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What to Expect in SOLIDWORKS 2018: Sneak Peek

As SOLIDWORKS World 2017 came to a close last week, I was thrilled once again to get a glimpse of one of the most anticipated product announcements. Every year, SolidWorks gives us a sneak peek of new features and enhancements to come in the next release of SOLIDWORKS software. In this case SOLIDWORKS 2018!

Below, you will see this small sampling of new functionality slated for SOLIDWORKS 2018.  Please keep in mind, this is just a preview of what ‘might’ make it to the SOLIDWORKS 2018 release. Many more features will be added by fall of 2017, some may change, and some may take a little longer than anticipated to get out there—so here is a list of the potential new enhancements to SOLIDWORKS 2018:

Mirror 3D Sketch Entities - When in a 3D Sketch you can now Mirror Sketch Entities


Sketch Planes as Symmetry Reference – 2D and 3D sketch entities can now be mirrored using a plane as the symmetry reference


Pen Sketching – Draw contours by freehand sketching using a pen or stylus on Windows 10 touch screen devices


New SOLIDWORKS Home Screen


New Assembly Progress Bar


Assembly Visualization of SOLIDWORKS performance information


New Assembly Performance dialogue


Support for 12 mouse gestures


Use ALT key to hide surfaces during mate


SOLIDWORKS 3D Interconnect now supports STEP, IGES, ACIS, JT


3D Interconnect supports updating neutral files


SOLIDWORKS 3D Interconnect now preserves curves and sketches


SOLIDWORKS 3D Interconnect now reads custom properties


New Tab and Slot feature works in parts, multi-body parts, and assemblies


SOLIDWORKS PDM bi-directional communication with drawing revision table


Can now set multiple objects to resolved in Large Design Review


Ability to turn off graphics (scenery) data


Revert all data back to graphics to increase performance


Ability to insert and mate graphics components


Complete SOLIDWORKS Integration with SIMULATION View


New Manufacturing Controls


As a reminder, everything shown at SOLIDWORKS World 2017 is just a ‘Preview’, and new functionality is always changing and not necessarily guaranteed to be in the release of SOLIDWORKS 2018.  But knowing how many customer-driven enhancements come out each year, I’m already truly excited for the release of SOLIDWORKS 2018.

For more recaps on what was presented at SOLIDWORKS World 2017, read these articles:

SOLIDWORKS World 2017 - Creating the New, the Next, and the Never Before

SOLIDWORKS and its Impact on our Future Generation

5 Best Announcements & Presentations from SOLIDWORKS World 2016

SOLIDWORKS World 2017: Creating The New, The Next, and The Never Before

SOLIDWORKS World Top 10 Ideas

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Comparison Matrix

SOLIDWORKS World 2017 Recap: SOLIDWORKS 2018, sustainability, and the future of design

Images courtesy of SOLIDWORKS.

About the Author

Ken LaVictor’s background is in mechanical engineering and machine design. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University. He also received his MS in Systems Engineering from Oakland University. He has worked in the industry for about 16 years, implementing SOLIDWORKS in two previous companies before joining Fisher Unitech as an Applications Engineer. Since joining Fisher Unitech in 2004, Ken has received numerous certifications, including the CSWProfessional and CSWExpert, as well as being one of the first ten in the world to receive the Elite AE award. As an Applications Engineer, Ken’s focus is on pre-sales support, training, and implementation of SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD and SOLIDWORKS Simulation software.