10 New Features in SOLIDWORKS 2020 CAD

    Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on December 3, 2019

    SOLIDWORKS 2020 CADSOLIDWORKS 2020 introduces a portfolio jam-packed with new enhancements and capabilities to improve collaboration, productivity, and user experience when performing daily design work. Here are ten new SOLIDWORKS 2020 CAD upgrades to enjoy in the latest software release. 

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      Fisher Unitech Joins the Computer Aided Technology Family

      Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on October 15, 2019

      Fisher UnitechFisher Unitech announced today that they have merged with industry leader Computer Aided Technology (CATI). This merger expands their footprint in providing SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software and Stratasys 3D Printers into the Mid-Atlantic and New England areas. We’ve highlighted some frequently asked questions and explain what this acquisition means here.  

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        Calumet CopperBots Recap 2019 FIRST Robotics Season

        Lowell Torola by Lowell Torola on July 8, 2019

        CopperBotsTucked away in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan lies the small town of Calumet. As the most northern-placed FIRST Robotics team in Michigan, the Calumet Copperbots (FRC team 2586) have had to overcome some geographical challenges throughout the years and strive to make their team successful. With the support of their local community, families, friends, and faculty, the Calumet CopperBots gained recognition eventually winning the 2018 Michigan State Championship. Soon after the 2018 season celebrations, the team quickly started planning for 2019. Here’s a look back at what the 2019 FIRST Robotics season had in store. 

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        • POSTED IN CAD

          Digital Debunking: An Engineer Examines the Weapons of ‘Game of Thrones’

          David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on May 23, 2019

          Game of thrones blog catapultsAs an avid fan of HBO’s uber-popular medieval fantasy series Game of Thrones, I’ve often been curious about the feasibility of the weaponry we see in the show’s epic battle scenes. I took a particular interest in the massive trebuchets, a fancy name for a catapult, used in many of the show’s siege battles. This powerful catapult uses a swinging arm and counterweight to hurl projectiles over and through fortified castle walls and at battalions of oncoming soldiers. Of course, only an engineer like me would be able to suspend their disbelief for dragons and ice zombies while obsessing over the plausibility of a trebuchet, but still, I wondered, would the computer-generated mechanisms depicted on the screen stand up to the laws of physics?

          The best way to understand how the trebuchet would behave is to put it to the test. I used Altair InspireTM Motion to create a simulation model, define the design constraints and performance goals, then simulate the catapult in action. We can then transfer the motion loads onto the structure to assess the feasibility of the initial design and even optimize the geometry to create a stronger and better performing final design.

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          • POSTED IN CAD

            2D CAD Software: Easily Create 2D Designs with DraftSight

            Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on April 25, 2019

            2d cad softwareIf you’re a designer or engineer, you’ve likely worked with 2D CAD at one point or another. Although 2D design has become less prevalent with the release of 3D CAD, it is still a useful tool for many professionals, including those in architecture and construction. Because of this, many companies have a variety of 2D CAD software options in recent years, including industry leader SOLIDWORKS.

            Whether you’re a student just learning about CAD or a seasoned professional looking to streamline your 2D design, there are effective, low-cost 2D CAD options available. Here’s what you need to know about 2D CAD software and how to easily download 2D CAD software like DraftSight.

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              Introduction to the Fisher Unitech Design to Manufacturing Series

              David Janicki by David Janicki on April 23, 2019

              Fisher Unitech design to manufacturing seriesTake a look around your workspace. If it’s anything like mine it’s full -- literally full -- no exposed surface or unused space. To make matters worse, I charge my cellphone from my computer adding yet another cord to my already overly-crowded desk. My headset also lacks a convenient and functional permanent home. It’s usually on my keyboard, draped over my laptop screen, or stacked on my cellphone.

              Over the course of the next eight months, the team of Application Engineers here at Fisher Unitech is tackling this problem head-on hoping to offer a solution that we can all use for desktop management and organization. Here’s how we’re going to do it.

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                SOLIDWORKS Puts Ringbrothers in the Driver’s Seat to Scale Production and Propel Growth

                Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on February 25, 2019

                SOLIDWORKS Ringbrothers case studyIn the small town of Spring Green, Wisconsin resides Ringbrothers, an automotive restoration company that has propelled itself to one of the top American car builders. The company was founded by brothers, Jim and Mike Ring, who shared a passion, imagination, and innovation for building cars from a very young age. The brother duo and the employees within wear many hats, as the company serves as a collision and repair shop to the community, as well as produces high-quality billet accessories, custom fiberglass, carbon fiber pieces, and custom-built cars.

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                  Celebrating Manufacturing Day with Students at Make It: Manufacturing

                  Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on October 26, 2018

                  Manufacturing DayOn October 9th, Fisher Unitech hosted students from Ferndale and Hazel Park public schools during an event called “Make It: Manufacturing” at our Iron Ridge headquarters in Pleasant Ridge, Michigan. This was the second event organized by Pathway X Events that Fisher Unitech has sponsored and it was as rewarding for all involved as the first event called “Build IT.”

                  Why? Because Pathway X Events is helping kids learn about opportunities in manufacturing and other high demand careers through engaging, hands-on activities. This is a cause that Fisher Unitech can get behind. Plus, what fun to spend another inspiring day with young people to introduce them to 3D printing and 3D design software used in manufacturing.

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                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD

                    How to Get a SOLIDWORKS Free Trial

                    Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on July 31, 2018

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

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                    • POSTED IN CAD

                      Women in Engineering: Taking a Step to Bridge the Gap

                      Madison Bryce by Madison Bryce on July 26, 2018

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

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                        FIRST Robotics Team “Calumet CoppperBots” Win Michigan State Championship

                        Tajah Rayne Davise 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 SOLIDWORKS, CAD

                          3 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Switching CAD Tools

                          Madison Bryce 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 CAD

                            solidThinking Inspire Software for Simulation Driven Designs

                            David Roccaforte 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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                              SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2018 and Topology Study

                              Angelle Erickson 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 SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

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

                                Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on April 18, 2018

                                solidworks pdm standard vs professionalHave 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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