• POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

    3D Printing Medical Devices for Patient Success

    by Lisa Hannon on April 19, 2018

    3D printing medical devicesFrom automotive to aerospace, the impact of 3D printing is well-documented. Companies in a wide range of industries are using additive manufacturing to reduce downtime, speed up processes, and utilize new 3D printing materials to create more efficient products. The medical field, in particular, is using 3D printing to drive innovation in almost every aspect of the industry, spanning everything from medical models and prototype parts to 3D printed assistive devices like prosthetics and wheelchairs. In fact, the use of 3D printing has become so prominent in the medical field that the FDA has issued draft guidance on additive manufactured devices.

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    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, PDM, CAD

      How to Pick the Right Product Data Management (PDM) Solution For Your Company

      by Christa Prokos on April 18, 2018

      solidworks pdm standard vs professional Have you ever heard the phrase, “you get what you pay for?” Although the connotation can be limited, it’s important to know when it’s true - especially when it comes to software tools for your business. Companies who want to scale and remain profitable need to know when the benefits outweigh the costs and how to make the right investments for their long-term growth.

      We’ve mentioned before that not using a PDM solution at all can result in longer cycle times, lost or inaccessible data, and much higher costs. A study by the Aberdeen Group found that PDM users saw a 15% decrease in development time, and were able to reuse data 10% more than non-PDM users. Even businesses who initially hesitated to adopt PDM due to worries over cost and setup have found PDM to be a cost-effective timesaver for their employees.

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      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD

        10 SOLIDWORKS Tips to Optimize Your Workflow

        by Christa Prokos on April 13, 2018

        SOLIDWORKS tips In computer aided design, accuracy and speed are key. Engineers and designers are often strapped for time, with a long list of tasks that need to be tackled every day. Optimizing workflow is key, but it can be hard to set aside time to learn the tools you need to get the most out of SOLIDWORKS. To help address this issue, we’ve compiled a list of SOLIDWORKS tips every CAD user should know, with advice on everything from speeding up assemblies to leveraging little-known tools.

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        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

          Introducing the New Stratasys J700 Dental 3D Printer

          by Angelle Erickson on April 12, 2018

          Stratasys J700 Dental 3D PrinterWho doesn’t want a beautiful smile? Dentists and Orthodontists are not only skilled in their work, but they are becoming more and more exposed to the latest technology to deliver the best results for their patient's dental needs. The new Stratasys J700 Dental 3D Printer makes the production of clear aligners and molds faster and more efficient than ever.

          The Stratasys J700 Dental 3D printer comes equipped with speed, reliability, and minimal post-processing and eliminates the need for post-curing and finishing. This eBook “The Stratasys J700 Dental 3D Printer: Dedicated to the Art of Clear Aligners” explores the current market for clear aligners, how the process works, and lets you take a detailed tour of the Stratasys J700 3D printer.

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          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SIMULATION, CAD

            SOLIDWORKS Plastics Simulation - Can Software Replace Human Observation?

            by Nathan Sneller on April 11, 2018

            SOLIDWORKS Plastics Simulation

            I was once treated to lunch by an older engineer whom I greatly admire. He holds many complex patents and co-founded a plastics company that he sold to a large industrial conglomerate. As we talked our discussion turned to injection molding simulation software such as SOLIDWORKS Plastics simulation software.

            He believed the software was unnecessary, and that the results rarely provided information that couldn't be gained from a conversation with an experienced mold maker. He thought that in choosing software over an experienced human, the “richness of the dialogue was lost”, a phrase that has stuck with me for many years.

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            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, CAD, EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

              Teaching Kids About 3D Printing and Robotics at BUILD IT by Pathway x Events

              by Christa Prokos on April 6, 2018

              FIRST Robotics“How many FIRST robotics teams are there in Michigan?” Melissa Wilson asks a group of Ferndale Middle School students who are on a field trip at an event called BUILD IT: Construction! Without missing a beat she says, 520, and draws their attention to a group of kids behind her.

              It’s Ferndale High School’s FIRST Team 1025—the Impi Warriors, an exhibitor at the BUILD IT event produced by Ferndale, MI-based Pathway x Events, an organization founded by Melissa Wilson and Sarah Cook.

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              • POSTED IN UNCATEGORIZED

                Slow SOLIDWORKS Load Time? Check This Setting

                by Toby Schnaars on April 5, 2018

                Slow SOLIDWORKSTrying to work effectively with a slow SOLIDWORKS large assembly that is slow to open, slow to work with, and slow to save is frustrating and can cause unwanted setbacks. In this blog series, we’ve been covering different steps SOLIDWORKS users can take to avoid delays and make working with large assemblies a much smoother process.

                In previous blogs, we’ve found that checking for errors and saving files on the most current version helped, as well as using the Automatically Load Components Lightweight option and checking your network for bottlenecks also made a significant impact. In this blog, I’m going to be showing you a certain setting that could be hurting load time and how to fix it so you’re no longer taking that lag.

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                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                  Assistive Devices and the Impact of 3D Printing Technology

                  by Lisa Hannon on April 4, 2018

                  assistive devices3D printing is making a significant impact in the medical industry. Whether you’re familiar with the technology or not, you’ve likely heard a story or two about medical 3D models, rapidly prototyped parts, or even attempts at 3D printed organs. These headline-making breakthroughs have important implications for patient care because they are typically more accessible and less expensive than their traditional counterparts. This is especially true of equipment like assistive devices, which are medically necessary but often extremely costly and time-consuming to produce.

                  Medical 3D printing companies, university research teams, and ambitious individuals have been making strides to address high costs and user needs by developing a range of assistive devices to further aid patient recovery and help those with injuries or disabilities. This is beneficial to both manufacturers looking for more efficient ways to produce devices, as well as patients looking for cheaper, high-quality options. Here’s how 3D printing is making an impact on assistive devices.

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                  • POSTED IN PDM, CAD

                    Connecting SOLIDWORKS PDM via SMTP to Gmail or Office 365

                    by Peer Larson on April 3, 2018

                    SOLIDWORKS PDM email As more and more SOLIDWORKS users take advantage of all the automation features in SOLIDWORKS PDM, it becomes clear how important it is to keep other users in the loop. This is especially important for both users who aren’t in the vault all the time and those who are never in the vault but still need to know what’s going on. That is when it is handy to take advantage of the ability to send SOLIDWORKS PDM notifications via the external SMTP method instead of the internal database method.

                    What this means, is that SOLIDWORKS PDM users who are on the go, on mobile devices, or not even part of the SOLIDWORKS PDM environment can be aware of what is happening in the engineering process related to ongoing and upcoming projects.

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                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, PDM, CAD

                      Resetting the PDM Admin Password in SOLIDWORKS

                      by Lindsay Early on March 30, 2018

                      PDM Admin passwordA question I often hear from new SOLIDWORKS administrators is “how do I change the PDM Admin password in SOLIDWORKS?” When I hear this question, it’s usually for one of two reasons. Either, the administrator needs to change it to a more secure password, or the administrator has misplaced the password and needs to reset it.

                      In this blog, I demonstrate step-by-step instructions and tips on how to simply change the PDM Admin password. Let’s get started.

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                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                        Stratasys J750: Revolutionizing Consumer Goods & More

                        by Lisa Hannon on March 28, 2018

                        Stratasys J750Are you a consumer goods company, medical manufacturer, or automotive industry engineer looking for a more versatile and effective way to 3D print? With the release of the Stratasys J750 3D Printer, the first full-color, multi-material system, designers and manufacturers can now achieve unmatched product realism with game-changing versatility.

                        The Stratasys J750 is different from other printers in that it offers a wide range of material properties and over 360,000 color combinations. The use of color textures and gradients result in prototypes and parts with unparalleled realism, opening exciting new doors for a variety of industries. From medical models for surgery prep to faster and more efficient sneaker designs, the Stratasys J750 will help designers and engineers create better results with maximized uptime.

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                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD, SOLIDWORKS 2018

                          New Features in eDrawings 2018: SOLIDWORKS 2018 Series

                          by Angelle Erickson on March 26, 2018

                          eDrawings 2018In our SOLIDWORKS 2018 blog series, we're covering new features and enhancements throughout the entire SOLIDWORKS 2018 portfolio. eDrawings 2018 is a great tool that lets users open, view, and save 3D CAD files straight from SOLIDWORKS. The latest edition of eDrawings 2018 introduces many new enhancements to make collaboration with suppliers and manufacturers simpler and more powerful.

                          In this blog, we’re going to cover some of these new features that include indicators, toolbars, and more. Let’s take a look.

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                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD, TRAINING

                            Online SOLIDWORKS Courses: Worth the Investment?

                            by Rodney Harper on March 23, 2018

                            online SOLIDWORKS coursesWith more than three million users worldwide, SOLIDWORKS products are some of the most widely recognized 3D software tools on the market. Creating designs on everything from supersonic aircraft to exoskeletons, SOLIDWORKS users are leveraging the software to drive innovation in almost every industry — and with it, a growing demand for skilled SOLIDWORKS professionals.

                            The SOLIDWORKS Certification Exams were developed to address this demand, as well as help employers benchmark SOLIDWORKS competency. Passing a SOLIDWORKS exam has become a useful way to gauge an individual’s SOLIDWORKS knowledge, and some companies have even begun offering SOLIDWORKS training to take the onus of certification preparation off of time-strapped team leads. But is SOLIDWORKS training really worth it?

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                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD, SOLIDWORKS 2019

                              Get a Sneak Peek of SOLIDWORKS 2019

                              by Ken LaVictor on March 22, 2018

                              SOLIDWORKS 2019When SOLIDWORKS World 2018 came to a close back in February, attendees were able to witness one of the most anticipated announcements - a sneak peek of SOLIDWORKS 2019. Every year, SOLIDWORKS offers a sneak peek of new features and enhancements to come in the next release of the 3D CAD software.

                              In this blog, we will see a small sampling of new functionality slated for SOLIDWORKS 2019. While viewing these new features and enhancements, remember this is a preview of what might make it to the SOLIDWORKS 2019 release. By Fall 2018, many more features will be added as well, some may change, and some may take a little longer than anticipated to get out there. Let’s take a look at some of these potential new features.

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                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, DESKTOP METAL

                                Improve Production Lead Times with Desktop Metal

                                by Lisa Hannon on March 21, 2018

                                production lead timesCompanies of all sizes are looking to gain a competitive advantage regardless of industry, but perhaps none more so than those in the booming manufacturing industry. Manufacturers are facing more competition than ever, and small to midsize companies, in particular, are struggling to stand up to both domestic and international pressure. Many believe that bridging the gap between themselves and their much larger competitors simply isn’t achievable due to a lack of resources - but the right approach can help improve production lead times while still saving cost.

                                Additive manufacturing is a rapidly growing subset of the manufacturing industry that has spurred advancements in medical, aerospace, and many other areas. Producers of 3D printing hardware have made their products more accessible than ever by creating hardware that suits a wide range of applications and settings. In particular, industry leaders like Desktop Metal have produced end-to-end solutions with a cost 10x cheaper than comparable systems, allowing companies of all sizes to leverage the power of 3D printing.

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                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD

                                  Fisher Unitech Customer Ringbrothers Keeps Their Future Digital with SOLIDWORKS

                                  by Stacey Clement on March 20, 2018

                                  RingbrothersJim and Mike Ring have had a passion for building innovative cars since childhood. Even at an early age they were busy building and painting cars anywhere and anytime they could. Now as successful adults, Mike and Jim carry their passion and imagination as co-founders of their company Ringbrothers. Along with being a collision and repair shop, they also deliver a few custom-built cars throughout the year.

                                  Ringbrothers, headquartered in Spring Green, Wisconsin is not only a collision and repair shop,  they also produce custom builds and high-quality accessories along with custom fiberglass and carbon pieces. Ringbrothers has soared to the top of American car builders and won numerous design awards including the General Motors award for “Best Chevrolet of Show”, multiple Mothers Shine Awards, magazine covers, and more.

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                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD, SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2018

                                    Beginners Surfacing Breakout session at SOLIDWORKS World 2018

                                    by Toby Schnaars on March 16, 2018

                                    Beginners SurfacingIn February of 2018 I was honored to be selected by to present at the annual SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2018 user conference. This year the conference was held in Los Angeles, California. My breakout session was focused on SOLIDWORKS Surfacing and was called “Beginners Surfacing for Beginners” and took place on Tuesday, February 6th at 10:30 AM.  It was attended by 181 SOLIDWORKS users.

                                    The goal of this presentation was to help users who have little or no experience with the SOLIDWORKS Surfacing tools get a better understanding of how and when surfaces can and should be utilized.  SOLIDWORKS Surfacing tools are a great addition to any SOLIDWORKS user’s toolbox, and I wanted to take this, often avoided area of SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software, and make it more accessible to newer users.

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                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAM

                                      What is the Best CAM Software to Use with SOLIDWORKS?

                                      by Christa Prokos on March 15, 2018

                                      CAM SoftwareThe technologies you use during your design to manufacture process are critical to your success. There are costs to control, time you can’t waste, and quality you can’t afford to compromise. If you use SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software to design parts and assemblies for CNC machining, then it’s time to take a serious look at CAMWorks CAM software.

                                      CAMWorks is an intuitive, feature-based computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software that integrates seamlessly with SOLIDWORKS. It is ideal to use with SOLIDWORKS because it runs directly inside SOLIDWORKS so your design and manufacturing model become one and the same. Read on to learn more about CAMWorks.

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                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD, SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2018

                                        SOLIDWORKS Multibody Parts Using “Hybrid” Sketching

                                        by Jay-Shan Jackson on March 14, 2018

                                        SOLIDWORKS Multibody partOver the years I’ve had many opportunities to use SOLIDWORKS for different projects either for work, home, hobbies, teaching, and more. Working in the industry that I’m in you also tend to observe several habits for better or worse regarding design strategies. One habit that seems to be very consistent, is that people don’t seem to like 3D sketching.

                                        Of course, saying people don’t “like” 3D sketching is one of the biggest understatements of all time. It’s kind of like saying that the Ford Pinto wasn’t an “ideal” racecar. No, the truth of the matter is that people seem to fear and loathe 3D sketching, to the point that they’d rather find any other way to get their design done. Let’s change that. In order to help spread the word, I presented this at my SOLIDWORKS World 2018 breakout session, so if you weren’t able to make it to the last event then you’re in luck. Let’s take a look at what you missed.

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                                        • POSTED IN INJECTION MOLDING

                                          Designing for Manufacturability with Injection Molding

                                          by Angelle Erickson on March 13, 2018

                                          Injection molding has its advantages including eliminating unneeded costs and reducing time to market by improving your part design process from concept through production. In a world where parts seem to be getting smaller yet stronger, design integrity, part tolerance, and form-fit-function tools are more important now than ever. Injection Molding offers a bunch of great tools that can assist with cost, repeatability, iteration cycles, scale, prototyping to production, time to market and more.

                                          Our friends at Xcentric Mold & Engineering hosted a Designing for Manufacturability webinar demonstrating how to optimize your part design, reduce costs, and reduce the time frame to produce your injection molded plastic parts. Keep reading to take a look at some of these features.

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                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                            Introduction to SOLIDWORKS Mold Tools

                                            by Chaz Stipkovic on March 9, 2018

                                            SOLIDWORKS Mold ToolsAnother exciting SOLIDWORKS World event has come to a close, where over 5,000 SOLIDWORKS users attended and brought home new knowledge to incorporate into their everyday workflow. If you weren’t able to attend, or you’re new or unfamiliar with SOLIDWORKS Mold Tools, this blog is for you.

                                            SOLIDWORKS Mold Tools are available in SOLIDWORKS Standard, SOLIDWORKS Professional, and SOLIDWORKS Premium and is offered for online and classroom training from our training team. The following blog was presented by our own Fisher Unitech SOLIDWORKS Expert Chaz Stipkovic, adapted from his breakout session at SOLIDWORKS World 2018. Let’s take a look.

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                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD, SOLIDWORKS 2018

                                              Simplify Your SOLIDWORKS Custom Property Input with the Custom Properties Tab

                                              by Rachael Buhl on March 8, 2018

                                              SOLIDWORKS World 2018 offered many different breakout sessions on an array of interesting subjects. However, if you weren’t able to make it to the Los Angeles, California event this past February doesn’t mean you should miss out on informative presentations. This blog covers what Fisher Unitech SOLIDWORKS Expert, Rachael Buhl, presented to users on how to simplify your custom property input with the custom properties tab.

                                              Properties are simply details about a file which can be searched, and even referenced by other files. There are Windows-based properties and SOLIDWORKS based properties. Windows-based properties, such as file size, date created, and date last modified can be seen by right-clicking a file in Windows Explorer and clicking Properties. SOLIDWORKS properties, on the other hand, are very customizable. They may include anything you need. Common examples are Description, Part Number, Weight, or Material, just to name a few.

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                                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, FISHER UNITECH NEWS, DESKTOP METAL

                                                Fisher Unitech Welcomes First Desktop Metal Studio System 3D Printer

                                                by Angelle Erickson on March 7, 2018

                                                Desktop Metal Studio System 3D Printer It's here! We're excited to announce that on March 6th, 2018 we welcomed our first Desktop Metal Studio System 3D Printer at our new Fisher Unitech office located at mHUB in Chicago, IL. We've been thrilled to be a Diamond partner with Desktop Metal, and the innovations metal 3D printing can bring to the table.

                                                The Desktop Metal Studio System is safe, cost-effective, simple to use, and unlike any other metal 3D printer currently on the market.

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                                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, ELECTRICAL, CAD, PCB

                                                  Joining Forces: Design in Parallel with SOLIDWORKS Electrical and PCB

                                                  by Angelle Erickson on March 6, 2018

                                                  SOLIDWORKS Electrical Electrical systems and printed circuit boards are all around us, embedded in an endless number of items. Your cell phone, computer, television, the lamp on your desk, the key fob in your pocket; even the very room you’re sitting in. Increasingly, anything you interact with contains a circuit board, and every circuit board needs a supply of electricity.

                                                  The pace at which these technologies develop is rapid, and to meet that demand and deliver the latest and greatest products to market, electrical and mechanical designers and engineers must work in parallel; in a collaborative environment with seamless communication.

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                                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SIMULATION, CAD

                                                    How to Use Design Validation and Virtual Simulation Software

                                                    by Christa Prokos on March 5, 2018

                                                    Virtual Simulation SoftwareVirtual simulation is not only for specialists and final design validation. It’s an intuitive design solution for all product engineers in all industries. Using simulation software, you can set up virtual real-world environments to test your product designs before manufacturing them. If fact, it pays to use simulation software. You will lower your costs and shorten your time-to-market by reducing the number of physical prototypes before going into production.

                                                    To teach you more about how to use SOLIDWORKS design validation and virtual simulation software, we invited SOLIDWORKS Simulation expert Joe Galliera from corporate DS SolidWorks to present a webcast called, Design Better Products Faster with Virtual Simulation. Keep reading to learn more about using simulation software.

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                                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD, EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

                                                      The Dundee Vi-Borgs Prepare for 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition

                                                      by Ethan Harper on March 2, 2018

                                                      2018 FIRST RoboticsWhen the 2017 year ended for my Vi-Borgs FIRST Robotics team based out of my high school in Dundee, Michigan, we took some time to look back,reflect, and learn on what happened to help prepare us for the 2018 FIRST Robotics season. The 2017 Steamworks challenge was my first year taking part in a FIRST robotics season and I enjoyed every minute of it. From beginning to end there were several challenges that our team faced but were able to overcome them using skills learned in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) fields that are applicable to everyday life.

                                                      January 5th was FIRST Power Up 2018 season kick off. Keep reading to learn more about my FIRST Robotics team and new steps we took to prepare for the 2018 FIRST Robotics season.

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

                                                        How to Keep Your 3D Printer in Tip-Top Shape

                                                        by Alex Pauley on February 28, 2018

                                                        3D Printer maintenanceMost companies have a 3D printing solution that they use on a daily basis. Performing proper 3D printer maintenance will help ensure that your printer keeps running smoothly and continues to kick out parts in the best possible form. During my experience as a 3D printing field technician, I’ve seen several cases that could have been avoided if proper upkeep and routine maintenance were established. In this blog, I’m going to go over some helpful tips and tricks for both PolyJet and FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printers that will help you keep your projects on schedule, so you don’t fall behind.

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                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, PDM, CAD

                                                          What You Missed at SOLIDWORKS World: How to use SOLIDWORKS Treehouse and Templates to Create Assemblies Faster

                                                          by Heather Dawe on February 27, 2018

                                                          SOLIDWORKS TreehouseOne of the most highly anticipated events at a SOLIDWORKS World conference is being able to attend break-out sessions that are hosted by Certified SOLIDWORKS users on an array of different subjects. If you weren’t able to make it to this year’s conference then you’re in luck. This blog covers what Fisher Unitech SOLIDWORKS Expert Heather Dawe presented to users to show how SOLIDWORKS Treehouse and templates can be used to create assemblies faster.

                                                          SOLIDWORKS Product Data Management (PDM) templates are one of the most commonly used automation processes in a PDM vault. They can be used for everything from creating new project folder sets, to writing ECO’s/ECR’s, to generating new SOLIDWORKS files. Many companies already use PDM Templates to create new project folder sets. These folders can be used to implement project-wide variables and can be populated with pre-designed template files to create a uniform, organized project folders. What a lot of users don’t know is that by using a little-known tool called SOLIDWORKS Treehouse, you can take your assembly to the next level and use you PDM templates to kick-start your project planning and create your assemblies quicker.

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                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD, SOLIDWORKS 2018

                                                            Top New Features in SOLIDWORKS 2018 Flow Simulation

                                                            by Drew Buchanan on February 23, 2018

                                                            SOLIDWORKS 2018 Flow SimulationSOLIDWORKS 2018 released a ton of new features and enhancements that we’re excited about. In our “What’s New” blog series, we’ve been covering the entire SOLIDWORKS 2018 portfolio. In today’s blog we will be covering some of the great new features in the SOLIDWORKS 2018 Flow Simulation portfolio.

                                                            For an even more in-depth look, make sure to register for my upcoming webinar “Top Flow Simulation Tips and What's New in SOLIDWORKS Flow 2018” that I’ll be hosting on February 27th at 11 AM EST. Let’s get started.

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                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, FISHER UNITECH NEWS

                                                              Fisher Unitech Receives Awards at SOLIDWORKS World 2018 for Superior Customer Service, Support and Sales Achievements

                                                              by Christa Prokos on February 21, 2018

                                                              SOLIDWORKS World In February, thirty Fisher Unitech employees went to Los Angeles, California to take part in SOLIDWORKS World 2018. Not only did we have the honor of delivering 10 presentations and joining our customers, partners and friends in the SOLIDWORKS community at the event, but we took home 17 awards for our customer service, support and sales achievements.

                                                              The annual SOLIDWORKS World conference held February 4-7 brought together 5,000 attendees in the SOLIDWORKS community including partners, sellers and customers from around the globe. The awards presented to Fisher Unitech recognize the company’s dedication as a partner of Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp. and the talent and commitment of its staff.

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                                                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, SOLIDWORKS, CAD, EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

                                                                ThunderChickens FIRST Robotics Team is Ready for 2018 Competition

                                                                by Ryan Henigan on February 20, 2018

                                                                ThunderChickensWith a new year comes a new FIRST Robotics season for the ThunderChickens. High school students in FIRST Robotics teams across the globe anxiously wait for this time of year. On January 6th, “For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology” (FIRST) released this year's FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION (FRC) challenge.

                                                                FIRST Robotics is an organization that has been around since its founding by Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers in 1989. Their goal is to inspire young students to participate in Science and Engineering as if it were a sport. With traditional high school sports receiving so much attention, Dean and Woodie set out to create a sport for the mind that all of its participants could “go pro” in some day.

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                                                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD, DRIVEWORKS

                                                                  DriveWorks Design Automation: Configure and Customize with a Click

                                                                  by Aaron Winthers on February 16, 2018

                                                                  DriveWorks Design Automation-1Are you an engineer who is spending too much of your time modifying existing designs instead of creating new ones? Are you a technical lead who wishes that there was a way to substantially automate your supply chain with the press of a button? Are you a company executive who wants the competitive edge of allowing your customers to configure your products online? If you answered yes to any of these questions then DriveWorks is for you. DriveWorks design automation software allows you to configure, price and quote models, documents and data from web to the production floor.

                                                                  This is just an introduction to DriveWorks design automation software, to learn more, check out my recorded webcast, “Save Time and Money with DriveWorks Design Automation” to see a live demonstration.

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                                                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                    The Automotive Industry Continues to Drive Additive Manufacturing Solutions

                                                                    by Bryant Goudelock on February 15, 2018

                                                                    3D Printig soutions The automotive industry in the United States has seen many changes in production since its early beginnings in the late 1800’s. From Henry Ford’s Model T to the Big Three, factory floors have adapted to developments in production. In the beginning, designers and engineers used mockup drawings and general prototyping to demonstrate their ideas, but for the last two decades, the automotive industry has grown even more. With the use of an additive manufacturing and 3D printing solution, automotive manufacturers can create functional models, jigs, fixtures, and assembly aides along with other manufacturing tools to improve time to market.

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                                                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, PDM, CAD

                                                                      2 SOLIDWORKS Tips For Working with Large Assemblies

                                                                      by Toby Schnaars on February 13, 2018

                                                                      SOLIDWORKS Large assembliesDo you often find that your SOLIDWORKS large assemblies are sluggish? Do you experience slow open time, lag, and a slow save time? If you do, you’re not alone, but there are several variables you may not have considered that could be causing this lackluster performance. In this blog series I’ve been covering each of those variables to help you get your SOLIDWORKS large assemblies opened, working, and saving faster.

                                                                      In my first blog, I showed several examples of a large assembly that was slow to open, slow to save, and slow to work with. We were able to remedy that by opening the assembly locally, we turned off shadows and shapes, real view, and changed the display to shaded. In part 2, I talked about network bottlenecks and the differences in hard drives and how those can affect how your large assembly performs. Part 3 introduced the “Automatically Load Components Lightweight” option in SOLIDWORKS and how to reduce the amount of data being opened. Continuing with that trend, today we’re going to talk about a couple of best practices for working with assemblies in general but especially with large assemblies.

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                                                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD, SOLIDWORKS 2018

                                                                        SOLIDWORKS 2018 Assemblies and Magnetic Mate Capabilities

                                                                        by Angelle Erickson on February 12, 2018

                                                                        SOLIDWORKS 2018 assembliesIn today’s global marketplace, great products need to get built faster than ever. That’s why SOLIDWORKS 2018 offers the toolset and power source you need to help deliver assembly designs in record time and with less effort. One effective capability is that now when creating a linear pattern of components, SOLIDWORKS 2018 now gives users the ability to add an optional rotation. After choosing the number of instances, you can simply select a rotation reference and specify the incremental angle. This speeds up the process of all kinds of innovative designs and removes the need for additional features.

                                                                        This blog covers more helpful features regarding surfaces, faces, and magnetic mating. Keep reading to learn more about these enhancements and how you can start implementing them into your everyday workflow straight away.

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                                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD, SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2018

                                                                          SOLIDWORKS World 2018 General Session 3 Focuses on the Future

                                                                          by Stacey Clement on February 7, 2018

                                                                          SOLIDWORKS World 2018 General Session 3The Day 3 General Session of SOLIDWORKS World 2018 was held on Wednesday, February 7th and showcased the ways SOLIDWORKS customers have used SOLIDWORKS to create innovative solutions and products and how they plan to continue innovating moving forward. From Hollywood art directors to a Formula 1 driver, SOLIDWORKS customers across a variety of industries stepped up to share their stories, along with valuable insights from members of the SOLIDWORKS team. Keep reading to find out what we learned.

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                                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD, SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2018

                                                                            SOLIDWORKS World 2018 General Session 2 THINK: INNOVATION Theme with Supersonic Jets, Exoskeleton and Entertainment Complexes

                                                                            by Christa Prokos on February 6, 2018

                                                                            The Day 2 General Session of SOLIDWORKS World 2018 on February 6th at the Los Angeles Convention Center showcased engineers, inventors and entrepreneurs explaining how they used SOLIDWORKS to turn their visions into reality. For example, Boom Technologies is developing a supersonic jetliner that can fly from New York to London in three and a half hours, half the time it takes to get there today. SG Robotics uses SOLIDWORKS to design exoskeletons that enable people with a wide range of disabilities to walk without assistance. Two Bit Circus is designing a fleet of next generation micro-amusement parks that will include the latest in multi-person virtual reality and mixed reality games, social play experiences, group games and liberal use of lasers, fire and robots.

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                                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD, SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2018

                                                                              SOLIDWORKS World 2018 First General Session Lays Out Future Direction of Leading Design Software

                                                                              by Christa Prokos on February 5, 2018

                                                                              SOLIDWORKS World 2018 got off to an exhilarating start today in its first general session on February 5th 2018 in Los Angeles, California with the top executives of the company laying out their vision for the future, a high-powered customer story and a keynote speech by MIT Professor Neri Oxman. Keep reading to learn more about what was covered.

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                                                                              • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS 2018

                                                                                SOLIDWORKS 2018 Improves Productivity with Mesh, Tab & Slot, and Sketch Features

                                                                                by Angelle Erickson on February 2, 2018

                                                                                SOLIDWORKS 2018 Improves ProductivityA decrease in productivity can create a landslide of side effects amongst your engineering and design teams, and ultimately impact time to market. That’s why SOLIDWORKS 2018 made improvements and offered new features to keep your design process flowing smoothly.

                                                                                In our What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018 blog series we’ve been taking a look at new features and enhancements across the entire SOLIDWORKS 2018 portfolio. In this blog, we’ll be looking at improvements in productivity within SOLIDWORKS Mesh and Sketch capabilities, and a new assembly tool called Tab and Slot. Let’s take a look.

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                                                                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD, TRAINING

                                                                                  Ask a SOLIDWORKS Expert feat. Tom Starks: Do I Need SOLIDWORKS Training?

                                                                                  by Angelle Erickson on February 1, 2018

                                                                                  Pop quiz: What level user should a person be to consider SOLIDWORKS training? New user? Experienced user? Expert? The answer is all of the above. It doesn’t matter what level of experience you have using SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software; training is always a good option. Not only does SOLIDWORKS training help keep your skill set fresh, but gaining certifications can place you above the bar amongst your peers and help you gain recognition within your organization.

                                                                                  At Fisher Unitech we offer SOLIDWORKS training three ways: Online (offered throughout the entire United States), onsite, and in-classroom. We offer over 40 different SOLIDWORKS online classes and 12 SOLIDWORKS certification tests to meet your needs. Most importantly, all of our classes are taught by a live instructor. One of those instructors is Tom Starks. Keep reading to learn more about Tom and his role in the SOLIDWORKS education experience.

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                                                                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                                                                                    New Developments in Additive Manufacturing: Aerospace

                                                                                    by Lisa Hannon on January 31, 2018

                                                                                    additive manufacturing in aerospaceIn August 2017, we wrote about the growing popularity of 3D printing in aerospace due to the cost, quality, and efficiency of 3D printed airplane parts and 3D printing materials. Since our last post, even more aerospace companies have adopted additive manufacturing, and new innovations seem to be emerging every day. Here are the most recent developments in additive manufacturing in aerospace, and what we can expect in the future.

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                                                                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD

                                                                                      SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2018 Livestream

                                                                                      by Angelle Erickson on January 30, 2018

                                                                                      SOLIDWORKS World 2018 is heading to Los Angeles, California where over 5,000 SOLIDWORKS users can join their peers to share, explore, and learn about the latest in 3D design. The theme for SOLIDWORKS World 2018 is THINK FUTURE, THINK INNOVATION, and THINK NEXT IS NOW which will be discussed in further detail over the course of the three-day event.

                                                                                      CEO of Dassault Systemes, Gian Paolo Bassi will kick off the first general session at 8:30 PST on Monday, February 5th and guests will hear from a collection of motivational speakers and SOLIDWORKS experts delivering news and advancements that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

                                                                                      Can’t make it to Los Angeles? All three general sessions at SOLIDWORKS World 2018 will stream live coverage, which can be viewed on your computer no matter where you are. You can sign up for the live stream below.

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                                                                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD

                                                                                        Infographic Summarizes Advantages Gained in Switching From Autodesk Inventor to SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                        by Christa Prokos on January 29, 2018

                                                                                        switch to solidworksThere is a lot of buzz in the 3D CAD market right now about companies looking at switching from Autodesk Inventor to SOLIDWORKS. Many are focusing on the capabilities and features of the software such as its intuitive and easy-to-use user interface and its ability to scale from small parts to very large assemblies and to perform powerful simulations without leaving the SOLIDWORKS user interface.

                                                                                        But there are a wide range of other reasons to consider switching from Autodesk Inventor to SOLIDWORKS that have nothing to do with software features, such as licensing options, price stability, technical support options, user community and availability of skilled users. Fisher Unitech has created an infographic that summarizes these advantages and this blog post will provide some additional explanation for each of the points mentioned in the infographic.

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                                                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                          Why You Should use the Automatically Load Components Lightweight Option in SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                          by Toby Schnaars on January 26, 2018

                                                                                          TAutomatic Load Components Lightweightoday we’re going to talk about what we can do to reduce the amount of data being opened by using the automatically load components lightweight option. In my first blog we talked about SOLIDWORKS large assemblies that are slow to open, slow to work with, and slow to save, and in my previous blog I had a specific focus on how the assembly was slow to open taking approximately seven minutes and thirty seconds to open.

                                                                                          What happens when opening an assembly in SOLIDWORKS is that information is moved from your fixed disc into RAM and the things that can affect how long it takes to open an assembly during this process are the data transfer speeds, how quickly the data can move from fixed disc into RAM, and the amount of data being opened. The first step we can take, I think, is pretty straight forward and that is we can examine our directory for unusually large part files. Each part file is going to be opened from fixed disc into RAM when you open an assembly. Therefore, if you have any unusually large part file size that’s 5 MB or more, you really want to open that part file and do what you can to reduce the overall file size, which is going to reduce the amount of data being loaded into RAM and make your assembly open more quickly.

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

                                                                                            Justifying a 3D Printer Investment for Rapid Prototyping

                                                                                            by Angelle Erickson on January 24, 2018

                                                                                            Justifying a 3D printerDo you think your company could benefit from 3D printing technologies? Are your design teams, engineers, and product managers on board but your accounting or finance department and management teams are still on the fence? If you could use a little help convincing the rest of your team to justify a large investment, you’re not alone. The advantages are significant, as 3D printing allows product development teams to easily, rapidly, and cost effectively produce models, prototypes, and patterns. Parts can be produced in hours or days rather than weeks.

                                                                                            For many companies, prototyping is an expense, not an investment, for which there is a limited budget. With this mindset, increasing the volume of prototyping work means only that expenses increase. This translates to a negative impact on the bottom line that becomes hard to rationalize. To justify 3D printing based on printing more prototypes, the value of prototyping must be quantified in real, tangible ways. The following blog will help you define challenges you may face along with a whitepaper that provides case studies and all the steps you should take to win your case.

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                                                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD, SOLIDWORKS 2018

                                                                                              3D File Support: What’s New in SOLIDWORKS Inspection 2018

                                                                                              by Angelle Erickson on January 22, 2018

                                                                                              SOLIDWORKS 2018 continues to impress new and experienced users alike with its outstanding user interface and toolbox filled with everything you need to make your 3D CAD design a success. In our What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2018 blog series, we’ve been covering all the latest features and enhancements. In this blog, you’ll learn more about new features for SOLIDWORKS Inspection 2018 including 3D file support to help streamline your quality control process. Let’s take a look.

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                                                                                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                                Help! My SOLIDWORKS Large Assembly is Slow to Open

                                                                                                by Toby Schnaars on January 19, 2018

                                                                                                SOLIDWORKS large assemblies slow to open Welcome to part two of my “Large Assemblies and How to Make Them Faster in SOLIDWORKS” blog series. In this blog, I’ll be discussing different actions you can take to make your assemblies easier and faster to work with.

                                                                                                Just a quick disclaimer: There are a lot of variables when it comes to working with large assemblies in SOLIDWORKS and when it comes to slow computer performance in general, so you want to make sure you realize that there may be instances outside the scope of these examples that you can do to also speed up your computer. Try rebooting regularly to make sure your RAM cache is clear or maybe learning about the topic of Windows and GDI. These are a few things that are a little more nuance that can definitely help you with large assemblies in SOLIDWORKS, but during this series I’m going to be giving specific examples I have found that help almost every user when it comes to large assembly performance. Let’s get started.

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                                                                                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD

                                                                                                  Autodesk Inventor Users: It’s Now Much Easier to Switch to SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                                  by Sean O'Neill on January 18, 2018

                                                                                                  Autodesk Inventor users: It's now much easier to switch to SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD If you’ve ever tried importing third-party 3D CAD data into your native 3D CAD software, you’ve probably most commonly associated this process with one word: pain. Your 3D CAD platform of choice has many disparate features that come together to present you with the interfaces you associate with terms like “Creo files,” “Inventor files,” and so on. This includes the modeling kernel in use, the information set, and versioning concerns.

                                                                                                  About four years ago, I presented at a SOLIDWORKS User Group on a topic I titled, “Imported Geometry: The Dirty Laundry of CAD.” Back then, third-party CAD data was exactly that. No one wanted to deal with it. It made the process of switching to a new 3D CAD system a painful process. Until now.  I presented a webcast on how easy it is today to “Convert Autodesk Inventor CAD Data to SOLIDWORKS.” In this blog, I cover why but be sure to view my recoreded webcast to see how easy it is to use native Inventor files right in SOLIDWORKS today.

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                                                                                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD, SOLIDWORKS 2018

                                                                                                    SOLIDWORKS World 2018: What to Expect

                                                                                                    by Stacey Clement on January 17, 2018

                                                                                                    SOLIDWORKS World 2018SOLIDWORKS World 2018 will be held from Sunday, February 4th to Wednesday, February 7th in Los Angeles, California. SOLIDWORKS World is an annual conference where SOLIDWORKS users and resellers gather to network and learn more about specific topics and solutions in SOLIDWORKS, spanning everything from 3D CAD software and communications to data management.

                                                                                                    SOLIDWORKS World is a great opportunity for people associated with or using SOLIDWORKS software to strengthen their skills and understanding of the software from experts in the field. In addition to over 200 breakout sessions, the conference also offers multiple networking opportunities for attendees, putting them in contact with SOLIDWORKS partners, entrepreneurs, solution providers and more.

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                                                                                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD

                                                                                                      eBook Reveals How to Successfully Implement a New 3D CAD System

                                                                                                      by Christa Prokos on January 16, 2018

                                                                                                      How to sucessfully implement a new 3D CAD system There are some very good reasons to consider switching to a new 3D CAD system in 2018. For example, if you switch from Autodesk Inventor to SOLIDWORKS you will be able to tap into a much larger user community that will make it easier to find skilled users. You will increase your range of licensing options, such as being able to choose either a perpetual lease or subscription. You can take advantage of a much larger ecosystem of product development solutions to increase user productivity. You will have the option of phone, email or web tech support instead of being channeled into using email support.

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