• POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

    Successful Start to SOLIDWORKS Concept to Consumer Tour

    by Madison Bryce on July 19, 2018

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

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

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    • POSTED IN ELECTRICAL, SOLIDWORKS PCB

      Enable Collaboration & Streamline Workflow with SOLIDWORKS Electrical Training

      by Christa Prokos on July 17, 2018

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

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

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      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TRAINING

        Learn SOLIDWORKS with a Customized SOLIDWORKS Course Guide

        by Rodney Harper on July 16, 2018

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

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

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        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TRAINING

          10 Tips for Success: SOLIDWORKS Certification Exams

          by Madison Bryce on July 13, 2018

          SOLIDWORKS CertificationA SOLIDWORKS certification is the difference between saying you’ve worked with the software and proof of your expertise. I recently completed the process of becoming a Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA) and a Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional (CSWP). In this blog, I will be discussing what the SOLIDWORKS CSWA and CSWP exams are all about if you are ready to take them, and ten tips from someone who just successfully went through the process.

          The CSWA certification is proof of your cutting-edge SOLIDWORKS skills that businesses seek out and reward. It is recommended to have taken a SOLIDWORKS Tutorials course as well as a SOLIDWORKS Essentials course before attempting the exam. The CSWA is a single section, three-hour online SOLIDWORKS exam based on part creation and modification from basic to advanced as well as some pretty standard assembly.

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          • POSTED IN 3D SCANNING

            Ask an Expert: What is the Best 3D Scanner For Me?

            by Angelle Erickson on July 11, 2018

            Best 3D scannerIf you’re looking for the best 3D scanner, you don’t have to look far. Artec 3D scanners bring the best handheld scanning technology to the table with the Artec Eva, Artec Eva Lite, Atec Space Spider, and the soon to be released, Artec Leo. Known for high accuracy, high versatility, and low cost - Artec 3D scanners make it easy to incorporate 3D scanning into your day to day activities. With a wide range of industries adopting 3D scanning including engineering, healthcare, entertainment, design, education, fashion, and even historic preservation, it’s important to understand which 3D scanner will be most suitable for your applications.

            If you’re unfamiliar with the technology or just starting the process of adopting 3D scanning in your business, you may be asking yourself a few additional questions such as, “is 3D scanning hard to learn?” or “how hard is it to incorporate 3D scanning into my workflow?". To help guide you through the process and answer these questions I’ve asked our 3D scanning expert and Application Engineer Simon Indrele some of these burning questions.

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            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

              SOLIDWORKS Concept to Consumer Tour: Coming to a City Near You

              by Angelle Erickson on July 10, 2018

              Concept to ConsumerDS SolidWorks is kicking off their Creation in Motion | A Concept to Consumer Tour in Detroit, Michigan July 17th, 2018.  The Concept to Consumer Tour features key speakers straight from SolidWorks as they take you through an entire project, from concept to consumer while explaining in full depth the entire SOLIDWORKS portfolio.

              During these events, attendees will be introduced to URB-E, a company “dedicated to designing and developing products to meet growing consumer market needs.” URB-E creates and develops compact folding electric vehicles for clean energy transportation. URB-E used SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software in order to bring their drawings of a small “zippy” electric scooter start-up to a fully functional vehicle. During these inspiring half-day live events, attendees will experience a complete end-to-end product development workflow. Keep reading to learn more.

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

                Know Your Stratasys FDM Materials: ABS, ASA, and PLA

                by Dan Erickson on July 9, 2018

                Stratasys FDM MaterialsWhether you are considering the purchase of a Stratasys FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printer, or already have one, it’s important to us that it be used to its fullest potential. That means using the right materials in the right application. But if you’re new to the world of Additive Manufacturing, you may find the selection of materials to be a bit unfamiliar. In this blog series, I’ll try to shed some light on the Stratasys FDM materials, let you know where they shine, and what to expect when using them. Today I’ll focus on ABS, PLA, and ASA. Read on to learn more!

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                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                  Simplified Configurations and Working with Large Assemblies in SOLIDWORKS

                  by Toby Schnaars on July 6, 2018

                  Simplified ConfigurationsLarge assemblies in SOLIDWORKS can often be slow to open, slow to save, and slow to work with, and throughout this blog series, we’ve been exploring different options one can take to help with lag, locking up, and wait time. In this blog, we’re going to continue talking about large assemblies that are slow to work with and working with simplified configurations.

                  I often like to say that there is no silver bullet when it comes to working with large assemblies, it’s really a combination of a lot of different settings, but if there was one silver bullet it would be to learn how to utilize working with simplified configurations. Overly detailed models in your top-level assembly will significantly slow down your assembly performance and overly detailed models in your top level assembly are the number one contributor to lag.

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                  • POSTED IN DESIGN AUTOMATION

                    DriveWorks Solo Demonstration: Here’s How it Works

                    by Madison Bryce on July 3, 2018

                    DriveWorks Solo Are you constantly creating parts that are similar but also different? If you find yourself performing time-consuming and tedious work of slightly modified parts, you need configurations. SOLIDWORKS has a wide array of options when it comes to design automation. In my previous blog, I demonstrated how to create manual configurations a design table in SOLIDWORKS. Also in that blog, we created a set of K'NEX pieces. Today we will be using those pieces to create our own custom configurable box. To do this, we will be using a SOLIDWORKS Certified Gold Product that elevates your configurations to the next level: DriveWorks Solo.  

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

                      FIRST Robotics Team “Calumet CoppperBots” Win Michigan State Championship

                      by Tajah Rayne Davise on July 2, 2018

                      Calumet CopperBotsThe FIRST Robotics program has spent nearly 30 years inspiring young men and women to strive for improvement. Though improvements prove necessary, they are not always easy to achieve because they require hard work, time, and community support. Some FIRST Robotics teams have a rough start due to their location. As the most northern-placed team, the Calumet CopperBots, based out of Calumet, Michigan, are familiar with the hardships of geographical placement, but as their community realized the benefits of FIRST, the ball started rolling for them and today they are flourishing.

                      For their first six years, from 2008 to 2014, the Calumet CopperBots were unknown to the vast majority of the community. Team meetings were held in the closet of a local machine shop for five years and a garage for another. Regardless of the condition, the Calumet CopperBots strived to complete the mission to build a robot that could drive because they didn’t believe they would be able to build a robot that could complete other goals. As crazy as this idea was, it worked. In 2014, the Calumet CopperBots won a district event, gaining them recognition from the school and the first stepping stone to their success.

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                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, SOLIDWORKS

                        Edit an STL File in SOLIDWORKS - It’s Easier Than You Think

                        by Dan Erickson on June 29, 2018

                        STL File SOLIDWORKSIf you work with 3D Printers regularly, then you know what an STL file is. And you know what a pain they can be to work with. There are some very good STL editors out there, but they tend not to be “parametric” modelers, which can be difficult to use accurately. More importantly, this style of editing can be unfamiliar to Design Engineers. Luckily, if you have access to SOLIDWORKS 2018, you may be surprised how easy it is to edit STL files. Read on to learn how.

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                        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                          How 3D Printing Can Change Your Approach to Medical Device Development

                          by Rick Gillespie on June 27, 2018

                          Medical 3D PrintingMedical 3D printing has come a long way over the past 30 years when Chuck Hull first filed a patent for a 3D printer and eventually spread the technology beyond anything we could have imaged. Since then, medical 3D printing has exploded, and doctors and scientists are using 3D printing for an array of different and life-changing uses. Whether it’s for prosthetic devices, hearing devices, or most recently surgeons using 3D printing for a life-saving kidney transplant, 3D printing has uses far beyond measure. In fact, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Dental 3D printing has also seen vast improvements in the concept and production of clear aligners, orthodontic molds, soft tissue models, and crown and bridge models. The technology, along with a plethora of materials, can help shape, create, and replicate life-like models and prototypes.

                          I recently had the opportunity to speak at the Medical Device Technology Exchange (MDTX) event held in Secaucus, New Jersey. MDTX gathers a wide range of engineers and designers who want to be at the forefront of discovering the latest in cutting-edge medical technologies. This year’s conference was the thought leaders forum for medical device innovators who design, develop, or commercialize devices filled with interesting conversations to get creative juices flowing and learn from fellow experts.

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                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

                            SOLIDWORKS Optimization: Preparing for SOLIDWORKS 2018

                            by Christa Prokos on June 25, 2018

                            SOLIDWORKS optimizationThe release of SOLIDWORKS 2018 brought exciting new capabilities and enhanced features to SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software. If you’re preparing to upgrade to SOLIDWORKS 2018 (or update your software in general) there are certain hardware requirements you’ll need to meet first, as well as considerations on how to best use SOLIDWORKS moving forward. Here’s what you need to know.

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                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                              How to create Manual Configurations and Design Tables in SOLIDWORKS

                              by Madison Bryce on June 21, 2018

                              manual configurationHave you ever needed to create a series of parts that were similar but slightly different in a few features, dimensions, colors, etc? In SOLIDWORKS, you can easily create a part then configure it to the exact specifications necessary for the other parts without the tedious recreation process. In this blog, we will use K’NEX pieces to demonstrate this process.

                              This is the first in a series of two blogs based on configurations modeled by K’NEX. Today we will discuss how to manually configure K’NEX connectors and then how to use a design table in SOLIDWORKS to configure K’NEX rods. In part two, we will discuss how to configure a K’NEX assembly and how to use tools like DriveWorks to create configurations. Let’s get started.

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                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAM

                                The Difference Between SOLIDWORKS CAM Software: CAM Standard Versus CAM Professional

                                by Amanda Osbun on June 19, 2018

                                SOLIDWORKS CAM softwareEver since the release of the new integrated CAM solution for SOLIDWORKS, people often ask, “what is the difference between the SOLIDWORKS CAM software packages: SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard and SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional?” In this blog, I’m going to entirely run through both packages to help you determine which SOLIDWORKS CAM software package is best for you. Let’s dive in.

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                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TRAINING

                                  How to Get Free SOLIDWORKS Certification Exams for Subscription Customers

                                  by Angelle Erickson on June 18, 2018

                                  SOLIDWORKS Certification Exam Completing a SOLIDWORKS Certification Exam and obtaining a Professional SOLIDWORKS Certification is a great achievement. Not only does it shine proudly on your resume, but it also shows employers, decision makers, and fellow team members your level of skill and knowledge of the software. Companies often have certain strategies and standards set as a business to help stay ahead of the competition and having a reliable, knowledgeable, and certified staff is appealing to potential customers.

                                  Did you know that if you have an active subscription with SOLIDWORKS you can take a free SOLIDWORKS Certification Exam? SOLIDWORKS offers a variety of different exams each focusing in a different area of the entire portfolio. Keep reading to find out what SOLIDWORKS certification exams are available and how to start testing your skills.

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                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                    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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                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD

                                      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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                                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                                        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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                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

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

                                            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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                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TRAINING

                                              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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                                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

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

                                                  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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                                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                    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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                                                      • POSTED IN ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                                                        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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                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                                          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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                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAM

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

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

                                                                      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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