SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Tutorial: Fluid Flow Problems

    by Drew Buchanan on June 15, 2018

    Flow Simulation tutorial

    Testing fluid flow problems used to be a fairly complicated and difficult process to execute. With the advent of technology, you can now run fluid flow problems virtually. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been around for the past 30 years, and it has become even more user-friendly and powerful than it was 30 years ago.

    One of the most common questions I hear from users new to CFD is how do I get started? In this SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation tutorial, I am laying out how to prepare a model for a fluid flow problem. Let's get started. 

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      3 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Switching CAD Tools

      by Madison Bryce on June 14, 2018

      Switching CAD toolsSwitching to a different CAD software may seem like a daunting task. Not only is it essential to evaluate your company and its personal needs to decide if switching is right for you, but here are three questions that you should ask yourself before switching to SOLIDWORKS: Does switching to SOLIDWORKS make good business sense? Is SOLIDWORKS a software my team can easily learn? How would I go about transferring my legacy data?

      In this blog, we will discuss these topics in three sections starting with the business sense of SOLIDWORKS and how the company and its value-added resellers work for you. Second, we’ll discuss the learning curve and ways to minimize it. Finally, we will consider the transfer of data and how new versions of SOLIDWORKS changed the game in Multi-CAD tools. Let’s get started.

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        Medical Device Makers use 3D Printing to Save Time, Money, and Relationships

        by Bruce White on June 13, 2018

        3D printed medical devices“I feel the need for speed.” - Maverick (Tom Cruise) in the film “Top Gun”. This cool line from a slick movie about fighter pilots in the 1980’s could well be the battle cry of medical device makers both large and small today.

        For Syqe, an Israeli startup, 3D Printing’s rapid prototyping capability was important to the firm from its inception. Perry Davidson, the medical founder and CEO of Syqe, figured another ‘excruciating slide presentation’ was not the way to win initial financial support for the firm, which makes sophisticated inhalers for controlled doses of pain medication, initially medical marijuana.

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          How Much Does SOLIDWORKS Cost? Everything You Need to Know About SOLIDWORKS Pricing

          by Christa Prokos on June 11, 2018

          SOLIDWORKS priceAre you interested in SOLIDWORKS software but don’t know where to get started? You’re not alone.

          There are many factors to consider when making a new software purchase, including pricing, functionality, and overall fit. We’ve broken down the different SOLIDWORKS products available for purchase and the differences between them to help you make the right selection for your needs. Here’s what you need to know.

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            Improve Your Archery Game with SOLIDWORKS PDM Tasks

            by Peer Larson on June 8, 2018

            SOLIDWORKS PDM Tasks If you’re like me, then you like archery. There’s a lot to like about it - the serenity of nature, the simplicity of a bow and arrow, and the cool morning breeze as you line up your shot. While there are many of you out there that are far better at it than I am, we can all agree that practice is the key item that makes good archery possible. Also, a great excuse to do it more.

            So how does SOLIDWORKS PDM play into this? As it turns out, there are a number of factors that can get in the way of our precious practice time. One of them being work; specifically tedious and repetitive work. We’ve all dreaded those late nights and weekends where we have to open hundreds or thousands of drawings, check a standard or property, and make a simple adjustment all before release day (or ISO inspection day) - usually Monday morning. If this is a nightmare you’ve experienced, are soon dreading, or simply don’t wish to encounter you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get started.

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              SOLIDWORKS Online Training: Here’s What to Expect

              by Madison Bryce on June 5, 2018

              SOLIDWORKS Essentials TrainingBefore enrolling as an engineering student at the University of Michigan, I had used CAD software for several years. During that time I’ve experienced formal classroom settings, informal settings, as well as learning the software by simply clicking around until I found a solution. Even though I eventually accomplished what I was trying to do, this method was time-consuming and didn’t always yield the most effective solution.

              I recently had the opportunity expand my skills by taking a take a two-week SOLIDWORKS online training class called SOLIDWORKS Essentials. The experience I’ve had in the past with online learning involved recorded lectures, online classes, and tutorials so when I logged in the first day of the course, I expected a similar experience. Instead, I was introduced to a whole new way of learning.

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                SOLIDWORKS Tips for Large Assemblies That Are Slow to Work With

                by Toby Schnaars on June 1, 2018

                SOLIDWORKS Large Assemblies In my SOLIDWORKS Large Assemblies blog series, I’ve talked about how large assemblies can be slow to open, slow to work with, and slow to save. Earlier in the series, we opened the assembly with a bunch of older version files and I was opening it from a network and it took seven minutes and thirty seconds to open. I went through the assembly and moved all the files to a location where they were getting the fastest possible data connection, opened all the files in a resolved state and made sure we had read/write access, we looked for any files with an unusually large file size and shrank those files, we resolved any errors in the assembly, sub-assemblies, and part files, and then we saved the assembly and all parts in the current version of SOLIDWORKS. After that, we closed the assembly and we toggled on the option to load components lightweight. I ended up cutting the total time down to just about twenty seconds just by following the steps talked about in previous blogs.

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                  Antero 800NA: The High-Performance Thermoplastic

                  by Lisa Hannon on May 30, 2018

                  Antero 800NA With the rapid adoption of 3D printing across industries, companies are continuously looking for new ways to incorporate additive manufacturing into their workflows and create more efficient processes. While in the past chemicals and other harsh environments would make 3D printing impossible, today companies like Stratasys are creating new materials to meet the requirements of almost every application. Stratasys’ most recent release, Antero 800NA, is a heat and chemical resistant PEKK-based thermoplastic that manufacturers can use to cut costs and design more quickly.

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                    How to Leverage Animation Data from SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD Within SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional

                    by Matt Haywood on May 25, 2018

                    SOLIDWORKS Visualize ProfessionalSOLIDWORKS Visualize, introduced to the SOLIDWORKS product suite in 2016, currently offers the option to export animation files from SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD to the SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional package. If you are running SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard, it will NOT be possible for you to render animation files. SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional is a requirement.

                    While it is possible to fully define your animation within the SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional interface, you might save some time by exporting your existing animation from SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD. You might also find that you are most familiar with the SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD commands for creating animations. In this blog, we will take a simple assembly from SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD, create a simple animation, and export to SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional with just a few easy steps.

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                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

                      Comparing SOLIDWORKS Packages: Standard vs Professional or Premium

                      by Christa Prokos on May 22, 2018

                      OLIDWORKS Standard vs Professional or PremiumWhether you’re just getting started with buying a license of SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD, or wondering if you should upgrade from SOLIDWORKS Standard to Professional or Premium, it’s important to take the time to make sure you choose the best SOLIDWORKS package for your needs. This blog will give you a helpful overview of SOLIDWORKS Standard vs Professional or Premium and how each package is different.

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                        PostProcess Announces Expanded Channel Partner Coverage Across North America

                        by Angelle Erickson on May 22, 2018

                        PostProcessPostProcess Technologies, based out of Buffalo, New York, is the pioneer of automated and intelligent post-printing solutions for industrial 3D printing. They provide solutions that remove the bottleneck of additive manufacturing - post-printing. Fortunately, they’ve made the process of removing supports and surface finishing printed parts easier, more consistent, and more efficient.

                        Today PostProcess Technologies announced the expansion of their channel partner coverage in North America, securing agreements with AdvancedTek, Cimetrix, Fisher Unitech, and Tech-Labs.

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                          Simulation with SOLIDWORKS: Is it Enough?

                          by Nathan Sneller on May 21, 2018

                          SOLIDWORKS premiumIf you’re a SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software user, you’ve likely experimented with different features and read different blog posts on SOLIDWORKS to brush up your knowledge. With so many features offered (and three different software solutions to choose from), it can be hard to know if you’re using your software to its full potential. Keep reading to learn how to get the most out of the Simulation tools within SOLIDWORKS Premium and a chance to attend a fun webcast where we'll analyze the workings of James Watt’s flyball governor using simulation features in SOLIDWORKS.

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                            SOLIDWORKS CAM Tutorial: Customizing Tools and Tool Cribs

                            by Amanda Osbun on May 18, 2018

                            SOLIDWORKS CAM tutorialSOLIDWORKS CAM is a great tool that helps eliminate repetitive manual tasks, reduce errors, and avoid unwanted and unexpected costs that prolong time to market time. However, I often hear from SOLIDWORKS CAM users challenges they face regarding tools and tool cribs.

                            In this blog, we’re going to look at customizing tools, creating and customizing tool cribs, as well as creating new tools using solid geometry. Let’s get started.

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                            • POSTED IN CAD

                              solidThinking Inspire Software for Simulation Driven Designs

                              by David Roccaforte on May 17, 2018

                              solidThinking Inspire softwareIn recent years the concept of simulation-driven design has gained significant popularity. Design-embedded simulation tools help companies verify their designs without relying on consultants or expensive, difficult to use packages of yesteryear that were the status quo not too long ago. When parts can be validated early in the design process, the business value is obvious; a few clicks of the mouse and manufacturers are reducing prototyping costs and cycle time to market.

                              Well, maybe it takes more than a few clicks of the mouse, but the point is that design simulation tools have reshaped how the engineering and product design communities approach product design and consequently, product development.  The truth is that most of these tools are still really design driven simulation.  Where analysis is done to check an existing design to validate "hunches", "hand calculations" or "tribal knowledge".

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                                Stratasys 3D Printers and Fisher Unitech Support Help Reduce Cost of Fixtures 30-40%

                                by Lisa Hannon on May 16, 2018

                                Cooper StandardCooper Standard is a leading global supplier of fluid transfer hoses, fuel and brake lines, rubber and plastic sealing and anti-vibration systems for the automotive industry. The company’s plant in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky produces thousands of different coolant hoses in high volumes for many make and model vehicles. The hose is initially produced in long lengths in a highly automated process then must be trimmed to size, fitted with a clamp and printed with identifying information. These last three and other secondary processes can be far more efficiently performed with the aid of many hundreds of jigs and fixtures that are designed specifically for each of the company’s many different hoses.

                                Cooper Standard switched from machining to 3D printing to make these jigs and fixtures, reducing their cost by an average of 30-40%, their lead time by 66% and their weight by 90%. Fisher Unitech printed Cooper Standards fixtures in its own facility for six months to prove a Stratasys 3D printer would do the job, then provided training to help ensure Cooper Standard’s success in printing jigs and fixtures in-house.

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                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                                  The Stratasys F900: Built with Manufacturers in Mind

                                  by Lisa Hannon on May 9, 2018

                                  F900Stratasys has long been known for its innovations in 3D printing, especially when it comes to 3D printers. From medical modeling to rapid prototyping and aerospace, Stratasys has produced hardware for almost every industry using 3D printing and is continuously working to improve the user experience. At RAPID + TCT, the company once again demonstrated its commitment to additive manufacturing by announcing the Stratasys F900, its third generation of FDM printers.

                                  Built on the best-selling Fortus 900mc platform, the Stratasys F900 brings everything the Fortus printer family has to offer into one printer. This new release features a wider range of materials, improved reliability, and maximum throughput, allowing manufacturers to produce bigger and better than ever before. If you’re looking for a competitive edge or simply want to maximize your manufacturing power, the Stratasys F900 is something you’ll want to consider.

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                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

                                    What are SWUGN Technical Summits? (And Why You Should Attend)

                                    by Angelle Erickson on May 7, 2018

                                    SWUGN Technical SummitsThe SOLIDWORKS User Group community has been growing, learning, and sharing their knowledge and passion of SOLIDWORKS since they were first established in 1999. The SOLIDWORKS User Group Network (SWUGN - formerly known as the SOLIDWORKS National User Group) has adopted a new name and has expanded a lot over the past several years but has kept their mission the same: to bring SOLIDWORKS users together.

                                    May 8th, 2018 kicks off the first of the SWUGN Technical Summits in Columbus, Ohio with speakers straight from DS SolidWorks Corp. and Fisher Unitech’s very own Jay-Shan Jackson and Amanda Osbun. Keep reading to learn more about SWUGN Technical Summits and why you should be attending these all-day learning sessions.

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                                      The Value and Benefits of FDM Sacrificial Tooling

                                      by Angelle Erickson on May 2, 2018

                                      FDM sacrificial toolingSacrificial tooling is a process that allows designers and engineers to create hollow, seamless, and complex composite structures with smooth internal surfaces and simplified tool removal.

                                      Some common sacrificial tooling technology that uses eutectic salts, ceramics, cast urethanes, or other similar materials can present several challenges: parts are difficult to handle due to fragile materials, the part requires additional tooling in order to produce, or limitations to create specific geometries occur due to production or removal methods.

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

                                        Are you sure it's a SOLIDWORKS PDM Permission?

                                        by Jodi Degenaer on April 27, 2018

                                        PDM PermissionSOLIDWORKS PDM permissions can be tricky at times to the point where you don’t know for sure if the issue you are having is actually a permission issue at all. The best way to test if it’s permissions is to log in as the admin user and see if you can perform the action. If you can it’s a permission issue.

                                        What permission could it be? In this blog, I’m covering a few tips where you might want to start looking. I also give a couple examples that demonstrate some common troubleshooting processes in looking for a permission.

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                                        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                                          PolyJet 3D Printing with New Vivid Colors

                                          by Lisa Hannon on April 26, 2018

                                          PolyJet 3D printing has long been a favorite of additive manufacturers and 3D printing hobbyists. The ability to produce smooth and accurate parts with varying strength, colors, and flexibility has made PolyJet materials a popular choice when creating diverse parts and multi-colored prototypes, and Stratasys continues to expand PolyJet’s capabilities with a growing product line that includes 3D printers and innovative materials like Agilus30. The company’s newest release, the Stratasys J750, is a 3D printer with exciting implications for consumer goods and a new range of color capabilities, including two new Vivid Colors materials. Here’s what you need to know.

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                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, CAD

                                            SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2018 and Topology Study

                                            by Angelle Erickson on April 24, 2018

                                             using SOLIDWORKS simulationSOLIDWORKS 2018 introduced users to a number of enhancements that makes using SOLIDWORKS Simulation faster and easier than ever before. SOLIDWORKS 2018 also includes a new tool called Topology which is a design guide and study type that adds SIMULIA technology to the simplicity of a typical simulation set up. Together, these tools can improve workflow and help overcome otherwise difficult challenges in the design process.

                                            As we’ve seen in previous blogs, SOLIDWORKS 2018 has made several improvements to the entire portfolio - from product data management to realistic visualization and electrical schematics; simulation and design validation is no exception. Keep reading to see how SOLIDWORKS Simulation is a design validation game changer and familiarize yourself with Topology.

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                                            • 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, 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, 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 SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                          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 SOLIDWORKS 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, SOLIDWORKS 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

                                                                    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, SOLIDWORKS 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

                                                                        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

                                                                              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 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 ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                                                                                    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, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                                                        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, 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, SOLIDWORKS 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, 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, SOLIDWORKS 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, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                                                                                      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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