIDWORKS 2019, don’t miss the chance to see its powerful new capabilities at a launch event. Each year we take the show on the road with product demonstrations, use case examples and tips and tricks so you can see the top new features and enhancements in the latest release of SOLIDWORKS first hand.

                        If that isn’t enough, our SOLIDWORKS 2019 launch events provide a valuable chance for you get out, interact with other product development experts and peers and gain some new insights into best practices that you can bring back to your organization to improve your day-to-day productivity and processes, including the latest in additive manufacturing technologies. Read on to learn more about Fisher Unitech’s  SOLIDWORKS 2019 launch events and where you can join us.

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                        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                          3D Printing Support Material Removal and Surface Finishing Hardware

                          Gerald Matarazzo by Gerald Matarazzo on September 19, 2018

                          Support Material Removal

                          In part one of this blog series we discuss the secret behind PostProcess Technologies and the world’s first digitized post-processing solution for 3D printed parts - AUTOMAT3D software. In part two we take a deep dive into the backbone of that digitized post-processing solution - chemistry. In our final installment, we are breaking down the machines themselves and taking a look at the hardware.

                          PostProcess hardware is categorized into two simple categories: Support Removal and Surface Finishing. Let’s take a look.

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                          • POSTED IN DRIVEWORKS

                            BKW Instruments Increases Productivity by 100% Using DriveWorks Pro

                            Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on September 18, 2018

                            DriveWorksBKW Instruments is a four generation, family-run company based in Manchester, UK. They provide several types of equipment linked to pressure, temperature, level, flow, valves, and analytical instrumentation solutions or services to several industries in the UK.

                            Earlier this year at DriveWorks World 2018, the DriveWorks team caught up with BKW’s Operations and IT Manager, Adam Baker, who told them more about how the company uses DriveWorks Pro to increase productivity.

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                            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                              Detergent and Media: PostProcess Chemistry

                              Gerald Matarazzo by Gerald Matarazzo on September 13, 2018

                              postprocess chemistryIn part one of our PostProcess Technologies three-part blog series, we covered the first aspect of their unique innovative value - AUTOMAT3D. In part two we’re diving into a unique value PostProcess Technologies provides that the entire company is based upon - Chemistry.

                              PostProcess chemistry consists of two distinct consumables: Detergent and Media. Let’s take a look.

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                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                6 Considerations for Concluding a SOLIDWORKS PDM Latency Analysis (Part 3)

                                Joe Frank by Joe Frank on September 12, 2018

                                LatencyWelcome back to part three of our blog series where we’re discussing SOLIDWORKS PDM topology and latency. In part one, we introduced the subject and defined important terms discussed along the way. In part two we ran tests to put some real numbers on how our servers would interact with the users when various latency values were imposed. In our final installment, we evaluate our PDM topology and run some tests. As Engineers we are all about data...so let’s start gathering some!

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                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                  Performing a Latency Study in SOLIDWORKS PDM (Part 2)

                                  Joe Frank by Joe Frank on September 10, 2018

                                  latencyIn part one of our SOLIDWORKS PDM blog series, we learned about the topology of SOLIDWORKS PDM including the necessary terminology to better understand how the architecture or the various servers interact with each other and how numerous tests can be run to define these interactions. Now, let’s take a deeper look and put some real numbers to the interactions.

                                  As users start to identify with latency a little more, they will find that only certain functions are impacted while others seem to be immune to latency’s effects. The real answer is that nothing is immune to latency, it’s just that many factors play roles in how this is able to happen. Sometimes it’s as simple as the server being hit the hardest by the user’s request.

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                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

                                    Real or Rendered? Represent Real Life with SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional

                                    David Janicki by David Janicki on September 8, 2018

                                    SOLIDWORKS Visualize ProfessionalImagine the power tool section of a hardware store. Above the shelf of impact drivers is a display photo showing the entire product line from drills to power saws. But wait, how confident are you that these tools were actually produced and photographed? Maybe they were merely designed in 3D CAD and rendered realistically. Have you ever wondered how these realistic renderings were created?

                                    SOLIDWORKS Visualize is just the product to help create photo-realistic representations for your parts in the environment that you want them to be in. If you continue to look beyond the capabilities in the robust toolset of SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard, you will find yourself peeking into the window of efficiency builders and high-end animation abilities within SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional. So what makes SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional such a powerful product? Let’s find out.

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

                                      AUTOMAT3D: 3D Printing Support Material Software by PostProcess Technologies

                                      Gerald Matarazzo by Gerald Matarazzo on September 7, 2018

                                      3d printing support material removal Since the inception of 3D printing, there have been phenomenal, albeit incremental innovations and improvements with virtually every step of the manufacturing workflow. Part Design has Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) procedures and Generative Design, Pre-Printing setup has software like GrabCAD (part slicing/scheduling/monitoring), and the machines themselves have incrementally increased material catalogs, speed, resolution, and repeatability since their inception. However, some of you may have realized that there has surprisingly been a lack of innovation in one important facet of 3D printing - Post-printing (3D printing support material removal).

                                      PostProcess Technologies has automated this area of 3D printing, which historically solely relied on precise operator knowledge that would leave a company once that operator left or retired. Deemed “tribal knowledge”, this skillset required dedicated operators who, even though they did excellent work, would not be able to have true repeatability due to the nature of work by hand. The only previous workaround to this would be support washing tanks and tumblers, which were never specifically designed or optimized for 3D printings, nor were their settings customizable. PostProcess Technologies has digitized this formerly analog process with three distinct innovations: software, hardware, and chemistry.

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                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                        SOLIDWORKS PDM ADMINISTRATOR 101: Topology & Latency (Part 1)

                                        Joe Frank by Joe Frank on September 7, 2018

                                        SOLIDWORKS PDM AdministratorAre you a new SOLIDWORKS PDM administrator? Has your company grown in recent years?  Have divisions or facilities been added since SOLIDWORKS PDM was originally deployed?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Companies in recent years have experienced many if not all of these changes. SOLIDWORKS PDM topology is something that can and does change over time, as companies grow the topology changes are sometimes minimal, while at other times they are significant. It may be time for you to review yours.

                                        Within SOLIDWORKS PDM when the topology changes, the latency should be reviewed because users feel PDM is not responding fast enough to their requests whether they’re adding new files to the vault, updating information on a data card, or checking in a large assembly with several component changes. These setbacks can often get frustrating as finger-pointing between users and the folks in IT responsible for the infrastructure start talking about such topics. The fact of the matter is that latency is a real thing that does impact the day-to-day functionality within SOLIDWORKS PDM.

                                        In this part one of a three-part blog series, we take a deeper dive into this impact on functionality by documenting times for day-to-day functionals while imposing a defined latency within the SOLIDWORKS PDM architecture. We’ll then take a closer look at the numbers to better understand where and to what degree does varying the latency really have on our daily lives in SOLIDWORKS PDM.

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                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAM

                                          10 Ways SOLIDWORKS CAM and CAMWorks are Crucial to Your Manufacturing Process

                                          Jeff Reiser by Jeff Reiser on September 5, 2018

                                          CAMWorksSince the 2018 release of SOLIDWORKS, users on subscription have CAM capabilities within their SOLIDWORKS environment. With this integration of SOLIDWORKS CAM, users can now complete the design and manufacturing process within one system. Design changes, file formats, and file compatibility are just a few issues we commonly deal with when working between two independent CAD and CAM systems. Having an integrated solution like SOLIDWORKS CAM eliminates those issues and streamlines the design to manufacturing process.

                                          CAMWorks is a complete CAM solution including features such as full 3D simultaneous surfacing, multi-axis, mill turn, and wire EDM just to name a few. Additionally, SOLIDWORKS CAM and CAMWorks share the same interface making it a simple transition from one product to another.

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                                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, SOLIDWORKS

                                            The Best Software for the 3D Printing Professional: SOLIDWORKS and GrabCAD Print

                                            Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on August 30, 2018

                                            best 3D software for 3D printingWith the largest technical team in the industry, our staff at Fisher Unitech knows a thing or two about 3D printing and 3D CAD software. Our experts have helped everyone, from designers and engineers to manufacturers and students, find the perfect CAD software to meet their 3D printing needs. We’ve found that, for the professional, the best 3D software for 3D printing is SOLIDWORKS and GrabCAD Print - this blog explains why.

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                                            • POSTED IN ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS 2019

                                              Attend a SOLIDWORKS 2019 Launch Event Near You

                                              Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on August 28, 2018

                                              SOLIDWORKS 2019Fall is always an exciting time of year for the SOLIDWORKS community. It’s when the new release of SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software is unveiled at launch events. Whether you are a SOLIDWORKS power user, or just starting out, SOLIDWORKS 2019 contains hundreds of new, user-driven enhancements that make it the best release ever.

                                              Fisher Unitech SOLIDWORKS 2019 launch events are packed with product demonstrations and use case examples to show you the new release in action. You will see how enhancements and new features in SOLIDWORKS 2019 will help you go from design to finished products faster than ever before. Plus, you will gain some tips and tricks to take back to your office that will increase your productivity when working in SOLIDWORKS and ways to improve your product development processes with the latest in additive manufacturing technologies.

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                                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

                                                SOLIDWORKS Motion Analysis vs. SOLIDWORKS Mate Controller

                                                Madison Bryce by Madison Bryce on August 27, 2018

                                                SOLIDWORKS Motion Study Welcome back to my blog series where I’m taking you on the journey from an idea to a working model. See how I took my concept of an automated drink dispenser, designed it, 3D modeled it, coded it, and eventually, 3D printed it. In my previous blog, I discussed the design process using SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software. In today’s continuation, I show how I automated my machine directly in SOLIDWORKS and discuss some of the methods I used for coding the machine (including SOLIDWORKS motion analysis and mate controller) to match the automation I modeled. In future posts, I will show the process of 3D printing my drink dispenser using a Stratasys 3D Printer.

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                                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, 3D PRINTING MATERIALS

                                                  Material Mayhem: 3 Tips For Optimizing FDM 3D Printing Materials

                                                  Gerald Matarazzo by Gerald Matarazzo on August 24, 2018

                                                  3D printing materials3D printing is primarily known for its ability to dramatically increase efficiency in any environment it is applied to. From decreasing prototyping and labor costs, reducing cycle times, and instilling Lean Manufacturing principles (which you can learn more about from my recorded webcast), it is a major player in today’s advanced manufacturing fields. However, there is one facet of the technology that can lead to delays and increased costs if not managed correctly - 3D printing materials.

                                                  As you can imagine, the more 3D printing is integrated into an organization, the more 3D printing materials are used. So, the more optimized your 3D printing process is in your organization, the more important it gets to follow proper material handling practices. Today I will specifically be focusing on FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling), the world’s most popular 3D printing process, and if it’s from Stratasys, the process that uses real thermoplastics.

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                                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                                    3D Designs For 3D Printing: 3D Printed Bobblehead

                                                    Keith Morris by Keith Morris on August 23, 2018

                                                    3D Designs For 3D PrintingWhen people ask me what I do for a living and I respond with “I repair 3D printers”, most people are perplexed yet intrigued. Although 3D printing technology is becoming more mainstream, the general public, by and large, still don’t quite understand what a 3D printer actually is or how it works. So, instead of explaining how a 3D printer works, I will instead show an intrigued prospect a recent project I created. As a gift, I 3D printed a bobblehead version of my brother that was derived from a cartoon drawing that I designed for the label of his home-brewed beer.

                                                    Thanks to my passion for creating 3D models, illustration, and graphic design, I was able to successfully develop, design, and 3D print this unique piece. Keep reading to learn more about 3D designs for 3D printing.

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                                                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                                      What are 3D Printing Parts Services and When Would I Need Them?

                                                      Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on August 22, 2018

                                                      benefits of 3D printing services3D printing parts services are used by companies that are working on a 3D printing project but can’t print some or all of the work themselves. It is commonly used for prototyping, concept models, and rapid production. Service providers with a good range of 3D printing materials and parts quality can also help with additive manufacturing in aerospace and medical, where precision and safety are particularly crucial.

                                                      3D printing parts services are primarily used by people who need to use 3D printing but don’t have access to a 3D printer. Outsourcing their work gives them the parts they need without having to invest in their own hardware, and they can use the service as little or as much as they need it. This also makes the services popular with companies that have 3D printers but can’t handle the runs themselves, and need to outsource some of the work.

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                                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

                                                        Using SOLIDWORKS SpeedPak to Improve Assembly Performance

                                                        James Reeher by James Reeher on August 20, 2018

                                                        solidworks speedpakDo you work with large assemblies in SOLIDWORKS but find that your system is running slowly, especially when using the rotate or zoom functions? If you’ve been searching for a technique or tool that can help eliminate or reduce this slowdown, you’ve come to the right place. SOLIDWORKS has a number of methods to address this issue but in this blog, we’re going to talk about a specific tool called SOLIDWORKS SpeedPak.

                                                        What is a SOLIDWORKS SpeedPak? A SpeedPak is a special type of configuration for assemblies and sub-assemblies. These SpeedPak configurations are simplified graphical representations of those assemblies. SpeedPaks only include the graphics of the assembly and any selected faces, bodies, sketches, or reference geometry that you may need for mating or dimensioning purposes.

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                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                          How to Mirror a Part in SOLIDWORKS

                                                          Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on August 17, 2018

                                                        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                                          What to Look for in a 3D Printer: The Best 3D Printers by Industry

                                                          Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on August 15, 2018

                                                          what to look for in a 3d printerA 3D printer is a big investment in your company’s future. By driving innovation through streamlined production, reduced costs, and rapid design, a 3D printer can be a game changer in competitive markets - but picking the right one is not always straightforward. Narrowing down your options can become time-consuming, especially when you must consider the needs of both your company and the industry as a whole.

                                                          To help simplify the process, we’ve broken down what to look for in a 3D printer in each of the major industries, as well as our recommendations for the best 3D printers by industry.

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                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                            Adding Serial Numbers to Your SolidNetWork License Manager

                                                            Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on August 14, 2018

                                                            SolidNetWork License ManagerThe SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager (SNL) is responsible for managing and distributing all of your SOLIDWORKS Licenses. This includes Network licenses, Network add-on licenses, and all SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard and SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional licenses.

                                                            If you find yourself in the position where you have received a new license and need to add this license number to the SNL, the steps below will walk you through the process of adding and activating your new SOLIDWORKS license.  Let's dive in and take a look.

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                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                                              Getting the Most out of PDM for Project Management

                                                              Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on August 13, 2018

                                                              PDM project managementDeveloping products can be complicated. Turnaround is tight and unexpected delays always seem to happen at the worst moment. Managers need to adapt to problems as they arise, encourage collaboration, and keep the development on track - all while keeping costs low. Product data management (PDM) software was developed to meet those needs by simplifying the management of engineering data. When used correctly, PDM software can streamline workflow and increase collaboration while also keeping your files secure. Picking the right PDM and leveraging its capabilities are key to increasing productivity.

                                                              In this recorded webinar, product data management expert Joe Frank will take you through some of the best practices you can adopt using SOLIDWORKS PDM. Here are a few of the benefits you can experience when using PDM for project management.

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                                                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

                                                                SOLIDWORKS Designs: Fully Functional Drink Dispenser

                                                                Madison Bryce by Madison Bryce on August 10, 2018

                                                                SOLIDWORKS DesignIn order to produce high-quality products, designers, engineers, and inventors must have a strategy for a productive design process. There is a myriad of individual methods involved in a personal design process, all employing the use of specialized tools. Today’s technology has wholly revolutionized the design process, offering countless new possibilities for turning dreams into reality.If you had the power to bring your ideas to life, what would you create?

                                                                In this blog series, I’m taking you on the journey from idea to working model. Thanks to SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD and 3D printers provided by Fisher Unitech, I will be able to see my design come to life. I will use the multitude of tools of SOLIDWORKS to create a working simulated computer model and the high-quality precision and speed of a Stratasys 3D printer to build my model. I will then program my product to be fully automated. In this blog, I will discuss the design process from a couple of sketches to a working model. Let’s get started!

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                                                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                                  How to Change Material in SOLIDWORKS: Customized and Standard

                                                                  Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on August 10, 2018

                                                                  how to change material in SOLIDWORKSWelcome back to my how-to blog series, where I’ve been discussing common questions from new SOLIDWORKS users. In my first blog, I showed how to make a screw in SOLIDWORKS, in my second blog we took that same model and I demonstrated some tips and tricks while making a helix, and in my third blog, I showed how to make basic and custom threads in SOLIDWORKS. Today we’re going to talk about how to change material in SOLIDWORKS and I have some useful hacks on how to make them customizable to your specifications. Let’s get started.

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                                                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                                                    3D Printing Uses in Business: How Are Top Companies Taking Advantage of 3D Printing Technology?

                                                                    Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on August 8, 2018

                                                                    3d printing uses in businessSince American engineer, Charles Hull invented the first 3D printer in 1983, the use of 3D printing technology has skyrocketed. Early in its development, additive manufacturing was hailed as a medical solution, and though there have been challenges, scientists are continuing to prototype 3D-printed organs.

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                                                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                                                      Optimize Your Designs While Cutting Costs with SOLIDWORKS Simulation Tools

                                                                      Nathan Sneller by Nathan Sneller on August 7, 2018

                                                                       SOLIDWORKS SimulationWhether you’re a small or large business owner, an engineer, designer, or laborer there are processes you can adapt to make your job easier. If you have a stake in your business, a reduction in parts could cut your raw material and labor costs and if your company offers a bonus for cost reduction, the reward can be pretty handsome. Even if your company doesn’t have a formal cost reduction program, going into a year-end review with a claim that you saved the company money can help put you ahead.

                                                                      Regardless if your company calls it “cost reduction” or “Value Analysis & Value Engineering”, it all comes down to making more money on existing products by spending less to make them. It’s the easiest profitability. There are a few tools in the SOLIDWORKS portfolio that are crucial in assisting with this. In this blog, I share how to use SOLIDWORKS Simulation and SOLIDWORKS Plastics to make better products for less cost.

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                                                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

                                                                        Always Have A Complete Packing List with SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go

                                                                        Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on August 6, 2018

                                                                        SOLIDWORKS Pack and GoWhenever I travel with my computer, I always create a list of items I’ll need (computer, screen, charger, mouse, etc.) However, it never fails that once I get to my location that I realize I forgot the connecting cord or the widget that goes with my wireless mouse. If you’ve found yourself in similar situations then you know it’s a pretty similar feeling when you’ve gone through the effort to modify or create a top-level assembly in SOLIDWORKS only to send it to someone and have them greeted with the “Unable to locate the file” message. This message indicates that they are missing one or more references to your assembly. While I can’t help to remind you to pack your computer cords, I can help ensure you’ve “packed” all of your SOLIDWORKS components using a handy feature called SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go.

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                                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                                          How to Make Threads in SOLIDWORKS: Basic and Custom

                                                                          Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on August 3, 2018

                                                                          make threads in SOLIDWORKSWelcome back to part three of my “how-to” blog series. In part one of this series I showed how to make a screw in SOLIDWORKS, and in part two I showed how to make a helix in SOLIDWORKS. In today’s blog, we’re going to take a look at how to make threads in SOLIDWORKS. The good news is that ever since the release of SOLIDWORKS 2016, the process couldn’t be easier. There are basic threads and custom threads. I’ll show you how to make both. Let’s get started.

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                                                                          • POSTED IN ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                                                                            Passionate Makers and Speakers Attend Maker Faire Detroit

                                                                            Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on August 2, 2018

                                                                            Maker Faire DetroitMaker Faire Detroit wrapped up its weekend-long festival on July 29th at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Thousands of people gathered for an event that is “part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new” according to their website. For over 10 years, Maker Faire has been inspiring kids and adults across the United States to embrace science and technology with hundreds of exhibitors that want to show you what they’ve made and to share with you what they’ve learned in the process. If you’re unfamiliar with Maker Faires or missed out on Detroit, here’s what happened.

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                                                                            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                                                              Fisher Unitech Announces Channel Partnership with Nano Dimensions

                                                                              Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on August 1, 2018

                                                                              Nano Dimension On July 30th, 2018 Fisher Unitech announced their channel partnership with Nano Dimension. Nano Dimension is a leading additive electronics provider that is disrupting, reshaping, and defining the future of how cognitive connected products are made. With unique 3D printing technologies, partnering with Nano Dimension will satisfy the growing demand for electronic devices that require increasingly sophisticated features.

                                                                              With this partnership, Fisher Unitech will now provide Nano Dimension’s award-winning DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D Printer, a one-stop solution for 3D printed electronics including PCBs (printed circuit boards) to the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and New England areas.

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                                                                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD

                                                                                How to Get a SOLIDWORKS Free Trial

                                                                                Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on July 31, 2018

                                                                                SOLIDWORKS Free Trial SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software offers a tremendous amount of solutions for all aspects of the design process. Jumping into a new CAD software or determining which CAD software is a perfect pick for you or your business can seem like a daunting task. To make the process easier, you can now get a SOLIDWORKS free trial of SOLIDWORKS Premium through MySolidWorks with no waiting or installation required. With this free trial, you can try SOLIDWORKS anytime, anywhere. Here’s how to get started.

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                                                                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                                                  How to Make a Helix in SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                  Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on July 27, 2018

                                                                                  make a helix in solidworksWelcome back to my “how-to” blog series. In this blog, I demonstrate how to make a helix in SOLIDWORKS. One of the most common applications for making a helix is in order to cut threads onto a model - and that’s exactly what I’m going to cover today. In my last blog, I demonstrated how to make a screw in SOLIDWORKS, and to continue with this blog series, I’m going to be working with that same model. Let’s get started.

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                                                                                  • POSTED IN CAD

                                                                                    Women in Engineering: Taking a Step to Bridge the Gap

                                                                                    Madison Bryce by Madison Bryce on July 26, 2018

                                                                                    women in engineeringWhen you hear the word “engineer” who do you imagine first? Chances are a woman is not the first person to pop into your head. That’s because the engineering profession is the field where women are underrepresented the most. The education and research movement to include women in the engineering workforce has improved the diversity of the field slightly, but there is still quite a bit of work to be done in order to close this gap. Engineers are making significant advancements in society, but to better all of society, we need a female perspective. More and more women are entering the engineering field, so in this blog let’s learn a little about some of the first female engineers in the world.

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                                                                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                      Landscape Forms Improves Productivity by Designing Outdoor Lighting and Furniture with SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                      Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on July 24, 2018

                                                                                      Landscape FormsLandscape Forms designs and builds beautiful site furniture and lighting, primarily for public spaces and college, corporate and healthcare campuses. In the early 2000s, Landscape Forms switched from 2D design tools to SOLIDWORKS design software and over the decade shortened design cycle time by 30 percent and reduced time-to-market by 15 to 20 percent.

                                                                                      Landscape Forms has also leveraged SOLIDWORKS to bring its optical and electrical design in-house and enhanced its ability to design organically shaped concrete site furniture and the tooling needed to build it. Fisher Unitech has provided training to upgrade user skills and responded quickly with expert technical support. “The result is that since 2011, Landscape Forms has reduced lighting design cycles by an additional 30 to 35 percent and time-to-market by 15 to 20 percent while reducing furniture design cycles by an additional 30 percent and time-to-market by 20 to 25 percent,” said Todd Halstead, CAD Team Leader for Landscape Forms.

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                                                                                      • POSTED IN FUSED DEPOSITION MODELING (FDM), 3D PRINTING MATERIALS

                                                                                        Stratasys Materials: When to use Polycarbonate, PC-ABS, and Nylon

                                                                                        Dan Erickson by Dan Erickson on July 23, 2018

                                                                                        Stratasys MaterialsWhen you purchase a Stratasys FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printer, your material options may seem endless, but it’s important to make sure you’re using the best Stratasys materials for your FDM applications. In my previous blog, I discussed understanding ABS, ASA, and PLA Stratasys FDM materials. Today, we're going to focus on Polycarbonate, PC-ABS, and Nylon materials, available to Fortus customers as the Engineering Bundle. Let’s take a look.

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                                                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                                                          How to Make a Screw in SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                          Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on July 20, 2018

                                                                                          make a screw in SOLIDWORKSFor today’s tech tip we’re going to talk about how to make a screw in SOLIDWORKS. This is the first in a series that will cover the process - we’re going to start out by making the head of the screw, we’re then going to create a helix, followed by sweeping some threads along that helix, then we’re going to assign the material to the screw, and finally we’ll create both a left hand a right-hand version of the screw. Let’s get started.

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                                                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                            Successful Start to SOLIDWORKS Concept to Consumer Tour

                                                                                            Madison Bryce by Madison Bryce on July 19, 2018

                                                                                            Concept to Consumer TourThe first stop on the SOLIDWORKS Concept to Consumer tour was a success! July 17th marked the first city of the tour presented by SOLIDWORKS and featuring URB-E kicked off in Detroit, MI. The company URB-E produces compact folding electric vehicles that provide stylish and quick transportation.

                                                                                            The event is a comprehensive presentation of what it takes to create market-ready products through SOLIDWORKS. A group of elite SOLIDWORKS engineers presented the URB-E vehicle in a way that walked the audience through its entire design process. The URB-E took shape before everyone’s eyes and proved how essential SOLIDWORKS was in creating this product in a shocking six months.

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                                                                                            • POSTED IN ELECTRICAL, SOLIDWORKS PCB

                                                                                              Enable Collaboration & Streamline Workflow with SOLIDWORKS Electrical Training

                                                                                              Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on July 17, 2018

                                                                                              SOLIDWORKS Electrical trainingIn an increasingly digital world, electronics have become a critical part of the way we communicate and get work done. Whether we notice it or not, electrical systems and printed circuit boards surround us every day.

                                                                                              In order to meet demand, designers and engineers have to create new products while continuously driving innovation and staying ahead of the competitive curve. Their success lies in their ability to design smarter products and unify the electrical and mechanical processes, but this is not always easy. Leveraging SOLIDWORKS CAD and improving communication between the different teams is crucial to improving workflow and lowering costs.

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                                                                                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TRAINING

                                                                                                Learn SOLIDWORKS with a Customized SOLIDWORKS Course Guide

                                                                                                Rodney Harper by Rodney Harper on July 16, 2018

                                                                                                Learn SOLIDWORKSSOLIDWORKS training has long been seen as a cost-effective way to strengthen an individual or team’s skills in SOLIDWORKS without placing the time burden of training on more experienced employees. Online SOLIDWORKS courses, in particular, have become popular for offering flexible, expert-led SOLIDWORKS training to users of all levels.

                                                                                                Of course, the SOLIDWORKS courses you choose depend on your job title, duties, and ultimate goals for training. Whether you’re new to SOLIDWORKS and looking to pick up the basics or a seasoned user who needs to brush up on a new functionality, digging through the extensive SOLIDWORKS course catalog can be overwhelming if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. To help solve this problem, SOLIDWORKS has developed customized SOLIDWORKS course guides that you can easily find with our Education Roadmap.

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