Planet SolidWorks

July 02, 2020


This Life-Size LEGO Technic Go-Kart Fits Riders Big and Small

giant lego go-kart

Anyone old enough with an internet connection will know a lot of life-size scale LEGO models of real vehicles have been made over the years. Whether it’s a stationary Volkswagen hippie van made from 400,000 bricks or an actual, driveable LEGO Bugatti Chiron, there’s a sense awe that comes from seeing 1:1 scale builds made from the charming building blocks.

One reason these builds are so amazing is due to the use of actual LEGO bricks. Just imagining the amount of work and time spent planning, not to mention building, one of these babies is enough to make you look at your meager LEGO bin in shame.

Instead of using conventional LEGO blocks to painstakingly recreate real objects, creator Matt Denton does the complete opposite. Using his 3D printers, he creates giant bricks to construct life-size versions of his favorite LEGO Technic builds.

In a 4-part series, he dives in and shows how he recreated a LEGO Technic go-kart to be, not only life-size, but also driveable:

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<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src=";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;" width="770"></iframe>

1. Completing the CAD Model

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">giant lego go-kart</figure>

Due to the original go-kart not designed to fit a human being, Denton plans to make a few changes to the design so it can hold either himself or his nephew at any one time.

To start, he upscales the 3D model to be larger than the base Technic kit. He also makes room in the go-kart for all the electronics and machinery. Since the go-kart he’s making is meant to be driveable, he wants to use actual bolts and bearings to hold the pieces in place instead of relying on the LEGO pieces’ natural friction and clamping power.

2. 3D Printing The LEGO Pieces

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">giant lego go-kart</figure>

Once the plans are sound, he starts 3D printing his go-kart pieces. Denton uses a Lulzbot TAZ 6 3D printer and PolyMaker PLA+ filament to create the LEGO pieces, joining together parts he needed to print in multiple pieces with wedges and PLA glue.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">giant lego go-kart</figure>

He then lays everything down and gets ready for arguably the best part in any LEGO-based build…

3. Assembling The LEGOs

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">giant lego go-kart</figure>

Non-moving LEGO pieces are put together using a mix of glue and good, old-fashioned brick assembly (with the help of a small mallet). Parts near the wheels and steering mechanism are fitted with washers and bearings to help reduce friction.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">giant lego go-kart</figure>

The pins which make up the front axle and steering wheel are hollowed out and fitted with aluminum bars, making them sturdy while still looking like traditional LEGO pieces.

4. Adding The Rear Axle and Wheels

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">giant lego go-kart</figure>

It wouldn’t be a go-kart if it didn’t have wheels on it, so Denton 3D prints four wheels (made from PolyFlex material) onto the front pin and a rear metal axle.

5. Install The Motor

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<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src=";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;" width="770"></iframe>

To get the go-kart to start and stop, Denton fits in a motor and a brake disc system inside two individual holders printed using MAX-G PETG filament.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">giant lego go-kart</figure>

The motor goes in the back and connects to a pulley system fitted onto the rear axle. This connects to the rear wheel to power the go-kart, allowing it to go forward or reverse. Though the initial test phases have the motor connected to a remote controller, the final Mark 1 go-kart will have its own accelerator located on one of the front pedals.

6. Don’t Forget The Brakes!

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">giant lego go-kart</figure>

To have the go-kart stop, he adds in a caliper-style brake system. This includes a brake cable that runs from the front brake pedal all the way to the caliper at the back.

7. Adjust The Torque and Speed

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">giant lego go-kart</figure>

Denton connects both the motor and brake system to two 12 amp hour batteries as well as an Arduino microcontroller to get the go-kart’s speed just right. For reference, he wants the go-kart to go fast, but not too fast that it hurls either him or his nephew to the curb.

After some adjustments and trial-and-error, he decides to decrease the overall speed and gearing to make the go-kart safer but still keep it within “look-at-that-thing-go!” parameters.

8. Make A Giant LEGO Seat

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<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src=";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;" width="770"></iframe>

With the base frame and electronics systems in place, he starts work on topping the rear end with a go-kart seat. Instead of using a pre-made, standard bucket go-kart seat, Denton fashions a proper 3D printed LEGO seat for himself and his nephew.

The seat consists mainly of two 4×4 3D printed LEGO bricks attached together with hinges. He adds a few more pieces on the top and sides for a little more support and comfort but for the most part, this looks and feels exactly like an upsized LEGO seat piece.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">giant lego go-kart</figure>

He bolts the seat towards the back above the rear axle to evenly distribute the driver’s weight across the go-kart.

9. Add Some Finishing Touches to The Electronics

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<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src=";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;" width="770"></iframe>

Before the go-kart is ready to hit the streets, Denton applies a few more essential changes to the go-kart’s electronics.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">giant lego go-kart</figure>

He adds a second motor and a speed controller to the back of the go-kart. He then connects the accelerator, brake system, and speed controller to his Arduino microcontroller so the brake and accelerator don’t overlap.

10. Snap In The Switches

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">giant lego go-kart</figure>

The batteries powering the entire thing are fitted just under the steering wheel using LiPo safe bags and a couple of Velcro straps. To turn the go-kart on and off, Denton adds a power switch by the steering wheel as well as a battery isolator switch just beside the batteries.

11. Take It For A Test Run

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">giant lego go-kart</figure>

Now for the moment of truth: the first ride.

Upon finishing the initial test, he ups the go-kart’s current from 30 amps (per motor) to 50 amps. This gets the go-kart to accelerate much faster, though Denton still keeps the speed limiter on.

After numerous tests with different settings, the Mark 1 go-kart delivers satisfying results. There are some tweaks to make and improvements needed to make it safe enough for his 10-year-old nephew to ride, but the whole kart was more or less intact throughout the tests (apart from a few parts needing some glue).

The whole series is definitely worth watching, as Denton goes into detail how each part is built and assembled. To see future tests with updated versions of the go-kart as well as his other 3D printed vehicle projects, check out Matt Denton’s YouTube channel.

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 This Life-Size LEGO Technic Go-Kart Fits Riders Big and Small appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at July 02, 2020 07:59 PM

CAD Graphics BlogWorks | 3D CAD

An Easy DIY Project... PVC Birdhouse for Wrens

If having even a casual appreciation of birds, you will likely find a great deal of enjoyment having nesting Wrens nearby. Their unique song brings a special vibrance throughout the spring and summer, to any yard or garden.

So in the spirit of community, enjoying nature, and promoting the satisfaction of an easy do-it-yourself (DIY) project, we are freely sharing the drawings and details, developed by CAD Graphics using Onshape, for how to build a simple PVC Birdhouse for Wrens. The items needed can be found in most hardware stores and only require a few basic tools to create and assemble. 

You will likely find that this DIY birdhouse is easy to build, requires little-to-no maintenance, and is easy to clean and store for the following year!

The migration of the common House Wren of North America extends from the far south in winter, to the north in summer. Therefore, having a comfortable and secure nesting site prepared and hanging by spring, at a height of @ 7 or 8 feet off the ground, will help in drawing Wrens to stay throughout the warmer months. So enjoy this easy DIY project, and any Wrens that happen to choose your birdhouse as their home, as they or their offspring return year after year!   

by Unknown ( at July 02, 2020 04:39 PM


Dabbling in Dimensions- Part 1

When working in SOLIDWORKS you have a few options when working with the dimension box.

You have the classic dimension box and you have the Instant2D (introduced in 2016) and the Instant 3D.

Which one you wish to use is of course entirely up to you, but as you will see in this and later a follow-up blog post, both types have their advantages.

In this blog post i will go through the “Classic dimension box”, and the options you have when using it.

In a later blog post I will go over the “Instant” version of the dimension.

A Classic look.

Most users know this dimension box, but not all people know about all the possibilities you have with the dimension box.

Basically an analysis of the dimension box can be broken down into seven segments.

These are:

Dimensio box in solidworks

  1. Regenerate Model
  2. Reverse Direction
  3. Change Increment
  4. Mark for Drawing
  5. Name Dimension
  6. Increment Dimension
  7. Dimension Field

Of course you have the “accept” cancel option but these are the segments most people use, either by using the buttons or the shortcuts (ENTER and Escape).

In the following section I will go through the different segments, and try to explain what they can be used for and give examples. But as with most things in SOLIDWORKS “If you try it, you will master it” (this is not the official SOLIDWORKS mantra, only mine), so try it, play around and you will find that the dimension box tool is very useful.

Regenerate Model

You have the option to rebuild the model (or “Regenerate Model”) with newly inserted dimension to see if provides the desired result.

This way you do not need to open the dimension box several times if you need to change the dimension, or if you use the calculator (see item 7.2) you can easily review the result.

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Reverse Direction (of the dimension)

On occasions it can be useful to flip the direction of the dimension in the text box. By pressing this button you are able to do just that.

One thing worth noting is the way the dimension behaves if you edit it in the 3D model instead of within the 2Dsketch.

<video class="wp-video-shortcode" controls="controls" height="412" id="video-26753-2" preload="metadata" width="940"><source src="" type="video/mp4"></video>

Change Increment

This button gives you the option to indicate how much you want the dimension to increase/decrease when you press the increment button (see segment 6).

Usually your increment is controlled in “Tools”->”Options”->”System Options”->”Spin Box increments”.

Spin Box increments

but sometimes there are exceptions to the rules, which is where you need to change the increment, and in this particular file you might need the increment to be a little higher or a little lower. See the below video for demonstration.

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When setting the spin box increment, you have the option to press “make default”. This will change the increment in the system options and use it a standard setting.
When you shut down SOLIDWORKS the “change increment”  setting in the Dimension box, will be reset to the standard increment.

Mark for Drawing

This button Is activated by default, and gives the option to select/deselect if a drawing is to be inserted automatically into a drawing view.

Either when the view is created (see this LinkedIn post for further detail) or when using “model item”, as shown in the below video.

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Name the Dimension

The naming of a dimension is particularly useful if you want to refer to it,either by another dimension in the sketch, or when using equations. (see video)

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If for instance, you know that this is the height of the part, it will be much easier to refer to it by the name “Height@Sketch1” than by “D35@Sketch1”.

Increment Dimension

These are the two options where you can increment the dimension by using the arrow,or by using the slider underneath the dimension.

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As you can see in the video, it is possible to increment or decrement the dimension past 0, meaning a negative dimension is possible.



The Dimension Field

In the dimension field you can of course insert the needed dimension.

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However, you also have some other options in this field, other than “just” your dimension.


If you have your drawing in mm, and you have measurement in inches, you can type in the measurement in inches and write “in” after the dimension. Your inch dimension will then be converted to a mm dimension according to the drawing.

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Note that if you delete the “standard measurement” you get the option to choose from a list of supported unit types.

The abbreviations in the unit type stands for:
a: Angstrom
cm: Centimetre
ft: Feet
uin: Micro inch
m: Meter
mil: Mil
mm: Millimetre
nm: Nano meter


Moreover the text field also operates as a Calculator, which can be used to make your SOLIDWORKS model more dynamic.

The calculator has some predefined functions for instance: Cosine, Sine and Tangent (see the complete list here).

If you start your dimension by inserting an equation (=) sign it activates the calculator.

This gives you a wide range of possibilities to make your model more dynamic.

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But be careful not to overdo it, as too many equations and calculations can give prolonged opening time of a file.


I hope that you found this brief introduction of the dimension box useful. As mentioned previously I will, in a later blog post, cover the advantages of using the “instant” version of the dimension

Author information

Lennart Tinndahl
I started working with CAD systems in 2003, and have since 2012 worked solely with SOLIDWORKS. I am a certified Technical support specialist as well as a SOLIDWORKS Certified Professional and is currently in the process to become a SOLIDWORKS Certified Expert. Since 2016 I have helped PLM Group customers to work smarter, not harder. The inspiration for most of my posts comes from the support cases i work on. When writing blogpost I try to focus on the everyday use of SOLIDWORKS.

The post Dabbling in Dimensions- Part 1 appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Lennart Tinndahl at July 02, 2020 03:00 PM


Finely-Detailed Metal 3D Prints From The Incus Hammer Lab35


Today I’m looking at a 3D printer I had not seen before, the Incus Hammer Lab35.

Incus Background

Incus is a spin off of Austria-based Lithoz, who have done very well with their line of ceramic 3D printers. Now it seems they’ve leveraged their expertise to produce a metal 3D printer that is capable of incredibly smooth surfaces.

LMM 3D Printing

<figure class="wp-block-image">Finely-Detailed Metal 3D Prints From The Incus Hammer Lab35<figcaption>Overview of the LMM metal 3D printing process [Source: Incus]</figcaption></figure>

The Incus metal 3D printing process is cold; that is, it does not require the high temperatures normally used to melt metal powder in other metal 3D printing systems. The cold process, which Incus calls “Lithography-based Metal Manufacturing”, or “LMM”, produces a “green” part, which is a combination of metal powder and binder.

The printing sequence is similar to many powder bed processes, involving two chambers. A piston pushes up an amount of material, which is carefully laid out on top of the second chamber with a blade.

Here is a short video showing the LMM process in action:

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<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src=";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;" width="770"></iframe>

A DLP projector selectively illuminates the new material surface, causing solidification of the binder and thus forming layers of the object. This process repeats until the green part is complete.

The green part then undergoes a post-processing treatment in which the binder is removed and the metal particles are sintered together to form a fully solid object. Incus says the resulting parts are of similar quality to common metal injection molding (MIM) processes. This chart compares the strength of LMM parts vs annealed wrought parts:

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><figcaption>Chart comparing LMM metal parts with annealed wrought parts [Source: Incus]</figcaption></figure>

The results are impressive. Here’s an image of a small figurine showing extremely good surface finish. Note the matchstick for size:

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><figcaption>Sample metal 3D print made on the Hammer Lab35 [Source: Incus]</figcaption></figure>

This demonstrates the scale on which the Hammer Lab35 operates: it’s not a large 3D printer, and its build volume is only 89.6 x 56 x 120 mm, far smaller than most comparable metal 3D printers. But the Hammer Lab35 makes up for that with increased print resolution.

The DLP light engine provides an array of 2560 x 1600 pixels, which are focused down with lenses to 0.035mm in size. This is how the Hammer Lab35 achieves the fine surface finish.

Incus says layer sizes can be as large as 0.1mm, which is often the smallest size on other 3D printers. The smallest layers producible on the Hammer Lab35 are only 0.01mm, which is very small indeed.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><figcaption>Sample metal 3D print made on the Hammer Lab35 [Source: Incus]</figcaption></figure>

The Hammer Lab35 is able to print layers as fast as one minute each, or up to fifty cubic centimeters of material per hour. For small prints as would be made in this device, that speed should allow for relatively quick turnaround.

Incus Hammer Lab35 Post-Processing

One of the strange aspects of this device is how the unused powder is removed. It seems to be melted off, or at least that’s how it appears in their video:

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<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src=";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;" width="770"></iframe>

I’ve never seen anything like this, but it would certainly simplify post-processing. Normal powder-based systems must be concerned with loose powder and thus require closed environments and sometimes even safety suits to protect operators.

The implication of this video is that the material always solidifies, but only the selectively illuminated areas form the final object. I’m not quite sure how Incus does this, but it certainly an interesting process.

The Hammer Lab35 seems to be positioned for labs producing small metal parts or prototypes. I wouldn’t say it’s a production machine due to the small build volume, but it certainly would be useful in many research scenarios.

Read more about 3D printing at Fabbaloo!

The post Finely-Detailed Metal 3D Prints From The Incus Hammer Lab35 appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Fabbaloo at July 02, 2020 02:54 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to add a Zoom To Fit command to the SOLIDWORKS PDM Convert Task

The SOLIDWORKS PDM convert task, opens the model, and completes a save as PDF.  If the last save of the model was zoomed out, it can result in an excess of empty space, as shown in the example below:

Excess of screen space

Excess of screen space

With a small edit to the script, we can add a Zoom To Fit command before the file is converted to PDF.

How to add a Zoom To Fit command to the SOLIDWORKS PDM convert task

  • Open the Administration Tool and open the convert task;
Convert to PDF Task

Convert to PDF Task

  • Within Output File Details select Advanced Scripting Options;
Advanced Scripting Options

Advanced Scripting Options

  • Add swModel.ViewZoomtofit2 as listed below (line 710)
Add swModel.ViewZoomtofit2

Add swModel.ViewZoomtofit2

And the command will be added ahead of conversion;

Zoom To Fit command applied to the view

Zoom To Fit command applied to the view

The post How to add a Zoom To Fit command to the SOLIDWORKS PDM Convert Task appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Justin Williams at July 02, 2020 12:00 PM


Make Simulation Work for You with SIMULIAworks on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform

Simulation software can require powerful, costly hardware. When working remotely or sheltering in place, you may not have access to your normal desktop set-up, or have the ability to communicate with your teammates as you would at the office. What is an engineer to do? The answer is simple: use SIMIULIAworks, featuring Abaqus technology, on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a cloud-based platform that provides a variety of software solutions for all types of designers and engineers, as well as other stakeholders within a company. SIMULIAworks is a portfolio of connected, powerful, and collaborative simulation solutions.

SIMULIAworks allows you to get to work without any data import or export. Users can perform any structural analysis task, from simple linear analyses to the most complex non-linear analyses from any browser: no more expensive hardware required. And, because it’s on the cloud, SIMULIAworks allows users to tap into the infinite power of the cloud for faster product validation from any location, no matter where you are.

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The SIMULIAworks portfolio is scalable, meaning it has multiple roles that different designers and engineers in your company can use. Structural Performance Engineer, Structural Mechanics Engineer, and more; no matter what role you choose, you have will the same user interface with everyone on your team, and the ability to run simulations and share results.

When you need to do a simulation study, you simply can have the job run on the cloud in background and work on other projects. Then, when you’re ready, you can log back into the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and review your results. You can then share those results with the rest of your team, and because they’re also using SIMULIAworks, they can use their own devices and check on your work from any location as well.

Why try 3DXPERIENCE WORKS? Because it works! Sign up for a free trial today and learn how the 3DEXPEREINCE platform and SIMULIAworks can help you analyze models your way.

Author information

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 Make Simulation Work for You with SIMULIAworks on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at July 02, 2020 12:00 PM

July 01, 2020


This Wooden Monowheel Lets You Pedal Through The Streets in Style


Already bored of his Formula 1 wheel-equipped hoverboard and walking bicycle, YouTube creator The Q’s newest vehicular project is a monowheel made entirely out of wood. I’ll be honest… I want to build one.

In his latest video, he shows us just how he managed to create a driveable wheel which can hold a single person without toppling over:

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<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src=";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;" width="770"></iframe>

Let’s go through the step and learn what it takes to build one.

1. Construct The Wheel Body

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">monowheel</figure>

Arguably the most important part of the monowheel is… well, the wheel. To make it, The Q cuts out two circular pieces of wood and hollows their insides to make room for the driver.

He connects these two pieces together by gluing wooden blocks on them before drilling two pairs of screws on either side of the wood pieces.

2. Add A Rolling Mechanism And Counterweights

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">monowheel</figure>

The seat, which runs inside the monowheel, is held up by two metal guide wheels found beneath the seat base.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">monowheel</figure>

These wheels, combined with a custom rolling mechanism and counterweights (two large planks of wood which protrude from the monowheel) ensure you won’t go tumbling out of the vehicle while it’s in motion.

3. Constructing The Driving Cog And Pedals

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">monowheel</figure>

In order to get the vehicle rolling, The Q crafts a wooden cog which fits into the grooves of the monowheel. He spray paints the cog black and affixes bicycle pedals onto it before adding this new piece inside the monowheel.

4. Finish With The Driver’s Seat

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">monowheel</figure>

With the mechanism and counterweights in place, all that’s left to do is add a simple wooden seat to the front of the rolling mechanism. To ensure the seat is stable, The Q also adds an extra metal bar in the front which attaches to the driving cog.

5. Time to Get Rolling!

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">monowheel</figure>

It isn’t the fastest thing on the street, but the monowheel will get you where you need to go (provided you aren’t in a hurry).

While the counterweights prevent the whole thing from toppling over, the lack of a steering wheel makes it hard to drive this baby anywhere but in a park. Still, it’s a fun way to get around and folks passing by will surely admire your unique mode of transportation. Now, to double the size and add some steering. Hmmm.

As always, you can find more of The Q’s DIY projects on his YouTube channel.

The post This Wooden Monowheel Lets You Pedal Through The Streets in Style appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at July 01, 2020 06:33 PM


Bridging the Gap Between Designers and Analysts

Simulation has always been the holy grail of engineering. In the early days, simulation was restricted to engineers with specific levels of education and experience. This often meant that designers would have to wait days, weeks, and sometimes months to get back simulation results for their CAD designs.

Seeing the inefficiencies of this process, SOLIDWORKS addressed many of these issues with SOLIDWORKS Simulation, which is built to validate designs in parallel with the design process. This led to CAD designers doing more simulation work on their own. For more complex simulations, they would still send models to the analyst.

The 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS portfolio of solutions enables SOLIDWORKS users to now manage even the most advanced simulations in a collaborative environment on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Here’s is how this workflow can work in your current SOLIDWORKS environment.

Connecting SOLIDWORKS Desktop and Cloud-based Simulation Tools

The Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS (Connector) role makes it easy to get your desktop models on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and vice versa.

This Connector also automatically manages your CAD and simulation files through a revisioning process. Below is a screenshot of what you see in the SOLIDWORKS task pane. Notice the revisions on the left side and an example of maturity state on the right side.

Simulation and Collaboration with Data Management Built-in

The Collaborative Lifecycle app manages all the data, and the Structural Performance Engineer role enables advanced simulation. (3DEXPERIENCE nomenclature: apps serve a specific software function, while a role is a collection of apps.)

There are other easy-to-use apps on the platform that are part of the 3DEXPERIENCE workflow that enable efficient management and collaboration with your team. Here’s a brief description of each:


3DDashboard is a visual interface to centralize and monitor all team activities


 3DSwym is collaboration central and like familiar social media platforms


3DSpace is a work folder on the cloud where files are stored and retrieved


 3DPlay is the universal viewer for files

Illustrated Workflow: SOLIDWORKS and SIMULIAworks

Below is a snapshot of the simulation workflow for users using SOLIDWORKS Simulation desktop and SIMULIAworks. There are nine steps and each step shows a combination of products/roles/apps used at that stage.


The designer starts a conversation with an analyst using the 3DSwym app on the platform. In the screenshot below, the designer (Sasi) works on a flex design in SOLIDWORKS Simulation; he needs it to be run faster and address convergence issues. He reaches out to an analyst (Ramesh) and provides the project description on both the design and simulation via text/embedded images and videos.


In this step, the designer simply adds additional data to the conversation. In this case, screenshots of his SOLIDWORKS Simulation results, as requested by the analyst.


Using the 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Connector add-in, the designer pushes the design to a work folder on 3DEXPERIENCE. This work folder is a location on the cloud storage space (3DSpace) that can be shared between multiple users.

The first version is automatically revisioned as A.1


The analyst accesses the SOLIDWORKS file from the work folder and uses the Structural Scenario app (part of the Structural Performance Engineer role) to open the SOLIDWORKS file to perform the simulation. This is shown as Item #1 marked in the screenshot below. Notice on the dashboard, there are other tools that the analyst uses:

#2 is the 3DSearch app used to search for desired files easily in the work folder

#3 is the 3DPlay app that allows previewing files like the SOLIDWORKS CAD files and many other formats

#4 is the Simulation Review app that we will cover a little bit later in this blog

Once the simulation is done, the analyst can do all the post-processing in Structural Performance Engineer. The below picture is a snapshot of the results.

  •        Items marked “1” are part of the Results app
  •        Items marked as “2” are part of the Model/Mesh app
  •        Items marked “3” are part of the Scenario app

A user can easily switch back and forth between apps, and all the apps are in the Structural Performance Engineer role.

The analyst then communicates essential changes to the designer: a split operation on one of the parts and a change the offset distance on another part.


The designer makes the proposed design changes in SOLIDWORKS and pushes the new design (Revision B.1) to the cloud work folder hosted on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.


The new design is then pushed to 3DEXPERIENCE through the SOLIDWORKS Connector; it is automatically revisioned as B.1. Notice the latest revisions are only assigned to the changed parts and at the top-level assembly level.


In this step, the analyst uses the Collaborative Lifecycle app (see image below) to duplicate the previous simulation setup on the new design. Like workflows in SOLIDWORKS PDM, the Collaborative Lifecycle app manages access and restrictions of content as it passes through transitions as it escalates its maturity status. And it works for both the design data as well as simulation data.

A new simulation study is created. The analyst renames it as FlexSeal_Design2. Note that the simulation setup is associated with the Design Revision B.1, as shown below.


The simulation results on the new design show better performance; in this example, a better contact pressure distribution compared to the previous design.

Results are communicated back via the Results Review app. Here you can do markups, annotate, and much more—similar to eDrawings in SOLIDWORKS.

Using the tools in the Results Review app, a screenshot of the results with comments can be directly posted into the 3DSwym community, as shown below.

When the designer or other vital stakeholders access their community page, they have instant feedback on the simulation results.


The final step is to wrap up the project. Results can be securely shared and accessed from any device and any location with an internet connection and a browser.

Click here to learn more about SIMULIAworks or contact your local SOLIDWORKS reseller.

Note: This post was written by Ramesh Lakshimpathy, SOLIDWORKS, 3DEXPERIENCE NAM Industry Process Consultant, and Sasi Sithambaram, 3DEXPERIENCE NAM Industry Process Consultant.

Author information

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 Bridging the Gap Between Designers and Analysts appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at July 01, 2020 02:44 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to change user name to full name in SOLIDWORKS PDM

In SOLIDWORKS PDM, the user name can be changed to full name displayed in the “Checked Out By” column.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Checked Out By Column

SOLIDWORKS PDM Checked Out By Column

This can be completed on any client machine.

  • Login to the vault in SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration tool as Admin
  • Right-click on Users tab and select Settings…

    User Settings

    User Settings

  • In Explorer tab, check box for Show full user names under Miscellaneous 


    Show Full User Names

The post How to change user name to full name in SOLIDWORKS PDM appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Nadeem Akhtar at July 01, 2020 12:00 PM

June 30, 2020


Model of the Week: Don’t-Touch-Your-Face-inator [Don’t Touch It!]


The touch-aware team over at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has developed a wearable device to keep you from touching your mug and spreading diseases from your filthy hands.

Yeah, I see you getting ready to scratch your nostril. DON’T DO IT. Don’t Touch! Or as my college roommate used to say, “손대지 마!!!”

Yes, as COVID concerns crumble with countries and states beginning to lift their tests of totalitarian authority, parliamentary panic ebbing ever lower, and people escaping their fear-induced isolation, there are ‘Things You Need To Stay Safe™”! One of those things is the wearable device from JPL that warns you of impending disease spread.

PULSE is a 3D-printed wearable device that pulses, or vibrates, when a person’s hand is nearing their face. This is a simple and affordable technology that can easily be reproduced and is available as open source on Github. As health officials advised the world to wash hands, social distance, and wear a face mask, JPL developed PULSE as another way to assist efforts to keep us as healthy as possible. As an open source item, we hope individuals or companies will replicate, refine or enhance PULSE and make it available for distribution.

That’s right 6-foot aparty people, make it your own, make a dozen and give to your friends, keep youself AND others from touching your face. While JPL says it’s one more way to keep us healthy, I’d expand the applications and say it’s a complete anti-face-touching solution, a Don’t-Touch-Your-Face-inator for thumbsuckers, prolific nail biters, nose-pickers, ear-diggers, head-scratchers or any other variety of horrible hand-to-face habitry.

It uses simple components in a 3D printed pendant-style case attached to cord and tied around your neck. The team recommends PLA material, preferably a dark color to prevent the sensor from reading false motion as you move about and emerge from your caccoon. The component list includes an IR sensor, a PNP transistor, a 1k Ohm resistor, a small slide switch, a small vibration motor, heat shrink, a 3V CR3032 battery and corresponding battery holder.

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

The two-piece model is provided in .stl format for both FDM and SLA printing. The shame when you go to touch your face is provided by you. You can download the files, view wiring info, and assembly instructions on the NASA JPL GitHub page and learn more about the project over at JPL. 손대지 마!!!

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

The post Model of the Week: Don’t-Touch-Your-Face-inator [Don’t Touch It!] appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at June 30, 2020 08:12 PM

YouTuber BLACKHAND Makes A DIY Card Shooting Gun

DIY card shooting gun

Even if you don’t have the best poker face, you know there’s a lot of fun to be had with playing cards. You can use them as bookmarks, fling them into open hats, or with your card-flicking accuracy, pelt your friends with a ninja-flurry of hearts, spades, and clubs.

While DIY YouTuber BLACKHAND’s new card shooting gun does just this, you wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of one of these cards:

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The gun uses a spring mechanism to launch cards. By taking into account the rotational and forwards forces, BLACKHAND is able to create a slicer, vegetable dicer that shoots high-velocity cards capable of popping balloons and cutting cucumbers at long range.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">DIY card shooting gun</figure>

He starts by making the housing of the gun. Inside this housing is a stopper which will halt the launching mechanism, allowing him to approximate the trajectory of the gun. BLACKHAND also drills a tiny hole in the middle of the housing for the launching mechanism to fit in.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">DIY card shooting gun</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large">DIY card shooting gun</figure>

The mechanism itself is made out of two parts: a “shoulder” with a spring and an “arm” with rubber holders to house the cards.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">DIY card shooting gun</figure>

By connecting one end of the spring onto the shoulder and the other on one end of the gun housing, BLACKHAND has effectively created a shooting mechanism which launches cards whenever the arm is pulled and released.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">DIY card shooting gun</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large">DIY card shooting gun</figure>

He adds a few more decals on the gun as well as two strips of Velcro so he can strap the mechanism onto his arm, making it part of himself.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">DIY card shooting gun</figure>

As I mentioned at the start of all this, BLACKHAND’s card shooting gun makes short work of his targets; which in this case are a bunch of balloons, a lit candle, and a poor, single cucumber.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">DIY card shooting gun</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large">DIY card shooting gun</figure>

It takes next to no effort to pop the balloons and extinguish the lit candle. The cucumber on the other hand, takes a little more effort.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">DIY card shooting gun</figure>

After making numerous slices around the cucumber, BLACKHAND eventually makes a cut deep enough that it topples and is cut in half.

If you want to make your own card shooting gun, BLACKHAND has made the plans available here. He has since improved upon the initial design in a more recent video which you can find on his YouTube channel.

The post YouTuber BLACKHAND Makes A DIY Card Shooting Gun appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 30, 2020 06:40 PM

The Javelin Blog

Save time by linking Notes and Features to Custom Properties in SOLIDWORKS

Why should you link notes and features to custom properties in SOLIDWORKS? Well have you ever needed to add a stamp to a SOLIDWORKS part to call out the same info that is already in your custom properties?  Ever needed to call that out on the drawing too?

What if you had to keep replicating custom property iinformation into stamps and callouts, hundreds or even thousands of times over the years?  Yuck!  How tedious!  Not only is that duplicating work by entering the same information THREE TIMES per part, but it can grow to be so tiresome that likely many of us would rather eat a few kilograms of raw kale than keep doing that.  Instead, there is a way to enter the information just once, to populate the custom properties, and then leverage that by using library features and library notes for the other two times those properties are used.

How to link a Custom Property to a Note

Fortunately, the function to link those properties into sketches and notes was added, by popular demand, into SOLIDWORKS 2016 (for 2015 and prior year versions, check out this macro solution for some of this functionality).  This article, applicable to SOLIDWORKS 2016 and later versions, should save you considerable time, by showing you how to create a part and annotation as Library Features that you can simply drag onto the part and onto the drawing view to instantly create the stamp and the callout, AND pull from Custom Property values of the part so the note populates with those values.  Here is how:

  1. Set the SOLIDWORKS Custom Properties in the part.

    SOLIDWORKS Custom Properties

    Will this still need to be done every time in future?  Yes!

  2. Create a Cut-Extrude or Split Line feature to make the stamp, linking custom properties to the sketch text.  If assembly performance is a concern due to the graphics triangles needed to model 3D text, then consider using Split Line to model the stamp as 2D text.

    Link PartNo and Revision into the Sketch Text for the stamp

    Link PartNo and Revision into the Sketch Text for the stamp

  3. Add the stamp feature to the Design Library by dragging it from the feature tree on the left into the folder of your choice in the Design Library in the right taskpane.  This will convert the part into a Library Feature Part, so be sure to save your project file beforehand.

    Drag the feature from the tree into the Design Library

    Drag the feature from the tree into the Design Library

  4. The Add to Library manager will launch automatically in the left taskpane.  Complete it to save the new Library Feature.

    Add to Library

    Add to Library

  5. In the drawing, add a callout, linking to the same custom properties.  Select the properties from Model found here >  Current drawing view, or alternately choose component to which the annotation is attached.

    PartNo and Revision are linked into the note

    In this example, PartNo and Revision are linked into the note

  6. Add the note to the Design Library by copying it from drawing view with Ctrl+C and pasting with Ctrl+V into the folder of your choice in the Design Library in the right taskpane.  Once again the Add to Library manager will open in the left taskpane.  Complete it and select OK.
Paste into the Design Library

Copy the note from the view and paste it into the Design Library

To ensure that your custom library feature parts survive various upgrades to newer SOLIDWORKS year versions, consider placing them in a folder that won’t get deleted during the upgrade.  You can then add that file location in the Design Library right taskpane.

That’s it!  Modeling that stamp and typing that callout is now a thing of the past!  It’s so last year!  It’s for the birds!  It’s old hat, as they used to say.

Summary of the New Process

For future parts, simply do this:

  1. In the part, populate the custom properties
  2. In the part, simply drag the stamp feature from the Design Library to the part face, and it should automatically add the stamp feature and populate it with the custom properties.
  3. In the drawing, simply drag the callout note from the Design Library onto the part face, and it should automatically populate the callout note with the custom properties from the model.

The post Save time by linking Notes and Features to Custom Properties in SOLIDWORKS appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by John Lee, CSWE at June 30, 2020 12:00 PM

June 29, 2020


Create Zoom to Actual Size Feature

A long time ago, people created drawings on paper using a pen and a ruler, ensuring parts fit on the appropriate paper size, creating 1:1 scale 2D drawings.

Nowadays, we have the ability to create a 3D CAD design with sophisticated tools like SOLIDWORKS, creating 3D models in a virtual environment, regardless of the model’s size (like below photo)

SOLIDWORKS is a parametric-driven 3D CAD software tool that allows designers to create the exact dimension of the object placed in the graphic area, with the ability to zoom in/out manually, however are you able to see the actual size of your 3D models on your computer screen? In SOLIDWORKS, the answer is yes!

Before we delve in further, let’s introduce the Macro Feature.

Macro features are application-defined features (like programming) that users can add to a SOLIDWORKS model. The effect of a macro feature on the model is defined by programs that you, or a third-party, develop.”

Rather than go through the details in Macro, attaching a pre-set file, I will demonstrate, in just a few simple steps, how to create the zoom to actual size feature on your computer.

This file is a programmed feature to match your screen ratio with SOLIDWORKS. Because different screens have different ratios, you need to find the 1:1 scale ratio of your own. Please note that the result may be very close to the actual size but not exactly.


It about five to ten minutes, you can complete the step following the following four steps:

  1. Draw a 100x100x100 mm cube in SOLIDWORKS
  2. Zoom to “Front View” and run the macro file named “Actual Size.swp”

  1. After running the macro, do not scale the current view or rotate the model. Now you are able to measure the 3D model with a ruler or caliper to define the scale value


  1. Lastly, adjust the scale value by editing the macro file

Additionally, here is one more tip: you can add a shortcut key to this feature similar to below:

Written by Roy.Fu, Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Author information

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.
Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.
Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

The post Create Zoom to Actual Size Feature appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd. at June 29, 2020 03:00 PM


House of Design Brings Manufacturing Back to the USA

As a kid watching the animated sitcom The Jetsons, Ryan Okelberry found the idea of robots and other whimsical devices doing pretty much everything, including combing hair and brushing teeth, very cool. These days, as COO of one of the fastest-growing tech companies in the country, he and fellow mechanical engineer and CEO Shane Dittrich enable robots that lower capital, labor, and production costs within the big picture of bringing manufacturing back to the USA.

Okelberry and Dittrich started House of Design in 2012 to develop and integrate robotic systems, specializing in pick and place applications with machine vision integration. House of Design’s niche is between the robot manufacturer that is hesitant to implement their robots into manufacturing processes, and the manufacturer, who wants exactly that.


Traditional manufacturing methods involve substantial capital expenditures that can become mostly useless when a product is changed, even in the slightest way. Robotic technology, however, can be repurposed to accommodate future projects. An infinite number of downstream problems can be addressed quickly and dynamically because mere programming changes can create a new or updated robotic solution.

Because integrating robotic systems always requires the design and implementation of additional equipment, House of Design needed a 3D CAD system to design system components and assemblies.

“We use two key pieces of software for our robotic systems integration work: SOLIDWORKS® for mechanical design and ABB RobotStudio® to program the robots,” Okelberry explains. “While the fact that RobotStudio cleanly imports native SOLIDWORKS files initially attracted us to SOLIDWORKS, we also believe that SOLIDWORKS software is very intuitive and requires a shorter learning curve.”

House of Design also chose to standardize on SOLIDWORKS solutions by implementing SOLIDWORKS Premium and later added SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematics Standard. “We chose SOLIDWORKS because dollar for dollar, it’s the best 3D CAD out there. When you consider the additional integrated solutions like Electrical and PDM, we get the most bang for our buck with the SOLIDWORKS development environment,” Okelberry says.

Although House of Design uses ABB Robotics hardware exclusively, the robots have no capability or intelligence until they are integrated within a manufacturing process and programmed to fulfill specific manufacturing roles.

“We often don’t know how to handle an application without virtually designing the system in SOLIDWORKS first and then simulating its motion with RobotStudio,” says Okelberry. “Many of our clients have never seen the level of robotics automation or innovation that we can provide.” Companies can feel secure in knowing how a process will work before spending thousands of dollars to put a process into action.

House of Design has experienced rapid growth and now employs 80 professionals and has doubled its annual gross sales year over year for the past three years. The company added SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional in response to the growing volume of projects and corresponding design data and staff, and to formalize and automate its development workflows and additional downstream functions.

As it extends the power of robotics to new production applications, House of Design hopes that automated assembly systems will help more companies bring manufacturing back onshore. And, while it could be argued that robotics has not become as specialized as on The Jetsons, they are awfully cool, nonetheless.

See the robots in action on this truss assembly system. Also learn more by this Webinar: PLC Design and Automation with SOLIDWORKS Electrical.


Author information

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 House of Design Brings Manufacturing Back to the USA appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at June 29, 2020 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog


The 3DEXPERIENCE Platform is Dassault Systèmes foray into cloud-based collaborative design, and the gateway to the platform is the 3DEXPERIENCE Compass. The Compass consists of four quadrants, each containing a variety of Apps, Links and Online Resources.




The North point of the Compass is for Social and Collaborative Apps. Here you can access the 3DSwYm Community as well as your 3DDrive


The West point of the Compass is where the 3D Modeling Apps (SOLIDWORKS Cloud) are located. The Apps available will depend on the purchased Role, but every Role will include 3DPlay. 3DPlay gives access to manipulating a design, measuring items within a design, and annotating items.


The South point of the Compass gives access to Simulation Apps. Like the 3D Modeling Compass point, the apps available are based on Roles. These apps include the SIMULIA and DELMIA family of apps.


The East point of the Compass is for Information Intelligence. Information Intelligence includes 3DSearch for content, access to Dashboards, Netvibes, and RSS feeds.


Learn more about the 3DEXPERIENCE Compass in the video below:

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Learn more about 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS for SOLIDWORKS Users

3DEXPERIENCE WORKS is a family of solutions connected to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform that work together to help you innovate and accelerate every aspect of your product development process. It encompasses the SOLIDWORKS portfolio of design solutions, SIMULIAworks portfolio of simulation solutions, DELMIAworks manufacturing solution, and ENOVIAworks portfolio of product data and lifecycle management solutions. 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS essentially extends SOLIDWORKS to the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform allowing you to solve your product design problems faster.

Check out our 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS Resources »

The post The 3DEXPERIENCE Compass appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Joe Medeiros, CSWE at June 29, 2020 11:56 AM

What Is SubD Anyway?

I’ve been writing a little series of articles on various types of non-NURBS CAD data over on and As CAD users we have been conditioned to recoil in…

by matt at June 29, 2020 09:07 AM

June 27, 2020


SOLIDWORKS Part Reviewer: Variable Pattern Rocky Lighthouse

Variable Pattern Rocky Lighthouse: This model is intended to demonstrate the power of the Variable Pattern feature. A rocky landscape is created by patterning a Rock feature. By utilizing Variable Pattern, the dimensions within the Rock sketch are driven by a Design Table as each instance is created. The result is a constantly changing shape. A Spiral path guides the instances. After the rocky pattern is created, a ‘Deform’ feature is used to smooth out any roughness. An added benefit of using this technique is that the resulting shape can be molded. Another Variable Pattern controls the shapes of the Bricks in the Tower, creating randomness.

Download: Variable Pattern Rocky Lighthouse

Complexity: Moderate

Features: Variable Pattern, Deform, Offset Surface, Spiral, Dome, Cut with Surface, Planar Surface, Surface Trim, Revolved Boss/Base

Author information

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 Part Reviewer: Variable Pattern Rocky Lighthouse appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at June 27, 2020 03:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Top 50 Obscure SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks

Over many years, SOLIDWORKS applications expert; Jim Peltier, has accumulated a list of more than 100 of tips and tricks. Watch his on-demand webinar below to learn top 50 time-saving tips from that list.

For example, hidden commandscombination keystrokes, and interesting workflows that will make you say “that’s a neat trick!” Even the most seasoned users may learn a few new things! Watch the webinar below and download the PowerPoint slides.

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With each new release of SOLIDWORKS, countless new features are released, with the biggest getting the center spotlight. Unfortunately, this means the “little things” that have been added over the years are often overshadowed and go unnoticed. Everybody knows that SOLIDWORKS 2017 introduced 3D Interconnect, but did you notice that it also introduced a selection of base planes from Breadcrumbs? Did you know there’s an even easier way to show the base planes of a component that has been around even longer?

What You Will Learn

You may know several of these SOLIDWORKS tips and tricks. In fact, I hope you do – learning 50 new tricks in one hour will be difficult to remember them all. However, I’m confident that even the most seasoned users will pick up a few new tricks. Here are a few to pique your interest:

  • Did you know you can hold Ctrl and click on items in the Mirror Components command to toggle the “Create Opposite Hand Version” option without having to go to the button each time?
  • Did you know you can choose how other components/bodies are displayed when using the Isolate Component/Isolate Bodies command?
  • Did you know of the “Select Previous” command, for when you’re making multiple selections and accidentally deselect them all and have to start again?
  • Did you know you can hold Ctrl and drag a feature to make a copy of it? Did you know that was around in 1997? Did you know it also works from one part to another?

Meet the Presenter: Jim Peltier; CSWE – Industry Applications Expert

Jim Peltier, CSWE

Jim Peltier has been using SOLIDWORKS since 2001, and has spent most of that time working in the design of industrial automated manufacturing equipment. He has been working as an Applications Expert at Javelin Technologies in Oakville, Ontario since July 2012 and is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert (CSWE).

The post Top 50 Obscure SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at June 27, 2020 12:00 PM

June 26, 2020


Friday Smackdown: A Mound of Melon Balls

JC Park Art

The ink-spun articles flew by the wind, caught by the branches of locust. Sands and soils of ancient people blew while a gear’s grinding drew in the weight of minute’s time. And there, in the filtered light, fur blazing, holsters tilted, triggers ready, with red eyes of fury targeting a mound of melon balls topped with these links.

J.C. Park – Just a massive array of work across many genres. I particularly and absolutely love his ship, air, and space craft work.

Gömböc – The shape that shouldn’t exist.

ostdrossel – Instagram follow of the week. The amazing colors and character of our fine featured friends as photographed by Lisa.

Inconsiste – The sculpture of Daniele Sigalot looks like crumpled paper but is actually painted sheets of aluminum.

Charlie – I find cats disturbing, but this 4-part series of artwork by Lola Dupre takes it to a new level.

Alessi – The sound design of Chiara Luzzana. Various project including this capturing an array of metal orchestrations.

Aquarium – Even before you enter the site, enjoy a color-ridden journey of scrolling delight. Designed by At Lebdev Studio.

BKABF – If you enjoy indie-art and/or indie zines/books, the Brooklyn Art Book Fair is virtual with all book/art online.

Model Rocket Launch Fails – And SpaceX thinks it has challenges.

Giant LEGO Go-Kart – Matt Denton’s latest 3D printing project is one for the books: A drivable human-size LEGO Go-Kart.

Knotty Pine Cedar Chest – Their attractive Americano woodwork of an array of flags from the US and state flags to Firefighter and Police flags.

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Green Man – Everything’s Gone Green was a single released in 1981 by New Order. This is a new video of the remastered song.

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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 Friday Smackdown: A Mound of Melon Balls appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at June 26, 2020 03:54 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Customer Feedback Survey Out Now

If you are a SOLIDWORKS Subscription Service customer you may have recently received a SOLIDWORKS Customer Feedback Survey email in your inbox from with the title “Your success is our goal! Please tell us how you are doing”. The email will look something like the screen shot below.

This is a legitimate survey and only takes a few minutes to complete. The survey will help us to understand how satisfied you are with SOLIDWORKS software and the service you receive from us as your reseller.

Thanks for participating.



The post SOLIDWORKS Customer Feedback Survey Out Now appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at June 26, 2020 01:10 PM


Mike Patey: SIMULIAworks is “the Coolest Software Ever.” Here’s Why

I think it’s true that many of us have a ‘dream job’ or ‘dream career.’ For some of us, it’s the place where our thoughts go when we’re daydreaming. For others, it’s an active pursuit. And, of course, some of us already have that ‘dream job’ or ‘dream career’ I’ve been talking about!

A lot of times, this aspiration is informed by what we think is possible for ourselves – even if it’s only remotely. If I were to ask you, “How many people think to dream of building and flying their own bush planes for a living,” you’d probably give me an answer that’s likely reflective of reality. It’s some fractional number; certainly below 1%, right?

For Mike Patey, a member of the SOLIDWORKS Influencer Program, this actually is his job and career!

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="641" src="" title="20" + Travel - Extreme Bush Plane Landing Gear (Scrappy 15)" width="1140"></iframe>


If you’ve read some of my blogs here on, you’ve probably noticed a few consistent patterns. I like to highlight the people behind our software; but, furthermore, I like to make sure we get a clean picture as a community of ‘where they’ve been’ before getting into ‘where they are’ and ‘where they’re going.’ This blog about movie vehicle designer Dave Clark serves as an example.

So, what’s Mike’s story? Has he been designing and flying his own bush planes for as long as he’s been alive? Of course not. In so many words, how did he get here?

Mike’s always had a healthy appetite for business and innovation. When Mike and his twin brother, Mark, were only 15, they launched a business building decks for their neighbors in Utah. By the time they graduated from high school, their deck-building company had grown significantly, employing nearly 200 people. In their late 20s, the twins separately came to the same conclusion (in a way that only seems to make sense because they are twins!), after experiences at airshows/airports, that they wanted to get their pilot licenses.

It’s well-worth mentioning that Mike has also been a SOLIDWORKS user for quite some time (as has Mark, who owns a company, Best Tugs, building tugs for planes – all designed in SOLIDWORKS!). Even before working on planes like Scrappy, he co-ran (with Mark) an engineering firm called Prodigy Engineering. When you run a design and engineering firm, you need to be concerned with handling expectations. In one sense, “failure” in such a context can be equated to falling short of set and/or understood expectations.

Today, when Mike flies planes like Scrappy, there’s a lot at stake. “Failure” of any number of systems in the plane needs to be considered. And so, a lot of thought, effort, and analysis must go into minimizing risk while optimizing performance.

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="641" src="" title="Scrappy Gear Leg Wings Begin 🛠🤠 (Scrappy 16)" width="1140"></iframe>


This is why, when he’s looking for answers to some of his engineering problems, Mike uses the capabilities of SIMULIAworks to gain insights that would otherwise be fairly hard to get without doing things like wasting tons of material and relying solely on gut instinct.

With SIMULIAworks, Mike and his team are able to test things that ‘could’ happen in the real world with his planes. In the examples here, Mike talks to his viewers about how he’s able to make decisions on the landing gear assembly for Scrappy by running an analysis on the landing gear assembly on different loading conditions.


While it’s true this gives Mike an understanding of worst-case scenarios, with an ability to observe stresses and deformation at a variety of intervals/scales, it also allows him to make decisions that go beyond physical risk mitigation. For example, he discusses in this second video how SIMULIAworks enabled him to consider changing the structure of the landing gear overall to cut weight and costs.

Mike’s story is remarkable in a couple key ways. Personally, I find his story of how he got to where he is fascinating. Secondly: he’s an awesome example of how SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD users everywhere can use SIMULIAworks (part of the new 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio) to test their designs under important conditions using the power of the cloud on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

Author information

Sean O'Neill
Sean O'Neill
I'm a Community & User Advocacy Manager here at SOLIDWORKS. As a longtime SOLIDWORKS user myself, I love meeting with users and hearing about all the interesting things they're doing in the SOLIDWORKS community!

The post Mike Patey: SIMULIAworks is “the Coolest Software Ever.” Here’s Why appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Sean O'Neill at June 26, 2020 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Configuring the SOLIDWORKS PDM Print Task

In SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional, you can configure the Print task provided by the SOLIDWORKS Task Add-in to specify the computer, printer, and print settings to use. The Print task can be configured to run silently when executed or a user who initiates the task can select all or some of the print properties.

The Print task can be imported from the PDM installation directory.

Import a Task

Import a Task

The Print task to be imported, is located in the PDM installation directory, in the Default Data folder.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Print Task File to Import

Print Task File to Import

The Administration Guide that is available from the Help pull-down in SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration, describes in detail how to configure the Print task. In summary, there are ten sections that need to be defined.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Print Properties

SOLIDWORKS PDM Print Properties

To Configure the Print task:

  1. Expend the Tasks and double-click Print
  2. In the Print Properties dialog box, in the left pane, click Execution Method
  3. Select the computer that can be used to execute the task and how task execution is initiated
  4. Click Printer
  5. Select one:
    • Always use the following printer name
      • Select a printer from the list of available local printers
    • Prompt the user with the following options
      • Specify printers that users can chose from
    • Select printer based on paper size
      • For each Paper Size to be printed, click under Printer Name and specify the name of the printer to use
  6. In the left pane, click Paper Size, Scale and Orientation to specify defaults for paper size, scale and orientation
  7. Select Allow the users to change this settings to let users who run the print command change the settings
  8. Click Margins to specify paper margins and optional headers and footers, or have the print command prompt user for these values
  9. Click Files to specify how to handle referenced files and setup a folder for error logs
  10. Click Permissions to give users and groups permissions to initiate the task
  11. Click OK to save

The post Configuring the SOLIDWORKS PDM Print Task appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Nadeem Akhtar at June 26, 2020 12:00 PM

June 25, 2020


The Skeleton Lamp’s Adjustable Wooden Panels Adapts to Your Lighting Needs

skeleton lamp

Pendant style overhead lamps can light up a wide area but sometimes they tend to be too bright, especially when you’re directly under them. Some occasions call for a nice muted light to create the right ambiance, like during movie night, or when you are looking to set the mood for a romantic evening with your significant other. These moments call form having some means to curb the harsh light given off by a bare lightbulb.

The solution? Herzform’s Skeleton wooden pendant lamp. Herzform has designed a pendant lamp with a unique light disbursing feature. The product gets its name from the main wooden structure or “skeleton” surrounding a single lightbulb. The skeleton supports four individually adjustable panels. By fiddling around with different panel positions, you can change the light’s intensity and direction to suit your lighting needs.

<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=";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;" width="770"></iframe>
<figure class="aligncenter size-large">skeleton lamp</figure>

The simplicity of the overall design makes assembling the lamp easy enough. Also, the built-in flexibility of the skeleton frame makes swapping out any of the wooden panels a breeze.

While the base model Skeleton lamp comes with solid wood panels, alternative panel designs are offered. A particularly neat option are the assortment of decorative patterns that get machined into the backside of the panels. The thinning that happens due to the removal of material lets light pass through the wood and once illuminated creates a soft glow that’s sure to set your desired mood.

<figure class="aligncenter size-large">skeleton lamp</figure>

The Skeleton lamp is made from two species of wood oak or ash. The electric fixture is a standard E27 lightbulb holder. A vinyl coated power cord suspends the Skeleton light and gets hardwired into a flush-mounted ceiling power source.

Though you can technically affix it anywhere, the Skeleton lamp is meant to be an indoor lamp. The recommended minimum hanging distance is 55.1 inches from the floor which should be well in reach for you to manually adjust the panels. Much further up and you’d miss the opportunity to tune each panel to achieve your desired lighting condition.

<figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized">skeleton lamp</figure>
<figure class="aligncenter size-large">skeleton lamp</figure>

The Skeleton lamp has already achieved its Kickstarter goal of $1,512. If you want to know more about the lamp and its adjustable wooden panels, be sure to give its Kickstarter page a visit!

The post The Skeleton Lamp’s Adjustable Wooden Panels Adapts to Your Lighting Needs appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 25, 2020 07:04 PM

Shapr3D Adds Adaptive UI, Proves 3D CAD Can Be Smarter

Shapr3D has been doing a lot of ‘bringing’ to their iPadOS-based CAD app over the past three years, from introducing Parasolid 3D modeling for the iPad Pro to a new direct 3D modeling workflow. With trackpad and mouse support for the latest iPad Pro, plus LiDAR scanning, announced March 2020, they’re taking 3D CAD where it hasn’t gone before. What’s that? You missed it? Well, let’s catch you up starting at 0:45 in this video from Apple:

<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=";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;" width="770"></iframe>

Now, the room-scan, furniture placement application shown may not apply directly to what you do but what if you could use scanned geometry for fit and function, to design on-premise, or as reference geometry? Then, provide clients or manufacturing with AR visuals? The accuracy may not be there today but eventually, oh yes, we’ll have inspection and verification capabilities.

But First, Adaptive UI

So, that brings us to the latest from Shapr3D, an adaptive UI that brings predictive control to the 3D modeling process by activating and prioritizing modeling commands, auto-suggesting tools and transformations, based on the actions you take and selection you make.

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

For example, when you have a sketch, you’re presented with options based on the sketch and your selection. Select one entity and you see only the applicable commands. Select two entities and you see another set of commands. Through it all, the command you select is highlighted while the others go transparent.

<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=";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;" width="770"></iframe>

What do you think? I think this is just the beginning of where we’ll see more adaptive interfaces and processes. I’ll keep saying it, CAD systems should be smarter. They’re process-oriented, they should be process-cognizant. Maybe it’s by introducing patterns, or maybe it’s by interpreting patterns. Maybe it’s introducing adaptive process, or maybe it’s adapting to a user’s process. It’s great to see Shapr3D thinking along these lines.

Shapr3D is available on the Apple App Store. Pricing is currently $20/mth or $240/yr. If you’re just getting started, their YouTube channel has new tutorials and their new, must-see vlog. Currently, you need an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil but keep an eye on the Shapr3D forum. I have a feeling they’ll have a big announcement coming in the near future.

The post Shapr3D Adds Adaptive UI, Proves 3D CAD Can Be Smarter appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at June 25, 2020 05:21 PM



In general, designer platforms connect people to the content is via the “USER INTERFACE”. The USER INTERFACE enables the platform to look simple and is more intuitive for the user.

In any of the 3D CAD design platforms, the name that truly emphasizes a true USER INTERFACE is none other than SOLIDWORKS. SOLIDWORKS never lets down the users who are new to the platform or those who are familiar with the platform.

In this blog we are going to glimpse at the SOLIDWORKS USER INTERFACE. Let’s start!

The first and most surprising interface is the opening window of SOLIDWORKS, simply called the SOLIDWORKS SPLASH SCREEN [see right image below]. It is the most interesting and sometimes confusing in that the images are repeatedly changing each time on opening the application. Where are these pictures coming from, and how these pictures chosen. Curious, right?

SWX Premium

For Customers, each year SOLIDWORKS conducts a Beta Contest specifically for this SPLASH SCREEN. Each time the window opens, many of the images displayed are the few collections of participants in the Beta Contest. You may find the partially captured image [ on the left] that mentions “IMAGE COURTESY”. It is simply the asset name of the Customer [Participant]. 

The second one you will notice, when SOLIDWORKS opens, is the appearance of the WELCOME DIALOG BOX. It contains multiple tabs such as HOME, RECENT, LEARN and ALERTS.

SWX Premium 2020

Following, the third one is the Login Icon [right top of the box] which greatly helps with the Online Licensing that was introduced in 2018. Once we Login, it stays connected so that the user can utilize SOLIDWORKS online resources [MySolidworks customer portal] directly on the web portal.

customer portal 3

customer portal 4The fourth one, which many users have awaited for a long time, relieves the frustration on assembly file opening to indicate how much time it takes to open a file. The “Assembly Open Progress Indicator”, which was introduced in 2018, will help you to know the elapsed time of opening the file. Just relax and have a cup of coffee.



So far, we have reviewed a few delightful improvements  on the SOLIDWORKS USER INTERFACE. Stay tuned for Part 2. We will meet you again soon.

Author information

EGS India
E G S Computers India Private Limited, since 1993, has been in the forefront of delivering solutions to customers in the areas of Product Design and Development with SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD,Remaining Life Calculations, Validation using Finite Element Analysis, Customization of Engineering activities and Training in advanced engineering functions relating to design and development. EGS India - Authorized Reseller for SOLIDWORKS Solutions in India - Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai - Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry. For any queries on SOLIDWORKS Solutions contact @ 9445424704 | | Website -


by EGS India at June 25, 2020 03:00 PM


New 3D Printing Process: Droplet-Based Multiphase Emulsion

Researchers at UC Davis have developed an unusual new form of 3D printing that uses Droplet-Based Multiphase Emulsion.

One of the big challenges in 3D printing is the inability to handle multiple materials. Typical 3D printers of today can 3D print a single material at a time, with certain more advanced models being able to print with a small handful of different types.

This is generally not as useful as it could be, as typical functional objects are composed of many materials. Usually the different materials are chosen because they provide different engineering properties for different segments of the object. For example, a rigid material might form the case, while a soft rubbery material might form a grip layer on the case.

One of the UC Davis researchers, Jiandi Wan, observed that the nozzles used in 3D printing were quite similar to those used in microfluidics equipment, but that they were quite rudimentary. Wan wondered whether the complex microfluidics nozzles could be leveraged in 3D printing.

It turns out they can.

Droplet-Based Multiphase Emulsion

In the experiment, the researchers were able to add a tiny capillary nozzle to a 3D printing system. This apparatus was able to deliver controlled amounts of droplets of a second material into the main material stream. The droplets were small enough to effectively form an emulsion upon deposition.

By varying the amount and timing of droplets, the researchers were able to modify the properties of the resulting 3D print.

For example, they were able to control the rigidity of the material, able to produce a range of softness within a print on demand. The system apparently can accept ”aqueous and liquid metal droplets”, suggesting that a variety of different properties could be enabled within a 3D print material using this approach.

In fact, in the paper they say:

“The application of microfluidics for multiphase or immiscible ink blends (i.e., emulsions) in a 3D-printing context remains largely unexplored.”

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><figcaption>3D printed gripper reacting to magnetic force [Source: UC Davis]</figcaption></figure>

Their exploration at this point seems to be in developing practical methods for 3D printing variably flexible objects, and adding ferric characteristics, which is quite a feat. However, I suspect this approach could have far deeper implications.

Microfluidic 3D Printing

There’s a couple of interesting ideas here.

First, imagine 3D printing an object, but with the ability to continuously vary the hardness of the material. I don’t think such objects even exist today, but if an approach to produce them were popular, we could see them everywhere.

They might have designs reminiscent of today’s foam-like structures generated by FEA systems, except appearing solid yet having complex flexible streams flowing within. New analysis software might be required here, of course.

Now imagine further where this 3D printing approach is able to control not only flexibility but also other engineering properties by adding different droplets and creating unusual emulsions. Part of a print could be magnetic, another flexible, another conductive, transparent, etc. You get the idea.

Again, we’ll need some new and highly complex software to manage that awesome capability.

One more thing:

While the authors of the paper are Hing Jii Mea, Luis Delgadillo, and Jiandi Wan, the paper also says this:

“Edited by Joseph M. DeSimone”.

Dr. DeSimone is none other than the founder of Carbon, one of the leading companies producing 3D printers.

I wonder where this technology might go.

The post New 3D Printing Process: Droplet-Based Multiphase Emulsion appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Fabbaloo at June 25, 2020 12:23 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to Monitor Tasks in SOLIDWORKS PDM

Use the Task List dialog box in SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration to monitor tasks and view information about completed tasks.

To monitor tasks:

  1. Expand Tasks and double-click Task List



  2. In the Task List dialog box, under Pending tasks, view tasks that are executing or waiting to execute
    SOLIDWORKS PDM Pending Tasks

    SOLIDWORKS PDM Pending Tasks

    • You can Suspend, Resume, or Cancel pending tasks

      Right-click Menu

      Right-click Menu

  3. Under Completed tasks, view tasks that have finished executing

    SOLIDWORKS PDM Completed Tasks

    SOLIDWORKS PDM Completed Tasks

  4. To see additional information about a task, select it and click Details
    SOLIDWORKS PDM Task Details

    SOLIDWORKS PDM Task Details

    • Error information is displayed for failed task
  5. To specify the number of task records displayed under Completed tasks, click Options

    Task List Options

    Task List Options

  6. To Launch a task from the Task List dialog box, click Add Task

The post How to Monitor Tasks in SOLIDWORKS PDM appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Nadeem Akhtar at June 25, 2020 12:00 PM

June 24, 2020


Things to Stop Saying: “I Know Enough to Be Dangerous”

Engineer Fail - I know Just Enough To Be Dangerous

You’ve heard it said before.  Maybe from a manager or coworker. Maybe during an interview to try to connect or relate.  Maybe during crunch time as a misguided offer of assistance.  Maybe from someone that slapped their knee and gave you a little bump with their elbow like they were the first person to ever think of and say it.


<figure class="aligncenter size-large"><figcaption>What… did you just say?</figcaption></figure>

Maybe you just gave a polite little laugh of acknowledgment… “ehh-he-he-BLEEEEEH.” And maybe that was the end of it.  

“I know eno..” Do Not Say It. Do Not Even Think It.

So what’s the big deal, Dan?  Don’t like jokes? Or are you so protective of your turf that when someone shows interest or tries to lend a hand you throw a hissy fit?

<figure class="aligncenter size-large"></figure>

First, I like jokes, although this one is just plain tired and unfunny. I’m even very tolerant of bad jokes, I come from a long and proud lineage of bad joke tellers.

Second, sure I’m passionate about mechanical design, you got me there. But I’m equally as excited about sharing it with others as I am investing myself in it. I’ll try to pull anyone into the fold that shows a spark of genuine interest in wanting to learn and contribute. I’m attempting to cosmically pay back all the great mentorship I’ve had and I selfishly believe a rising tide raises all boats. We all start as clueless blundering newbies, and it takes the patience and generosity of our elders to show us the path and ensure we keep our digits. When I was first learning to use a lathe, I probably did know just enough to be dangerous… Gah!

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

Anyway, I do want to differentiate between those who are getting started and those who are just trying to look smart.

The Real Danger: Affecting a Project’s Success

What we do not need is dilettantes. Dilettantes come into the picture and hang around only so long as their fickle interests hold. Then they move on, chasing another shiny object, leaving behind a mess of misinformation and unfinished business for others to clean up. The misinformation creates false expectations about the realities of time and resource needs. It’s not merely that they aren’t providing help; they can inject poison.  Enough of this, (and it doesn’t take much) can change a project’s delicate trajectory from success to failure. 

While the ramifications of these Sunday drivers are rarely “dangerous” in causing actual bodily harm, they can endanger a project’s success. And the side effects are often demeaning, debt inducing, deleterious, and downright destructive.

Enough to be… Not Trustworthy?

The phrase “I know enough to be dangerous” triggers a mental flag, an alarm bell about the person’s intent, the why, and ultimately their trustworthiness. Why did they choose to step out of their area of core competency? Why have they chosen not to “stay in their lane”? Are they moving to the slow lane so others can pass or doing 20 below the speed limit in the fast lane? Are they avoiding debris in the road ahead? Or are they just veering and swerving sporadically like an exhausted and road rage-filled commuter trying to eat chicken fried rice while changing the radio station?

<figure class="aligncenter size-large"></figure>

A Parasitic Risk

With 20 years’ experience being surrounded by professional engineers (and being one), I can speak to a common mindset and core personality traits. Designers are systems thinkers with a need to understand the technological world around us. This curiosity is possibly our greatest asset and propels/compels us to go deep in our understanding, far beyond the textbook or assigned responsibilities.

The ability to understand and control technology can cause some to feel superior to the point of arrogance, particularly when compared to the regular majority that is controlled by the technology. Caste systems can develop amongst engineers based on the relative emergence or perceived complexity and importance of their technological domain. 

Some become seduced by the concept of control and obsessed with increasing their locus scope. Bit by bit, they seek to expand their domain by absorbing unoccupied or poorly defended neighboring projects, engineering disciplines, professional specializations, and departmental territories. Eventually, their control-hungry hubris has the devious idea to no longer focus on just the inanimate and shifts focus from territories to their occupants, namely you. In a word, it’s parasitic.

Find the Source

Conduct an audit into the parasite’s encroaching trespass “work” and historical behavior to pinpoint what quadrant they fall into on the motive/attitude chart.

My recommendation is to perform a brief analysis based on a review of the parasite’s work and historical interactions then pinpoint what quadrant they fall into on the Motive / Behavior Attitude chart.

<figure class="aligncenter size-large"></figure>

Motive / Behavior Attitude Chart

Challenging / Controlling
The acknowledgement that the work being done is inherently difficult in nature and execution may be safeguard enough.  Putting up with a little back seat driving and a bit of pandering is just the reality of the nature of the beast.  If you have agreement that the race is a marathon not a 5k, that reality alone is going to self preclude people’s ability to participate.  But it won’t limit their ability to “coach” or tell you what you’re doing wrong.

Challenging / Curious
This is the only positive quadrant.  It is acknowledged that to do the work you do requires special skills, talent, and education. The learner values what you do and is trying to learn enough to build conversational competency to better bridge the gap.  This quadrant is based on mutual respect, teamwork and communication.

Childish / Curious
When design is believed/perceived to be simple (and the reality is that the opposite is true) there exists understanding incongruity.  A degree of incongruity is always to be expected but the differential can reach thresholds that are irreversible and cataclysmic.  Besides the fact that this can underlie a lack of respect it also creates expectation divides as understanding correlates to expectations.

Childish / Controlling
Undervalued and overpowered? Skedaddle.
Underappreciated and dominated? Evaporate.

I have had occasions where I have inherited, through circumstances, no fault of my own, years of backlogged tech debt. Often this was created by equal parts of a single individual’s knowledge (enough to be dangerous) and what they don’t know (best practices and years institutional knowledge). The ego that allowed them to think they could do serious professional work without experience is the same ego that prevented them from admitting they’re being engulfed by a quagmire of their own creation. So, before they’re fully subsumed, they bring in a rube and pull a switcheroo (like me or you). But at least they have the courtesy to do it with a wink and a nod.

<figure class="aligncenter size-large"></figure>

Dealing With the Danger

When working in “dangerous” situations, the first rule is always Safety First. If you can accept, or even thrive, under the current circumstances then staying put may be a good option. If you need serious change and are trying to impart it or wait for it, realize that changing the course of a battleship is difficult or impossible. The Brinell hardness of an engineering manager’s stubbornness exceeds that of 17-4 PH and the corrosive effect is off the charts. And it’s fine to remind people when they’ve had a slip of the tongue that there’s only one person professionally qualified to say, ‘I know enough to be dangerous’ in any situation.

<figure class="aligncenter size-large">Albert Einstein can say, I know enough to be dangerous. <figcaption>Albert Einstein is completely qualified to say, ‘I know enough to be dangerous’ in any situation.</figcaption></figure>

My real wish isn’t for people to stop saying ‘I know enough to be dangerous’ but to exhibit the self-control to recognize and stop the underlying behavior of control and interference that is counterproductive to the project’s success and life in general. Otherwise, I’m all for people saying it loud and proud! Wear it on a hat or t-shirt. Add it to your e-mail signature…  Like a foghorn in the night alerting me to stay far away.

The post Things to Stop Saying: “I Know Enough to Be Dangerous” appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Dan Slaski at June 24, 2020 09:42 PM

Carpenter John Heisz Tests If You Can Cut And Sand Wood In A Single Pass

cut and sand

Here’s a question for all us maker types. “Is it possible to both cut and sand a piece of material simultaneously using a common table saw?” Having pondered the question himself, John Heisz on his Youtube channel I Build It could not hold back his curiosity any longer! He set out to give us all an answer at the risk of jeopardizing life and limb. The scenario was this, affix a sheet of sandpaper to the sides of a saw blade, flip the switch, and let her rip! If you want to know what happened after the dust settled, read on.

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<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src=";rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;start=57&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" width="770"></iframe>

Setting Up The Test

John set up his test by selecting from among his assortment of sawblades one with a kerf roughly the thickness of a sheet of 100 grit sandpaper. Blade in place his moment of truth was at hand.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">cut and sand</figure>

To start off, Heisz passes a piece of wood through his saw blade and then checks the quality of the cut produced by the blade.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">cut and sand</figure>

While the blade is old, it gets the job done. On inspection, only a few semi-circular cut marks where visible along the edge of the board.

Preparing The Cut + Finish Blade

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">cut and sand</figure>

Now onto the sandpaper. Heisz measures out his saw blade and traces out the pattern on the backside of a sheet of 100-grit sandpaper. He cuts out the shape so that it fits snag up to the saw blade kerf.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">cut and sand</figure>

Using spray adhesive, he glues the sandpaper onto one side of the blade (the one which makes final contact with the wood once it’s cut) and then checks carefully to make sure the sandpaper has securely adhered.

The Cut-N-Sand Inaugural Test!

Having reinstalled the blade onto his machine John was ready to move ahead with making the inaugural cut and sand test cut.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">cut and sand</figure>

Upon inspection, the two cuts are very different.

You can clearly see which piece was sanded and which was not. The unsanded piece above clearly has more rough edges to it while the sanded piece below has a more muted, smooth look and feel to it.

The end result actually surprised Heisz himself. He thought that the addition of the sandpaper would make the blade cut much slower or cause the sandpaper to fly off mid-cut.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">cut and sand</figure>

In reality though, the combination of the blade with this specific thickness and grit of sandpaper made for a pretty clean cut without causing the paper to rip off.

You’ll definitely need to make a few more hand sanded passes for the wood to be perfectly smooth and you might need to replace the sandpaper if you plan on using it for longer periods but as an initial sanding method, this works quite fine.

If you want to see what other woodworking projects and discoveries John Heisz is working on, you should definitely check out his YouTube channel.

The post Carpenter John Heisz Tests If You Can Cut And Sand Wood In A Single Pass appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 24, 2020 07:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Customizing the SOLIDWORKS Taskpane Tabs

The SOLIDWORKS Taskpane provides access to a number of powerful tools, including SOLIDWORKS Toolbox, Custom Properties, the SOLIDWORKS PDM Add In (if installed) and the 3DEXPERIENCE connector.

Starting with SOLIDWORKS 2019, this area of the user interface can be easily customized by either right clicking on the top bar and selecting “Customize”, or clicking the gear icon in top right corner.

Tabs can be turned on or off, re-ordered, and most useful of all, the default tab that will always be active when SOLIDWORKS is relaunched can be changed.

Customize SOLIDWORKS Taskpane Tabs

Customize SOLIDWORKS Taskpane Tabs

The post Customizing the SOLIDWORKS Taskpane Tabs appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE at June 24, 2020 12:00 PM

How to search files checked out by SOLIDWORKS PDM users

It is often important for users to locate files they have checked out to themselves. These files should be checked in regularly. To help find those files, the search engine allows for the checked out criteria to be searched on.

The Checked in/out tab allows a user to search for:

  • Checked in files
  • Checked out files
  • Files checked out to a particular user

Select Display checked out files and select user name from the list

Display checked out files by a user

The post How to search files checked out by SOLIDWORKS PDM users appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Nadeem Akhtar at June 24, 2020 12:00 PM

How to prevent transition actions from selecting all child references in SOLIDWORKS PDM – Updated

By default when SOLIDWORKS PDM transition actions complete a change state operation on a file, all the referenced files will be selected to transition:

SOLIDWORKS PDM transition action

SOLIDWORKS PDM transition action

You can de-select any files to exclude them from the transition.

Some users like the files selected by default, as it ensures no files are forgotten files when transitioning an assembly.  Other users dislike it, as it has the potential to complete unwanted transitions on files.

The good news is we can control this behavior via the settings.

Change the settings to not select referenced files when changing state

  • Administration Tool > Users > [User Name] > Right-Click > Settings
Administration Tool Settings

Administration Tool Settings

  • Reference Dialog > Check ‘Do not mark referenced files when changing state‘ > Ok
Do not mark referenced files when changing state

Do not mark referenced files when changing state


With the 2019 release and later versions; this option has changed;

Select child references during state change

The wording is now; Select child references during state change, and by default, this setting is enabled.  Disabling this option will stop child references from being automatically selected during a transition.


Then by default, the referenced files won’t be selected in a change state dialog;

Change state dialog

Change state dialog

NOTE: This setting change can be completed on a global level, by changing the settings at the ‘Users’ node instead of the Username.


Contact us about our SOLIDWORKS PDM training courses for users and administrators.

The post How to prevent transition actions from selecting all child references in SOLIDWORKS PDM – Updated appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Justin Williams at June 24, 2020 12:00 PM


Need Help Managing your Issues?

Remember the old-fashioned way to manage issues and changes? Someone gets a manila folder and walks around the office to get project sign-offs from key people, allowing all stakeholders to make informed decisions before any work is done or any changes are made.

Today, every engineer knows that product changes and issues will happen and are necessary—whether they like it or not. Products may change on a day-to-day basis. As a result, managing updates is an integral part of designing and engineering products whether it’s major design issues or minor changes.

Built on the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, the Collaborative Industry Innovator makes it easier to track and manage issues and product changes from project start to finish. The platform provides the technology infrastructure to manage data and documents amongst your entire team.

Issue and change management tools should provide a controlled, clearly defined process to manage products, production, and other objects in the product development process. Let’s take a look at a few apps in the Collaborative Industry Innovator that will help you manage issues and changes effectively.

Issue Management

Companies can’t anticipate and effectively deal with every type of problem that could potentially occur. All types of anomalies can arise at any time. The key is responding rapidly to prevent the situation from getting out of hand. The Issue Management app allows you to log, track, notify, and work on resolving issues to manage a project more effectively.

You can easily view all issues in their different states of maturity and the priorities attached to each one. And, issues can be raised against a variety of objects, not just parts and files.  They can be raised against a process or just business issues in general, and there can even be multiple issues related to the same problem.

The Issue Management app (shown below) also manages CAD or non-CAD issues that may arise in the product development process and can be used hand in hand with a formal change management process.

Change Action

The Change Action app is an entryway into a formal change process. The app enables you to create, assign, and manage change actions for all project stakeholders, including external employees, vendors, and suppliers.

The app allows you to attain peer validation and approval, update change of scope, and track proposed or completed work—all within a framework where everyone on the team has visibility into change status and the actions assigned to them.

Change Action (shown below) also allows you to log, track, and notify others to resolve issues. The app lets you clearly show who is assigned to do what to keep everyone up to date with each completed stage. And, Change Action automatically captures changes as you work under a change.

Route Management

A well-structured project is broken down into stages, often involving several different people.  The route management app lets you show who’s assigned to what task and keep everyone up to date with each completed stage. Plus, the app allows you to create routes in a dashboard, which makes it easier to manage routes and share them with your entire team. You can use it as an ad-hoc/one-off workflow, or it can be used to auto-create workflows based on a previously decided template.

For example, you might create a route to review and approve a design specification. You could include the design specification and other related documentation in the route. Some route members would have tasks for reviewing and commenting on the spec, and others would have tasks for approving the spec.

Route management allows you to accomplish business activities by involving people with precise roles and tasks. Route tasks also work very well as a reminder tool as those assigned tasks will receive an email to start their tasks. In addition, route templates enable you to create similar workflows to ensure quality and consistency from project to project.

Change Can Be Manageable

It seems that the pressure is always on to deliver faster and at a lower cost. To remain competitive, companies need to bring new products to market efficiently and with a complete audit trail. Effectively managing issues and changes on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform can help keep everyone connected and on the same page.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform makes it easy to work with people inside and outside your company, including partners, suppliers, and manufacturers. You can simplify your communication workflow and improve productivity. Everyone works from a common platform.

If you have more questions about how the Collaborative Industry Innovator on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform helps you manage issues and changes, please contact your local reseller.




Author information

Mohit Daga
Mohit Daga
Mohit is a Senior Product Portfolio Manager for ENOVIAWORKS. Sports enthusiast, Vegetarian foodie and likes bourbon!

The post Need Help Managing your Issues? appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Mohit Daga at June 24, 2020 12:00 PM

June 23, 2020


You’ll Want to Build This 120 kph Electric Motorcycle [Sketchup Files]

building electric motorcycle

Have you ever thought about building your own motorcycle? The TV shows make it look so easy, don’t they? But, I’m not talking about a chopper, I’m talking about an electric motorcycle. And not just any electric motorcycle.

Not long ago, contractor, carpenter, and renewable energy enthusiast James Biggar designed and built his very own electric motorcycle from scratch. By attaching a 72-volt motor to a welded steel tube frame wrapped in custom molded fiberglass body, the end result is an electric bike as street-worthy as any motor vehicle, and cooler than most electric motorcycles on the market today.

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<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src=";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;" width="770"></iframe>

Building an Electric Motorcycle

As mentioned, the frame is constructed with welded steel tubing, 1” square, 11-gauge steel tubing. To help decrease its weight and fit in the different parts, James drills a bunch of holes into the frame.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">building electric motorcycle</figure>

Even some essential motorcycle parts are made completely from scratch. For example, the footrests are made by screwing ¼” bolts into modified pieces of 1” x 2” tubing.  And the kickstand is made by combining 2” x 2” square tubing, a 1” pipe, and a ¾” steel bar.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">building electric motorcycle</figure>

The frame, in all of its angular glory with a minimal aesthetic is powder coated, what else, but matte black.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">building electric motorcycle</figure>

There are some parts which just can’t be forged from steel tubing, such as the rear suspension, the downhill forks, and of course, the motorcycle’s wheels. James adds these in after the frame has been painted and assembled.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">building electric motorcycle</figure>

With most of the hardware in place, he starts adding the wires and electrical components. To control the 72-volt motor, James installs a 72V/150A motor controller underneath the frame. The electronics do much without a battery and boy, does this motorcycle have a big one. Located just below the motor controller is the area to hold the lil’ mini-fridge-sized 72V/60Ah battery.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">building electric motorcycle</figure>

Up top, he adds the control components, the throttle, handlebars, brake levers, display and switches, all purchased but perfectly matched for the project.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">building electric motorcycle</figure>

To aid the brake levers, he adds a motorcycle braking system on the wheels and a 72VDC/150A breaker switch between the motor controller and the battery. He installs a anti-spark connector between the breaker switch and the battery before finally connecting the motor controller to the battery.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">building electric motorcycle</figure>

The rest of the build focuses on the build of the fiberglass body components: the fairings, cowling, and other body panels. James uses laminated plywood for the forms before making molds out of silicone.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">building electric motorcycle</figure>

Once the molds are finished, he goes through the layup process, starting with a layer of fiberglass mat and adding 3-4 layers of fiberglass cloth before casting the parts with polyester resin.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">building electric motorcycle</figure>

This is the exciting part – where the form side of the design, though alreasdy intertwined, meets the function side. Each parts is trimmed to fit the bike frame before the final finish and the complete profile of the motorcycle is revealed.

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

The only things left to add is a seat pan and a comfy foam seat covered in vinyl. The seat build, foam layup, and upholstery work is a small process in itself but James keeps it minimal to match the top profile of the bike perfectly.

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

Taking the electric motorcycle on a test run reveals it can run around 65 mph (105 kph) with a top speed of 75 mph (120 kph). According to James, the bike has a continuous output of 8,000 watts and a max output of 12,000 watts.

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

For power and speed gain, it has a maximum torque of 190Nm and an acceleration of 3-6m/s2. The reported max speed is 90mph with the battery providing around 60 miles (100 km) on average terrain before it needs to be charged.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">building electric motorcycle</figure>

If you have prior experience with cutting steel tubing, resin casting, and installing electronics, James Biggar has made the CAD plans available to download for $10 from his Renewable Systems Technology webpage.

Included in the plans is a complete list of tools and materials as well as the Sketchup files. This is a project designed for more experienced builders, as James doesn’t really include a step-by-step process on how to do certain things like cut tubing or resin cast.

Whether you plan on making this electric motorcycle for yourself or not, you can’t deny that making your own electric, road-worthy vehicle from scratch is a project that could have some long term payoff, both in learning and transportation cost.

If you’ve undertaken a project like this, let us know in the comments or share it with us to feature on SolidSmack.

The post You’ll Want to Build This 120 kph Electric Motorcycle [Sketchup Files] appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 23, 2020 10:17 PM

SWING Table | Clever Design Using Parallel Linkages To Transform A Table Into A Shelf

swing table

Those of you who inhabit itty-bitty living quarters know that space is a premium. For most, the name of the game for everyday living becomes home organization and efficient use of space. Taming the little stuff is simple enough by just following the old saying “there’s a place for everything and everything is in place.” Yet it’s a little trickier when it comes to big furniture pieces like tables. They are serious space hogs and often sit unused for hours. Much like the small objects, it would be great if the table could be store away or take on a different form and use.

Enter German company Smart Living with their SWING Collection. SWING is a furniture collection aimed at making the most of your limited space. For example, their SWING Table is both table and shelf in one unit. Through the clever use of parallel linkages, this unique design almost effortlessly can be transformed from table to standing shelve and back again! Need more floor space? Just touch the release lever and swing the table into its standing shelf position! Let’s have a look at their promotional video and then take a look at the products in a little more detail.

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<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="434" src=";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;" width="770"></iframe>

At first glance, these tables look like a modern spin on the classic multi-leaf table. But any attempt to remove one of the top segments would prove you wrong. Instead, each leaf is securely fixed to an individual sub-frame. Each of these by way of hinge pins is jointed to side rails that span the length of the table. Instead of a change in length, with this configuration, a swing of the frame totally transforms it into an altogether different furniture piece. Pretty slick huh!

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

Table + Free Standing Shelf Configuration

<figure class="aligncenter size-large">swing table</figure>

The mechanics behind the morphing of the table to shelf configuration is made possible by way of a parallel four-bar linkage system. The middle wooden leaf remains fixed in possible with center frame leg structure. The two shelves on either side remain parallel to the floor as the while swinging in the new vertical shelf configuration. Latches located at the side of the frame are used to lock the table in place, keeping you from accidentally transforming the table while in the middle of enjoying a tasty meal!

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"></figure>
<figure class="aligncenter size-large">swing table</figure>

<figure class="aligncenter size-large">swing table</figure>

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

To help make moving this transformable table easier, recessed rollers are installed under the table legs.

Table + Wallmounted Shelf Configuration

If you aren’t into moving your tables around and want to reserve the floor space for your next dance party, then you’ll want to choose the SWING collection wall-mounted configuration. Be warned though, cantilevering a table from a wall is tricky business. In fact, so much so, Smart Living declines to provide hardware and issues the following disclaimer;

SWING 2.0 is delivered without any accessories for fixing to a wall. As a manufacturer and distributor of the product, we cannot supply screws or tools for liability reasons. We recommend that you call a specialist for safe installation.

If you feel brave in heart or have a buddy with a lot of structural know-how, the wall-mounted configuration will take your organization to new heights and deliver your dinnerware down to you in a single swing!

<figure class="aligncenter size-large">swing table</figure>
<figure class="aligncenter size-large">swing table</figure>
<figure class="aligncenter size-large">swing table</figure>
<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"></figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"></figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"></figure>

All in all the SWING collection is an elegant solution for saving space and adding a new level of home organization. However, we would be remiss if we did not point out a potential elephant in the room. In all it’s marketing and advertising Smart living wonderfully orchestrates the swing from one configuration to the next flawlessly, which in many ways is a testament to the stability of their units. The stemware and flatware are all impeccably intact. But if you watched the video closely you’ll see the flowers in the centerpiece get lightly brushed against as the shelves pass by. The moral of the story, don’t be in a hurry to do the swing-thing. Owners of these furniture pieces will need to check the placement and heights of every artifact on each shelf to avoid disaster! Other than that, be it a table or shelf the SWING collection is sure to let you at will take back a healthy chunk of your residential estate!

The post SWING Table | Clever Design Using Parallel Linkages To Transform A Table Into A Shelf appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 23, 2020 10:07 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Beta Version now available

Help impact the quality, performance and usability of SOLIDWORKS products by trying the SOLIDWORKS 2021 Beta Version.

DS SOLIDWORKS have just announced that SOLIDWORKS® 2021 Beta is live, ready for your feedback, and we invite you to join SOLIDWORKS 2021 Beta testing now.



Continued development of SOLIDWORKS Desktop

Dassault Systemes (DS) are currently rolling out the 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS portfolio, where you can access the next generation of cloud-centric and integrated applications on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform and tackle more challenges with solutions that bring unparalleled productivity, collaboration and scalability.

But DS remains committed to the continued support and development of SOLIDWORKS desktop tools and the customers that use them. The DS R&D team reviews and prioritizes thousands of enhancement requests submitted by users to ensure that they not only provide great new capabilities, but also deliver improved quality and performance with each new SOLIDWORKS release.

NOTE: Javelin provides options to run current and future SOLIDWORKS Desktop applications on the cloud. Learn more about our SOLIDWORKS Desktop Cloud Services »

Here are just a few of the SOLIDWORKS 2021 release highlights:

  • Expanded Functionality – Defeature simplification for large assemblies, more commands available in Detailing mode for drawings, and additional capabilities for plastics simulations provide new workflow possibilities for design, detailing, and validation.
  • Performance – Faster mesh generation significantly improves simulation time. More streamlined data management with collaboration reduces errors and project management time, giving you more time for design refinement.
  • Staying Connected – An improved connection to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides extensive cloud collaboration, data management, and advanced applications. This ensures your team can access the tools and services you need to get the entire job done.

The SOLIDWORKS Beta website is your portal to access the Beta software, forum, contest leaderboards, and more.

Stress test the Beta software with your workflows and models to ensure everything works smoothly for you and your organization. DS looks forward to hearing from you as you test SOLIDWORKS 2021 and compete for prizes!

If you have any questions, please refer to the Beta FAQs below or email DS SOLIDWORKS directly at


Review the following frequently asked questions which were posted on the SOLIDWORKS Beta Website:

How do I test SOLIDWORKS® Beta?

You can either download and install Beta or run the same version online from a supported web browser (no installation required).

  1. Go to the SOLIDWORKS Beta website and login using your SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal credentials
  2. To continue you must read and accept the EULA
  3. Click ‘Download’ then run the SolidWorksSetup.exe and follow the instructions
  4. Run the SOLIDWORKS Beta Installation Manager to download and install products

Once you have a Beta release installed, you can use the SOLIDWORKS Background Downloader to receive notifications and automatically download new Beta releases.

Web Browser
  1. Go to
  2. Select the ‘Launch’ button
Supported browsers:
  • Chrome 83.0.4103.106+
  • Firefox Quantum 68.9.0+
  • Microsoft Edge 83.0.478.50+

Is Beta testing confidential?

Yes. You are under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) during the Beta period. You cannot share any information about the Beta release.

How do I participate?

Please note that No sign up is required!

Access to the Beta software is automatically available for all SOLIDWORKS subscription service customers. If you are currently on subscription, and your SOLIDWORKS serial number is registered in  your SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal account, the Beta software will be available for you to download, or to run online from a supported web browser.

NOTE: The Beta period will run from late June to mid-September 2020.

Once the Beta period begins, you will have exclusive access to:

  • Test-drive new and enhanced products
  • Share feedback directly with the SOLIDWORKS Beta team
  • Connect with the SOLIDWORKS Beta community and interact with the R&D team
  • Win over 100 prizes!

To be notified about the Beta Program, create a login to your SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal account, click on ‘My Profile’, select ‘Notify me for Beta Programs’, and click on ‘Save’.

How do I setup the Beta release?

  • By default, the Beta installation does not overwrite or upgrade existing production installations of SOLIDWORKS® products
  • Set ALL file locations in Tools > Options to Beta-specific testing locations
  • Keep ALL Beta templates, design library data, etc. separate from your production data
  • Do NOT use SOLIDWORKS Beta products with your production files. If you want to test your production data, make copies of that data for testing purposes

What can I do to be an effective Beta tester?

  • Test your normal production workflows
  • Modify your normal production workflows to accommodate new functionality
  • Review the “What’s New” document (in SOLIDWORKS®, Help > What’s New) and test new functionality with newly created data or with your copied production data
  • Connect with the SOLIDWORKS Beta community and interact with the R&D and management teams on the Beta forum

How do I submit bugs and feedback?

To submit bugs (option 1) Feedback Tool:
  1. In SOLIDWORKS, click on ‘SOLIDWORKS Feedback‘ in the top Menu Bar
  2. Click on ‘Submit a Bug‘ to launch the Service Request form on the SOLIDWORKS® Customer Portal.
  3. Fill out the service request form, and attach any files that may be needed to reproduce the issue. Note: SOLIDWORKS Rx files are especially useful for troubleshooting issues.
SOLIDWORKS 2021 Beta Feedback Tool

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Beta Feedback Tool

To submit bugs (option 2) Support Banner:
  1. Go to the Beta website
  2. Click on ‘Login’
  3. Login with your SOLIDWORKS® Customer Portal credentials
  4. Read and accept the Beta Program Terms and Conditions
  5. Click on ‘SUPPORT’ at the top of the page
  6. Click the ‘New’ button to to fill out and submit a Beta Service Request (SR)
To submit bugs (option 3) SOLIDWORKS Rx:
  2. Click on the ‘Problem Capture’ tab
  3. Complete ‘Step 1’ and ‘Step 2’
  4. In ‘Step 3’, choose ‘Describe the problem by submitting a service request through the customer portal. This requires an active subscription.’ and click on ‘Continue’
  5. A web browser opens and automatically directs you to the Service Request form. Fill out and submit a Beta Service Request (SR) form
To submit feedback:
  • Visit the Beta forum and create a discussion or ask a question
Notes for submitting bugs:
  • Describe your issue in detail and attach relevant images, instructions, and files. Use SOLIDWORKS® Rx to expedite this process
  • Do not contact your local reseller about Beta issues and bugs. Please submit Beta SRs
  • The SOLIDWORKS Beta Program Support Team will review your SRs
  • Bugs will be assigned an SPR number and you will be notified by email when the bug is resolved

Is there an easy way to test SOLIDWORKS® PDM?

Yes. DS provides hosted database and archive servers for you to use. This allows you to create your own vault so that you can test the Beta version without affecting your production environment. Please email for more information.

If I install Beta, does it affect my production or commercial licenses?

No. Although you use your commercial serial numbers to download and install Beta versions, Beta license activation is completely separate from commercial license activation, regardless of whether you have standalone licenses or SolidNetWork licenses (SNL). You have as many Beta licenses as you have commercial licenses.

For example, you have a commercial SNL server that serves 5 licenses of SOLIDWORKS® Standard and 5 licenses of SOLIDWORKS Premium. During the Beta period, you can mimic your commercial SNL server and install and setup a separate Beta SNL server that serves 5 licenses of SOLIDWORKS Standard and 5 licenses of SOLIDWORKS Premium.

The post SOLIDWORKS 2021 Beta Version now available appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at June 23, 2020 12:00 PM


Discover Free DriveWorks Certifications to Improve Your SOLIDWORKS Skills

Are you looking to build on your knowledge and boost your SOLIDWORKS skills? Discover the range of free DriveWorks Certifications, available to anyone with access to SOLIDWORKS.

Embrace design automation techniques to work smarter. Improve your SOLIDWORKS skills and design automation knowledge and use DriveWorks inside SOLIDWORKS to save time, reduce errors and improve quality. DriveWorks design automation and online 3D configurator software for SOLIDWORKS is used by businesses of all sizes, in a wide range of industries and market sectors across the world.

DriveWorks software is modular and scalable, so you can implement DriveWorks and grow your projects at your own pace, adding additional capabilities as and when you need them.

Discover DriveWorks Certifications

The DriveWorksXpress and DriveWorks Solo Certifications are open to everyone, to learn and get certified online, at any time. Created by DriveWorks Technical Experts, the DriveWorks Certifications test your understanding of the training. They are a great way to demonstrate your DriveWorks knowledge and improve your SOLIDWORKS skills.

DriveWorksXpress Certification

The DriveWorksXpress Associate is the first level of DriveWorks Certification. DriveWorksXpress is included free with every seat of SOLIDWORKS. The training and certification is free and available to all engineering and design professionals and students who have access to SOLIDWORKS.

Becoming a Certified DriveWorksXpress Associate (CDWXA) gives you new skills to add to your résumé, opens doors in a competitive jobs market and differentiates you from your peers.

Gain the key digital transformation skills the industry is demanding.

Simply follow the online training and take the certification to become a Certified DriveWorksXpress Associate in just three steps, in under three hours. Access DriveWorks’ wide range of free resources to support your learning. Find out immediately if you’ve passed and you’ll get your certificate straight away.

Improve your SOLIDWORKS skills and design automation knowledge. Embrace design automation and use DriveWorksXpress inside SOLIDWORKS to save time, reduce errors and improve quality.

DriveWorks Solo Certification 

The DriveWorks Solo Certification is brand new for this year. It’s a free certification available to all engineering and design professionals and students who have access to SOLIDWORKS and DriveWorks Solo,including the 30-day free trial.

The certification is a great way to get off to the best start with your DriveWorks Solo design automation projects, taking your design automation skills and capabilities to the next level.

Available online at any time, the DriveWorks Solo certification covers multiple aspects of DriveWorks Solo functionality. It takes under 3 hours to get certified in DriveWorks Solo.

As the need for automation and digital skills increases, DriveWorks Solo is a great way to build knowledge and establish your professional credentials. Help your company by learning about digital transformation or show employers you have the skills they need.

Automate your SOLIDWORKS parts, assemblies and detailed drawings with DriveWorks Solo to save time, eliminate errors and innovate more.

DriveWorks Resources

Discover a wide range of free DriveWorks resources provided to help you with your leaning and completing the certification. Get the most out of your learning with webinars, video clips, sample projects, forums, tutorials and a free training and certification program to make your journey to becoming certified with DriveWorks a success.

Find the content you need here:

Demonstrate your DriveWorks knowledge and improve your SOLIDWORKS skills with DriveWorks certifications.

To learn more about DriveWorks certifications and to take a certification visit:

You can also download and try DriveWorks Solo free for 30 days at

Whether you’re an engineer who needs design automation to automate your SOLIDWORKS models, or a company wanting to provide an online product configurator, DriveWorks software is the ultimate choice for SOLIDWORKS users.

DriveWorks have been automating SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD since 2001. All 3 DriveWorks products – DriveWorksXpress, DriveWorks Solo and DriveWorks Pro – are Certified SOLIDWORKS Gold Partner Products.

Author information

DriveWorks is proven technology for automating repetitive tasks to generate accurate manufacturing drawings, 3D models and sales documents quickly and easily. From a single seat to enterprise-wide deployments, there is a DriveWorks Automation product to suit the needs of most companies creating custom products. DriveWorksXpress is included with every seat of SolidWorks, and DriveWorks has been a SolidWorks Certified Gold Partner since 2002.

The post Discover Free DriveWorks Certifications to Improve Your SOLIDWORKS Skills appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by DriveWorks at June 23, 2020 12:00 PM

June 22, 2020


Be A Better Machine Designer with SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal

What separates the average machine designer from an expert designer? The work speaks for itself when everything fits together like it is supposed to. If you have ever witnessed someone bang or smack sheet metal parts to get the desired fit, then let’s take a look at how SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal tools can trivialize some of the most common issues and productivity sinks when manufacturing sheet metal parts.

Flats being produced come out wrong or inconsistent!

This is by far one of the most common problems using SOLIDWORKS sheet metal can solve!

Metal grows when you bend it. The nuances and calculations as to how much varies between tool diameter, metal properties, and thickness. In this day and age there are still shops out there that don’t use them and just eyeball everything. Inevitably, mistakes happen and scrap piles up as designers try to wing it or fabricators try to ding it back into proper place. No more wing and ding!

The best way to get a consistent product is to use the built in tables in SOLIDWORKS. Spend some time setting them up and using them for every part. SOLIDWORKS can calculate and foreshorten the flats appropriately using these tables. While this may seem trivial for some parts, once a part is bent more than 2-3 times it becomes impossible to “wing it.”

For example, see Figure 1 below. Take a simple part geometry like this and do it without proper bend deductions – and the result will be a crooked part every time.


Figure 1


Fit and assembly – parts do not align properly

This stems from many possible issues that are often overlooked. Here are some of the most common ones:

Designers often don’t pay attention to whether flanges are inside or outside flanges when parts mate together and neglect the flange thickness when modeling tolerances in the design. This issue leads to painful stack up errors making parts too long or too short. Compound this with bend deduction issues and a pile of scrap is imminent.

Most designers are familiar with bottom up modeling where a pile of sheet metal parts are created individually and then assembled later.

To be frank, most sheet metal assemblies benefit from being constructed in a top down format when it really matters for tolerance because each component can be built in place to create the perfect fit. Hole alignments, flange orientation, notching, coping, and mitering components is much easier when all of the parts are designed in a multi body part format. When flanges and geometry start to stack up, this method of creating parts becomes the much more efficient method to creating sheet metal assemblies because users won’t need to tab back and forth to all of these little parts to make adjustments. When parts need multiple alignment points like this assembly below (Figure 2), top down modeling to place holes and flanges makes way more sense.


Figure 2


Complex Cornering – closing up gaps and getting the perfect miter

Gaps. Holes. Filling the part full of weld and grinding it out because someone couldn’t figure out the folded up geometry of that one little spot. This is a common and painful thing that many companies overlook. How much time are the fabricators patching up mistakes known or not behind the design team that have labor costs and reduction of quality?

Complex miters are also no joke. The majority of designers cannot do this manually in 2D to make a good flat and SOLIDWORKS can do it with ease using the Miter flange command. See figures 3 and 4. If the gaps are not tight enough, flattening and modifying the notches in the corner will provide one of the fastest and most accurate ways to make the perfect shape to reduce all that labor.


Figure 3



Figure 4



Exporting to CNC using DXFs

Sending parts to out for fabrication has never been easier with SOLIDWORKS and streamlining the entire manufacturing process should be a top goal for companies that have invested in this technology.

Creating a good flat using all of the considerations listed above and exporting it to a .DXF file is as simple as a right click on the part face that is flattened.  There are even a number of partner products that will pull all flat patterns out of a folder, create dxf files, and allow batch nesting of components that minimize scrap in one fell swoop.

Too often do companies still save and modify DXF files and route code using 2D software and tools even if the flat was generated in 3D using SOLIDWORKS. SOLIDWORKS has the ability to tie in with several nesting products and take immense time out of the process of modifying these DXF files and creating tool paths to cut out these flats. Doing it the old way is incredibly laborious and companies can save the most money with careful investments in the right nesting solution that helps SOLIDWORKS communicate manufacturing data to those machines.

Speaking of connectivity, most CNC brake software partners in SOLIDWORKS can automatically pull bend line information into the machine without the users or operators doing anything at all. Lift the metal and hit the pedal.

Another common concern is that punch tools are still inserted manually in 2D environment or manually added to the .DXF file in the CAM software for the punch but most of these can actually accept the data that SOLIDWORKS can generate in the DXF file to skip this process entirely! This saves an immense amount of time when dealing with large patterns because the time to manually click or find the punch locations can lead to missed hits and issues in production from user error.

If you can capture all of this information and design your parts with manufacturability in mind your productivity will soar. This is what separates a good machine designer from a great one because you don’t want your legacy measured in scrap unless that pile is empty!


Robbie Hoyler, Technical Solutions Manager, Elite AE, TPM, Inc.

Author information

TPM, Inc. is the Carolina’s largest 3D CAD provider and a leading technology company proud of its reputation of providing cutting-edge solutions to the engineering and design community for the past 40 years. Founded in 1973, TPM Inc. serves more than 3,000 customers across the Southeast each year. Inspired by our founder, Jerry Cooper, we are committed to offering our clients the best: 3D Design Software, 3D Printing and Scanning Options, Data and Document Management Solutions, Large-Format Graphics, Wide-Format Plotters and Office Equipment, and Reprographics.

The post Be A Better Machine Designer with SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by TPM at June 22, 2020 03:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Simulating Hydrostatic Pressure in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

SOLIDWORKS Simulation lets you create studies that review the effects of hydrostatic pressure of a fluid in a model. The displacements and stresses caused by hydrostatic pressures can be calculated by applying non-uniform force distribution. In the example below, the stresses caused by hydrostatic pressure in a bucket filled with water are investigated. The height and the diameter of the bucket is one meter.

Bucket Filled Completely with Water

Bucket Filled Completely with Water

A static simulation study is created and the bucket is fully constrained at the bottom of the bucket. Although the model is self-equilibrated as all the forces cancel each other, the fixtures are still required to account for numerical errors.

To apply the hydrostatic pressure to the bucket, a non-uniform force needs to be applied to all the inner faces of the bucket. A non-uniform force distribution is applied to these faces using an equation. To define the equation, a Cartesian coordinate system is used. For simplicity, a coordinate system at the top level of water is being created and used in defining the force equation.

Applying a Non-uniform Force Distribution

Applying a Non-uniform Force Distribution

The coefficients of the X and Z components are set to zero so that there is no force in these directions. However, in the Y direction (which is the direction of hydrostatic pressure), a coefficient of ρ * g (density of water multiplied by the gravitational constant) is multiplied by the height of water. That means that at the surface of water, the hydrostatic pressure is zero and as we move down through the depth of fluid, the pressure increases linearly with the depth.

Von Mises Stresses Due to Hydrostatic Pressure of Water in a Bucket

Von Mises Stresses Due to Hydrostatic Pressure of Water in a Bucket

The post Simulating Hydrostatic Pressure in SOLIDWORKS Simulation appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Mersedeh Zandvakili at June 22, 2020 12:00 PM

June 19, 2020

The Javelin Blog

Our SOLIDWORKS Advanced Update Training Course has been Updated!

Our SOLIDWORKS Advanced Update Training Course has been recently updated to include new best practices and features included with the latest release of SOLIDWORKS.

The focus of our SOLIDWORKS Advanced Update course is to learn the advanced functionality within the core SOLIDWORKS product including all the features you wish you had known about before.

NOTE: The Advanced Update course is not a replacement for the SOLIDWORKS Essentials, as the course is designed for users that already have a solid foundation in SOLIDWORKS

This online training course will help you to:

  • Master the core functionality within SOLIDWORKS.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the latest tools and efficiency techniques in SOLIDWORKS.
  • Optimize Components and create Drawings much faster than before.
  • Reduce and eliminate errors; know how to troubleshoot parts and assemblies using best practices.

Check out the new lessons below:

Lesson #1: SOLIDWORKS Basics and the User Interface

  • Learn the most efficient ways for streamlining interaction with the SOLIDWORKS User Interface. Techniques include a reduction in mouse travel and clicks, keyboard shortcuts, and more. Depending on each designer’s current practices, the time savings will be between 20% to 70%.
  • Typically, users, who had already had a lot of experience in using the software, report that this lesson changes their professional life, by helping them stay “in-the-flow”, focusing on designing, not on operating SOLIDWORKS.
  • Most self-taught users follow the traditional mode to interact with the SOLIDWORKS user interface:
    • Access commands via static toolbars or Command Manager.
    • Long mouse travel.
    • Multiple clicks in multiple dialog boxes to achieve anything.
    • Repetitive and frustrating.
  • The major drawback of the traditional workflow for interacting with SOLIDWORKS is the introduction of micro-distractions in the design process:
    • The eyes are following the cursor all over the place.
    • The brain switches focus from the model to the user interface and from the “design mode” to “icon hunting mode”.
    • The user becomes more concentrated on “using SOLIDWORKS” instead of the next step in the design process.
Expected outcome:
  • In just an hour you will master 5 (five) principles for interacting with SOLIDWORKS that would ensure you are always “in the design flow”. These techniques:
    • Are easy to remember.
    • Are easy to adopt.
    • Do not require memorizing tens of keyboard shortcuts.
    • “Make sense”.
    • Minimize mouse movement and keyboard interactions.
    • Keep user focus on the model, not on the icons.
    • Allow the user to be in the flow.

Lesson #2: Patterning

  • Learn the best practices for using Patterns, with a focus on the productivity enhancements introduced in the latest three releases of SOLIDWORKS. Leveraging these enhancements can be the difference between “re-inventing the wheel” and fully automating the modeling process.
  • This lesson will focus on the latest enhancements in the patterns’ functionality. Currently the pattern feature is not a simple copier of features but more of a blueprint for creating new features with varying design intent.

Lesson #3: Editing —  Repairs

  • Sketches and features can lose relations and get error and warning flags for a large variety of reasons. You might need to work with parts created by other people or you might need to break relations during design intent changes, usually as part of the revision process.
  • This lesson teaches to most effective diagnostic tools and fast repairing techniques.
  • Many students report that they can fix specific problems in one minute, where prior to taking the course it would take them more than 1 hour.

Lesson #4: Editing — Design Changes

  • Given that modifying geometry can result in broken features, constrains, relations and mates, you will take advantage of the skills acquired in the previous lesson to quickly troubleshoot and fix what is broken.
  • You will master best practices for collaborating and documenting their models. The more information is inserted in the model, the easier it will be for you to understand the design intent in a previous job and quickly modify it to match the new requirements.
  • This lesson also covers important best practices for modeling, to minimize the need for modification based on design intent changes.

Lesson #5: Configurations at Part Level

  • Learn how to apply the best practices for configuration management directly in projects, including how to suppress features by configuration and how to use the design library to insert features into a part.
    • Configurations can be very efficient but also misused by untrained users. This lesson will teach your team the fastest way to configure a complex part without the need of complex Excel spreadsheets.
    • Will cover the best practices for ensuring the model is fast and responsive.
    • Eliminate the need to re-create the same chain of features over and over.
    • Increase the modeling consistency in your team!

Lesson #6: Bottom-Up Assembly Modeling

  • Learn new tools and techniques that enhance assembly modeling efficiency.  Designers will master techniques to double their productivity when building a new or modifying an existing assembly.
  • Will re-enforce the “in-the-design-flow” principles started in Lesson 1.

Lesson #7: Using Assemblies

  • Master the use of assembly design validation tools like Advanced Static and Dynamic Interference Detection, Hole Alignment, Clearance Verification and more.
  • Learn how to use the latest tools and techniques for creating Exploded Views, for assembly instructions and manuals.
  • It will reduce the amount of time your users require to create such views by 3 to 5 times.
  • It will demonstrate how exploded views could be used for other type of deliverables that otherwise require a long time to create:
    • Process instructions.
    • Assembly Instructions.
    • Videos.
    • Motion studies.
    • Replace the need to create extra configurations.
    • Reduce the need to perform mate management in configurations.

Lesson #8: Multibody Design Techniques

  • Learn how to use Boolean operations inside a multibody environment. Knowing how to use Boolean operations at the part and assembly levels could be the difference between wasting time and getting the job done. Sometimes, these types of techniques are the only solutions to modeling challenges. This lesson entails:
    • Understanding the multibody environment functionality.
    • Using Boolean operations to perform quick parametric edits and avoid re-inventing the wheel.
    • Using Boolean operations to eliminate unnecessary geometry complexity by filling internal cavities.

Lesson #9: Advanced Mate Techniques

Learn techniques to easily find, change and configure mates, and how to copy components with mates. This includes how to apply mate references and use them for efficient assembly.

  • The outcome gained from lesson 1 also apply here too. It is all about being in the flow when working with assemblies. Your users could become 2 to 5 times faster at the end of the course.
  • Increase the modeling consistency in your team!

Lesson #10: Assembly Editing

  • Learn tools and best practices to identify assembly needs to better meet design requirements. This includes replacing and modifying components, troubleshooting an assembly, controlling dimensions in an assembly and mirroring components.
  • This lesson is a must for power users in the conceptual phase of the design or when performing revisions. Due to the nature of the typical concept development process, users continuously create and destroy features in the parts, replace components and change mates. Because of that, knowing how to quickly troubleshoot the errors created by design intent changes is essential for maximizing efficiency.

Lesson #11: Using Configurations with Assemblies

  • Learn the best practices for using Assembly level configurations as well as the latest tips and tricks to expand capabilities in performing the following functions:
    • Design automation and simplification.
    • Quick bulk edits and revisions.
    • Alternate position views.
    • Custom Property management.
    • Table generation.
  • This lesson will help users adopt the new tools in configuration management, and:
    • Reduce time.
    • Increase robustness and predictability.
    • Reduce the need to create new configurations .
    • Study the movement of your assemblies with ease.

Lesson #12: Display States and Appearances

  • Learn how to use display states in assemblies, as a time-savings tool for working with large assemblies. Designers will understand the separate roles of configurations and display states in an assembly, and the best practices for selecting the best tool for the job.
  • Learn how to use advanced selection tools and create selection sets for additional time savings when working in large assemblies. This includes how to reuse such selections as input for many operations.
  • This is one of the most important lesson for your power-users.
  • It is focused primarily on:
    • Speed.
    • Reduce or even eliminate repetitive tasks.
    • Increase consistency in your team when working with assemblies.
    • Reduce the need to create configurations.
    • Increase efficiency when working with large assemblies and drawings.
    • Ultimately increase the modeling consistency in your team!

Lesson #13: Introduction to Large Assembly Management

  • This lesson is a great introduction to the Large Assembly Management best practices, tools and techniques. Topics include:
    • Main causes of assembly slow-down.
    • Troubleshooting tools and techniques.
    • Optimization and simplification techniques.
    • Maximizing productivity by learning how to use the best tool to complete the task on hand.
  • After taking this lesson, users who experience slow-downs with their assemblies and drawings will be well prepared to attend the SOLIDWORKS Large Assembly and Drawing Productivity Workshop »

Interested in the SOLIDWORKS Update Course?

Check the schedule for upcoming courses. Or get a quote for the course and let us know the date and location where you require training.

Plus learn more about our On-the-job Coaching and Customized SOLIDWORKS Training services.

The post Our SOLIDWORKS Advanced Update Training Course has been Updated! appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at June 19, 2020 05:29 PM


Enlil Is A Smart Wind Turbine Design That Converts Energy From Oncoming Traffic

enlil wind turbine

We all know the basics of how a wind turbine works. Using passing winds as an energy source, a typical wind turbine converts kinetic energy into useable electricity.

While many wind turbines are large and found in mountainous regions or open fields, the Enlil has a more urban source of wind energy. By plopping this tiny tower in the middle of a street, even one with relatively little traffic, it captures the wind of passing vehicles and convert it into electricity.

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This relatively small wind turbine is easily installed on an island between traffic lanes, where it captures the winds from both directions of traffic flow.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">enlil wind turbine</figure>

And for moments when there are fewer cars to qualify its usefulness on any given day, the Enlil has a built-in solar panel to take in solar energy as well. Combined with its wind turbine capabilities, the Enlil is capable of generating up to 1kw/h (enough to power two households for a single day).

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">enlil wind turbine</figure>

Apart from providing an easily accessible source of electricity in cities, the urban setting of the Enlil gives it another use: monitoring.

Located inside the wind turbine are a bevy of sensors which measure the city’s temperature, CO2 emissions, earthquake intensity, and of course, wind strength and direction. Plop a couple of these babies in a city and you easily map a ton of information that could help improve cities all over the globe.

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</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large">enlil wind turbine</figure>

The Enlil is still in its prototyping phase, but as soon as testing is complete, the goal is to locate in larger cities worldwide. It’s an ingenious multi-functional solution that could both supplement our energy use and possibly even save lives with the data it is simultaneously able to gather.

The post Enlil Is A Smart Wind Turbine Design That Converts Energy From Oncoming Traffic appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 19, 2020 03:13 PM


Beehive Coasters Set

In this tutorial you will be shown a range of simple modelling features to create a honeycomb coaster and a beehive lid with a bee topper. This tutorial uses a wide range of modelling features including, boss and cut extruding, filleting, revolving, shelling, mirror bodies, dome and combine. When the parts are assembled together, 4 coasters are stacked with the lid on top to create a beehive.

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In the first part of this tutorial the coaster is created using boss extrude, cut extrude and fillet. The honeycomb design is created using the fill pattern tool which allows you to create a single feature and repeat/pattern it across a face or within a sketch boundary. In this case, an extrude cut hexagon was fill patterned across the top face of the coaster.

Decals are applied to the coaster using projection mapping to create the color finish. Before the design is rendered SOLIDWORKS Visualize, you can assign appearances to the decals and edit their properties, for this design a plastic appearance was used to achieve the bright, reflective finish. The decals for this tutorial are available to download here.

The next part in the tutorial is the coasters lid, this is created with boss extrude, the curve of the beehive is achieved using the fillet tool, changing the fillet type to asymmetric allows you to play around with the type of curve by changing the dimensions of the curve from the top and side of a fillet. As you can see in the below rendering, an asymmetric fillet generates a non circular profile. The hexagonal cut outs were created using cut extrude and the circular pattern feature.

The bee topper is created in the same part as the lid, but it is kept as a separate body. The profile of the bee is revolved and rotated into place using move/copy bodies. The bee details are modeled with the help of new planes, created with guide sketches. As single wing and antenna are created on one side of the bee and mirrored using mirror bodies, the bee bodies and coaster lid are then combined into a single bodied part. Decals are again applied, and a glass appearance is added to the bee wings.

The finished parts  (cup not included) are brought into an assembly and saved. The assembly was used to create an exploded view of the design which was animated in motion analysis and exported to SOLIDWORKS Visualize to produce a rendered animation, the final animation can be seen at the end of the tutorial.

Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

The post Beehive Coasters Set appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Jade Crompton at June 19, 2020 03:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Using Symmetry in your SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Studies

The size of your SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation studies can be drastically reduced by using symmetry to simplify the study. Symmetric studies saves you time and resources by reducing mesh generation. SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation creates mirrored results for symmetric studies.

In order to use the symmetry in flow simulation, both the geometry and the boundary conditions should be symmetric. As an example, the following picture shows a piston valve in which the water enters through the inlet in the center of the valve. The water moves radially out through the exit holes.

Piston Valve Inlet and Outlets

Piston Valve Inlet and Outlets

Since both the geometry and the boundary conditions are symmetric, the model can be split to quarter (along XY and XZ planes) to use symmetry boundary conditions.

The Geometry and Boundary Conditions Are Symmetric Relative to XZ and XY Planes

The Geometry and Boundary Conditions Are Symmetric Relative to XZ and XY Planes

To apply symmetry boundary condition in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, the model does not need to cut or split. However, when defining the computational domain, only a quarter of the model is selected.

The Symmetric Computational Domain

The Symmetric Computational Domain

Once the computational domain is defined, symmetry boundary conditions are applied to the walls of computational domain.

Symmetry Boundary Conditions Along Planes of Symmetry

Symmetry Boundary Conditions Along Planes of Symmetry

The post Using Symmetry in your SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Studies appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Mersedeh Zandvakili at June 19, 2020 12:00 PM

June 18, 2020


Getting Better 3D Prints With 3DOptimizer


A new online service has emerged that hopes to guide 3D printer operators to better printing parameters: 3DOptimizer.

FabControl SIA, the producers of 3DOptimizer, seems to be a spinoff from well-known 3D printer manufacturer Mass Portal. Their claim to fame was being able to achieve 3D prints of astonishing quality, so there’s definitely skill present. In fact, one of the founders and former CEO of Mass Portal, Janis Grinhofs, is now running FabControl SIA.

Optimizing 3D Prints

Getting the best print is a quest known by any 3D printer operator, and it is usually a tedious affair. Benchmark 3D prints are produced iteratively, each time tweaking this or that setting. Eventually, those skilled in this process can “dial in” on the optimal settings for a specific material on a particular 3D printer model.

Once that’s done these settings can be reused forever without change, so long as the material or printer is not changed. It’s very important for production operations to achieve this, as consistent results are inevitably required in manufacturing.

However, many 3D printer operates now use many different filaments as the choice of material is as wide as it’s ever been. And it’s going to continue to grow. This means 3D printer operators are faced with an increasing amount of “dialing in” over the next few years.

3DOptimizer Service

FabControl SIA has now introduced their 3DOptimizer tool. This is a paid online service that simplifies the dialing-in process by automating the steps. In fact, there’s probably a lot fewer steps involved than the manual equivalent.

The idea is to walk the user through a series of tests that can perform the diaingl-in. The tests try to figure out the best combination of print speed, temperature and material flow.

<figure class="aligncenter size-large"><figcaption>Some of the test parameters used by 3DOptimizer [Source: FabControl SIA]</figcaption></figure>

Normally the entire process should take several hours to generate models, print them, evaluate them and proceed to the next step iteratively.

It’s similar to what one might do using 3D printed benchmarks, but that requires repeatedly 3D printing an object, tweaking one or at most two settings each time. If the print takes a while to complete, as is the case with a #3DBenchy, the process can take a very long time to complete. Even worse, some might abandon the process as soon as one “gets close”.

3DOptimizer bundles many of these iterations into each step. Typically it asks you to 3D print an array of thin shapes, each with a different combination of 3D printing parameters. It’s almost like 3D printing a chart where the X-axis might be print speed and the Y-axis is temperature.

Once these prints are completed, you simply select the best one by eye, tell 3DOptimizer, and move on to the next test. The next test will incorporate results from the first test to continue the dial-in process.

Eventually the tests are complete and 3DOptimizer offers to download an optimal print profile. You can download in three formats: Simplify3D, Ultimaker Cura, and PrusaSlicer.

Testing 3DOptimizer

<figure class="aligncenter size-large"><figcaption>One of my 3DOptimizer tests showing good and bad cells [Source: Fabbaloo]</figcaption></figure>

I was able to give 3DOptimizer a quick test, courtesy of their free trial program. You can make full use of the product for a few days and get a feel for how it works.

I attempted to produce an optimal PLA profile for one of my test units, an ANET ET4 3D printer.

The tests were straightforward, and it began with a simple array of rectangles. 3DOptimizer does ask you to verify a few things in advance, such as the maximum temperature you want to use. This puts the testing in a rough “envelope”, in which the optimal answer will be found.

<figure class="aligncenter size-large"><figcaption>Another 3DOptimizer test showing good and bad cells [Source: Fabbaloo]</figcaption></figure>

I found the 3DOptimizer test prints were quite quick to print. They are not large in the X-Y axes, and only a few layers thick. Due to the design of the 3D models they can indeed perform the necessary testing with a minimum amount of material used. This is a great benefit over 3D printing 47 #3DBenchys.

Sometimes the test results were a bit confusing, as the “right” selection might not be obvious. However, if you pick one that is good — it is good.

Another issue I found was that you should not rotate the print. If, for example, you removed the thin print from the build plate and then examined it, you might accidentally rotate it and then lose track of which cell belongs to which setting. Do your eye checks while it’s still on the 3D printer.

In the end I downloaded an Ultimaker Cura-format print profile and attempted to 3D print two #3DBenchys. One was using stock settings for PLA, and the other used the optimized 3DOptimizer profile.

I found the results interesting, as you can see below.

<figure class="aligncenter size-large"><figcaption>Default and 3DOptimizer #3DBenchys, left to right [Source: Fabbaloo]</figcaption></figure>

On the left is the “default” #3DBenchy, and on the right is the 3DOptimizer version. Note that there seems to be some stringies on the optimized version. I suspect I might have selected the wrong cell at one point in the printing iterations.

<figure class="aligncenter size-large"><figcaption>Default and 3DOptimizer #3DBenchys, left to right [Source: Fabbaloo]</figcaption></figure>

Nevertheless, the rest of the 3D print turned out better than the default profile. The surfaces were smoother and overhangs were handled better, in spite of the stringies. In other words, the 3DOptimizer process seemed to work!

3DOptimizer Availability

3DOptimizer is available now, and it’s easily accessible from a browser. You’d best use a desktop to access it, however, as you’ll be downloading print profiles and 3D models.

FabControl SIA offers a free version of 3DOptimizer, but it’s limited to three days use. After that you’ll have to select one of their paid plans. Fortunately, they have some options that will meet everyone’s needs.

There’s a Week plan for US$4.95. This is ideal for someone who only occasionally would need to dial in a new filament. You’d pay for that week and not the next, as it would only take a day or two to go through the process.

Finally, they offer a Month plan at US$14.95. This is best for a workshop where new filaments and printers are being tested regularly.

I’m surprised no one has thought of doing this process before, but I’m glad FabControl SIA have done so.

The post Getting Better 3D Prints With 3DOptimizer appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Fabbaloo at June 18, 2020 09:04 PM

Lenovo Sneaks Us a Peek at New ThinkPad P15 & P17 Mobile Workstations

If you awoke from a dream this morning with P’s written in Sharpie all across your torso, there’s a reason. Lenovo has announced the next generation of the ThinkPad P Series laptops bringing a whole host of upgrades to the ThinkPad family. Altogether there are five laptops in the mix and while they all hit different needs, you’ll likely be most interested in the 3D pro-focused updates for the P15 and P17.

10th Gen Intel + Ultra Performance Mode

Leading the features for the entire P Series line is the new Ultra Performance Mode (enabled in the BIOS) that brings you more control over performance settings, shifting VPU and GPU processor priority to wherever it’s needed most. On top of that, each laptop gets new 10th gen Intel H series Core or Xeon processors. The next-gen ThinkPad P Series release includes:

  • ThinkPad P17
  • ThinkPad P15
  • ThinkPad P15v
  • ThinkPad P1 Gen 3
  • ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3

ThinkPad P15/ThinkPad P17 Mobile Workstations

The P15 and P17 are successors to the P53 and P73. Each has had their thermal design completely reengineered for 13% more airflow with larger vents, a new thermal mesh, and a 30% larger CPU heat sink. They also feature a new daughtercard design, replacing the soldered design, that allows 4x more GPU/CPU configurations than previous laptops. With that, you have options to use up to an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 GPU for more graphics power.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">ThinkPad P15 and P17<figcaption>The ThinkPad P15 (left) and the ThinkPad P17 (right) Mobile Workstations.</figcaption></figure>
  • 10th Gen Intel Core or Xeon
  • Up to NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000
  • 4K UHD (3840×2160); OLED Touch or 600nit LCD (15); 500nit LCD (17)
  • Up to 4TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD Storage
  • Up to 128 GB DDR4 Memory
  • 2x Intel Thunderbolt 3
  • New 94WHr shared battery
  • Size: 375.4 x 252.3 x 29.1mm (15); 416 x 281 x 30.2mm (17)
  • Weight: 6.0lbs (15); 7.7lb (17)
  • Availability: July 2020 starting at $1,979 (15) and $2119 (17)
<figure class="wp-block-video aligncenter"><video controls="controls" src=""></video><figcaption>Exploded internal view of the Lenovo ThinkPad P15</figcaption></figure>

ThinkPad P15v

Though the P15v has a lot of the features in the P15, you’ll have limits on memory, GPU, and ports. However, if you need a slightly smaller size and weight, without the power of an RTX GPU, this little guy may interest you.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">ThinkPad P15v<figcaption>The ThinkPad P15v Mobile Workstation</figcaption></figure>
  • 10th Gen Intel Core or Xeon
  • Up to NVIDIA P620
  • 4K UHD (3840×2160) 600nit LCD
  • Up to 4TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD Storage
  • Up to 64 GB DDR4 Memory
  • 1x Intel Thunderbolt 3
  • Size: 366.5 x 250 x 22.7mm
  • Weight: 4.6lbs
  • Availability: July 2020 starting at $1,349

ThinkPad P1 Gen 3

At 0.72in (18.4mm) and starting at 3.75lbs, the P1 is Lenovo’s thinnest and lightest workstation. It comes with updated technology and new improvements to its premium look-and-feel along with new anti-smudge coating to reduce fingerprint visibility. They’ve also upgraded the speakers.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">ThinkPad P1 Gen 3<figcaption>The Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 3 Mobile Workstation.</figcaption></figure>
  • 10th Gen Intel Core or Xeon
  • Up to NVIDIA T2000
  • 4K UHD (3840×2160) OLED Touch or 600nit LCD
  • Up to 4TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD Storage
  • Up to 64 GB DDR4 Memory
  • 2x Intel Thunderbolt 3
  • Size: 361.8 x 245.7 x 18.4mm
  • Weight: 3.75lbs
  • Availability: July 2020 starting at $2,019

ThinkPad X1 Extreme

The X1 is their new offering that comes in at the entry level on price but delivering mobility and power for everyday use. You’ll get the size and weight of the P1 and up to the same amount of storage and memory but limited in power on the GPU and CPU.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><figcaption>The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Mobile Workstation</figcaption></figure>
  • 10th Gen Intel Core vPro mobile
  • Up to NVIDIA GeForce 1650Ti
  • 4K UHD (3840×2160) OLED Touch or 600nit LCD
  • Up to 4TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD Storage
  • Up to 64 GB DDR4 Memory
  • 2x Intel Thunderbolt 3
  • Size: 361.8 x 245.7 x 18.2mm
  • Weight: 3.75lbs
  • Availability: July 2020 starting at $1749

Keep an eye out on for availability come July.

The post Lenovo Sneaks Us a Peek at New ThinkPad P15 & P17 Mobile Workstations appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at June 18, 2020 08:53 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Instant Upgrade Promotion Ending Soon!

Buy a Desktop, Network or Term SOLIDWORKS product and be instantly upgraded to the next level SOLIDWORKS product for FREE — savings of up to US$10,000. Must include the purchase of 1 year of upgrade SOLIDWORKS Subscription Service at full price.

Act now as this offer ends Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The promotion applies to the following SOLIDWORKS 2020 license types:

Desktop Licenses on Promotion

Perpetual single user license you own, assigned to a specific machine:

Network Licenses on Promotion

Floating license that you own, that can be shared by your team over your network:

Term Licenses on Promotion

Rented licenses available for 3 Month or 1 Year terms, can be added to a desktop license:


SOLIDWORKS is the 3D CAD software of choice for over 3 million product designers and engineers worldwide.

  • The ability to move from concept to production in no time with the flexibility in SOLIDWORKS solutions.
  • An integrated design-to-manufacturing system that enables you to take your product from concept to
    production faster and smarter than ever.
  • The largest and most passionate community of users to network, share and collaborate with.

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Why buy from Javelin?

Getting the best support with a service provider you can partner with is just as important as the 3D design software you choose for your business. Here are a few good reasons to choose Javelin:

  • A Canadian owned and operated SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller with 6 locations across Canada to provide your business with the best local service.
  • Extended Support Hours: Get the help you need with SOLIDWORKS Subscription Service. Technical support is available 13.5 hours a day Monday to Friday from 7 AM — 8:30 PM (ET)
  • Get software updates and new releases to ensure you always have access to the best features and enhancements to give you a competitive advantage.
  • Subscription Service program members get free access to testing and certification for Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA) and Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional (CSWP) credentials.

Interested in the Promotion?

Contact us to learn more about the SOLIDWORKS products on promotion.

Legal Terms and Conditions
  • Offer limited to two seats per customer location.
  • Offer valid from May 18, 2020 in Canada.
  • Offer expires Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time and cannot be combined with any other discount or offer.
  • Only newly acquired licenses ordered after 12:00 am Eastern Time on May 18, 2020 are eligible.
  • SOLIDWORKS Educational and Research licenses do NOT qualify for this offer.
  • Anti-piracy and compliance cases do not qualify for this offer.
  • Other restrictions may apply.
  • SOLIDWORKS Subscription Service for the upgraded software, for one year must be purchased at full-price, for instance:
    • Buy Standard and get Professional with the purchase of 1 year of Professional subscription.
    • Buy Professional and get Premium with the purchase of 1 year of Premium subscription.
  • A SOLIDWORKS Standard or Professional product must be purchased at full-price (no additional discounts are allowed) in order to receive an upgrade to a Professional or Premium product respectively.

The post SOLIDWORKS Instant Upgrade Promotion Ending Soon! appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at June 18, 2020 08:00 PM


Dagr Is A Micro Knife and the Perfect EDC for Your Keyring


We’ve all been there before: your package arrives in the mail and you have nothing to open it with. It’s times like these we reach for the closest sharp object in the vicinity: a pair of scissors, a letter opener, an untrimmed fingernail. In my case? You guessed it. A Swiss Army knife.

However, the Dagr is definitely one to add to the EDC list. Made by Calvin Laituri, a father and son design team, this tiny knife can be easily carried for those impromptu cutting ceremonies.

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The Dagr has two distinct modes: one being screwed on and totally safe, the other being unscrewed and sharper than a politician’s tongue on a bad day.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">dagr</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large">dagr</figure>

When closed, the Dagr is a tiny tube which can be hung from a keyring. You can fiddle with it, use it to press germ-infested elevator buttons, or simply use it to hold your keys.

<figure class="aligncenter size-large">dagr</figure>

The real use of the Dagr reveals itself when the tube is unscrewed, showcasing the .5” long and .07” thick blade hidden inside. It can easily cut through materials like paper and cardboard, but it can also slice thicker things like leather and lanyard cord.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">dagr</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large">dagr</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large">dagr</figure>

You can use the unscrewed blade on its own, or you can flip it over and screw it to the other half of the tube to give it a longer grip.

<figure class="aligncenter size-large">dagr</figure>
<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">dagr</figure>

Both the cap and blade are CNC turned from a mix of 304 stainless steel and grade 5 titanium, two high grade materials used to make heavy duty tools. The blade can also be grinded on a whetstone should it start to dull from all those packages you got from Amazon.

You can find more on the Dagr’s specs and features on its Kickstarter page. It isn’t short on funding, however. As of this writing the micro cutter’s initial $1,000 goal has been accomplished now pushing up over $60,000. I guess a lot of people really do need a cutting tool ready at hand.

The post Dagr Is A Micro Knife and the Perfect EDC for Your Keyring appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 18, 2020 05:32 PM


How Strong is Your LEGO® Piece Really? Find Out With SOLIDWORKS Simulation

Growing up and playing with LEGO® as a budding engineer, had you ever thought about how strong your LEGO® pieces were? We shall investigate this thought using SolidWorks Simulation, an FEA module that runs natively within the SolidWorks User Interface. We will use modules that are available in the Simulation Premium package to illustrate the full extent of SolidWorks Simulation capabilities to see not only linear behaviour, but also the non-linear behaviour of our LEGO® piece and determine, is it as strong as we think it is? For those parents frustrated with LEGO®, keep reading and see whether you have the strength to deform and “take care” of them for good…

We decided to investigate the strength of one of the most common pieces, a 2 x 4 LEGO® Plate, and also highlight the user-friendly SOLIDWORKS Simulation capabilities.

Growing up and playing with LEGO®


The aim with simulating a 2×4 LEGO® plate was to estimate how much force it could take to misalign the studs such that it becomes incompatible for other LEGO® elements to stack on it. From measuring and experimenting samples of a 2×4 LEGO® plate with other pieces, we realised that some of the tighter fits between pieces were when the stud spacing deviated 0.1mm from nominal dimensions. To note, assumptions have been made especially where access to exact information is limited (e.g. Material data).


  1. Permanent deformation of greater than 0.2mm between the studs will render them incompatible/un-stackable
  2. LEGO® bricks are made of ABS Plastic (Injection moulded grade), however, the ABS that is used is not public knowledge. Instead we extracted the Yield and Ultimate Tensile stress from literature*(Doraisamy & T, 2017) and thus, estimates generated here may be lower than what the original product may withstand.
  3. The LEGO® piece is constrained in the y-direction as it is stretched axially in the x-direction – i.e. assuming a perfect clamp/fixture pulling in one direction like in a tensile test. This is to stabilize the FEA model in the y-direction.


For the analysis, we simulated a quarter of the 2×4 LEGO® plate, taking advantage of this piece’s symmetry (shown below):

Growing up and playing with LEGO®

Figure 2: FEA model used for studies – Quarter of 2×4 Plate

The first step taken in this investigation was to see if by chance, an average adult would be able to pull and permanently deform the LEGO® plate while gripping either end.

The following inputs were used:

  • The adult pulls the piece as per the perfect clamp assumption
  • The adult is male, sitting down, forearm horizontal (viewed from the side) and pointing at the 12 o’clock position (viewed from the top) and according to Das and Wang (2004), the total average pull force with the right hand under these conditions is 208.97 N. Input is half that for the quarter model used in the study and force is assumed to act equally (same force magnitude on the left side).
  • Assuming a thumb and index finger grip, from literature(RIT, 2006), the grip strength is on average 19 lbs. For the input, it would be 9.5 lbs.

With all these assumptions and inputs translated into a linear static study, the resulting displacements and von Mises stress is shown below:

Growing up and playing with LEGO®

Growing up and playing with LEGO®


The area of interest for us is the region circled in red shown in Figure 4. Based off the colour chart, the region hasn’t permanently deformed as the majority of the area is well under yield, and at the same time, the max resultant displacement is not at all close to 0.2mm (Assumption 1), thus, we can confirm an average adult wouldn’t be able to render this LEGO® piece unusable.

From here, instead of trying to iterate by inputting a force until we reach both yielding in the area of interest and getting the stud spacing displacement to be >0.2mm from nominal position, an analysis was setup that answers the question: What is the axial force that will cause the piece to deform to 0.2mm when pulled? This will serve as the minimum condition for the piece to fail.

With that said, another Static study, called Stud Misalignment, is made where the external loads are replaced with two Reference Geometry fixtures:

1.“Reference Geometry-1” represents an idealized grip (like a vice grip, but does not induce any loads on the component) that stabilizes y-direction

2. “Reference Geometry-2” which replaces the “PULL” load into a prescribed displacement (acting in the same direction as the force) of 0.2mm. Sim feature tree for this study below:

Growing up and playing with LEGO®

The corresponding displacement and von Mises stress plots were made:

Growing up and playing with LEGO®

Because there is plasticity in the region circled in grey in Figure 7, The static study was copied into the Non-Linear analysis module to double check the stress distribution around the area of interest. This is because linear static analysis does not capture stresses accurately at or past yield because of the stiffness inherent in the linear static solver. The corresponding displacement and von Mises plots are shown below:

Growing up and playing with LEGO®

The von Mises stresses now read lower magnitudes, especially at the area of interest highlighted in Figure 7, and are awfully close to yield, but the stress distribution is the same. From this, the next thing to do is to make a plot showing stress in the x direction (Figure 10). The reason is so we can find the minimum axial force we will use as input for a Design Study.

Cross section dimensions at the area of interest as shown in Figure 7 is 1.5mm x 7.9mm and the maximum stress experienced around that area is approximately 35MPa (based on the colour chart).

From equation:

The axial force is 414.75 N. The reason for finding the axial force was so that we know what the lower limit the loading needs to be to ensure that the LEGO® piece is stretched to 0.2mm.

The “STUD MISALIGNMENT” study was copied into a different non-linear study called NL [Stud Misalignment – BREAK]. The “Reference Geometry-2” fixture was supressed and was replaced with a force load for the pulling force (Figure 11). This force was made into a parameter for the Design study and will take any value greater than 414.75 N. Also, this load has an associated time curve to it to see if the residual displacement will be at or more than 0.2mm. (See Figure 12)

The Design study is used to help find what force is required such that its residual displacement is at or greater than 0.2m. To aid in the Design Study, two sensors were placed, shown in the image below (shown with the dots):

Growing up and playing with LEGO®

There was a total of two Design Studies run. The Design Study tried to help find the magnitude of the pulling force needed to have a residual displacement of 0.2mm between the studs away from nominal position. The first run was between 420 N and 520 N and that range of force magnitudes were not close to satisfying the aim. Figure 14 shows the next run, with the range between 520 N to 1020 N as inputs to determine the pulling force that satisfied the aim of the study.


Going back to the aim of this investigation; what would it take to make this 2×4 LEGO® Plate unusable? And do parents have the strength to deform there kids LEGO® pieces?

Well, after going through the Design Study data, the force that will satisfy the aim of this investigation is approximately 920 N.

This would mean that it would take roughly more than 4x the strength of the adult referenced in the very first linear static study to be able pull this piece to create a permanent deformation of 0.2mm and make it unusable. Sorry to the parents frustrated with LEGO® out there, but it’s way stronger than you! You’d definitely need a machine to take your frustrations out on this.

This force value was found by probing the 2 vertices where the two sensors are located for the x-direction Displacement plot. Each respective probed node will show how far it has been displaced from its original position and taking the difference between them would give the value of their misalignment, which the aim set at 0.2mm. See Figure 15.

From these measurements and using absolute values (since both nodes moved in the same direction)

Looking back at this investigation, hopefully you are able to see that SolidWorks Simulation provides the tools necessary to create design validations, from serious designs for expensive projects, down to light-hearted and fun products for all ages such as LEGO®. It is straightforward to copy across studies from the linear elastic module to the non-linear one and on top of it all, integrating a Design Study that uses already made studies in helping us search for quantities that we needed.

If you have any questions regarding the investigation done in the blog, or wanting to contact us about SolidWorks Simulation or other SolidWorks products, do not hesitate to reach out to our team at CADspace.



Please bear in mind, the ABS used for this investigation is quite soft compared to what LEGO® reportedly uses, so the LEGO® plate will more than likely survive this type of loading, but at least we know that it would take more than what this study found

*Material Parameters was extracted as per reference source for ABS. Parameters were: Yield Stress = 35.7 MPa, Tensile Stress = 37.9 MPa. Von Mises Plasticity model used Stress-strain curve between Yield and Tensile Stress extracted from provided graph


Written by Marlunn Oducayen, CADspace Application Engineer 

Author information

CADspace is a dedicated SOLIDWORKS Reseller in Australia, partnered with SOLIDWORKS early in 2013 and since that time we have grown rapidly into a full-service provider to our clients. Over the years we have built trusted relationships based on honesty and outstanding service levels from the most dedicated support and sales team in the country.

The post How Strong is Your LEGO® Piece Really? Find Out With SOLIDWORKS Simulation appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by CADspace at June 18, 2020 03:00 PM


Building an Ideas Pipeline on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform

Are you always trying to find a better way to sync up with your teammates to brainstorm? Or searching for a place to keep all your ideas and information? Not really sure of what design phase you’re even in? We get it; product development is a complicated endeavor with lots of moving pieces. Don’t worry—3DEXPERIENCE WORKS® has you covered. Meet the ideas pipeline.

3D Swym is the main collaboration hub on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, a place where users can create communities and share ideas. There are many ways to communicate and collaborate with coworkers, suppliers, or anyone considered a stakeholder in your product development process. One of the ways to share on 3D Swym is posting an idea to your community. Then, when you filter your posts and see just ideas, you will see the ideas pipeline, also known as the ideas funnel.

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With the ideas pipeline, you have a visual representation of the different phases in your ideation process, and you can edit and manage the phases in whatever way best suits your needs. You can add as many phases to the ideas pipeline as you want; it’s configurable and caters to your specific needs, with plenty of filtering options. You can see all the ideas you and your team have created, and see which ideas are actionable and decide which ideas should become a reality.

The beauty of the ideas pipeline is that any department or group within your business can use it, once you grant them access to the data. Any sort of project or initiative that has phases or needs people or products organized into categories is manageable with the ideas pipeline.

The ideas pipeline is a great way communicate and collaborate with team members in one place, not to mention a great way to keep all your ideas organized. When your team uses the ideas pipeline, developing projects and generating ideas is not only easy, it’s fun to look at, too.

Why try 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS? Because it works! Sign up for a free trial today and make some big brain moves with the brainstorming and collaboration tools of the future.


Author information

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 Building an Ideas Pipeline on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at June 18, 2020 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Introducing a new Workshop to solve your SOLIDWORKS Large Assembly and Drawing Issues

Are you experiencing SOLIDWORKS Large Assembly performance issues? We want to help you minimize your SOLIDWORKS Assembly opening time, reduce lag, and maximize efficiency with our new online workshop.

The new SOLIDWORKS Large Assembly and Drawing Workshop is designed for users whose productivity is drastically affected when working with assemblies or drawings. These users typically experience symptoms like:

  • Long opening time
  • Long rebuild time
  • Frequent graphics refresh events of 10 seconds to more than 2 minutes
  • Frequent lag between clicks (5 to more than 30 seconds)
  • Frequent drawing update events of (1 to more than 15 minutes)
  • Unexplainable mate errors
  • Sudden Crashes
SOLIDWORKS Large Assembly Issues

SOLIDWORKS Large Assembly

While the symptoms are similar for most of them, the causes of the slow downs vary greatly. Many users are aware that SOLIDWORKS has many tools and concepts dedicated to improving performance but are overwhelmed by having too many apparently overlapping choices who solve only part of the problem.

Our Large Assembly Experience

Our Process Improvement Consultants visit 3-4 companies each month in order to understand how each of them uses SOLIDWORKS and identify areas where they can become (much) more productive. During hundreds of visits performed in the past years, the most common complaint we encountered was the “Large Assembly Problem”. The standard reaction for users frustrated by slowdowns experienced when working with large assemblies or drawings is to blame the hardware or the software.

It is always a surprise for users to learn that the latest release of SOLIDWORKS already has all the tools for troubleshooting large assemblies in order to identify and eliminate the factors that are contributing to the slowdowns. Some of these users had already attended training courses and read all the available literature on the assembly topic, but they were still unable to extract every drop of efficiency from their existing workflows. Most of the power-users were aware of some tools and concepts like ‘Lightweight‘, ‘SpeedPak‘ or ‘Simplified Configuration‘ but have not been able to formulate a comprehensive set of procedures to address all possible situations they would encounter in their daily life as designers.

It is not enough to be aware of only some of the tools dedicated to improving large assembly performance in SOLIDWORKS; in order to eliminate the slowdowns, they need to understand exactly what happens during the assembly opening process.

The next step is learning what factors impact each phase and how to identify the culprits that affect your current assembly. Is the file size, is the number of components, is the number of mates, is the type of mates, is the number of update holders, is the type of in-context relations, is the huge number of faces from that imported part, is the tessellation setting?

How do you pinpoint the culprit and eliminate the problem in the shortest time possible?

In the process of helping our customers we gained a huge experience about most possible situations that could impact the large assembly performance. We used this knowledge to formulate a comprehensive, easy to understand and implement set of best practices for addressing this problem, concentrating on studying the 5 (five) distinct phases that SOLIDWORKS goes through during the assembly opening process and pinpointing each factor responsible for slowdowns during each phase. The second part of the workshop focuses on the troubleshooting techniques for each phase, while the last part discusses in detail the tools and techniques to be used for eliminating the slowdown factors in each phase.

This Online Workshop will help you to:

  • Understand the internal processes used by SOLIDWORKS to open/ rebuild/ update assemblies and drawings
  • Determine in which phase of the opening or rebuild process the slowdown occurs
  • Learn how to use specialized diagnostic tools to identify the specific factors who cause the slowdowns
  • Increase the speed by reducing opening time and lag, using specific techniques for each type of slowdown factor
  • Learn best practices for optimizing supplier parts downloaded from websites like McMaster-Carr
  • Learn best practices for optimizing complex imported geometry as components of large assemblies
  • Learn best practices for creating efficient mating schemes
  • Automate repetitive tasks using batch processing tools
  • Receive the “Optimal System Settings for Large Assemblies” document
  • Learn how to match the optimal tool to the task for maximum efficiency
  • Learn best practices for opening drawings fast
  • Master the tools for detailing drawings of large assemblies fast

Online Workshop Duration

  • 4 sessions Online (3 hours/session)
  • Intermediate Level
  • Live instructor led training

Online Workshop Requirements

SOLIDWORKS Features Targeted

  • Slowdown Diagnostic Tools
  • Imported Geometry
  • Optimal System Settings
  • Performance Tools
  • Efficient Mating Schemes
  • Flexible Sub-assemblies
  • In-Context Dependencies
  • Geometry Simplification/Optimization Tools and Techniques
  • Automation/ Batch Processing

SOLIDWORKS Skills you will acquire

  • Match the optimal assembly tool for each SOLIDWORKS task
  • Advanced assembly and drawing troubleshooting skills
  • Quick assembly simplification skills
  • Best practices for applying efficient assembly mates

Interested in the Online Workshop?

Contact us for pricing and upcoming dates for our next Online Workshop

The post Introducing a new Workshop to solve your SOLIDWORKS Large Assembly and Drawing Issues appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Alin Vargatu, CSWE at June 18, 2020 12:00 PM

June 17, 2020

New Addition to Surfacing Episode and ID Contest Winners

There were entries for the ID sketch contest announced earlier, and the winners are Rodrigo Lima of Lime Design and Jeff Mowry of Industrial Designhaus. Rodrigo and Jeff will receive…

by matt at June 17, 2020 07:40 PM


Siemens Debuts NX with New Adaptive, Selection-Aware Sketch Solver

Siemens NX Sketch

When Siemens Software announced their adaptive UI for NX, we knew there were good things ahead for NX users. Well, this week at #SiemensMAC2020, @siemenssoftware introduced #SketchNX, a new (and I would say the first) adaptive, inference-driven, selection-aware sketch solver that continuously evaluates the sketch.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve had the chance to use the next version of NX with the new sketch solver. After moving from “this is just plain ol’ CAD sketchin’ business as usual…” to “well, that’s new…” to “whoa… WHOA,” I realized it was more than the usual sketching.

In a word, it’s game-changing for 3D data import, sketch edits, and dimensioning. The best way to describe Sketch NX is that it does the thinking *with* you, eliminating A LOT of the tedious sketch/relation/dimension work. Here are a few quick examples (I shared on Twitter earlier)…

With imported geometry, Sketch NX finds relations. This mixed with Layouts and Sync Tech is like getting fully defined imported geometry. And, makes sketch changes a snap.

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The curve/point drag plus ability to relax relations with a click makes changes fast with Sketch NX. And the radial drag saves… so much time.

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They added the ability for you to rage in Sketch NX with ‘Shake-n-Break’ relations. Begone thou constraints!

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And then there are dimensions in Sketch NX. Temporary when you click a curve, active when you select the dim. This, with relax dimension/relations and a dimension over relation approach makes for some speedy sketchin’.

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Overall, the Sketch Solver…

  • Continuously evaluates the sketch as you go
  • Allows constraints to adapt and prioritize dimensions
  • Let’s you bypass (relax) constraints when needed with a click
  • Eliminates the excessive dependence on adding relations
  • Speeds up process of editing/defining import data, sketching, and dimensioning

Visual feedback

  • Shaded profile/layered shaded profiles and sketch segments
  • Show Movable lets you know what is fully defined
  • Reveals found relations and approximation when dimensioning


  • Preview dimensions displayed when selecting a line/curve
  • Able to toggle between reference/fixed dimension quickly
  • You can work with dimensions regardless of relations


  • You can easily relax relations without removing them
  • Ability to add and show/hide persistent relations
  • Auto-offset relation
  • Rotate drag

Key Takeaways

It’s a sketcher that does the thinking, not for you, but with you. Let me explain. With CAD sketching, especially the more complex parametrically-driven configurable components where sketch relations are critical, there are scenarios you will run through while constructing sketches as you think through how sketches and parts relate to each other. This eliminates much of the mental strain put into sorting those complexities.

The new Sketch Solver is also the perfect complement to Synchronous Technology. I would add that it’s one answer to the question of ‘what will we do with/how will we reuse our legacy data?’ Direct editing, and Synchronous Technology specifically, help to address edit and reuse of legacy data but the new sketch solver makes the relations you may have had usable, automatically finding relations between sketch segments. The same goes for what the solver adds to design changes with imported 2D data or in a Sketch Layout.

There is CAD software with automatic relations but I’ve not seen anything at this level where the software is constantly evaluating the sketch to the extent that you can sketch and the relation between the sketches is updating dynamically. The process is fluid and non-destructive making the process of working with sketches much more efficient.

A lot of people say if you use one 3D CAD app you can learn to use any. There’s a lot of truth to that. And thankfully so. Unfortunately, that also implies that the process from sketch to drawing has largely gone unchanged over the decades. Any change to an established process risks introducing complexity. What Siemens has found is, I believe, a happy medium between what we’ve established as our process and what the software is capable of; from a parallel, yet separate, workflows to an integrated workflow. Instead of the software doing this and me doing that, the software considering that I just did. I suppose that’s a lot to say for… just sketching.

Since version 12, NX has been on a continuous release cycle with updates every six month and smaller updates every month. The new sketch solver (and other new features) will be available with the June 22nd release of NX. Once you have a go with it, let me know what you think.

The post Siemens Debuts NX with New Adaptive, Selection-Aware Sketch Solver appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at June 17, 2020 04:54 PM

The Javelin Blog

Using SOLIDWORKS Online License Offline

Did you know that you can use your SOLIDWORKS online license offline when you have limited access to the internet?

SOLIDWORKS online licencing is a very powerful tool that provides you with management and control of your standalone licenses. To get more information regarding online licensing please review our multiple blog articles on how to set up and utilize the SOLIDWORKS Admin Portal.

However, a connection to the internet is required when using online licencing. If the connection is lost, an error message is shown stating:

“Cannot obtain a license for SOLIDWORKS products”

In these situations you can take your licenses offline for up to 30 days. After taking licences offline, there is no requirement for internet access in order to work with SOLIDWORKS.

How to activate Offline Mode

To work in offline mode, in the SOLIDWORKS title bar, right-click the Login icon and select Take License Offline.

SOLIDWORKS Online License Offline

SOLIDWORKS Online License Offline

You can continue to use the product for 30 days without reconnecting to internet. At the end of 30 days, you must select ‘Take License Offline’ again if you wish to continue working in offline mode.

Please note when you are using an online license in offline mode on one machine, you cannot use that license on any other machine.

The post Using SOLIDWORKS Online License Offline appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Mersedeh Zandvakili at June 17, 2020 01:17 PM


Will Machine Learning Replace Designers?

Theoretically speaking, humans learn through past experiences (granted, not always the case, but we have the capacity). Essentially that’s what machine learning algorithms do. Consider the smart assistants powered by artificial intelligence (AI) on smartphones or in living rooms or kitchens.

Most everyone is familiar with Siri, Alexa, and Google Home/Nest Hub. These voice-activated personal assistants collect information based on your past interactions with them; the resulting data set is utilized to produce future results or predictions tailored to your preferences. The more you consult a voice-activated personal assistant, the “smarter” it becomes.

Machine Learning in CAD

A similar idea applies to 3D Creator on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, except now it is a 3D parametric modeler that “learns” through your past interactions whilst designing.

For example, when you make a selection while working on a CAD model, the Design Assistant may suggest a range of other selections it can make for you based on the size, shape, and orientation of the geometry. With each selection you make, the Design Assistant prediction becomes more intelligent and more relevant.

If you agree with a prediction, one tap gives Design Assistant the go-ahead, and it automatically chooses all suggested edges. Edge selection automation predicts what should be selected for the given command based on the underlying geometry, and it utilizes geometry recognition to accelerate the design process.

This same functionality works in the sketching apps on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Watch this short video to see both in action.

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Automating Repetitive and Tedious Tasks

The most tedious and repetitive tasks in CAD can be streamlined by leveraging the machine learning capabilities in 3D Creator. Because AI learns every time you use 3D Creator, the next time you perform a similar task, Design Assistant makes a recommendation based on your past edge selections.

Most people don’t think about it but Cloud-based apps allow AI to more easily “learn” from your designs. The more you design in the 3D Creator system, the smarter its recommendations, because it continually evolves and learns from the choices you make.

As announced at 3DEXPERIENCE World in February 2020, machine learning will soon be supercharging assembling assemblies, so stay tuned!

Machine Learning Algorithms Rocket CAD Productivity

Don’t believe the hype. AI is not likely to replace human intuition, insight, and the ability to form and build complex relationships, at least not for a while. The really cool thing is that 3D Creator is “learning” right along with you and helping make your job less tedious and more productive.

SOLIDWORKS is always improving machine learning algorithms, so let us know what you’d like to see in the future.

What do you want an AI-powered design assistant to do for you?

If you have more questions about 3D Creator, contact your local reseller. Or, please feel free to add your comments below.



Author information

Mark Rushton
Mark Rushton
Mark Rushton is a Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS and has been involved with 3D CAD and 3D Printing for over 15 years in several capacities from research to consulting for the likes of Rolls Royce, GE, JCB and Dyson. When not playing with 3D printers or other tech, he is most likely out snowboarding, wake boarding or mountain biking.

The post Will Machine Learning Replace Designers? appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Mark Rushton at June 17, 2020 12:00 PM

June 16, 2020

Guess Who’s New in the Subd World?

Rhino 3D has been around a long time. Many of us got early surfacing experience on free versions of Rhino that have been available for a lot of years. I’ve…

by matt at June 16, 2020 06:27 PM


The Waterwolf E-Surfboard Lets You Catch Some Surf Without Any Waves


Unlike skateboarding, rollerblading, or cycling, the art of surfing relies heavily on… ya know, water, and waves in the water. No waves = no surf. But what if you didn’t need to wait for the high tide to kick in? What if you could just ride your board whenever you wanted to?

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The Waterwolf is an electric surfboard with its own propulsion system. Located at the rear of the board, it’s a relatively quiet propeller drive craft with a max speed of 16-19 mph (25-30km/h) and easy maneuverability to generally live out your surfing fantasies.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">waterwolf</figure>

The initial premise was to make a surfboard which could help surfers catch waves more easily. After realizing the motor could be more powerful (it has a voltage of 51.2V and outputs a power of 5.0-6.0KW), the need for waves seemed unnecessary. The final version of the Waterwolf (the MPX-3-2020, shown above) is made of fiberglass with carbon reinforcements for a weight of 64 lbs (29kg).

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Like most electric versions of analog vehicles (i.e. skateboards and bicycles), this e-surfboard functions much like the original design. Shifting your weight on the board makes it change direction and the amount of pressure you apply determines the sharpness of each turn.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">waterwolf</figure>

You don’t need to worry too much about proper take-off postures when riding waves because all you need to do is hit a button to kick in the propeller drive. There’s even Bluetooth watch functionality which allows you to start the board and keep track of battery life.

The Waterwolf has an average surf time of 35 minutes and an average range of 10km. You won’t make it to the other side of the Pacific, but you’ll definitely have a good amount of time to enjoy surfing without any waves. However, once the battery runs out, you’ll have to wait 3.5 hours (or 1.5 hours with a speed charger) to use it again.

You may need to rework your budget a little though. The board rings in at USD $10,500 (9,355 €). If you want to learn how to catch some surf without any waves, be sure to check out the Waterwolf webpage for the complete list of specs.

The post The Waterwolf E-Surfboard Lets You Catch Some Surf Without Any Waves appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 16, 2020 04:34 PM


SOLIDWORKS Tech Tip – Sunlight Environments Part 1

In this special two-part Visualize Quick Tips, we cover the hidden but extremely powerful Sunlight environment type. Only available in Visualize Professional, this type of environment makes it super-easy to create realistic outdoor lighting – at any time of day! In this first of two videos, we’ll show you how to set up a Sunlight environment type and how to adjust all the settings. We’ll cover how to recreate the lighting at an exact time and place as well as how to use Sunlight environments to create interesting, artistic lighting.

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Check out this YouTube playlist more helpful Visualize videos!

USE THE VISUALIZE FORUM to connect with the global Visualize Community for self-help support with common questions. Don’t forget to share your Visualize images and animations on this Forum thread!



Author information

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 Tech Tip – Sunlight Environments Part 1 appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at June 16, 2020 03:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

3DEXPERIENCE Platform Cloud Security for Design Data

The ever-growing interest in Software as a Service (SaaS) has necessitated a new paradigm for security requirements. Since customer information is transferred, processed and stored outside the customers’ usual environment, emphasis must be placed on cloud security for design data on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.

3DEXPERIENCE Cloud Security by Dassault Systèmes

3DEXPERIENCE Cloud Security

Dassault Systèmes have put security at the heart of their online business experience platform development and deployment in order to ensure several well-controlled layers of security, with a particular emphasis on Security in Depth. The following overview is intended to introduce the methodology we follow to secure their most valuable asset: their customers’ data. It is intended to be a high-level document describing methodologies and techniques used to mitigate security risks.

Cloud Security in depth

The concept of “Security in Depth” at Dassault Systèmes relies on the fact that several independent mechanisms are put in place in order to mitigate any single risk. An unlikely failure to block the malevolent action will therefore not result in a threat but will be subsequently blocked by a different mechanism. The security processes of their online 3DEXPERIENCE Platform follow industry standards and best practices, where practical and applicable, with a particular emphasis on:

  • ISO 2700x standards, and in particular Implementation Guide ISO 27002
  • NIST 800 series
  • OWASP methodologies
  • CobIT framework

Internet security

Several security layers are in place to ensure that only intended traffic and activities are actually processed by the online platform. All incoming Internet traffic is filtered by independent mechanisms ensuring reliability and lack of vulnerability cascading. Moreover, the internet-scale hosting environment is robust to Distributed Denial of Service attacks. Secured communication channels between the hosting environment and the customer’s premises are used, where applicable, to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of the transferred data.

Application-level Security

The application layer of the Dassault Systèmes online solution undergoes a very strict security design and review process. Dassault Systèmes Development & Verification processes are designed with security awareness & controls embedded in them. The code is aligned with industry best practices and recommendations and is double-peer reviewed (internally and externally). Special attention is placed on the top OWASP threats. A cyclic penetration testing exercise is performed on the application ecosystem to add an additional protection check which complements the secure coding paradigm. Finally, a continuous process of scans is in place to constantly monitor various modules of the application.

In-cloud Security

While inside the Dassault Systèmes cloud, the security of the customer environment relative to other elements in the cloud (in-cloud security) is once again ensured though independent layers of solutions. Beyond traffic restriction (firewalls), each customer works on instances that are independent from the other systems. Such an approach protects from cross-customer data access; this compartmentalization is also hardcoded at the application level.

The structure of the cloud environment which ensures the separation above also mitigates classical risks of network
reconnaissance and attacks. In particular sniffing and IP spoofing is not feasible by design.

Virtual Systems Security

The virtualized systems on which the data and applications are hosted are closely scrutinized from a security standpoint prior to being released into production. The security lifecycle applied to these systems is very strict and maintains a high level of security after the production release.

Beyond classical security maintenance activities (system patching, services review), Dassault Systèmes regularly proceeds with attack-like scenarios that test the integrity of a model system, as well as the reactivity of the operational teams. The cyclic, yet random, nature of these tests ensures a reunification of the findings (causal analysis).

Physical Security

  • Customer data (or IP) is stored and processed in nondescript data centers to which access is strictly limited to authorized staff.
  • All contractors and visitors are escorted at all times.
  • All physical access to data centers is logged and audited.
  • Physical storage is also secured via redundant disks, disaster recovery, and backup and restore procedures.

Security Tests and Reviews

Information security is built into the process of developing Dassault Systèmes cloud solutions for their customers. This is the result of a common effort undertaken by R&D and Information Security teams who work closely together to identify and address all potential issues.

In addition to these proactive efforts, independent tests are performed at least yearly and at each major change of the platform. These tests stress the various security layers, and attempt to breach the environment in a hacker-like manner. These activities are all carefully planned and executed as part of their global design, implementation & validation cycle. In addition to platform security mechanisms, a complete roles-based access control is implemented within the application, enabling the data owner to set granular access rights.

Finally, access to the application is possible only after a correct license has been obtained, minimizing the possible surface of attack. TLS based mechanisms ensure a safe connectivity, addressing the risk of eavesdropping or Man-in-the-Middle attacks.


As you have read, the concept of Security in Depth is designed around several independent mechanisms for mitigating any single risk on the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE Platform when it is deployed On Cloud. Customers can feel confidence in using a SaaS platform because we have placed security at the heart of an online business experience platform.

The post 3DEXPERIENCE Platform Cloud Security for Design Data appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Dassault Systèmes at June 16, 2020 12:00 PM


Advancing SOLIDWORKS Simulation Capabilities Using SIMULIAworks

These are exciting times on the simulation front at Dassault Systèmes (DS).  Working at SOLIDWORKS for the last 10 years, we’ve been validating designs with SOLIDWORKS Simulation, which comes in three different packages: Standard, Professional, and Premium.  These packages offer a ton of value to our user community, are easy to use and seamlessly integrated with SOLIDWORKS. As customers created increasingly complex 3D models, these tools started to hit their limits.  I’m talking about complex material models, large strain, complex contact, or just really large models that take a lot of time for validation studies to complete.  Now, I’m not saying you couldn’t validate some of these designs, but it might have required solver tweaks, massaging, and patience to get a valid solution.

Well, things are changing here…

With the combined power of all its divisions, DS offers so much more than just SOLIDWORKS. I know it’s difficult for us at SOLIDWORKS to hear that, but sometimes the truth hurts.  SIMULIA, which specializes in the development of simulation solutions at DS, has an incredibly broad and deep portfolio. Figure 1 below shows the acquisitions that DS has made in the simulation space in the last ~20 years.  I’m sure you’ll recognize some of those names.

Figure 1 – Simulia’s Product Portfolio

So, what changed?  Well, here at DS, we’ve been working on expanding the SOLIDWORKS portfolio you know and love with the next-generation applications for design, simulation, manufacturing, and governance – all connected to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, the largest product development-centric platform on the cloud.

This new portfolio of solutions, which we call 3DEXPERIENCEWORKS,  combines the ease of use of SOLIDWORKS with the power of specialized solutions offered by DS and the added benefits of the platform such as collaboration, cloud computing, data and product lifecycle management, and a modern, intuitive interface consistent across all platform solutions. 3DEXPERIENCEWORKS encompasses the SOLIDWORKS portfolio of design solutions, SIMULIAworks portfolio of simulation solutions, and much more.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be running a webinar series that highlights some of the benefits of the SIMULIAworks solutions, but I wanted to give you a teaser because, quite honestly, I’m very excited about what the future holds.

One of the most powerful capabilities of SIMULIAworks is that it handles contact in a revolutionary way. Using just the general contact settings allows us to manage no penetration contact without the burden of setting up contact pairs. It can also handle interference fits with some really basic settings.  Consider the gear assembly shown in Figure 2, where in the initial position there is some interference between the gear teeth and then a 360-degree rotation has been applied to the smaller gear.  Without having to set up contact pairs (for interference or the contact of teeth during rotation) manually, we can solve this easily using SIMULIAworks.

Figure 2 – Gear Analysis in SIMULIAworks


Or, consider an explicit dynamics analysis using the Abaqus explicit solver to calculate the stresses and displacements as this URB-E scooter crashes into a wall shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3 – URB-E Crash Test in SIMULIAworks


This is just a taste of what can be done with SIMULIAworks. Advanced meshing tools, bolt analysis, vibration, damage analysis, and some really powerful material calibration capabilities – SIMULIAworks has it all.  I don’t want to give away everything from the upcoming webinar series, so stay tuned for more. Again, these are exciting times for simulation fans, experts and wanabees alike!

For more information visit Or, check out the training courses available at MySolidworks by searching for SIMULIAworks. And, as always, reach out to SOLIDWORKS or your Value Added Reseller if you’d like to move forward.



Author information

Omar Zohni
Omar Zohni
Senior Territory Manager on the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Team

The post Advancing SOLIDWORKS Simulation Capabilities Using SIMULIAworks appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Omar Zohni at June 16, 2020 12:00 PM

June 15, 2020


MacBook Pro Laptops Get the New AMD Radeon Pro 5600M GPU

If you’ve been holding out for a high(er)-end GPU option before taking a Macbook Pro plung, AMD and Apple have announced the option you’ve been waiting for. As of today, you have the option to choose the new 7nm AMD Radeon Pro 5600M and add +$700.00 to the 16-inch Mackbook Pro base price of $2,799.00.

The new Radeon Pro 5600M houses 8 GB HBM2 memory while you were previously limited to maxing out on the 5500M with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory (for a +$100 addition). The difference? The GDDR6 memory clocks in with a bandwidth of 196 GB/s while the HBM2 memory nearly doubles it with a reported bandwidth of 394 GB/s .

On top of that, the 5600M adds 40 Compute Units, 2560 Stream Processors, and up to 5.3 FP32 TFLOPS. However, you’ll see a decrease down to 1.54 Gbps in Memory Speed over the 5500M’s 12Gbps. Still, according to 9to5Mac, Apple is reporting a 75% increase in speed over the 5500M.

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From keyboard and screen to ports and GPUs, there’s a sense that Apple has been skimping on the hardware side so another option is always welcome. For 3D CAD and content creation, a Macbook Pro has been a desired device but slow to match power and options in mobile PC workstations. The free online WWDC 2020 that kicks off next week is expected to have more hardware announcements, including that of a redesigned iMac and dumping Intel for its ARM-based Mac chip initiative. Fingers-crossed some additional news on the mobile or 3D CAD front will be revealed as well.

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 MacBook Pro Laptops Get the New AMD Radeon Pro 5600M GPU appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at June 15, 2020 09:41 PM

nPower’s New Power Shell and Power Thicken Powers Up Your SOLIDWORKS Shelling

nPower shell

Since time immemorial, CAD users have faced challenges when adding shell features to their designs. Typically used to convert solid 3D objects into hollow shells with walls of a specified thickness, challenges are met when adding shells to solids with small radii, unreasonably thick walls, intricate details and, sometimes, even very simple geometry.

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nPower Software’s new Power Shell and Power Thicken software additions for SOLIDWORKS were made to handle any and all problems related to shelling. With them, you’ll have fewer adjustments to make to your geometry and the ability to shell objects with the most intricate or challenging features.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">nPower shell </figure>

According to the official press release, Power Shell shells faces, hollowing a 3D model’s interior with the advantage of shelling either inward or outward. Power Thicken on the other hand, offsets and thickens 3D objects’ surfaces. Put the two tools together and your version of SOLIDWORKS can handle just about any shell need you have.

Both Power Shell and Power Thicken work similarly to the stock SOLIDWORKS ‘Shell’ and ‘Thicken’ functions, allowing for updates as well as listing in the FeatureManager.

If you want to up your CAD software’s shelling capabilities, you can get both the Power Shell and Power Thicken software tools for $495 on the nPower web store.

The post nPower’s New Power Shell and Power Thicken Powers Up Your SOLIDWORKS Shelling appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 15, 2020 08:49 PM


Understanding SOLIDWORKS File Compatibility

If you’re a SOLIDWORKS user then chances are high you’ve seen the dreaded “future version” file error. Perhaps you’ve even caused this grief for another user. So how does one avoid this problem in the future?

In this quick article we’re going to list the reasons SOLIDWORKS files aren’t forward compatible and the options we have to work around the file version.

Understanding SOLIDWORKS File Compatibility

Backward Compatibility

First let’s discuss SOLIDWORKS file compatibility. The SOLIDWORKS software has always been backward compatible meaning that the most recent version of SOLIDWORKS can open any previous version SOLIDWORKS file extension. (i.e. SOLIDWORKS 2018 can open files created in 2017 and older)

Forward Compatibility

SOLIDWORKS forward compatibility doesn’t exist due to the ever evolving software package. Every year SOLIDWORKS enhances their software with new tools or performance enhancements. Once a file gets saved with this new tech, it becomes locked, and this version can no longer be opened in previous releases. (i.e. In previous versions of SOLIDWORKS the Hole Wizard didn’t contain the slot option. Which would mean that opening a new file in an older version would surely create an issue in the code.)

An enhancement was implemented in SOLIDWORKS 2018 SP5 that allows the user to open and view future version SOLIDWORKS files. You’ll see the normal SOLIDWORKS feature manager but the tree will be limited to one feature. (Future version file)

Understanding SOLIDWORKS File Compatibility

When Do We See this Issue?

The most commonly experienced scenario is when a company upgrades SOLIDWORKS to the most current version, but their vendor is still operating in the previous version. What can we do to work around this disconnect?

  • Upgrade the system that is seeing the future version message
  • Install multiple versions of SOLIDWORKS
  • Export the file in a CAD neutral file type (i.e. stp, igs, x_t)
    • These file types can then be imported into SOLIDWORKS as feature-less solid bodies.
    • x_t (parasolid) uses the SOLIDWORKS kernel and can be leveraged when using Recognize Feature to better create an imported SOLIDWORKS file.
  • 3rd party SOLIDWORKS add-ins exist that will save a current file version as an older SOLIDWORKS version.

Understanding SOLIDWORKS File Compatibility

Author information

Alignex, Inc.
Alignex, Inc. is the premier provider of SOLIDWORKS software and partner products to the mechanical engineering industry in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming and Illinois. With more than 25 years of technical experience, Alignex offers consulting services, training and support for SOLIDWORKS as well as support for partner products. For more information, visit

The post Understanding SOLIDWORKS File Compatibility appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Alignex, Inc. at June 15, 2020 03:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

How 3D printing helped bring a new ventilator from concept to production in under 3 weeks

Join this Desktop Metal webinar to learn how one company used metal 3D printing and cloud-based CAD to quickly bring a low cost ventilator from concept to production in a rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a pandemic imminent, the team at Meter saw a need for a low cost ventilator to be able to deploy in the field. They were able to rapidly respond to the need, and create a validated and tested design in a matter of weeks.

Learn about the tools and technologies that enabled the rapid design iteration, including:

  • 3D printing
  • Cloud based CAD
  • Rapid prototyping of printed circuit boards
  • Remote collaboration tools

The post How 3D printing helped bring a new ventilator from concept to production in under 3 weeks appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at June 15, 2020 01:12 PM


How to Go from Product Designer to Business Owner [Podcast]

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

–Steve Jobs

Do you love what you do?  I talk to many designers and engineers who truly love what they are doing.  They are problem solvers who enjoy creating solutions.  It’s also a great career choice.  Many designers are heading out on their own, choosing to do projects for other companies.  It’s not an easy business, as you will spend less time designing, and more time with business development, marketing, management, supply chain, etc. but many have done it very well.

In this episode of the Born to Design Podcast, I had a chance to sit down and speak with two of them.  Jesse Hahne, President at Center for Advanced Design (CAD), and Marc McCauley, CEO at CAD.  Jesse and Marc shared tips on what it takes to run and grow a successful design firm and how to stay competitive in their industry by better understanding user needs.  They also spend some time discussing their relationship with Mike Schultz, a pareathlete who they have collaborated with on the design of a high-end prosthetic leg that allows Mike to compete and win many X-Games competitions.  Mike lost his leg and was riding and competing again in just seven months!

Listen into my full interview with Marc and Jesse in the latest Born to Design Podcast:

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Be sure to check out all of the Born to Design podcasts, and subscribe below so you will never miss an episode:

Soundcloud  Subscribe to Solidworks Podcast on Spotify iTunes Stitcher Listen on Google Play Music TuneIn - Solidworks Podcast Page Subscribe to Solidworks Podcast on CastBox  Subscribe to Solidworks Podcast on Overcast

Here is a short SOLIDWORKS LIVE interview with Jesse and Marc at 3DEXPERIENCE World 2020:

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe>

To keep up with Marc and Jesse, here are links to their businesses:


Author information

Cliff Medling
Cliff Medling
Cliff Medling is a Senior Marketing Manager at SolidWorks and the host for the Born to Design Podcast.

The post How to Go from Product Designer to Business Owner [Podcast] appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Cliff Medling at June 15, 2020 12:30 PM

The Javelin Blog

Advanced Simulation Software Reduces Late Changes, Expensive Physical Tests

SIMULIAworks Structural Mechanics Engineer advanced simulation software enables you to make smart, collaborative design decisions to improve efficiency and boost your bottom line.

No matter what kind of product you design, physical testing is expensive and time consuming; and design changes made late in the design cycle are hazardous to your health as well as your schedule and budget. Enter SIMULIAworks Structural Mechanics Engineer, a role in the 3DEXPERIENCE® WORKS simulation portfolio.

SIMULIAworks Advanced Simulation Software

SIMULIAworks Structural Mechanical Engineer

Structural Mechanics Engineer is here to help you make informed decisions faster and streamline efficiency by cutting back on physical prototypes and late-stage design changes. By using this role, you are able to:

  • Use industry-leading geometry preparation tools
  • Efficiently build finite element models
  • Easily calibrate complex material models from test data
  • Capture realistic physics with a broad range of analysis procedures
  • Increase confidence in designs in early and detailed design phases
  • Use Simulation tools that scale to meet your needs
  • Share status and results with your team so design decisions can be made faster

WATCH THE VIDEO to explore Structural Mechanics Engineer in two minutes.

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Learn more about SIMULIAworks

Visit our website to learn more about SIMULIAworks analysis cloud software and the Structural Mechanics Engineer Role available on the 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS Platform.

The post Advanced Simulation Software Reduces Late Changes, Expensive Physical Tests appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at June 15, 2020 12:00 PM

June 14, 2020


Lighter, Faster, Stiffer, Stronger – Giaffone Racing’s Work Is Never Over

Passion. Victory. Competition. Thrills. Development. Experience. These are six things humans (particularly those behind the wheel) love about fast cars.

“Racing is about sensory experience. It’s sound, its speed, its color, its feel through the vibration of the engine. The longer you’re around it, the more you understand it, that sensory feel combined with watching a skilled driver on the edge of control. It’s like Olympic gymnastics combined with a gladiator battle.” – Doug Boles, President, Indianapolis Motor speedway.

Let’s face it: humans love fast cars. They activate our flight-or-fight instincts, and they make us feel powerful. No wonder then, do we try our best to find ways to create the fastest and safest ways to engineer these automobiles.

With the influx of business and a new vision on the rise, Giaffone Racing had to search for exciting technology to shake up their markets to avoid stagnancy to stay ahead of their competition. Engineers had to brainstorm the old-fashioned way. Who was manufacturing the fastest engine, the sleekest tires, did they have to create something radically different?

With that in mind, Giaffone engineers turned to SOLIDWORKS. Giaffone Racing first implemented SOLIDWORKS Professional design, SOLIDWORKS Premium design and analysis, and SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional product data management software in 2006.

Now on the hunt for new technology to satisfy their intent, Engineer Adriano Schommer says that Giaffone Racing discovered the topology study capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional software. With the software’s topology optimization, the design engineers were able to automatically generate optimized component geometry to balance weight-to-stiffness ratio, minimizing mass, or minimizing maximum displacement.

With a little more research, they concluded that implementing topology optimization would drastically reduce their production time and, with the combined efforts of their other SOLIDWORKS Solutions, speed up any developmental processes relating to designing their new engines.

For example, during the inception of the stock car suspension upright, Schommer conducted a topology study in a partnership with the Latin American division of Dassault Systemés to mitigate mass and refine the optimized shape of a car build to produce one that reduced weight from 60 percent.

“The topology optimization tools in  SOLIDWORKS  Simulation  Professional software are helping us to create lighter,  stronger,  and stiffer parts more quickly,  without having to engage in trial-and-error design iterations,” Schommer stresses. “On the upright,  we ran a  topology study in partnership with  Jose  Pereiras, Senior Technical Sales Manager in Chile. The experience of Jose was essential to provide confidence and get faster results from the process.  We first optimized for weight but found out that the design was not stiff enough. We then worked with the topology optimization profile to modify the design for strength and stiffness.  With  SOLIDWORKS  topology  optimization,  we  were  able  to  get  to  the  final  design  in  a  single  iteration  instead  of many.”

From there, Engineering Coordinator Denis Ramon Peixoto says, “We have this vision of staying on the cutting edge of technology to drive our success.” He then credits the topology optimization software for helping Giaffone create “off-road product lines,” and to stay “thinking ahead.”

Together, SOLIDWORKS and Giaffone Racing have accomplished extraordinary feats, such as a 70 percent reduction in development time. Not only does SOLIDWORKS topology studies save Giaffone Racing time, but engineers can also quickly and easily understand the constraints of the design.

With SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional topology study capabilities, Giaffone Racing is designing new components for the Brazilian Stock Car series, beginning with the suspension upright, or knuckle, shown here, which attaches the wheel, brake rotor, hub, brake caliper, and steering arm to the vehicle. With a SOLIDWORKS topology study, Giaffone optimized this component to reduce weight while maintaining stiffness.


The reason Giaffone adopted this particular SOLIDWORKS solution is those topology solutions combined with SOLIDWORKS’ existing design and analysis process enabled the Brazilian car-racing manufacturer to be nimble, move quickly. Developing more reliable and lightweight parts had a heavy hand in their choice, as well as the ability to eliminate sizing restrictions in shipments.

By implementing SOLIDWORKS solutions, the company was able to:

  •  Reduce manufacturing time. Cut nearly two months from suspension upright development cycles.
  •  Deal with restrictions in shipment. Eliminated 60 percent of suspension upright weight.
  •  Improve overall product quality.  Re-entered the market with improved aesthetics and lighter and more substantial parts.
  •  Reduce complications and increase productivity.  Conventional and additive measures of manufacturing were supported, providing flexibility.

To read the full story of how Giaffone puts SOLIDWORKS solutions to work, click here.

Author information

Sara Ghattas
Sara Ghattas
Sara is a passionate global and cultural communicator working as a Social Media Specialist for SOLIDWORKS. Her targeted experience surrounds international media, digital marketing, customer success and team management.

The post Lighter, Faster, Stiffer, Stronger – Giaffone Racing’s Work Is Never Over appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Sara Ghattas at June 14, 2020 12:00 PM

June 13, 2020


SOLIDWORKS Part Reviewer: Wooden Truck

Wooden Truck: This is a simple wooden toy truck utilizing lots of shared contour sketches with extrudes and revolves. “Offset” from Sketch Plane and the “Vertex” offset are used to create multiple pieces by reusing multi-contour sketches. Shared sketches for cuts, extrudes and revolves, save time and help facilitate easier modifications.You can download the part here!

There is an example of a circular pattern that uses an “Offset From Surface” cut to create the tire treads.

Complexity: Basic

Features: Extrude, Mirror, Boundary, Revolve, Pattern, Fillet, Move Face, Move/Copy Bodies

DraftSight Download : In conjunction with DraftSight, Dassault Systèmes’ 2D CAD product, the 2D drawing(.dwg) file of the Part Pattern Tutorial is now available for download here. 

Author information

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 Part Reviewer: Wooden Truck appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at June 13, 2020 03:00 PM

June 12, 2020

The Javelin Blog

How to make more Informed Engineering Decisions with Cloud based Analysis

Tech Clarity research indicates top performers succeed with cloud based analysis technology.

Nearly half (44%) of manufacturers say design decisions have become more difficult. If engineering wasn’t hard enough, economic fallout from COVID-19 will likely result in more responsibility falling on engineers who have fewer resources at their disposal.

Cloud based analysis

Cloud based analysis

Business must go on; and for engineers to complete their work effectively, they need to be empowered with powerful tools to solve problems faster. As the following report details, simulation, particularly cloud-enabled analysis, is a must-have tool. Here’s what cloud simulation users are reporting:

  • 71% more computing power/faster solver
  • 50% frees up engineers’ computers
  • 42% easier access to experts
  • 42% easier collaboration
  • 42% lowers hardware cost of ownership and maintenance

Download the report below and learn how you can benefit from cloud based analysis tools.

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The post How to make more Informed Engineering Decisions with Cloud based Analysis appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at June 12, 2020 12:00 PM

June 11, 2020


ZBrushCoreMini is the New, Free Sculpting App from Pixologic

ZBrushCoreMini Features

Get your sculpt brushes and buckets of inspiration ready. Today, Pixologic introduced ZBrushCoreMini, a free entry-level version of its ZBrushCore and ZBrush software designed to help people get started with digital sculpting.

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ZBrushCoreMini provides a simplified version of the Academy Award Winning ZBrush software used by leading digital artists around the world. ZBrushCoreMini is designed for new artists of all ages, with a streamlined interface that lets anyone jump right in and start sculpting immediately.


The new software comes with some exceptional features for those who want to ease their way into ZBrush or need to 3D print their designs.

ZBrushCoreMini includes the following features:

  • Sculptris Pro – Frees you to sculpt without worrying about polygon density or topology.
  • 8 Popular Sculpting Brushes – Standard, ClayBuildup, Inflate, Pinch, Move, SnakeHook, Slash3, hPolish (also Smooth, by holding Shift)
  • Symmetry
  • 2 Base Meshes – Sphere or Block of Stone
  • 8 Materials – MatCap Gray, MatCap Red Wax, BasicMaterial, ToyPlastic, SkinShade4, Gold, FlatColor, SilverFoil
  • OS Support – Windows 7 and above, macOS 10.10 and above


ZBrushCoreMini also introduces the new iMage3D variation on the universal GIF and PNG file formats. When you save your work as an iMage3D .GIF or .PNG it can be shared on websites or social media just like any other image. But if downloaded and opened with ZBrushCoreMini the 3D model will be extracted from the image data, ready for viewing from any angle or even further sculpting! You can of course also export as a normal 2D file that does not included the 3D data.

Viewer Mode

ZBrushCoreMini supports the .ZPR file format and any such file created by ZBrushCoreMini can be opened in ZBrushCore or ZBrush. In addition, .ZPR files created by ZBrushCore can also be opened in ZBrushCoreMini! This uses a special Viewer Mode that allows you to freely rotate the model, try out different materials and export images. You just can’t sculpt on these models.

3D Printing

ZBrushCoreMini includes a 3D Print button that automatically optimizes the model and exports it as an .OBJ file, ready to be loaded into your 3D printer’s slicing software.

ZBrushCoreMini vs…

Though there’s not a comparison of ZBrushCoreMini available yet, the features put it a bit below ZBrushCore capabilties — You can see a comparison of ZBrushCore and ZBrush here.

Most notably, ZBrushCoreMini is limited to only eight brushes, no 3D painting, or rendering options, with export limited to OBJ (via Export for 3D Printing ) and Pixologic’s iMage3D GIF/PNG, or ZPR.

While ZBrushCoreMini is free, a bump up to ZBrushCore (and much more capability) is $9.95/mth or $179.95 for a perpetual license with ZBrush available for $39.95/mth or $895 for a perpetual license.

You can download ZBrushCoreMini at the ZBrushCoreMini mini site.

The post ZBrushCoreMini is the New, Free Sculpting App from Pixologic appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at June 11, 2020 06:52 PM


Copy & Mate by CTRL-Drag & Drop: SOLIDWORKS Tech Tip

You may know that you can copy a component in an assembly by doing a CTRL-drag and drop. You may also know that you can create mates with the SmartMate tool by doing an ALT-drag and drop.

But did you know you can copy a component and do SmartMates by doing a CTRL-drag and drop by dragging and dropping specific geometry?

To copy a part and SmartMate, simply drag the geometry of the part you want to copy and drop it to the geometry you want the copy to mate with. It’s just like doing a standard SmartMate operation but instead of mating the original part, you’re making and mating a copy that you drag. See an example below.

Holding CTRL, drag the pin by the edge you want to mate.


CTRL-drag the edge of the pin to the edge of the link to mate to.


Click the pin and select View Mates from the popup toolbar to confirm mates.



In our example, simply holding CTRL and dragging and dropping a pin by a circular edge to another circular edge results in a second pin and two mates, all done with one simple action! Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference; I hope this one makes a difference for you!


John SetzerThis blog is authored by John Setzer, GSC’s Training Product Manager. John discovered his love of teaching early in life. He worked his way through college as a youth coach, umpire, and referee before earning his bachelor’s degree in education. As Training Manager at GSC, he has been sharing his SOLIDWORKS wisdom with GSC customers ever since – over 20 years! John is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert (CSWE), a Certified SOLIDWORKS Instructor, and a Certified SOLIDWORKS Technician. As the only CSWE with a state certification in teaching, John is well-versed is teaching all types of learning styles. John is a regular contributor to the GSC blog, available at

Author information

GSC fuels customer success with 3D engineering solutions for design, simulation, data management, electrical schematics, PCB, technical documentation, and 3D printing, as well as the most comprehensive consulting, technical support, and training in the industry. As a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS solutions, HP, and Markforged 3D printing technologies, GSC’s world-class team of dedicated professionals have helped numerous companies innovate and increase productivity by leveraging advanced technologies to drive 3D business success. Founded in 1989, GSC is headquartered in Germantown, WI. For more information about GSC, please visit

The post Copy & Mate by CTRL-Drag & Drop: SOLIDWORKS Tech Tip appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by GSC at June 11, 2020 03:00 PM


FIBO Uses SOLIDWORKS to Design and Build Service Robots to Aid During COVID-19

The Institute of Field Robotics (FIBO) at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) is renowned for its robotics-related education courses. In line with accelerating Thailand’s Industry 4.0 vision, the Institute’s mission is to impart knowledge of robotics and automation to further robot technology development in the country.

As the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic became clear, FIBO further enhanced its existing service robot to support healthcare workers. The robots are designed to help front-line healthcare professionals ward off the risk of infection through tele-monitoring and communication between medical personnel and patients.

The FACO, short for FIBO against COVID-19, robotic series consists of four prototype robots. The first prototype, CARVER, an automatic guided vehicle, is designed to deliver food, drugs and medical supplies to COVID-19 patients in hospitals. In addition, the robot is equipped with an air purifier and can even sanitize the floor.

The second prototype, SOFA, can directly support healthcare workers in caring for COVID-19 patients. Enhancements include the ability to take patients’ temperature through a thermal camera, a high-definition video camera to check the eyes and tongues of patients, and communication systems that enable medical personnel to speak with patients through the robot.

The third and fourth robots serve specialized functions in the area of medicine and food delivery.

“These FACO robots can support doctors and nurses in crisis situations. Our healthcare workers face the most risk and are susceptible to contracting the disease themselves. If doctors and nurses become infected, the population as a whole is at risk of infection as well. Remote control of the robots and monitoring of patients can reduce the risk of contracting diseases,” says Mr. Wuttichai Visarnkuna, Acting Deputy Director for Industry, Institute of Field Robotics (FIBO) at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT).

During the testing period of the robots, medical professionals found SOFA to be extremely helpful and valuable. The high-quality camera was clear and helped in diagnosis. Doctors could also speak with patients through video conferencing, which helped to assuage patients’ worries. In addition, patients found the robots “cute,” which helped to reassure them in these troubled times.

How SOLIDWORKS supported the design of the FACO robots

During this time of crisis, FIBO needed to quickly adapt its robot designs to support the nation and healthcare workers in their time of need. “One of the biggest benefits of SOLIDWORKS is the ability to visualize the model quickly. This reduces the development time by more than 50 percent. In addition, computer-aided engineering also enables us to analyze the design in the virtual world and correct any flaws ahead of building the prototype. This helps us to move quickly, reduce waste and avoid reworking,” says Visarnkuna.

Benefits of using SOLIDWORKS during the design stage include:

  • Easily create digital designs for the robotic system, specific to the needs and requirements of healthcare professionals by enabling engineers to better design and simulate the different parts of the robot responsible for the various functions.
  • Estimate the perfect force, weight needed to lift, holding strength and stress for the robot’s “hand” in each function for the possible solutions
  • Collate data to create ‘single source of truth’ within the 3D design files
  • Helps to minimize manufacturing mistakes and defects, thereby shortening design to manufacture to market time.

In these unprecedented times, we see how organizations can come together to help support each other. Metro Systems’ recommendation of SOLIDWORKS applications as the platform best suited for FIBO has helped the Institute develop cutting-edge solutions that help society.

This article was written together with SOLIDWORKS value-added-reseller in Thailand, Metro Systems Thailand.





Author information

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 FIBO Uses SOLIDWORKS to Design and Build Service Robots to Aid During COVID-19 appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at June 11, 2020 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Design Time Tracking and SR&ED

When doing SOLIDWORKS design work, time tracking is a great idea. I have done a bunch of time studies in the manufacturing world and this helps dictate how long an expected operation should take. Take your car dealership mechanic for example, if you take your car in to change brakes, they have a book (online or physical) saying how long it should take to swap out brakes, as well as the cost and inventory.

The other main reason for time tracking is Scientific Research and Experimental Development, or better known as SR&ED. This is a Canadian tax program that can provide monetary incentives for companies of all sizes and scales. For more information, I have included a link to the government SR&ED article.

Bad News:

SOLIDWORKS kernel doesn’t have time tracking capabilities. This has been an enhancement request for years. To make an enhancement request, please take a look at this article.

Good News:

With SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional, time tracking is capable, but requires some setup and daily logs. I have included a couple of videos on how this works:

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And our other Time Logging video.

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The other method would be using the file properties to see when the file was created and when it was last saved.

Currently, there are third party trackers out there and with a quick internet search I’m sure it’s fairly easy to find them. Javelin and SOLIDWORKS does not support those.

The post SOLIDWORKS Design Time Tracking and SR&ED appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by James Swackhammer at June 11, 2020 12:00 PM

June 10, 2020


It’s Happened. SketchUp Goes Completely Subscription.

SketchUp Subscription

It was a slow ride over to SketchUp subscription city but you saw the road signs along the way. First Trimble put SketchUp online bringing you SketchUp for Web. Then, in February 2019, they announced a subscription pricing option, retaining the perpetual license option. Now, they’ve announced a complete move to an annual subscription model with classic perpetual licenses and maintenance renewals no longer available after November 4th, 2020.

If you own a Classic Perpetual License today, you will be able to use the latest version you own in perpetuity. In addition, if you’d like to update your Classic Perpetual License, you can do that until November 4th, 2020Please be advised: if you purchase a Classic Perpetual License or renew your Maintenance & Support license prior to November 4, 2020, you will not be able to upgrade and access additional features on that license every year as you have in the past.

Why the Move to Subscription?

Subscription price models are popular among software companies who want to retain users, ditch maintenance fees, and offer simplified pricing. Some would say software subscriptions are inevitable, especially for web-based software. Some users will accept it as providing more value and others will reject the option of only renting the software and the requirements that go along with that. While there are some inherent benefits with licensing and staying up to date, the switch to subscription and removal of a perpetual license is bound to upset some.

Since they first offered subscription in 2019, their reason for providing and then moving to subscription was so they could use the “opportunity to challenge ourselves to earn your business every single day by constantly improving the tools you need and love throughout each year.” They reinforced that by saying the “team has always felt it is important to be generous with our products” and that “SketchUp was always meant to be accessible to everyone… and it still is.”

What Does a SketchUp Subscription Include?

  SketchUp Plan Comparison
  SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro SketchUp Studio
3D Modeler Web Web Web + Shop Web + Shop
Usable Offline
Cloud Storage 10 GB Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Support Forum Forum, Email Forum, Email, Phone Forum, Email, Phone
Viewer Standard Model Viewer Standard + AR Mobile Viewer Standard + AR Mobile Viewer Standard + AR Mobile Viewer
XR Headset Viewing None None Hololens, WMR, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, SteamVR Hololens, WMR, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, SteamVR
Extensibility None None Core Ruby API & Extension Warehouse Core Ruby API & Extension Warehouse
2D Design None None Layout Layout
Custom Styles, Custom Materials, Outliner None Basic Advanced Advanced
Style Builder
Dynamic Components
Price Free $119 USD/YR $299 USD/YR $1199 USD/YR

Another reason they want to provide subscription is to include more features, products, and services that what is available with the classic desktop version alone. So, how does the classic desktop version of SketchUp compare to the subscription version of SketchUp Pro?

  SketchUp Classic vs Subscription
  Classic License SketchUp Pro Subscription
3D Modeler SketchUp Pro (Desktop) SketchUp Pro (Desktop) + SketchUp Web
Cloud Storage 1 Project, 10 GB Storage, 5 Project Members Unlimited Projects, Unlimited Storage, Unlimited Project Members
Viewers SketchUp Viewer (Mobile) Mobile, AR + XR Viewer
Support Email, Phone (1 year) Email, Phone (Active Subscription)
Price $695 ($119/yr Maintenance) $299/YR

In cost alone, the continued cost for subscription goes higher that perpetual + maintenance at Year-4. However, that doesn’t take into the account the other features you get with a SketchUp Pro subscription.

However, in their explanation of upgrading, they say, “You can subscribe for a year, skip a year, renew every year — it’s up to you. Whatever you choose, you’ll always have the latest version with the newest features, receive (more) frequent product updates, and get access to technical support.”

If you skip a year and still get updates/support, isn’t that the same as… a perpetual license? Perhaps you can only skip one year. Some slight confusion there, Trimble.

Anyway, I now have multiple software subscriptions, so I’ve gone past the joy of keeping track of multiple activation codes and have fully switched to keeping track of multiple logins. You?

The post It’s Happened. SketchUp Goes Completely Subscription. appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at June 10, 2020 08:03 PM


SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – June 2020

Hello to all,

Welcome to the new edition of the SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News!  This monthly news blog is co-authored by members of the SOLIDWORKS Technical Support teams worldwide.


SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks “Working with in-context feature and derived configurations”

By Mario Iocco

This problem is a frequent customer reported issue. Usually is reported in different “flavors”. But, in general, it always has a feature in the context on an assembly.  In this particular example, the feature has an in-context relation with another component feature. At other times, the feature has an in-context relation with an assembly sketch. The other common denominator of this problem is the derived configuration. This does not have to be a sheet metal issue, as any derived configuration will produce the same result.

The customer goal is to create two flat pattern drawing views, each showing a separate configuration. Because these are flat pattern drawing views, the configurations will have to be derived flatten configurations. The video shows that to resolve the problem, you must pair a specific assembly configuration with the part derived configuration. This must be done for as many derived configurations as it exist in the part.

SW Tips and Tricks


How to create a relay card in SOLIDWORKS Electrical

By Javier Ojeda

What to do when you need a group of relays each with their own contacts, but they are all integrated in the same card? The relays and their contacts are therefore really the same component and only one material is required. Follow these steps to create this type of component.

Step 1 – Go to Library > Manufacturer parts manager > Add manufacturer part > create the part for the card, you must add the required circuits, for example:

Important, you must use the Circuit group field to link the coils with the contacts, filling it with the same value for the linked circuits, like this:

Step 2 – Go to a scheme, insert a relay (-K1) and assign to it the part created in the previous step. Then insert a second relay, during the insertion assign it to -K1, you must use the list on the right in the Symbol properties dialogue:

If you have several components, you can use the filters in order to show only components with the same class or base class, or use the search option:

If you do not have the Ask for properties option checked while inserting:

You can right-click the symbol in the scheme > Symbol properties in order to assign the inserted relay to -K1:

So, insert eight relays as -K1 component:

You can see that each relay has its own contact, the Circuit group is added to the mark for identification purpose, and terminal numbers are associated.

Step 3 – Draw the card’s body from Draw > Rectangle:

Step 4 – Insert the power supply pins, also assign them to –K1:

The power supply circuits have no Circuit group so the mark is the main one (-K1). You can customize the power supply pin symbol as you need. In this case, we have done it in this way:

Right-click the 24V pin symbol > Attributes > uncheck Component mark: “-K1” in order to make it invisible:

This way, you only have one main mark for the card.

The contacts are linked with the relays in order of insertion, based on the Circuit group field information.

You can select the contact that you want to use during the insertion, or once the contact is inserted. Go to Symbol properties > Manufacturer part and circuits > select the current circuit:

Drag and drop it to the required one:

You can see that the color changes from blue to green in the used circuit and from green to blue in the free circuit.

Result in the scheme:

Finally, you can create a macro of the card.


Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base


icon - SW Is there a SolidPractice on the topic of “Getting Started with the SOLIDWORKS® API”?
For more information, see Solution Id: S-077636.

In the SOLIDWORKS® Electrical software, how do I add the full color description name into the ‘List of wires by line style’ report?
For more information on this, see Solution Id: S-077718.

Icon - EPDM What database compatibility levels does the SOLIDWORKS® PDM software support when hosting the file vault database on Microsoft® SQL Server® 2014, 2016, 2017, or 2019?
For more information, see Solution Id: S-077807.

For offloaded simulation, what ports do the ‘mpiexec.hydra.exe’, ‘hydra_service.exe’, and ‘pmi_proxy.exe’ files use?
For more information on this, see Solution Id: S-077627.

Does using radiation in a vacuum in the SOLIDWORKS® Flow Simulation application always require meshing of the vacuum region?
For more information, check out Solution Id: S-077547.

That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller.


Comments and suggestions are always welcome. You can enter them below.

Author information

Nicole Phillips
Technical Customer Support Engineer, SOLIDWORKS, Americas at DS SolidWorks Corp.
I have been with DS SOLIDWORKS as a Technical Support Engineer since 2013. I provide support for our SOLIDWORKS PDM products. I also handle the SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News blog.

The post SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – June 2020 appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Nicole Phillips at June 10, 2020 02:28 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to set Milling Feed and Speed in SOLIDWORKS CAM

In SOLIDWORKS CAM there are three places were Milling Speed and Feed information can be utilized.

In the tool, by editing any tool and selecting Cutting Parameters we can disassociate the tool from the Material Library and enter our specs for the tool.

Cutting Parameters

Cutting Parameters

In the operation, by editing the operation and under the F/S tab. Changing the Defined by menu to Operation we can enter our specs. We may also use this menu to change what controls our speed and feed in the current program.

Editing the operation

Editing the operation

In the Material Library, speed and feed information is populated from the SOLIDWORKS CAM Materials Library be default.

Note: the Material Library in SOLIDWORKS is completely different from the Material Library in SOLIDWORKS CAM. The Material Library in SOLIDWORKS CAM focuses on machining data. Materials in SOLIDWORKS CAM are set in the Stock Manager.

To access the Material Library go to Tools > SOLIDWORKS CAM > Technology Database > Speed and Feed > Speed and Feed Editor.

Material Library

Material Library

Many common materials are already added. If you cannot find the material you require, select the Install Tab. Choose the materials you require from the list and Hit the Install new materials icon.

Installing materials

Installing materials

If your material is not listed in the extended database, we may create a custom material by clicking on the new Icon and entering our material info such as Name, identification numbers, description, material class and density. One on the primary metrics SOLIDWORKS CAM uses is Horsepower/Cubic inches/min. Steel requires approx. 1 HP to remove 1 cubic inch in 1 minute. Materials that are harder to machine have higher values such as Stainless Steel 1.12 HP/I/M. Softer materials like Aluminum 6061-T4 have lower values 0.256 HP/I/M. Consult your material provider for specific material values. Here we may enter the value for turn, milling and drilling operations. Hit OK.

Add Material

Add Material

You will then get a message that your new settings will be a duplicate of another material. That material is the one that is currently selected when the new material is created. If you know your custom material shares similar characteristics of an existing material, select it first before creating the custom material. It will save some time on the next step.

Duplicate another material

Duplicate another material

On to the Speed and Feed tab. To the right, we see a table containing our diameters for tooling across the top. The amount of cut is listed down the left side. For each Diameter and Cut Amount we can specify the Speed (SFM) and Feed or Chip load (IPT). These values will be used to calculate the final rates posted to code. The plot thickens when we access these options for various operations. In each Operation we can specify the Class or how aggressively we want to mill. We may also have different values based on the Tool Material as they will change dramatically between Carbide and HSS. With three layers of options you have complete control over tools, operations and how aggressively the operation will be performed.

Operating parameters

Operating parameters

If we have tools made from cobalt or want to make a super-super duty cycle, we can add or delete Tool and Class entries using the icons in the nav bar.

Add or delete Tool and Class entries

Add or delete Tool and Class entries

Once the values have been set, close the Material Library. Select Update Stock Material Data. This may take a moment. We may also set our material or any other as default by selecting Default Stock Material.

Update Stock Material Data

Update Stock Material Data

The custom material now will be available when selecting our Stock in the Stock Manager from the SOLIDWORKS CAM Feature tree.

Custom material now available

Custom material now available

You may have seen Class options when setting up your machine. It can be pre-set by editing the definition on the Machine in the SOLIDWORKS CAM Feature tree depending on how hard you want to hit the piece. The Class and Machine duty reference the same values discussed earlier in the Material Library.

Editing the definition on the Machine

Editing the definition on the Machine

Learn more about CNC programming

Take our SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard and SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional online training courses.

The post How to set Milling Feed and Speed in SOLIDWORKS CAM appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Shawn McEachern at June 10, 2020 12:00 PM


Understanding Complex Material Behavior – Plasticity Models

There are geometric, material, and contact nonlinearities that can result from modeling with complex materials. As I mentioned in my previous blog, the Structural Performance Engineer role in SIMULIAworks was developed with SOLIDWORKS users in mind.

Design engineers often avoid nonlinear static analysis because of its complexity, but now it is in a more designer-friendly environment. And the connector within SOLIDWORKS Simulation makes it easy to transfer models to SIMULIAworks.

Plasticity modeling is typically something you do after running an initial linear elastic study to make sure that you prescribe the correct boundary conditions and loads. Plasticity modeling will increase solution accuracy and provide a better representation of the final stresses.

Discovering Deformations

Plasticity models in Structural Performance Engineer mimic real-world materials from plastics to metals, from ABS to aluminum. Many materials behave elastically up until a certain point. After that, plasticity will occur and eventually, the part (or product) will break or become permanently deformed.

That’s why it’s vital to include the plasticity in the analysis of a model; it will give you much more realistic and accurate simulation results.

Do you remember the so-called “bendgate” of an Apple iPhone? With a nonlinear analysis of the plasticity model, a designer could have identified and subsequently prevented the design issue early in the development cycle. Unfortunately, the product was delivered to the market resulting in problems, complaints, bad press, and even lawsuits filed against Apple.

The beauty of plasticity models is that the designer will now be able to see any permanent deformations. Take a look at the simple uniaxial test on the metal specimen chart below.

Easier Than Advertised

Consider the machine (below) that bends profiles of aluminum. The designer will be able to apply in the simulation the first step of 180 degrees and then the release. In the results, the designer will see, after the elastic return, how much the profile has bent to understand if the machine does the job—even before even builds it!

For this model, multiple contacts are provided by the ABAQUS General Contact. I used a mixed mesh approach with Hex and Tet mesh elements. It is a multi-step approach where I can easily set up a step in a direction and then a second step in the opposite direction. And that’s it—very simple to define. The complete analysis from setup to results took less than an hour.

Leverage Cloud Servers

For more detailed information, check out my webinar on analyzing complex materials, which includes a section on plasticity modeling.

Remember that SIMULIAworks is on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, which helps augment computing power by running your nonlinear studies in the cloud, freeing up local resources. Plus, you can work from the office or at home or on the road. All you need is an internet connection and a browser.

Nonlinear analysis is more complex than linear analysis but probably not as complicated as you may have been led to believe. I look forward to your comments below or contact your local reseller if you wish to learn more about the SIMULIAworks Structural Performance Engineer role for nonlinear analysis of SOLIDWORKS models.






Author information

Alessandro Bellini
Alessandro Bellini
Technical Manager with more than 15 years of experience in Pre-Sales and Post-Sales activities in CAD-related market. Strong knowledge about Simulation products, PDM and implementation projects. Deep experience in manufacturing companies processes and workflows. 6 Years of experience in managing Resellers in a global environment in Italy, Balkans, Turkey, Israel, Middle East and North Africa.

The post Understanding Complex Material Behavior – Plasticity Models appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Alessandro Bellini at June 10, 2020 12:00 PM

June 09, 2020


This Is How LEGO Minifigures Are Made

lego minifig

LEGO’s are known the world over! Their blocks excite our imagination. Give a kid a mess of Lego blocks and in no time they’ll have a structure reaching to the sky! Yet for all the fun of making buildings or secret caves, let’s face it, there wouldn’t be much life to LEGOs without those tiny, (mostly) yellow-faced Minifigures. Minifigs as they are called, allow children to infuse persona into their play. A child can be anyone and go anywhere there imagination takes them!

In this post, you’ll get a sneak peek behind the scenes inside a Lego factory and see how Minifigs are made. There are many steps in the process to make a figure and its fascinating to see the pieces zoom through the automated assembly line and step by step coming to life!

So let’s have a look at the video that’s coming straight from the company’s official YouTube channel and see how thousands upon thousands of Minifigures are made each day!

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Brief Minifigure History

A bit of history. Minifigs were first introduced in 1978. Lego was awarded a Design Patent in 1979 protecting their investment in the Minifigs for years to come!

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><figcaption>Design Patent Drawing – Lego Mini-figure</figcaption></figure>
<figure class="alignright size-large is-resized"><figcaption>hiker c. 2016</figcaption></figure>

Initially, each piece of the figures was a single color with no printed on details. The wide range of characters and personalities we know today had yet to be born. Fast forward, 2016 and we have Minifigures decked out in full-color and printed on facial expressions. Today’s Lego Minifigures are packed with personality!

The Process Begins!

It starts with the iconic yellow stud heads. Thousands of faceless head blanks make their way along the conveyor belt to be detailed individually. One belt usually caters to a single type of face, and it can produce up to 23,000 printed heads per hour.

Achieving full facial expression is a multi-step process. Each head momentarily stops at a pad printing station dedicated to printing on each facial feature. First, stop hair. Next up eyes, and so on! In the final step, we see a little white dot applied to the eye. That’s the finishing touch that makes the eyes seem to twinkle with adventure!

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><figcaption>Pad-printing – Silicone pad used to transfers ink onto head blank</figcaption></figure>
<figure class="aligncenter size-large">lego minifig<figcaption>Fully print face</figcaption></figure>

Elsewhere, bodies for the individual heads are being made. Like before, these blank plastic pieces are first to receive their decorative pad printing and then are whisked down the line for the next step of assembly.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">lego minifig</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large">lego minifig</figure>

You can’t have a humanoid LEGO minifig without arms and those iconic claw-like hands. Body are precisely assembled by tiny robotic grippers and sliding actuators. Using the neck square on the top as a guide (you can see a little blue light in the first image above), the bodies are set properly onto a conveyor belt where they await their upper body appendages.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">lego minifig</figure>

Yellow hands are added to the ends of the arms to round out the upper body. Counting the arms and hands, 8,000 bodies are assembled per hour.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">lego minifig</figure>

To help the Minifigures stand up, another conveyor belt oversees the leg assembly. It’s here where the individual parts are snapped on and moved down the line.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">lego minifig</figure>

Final Packaging

At this point in the production process, the Minifigures meet up with other parts that make up the set. The pieces are sorted and travel down a step-like belt to the bagging station.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">lego minifig</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large">lego minifig</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large">lego minifig</figure>

LEGO minifigures typically come unassembled in plastic bags, but you can also make your own LEGO companion out of individual pieces at some of their retail stores.

Apart from this, certain LEGO sets come with their own unique and pre-asssembled minifigures to complement their themes (think a Darth Vader minifig to go with a LEGO Death Star).

LEGO’s YouTube channel has tons of videos detailing the creation of some of their most beloved toys, so be sure to check it out!

The post This Is How LEGO Minifigures Are Made appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 09, 2020 07:40 PM


The Value of Simulation Web Series: Part Four

We just concluded Part 4 of our SOLIDWORKS Simulation webinar series. If you missed the previous webinars, you will find the links below for the recordings. The Value and Productivity themes here show the depth and breadth of the SOLIDWORKS Simulation solutions.

Theme #1 – The Value of Simulation / Which Design is the best

Part 4: “Can your Plastics Part be Manufactured?”

Three facts on plastic injection molding:

#1: Plastic products are everywhere. From consumer products to high-tech, medical, automotive and other industries, you will see plastics being used in a wide variety of applications and in great quantities.

#2: Plastic injection molding is the most common process for plastics manufacturing. While many different processes exist for plastics part manufacturing, injection molding is the process used for most plastics products.

#3: Any improvements or mistakes could be consequential. Mold-making is very expensive and mistakes are costly. Reducing the cycle time in plastic injection molding for even a couple of seconds can make a huge difference in terms of overall profitability, considering the high number of parts being manufactured and the expensive machines involved. Part quality and the many things that can potentially go wrong make plastic injection molding not only a science but also an art.

These three facts highlight the significance of Plastic Injection Molding and getting it right. The part designer wants to ensure not only the functionality of the part but also its aesthetics. Sink marks and air traps resulting in potential burn marks make a plastic part less appealing to the consumer. Excessive warpage can result in the part not fitting with other parts it is attached to. Weld lines may compromise stiffness and make the part brake more easily. And you obviously cannot ship a part with short shots, be it because the walls are too thin, the machine injection pressure is too low or any other reasons.


Similarly, a better runner design together with runner balancing to decrease cycle time, selection of gate locations and valve gates, multi-shots, family molds, co-injection and venting analysis are important aspects that can be simulated, thus giving the part designer and mold-maker a better insight into what to expect and how to improve not only the part but also its manufacturing.


SOLIDWORKS Plastics Simulation can help the part designer improve the design and avoid potential performance and other practical issues as an integral part of the design process and at the very early stage. For the mold-maker, SOLIDWORKS Plastics Simulation can be extremely beneficial as well, reducing time, costs and improving overall efficiency for all parties involved.


Click here to watch the recording of this webinar for complete details.

Click here to watch Part 3 of this webinar series.

Click here to watch Part 2 of this webinar series.

Click here to watch Part 1 of this webinar series.

Theme #2 – Improving Productivity using SOLIDWORKS Simulation

Part 4: Large Assembly Analysis & Submodeling

A designer using CAD for modeling ideally wants to see everything as it is going to get built in the real world, including every part in the assembly and their respective features. An engineer using Simulation tools such as Finite Element Analysis (FEA) or Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) wants to get the physics and the functional behavior right. Based on the complexity of the model, the state of the art in technology and tools available and many other factors, the engineer makes judgement calls what to simulate and how to do it.

For CAD parts and small assemblies, you can typically use SOLIDWORKS Simulation for FEA and CFD quite effectively and with minimal user interaction and stay with the bare minimum input. When it comes to large assemblies though, just by the nature of FEA and CFD and these numerical methods in general, more user interaction is needed and many judgement calls have to be made.

In this webinar, we highlight some of these judgement calls when doing FEA for large assembly analysis. Also reviewed are some of the specific tools within SOLIDWORKS Simulation that make it easier to run a Simulation more effectively.

While a system level analysis is important, many times you need a more detailed analysis of sub-assemblies and specific parts that are more critical and more prone to failure. This is where sub-modeling in SOLIDWORKS Simulation comes in.

We discuss the fundamental concept behind submodeling and Saint-Venant’s principle in structural mechanics and demo it using a simplified PCB example.

As a tech tip, we highlight the fact that we have the same concept of submodeling available in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation for CFD, albeit under a different name of Transferred Boundary Condition and EFD Zooming.

To watch some of the previous webinars in this series, click on the links below.

Click here to watch the recording of this webinar for complete details.

Click here to watch Part 3 of this webinar series.

Click here to watch Part 2 of this webinar series.

Click here to watch Part 1 of this webinar series.

You can also register now for this upcoming webinar.

Sign up for next week’s webinar on June 17th – Topology Optimization – Exploring the AM Space click here.

Author information

Dr. Reza Tabatabai
Reza Tabatabai is a Sr. Technical Manager for Simulation products, focusing on SOLIDWORKS Simulation and SIMULIA works product portfolios at Dassault Systèmes. He has 20 years of industry experience. Reza received his PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and was a Lecturer & Research Associate at the University of California at Berkeley.

The post The Value of Simulation Web Series: Part Four appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Dr. Reza Tabatabai at June 09, 2020 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Advanced Part Design using Equations & Configurations

At Javelin, we teach a lot of SOLIDWORKS training classes that have great techniques, I’ve often said: ” Oooooooh! Wish I knew that years ago.” So, this article describes SOLIDWORKS Advanced Part Design techniques with the creation of an automotive wheel/rim using equations and configurations. With these techniques I can produce many sizes of rim with just a few dimension changes.

I have a certain affinity for a German automotive company. German cars tend to outperform American rivals in terms of performance, comfort and reliability. This comes at a cost, though, I’ve had to replace a water pump on a cramped engine bay, filled with an inline 6 cylinder and a turbo…twice!

When you look at a tire on a car there is a bunch of numbers, these all site regulations in one way or another. Using my car for example, the main larger numbers are 255/35/18. Meaning the rim is 18 inches in diameter (tall) and the tire is 255mm wide. The side wall is described in percentage as tall as the width; in my case 35% or 89mm or 3.5 inches wide. The only dimension the tire doesn’t give you is offset. Offset is the measurement from where the rim mounts to the wheel. Sometimes this needs a positive (closer to the fender) offset to get over large brake calipers or negative (towards the center of the car) for better aerodynamics, for example.

Design Intent

Designing the Rim for a tire requires some setup, so here is my first sketch which will be used for a revolved feature to create the basic shape. Note that I have named the major dimensions for ‘Rim Width’, ‘Rim Diameter’ and ‘Hub Diameter’:

Sketch dimensions

Rim Design critical dimensions

Revolving the sketch gets the basic outer rim shape as shown below. You’ll notice that I have some equations built in, we’ll get into those in more detail later. The second feature is trying to decide how much curve and what would look best. This is done through the curvature of the ‘center disk’ feature, which was probably the hardest area of this part.

Revolved Rim Feature

Revolved Rim Feature

The rest is very basic cut extrudes, fillets and patterns. Shown below is the extrude-cut sketch that later gets a circular pattern.

Extrude-cut sketch for a circular pattern.

Using Configurations

My goal here is to have this default part fuel other similar parts., so I want to make several configurations. Using the equations helps me make modifications quickly, as long as you are realistic with the dimensions. I wouldn’t expect this rim to be 30 inches in diameter and still work, but this 18 inch rim made into a 22 or a 16 inch, most definitely.

Equations for the Rim design

Equations for the Rim design

When I make configurations, I like making sub configs under one heading. So in this case I am using the rim diameter as my heading and adding  any modifications underneath it.

Using Equations

Having the equations allows for an easy dimension switch. When changing the dimension, you must specify what configuration[s] you want to change. Warning! If you don’t specify – it will change all configurations. You’ll see that I labelled these with Width, Offset and Bolt Hole Circle. These are the common dimensions that change for rims.

Drawing creation

When making a quick drawing I choose what configuration I want, change my settings and add dimensions. I then copied and pasted another set to the right. Lastly, I changed what configuration I wanted and the notes and dimensions update. This can be done on a new sheet as well, by copying the sheet and switching configs.

Part Configurations

Part Configurations

The post SOLIDWORKS Advanced Part Design using Equations & Configurations appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by James Swackhammer at June 09, 2020 12:00 PM


Onshape CAD Improvements | Changing Geometry Face Colors Is Now A Snap!

Editing appearances inside Onshape just go better. Now applying custom color to any region or face is a snap! Gone are the days of needing a workaround to simply change the face color of solid or surface faces of part-studio geometry. It looks like my old “zero offset surface copy” workaround has been rendered obsolete. Another notable enhancement in the June 3rd CAD Improvements update is the addition of the Appearance Panel which allows for better management of color and the ability to use color to browse the feature tree. Additionally, colors can now be configured in the same manner as other features within the part-studio. Let’s have a look at all this update has to offer.

What’s New in Onshape’s Latest Update (June 3rd, 2020)

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

Custom Appearance Scenarios

There are several key scenarios that benefit from the new face color enhancements. Consider the following list:

  • Distinguish different part materials or finishes
  • Indicate face regions of a part that require special treatment such as paint, lubrication, or adhesive applied.
  • Preparing a model for export to 3rd party rendering application.

Assigning Face Colors

The workflow for assigning a color to an entire part or surface feature remains the same. Simply navigate to the browser tree, right-clicking over a part or surface of interest to bring up the context menu, which contains the “edit appearance” command.

Now for the magic! Select any face, especially those previously troublesome split face features. Bring up the context menu using the same right-click gesture. Located at the very bottom of the menu is the new “edit face appearance” command. A left click will bring up the appearance editor and enable you to mix and assign custom colors to your heart’s delight!

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><figcaption>Assigning color to pre-selected faces.</figcaption></figure>

Editing Assigned Face Colors

An all-new Appearance Panel has been added to the UI and is grouped with the configuration and custom tables panels at the right of the display area. A click of the appearance icon presents a collection of new commands to manage part-studio appearances.

Note: The Appearance Panel will not be available until the first part or surface feature is created.

The new appearance panel is a one-stop location for adjusting everything associated with a part studios appearance. We’re talking quantity of faces selected, unique naming, and individual face colors. Another nugget of color customizing goodness to be had via the appearance panel is appearance configurations. This too is totally new functionality, yet employed with a familiar workflow. If you’ve dabbled at all with the configuration editor you should find configuring appearances a breeze.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large is-resized"><figcaption>Appearance Panel display all colors assigned at both part and face level.</figcaption></figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><figcaption>Edits to face selection, colors, and naming are accomplished via the appearance dialog.</figcaption></figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><figcaption>Multiple colors can be assigned to the same face and managed via configurations.</figcaption></figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><figcaption>Use case for multiple colors on same face.</figcaption></figure>

Product Labels & Color

The CAD Improvement video contained an example of a colorized warning label. Although a workflow of how-to construct the label was not described, I’m surmising a .SVG file was used. In any case, having access to the new tools within the appearance editor to quickly swap out color should make working with custom labels more manageable.

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

Color & Imported Parts

A word on imported file behavior. Imported parts containing custom face color schemes will display correctly. However, at present the colors will not auto-populate within the appearance panel. Each color can be overridden or added to the appearance pallet as desired.

Note: All import file formats support face colors, however only Parasolid based file formats retain face split features and their subsequent assigned colors.

Derived parts behave in the same manner as imported geometry with respect to color modification. While overriding a color is possible, to achieve a color change that is persistent, the color edit must take place within the derived part file.

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

Kudos to the Onshape development team for delivering an appearance tool upgrade that is spot-on! I’m excited to build new and/or revisit some of my existing models to give a go at laying down some fresh colors!

The post Onshape CAD Improvements | Changing Geometry Face Colors Is Now A Snap! appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Vince Haley at June 09, 2020 01:35 AM

June 08, 2020


Woodturning Walnut and Colored Straw Vase is a Kaleidoscope of Wow

straw vase

Woodturning wood, metal, and plastics are interesting and amazing in and of itself. From bowls in bowls to a cherry burl egg, the possibilities are endless. But who would have thought of woodturning a stack of colored straws into a vase? Well, the Wood Workshop is who. And they captured the entire, fascinating process that may make you wonder what else can be turned.

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While various pieces of walnut wood were used to create the center and base, the main attractions are the brightly colored straws that adorn its sides. Here’s how it came together.

1. Construct the Support Structure

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">straw vase</figure>

Before getting to the multi-colored straws, we can’t forget the strong walnut center. Using wood glue and a couple of clamps, the structure leaves an equal amount of room on four sides for the straw layers to be added while adding support and (once finished) an interesting wood in-lay appearance.

2. Stack Your Straws

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">straw vase</figure>

The straws themselves are fairly easy to add but are, as you can imagine, time-consuming. Seven equally measured straw pieces are glued together to form a single layer. These layers are then stacked upon one another and glued to the walnut base to create a colored side.

3. Pour The Resin

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">straw vase</figure>

Turning the straws in their current state would send colored bits of plastic all over your workshop, so a solid, cuttable chuck is created by pouring resin into every nook and cranny.

4. Chuck It

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">straw vase</figure>

With the resin dried, it is finally safe to chuck that chunk in your lathe and turn it. This sends a mixture of wood, resin, and straw shavings flying all over the workshop, but thanks to the resin, the straw walls remain intact.

5. Turn It

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">straw vase</figure>

To turn the piece from a fancy paperweight into an actual, useable vase, the inside needs to be hollowed out. This means removing most of the walnut center and a couple of the straw layers.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">straw vase</figure>

6. Sand and Polish

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">straw vase</figure> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large">straw vase</figure>

Once the woodturning is done, the final step is sanding it smooth, polishing, and applying a protective finish to the vase.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">straw vase</figure>

Once you remove the base, your multi-color straw base is finished. As you can see, the combined sheen from the resin and finish makes the straws stand out and give it an almost kaleidoscope-like feel. No one will ever guess you used grocery-bought straws to make this beauty.

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

To see more everyday objects get turned into woodworking works of art, check out the Wood Workshop YouTube channel.

The post Woodturning Walnut and Colored Straw Vase is a Kaleidoscope of Wow appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 08, 2020 10:02 PM

The Javelin Blog

DraftSight 10 Year Anniversary Promotion

Ten years ago, DraftSight launched with the goal to help designers save money while meeting their AutoCAD DWG creation and editing needs.

Today DraftSight continues to support this goal and offers incredible value to customers. To celebrate DraftSight’s 10th launch anniversary, for a limited time only you can get 10% off the DraftSight Professional and Premium versions:

Both versions are annual subscription products. Premium version includes support for Dynamic Blocks, 3D capabilities, powerful integrations and productivity boosters, and more.

Just click the buy now links above to use the coupon code: 10YEARS

ACT NOW: This offer is available only until June 30, 2020.

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What is the difference between Professional and Premium Versions?

Review the features in the table below, the Professional and Premium versions have 10% OFF in June.

Features Professional (2D)
10% OFF
Premium (3D)
10% OFF
2D Design Tools
Create basic elements such as lines, polylines, arcs, circles, ellipses, layers, blocks, and others.
Included Included
2D Documentation Tools
Create basic annotation elements such as notes, dimensions, tables, hatches, clouds, and others.
Included Included
Community Resources
Offer learning resources and a collaborative environment to interact with your peers, ask questions, and share opinions.
Included Included
Quickly generate hardware, holes, balloons, Bills of Materials (BOMs), welding and surface finish symbols.
Included Included
Batch Printing
Send a set of drawings and sheets to printers in a batch job.
Included Included
Drawing Compare
Compare graphically similar entities between two drawing documents.
Included Included
Power Trim
Trim multiple, adjacent entities by dragging the pointer across each entity.
Included Included
G-Code Generator
Communicate with a CNC machine for fabrication.
Included Included
DGN Import
Directly import and convert the DGN file format drawing into a DraftSight project for direct editing.
Included Included
DraftSight APIs
Allow end users or third-party developers to customize and automate DraftSight.
Included Included
Image Tracer
Convert an imported raster image file (ex. floor plan, logo) into vectorized line entities.
Included Included
Using Formulas in Table Cells
Use formulas in cells with arithmetic operators and the Sum, Average, and Count functions.
Included Included
Trimming of Hatches and Gradients
Trim hatches and gradients with the Trim and PowerTrim commands.
Included Included
3D Modeling Tools
Introduces 3D modeling using basic geometrical shapes (ex. Box, Pyramid) or other methods (ex. Extrude, Revolve) with Boolean operations (ex. Union, Subtract).
2D Constraints
Use 2D Constraints to control drawing entities parametrically by specifying geometric and dimensional properties of entities.
3DEXPERIENCE® Marketplace Integration Included Included
HomeByMe Integration Included Included
3DEXPERIENCE, GEOVIA, DELMIA, SOLIDWORKS Electrical, PDM Connectors Included Included
PDF Import/Convert & Underlay Included Included
DGN Import/Convert & Underlay Included Included
Application Programming Interface (API) Included Included
Macro Recording Included Included
  Buy Now Buy Now

The post DraftSight 10 Year Anniversary Promotion appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at June 08, 2020 03:09 PM


Online Licensing – Bring SOLIDWORKS back home

Working at home is becoming more common with the recent situation. Most likely for designer or engineer, you will also need to have SOLIDWORKS with you back home. After you have installed and open SOLIDWORKS, have you ever seen an error message “Activation count exceed”. This could be the most common error message for SOLIDWORKS user. Since SOLIDWORKS is using machine-activation based for its license service, if the license had already activated on the computer at your workplace. You will not be able to open SOLIDWORKS back home.


There are two solutions for this issue, old & new:

OLD: You can deactivate the license from your work computer, and activate it at home. Problem solved! However, this solution would require you to perform in person, if you have forgotten to deactivate, you will need to run back to the office in order to activate it back home.











Using Online Licensing, a tool that helps you manage your users and licenses through a cloud-based management service. No more activation and deactivation. Only needs your account and password, which will allow you to access SOLIDWORKS anywhere you go. Online Licensing can help you to use SOLIDWORKS both at work and home simultaneously. Here I will explain the reason you should use Online Licensing and how you can convert your license.



Online Licensing’s Background:

Online Licensing had been released on 2018 and is available to anyone using standalone SOLIDWORKS 2018 or newer and is compatible with all products except SOLIDWORKS PDM. Currently, SOLIDWORKS license had 2 types: Standalone and Network. Only Standalone license can be switch to Online Licensing.



Online Licensing’s Requirements:

  1. SOLIDWORKS version 2018 or above
  2. License De-activation from Machine Based Activation
  3. Stable internet connection, or Offline Mode
  4. Admin Portal account

Admin Portal is the platform you must have for using Online Licensing. Admin Portal allows you to manage all their users and licenses in a single platform. And to switch your license between Machine Base and Online Licensing. In order to access for Admin Portal, you will need to have a SOLIDWORKS ID and a ‘MySolidWorks’ Guest, Standard, or Professional account.

Benefits of Admin Portal:

  1. Can switch license type between Machine Activation and Online Licensing.
  2. Allows you to invite members into the Company’s account and assign specific product to them.
  3. Other than SOLIDWORKS license, also support Standalone version of multi-products, e.g. Simulation, Visualize, Composer, etc.
  4. Admin can deactivate or activate member’s licenses any time via internet.
  5. If an employee leaves the company, you can remove the user and reassign the license.


Offline Mode

One major Online Licensing requirement is to have internet access with your computer. If you are going to places where you cannot go online or have internet restriction, there will be risk that you cannot open SOLIDWORKS. But don’t worry there is also a solution, which is called Offline Mode. A similar concept as borrowing a license. You can take and lock the license on your computer for up to 30 days. Go up In the SOLIDWORKS title bar, click the “Login” icon and select “Take License Offline”.



A detailed guide on how to register an account on “MySolidWorks” and switch the license from Machine Activation to Online Licensing. You can click on the link HERE.

Written by Benjamin Cheung, Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Author information

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.
Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.
Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

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by Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd. at June 08, 2020 03:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Sizing the Microsoft SQL Primary Data (mdf) and Transaction Log (ldf) files

A Microsoft SQL database consists a primary data file (mdf) a secondary data file (ndf) and a transaction log file (ldf). For this article, we will concern ourselves with the mdf and ldf files.

MDF stands for Main Database File and contains all the information in a database. LDF records all the transactions and changes to the database. The ldf is critical for disaster recovery.

Setting the Initial size and Auto growth for these files, can have a significant  impact on the performance or even the ability to use the database. Which in turn impacts the use pf the PDM vault, relying on this database.

WARNING: Any changes should be done by someone knowledgeable of Microsoft SQL.

The mdf and ldf  can be set for each Microsoft SQL database, by right-clicking on the database, in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio and selecting Properties.

Accessing Database Properties

In the Database Properties Select Files.

Database Properties Files

In this window, the current settings for the mdf and ldf are displayed.

MDF LDF Settings

The default initial size for both files are 8 MB. The initial size is not as important as Autogrowth. And even for Autogrowth, there are no suggested values. SOLIDWORKS in the past has recommended 15% for the mdf and 10% for ldf as initial settings.

Change Autogrowth

Change Autogrowth

Setting Autogrowth and Maximum File Size

These settings may need tweaking if you experience poor performance. Microsoft has published an article on “Considerations for the “autogrow” and “autoshrink” settings in SQL Server“, that can be helpful in determining the Autogrowth size. Autoshrink should not be used, as this can cause Index fragmentation, which can then lead to poor performance.

The Maximum File Size for the mdf, is set to Unlimited, bby default. For a Microsoft SQL Standard implementation, the maximum mdf size is 10 GB. Few PDM databases will ever reach that size. Since the mdf contains everything you add to your database, setting a Maximum Size, will also add a ceiling to what can added in PDM. I would suggest NOT capping the Maximum File Size for the mdf. If you are running out of space on your SQL server, consider adding a larger drive or having a server that is dedicated to running SQL. A dedicated Database (SQL) and Archive sever, can provide superior performance.

By Default Maximum File Size for the ldf is capped. If the Simple Recovery Model is used, this file should not grow to quickly. The Maximum File Size can be adjusted if this cap is reached. There will be indicators in the PDM user log that indicate that the Transaction log is full and this could in turn mean that the cap has been reached. As a note these messages can also be indicative of a full drive.

The post Sizing the Microsoft SQL Primary Data (mdf) and Transaction Log (ldf) files appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Joe Medeiros, CSWE at June 08, 2020 12:00 PM

June 05, 2020


Friday Smackdown: Chill Bootro

A cold wave of grassy air spilled through the alleyway. As we circled the bend, there, at the horizon, we saw thousands. Thousands, spreading through the street as if they had grown there for ages, dropping chaff, sprouting tubers, and working their way toward the mineral-rich core of these links.

Alex Konstad – His characters are incredible. His creatures are even better. Otherworldly oddities with all sorts of interesting details.

Read Planet Rise – The Martian landscape, created by Sean Doran with data from the HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Like you’re there.

Christo – The artist famous for wrap art and massive belief-defying installations passed away at the age of 84. These are some of his projects.

Plexi – Experiments with various colors of plexiglass.

The Schwa – What’s the most common vowel in English? The schwa of course. All about it and why it is.

Cheeky Astronomer – The sculpture of Yinka Shonibare. Figurines of fiberglass with globe heads experiencing the world.

Hot Wheels High-Jump – How high can a Hot Wheels car be launched and still land on its wheels? About this high.

COVID Slogan Generator – Perfect for inducing just the right amount of panic.

Ducati GT1000 – A custom cafe racer from Purpose Built Bikes at 175kg, 92hp and a shape and tail light that is a little future, a little retro.

Who Sampled: Kraftwerk – The samples that Kraftwerk used, used by other artists from Beck to Pink and Beyond.

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The Dreamer’s Hotel – Enter Shakari live from lockdown in a video put together for Snob.

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by Josh Mings at June 05, 2020 07:15 PM


Sandcastle Tutorial

This is a SOLIDWORKS Tutorial on how to create the perfect sandcastle model. The tutorial involves designing the castle from the outside, this means creating the bucket mold first. By the end of the tutorial you will have the sandcastle bucket and a sand casting created with the Intersect tool.

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All the extrusions and cuts had to be drafted in this model all drafting up in one direction to avoid undercuts. also layered extrusions had to telescope smaller. To create the brick texture on the castle towers, each sketch had circles cut away from the edge in a circular pattern. This pattern was alternated as the extrusions got smaller. After the first tower was created, circular pattern was used to pattern 3 more towers around the castle.these were all combined as one body. The circular pattern was also used to pattern the windows and the castle battlement design.

Once the castle design was finished, Undercut Analysis under the Evaluate tab was used to test the model for any undercuts. this was tested from the top of the design. If any red faces appear in the analysis this would mean that undercuts were present. In this case the model was fine, and could be shelled from the inside creating the bucket mold.

After applying a new plane on the end face of the bucket, the Intersect feature was used with create internal regions ticked, this created the inner cavity of the mold into a sand casting. The small brick details were accentuated on the casting, and the filleted details came out smaller.

Moving the casting out of the bucket, and adding a handle to the bucket (which is available to download below) appearances were added top the final design including sand and high gloss plastic. An animation of the final design was created in SOLIDWORKS Visualize which shows the bucket being flipped over and the bucket lifting to reveal the sandcastle. I hope you enjoy this tutorial, and have fun creating your own sandcastle designs.

The Spade and Bucket Handle seen in this tutorial are available to download here!


Author information

Jade Crompton
I am a 3D Designer and Solidworks Blog Contributor from the UK. I am a self taught Solidworks user, and have been using it to inform and create my designs since 2012. I specialise in the design of Ceramics, Home Accessories and Wooden Toy Design.

The post Sandcastle Tutorial appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Jade Crompton at June 05, 2020 03:00 PM


Micro-Sized, 3D-Printed RC Airplane

When I was a teenager, maybe 13 or 14, and full of angst like most teenagers are, I distinctly remember moments where I thought I knew how the world worked and demanded my parents treat me like an adult.  During those times, my mom would always give me the same piece of advice: “Eric, don’t be in a hurry to grow up.  Just enjoy being a kid”.  Now, over 20 years later and with kids of my own, I get it.  There are times in my life where I have hit plateaus.  I lacked curiosity, I stopped questioning and learning, and I didn’t make time to play.  These are things that come naturally to us as kids.

The responsibilities of adulthood can be tough and so many of us let go of the things that brought us pure joy as a kid, with the thought that we need to have more serious, “grown-up” priorities all the time.  Of course, we must eventually become responsible adults, we have to grow up, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop growing.  Personally, there is something about aviation, and the thought and creativity that goes into designing these model aircraft, that awakens the kid in me.  It brings me pure joy.  It is a nerdy hobby that frees me up to never stop questioning, never stop exploring, and never stop playing.

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The joy of this hobby is something I want to make more accessible for others by designing an aircraft that encourages the beginner 3D printer to feel less timid to experiment with, while at the same time bringing just as much fun to the expert 3D printer and pilot. The goal was to design a micro-sized R/C aircraft that has naturally gentle flight characteristics for the novice or intermediate pilot but is also capable of performing advanced aerobatic maneuvers. I came up with a scaled down and simplified version of the SportCam that I designed in an earlier video (check it out here if you haven’t seen it!). The inspiration for this design is a full-scale home-built aircraft called the AirCam, which was originally developed in conjunction with National Geographic Magazine as an aerial photography and in-flight video platform.

Check out the latest design, build, and flight video embedded above, where I utilized the 3DEXPERIENCE platform (specifically: the Project Planner role) and a unique 3D printing material to accomplish my goal.  I think you will agree the Micro SportCam perfectly captures the spirit of homebuilt aviation: curiosity, a sense of adventure, and the pure joy of flight!

Author information

Eric Haddad
Owner/Chief Problem Solver at 3DAeroventures
I am the owner and content creator at 3DAeroventures, a YouTube channel where we use engineering technology and model aviation to inspire our viewers, customers, and team members to never stop exploring, never stop questioning, and never stop playing! Learn more at

The post Micro-Sized, 3D-Printed RC Airplane appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Eric Haddad at June 05, 2020 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Adding SOLIDWORKS Assembly Configuration BOM Headers

SOLIDWORKS Configurations are a great thing. I have spoken many times about how great they are and how big of a fan I am. I came across a major release revert that took away the automatic naming of configuration name titles/headers. I tested this automatic feature in 10 generations of SOLIDWORKS and it worked in 2010 up until 2019. Normally SOLIDWORKS likes advancements instead of taking away features. At first glance, it appears they just took this function out but that isn’t the case.

SOLIDWORKS Configuration BOM Headers Missing

SOLIDWORKS Configuration BOM Headers Missing

I was speaking with a DS developer and he mentioned that they didn’t take away that function, but laterally moved it as an option. Doing this allowed more BOM features and functions to be added in SOLIDWORKS 2019 and onward. I haven’t seen all the background coding for SOLIDWORKS, but it must be intense.

Getting this BOM on the drawing requires a few options. Pre-selecting my Default Configuration and then making a BOM is how I like going about most features. For BOM Type I choose Top-level only, this now makes configurations a selected option.

BOM Configurations

BOM Configurations

I am going to grab all of my configs. Dropping this into place, we notice that we have 4 configs in total, but each heading just says QTY. So, if the assemblies weren’t so obvious it would be hard to tell what is what.

Going into the Options –> Document Properties –> Tables –> Bill of Materials –> Top Level Only BOM –> check the Show Configuration in BOM Header box, as shown below:



When you hit OK to exit the options it appears this initially didn’t work as I was confused too, but it updates to new BOMs not existing ones, so deleting the bill of materials and adding it back in will fix this all up.

BOM Headers adjusted

BOM Headers adjusted

Now I have labels that match the headers on the BOM. Notice in the options, there is an area to add custom headers or change Parts only or Indented BOM types too.

Take a look at related articles for advanced Bill of Material functions using PDM vault and using equations in the Bill of Material.

The post Adding SOLIDWORKS Assembly Configuration BOM Headers appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by James Swackhammer at June 05, 2020 12:00 PM

June 04, 2020


A Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Carved From a Single Chunk of Wood

land cruiser wood carving

Wood carving is, in and of itself, an art form. It takes a lot of time and effort to turn a chunk of wood into something functional, let alone beautiful. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I think we can all agree this accurate scale wood carving of a Toyota Prado Land Cruiser is pretty dang impressive.

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Created by YouTube channel Woodworking Art, the body of the car is made from a single chunk of wood. Using paper profiles of a real Land Cruiser as a guide, the form is transferred to the wood and cut out using a band saw.

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The outline of the wooden Land Cruiser falls off just fine but in order to make room for the seats and wheels, a mallet has to be used to pop out the excess wood.

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Once the base shape has been formed, the Land Cruiser undergoes some sanding before going through a number of smaller saws, drills, and chisels to get the details in.

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Some of the parts made from other pieces of wood include the doors, hatch, and hood. Measurements are made to fit these bits onto the body, followed by lots of chiseling and shaping with a drill bit to add those extra details.

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Save for the wheels, the rest of the car goes through some heavy detailing with various wood carving chisels and everyone’s favorite, a Dremel multi-purpose tool.

Honorable mentions go to the front of the car and the intricate engine detailing. You know there’s a keen attention to detail when a segment which can easily be hidden (in this case the engine) is fully carved to match its real-life counterpart.

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The last visible pieces to be carved are the wheels, circular pieces of wood complete with fully detailed rims and tire ridges.

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By now, this stationary wood carving would easily classify as a work of art once fully assembled. But they go the extra mile and add a working chassis under the Land Cruiser using a mix of wood pieces, bearings, and springs. Just like a real car, the chassis is attached to the body with the wheels soon to follow.

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With the base fully completed, the rest of the Land Cruiser can finally be assembled. Some pieces are glued while moving parts are attached for full articulation.

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Once finished, with some parts painted, the entire vehicle model is coated with a clear wood finish to make it shine.

<figure class="wp-block-image size-large">land cruiser wood carving</figure>

Words and images don’t do this wooden Toyota Prado Land Cruiser justice, so if you have the time, be sure to check out the full video on YouTube at Woodworking Art. You can also find a ton of car and non-car related wood art there as well!

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 A Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Carved From a Single Chunk of Wood appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at June 04, 2020 06:25 PM

PICO CAD is a Low Poly 3D Modeling Software Concept

Pico CAD 8-bit 3d modeling

Note: This is concept software! Interested in available 8-bit/DOS modelers? Check out Magicvoxel, 3D Studio DOS, or Mikshape3D!

Game developer Johan Peitz posted a tweet recently with a video of a project he’s working on called “PICO CAD”. It’s a kind of 8-bit 3D modeling system to develop very simple 3D objects.

We don’t yet know much about PICO CAD, as Peitz has posted only a single, tantalizing tweet about the project and answered a few questions, which turn out mostly to be “can I download this?” The answer, it turns out, is “Not yet”, according to Peitz.

The PICO CAD system uses a four-window scheme where you see top, front and side views of a 3D object, along with a perspective view. This is a great way to view 3D objects during development, and is also used by popular — and far more advanced — systems like Rhinoceros 3D.

If you watch the brief video below, you’ll see how the user interface works. It seems you add simple objects like a cube, for example, and then modify it by stretching it in each of the different orthographic viewports.

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It looks simple, but Peitz says he intends on adding more functionality in the future, perhaps before releasing it. One specific technology to be added is UV maps, which is a 3D method to apply a color texture to a 3D surface. It’s commonly used in game development 3D packages, and apparently will be so in Pico CAD, too.

The project seems to be related to “PICO-8”, a “Fantasy Console” for developing 8-bit online games. PICO-8 explains:

“PICO-8 is a fantasy console for making, sharing and playing tiny games and other computer programs. It feels like a regular console, but runs on Windows / Mac / Linux. When you turn it on, the machine greets you with a command line, a suite of cartridge creation tools, and an online cartridge browser called SPLORE.”

Peitz seems to be developing the PICO CAD system to work in conjunction with PICO-8, so it may be that PICO-8 will have a 3D editor for developing 8-bit 3D assets.

It’s not clear whether PICO CAD will ever be able to export a 3D model, but it sounds like Peitz may consider this.

PICO CAD would never be useful as a professional or industrial 3D print tool, but it certainly could be an excellent way to indoctrinate youngsters into 3D thinking. Peitz describes PICO CAD as the “Pixel Artist’s” CAD tool. PICO CAD could be a first step into 3D CAD for many, and that will increase the number of folks able to use 3D printing.

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by Fabbaloo at June 04, 2020 03:34 PM