Planet SolidWorks

June 18, 2019

The Javelin Blog

Project Management is made easy with SOLIDWORKS Manage Software

SOLIDWORKS® Manage provides a unique set of advanced data management and project management tools. This is accomplished by leveraging the file management capabilities and ease of use of SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and adding powerful projectprocess, and item management capabilities.

Watch our demonstration video filmed at SOLIDWORKS World for an overview of SOLIDWORKS Manage. Learn how the Project Management tools will help you to manage project timelines, resources, processes, and advanced items. We explore the functionality that makes SOLIDWORKS Manage a powerhouse for project-related tasks from BOM management to process control.

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/q6US5HJBpOI?feature=oembed" title="Demystifying Advanced Data Management: An Introduction to SOLIDWORKS Manage" width="500"></iframe>

Distributed Project Management

SOLIDWORKS Manage takes the place of the separate disconnected tools that an organization might use to manage engineering resources and processes. It is compatible with many existing tools, and works to more efficiently and effectively maintain the integrity of enterprise information.

Project Management with SOLIDWORKS Manage

Project Management with SOLIDWORKS Manage

With SOLIDWORKS Manage, organizations can now plan each stage of a project, assign resources and tasks, and attach required documentation within the same ecosystem used to design. When users complete their tasks, project progress is automatically updated. And, project managers can take advantage of powerful dashboard capabilities to see critical information in a single, easy-to-understand interface.

Interested in SOLIDWORKS Manage?

Is your business interested in SOLIDWORKS Manage? Does your organization need help to implement the system and link it to your existing SOLIDWORKS PDM system? Then contact us and inquire about our exclusive SOLIDWORKS Manage services provided by certified technicians.

The post Project Management is made easy with SOLIDWORKS Manage Software appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at June 18, 2019 12:00 PM

SolidWorks Legion

SOLIDWORKS World Drawings Top Ten implementation to-date (2011-2013)

SOLIDWORKS World Top Ten list for drawings - review for 2011 thorugh 2013; including implemetnatation rates and release years. The post SOLIDWORKS World Drawings Top Ten implementation to-date...

by fcsuper at June 18, 2019 10:25 AM

June 17, 2019

The Javelin Blog

How to convert CAD to STL for 3D Printing

How CAD files are exported to STL is an important process for accurate building of parts. The step by step process for converting CAD to STL was taken straight from the mentioned companies websites.

STL Definition

STL is the standard file type used by most or all rapid prototyping systems. A STL is a triangulated representation of a 3D CAD model, an example is shown below:

Solid test
Facet normal 0 1 0
Outer loop
Vertex 0 4 0
Vertex 0.517638 3.93185 0
Vertex 0.5 3.93185 -0.133975
Endloop
Endfacet
Endsolid test

The triangulation of a surface will cause faceting of the 3D model. The parameters used for outputting a STL will affect how much faceting occurs (figure 2 and 3).

Coarse STL File produces larger triangles, rougher finish

Coarse STL File produces larger triangles, rougher finish

You cannot build the model any better or smoother than the STL file, so if the STL is coarse and faceted, that is what you can expect in the final model.

Fine STL file produces a smoother model

Fine STL file produces a smoother model

In the CAD package, when exporting to STL, you may see parameters for chord height, deviation, angle tolerance, or something similar. These are the parameters that affect the faceting of the STL. You don’t necessarily want to go too small. The finer the STL the larger the file is in size, which will affect processing time in Insight as well as build time. Below is some information found on the Internet regarding exporting to STL from various CAD packages.

CAD to STL Conversion

Listed below are the steps for creating an STL file from different CAD systems. The list is ordered alphabetically by product.

Note: Please consult your user’s guide or the software developers for more information or technical support. If your CAD software is not listed below, please contact your CAD software technical support for information about exporting to an STL.

3D Studio Max

  1. First check for errors
  2. An STL object must define a complete and closed surface. Use
  3. Select an object.
  4. Click Modify
  5. Click More …
  6. Select “STL-Check” under Object-Space Modifiers
  7. Select Check
  8. If there are no errors, continue to export the STL file by:
  9. Clicking File>Export
  10. Select “StereoLitho [*.STL]” in Save as type
  11. Select location in Save in
  12. Enter a name in File name
  13. Click Save; OK
  14. Export To STL dialog:
  15. Object Name: Enter a name for the object you want to save in STL format.
  16. Binary/ASCII: Choose whether the STL output file will be binary or ASCII (character) data. ASCII STL files are much larger than binary STL files.
  17. Selected Only: Exports only objects that you selected in the 3D Studio scene.

Alibre

  1. File
  2. Export
  3. Save As > STL
  4. Enter File Name
  5. Save

AutoCAD

  1. Click Output > Send panel > Export. At the Command prompt, enter export.
  2. In the Export Data dialog box, enter a file name.
  3. Under Files of Type, select Lithography (*.stl). Click Save.
  4. Select one or more solid objects. All objects must be entirely within the positive XYZ octant of the world coordinate system (WCS). That is, their X, Y, and Z coordinates must be greater than zero. The file extension .stl is automatically appended to the file name.

Autodesk Inventor

  1. Save Copy As
  2. Select STL
  3. Choose Options > Set to High
  4. Enter Filename
  5. Save

CADKEY

  1. File>Export>STL
  2. Type a file name and select OK
  3. Change format to binary
  4. Use default facet tolerance
  5. Additional export tolerance options are in the Solids99 Configuration window accessed from the Tolerance section of Configuration.

DataCAD

  1. In the File pull-down menu, select Export STL file.
  2. Click Save

Deskartes-3D Data Expert

  1. Transfer the data into 3Data Expert through IGES file
  2. Give command Solid/Triangulate in 3Data Expert
  3. A watertight STL file is generated
  4. Surface accuracy control during the process is easy
  5. To check for a good STL file:
  6. Orient surface normals and check for errors with Solid/Repair command

Google SketchUp

  1. Download Sketchup to DXF or STL plugin.
  2. To use the plugin, download the file below (skp_to_dxf.rb) to the Sketchup plugins folder on your computer. [VERSION] stands for the Sketchup version number (6, 7 or 8).
  3. On a Windows PC: If you’ve installed Sketchup on the C: drive, this folder will be at C:\program files\google\google sketchup [VERSION]\plugins.
  4. On Mac OSX: The sketchup plugins folder is /Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp [VERSION]/SketchUp/Plugins
  5. After copying this file, start Sketchup. You should now have an extra menu option (Export to DXF or STL) in the Sketchup Tools menu.

IronCAD

  1. Select Part Properties, then Rendering
  2. Set facet surface smoothing to 150
  3. Select File, then Export
  4. Select .STL

Mechanical Desktop

  1. Use the AMSTLOUT command to export your STL file.
  2. The following command line options affect the quality of the STL and should be adjusted to produce an acceptable file:
    • Angular Tolerance: This command limits the angle between the normals of adjacent triangles. The default setting is 15 degrees. Reducing the angle will increase the resolution of the STL file.
    • Aspect Ratio: This setting controls the height/width ratio of the facets. A setting of 1 would mean the height of a facet is no greater than its width. The default setting is 0, ignored.
    • Surface Tolerance: This setting controls the greatest distance between the edge of a facet and the actual geometry. A setting of 0.0000 causes this option to be ignored.
    • Vertex Spacing: This option controls the length of the edge of a facet. The default setting is 0.0000, ignored.

Pro E / Creo

  1. File > Export > Model (or File > Save a Copy)
  2. Set type to STL
  3. Set chord height to 0. The field will be replaced by minimum acceptable value.
  4. Set Angle Control to 1
  5. Choose File Name
  6. OK

Pro E Wildfire

  1. File > Save a Copy > Model
  2. Change type to STL (*.stl)
  3. Set Chord Height to 0. The field will be replaced by minimum acceptable value.
  4. Set Angle Control to 1
  5. OK

Revit

Revit doesn’t allow direct export to STL files. First save in dwg file and open in AutoCAD to create STL files.

  1. Go to 3D view
  2. Go to File menu , select Export CAD format
  3. A dialog box opens
  4. Select Option
  5. Scroll down the dropdown menu (3D view only) and select 3D polymesh
  6. Select “AutoCAD 2004 DWG” in Save as type
  7. Next, open the saved file AUTO CAD
  8. Enter “Explode” on the command menu
  9. Select the object and press Enter
  10. All the objects are converted into 3D solid
  11. Select a single solid for STL output (must be one solid to export to STL)
  12. Enter “stlout” or “export” on the command menu
  13. Select objects: Use an object selection method and press Enter when you finish
  14. Create a binary STL file? [Yes/No]: Enter y

Rhino

  1. Open the model design in Rhino.
  2. From the File menu, select Save As. The Save dialog box opens.
  3. In the File name box, enter a name for the new STL file.
  4. In the Save as type box, select Stereolithography [*.stl].
  5. Click Save.
  6. In the STL Mesh Export Options dialog box (Simple Controls), set the STL tolerance – the maximum distance allowed between the surface of the design and the polygon mesh of the STL file.
  7. In the Polygon Mesh Detailed Options dialog box, set the STL tolerance in the field labeled Maximum distance, edge to surface
  8. Click OK.
  9. In the STL Export Options dialog box, set the file type as Binary and click OK.

NOTE: In order to build on additive manufacturing technologies, STL files must contain completely closed (watertight) polygon mesh objects. Refer to Rhino’s STL help for more information.

SolidEdge

  1. File > Save As
  2. Set Save As Type to STL
  3. Options
  4. Set Conversion Tolerance to 0.001in or 0.0254mm
  5. Set Surface Plane Angle to 45.00
  6. Save

SOLIDWORKS

  1. File > Save As
  2. Set Save As Type to STL
  3. Options > Resolution > Fine > OK
  4. Save

NOTE: More detailed STL conversion steps for SOLIDWORKS are available »

Think3

  1. File>Save As
  2. Set Save As Type to STL
  3. Save

UGS NX 6

  1. File > Export > STL
  2. Set Output type to Binary
  3. Set Triangle Tolerance to 0.001
  4. Set Adjacency Tolerance to 0.001
  5. Set Auto Normal Gen to On
  6. Set Normal Display to Off
  7. Set Triangle Display to Off

Unigraphics

  1. File > Export > Rapid Prototyping
  2. Set output type to binary
  3. Set triangle tolerance to 0.0025
  4. Set adjacency tolerance to 0.12
  5. Set auto normal gen to on
  6. Set normal display to off
  7. Set triangle display to on

The post How to convert CAD to STL for 3D Printing appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Stratasys Ltd. at June 17, 2019 12:00 PM

June 14, 2019

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS PDM Cache Options for SOLIDWORKS Toolbox

In SOLIDWORKS PDM there are options that can automatically handle how files are cached. These options are available for both the User and Group Properties.

Here is how you can automatically get the latest cache of SOLIDWORKS Toolbox files managed in a SOLIDWORKS PDM vault during log in:

Go to User/Group Properties, click on “Cache Options” > Select your SOLIDWORKS Toolbox folder > check the “Refresh cache during log in”

SOLIDWORKS PDM Cache Options

SOLIDWORKS PDM Cache Options

With ‘Refresh cache during log in’ enabled the SOLIDWORKS PDM system will perform an automated ‘Get’ on all files within folders assigned this setting. This will load the latest version of all files within predetermined folders and also perform a ‘get’ on any files within this folder that have previously cached versions already cached.

The post SOLIDWORKS PDM Cache Options for SOLIDWORKS Toolbox appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Nadeem Akhtar at June 14, 2019 12:00 PM

June 13, 2019

The Javelin Blog

How to Manage SOLIDWORKS Toolbox in a SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault

When SOLIDWORKS PDM is used to manage SOLIDWORKS Toolbox, it can perform several automated functions:

  • Adding missing Toolbox components to the vault
  • Creating references between Toolbox components and SOLIDWORKS assemblies
  • Check out and in Toolbox components and creating new versions of Toolbox components

To setup SOLIDWORKS PDM to manage SOLIDWORKS Toolbox:

  1. Copy the Toolbox data “SOLIDWORKS Data” folder into the vault
  2. Check in the SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Data files

    Copy and Check in SOLIDWORKS Toolbox

    Copy and Check in SOLIDWORKS Toolbox

  3. In SOLIDWORKS Administration Tool, Enable “Manage SOLIDWORKS Toolbox in the vault” and “Allow clients to change SOLIDWORKS Toolbox components option”
  4. Under the Toolbox root folder path, click on the “…” browse button, Browse to the Toolbox root directory in the SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault which was created in step 1 & 2

    Manage SOLIDWORKS Toolbox in the vault

    Manage SOLIDWORKS Toolbox in the vault

  5. Once the above is complete, Go to SOLIDWORKS program, “System Options” > “Hole Wizard/Toolbox”, modify the folder part and browse to the Vault toolbox
  6. Make sure to enable “Make this folder the default search location for Toolbox Components”. This option will automatically update the path of the SOLIDWORKS Toolbox components once they are checked in

    Hole Wizard/Toolbox SOLIDWORKS System Options

    Hole Wizard/Toolbox SOLIDWORKS System Options

The post How to Manage SOLIDWORKS Toolbox in a SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Nadeem Akhtar at June 13, 2019 12:00 PM

SolidSmack

Polymaker’s New Innovative 3D Printing Materials

Polymaker has announced a series of new materials, and showcased some dramatic demonstrations of their capabilities.

<figure class="aligncenter"><figcaption>PETG 3D print made from Polymaker materials</figcaption></figure>

Polymaker Engineering Materials

The China-based company has been one of the leaders in the 3D printing industry and in developing engineering-grade high-quality 3D printing filaments. They have also come out with some highly unusual 3D printing materials, and now take pride in a rather comprehensive range of products.

Among their extensive material catalog are some new materials, including a unique nylon-reinforced PETG material. Typically, we’ve seen PETG as a standalone material, but this is an interesting composite that combines an easy ability to print with some added strength.

<figure class="aligncenter"><figcaption>3D print made from Polymaker PolyMide-CF a carbon fiber-reinforced material </figcaption></figure>

In their PolyMide (warp-free nylon) series, Polymer has added PolyMide-CF, a carbon fiber-reinforced PA6 filament. This material is likely one of the strongest produced by Polymaker, as it combines the incredible strength of carbon fiber with their heat resistant PA6. It is incredible that they manage to make the nylon warp-free as it makes the material very easy to print.

Strong Carbon Fiber 3D Print

<figure class="aligncenter"><figcaption> Strong mechanical specifications for Polymaker’s PolyMide-CF, especially the heat deflection temperature [Source: Fabbaloo] </figcaption></figure>

PolyDissolve S1 marks Polymaker’s entry into the soluble support material market, for materials that can be completely dissolved in plain room-temperature water. This is an important material for the professional market, as it enables very easy 3D printing of highly complex geometries on machines equipped with dual material extrusion. Polymaker says the new material is usable with PLA, TPU, PVB and PA.

<figure class="aligncenter"><figcaption> A water soluble 3D printing filament from Polymaker, PolyDissolve S1 [Source: Fabbaloo] </figcaption></figure>

ASA 3D Printing Material

PolyLite ASA is a new member to their PolyLite line, which comprises basic materials usable at all levels. Currently their PolyLite line includes PLA, ABS, PC, PETG, and now adds ASA to complete the set. ASA is a material similar to ABS, but with far better outdoor capabilities, as it is resistant to UV, water and some chemicals, making it attractive for use in certain types of parts.

<figure class="aligncenter"><figcaption> 3D print made from Polymaker’s PolyLite ASA material [Source: Fabbaloo] </figcaption></figure>

Although not entirely new, we were able to examine a large section from a huge 3D print of a pedestrian bridge completed by Polymaker some months ago. This bridge used their industrial AS200GF material. No, it’s not gluten-free ASA, but is in fact a type of high-strength ABS.

<figure class="aligncenter"><figcaption> Section of 3D printed bridge using Polymaker’s AS200GF material [Source: Fabbaloo] </figcaption></figure>

The material was extruded in thick beads to quickly form segments for the bridge, as seen here. The bridge is located in Shanghai and is apparently the longest 3D printed bridge in the world.

One material in particular caught our attention, and that was PC-FR. This is a polycarbonate material that is fire resistant, and that is a very important property, as it allows the material to be used in many more regulated applications, in particular aerospace.

Just in Time 3D Prints

Here we see an incredible example of how this material capability is being leveraged in an ingenious way. What you’re seeing here is a “foot step” part from an aisle airliner seat. The donut-shaped part is used by passengers or flight attendants to “step” up to more easily access the upper stowage areas on Boeing 737 aircraft.

<figure class="aligncenter"><figcaption> This airline seat feature allows one to step up to access storage [Source: Fabbaloo] </figcaption></figure>

The problem being solved is that these parts tend to break, no doubt from the weight of heavy individuals using them. The solution provided by Polymaker for China Airlines involved developing centralized 3D printing centers at the airline’s hubs.

Then, aircraft could report broken parts while enroute, triggering the printing of a replacement. When the aircraft eventually arrives at the hub, the new part is ready to go. Apparently the foot step is not the only part the airline is using in this solution. It’s an interesting print-on-demand solution that should be used for many other scenarios.

<figure class="aligncenter"><figcaption> Aircraft foot step 3D printed for China Airlines with Polymaker PC-FR [Source: Fabbaloo] </figcaption></figure>

Read more about 3D printing at Fabbaloo!

The post Polymaker’s New Innovative 3D Printing Materials appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Fabbaloo at June 13, 2019 01:29 AM

June 12, 2019

SolidSmack

Model of The Week: 3D Printed Spring Leaf Catapult [To the Parapet!]

There are few things better than a good, hearty soup. Although you might have a winning argument if you said, “A good, hearty soup served from the BUCKET OF A CATAPULT is way better.” Oh, you meant launched from the catapult. Well, of course, that’s better. And whether it’s soup launching, cow launching, or sending wads of wet paper over your cubicle wall, a catapult is the obvious weapon of choice.

We’ll scale it down today and look at a catapult that can launch at least one of those items. Oliver Chatwin has taken his inspiration from Leonardo’ Da Vinci’s catapult design, and while Da Vinci’s is nothing short of ingenious (using a pawl and ratchet mechanism to incrementally tighten the firing system), Ollie’s version has some fun improvements and mods.

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

As Ollie explains, the catapult is, “more powerful than a simple desk toy,” and even better, it’s “Easily printed within 24 hours”. He released the build as a prototype for a universal project and as a challenge for all:

“Design a catapult that can fire a certain distance. The catapult has to be adjustable and fire from 1 meter up to 5 meters. Most accurate design wins.”

He first published the design in February and since then has put out seven updates, including some interesting add-ons, with the latest update adding a new version that lightens some parts and reduces the hardware needed. Add-ons introduced with the 5th update include aiming sights, a triple-shot bucket, and a quintuple shot bucket – imagine the soup. Mmmm.

Ollie used Fusion 360 to model the catapult and a Creality Ender 3 3D Printer for the print. There are nine parts for the MK1 and six parts for the MK2 along with the bucket and four additional add-on parts.

How did Leonardo’s catapult design work?
Well, as the system was tightened, the energy added to the catapult by a soldier is transferred to both the ropes and tension arms of the catapult. When the firing pin (the pawl) is released, that stored energy is instantly transferred from the ropes and tensioning arms to the swing arm which held the lead ball or cannonball.

This project requires some extra hardware you’ll have to pick up along with some elastic bands to fine-tune your launch distance. You can download the files from Thingiverse. (Bonus! See Jörn Kessler’s remix of Leonardo’s Catapult with some nice improvements here!)

Have a model you think everyone needs? Share the link and details with us here!

<figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio">
<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZB9BcsdIJiA?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="770"></iframe>
</figure>

This post features affiliate links which helps support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale at no extra cost to you!

The post Model of The Week: 3D Printed Spring Leaf Catapult [To the Parapet!] appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at June 12, 2019 07:24 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go Folder Structure

SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go provides three folder structure options to give control over how you want to maintain subfolders.  The selection is retained so the same option will be used by default for subsequent tasks.

In this example I have a simple assembly with three parts.  The assembly file is located in folder C:\Projects\ProjectA.  One component is under a subfolder ‘Components’.  Another component is in a deeper subfolder ‘Library’.  However the 3rd component is in a completely different location.

SOLIDWORKS File References

SOLIDWORKS File References

NOTE: When making duplicate copies of files, it’s highly recommended to give unique file names to avoid reference problems with the original location.  You can use the suffix/prefix or ‘Select/Replace’ options to assist.

Flatten to Single Folder

The first option is straight forward.  All files (top level assembly, subassemblies and parts) will be saved to a single folder specified.  In this case I am copying the files to C:\Projects\ProjectB.

Flatten to Single Folder

SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go: Flatten to Single Folder

Flatten to Minimal Folders

The second option allows you to maintain the subfolder structure for the new location.  In this case we had subfolders ‘\Components’ and ‘\Components\Library’ within the assembly folder.  The subfolder structure from the assembly level down will be maintained.

For components outside of the assembly level folder, only the last subfolder in its path is kept to keep it separated within the new folder.

Flatten to Minimal Folders

SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go: Flatten to Minimal Folders

Keep Full Folder Structure

The last option maintains the full path back to the drive letter.  This can be used in situations where you need to copy to a completely different drive or into a new top level folder.  In this scenario it doesn’t make sense since we have duplicating folder names.  But you can see how the full file path is added to the new folder location.

Keep Full Folder Structure

SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go: Keep Full Folder Structure

The post SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go Folder Structure appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Scott Durksen, CSWE at June 12, 2019 12:00 PM

June 11, 2019

SolidSmack

I Used Simplify3D to 3D Print a Poo Emoji Top Hat [A Review]

3D printers (people) have a bad habit of wasting their print improvement effort on the shiny and new instead of the useful. I get it, I do. 3D printers (machines) are cool, and it’s fun to make them look cool. A big part of the fun is customizing and talking shop about mods. We spend days designing and printing “upgrades” whose only real utility is matching color schemes or, at best, hiding the sound activated LED lighting.

Yes, it’s cool that 3D printers (machines) can print their own parts–they’re like living, growing organisms–but some folks are obsessed with this, taking it to the extreme in the name of independence and/or frugality. Others take the opposite approach, throwing money at fancy nozzles, touch panels, or home/office additions with the idea that this is the path to consistent quality.

Have you thought though, that perhaps the best way to up your print game isn’t by modifying your hardware at all, but by better understanding the software that controls it?

3D Printing Slicer Software (The Race Car Driver)

Slicer software. What is it anyway? The cutting edge algorithm behind automated, perfectly paper-thin deli meats? The artificial intelligence used in amoral cyborg ninjas? Maybe. But the slicer software I am referring to is the kind that translates 3D models to a language understood by FDM printers (machines). Slicer software is what converts the faceted solid model (STL) into layers and into G-code for printing on your FDM printer.

The 3D printer (machine) is a beautiful, wonderful and yet also totally dumb machine. It does what it’s told. If instructed, (or sometimes for no apparent reason), it will go to a fixed point in space and endlessly ooze out a mountain of useless, curly waste. The 3D printer (machine) is also like a race car, a finely tuned machine. The Slicer is like the race car driver, deftly controlling the machine. No winning team focuses on just one and not the other. You’re welcome for that perfect analogy.

Can My Benchy Get a Slicer?

Currently, there is a glut of slicer programs available. We have (to name a few): 3DPrinterOS, Astroprint, CraftWare, Cura, IceSL, ideaMaker, KISSlicer, MakerBot Print, MatterControl, Netfabb, OctoPrint, Repetier, SelfCAD, Slic3r,  SliceCrafter, Tinkerine and Z-Suite *deep breath*. A rising tide raises all Benchies, as the saying (I just created) goes.

But with all the options, where do you start? If you’re new, start with the most basic and integrated slicer option. This is probably the slicer recommend by the printer manufacturer and is, in some cases, made by the same manufacturer. For discerning SolidSmack readers, you’ll want the maximum feature set for ultimate control and leverage of your printer’s (person and machine) capabilities.

One slicer consistently comes out ahead on features and print quality. So, I went deep to peel back the functionality, layer by layer, of…

a href=”https://www.simplify3d.com/”>Simplify3D

The UI/UX and features of slicing software is as varied as the amount of slicer software available. I’ll take a quick look at the features that set Simplify3D apart, but also at what makes it an exceptional experience for the 3D printer (person). Let’s start, where you start.

The Import

The imported STL models fall from the top of the screen in a delightful way. (Analogy: Anvil falling on poop – in a good way?) With the wide array of 3D printers that Simplify3D supports (more than any other software, 500+ and counting!), there’s an equally wide array of 3D file formats. That is, you’re not just limited to STL. You also have the option to import OBJ and 3MF.

Added Value: $3.01

Super Cool Feature #1: Dense Support Layers

Dense support layers switch the support structure from a sparse support density to a compact support density as the layer level gets close to the overhang of the model. The philosophy is simple, increase the density only where it matters and right next to the model where it impacts the models surface finish (the rest is wasted material). Why? Exotic support materials like PVA are expensive. Time = Material = Money in the 3D printing game. Me? I often print parts in an orientation that is very inefficient from a supports perspective but will produce the best cosmetic results. For volume duplicate prints, as with direct digital manufacturing, the savings are compounded.

Added Value: $111.32

Super Cool Feature #2: Variable Settings

As a self-professed 3D printing whiz kid and creative visionary, I’m ashamed (in hindsight) at how blissfully unaware I was of such useful and obvious functionality.  Basically, the norm is to create a setting based around the portion of a model with the most complex requirements and then print the entire model with that setting.  That could mean using a very fine layer resolution or dense infill for an entire print when only a small section demands it. That’s like driving the enforced speed limit of a short city block for an entire road trip. Variable settings allow for defining different parameters (processes) for different sections of the print. Optimizing for multiple parameters, detail, and strength while minimizing material consumption and maximizing printer utilization. Because, my friends, compromise is the worst.

Super Cool Feature #3: Saved Processes

I have a handful of generic setting profiles I predominantly switch between. A course setting for quick early concepts, a detailed setting for presentation models, and a few standardized filament settings. There are times I’ve switched back and forth, forgetting to change some key setting like supports, infill, or temperature. Saved processes allow you to save those settings in libraries which you can switch between quickly and confidently.

Added Value: $76.29

There are actually many, many super cool features in Simplify3D.  For example, file import speed, estimated print time accuracy, and the ability to manipulate, break apart, or combine models within the slicer software. Simplfiy3D also allows for detailed, manual manipulation of supports. There are also the algorithms, working behind the scenes, that control the details of the motion like retraction, jerk and, ultimately, print quality.

Simplify3D in Action

Super cool software features are super cool and all.  But how does it all really stack up when the PLA meets the build plate?

Given the number of slicers available and the rate at which they are being developed, it is impossible to do an apples to apples comparison. One method would be to perform a highly scientific study, in a climate controlled bunker, running hundreds of printers QA traced to standards. An alternate method would be a scientifically perfect model, created to be able to test all key performance metrics independent of the printer (machine) and environmental variables. I’m not talking about Benchy or some run of the mill, downloadable torture test. SolidSmack’s resources are, in practicality, limitless so our in-house team of scientist stopped all current projects to develop an algorithm. We now release our technological breakthrough.

Run:
//3Dprintertester.sldsmk
Username: KittenMittens
Password: ladymeowmeow
Testing Variables: All
Intensity Level: To the extreme!!!
Maturity Level: Low
Generating Results…….
Generating Results…….
Coffee break…….
Results Complete
Hat Style: Top Hat
Emoji: Poop

<iframe allow="autoplay; fullscreen; vr" frameborder="0" height="480" mozallowfullscreen="true" src="https://sketchfab.com/models/c3b61deeebeb44d6b28d4803f8df3e64/embed" webkitallowfullscreen="true" width="640"></iframe>

Top Hat Final by renegadeprototyping on Sketchfab

I ran this scientifically perfect model through Cura Version 3.6.0 and Simplify3D Version 4.1.1 using the same settings. I then printed them both on my Creality 3D CR-10S.

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

Simplify3D clearly outperformed Cura, as evident from the poo emojis on the side walls of the hat. The majority of them survived. The extremely thin walls of the hat, the fine detail of the emoji and only using supports for the brim make this a truly difficult print. Simplify3D, my poo hat is off to you.

Simplify3D Results

<iframe frameborder="0" height="640" scrolling="no" src="https://spinzam.com/shot/embed/?idx=128055" style="max-width:100%; max-height:100vw;" width="640"></iframe>

Cura Results

<iframe frameborder="0" height="640" scrolling="no" src="https://spinzam.com/shot/embed/?idx=128056" style="max-width:100%; max-height:100vw;" width="640"></iframe>

Is Simplify3D Awesome?

Yes. Out of the slicers I’ve tried, Simplify3D is my preferred slicer software. It delivers on new features and in the most rigorous of scientific studies. A perpetual license is $149 USD and gets you access on two computers, tech support, and one year of upgrades.

Deep Thoughts

If you are serious about 3D printing for professional work, or as a business, it is key to do regular self-audits of your printing capabilities. Hardware dictates build volume and materials but software can dictate quality and throughput and should be considered with equal care. Like me, you may have found ways to adapt to your currently understood printing options.

When you think everything is running smoothly it is, in fact, the exact time to deep dive into your slicer options and evaluate. First, the frequency of software enhancements will increasingly outpace hardware. Second, the time invested can provide immediate payback in saved money, reduced headaches and set you up for future success. That future success may come in the form of preventing bottlenecks with faster, more successful prints or provide new capabilities for more intricate, better quality prints.

Remember, to succeed in this game, you gotta keep your wits and your slicer sharp.

You can learn more about and try Simplify3D here.

The post I Used Simplify3D to 3D Print a Poo Emoji Top Hat [A Review] appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Dan Slaski at June 11, 2019 11:38 PM

Lenovo Next Gen ThinkPad P-Series is a Mobile Workstation Fist of Fury

If you were whining to the flight attendant about waiting to buy a mobile workstation until Lenovo’s launched their latest ThinkPad P-Series mobile workstations, your wait is about to be over. Four of the ThinkPad P-Series have fresh new specs and they’ve added another to round out the bunch. Here’s the breakdown:

ThinkPad P73

Ultimate performance, 17″ mobile workstation ‘make people gasp’ class

  • 17.3″ 4K UHD (3840×2160)
  • 9th Gen Intel Xeon or Core
  • Up to NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000
  • Up to 128GB DDR4 Memory
  • Up to 6TB Storage
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3
  • Weight: Starts at 7.5 lbs
  • Bonus: 35% smaller adaptor
  • Price: Starting at $1849
  • Available: August 2019

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

ThinkPad P53

Ultimate performance, 15″ mobile workstation ‘power of 10 active volcanoes’ class

  • 15.6″ 4K OLED Touch (3840×2160)
  • 9th Gen Intel Xeon or Core
  • Up to NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000
  • Up to 128GB DDR4 Memory
  • Up to 6TB Storage
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3
  • Weight: Starts at 5.4 lbs
  • Price: Starting at $1799
  • Available: July 2019

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2)

Super mobile, 15″ workstation ‘light as a banshee scream’ class

  • 15.6″ 4K OLED Touch (3840×2160)
  • 9th Gen Intel Xeon or Core
  • Up to NVIDIA Quadro T2000
  • Up to 64GB DDR4 Memory
  • Up to 4TB Storage
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3
  • Weight: Starts at 3.74 lbs
  • Price: Starting at $1949
  • Available: June 2019

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

ThinkPad P53s

Entry-level, 15-inch Ultrabook ‘get outta my way’ class

  • 15.6″ 4K UHD (3840×2160)
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i7
  • Up to NVIDIA Quadro P520
  • Up to 64GB DDR4 Memory
  • Up to 2TB Storage
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • Weight: Starts at 3.87 lbs
  • Price: Starting at $1499
  • Available: June 2019

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

ThinkPad P43s

Entry-level, 14-inch Ultrabook ‘small ass’ class New family member!

  • 14″ 4K WQHD (2560×1440)
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i7
  • Up to NVIDIA Quadro P520
  • Up to 48GB DDR4 Memory
  • Up to 2TB Storage
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • Weight: Starts at 3.24 lbs
  • Price: Starting at $1499
  • Available: July 2019

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

When Lenovo refreshes a product family, they don’t hold back. If they did, people would be all like, “that’s lame, let’s go have nachos.” Nope, they outfit that family with new hardware, beef up their specs, put the middle child on center stage and announce a new baby.

As you see above, they’ve brought 9th gen Intel CPUs to the high-performance P73, P53 and P1 mobile workstations, maxed out the P53 to the spec level of P73 with the bonus of a 4K OLED touch panel in a 15″ package, and added the wee P43s when you want to skimp on all the added muscle.

A few years ago, the reappearance of the P70 17” mobile workstation gave us the heart murmurs. Now, the P53 is in the limelight with everything you thought you’d never even see in a 17″ lappy and makes us want to say, “YOU’RE BREATHTAKING!” And then there’s the P1 (Gen 2). We reviewed the P1 (Gen 1) and couldn’t get over the weight and specs. Now the P1 (Gen 2) ultra-mobile workstation will come with the 4K OLED plus get a power boost at no additional weight.

The new ThinkPad P Series will be released over the summer, with the P53s hitting in June, followed by P53 and P43s in July and the P1 (Gen 2) and P73 in August. They all pop in between $1k-2k at the base level, with desired upgrades (at least for me) likely bringing a configuration close to $3k, so stash your cash accordingly.

The post Lenovo Next Gen ThinkPad P-Series is a Mobile Workstation Fist of Fury appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at June 11, 2019 11:17 PM

Wacom’s New Intuos Pro Small Is More Compact For Pro Designer On the Go

Perhaps you know this but there’s a lot of equipment, not to mention sweat and long hours, that goes along with the experience you build as a designer. Pro photographers carry loads of lenses for every situation, pro painters are militant about canvas and bristle count, and 3D pros need their hardware to be just right. Especially when you’re on the go. Enter the new Intuos Pro Small.

<figure class="wp-block-image">intuos pro small</figure>
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The updated pen tablet is a smaller, more compact version of Wacom’s Intuos Pro drawing tablets. Despite the tinier 10.6 x 6.7 x 0.3 inch frame compared to its predecessor, the screen real estate is actually larger: measuring 6.2 x 3.9 inches. As is expected, the screen works with all of Wacom’s Pro Pen variants, comes with the amazing Pro Pen 2 with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, and features multi-touch gesture support like the other Intuos Pro tablets.

<figure class="wp-block-image">intuos pro small</figure>

One drawback of the smaller frame compared to the larger Intuos Pro Medium (13.2 x 8.5 x 0.3 in ) and Large (16.8 x 11.2 x 0.3 in) tablets is two fewer ExpressKeys (shortcut keys) on the Intuos Pro Small. Despite this, having six ExpressKeys to work with on a tiny tablet doesn’t seem so much of a problem. Along with the ExpressKeys, the Intuos Pro Small still includes the customizable Touch Ring and radial menu for easier navigation.

<figure class="wp-block-image">intuos pro small</figure>

The Intuos Pro Small does lack the ability to change the tablet’s texture sheet – a feature of the Medium and Large if you prefer something smoother or rougher to the touch. At the $250 price (compared to $380 for the Medium and $500 for the Large), it’s understandably missing, but one feature we’d like to see included.

The 5080 lpi resolution tablet connects to your computer using a USB-C cable and port, but you can also connect wirelessly using Bluetooth.

Wacom has made incremental moves toward portability and the Intuos Pro small can tuck away even more nicely now and would be a welcome accesory to a mobile workstation setup, especially if that mobile mouse has been a less that ergonomic issue. To see more of the tablet’s specifications and capabilities, check out Wacom’s official webpage for the Intuos Pro Small. And, let us know if you use an Intuos Pro on the go.

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This post features affiliate links which helps support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale at no extra cost to you!

The post Wacom’s New Intuos Pro Small Is More Compact For Pro Designer On the Go appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 11, 2019 04:05 PM

The Javelin Blog

How SOLIDWORKS Integrated Design and Manufacturing will lower your costs

Taking an integrated approach to get your products from design to manufacturing is one of the simplest ways you can accelerate the product development process.

SOLIDWORKS Integrated Design

SOLIDWORKS Integrated Design

In today’s competitive market with the need to produce products faster, with higher, more predictable quality and at lower costs, companies are looking to streamline their workflows. Providing all the tools in a single environment eliminates the time-consuming need for data to be translated between departments, which often results in errors and intelligence gaps. With SOLIDWORKS® Design-to-Manufacturing Solution, concept to final assembly work can now happen concurrently, in one seamlessly integrated and managed system.

Download the Design-to-Manufacturing Guide to learn more and check out a quick demo of the complete solution below:

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8VAOCl5n5NQ?feature=oembed" title="Design to Manufacturing with SOLIDWORKS 2019" width="500"></iframe>

This guide will unveil how adopting an integrated design and manufacturing solution enables concurrent engineering, which helps companies make the seamless transition from design to manufacturing. The guide is broken down into the following five chapters:

  • Chapter 1: The advantages of design and manufacturing integration
    Learn about the strategies for reducing your time-to-market, topics include:

    • How to ensure a balance of performance, innovation, quality, cost, and time.
    • Why is collaboration so hard?
    • A collaborative platform that enables faster and easier sharing of manufacturing data.
  • Chapter 2: A complete 3D design solution
    Learn how you can design exceptional products with SOLIDWORKS solutions, while also bridging the gap between your design and manufacturing teams

    • Why SOLIDWORKS.
    • Create 2D drawings with ease.
    • Accelerate release to manufacturing with Model Based Definition (MBD).
    • Innovate with smart products and electrical.
    • Collaborate seamlessly with suppliers and customers.
  • Chapter 3: Validating Manufacturability
    How SOLIDWORKS solutions can help you provide manufacturing with everything they need to produce your design, topics include:

    • Catch problems and identify cost drivers that will impact fabrication.
    • Take the guesswork out of injection molding and produce high-quality parts the first time.
    • Avoid assembly problems leading to costly scrap and rework.
    • Manage and understand changes to keep all design details up-to-date.
    • Improve quality by enforcing standards.
  • Chapter 4: Enabling Concurrent Engineering and Manufacturing
    Learn how SOLIDWORKS solutions can help you manufacture faster, topics include:

    • Overcome manufacturing knowledge gaps with CAM.
    • Avoid common problems in plastic parts with plastic and cast part design and mold design.
    • Ensure the manufacturability of sheet metal parts.
    • Accelerate the design and manufacture of weldments.
    • Prevent errors and save time with automation for piping and tubing design.
    • Take advantage of 3D printing.
  • Chapter 5: Shop-floor and customer-facing content, ready on time
    The final chapter covers everything you need to support the complete product lifecycle, topics include:

    • Create demand for your products before they ship.
    • Leave a lasting impression during sales meetings.
    • Give your customers a great experience and win their loyalty with impressive support resources.


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The post How SOLIDWORKS Integrated Design and Manufacturing will lower your costs appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at June 11, 2019 12:00 PM

SolidWorks Legion

Sort of a recent history SOLIDWORKS Symbols Library

Since SOLIDWORK 2012, new symbols were added to the SOLIDWORKS Symbol Library with each release. This is not intentional. This fact is an artifact of an increased focus on Drawing functionality in...

by fcsuper at June 11, 2019 10:04 AM

June 10, 2019

SolidSmack

Will the “Era of the Stream” Include 3D Modeling Software?

The future. Tis upon us. And once again, it’s gaming that’s paving the way.

This week at E3, Bethesda Softworks announced Orion. What’s Orion? It’s “a patented collection of software technologies that optimize game engines for superior performance in a streaming environment.”

For gamers, this brings ‘imperceptible latency’ to, not just one game engine but, any game engine. Even more, it brings it to the highly-anticipated, yet-to-be-release Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud. It’s all coming together in what Jessica Conditt over at Engadget has rightly called “The Era Of The Stream”.

“Wasn’t Netflix the Era of the Stream?” Well, perhaps it started there. Google and Microsoft are bringing it to gaming. BUT, where those streaming platforms are reliant on the bandwidth, Bethesda is bringing the streaming capability to the players, so it doesn’t matter how far you are from a datacenter or how slow your internet is.

How can they do that? How can they get around bandwidth being throttled? They are incorporating Orion technology at the game engine level making it possible to stream game content up to 20% faster per frame and 40% lower bandwidth. That’s significant. And, it can be ‘easily’ integrated by game developers with Bethesda’s Orion SDK.

My question: Will the Era of the Stream include 3D Modeling/Rendering/Simulation software? Would 3D software benefit from this technology?

Some will argue it already does. Some will say ‘streaming’ isn’t needed for 3D design software like it is for 60 fps/4k gaming. Some will glare and re-install their favorite 3D modeling software on their desktop that’s completely disconnected from anything resembling a data port.

But what if all the design process did take advantage of technology that reduced any latency in loading, rebuilding, transferring, shading, simulating. Better yet, what if it was a technology that could be easily integrated by any 3D design software developer?

The post Will the “Era of the Stream” Include 3D Modeling Software? appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at June 10, 2019 10:37 PM

Ikea Introduces Modular Shape-Shifting Furniture Collection

ROGNAN

Swedish furniture company Ikea has been on a problem-solving roll lately. After working on 3D printed gaming chairs for sensitive rears and the more recent ThisAbles project which features accessible furniture for the disabled, the company now has its sights set on helping those lacking personal space in small urban dwellings.

<figure class="wp-block-image">ROGNAN</figure>

ROGNAN is an upcoming collaboration between Ikea and American furniture startup Ori Living which makes full use of a tiny room’s dimensions. At first glance, it looks a large storage unit which you install in the center of a room. But, when using the touchpad controls, homeowners can transform the area into a bedroom, workspace, closet, or living room depending on their specific needs.

<figure class="wp-block-embed"></figure>

Three core settings make up the modular ROGNAN system. The first setting is a bed mode that unfolds a mattress on one end of the unit and moves the unit to one side. Second is a living room mode which slides back the bed and moves the unit to the other side to make room for a couch and cabinets. Finally, a closet mode centers the ROGNAN in the middle of the room for equal space sharing. Depending on what you and/or your rowdy roommates need, the ROGNAN can be adjusted to fit any scenario.

<figure class="wp-block-image">ROGNAN</figure>

Users can also move the unit freely using the arrow buttons on the sides of the touchpad while pressing any of the three icon buttons below activates their designated modes. The ROGNAN moves using Ori Living’s robotic platform seen in the company’s other works like their Studio Suite and Pocket Closet. The contents of the storage unit come courtesy of Ikea, as the ROGNAN can fit their Platsa storage furniture and Tradfri lighting fixtures.

All-in-all, Ikea says the ROGNAN can save up to 86 square feet of extra space, which is integral to anyone living in tiny quarters. The ROGNAN’s initial launch will be in Hong Kong and Japan (countries where adequate living space is hard to come by) this coming 2020. More info is said to arrive this coming summer 2019.

The post Ikea Introduces Modular Shape-Shifting Furniture Collection appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 10, 2019 03:37 PM

The SolidSmack Monday List 24.19 | Stories We’re Reading This Week

Mondays might not be your favorite day of the week, but the good news is that we’re all in this together ladies and gentlemen. As purveyors of prime Grade A web content, the SolidSmack crew has done some of the heavy-lifting to make sure you get your Mondays started on the right track.

Welcome to The Monday List.

Every Monday, we link you up with some of the most insightful, informative, and socially-relevant stories to keep tabbed, bookmarked, reading listed, pocketed, or what have you to get your week started on the right foot. Be sure to check in each week for a new crop of freshly sprouted words curated straight from the source of your favorite homegrown ‘Smack.

What We’re Reading This Week:

Are Rechargeable Batteries Better Than Alkaline? Most of the Time

In some cases, single-use batteries are still the better option.

<figure class="aligncenter">Are Rechargeable Batteries Better Than Alkaline? Most of the Time</figure>

The World Is Full of Innovation More Important Than Ad Algorithms

To find them, you just need to look beyond Silicon Valley.

<figure class="aligncenter">The World Is Full of Innovation More Important Than Ad Algorithms</figure>

A Very Fast Spin Through the Hills in a Hybrid Porsche 911

The Vonnen Shadow Drive system boosts the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera’s horsepower and torque by about 50 percent.

<figure class="aligncenter">A Very Fast Spin Through the Hills in a Hybrid Porsche 911</figure>

Upgrade Your Memory With a Surgically Implanted Chip

Brain prostheses for the computer in your skull.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Upgrade Your Memory With a Surgically Implanted Chip</figure>

Huawei’s US ban: A look at the hardware (and software) supply problems.

Huawei’s hardware independence is actually pretty good! The software, though…

<figure class="aligncenter">Huawei’s US ban: A look at the hardware (and software) supply problems</figure>

Coffee, Even a Lot, Linked to Longer Life

Scientists wake up and smell the apparent health benefits.

<figure class="aligncenter">Coffee</figure>

The post The SolidSmack Monday List 24.19 | Stories We’re Reading This Week appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at June 10, 2019 03:23 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to change the SOLIDWORKS Drawing background appearance

While model-based definition (MBD) is gaining momentum in industry, many companies currently rely on paper-based drawings, which brings us to this article.  Are you staring at SOLIDWORKS drawings a lot?  Ever wanted to spruce up those drawings for a bit of realism in the sheet’s appearance in your SOLIDWORKS session?  As if it were printed on actual paper?  Well, you can!

Included with SOLIDWORKS installations is the ability to set your SOLIDWORKS Drawing Background to appear in a more realistic way than the default colour set here:

Default Drawing sheet background settings (paper colour)

Default Drawing sheet background settings (paper colour)

The default setting results in the default sheet background appearance shown below:

Default sheet background as of 2019

Default sheet background as of 2019

Selecting an image background

Aside from the option of changing to a different colour, SOLIDWORKS currently installs with an optional sheet background image reminiscent of the days of drawing plotters that used ammonia in the plotting process.  If you zoom in far enough, you may notice the colour texture that might result from such a process.

Installed sheet background image as of 2019

Installed sheet background image as of 2019

In order to use this image, you must clear the checkbox shown in the settings above.  The effects should be immediate.

As another alternative, here is what your drawing might look like after being crinkled from use.  This is the image that used to ship with SOLIDWORKS installation files, in the days before the installation switched to the ammonia-process background shown above.  Some folks disliked the sheet background shown below, but I personally love it!  What can I say.

"Crinkled" background image from earlier SOLIDWORKS year versions

“Crinkled” background image from earlier SOLIDWORKS year versions

Applying a custom image background

In order to use a custom image background:

  1. Select an image file for your SOLIDWORKS Drawing Background (you can download the crinkled paper background shown above from here by clicking the Download button.  Do not right-click the image itself as that may not download the correct file).
  2. Browse to C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 20yy\SOLIDWORKS\data\Images\drawings.
  3. Rename the file that is there.
  4. Copy your file into this location and ensure that it is named sheetbackgound1.bmp (do not modify the file extension, if shown).
  5. Ensure that the SOLIDWORKS settings have that checkbox CLEARED (shown earlier in this article).
  6. Restart SOLIDWORKS.
  7. Load or create a drawing.

Note: Whatever image you decide to use, it must be in bitmap format (*.bmp), in that folder, with that name, in order to be read by SOLIDWORKS.

Want to learn more about Drawings?

Attend a SOLIDWORKS Drawings training class either live online or in a Canadian city near you.

The post How to change the SOLIDWORKS Drawing background appearance appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by John Lee, CSWP at June 10, 2019 12:45 PM

June 08, 2019

SolidSmack

Friday Smackdown: The Liniment Soliloquies

Liniments and soliloquies permeated the ground cover. From whence did the oily salves and voices emanate? The shutter beneath the leaves were a sure sign they were below, and getting closer, ever after the sweet, syrupy, mesmerizing blinks of these links.

Philipp Dobrusin – Got to love Philipp’s art of story telling. This concept artist and illustrator passionate has a knack with castles and the dreary.

Jarren Frame – lookout for this young South African-born painter’s first solo show in New York City. Focused on James Bond and called ‘Bond, James Bond’, the art is mindblowing! Slightly NSFW.

Pixelixir – Chicago-based Pixelixir have adorable 8-bit pixel art house plants, ideal for video gamers who don’t have green thumbs! 

Light Shadow – Sculpting using both light and shadow, artist Kumi Yamashita has mastered the knack of constructing single (or multiple) objects and then placing them in a way to make light / shadow artwork.

Shoplifter – Instagram follow of the week. An Icelandic artist based in New York, artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir makes installations out of… hair. More.

THE MOLESKINE PROJECT VIII – The annual Moleskine Project is in its eight edition and is curated by Rodrigo Luff and Spoke Art. It features a diverse group of artists whose creations are all within the confines of a Moleskine notebook.

360 Slow Motion – You HAVE to watch this clip on how a slo-mo camera captures the nuances of a ball falling into colored liquid and the kaleidoscope of color that ensues.

For All Mankind – An alternate reality, where The USSR reaches the moon first. New show coming to the new Apple TV+ streaming service.

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Reign (in Jazz) – Reign, the classic by metal band Slayer, in Jazz. Note: Not actually them playing it jazz style, but Andy Rehfeldt playing it, with all instruments played and recorded himself.

<figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio">
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</figure>

The post Friday Smackdown: The Liniment Soliloquies appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at June 08, 2019 01:59 AM

June 07, 2019

SolidSmack

3 Unique Features of the New WorkCenter 500 Large Format 3D Printer

3D Platform has produced a rather large 3D printer, the WorkCenter 500 – and the build volume on this beast is substantial, at 1400 x 2800 x 700 mm (55″ x 110″ x 27″), or 2.7 cubic meters (95 cubic feet) of volume. It should be able to accommodate the needs of many large part-makers.

<figure class="wp-block-image"><figcaption>The 3D Platform WorkCenter 500 large format 3D printer </figcaption></figure>

I know what you’re thinking: this is just another scaled-up desktop 3D printer. What’s the big deal? Well, you may be surprised. The WorkCenter 500 has three very interesting features that 3D Platform has developed over the past few years of building and selling large-format 3D printers.

<figure class="wp-block-image"><figcaption>Several high-speed extruders available for the WorkCenter 3D printers from 3D Platform</figcaption></figure>

1. PETG and Nylon Materials

One innovation is the type of materials that can be used. More primitive large-format 3D printers of this type would only be able to handle PLA material due to its low tendency to warp. 3D printing a ‘warpy’ material such as ABS was simply out of the question.

ABS continues to be out of the question for the WorkCenter 500, but they tell us they can successfully 3D print PETG and some nylons, making the device much more useful than your typical giant PLA machine.

<figure class="wp-block-image"><figcaption>The huge 3D Platform WorkCenter 500 3D printer includes a massive aluminum build plate</figcaption></figure>

2. High-Speed 3D Printing

Typical large-format 3D printers also suffer terribly from extended print durations. If you think a 6-hour desktop 3D print takes too long, then you will be floored by systems that simply scale up that same technology to result in week-long prints. That’s simply unacceptable, and it turns out 3D Platform has done significant work to overcome this barrier.

The company offers a variety of very advanced hot end extrusion systems that are specifically designed to deliver thermoplastic material far more rapidly than a typical desktop hot end. The standard rate on the WorkCenter 500 is a huge 1kg (2.2 lbs) of material per hour, but there are larger optional extrusion systems that can bring the deposition rate up to an astonishing 6.8kg (15 lbs) per hour.

<figure class="wp-block-image"><figcaption>The 3D Platform WorkCenter 500 has a rather hefty high-speed extrusion system</figcaption></figure>

Some of that speed increase is due to larger nozzle sizes, which 3D Platform can provide. Their product list includes 0.7mm, 1.4mm and 2.8mm nozzle diameters.

To put that in perspective, that would require you to swap 1kg spools every 8 minutes and 49 seconds. Obviously, 3D Platform uses far larger spool sizes on this machine.

3. 6mm 3D Printer Filament

While the company does offer pellet-material solutions, one of their more interesting innovations is 6mm diameter filament, seen in this image. The added diameter ensures there is plenty of material to deliver to the hungry high-speed extrusion system. However, it is quite rigid. You may be wondering how they can properly unspool such a thick filament and have it pass smoothly through the filament path.

<figure class="wp-block-image"><figcaption>Thick 6mm 3D printer filament from 3D Platform. Rigid! </figcaption></figure>

The answer is that 3D Platform actually pre-heats this thick filament to make it somewhat more pliable and thus able to handle the filament path successfully.

One very intriguing suggestion we heard from the company is their interest in leveraging this thick filament in other ways. Specifically, the thick filament’s diameter could accommodate additions that could not be contemplated with thinner filaments.

One example of this leverage could be the inclusion of much longer fibers. Material vendors today market “carbon fiber” filament, which is essentially PLA or Nylon mixed with very find chopped carbon fibers. While these tiny segments do add some strength to the part, their effect is limited by their length.

But that could change with 3D Platform’s huge 6mm filament. They could potentially add much longer fibers and receive a corresponding strength increase in printed parts. And this would work for any type of fiber, such as glass, which is frequently used instead to carbon fiber these days.

It’s not part of their 3D Printer configurator yet, but the 3D Platform WorkCenter 500 is available at a price near $200,000 USD, which happens to be 4x the price of the WorkCenter 400 at $50,000 USD.

Read more about 3D printing at Fabbaloo!

The post 3 Unique Features of the New WorkCenter 500 Large Format 3D Printer appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Fabbaloo at June 07, 2019 02:21 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS PDM Toolbox Integration

The recommended SOLIDWORKS PDM Toolbox Integration is to add a Windows registry option to automatically force caching of the latest version of SOLIDWORKS Toolbox references on open when Toolbox is managed in SOLIDWORKS PDM.

This override ensures that the latest version of a Toolbox reference is cached to avoid Toolbox having to create missing sizes in some cases when an earlier version already cached.

WARNING: Be very careful when making modifications to the registry as this may cause serious instability on your system. As such, you will need full administrative permissions on your computer to be able to edit them. Note that Javelin is not responsible for any changes that you make to your system, the following is just a guide.

To enable/disable the registry override:

Add a DWORD key named ‘GetLatestToolboxVer‘ under:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\ConisioCAD\SolidWorks

Value: 1 = Enabled, 0 (or missing) = Disabled

Get Latest SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Version

Get Latest SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Version

Note that when registry value is enabled, it will force latest version of all Toolbox references to become cached, even if they are already present and may therefore add some overhead to the time it takes to open the assembly.

The post SOLIDWORKS PDM Toolbox Integration appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Nadeem Akhtar at June 07, 2019 11:58 AM

June 05, 2019

SolidSmack

3D Spintronics Could Disrupt the Way We Encode Our Data

Electricity

Here’s your fun fact for today: unlike data-encoding electronics that utilize an electron’s negative charge to store data, spin electronics (or ‘spintronics”, for short) use the electron’s natural motion and magnetic properties around an atom to encode and store data.

Up until now, physicists have only been able to move electrons around a single atomic layer; drastically limiting their ability to process, encode, and store data. But with the recent discovery by a team of physicists led by colleagues at the University of Glasgow, humans can now transfer information from one electromagnetic layer to another.

This breakthrough in spintronics not only puts it on par with electronics, but gives it the ability to surpass the conventional methods of processing data, storing it, and keeping it operating after long periods of time.

<figure class="wp-block-image">spnitronics<figcaption>image source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cs-rB3YG_ZE</figcaption></figure>

If you aren’t savvy with scientific jargon, the gist of the paper published in Nature suggests a long-range antisymmetric interlayer interaction between numbers of perpendicular magnetic layers. These layers show a one-directional and chiral nature between one another, which prompts the team of physicists to conduct a spin-orbit coupling experiment to test the magnetic interaction between the layers. Using a couple of tiny magnets on a single film, they passed electronic information onto a second film below.

Long story short: the discoveries made by the physicists suggest a whole new dimension for electronic data storage and processing. Whereas past researchers could only work with a single layer, adding the ability to work with several dramatically increases the playing field for the world of spintronics.

It isn’t known just how far researchers are going to take this, but seeing as this is akin to adding a 3D plane to a 2D world, you can bet whatever they develop is going to turn heads.

The post 3D Spintronics Could Disrupt the Way We Encode Our Data appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 05, 2019 07:39 PM

SolidSmack Radio | The Dimensional Precision (Powered by Spotify)

Get that stretch out of your system with this week’s Spotify-powered SolidSmack Radio Playlist. It’s fashioned up, ready to make you pull your shoulder blades back and knock out another week of meaningful work while you bob your head to the beat. Whether you’re in the shop milling aluminum, sketching the latest product prototypes or modeling up a 3D storm, consider these tracks as a tool for your process.

This week on SolidSmack Radio we’ll fire things off with “Radiate” from Maranta before diving into tracks from Clinic, Palehound, Sinkane, and others before wrapping up with “Dive” from The Soft Cavalry. Ready? Let’s Rock!

Have suggestions? As always, let us know what you listen to, what you want to hear and what tunes get you through the week. Shoot us an email or leave a comment down below!!

*Note: if the embedded playlist below doesn’t work for you, try this.

<figure><iframe height="775" src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/evdmedia/playlist/5NednQNa1F0JECVYysVDLo" width="100%"></iframe></figure>

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by SolidSmack at June 05, 2019 07:30 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to link SOLIDWORKS Drawing Sheet details to a PDM Data Card

In SOLIDWORKS PDM we can map SOLIDWORKS Drawing Sheet details directly to a Data Card, making the information easily accessible to users.  In this article we’re going to look at how to create that relationship within the vault.

How to map the SOLIDWORKS Drawing Sheet to a Data Card

In this example, we’re going to map the current sheet and the total number of sheets values…

  • The first step is we’ll need to create the variables to store this information, then create the attribute mappings accordingly;
    • Administration Tool > Variables > New Variable…
      • Name; Current Sheet
      • Type; Text
        • New attribute;
          • Block Name: $PRP
          • Attribute Name: SW-Current Sheet
          • Extension: slddrw
Edit Variable

Edit Variable

      • Name; Current Sheet
        • Type; Text
          • New attribute;
            • Block Name: $PRP
            • Attribute Name: SW-Total Sheets
            • Extension: slddrw
Sheet Total Variable

Sheet Total Variable

  • Next, we’ll need to link these variables to a data card;
    • Administration Tool > Cards > File Cards > SOLIDWORKS Drawing Card;
      • Link up edit boxes to the new variables;
SOLIDWORKS Drawing Sheet details in a data card

Link to data card

Then the Drawing Sheet value should populate directly to the SOLIDWORKS PDM Data Card;

SOLIDWORKS Drawing Sheet and data card linked

SOLIDWORKS Drawing Sheet and data card linked

The post How to link SOLIDWORKS Drawing Sheet details to a PDM Data Card appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Justin Williams at June 05, 2019 11:56 AM

SolidSmack

Skillcoach | Onshape Enhanced Surface Modeling Tools Make The Grade!

Hey there Solidsmackite’s I’ve got good news. “There’s a mouse in the house!” Now don’t go faint of heart on me, as I’m talking about a computer mouse, not the four-legged furry type. Yep, a highly organic, fully surface modeled object constructed using Onshape the cloud-based CAD modeling software.

For those who have sought to surface model in Onshape in the past, this is news! Until recently Onshape had been pretty lean with regard to surface creation tools. Not so anymore! Check out the recent Onshape article I authored “How Does Onshape Handle Advanced Surface Modeling?” for the scoop.

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

The blog post is a high-level overview of a pretty extension CAD surfacing tool evaluation I undertook in collaboration with the folks over at Onshape. Owing to prior Solidsmack posts covering Onshape Advanced Modeling Tool Enhancements I gained an audience with Onshape’s developer relations guru. He specifically was looking to leverage my industrial design perspective and glean insights from my expertise in advanced surface modeling. After grilling me a bit, he straight up asked me “What can you do with Onshape as it stands today?” He then invited me to do a benchmark and to compile a few recommendations. We first decided on the topic “How Does Onshape Handle Advanced Surface Modeling?” Second, we brainstormed candidates that were sufficiently complex such as helmets, bike saddles and the like. We finally landed on the computer mouse and I was off to the races!

Evaluation Objectives

Heading into the evaluation these are the goals I set and discoveries I hoped to make.

  • What are Onshape’s available features for constructing complex curve and surface geometry?
  • How intuitive are these tools to use and locate within the modeling environment?
  • What is the degree of ease or difficulty to achieve a robust and parametric model?
  • Is the creation of complex curve and surface geometry straight forward or does it require workarounds?
  • To what degree could I analyze the quality of the geometry as it was being created?
  • Personally, is Onshape a good alternative choice to SOLIDWORKS for me and my industrial design students? If so, in what ways?
<figure class="wp-block-image"><figcaption>Keyshot 8 rendering – Mouse component part break-out plus button and scroll-wheel details.</figcaption></figure>

Evaluation Take-A-Ways

  • Overall, I found the current UI layout to be straightforward. No one tool was buried too deep to find. The integration of the FeatureScript navigation helped me readily access the key auxiliary tools to complete the model build.
  • I had some initial challenges with endpoints of my projected curves, but quickly found an alternative construction method that was robust.
  • I did encounter what I would consider a workaround pertaining to edge manipulation of surface patches. I found extending and/or trimming edges cumbersome and in need of enhancement.
  • Correcting feature failures at times were a little touch-and-go as Onshape lacks a replace or reroute lost feature tool. However, the model tree flagged problem features and provided fly-out notes indicating the type of failure.
  • I leveraged the 3D Point, Extrude Vertex, Boolean Plus, and Change Edge custom features extensively throughout the model to augment the geometry construction.
  • With regard to analysis tools, the curvature plot served me well as I laid down my curve network. But when it came to surface mesh flow evaluation, Onshape lacked a tool to visualize how the U and V grid mapped across the surface. However, I discovered when using the Fill tool, I was able to (via a checkbox) toggle on view isocurves. The ability to analyze the quality of the Fill surfaces proved invaluable.
  • I appreciated being able to not only view my model in perspective but that this mode remains active while I continue to work. Onshape comes with a fixed camera focal length. It would be a nice addition to have the ability to adjust the focal length.
<figure class="wp-block-image"><figcaption>Keyshot 8 Rendering – Mouse top view shows complexity of geometry owing to asymmetrical design.</figcaption></figure>



Rather than duplicating my Onshape blog write-up in its entirety, I encourage you to hop over to Onshape and check out my evaluation where you will be treated to in-process screen captures and feature descriptions in all their glory. Enjoy!

Until next time, keep learning. – Skillcoach

The post Skillcoach | Onshape Enhanced Surface Modeling Tools Make The Grade! appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Vince Haley at June 05, 2019 02:06 AM

June 04, 2019

SolidSmack

Just How Much Load Can The Smallest LEGO Gear Handle?

smallest LEGO piece pressure test

After stepping on them for years, a Finish YouTube creator has had enough of tiny LEGO bricks. Using his aptly named Brick Experiment Channel, he makes videos which pit a variety of LEGOs against fire, concrete, and quite possibly their only worthy opponent: other LEGO pieces.

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</figure>
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In this particular video, he tests just how much punishment the smallest LEGO gears (a LEGO Technic Gear 8 Type 1 and a LEGO Technic Gear 8 Tooth Type 2) can take from its brethren before breaking. Using a PF M-motor, he tests whether or not the Type 1 and 2 gears survive certain load scenarios.

<figure class="wp-block-image">smallest LEGO piece pressure test</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">smallest LEGO piece pressure test</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">smallest LEGO piece pressure test</figure>

While a 1:1 load measuring 4 Newton-centimeters (Ncm) poses no challenge for the Type 1, a 3:1 load with 12 Ncm against another 8-tooth gear and a 5:1 load with 20 Ncm of torque is another story. A couple of the gear’s teeth are bent out of place and though it might work on other builds, this definitely means the gear is broken.

<figure class="wp-block-image">smallest LEGO piece pressure test</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">smallest LEGO piece pressure test</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">smallest LEGO piece pressure test</figure>

Not to be deterred by just two tests, our builder adds even more torque to the mechanism. After pitting the Type 1 against a gear rack with a 5:1 (20 Ncm), 9:1 (36 Ncm), and 15:1 (60 Ncm) weight ratio, the gear’s teeth start snapping under the load, effectively stopping it from harming another person’s foot.

While the 5:1 and 9:1 tests still see the Type 1 gear spinning before it jams, the snapping sounds emanating from the machine means the mechanism won’t work the next time around.

But he isn’t done, not by a long shot. The purpose of this experiment is to see if the Type 2 gear is really better than its predecessor, so off he goes to put the Type 2 through its paces using the same LEGO motor set.

<figure class="wp-block-image">smallest LEGO piece pressure test</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image"></figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">smallest LEGO piece pressure test</figure>

Just like the Type 1, the Type 2 works fine in a 1:1 load test but finds difficulty against a 3:1 and 5:1 ratio. Its teeth aren’t as crooked as the Type 1’s after the first two tests, so LEGO must have improved the material on the new Type 2 gear to make it sturdier and a heck of a lot more painful to step on.

<figure class="wp-block-image">smallest LEGO piece pressure test</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">smallest LEGO piece pressure test</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">smallest LEGO piece pressure test</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">smallest LEGO piece pressure test</figure>

Against the gear rack, however, the Type 2 fares worse than the Type 1, if you can believe it. Despite the supposed material change, it jams under the load of the 5:1 and 9:1 ratios before completely snapping like a fingernail on the 15:1 load test. As it turns out, not even LEGOs are safe from their own kind when pitted against each other.

Seeing the Type 2 gear actually snap off the mechanism, you could say the Type 1 is sturdier than its replacement. It’s interesting though how both gears crumble against this kind of load but still manage to induce unholy amounts of pain on a person’s foot and still remain intact.

If you want to see more LEGO experiments where the LEGOs are the ones being experimented on, the Brick Experiment Channel is where you will find them.

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This post features affiliate links which helps support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale at no extra cost to you!

The post Just How Much Load Can The Smallest LEGO Gear Handle? appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 04, 2019 05:24 PM

What Is Optical Engineering? (and Why You May Be Doing HW Wrong If You Don’t Know)

Optical Engineering Cover

If you’re engineering hardware that has any one of: a camera, an LED, a display, an IR sensor, a lens, a laser, a reflector, or an optical fiber, guess what?! You’re working with an optical system. What’s more, there’s an entire branch of engineering that specializes in optics. And, if you’re not involving an optical engineer in your development, you’re very likely doing it wrong. And time-consuming-ly. And expensively. And possibly dangerously.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Optical Engineering Cover. Examples of optical engineering in physical products.<figcaption>Examples of optics stuff. It’s in (almost) all the things!</figcaption></figure>

Lots of Big, Costly, Preventable Mistakes

Most of y’all working in startups (and sometimes even larger corporations) are doing it wrong. I know because I am an optical engineer (OE) running an engineering consultancy (SpireStarter.com). Last year, I traveled almost 100% of the time in the US and abroad meeting hardware engineers who needed help with optical engineering. A whopping 85% of the work I did last year was done for free. Why? Because so many of those hardware companies 1) needed to learn what optical engineering was and 2) how it could benefit their specific situations.

Also, most of the engineers I talked to thought an optical engineer was the person who designed their glasses. Breaking News: that is not what we do.

3 Out of 3 Optical Pros Agree

I didn’t want you to just take my word on all this. That’s why I asked engineers at two of the largest optical simulation software providers to chime in. Special thanks for the contributions from Patrick Le Houillier (and Jake Jacobsen, Ph.D narrating in the video) of Synopsys and Bob Householder of Zemax!

Video: Optical Simulation Software in Action

Below is the video that includes an inside look at how the software from Synopsys and Zemax work (LightTools at 7:20 and Zemax OpticStudio at 11:40, respectively).

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<figcaption>A super basic overview of optical engineering and Why You Should Care.
Bonus: highlights on illumination design and imaging optics design.</figcaption></figure>

Specialties within Optical Engineering

There are a ton of different tracks in optical engineering. Most optical engineers (OEs) will only have experience in a couple. I have experience in an abnormally large number of specialties, but definitely not all. This is why I collaborate with different mixes of specialists depending on the project.

You’ll hear OEs say, “in the end, light is light.” Which means: light follows the same rules of physics no matter the applications. That’s true, but different specialties and even different applications within a specialty can be totally different ballgames in terms of engineering requirements and tools.

The most common two boxes to divide optical engineering specialties into are imaging and non-imaging.

Imaging Optics

<figure class="aligncenter">Examples of devices with imaging optics: Google Cardboard and an old-timey camera.<figcaption>Examples of devices with imaging optics: Google Cardboard and an old-timey camera.</figcaption></figure>

Imaging optics include all optical devices where you’re creating an image. The image could be a picture, a video, or some other representation of real-life that falls on your eyeball. Examples are things like:

  • Cameras (including those in machine vision systems)
  • Microscopes
  • Telescopes and Binoculars
  • Projectors
  • VR Goggles

That scope your proctologist jams up your innards? Yeah, you can thank an optical engineer for that, too.

Non-Imaging Optics

<figure class="wp-block-image">Examples of devices with non-imaging optics: 2013 Buick Enclave headlamp (which may be a project I personally was engineer on and had multiple migraines over) and LED-powered indicator light on Hooke Verse headphones. <figcaption>Examples of devices with non-imaging optics: 2013 Buick Enclave headlamp (which may be a project I personally was engineer on and had multiple migraines over) and LED-powered indicator light on Hooke Verse headphones. </figcaption></figure>

The term “non-imaging optics” lazily contains all the other types of optical things that aren’t imaging. It includes a LOT of specialties, such as:

  • Illumination (aka Lighting)
  • Lasers
  • LiDAR
  • Fiber Optics
  • Optical Sensors (e.g. IR sensors, light curtains, visible light sensors)
  • Spectroscopy
  • Pretty much anything else using an LED…

Tools of Optical Engineering

As I mentioned, the tools an OE might use can vary widely depending on application. These include what engineers use to design, simulate, or “debug” in virtual environments, and test in real life.

Optical Simulation Software

Not too long ago, a lot of optical engineering design and analysis was done by hand. Now, we have super fast computers and mind-blowing simulation programs. They can show us just how a design will perform before a tool is ever cut. Work that might have been done with 50 mathematical calculations and pencil drawings on human-sized physical prints is now replaced by millions of calculations on a PC and realistic renderings.

What are Ray Traces?

Most of that simulation work (but not all) is done with ray traces. In a typical simulation, you’ll have a video-game version of all the components of your optical system. So you might have, say, an LED, a lens, some housing geometry, and some sort of detector.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Setting up a simulation in LightTools: here, in the Land of Make Believe, we have a virtual lens sitting on top of a pretend LED.<figcaption>Setting up a simulation in LightTools: here, in the Land of Make Believe, we have a virtual lens sitting on top of a pretend LED.</figcaption></figure>

In the simulation, you’ll model a virtual version of each of these. For your LED, maybe you create a source model of the same colors and light distribution and overall amount of light of the diode. Let’s say the lens you want to create is pretty simple and you create that piece right in the simulation software. Maybe the housing is some CAD a mechanical engineer created in SolidWorks. So, you get a .STP file (or whatever format you can use) from the ME and import it into the simulation. Next, you set up a detector in the area where you want light to go so you can see if you succeeded.

Then comes the most difficult part: setting material and texture attributes for all the physical parts. These models should be based on your past experience comparing real life to simulation. (Little changes here can COMPLETELY change your result!)

Last, you might tell that pretend LED you created to turn itself into 1 million light rays based on its model, and you hit “GO”.

<figure class="wp-block-image">A ray trace tracing! Each red line in this LightTools simulation is a vector representing a ray of light and a whole bunch of maths.<figcaption>A ray trace tracing! Each red line in this LightTools simulation is a vector representing a ray of light and a whole bunch of maths.</figcaption></figure>

When the simulation begins, each of those million rays becomes a calculation, which splits into more rays and calculations each time it hits a surface. Upon completion, you can see with surprising accuracy (if you created your model well) just where all the light rays will end up.

It’s Not Automagic, It’s Still An Art

This explanation might make it seem easy. Let me just say, it’s a lot harder than hitting a button. Each simulation software has its own way of propagating those rays, along with a hundred other differences. It still takes optical knowledge, training, and most importantly, real-world experience to do it right. Even then, it’s really tricky.

Optical Software Providers

Sometimes HW managers will ask an OE, “What is the ‘best’ optical software?” That’s like asking a programmer, “What is the best coding language?” The answer will totally depend on the application and, in any case, is loaded with personal bias.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Example of Zemax OpticStudio in action. Here, Bob Householder shows playing with simulated lenses to sharpen the picture you get from in an imaging system.<figcaption>Example of Zemax OpticStudio in action. Here, Bob Householder shows playing with simulated lenses to sharpen the picture you get from in an imaging system.</figcaption></figure>

I’m experienced in many of them. Some I’m in love with. Some make my eye twitch thing come back immediately upon viewing. Here I’ll try to keep my biases in check by listing some of the more common names and the applications they are associated with.

Note: these aren’t exclusive uses of each software. With some blood and sweat, many can be hacked to use for different types of optics–I wouldn’t recommend it. But sometimes it can be done–I’m listing how I’ve seen them commonly used. Also, they’re in no particular order.

  • Zemax: OpticStudio, LensMechanix* (both are more commonly used for imaging applications and other optics designs not dependent on lighting aesthetics)
  • Synopsys: LightTools* (illumination and other non-imaging), CODE V (commonly used for imaging and non-illumination), LucidShape (tailored for meeting the ridiculously extensive design requirements of automotive lighting — I was an automotive lighting engineer, btw)
  • Breault Research Organization: (pronounced “Bro”,): ASAP (usually used via scripting environment), APEX* (I’ve seen Breault’s software used for just about every application, especially if pure simulation is what a company wants from SW more than specific design capabilities.)
  • Lambda Research Corporation: TracePro (more commonly used for illumination and non-imaging), OSLO (more common for imaging optics or larger optical systems with imaging as a part)
  • LTI Optics: Photopia* (most commonly used for luminaire design i.e. lamps for ambient lighting. Also used in other non-imaging applications.)
  • ANSYS: SPEOS (most commonly used for illumination.)
  • …and a bunch more

* options for either connecting to or add-in available for SOLIDWORKS

Optical Lab Equipment

Optical engineers don’t just work in virtual reality land; we play with physical stuff, too! For things like prototyping and verifying first production, there’s a lot of real-world work going on.

Equipment can range from the size of a hand-held (light) power meter to a multiple-axis robotic measuring machine the size of a room (goniophotometers). Also, optical lab benches where you can align components with high precision are common.

Other times, you need to reverse engineer an assembly or figure out missing specs from an off-the-shelf component you’re trying to use. Getting this data can require specialized machines or even a custom, duct-tapey hacked-together measurement method.

For each type of optical application being developed, there are usually a different combination of tools used. That, of course, adds to the division of knowledge between optics specialties.

A Mechanical Engineering Analogy

I often hear of people trying to mass produce a one-off working optical prototype without doing optical analysis. Oftentimes, they don’t even have all the specs of each component they used. To communicate my feelings on this, I’d like you to picture a mechanical widget design.

<figure class="wp-block-image">A magical, hand-whittled, moving-part, mystery widget.<figcaption>A magical, hand-whittled, moving-part, mystery widget.</figcaption></figure>

This widget has several moving parts. Each part was sanded and whittled down by hand over multiple iterations until they all fit together. It’s made of some random discarded material the widget designer found. Now the designer comes to you and tells you he wants 1,000,000 of these widgets made.

You Say: “Ok, to start, where’s the CAD model to hand off to a factory? What are the tolerances on each part? What materials did you use?”

Widget Designer Says: “I didn’t create a CAD model or do any tolerance analysis on this. I just want to make 1,000,000 of this thing. Here, just take it.”

You Say: “Dude, you really need a CAD model and/or drawings of each part and then figure out the acceptable limits of each dimension. Otherwise, the factories will be making stuff that doesn’t work.”

Widget Designer: “But, this one works. So, I don’t need to do any of that. It’s fine.”

You (me): “WTF?”

This doesn’t make sense in mechanical engineering land, and it makes less sense with optical systems. With optical systems, you can’t see the light rays themselves, so the exact way a system works is often impossible to fully understand without analysis. Plus, if you don’t know the thresholds, dimensions, power, wavelengths, geometry, etc. in your system, you have no idea what you built.

One good check-in question to ask is: “If my vendors disappear tomorrow, do I know enough about my optical system to have other vendors build it?” Often, when asking a hardware startup, the answer is, “ahh…nope.”

Mistakes You Can Avoid with Analysis

Unnecessary Iterations

A huge benefit to bringing in an optical engineer early on is often a dramatic reduction in number of prototype iterations. For things like light pipes, this can especially be true. Those are the optics that bring light from a circuit board to some other part of your hardware. To keep light leakage to a minimum and to get a nice-looking, even illumination coming out, it’s almost impossible in one take without simulations.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Example of designing a light pipe in LightTools. Le Houillier shows us how engineers can create an evenly-lit design before any materials or tooling are purchased.<figcaption>Example of designing a light pipe in LightTools. Le Houillier shows us how engineers can create an evenly-lit design before any materials or tooling are purchased.</figcaption></figure>

The reason light pipes are attempted to be designed so often without optical analysis may have to do with something Patrick Le Houillier shared with me. A misconception he routinely needs to correct is that people think light in a light pipe flows like water through traditional plumbing, so you just connect A to B. Because, you know, a pipe is a pipe, I guess? (P.S. a light pipe works nothing like a pipe used in plumbing. I very nearly choked to death on my own laughter when Le Houillier told me this.)

The use of the term light piping has caused several engineers and designers not trained in optical engineering to take the term literally and consider light as water into a pipe…Light in a lightguide does not behave like water into a pipe.

– Patrick Le Houillier sharing his teaching experience as an optics pro at Synopsys.

Tolerancing and Optimization

Tolerancing and optimization with optical systems when you don’t have an optical engineer is tough.

Similar to mechanical and electronic tolerances, tolerances in optical systems show you all the +/- constraints you need to keep your system within if you want it all to work. So to find the breaking point with every angle, x,y,z-position, current, system temperature, and so on, it makes way more sense to change all these variables in a computer versus in a lab. Then, if you’re able to figure out tolerances, you can build a design that a.) has more wiggle room, and b.) has specs set to the middle of that wiggle room.

If a company isn’t using optical simulations, they might skip these steps altogether. And that’s a recipe for disaster! As a result, companies often build optical systems on a knife’s edge of breaking and don’t know it until it’s too late.

I asked Bob Householder of Zemax if he’d also seen projects where there wasn’t an OE at the start and then optics analysis needed to be brought in later. Here’s what he said:

I have brought into a few projects for imaging or laser work where there was a design, or at least a layout performed by a mechanical engineer or physicist…If an OE was there at the start of the project, the timeline, product cost and performance would have certainly been better.

– Bob Householder, Zemax

When Manufacturing Goes to &*#$: Root Cause Analysis

Even a robustly-designed optical system won’t save you from royal screw ups at your vendors. However, if you already built an optical simulation of your system, it’s a million times easier to find the most likely causes of failure. There are a couple ways you can use the simulation to help you.

Backwards Ray Tracing

Because physics and light is awesome, light rays travel the same path forward as they do backward. This means, if you have light going somewhere you don’t want (like blinding a pedestrian), you can figure out where that light comes from in your product. In that case, in your simulation you’d start at where said pedestrian would stand and follow rays back to your device. The spots where those rays land on your widget are possible culprit areas causing the glare.

Tightly-Controlled Variables

One of the most spectacular things about optical simulations is you know exactly which variables you’re changing. On the other hand, if you do problem-solving by playing with a physical set-up, you often don’t know what all the variables even are. It’s also difficult to isolate those variables. By that I mean, it’s hard to change just one thing at a time. For example, you might increase the power but that in turn increases your temperature.

So, if your product is giving you a result you don’t like, you can purposely screw up one thing at a time in your simulation. When you mess with a variable, such as: a distance, power going to an LED, a material, a surface finish, etc., and it gives you a shoddy end result close to your real life problem, you know you have a likely suspect.

This is an important ability to have as an optical engineer! Most of the time when there is a system failure, optical design is blamed but has nothing to do with the SNAFU. One time, I was told to diagnose an “optics problem” only to discover the root cause was a failure to create a new part number for an updated version of the driver. So, the old driver was being used by mistake. In case it’s not clear: that has nothing to do with the optics.

Take It From Bob

Here’s Bob Householder’s (from Zemax) 2 cents on this:

Optical simulation software is very useful for root cause analysis as there are many built-in analyses tools and then a robust scripting language to customize analyses.

-Your friend and optics pro, Bob Householder, from Zemax

Why Don’t More People Know What Optical Engineering Is?

You may be wondering, “if it’s so important, why do so few hardware nerds know what optical engineering is?”

That’s a great question! There are several reasons. Here are the ones I think contribute the most.

Optical Engineers = Unicorns

I often hear engineering leaders even within large corporations complaining they have extreme difficulty finding optical engineers. There aren’t a lot of us. Therefore, even if you’ve worked in a company that both needed an OE and knew what an OE was, you may have never worked alongside one.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Optical engineers are so rare you might be one without knowing it.<figcaption>Optical engineers are so rare you might be one without knowing it.</figcaption></figure>

OE’s are so rare, sometimes even they don’t know they are one. When there’s a dire need for an OE in a corporation, I’ve seen management force an EE to learn how to use optical engineering software. On more than one occasion, I’ve met an “electrical engineer” at an optics software user’s meeting. It would often come out that the EE exclusively did OE work. Then, I would have to break it to them: “dude, uhhh… you’re an optical engineer.”

Them:

No, I’m not…I…holy crap, you’re right. I…I’m an optical engineer.”

Electrical Engineers Around the Country Developing Optical Systems

Take It From Patrick

Patrick Le Houillier from Synopsys totally backs me up with this unprompted observation:

…we know that a lot of industries will hire mechanical and/or electrical engineers to do this kind of work either because they cannot find any, think they can design products without them, or don’t even know this type of engineer exists.

– Patrick Le Houillier from Synopsys, Optics Expert Who Has Seen Some Things

It’s Sort of a New Thing

Teaching optical science as a field of study only began in 1929 in the US. (That’s only 90 YEARS, man!) Kodak and Bausch & Lomb dumped a bunch of cash into the University of Rochester, and said, “we would like to purchase some optical engineers”. Those 2 companies were making advanced tech revolving around optics at that time, and they could afford to help create an entire Institute of Optics.

Most other companies at that time didn’t need to develop high-tech optics stuff. As time went on and more tech began to involve optics, the need developed, but cost was still prohibitive. Optical engineers were and are rare. And then new optics development tools were developed, but the cost of those were prohibitive for a long time. For these reasons, a lot of optics dev was outsourced to optics manufacturers for a long time.

Today, the need for optical engineering is ubiquitous. Although OE tools are still expensive, they are not as comparatively costly as they once were. The main reason left is: paradox. Lack of awareness of the need for optical engineers early in a company’s history begets lack of awareness later on.

How to Get You Some Optical Science (or an Optical Engineer)

  1. Hire a full-time Optical Engineer. If you a.) have the budget for one and b.) can actually find one (we’re a rare breed, remember!), this is your best bet. If you can lure an OE who also has experience in the optics specialties you need help with, then congratulations, you’ve caught yourself a unicorn! A lot of times, one or both of these conditions prove too difficult for even big-name companies to meet. In that case, you can try option 2 or 3.
  2. Hire a part-time or freelance Optical Engineer. Pro: you have an OE! Cons: still can be hard to find, and if you go through a headhunter, you may get a lower level of service. If you go through a placement agency, you should also know enough about optical engineering to know exactly what tasks to request of your OE. Otherwise, if you directly find an experienced freelance engineer, you may be able to snag one who can hold your hand and take the lead a bit more. Other big con: when the contract is up, you could lose access to valuable project knowledge.
  3. Find an optical engineering service provider. Pros: You have an OE! …Maybe more than 1 if a technical roadblock pops up. You may also get access to knowledge in multiple optics specialties. When the contracts are over, there’s a higher likelihood of access project knowledge if you need it in the future. Other pros: things like training, software and hardware will usually all be covered in the rates you pay, so there are fewer peripherals to worry about. Plus, they typically provide a whole lot of hand-holding, sometimes even education, if needed. (And considering how many HW nerds think OE is for making eyeglasses, this benny is key.) Cons: still not as awesome as having your own FT engineer. Also, rates and payment structures among optical engineering firms vary widely and some are difficult for smaller start ups to work with.

Questions?

Still have lingering questions about optical engineering? If they’re super general, ask in the comments below, and I’ll respond. If you need some technical optics jargon explained in layman’s terms, send me a message on my company site HERE. I’ll get it added to the layman’s glossary if there are enough requests. If you have specific engineering or education needs involving optics, also shoot me a message through my company’s site. Either we can give you a free preliminary consultation, or I’m happy to send you to the best alternative resource for your needs.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Ask Erin M. McDermott a question about optics or optical engineering at SpireStarter.com<figcaption>She’s friendly! If you have a question, I won’t bite. And I’ll give you an answer with as little jargon as possible. I’m all about making knowledge more accessible. More HW engineers need to know more about optical engineering!</figcaption></figure>

Just please, please, start using optical science in your product development involving optics. It’s there to make your life easier! It’s science! It’s engineering! You love these things. Love an OE.

The post What Is Optical Engineering? (and Why You May Be Doing HW Wrong If You Don’t Know) appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Erin McDermott at June 04, 2019 02:36 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to add SOLIDWORKS PDM Toolbar Buttons to Windows Explorer

In the SOLIDWORKS PDM vault view, toolbar buttons can be added for users and groups to give quick access to various commands.

In Administration tool > Expand Users > Right-click the user and select Settings

SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin User Settings

SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin User Settings

Select the Toolbar tab > Add the button from the list of ‘Available toolbar buttons’ to ‘Current Toolbar buttons’ list

Add Toolbar Buttons

Add Toolbar Buttons

Reopen the vault view

Toolbar Buttons added to Explorer

Toolbar Buttons added to Explorer

The post How to add SOLIDWORKS PDM Toolbar Buttons to Windows Explorer appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Nadeem Akhtar at June 04, 2019 01:12 PM

June 03, 2019

SolidSmack

Model of the Week: Captain America’s Shield [So BROKE!]

You might have your own opinion on who broke Captain America’s shield, but regardless whether who or even if it really happened (IT DID), there’d have to be some power behind that shield slap.

Maybe you already have a Captain America mask, or a shirt with a star stencil spraypainted on it. You’ve got to complete the look and the only way to do that is with Cap’s Vibranium/Adamantium shield… that’s actually made of a fragile, 3D printed plastic but, ya know, looks kinda cool.

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

The Inspiration (Spoiler Alert!)

Surely, you’ve seen Avengers: Endgame? Nope? Me neither. Waiting for it to come out on LaserDisc. “What’s Laserdisc?” Superior to VHS. “What’s VHS??” *Sighs* Here’s a spoiler for such a question.

One of my favorite Endgame scenes is where Thanos breaks Captain America’s shield with his sword (File is here) It was such a heartbreaking moment after seeing him finally lift Mjolnir, but still a great moment nonetheless. The shield is full scale (Huge!), and the top 1/3 is broken off in the same way as the movie. I would like to give credit to fotoianmontes on Thingiverse, who designed the original shield that I used for this project.

And that’s why MMF user T-E-C decide to re-mix the shield and give it a nice, really jagged break.

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

T-E-C is a 15 year old high school student who brought the original shield model into Fusion 360 and modified it to add the break. Altogether, the shield is made of 12 separate 3D printed pieces, printed on an i3 MK series printer.

It’s a large print, taking four days to complete, finished off with glue and woodfiller. Though the seams are pretty rough in the photo above, some sanding and a little extra filler can work wonders. Hint: spraypaint and sand to reveal the low/high spots.

I did some weathering using watered down black paint. I also glued some old belts into the back of the shield so it could be secured onto my left arm. It took a while to fully finish, but honestly, I could have done it all day…

You snag the full shield on Thingiverse and download the broken version from MyMiniFactory. (Bonus! Check out Thanos’ sword here created by T-E-C to recreate the battle yourself!)

Have a model you think everyone needs? Share the link and details with us here!

The post Model of the Week: Captain America’s Shield [So BROKE!] appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at June 03, 2019 09:38 PM

The Steelcase Series 1 Is a Customizable Design for Your Spine

Steelcase Series 1

As any person who works in an office knows, it isn’t your space until you’ve found the perfect chair. No matter how many vacuum tube displays you have or family dog photos are on your desk, you’ll never get any work done if your chair isn’t keeping your spine straight and cheeks comfy. Steelcase keeps offering up solutions and the Steelcase Series 1 is one of our favs.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Steelcase Series 1</figure>

Steelcase Series 1

The Steelcase Series 1 was created to be customizable and space-friendly and, on top of being comfortable, the best improvement to the common office chair since office chairs have existed. First, there’s the customization.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Steelcase Series 1</figure>

Folks who want the Steelcase Series 1 may customize it before their purchase. Using the live configurator on the Series 1 webpage, you choose the type of chair along with the colors and options.

<figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio">
<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xxsU7vzZj5E?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="770"></iframe>
</figure>

Next, the chair itself has a number of adjustable features apart from a simple height adjustment. The space between the back support and the seat can be adjusted using a switch on the seat. The Steelcase Series 1 also has some of the most customizable handrests found in an office chair, as you can adjust their height, spacing, and angle on the fly.

It isn’t a proper chair if it doesn’t provide proper back support, so Steelcase incorporated their LiveBack™ technology, which allows the back to change shape to fit your spine throughout the day. There’s even an adjustable lumbar support which you can slide up and down to fit the small of your back.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Steelcase Series 1</figure>

With all these features, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Steelcase Series 1 takes up a lot of space. In reality, the chairs measure only 36.5-41 inches in height and 23.5–27 inches in width while the stools measure 43-50 inches high and 23.5-27 inches wide. The seats are also made of 95% recyclable material and have no glue used in their construction.

You can find more on the Steelcase Series 1 and even snag the 3D model from the Steelcase webpage. The customized chair starts at $415 (and $521 for the stool) with options pushing it up from there. Currently, Amazon has five color options (with armrests but without headrest) for a solid $399.

<script type="text/javascript"> amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; amzn_assoc_search_bar = "true"; amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "solid0a-20"; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; amzn_assoc_region = "US"; amzn_assoc_title = "Steelcase Series 1"; amzn_assoc_linkid = "4e0121defd983fec27ba556685066670"; amzn_assoc_asins = "B078H8RCX1,B078H9RWD3,B078HG8HWF,B078H8XX3H"; </script> <script src="http://z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US"></script>

This post features affiliate links which helps support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale at no extra cost to you!

The post The Steelcase Series 1 Is a Customizable Design for Your Spine appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 03, 2019 08:46 PM

Watch a 52,000+ Matchstick Volcano Burn Into A Towering Inferno

matchstick volcano

It was bound to happen at some point, and burning matchstick art is currently having its moment in the spotlight. While we’ve previously seen projects including a 5,000-matchstick chain and a 10,000-stick flaming skull, we’ve never seen something as bonkers (or as flammable) like this:

<figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio">
<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/y8ySPbn_t2Y?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="770"></iframe>
</figure>

Earlier this year, burning matchstick art creator Mokso built a fire domino volcano consisting of 17,342 matchsticks. By laying down the matches in a circular order around a cardboard toilet paper roll, he was able to create a hollow outer shell. He filled up the inside of the volcano with matches and poured a handful of matchheads into the cardboard roll to give it a more explosive effect. The resulting, highly-flammable piece took him 25 hours to make and was an inferno in an open field. Despite the damage it did to the ozone layer, the inside of the volcano remained largely unburned and didn’t produce the kind of explosion Mokso wanted.

<figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio">
<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-kMrXH84ZcI?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="770"></iframe>
</figure>

Fast forward to April 2019 and Mokso has improved his matchstick volcano design. Instead of setting all the matchheads on the outer portion of the volcano, Mokso alternates between setting a few matchheads outside and some inside the volcano.

<figure class="wp-block-image">matchstick volcano </figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">matchstick volcano</figure>

To add to the explosive effect, he also drills a bunch of holes under the base of the volcano so oxygen can flow freely throughout the inside.

<figure class="wp-block-image">matchstick volcano</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">matchstick volcano</figure>

Just like the previous volcano, Mokso creates a small opening for the initial matchstick flame to pass through. This time, the opening is much smaller, and the inside is filled to the brim with matchheads rather than matchsticks.

<figure class="wp-block-image">matchstick volcano</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">matchstick volcano</figure>

He continues making the outer layer of the volcano, leaving just a small gap on the top for more matchheads to be added. Before doing so, however, he drills additional holes in the volcano to allow even more oxygen to pass through. Finally, he fills up the hole with the final few matches and prepares to light it up.

<figure class="wp-block-image">matchstick volcano</figure>

In total, the volcano consists of 52,000 matches and cost Mokso roughly $100 to build—not including his time. It took him 94 hours to make the entire video—which included 60 hours for creating the volcano, 15 hours just cutting matches in half, 3 hours for prepping the burning scene, 1 hour to record it, 4 hours just to find the right music (!), 7 hours of video editing, 3 hours of upload time, and 1 hour making the thumbnail.

<figure class="wp-block-image">matchstick volcano</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">matchstick volcano</figure>

Since the initial lighting ended up being a dud, Mokso lights the volcano manually from above. Not two seconds pass and the volcano turns into a towering inferno; spouting both flame and burning matchsticks skyward.

<figure class="wp-block-image">matchstick volcano</figure>

The explosion is to Mokso’s liking, as it burns through the entire volcano leaving not even the insides unscathed.

You can see more of Mokso’s matchstick creations on his YouTube channel. Behind-the-scenes footage can also be found on his Instagram page, as well as his other upcoming projects.

The post Watch a 52,000+ Matchstick Volcano Burn Into A Towering Inferno appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 03, 2019 12:38 PM

The SolidSmack Monday List 23.19 | Stories We’re Reading This Week

Monaco Racing

Mondays might not be your favorite day of the week, but the good news is that we’re all in this together ladies and gentlemen. As purveyors of prime Grade A web content, the SolidSmack crew has done some of the heavy-lifting to make sure you get your Mondays started on the right track.

Welcome to The Monday List.

Every Monday, we link you up with some of the most insightful, informative, and socially-relevant stories to keep tabbed, bookmarked, reading listed, pocketed, or what have you to get your week started on the right foot. Be sure to check in each week for a new crop of freshly sprouted words curated straight from the source of your favorite homegrown ‘Smack.

What We’re Reading This Week:

How Data (and Some Breathtaking Soccer) Brought Liverpool to the Cusp of Glory

The club is finishing a phenomenal season — thanks in part to an unrivaled reliance on analytics.

<figure class="aligncenter">Soccer game</figure>

Apple Just Patched a Modem Bug That’s Been in Macs Since 1999

The exploit centers on a sort of universal translator Apple created for modems known as the CCLEngine, which helps interpret and orchestrate data links between two computers.

<figure class="aligncenter">Apple iMacs</figure>

The Roar, the Riches, the Race: Previewing the Monaco Grand Prix

Ninety years after it was first run, the race still reigns supreme on the Formula One calendar.

<figure class="aligncenter">Monaco Racecars</figure>

Former Boeing Engineers Say Relentless Cost-Cutting Sacrificed Safety

The failures of the 737 Max appear to be the result of an emphasis on speed, cost, and above all shareholder value.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Boeing</figure>

For the Love of Fast Cars

Lessons in trust, distance, and growing up.

<figure class="aligncenter">Salt Flats</figure>

Design Is (Not) Just Making It Up

Three mindsets to embrace the uncertainty of the design process

<figure class="aligncenter">Design Process</figure>

The post The SolidSmack Monday List 23.19 | Stories We’re Reading This Week appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at June 03, 2019 12:15 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to make SOLIDWORKS PDM custom columns retain their order in Windows Explorer

If you’re using custom columns for Windows Explorer within SOLIDWORKS PDM you may have run into an issue with them not retaining their order while navigating the vault or after a reboot.  This issue can be caused by a mismatch in the registry of the client machine, which we can correct with a few edits.

WARNING: Caution is required when editing entries in the Windows Registry as changing the wrong entry can lead to major issues on your system.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Custom Columns in Windows Explorer

SOLIDWORKS PDM Custom Columns in Windows Explorer

How to make custom columns in the vault retain their order

  • Via the system tray close the PDM Client:
Exit the PDM Client

Exit the PDM Client

  • Open the registry editor and delete the following keys:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\CTDMListView
Delete Registry Key

Delete Registry Key

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\Vaults\[Vault Name]\CTDMListView\ColOrder
Deleting other registry key for Custom Columns

Deleting other registry key

NOTE: Don’t worry, the registry keys will be recreated when logging back into your vault view.

Then log back into the vault, rearrange the custom columns as you’d like to see; then it should be retained moving forward on the client machine.

The post How to make SOLIDWORKS PDM custom columns retain their order in Windows Explorer appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Justin Williams at June 03, 2019 12:00 PM

May 31, 2019

SolidSmack

Friday Smackdown: The Mastscrapers Escape

Five straps past the port bow unlashed the mast, undoing the to latch to the hold. We had nine of them there, reprogrammed to fight with us, strewn together with our adversaries ancient magic, parts off the other ships, most of the missile batteries, and these links.

Col Price – Can’t get enough of Col’s ship concepts and style. New work from former Sony, EA and Evolution Art Director turned freelancer.

Chien-Chu Lee – Amazing “tips”… pencil tips to be precise. Carefully crafted pencil points. Art or sculpture?

Xavier Portela – Hong Kong is Pink. Or so it seems. The Glow project is the brainchild of Xavier as he explores Hong Kong through his lens of long exposures.

GIF-ITI – Hand-painted street art mural GIFs by U.K. graffiti artist INSA. Online meets offline.

Translucent Vision – The ethereal art of Florida-based artist Sean Mahan with a homage to youth and devices of yester-year.

3D Type – This year’s 36 Days of Type entry from BURO OFHO.

Observation – A new sci-fi thriller game from Devolver to find out what happen to Dr. Emma Fisher and crew. Buy here for $9.

Shores of Normandy – D-Day, the landing of Normandy, was June 6th, 1944. Jim Radford shares the song he wrote of the day, in a new video from the Normandy Memorial Trust to get the song to #1 on the charts.

<figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio">
<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9X6WxLbTmok?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="770"></iframe>
</figure>

The post Friday Smackdown: The Mastscrapers Escape appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at May 31, 2019 09:45 PM

The Javelin Blog

Creating a BOM with Part & Assembly Actors in SOLIDWORKS Composer

When working in SOLIDWORKS Composer, there might be a situation were the information that is being expressed in the Bill of Materials (BOM) come from both the part & assembly level. In the article ‘How to create an Assembly Level BOM‘, we learned how to get BOM items at the assembly level. Lets take that one step further by creating a specialized BOM in SOLIDWORKS Composer that uses both parts & assembly actors, and see the nuances in making it work.

Where to Start

In the example below, we see a SOLIDWORKS Composer file is made of different actors. We have the top-level assembly made up of sub-assemblies & parts as well as assembly groups & dummy actors. A view focusing on the grilling features of this barbecue set has been created. We want to create a simplified BOM that shows the main component groups (sub-assemblies) & a few add-on components (parts) that will be snapped on during the construction.

Barbecue Grill View

Barbecue Grill View

Creating a specialized BOM in Composer

The first step would be to set up the BOM Workshop parameters (Workshops TAB > Publishing SECTION > BOM). We will change the Apply to option to Selection as seen in the image below. The other settings can be changed depending on the desired output.

BOM Workshop: Apply to Selection

The next step would be to select actors at the assembly level to add to the BOM. This can be done by turning on the Assembly Selection Mode by clicking the icon seen in the figure below. From there, select all the sub-assemblies & assembly-groups that need to be added to the BOM and select Generate BOM IDs in the BOM Workshop.

Assembly Selection Mode

Repeat the process with the Assembly Selection Mode turned off and select the desired part actors to add. If callouts are needed, select all the actors in the BOM list, then select Create Callouts in the BOM Workshop. By default, assembly actor callouts have a black background and part callouts white as seen below. This can be changed in the Properties section.

SOLIDWORKS Composer BOM Result

BOM Result

Summary

  1. In the BOM workshop, choose Selection in the Apply to dropdown menu.
  2. Use the assembly selection too to select the assembly actors to be added to the BOM, the select Generate BOM IDs in the BOM workshop.
  3. Repeat step 2 with the part actors.
  4. To add callouts, select all the actors in the BOM and select Create Callouts in the BOM workshop.
    • Assembly & part actors have black & white backgrounds respectively by default. This can be changed in the Properties manager of each callout.

This method for create a BOM can be very useful when working with multilevel assemblies, especially if there are custom properties that are used at the assembly level that need to be represented on the BOM. Please check out these other articles regarding bill of materials in composer:

The post Creating a BOM with Part & Assembly Actors in SOLIDWORKS Composer appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Ben Crisostomo at May 31, 2019 12:25 PM

May 30, 2019

SolidSmack

The Startling Magnetic 3D Print Technology From Fortify

You likely have not heard of Fortify, but you certainly will be hearing a lot more from them in the future. The Boston-based startup, founded by Joshua Martin in 2016 based on his academic thesis, has developed a highly unusual technique to 3D print strongly reinforced objects using magnetic fields in an ingenious manner.

They’re a startup is using magnetic fields to 3D print extremely strong objects.

The company has patented their process, and after already receiving venture capital to get going, they are working on a Series A fundraising round that could be announced soon.

It’s all about the inclusion of reinforcing fibers within the print material. Of course, chopped fibers are a mainstay of strong materials these days, as it’s now relatively common to use them. But although they do indeed strengthen prints, they do not leverage the full strengthening capabilities of the glass or carbon fibers.

Why not? It’s because the fibers are randomly oriented in typical composite materials. These chopped fibers are oriented arbitrarily throughout the material.

But what if the fibers could be oriented in a particular direction? If so, the part could be greatly strengthened, at least in the fiber direction.

Fortify has figured out a practical way to actually do this. They can orient fibers within a 3D print. Here’s how it works:

  • Fibers are treated with a ferridic coating
  • Fibers are chopped fine
  • Fibers are mixed with a liquid photopolymer
  • Composite photopolymer is ready for 3D printing
  • Magnetic field is generated by the Fortify 3D printer
  • Fibers, being ferridic-coated, orient themselves according to the magnetic field
  • Light source is selectively applied to the photopolymer resin (DLP in this case)
  • Photopolymer solidifies, with the fibers oriented as per the magnetic field direction
  • Process repeats, layer by layer, to complete the print

They call it Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM) and here’s how they describe it:

Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM) makes advanced materials accessible. It’s driven by Fluxprint technology, a magnetic 3D printing process that creates optimized composites. Fluxprint combines magnetics and digital light processing (DLP) 3D printing to produce composite parts with ideal mechanical properties. As a part is 3D printed, fibers within the part are magnetically aligned voxel-by-voxel to optimize the microstructure. The parts achieve best-in-class resolution and mechanics while reducing time-to-market compared to traditional manufacturing.

I know what you are thinking: what’s the point of having all fibers oriented a particular way on each layer? There are few engineering scenarios where that would be required.

It turns out that Fortify’s solution is far more sophisticated.

They can solidify only a portion of the layer, and then re-orient the magnetic field to a particular direction and perform another solidification event on another portion of a layer. Thus, they can control the orientation of fibers to literally each pixel of each layer, in theory. However, in practice that would slow down the print to an extraordinary degree.

But this hardware capability leads into the software question: how do you determine the best orientation for a given 3D model? Fortify has two methods of doing so using their software (which must be used as it is required to handle the magnetic field changes).

One way is to have their software automatically recognize basic 3D shapes. For example, if it sees a cylinder, it will automatically set up the print job to have fibers oriented to wrap the cylinder. Long segments would have fibers aligned appropriately, etc.

The other method is more sophisticated. Fortify connects with CAD tools to absorb finite element analyses. These are mathematical simulations of stress, typically mechanical. The Fortify software then transforms this information into an optimal orientation for the fibers, as assigned by the changing magnetic field. We saw a 3D printed turbine impeller, which had fibers aligned appropriately throughout its twisting blades. Imagine the possibilities!

While the Fortify magnetic process will inevitably slow print speeds down — because each layer will necessarily take longer if many orientations are required — it does produce extremely strong 3D prints. Fortify suggests they are an intermediate strength level somewhere between normal fiber-reinforced 3D prints and full metal 3D prints, and we don’t disagree, having handled some of their test prints.

<figure class="wp-block-image"><figcaption>An example DCM print using Fortify’s Fluxprint technology.</figcaption></figure>

There will be a number of applications for such strong prints, and one of the most notable will surely be injection molds. Today the choice is between the very expensive and traditional metal CNC-cut molds and the faster-to-make 3D printed molds that don’t last for very many injection shots. The Fortify technology might change the state of injection molding in a significant way.

Today Fortify does not yet offer the machine, but their team of 14 is working hard towards that goal, with a target of 8-12 months away. Currently it seems some friendly clients are helping alpha test the process by submitting requests to Fortify for printing on their prototype machines. We’re told this testing is working very well.

Fortify’s process is perhaps one of the most interesting we’ve seen recently, and if they can produce a functional 3D printer, they may add a new class of device to the world of 3D printing.

Lern more about their process and materials here and watch for them in the future.

Read more about 3D printing at Fabbaloo!

The post The Startling Magnetic 3D Print Technology From Fortify appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Fabbaloo at May 30, 2019 03:20 PM

This Nike Air Force 1 Shoe Design Changes Color With UV Light

nike air force 1 white UV shoes

After showcasing the new Air Force 720 and unveiling a limited-time workshop where customers can… err, customize their shoes, Nike is back at it with another innovation to their timeless shoe:

<figure class="wp-block-embed-instagram wp-block-embed">
View this post on Instagram

Peep my Lightsaber! 🔦 Havin’ fun at the @Nike House of Innovation again in #Shanghai!

A post shared by jeffstaple (@jeffstaple) on <time datetime="2019-05-16T15:47:45+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">May 16, 2019 at 8:47am PDT</time>

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On the surface, these Nike Air Force 1s are as easily dirtied as any other pair of white shoes. But shine a blacklight over it and voila, hues of purple and gold appear as if by magic. Recently shown at the Nike House of Innovation in Shanghai, China, the colors which appear on the shoe remain there even after the light passes them.

According to Staple Design founder and shoe enthusiast Jeff Staple who was at the event, this is just one example of Nike’s upcoming designs which are activated via UV light. Though the tech used seems quite cool on the surface, having to lug around a blacklight to keep your kicks’ colors looking fresh seems like a bit of a chore.

<figure class="wp-block-image">nike air force 1 white UV shoes</figure>

This isn’t to say Nike hasn’t released light-based shoes in the past. Last year, the company released the Air Force 1 Mid “UV” – yellow green shoes which, when exposed to direct sunlight, reveals a Nike Air Logo around the shoes.

Currently, these UV light-enabled Air Force 1s have no planned release date (we’re not even sure if they’re being put into production). This was merely a test sample to show the public what Nike has got in the works. If they manage to get the colors to stay permanently on the shoes even after being exposed to UV light, then Nike might just have a whole new line of kicks on their hands.

The post This Nike Air Force 1 Shoe Design Changes Color With UV Light appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 30, 2019 02:34 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Explorer & SOLIDWORKS PDM Web Client End of Life

SOLIDWORKS Explorer

SOLIDWORKS Explorer

Two long standing SOLIDWORKS products are about to take a well-earned retirement: SOLIDWORKS Explorer and the SOLIDWORKS PDM Web Client will be considered “End Of Life” as of SOLIDWORKS 2019 SP5, scheduled for November 2019. SOLIDWORKS 2020 will not include either of these products.

Below is the extract from the Release Notes. There will be EOL announcement messages in the Installation Manager and the respective products beginning with SOLIDWORKS 2019 SP4.

  • SOLIDWORKS Explorer: Starting with SOLIDWORKS 2020, you cannot use SOLIDWORKS Explorer as a stand-alone application. The supported functions such as Pack and Go, Rename, Replace, and Move are available as file shortcut menus in Windows Explorer.
  • SOLIDWORKS PDM Web Client: SOLIDWORKS PDM 2019 SP5 is the last release to support SOLIDWORKS PDM Web client. SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 products will not support Web client. You can use SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 to access PDM via a web browser.

The post SOLIDWORKS Explorer & SOLIDWORKS PDM Web Client End of Life appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at May 30, 2019 01:18 PM

May 29, 2019

The Javelin Blog

What does the Preserve Relative Paths option do in the SOLIDWORKS PDM Move Tree tool?

If you’ve had a chance to take one of our Using SOLIDWORKS PDM classes, it’s likely you’ve heard me rave about the Copy or Move Tree Tool.  In a recent class, I was asked to clarify what the SOLIDWORKS PDM Move Tree Preserve relative paths checkbox does…

Copy/Move Tree - Options - Preserver Relative Paths

Copy/Move Tree – Options – Preserver Relative Paths

What does “Preserve Relative Paths” do?

This option allows users to copy/move files and bring their sub-folder structure with them.  The image below gives an example where a top-level assembly has its references split into corresponding folders by file-type;

Sub folder Structure

Sub folder Structure

Now I’m going to run a Move Tree on the top level assembly, with the Preserve Relative Paths” option cleared, and move it to New Folder;

SOLIDWORKS PDM Move Tree Preserve relative paths

Preserve relative paths – Cleared

The result is the sub-folder structure is not copied, and all files that were moved are put into the same folder.

Option Cleared - Result

Option Cleared – Result

Now, let’s try that again with the option checked, and move it to New Folder;

Preserve relative paths - Checked

Preserve relative paths – Checked

The result is the sub-folder structure is copied, and all the files remain in their file type folder structure within the new location;

Checked - Result

Checked – Result

The post What does the Preserve Relative Paths option do in the SOLIDWORKS PDM Move Tree tool? appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Justin Williams at May 29, 2019 11:59 AM

May 28, 2019

SolidSmack

Crank it: ‘Playdate’ Handheld Game System Introduces Unique Design

For those who aren’t in the know, handheld gaming is somewhat of a dying industry. “You lie!” No, no. It’s true, Mr. Gameboi. Since that smartphone in yo’ pocket is game capable, there isn’t much of a demand/use for another slab o’ plastic to play games. I guesssssss there’s the Nintendo Switch, but it can connect to a TV – so, BOOM, home console.

Plus, with the Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One competing on graphics, framerates, and enticing gameplay, no one would expect Mac and iOS software developer Panic to come up with a handheld gaming console of their own.

But They Did….

<figure class="wp-block-image">playdate handheld console</figure>

The Playdate is very much reminiscent of Nintendo’s classic Game Boy. It has your directional buttons, A/B buttons, a low-res 400×240 LCD screen, and it’s a block–a block your child might mistake for a cheese slice.

You read that right–a low-res 400×240 LCD screen. Instead of using high-definition screens, the Playdate screen is a highly reflective LCD screen with no backlight. And just like the Game Boy, this makes it easy to play games in the sunlight but a nightmare to play in dimly lit areas.

So what could possibly make the Playdate so convinced people would pay $149 for a handheld console?

The same reason anyone would pay for a gaming console: THE GAMES.

Playdate has collaborated with renowned game designers Bennet Foddy (Getting Over It With Bennet Foddy), Keita Takahasi (Katamari Damacy) and Zach Gage (SpellTower) to create unique games which make use of the handheld console’s rather unique design.

You see, apart from the low-end tech, the Playdate also has a hand crank on its side. While it may sound a bit medieval, the crank is used to play games in a different way than you would using the typical buttons.

Ahhhhh…

<figure class="aligncenter">playdate handheld console</figure>

Take for example Takahashi’s upcoming game, Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure. Using the crank, players can control the ebb and flow of time and get Crank to his date with Crankette by avoiding obstacles which aren’t affected by your time meddling.

“You had me at ‘control the ebb and flow’.”

I know, right?! This is just one of 12 games Panic has planned for the first season of Playdate. Unlike traditional game consoles which require you to buy games before playing them, Playdate takes a seasonal approach.

“What?”

Over the course of 12 weeks, 12 games will be automatically downloaded onto the handheld console. A light on the console will flash when a new game has finished downloading, and players will have no idea what it is until they boot it up and play it for themselves.

“That is… TAKE MY MONEY.”

Some of these titles, like Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure, make good use of the Playdate’s crank, while others don’t use it at all. Either way, the experience of getting a SURPRISE game every week and playing it in a new, exciting way is going to be the biggest draw for players to keep coming back to their Playdate.

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

When is the Playdate Drop Date?

Panic’s handheld console is made in collaboration with Stockholm-based electronics company Teenage Engineering and will ship in early 2020. To learn more about it (and pre-order your own medieval console for $149), visit the official play.date website and follow @playdate for the latest updates.

The post Crank it: ‘Playdate’ Handheld Game System Introduces Unique Design appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 28, 2019 06:13 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to Use Symmetry in SOLIDWORKS Simulation to Reduce the number of Fixtures?

Did you know you can use symmetry in SOLIDWORKS Simulation to reduce the number of fixtures required to stabilize your model? Using symmetry in simulation will not only simplify your model (and therefore drastically improve run time), but it eliminates the need to apply additional fixtures and this will result in even more accurate results. Let’s look at the example below. A hub has been shrunk fitted into a rim and due to the shrink fit, the model is experiencing internal stresses.

Hub and Rim Assembly Created Using Shrink Fit

Hub and Rim Assembly Created Using Shrink Fit

Since there are no external loads, the model is self-equilibrated, however, we still need to constrain the model in X, Y, and Z directions to account for mesh asymmetry, numerical errors, or solver errors that may result in unrealistic displacements. One way to do this is to select an entity on each of the bodies (one on hub and one on rim) and apply fixtures to them. This will not be very accurate and we may over constrain our model by fixing an entity on each of the models. The other solution is to use either Soft Spring or Inertial Relief to stabilize the model.

Using Soft Spring or Inertial Relief to Stabilize the Model

Using Soft Spring or Inertial Relief to Stabilize the Model

However, the most accurate and simplest way to stabilize this model is to use SOLIDWORKS Simulation symmetry. The model (and all its fixtures and loads) are symmetric relative to Front, Top, and Right planes. Therefore we can cut the model with these planes and analyze only 1/8 of the model which not only makes the simulation much faster, but because there is no need to turn on Soft Spring (or inertial relief) for stabilizing the model or to constrain an entity on the model by adding a fixture, our results will be closer to the real-life solution.

The Model Is Symmetric Relative to Front, Right, and Top Planes

The Model Is Symmetric Relative to Front, Right, and Top Planes

As shown in the screenshot below, due to symmetry in three directions, the model is constrained in three directions and there is no need for any additional fixtures or special technique to stabilize the model.

Applying the Symmetry Fixture Will Also Constrain the Models Normal to the Planes of Symmetry

Applying the Symmetry Fixture Will Also Constrain the Models Normal to the Planes of Symmetry

The post How to Use Symmetry in SOLIDWORKS Simulation to Reduce the number of Fixtures? appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Mersedeh Zandvakili at May 28, 2019 12:59 PM

May 27, 2019

SolidSmack

Model of the Week: Steampunk Vacuum Tube Display [Future Retro Yo’ Desk]

Have you’ve ever arrived at your desk and felt a sudden onset of ‘MY DESK IS SO BEIGE’ horror flood over you? It’s not uncommon. It’s why we put charts of conversion tables and part number inventories on the wall… then shriek in horror again when that makes it all worse. You need some COLOR. Not in a pillow, crossstich, or fancy afgan. But in a 3D printed Steampunk Vacuum Tube display.

Joe Stubbs is a steampunk superstar and his latest project is an amalgamation of electronics, programming, 3D printing, and artistic painting/airbrushing. It doesn’t hold any supreme powers (or practical utility for that matter) but it will add some much needed color to your desk.

<figure class="aligncenter"></figure>

The base includes five parts, modeled in SOLIDWORKS and printed using an Ultimaker 3 3D printer using Ultimaker PLA at 0.1mm resolution and a 20% infill. Though no rafts are required to print the base, supports are needed. The electronic include a Mullard Reissue GZ34 / 5AR4 Vacuum Tube powered by an Arduino Nano (with pin headers), a color-changing LED array, and sound detection board for a wee bit of interaction.

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</figure>

Joe has more details on where to source the other bits and includes some detailed build instructions. Follow this link to get the details. Have fun with this quirky creation and do let us know how it goes. (Bonus! Check out Joe Stubbs’ other steampunk designs here!)

Have a model you think everyone needs? Share the link and details with us here!

This post features affiliate links which helps support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale at no extra cost to you!

The post Model of the Week: Steampunk Vacuum Tube Display [Future Retro Yo’ Desk] appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at May 27, 2019 05:47 PM

The Javelin Blog

Stabilize SOLIDWORKS Simulation Studies with Soft Spring and Inertial Relief

SOLIDWORKS Simulation offers two techniques for stabilizing self-equilibrated models: Soft Springs or Inertial Relief.

In a self-equiblibrated model, all of the applied loads are inherently balanced which means that we don’t expect the model to be unstable in any direction (or move away in any direction). For example, in the picture below, the model is exposed to an elevated temperature from original room temperature (25 degrees of Celsius) at zero strain. This is the only source of load in the model and therefore, this is a self-equilibrated model. Although we don’t expect the model to move away in any directions, we need to make sure that the model is fully constrained in x, y, and z directions. This is because the finite element method, does not recognize the fact that the model is inherently balanced and any small inaccuracy, numerical error, or mesh asymmetry may cause the model to displace uncontrollably in the directions that it is not constrained in.

Bimetallic Strip Under Thermal Load

Bimetallic Strip Under Thermal Load

The SOLIDWORKS Simulation Soft Spring and Inertial Relief options can be activated from Simulation Properties > Options > Use Soft Spring to Stabilize Model / Use Inertial Relief.

Activating Soft Spring or Inertial Relief Options

Activating Soft Spring or Inertial Relief Options

  • SOLIDWORKS Simulation Soft Spring will place weak springs (with stiffness negligible compared to the model’s stiffness) to each node of the model and connected to the ground. Unbalanced forces stretch these springs until equilibrium is reached and the model is stable. This option, however, should only be used if the model is self-equilibrated.
  • SOLIDWORKS Simulation Inertial Relief applies body load acceleration to the model to offset any unbalanced forces. This doesn’t account for any reaction loads at restraints that may have balanced the system. This option should not be used with the intention to stabilize an analysis where gravity, centrifugal, or some thermal loads are defined. Therefore, we don’t use inertial relief for this example.

Please note that misapplication of these options will result is unrealistic values for displacements and stresses.

The post Stabilize SOLIDWORKS Simulation Studies with Soft Spring and Inertial Relief appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Mersedeh Zandvakili at May 27, 2019 12:31 PM

May 25, 2019

SolidSmack

The SolidSmack Weekend Reader | Week 21.19

The pizza has been delivered, the ale is chilled, and you’re just about ready to get floored with this week’s SolidSmack Weekend Reader.

The Weekend Reader is your In-shorts Reader and gives you a glimpse of the most interesting articles featured on the ‘Smack’. A recap of the week that was, and a glimpse of what you should be chewing on – figuratively, of course.

It Took 400,000 LEGO Bricks to Make This Volkswagon Camper Van (with Sliding Door)

The world is never short of life-size LEGO vehicles. We’ve seen a static Chevrolet Silverado Pickup Truck, a road-worthy LEGO Bugatti Chiron which can hit a roaring 12 MPH (20 KPH), and now, we have a classic: the Volkswagen Type 2 (T2) Bus or Kombi.

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

How to Form a Skateboard From Shredded Newspaper

Just about every kid (or kid at heart) has wanted to try riding a skateboard. Maybe it’s the thrill of using your momentum as a driving force or the fact that the darn thing comes without brakes; the bottom line is anyone who gets on a skateboard is in for a good time (or at the very least some broken bones).

<figure class="wp-block-image">newspaper skateboard</figure>

This CNC-Machined Map Commemorates the Finale of ‘Game of Thrones’

After nine long years of waiting and watching your favorite characters die untimely deaths, HBO’s Game of Thrones has finally come to an end, and exploring the land of Westeros on television rather than reading it through books holds a special place in every fan’s heart. Dom Riccobene is a product design engineer who proudly takes his love for the series to a whole new level. Using a height map previously made by graphic designer Alexandre De Sève, he adapts the topography of Westeros and uses it to make an AR map of the fictional land with a CNC machine.

<figure class="wp-block-image">AR map westeros</figure>

The Top Five Things You Need to Do at Rapid + TCT 2019

As North America’s most influential additive manufacturing event, Rapid + TCT 2019 exists on its own playing field when it comes to heavy-hitting announcements, power lunches, impactful keynotes, and all-around industry influence. Held this year at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan during May 20-23, over 400 3D technology providers alone will make up the exhibition hall—with over 6,000 attendees, 110 conference presentations, and more than a handful of workshops, keynotes, and networking receptions all covering the latest in additive technology applications.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Additive Manufacturing Process</figure>

Wikifactory Upends Collaborative Product Development, Launches Beta

If you’ve felt like the product dev community options are lacking or if your last project design community is messin’ with your emotions, there’s hope yet for you and your precious project collaboration dreams. Wikifactory is a new ‘social platform for collaborative product development’ but I’d go one step further to say it’s an end-to-end product development collaboration platform to capture software-hardware needs plus the process and the potential for a lot more.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Wikifactory 3d product collab platform</figure>

Tech We Need Now: This Self-Parking Chair From Nissan

You may know them primarily as a car company, but did you know Nissan also made self-parking chairs? It’s true and you can file this under, “Tech we need NOW.” Back in 2016, Nissan launched the Intelligent Parking Chair – a seat which incorporates the company’s patented Intelligent Parking Assist technology (most commonly found in their cars) and harnesses it to store itself back under the table or desk from where it once came

<figure class="wp-block-image">nissan intelligent parking chair</figure>

The post The SolidSmack Weekend Reader | Week 21.19 appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at May 25, 2019 12:18 AM

May 24, 2019

SolidSmack

Friday Smackdown: Jing Stinger

It was a vast crucible of beetles and malarky–the two things you were always aware of but never wanted to see combined. Somehow they had been joined together. And the indescribable horror they produced shuttered all hope, save for the light chain rays, if we could but reach them, of these ventricle-expanding links.

Jerome Comentale – Green pastures, floating sky islands, vast landscapes. Behold the king, and while he does that, take in the breathtaking views of this artist from Nantes, France.

BIG IN JAPAN IPA – Just absolutely brilliant SingleCut introduces beer that brings music to your ears. Each BIG IN JAPAN IPA label features visual clues for a rock song that was ‘Big in Japan’, painstakingly arranged within a QR code–The clues allude to everything from lyrical references to a band’s signature wardrobe–that you can then scan to learn more and play the song.

Rainbow Grandpa – Rainbow Grandpa Huang Yung-fu, saves the village from demolition… by painting it. Incredible story too.

Xylology – Defined here. Wood sculpted faces multiplied in expressions that range from distressed to joyful. All in a single sculpture.

Many-Sided Story – A 55-sided pentacontapentagon and a 79- sided heptacontaenneagon. The system by which polygon names are defined.

Battleship vs Bomber – FlightTest takes on the challenge of constructing an RC Battleship and pitting it against one of their planes.

PlayDate –  Created with care, for people who love videogames. Panic’s dinky handheld is the console no-one saw coming.

OneStep 2 Instant Camera – I love the commercial initiatives around the hit series Stranger Things. Polaroids original, developed in collaboration with Hawkins National Laboratory, of course.

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Free – A new Jordan Jay & STVCKS mix to get you’re summer going. (Btw, Spinnin’ has a new Ibiza mix if you prefer something a bit more laid back.)

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</figure>

The post Friday Smackdown: Jing Stinger appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at May 24, 2019 03:30 PM

The Javelin Blog

Why you should run Interference Detection before a SOLIDWORKS Simulation Study

Before running any SOLIDWORKS simulation study, you need to make sure there is no interference between different components of a multibody part or an assembly. This can be done using the SOLIDWORKS interference detection tool available under Evaluate > Interference Detection.

Looking for Volumetric Interference Using Interference Detection Command

Looking for Volumetric Interference Using Interference Detection Command

If any volumetric interference is found within the model, it needs to be fixed prior to creating your simulation study. The only exception of this rule is for shrink fit problems. If you are creating a shrink fit study, the shrink fit faces can have volumetric interference since after the shrink fit contact is applied, these faces will come in contact to be coincident either by expanding or shrinking (therefore, there is not actually a volumetric interference in this case). That is the reason for the internal stresses created due to the shrink fit contact.

After checking for volumetric interference, you want to check for coincident faces by checking the option “Treat coincident as interference” withing the Interference Detection command.

Finding Coincident Faces Using Interference Detection Command

Finding Coincident Faces Using Interference Detection Command

These coincident faces are important since the global contact condition and the component contact will be applied to initially touching faces in your model.

The post Why you should run Interference Detection before a SOLIDWORKS Simulation Study appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Mersedeh Zandvakili at May 24, 2019 12:00 PM

May 23, 2019

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS PDM Refuse Login for User or Group

In SOLIDWORKS PDM the Administrative PermissionsRefuse login” can be used to prevent a user or members of a group from logging into the vault. The user and its permissions settings are still active in the vault, but the user will not be able to login.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Refuse login

User Refuse Login

The “Admin” user is a special administrative account that cannot be locked out – even if “Refuse login” has been enabled for the user or group that “Admin” is member of. This is to ensure that at least one user can log in and administer the vault, should all other users be prevented from logging in.

Group Refuse Login

Group Refuse Login

The post SOLIDWORKS PDM Refuse Login for User or Group appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Nadeem Akhtar at May 23, 2019 12:00 PM

May 22, 2019

SolidSmack

Tech We Need Now: This Self-Parking Chair From Nissan

nissan intelligent parking chair

You may know them primarily as a car company, but did you know Nissan also made self-parking chairs? It’s true and you can file this under, “Tech we need NOW.”

Back in 2016, Nissan launched the Intelligent Parking Chair – a seat which incorporates the company’s patented Intelligent Parking Assist technology (most commonly found in their cars) and harnesses it to store itself back under the table or desk from where it once came:

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<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/O1D07dTILH0?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="770"></iframe>
</figure>

Watching a small army of chairs march themselves back after a long meeting looks just as creepy as it sounds. How does it work? By strategically placing four WiFi-enabled motion detecting cameras on a room’s ceiling, location information is transmitted to the chairs. This generates a bird’s-eye view of the room so the chairs can maneuver past obstacles and their fellow sentient brothers so they can find their way back to their proper receptacles.

<figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio">
<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XkeoLtLFdO4?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="770"></iframe>
</figure>

The chairs can be programmed to remember their resting locations in a room. Once the chairs are out of place, clapping loudly activates their internal motor functions and brings them to life. It might be a little inconvenient when applause is called for during a meeting or conference, but nobody said progress didn’t come without sacrifices.

According to Nissan, the project was made in order for more people to enjoy their Intelligent Parking Assist technology. Since most people in Japan commute to get around, not as many folks can afford or even want to drive a car. An unforeseen bonus? By incorporating the tech in a chair and making everyone feel uncomfortable around self-moving furniture, more folks will be cautious about clapping their hands in a room full of Nissan chairs.

And, may I just add, why are these not available YET?

The post Tech We Need Now: This Self-Parking Chair From Nissan appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 22, 2019 07:21 PM

Wikifactory Upends Collaborative Product Development, Launches Beta

Wikifactory 3d product collab platform

If you’ve felt like the product dev community options are lacking or if your last project design community is messin’ with your emotions, there’s hope yet for you and your precious project collaboration dreams. Wikifactory is a new ‘social platform for collaborative product development’ but I’d go one step further to say it’s an end-to-end product development collaboration platform to capture software-hardware needs plus the process and the potential for a lot more.

Where Do You Go to Collaborate on Design Projects?

It’s (almost) 2020 and solutions for project collaboration are few and far between. If you ask someone how they collaborate with others on design projects, the most common answers come down to a few methods that have been around for over a decade and, for them, project collaboration was a byproduct of no other option existing. Many still use Dropbox, FTP, Email, or their own file server. Those options haven’t grown to match the needs of product designers and engineers which leaves the space really, really wide open. Enter Wikifactory.

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

In September 2018, Wikifactory launched in Alpha mode and this month, they launch Beta, with some very interesting plays in the product development space. Their latest stats have the Wikifactory community at 3000+ members, growing at 34% month-to-month.

In its current form, Wikifactory is a hub for:

  • Community
  • Projects
  • Stories
  • Organisations

Community is the core of Wikifactory and allows users to provide info about themselves or company, and projects they’re involved with.

Projects allow all parts of a project to be organized in one place. Files can be shared, builds can be documented, members can collaborate and contribute, and revisions and issues can be tracked.

Stories allow members to create content about their project or interest, providing another avenue of promotion in a growing community.

Organisations allow companies to create a group for their own members or Wikifactory collaborators. It also allows you to offer a semi-white label project space for project initiatives. Example: projects.fablabs.io

But, along with serving as a primary product dev hub for individuals, content, and companies, it brings in some technology to aid in the product development workflow, including:

  • Version controlled drive
  • 3D CAD format visualizer (30+ formats)
  • Issue tracker and documentation
  • Permission systems and community tools
<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure> <figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

Wide Open Project Spaces

Wikifactory launched as an Internet of Production (IoP) platform with an aim to “make developing and shipping of physical products as accessible, collaborative and efficient as the production of software products is today.” In other words, they wanted to bring the functionality common to software over to hardware to make the product development process smoother.

With the push into beta, they’ve refined their pricing with free unlimited public projects and collaborators for individuals and team, and unlimited private projects starting at €7 ($8) per month. Though they’re going into beta targeting the PLM market (estimated to reach $60B by 2025) they are dedicated to always providing their tools free for public use to support the open-source hardware community.

When they first launched alpha, Wikifactory seemed like simply a site collecting open-source hardware projects. Now, it’s apparent they have grander plans in mind, pushing into the much-to-be-desired ‘team project’ space that others had explored and even built with promising potential only to be absorbed into larger corporations that walled-off users or throttled/discontinued development.

They’ve got a wide-open landscape for bringing a wider perspective on collaboration to the product development process, combining both an efficient bit of collaboration to the software side with an intense focus on the hardware side. It’s an important combination and one that seems to be overlooked lately. Wikifactory is one to watch.

The post Wikifactory Upends Collaborative Product Development, Launches Beta appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at May 22, 2019 07:01 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Save, Backup, and Auto-recover Options

Have you ever lost work simply because you forgot to save your changes? Have you ever changed your design and couldn’t redo the changes to a previous model, so you had to start over? Then let me show you how to guarantee you are keeping your designs safe by setting up SOLIDWORKS save, backup and auto-recover settings in your system options.

SOLIDWORKS has multiple settings for backing up your files. These settings can be accessed easily from Tools > Options > System Options > Backup/Recover.

Save, autorecover, and backup settings in SOLIDWORKS system options

Save, auto-recover, and backup settings in SOLIDWORKS system options

SOLIDWORKS Auto-recover Options

In the first section, Auto-recover, you can set a time frequency for saving auto-recover files for your current document and the location that these files are saved. This will save a .SWAR (SOLIDWORKS auto-recovery) file to the location that you specify. If you experience a crash and SOLIDWORKS closes, the next time you open SOLIDWORKS, the task pane shows you the auto-recovered file and you can open this file instead. However, when you save a file manually, the auto-recovery file will be deleted to free up space.

If you work with SOLIDWORKS simulation, you can save an auto-recover file after meshing and after running a simulation study to make sure you keep your meshing and results data safe in case of a crash.

SOLIDWORKS Backup Options

For the second section, backup, you can save multiple back up copies per document based on your settings up to a maximum of 10 backups per document, and specify where you want the backup files to be saved. Every time, you save a document, SOLIDWORKS saves a backup document of your file. In order to free up disk space and save new backup documents you can set backup files older than a specific date to be deleted automatically.

SOLIDWORKS Save Reminder Option

In the last section, you can set up save reminder notification, so that you get a warning from SOLIDWORKS if you haven’t saved your files for a period of time.

The post SOLIDWORKS Save, Backup, and Auto-recover Options appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Mersedeh Zandvakili at May 22, 2019 01:17 PM

SolidSmack

Productivity Tip | Streamline YouTube Viewing Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Are you using your mouse to help you view Youtube videos? Most all of us will answer this question with a resounding “YES”. Perhaps its time to cross-over to the keyboard. I recently discovered YouTube has keyboard shortcuts to control its video player. I’d been clicking my way through a heap of videos. Using my mouse to control the viewing session was not fluid. For example, when I’d try to click forward or backward to a specific spot I’d invariably go too far. Mouse navigation simply lacked the precision and efficiency I desired in my Youtube viewing experience. So when I discovered the keyboard shortcuts I thought I’d give it a go at committing them to memory. I’m finding that old habits die hard “click, click”. Yet, with a little more practice, I’m sure I’ll be reaping the benefits of a more streamlined Youtube viewing experience soon. Have a look below and perhaps you too will cross-over to the keyboard!

Famous Five Tips

Below is a short pro tips video authored by Youtube. In it, Brook highlights five of his favorite keyboard shortcut tips. Take particular note of the SHIFT+? shortcut as it is used to bring up the entire list of keyboard shortcuts. While watching this video I noticed the “Total Beginners Guide to Video Editing” playing in the background. Curious, I pushed “K” for pause, and jumped on a new tab to check it out. From there I followed the link to Youtube Creators channel and jackpot! I found bunches of juicy content creation tips and how-tos. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of keyboard shortcut practice perusing videos on their channel!

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<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PVV1MduppSM?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="770"></iframe>
</figure>

Keyboard Shortcut List

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

Big 21 Tips

Tim Schmoyer over at Video Creators on Youtube posts his big twenty-one list of keyboard shortcuts. He walks through each shortcut and offers up good examples of when and how to use each shortcut.

<figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio">
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</figure>

Getting the hang of using the keyboard shortcuts will take a bit. But, with what little practice I’ve had, I’m already navigating Youtube videos with more ease and precision.

So, go ahead and give those keyboard shortcuts a go next time you fire up Youtube and start streamlining your viewing experience too!

The post Productivity Tip | Streamline YouTube Viewing Using Keyboard Shortcuts appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Vince Haley at May 22, 2019 12:14 AM

May 21, 2019

SolidSmack

How They Made It: The Indestructible 3D Printed Guitar

3d printed guitar smash

There are a few abilities you need to prove you’re a proper rockstar. 1) You need to love rock and roll. 2) You need to know how to play an instrument. 3) You need to learn how to break the freakin’ instrument after hours of rocking it.

Smashing instruments has been the signature move for rockstars since Bach smashed his first piano (not actually true), but for guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, destroying guitars may be his primary art(?) with playing them coming in a close second. Malmsteen has broken 100+ guitars over the course of his career, so it only made sense for global engineering group Sandvik to use him as the ultimate test for their new “Indestructible” 3D printed guitar. Let’s see how they made it.

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</figure>

How it’s Made: An Indestructible 3D Printed Guitar

The concept of making an indestructible guitar came from Henrick Loikkanen, a giant fan of Malmsteen’s and a machining process developer at Sandvik. Taking inspiration from Malmsteen’s penchant for guitar destruction and by researching the various ways guitarists broke their instruments with in-depth research via YouTube videos, the production team took on the daunting task of printing a guitar which could stand the rage of a thousand egocentric, shredding rockstars.

<figure class="wp-block-image">3d printed guitar</figure>

Guitar Body Material: 3D Printed Titanium

The body of the guitar was made using additive manufacturing – more specifically, a Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) process like Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) or Electron Beam Melting (EBM). It ensures they’re able to make the guitar light, strong, and shaped to the specification, plus they sell RP service and products so win-win for them. By fusing the layers of titanium powder with an Isotropic Lightweight Structure (ILS), they were able to achieve a guitar body design that was both lighter and stronger than any body material used for conventional guitars.

<figure class="wp-block-image">3d printed guitar</figure>

Guitar Neck Material: Milled Stainless Steel

Since the neck/body joint of the guitar is the weak point of a traditional guitar turned hardware tool, this part was eliminated by the engineers. Instead, the team milled the neck and fretboard together using a single piece of recycled stainless steel, along with a “hub” embedded deep into the guitar’s body. This design was a first and made it impossible for the neck and fret to be separated and so integral to the body that hopes were high it wouldn’t be smashable.

<figure class="wp-block-image">3d printed guitar</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">3d printed guitar</figure>

With the primary structures complete, the neck is attached to the body and tested vigorously (at least, 23 times) before the final guitar is given to Malmsteen.

<figure class="wp-block-image">3d printed guitar</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">3d printed guitar</figure>

Seeing the first guitar you ever made get smashed and thrashed by an iconic rockstar is one part sadness and another part awe-inspiring, but seeing it survive the punishment intact is 100% gratifying. Malmsteen wasn’t able to break the guitar, but he deftly states, you can break a lot of things with it.

This guitar is a beast!” Malmsteen said after abandoning efforts to destroy it. “Sandvik is obviously on top of their game. They put the work in, they do their hours. I can relate to that. The result is amazing. I gave everything I had, but it was impossible to smash.”

– Yngwie Malmsteen
<figure class="wp-block-image">3d printed guitar</figure>

After seeing so many guitars meet their untimely death during concerts, its a wonder an indestructible guitar was only made now. A price on the guitar wasn’t given, but Sandvik do hope to see it in a museum someday. They posted an in-depth look at the guitar as well as its production process on their website where you can see an interactive exploded view of the construction as well.

The post How They Made It: The Indestructible 3D Printed Guitar appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 21, 2019 09:58 PM

The Javelin Blog

Add feature tree items to a SOLIDWORKS favorites folder for quick access!

Want quick access to a feature, sketch or mate without having to scroll or search the SOLIDWORKS feature tree every time?

Simply right-click the item from your feature tree and select Add to Favorites.

Add to New Folder

Add to New Folder

Feature added to favorites

Feature added to favorites

Note: Ensure you have the option to show the favorites folder from Tools > Options > FeatureManager.

This creates a SOLIDWORKS Favorites Folder listed at the very top of the feature tree with your selected items nested inside.  This way you can grab access to a master sketch or a commonly reviewed mate within seconds!

You can also build sub folders within the parent folder to group certain features together. To do this, select the features again, right click and click Add to New Favorite Folder.

Add to favorites folder

Add to favorites folder

Sub folder created

Sub folder created

The post Add feature tree items to a SOLIDWORKS favorites folder for quick access! appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Harneel Heer at May 21, 2019 12:00 PM

SolidSmack

The Top Five Things You Need to Do at Rapid + TCT 2019

Additive Manufacturing Process

As North America’s most influential additive manufacturing event, Rapid + TCT 2019 exists on its own playing field when it comes to heavy-hitting announcements, power lunches, impactful keynotes, and all-around industry influence.

Held this year at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan during May 20-23, over 400 3D technology providers alone will make up the exhibition hall—with over 6,000 attendees, 110 conference presentations, and more than a handful of workshops, keynotes, and networking receptions all covering the latest in additive technology applications.

“RAPID + TCT is always on the forefront of technology and way ahead of any other conference I go to. If I could only do one conference a year, this would be it.” – Michael Kraabel, Bolin

If you’re attending this year, here are five unique experiences that should top your list of things to do:

<figure class="wp-block-image">rapid prototyping </figure>

1) Attend Four (!!) Keynotes

Keynotes set the tone of each day with experts in their field sharing their latest and greatest use of additive technologies. This year’s keynote topics include:

  • Bringing innovation to head protection with customized, digital design innovation and additive manufacturing.
  • The new digital revolution reshaping the logic of competition, work, and manufacturing.
  • Leveraging design capabilities for the production of devices that make healthcare better.
  • Shaping new ways for smart automotive production using additive manufacturing
<figure class="wp-block-image">Voodoo Manufacturing</figure>

2) Attend an Open House Tour

On May 22nd, attendees who register will have the opportunity to tour the Detroit-area facility of one of four highly innovative companies to see firsthand how the company is utilizing additive and advanced manufacturing in their operations. This year’s factory tours include Jabil and Trumpf, among others.

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

3) Visit the GM Solution Center

The GM Solution Center features a variety of 3D experiences for event attendees. Visitors will get hands-on with opportunities in design, 3D printing, materials testing, and more while learning how these methods are being applied to end-use applications.

<figure class="wp-block-image">3D Printing Color</figure>

4) Attend the RAPID+TCT Technology LaunchPad

The RAPID + TCT Technology LaunchPad is a showcase around the latest must-see technologies, applications, and new product announcements. Featuring several 15-minute, technically-oriented presentations, each presentation will be followed by an interactive Q&A session and networking sessions to learn more.

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

5) Experience Detroit!

From its roots in automotive manufacturing to modern-day research and development, Detroit is currently undergoing a massive shift in regrowth and urban development. From a slew of new restaurants to shopping and factory tours, there’s never been a better time to get out and explore this mecca of American manufacturing.

Feature image via 3D Hubs

The post The Top Five Things You Need to Do at Rapid + TCT 2019 appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Simon Martin at May 21, 2019 11:49 AM

This CNC-Machined Map Commemorates the Finale of ‘Game of Thrones’

AR map westeros

After nine long years of waiting and watching your favorite characters die untimely deaths, HBO’s Game of Thrones has finally come to an end, and exploring the land of Westeros on television rather than reading it through books holds a special place in every fan’s heart.

Dom Riccobene is a product design engineer who proudly takes his love for the series to a whole new level. Using a height map previously made by graphic designer Alexandre De Sève, he adapts the topography of Westeros and uses it to make an AR map of the fictional land with a CNC machine.

<figure class="wp-block-embed">
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</figure>

The physical map measures 24 by 40 inches and is CNC-machined from high-density urethane. From the walls of King’s Landing, all the way to the Northlands of Winterfell, every mountain, field, and body of water is embedded onto the map before being appropriately named using an AR label overlay.

<figure class="wp-block-image">AR map westeros </figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">AR map westeros</figure>

The machine begins by carving a rough outline of the continent covering the lands and islands by the sea and ocean. Then it starts carving in the more intricate details, starting from the southland of Dorne and finishing its journey up north to The Land of Always Winter.

<figure class="wp-block-image">AR map westeros</figure>

You can view the entire original 60-megapixel map from Alexandre De Sève here and explore Westeros yourself. If you ever feel like watching Game of Thrones again, this will surely help you fifnd out where each character is going—or perhaps just as importantly, where they may end up when all is said and done.

The post This CNC-Machined Map Commemorates the Finale of ‘Game of Thrones’ appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 21, 2019 11:17 AM

SolidSmack Radio | The New Surfaces (Powered by Spotify)

Spotify Playlist

Get that stretch out of your system with this week’s Spotify-powered SolidSmack Radio Playlist. It’s fashioned up, ready to make you pull your shoulder blades back and knock out another week of meaningful work while you bob your head to the beat. Whether you’re in the shop milling aluminum, sketching the latest product prototypes or modeling up a 3D storm, consider these tracks as a tool for your process.

This week on SolidSmack Radio we’ll fire things off with a remix of Morcheeba’s “Set Your Sails” from FaltyDL before diving into tracks from Beastie Boys, Vanishing Twin, Crumb, Gemma, and others before wrapping up with “My Mistake” from Vampire Weekend. Ready? Let’s Rock!

Have suggestions? As always, let us know what you listen to, what you want to hear and what tunes get you through the week. Shoot us an email or leave a comment down below!!

*Note: if the embedded playlist below doesn’t work for you, try this.

<figure><iframe height="775" src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/evdmedia/playlist/1vfwu1Uug5lVesYGAI7Upd" width="100%"></iframe></figure>

The post SolidSmack Radio | The New Surfaces (Powered by Spotify) appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at May 21, 2019 11:04 AM

May 20, 2019

SolidSmack

How to Form a Skateboard From Shredded Newspaper

newspaper skateboard

Just about every kid (or kid at heart) has wanted to try riding a skateboard. Maybe it’s the thrill of using your momentum as a driving force or the fact that the darn thing comes without brakes; the bottom line is anyone who gets on a skateboard is in for a good time (or at the very least some broken bones).

While it’s dang cool to shred down sidewalks and back alleys on an electric skateboard or a vintage “banana board”, nothing quite compares to shredding on a board you made yourself—particularly if said board is made out of (literal) shredded newspaper. YouTube creator The Q took this “shredded” figure of speech to heart and recently crafted himself a skateboard made from old newspapers.

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<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3agY0xoriKU?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="770"></iframe>
</figure>

Using blocks of wood and plywood to create a mold for the skateboard’s curve, he begins to set the base of the skateboard. To do this, he mixes a combination of hardener and resin and slathers the mixture over half-cut newspapers placed on the plastic-covered curved mold.

<figure class="wp-block-image">newspaper skateboard</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">newspaper skateboard</figure>

He repeats this process a few more times while coating each newspaper layer in the same resin/hardener mixture. Once the final layer has been applied, he covers the entire board in plastic wrap before adding weight and leaving it to harden.

<figure class="wp-block-image">newspaper skateboard</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">newspaper skateboard</figure>

With the newspaper hardened, he can now work on shaping the body like a skateboard. He traces a skateboard outline onto the newspaper and cuts through 120 layers of paper using an electric saw.

<figure class="wp-block-image">newspaper skateboard</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">newspaper skateboard</figure>

It wouldn’t be much of a skateboard if it didn’t have wheels, so The Q rectifies this by marking dots toward the skateboard wheels and drilling through them.

<figure class="wp-block-image">newspaper skateboard</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">newspaper skateboard</figure>

Before adding the wheels, however, he makes it a point to smoothen the sharp edges of the board using a sander. He also applies some finish to the body to keep the newspapers from tearing apart mid-kickflip.

<figure class="wp-block-image">newspaper skateboard</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">newspaper skateboard</figure>

The Q finishes off his build by attaching the wheels and taking his creation out for a spin. Just like any other skateboard, this baby shifts according to the rider’s weight distribution and propels them forward. It would have been cool to see The Q do some tricks, but I suppose grinding down a narrow pipe with a paper skateboard might rip it right in half.

<figure class="wp-block-image">newspaper skateboard</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">newspaper skateboard</figure>

Find more of The Q’s ingenious DIY projects over at his YouTube channel.

The post How to Form a Skateboard From Shredded Newspaper appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 20, 2019 10:00 PM

It Took 400,000 LEGO Bricks to Make This Volkswagon Camper Van (with Sliding Door)

lego volkswagen type 2

The world is never short of life-size LEGO vehicles. We’ve seen a static Chevrolet Silverado Pickup Truck, a road-worthy LEGO Bugatti Chiron which can hit a roaring 12 MPH (20 KPH), and now, we have a classic: the Volkswagen Type 2 (T2) Bus or Kombi.

<figure class="wp-block-image">lego volkswagen type 2</figure>

For those unfamiliar with the name, the T2 might be most commonly known as “that hippie van”, as movies and television usually associate the vehicle with the 70s. Easily distinguished by its unique shape and lack of air-conditioning, this particular T2 is made by Rene Hoffmeister and Pascal Lenhardbuilt using 400,000 LEGO bricks. Is the interior accurate, you ask? Have a look.

<figure class="wp-block-image">lego volkswagen type 2</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">lego volkswagen type 2</figure>

Some would say the interior is better than the real thing. Using a steel-tube frame as a skeleton, the two creators built the van to be more of a makeshift abode than an actual vehicle. It can hold the weight of two full-grown adults and the interior is reminiscent of times when you didn’t have to shower every day week. The inside features a sink, gas stove, chairs, tables, and a coffee set, all made from LEGO bricks.

<figure class="wp-block-image">lego volkswagen type 2</figure>

While not many of the car’s features work, there is one iconic feature of the Volkswagen T2 which they just had to make functional. I’m talking, of course, about the sliding door, complete with functioning lights. Just as you would expect, the door slides with the ever-familiar “whoosh” sound, opening a doorway to the 70s.

The LEGO T2 is over 16.4 feet in length and weighs just about 1543 pounds (700 kilograms). It took six weeks for Hoffmeister and Lenhardbuilt to complete their creation, whereupon they unveiled it at the f.re.e travel and leisure fair. See their video below about the build (in German), and if interested, you can pick up the smaller, yet still cool, LEGO T1 Camper Van and build it yourself.

<figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio">
<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tNR9bDrZHpg?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="770"></iframe>
</figure>

This post features affiliate links which helps support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale at no extra cost to you!

The post It Took 400,000 LEGO Bricks to Make This Volkswagon Camper Van (with Sliding Door) appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 20, 2019 06:00 PM

May 18, 2019

The Javelin Blog

Just purchased NEW SOLIDWORKS licenses? Don’t forget to Reactivate your License Manager

If you have purchased additional SOLIDWORKS licenses to float on your existing network and received a notice from our office indicating they’ve been processed, then you have ONE CRUCIAL STEP left to perform before your users will be able to utilize these new licenses – REACTIVATE YOUR LICENSE MANAGER. While this only takes a couple of minutes to do, it is readily forgotten about.

Step 1: Load up the SolidNetWork Licence Manager on the Server machine that is hosting your licences

Step 2: From the ‘Server Administration’ tab, select ‘Modify’

Modify License

Modify License

Step 3: Choose the option to ‘Activate/Reactivate your product license’

Activate/Reactivate your product license

Activate/Reactivate your product license

Step 4: Select ‘Next’ to maintain the same firewall settings as you had before. For more information on this setting click here

Firewall settings

Firewall settings

Step 5: Click ‘Select All’ to highlight all of your SOLIDWORKS network serial numbers, if the serial number for the product you wish to add is not listed then click here to learn how to add additional keys to your network.

All serial numbers

All serial numbers

Step 6: After connecting to the SOLIDWORKS server, it should now have refreshed the licence count to include your new purchase.

Refreshed license count

Refreshed license count

The post Just purchased NEW SOLIDWORKS licenses? Don’t forget to Reactivate your License Manager appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Harneel Heer at May 18, 2019 04:00 AM

May 17, 2019

The Javelin Blog

Why are Blue Folders being displayed in SOLIDWORKS PDM?

Are you seeing SOLIDWORKS PDM blue folders in your vault view, instead of the standard green colour?

Blue Folders

If so, this simply means you are working offline and not connected live to the vault server. This happens when you click the Work Offline button on the vault login screen, or attempt to login when you are disconnected from your network, it will default to offline since you are after all, offline.

Return to Green Folders

The solution is an easy one — within Windows Explorer > click on your vault view folder > in the Tools menu > select Work On-line.

Work On-line

Your vault view will now connect to the actual vault and your folders will go back to being green.

Green Folders

The post Why are Blue Folders being displayed in SOLIDWORKS PDM? appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Nadeem Akhtar at May 17, 2019 12:00 PM

May 16, 2019

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Database Wrong Version!

If SOLIDWORKS is updated to a later service pack, you may find that SOLIDWORKS Toolbox fails with a message stating that the Toolbox database is “…not the expected version”, thereby preventing it’s use.  The common cause of this is when upgrading to a newer version of SOLIDWORKS, the right Toolbox location is not “pointed to” during the SOLIDWORKS installation process and therefore is missed during the upgrade process.  This is more common with network shared Toolbox setups.

SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Database Wrong Version Error

The solution is to update the Toolbox database, browse to SOLIDWORKS installation folder, typically “C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS“, and then to “Toolbox\data utilities” right click on “UpdateBrowserDatabase.exe” and select “Run as administrator”.

Update Browser Database

Click on “…” button to browse for the file “swbrowser.sldedb” located typically in “C:\SOLIDWORKS Data\lang\english“.

To begin the upgrade, click the “Update” button.

Update Toolbox Database

The post SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Database Wrong Version! appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Nadeem Akhtar at May 16, 2019 12:00 PM

May 15, 2019

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional 2019 Installation Guide

There are two methods that can be used to install the SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional components. One is the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager, the other is the purpose-built installer, located in the SWPDMServer sub-folder, of the installation file-set. In this article, we will look at the using the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager. We have also created an Installation Guide for the purpose built installer.

Installation Requirements

Before the SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional 2019 components can be installed, the following should be completed or considered:

  1. Ensure that the systems where SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional will be installed are compatible.
  2. Install the SOLIDWORKS License Manager.
  3. Install SQL Server. SOLIDWORKS PDM  Professional 2019, ships with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Standard, which can be found on media disks, that ships with SOLIDWORKS. If you will be using your own instance of SQL, it should be dedicated to PDM. Poor performance can occur, if other applications are using the same SQL instance. You can download the PDM Installation Guide, for more information regarding the installation of SQL.
  4. To maximize performance, the PDM server should be singularly dedicated to PDM.
  5. Better performance may be achieved, by having a dedicated server, for the Database and Archive components of PDM.
  6. The network connecting PDM components (Database, Archive and Client), must be sufficient to accommodate the extra load of data transfers.
  7. System security such as firewalls and anti-virus programs, may need to be adjusted, to allow communication between the different PDM components. By default PDM uses ports 3030 and 1433. The License Manger uses Port 25734, by default.

Start the Installation

To launch the SOLIDWORKS PDM  Professional, using the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager, right-click on the Setup executable and choose Run as Administrator. The Setup executable, will be in the root, of the SOLIDWORKS Installation folder.

Run as Administrator

On the Welcome screen, select Install SOLIDWORKS PDM Server…, from the list of Server Products.

Install SOLIDWORKS PDM Server

When presented with the Summary page, click on Change for SOLIDWORKS PDM Server.

Change SOLIDWORKS PDM Server Options

In SWPDM Server Options, select  the Server Product (be careful to select the right Server Product), the Installation Location and what features will be installed.

Identifying Server Product, Installation Location and Features to Install

Having client installed on the server, can be used to quickly determine, if a issue is related to your network, the PDM server or PDM. If there are no issues connecting on the server, but there are on a client, then the issue is likely related to the network or client computer. If multiple clients are experiencing issues, then the issue is likely related to the network.

Configure the Database Server

Once the Features to be installed have been selected, the Database Server has to be identified. Also, the ‘sa’ password, that was created during the installation of Microsoft SQL Server, needs to be entered.

Server Name and ‘sa’ Password

Once all the fields have been completed, click on Back to Summary. Once back in the Summary page, click on Install Now, to complete the installation.

Once the installation is complete click Finish.

Finish SOLIDWORKS PDM Server Installation

Archive Server Configuration

This will then launch the Archive Server Configuration process.

Archive Server Configuration

During this process you will be asked where your vaulted files will be stored. This is known as the Archive Folder.

Archive Folder

You will also be asked to enter the default Admin Password. This password will be used by default, for all vaults that will be created. Though a different password can chosen for newly created vaults, if desired.

Default Admin Password

 

At this point you will enter the default SQL user login and password. Generally the default user is ‘sa’ and the same password can be used, that was specified during the Installation of SQL

SQL User Login and Password

 

On the next screen you can define which Windows accounts, should have administrative access, for things such creating removing or attaching vaults.

Windows accounts User/Group Security Settings.

PDM has three options for logging into a vault. These are PDM, Window and LDAP. In the next screen identify which login Type will be used.

Login Type

 

Once all the required information is entered, the Archive Server Configuration is Completed.

Archive Server Configuration is Completed

Need help installing your PDM system?

Javelin PDM Services Experts can provide you with peace of mind that your system will be installed and configured correctly. Learn more about our SOLIDWORKS PDM Services »

The post SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional 2019 Installation Guide appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Joe Medeiros, CSWE at May 15, 2019 12:00 PM

May 14, 2019

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Sketch Bend vs Edge Flange

Today we are going to decide which is the better tool to use when adding flanges to a sheet metal part: Sketch Bend vs Edge Flange.

Sketch Bend and Edge Flange are two very different tools that produce similar results. Why do they exist if they do the same thing? They exist because although the two may give similar results, they are applied at different times with different design intent.

Let’s build a typical sheet metal box using the sheet metal features. We are going to make the same box as we did in my previous sheet metal versus article, which is a 12″ x 12″ bottom base with 12″ high edge flanges. Making this box was easy, right?

Sheet Metal Box created with Edge Flanges

Sheet Metal Box created with Edge Flanges

Try making the same box using sketch bends. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

It’s quite difficult, isn’t it? The dimensions have to be perfect to get the same results as the edge flange. Below is a picture of my attempt.

Box with created with Sketch Bends

Box with created with Sketch Bends

Are there benefits to the hard work of a sketch bend? Short answer is YES! Are they really worth it in a typical sheet metal work shop? Short answer is no.

The added difficulty allows more customization for each particular bend, whether you want a custom angle from all the other bends, a different radius or a different bend allowance. But now let’s look at the counter to this.

Looking at this part we see that Edge Flange and Sketch Bend can be used to create this, but what if some tabs were added in the middle? Using existing geometry can you bend these tabs up using Edge Flange? No, but you can using Sketch Bend.

More complex tab required

More complex tab required

Is it possible to make those tabs using Edge Flange? The answer is yes. The long answer is you would have to remove the tab, add a little edge to bend from, make a sketch profile and then select to correct parameters to bend.

Features created

Features created

Our Conclusion

So what have we learned?  Edge Flange and Sketch Bend can do similar things but are designed for a very different design intent. I would stick to this rule of thumb, if you are doing basic flanges that don’t require using existing geometry, then Edge Flange is the way to go. If you are required to use existing geometry, complex geometry or need the added customization, then Sketch Bend is the way to go.

The post SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Sketch Bend vs Edge Flange appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by James Swackhammer at May 14, 2019 12:11 PM

SolidSmack

How to Build a Video Game Racing Cockpit with Cardboard

Cardboard driving cockpit

While Nintendo cashed in on the idea of using cheap cardboard peripherals with the Nintendo Labo for their Switch console, other console manufacturers and third-party companies depend on good old plastic and traditional manufacturing when it comes to expanding video game interfaces for a variety of gameplay styles.

One of these interface peripherals that gamers have come to love over the years is driving controllers. Made specifically for, you guessed it, driving games, these plastic steering wheels, pedals, and seats give players the rush of driving in an actual car in a way no typical hand controller can. Unfortunately, it can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to set up a decent virtual driving cockpit—so unless one is fully committed to Gran Tourismo gameplay, the barrier of entry is a little eyewatering.

<figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio">
<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8CzITBWKP8s?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="770"></iframe>
</figure>

Thankfully, YouTube maker/inventor The Q has come up with a Nintendo Labo-like cardboard driving interface made from pieces of cardboard and PVC pipes that just about anyone on a minimum budget can create.

<figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller </figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure>

The Q starts the build by cutting various lengths of PVC pipe. These pipes serve as a skeletal framework for the build, and he connects them to form a rough outline of the driving controller.

<figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure>

Using a compass, ruler, and blade, he starts on the most essential part of the driving controller: the steering wheel. He crafts this by gluing several quarter-cut circles together before adding the middle part last. He then sketches a couple of decals onto the steering wheel to make it look a little more professional before finally driving a metal rod through the center and covering it up with a Mercedes Benz logo.

<figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure>

With the steering wheel finished, he drills a hole into the PVC pipe body for the metal rod to fit through. After fitting in the steering wheel, he attaches a popsicle stick to the other end of the rod to make connecting it to the controller easier before working on the gas and brake pedals.

<figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure>

By gluing a bunch of circular cardboard nubs onto square pieces of cardboard, The Q efficiently replicates the appearance of the pedals. What he can’t seem to replicate, however, is the appearance of sturdiness when connecting these pedals onto the cardboard floor with nothing but a couple of sticks. Nevertheless, he goes through with this design decision and adds a couple of springs, so the pedals go back to their original position every time he compresses them. He then finishes with a pedal floor.

<figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure>

While conventional driving controllers have built-in electronics, The Q’s driving controller relies on the old method of popsicle sticks and string to connect the buttons to their respective peripherals. The gas and brake buttons (which are the L2 and R2 shoulder buttons on the PlayStation controller) are linked to their pedals using popsicle sticks, while the left analog stick (which allows you to steer the car) is connected to the steering wheel via—yes, another piece of string.

<figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure>

After carefully making sure all the strings work, and the buttons can be pressed, The Q pulls them all through a dock explicitly built to house the controller. He places the dock onto the body and glues the strings to the pedals and the steering wheel’s popsicle stick. To cover everything up, he sets a customized cardboard body with a slot for a flatscreen television and a slit for the game console’s cables to run through. It wouldn’t feel right or comfortable to make the racing chair out of cardboard, so he buys a regular old leather chair and fits it onto the driving controller.

<figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure>

He adds a few more peripherals off-screen, such as a dashboard and cup holder, to give the driving controller a little more detail and pizazz.

<figure class="wp-block-image">cardboard driving controller</figure>

As advertised, the driving controller works just like its store-bought counterparts; only with fewer electronics and more strings attached. You may notice he doesn’t step too hard on the pedals or jerk the steering wheel too much, and that’s because the whole thing is connected with some pretty delicate materials. Nevertheless, The Q’s creation works like a charm and is a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a real driving controller.

You can find more of The Q’s ingenious DIY creations over on his YouTube channel.

The post How to Build a Video Game Racing Cockpit with Cardboard appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 14, 2019 12:08 PM

The SolidSmack Monday List 19.19 | Stories We’re Reading This Week

Gore Tex Eyeball

Mondays might not be your favorite day of the week, but the good news is that we’re all in this together ladies and gentlemen. As purveyors of prime Grade A web content, the SolidSmack crew has done some of the heavy-lifting to make sure you get your Mondays started on the right track.

Welcome to The Monday List.

Every Monday, we link you up with some of the most insightful, informative, and socially-relevant stories to keep tabbed, bookmarked, reading listed, pocketed, or what have you to get your week started on the right foot. Be sure to check in each week for a new crop of freshly sprouted words curated straight from the source of your favorite homegrown ‘Smack.

What We’re Reading This Week:

In China Tech, ‘996’ Means Work, Work and More Work

Few issues have proven more divisive of late in Chinese technology circles than the pervasive culture of extreme overtime, known for years by the punchy moniker “996.”

<figure class="aligncenter">In China Tech, ‘996’ Means Work, Work and More Work</figure>

The Company Behind Gore-Tex Is Coming for Your Eyeballs

W.L. Gore, the classic American innovator, is building artificial corneas, and reinventing itself in the process.

<figure class="aligncenter">The Company Behind Gore-Tex Is Coming for Your Eyeballs</figure>

How America’s Oldest Gun Maker Went Bankrupt: A Financial Engineering Mystery

When a secretive private equity firm bought Remington, sales were strong and the future bright. A decade later, the company couldn’t escape its debts.

<figure class="aligncenter">How America’s Oldest Gun Maker Went Bankrupt: A Financial Engineering Mystery</figure>

Why I (Still) Love Tech: In Defense of a Difficult Industry

Technology is just another human creation—like religion or government or sports or money. It’s not perfect, and it never will be. But it’s still a miracle.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Why I (Still) Love Tech: In Defense of a Difficult Industry</figure>

What Seven Years at Airbnb Taught Me About Building a Business

Create strong culture, stay laser-focused on problems, and set wildly ambitious goals.

<figure class="aligncenter">What Seven Years at Airbnb Taught Me About Building a Business</figure>

The Mystery of Business Casual

No one knows what shoes to wear to work. Silicon Valley has an answer.

<figure class="aligncenter">The Mystery of Business Casual</figure>

The post The SolidSmack Monday List 19.19 | Stories We’re Reading This Week appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at May 14, 2019 11:29 AM

Nvidia’s Jetson Nano Is A $99 A.I. Computer

Nvidia Jetson Nano Board

Despite the advancements of artificial intelligence, not many people can get their hands on such expensive tech. Computers and cloud systems powering A.I. with powers such as instantaneous translation, image, and verbal recognition, and stronger decision-making capabilities can cost businesses quite the pretty penny.

The Jetson Nano is Nvidia’s response to this issue of pricey A.I.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Nvidia Jetson Nano</figure>

Like its bigger brothers in the Jetson production line, the Nano is an embedded computing board that can be slapped onto just about any A.I.-applicable device. Since the computer is directly attached to the device, latency and security issues plaguing remote devices aren’t as common; making the machine process information faster with less chance of being hacked.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Nvidia Jetson Nano<figcaption>The Nvidia Jetson Nano development kit</figcaption></figure>

Measuring 69.6 x 45mm, the Jetson Nano is the smallest Jetson device yet. The A.I. computer runs on 5-10 watts of power and has 472 gigaflops for running A.I. algorithms. The GPU uses 128 Nvidia CUDA cores while the CPU uses a Quad-core ARM Cortex A57 MPCore processor. It supports A.I. programming software such as PyTorch, TensorFlow, and Keras, and comes with your standard USB 3.0 and 2.0 Micro-B ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and a microSD storage slot.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Nvidia Jetson Nano<figcaption>The Nvidia Jetson Nano production-ready module</figcaption></figure>

While the $99 developer kit version of the Jetson Nano is aimed specifically for designers, DIY makers, and researchers, a production-ready version costing $129 is also going to be available for companies who are too busy to program their own A.I. Nvidia hopes this lower price point gets more developers to dive into the world of A.I. without worrying too much about costs and barrier of entry. Expect our robot overlords to rise up when the Jetson Nano becomes available this coming June 2019.

Learn more over at Nvidia.

The post Nvidia’s Jetson Nano Is A $99 A.I. Computer appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 14, 2019 11:07 AM

May 13, 2019

The Javelin Blog

How to re-enable automatic local vault refresh in SOLIDWORKS PDM

If you’re using SOLIDWORKS PDM 2019, then you’ve likely noticed some changes to the local vault view.  As part of the performance improvements in 2019, the frequency that Windows Explorer completes a refresh has been reduced.  This behavior is most apparent with operations like a Copy/Move Tree, as previously after the move tree completed explorer would automatically refresh and the files wouldn’t be apparent in the source folder, whereas in 2019 a manual refresh (default ‘F5’ key) is required for the files not to be visible anymore.

The benefit of this change in functionality is primarily seen in larger vaults, or with larger assemblies where any reduction to the calculations in the database can be beneficial to the system.  In smaller vaults; it may be more beneficial to bring back the automatic refresh option so the user doesn’t have to complete it manually.

How to re-enable the automatic refresh in explorer

WARNING: Caution is required when editing entries in the Windows Registry as changing the wrong entry can lead to major issues on your system.

  • Open Regedit
    • Browse to; HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Solidworks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\Namespace
Enable Automatic Refresh - Regedit

Enable Automatic Refresh – Regedit

  • Right-Click > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value
Enable Automatic Refresh - New DWORD Value

DWORD (32-bit) Value

  • Name it; EnableAutoFileRefresh
  • Set the value to; 1
Enable Automatic Refresh - Value 1

EnableAutoFileRefresh

  • Close the Registry Editor
  • Close and reopen Explorer

Note: This setting is specific to the client install, therefore will need to be completed on each client machine that requires this change.

The post How to re-enable automatic local vault refresh in SOLIDWORKS PDM appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Justin Williams at May 13, 2019 11:40 AM

May 10, 2019

SolidSmack

Friday Smackdown: Fighters of the Five Midnights

Five midnights of the mountain sun and the islands rising had yet to be done. Floating higher, inch by inch, roots had been trimmed to clear the lower portals for the fighters to deploy. We had thousands, but it would take all we had and more to take on the soul-blazing power of these links.

Threely – Floating islands, mystical lands, injured pandas and enigmatic Ninja Turtles, all in one go! Superb ships, characters and dragon to boot.

The Titan R – Half bike, half motorcycle, all vintage style, and all electric. Quite the Superhero bike, indeed.

The World of Ice and Fire – Presented here is the finest chart in the Seven Kingdoms—a compendium of Game of Thrones artifacts, armament, regalia, and more. 

Food Curtain – a little curtain that clips to your nose and hangs over your mouth. Keep on munching buddy!

The Gymnasticon – Before the treadmill and exercise bike, there was this. We should bring it back.

Dan Lam – Texas-based artist shows what’s possible with color and clay. She’s a must follow on Instagram for cool process shots.

Architectural Logos – Small book of architectural elements, such as houses, buildings, windows, stairs, and doors, used in logos and marks.

Talismans “Teams of Russia” – After Mishka, we see new mascots and logos for the Olympic Games. Some fun animations along the way.

Obi Wan vs Vader Remake – Hard to improve on the original, but FXitinPost does it up splendidly. (Original here.)

<script type="text/javascript"> amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; amzn_assoc_search_bar = "true"; amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "solid0a-20"; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; amzn_assoc_region = "US"; amzn_assoc_title = "Deals We're Watching"; amzn_assoc_asins = "B0779QTQ13,B01IEHIMLY,B07MM2NFP4,B07K37CV3C"; amzn_assoc_linkid = "3795139f49242645b85943f780243fdf"; </script> <script src="http://z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US"></script>

High Hopes – PostModern Jukebox, joined by Spencer Day, does it up right, turning Panic! At The Disco’s High Hopes into an instant Frank Sinatra style classic. (Original Panic! video here.)

<figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio">
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</figure>

The post Friday Smackdown: Fighters of the Five Midnights appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at May 10, 2019 04:47 PM

Nike By You 3D Builder Lets You Customize Your Next Sneaker Design

Nike Air Max 720 Preston By You

Nike sure loves celebrating its Air Max designs. After giving sole searchers a look at the design process of the original Air Max and their new Air Max 720 shoes, the global shoe company is launching a new 3D Builder and partnered with designer Heron Preston in April for a 3D Builder workshop experience that features the platform customization and sole-swapping chariateristics of the Air Max 720 and Air Max 95.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Nike Air Max 720 Preston By You </figure>

Air Max 720/95 Heron Preston By You is a needlessly long title for a DIY workshop in which users of all ages were able to customize their own set of Air Max 720/95s. Hosted by Preston, the workshop included a wide variety of graphics, laces, colors, and most notably, a choice between using Air Max 720 or 95 soles.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Nike Air Max 720 Preston By You</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">Nike Air Max 720 Preston By You</figure>

In case you’re wondering why Nike chose to partner with Heron Preston, it’s because Preston himself used to work at Nike. Combining his design know-how and his love for the brand since he was a kid (the Air Max 95 was the first pair of Air Max shoes he ever owned), Preston was able to bring more customization options to Nike’s newest Air Max.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Nike Air Max 720 Preston By You<figcaption>image source: Designboom</figcaption></figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">Nike Air Max 720 Preston By You</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">Nike Air Max 720 Preston By You</figure>

During Milan Design Week 2019, Designboom’s Juliana Neira was able to attend a pre-launch event where the audience was allowed to customize their own sets of Air Max 720/95s. Visitors were given flat shoeboxes with an outline of the shoe where they could fill up the space with their desired colors, materials, laces, and soles. Once they were finished, they moved on to the digital experience where they transferred their preferences.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Nike Air Max 720 Preston By You</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image">Nike Air Max 720 Preston By You</figure>

Folks around the world were able to take part in the Air Max 720/95 Heron By You event via Nike’s webpage from April 15-22 and customize their own shoes. If you missed out though, don’t worry. Nike By You is available online with customization for many shoes available including the 95 but, sadly, not that futuristic 720, yet.

The post Nike By You 3D Builder Lets You Customize Your Next Sneaker Design appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 10, 2019 02:48 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to search files checked out by SOLIDWORKS PDM users

In the SOLIDWORKS PDM Complete Search card, files can be searched using user information. Under Checked in/out tab ‘Only display files checked out by:’ shows a list of user names.

Only Display files checked out by:

Only Display files checked out by:

The user name can change to full name. This can be complete on any client machine.

  • Login to the vault in Administration Tool as ‘Admin’ user
  • Right-Click on ‘Users’ tab and select Settings…

    Users Settings

    Users Settings

  • in Explorer tab, check box for ‘Show full user names‘ under Miscellaneous:

    Show Full User Names

    Show Full User Names

The post How to search files checked out by SOLIDWORKS PDM users appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Nadeem Akhtar at May 10, 2019 12:00 PM

May 09, 2019

SolidSmack

SOLIDNAPKIN: New SolidWorks Add-in Imports/Animates Your Concept Sketches

That’s it. I just placed a bulk order on Amazon for a pallet of thick, super-absorbent napkins. I’ll use half of them to soak up tears OF JOY, and the other half to capture the world-changing ideas worthy of being birthed on the bunching, biodegradable surface of a paper napkin. Why? Two words, combined into one – SOLIDNAPKIN.

SOLIDNAPKIN is a mobile app that allows you to instantly digitize napkin sketches into SolidWorks, plus break those sketches into parts and animate them. It may seem a novelty, easily solved with a mobile camera, but think of the part between where you take the photo of your concept/napkin sketch and have it in SolidWorks as something usable to start generating parts. That’s the part SOLIDNAPKIN solves. And, you’re right, it doesn’t have to only be on a napkin.

What’s most interesting about this app is how they’ve extended it to provide a why to break out the parts and animate them. They’re calling it Napkinematics, and once the parts are separated in SOLIDNAPKIN, they brought together again using mates in SolidWorks. Here’s an example of how it’s done:

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</figure>

The app is available on iTunes and Google Play and there are more images, videos, and examples on their site at solidnapkin.com. By the way, this app is from the creators of RedLine for SolidWorks that gave you mark-up capability inside SolidWorks. Overview of the latest version is below.

<figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio">
<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tPpcfSRk4dY?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="770"></iframe>
</figure>

The post SOLIDNAPKIN: New SolidWorks Add-in Imports/Animates Your Concept Sketches appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at May 09, 2019 10:26 PM

Wacom Pro Pen Slim Combines Best Pro Pen Features, Adds the Skinny

wacom pro pen slim

After working with Magic Leap on the Spacebridge interactive workspace, Wacom is going back to what it does best: making kickass graphic tablets and the accessories that go with them.

As we all know, 3D professionals have delicate emotions hands – not that they don’t know hard work, but it’s not quite the coal mines. Anyway, a thicker stylus just ain’t comfortable. (amirite?) Wacom’s new Pro Pen slim is a stylus built more like a classic pen or pencil and comes with an astounding 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt recognition, and a lovely eraser.

<figure class="wp-block-image">wacom pro pen slim</figure>

Unlike their other Pro Pen styluses (or styli) that feel like you’re holding a giant crayon, the Pro Pen slim was designed to feel more like a classic pen or brush. The stylus measures 6.18″ (157.05mm) in length, 0.37″ (9.5mm) in diameter, and weighs a total of 0.42 ounces (12g) – making it Wacom’s slimmest and lightest stylus yet.

However, it brings in the best of the Pro Pen line. The tip comes with five interchangeable aluminum color rings and +/-60 degrees of tilt recognition, along with two customizable side switches which allow you to switch your digital brushes and tools on the fly. Lastly, the Pro Pen slim brings back the eraser to the opposite end to respect that muscle memory you’ve gained over the years.

<figure class="aligncenter">wacom pro pen slim</figure>

Powering this stylus is Wacom’s cordless, battery-free EMR technology which allows for a convincingly lag-free drawing experience. Aside from the mentioned features, the Pro Pen slim also comes with four standard nibs, two felt nibs, and a nib removal hole for a more customizable stylus

The Pro Pen slim works with Wacom MobileStudio Pro, Cintiq, Cintiq Pro, and Intuos Pro. It’s available for $79.95 first released in Japan, and now available worldwide.

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This post features affiliate links which helps support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale at no extra cost to you!

The post Wacom Pro Pen Slim Combines Best Pro Pen Features, Adds the Skinny appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 09, 2019 09:18 PM

Fire it UP: New 3D Printed Onyx FR Material is Flame-Retardant, Self-Extinguishing

Flame retardant 3D printed Onyx FR material from Markforged

Markforged has introduced its latest Onyx material, the flame-retardant Onyx FR.

The Boston-based company first made its name with high-strength polymer 3D printing. As with the 3D printing industry in general, though, it seems like lately more spotlight attention has been focused on their metal offerings. Certainly metal is exciting, and Markforged is demonstrably working on expansions for its metal side — but never count plastics out as an area of innovation.

Polymers remain the larger segment of the overall 3D printing industry, with widespread usage across a variety of applications. High-strength offerings allow for industrial and end-use production. Markforged remains perhaps best known for its carbon fiber-reinforced strong plastics.

The newest material to emerge is an addition to Markforged’s reinforced plastic portfolio. The company describes the original Onyx material:

Nylon mixed with chopped carbon fiber offers a high-strength thermoplastic with excellent heat resistance, surface finish, and chemical resistance.”

To those offerings they now add another quality: flame retardance.

Onyx FR is a V-0 rated flame-retardant material for 3D printing, incorporating the familiar characteristics of Onyx in terms of strength, print quality, and surface finish.

The new material is designed for use in aerospace, automotive, defense, electronics housings, and other uses that require very specific properties. Flame retardance is required, for example, in certain aerospace applications.

Fire risk is a major concern in industry, and in 3D printing. While some materials are naturally flame resistant, others have to be treated to be considered flame retardant. So there’s some very intentional engineering that went into the development of Onyx FR — no surprise from Markforged, which has been very strategic in its product introductions.

Markforged shows that Onyx FR is self-extinguishing:

<figure class="wp-block-embed-twitter aligncenter wp-block-embed is-type-rich is-provider-twitter">
<script async="async" charset="utf-8" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script>
</figure>

Onyx FR opens up more applications for 3D printing across automotive, aerospace, and defense industries because it meets higher fire safety standards. When these parts are reinforced with strands of continuous carbon fiber, they are as strong as aircraft-grade aluminum at half the weight.”

Jon Reilly, VP of Product, Markforged

The new material is available for use with the Industrial Series 3D printers from Markforged.

Read more about 3D printing at Fabbaloo!

The post Fire it UP: New 3D Printed Onyx FR Material is Flame-Retardant, Self-Extinguishing appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Fabbaloo at May 09, 2019 08:34 PM

Where to Find Hardware Nerds in San Francisco and Silicon Valley

As I travel around the world searching for fellow HW nerds, I’m happy to share my findings with you, dear SolidSmack reader. In this article, I bring you the best events and organizations to check out in the San Francisco Bay area. There more than, perhaps, anywhere, the term “tech” gets conflated with “software“. However, these vetted meetups hold the highest likelihood of being attended by your people — the meat-and-potatoes, wires and CAD and drones and VR and IoT and robotics type of nerds.

Previously, we shared where to find hardware nerds in the Seattle-Tacoma area. Since that was published, I also discovered this Seattle VR MeetUp which should also be included in the Sea-Tac HW nerd finding guide. But the Bay area is another story with a lot going on. This time, we’ll need a legit list.

See the video below for an overview and clips from numbers 1, 2 and 3 on the list.

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</figure>

1. SF Hardware Startup MeetUp

While the other events in this list will be in no particular order, this event — the SF Hardware Startup Meetup actually is Number 1.

<figure class="wp-block-image">View of the MeetUp.com page of the SF Hardware Startup Meetup showing 8,315 current members<figcaption>Oh look at those 8,315 members, would ya?! (And who is that on the right of that cover image? Yeah, it’s me. See, I really did vet these for you.)</figcaption></figure>

Number 1 for what?

Oh, I don’t know, for finding HW nerds in San Francisco, and the Bay area in general, and the United States, and THE WORLD. What are my ranking criteria? Well, out of all the places I’ve gone, this one keeps bringing me The Most prospective clients for optical engineering consulting — either directly or through referrals from people I meet there. It’s one of the best places for peeking into the early stages of a bunch of hardware projects, too!

The Vibe

Besides being huge, it’s a very friendly and collaborative crowd. This is likely in part because so many people at the event will stand up in front of hundreds of strangers to tell them about their HW project-baby. That can be humbling, especially for a HW nerd. Also, this MeetUp is all about HW startups, so the instinct to help each other out and network is already drilled into most of the attendees.

I’m sure the other reason there are good, productive vibes here is due to the delightful and encouraging Clarissa Redwine, who up until recently was one of the organizers and lead MC’s. Hopefully her spirit stays with this group even though she was promoted at Kickstarter and kidnapped to the East Coast.

What to Expect

There will be hundreds of people, for one thing. So, bring more than a couple business cards. Usually there’s a presentation at the beginning by one of the sponsors of the event. After the main speakers do their thing, there’s always a shorter segment at the end where anyone who wants to can show off what they’re working on. They normally get 120 entire seconds. Sometimes people use this time to inquire about job opportunities or let the crowd know about their services (me, I do that). Throughout the evening, food and drinks are usually available (thanks sponsors!). And you usually have time at the end for more mingling and networking.

It’s always surprising the large number of never-attended-befores at each MeetUp. That makes it always worth going to for me — even 2 events in a row. If you’re passing through the Bay area, or live there, I highly recommend checking this out! Cool crowd, 10/10, would drink with again.

Projects Shown in the Video

<figure class="wp-block-image">Teaching the robotic spider HEXA how to ride a folding skateboard. As one does.<figcaption>Teaching the robotic spider HEXA how to ride a folding skateboard. As one does.</figcaption></figure>

The terrifying programmable robot spider, “HEXA”, by Vincross which Eva Li showed off can be found HERE.

Details on Leigh Christie’s folding skateboard can be found HERE.
(His site has a lot of other cool projects worth checking out, too!)

2. Circuit Launch – Brazilian BBQ

Holy Moley, do you like steak? Do you like Free Steak made a la Brazilian BBQ MAGIC!? What about freshly-made Brazilian cocktails made by a Brazilian? And how about electronic HW? And HW Nerds?

<figure class="wp-block-image">Some of the wonder awaiting you at Circuit Launch's Brazilian BBQ nights.<figcaption>Some of the wonder awaiting you at Circuit Launch’s Brazilian BBQ nights.</figcaption></figure>

If these topics tickle your fancy, be sure to drop by Circuit Launch’s monthly Brazilian BBQ in Oakland. We previously covered their space in this article. But BBQ night is a whole other ball of delights. First of all, the Circuit Launch community is welcoming, friendly and collaborative, so if you’re new in town, don’t feel shy about showing up to this alone. You’ll feel welcome. And the connections you’ll make with other HW nerds will very likely be priceless.

HW Nerd Breeds Joining Forces

Nowadays, this MeetUp often combines with Silicon Valley Robotics’ “Bots ‘n Beers” (next on this list), since they’re both in the same place and do regular events anyways. On those occasions, it may be referred to as “Bots & BBQ”. That means Even More of Your People to Meet!

A Note on the Noms

I made some great connections the night I attended and I also got to see people who now feel like old friends! Really though, even without that, I would go just for the Brazilian BBQ. I really like steak, and what I tasted that night was some of the most mind-blowingly tasty seared cow I’ve ever rolled around in my tongue cave. The Caipirinhas are also an experience unto themselves. Those are usually made by CEO of Circuit Launch, Alex Dantas, and by the way, has a CEO ever made you a cocktail? I can tell you from experience that detail makes them taste even better.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Alex Dantas, Circuit Launch CEO, Caipirinha-making-master, HW Nerd<figcaption>Alex Dantas, Circuit Launch CEO, Caipirinha-making-master, HW Nerd</figcaption></figure>

And did I mention it’s free?!

THIS LINK is your best bet to find the latest plans for when these will take place.

3. Bots & Beer – Silicon Valley Robotics

As mentioned above, Bots & Beer is often combined with Brazilian BBQ night at Circuit Launch, but it’s possible these events could happen independently.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Bots and Beer...er...and <figcaption>Bots and Beer…er…and “Beverages” (as this one was at a high school). Oh and look, another pic with me from the MeetUp page. I’m starting to suspect something fishy going on…</figcaption></figure>

SVR for All the Robotics Revelry

That’s why you should check out this MeetUp page if you’re interested in robotics and passing through Silicon Valley. The Bots & Beer event is just one of the themed shindigs Silicon Valley Robotics puts on. At all these gatherings, you’ll find a concentrated bunch of robotics pros and enthusiasts. Whether you’re: looking to meet more of your robotics tribe, or want to learn from other robotics makers spilling the secrets about their dev, or show off your own robots, or find a robotics nerd to hire, you won’t want to miss this regular event!

As the name implies, yes, there is also beer! …unless it’s held at a high school, where alcohol is banned, as happened with one of the events I attended. In that case, the event was called “Bots and Beverages”. So keep an eye out for the title change.

4. Women in Robotics

This group exists to bring together women working in or interested in working in robotics. Men are also welcome at this event if they “support our mission” and “are invited to attend our meetups as guests of female members or with permission from the organizers”.

It seems to me that this group is sometimes used to find women in HW to hire. The host companies for these gatherings are often hiring at the time they host the MeetUp. Maybe that’s just an assumption I’m making combined with coincidence. But whether you’re a host company or an attendee, it really is a great place to find women working in robotics to hire…or otherwise learn from and network with! I met a bunch of very wise and highly experienced ladies with hands-on through to executive experience in robotics in this group.

Meeting Lisa Winter (Squee!)

When I went, Lisa Winter, of RobotWars and BattleBots fame was talking about her rise to stardom and the technical challenges she faced with some of the robots she built…like that one time her robot set a building on fire and the firemen came to put it out. OH BUT HAVEN’T WE ALL EXPERIENCED THIS?

Ok, or maybe just those of us who have worked in robotics and/or high-powered lasers know this pain?

Maybe just me ‘n Lisa?

Inside-Look Tech Talks by Host Companies

This particular session I attended was hosted by FarmWise (who just happened to be hiring). We also got a fantastic tour of the humungous equipment they’re building. FarmWise is creating monster robotic weeding machines with machine vision (my fave!) to automate some of the more tedious, back-breaky tasks in farming. After the tour, the other ladies (and a few gents) and I pummeled them with questions about their amazing doohickey until we ran out of time.

Also of note: there was free booze and delicious apps. Not sure if this happens at every event… but the bar (so to speak) has been set, if not.

The MeetUp page for Women in Robotics can be found HERE.

5. Target Open House

This place and event lineup is not just sponsored by Target, it’s Actually Inside a Target Store. Located in Downtown San Francisco at The Metreon, you can visit this space to play with featured IoT devices outside of event times, too.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Event inside Target Open House -- which just happened to be a SF HW Startup MeetUp combo (see #1 on this list).<figcaption>Event inside Target Open House — which just happened to be a SF HW Startup MeetUp combo (see #1 on this list).</figcaption></figure>

I attended a couple of their panel speaking sessions, and they were excellent. The panelists tend to be highly experienced with a lot of useful and candid advice to dish out to the crowd. And because IoT is usually part of the theme, hardware is implied. Hardware nerds of all sorts, not just those specifically in the IoT niche tend to come out to mingle.

Also of note: here there is also usually free booze and delicious apps.

You can peruse the events page for Target Open House HERE.

6. Hardware Massive

Also worth checking out if you’re visiting the SF Bay area is Hardware Massive’s events page.

Hardware Massive is a global network of HW nerds, but puts on events sporadically throughout the year in the Bay Area. We’ve covered 2 of them so far on SolidSmack: the first annual Hardware Summit in San Fran and HardwareCon in Silicon Valley last year.

<figure class="wp-block-image">Part of the crowd at Hardware Massive's first annual Hardware Summit in 2018.<figcaption>Part of the crowd at Hardware Massive’s first annual Hardware Summit in 2018.</figcaption></figure>

You can check out the same page for events in other places, too! For example, the Hardware Tech Summit coming up June 19, 2019 in Detroit.

7. SF Virtual Reality MeetUp

This one I have not had the pleasure of attending myself, but it came recommended from a fellow HW nerd highly in-the-know in the SF Bay Area. I’m also told the semi-regular hacknights hosted by this MeetUp are fantastic! And of note: as of writing this article, there are over 3,500 members. That’s a lot of HW nerds.

You can find the MeetUp page for this group HERE.

8. Noisebridge Hackerspace

Noisebridge is an iconic hackerspace in San Francisco with a good deal of electronics tomfoolery going on. The night I visited was Circuit Hacking Monday and I fumbled around with big, bulky LEDs and a breadboard with a diverse group. There were little kiddos learning electronics all the way up through to retirees in a guided class.

Everyone there was so helpful and kind…I didn’t have the heart to tell them I was just used to SMD electronics and was rather mystified by the old-school diodes. Kinda like when I find a land line phone… or even…*gasp* a rotary! (Hold on! I need to take a picture. Wait, how do I use this again?)

<figure class="wp-block-image">Kit I got to borrow when attending one of the Circuit Hacking Mondays at Noisebridge.<figcaption>Kit I got to borrow when attending one of the Circuit Hacking Mondays at Noisebridge.</figcaption></figure>

There are a ton more classes offered, for example, Python and sewing, and sometimes parties. Plus, the space is open to the public, so this is a very accessible place in all kinds of ways (as long as the funding keeps rolling in, which is always a concern). To view all the upcoming events, see their MeetUp page here.

9. ReadWrite Labs Events

ReadWrite Labs used to hold somewhat frequent panels and networking events, usually with an IoT theme. I’ve been informed they’re not as often now, but do happen about once every 6 months or so. ReadWrite events these days tend to have larger partners in the HW space such as Microsoft or Arrow. So, if you want to make sure you’ve left no networking stone unturned in the Bay Area, you can also check these 2 sites to make sure: the ReadWrite events page, and the ReadWrite Facebook page.

A Note For All The Things

Be sure to register for all events where applicable! The San Francisco Bay Area has a large and vibrant community of HW nerds and I’ve often seen these events book to capacity, leaving those showing up at the door unable to attend! Don’t be that guy. RSVP like your Momma taught you.

Have I missed a great HW nerd event in this list? Please comment below and let us all know!

The post Where to Find Hardware Nerds in San Francisco and Silicon Valley appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Erin McDermott at May 09, 2019 08:11 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal vs Body Convert Part Creation Method

In this article I am going to make a very basic sheet metal box with two different creation techniques to determine which is more efficient, delivers more accurate results, and looks better. Before you jump to conclusions thinking which method is better, you might be surprised by the outcome. Stay tuned for the results.

The two different creation methods are:

  1. Making the box using the body (boss extrude) with various support features, then using convert to sheet metal.
  2. Fully modelling the part using sheet metal tools.

Method 1: Convert to Sheet Metal

Start off by making a sketch 12″ x 12″ (start plane doesn’t matter here) and extrude mid-plane 12″ to get a cube. Next we need to make a 0.25″ fillet on the bottom 4 edges. A shell feature is needed after the filler and keep the wall thickness to 0.125″. This is starting to look like a sheet metal box, right?

Box model shelled

Box model shelled

We need one last feature and that is Convert to Sheet Metal command located in the sheet metal tab. In here we want the thickness to be (again) 0.125″ the bend radius to be 0.125″ and use the Collect All Bends button. This button will grab all the sides and produce any rip edges that are needed. Here’s the interesting part, before you hit the check on this command, scroll down to look at the other options. There are corner types to consider. For this demo I selected Corner Butt and took the smallest I could get without errors for Default Gap at 0.010″ and Overlap at 0.50. One last item is choose a material, I took Plain Carbon Steel. This part is complete, save and put aside so we can compare with the next one.

Measuring the gap

Measuring the gap

NOTE: Without the radius the convert to sheet doesn’t work. Also something to note: the radius must be bigger than the metal thickness to work as well.

Method 2: Creating Sheet Metal

Start off by making a sketch on the top plane (most sheet metal parts should be drawing on top plane) and draw the same 12″ x 12″ square. Instead of extruding, use the Base Flange/Tab and make the thickness 0.125″.

The next and final command we need to use is the Edge Flange. Select the 4 edges you filleted in the last part. The selection doesn’t matter if it is the top or bottom edge, what does matter is the direction and height. I chose 12″ blind up (Y direction).

Sheet Metal Part

Sheet Metal Part

My flange position is material inside to maintain the 12″ outside dimension. I made my best radius the same 0.125″ and the gap distance 0.0001″. Please note that this isn’t the smallest, but is the smallest that would be practical for most sheet metal parts. The last thing is to change to the same material type (Plain Carbon Steel).

Gap measurement

Gap measurement

Part Comparison

Now we have two parts that are “exactly” the same, right? Let’s dive into this further:

Mass Properties

Doing Mass Properties on both parts will tell a different story. The sheet metal part I created is 24.593 lbs and the converted part is 24.564 lbs. The difference is so small, which means we can call it equal. Let’s give a point to each.

  • Method 1 Score = 1
  • Method 2 Score = 1

Workflow

Taking a look at the work flow to complete each part, it seems there is an easy winner. The sheet metal part uses less features, takes a shorter amount of time and requires little effort to create the part. The bodies part needs more design intent to create. Knowing that, the future bend radius and material thickness dictates how the part is made otherwise you will end up with errors or warnings.

  • Method 1 Score = 1
  • Method 2 Score = 2

Physical appearance

The last test is the physical appearance. Just a quick scan and rotating the parts, everything seems fine, but zoom in closer on the corners. On the converted part you get a weird twisted edge. This occurs in any type of relief you do and yes, a corner relief or treatment can be placed in, but that is yet another step and another feature.

Corner for converted part

Corner for converted part

The sheet metal corner has a better and more organic look to it. The last physical check is the flat pattern look. Analyzing both flats and the corners are again, the most noticeable item here with the same outcome as before.

 

Sheet Metal Part Corner

Sheet Metal Part Corner

  • Method 1 Score = 1
  • Method 2 Score = 3

Our conclusion: creating a Sheet Metal Part is the winner

Making a sheet metal part rather than converting a part to sheet metal works out better in the long run. This works for most cases and this isn’t saying ‘don’t design a part using the bodies method and converting’, but you’ll typically get a better looking and easier to make product using the sheet metal commands.

The post SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal vs Body Convert Part Creation Method appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by James Swackhammer at May 09, 2019 12:00 PM

May 08, 2019

The SOLIDWORKS Blog

Exploring XR Part 1 – What is Extended Reality?

Extended Reality (XR) is a new and exciting development that sits within the existing SOLIDWORKS products, allowing you to interact with your 3D models like never before. We have created a miniseries of five-minute videos to introduce and explore the topic. Part 1 below will explore what exactly is XR and how it can benefit the design process.

The video aims to answer this simple question, “Why, when we spend hours perfecting our designs in 3D CAD, do we view them in 2D?”.

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="641" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lbJ-IKPn2l8?feature=oembed" width="1140"></iframe>

Author information

Cadtek Systems UK - Elite SOLIDWORKS Training & Support
Cadtek has been established for over 27 years. Based in the UK, we have unrivalled experience in providing design solutions for designers and engineers. We work across all disciplines and multiple industries. An award winning Elite Reseller we can help you understand and choose the right 3D CAD solution. Cadtek is part of the Solid Solutions Group. Call 01926 333777 to speak to an account manager. For more information, visit cadtek.com.

The post Exploring XR Part 1 – What is Extended Reality? appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Cadtek Systems UK - Elite SOLIDWORKS Training &#38; Support at May 08, 2019 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to prepare for a SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or Professional migration (for Workgroup PDM users)

With the introduction of SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard in 2016, the popular but outdated SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM started to be phased-out, and SOLIDWORKS 2017 SP5 was the latest version to include it. As of version 2018, companies have the choice of either migrating to SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or to SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional.

This article is intended for users whose companies are migrating to either one of them, especially for the period when the actual migration is being done by Javelin and the Workgroup vault is made read-only.

SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM Migration Steps

Check-in all your files

Your IT Department or the person responsible for the implementation will advise you when it is time to check-in all your files. After that moment, the Workgroup vault will still be available, but will be read-only. You will not be able to make any further modifications to the vault – that is, you will not be able to add or modify files, delete files, create new projects, take or release ownership and so forth.

However, you will be able to search the vault and check out (obtain) files to your local folder.

Important note: Any files that are not checked in will not be migrated to the new vault or will be migrated in a previous version.

Work offline

Javelin will take a few days to perform the migration. During that period, you will have to work offline if you need to create any new projects in SOLIDWORKS or make modifications in existing projects. It is important that you keep track of your changes.

A few strategies that you can use are:

  • Create a separate folder for each project that you are working on.
  • Keep notes of your current changes; for instance, you can keep an Excel spreadsheet with a list of files that you are modifying.
  • Pay attention to the Modified Date of your files. You may want to sort your folders by that column to identify the files that you saved in SOLIDWORKS.
Modified date

Modified date

Copy your modified files back to the new vault

After the migration is finished, Javelin will install the new vault. All your files will be in the vault exactly as they were when the Workgroup vault was frozen.

You will have the opportunity to learn all about the new software either with your Javelin representative or with the internal implementation team. As part of the implementation, you will be shown how to copy the files you have modified while offline as new versions of existing files and how to copy the new files that you have created as new files in the vault.

Soon, you will realize how much easier your new SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or Professional is compared to Workgroup.

Need expert help with your SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM migration?

Contact us about our SOLIDWORKS PDM Upgrade Service and our team of Certified PDM Experts can help you move to SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or Professional

The post How to prepare for a SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or Professional migration (for Workgroup PDM users) appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Samir Lohmann at May 08, 2019 12:00 PM

May 07, 2019

SolidSmack

The SolidSmack Monday List 19.19 | Stories We’re Reading This Week

Satya Nadella

Mondays might not be your favorite day of the week, but the good news is that we’re all in this together ladies and gentlemen. As purveyors of prime Grade A web content, the SolidSmack crew has done some of the heavy-lifting to make sure you get your Mondays started on the right track.

Welcome to The Monday List.

Every Monday, we link you up with some of the most insightful, informative, and socially-relevant stories to keep tabbed, bookmarked, reading listed, pocketed, or what have you to get your week started on the right foot. Be sure to check in each week for a new crop of freshly sprouted words curated straight from the source of your favorite homegrown ‘Smack.

What We’re Reading This Week:

The U.S. Stock Market Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Its Endless Rally

Welcome to the party that won’t quit even as regular investors are leaving.

<figure class="aligncenter">The U.S. Stock Market Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Its Endless Rally</figure>

Can an Art Collective Become the Disney of the Experience Economy?

Meow Wolf started as a loose group of penniless punks. Now it’s a multimillion-dollar dream factory anchoring an “immersive bazaar” in Las Vegas.

<figure class="aligncenter">Can an Art Collective Become the Disney of the Experience Economy?</figure>

The Most Valuable Company (for Now) Is Having a Nadellaissance

Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has more subscribers than Netflix, more cloud computing revenue than Google, and a near-trillion-dollar market cap.

<figure class="aligncenter">The Most Valuable Company (for Now) Is Having a Nadellaissance</figure>

The End of the Line

For more than 50 years, life in Lordstown,
Ohio has revolved around the G.M. plant
at the edge of town.

<figure class="wp-block-image">The End of the Line</figure>

The National Park Service is Your New HMO

If time outside is good medicine, then the national parks, which see some 330 million visitors each year, might just be the country’s most important health care provider.

<figure class="aligncenter">The National Park Service is Your New HMO</figure>

Garfield phones beach mystery finally solved after 35 years

A French coastal community has finally cracked the mystery behind the Garfield telephones that have plagued its picturesque beaches for decades.

<figure class="aligncenter">Garfield phones beach mystery finally solved after 35 years</figure>

The post The SolidSmack Monday List 19.19 | Stories We’re Reading This Week appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at May 07, 2019 07:42 PM

The SOLIDWORKS Blog

Motorcycle Madness: Printing Pressure

Sal Lama with Ben’s motorcycle in AR

 

Tucked away in a corner of the warehouse space at DASSAULT SYSTEMES North American headquarters in Waltham, motorcycle parts are piling up. The Magic Wheelchair build team is hard at work, putting in late nights and spending their lunch hours in the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab to bring Ben’s bike to life.

We’re a month away from the reveal, and the team is in a good spot. Most of the foam for the bike’s body is cut and sanded, and the plywood for the frame has been machined. And what a frame! “It could be its own costume,” Annie said, and other team members agree. The bike is going to be 10 feet long and 37 inches wide—quite a big bike.

Annie Cheung in an AR version of the costume's frame

Annie Cheung in an AR version of the costume’s frame

 

The parts for the frame on the ShopBot

The parts for the frame on the ShopBot

 

The rear tire is 12 layers of 2-inch foam, and the front tire is 6 layers of 2-inch foam and 2 layers of 3-inch foam. Remember the wheels made for the mini-Max-D? The wheels that were scale replicas of monster truck tires? The rear tire of Ben’s bike dwarfs that.

 

Front and rear tires

Front and rear tires

 

Annie inside a the rear tire

Annie inside a the rear tire

 

All of the 3D printed details are almost done. 3DEXPERIENCE Lab intern Madhu has been helping the team, watching over prints in the massive Gigabot 3D printer. He’s experimented with the print orientations: when printing one of the faux exhaust panels, Madhu had it lying flat, which led to a lot of supports and more weight. When printing the second exhaust panel for the other side of the bike, he printed it on its side, leading to less support material and therefore less weight. You can see the difference in how the layers came out.

 

Madhu and the exhaust panel

Madhu and the exhaust panel

 

Exhaust panel layer comparison

Exhaust panel layer comparison

 

Now Madhu is in the process of 3D printing the channel for the LEDs in the rear wheel. If he has time, he’ll reprint the first exhaust panel, to lessen the weight on Ben’s bike.

 

The team traipsing around the electronic store

The team traipsing around the electronic store

 

There’s still some questions on electrical: should the team connect Ben’s fun dashboard to the lights along the wheels and body, or should they run on separate currents? Team members David, Nicolas, Chinloo, Gabe, and Stephen took a trip to a local electronics stores to see what kind of electrical doohickeys were available.

 

Dashboard mock up

Dashboard mock up

 

They looked at buttons, switches, knobs, different mechanisms Ben would have fun playing with. They also checked out what types of LEDs and boards were available.  “We got ideas of things that would look cool,” explained David.

 

Bike parts stacked in the warehouse space

Bike parts stacked in the warehouse space

 

Now it’s time to finish up the machined parts and sanding. Some holes need to be plugged with joint compound, then sanded again. Finally, the team can begin adding hard coat to the foam pieces.

With a month to go before the big reveal, team members are confident they’ll be able to produce one heck of a bike for Ben, and give him a truly special day. We’ll see how the build continues and get revved up for some motorcycle madness!

Help support Magic Wheelchair and amazing kiddos like Ben!

SOLIDWORKS is working hard to make Ben the most incredible costume ever and help the non-profit Magic Wheelchair achieve its goal of providing kids in wheelchairs with epic costumes. SOLIDWORKS is funding Ben’s costume build in its entirety, but we invite all our readers to support Magic Wheelchair in Ben’s name! If you visit his classy.org page, you can donate directly to Magic Wheelchair and help support them and all the lives they touch with their great work. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting build and get your engines revved for more motorcycle madness!

SOLIDWORKS is partnering with the Magic Wheelchair to create an over-the-top costume for a child in a wheelchair. According to their mission statement, “Magic Wheelchair builds epic costumes for kiddos in wheelchairs —  at no cost to families.” Motorcycle Madness is an ongoing series dedicated to updating our readers on the current project’s progress.

Read about our previous build, Keep on (Monster) Truckin’ with Jonah here.

 

Author information

Sara Zuckerman
Sara Zuckerman
Sara Zuckerman is a SOLIDWORKS Education Contractor, Social Media and Marketing. She has a B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College and recently earned a Certificate in Web Development from MassBay Community College. Sara is excited about utilizing this blog to combine her two passions, writing and technology.

The post Motorcycle Madness: Printing Pressure appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Sara Zuckerman at May 07, 2019 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

New Log Out Option in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2019 is more convenient

New in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2019 SP2, we have an additional more convenient method to log out of and verify who we’re logged in as:

New log out icon

New log out icon

We can access the icon from anywhere within the vault view, and log out via clicking and selecting ‘log out’;

Log Out

Log Out

We can also verify who we’re logged in as by hovering over the icon (useful for anyone who switches between an administrative and regular user account);

Logged in as

Logged in as

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS PDM

Attend a SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Administration training course either in a classroom near you or live online.

The post New Log Out Option in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2019 is more convenient appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Justin Williams at May 07, 2019 12:00 PM

May 06, 2019

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

SOLIDWORKS Plastics Material Database Updates Now Available on 3D CONTENTCENTRAL

One of the greatest challenges of populating and maintaining a plastics material database for injection molding simulation is the fact that plastics material suppliers are constantly developing and commercializing new materials. And in this blog post, we’re going to show you how Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS is collaborating with the world’s largest plastics material suppliers to ensure that our mutual customers have access to the most up-to-date and accurate plastics material data when it becomes available.

The update mechanism is simple – when new material grades become available, the material suppliers directly upload the data to 3D CONTENTCENTRAL, which then allows SOLIDWORKS Plastics customers to download, import and use the data immediately in SOLIDWORKS Plastics analyses – with no need to wait for the next service pack or major release. And to make sure that our customers never miss out on any plastics material updates, all new materials uploaded to 3D CONTENTCENTRAL by material suppliers will be included in subsequent service packs or major releases of SOLIDWORKS Plastics.

The easiest way to find the complete catalog of plastics materials available for download from 3D CONTENTCENTRAL is to navigate to the homepage (3D CONTENTCENTRAL) and in the upper left corner hover over the “Find” dropdown menu and choose “INJECTION MOLDING MATERIALS”.

You will then see the complete catalog of plastics materials with each individual listing including the material supplier, material family, trade name, grade and a short description (if available).

You can quickly download individual material data files by clicking on the Download SOLIDWORKS Plastics Material data link found on the left-hand side of any material listing. The downloaded file is a compressed binary file (*.bin) that you can extract to a local folder of your choice.

Once downloaded and extracted you can add the material to the SOLIDWORKS Plastics User-defined Database by navigating to the Plastics Manager in SOLIDWORKS and under Material/Polymer, right-click Open Database and then click User-defined Database. Next, select  Import Plastic Material, and then select File. Browse to the location of your downloaded/extracted material data *.bin file, select it and click Open. You can now select the imported material for use in SOLIDWORKS Plastics analyses*.

Today you can find over 30 new plastics materials on 3D CONTENTCENTRAL from suppliers including Chevron Phillips Chemical, RadiciGroup High Performance Polymers, Autotech SirmaxIndia Pvt. Ltd. and Indore Composite Pvt. Ltd. with material families that include nylons, polyethylenes and polypropylenes. Be sure to check back often for new material suppliers and their latest and greatest plastics material data.

Thanks for your time and consideration and we hope you find value in our efforts to improve the SOLIDWORKS Plastics material database.

 

*Tech Support Notes

In our ongoing efforts to improve and refine the accuracy of SOLIDWORKS Plastics solvers, we have added support for multi-point specific heat (C) and thermal conductivity (k) material data, since these properties (C & k) vary as a function of temperature. Incorporating this data relies on Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS collecting multi-point C & k data from material suppliers, adding the data into the SOLIDWORKS Plastics database and making changes to the underlying solver and meshing technology. As such, support for multi-point specific heat and thermal conductivity is as follows:

  •         Solid mesh support for variable specific heat & thermal conductivity is supported in SOLIDWORKS Plastics 2019 SP0 and later.
  •         Shell mesh support for variable specific heat & thermal conductivity will be supported as of SOLIDWORKS Plastics 2019 SP3 and later.

In addition, assuming multi-point, variable specific heat and thermal conductivity data exists for a given material, all new materials uploaded to 3D CONTENTCENTRAL and added to subsequent versions of the SOLIDWORKS Plastics material database will support this new capability.

Author information

Peter Rucinski
Peter Rucinski
My technical background is based on BS and MS degrees in plastics engineering from UMASS Lowell and a career focused on all things injection molding – simulation, plastics materials, part design, mold design, mold making and injection molding process troubleshooting & optimization. And I have been extremely fortunate to have developed business acumen that comes from being intimately involved in growing a small engineering software company ~7X in revenues while tripling headcount, successfully executing an IPO and multiple acquisitions, coaching product teams and developing the go-to-market strategy for numerous successful product launches.

The post SOLIDWORKS Plastics Material Database Updates Now Available on 3D CONTENTCENTRAL appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Peter Rucinski at May 06, 2019 09:00 PM

The SOLIDWORKS Blog

Webinar on Demand: Advanced Simulation for SOLIDWORKS Users

Advanced Simulation capabilities are now available to SOLIDWORKS users with SIMULIA Structural Simulation Engineer (SSE). SSE brings best-in-class Finite Element Analysis (FEA) tools, enabling you to validate complex product designs quickly and cost-effectively, helping to speed up innovation, enhance quality, and reduce time to market.

Powered by SIMULIA Abaqus, SSE expertly handles high-complexity nonlinear problems. This video, for example, demonstrates how advanced simulation with SSE is used to solve a one such problem, with contacts and hyper-elastic materials.

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="641" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/c4GCzbtpGw8?feature=oembed" width="1140"></iframe>

 

If you’re eager to learn more about SSE and advanced simulation capabilities, watch this 25-minute webinar for a short demo and introduction including:

  • A look at SSE’s proven, robust, and reliable Abaqus FEA technology
  • An explanation of how SSE integrates with SOLIDWORKS CAD
  • A preview of SSE’s ability to solve large models by leveraging powerful cloud-computing capabilities
  • A review of two customer success stories from Hydac and InSilixa

Click here to watch the webinar on demand and learn the essentials of SSE in 25 minutes.

Author information

SOLIDWORKS
Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.

The post Webinar on Demand: Advanced Simulation for SOLIDWORKS Users appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at May 06, 2019 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Designing 90° Sheet Metal HVAC Duct – Advanced Tip 2

In part 4 of my making a Sheet Metal Duct guide, I showed how to get the best material yield. Today I’m going to show you how to add etch marks so that all parts can be rolled together as one, zip cut, reordered and then welded together.

Sheet Metal Parts in DraftSight

Sheet Metal Parts in DraftSight

With the parts already placed together, copy it and move it beside the original making sure they are aligned.

Create a duplicate in DraftSight

Create a duplicate in DraftSight

Next, draw a vertical line upwards, but have it aligned with the bottom. Draw this according to your manufacturing standards, I am using 4 inches and then drawing a horizontal line across both group of parts.

This next segment makes the drawing very busy, but I promise it’s for a good reason. Use the “Copy” command to copy the two lines we just created and make the attachment point the bottom of the vertical line. Don’t use the Ctrl+C as this is a different command to the “Copy” one. What I did was “Copy” a few segments, stopped, then copy all the entities I just created to make this go faster. A good example is the picture below.

Lines added in DraftSight

Lines added in DraftSight

With all the lines added we can now trim each group. Use the “Trim” command and select all the horizontal lines we created. Next, we are going to select every other section. On the other group you are going to trim the opposite lines to remove, just like the picture below.

Trimmed lines

Trimmed lines

On the pattern to the right I added a horizontal line on the outside top right corner (dimension doesn’t matter here),  then deleted the outside box. In the layers area I created a layer called “Etch” and switched the color to magenta. I placed the right group of lines in the new created “etch” layer and colour.

Etch layer added

Etch layer added

There are a couple steps remaining. Use the “Move” command and the selection point to choose the inside point on the new horizontal line and attach it to the other group. This should line both groups up perfectly. The last step is to delete this line, center the view and save your work.

Move etch lines into place

Move etch lines into place

This will make your laser machine etch the magenta lines and cut the white lines with proper set up in the nesting program. This also enables all parts to be rolled at the same time, which will save manufacturing time and provide uniform rolling.

The post Designing 90° Sheet Metal HVAC Duct – Advanced Tip 2 appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by James Swackhammer at May 06, 2019 12:00 PM

May 04, 2019

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

Smart Components

One of the great benefits of SOLIDWORKS is the way you can capture work and re-use it many times over. There’s no better way of capturing work then by creating and using Smart Components. You’re probably asking yourself what’s a Smart Component? Is it something new recently added to SOLIDWORKS? Nope. Smart components have been around a long time and are probably underutilized especially when using off the shelf components which require additional features in order to complete their definition. Think of a bearing pressed on a shaft. The shaft has to have a specific diameter and tolerance in order to press the bearing onto the shaft. Every time you use that bearing in an assembly you would have to look up the press fit requirements in the manufacturers catalog and apply that to the shaft for each bearing and shaft combination. Lots of extra work is involved plus the chance for error goes up because of the manual effort involved. Wouldn’t it be nice if the bearing was “smart” enough to have the press fit information already baked into it? Smart Components do exactly that.

This blog will show you step-by-step how to create a Smart Component. In this example we’ll use a flanged bronze bushing like this:

 

From the bushing manufacturers catalog the fit for the housing bore is H7 which is +0.03/-0mm. The housing fit tolerance is very important to the life of the bushing. If it’s not correct premature failure will occur.

 

STEP 1

Create a small block bigger than the bushing you will use. In this example the block is 100x100x60mm. The block will be used as a “dummy” component which will define the bore and additional features like chamfers and fillets for the bushings bore.

STEP 2

Create an assembly from the block. Next insert the flanged bushing and mate it to the top face of the block using a coincident mate. It’s not important the bushing is centered in the block.

 

STEP 3

Create the bore, chamfer and fillet for the bushing. The bore nominal diameter is 70mm with an H7 fit. The depth of the bore is 50mm. A 1.5mmx45° chamfer is applied to the bore top edge and a 1mm max fillet is applied to the bottom inside corner of the bore.

It’s important to understand how these features need to be created in order for them to work properly. The external references for the bore, chamfer and fillet have to be associated to the bushing and not the block. The bore will be a child of the underside face of the flange. The chamfer and fillet will be children of the bore.

Edit the block in context of the assembly. The sketch plane for the bore is the underside face of the flange.

 

Sketch a circle 70mm in diameter and apply a Fit with Tolerance, H7.

 

Cut extrude the circle 50mm deep.

 

 

 

Next apply the 1mm fillet to the bottom inside edge of the bore. This is important to apply the fillet first before the chamfer. Next create the chamfer on the top edge of the bore. Select the face of the bore and not the top edge. This keeps the reference of the chamfer associated to the bushing and not the block. If you created the chamfer before the fillet you would get 2 chamfers on the top and bottom of the bore. Then you wouldn’t be able to apply the fillet in that case.

 

STEP 4

This is where the magic happens. Under the Tools pull down menu select Make Component Smart.

 

In the Smart Component Property Manager make the following selections:

  1. Smart Component = Flanged Bronze Bushing
  2. Components = There are no other components associated with this Smart Component.
  3. Features = bore, chamfer and fillet are selected from the block.
  4. Select OK to complete the Smart Component.

 

STEP 5

So what happened? A couple of things. First, a Smart Feature folder was added in the design tree of the bushing. Opening it up reveals the Features and References folders. In the Features folder the bore, chamfer and fillet are listed. In the References Folder the “Component for feature” is listed and under that the cut-extrude for the bore is listed.

 

The other thing that happened is the bushing component icon has a lightning bolt to signify it’s a Smart Component.

 

STEP 6

When using OTS components it’s best to put them in the Design Library and share them with the rest of the engineers in your organization. If you’re using PDM Professional and have the Design Library in the Vault then an administrator has to add the Smart Component to the Design Library.

 

How to use a Smart Component

Once the Smart Component is added to the Design Library you can drag and drop into an assembly and apply the Smart Features contained in the Smart Component to the mating component. Here’s a short video showing how to do this:

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7XP-xFVwEOo" width="560"></iframe>

 

Additional automation can be added to the bushing by defining Mate References so the bushing snaps into place when dragging it from the Design Library into your assembly.

 

 

 

Author information

Mike Sabocheck
Mike Sabocheck is a Technical Sales Director with Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS. Mike has been with DS SOLIDWORKS for 21 years. Prior to SOLIDWORKS he worked for Xerox for 17 years and then for Intergraph. His specialties are applying SOLIDWORKS to different design and manufacturing processes.

The post Smart Components appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Mike Sabocheck at May 04, 2019 02:00 PM

May 03, 2019

SolidSmack

Lattice Structure with Porosity Helps Improve 3D Batteries Tech

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon and the Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a method of 3D printing battery components to dramatically increase capacity.

There’s great interest in improving battery technology in recent years, due to the ongoing switch from oil to electric power, particularly in vehicle design. Many researchers are investigating a number of improvement avenues, some of which involve tweaking the types of materials involved in battery construction.

<figure class="wp-block-image"><figcaption>3D printed electrode design </figcaption></figure>

But another avenue of investigation deals with the electrodes. In order to increase the capacity of electrochemical reactions, it is desirable to have electrodes with significant surface area. The additional surface area allows the electrolyte more exposure to the chemical process.

In the past, researchers and engineers have used a variety of techniques to achieve increased surface area, such as machining, chemical etching, foaming or other approaches. But this research work involves 3D printing electrodes.

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

The researchers here devised a three-dimensional structure for the electrode that has significant surface area, and its complex geometry might be familiar to those involved in 3D printing and design. Yes, it’s a lattice structure.

Here we see one of the octohedral structures selected by the researchers for their battery test.

<figure class="wp-block-image"><figcaption>3D printed deposition techniques for battery electrodes</figcaption></figure>

The 3D printing technology used by the researchers was in fact an Optomec 3D printer, one that is capable of 3D printing very small structures. The mixed conductive nanoparticles into the liquid material used by the Optomec device. Once the liquid solidified, the nanoparticles were ready for action.

Conversion to an actual battery was accomplished by producing a sufficiently large set of electrodes and embedding them in a standard CR2032 battery case. Testing of the battery was then performed in a variety of ways.

The researchers produced identically sized electrodes, in block form, as the control for their experiment. These would be similar to what one finds in conventional batteries.

The results showed that the batteries containing the microlattice structures had significantly greater capacity, meaning the number of mAh carried per gram of weight. Results varied depending on the particular structures and sizes of the sub-experiments, but the researchers suggest capacity increases in the range of 400%.

This is a very significant increase. Imagine, for example, an electric vehicle’s range would suddenly increase from 400 km to an incredible 1600 km. Or, as is more likely, the vehicle manufacturers would decide to reduce the number of batteries — and lose a significant amount of weight — and provide a more reasonable range, but with far fewer batteries. In other words, they would be able to make the vehicle far more efficient.

A more interesting development would be for aircraft, which depend utterly on weight. One of the major reasons we have not seen electrically powered aircraft is that the current energy density of battery technology is simply too low to get off the ground; the batteries are too heavy for the energy they provide.

But if batteries had four times the capacity, then it may become technically and economically feasible to develop and offer electrically powered aircraft.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, however, as the method of manufacturing these batteries as described by the researchers is obviously very slow and incompatible with mass manufacturing practices. I cannot imagine how expensive the batteries might be if they were literally produced by farms of hundreds of Optomec 3D printers. That’s not going to happen.

However, someone may design a new kind of 3D printer that is specifically engineered to produce this type of 3D structure, and that might be an opportunity for economic feasibility.

Read more about 3D printing at Fabbaloo!

The post Lattice Structure with Porosity Helps Improve 3D Batteries Tech appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Fabbaloo at May 03, 2019 03:08 PM

The SOLIDWORKS Blog

Join SOLIDWORKS at RAPID + TCT 2019, May 21-23

The world of manufacturing is changing, empowered with digital tools, businesses are transforming from mass production to mass customization. By embracing new technologies including; platforms, 3D printing, Internet of Things, and robotics, manufacturers can better address requirements, reduce operations costs, quickly respond to customers, and remain competitive.

To showcase its breadth of 3D additive manufacturing solutions, Dassault Systèmes and SOLIDWORKS will be exhibiting at RAPID + TCT 2019, one of Additive Manufacturing’s most influential global events, sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and taking place May 21-23, 2019 at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan.

SOLIDWORKS will be located in the Booth #1744 on the show floor. We’ll have experts on hand from CATIA, DELMIA, SIMULIA, and SOLIDWORKS who will demonstrate Dassault Systèmes’ full portfolio of integrated applications for additive manufacturing that works seamlessly across design, manufacturing, and in-service performance, giving users the powerful ability to maintain the digital twin from end-to-end. Our team will also be highlighting the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace, where users extend their additive manufacturing reach and collaborate with manufacturers worldwide

The Smart Manufacturing Hub features expert presentations focused on top trends and the latest how-to in Additive Manufacturing. Industry experts from Dassault Systèmes are lined up to speak on a number of key topics during the show, including the following:

Rani Richardson

Tuesday, May 21st at 12:20 PM: Cognitive Augmented Design: A New Way to Design

Featuring Rani Richardson, Director CATIA Technical Sales Light Weight Engineering, and Etienne Ardouin, Senior Solution Consultant for the CATIA Technical Team.

Etienne Ardouin

Over the past year, generative design has really picked up steam as more and more companies invest in the “Factory of the Future” and “Industry 4.0” because they see the benefits associated with automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, the same benefits and principles are clearly seen for design and simulation in generative design.

This presentation will explore engineering excellence for topology optimization that generates optimal design concepts while respecting functional requirements and specifications. Generative design captures all of the best practices from a previously disjointed process and reduces the amount of time for engineers to identify new shapes that can maximize their business needs.

NC Kishore

Wednesday, May 22nd at 4:20 PM: Engineering the Additive Manufacturing Process

Featuring NC Kishore, DELMIA Fabrication Portfolio Specialist, and Akshay Narasimhan, Senior Industry Solutions Manager.

Akshay Narasimhan

Process prove-out on the additive machine can take a lot of time and material, only to repeat the process multiple times to successfully produce a part. Powder Bed Programmer enables engineers to setup, simulate, optimize, program, and re-use powder bed fusion manufacturing techniques. Powder Bed Programmer has a unique capability to run simulations of the additive process to check for part deformations that occur during the build process so quality parts can be printed right the first time.

Thursday, May 23rd at 2:20 PM: Design to Additive Manufacturing: An End to End Solution with SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE

Featuring Akshay Narasimhan, Senior Industry Solutions Manager, and Mai Doan, Senior Technical Manager SOLIDWORKS.

Mai Doan

Additive Manufacturing is transforming the way products are designed. SOLIDWORKS and the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform put the state of the art tools in your hands to go from Concept to Production. Three powerful capabilities to make you a better designer:

  • Find out how to use Topology Optimization to optimize geometry and consolidate parts based on user defined goals
  • See how Generative Design reconstructs the result from Topology Optimization to a 3D parametric model for further design modification and for design validation
  • Learn about how Additive Manufacturing applications in the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform analyze and virtual print your parts to prevent distortions and thermal stresses during the 3D Printing process

This session uses a case study of an automotive engine design to illustrate Topology Optimization, Generative Design and Simulation of the 3D printing process. Attend this session to watch how these cutting-edge techniques are being used on an industry application so you can apply them to your product design.

Register for a complimentary Expo-Only pass to RAPID (a $75 value!) using our unique exhibitor link: http://www.rapid3devent.com/ (Promo Code: 15324733) and stop by SOLIDWORKS Booth #1744 to speak with one of our experts. Looking forward to seeing you at the show!

Author information

SOLIDWORKS
Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.

The post Join SOLIDWORKS at RAPID + TCT 2019, May 21-23 appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at May 03, 2019 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to Permanently Delete a SOLIDWORKS PDM User

When a new SOLIDWORKS PDM User is created in the vault, the user is stored in both the database and the registry on the archive server.  When a user is deleted via the administration tool, the user is removed from the database, but still listed when adding new users because it exists in the registry on the archive server:

SOLIDWORKS PDM Users

Deleted SOLIDWORKS PDM Users still listed?

To completely permanently delete a user, we need to delete them from the registry on the archive server.

How to permanently delete a user

Please note that caution should be taken when editing the registry, as changing or deleting the wrong key, can affect other programs, or the operating system.

On the archive server;

  • Start > Registry editor
    • Navigate to the key; HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\ArchiveServer\ConisioUsers
      • Locate the user and delete the value

 

Edit the Windows Registry

Edit the Windows Registry

After the registry value is deleted, the SOLIDWORKS PDM User should no longer show up when adding new users;

User[s] completely removed

User[s] completely removed

In a replicated environment, it’s likely to be using vault specific login, in these instances, the user account will be found under a different registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\ArchiveServer\Vaults\[VAULTNAME]\ConisioUsers

What if I delete the wrong key?

If a registry value is deleted for a SOLIDWORKS PDM User that still exists in the vault, they will show with a red plus next to them in the administration tool:

Deleted User

Deleted User

To restore this account; open the user from the administration tool and use the ‘Set Password’ option to recreate them in the registry:

After this is complete and the Users node is refreshed, the red plus should be removed and the login repaired.

The post How to Permanently Delete a SOLIDWORKS PDM User appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Justin Williams at May 03, 2019 12:00 PM

May 02, 2019

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

SOLIDWORKS Bounding Box Tutorial

Hey SOLIDWORKS users!  Let’s take a deep dive into a very useful feature – Bounding Box!  The Bounding Box is a piece of reference geometry that can be found in SOLIDWORKS 2018 or later and it really comes in handy when you want to quickly take length, width, and height measurements of your part or parts.

Let’s use this awesome airplane model to fly through how to add a bounding box to a part.  We’ll also be running through the different bounding box options as well as a quick real-world example of how the bounding box could come in handy for you on future projects.

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YjvjBOJSCq4" width="560"></iframe>

 

You can download the model here!

Author information

SOLIDWORKS
Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.

The post SOLIDWORKS Bounding Box Tutorial appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at May 02, 2019 03:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Manage Server Installation Guide

Released in 2018, SOLIDWORKS Manage is a Process Management solution, that allows companies to not only control their engineering data, but also the processes surrounding the data. For existing SOLIDWORKS PDM users, SOLIDWORKS Manage offers seamless integration with SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. Because of this tight integration, SOLIDWORKS Manage ships with SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional.

In this article we will show you how to install the SOLIDWORKS Mange server component. As with SOLIDWORKS PDM, SOLIDWORKS Manage uses SQL Standard or higher to store it’s database. As such, SQL should be installed first on a supported server. Both SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and SOLIDWORKS Manage need to use the same SQL Server.  Also, the SOLIDWORKS License Manager needs to be installed before installing SOLIDWORKS Manage.

Please note: SOLIDWORKS Manage is an powerful, highly configurable application. Having an expert such as your Value Added SOLIDWORKS Reseller perform the set-up of SOLIDWORKS Manage is highly recommended. Also, this article assumes that you have a working knowledge of computer systems and networks.

Before installing SOLIDWORKS Manage,  Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS) must be enabled.

Windows Features

Windows Features

The SOLIDWORKS Manage Server installation can be launched from the ‘SWManageServer’ folder, of the SOLIDWORKS Installation file set.

SWManage MSI

 

This will launch the SOLIDWORKS Manage InstallShield Wizard, that will guide you through the installation.

SOLIDWORKS Manage Server InstallShield Wizard

SOLIDWORKS Manage Server InstallShield Wizard

After clicking on Next, you will be asked for Destination Folder, for SOLIDWORKS Manage Server.

Destination Folder

Destination Folder

Next you select the Server Services to be installed. Typically this would be the File and Web Server.

Server Services

You will also be prompted to define the location for the FILESERVER Root Folder.

FILESERVER Root Folder

 

The InstallShield Wizard needs to know the location of the SQL Server and  the ‘sa’ User login, for SQL. As noted earlier, the SQL server needs to be the same the server, as the one used for SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. If  there has a previous installation of SOLIDWORKS Manage, the related database can be reused, by selecting, Use   Existing Database. The Select Template pull-down, can be used to create some predefined components of the SOLIDWORKS Manage Environment. These predefined templates are Default, Empty System and Quick Start.

SQL Server Login

SOLIDWORKS Manage uses the same License Manager, used by other SOLIDWORKS products. Enter License Server Location, as illustrated below. Note, the default port is 25734. If that port is used by another program, other the SolidNetWork License Manager, you will need to define another port, that is free.

Licence Server Location

The next screen will start the installation, when Install is selected.

Install

Once the Server Component has been installed, the Clients can then be installed.

The post SOLIDWORKS Manage Server Installation Guide appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Joe Medeiros, CSWE at May 02, 2019 12:00 PM

May 01, 2019

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Base Flange vs Thin Feature

Today we are going to decide which feature is the better choice in a particular design situation – in this example should I use a Base Flange (Edge Flange/Sketch Bend) method or a Thin Feature?

If you have been creating SOLIDWORKS sheet metal parts for a while and haven’t been using the Thin Feature, you might be pleasantly surprised once you understand why and how to use them.

Let’s review a case study. In this example we have a front wheel assembly that we need to make an inner wheel-well for out of aluminum as shown in the image below:

Wheel arch design required

Wheel well design required

The designer gave us a sketch in the assembly of the profile they want:

Sketch Profile

Sketch Profile in assembly

For both methods (Base/Edge Flange vs Thin Feature) we are going to add a part into the assembly. This is considered to be in-context editing or top down assembly design.

In-context Part

In-context Part

Using a Base Flange/Edge Flange

To make this using a Base Flange/Edge Flange, we first have to make a reference plan on one of the flat lines. I can then start my sketch of a basic rectangle.

Creating a profile for a Base Flange/Edge Flange

Creating a profile for a Base Flange/Edge Flange

Once I have the profile made I can move onto making the edge flange around the tire. The unfortunate part to this is the edge flange won’t go past or to 180°. This leaves me with a minor gap, and this part will not update if the wheel changes in size.

Completed flange

Completed Base flange

Using a Thin Feature

To make this using a Thin Feature we can use the reference sketch the designer made. Convert lines to your new sketch / sketch plane, select Base Flange, enter the width and sheet metal thickness. Done and done! It was that easy. From here you can make a flat pattern configuration.

Thin Feature applied

Thin Feature applied

RESULT: by using a Thin Feature this part follows the exact reference sketch and the added bonus is because the part is in-context of the assembly if the wheel size changes in the reference sketch then the sheet metal part will change along with it.

If you want to practice or see what I did in further detail please download the case study files. Note that this was last saved in SOLIDWORKS 2019.

The post SOLIDWORKS Base Flange vs Thin Feature appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by James Swackhammer at May 01, 2019 12:00 PM

The SOLIDWORKS Blog

Announcing SolidPractices for all SOLIDWORKS Customers on Subscription

In today’s information age, many software users expect instant access to unambiguous and helpful product and support information. Much of the knowledge for the SOLIDWORKS family of products is already documented in the form of Help, Tutorials, and Knowledge Solutions. In addition, there is a distinct knowledge domain of Best Practices, representing existing methodologies and techniques for using the products efficiently.

At DS SolidWorks, we document these methodologies in a collection of documents called SolidPractices. Representing key customer processes and practices, each SolidPractice has been crafted based on years of proven experience and efficiently yielding the desired results. The SolidPractices program was established on the principle that while every customer’s processes and challenges are unique, the underlying application of technology is similar across organizations.

Today we are announcing the release of first set of these documents as listed below, all available through the online Knowledge Base. We will continue to add more documents to this library for remainder of the year. At a future date, we will announce a homepage from where you can browse and download all such documents. Until then, you may bookmark this blog as it will be updated with newly released documents.

We look forward to your feedback on these documents and overall program, including your nomination for new topics.

Mechanical Design

Managing SOLIDWORKS Upgrades [S-076254]
Managing Large Assemblies in SOLIDWORKS [S-076063]

Electrical Design

SOLIDWORKS Electrical Installation  [S-076283]

Data Management

Searching in SOLIDWORKS PDM [S-076224]
SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Architecture [S-076233]

Simulation

Thermal Management using Electronics Cooling Module [S-076289]

Bolt Connectors Technical Definition, Tips and Tricks [S-076242]
Simulation Data Management [S-076235]

Composer:

SOLIDWORKS Data Import and Composer Update Functionality [S-076341]

Not on subscription? Maximize the value you receive from your SOLIDWORKS software and check out all of the features you now have access to by becoming a Subscription Service member. For a complete list of all the benefits of being on SOLIDWORK Subscription, click here.

Author information

Gagan Ahuja
Gagan Ahuja
Gagan has served in CAX/PDM/PLM industry for over 20 years with primary focus in Field Enablement and Global Technical Account Management. As a strong advocate of engineering process automation, Gagan works closely with global corporations as well as channel partners to ensure their success with DS SOLIDWORKS’ solutions.

The post Announcing SolidPractices for all SOLIDWORKS Customers on Subscription appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Gagan Ahuja at May 01, 2019 12:00 PM