Planet SolidWorks

May 07, 2021


3DEXPERIENCE Works: What’s in it for you?

The 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio is a suite of tools from SOLIDWORKS and Dassault Systèmes that brings your entire organization together in one, cohesive, collaborative environment. Users are able to leverage real-time data to connect stakeholders with one another, helping to foster continuous improvement of your organization’s processes and to provide a holistic view of your business activity.

Connecting Apps, People and Data

3DEXPERIENCE Works introduces efficiencies across simulation, design, service, conceptualizing, manufacturing and management to work as one, connected and integrated system. This means rapid design and engineering iterations can take place with less physical prototyping needed in order to finalize product development and manufacturing. This also means customers receive what they want quicker, resulting in higher satisfaction and lower overhead costs. As a result, your resources are freed to invest in what matters most to your organization: innovation.

3DEXPERIENCE Works is platform-based to provide the flexibility your organization requires to scale as your needs change over time, at your own pace, with virtually limitless growth.

Use only what you need; pay for only what you use

This all sounds great, but what does this really mean for me? That is a good question. 3DEXPERIENCE Works was built from the ground up with your role in mind. It utilizes a platform approach to provide the same single source of truth across the entire organization. Data is instantly and seamlessly integrated throughout each solution, allowing you to innovate and improve virtually every aspect of your business and processes. Each solution also speaks your role’s unique language that you are familiar with in your day-to-day job.

From designers and engineers to executives, analysts to manufacturers, 3DEXPERIENCE Works provides the tools you need for your organization to thrive.

How do I determine what solutions best fit my role?

Another great question. We have created an interactive infographic to help you quickly and easily learn about which tools are right for you.

Check out the video below to learn what tool in the 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio was designed just for you. Ready to learn more? Please contact your local reseller.

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Author information

Ian Adair
Ian Adair
Ian is a graduate of both San Jose State University (BA) and Boise State University (MBA). He works in Offer Marketing with both the DELMIA|Works and 3DEXPERIENCE Works teams with a focus on telling customer stories and product education pieces through the creation of engaging content.

The post <b>3D</b>EXPERIENCE Works: What’s in it for you? appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Ian Adair at May 07, 2021 12:00 PM


Create Some Awesome Camera Shots While in Quarantine

photography quarantine tricks

Times are hard for everyone in this new normal, photographers included. It’s difficult to capture the “essence of life” (or whatever you’d like to call it), when that life is limited to the confines of your own home.

Or is it?

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Photographer Jordi Koalitic shows a number of photography tricks you can use to get the most out of your extended time at home. You might not have the same high-end Sony A7RIII camera he owns, but you can definitely use your imagination to think up some amazing perspectives and shots. And that’s completely free.

Hair Ties Make for Some Amazing Outlines

photography quarantine tricks

For instance, did you know you can slap all sorts of things to the side of your camera lens with an elastic hair tie? Bunch up some flowers on the outlines of your shot to give the impression that you’re taking pictures from inside a garden. Sure you can do this if you have an actual garden, but this trick is specifically for those folks living in apartments or areas without much space.

What’s in the Fridge?

photography quarantine tricks

Want to capture the inside of a fridge without busting open the rear wall? Try taking out the shelves and placing beer bottles to evenly space them apart.

To make the “fridge” look more believable, stack a couple of perishables like fruits and butter to the top shelf. As a final touch, spray the bottles with some water to add some fake condensation around them. No one will ever know you’re taking your photos from atop your kitchen table.

Washing Without a Machine

photography quarantine tricks

Most people know what the inside of a washing machine looks like by the hole-riddled drum inside it. What they don’t know is you can pop off the said drum and use it to make some awesome shots.

By taking the drum off and putting it into a cardboard box, you can stack a bunch of clothes on the bottom and make it look like the camera is inside a washing machine. As icing on the cake, spray some water to make it look like the clothes just got out of a spin.

Library Shots

photography quarantine tricks

Can’t go to the library for a photoshoot? That’s okay, most libraries hate the noise anyway.

Kidding aside, you can set a library scene quite easily in your own home, provided you have the books to do so.

Just like with the fridge trick, you can set your camera between an outline of books stacked atop each other. Then all you need is a subject with a book in their hands. Strap on some LEDs to the book page and you have yourself a well-lit library shot.

Chores with Ambiance

photography quarantine tricks

Who says chores have to look boring? With a good camera and perspective, any shot can be cool.

Just take a look at this shot of a clothes iron. By turning up the stream, you can create this ominous, almost foggy effect around your ironing board. Flattening your pants will never look the same again.

There are other examples Jordi Koalitic shows in the video, but these either use the same tricks in the shots I’ve mentioned before or require a very good camera with high shutter speeds.

The whole video is definitely worth watching, as it will no doubt spark new ideas for shots you never knew you could recreate at home.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 07, 2021 09:31 AM

May 06, 2021


Backup and Restore PDM

<header class="main ImgOn"></header>
Backups are never something anyone wants to have to resort to but are a critical necessity for all companies to reduce data loss should certain issues arise.  No matter if the need is due to someone permanently deleting/destroying a file, hard drives failing, flooding, viruses, or just that you want to move all your data to a new server, a working backup is key to keep things running smoothly for any company.

Do you need to back up a PDM Vault?

Everyone who uses SOLIDWORKS PDM (Standard or Professional) still needs to make sure their vault and all its data are backed up regularly. The PDM System does allow users to revert to previous versions or revisions but this is not the same as a regular backup often carried out by your IT.

There are two main ways that a PDM Vault can be backed up.

  1. Backing up the Individual components of PDM separately (manually or scheduled) to allow you to fully restore PDM without the need to restore the full server.
  2. Backing up the entire server in general. This is most common with Virtual Machines, where ‘snapshots’ can be created to quickly revert the entire server to any previous backup.

There are also other methods such as how a full Server Backup may allow you to recover specific components as required, but these often do not always allow you to just restore the required SQL Databases or Archive Settings correctly.

What needs to be backed up?

In the remainder of this blog, I will take you through the process of manually backing up the four components required to fully restore a PDM vault.


Component 1 and 2

The first two components are the Databases used by the vault/s. If you open “SQL Server Management Studio” and log into your SQL Server/Instance you should see a database for each vault on your machine and a single “ConisioMasterDB” database, each of which will need to be backed up.

These databases contain all the information related to username, passwords, file names, file metadata, file references, vault setup, etc. However, they do not contain any files themselves.

If you prefer to back these up manually, you can right-click the database in question selecting Tasks > Backup, where you can select options such as your backup location.

This method is great however it does not allow for a regular backup cycle to be created. If you have SQL Standard or Enterprise (not Express) then there are built-in tools inside SQL Server Management Studio that you can use to create your backup cycles. If you have SQL Express, there are various 3rd party software tools available to automate this process for you such as a piece of software called “ExpressMaint” which we have used for some of our customers in the past.

If you would like any additional information on this tool, please just let us know.

Note – this tool is not developed or maintained by TMS.


Component 3

The next component that will need to be backup up is the PDM Archive, which contains the raw files and all the different version/revisions themselves so this is the section which can get very large depending on the file size of your vault.

The default location of the Archive is on the C Drive of the Server where there will be a Windows folder with your vault name, inside which will be a set of folders with Hexadecimal names such as the below image. If you have multiple vaults, you will also have multiple Archives each of which will need backed up.

Since the location of this Archive could be located elsewhere or even on a second drive you can check the location of the Archive in the Windows Registry under the following location.

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\ArchiveServer\Vaults\Craigs Vault\ArchiveTable Note – “Craigs Vault” should be replaced with the name of your vault.

If you wish to back this up manually you can just copy and paste this archive folder to your backup location, although you may want to automate this solution. Many tools are available to do this with one of the more common tools used by our customers being “RoboCopy” along with the Windows Task Scheduler.

Note – RoboCopy is not developed or maintained by TMS


Component 4

The final component that you will need to backup is the PDM Archive Settings which controls some of the higher vault permissions, notes important server names and locations for various registry keys and controls and monitors the related PDM Services on the machine amongst other things.

This is backed up using a programme called “Archive Server Configuration” which is installed as part of SOLIDWORKS PDM. Where you can select Tools > Backup Settings, to both take manual backups and set scheduled backups.

Inside the Backup Settings, you will start by having the option to backup individual vault or all vaults. I would recommend including all vaults unless you do not want to backup any test vaults you may have. You can also select a backup location and schedule here, so there is no need for extra software to schedule these backups. There is also an option to password protect this backup so nobody can fully restore your vault backup without this. You can leave this password field blank if you want, but if you do set a password, please do not forget this is you will be unable to restore your backup without it, rendering the backups useless.

Clicking “Launch Backup” will take a backup there and then with the “ok” button starting the schedule assuming you have one set at the schedule option selected.


With your databases, archive (multiple if more than one vault) and archive settings backed up you will be able to fully recover your vault if required or use these backups to move everything to a new server.

Testing the Backup

It is recommended that you check your backups by testing them every so often to not only double-check that you are backing up the correct components but also to make sure the backups work and that you are familiar with the process of recovery.

If you plan on testing the backups on a spare/test server (such as a new VM), there are a few extra steps you will need to carry out during recovery including installation of the PDM software and telling both SQL and the Windows Registry the name of the new server once the backups have been restored. You do not need to carry out these extra steps if you are recovering the vault on the original server.

If you have any question or require any assistance testing your backups, please just let us know.

Conclusion and Other Info

In conclusion, we cannot recommend highly enough that customers are taking regular backups to ensure that any data loss is minimised should any issues arise.

Users can also take their own local backups of SOLIDWORKS files while they continue to work by enabling both the backup and recovery options inside their SOLIDWORKS System Settings.  This can be really handy if SOLIDWORKS ever crashes, or their laptop runs out of battery.

It is also recommended that PDM users “check-in” their PDM files regularly so that that they can be included in the regular IT Server/PDM backups and a copy is also on the server should there be any issues with a user’s machine.

Some additional information on both backup and Recovery can be found on page 125-132 at the below link.



Craig Girvan is an Applications Engineer at TMS CADCentre, a SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller in Scotland.

You can read more from Craig on the TMS CADCentre blog

Author information

TMS CADCentre is a SOLIDWORKS Reseller based in Scotland providing CAD Design Software, analysis software & product data management software. Founded in 1981, TMS CADCentre is the only UK SOLIDWORKS Reseller based and funded within Scotland and have been providing SOLIDWORKS software, training and support since 1996 when the product was first launched in the UK.

The post Backup and Restore PDM appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by TMS CADCentre at May 06, 2021 03:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Producing Lightweight, Durable Robot Parts on Stratasys Origin One

Ghost Robotics™ produces four-legged autonomous unmanned robots with all-terrain stability that can operate in almost any environment. These quadruped robots are size scalable, ultra-agile, high endurance and easy to program.

Simple mechanical systems increase the robots’ durability, agility and endurance. The robots’ modular design supports the efficient field swapping of any sub-assembly.


Ghost Robotics needed to produce lightweight, durable parts, with a cosmetic surface finish, for its Spirit™ Series robot.

  • The team needed to stay agile, shipping units to customers while maintaining the ability to iterate on the designs based on customers’ feedback.
  • Injection molded parts and CNC machined parts were cost-prohibitive, had long lead times, and could not be easily iterated on.
  • The company considered other 3D printing methods as a solution, but the parts weren’t isotropic the mechanical properties weren’t strong enough; and the surface quality was too rough for the parts to be given to customers.


Ghost Robotics searched for a suitable high-end 3D printing solution and found Origin One (acquired by Stratasys in 2021), leveraging the company’s ecosystem material network to select the right material for the robot’s parts. Henkel’s high-impact material LOCTITE 3172 and ABS like material LOCTITE 3843 had the optimal mechanical strength, durability, color, surface quality and price point.

Ghost Robotics uses Origin One to 3D print robot parts

Ghost Robotics uses Origin One to 3D print robot parts

Ghost Robotics ordered nine parts per robot, including 3D printed legs, soft toes and side panels. The team did not need to change the original design they had produced for CNC parts, which made swapping from a traditional manufacturing method to a 3D printed technology almost seamless. Fast time-to-part enabled Ghost Robotics to quickly come to a material and manufacturing solution for their parts.

“Now, we can comfortably ship the number of units we have on order, without worrying about immediately tooling something up,” says Ghost Robotics mechanical engineer Gavin Kenneally. “The parts are rugged and robust and look great, like a finished product.”

As Ghost Robotics continues to test the Spirit™ Series robot on different terrain, 3D printing allows them to retain flexibility with the geometry of the robot’s parts. For example, they are considering enlarging the robot’s foot treads, so the part geometry is not 100% set, which isn’t an issue with 3D printing.

Origin One parts

Origin One parts


The Stratasys Origin One’s build volume, high throughput, material availability, and low per-part cost make it an obvious choice for robotics components that would typically be machined. 3D printing robotics parts on a Stratasys Origin One eliminates the need for tooling, reduces cost by 80%, allows for fast design iterations that improve performance and accelerates time to market. As demonstrated on the parts and in the photos, the P3 technology enables exceptional surface quality that can be indistinguishable from an injection molded surface finish.

About Origin One

A transformative 3D printer enabling mass production of end-use parts in a diverse range of high performance materials. Achieve industry-leading accuracy, consistency, detail and throughput with Programmable PhotoPolymerization P3™ technology.

Learn More

The post Producing Lightweight, Durable Robot Parts on Stratasys Origin One appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Stratasys Ltd. at May 06, 2021 01:47 PM


Be a Spider Using This Fiber Hookchain

spider-man web irl

We all know Spider-Man through his abilities to shoot and swing from his own webs. He produces them using the man-made web shooters on his wrists. It isn’t a superpower at all – it’s the result of Peter Parker’s scientific prowess.

Countless people have since tried to recreate the fictional character’s web shooters in the real world. Grappling hooks, ropes, actual spider silk – you name it, chances are someone in a Spider-Man costume has swung from it.

But few actually try to understand the science behind Spider-Man’s webbing. That’s what JT of Built IRL tried to do. He discovered that there are a few ways to produce artificial fibers by mixing various liquids together (just like how Peter Parker mixes his web fluid in the comics):

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The artificial fiber he tried to create is called rayon, also known as artificial silk. By mixing malachite powder with ammonia, he created a blue mixture that can dissolve cotton wool. He then placed this mixture into a syringe and injected it into some sulfuric acid.

spider-man web irl

The sulfuric acid promptly turned the syringed mixture from liquid to solid (and changed the color from a cool blue into a clear white). This is rayon – an artificial substitute for silk which, when put through some heavy industrial processes, can become the strongest fiber in the world (even stronger than natural silk).

Sadly, JT didn’t have the industrial equipment to produce such a strong rayon rope. So instead of making his own webbing, he settled on a pre-made ultra-strong fiber as a substitute.

But finding a strong cord was only half the battle. To mimic Spider-Man’s iconic mode of travel, JT needed to create a method of attaching the fiber to surfaces so he could swing from them.

spider-man web irl

He tried countless designs – electromagnets, suction pads, grappling hooks – many of which were overly complex and cumbersome. Eventually he looked to Velcro for inspiration. Since Velcro uses a number of small plastic hooks and hoops to fasten two surfaces together, JT thought of incorporating the design philosophy into his Spider-Man web.

spider-man web irl

Enter the hook chain – JT’s answer to the modern Spider-Man fantasy. By affixing a number of steel alloy hooks to one end of the fiber rope, you can latch onto any solid surface on which the rope can be wrapped around.

Early designs of the hook chain included knotted loops, but JT soon figured out that he didn’t need the loops to get a good hook in. Metal pipes, weapons, even human appendages could all be hooked in by the hook chain.

But the real test of that hook chain was seeing if it could support the weight of a person swinging off of it. Using a gym ring on the holding end to stave off friction burn, JT latched the hook chain onto a suspended pipe and did the only reasonable thing any Spider-Man fan would do given the situation – he jumped.

spider-man web irl

Thanks to science and good design, the hook chain did exactly what it was made to do. JT swung in a wide arc before letting go and landing on the ground below!

It looks simple, but that was the result of good design and engineering. Just like Spider-Man’s webbing, the beauty of the design is how much work it takes to make something simple and easy to use.

There is still room for improvement. Already, JT is thinking of ways the hook chain can be fired in succession and swung from without the use of a cumbersome gym ring. He now plans on working this into a future video, so be sure to check out his YouTube channel, Built IRL, to stay up to date on his web shooter improvements.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 06, 2021 10:27 AM

How to Casting Wasp Nest in Resin

wasp nest resin gear shift knob

Despite being home to hundreds of dangerous insects, many people’s first thought when they see a wasp nest is to poke a stick at it.

That’s the first thought. Once the wasps have evacuated their home and finished stinging everything in sight, these people would probably look for an act of revenge. Well, we’ll tell you how to do it in an artistic way as this is exactly what Ben from Ben’s Worx had in mind.

With some leftover wasp nest from a previous project, he decided the best way to make use of it was to cast it in resin and to turn it into a gear shift knob:

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To make the gear shift knob stand out, Ben added a little something extra on top of the wasp nest: an actual wasp. Don’t worry, the wasp was good and dead, so it didn’t put up a fight as Ben applied a small helping of UV resin to stick it to the nest.

wasp nest resin gear shift knob

This pre-casting resin proved to be just the adhesive Ben needed, as he would be pouring even more resin on top of it afterward. Once the resin was applied, he used UV light to help it solidify. He applied the same UV resin to the bottom of the wasp nest and stuck it inside a plastic cup so it could maintain an upright position for the main resin casting.

wasp nest resin gear shift knob

With the wasp nest in position, Ben poured his resin mixture (mixed with some red pigment) inside the plastic cup. After the resin settled, he popped it into his pressure pot to remove any stray air bubbles.

wasp nest resin gear shift knob

Here’s a first: we actually get to see the inside of the pressure pot as it pressurized the wasp nest cast. With Ben’s patented “potcam”, you can see the air bubbles rising to the top of the resin and dissipating – leaving nothing but a clear, airless cast in the cup.

After the resin was pressurized, Ben took the cast out of the pressure pot and popped it out of the plastic cup.

wasp nest resin gear shift knob

To prep the resin for the lathe, he glued his casted wasp nest to a wood base. This provided the lathe with something sturdy to latch onto while turning the resin. With the base and resin firmly secure, Ben started chipping away at the resin shell.

wasp nest resin gear shift knob

At the beginning, the resin cast shared the contour of the plastic cup it used to reside in. But with Ben’s expert chiseling skills, he carved a nice, circular knob that can be used on a number of different gear shifts.

wasp nest resin gear shift knob

After some wet sanding to smoothen out the edges and some wood polish to shine the base, the wasp gear shift knob is finally done.

wasp nest resin gear shift knob

You will notice that the knob doesn’t have any holes under it. This is because, unlike his other works, Ben plans to give this out as a gift to a certain lucky individual who would comment on this particular video.

The winner can then modify the knob to fit his or her vehicle, or if they decide to use it for something else, change it entirely. I personally would love to see this thing on a cane, as it would make a great conversation piece.

Whatever the winner decides to do with it, you can’t deny having a wasp nest encased in resin emanates a feeling of danger, satisfaction, and wonder.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 06, 2021 10:19 AM

Clever Framing and Scaling Make Original “Jurassic Park” Larger Than Life

jurassic park better than sequels

If you’ve seen the newer Jurassic World films and compared them to the original Jurassic Park movie from 1993, you’ll notice a certain lack of wonder. The dinosaurs seem smaller, less intimidating, and more of a backdrop than the centerpiece.

You could chalk this up to nostalgia, but YouTuber Films&Stuff thinks the beauty of the original Jurassic Park stems mostly from Steven Spielberg’s masterful directing.

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There are a lot of elements that make the movie look larger than life, but Spielberg focuses on two: scale and framing. With some clever camera work, he conveys the mood and tone of a scene using his animatronic (and CGI) dinosaurs as well as the superb acting of the cast.

jurassic park better than sequels

From the get-go, Films&Stuff mentions that Jurassic Park is filmed in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio – a more vertical framing compared to Jurassic World’s 2.35:1 ratio. While most action films use the latter to make the most out of their high-movement scenes, this doesn’t translate as well when filming dinosaurs.

Jurassic Park is one of the first movies to bring lifelike dinosaurs to the big screen. To make them look larger and more intimidating, Spielberg makes use of the larger vertical space to fully encapsulate the size of these beasts and fill the screen with their presence.

jurassic park better than sequels

In the Jurassic World sequels, the dinosaurs seem smaller because of how they’re framed. They’re usually in the background, behind manmade structures or with people who take up just as much of the frame as they do.

There isn’t that sense of scale the original movie had, since the dinosaurs don’t really dwarf their human counterparts. Ironically, they seem to be relegated to animals, while the humans become the main focus of the frame and story. This is strangely counterintuitive, considering the movie is called Jurassic World.

Spielberg knows his audience wants the dinosaurs to be front and center, which is why he has used clever camera tricks and scenarios to convey one of two moods every single time these prehistoric animals appear: awe and horror.

jurassic park better than sequels

There’s a noticeable difference when awe and horror are conveyed. To show a sense of wonder, Spielberg uses wide shots, large-scale backgrounds, and keeps the physical distance between humans and dinosaurs to a minimum. You can see a lot of these shots at the beginning of the film, where the dinosaurs make their first appearance and everyone is captivated by them.

jurassic park better than sequels

Horror is the other side of this dinosaur-themed coin. During moments of increased tension, Spielberg puts the camera up close to the actors and the danger they are facing. The scenes are set in claustrophobic yet familiar locations like a jeep or a computer room. To make the dinosaurs look more intimidating, the scenes are almost exclusively shot from the humans’ point of view. This creates a feeling that you’re right there with the people in the park, as they struggle to survive this crazy outbreak.

These are just two of many tricks Spielberg had up his sleeve when he made the 1993 classic film. There’s the CGI effects and animatronics which, while not as impressive by today’s standards, provide believable dinosaur models for viewers to gape at. There’s also the script, which many think to be better than the sequels that came after it. But it’s this use of scale and framing to convey emotion which those same sequels have been trying to recapture when creating dinosaurs.

The entire video is definitely worth a watch if you’re a fan of Jurassic Park, as you’ll get a deeper look inside the camerawork which went into making the film. Films&Stuff has more video essays on a ton of blockbuster films, so you can check those out if you’re a cinephile.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 06, 2021 10:01 AM

May 05, 2021

The Javelin Blog

How to change SOLIDWORKS Visualize 3D Viewport Resolution

When a 3D model is imported into SOLIDWORKS Visualize, the resolution that we see in a preview within the viewport is the resolution of the image that is rendered as an output.

This resolution can be changed as required, following the steps below:

  1. Import the 3D model into SOLIDWORKS Visualize
Resolution: 480X270

Resolution: 480X270

  1. Now Go to Tools drop-down Menu > Select Options OR click Ctrl+K on the keyboard to access the Options.
  2. This will launch the Options dialog box. On the 3D Viewport page scroll to the bottom.
 Change Resolution

Change Resolution

  1. Select the resolution you would like under the Maximum Resolution drop-down menu and click OK.

The viewport resolution size will change according to the resolution you chose. Bigger the resolution, the larger the area is to be rendered.

Resolution set to Fill Window

Resolution set to Fill Window

The post How to change SOLIDWORKS Visualize 3D Viewport Resolution appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Vipanjot Kaur, CSWP at May 05, 2021 12:00 PM


Create Manufacturing-Ready Structure Designs with Web-based 3D Structure Creator

Structure systems are a crucial part of many design projects. However, designing structure systems is challenging, whether you’re designing a fabricated structure with bolted connections, a welded structure, a machine frame, furniture, or anything in between.

Typically, to design a structure system, CAD users first need to sketch a profile and extrude or sweep it to create each individual member. Next comes trimming all the places where the members intersect using cut extrude. And finally, when the design is complete, the cut list for manufacturing needs to be manually created.
The new 3D Structure Creator role on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform provides tools to automate the design of manufacturing-ready structures. Let’s take a closer look.

Design on any web-enabled device. 3D Structure Creator is optimized for desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and even smartphones.


Select an ambiance environment and apply materials to visualize an accurate representation of your design. Automatically generate a cut list based on the design to drive manufacturing.


Focused Design Environment

Improve design productivity by using an interface tailored to 3D structure design. All toolbars, context menus, and features that appear in the software’s interface are specific to structure design, making for a clean, uncluttered work environment.

3D Structure Creator enables you to:

  • Freely create structure members based on any sketch entities, model edges, or curves.
  • Select structure section profiles from a library of standard types and sizes or create your own.
  • Rapidly perform trim operations at corners and endpoints to create precise, manufacturable designs.
  • Design with unique structure members by creating custom structure section profiles based on a common profile shape or user-defined 2D sketch.
  • Streamline structure design workflows with automated functionality for adding plates, gussets, and end caps.
  • Add detail to structure designs by adding cutouts to structure members.
  • Visualize an accurate representation of your final product with fully customizable graphics, realistic materials, and ambiance environments.
  • Speed design to manufacturing with automated cut lists.
  • And much more.

Use Selection Helper to create structure members quickly. Line segments selected by the user are highlighted in green; the yellow lines indicate the suggestions made by the Selection Helper.


Customize settings in the Selection Helper by toggling your preferences.

Design Assistant

Add a new level of productivity to your structure design projects with the addition of machine learning algorithms to 3D Structure Creator in R2021xFD06. When picking edges or sketch entities as references for structure members, the Selection Helper offers additional selections based on the current model and selections that you have made in the past. If you agree with the recommendation, a simple click of a button enables the Selection Helper to pick all suggested edges automatically. Additionally, you can toggle factors to refine suggestions made by the Selection Helper.

Break free from standard libraries and experience complete design freedom. Design with unique structure members by creating custom structure section profiles based on a user-defined 2D sketch.


Cloud-based Application
3D Structure Creator on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform enables you to work entirely in a web browser. Secure cloud-based data management and collaboration tools powered by the platform provide the ability to view, create, or modify designs as a team from any web-enabled device.

Creating structure members, plates, gussets, and end caps; performing corner trimming; and generating a cut list is simple and intuitive. Structure systems are automatically sorted into feature sets. Member properties can be modified at any point in the design to incorporate design feedback. And everyone in your organization has instant access to the latest design data on the platform.

If you make simple fabricated structures, wood frames or furniture, space frames, machine bed frames, structures built from extruded aluminum, or create complex shape structures, then you may want to check out 3D Structure Creator.

Contact your local reseller for more information or request a trial of 3DEXPERIENCE Works today.


Author information

Daniel McGinn
Dan McGinn is a Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS. Dan has been working with CAD for 10 years and has experience with structure design, machine design, and robotics. When he’s not at work, you might find him out on the ski slopes or hiking and camping.

The post Create Manufacturing-Ready Structure Designs with Web-based 3D Structure Creator appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Daniel McGinn at May 05, 2021 12:00 PM

May 04, 2021

The Javelin Blog

How to Attach Annotations to an Existing SOLIDWORKS Drawing View

Do you ever find yourself looking at SOLIDWORKS drawings where annotations are NOT linked to views, but should be?

It is simply there on the paper sheet … floating … without a drawing view ‘home’… doesn’t move when you move any drawing views… Why would someone do this? Why I ask…WHY?

Cause of Detached SOLIDWORKS Annotations:

Over dramatic questions aside, there are actually several ways one could have ended up in this situation:

  • New drafters forgot to place annotation within a drawing view
  • Original intent was to have the annotation not linked to any drawing view
  • Staple annotations could exist within drawing templates that can be used

Attach to View Solution:

Regardless of how the situation came about, we will learn a quick SOLIDWORKS ability to link existing annotations to a required drawing view (and how to unlink from a drawing view — scroll down to read extras).

Below we see a simple drawing and two annotations to the right that are currently not attached to any drawing views.

Annotations Currently Not Linked to Any Drawing Views

Annotations Currently Not Linked to Any Drawing Views

If we want an annotation linked to a specific drawing view, we are going to follow the 4 simple steps below:

  1. Right click the annotation
  2. Go to “Attachment”
  3. Choose “Attach to View”
  4. Choose the desired drawing view
4 Steps to Link Annotations to a Drawing View

4 Simple Steps to Link Annotations to a Drawing View

That’s it, you’re done! Move the drawing view and you’ll see the annotation move with it.


Multiple Annotations Linked to a Drawing View:

If you require multiple annotations linked, you can choose all the annotations required at once, right click any one of the selected annotations and repeat the steps 2 to 4.

Unlink Annotation from a Drawing View:

We can unlink annotations from a drawing view by simply linking it to the sheet instead. When you right click the annotation that needs to be unlinked and go to “Attachment”, you will see “Attach to Sheet”.

"Attach to Sheet" to Unlink from a Drawing View

“Attach to Sheet” to Unlink from a Drawing View

Change which Drawing View an Annotation is Linked to:

Simply follow the same 4 steps to attach an annotation to a drawing view. Yes, you heard me! Once you select “Attach to View” and click on the new drawing view, it will automatically unlink from the previous one.

NOTE: This method does not work for revision symbols in SOLIDWORKS. Subscribe and look forward to an upcoming article for an amazing workaround.

The post How to Attach Annotations to an Existing SOLIDWORKS Drawing View appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Prasadh Annalingam, CSWE at May 04, 2021 12:25 PM

May 03, 2021


You Can Draw in Perspective Inside SOLIDWORKS?

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Disclaimer: This exercise was purely for experimental and exploratory purposes. Although I hoped that I would gain insights on how to better sketch in perspective by transferring the 2 point cube sketch into SOLIDWORKS, the success of the exercise wasn’t tied to the outcome. Sometimes, it’s fun to try things and follow one’s instinct and see where it may lead.

Article: You can become a better mechanical design engineer by improving your capability to visually think and sketch in perspective. In essence, sketching is a cycle of iteration that allows you to flush out your ideas on paper. The process goes as follows: 1)You transfer your thoughts from your head to the paper. 2)You analyze what you see on the paper and new ideas are generated. 3)You edit/refine what you had previously put on the paper.

Photo credit: Rapid Viz: A New Method for the Rapid Visualization of Ideas 3rd Edition by Kurt Hanks and Larry Belliston.

My goal is to get to the point where I can rather quickly do exploded views of assemblies, like the Leonardo Da Vinci illustration below.

Currently, I’m learning to draw objects inside cubes that are in perspective.

As I’ve spent weeks drawing straight lines without rulers, practicing ellipses, and drawing cubes in 1 point, 2 point, and 3 point perspective, I began to wonder if the tool I use every day for mechanical design, SOLIDWORKS, could support this perspective sketching. Although there is a button on SOLIDWORKS to view objects in perspective, that’s not what I wanted.

I literally wanted to sketch objects in perspective inside the software. After surfing the web, it was evident no one had done this before. This is totally understandable since the tool isn’t made for those purposes. But as entrepreneurs know, sometimes a new business idea is born by utilizing tools to solve problems they weren’t intended to be used for.

Also, thinking in perspective can be challenging. One has to train the eye to see vanishing points and estimate when objects are incorrectly drawn. It occurred to me that by sketching in perspective inside SOLIDWORKS, I may learn something. Perhaps something would click in my mind and sketching in perspective would suddenly become easier after viewing sketches in 3D inside SOLIDWORKS.

I set out to replicate the 2pt point perspective drawing below in SOLIDWORKS. You can watch me navigate through this process by watching HERE.

Step 1: Paste photo to use it as a reference
Step 2: Create vanishing points
Step 3: Use 3D sketching to make vertices coincident with vanishing points.

Step 4: Generated new planes and axes to connect the vertices in the back of the cube.

Step 5: Create each face using surfaces and knit them together to create a solid.

The final outcome was the following:

I did walk away from this exercise with a rather philosophical conclusion that I didn’t expect. I’ve never had a chance to look at my perspective from someone else’s point of view (side view). This cube seemed like freezing our perspective of how we see the world around us and looking at it from someone else’s point of view.

I hope that you enjoyed this article. Feel free to expand upon what I tried and share your results with me. I have a hunch that there’s a possibility that someone may expand upon this new way of utilizing SOLIDWORKS.

by Rafael Testai at May 03, 2021 08:20 PM

The Javelin Blog

Accessible large-format FDM printing with the Stratasys F770 printer

Stratasys made a big impact on manufacturing with their announcement of three new printers using three technologies this week during their Manufacturing Event.

If you missed the big event, we saw and learned about the H350 3D printer, which uses Selective Absorption Fusion technology (also known as SAF). The printer is built for high-volume, short-run production, with superior part quality and repeatability. We also saw Origin One, which uses P3 Technology and is perfect for mass production of end-use parts in a diverse range of high-performance materials. Last and certainly not least, we were introduced to the F770 3D printer, which uses FDM technology.

In this article we will focus on the F770 printer, its benefits, and where it fits into the current portfolio of FDM 3D printers from Stratasys.

Large part printed on the new FDM F770 3D printer

Stratasys F770 3D printer


If you are not familiar with Fused Deposition Modeling technology, it is a powerful Stratasys-patented additive manufacturing method. FDM builds concept models, functional prototypes and end-use parts in standard, engineering-grade, and high-performance thermoplastics. Stratasys offers a wide range of printers that use FDM technology including the F123 series, F450, and F900.

Stratasys F770 is a large-format 3D printer with a small price tag. It has the longest heated build chamber on the market; the F900 has the largest. Print up to 46 inches long on the diagonal in the large 13 cubic foot build envelope. Print one large part, few medium parts, or many small parts! This printer will allow manufacturers to prototype and create production parts that are not possible on smaller printers.

Benefits of Stratasys F770 3D printer

  • Print-and-forget dependability: Get accurate print results along with the repeatability and reliability that FDM Technology™ is known for. Stratasys FDM build chamber design is time-tested, ensuring precise thermal management across the build platen. This gives you consistent, successful print results, whether parts are big or small.
  • Anyone can operate: 3D printing with the F770 is straightforward and requires no specialized training. It is designed with plug-and-print simplicity so virtually anyone can print large, complex parts quickly and easily. The user-friendly GrabCAD Print™ software makes the CAD-to-print workflow simple, so all you do is import your CAD model and press the print button.
  • 24/7 Operation: With 200 cubic inch material canisters, there is no need to constantly monitor the printer while it is operating. The F770 comes with a built-in camera that allows you to check on your prints via your mobile device.
  • Design freedom: The F770 uses soluble support material, which allows you to design and print your parts free from design-for-manufacturability constraints or limitations.

How does the F770 differ from other large-format FDM printers?

The most notable difference, besides the price is the material options available on the printer. The F770 3D printer offers printing in ASA and ABS-M30. These two materials are the most popular and widely used materials at Stratasys.

ABS-M30 is ideal for conceptual modeling, functional prototyping, manufacturing tools and production parts. It has greater tensile, impact, and flexural strength than standard ABS. ASA allows you to build consistently high-quality parts, with exceptional UV stability and the aesthetics. Its UV-resistance makes it especially suited in production parts for outdoor commercial and infrastructure use.

The F450 and F900 offer a wide range of thermoplastics with advanced mechanical properties so your parts can endure high heat, caustic chemicals, sterilization, and high impact applications. These printers offer materials like ULTEM 9085, a flame-retardant high-performance thermoplastic ideal for the transportation industry.

The production machines from Stratasys are workhorses! In many cases, they run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The F770 would be the perfect fit for a company that would like to offload their ASA and ABS-30 parts and allow for the production of high-end application parts to be printed on a F450 or F900 printers. It would also be a great option for a company that needs reliable, repeatable parts but does not have any specialized material requirements.

F770 example parts

F770 ABS-30 FDM large part ASA 3D printed rake F770 FDM automotive part

Below is a comparison of the main features of the F770 and F900 3D printers:

Feature F770 F900
Build Area 39.4 x 24 x 24 inches 36 x 24 x 36 inches
Materials Model: ASA, ABS-M30
SR-30 Support
ABS-ESD7, ABSi, ABS-M30, ABS-M30i, Antero 800NAPC, PC-ABS, PC-ISO, PPSF, ULTEM 9085, ULTEM 1010, Nylon 12, Nylon 6, ST- 130, Nylon 12CF™
Accuracy XY part – 0.010 in. or +/- 0.002 in/in, whichever is greater.

Z part – 0.008 in. or +/- 0.002 in./in. plus 1 layer height

0.020 INCH (0.508 MM), 0.013 INCH (0.330 MM), 0.010 INCH (0.254 MM), 0.007 INCH (0.178 MM). 0.005 INCH (0.127 MM)
Quick change head Yes – auto calibration option No – layer height calibrated tips
Layer height 0.178 or 0.254 or 0.330 mm [0.013, 0.010, 0.007 in] 0.508, 0.330, 0.254, 0.178, 0.127 mm [0.040, 0.020, 0.013, 0.010, 0.007, 0.005in]
  • Large part prototyping for fit and function with great appearance and little to no post finishing
  • Jigs and fixtures with material requirements met by ABS and ASA
  • Limited run production of ABS/ASA parts
  • Mid temp material portfolio
  • Highest requirement applications in production parts and tooling
  • Rigorous applications with speciality materials
  • Faster time to part requirements
  • Highest accuracy FDM
  • Small batch production of high temp materials
  • Specialized industry certifications


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The post Accessible large-format FDM printing with the Stratasys F770 printer appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Kelly Clancy at May 03, 2021 03:28 PM

May 02, 2021


Does Twisting a Ratchet Strap Decrease Its Load Capacity?

ratchet strap twist test

It’s one of those myths only people who transport heavy loads will know about. According to rumor, if you twist a ratchet strap by even a little, you are effectively reducing its load capacity by 50%.

While it is true that adding a twist to a taut ratchet strap reduces the slack and tension, there haven’t been some tests regarding the load capacity. That’s exactly why Jason from Fireball Tool decided to test out a bunch of different tying styles on multiple ratchet straps to see if there is any truth to the myth:

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To simulate a moving vehicle under stress, Jason welded an air jack onto a large, rectangular piece of plate steel. With two hinges on either side of the plate and a round metal plate on the tip of the jack, Jason pushed the straps to their breaking point.

ratchet strap twist test

Starting with an unknotted and untwisted strap as the control test, he used a digital force gauge to determine that the normal amount of force a ratchet strap can provide with just the handle is 655 kg (or 1,461 lbs). But that’s just with a taut ratchet strap. To get the exact amount of force the strap can handle before breaking, they have to… well, break it.

ratchet strap twist test

And that’s just what Jason did. With enough force from the air jack, the ratchet strap snapped at the spool – heating up the strap and sending fibers airborne. Jason took a look at the footage and discovered the breaking point of an untwisted, unknotted 2-inch ratchet strap was 4,279 kg of force (9,433 lbs). Not bad, considering the working limit for the ratchet straps were advertised to be 1,512 kg (3,333 lbs).

ratchet strap twist test

With the control points measured, Jason started adding different numbers of twists to the succeeding ratchet straps. A single twist in the strap yielded a snap at 4,375 kg (9,645lbs) – a little higher than an untwisted ratchet strap.

ratchet strap twist test

Increasing the number of twists past one seemed to inversely affect the load capacity, however. Four twists led to the strap snapping at 4,205 kg (9,270 lbs), while 10 twists resulted in an even earlier breakage at 3492 kg (7,698 lbs). It isn’t quite as drastic as a 50% load capacity decrease, so the rumors about twists dramatically reducing load capacity seem to be greatly exaggerated.

ratchet strap twist test

Not to be discouraged by the results, Jason tried adding a knot to the next strap. This time, the strap broke at the knot instead of the spool. And wouldn’t you know it, it snapped at 1630 kg (3,593 lbs) – 50% lower than the load capacity of the untwisted, unknotted control test.

So maybe the rumors were true – but only for the knotted strap!

ratchet strap twist test

Lastly, Jason tried to see if a wet ratchet strap would affect its load capacity. He submerged the final strap in water for a while before subjecting it to the air jack and letting it fly. A snap at 4013 kg (8,847 lbs) of force is a slight reduction from the load capacity of the dry strap, but it isn’t that bad when compared to the ones with twists and knots.

Moral of the story: Do not, under any circumstances, put a knot in your ratchet straps. A couple of twists to reduce the vibrations are alright, but overdoing it could result in the strap snapping and your cargo flying overboard.

by Carlos Zotomayor at May 02, 2021 10:21 AM

April 30, 2021


Measuring Spoons – Tutorial

The spoons in this tutorial have been designed to the milliliter measurements but are also represented in tablespoon and teaspoons. You will also see how the outward shell tool and sketch text tool was utilized for the spoons scoop and how the measurement details were added to the spoon handles.

The most important step in creating the spoons was to figure out the radii needed to create the correct volume for the spoons scoop. In the tutorial the spoon radii is rounded up to 3 decimal places to save time, but as mentioned in the tutorial, you can input the exact radii to get the exact volumes. Below you can see how the radii was calculated to create the exact volumes, you could apply this formula to create any spoon or cup sizes you want.

Calculations for spoon scoop Radii

You can work out the radii yourself from a given volume.

The formula for this is V= 4/3 π r³.

I like to work out the radius from a sphere, so I just double the volume of the spoon for the working out.

You start by dividing the known volume by 4.19, I get this number from the formula which is 4/3 x Pi and rounding it to the nearest 100.

Then using 4.19, find the cube root of volume divided by 4.19, which should give you the radius of both the sphere and hemisphere.


Below are the exact radii for each spoon if you wish to get the exact volumes.

1TBS = 15ml =      19.275732104070492331046758976931r    or 19.27573210 =     15000 cubic milliliters

½ TBS = 7.5ml =   15.299158709729347301503352793848r    or  15.29915871 =    7500 cubic milliliters

1tsp = 2.5ml =       13.365046175719757785412097349579r    or   13.36504618 =    5000 cubic milliliters

1/2 tsp = 2.5ml =   10.607844179470552438696378719751r    or   10.60784418 =    2500 cubic milliliters

1/4tsp = 1.25ml =   8.4194515048031483637742857047463r   or  8.41945150 =       1250 cubic milliliters

Once the spoons volume was created using the revolve tool and checked with mass properties, the shell tool was used to create the outer scoop of the spoon. By selecting the top face of the revolve and the shell feature, the thickness of the shell was chosen, but shell outward is selected, this causes the walls to shell outward by the desired thickness, with the inner mass disappearing to leave a spoon scoop to the volume created.


Another feature of the tutorial is the use of the text tool to apply the measurements of each spoon. Guide sketches were created before the sketch was added so that it could be applied to an exact spot on the handle, the font could then be edited by font type, font style and the font size. Once the first spoon was finished, the part was saved but kept open. It was then used to create the other 4 spoons by rolling back features and editing the sketch of the spoons radius, then double checking the new volume. The handle length was increased so that each spoon sits into each other with the ring hole lined up. And finally, the text was edited to represent the spoon size. Each spoon was then saved with a new name, this method can save you so much time when created similar shaped parts.

When the parts are all complete, the spoons are mated onto the ring concentric in an assembly ready to create an exploded view. In the exploded view, the temporary axis of the spoons handle holes and metal ring were used to define the axis of rotation for the spoons, to ensure that they rotated on the ring and not from there own centre axis. The exploded view could then be brought into a motion study, using animation and the exploded view I edited the keys of the exploded view to speed up the movements of the spoons and then exported the motion study to SOLIDWORKS Visualize.

The exploded view was used to create the final animation seen at the end of the tutorial.

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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 Measuring Spoons – Tutorial appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Jade Crompton at April 30, 2021 03:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Why do my SOLIDWORKS Drawings show “deg” instead of the degree symbol?

Have you ever come across a SOLIDWORKS Drawing where the letters “deg” are displayed instead of the degree symbol and just couldn’t change it?

In this blog article we will learn how to control how the units are shown. (And before anyone asks…no, it’s not overwritten text.)

DEG vs Symbol

Dimension Showing “deg” instead of the Degree Symbol

Show Units of Dimensions Option

The cause of this is a very simple SOLIDWORKS setting and can be found here:

Tools > Options > Document Properties > Dimensions > “Show units of dimensions

"Show units of dimensions" checkbox setting

“Show units of dimensions” checkbox setting

Let’s see what happens when this option is on and off:

Show units of dimensions

“Show units of dimensions” not checked, with imperial units (no fractions)

"Show units of dimensions" checked

“Show units of dimensions” checked, with imperial units (no fractions)

When the option is turned on, the degree symbol is swapped with “deg” and we also see the other two dimensions have “in” added. This behaviour is seen similarly with metric units.

Important Note:

The “Show units of dimensions” setting will not affect non-angular imperial units that are shown with fractions and set to show the double prime mark.

Tools > Options > Document Properties > Fractional Display > Show Double Prime Mark (”)

What this means is that radial and linear dimensions will show the double prime mark instead of “in” regardless of the “Show units of dimensions” setting. See below for the comparison.

Imperial units in fractions

“Show units of dimensions” not checked, with imperial units in fractions

"Show units of dimensions" checked, with imperial units in fractions

“Show units of dimensions” checked, with imperial units in fractions

We can see here that the angular dimension unit changed from the symbol to “deg” but the double prime marks for the other two dimensions were unaffected.

NOTE: If you find this happening on all SOLIDWORK drawings that you create, you will have to update your drawing templates to have this option unchecked.

The post Why do my SOLIDWORKS Drawings show “deg” instead of the degree symbol? appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Prasadh Annalingam, CSWE at April 30, 2021 12:00 PM


Stepping Up to the Challenges of Industrial Equipment Manufacturing

Industrial equipment manufacturers face distinctive design and development challenges when building large-assembly projects, such as increasingly complex electromechanical systems. Large and multifaceted assemblies can slow CAD development and increase the likelihood of issues, such as interference and collisions between components. And, with engineered-to-order systems, every project requires a brand-new, made-to-order design from scratch.

There are customer satisfaction challenges, too.

Today’s industrial equipment customers have set a high bar with expectations for quality and reliability. These customers expect cutting-edge innovation, operational excellence, and the use of new technologies. They assume compliance with regulatory standards and expect data-driven manufacturing and production.

Rather than taking a business-as-usual approach, industrial equipment manufacturers can beat the competition and overcome these challenges by leveraging investments in smart, integrated product development and manufacturing tools from SOLIDWORKS®.

Let’s take a brief look at some industrial equipment manufacturers that are taking the industry to a new level.

Consolidated Product Development

AV&R is a global leader in automation technology, vision, and robotics technology with unique expertise in automated robotic finishing of gas turbine parts, such as the blades used in jet engines. The company uses SOLIDWORKS solutions in all facets of its business and across multiple departments within its organization, from design and assembly to prototyping and data management. By consolidating its product development on SOLIDWORKS, all the AV&R teams—robotic engineers and manufacturing and assembly personnel—can collaborate more efficiently and iterate faster. Learn more about how AV&R and other companies continue to grow and evolve with SOLIDWORKS.

Considerable Efficiency Increases

SEA-LECT Plastics Corporation is a leading supplier of custom injection molding, design, product development, and tooling services in the Pacific Northwest. SEA-LECT uses connected tools from SOLIDWORKS and DELMIA | Works and now has a fully automated design-to-manufacturing process. The company has substantially increased efficiency—from 70 percent to 98.5 percent—while simultaneously improving injection molded part quality. Learn more about how SEA-LECT and others like it increase efficiencies in their design-through-manufacturing processes.

Grow Your Business

Meltech is an independent manufacturer and rebuilder of induction furnaces. The company leads the market in custom furnace design and manufacture with integrated CAD and ECAD solutions from SOLIDWORKS. When the company first purchased SOLIDWORKS, it saw substantial improvements in just three months. In the last ten years, Meltech has doubled in size. ECAD tools have helped Meltech shave up to 40 percent off electrical design times, and it recently implemented SOLIDWORKS PDM as well. Learn more about how SOLIDWORKS helps Meltech and companies worldwide save time and money.

Rock Solid Savings

InFocus Energy Services, Inc. is an R&D-based company that designs and manufactures downhole products for the oil and gas industry. SOLIDWORKS is at the core of InFocus’s engineering group. They use SOLIDWORKS for 3D modeling, simulation, flow analysis, and renderings. InFocus has saved tens of thousands of dollars and months of time and extra labor costs by condensing a process that would usually take months to just a few weeks. Learn more about how InFocus and other organizations like yours utilize SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE Works Simulation to save substantial time and money.

Exceed Customer Expectations

Machitech Automation is a leading manufacturer of industrial CNC plasma machines. Customers literally become partners in “the Machitech experience” because they play an integral role in the product development process. The company uses SOLIDWORKS to assemble, check interferences, do motion and stress analysis, and much more. See how Machitech and other industrial equipment manufacturers exceed customer expectations with SOLIDWORKS 3D design solutions.

Always Connected

Today, enabling remote access to design data is a must for every business. Industrial equipment manufacturers can easily and securely connect SOLIDWORKS data to the cloud and then access it along with additional design, simulation, manufacturing, and management tools.

Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform enables SOLIDWORKS users to work together with their extended teams in a unified environment.

Communications among team members are automatically tracked in one accessible location. Plus, data management on the platform is built-in, so as designs change, the shared common product data automatically updates so everyone on the project is always in sync.

The result is faster, more efficient product development. Click here to learn more about Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS.

Discover More

With an integrated 3D product development system like SOLIDWORKS®, see how industrial equipment manufacturers can collaborate and develop innovative equipment and processes from design to manufacture. Because SOLIDWORKS can efficiently manage large assemblies, less time is wasted so that products can be delivered to market sooner and for less cost.

If you have more questions or would like to see a live demonstration, please contact your local reseller for more information.


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 Stepping Up to the Challenges of Industrial Equipment Manufacturing appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at April 30, 2021 12:00 PM

April 29, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Applying colour and textures using KeyShot integration with GrabCAD on Stratasys J55 printer

One of the most exciting features of the new line of Stratasys PolyJet printers is the ability to prepare, process, and print full-coloured and textured files in a few easy steps.

Learn more about the new J55 3D printer by reading TechTalk: Javelin’s Professional Services team impressed with Stratasys J55 3D printer for product development.

Full colour 3D printing directly off the printer is a recent development that has traditionally required an extensive amount of preprocessing across multiple software platforms and was a very manual and tedious process. The alternative method would be to print without colour and then hand finish and detailed paint, which is equally costly in time and manual labor.

Applying colour and texture using KeyShot

In this article, we will explore how easily we can adapt colours and textures to CAD models utilizing KeyShot rendering software. Let us look at the initial CAD preparation. Today we will be designing and printing a sample part that has multiple different patterns and textures applied. The CAD requirement here is not complex; it simply requires the CAD file to be split into separate bodies for each colour texture assignment.

For this model, we will be designing a small puck with a clear center that displays a company logo. As shown on the left side of the picture below, each body that is intended to be a different colour or material should be saved as separate solid bodies.

CAD file split into separate bodies for 3D printing

CAD file split into separate bodies for 3D printing

In order to apply the colour and texture wraps, we will need to import the CAD into KeyShot. Importation is easy and allows for various options depending on what is required. For our application we are reassembling our CAD bodies in KeyShot, so we will select the position setting to keep position relative to native origin (shown below), which allows us to keep the original coordinate system for each part.

KeyShot import settings

KeyShot import settings

After all the bodies are imported, we can begin the process of applying the desired colours and textures. On the scene tab, we can see all the bodies listed. In multi body applications like this, the hide/show feature allows us to easily work with assemblies with multiple bodies.

Scene tab in KeyShot to apply colours to file

The next step is to start applying a texture to our intended surface/body by selecting our material, then selecting the textures tab and applying our chosen texture to the “bump” parameter. Here we can modify the scale, placement and displacement of the texture being applied.

Material tab in KeyShot used to apply texture

Material tab in KeyShot used to apply texture

Now we can select the material graph to understand how our textures are interacting with our model, and also apply the displacement function onto the material graph. Select the displacement function at the top and connect the nodes from the texture to the geometry of the final surface. On the right side of the image below we will see the option to select our displacement value, which should not exceed 1mm/0.04in. Once parameters are finalized, hit execute node to alter the geometry of your part.

Displace Properties in KeyShot

Displace Properties

Now we can export as a 3MF file, from the menu, keeping the parameters as seen in the options below. This resultant 3MF file will give a geometry displaced file that can be processed and printed in GrabCAD print. From here, the bodies in the 3MF file can be assigned colours in GCP and printed as is!

Export 3MF file from KeyShot that can be processed and printed in GrabCAD Print

Export 3MF file that can be processed and printed in GrabCAD Print

Below is our exported 3MF file that is ready for print in GrabCAD Print. We can see that the original surface has been displaced by a specular pattern and has defaulted to a flat grey colour.

Exported 3mf file that is ready for print

Exported 3mf file that is ready for print

Let’s explore one step further, in wrapping a body in both texture and colour in KeyShot. Once we have exported the geometry displaced 3MF file, we can reimport that file into KeyShot to apply colour to the displaced surfaces. This can be easily done by selecting the body just as before and employing the “diffuse” option.

Applying colour to displaced surfaces

Applying colour to displaced surfaces

Here we will select colour gradient and adjust the parameters so our colours fade nicely across the model. The last step is to export the 3MF file while selecting “prefer textures” instead. This results in a coloured and textured file that can go into GCP and print directly!

3MF file export settings for 3D printing colour coloured and textured file that can go into GCP and print

Utilizing these features, we can take full advantage of the J55 3D printers capabilities for producing high resolution detailed models along with colour gradients to create much more realistic prototypes and end use parts!

Final 3D printed sample part on the J55 3D printer Final 3D printed sample part on the J55 3D printer


Additive Professional Services Team

Javelin’s Additive Professional Services team provides Designers and Manufacturers with a variety of custom-tailored 3D printing services, including high-performance prototypes, tooling and manufacturing aids, end-use parts, and low-volume production runs.

By applying the latest additive manufacturing technology, our staff of highly-experienced specialists are capable of meeting the most stringent demands in terms of time, cost and precision in the creation of your part. No matter your requirements, we can provide you with the expertise and experience to navigate the 3D printing world.

Learn More

The post Applying colour and textures using KeyShot integration with GrabCAD on Stratasys J55 printer appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Stefan Bullock at April 29, 2021 07:57 PM


Webinar: Driving High-Tech Innovation with 3DEXPERIENCE Works Simulation

Development cycles in the high-tech industry are shorter and more demanding than nearly any other industry.

What’s more, high-tech products often rely on increasingly smaller electronic components, ones that tend to overheat more quickly. Too much heat can significantly reduce the lifecycle of electronics integral to both consumer products and industrial controllers, many of which are now wireless.

[Sign up for the webinar]

Building products that run reliably without interruption is no longer a nice-to-have; it is a must-have. To beat your competitors to market, your business must operate efficiently and predictably. By regularly making warranty dates and avoiding premature breakdowns, you build an unshakeable brand and loyal customers.

Simulation Makes THE Difference

Managing thermal properties while power requirements increase is an ongoing challenge—but it is just one challenge. Simulation tools often demand more computing resources than typical engineers use in order to solve complex problems. And, what about wireless technology? Simulation tools must enable testing of wireless performance within diverse environments to ensure product performance and success.

[Sign up for the webinar]

3DEXPERIENCE® Works Simulation expands the simulation capacity of engineering teams, providing tools for high-tech applications. From high-performance wireless antennas to high-capacity batteries, these tools can be leveraged to improve the design of high-tech devices, large and small.

Our webinar will focus on the following:

  •         Addressing electromagnetic concerns using SIMULIA
  •         Leveraging cloud computing to expedite simulation tasks
  •         Computation fluids solutions for thermal management

Get There Faster

A significant factor in getting to market first is reducing the time and cost of physical testing. With the rate of product development moving at breakneck speeds, organizations must move quickly or risk being outpaced by their competition. Releasing low-quality products or designs that fail to incorporate the latest advances can set a company back and severely influence the bottom line.

[Sign up for the webinar]

3DEXPERIENCE Works Simulation is based on a software as a service (SaaS) subscription model that gives you the flexibility to rent a license for three months or one year without having to manage software installs or worry about hardware upgrades. Because it is cloud-based, you can access simulation applications from home, at the office, or on the road. All you need is an internet connection and a web browser.

The power of the 3DEXPERIENCE Works platform allows you to exchange real-time information, share simulation results, chat with other team members, or conduct audio or video conversations—all captured on the platform, eliminating the need to track and organize a myriad of emails.

Sign up for this informative and timely webinar on May 12th, 2021.

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 Webinar: Driving High-Tech Innovation with <b>3D</b>EXPERIENCE Works Simulation appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at April 29, 2021 02:51 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Remote Solver (Network Solving)

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation software provides the ability to share the calculations of a project over a network connection to a SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Remote Solver.

Resources are then freed up on the local computer to continue other work without reduced performance as the solver is running.  You can open a new SOLIDWORKS window to continue working on other files.  This can be useful where multiple users have computers with limited hardware, but can share a powerful desktop computer to run calculations with increased speed.

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

The processing is shared between the local and remote machine:

  • Local Machine — Meshing, creation of the flow results file and pre-processing prior to first iteration calculation
  • Remote Machine — All solution iterations

NOTE: The calculations can only be performed on one remote machine


SOLIDWORKS and Flow Simulation need to be installed on both the local and remote machines, and both must be on the same version and service pack.


While SOLIDWORKS and Flow Simulation must be installed on the remote machine, it does not require authorization.  Only the local machine will need access to the SOLIDWORKS and Flow Simulation license.  While solving, the local machine will still utilize both the SOLIDWORKS and Flow Simulation license.

  • If using a single node-locked license of SOLIDWORKS and/or Flow Simulation, activation is not needed on the remote machine
  • If using shared network licenses of SOLIDWORKS and/or Flow Simulation, the remote machine will not utilize any additional licenses


Remote Solver options can be found on the local machine under Tools > Flow Simulation > Tools > Options.

Communication between local and remote machines is done through a TCP port over the shared network.  By default the TCP port 30950 is used.  This can be modified within the options or before solving if another application requires the use of the default port.  Have your IT ensure that both inbound and outbound communication is allowed through the defined port in network firewalls.  Run a Telnet test to verify connectivity to the remote machine.

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Remote Solver Options

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Remote Solver Options

While the solution is run, results are being saved to a temporary directory on the remote machine.  By default this is saved under C:\Windows\Temp but can be modified in the Remote Solver options as shown above.  New subfolders are created to store the results while solving.  When the solution is complete, the results are copied to the local machine and the temporary subfolders are deleted from the remote machine.


To solve a project, the Run dialog gives the ability to selectively choose the remote computer.  By default this is set to ‘This computer’ which indicates that all iterations are solved on the local machine.  Changing to ‘Add computer’ allows you to browse to a network computer or manually add the remote machine name.

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Run Remote Solver

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Run Remote Solver

The local machine does have access to regular previous, goal plots and plot previews while calculations are being performed.  The remote machine will have nothing displayed on screen, only a process ‘efdsolver.exe’ will be running in the background.

The post SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Remote Solver (Network Solving) appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Scott Durksen, CSWE at April 29, 2021 12:00 PM


Wooden Uzi as Answer to Your Jenga Problems

wooden uzi

Ah, Jenga – the game you play when you’re tired of board games. Instead of requiring any real knowledge of a game’s rules, Jenga relies more on depth perception, an innate knowledge of physics, and very, very careful hands.

Sadly, not all of us have the dexterity to play such a game. When so much rides on taking and placing a single block, it’s only natural for anxiety to kick in. So how do you get around having butterfingers?

Why, make yourself a wooden Uzi, of course!

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Now to be fair, the Uzi made by YouTube creator The Q doesn’t fire real bullets. In fact, it doesn’t fire anything at all.

What it does is project a peg out of the barrel. When fired, the force from the peg pushes a single block out from the Jenga tower, allowing you to retrieve and place it on top by hand.

wooden uzi

The design is mostly inspired by images of Uzis The Q found through a quick Google search. After researching the anatomy of the Israeli submachine gun, he started working on designing and cutting the different gun parts out of wood.

wooden uzi

The gun doesn’t use any nails or hinges to hold it together. Instead, The Q made liberal use of wooden pegs and wood glue to hold his Uzi together. In fact, the only metal part inside the gun is the spring used to activate the trigger mechanism.

wooden uzi

The mechanism itself is quite simple. Using two stretched out rubber bands to create tension, the peg is held in place by a wooden piece. When the trigger is pulled, the piece releases the rubber bands and launches the peg forward.

wooden uzi

With the mechanism finished, The Q worked on adding extra details to his gun. He used a drill bit and a small circular saw to carve grooves onto the grip and even added some phony screw engravings to make the gun look closer to the real thing.

wooden uzi

The completed Uzi works just as intended. The diameter of the peg is just big enough so that a single Jenga block can be launched from the tower without disrupting the others beside it.

You still have to pick up the block you launched and place it on top of the tower, but maybe The Q will come up with another kooky machine in the future which will make that part easier.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 29, 2021 07:32 AM

April 28, 2021


Improve Productivity by Reusing Parts

How do you find existing standard components for use in your assembly? Do you search your own databases? Online suppliers? What about keyword searches of your in-house PDM vault? Industrial suppliers often put their components online, and fortunately, because SOLIDWORKS® is so popular, most models are available in a SOLIDWORKS file format.

Still, it seems that every supplier has a different web store, which means you are searching across multiple databases. Finding the right part is frequently cumbersome and can be extremely time-consuming. Besides that, many suppliers use unique naming conventions, so finding the right part is hindered by dissimilar terminology.

To create a more efficient workflow—one that saves time and money—you need a single source for what you need, whether for immediately downloadable parts or parts from suppliers that make components for you.

A More Efficient Workflow for Procuring Parts

PartSupply on the 3DEXPERIENCE® Marketplace provides a comprehensive and intelligent catalog of 3D components. Within a single environment, you can choose the most suitable parts for your projects from millions of qualified component configurations available from over 1,000 service providers.

Using PartSupply saves design and engineering hours. Now you can access a worldwide ecosystem of providers so you can compare, evaluate, and determine the best parts for your project. Plus, you can build an ecosystem of supplier catalogs combined with in-house standard parts. The solution significantly reduces the upstream and downstream costs associated with the unnecessary creation of new parts.

Having one place to find all the parts you need can create a more efficient workflow that saves you time and your company money. Plus, if you know your supplier is already using SOLIDWORKS to create the components, you can have greater confidence in using those parts.

Sourcing and Standardization

In the race to launch high-quality products, one wrong or unavailable part can lead to costly delays. Manufacturers must respond quickly to either identify alternate suppliers or retool their factories when parts supply disruptions.

Efficient parts sourcing and standardization are critical for manufacturers that want to improve product design efficiency, quality, and profitability. Optimized parts sourcing and standardization also increases supply chain resilience, helping manufacturers thrive amid global disruptions such as political upheavals, pandemics, and volatile market demand.

Smarter Parts

The right parts sourcing and standardization solutions provide manufacturers with a comprehensive view of options, helping them determine whether to reuse, buy, or create parts. Manufacturers can also swiftly identify existing parts and remove duplicates for accelerated product design.

To further increase competitive advantages, solutions should incorporate artificial intelligence for advanced data analytics that improves parts sourcing and lower manufacturing costs in three ways:

  • Streamline part catalogs and reduce duplicates – automatically remove duplicate parts by paring down catalogs to enable fast and precise search results
  • Deploy company-wide standards – ensure designers make the right decisions and know when to use standard parts or create new ones in product assembly
  • Decrease costs and time to market – perform “should cost” analyses and achieve cost balancing through parts optimization to accelerate new product introduction


One Place, One Interface

With all parts and suppliers in one place, you empower your designers and engineers to quickly find standard parts with ease. A simple drag and drop is all it takes from a Marketplace PartSupply supplier and voilà! You have the part you need included in your assembly. With this streamlined workflow, you can complete projects sooner with a single source of standard parts accessible from your SOLIDWORKS environment.

PartSupply is a comprehensive, artificial intelligence-driven catalog of sourceable 3D components. It is a free, one-stop shop for all your part management needs. PartSupply makes it easy for you to:

1) Access catalogs of qualified supplier components 24-7-365;
2) Quickly search for the parts you need by filtering, keywords, and/or search by 3D shape;
3) Easily compare configurations side by side and analyze their detailed technical characteristics; and
4) Securely download a 3D model for fast validation of its configuration for your needs.

If you have additional questions or would like to know how 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace PartSupply can help you get projects completed faster and more efficiently, please contact your local reseller.


Author information

Vivek Allu
Vivek is a Computer Science graduate of Arizona state University. He works as the Product Manager for PartSupply and Sourcing and Standardization Sub-domain Roles in the 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS Portfolio with a focus to drive growth and manage retention for 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS Community worldwide.

The post Improve Productivity by Reusing Parts appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Vivek Allu at April 28, 2021 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS PDM Error 2709: The specific Component name not found in Component table

This SOLIDWORKS PDM Error 2709 commonly occurs when using the standalone installer [SOLIDWORKS installation folder]\SWPDMClient\Setup.exe to install the PDM Client software.

Error 2709. The specific Component name (‘{96C9D8BC-A40C-45F4-919C-E73D649B93E3’}) not found in Component table

To resolve this issue on the client computer, install both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Microsoft Visual C++ 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2015 Redistributable packages located in folders:

[SOLIDWORKS Installation folder]\PreReqs\(VCRedist9, VCRedist10, VCRedist11, VCRedist12, VCRedist15)

You will have to restart explorer.exe from the Task Manager or restart your computer.

NOTE: Using SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager [SOLIDWORKS Installation folder]\Setup.exe to install the SOLIDWORKS PDM client will install all available prerequisites. This includes the Microsoft Visual C++ redistributable libraries.

The post SOLIDWORKS PDM Error 2709: The specific Component name not found in Component table appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Nadeem Akhtar at April 28, 2021 11:54 AM


Make Your Own Axe Out of Pieces of Rebar

rebar axe

The head of a common axe is usually made from a single, solid piece of metal. Not only does this give the tool a more solid cutting surface; it also provides the axe the weight it needs to be swung properly.

This axe by YouTube channel Mr. Inventor may not be the most suitable tool in the shed for chopping chunks of wood, but it definitely gets an award for being an interesting build.

After all, it’s made from rebar.

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Most of the outline of this axe was made by bending a single piece of steel rod. With the help of a table vise grip and a metal pipe to shape the segments, it wasn’t hard at all to create the axe’s handle.

rebar axe

After two parallel pieces of rebar were properly placed, they were welded together into a fine handle.

rebar axe

Seeing as this was meant to be a decorative axe rather than an everyday working tool, some extra flair was given to the head. The butt (the dull back portion of the axe) was made with two curves meeting to provide a pointed tip. The blade, on the other hand, is a little more traditional but has a much bigger curve than a normal axe.

rebar axe

After the welding process, the body was formed. But to give the blade some extra weight and power behind its swings, the second piece of rebar was cut and welded into the front of the axe. The two pieces of rebar were then angle grinded together to create a single, solid blade.

rebar axe

The rest of the axe was grinded and sanded down as well, creating a polished yet industrial feel to it (it is made from rebar, after all). Lastly, a coil of rope was wrapped around the handle to give the user a solid grip.

rebar axe

Despite its delicate beauty, the thing manages to function as a cutting tool. Small and thin blocks of wood don’t stand a chance against it, but you might find it difficult to cut thicker and stronger materials with this decorative axe.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 28, 2021 10:11 AM

April 27, 2021


A Simple Way to Create a Cat Mask

In this blog, I would like to use Solidworks to create a simple cat mask of A Whisker Away. This blog will be divided by two parts.

  1. Shape of cat mask
  2. Details on cat mask
  3. Shape of cat mask 

First, use sketch picture to place the front view and side view on front plane and right plane respectively. Then, open new sketches on front and right plane and draw the outline of mask.

Use surface tool-“Boundary Surface” to create a surface between sketches. You may add “Normal to profile” on start and end constraints.

You may need to adjust the shape of cat mask. You can use trim surface tool in surface tab. For example, you want to adjust the side view of mask. You can open a new sketch on right plane and use spline tool to indicate positions need to trim. Then, use trim surface tool .

(Type: standard, trim tool: sketch, Remove selections> select the surface to remove).

Use “Thicken” feature to add thickness to the surface. Then, use fillet to smooth out the edge of mask.

Then, you can start to make the ear of mask. First, open a new sketch on front plane and draw the outline of ear. Then, use extrude boss to extrude the sketch. Then, use move body to move the ear to suitable position and use combine feature to combine the face and ear to one solid body. Finally, add fillets and use delete face tool to smooth out the transition

between the ear and face.


  1. Details on cat mask

First, open a new sketch on the front plane and draw the outline of eye and use extrude cut to cut eye shape.

There are two ways to make other details on mask. You can use split line feature to project the sketch on the face of mask. The face of mask will be split so you can apply different appearances on the face.

The second method is to use projected curve feature to project the sketch on the face of mask.  The sketch on mask will be used as a path for sweep feature. Then, use sweep feature to make the details into 3D. Repeat same steps for cat ears. Finally, use mirror feature (Remember to use Body to mirror tab) to get whole cat mask. The cat mask is finished.

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Written by Sandy Kwok, Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Author information

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

The post A Simple Way to Create a Cat Mask appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd. at April 27, 2021 03:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS User Forum joins the 3DEXPERIENCE Swym Communities

If you’ve recently browsed to the SOLIDWORKS Forums, you will find yourself connected to the 3DEXPERIENCE Swym Communities.

This gives you access to the same great content that was available in the previous layout but opens up more opportunity.  Connect with other communities like DraftSight or learn more about SOLIDWORKS Connected and other 3DEXPERIENCE Apps.


You can still log in with your original SOLIDWORKS ID, so no need to create a new account.  Check out the Getting Started Video on the welcome page.

Once logged in, you’ll see many communities in the left panel.  Drag and drop your favourite communities to the top of the list.

SOLIDWORKS User Forum Favourites

Post ideas for new functionality or ask questions to others in the community.

SOLIDWORKS User Forum – Post questions and ideas

For more additional information, check out the Wiki tab.

SOLIDWORKS Community Wiki

Use Search with powerful 6W Tags.  6W refers to Who, What, When, Where, Why, How.  This gives more control to filter by the different tags.

3DSWYM Search 6W Tags

All previous posts are being migrated to the new platform.  If you have a bookmarked link or find a post with a URL to the old forum platform, the page provides an option to Open in Forum.  The migration is still in progress so Open in Forum may not yet be available for all posts.


SOLIDWORKS Community Open in Forum

The post SOLIDWORKS User Forum joins the 3DEXPERIENCE Swym Communities appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Scott Durksen, CSWE at April 27, 2021 12:00 PM


YouTuber Clicker Uses Stop Motion Paintings To Create Van Gogh’s Dinner Scene

van gogh stop motion painitings

When you hear the words “stop motion”, your mind usually gravitates towards action figures, clay, or LEGO blocks. By placing these objects in different positions in each frame, you can create moving pictures that animate just like a movie.

Inspired by the fully painted film Loving Vincent, YouTube channel Clicker wanted to pay homage to painter Vincent van Gogh in the best way possible: stop motion. Only instead of using toys to create their video, they decided to use handmade paintings:

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It sounds easy on paper, but painting in stop motion requires a lot of skill. You have to make sure each stroke is exactly where you want it to be; considering the long pauses between strokes to allow the paint to dry faster.

van gogh stop motion painitings

Here, you can see 2D paintings by way of the title sequence and the animated The Starry Night in the picture frame. These scenes were recreated using traditional stop motion techniques: paint a few strokes, take a photo, paint a few more strokes, take a couple more photos, and so on.

What’s interesting here is that besides the technique mentioned, they used other methods to create the entirety of the video.

van gogh stop motion painitings

By blending painted 3D objects with the scenes, they created a world that seemed to conform to van Gogh’s art style.

A matchstick, a slice of bread, the fork – van Gogh’s dinner table filled with objects which looked like they popped out from his own paintings. It was actually hard for me to discern what was part of the background and what was real. (Here’s a helpful hint: look for the shadows!)

van gogh stop motion painitings

Even the wine was recreated in stop motion by using painted paper “flowing” out of the bottle and into the wine glass. When the wine hit the bottom, the inside of the glass showed an interesting illusion of the liquid through the use of paints with the right hues.

van gogh stop motion painitings

Combined with sound effects, the stop motion paintings delivered a very believable and immersive short video of van Gogh enjoying his dinner after a long day’s work. It took 1,522 still images to create this 1 minute and 40-second film, but the effort was definitely worth it!

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 27, 2021 11:07 AM

April 26, 2021


Interview: Dr. Logan Graves on How the Huge DKIST Telescope Mirror Was Fabricated

In this interview with Dr. Logan Rodriguez Graves, we learn about how gigundous, expensive mirrors in observatory telescopes are made, medical imaging, and other things you can do with a degree in optical science.

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="433" loading="lazy" src="" title="How Gigantic Observatory Mirrors Are Made - DKIST, Interview: Dr. Logan Graves, Optical Scientist" width="770"></iframe>

Medical Imaging for Diagnosing Colon Cancer

As an undergrad, Graves worked in a University of Arizona group that researched new methods for imaging colon cancer. The “traditional” way to image your innards typically includes drinking a nauseating liquid sludge that makes things fluoresce. Don’t ask me why I intimately know what it’s like to drink that garbage.

The researchers Graves worked with came up with new ways to poke around in there without that beverage. For one thing, they found that lesions and cancerous tissue in the colon can be highlighted by hitting them with certain wavelengths of light — no cocktail needed.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-149014" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_149014" style="width: 560px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-149014">As seen on Omniscient Imaging Inc.’s website.</figcaption></figure>

Graves told us about other GI-imaging work a University of Arizona team did which included Drs. Bhaskar Banerjee and “Ron” Liang. They developed an optical device that could look both forwards and backward in a colon at the same time. That way, no cancerous masses can hide! The tech was spun off into a company called Omniscient Imaging, Inc.

Graduate-Level Optics Wizardry

Logan Graves’ doctoral dissertation involved metrology methods used in the fabrication and verification of huge mirrors. Specifically, Graves helped measure the mirror surface that would eventually be installed in the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, or “DKIST” for short.

This telescope is set up in Maui, Hawaii, and is currently the largest solar telescope in the world. While the primary mirror inside it now enjoys a tropical vacation, it was born in a lab in Arizona.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-149016" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_149016" style="width: 560px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-149016">Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii. Photo credit: NSO/AURA/NSF,</figcaption></figure>

The 4.26-meter telescope is about 14 feet in American speak, or the size of a large, outdoor trampoline.

Because this thing images the sun, some extra engineering challenges were present. As you may know, the sun is very bright. It is also very hot. So, to make sure the telescope didn’t warp, melt or fry like an ant beneath a kid’s magnifying glass on a sunny day, a new material needed to be invented.

The substrate for the mirror needed to be created from something that wouldn’t expand a lot when it got hit by sunlight. That’s because, even if it didn’t catch fire, expanding too much could still distort the image the DKIST captured. That’s why SCHOTT stepped in and came up with a novel glass-ceramic material called ZERODUR®. Its extremely low coefficient of thermal expansion is what makes ZERODUR® special.

Why Metrology on a Multi-million Dollar Telescope Mirror Is So Difficult

When Logan Graves came aboard the DKIST build, the design for the telescope and the fancy new material was already set, but the fabrication methods needed some love. After all, this thing being built was about to become the largest telescope in the world of its kind!

To grind down the mirror to its final, polished shape, different fabrication stages were required. All these stages required measurement. As the material is scraped away, there needs to be a way to check how much still needs to be taken off and how much has been removed already.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-149021" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_149021" style="width: 560px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-149021">Shiny, polished DKIST mirror in the lab. Photo credit: Logan R. Graves.</figcaption></figure>

That all seems simple enough, but because the end application is a multi-million dollar telescope, metrology requirements get a bit trickier. For one thing, many millions of dollars is a lot of money! So, you better not make any mistakes. Not one mistake. Not one. You need the one you make to work, unlike with high-volume manufacturing where you expect a percentage of failure.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, as with all precision optics, you can’t touch it. You can’t breathe on it let alone drag a mechanical profilometer across its surface. So, you need to make highly precise, foolproof measurements without touching the mirror.

Pros and Cons of Interferometry

The “gold standard” way of measuring a mirror surface like this is with interferometry, which is a precision, non-contact measurement method. On the downside, it’s also extremely expensive and requires you to make a perfect physical reference shape. Then, you’d measure the part you’re creating and the reference shape and the difference between the measurements is the error.

With the concave DKIST mirror, this process was especially difficult. There was an enormous size for one, but also the shape was off-axis and parabolic. If the cutout shape were spherical instead, then you could buff it out with a spinning sphere. However, because it’s wonky, making and testing the thing is a lot more complex.

Another drawback of interferometry is that in measuring large surfaces, you typically can’t measure the entire surface at the same time. Instead, you may need to take several measurements and stitch them together. Those overlap areas are prone to errors, and again, with multi-million dollar widgets, error is bad.

Yet another con of using interferometry exclusively is that it only works when the shape you’re measuring is pretty close to the reference shape. So, if you’re at those rough, beginning stages of grinding down the mirror, interferometry will have limited utility.

What is Deflectometry?

In contrast to interferometry, deflectometry can be used more easily in the beginning stages of cutting out the mirror. It’s also cheaper as it doesn’t require a reference shape to be built.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-149020" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_149020" style="width: 560px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-149020">Human crawling around on the super-expensive DKIST mirror to set it up for measurement. Photo credit: Logan R. Graves.</figcaption></figure>

Instead, the reference used is a source, maybe a digital display, with a test pattern of known dimensions. If you shine that source on the mirror and image the reflection, then you can tell what the mirror looks like by how the image got distorted.

For example, think of a warped funhouse mirror. If you see an image of yourself that is 3 feet tall with a face larger than your rear, but you know that you are 5’10” with a normal-sized noggin, you can tell how that reflective surface is bent out of shape. Once you get past the initial shock, you can see the distorted image not as a mangled human but as ripples in the aluminum.

If you want to understand deflectometry more deeply and are a fan of The Matrix, check out Graves’ doctoral dissertation defense. He explains deflectometry with the image of the red and blue pills reflected in Morpheus’s sunglasses.

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The Grinding Phase

An early stage of the mirror fabrication process is the “grinding stage”. This is where the telescope gnomes would take the mirror surface from looking like matte paint on a pimped ride to something where you can start to see a reflection. Compared with the final polishing step, this part of the process is where loads of material would be cut away.

The grinding process uses a robotic arm to press and spin a slurry that has polishing grit mixed in. It looks way too messy to be able to do precise grinding with, and yet, with the help of IR deflectometry, they were able to measure and monitor this rough surface. Interferometry and visible deflectometry were also used to corroborate the IR deflectometry measurements.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-149017" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_149017" style="width: 560px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-149017">Primary mirror being fabricated at the University of Arizona. Photo credit: NSO/AURA/NSF.</figcaption></figure>

By using IR deflectometry in this part of the process, the team was able to save a lot of fabrication time.

It was easier to see where they could take large chunks out of the material that wasn’t close to the end surface. That, in turn, allowed the DKIST mirror to be fabricated in a little over a year, which Logan tells us, by observatory optics standards, is astonishingly rapid.

“Super Smooth Mirror”

A “Super Smooth Mirror” is actually a category of mirror. That’s something you know now. Once the highest level of polish was finished, the DKIST mirror had about 19 nm of roughness across the entire surface. If you look at the deviation across a smaller surface area of about 2x3mm, it’s even lower at less than 0.7nm, which equals “super smooth”.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-149019" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_149019" style="width: 560px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-149019">Final measurement results of the finished DKIST primary mirror as shared by Graves during his dissertation defense.</figcaption></figure>

But what does a surface roughness of 19nm really mean? During Graves’ dissertation defense, he explained this 19nm deviation is comparable to a topographical deviation between 2 places across town being half the width of a human hair. So, any hill or pothole between you and some point several miles away would need to be no higher or lower than half of a human hair.

Ok, props, doc!

To check the mirror’s surface at the final stage, not only the shape but the surface roughness was important to gauge. Multiple types of deflectometers and interferometers were used to scan the surface as the final check. Then, all those measurements were cross-checked to make sure they were all in agreement.

Graves as a Free-Agent Optical Scientist

Since graduating, Graves has been busy with lots of different projects. With his partner, Dr. Isaac Trumper, he’s done random freelance optical engineering work at their company, Intuitive Optical Design Lab. They’ve consulted on small hardware startup projects all the way to helping develop LIDAR systems from scratch.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-149022" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_149022" style="width: 560px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-149022">An Intuitive Optical Design Lab set-up. Possibly just set up to look really cool and not do anything functional. Photo credit: IODLab.</figcaption></figure>

Over at ELE Optics, he’s also working on PM software to specifically address challenges involved in communicating optical engineering data. When we optical engineers work on a development team, our design work is unintentionally hidden away from other engineers in a black box. That’s just how our software works! I’m excited to see what their R&D team comes up with in the future to make this less of a problem.

Optics Forum and Podcast

There are other goodies over at ELE Optics including an optical science and engineering community forum. This is a great resource to find specialists and ask hard-to-Google technical questions regarding optics and optical software.

You can find the Spotlight Report podcast there, too, which I personally enjoy (and have been on as a guest). This podcast has traditionally included interviews of mostly optics nerds but Logan welcomes all sorts of engineers as scientists as guests.

Want Guidance from Dr. Logan Rodriguez Graves? Book Him on!

If you’d like Logan Graves to give you metrology methods guidance for your application, you can directly book an appointment with him on Odd Engineer at this link.

There’s no need to ask him about his availability! Just click the Schedule Appointment button, and book and pay for whatever available time and day works for you. If you need him to sign an NDA for your meeting, you can upload a signed copy when you book. You’ll then receive an email with a Zoom meeting link.

Full Interview with Dr. Logan Graves on the Odd Engineer Podcast

Want to hear the long, unabbreviated version of this interview? Check out Odd Engineer’s podcast for advice and more details on metrology methods and the DKIST project.

by Erin McDermott at April 26, 2021 07:18 PM

The Javelin Blog

Food packaging design: promoting prototype readability

Use Case – Using Stratasys® VeroUltra™ materials to power in-house rapid prototyping for beverage and food packaging.


When creating bottle packaging, designers value quick iteration, readability and a streamlined decision-making process. However, this is not always achievable when prototyping with traditional blow-molded plastic or glass prototypes. Finding the right combination of bottle shape and labels can be an expensive, multistep process. The process can also be more manual and more difficult to create repeatable iterations. Creating one prototype can also be a time-consuming endeavor, leaving designers little time to create additional iterations.

Solution for food packaging design

Using Stratasys PolyJet™ 3D printing technology and VeroUltra family of opaque color materials in-house, designers were able to visualize an entire packaging design — bottle and label — in one physical model. The technology also made sharp detailing possible on elements such barcodes, QR codes and label text, which helped with the readability of the design. The VeroUltra materials also allowed designers to achieve bright colors and smooth gradients straight from the printer.

VeroUltra packaging prototype example

Super realistic label reproduction


Enabling in-house rapid prototyping reduced design iteration time tremendously, streamlining workflows. Additionally, existing renders of the package design could be exported for printing, eliminating the risk of miscommunication and improving version control.

About VeroUltra

VeroUltra materials are available for the J55, Stratasys J7 and J8 series printers. The materials provide a smoother texture enabling high quality plastic appearance, ultra sharp graphics and high contrast print levels previously impossible to achieve. It is a game changer in the world of design – offering exceptionally high-quality, accurate colours for a wide range of applications including beverage and food packaging.

The post Food packaging design: promoting prototype readability appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Stratasys Ltd. at April 26, 2021 02:59 PM


Building Customized Industrial-scale Additive Manufacturing Platforms with SOLIDWORKS

Jason Miller and Andrew McCalip founded Cosine Additive Inc. in 2014 in Houston, Texas, to establish the 3D printing industry’s first industrial-scale additive manufacturing platform. Their goal is to continue advancing, refining, and improving the development of large-scale additive manufacturing systems until they become economically competitive with and preferable to traditional production technologies for many manufacturing applications.

In 2015 Cosine Additive used SOLIDWORKS® design software to fast-track the R&D of the AdditiveMachine1 (AM1), the first large-format 3D printer with a build envelope capable of fabricating highly functional large components like kayaks and aircraft wings.

The AM1 overcame the proprietary printing materials paradigm of its competitors: it utilizes a range of polymers and polymer/carbon fiber blends to create 3D prints. What’s more, Cosine’s open materials, open software, and modular platform approach drastically decrease the cost of industrial, large-format additive manufacturing.


Customized for the Customer

After establishing that SOLIDWORKS’ ease of use capabilities enabled them to model three times faster than with similar systems, Cosine continues to use SOLIDWORKS to reduce subassembly design time by 50 percent, and to constantly update, refine, and improve the AM1’s innovative features while customizing the machine to meet specific customer applications for large-scale manufacturing.

“As our system development has advanced, Cosine has become focused on improving and customizing the AM1 machine to meet specific customer applications,” explains Lead Designer Jim Thompson. “We are no longer focused on building off-the-shelf printers and leverage SOLIDWORKS, which is why the printers that we build today are customized to specific customer needs.”

Build, Improve, Repeat

While many of the design changes that Cosine has made to the AM1 were intended to reduce manufacturing costs, many others were to improve the AM1’s ease of use and performance. “Every time we build a machine, we improve it, and many of those improvements make the system easier to use, perform better, or easier to maintain,” explains Thompson. “With SOLIDWORKS, we’ve been able to make these improvements while simultaneously reducing the total number of parts in the AM1, which benefits Cosine and our customers.”

Slashing Time-To-Build Cycles

With an engineered-to-order approach to machine development instead of designing standard products, the time required to engineer and build each machine, or the time-to-build cycle, has become an important metric of success and satisfying customer orders quickly. “With SOLIDWORKS, we have been able to reduce our time-to-build cycle by 25 percent,” Thompson says.

“In addition to our ability to design quickly in SOLIDWORKS to rapidly incorporate custom design modifications in each machine, we’ve created a bunch of Visual Basic macros to automate various tasks in SOLIDWORKS, which saves us additional time. We never build the same machine twice, and SOLIDWORKS is helping us improve quality and performance with every machine we make.”

You can read the entire case study on how Cosine used SOLIDWORKS solutions to cut time to market by 25% so they can get products to its customers faster here.

If you would like to share your SOLIDWORKS story, go to the Share Your Story web page. Or if you have more questions about how SOLIDWORKS can reduce product development cycles and improve quality and performance, contact your local reseller.

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 Customized Industrial-scale Additive Manufacturing Platforms with SOLIDWORKS appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at April 26, 2021 12:00 PM


This 10kg Giant Ingot Is Made From Copper Wires

large copper ingot

It takes a LOT of metal to smelt down a solid ingot and sometimes, those metals aren’t always readily available. Gold, for instance, is crazy expensive and you would need to melt a lot of jewelry just to create a single gold nugget.

Copper, on the other hand, is cheap and readily available; provided you know where to look for it. Luckily, one curious guy knows where to get some.

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Due to his desperation to create the biggest copper ingot, YouTuber Ingot Joe considered using copper cables as an alternative… lots of copper cables.

Since the copper ingot had to be 99.9% copper, he decided to use a number of copper cables like the ones used to connect old-timey telephone lines. After stripping the insulation from the cables, he prepared them into bundles before smelting them.

large copper ingot

Let’s Get Smelting

To start the smelting process, he placed the first batch of copper into a crucible and set the gas pressure to 0.1 MPa. This allowed the furnace to reach a temperature hot enough to melt the copper.

In this process, you would start to see the flames inside of the furnace change from their usual orange to bright green. That means that the copper is starting to break down and combine with the gas inside.

large copper ingot

More Bundles of Wire

After 15 minutes, Ingot Joe popped the furnace open and added another batch of copper to the already melted mixture inside. He also started mixing the melted copper with a metal tool to remove any solid pieces and ensure they didn’t coagulate.

He repeated this adding and mixing process a couple more times until all the copper bouquets melted down. Once all the copper had been liquefied, he turned the furnace off and prepared to cast his ingot.

large copper ingot

Casting Liquid Copper

You have to be reaaaaaally careful when pouring hot liquid metal, so Ingot Joe used his tongs to pick up his crucible and pour its contents into a mold. Unfortunately, the melted copper was a tad too heavy for one man to lift, and he ended up spilling some of the contents onto the side of the mold. Thankfully, he had the foresight to place some metal plating around the area surrounding his mold, preventing anything flammable from burning.

large copper ingot

After pouring the liquid copper into the mold, he waited a while for it to solidify. Once the copper had cooled into a nice black, Ingot Joe removed it from the mold and placed it on a block of ice to speed up the cooling process.

large copper ingot

Finishing the Copper Ingot

The only thing left to do for him was to polish the copper to reveal its natural brownish color. Oh, and to weigh it in, of course!

large copper ingot

Upon laying that fat block of copper on the weighing scale, we discovered why it was so hard to cast the liquid metal in the first place. It weighed a little over 10kg! That’s around the same weight as an average car tire!

Of course, the ingot is worth more than just a couple of car parts. He could sell it off but for now, Ingot Joe decides the best place for his new copper ingot is at the back of his work table – along with all his other creations.

Ingot Joe melts a lot of metals on his YouTube channel. Some of the metals he simply turns into ingots while others are crafted into some fine metalworks.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 26, 2021 11:44 AM

Heat Gun as Portable Cooking Tool

cooking with heat gun

After all those stories about heat gun life hacks and crafts, you probably think that there are no more interesting things left to talk about it. But – no – it turns out it can be used to cook food, as well!

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While not that efficient when it comes to time and energy consumption, YouTuber Mr. Hacker showed you can definitely use the heat gun as a replacement for your stove, oven, or toaster.

cooking with heat gun

Instead of harming the environment with a gas stove, you can heat up your food using your heat gun. It will definitely take longer (and I mean MUCH longer), but you’ll be able to count yourself amongst the few who can say they’ve cooked food with a hardware device.

cooking with heat gun

Eggs, hotdogs, leftover pizza in the fridge – there seems to be no food that can’t be heated with some time and a good heat gun. You can even fry raw meat patties by heating up your pan. And the best part? You can cook without using any oil.

cooking with heat gun

Boiling is another cooking process you can achieve with the heat gun. Simply pour some water in a glass or heat-resistant container (something which won’t easily melt or catch fire) and heat it up with your heat gun. You’ll know the water is ready when bubbles start to appear angrily on top; meaning this is the perfect time to cook a couple of eggs or add some broth cubes to make a nice soup.

cooking with heat gun

And who can forget the old outdoor pastime of roasting marshmallows? To be honest, one of my biggest peeves with roasting these sugary cubes of fluff is when they get burnt.

But with a heat gun, you have full control of the temperature around your marshmallows. You can melt them into a gooey paste, warm them up, or (if you’re an absolute monster) burn them into a char. No matter your preference, this is one instance where the application of the heat gun is better than the conventional method of cooking something.

If you have the time to kill and don’t mind getting carpal tunnel syndrome, cooking with a heat gun is definitely a viable option when it comes to cooking all sorts of foods.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 26, 2021 11:38 AM

8 Best Free 3D Modeling Software 2021 Review

Finding the right free 3D modeling software that will fit your current skills and knowledge can be a challenge.

For beginners, any type of this software is a tad intimidating. With a variety of software out there, finding a simple one can be truly a bit of work. If you are someone who is just starting into the field, we’re sure you don’t want to have software with all unnecessary intricacies that you’re not even sure how to use. That’s for sure.

On the other hand, pros often look for 3D modeling software with all the bells and whistles they need. However, with tons of choices out there, it means looking for a needle in a haystack. So where should you start? Let us help you out.

This review will cover the best free 3D modeling software that offers the finest features and functions. We sought every corner of the digital world to weigh on each one and highlight the best of the best that could fit nicely to your needs.

Whether you are a pro or a novice, we have something to offer that will certainly make your 3D task experience more enjoyable. As such, take time to analyze the best features of the following 3D modeling software below and we hope you come up with a tremendous choice after this good read.

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Table of Contents


Okay, here’s what every beginner is looking for - TiinkerCAD. What’s so special about this? It is for beginners and when mean it. Whether you a student or an adult on the look for a new hobby in the world of 3D, this is your ultimate lifesaver.

TinkerCAD works by utilizing shapes to allow the formation of a CAD model. Besides being colorful, the basic shapes like sphere, cylinder, cubes, and pyramid can be easily rotated, rescaled, and attached to each other to form a 3D model. With just a simple drag-and-drop motion, you’ll be like a preschooler playing and experimenting with shapes.

Another good thing about TinkerCAD is that it also caters to the needs of more advanced users by allowing them to work on electronic assemblies through programming and simulation. It also boasts of the capability to apply lines of code to create 3D objects.

That being said, whether you just want to play and explore 3D shapes or exercise your knowledge about codes, TinkerCAD is definitely phenomenal!


Let’s give this program to pros and advanced users. As such, expect that it has a steep learning curve that you need to deal with in order to grasp its entirety. But with that comes all the perks you can enjoy as this is an all-in-one software that you can rely on whatever kind of 3D task you are into.

To better describe it, Blender is packed with a vast number of 3D modeling tools that can be of great help for video games, 3D printing, film VFX, and 3D model design. It is also filled with sculpting tools for intricate details, video editing tools, and even an integrated game engine!

That said, it is no question why this is the leading free 3D modeling software being adored and supported by various active communities online. And if you are planning to give it a try, you’ll be surprised by the great number of STL files, 3D models, and other information available online to back you up. 

3D Slash

Are you into Minecraft? If not, we’re sure you’re at least familiar with it due to its popularity among kids and young adults. So, why are we asking that? Because 3D slash revolves around the building concept of the game! Exciting!

That said, if you know how to use a variety of tools on Minecraft, we’re more than certain that you can also navigate the tools of 3D Slash.

It features tools like a trowel, drill, chisel, hammer, and pulpwood that you can use to modify the cubes of your model. It is also capable of mapping pictures and text onto a model in no time.

It has a free version where you can use its basic functions, tools, and colors. Of course, just like any other software, your choices are a bit limited in this kind of deal. So if you want to have more of it, we suggest purchasing its commercial version. This will let you get your hands on other project management tools, wider options of color, and higher resolution for your models just for $2 to $20 per month.

As of now, there is no doubt that the concept of 3D Slash is very simple, especially when it comes to its interface and basic tools. Nonetheless, developers of the software are still working on its new updates to provide a more enjoyable experience to its users.

As such, we have to say that 3D Slash is one of the best and fun 3D modeling software that will entice any type of user… and gamer, perhaps?


Vectary is another piece of cake 3D modeling software available. Compared to others that brag simple building concepts, Vectary will give you an extensive library of 3D objects. That is right. You heard it. It works like a mini library where you can simply pull out the objects you need to create your model. It also offers pre-rendered web headers, 3D typography, package design, and more. The best thing about it is that it works using a drag-and-drop function which means faster work for you in real-time.

After knowing all about that, it sure that Vectary already has the sufficient features and qualities to support you with your 3D works but, no, there’s more!

Vectary is equipped with very efficient sharing and collaboration tools that will allow you to connect with others through the web.

All in all, Vectary is a terrific option for those who are graphic and game design. Most of all, thanks to its collaboration tools, it is an excellent pick for individuals working on product designs that entail collaboration of a team. And if you don’t mind having some watermarks on your works or you just have a few projects on your mind (since it has a limit for the number of projects you can have), its free version is enough. Nonetheless, if you have that creative mind that needs more powerful tools, better have its premium plan for $25 a month.


FreeCAD is a free open-source 3D modeling software that is perfect for individuals (especially mechanical engineers) who already have prior design experience and for those who love to tinker on various programs. 

Apparently, FreeCAD has a learning curve for novice users. Nonetheless, for a program that is capable of creating models of real-life objects in a very efficient way, this is a true bad boy and still relatively easier to use than other options you have.

Moreover, FreeCAD can establish the right complexity for figures and other 3D object models through the use of a handful of tools. Yes, a handful. Most of all, using it is still fairly easy since you can start the project with the use of a static 2D sketch which is one of its best features. You see, in this program, you can start with the tiniest detail possible and add more details to your model. Through this simple process, users are allowed to gradually transform 2D models into 3D ones like a picnic.


If you have the knowledge of the basics of using a 3D slicer, Meshmizer will put you in a higher level of 3D printing game. It is true that it is not really that ideal for beginners but once you get the hang of it, you’d probably print all the 3D objects you know with all the best filaments available.

Tagged as a ‘Swiss Army Knife,’ this software is an all-around 3D modeling software that allows you to work on your project in detail, be it manipulation, merging, or splicing of the models.

Meshmixer also boasts of features that are downright crucial in 3D printing tasks. For instance, the software can orient the model on the print bed and even build support structures on the model itself. It even has a convert-to-solid function that helps you easily prepare the model for the 3D printer before the printing process.

And if you think it couldn’t get any better, Meshmixer has a set of sculpting tools and other features perfect for model optimization and analysis. With these tools that can aid you in mesh repair and automatic surface alignments, you can definitely repair and clean up any 3D model of yours in no time for free! Amazing? Yes, it is! We can’t even believe that you can have such kind of software with all those sorts of features without paying even a single dollar! Sweet!


If you are familiar with SculptGL, we know that you’ll love ZBrushCoreMini even better. Just like the former, the concept of ZBrushCoreMini revolves around the idea of ‘molding’ a lump of virtual clay. However, it can create more detailed 3D sculptures and complex objects compared to SculptGL due to its wider variety of tools and features.

It is armed with eight tools that will allow the user to work on the virtual clay provided at the start of the project. These tools make it possible to create better shapes, curves, and cuts to the object by providing functions like smoothening, subtracting, adding, pinching, and inflating. Here, you can even edit the meshes using the brushstrokes and map and paint the textures of the sculpture once you’re done.

So, if you are that folk who wants to go a little different by dropping the conventional 3D CAD modeling software, this is for you. ZBrushCoreMini makes the creation of models more creative and brings out the artist in you.


If you are into challenges, OpenSCAD might be the best choice for you. This is primarily due to the nature of this software that is run by using codes. Yes, brother - CODES that some people hate, but loved by most geeks like us here at SolidSmack.

That being said, if you don’t fancy the creative and visual way of designing a 3D model or if you hate being clueless about the functions of various icons, give OpenSCAD a chance. 

This program will allow you to use code and scripts which means you can have better control over the structure of the model… as long as you know your codes, that is.

Currently, OpenSCAP is still in the continuous progress of development with the aid of updates and patches being created by its developers, Marius Kintel and Clifford Wolf. So, in the future, you can expect more exciting stuff about this program.

by Santi Bongco at April 26, 2021 09:58 AM

April 24, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Join Us at the First Ever 3DEXPERIENCE Works User Group Meeting

Dedicated to 3DEXPERIENCE Works Users, but open to all

You’ll learn how the ease-of-use of SOLIDWORKS connects to best-of-breed applications on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which lets you:

  • Innovate and accelerate every aspect of your product development process.
  • Extend your product development capabilities and solve problems faster, securely share data and collaborate from anywhere, any time, on any device.

User Group Presenters:

  • Jason Pohl – Formerly from Orange County Choppers where he designed elaborate custom motorcycles featured on the TV show American Chopper. As a 3DEXPERIENCE Works ambassador, Jason will give you a quick tour on how he uses the 3DEXPERIENCE Works Platform to bring his designs to life. Bring your questions and get inspired during this very personal inside look from this talented Industrial Designer.
  • Andy BarnesSOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Works expert. At lightning speed, Andy will create complex, organic shapes in a browser that are completely curvature continuous – a workflow that would have previously taken hours or even days to create.

The post Join Us at the First Ever 3DEXPERIENCE Works User Group Meeting appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at April 24, 2021 01:43 PM

April 23, 2021


3D Printed Silver Earrings Tutorial

In this tutorial I demonstrate how you can use a single sketch picture to trace over and create the feather earring design. The earrings created for the tutorial have been 3d printed in wax, a mold is created from the wax print, the wax is then melted out of the mold so that molten silver can be poured in to fill the cavities left by the wax. The earring backs were bought separately as they have rubber inserts to help it stay onto the earring stem. If you want to 3d print these earrings too, make sure you check all the 3d printed material guidelines before you design them, as you may need to thicken or enlarge your model to account for print tolerances.

Download these files here to follow the tutorial.

The PNG image I created for the earrings has been drawn in a vector software, and the lines have been colored differently for each feature. The PNG file was brought in as a sketch picture, the image transparency was changed to from file so that the background of the image disappeared. This can make it easier to see where it is being placed. The image was centered and resized onto the earring stem, one tip I would give is to always untick enable scale tool when you resize a shape, as it becomes part of the model, so when you change your views the SOLIDWORKS window zooms out to account for this. Once the image is in place the sketch was closed.

The next part to do, was start tracing over the outer shape of the leaf, to do this the spline tool was used, this is easiest to do in sections, and some parts had to be tweaked. but once the whole shape was created, tangent relations were added between joint spline to ensure the sketch was smooth. Its important when tracing that you try not to add too many spline points as this can make the fillets harder to do, or not work at all. The tracing of the shape does not need to be perfect.

The sketch picture was also used to create the inner feather details using a cut extrude. and then the feather stem which was extruded. It is important when creating the traced sketches that each shape for the feather detail cut-outs become shaded, but also that the sketches are smooth, so if drawn out in separate splines or lines, you should add tangent relations before applying the cut extrude.

All bodies were kept separate so that fillets could be applied individually. The combine tool was used to combine all the earring solid bodies into one and a final fillet was applied between the earring stem and feather back, strengthening the join.

The earring back part was inserted into the part and mated into place using move/copy bodies and the constraints tool. The constraints tool allows you to mate parts into place as you would in an assembly. A concentric mate was applied to center the earring back onto the stem, while a coincident mate was used with a specified distance to add space between the earring back and the feather.

With the complete left earring part finished, mirror part was used to create the right earring. The best thing about mirroring a part is the automatic updates of the models, If any changes are made to the original left earring, the changes apply to the right earring part too. Another option for the right earring was to create a slightly different shaped feather earring, which is why there is a right feather earring PNG. file is included in the downloads of this blog. Because the earrings were being 3D printed, I decided to use that opportunity to have two different feather earrings which you can see in the below rendering. The earring is still a feather and they still ‘match’ in style and size, but the design is different. If you wanted to, you could just mirror the earring, create the slightly different earring from the other PNG. file, or create a different earring altogether.

As mentioned in the tutorial, the earring back is available to download, and is inserted into the part, but only for visual reasons and for creating renderings. The earring back were bought separately as they come with a silicone back which helps them to grip onto the earring stem. 3D printing the earring backs could come with a host of issues due to 3D printing tolerances, plus when prints are polished parts may not fit the way you want them to. The earring backs I ordered are for a 0.8mm earring stem. You must ensure that you suppress the earring back when saving the part as an STL. file for 3D printing.

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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 3D Printed Silver Earrings Tutorial appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Jade Crompton at April 23, 2021 03:00 PM


How SOLIDWORKS Visualize Helped P1 Evo Make it to BattleBots

My name is Brandon Zalinsky and I am the Captain and Manager of Aberrant Robotics, LLC, a New Hampshire company that builds combat robots.  I have been building fighting robots since 2015 and competing on the Discovery Channel TV show BattleBots since 2019.  My team at Aberrant Robotics has built three robots that have participated BattleBots, the most recent being the bot “P1 Evo” for the 2020 season, designed entirely in SOLIDWORKS and rendered in SOLIDWORKS Visualize.

Since we have been competing on BattleBots for a while now, there are quite a few lessons we have taken to heart from our experience.  Chief among them, though, is to solve every possible problem we can at the design and CAD stage.  It is critical to think of how we are going to put every single bolt and screw into our design, and how we’re going to weld every seam.  Some aspects of the design we would just “wing it,” which never paid off, and we learned our lesson from that experience.

With this foresight, we eliminated hours of headaches down the road in the building and assembly stages.  A result of this approach is that we have highly accurate SOLIDWORKS CAD models of the robot in every possible configuration.  This foresight also means that we have the first step toward an intermediate product that is not only useful in helping other people see what your final product will look like, but is also helpful in getting accepted to BattleBots.  This intermediate product is accurate design renders.

I am a mechanical engineer by trade and have always been at home in parametric CAD systems.  I don’t have a good eye for art or composition, and as such, rendering software always scared me a bit. The software’s strange menageries of lighting effects, positioning, and background options created a confusing and impenetrable challenge that I’d typically just pass off to someone else with more experience.  As such, I approached SOLIDWORKS Visualize with trepidation. Would this just be another software I learn for a few dozen hours and then just forgot?

My first few hours slowly alleviated my worries.  Adding and manipulating models, lights, and appearances were simple and easy.  Anything that could not be figured out intuitively was just a few clicks away in an online tutorial.  After learning the software for a while, I was ready to create our renders for our BattleBots submission.

The first step was to prep the SOLIDWORKS model itself for rendering.  I added thin features to the surfaces of the robot’s armor that made up stripes and large patterns in the paint scheme.  This allowed me to parametrically define the curves of the livery.  Once this was done, I chose which configuration to display the robot in, unsuppressed all the hardware, and hid all components I did not want shown in the render.  I then saved and booted up SOLIDWORKS Visualize.

Once in Visualize, I imported the model and used the Manipulate tool to place the robot exactly where I wanted it in the scene.  The next step was to make the robot look photorealistic by defining all the appearances of the surfaces correctly.  I set up paint colors using our team color palette and started simply dragging and dropping them onto parts.  For parts that had stripes that I had added In SOLIDWORKS CAD, the “Split Part” tool was absolutely crucial in allowing those stripes to be a different color.  Three or four clicks and the part was now multicolored.

With appearances all set, decals can be placed.  For us, these are the sponsors who help support the team so integrating them in our promotional materials is crucial. With a quick choice of “Add Decal” in the Appearances tab, transparent-background sponsor decals were quickly added to the model.

The last thing to choose was the scene.  For this render, I just required a clean white background, but there are plenty of built-in scenes and backplates that are great for any application.  In addition, there is plenty of the aforementioned available online if you need a specific scene to be represented.

The last task was lighting.  The backplate I had chosen had a useable default lighting setup, but I wanted some more backlight to illuminate the model.  This was a simple operation that involved locating two points in space that indicated the location of the light and the direction.  Once this was done, I could just tweak minor settings with the lighting object to get the exact effect I wanted.

The render tool itself was also fast and easy, and did not require setting up of complex camera angles.  It can be set simply to be the location of the viewport, and can save new default settings, so making a new render can be a two-click process.

With this done, I have high-quality renders ready to send off to BattleBots!  These are also invaluable for team promotional material, often looking nearly indistinguishable from the real thing, and can be easily edited in image manipulation software to add to banners, shirts, brochures, and other products.

To learn more about BattleBots Team one and Aberrant Robotics, try these links:

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 How SOLIDWORKS Visualize Helped P1 Evo Make it to BattleBots appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at April 23, 2021 12:00 PM

April 22, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Adjusting the Weight/Mass Accuracy in a SOLIDWORKS Drawing

In this article I’ll show how to change the numeric precision on the weight/mass linked annotation in a SOLIDWORKS drawing.

If you are anything like me, you might play this game when you’re bringing your groceries in from your car, the game is: trying to get all the bags inside the house in only one trip. Ever wonder how much weight you just carried? I’m always surprised how much I can carry with the motivation of not coming back outside in the dead of winter.

How does this relate to SOLIDWORKS? Well, I have my 10 pound dumbbell model in a drawing:

SOLIDWORKS Drawing with weight noted in title block

SOLIDWORKS Drawing with weight noted in the title block

But I want to show that it is actually only 10 pounds and not 10 plus many decimal points. The way SOLIDWORKS changes the decimal point precision is not intuitive with its terminology.

Weight custom property in drawing sheet

Weight custom property in my drawing sheet

Set the Document Units

Going into Tools > Options > Document Properties > Units, as shown below:

SOLIDWORKS Document Properties Units

SOLIDWORKS Document Properties Units

Here we want to select Custom if not already there, this will unlock the greyed out area below.

The second section Mass/Section Properties is where the change happens.

Click on length and change the accuracy of the decimal point. In this case, length doesn’t mean unit distance but length of or amount of digits. Like I said, not really intuitive.

Make sure to do a rebuild to see the changes.

Make sure to do a rebuild to see the changes.

What I would suggest, if this is a commonality of many parts or assemblies, is to incorporate this into your template. To see how to create or change templates, please refer to our series of SOLIDWORKS Template Setup articles.

Maybe one day I will buy that grocery foldable cart to assist with the grocery trek, but for now I’ll stick to my game.

The post Adjusting the Weight/Mass Accuracy in a SOLIDWORKS Drawing appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by James Swackhammer at April 22, 2021 12:00 PM


Everyday Hacks You Can Do With Your Heat Gun

everyday heat gun hacks

Okay, I know we’ve been going crazy with the countless applications of the heat gun, but there are just so many! Who knew having a handheld heat-spewing device could be useful in so many situations?!

With that said, this will be the last time I’ll be covering heat gun hacks, at least for the near future. This time, we’ll be looking at heat gun tips and tricks from YouTuber NewKew which you can use in everyday situations:

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everyday heat gun hacks

Bending Plastic Rulers Into Supports

While not a hack per se, being able to bend plastic by heating it is more useful than you think.

A lot of objects at home are made from the said material. A plastic ruler, for example, can be bent and turned into a support beam. Slap on a battery pack, a motor, and a propeller and you can make yourself a handy dandy portable electric fan!

everyday heat gun hacks

Creating Easy-To-Drink Aluminum Can Tops

Whoever designed the aluminum soda can definitely didn’t think much about how people would drink out of it. It may be easy to drink out of a soda can when it’s full, but it gets increasingly more difficult when you get to those final dregs of cola. Couple this with an easy-spill opening and it isn’t hard to see why more people prefer plastic bottle tops over aluminum cans.

So why not fit your soda cans with plastic tops?

Simply cut off the top portion of an old plastic bottle and place it on top of an open (but full) aluminum soda can. Heat the plastic with your heat gun until it securely fits the can et voilà! A plastic top made specifically for your soda of choice!

everyday heat gun hacks

Shrink-Wrapping Plastic

I’ve mentioned this hack in passing before, but the shrink-wrapping capabilities of the heat gun cannot be overstated.

While you can melt the openings of plastic bags to seal the food inside with a metal ruler and heat gun, perishable foods such as meat and dairy can be given an extra layer of security by heating the entire plastic package.

everyday heat gun hacks

Removing Dry Liquid Stains

Got some dry paint or glue on your table?

Don’t chisel it off; you might just do more damage to the table. Instead, try heating the liquid stain with your heat gun. Since most heat guns have multiple settings, you can adjust the temperature depending on the substance staining the surface.

Once the liquid has released its grip on your table, just flick it off like a nasty booger!

everyday heat gun hacks

Hard-Boiling Eggs

This hack is actually more troublesome to do than the way you normally would.

Instead of placing an egg into boiling water for a couple of minutes, you can poke a tiny hole on the bottom and blast the whole egg with your heat gun. You have to make sure each side is evenly heated for 10 minutes before turning off the heat and dunking the egg into some warm water.

Let the egg sit and cool for a while before you take it out. Peeling off the shell reveals you have just hard-boiled an egg. You can now use said egg for cooking, eating, or whatever else it is you do with a cooked egg!

NewKew has a ton of easy DIY experiments and lifehacks that you can try out for yourself. If you aren’t feeling particularly crafty and want to make something with minimal effort, be sure to check his YouTube channel.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 22, 2021 09:36 AM

Hedgehog Hollow Shows How to Use Heat Gun in Craft-Making

heat gun in art craft

Your average everyday heat gun is a definite boon when it comes to handiwork. You can use it to heat frozen pipes, shrink wrap plastic, and more easily strip paint, just to name a few handy uses.

But did you know you can also incorporate a high-powered heat gun into your artwork? While it may seem excessive, The Hedgehog Hollow found a couple of neat applications for a heat gun which can give your art (and in one instance, your coffee addiction) some added flair.

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Melting and Spreading Coloring Materials

heat gun in art craft

We all know the heat gun is capable of producing hot air, so it comes as no surprise that you can use this air to melt all kinds of art materials. Paint, wax, oil – all these can be easily liquefied and spread with the use of a heat gun.

What makes this better than using a brush is that the heat gun can remove any annoying air bubbles which come from working with liquid products like paint. If you’re not big on using real paint, you can melt a couple of crayons and spread the wax around to create a faux paint masterpiece.

Wood Burning

heat gun in art craft

Though a heat gun is a dangerous power tool, it seems tame compared to a blow torch or a flamethrower.

With this in mind, the heat gun is a perfect substitute for real flame when it comes to wood burning. On top of the fact that you’re not working with real flame, the absence of fire allows you to better see your creation. Thanks to the heat gun’s settings and multiple nozzle attachments, you can finely adjust the intensity of your burn art; allowing for the creation of some beautiful pieces.

Oh, and there’s less danger of accidentally setting your burn art aflame. Which, you know, is nice.


heat gun in art craft

Quick back-to-school lesson: this is the skipping of the solid to the gas state of matter without passing through the liquid state. While this may seem a tad complex, the example in the video shows a mug sleeve being wrapped around a mug and using the heat to print on some iron-on designs.

To be honest, I have no idea what heating prints around a mug have to do with the scientific definition of sublimation but hey, that heat gun wraps that sleeve around the mug pretty securely!

Roasting Coffee Beans

heat gun in art craft

After a whole day of heat gunning, you want to relax with a nice cup of coffee. But… Oh! Your coffee machine is broken!

No matter. You can take your handy heat gun and roast those coffee beans yourself! This is definitely not the ideal way to roast beans, but what are you going to do? End the day without coffee? Yeah, I thought so.

Those are just a few artsy (and one not-so-artsy) ways of using a heat gun. If you’ve found other outlandish ways of using a heat gun, do let us know!

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 22, 2021 09:26 AM

April 21, 2021


Why 2D CAD Still Matters

2D drawings have been the sole reference for conveying design information for many years. Linear perspective drawings, a system of creating an illusion of depth on a flat surface, was used back in the 1400s. Orthographic projection and descriptive geometry were used in the 1700s.

Drafting by hand ruled the day until computer-based AutoCAD 2D came out in the 1980s, soon followed by various 3D CAD solutions. In the 1990s, 2D drawings were still the primary method of communicating with manufacturing, but in the past two decades, the richness of 3D models is changing how much 2D is needed.

In today’s world of 3D parts and assemblies, many companies typically use 2D drawings to improve user understanding of design details—a reference document, if you will. Where does 2D fit into the product development process in 2021? The reason is pretty simple, yet fundamental to our human cognition.

While not as intuitive as 3D models, 2D drawings distill rich 3D models into a simplified perspective where selected key information, such as dimensions and tolerances, are presented concisely for important decisions.

Plus, on the many occasions where hard copies are preferred—such as a remote construction site and a dusty shop floor—low-cost and printer-friendly 2D drawings still come in very handy.

One Good Example

Young Industries, Inc. has manufactured conveying systems and related components since 1947 and holds many patents for problem-solving equipment for handling dry bulk materials in the chemical, petrochemical, ceramics, and coatings industries.

The majority of Young Industries’ design and engineering work, including all new designs, is done in 3D using SOLIDWORKS® software. However, specific tasks, such as modifying legacy drawings, creating simple layouts, and developing piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), are better addressed with 2D design tools.

Eliminating the translation from 2D to 3D saves Young Industries’ engineers time and effort. For example, a customer’s DWG/DXF file is much easier to manipulate in DraftSight Enterprise, a Dassault Systèmes product.  Minor modifications can take about 15 minutes in DraftSight versus days of work remodeling an old 2D drawing in SOLIDWORKS.

DraftSight also enables Young Industries to manage its collection of 2D legacy data and library of 2D drawings more effectively. This accessibility helps accelerate proposal development, which saves both time and money. Because DraftSight is so intuitive and similar to AutoCAD, engineers can learn it in a day or two.

VP of Operations for Young Industries, J. Tyler Thompson, says “DraftSight is an indispensable tool in our tool belt. There are times you need a hammer and times you need a screwdriver. We can very quickly and easily translate what is possible between these two applications if we need to jump from one to another.”

Everything in One Place

Effectively managing both 2D and 3D files is still a business reality. If you need to create or reuse 2D drawings to communicate ideas quickly, edit drawings to run manufacturing or prototyping, or effectively manage legacy drawings from clients, suppliers, and others, then you should consider DraftSight.

You can download a trial version today.

Absolute design freedom is letting you work the way you want to work. It’s the ability to effortlessly go from 2D drafting to 3D modeling and back again to optimize and maximize designs. You can also seamlessly integrate with other Dassault Systèmes and SOLIDWORKS® solutions to easily manage your DWG file designs.

Project scopes often expand as businesses grow. Correspondingly, 2D drawings can grow massively with significant complexity, especially when collaborating on a team or working remotely. Where do I find the latest revision of this drawing? How can we share feedback efficiently and effectively without flooding our email inboxes? How do we manage the various phases of a drawing, from inception to end of life?

When DraftSight is connected to the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, it enables collaboration. You can manage both 2D and 3D files without worrying about overwriting them. Permissions and access controls on the platform enable you to securely share drawings and designs for review, comment, and markup. And since data management is built-in, you can be confident that you are working on the latest revision.

To learn more about DraftSight, please visit or contact your local reseller.

Author information

Oboe Wu
Oboe Wu
Product portfolio manager of SOLIDWORKS MBD, passionate about smart manufacturing opportunities, Keen listener to customer challenges, Sharp problem solver with 20 years of experiences in engineering, Sleepless father trying best to take care of a baby daughter.

The post Why 2D CAD Still Matters appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Oboe Wu at April 21, 2021 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Setting the SQL Server Agent to start automatically for SOLIDWORKS PDM

As part of our best practices, it’s imperative to routinely check that good backups are being captured, and database maintenance is being complete.  If you find these scheduled actions aren’t completing, the first step of troubleshooting will be to manually complete an action for the SQL Server Agent from within the SQL Server Management Studio;

Manually execute a backup within the SQL Server Management Studio

Manually execute a backup within the SQL Server Management Studio

If you’re greeted with an error similar to below, it’s indicating there is an issue with the SQL Server Agent;

Issue with the SQL Server Agent

Issue with the SQL Server Agent

The SQL Server Agent is a service that executes scheduled administrative tasks, within SQL Server, for example; backups.  This service is required to be running to complete any of the maintenance tasks within SQL Server.

How to manually start the SQL Server Agent

On the server;

  • Start > Microsoft SQL Server 20xx
    • SQL Server 20xx Configuration Manager
SQL Server in Start Menu

SQL Server in Start Menu

  • Select SQL Server Services > RMB SQL Server Agent > Start
SQL Server Services

SQL Server Services

Then the service should resume;

Service resumed

Service resumed

NOTE: If the service doesn’t start, or there are errors; please check the Windows Event Log for further details and troubleshooting steps.

Service stoppages (without error) can be caused by a number of actions like a reboot, restart of the SQL Server Service, or anything similar.  With some additional settings changes, we can ensure this SQL Agent Service will restart automatically.

How to set the Agent to restart automatically

Within the SQL Server Configuration Manager;

  • Select the SQL Server Agent > RMB > Properties
SQL Server Agent > RMB > Properties

SQL Server Agent > RMB > Properties

  • Service Tab > Start Mode
    • Set to Automatic
Start mode set to Automatic

Start mode set to Automatic

The post Setting the SQL Server Agent to start automatically for SOLIDWORKS PDM appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Justin Williams at April 21, 2021 12:00 PM


Mandela Effect: Product of Multiverse or Confused Mind?

It’s Jif, not Jiffy. It’s Loony Tunes, not Looney Toons. It’s Kit Kat, not Kit-Kat. And if you are one of those attesting that Sinbad played genie, I’ll tell you what: he didn’t. Confused? You’re experiencing the Mandela Effect.

The Birth of Mandela Effect

The term Mandela Effect first started with Fiona Broome, a self-proclaimed paranormal consultant claiming she witnessed the death of Nelson Mandela in prison in the 1980s when in fact, he lived until 2013. Broome even asserted that she watched the news covering Mandela’s death and his wife giving out a speech about it. This probably wouldn’t make much noise if Mandela wasn’t a famous person or if Broome was just the lone person claiming the said event, but unfortunately… everything didn’t go that way. 

In one of her videos, Broome even narrated how she heard a security manager in a 2009 Dragon Con recalling the same memory that time. According to her, word for word, the manager said:

“This conversation reminds me of people who remember Nelson Mandela dying, decades ago.” 

This is then followed by the support of more people after Broome and her editor started a website to find other people believing in this memory. And they did find tons of them.

Imagine countless individuals supporting Broome’s belief that a well-known person died earlier than he did. A group of people. A portion of the population. Countless heads believing a particular event that happened when in fact, it didn’t. 

So, imagine that and let that sink in. Is it possible that it actually happened in some sort of a parallel universe of our own? Is it a glitch in the system of reality? Or is it just our minds playing tricks with us?

Mandela Effect: Reflection of Parallel Universe

This mind-boggling occurrence continues to amaze us in our everyday lives and in the most typical things. Besides the famous and problematic claim about Nelson Mandela’s 1980 death, there are also other known similar cases that most people still believe. They further fortify people’s doubts and questions regarding reality.

From the Fruit of the Loom’s inexistent cornucopia to the spelling of Berenstain Bears to Neil Armstrong’s forgotten 2012 death, there are still a handful of same cases where people seem to believe a different kind of reality. However, is it really possible that another kind of reality exists? To be precise, is it possible for a parallel universe to exists? Is it the answer behind the Mandela effect?

Well, if we just want a more creative explanation about the Mandela effect while keeping the science to back us up, the concept of a parallel universe would be a good answer.

In this facet of the astronomical theory of the multiverse, theorists believe that other universes exist besides the one we know, or besides the one we are experiencing. According to this theory, alternative versions of events and objects exist inside a specific universe, and that the Mandela effect is somehow caused by a glitch between universes. Under this hypothesis, we have our own version living their own lives. Our own copies making their own decisions and enjoying a different kind of reality. Hence, the perfect ingredient for the Mandela effect conspiracy theorists need.

Dr. Don Lincoln, an American physicist, however, opposes this in his video and even calls it “silly” and “just isn’t true.” According to Dr. Lincoln, the claims of multiverse believers that there has been sliding between parallel universes is far from possible.

According to him,  it is impossible that we could remember a specific detail we gained from another universe (in case it’s true) since memory is stored in the physical brain of our copy.

He also goes further by addressing the claims of some people that your body could be transported to another universe. Dr. Lincoln just answered it casually that disappearing without anyone noticing it is “really approaching tinfoil territory.”

So, what resort do we have if the concept of a multiverse fails us? Psychological theories are the answer.

Man’s Complex Mind

The Mandela effect has attracted both the attention of conspiracists and other professionals, with most of them being psychologists. Nonetheless, even before the term was established, there had already been some studies focusing on this concept previously called “false memories.”

For instance, in two studies conducted by Elizabeth Loftus and John Palmer in 1974, they investigated how language could affect the development of false memories.

The first study then found out that the words or degree of words used in a question phrase can affect the response of the individual. On the other hand, the second study proved the phrasing of the question can push individuals to focus on previously ignored details, leading to the misconstruction of man’s memory recall.

Loftus has also proved in her study that when you present people with false information, people sometimes adopt them as part of their own memories and would be convinced of it. Moreover, according to her, the power of suggestion that can convince people of wrong information proves that human memory is malleable. 

With this, doctors and other researchers believe that the Mandela effect is primarily caused by confabulation. In the simplest manner, the event causes the brain to create new information to fill in the gaps in our memory that our brain can’t remember. So, without an individual’s intention, the false memory starts and the mind uses those false details currently available. 

However, is it really possible for a huge group of people to have the same false memories? According to experts, when a family or a group of people is exposed to a similar cognitive and social reinforcement of wrong information, the formation and sharing of false memories can happen.

This is evident among the population of people who remembers specific details differently in some movies they’ve watched. Take the Silence of the Lambs as an example. Individuals believe that the famous character Hannibal Lecter uttered the famous line “Hello, Clarice" clearly. However, no matter how many times you watch the movie, this line is never present.

The same goes for the people who claim that a movie called Shazam exists where it features the comedian Sinbad playing a genie. However, again, it is never true. Experts say that this is a mix-up of memory with the character of Shaquille O'Neal in the movie Kazaam and, yes, it is true that he played genie here. But what could be the specific information reinforced here that encourages this false memory? Sinbad appeared in some 1990s children’s VHS films with one of them reportedly presented a preview for Kazaam. This idea, as experts believe, conditioned the mind of those who watched it.

Bottom Line: What’s Real and What’s Not

The theory of the multiverse, though still unproven, gives us a creative explanation that excites our minds. This pushes us to think of amazing possibilities in the cosmos. There is still a boatload of believers and supporters of this theory and a lot of other conspiracy theories gripping on this belief.  And in case this would be proven in the future, the idea of a parallel universe won’t just verify the claims about the unique development of the Mandela effects under quantum physics; it will also give clarity to other questions about man’s existence.

False memory, on the other hand, currently provides us something our society can discern better and easier based on what we believe is real: tests and study records about how human minds behave. The findings experts hand to us help us to understand how a man processes ideas and information in a very complex way.

Nonetheless, whatever side you’re on, there is still one fact I am sure we will all agree with: the world is as complex as the human mind. Complexly mysterious. 

by Santi Bongco at April 21, 2021 10:08 AM

April 20, 2021


Create Your Own Flexible Component (Part 3) : Advance Flexible Component

[A New Balloon Air Pump Design]


Welcome to The Last Chapter! This is Part3 of Flexible component, for those who seeing this blog for the first time, you can go to the “Part1 – Introduction of Flexible Component” and “Part2 – Basic Flexible Component” for better understanding.

This time our goal is to create a flexible balloon which is a little bit complicate then the spring part, it needs to use some tips and tricks on the sketches to achieve. But no worry, we will go through the details in steps. Before we start, let’s see the full version of the air pump assembly in sketch with those two flexible parts (spring & balloon)!


Step 1 For Flexible Balloon (Ref. Plane)

The most important thing is to setup the reference top plane (Ref TOP P) for external reference in assembly. I use the bottom of the handlebar as the reference point because I want to create a situation that while pushing down the handlebar, the balloon will become bigger.


Step 2 For Flexible Balloon (Guide Line)

(this design is just my idea, it can be any style you can think of)


Step 2 is to setup the “orange guide line” for the moveable range of the balloon sketch, and it is related to the moveable range of the handle bar. To achieve this situation, we can simply create reference line “A” & “B” for finding the intersection point “C”, then we can move to next step to continue.

Step 3 For Flexible Balloon (Balloon Sketch)

Based on step 2, we create a construction line that coincident with point “a”, “b” and “c”. Then, for the balloon sketch, create arc line “d” and “e” which are not fully defined, and make the joint coincident with the point “c”. The reason is to simulate when pushing down the handle bar, the balloon sketch will move simultaneously along with the “guide line”.

         Below is my entity sketch and movement relation for your reference:


Step 4 For Flexible Balloon (Part Feature)

I would like to use 3 steps to create the balloon body as shown on above. When the balloon part is finished, you need to add it into the assembly with correct position.

Step 5 For Flexible Balloon (External Reference)

Now we can setup the external reference for the Balloon Ref TOP P. Again, the external reference also will be the handlebar bottom surface, just like the spring setting.

Step 5 For Flexible Spring (Make Part Flexible)

Last step, apply “Make Part Flexible” feature to your balloon part. Inside the make part flexible feature, select the handlebar bottom surface as the flexible references. And you should be able to make the balloon become flexible.

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 Your Own Flexible Component (Part 3) : Advance Flexible Component appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd. at April 20, 2021 03:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Upgrading SOLIDWORKS Toolbox within SOLIDWORKS PDM

If your SOLIDWORKS Toolbox is stored within the vault, you have the option to manually upgrade it, or my preferred method is to use the Installation Manager as I’ve outlined here:

How to upgrade SOLIDWORKS Toolbox using the Installation Manager

In this scenario, the upgrade is complete on the server using the PDM Upgrade Checklist, and we’ve updated the PDM client on one machine, and now we’re finally ready to upgrade SOLIDWORKS to the new major version. 

NOTE: SOLIDWORKS Toolbox only needs to be upgraded once, so we’re going to include it in the first SOLIDWORKS workstation being upgraded, the rest will be able to update SOLIDWORKS and PDM at the same time and the toolbox will be skipped.

Preparing the toolbox for upgrading

  • Log in to the vault, preferably as ‘admin’ but any account with full permissions will suffice
Logged in as Admin

Logged in as Admin

  • Perform a ‘Get Latest’ on the toolbox folder to cache the most up to date version of all the files
Get Latest on the Toolbox folder

Get Latest on the Toolbox folder

  • Check out the database file
    • Default Location; [Vault Name]\[Toolbox Path]\lang\english\swbrowser.sldedb
Check out the database file

Check out the database file

Completing the upgrade

Start the installation manager, and complete the SOLIDWORKS upgrade with the appropriate settings.

  • On the Summary Tab
    • Toolbox/Hole Wizard Options > Select Change
Change Toolbox/Hole Wizard Options

Change Toolbox/Hole Wizard Options

  • Ensure Use an existing SOLIDWORKS Toolbox is selected and the path is correct
Use an existing SOLIDWORKS Toolbox

Use an existing SOLIDWORKS Toolbox

  • Complete the upgrade then check in the swbrowser.sldedb file


  • Ensure the swbrowser.sldedb updated by verifying the timestamp
Ensure the swbrowser.sldedb updated

Ensure the swbrowser.sldedb updated

  • Check in swbrowser.sldedb to make the updated version available to other users
Check in swbrowser.sldedb

Check in swbrowser.sldedb

Additional Steps

Prior to upgrading any additional SOLIDWORKS workstations to the new version, perform a Get Latest on the Toolbox folder, then the latest version will be cached and the installation manager will skip the upgrade.

The post Upgrading SOLIDWORKS Toolbox within SOLIDWORKS PDM appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Justin Williams at April 20, 2021 12:00 PM


Fun Things You Can Do With Heat Gun

fun with heat gun

We all know just how versatile a heat gun is and how useful it can be in everyday handiwork. But when you’re armed with a device that can spew hot air up to 700°C, you’re bound to explore that power for some mindless fun.

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="433" loading="lazy" src="" title="Science Experiments - 600 degree Heat Gun vs Coca-Cola by Mr. Hacker" width="770"></iframe>

A man going by the name of Mr. Hacker is just one of many who have enjoyed the heating capabilities of a heat gun for their own nefarious (and very entertaining) purposes. The heat gun used in the video above isn’t the hottest version out on the market (it only reaches up to 600°C), but it still melts, burns, and explodes normal everyday objects pretty easily.

fun with heat gun

Ping-pong balls, for instance, can be levitated above a heat gun pointing upwards. This works with all types of devices that emit air, but due to the high temperatures coming out of the heat gun, the air inside the balls expands and causes the balls to swell. When the balls can take no more, they pop and (in some instances) catch fire.

fun with heat gun

To prove the air inside the balls is the cause of the swelling, Mr. Hacker stabs a hole through one ping-pong ball and holds it in place with a screwdriver. Instead of swelling, the ball actually starts to shrivel up. With enough time, the heat gun melts the plastic ball down to almost nothing.

fun with heat gun

Matches are a no-brainer experiment for the heat gun, but did you know you could ignite them without taking them out of the box. It seems so obvious when you think about it because the heat gun actually increases the temperature around the box of matches, thereby removing any need to strike the match heads.

fun with heat gun

You would think heating cheap plastic lighters would cause them to catch fire but instead, they forcefully jettison the fuel from the container. This is due to two factors: the plastic area nearest the heat gun melting away and the lighter fluid evaporating before it has a chance to ignite. Once the fluid has evaporated, the lighter can’t contain the amount of gas inside it. So it forcefully expunges the excess gas through the most accessible exit: the melted plastic.

What you see emanating from the melted hole is the lighter fluid that didn’t evaporate.

fun with heat gun

Similar to the lighters, heating up an aluminum Coke can cause the soda inside to bubble, evaporate, and eventually explode the top off. Since the melting point of aluminum is way higher than plastic (660.3°C, just 60.3°C above the heat gun’s heating capabilities), the can doesn’t melt down.

fun with heat gun

Likewise, taking a heat gun to a glass bottle of Coke doesn’t break down the container. Glass has an even higher melting point, breaking down at around 1400 °C to 1600 °C, so all the heat gun does is evaporate the soda inside. It does cause a very high stream of cola to pop out of the cap and spray all over the studio, however, which is nice. I definitely wouldn’t want to be on clean-up duty after this video.

These are just a few of many, many shenanigans you can get yourself into with a super-powered heat gun. If you have some excess junk to get rid of, you could definitely add more to Mr. Hacker’s list. Just be sure to follow proper safety procedures!

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 20, 2021 09:08 AM

April 19, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Exceptional and repeatable coloration for toy design

In this use case, learn how Stratasys® VeroUltra™ materials helped to create accurate coloration for toy design and validation.


From spray painting to hand painting, dry transfers, stickers and more, creating toy dolls with the right appearance for design validation was a manual multi-step process. Achieving accurate skin tone coloration required manual blending of spray paints, and cans of previously used colours needed to be stored in a warehouse in case of future use. The delicate assemblies also required specialized expertise and were prone to inconsistencies. Additionally, when shipping multiple models to different stakeholders for approval, each stakeholder could potentially receive a doll with a slightly different appearance — which could lead to decisions based on the wrong data. The whole process was very time-consuming, expensive and susceptible to errors. As a result, it was only done on a small amount of design iterations used for final approvals.

Solution for toy design

Using Stratasys PolyJet™ 3D printing technology and VeroUltra family of opaque colour materials, the manual, multi-step design process was reduced to a single-step print. The VeroUltra materials allowed designers to achieve sharp detailing, excellent colour reproduction and textures for faster design validation. The dolls could also be printed and assembled in a matter of hours for quick calls on various design elements. Additionally, the CAD-to-print process streamlined workflows and eliminated the need for long and time-consuming CMF documents — which simplified communication and reduced the chance of errors.

Toy design using VeroUltra materials

Toy design using VeroUltra materials


The precision detailing and repeatable results meant that every stakeholder would receive a doll with the same appearance — leading to more accurate design decisions.

About VeroUltra

VeroUltra materials are available for the J55, Stratasys J7 and J8 series printers. The materials provide a smoother texture enabling high quality plastic appearance, ultra sharp graphics and high contrast print levels previously impossible to achieve. It is a game changer in the world of design – offering exceptionally high-quality, accurate colours for a wide range of applications including toy design.

The post Exceptional and repeatable coloration for toy design appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Stratasys Ltd. at April 19, 2021 03:16 PM

What is the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Trend Tracker?

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Trend Tracker provides a way to track Simulation results as changes are made.

A Baseline is defined based on initial results.  When modifications are made, either geometry or study setup, re-running the study will add iteration results.  Tracking graphs provide a way to view changing values and a Trend Journal provides a Word document with tracked data over iterations.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Trend Tracker

This model has some changes to the physical geometry where the cutouts will be reduced in size (until fully suppressed) to see the change in stress and displacement.  First run the study, start Trend Tracker and add Baseline results.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Trend Tracker Baseline

By default the Mass, maximum Von Mises stress and maximum Resultant Displacement will be added as tracked data graphs.  These are added as Sensors in the SOLIDWORKS Design Tree.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Trend Tracker Graphs

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Trend Tracker Graphs

If additional Stress and Displacement plots were available prior to starting the Trend Tracker, these will also be added as tracked data.  Additional sensors can be created and then be added as a Tracked Data Graph.



SOLIDWORKS Simulation Sensor

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Sensor

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Trend Tracker Add Data Graph

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Trend Tracker Add Data Graph

Now any changes to the geometry, fixtures, loads, materials, etc can be made and the study re-run.  This will be added as a new iteration.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Trend Data Saved Iteration

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Trend Data Saved Iteration

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Trend Tracker Iteration

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Trend Tracker Iteration

As additional changes are made and the study solved, the tracked data graph can be viewed.  Double-click on each plot feature to view.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Trend Tracker Graphs

Delete or revert back to any other iteration to view the full results.

SOLIDWORKS Trend Tracker Restore Iteration

SOLIDWORKS Trend Tracker Restore Iteration

Double-click on Trend Journal to view a Word document of the results of each iteration for the tracked data.

SOLIDWORKS Trend Tracker Journal

SOLIDWORKS Trend Tracker Journal

There are saved screenshots of each plot and iteration under <Simulation Results folder>\<Partname-Studyname>\Gallery.

As previous iterations can be restored, even with modified geometry, a copy of the model for each iteration is saved under <Simulation Results folder>\<Partname-Studyname>\Trend Files.

The post What is the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Trend Tracker? appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Scott Durksen, CSWE at April 19, 2021 02:55 PM


Brian James McManus Delves Into Incredible Engineering of X-15 Aircraft


Picture this: it’s 1955. The United States and Russia are beginning their forays into space travel. But how do you get about exploring a frontier no one has ever been to before? The U.S.’ answer: by getting as close as possible and collecting a bunch of data along the way.

But to get close to space, you have to have something really fast and powerful. Something which can exceed the speed of sound. For the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) – now NASA – that answer came in the form of the X-15 hypersonic rocket-powered aircraft.

Brian James McManus, creator of Real Engineering, took a deep dive into the design and creation of this powerhouse of a flying machine:

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if you said the X-15 paved the way for space travel as we know it. Not only was this the United States’ first blueprint in terms of engineering for re-entry, atmospheric pressure, and the other unknown factors of space, but it is also a mission to gather data on its surroundings mid-flight which would later provide information on what to expect once the man left the confines of the planet.

The X-15 is interesting because each part of its design, from the engine to the frame, is connected and built for a specific purpose.


The Rocket Propulsion Engine

Take the engine, for instance.

There were a lot of unknown factors when making the X-15, but everyone knew the aircraft had to be fast. Think Mach 6.7 fast. This was a problem, because the X-2, the fastest plane at the time, could only reach speeds of Mach 2-3.

But the engine also had to be able to easily adjust its thrust output. To do this, engineers varied the speed of the turbo pump – which forces fuel and oxidizer from their respective containers into a combustion chamber – by using hydrogen peroxide as the pump’s dedicated fuel source.

Lastly, the engine also had to be slim enough to fit into the aircraft. This sounds easy to do on paper, but when you realize the engine has to burn 8,165 kg of fuel AND oxidizer in 85 seconds, putting that much power into a relatively small engine is a big task.


Fuel and Oxidizer

This brings us to what the engine ran on.

Finding a fuel source for a space aircraft was one of the biggest challenges for the NACA. Just like the engine, the fuel had to be powerful but also weight-efficient. There are many substances that can be mixed together to form a powerful fuel, but their mixing ratios and weight on a molecular level have to be taken into consideration so the X-15 won’t be held down by heavy fuel and oxidizer.

The NACA was looking for a substance with a high specific impulse (which is how efficient a fuel converts its mass into thrust) as well as one with regenerative cooling properties so the engine wouldn’t overheat and break down. Water, kerosene, and hydrazine were considered, before finally deciding on anhydrous ammonia as the fuel source for the X-15.

Combined with liquid oxygen as the oxidizer, the problem of finding propulsion substances seemed to be solved…


The Inconel X Frame

…But was it really?

Take note that ammonia is a toxic substance, which is one of many reasons why the metals used in the X-15’s creation had to be well-considered.

And then there was the problem of heat resistance. Not only did the frame of the X-15 have to be able to withstand the high temperatures of friction and re-entry, but it also needed to deal with the extreme cold coming from the internal cryogenic liquid oxygen tanks which house the oxidizer.

No natural metal can withstand both these high and low temperatures, so NACA employed the use of Inconel X – a mixture of nickel, chromium, iron, and niobium with extremely good heat resistance.

The metal was used on most of the aircraft, even on the joints. Using heat-sensitive paint, engineers were able to find temperature hotspots during testing and remedied them with Inconel X strips.


Titanium Windows

Not all of the frame was Inconel X, though. While the area surrounding the cockpit windows used to be made of the stuff, testing found that the metal would buckle due to thermal expansion. This would crack the window, leaving the pilot with very little visibility and could even suck them out of the aircraft if it was completely destroyed.

The metal around the windows was replaced with aluminum frames (which experience lower thermal expansion), while the rear framing was removed altogether.


Ablative Layers

Even with its good heat resistance, the Inconel X wouldn’t survive the Mach 6.7 flight. To help it, ablative plating was added on top of the Inconel X as a sacrificial layer that would absorb some of the heat.

There were still many problems that had to be addressed. From the ablative material falling from the aircraft, to the liquid oxygen mixing with the ablative, to the various issues with the plane’s geometry such as the tails and even the X-15’s nose shape.


Finally, after a decade of development, the X-15 was placed under the B-52 bomber, carried up to 45,000 feet, and carried out its 188th flight on October 3, 1967. Flown by William Knight, the X-15 broke into Mach 6 for 2.5 minutes before slowing down and coming back to Earth.

The aircraft would never fly again. The ablative coating didn’t fully protect the X-15 from the extreme heat, and some of the plane’s pieces had melted away. Two more X-15s flew for 11 more times before the project was ultimately shut down.

But it wasn’t all for naught. A lot of data was gathered both during the development of the aircraft and its many flights. With it, scientists and engineers were able to refine and develop better methods for space travel with their future endeavors.

The whole video is definitely worth a watch if you have the time. Brian McManus delves deep into the design of the X-15 and expertly connects each piece of the aircraft like a jigsaw puzzle. As the pieces fall into place, you get a better appreciation for the X-15 as a whole.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 19, 2021 12:02 PM


How I Designed My Own 7-Axis Industrial Robot Using SOLIDWORKS and 3D Sculptor

I think it’s fair to say that many of us who’ve lived in or around the world of design, engineering, and/or manufacturing have a particular fascination with industrial robots. There’s something about their ability to reliably perform repetitive operations (like moving objects, welding things – whatever it’s designed to do, really) that feels magical.

If you’re reading this right now, you might even design these robots yourself. As someone who’s long held an affinity for organic, non-uniform surfaces, I’ve always loved looking at the shapes of these robots as well. For something so potentially rigid in its range of tasks and operations, there’s something beautiful about the sometimes swoopy nature of their envelopes.

You’ll find large industrial robots in many different types of factories, made to perform a variety of different actions. I’m not sure about you, but I wouldn’t be able to fit most of these anywhere near my house – regardless of how cool I think they are, or how much I like looking at them.

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="641" src="" title="Building a 7 Axis Robot from Scratch" width="1140"></iframe>


So, what’s a maker to do if they want an industrial-style robot in their home workshop? If you were to ask Jeremy Fielding, he’d tell you: just make your own smaller-sized version from scratch. Of course, right?

Me, personally? I’ll stick to writing about it for now. But I’d submit that one of the coolest things about the project embedded above is that Jeremy’s using a mixture of industry design tools – SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD (like a lot of you, I’m sure) and 3D Sculptor together – in order to get the fit, function, and finesse (3D Sculptor’s job here) right for the build.

There are lots of questions Jeremy considered for this build. For starters:

  • How much power would be needed to run 7 motors concurrently? How can you synchronize these to run correctly all at once?
  • If power is lost somehow, how does one prevent the robot from collapsing or dropping a load mid-job?
  • How can you manage costs of the build?
  • How will the robot manage to support the load it must carry, especially when its arm is extended?

Choosing to do a robot build is interesting for several reasons. You combine mechanical concepts, motors, electrical work, programming, and more – a true multidisciplinary project. Being an articulated robot, Jeremy’s build has multiple pivot points to provide function and increased degrees of freedom.

You’ll see in the video: Jeremy mentions this robot should reasonably be able to carry/pivot around a 30 lb. load or so. There’s a crash course he provides on force loads things like articulating robots must reckon with, which may seem unobvious to people who don’t work with industrial machinery often. Which is to say: the force equation (F = m * a) comes into play big time, especially when considering how quickly you’d wish for your robot to swing its load from point 1 to point 2.

Right now, there’s a DSLR camera mounted to the partially finished robot, which consists of both machined and 3D printed parts. One of the 3D printed parts is a sleek angle iron plate, located close to the base of the robot.

“This was my first attempt at making a really curvy shape like this,” Jeremy tells his audience. “There are almost no flat surfaces on this part. That would be extremely difficult to model in SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD – at least for me, as I’m not much of a surface modeler. So, I tried out xShape [included in 3D Sculptor] for this.”

Jeremy’s example here proves you can use 3D Sculptor with other ‘xApp’ roles (such as 3D Creator, containing xDesign) or with SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD, via the 3DEXPERIENCE add-in (which comes with 3D Creator and/or 3D Sculptor today to provide ready-made modeling flexibility for desktop users).

In this introductory video of sorts (Jeremy has many more hours of footage and lessons to impart on this project!), Jeremy also reminds us of a super exciting launch coming our way later this year – first revealed by SOLIDWORKS CEO Gian Paolo Bassi at 3DEXPERIENCE World 2021. That is: just like Jeremy can use the combined powers of 3D modelers like SOLIDWORKS, 3D Sculptor, etc. for maker projects in his shop, you’ll be able to do the same very soon at an ultra-affordable price with the forthcoming release of 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers!

While tools like SOLIDWORKS and 3D Sculptor are (and have been for some time) available to industry/commercial users today, 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers will bundle 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Professional (including SOLIDWORKS Connected), 3D Sculptor, and 3D Creator for $99/yr. (or $9.99/mo.) specifically for maker use cases, empowering makers and hobbyists of all kinds – whether you’re making 7-axis scaled industrial robots or not.

If you’d like to learn more about this offer, you can sign up for the mailing list here. This will ensure you receive product updates, including news of its release which is scheduled for later this year!

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 How I Designed My Own 7-Axis Industrial Robot Using SOLIDWORKS and 3D Sculptor appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Sean O'Neill at April 19, 2021 12:00 PM


Life Hacker DaveHax Uses Liquid Gallium to Create Some Interesting Builds

gallium lafe hacks

Ah, gallium. Thanks to its very low melting point (29.76 °C or 85.568°F, to be exact), the metal can easily be turned into liquid and be used in a lot of ways.

Using some gallium he easily bought online, YouTube life hacker DaveHax shows just a few instances where having a quick changing metal can be useful:

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="433" loading="lazy" src="" title="This Gallium Metal is Amazing!" width="770"></iframe>

Upon receiving the gallium, it comes as a solid in a small test tube. By placing the tube in some water slightly above room temperature (you can get similar results by holding the tube in between your hands on a hot day), Dave easily melts the gallium and pours it onto his hand.

Think of gallium like metallic clay for metalworkers. You can sift and pour it safely using your bare hands, though it may leave some gray stains which can easily be removed with soap and water. Even if the metal is non-toxic by nature, you still don’t want to ingest it. This is metal after all, and not something edible you can buy at a candy store.

gallium lafe hacks

With his liquid gallium in a syringe, Dave proceeds to pour the metal into a couple of plastic molds. He first makes some LEGO-like figures, followed by a few blocks also in the LEGO style.

Since the gallium has liquid properties, it sets into the molds and hardens easily once it cools down. While the figures turned out pretty well (you obviously can’t move their arms), some of the bricks’ studs didn’t form properly – rendering them unconnectable.

gallium lafe hacks

The best part about having an easy melting metal is you can just break down your previous creations and reuse the gallium to make something else.

Dave uses the low melting point of the gallium to his advantage to create a metal candle. By piercing a hole at the tip of a candle mold and fitting a candlewick through it, he is able to pour the liquid gallium without it seeping out. Once the metal has solidified, he can remove the candle and light the wick on the other side. The metal just melts down as the candle burns, allowing Dave to collect it afterward and use it again.

gallium lafe hacks

He makes a couple more things by pouring liquid gallium into molds and plasticine clay: a metal ball, a padlock, and tons and tons of fidget spinners. I know these toys are dead by now, but Dave actually uses a bunch of molds to make multiple types of fidget spinners.

gallium lafe hacks

You have a spiral one, a sun-shaped one (made from a plasticine clay mold using the cap of a ballpoint pen to craft the rays), and a decision-making fidget spinner just to name a few. That last one is interesting because Dave uses a mold to create the words “yes” and “no”, then places the solid gallium letters into a plasticine clay mold filled with liquid gallium.

gallium lafe hacks

But by far one of the most interesting properties of gallium is how it can turn aluminum into a brittle, paper-like substance. Thanks to the wonders of chemistry, gallium breaks the oxide layer of aluminum and invades its crystal lattice, turning it brittle.

Just a dash of gallium on anything aluminum can break it down faster than Michael Jackson at a dance party (which is why the element is strictly illegal on airplanes). Soda cans, metal water bottles, even tennis rackets aren’t safe from the destructive power of gallium. So while it’s fun to play with the metal in its liquid form, take note not to use it to anything aluminum.

You can find more life hacks on the DaveHax YouTube channel. They won’t always make your life easier, but they’ll always make it interesting.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 19, 2021 11:39 AM

April 17, 2021

The Javelin Blog

FREE Atlantic Canada Virtual Tech Conference

Join us on Tuesday May 11, 2021, at the Atlantic Canada Virtual Tech Conference! This time we are taking a deep dive into the latest trends and impactful 3D technology for businesses in the Maritimes.

Learn what’s new in additive manufacturingSOLIDWORKS tools, best practices for working with large assemblies and drawings3D scanning applications, data management solutions, working on the cloud, and more!

Hear from local companies Innovacorp and Nautel. They will both share their experiences with implementing industry proven technology.

If you aren’t located in Atlantic Canada, not to worry – all are welcome! This event is packed full of tips, tricks and 3D technology and manufacturing solutions that can easily be translated to your specific business needs.

Why attend the Virtual Tech Conference?

The show must go on! Since we aren’t able to get together in person, our Virtual Tech Conference is the best way to stay in touch and keep your knowledge sharp. Even in uncertain times, one constant is that technology is always changing and improving, moving us forward.

SOLIDWORKS Large Assembly and Drawings sessions

New to the Virtual Tech Conference: We have included two of our most popular SOLIDWORKS training tutorials. Each session will be 30 minutes jam packed full of tips and tricks for working with large assemblies and drawings.

NEW products from Stratasys

We can’t share details just yet… but there are some very exciting new products being launched from Stratasys at the end of April. We will give you a closer look!

Build your own schedule

This event is designed to allow you to build your own schedule, attend only the sessions that are of interest to you, spend time networking with industry experts, and check out the 3D solution partner booths.

On-demand content is available after the event

If the date and time of the Virtual Tech Conference does not fit your schedule and the topics are of interest to you — we recommend that you register so that you can access the on-demand content for 30 days following the event.

Making waves with 3D solutions

Virtual Tech Conference sessions:
  • Advanced manufacturing overview: technology, applications, and new products
  • Innovacorp: Design to manufacture workflow
  • Is your ERP system manufacturing focused?
  • SIMULIA – Validate and develop your products faster on the platform
  • SOLIDWORKS tools for 3D design
  • Optimizing mates for large assembly performance in SOLIDWORKS – presented by Alin Vargatu
  • 3D Scanning existing infrastructure for reverse engineering and modification with Geomagic for SOLIDWORKS
  • 3DEXPERIENCE Works: Revolutionize how you work and collaborate
  • How much is your data costing you?
  • Leveraging GrabCAD Advanced FDM for optimized manufacturing aids
  • Nautel: Getting products to market faster with SOLIDWORKS
  • SOLIDWORKS Drawings tutorial

Register and select your sessions

Register now for free event. Once you have completed your registration, you will have access to the full agenda. Here is a quick guideline to sign up for different sessions and customize your event.

We look forward to meeting you at the Atlantic Canada Virtual Tech Conference!

Special thanks to our partners:

Conference Partners

The post FREE Atlantic Canada Virtual Tech Conference appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Rod Mackay at April 17, 2021 02:07 PM

April 16, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Managing formed feature information in SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal, the easy way!

When manufacturing sheet metal parts from a SOLIDWORKS model and drawing, how can we ensure that raised features (also commonly referred to as formed features) will protrude from the correct side/face of the part?

This article guides you through how to control and communicate, in SOLIDWORKS, which side of the flattened part is up during manufacture, and in which direction the raised features protrude.

During punching/cutting of a sheet metal part from the blank, it is best practice to have any formed/raised features protruding upwards, such as louvers, lances (a.k.a. cable ties), ribs, dimples, etc., otherwise any features that protrude downwards can compromise the quality of the part as they contact the supporting bed of the machine (often comprised of brushes or roller balls) and can cause the sheet to bow upwards around the raised features.  Downward-protruding features are possible to make, but it is usually best to avoid them wherever possible.

How to set which side of the flat part part will face up during punching/cutting

The “up” side/face of the flat part is first set in the SOLIDWORKS model, driven which face is selected in the Sheet-Metal feature at the bottom of the tree.  Edit that feature to confirm which face is the Fixed face… that face will be considered as “up” when exporting to a DXF file.  If desired, an alternate face can be selected, on either the inside or outside of the formed/bent/folded part.  Once the DXF file is saved, it should then drive which side is up in the punching/cutting CNC programming software:

Edit the Flat-Pattern feature

Edit the Flat-Pattern feature to control which side will be up in manufacturing

SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Fixed Face

When editing the Flat-Pattern feature, the Fixed face determines what is the upward-facing side of the flat part during cutting/punching.  All faces tangent to that (due to round bends) will be up in the flat state.

How to draw attention to formed features in the flat pattern view on the drawing

To draw the reader’s attention to the presence of raised (formed) features, we can set the color of those features to something more striking than the default color.  The setting is found in in the drawing under Document Properties > Sheet Metal MBD > Flat Patten colors > Form Feature and should also be set in the drawing template so that it applies to all future drawings created from that template.

If you find that the settings do not immediately take effect in the flat pattern view, then you will want to try this workaround: try setting other colors in the list, such as Model Edges, to some other color than the default, OK the changes, and inspect the drawing view.  The Form Feature color should by now show as the new color.  If it doesn’t, then go back into Document Properties and change Model Edges back into black again (at which point we may feel compelled to break out into an AC/DC song!).  That should be enough to trigger the change to the Form Feature color and complete the workaround.

Setting the Form Feature colour

Setting the Form Feature colour

And the result in the drawing:

The custom color assignment is now applied to formed features in the flat pattern view

How to show the protrusion direction (up or down) of formed features

By projecting a view from the flat pattern view, it becomes clear which way the formed features protrude (ideally upwards), to the benefit of the designer, and CNC programmers, and machine operators doing inspection on the flat part prior to completing the run of parts in their flat state.  Note that the drawing shown here uses Third angle projection (commonly used in North America) in Sheet Properties .  If first angle projection (used more in Europe) were used, then formed features would show as protruding in the opposite direction.

Projecting a view from the flat pattern view

Projecting a view from the flat pattern view (third angle projection), in order to show protrusion direction of the formed features

Learn More about SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal

Learn more SOLIDWORKS tips and tricks in our Sheet Metal and Drawings courses!

The post Managing formed feature information in SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal, the easy way! appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by John Lee, CSWE at April 16, 2021 02:43 PM


Webinar: Unified Fluids and Electrical Design

It is not obvious to many SOLIDWORKS Electrical users that besides 2D Schematics, Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&ID) can also be included to document piping and associated parts of a physical process flow.

Uses for P&ID include documenting schemes for sequences for startup, controlled shutdown of equipment, requirements for safety and regulation, maintenance and general operational understanding of your system.

Next week’s webinar entitled “Unified Fluid and Electrical Design with SOLIDWORKS Electrical – A Customer’s Perspective” discusses why an integrated environment is superior to using dissimilar tools. We will provide an overview of SOLIDWORKS Fluids and P&ID design and discuss how mechanical, fluids and electrical engineers can easily collaborate in real time. We will also cover automatic generation of complete project reports, BOMs, Wire lists and Pipe schedules as well as how to catch errors using interference detection with Design Rule Checks.

We also have on hand a guest speaker, Chris Kregoski of WoodWest Controls, a longtime SOLIDWORKS Electrical user. Chris started WoodWest Controls in 2014 after spending 9 years installing avionics in aircraft. He has won several international avionics wiring competitions and brought these skills to the automation industry serving Fortune 1000 companies.

Chris gives us an in-depth look at one of his recent projects that incorporates both electrical schematics multi-line diagrams with P&ID. He will show the process he went through and the benefits of having tools to easily modify and maintain documents to share with others involved in the project.

Register today and join us on Tuesday, April 20th 1:00 – 2:00 PM EDT

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 Webinar: Unified Fluids and Electrical Design appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at April 16, 2021 12:00 PM

April 15, 2021

The Javelin Blog

A spot on colour match for consumer product prototypes

In this use case example, learn how to use Stratasys® VeroUltra™ colour 3D printing materials to create a realistic, multi-material consumer product prototype.


Traditionally, to achieve a multi-material appearance the designer needed to mix new colours for each part, paint and then mask multiple times — which reduced the part’s tolerance and increased the risk for errors. The wooden portion of the ladle also required its own production process through CNC machining or incorporating a paint process on top of a 3D printed, single colour part. And because the wooden part needed to be sourced, there were variations between iterations.

Solution for product prototypes

Using Stratasys PolyJet™ 3D printing technology and VeroUltra family of opaque colour materials, this multi-material ladle could be created in a single print in as many colours and simulated materials as needed. The VeroUltra materials allowed for high pigmentation and colour matching to help designers validate the appearance of the final product. Additionally, the highly-realistic procedural wood texture — exported from Keyshot in a single step — creates a part with a lifelike wood appearance when printed.

Spatulas 3D printed on J55 3D printer

natural material simulation


The ability to realistically simulate plastic and wood materials cut out the need to outsource organic materials — an otherwise expensive and lengthy process. Enabling the reproduction of virtually any colour also eliminated the need to manually mix, match and mask colour.

About VeroUltra

VeroUltra materials are available for the J55, Stratasys J7 and J8 series printers. The materials provide a smoother texture enabling high quality plastic appearance, ultra sharp graphics and high contrast print levels previously impossible to achieve. It is a game changer in the world of design – offering exceptionally high-quality, accurate colours for a wide range of applications including 3D printed product prototypes.

The post A spot on colour match for consumer product prototypes appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Stratasys Ltd. at April 15, 2021 02:54 PM


Reviving Broken Sculpture With Some Glue, Gold, and Kintsugi

fixing broken sculpture

You know what sucks? Working hundreds of hours on a project, only to have the project break right in front of you.

This is the sad reality Bobby Duke had to deal with one of his sculptures. After carving a bucket and hand sculpture and painstakingly gluing thousands of pencils to create a flowing rainbow stream, it all ended abruptly with a simple push from gravity.

The sculpture broke into pieces, and he was so upset about it that he stored all of them in a box and hid them in his closet.

This was back in July of 2019. Recently in January of 2021, Bobby Duke decided to clean out his closet and take another look at his broken sculpture:

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Seeing this as an opportunity to make it better, he took his fans’ suggestion of mending the sculpture with kintsugi – which is the Japanese art of repairing broken pieces and dusting them with gold to make the imperfections look intentional. The principle behind this is to make the cracks stand out and to show just how much better the piece is restored after being broken.

There’s a lot of philosophical mumbo jumbo associated with kintsugi, but we won’t delve too deep into that. Instead, let’s take a look at what Bobby Duke did to breathe life back into his broken sculpture!

Fixing Shattered Hands and Bucket Sculpture

fixing broken sculpture

Before gluing the broken hands and bucket sculpture, Bobby first performed some extra detail carving on the fingers and inside the bucket. Since he couldn’t do this when the sculpture was still whole (*sniff*), he takes the time to chisel in some extra features while using an air gun to remove the dust. As aforethought, he also drills a deep hole through the hands to make room for some LEDs, should he want to add them in later.

Then, armed with a ton of wood glue and a bit of super glue, he joins the broken pieces together and holds them in place with some ratchet straps so they can dry properly. When the glue is nice and dry, he sands the whole thing down to complete the main portion.

Coating Broken Rainbow

fixing broken sculpture

Fixing the resin-casted rainbow of colored pencils is going to be a little more difficult. Seeing as this is the centerpiece of the sculpture, Bobby wants to trim off the bubbly epoxy resin surrounding the rainbow before covering it in resin once again.

Starting with an angle grinder and moving to his orbital sander, Bobby smoothens out the pieces of the rainbow before taking them back to his shed, suspending them, and slathering all the pieces in a nice, thick coating of resin.

Spin and Kintsugi Technique

fixing broken sculpture

Instead of connecting the pieces of the rainbow together with gold, Bobby Duke instead wants to sand and gild the edges of the broken rainbow with a 24 karat gold leaf. By leaving the pieces separate, the gold will stand out much more and make it look like the inside of the rainbow is pure gold.

The Suspended Sculpture

fixing broken sculpture

After all the sanding and gilding, Bobby then unveils his final plan. He suspends the pieces of the broken rainbow on the ceiling in order while the main bucket is mounted on a nearby wall.

You can see he decided to go through with his idea of adding LEDs inside the bucket. This helps illuminate the rainbow and bring out not just the various pencil colors, but the gold-gilded edges, as well.

It’ll be hard to bring this thing home and find a place for it, but the finale definitely is more interesting to look at than its previous life as a single-piece sculpture.

All things considered, having the sculpture break turned out to be advantageous to Bobby Duke. Just as the famed American painter Bob Ross said, “We don’t make mistakes – just happy accidents”.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 15, 2021 07:56 AM

Recreating Avengers Fight in Flipbook Form

flipbook avengers

Okay, I know we’ve covered flipbooks before, but those were cartoonier and based on the creator’s original content. And while it’s difficult to make your own creations, it’s just as hard recreating something all of us are familiar with.

dP Art Drawing is a New Zealand-based artist whose YouTube channel is full of drawings. Recently, they’ve been focused more on flipbooks and recreating scenes from iconic movies. Just a few days ago, they completed their longest and thickest flipbook yet – a 1,434 page book which captures key scenes between Iron Man and Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="433" loading="lazy" src="" title="Thanos VS Iron Man - End Game FLIPBOOK - DP ART DRAWING" width="770"></iframe>

The flipbook covers three scenes: the first fight between Tony Stark and Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, the infamous snap of the Infinity Gauntlet, and the defeat of Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. (This shouldn’t be a spoiler by now, right?)

flipbook avengers

Each page starts with a rough sketch of the scene. Using the movies as a reference, the characters’ outlines are positioned differently on paper as the “camera” moves around them. Once the scene is set, the details are set in.

You’ll notice there’s a stopwatch close at hand. To keep track of how much time is actually spent sketching, a timer is turned on at the beginning of each drawing. Once the picture is complete, the timer is stopped and a new page is brought in. The timer is then resumed with the next picture ad infinitum until the entire flipbook is completed.

flipbook avengers

It’s hard enough to draw a person’s face but add in the fact that these are iconic characters portrayed by famous actors in a movie almost everyone in the world has seen and you have yourself some big expectations to meet. Not only do you have to draw such a detailed picture once, but you have to do it more than thousand times to get the animation just right.

Just to be clear, while all of the drawings feature one of two of the intricately detailed characters, the backgrounds themselves aren’t fully recreated. Maybe there’s just too much detail to be captured, but I think the reason the backgrounds aren’t fleshed out is to put more emphasis on Thanos and Iron Man.

flipbook avengers

This is all well and good in a fight scene, but thankfully when it comes to what’s happening on the battlefield (such as when Thanos’ army gets annihilated) there’s just enough detail so you see what’s happening.

It took 737 hours to make 1,434 drawings. Combined, these pictures produce a short 1-minute film. Now you know how hard it was to bring animation to life back in the day!

dP Art Drawing has tons of flipbook videos, but is dedicated to the broad field of all things drawing-related.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 15, 2021 07:55 AM

April 14, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Applications for Additive Manufacturing in the Automotive Industry

In the span of a decade, Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing has moved from an optional piece of equipment for producing relatively simple prototypes to an absolute necessity — one that is transforming the automotive industry in fundamental ways.

Watch the video below to learn about additive manufacturing in the automotive industry:

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Example additive manufacturing applications for the automotive industry

Now commonly used in automotive design studios, factory assembly lines and test tracks, 3D printers are creating complex parts, speeding up tooling cycles, enhancing measurement and testing, and providing customization solutions across all aspects of the vehicle development process. Typical applications that Javelin and Stratasys 3D printers can provide you are:

Rapid Prototyping

Accelerate the product development process

  • Javelin Stratasys Solution:
  • Value delivered:
    • Complete more design iterations in less time
    • Verify parts in real time
    • Validate designs before investing in costly tooling
    • Communicate ideas and gain feedback with physical models

Automotive Jigs and Fixtures

Improve production efficiency

  • Javelin Stratasys Solution:
    • Tough, durable FDM thermoplastics that withstand rugged manufacturing environments
    • Ability to combine many material properties in one part, such as rigid and flexible, or opaque and transparent
  • Value delivered:
    • Cost-effectively manufacture parts and eliminate expensive tooling
    • Reduce weight of jigs and fixtures
    • Move quickly from prototype to final product
    • Customize for individual operator and/or to specific applications
    • Create tooling on demand
    • Revise tooling easily

Automotive Tooling

Increase manufacturing agility

  • Javelin Stratasys Solution:
  • Value delivered:
    • Streamline production by 3D printing parts in hours or days
    • Customize on the fly for optimized designs
    • Create prototypes from the same process and materials that you’ll use for the final product
    • Reduce fixed costs of tooling

Automotive Production Parts

Eliminate constraints of traditional manufacturing with low-volume production parts

  • Javelin Stratasys Solution:
    • Tough, durable FDM thermoplastics that withstand rugged manufacturing environments
    • Reduce costs by eliminating expense of tooling, set-up and changeovers
  • Value delivered:
    • Achieve geometrically complex parts, including hollow interiors and negative draft
    • Improve flexibility and customization

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The post Applications for Additive Manufacturing in the Automotive Industry appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Conner Janeteas at April 14, 2021 12:00 PM


Validate Designs for Life with 3DEXPERIENCE Works Simulation

Why is durability important?

Usually, when companies think about using simulation, they think about increasing product strength and stiffness while reducing weight. However, this approach neglects a pervasive failure mode that is readily calculated: metal fatigue.  Up to 90% of all in-service mechanical failures are due to fatigue when repeated loading and unloading weakens the components over time by cracks propagating through the material, even when the induced stresses are considerably less than the material’s stress limit.

A component’s fatigue life is affected by multiple factors such as material, geometry, stress range, load frequency, manufacturing process, and atmospheric conditions. It is a difficult question to figure out by hand, which makes it an ideal task for computational simulation.

We see the results of fatigue failure in the news. Think of the recent commercial airplane engine fire due to metal fatigue in the fan blade.  While these failures are catastrophic, we see the results of fatigue throughout multiple industries.

Image 1: Catastrophic events due to fatigue.


Examples of fatigue failure can be found in products and components across many industries:

–        Industrial equipment: Rotating machinery, bolts, gears, belts, valves, seals, pipes, and tubes.

–        Life sciences: Stents, prosthetics, dental, hip and knee implants.

–        Energy and materials: Pipes, pressure vessel, drilling equipment, control and safety valves, welds, fans, turbines, wind turbines, offshore platforms, and gears.

–        Electronics: Solder, lead wires, PCB, actuators, electronic racks, and housing assemblies.

–        Consumer Products: Seals, fans, connectors, wires, valves, bicycle pedals, and exercise equipment.

–        Home and lifestyle: Doors & windows.

Image 2: Durability simulation on dental implant solved with SIMULIA fe-safe technology


Because of the prevalence of failures caused by fatigue and the substantial improvement of computational solutions, companies are moving towards durability simulation to better understand and predict fatigue occurrences during a component’s or product’s lifetime. Physical testing for durability is very costly and time-consuming. Industry standards require more and more durability tests and validations with shorter deadlines. Companies must adopt and implement durability simulation solutions to comply with industry regulations and adhere to customer requirements.

Image 3: Bicycle crank example required to last 7,000,000 cycles


Durability simulation tools could have predicted the product failure shown in Image 3 using the 3DEXPERIENCE® Works structural simulation portfolio.

Image 4: 3DEXPERIENCE Works Simulation portfolio


To address the challenge of designing for strength, stiffness, and durability, two new solutions (or roles) have been launched.

Durability Performance Engineer

Durability Performance Engineer capabilities are: linear and nonlinear static (Abaqus Implicit), quasi-static (Abaqus Implicit Dynamic), thermal, durability, contact with friction, nonlinear materials, advanced meshing, sequential loading, local and cloud computing, and more.

Durability Mechanics and Engineer

Durability Mechanics and Engineer capabilities are: advanced linear and nonlinear static and dynamic (Abaqus Implicit, Implicit Dynamic and Explicit), thermal, durability, material calibration, geometry preparation, and more.

Image 5: 3DEXPERIENCE Works structural simulation portfolio.


These new durability roles offer:

  1. Proven and powerful SIMULIA Abaqus and the fe-safe technology used by experts.

–        Multi-step structural scenarios for comprehensive product performance assessment.

–        Advanced techniques with high cycle and low cycle analysis (stress and strain-based algorithms).

–        Realistic fatigue multi-events and multi-directional loading for accurate durability calculations.

–        More than 350 materials with fatigue properties.


Image 6: Low-level, high-level, and combined-level loading.


Hyundai Motor Company says that the “fe-safe [technology] correctly predicted the failure location due to high, low, and combined level loading. The analysis took residual stress, material non-linearity, and plastics strains into account.” Click here to get more information about SIMULIA fe-safe.

2. Connected to SOLIDWORKS®

–        Connected and associative workflow with SOLIDWORKS for efficient what-if scenarios.

Image 7: Durability workflow using SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE Works Simulation


3. Easy Engineering Collaboration

–        The 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides a secure cloud-based platform with data management, versioning, and traceability.

–        The web-based dashboard accelerates technical and business decisions by sharing structural and durability simulations with all project stakeholders.

Conducting simulation studies for strength and stiffness or weight optimization is not enough to validate a design for life (and win new design and engineering projects). The fatigue phenomenon, which can cause product failure under cyclic loads, cannot be overlooked. Fatigue tests and validation are becoming increasingly commonplace to achieve industry compliance.

The 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio offers durability simulation with the proven SIMULIA fe-safe technology coupled with SIMULIA Abaqus. The 3DEXPERIENCE cloud-based platform enables data traceability, versioning, and sharing in a connected environment, associative with SOLIDWORKS for streamlined workflows.

For more information, contact your local SOLIDWORKS reseller.


Author information

Nicolas Tillet
Nicolas Tillet
Product Portfolio Manager at DS SOLIDWORKS Corp.
Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS Simulation

The post Validate Designs for Life with 3DEXPERIENCE Works Simulation appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Nicolas Tillet at April 14, 2021 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager Troubleshooting (SNL)

A SOLIDWORKS Network License requires a network connection between the server and client machines.  The server runs the SolidNetWork License Manager service and client machines must verify a connection and available licenses from the server before SOLIDWORKS will open.  Communication errors are commonly found on first setting up a network license or if there are changes to the network.

SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork Connection Errors

Here are a few possible error messages that may be seen on a client machine when trying to open SOLIDWORKS:

  • Cannot connect to license server

Could not obtain a license for SOLIDWORKS Standard

Cannot connect to license server

  • Server node is down or not responding

Server node is down or not responding

Server node is down or not responding

  • Could not get information from this server

Could not get information from this server


The SolidNetWork License Manager needs to be installed, activated and started on the server.  The major version needs to be the same or newer than SOLIDWORKS running on the client machines.  It is backwards compatible so you should always upgrade the License Manager before SOLIDWORKS.  For example you can use a 2019 License Manager while running SOLIDWORKS 2018.

After any upgrade to the License Manager, you must reactivate to obtain the latest license version.

Service Started

Verify that the SolidNetWork License Manager service is running.  Open the License Manager and click ‘Start’ if applicable.  You can also check Windows Services to verify the service has been started and set to Automatic startup.

SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager Start

SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager Service

Firewall Settings

The most common source of communication errors are due to firewalls blocking the required ports.  If you do have firewalls setup on your network, you will need to select the option that ‘A firewall is in use on this server‘ while activating.

IMPORTANT: Contact your IT department to ensure proper Firewall settings are applied

This switches the License Manager to use a static vendor daemon port in order to specify the specific port in the firewall.  By default the License Manager uses TCP ports 25734 and 25735.  These can be changed if required.

To access these options again, you can go through the same reactivation process.

SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager Ports

SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager Ports

Communication on ports 25734 and 25735 must be allowable through the firewall for Inbound and Outbound communication.  For the default Windows firewall, the follow process can be taken.

  1. Go to Windows Control Panel > Windows Firewall
  2. Select Advanced settings in the left panel
  3. Select Inbound Rules in the left pane and choose New Rule
  4. Choose Port and specify TCP ports 25734 and 25735
  5. This needs to be set to Allow the connection
  6. Choose the appropriate profiles from Domain, Private, Public
    NOTE: Allowing access through the Public profile is not recommended. Verify your network settings to determine required access.  Opening a port within the Public profile is at your own risk and should be reviewed and approved by your IT.
  7. Give a descriptive name for the rule such as “SolidNetWork License Manager Ports” and Finish
  8. Select Outbound Rules in the left pane and choose New Rule
  9. Follow the same steps 4-7 to allow outbound connection for ports 25734 and 25735

Windows Firewall Rules

Windows Firewall Rules


Though not typically required with the default Windows Firewall, you may need to apply a rule to allow connection for programs lmgrd.exe and sw_d.exe.  By default these programs are located under C:\Program Files (x86)\SolidWorks SolidNetWork License Manager.


With the default Windows firewall settings the client machine should be able to accept connectivity through both ports 25734 and 25735, as it is seen as a response to outbound communication from the server.

NOTE: If communication is still failing through these ports (see Telnet Test below), contact your IT department as changes may have been introduced to the firewall settings preventing inbound/outbound communication on the client.

Server Location

Verify the SolidNetWork License Manager Client application is pointing to the correct server.  This application is found under Start > SOLIDWORKS Tools > SolidNetWork License Manager Client.  On the Server List tab, add the appropriate port and server name.  Ensure only one server is listed unless you have multiple servers hosting separate licenses.

NOTE: When you add a new server name to the list, click OK and go back into the License Manager to verify the new server name is still listed.  If it doesn’t stick, you may need to run the License Manager Client application as an administrator.  Right-click on the application in the Start menu on click Run as Administrator

SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager Client

SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager Client

You can also test entering the server IP address instead of the server name to see if there is an issue with name resolution.

If you still receive errors on opening SOLIDWORKS, there are several tests you can perform to verify the connection is valid.

Ping Test

The Ping test verifies that you have access to the server over the network.  This will also give you an indication of the speed of connection from the response time (latency).  If the test fails, you will need to check your network connection on both machines.

  1. Open the Windows Command Prompt (click Start and type CMD)
  2. Type in ping server_name (where “server_name” is the name of your server or the IP address)
  3. It should give a response that 4 packets were sent and 4 were received with 0% loss to verify you have a connection

Windows Ping Test

Windows Ping Test

The speed in milliseconds will be given to determine the latency.  This should be a low as possible.  If it shows more than 100ms, this indicates a very slow connection and may fail to obtain a license due to a default timeout.  Have your IT troubleshoot the slow performance of the network.

Telnet Test

The Telnet test allows you to verify that ports 25734 and 25735 have been opened properly.  Follow the steps outlined in our article How To Perform a Telnet Test

Connectivity Tool

Although typically used to troubleshoot SOLIDWORKS PDM connections, the Connectivity Test Tool can be used to test for the SNL Server connection only.  To find out where the tool can be downloaded, read our blog article SOLIDWORKS PDM Connectivity Test Tool

SOLIDWORKS Connectivity Test Tool

SOLIDWORKS Connectivity Test Tool

The post SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager Troubleshooting (SNL) appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Scott Durksen, CSWE at April 14, 2021 11:00 AM


SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – April 2021

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.

Draco Compression for glTF and glB Exporter in Visualize 2021

By Richie More

SOLIDWORKS Visualize facilitates export of complete project into glTF (Graphics Language Transmission Format) and glB (Binary variant) formats.

These files are either self-contained or refer to external assets which represent 3D geometry, appearances, scenes, and animations. glTF / glB files are mostly used in AR/VR applications, native web applications such as displaying a 3D model on Website or attaching them to Microsoft Documents (Word / Power Point) for 3D Visualization.

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2021 is the ability to export Visualize projects as Draco-glTF and Draco-glB. Draco Extension results in smaller (compressed) file size, thus results in small downloads and fast transfer of 3D data when used in AR/VR applications, or Web Applications.

A. Procedure to Export Draco Files.

Step 1– Open any project in Visualize 2021.

Step 2- Navigate to file > Export > Export Project.

Step 3- From the drop down list, Select appropriate Draco format.

B. GLTF/GLB vs Draco GLTF/ Draco GLB

As Draco extension extremely compresses the files, let us check the compression level with memory stats for the files exported.

As we can clearly observe, Draco extension highly compresses the exported files.

Visualize Project used – C:\Users\<username>\Documents\SOLIDWORKS Visualize Content\Projects \ Camaro.svpj

How to avoid caching all assembly files when you open or preview PDF files with attached user defined references in SOLIDWORKS PDM. 

By Tor Iveroth

In order for an application to open a file from a SOLIDWORKS PDM file vault view, that file has to first become cached to the local disk. Caching a file refers to the automated process that copy the file from the archive server to the local file vault view folder on the client. Once the file is cached, the application will open the file.

This cache procedure normally happens when you need access to the physical file, for example, when you preview or open the file.

If the file has references to other files in the file vault, those references are cached at the same time. This ensures that all related files are available for the application to load them. For example, in order to open an assembly, the subassemblies and parts must be accessible.

If you create a user defined reference relationship between a PDF (and any other non-CAD file type) to a drawing or an assembly, then by default, when you preview or open that PDF all the file references will cache.  The following example illustrates this:

  1. A PDF file has a user-defined reference to an assembly.

2. Run the ‘Clear local cache’ command on the folder so that the physical PDF and its referenced CAD files are not available in the local vault view.

3. Double click the PDF to open the file. This will automatically cache the PDF file and the referenced assembly with child components.

4. The same automatic reference cache happens by default when you preview the PDF file.

This means that opening a PDF file can take some time, as there are potentially hundreds of referenced files cached to the client at the same time.

As a PDF by itself often do not need the referenced CAD files in order to open in a PDF application or to preview, you can control how the referenced files should automatically cache when accessing the PDF.

To access these settings, log into the SOLIDWORKS PDM administration tool and expand the ‘File Types’ node. Right click on the ‘PDF extension and select ‘Properties’.

  • Enable ‘Preview does not need referenced files’ to stop the automatic reference cache from happening when you preview the pdf file.

  • Enable ‘View file command does not need referenced files’ to stop the automatic reference cache from happening when you used the ‘View’ command on a PDF file via the action menu, history dialog, context menu or in a notification link.

  • Enable ‘Open file command does not need referenced files’ to stop the automatic reference cache from happening when you open a PDF file from the vault view via right click ‘Open’ or double click.

To manually cache the referenced files when you have enabled these options, use the ‘Get Version’ or ‘Get Latest Version’ command.

These examples show how you configure the reference cache options for the PDF file type. You can use same options on any other file types that have referenced files in the file vault.

We recommend that you use the reference cache options primarily on non-CAD file types that do not need the referenced files in order to load or preview.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW Why does SOLIDWORKS® 2021 SP2 crash when saving as a STEP or EASM file?

This behavior might occur because of a fault in SOLIDWORKS® 2020 SP2. To resolve this issue, download and run the hotfix file attached to Solution ID: S-078987

icon - SW Why do I see the following warning? ‘This file was created in SOLIDWORKS 2007 or earlier. The model contains Surface Fill and related features, which could contain …’
Files created in SOLIDWORKS® 2007 and earlier versions allowed use of unsupported surface fill technology. The software allowed faces that were not G2 continuous at the boundary. Later software versions resolve this issue. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-078980

Icon - EPDM In the SOLIDWORKS® PDM software, how do I delete a workflow state that contains a SOLIDWORKS CAD BOM that is separate from the state of the parent assembly or drawing?
When a SOLIDWORKS® PDM workflow state has any files or named BOMs referencing that state, the state and the workflow of the state fail to delete. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-078870

For a single SOLIDWORKS® Plastics analysis, does an increase in the number of CPU core processors reduce the solve time?

As of the release of SOLIDWORKS® Plastics 2021, tests show that a CPU with 16 core processors is the upper limit for reducing solve time. Fore more information, see Solution ID: S-078825

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

Bishwaraj Roy
Bishwaraj Roy
Mechanical Engineer with overall 8 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 5+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products. Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator

The post SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – April 2021 appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Bishwaraj Roy at April 14, 2021 05:44 AM

April 13, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Additive Manufacturing 2.0 with Desktop Metal Binder Jetting Systems

Metal Binder Jetting 3D printing has already had profound impacts on prototyping and manufacturing tooling, but with the ability to mass produce highly complex end-use parts, Desktop Metal Additive Manufacturing 2.0 is poised to transform the manufacturing landscape.

Watch Desktop Metal Technical Marketing Manager, Ethan Rejto, present the ways next-generation additive technologies like binder jetting unlock benefits like generative design, tooling free manufacturing and mass customization.

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What is Additive Manufacturing 2.0?

As the first additive manufacturing systems to unlock benefits like mass production of end-use parts, mass customization, tooling-free manufacturing and more, the Shop System and Production System are poised to kick-start a revolution in manufacturing, what Desktop Metal calls Additive Manufacturing 2.0.

And at the heart of both systems is binder jetting, a technology that enables additive manufacturing to compete with traditional mass production methods by delivering a host of benefits – chief among them speed.

Because they’re built around inkjet print heads – the same type of print heads found in millions of at-home printers – binder jetting printers can produce parts as much as 100 times faster than laser powder bed fusion systems.

Binder Jetting Systems

While that speed allows binder jetting systems to deliver per-part costs that can compete with traditional processes like casting and forging, speed is just one of many advantages. Binder jetting also offers many of the traditional 3D printing benefits – everything from the ability to create complex geometry, including internal features and channels, to unlocking generative design to assembly consolidation and more. It’s the combination of those benefits with the speed of binder jetting that truly unlocks the potential of Additive Manufacturing 2.0. Besides being fast and capable of manufacturing complex shapes, binder jetting systems are also incredibly accurate.

With a native resolution of 1200 dpi, the Shop System is the highest resolution single-pass binder jetting system available, and is capable of producing as many as 670 million drops of binder each second. That precision makes it easy to create parts – like this clipper blade – that feature incredibly fine details that would normally require expensive tooling.

The Production System, meanwhile, combines 1200 dpi resolution and layer heights as small as 50 µm with a unique Single Pass Jetting system that uses every movement of the print head to build parts.

The result is a system that is not only accurate enough to print a watch bezel with precise detailing around its edge, but also fast enough to produce as many as 1,200 of them in a single build, at a cost of just $1.06.

Desktop Metal Watch Case

Desktop Metal Watch Case

Like other 3D printing approaches, binder jetting’s tooling-free nature makes it easy to customize designs.

Unlike other approaches, though, binder jetting also enables batch production, meaning manufacturers can produce multiple versions of a single part in a single print, ultimately helping to reduce part costs.

Reduced Post-processing

One of the other key areas where binder jetting systems excel has to do with what happens after parts are printed. For many laser-based systems, the first step following printing is often hours of post-processing to machine away support structures and free parts that must be welded to the printer’s build plate.

Binder jet parts, by comparison, are supported by loose powder in the build chamber, eliminating need for time-consuming post processing. The lack of support structure also allows parts to be densely nested, maximizing the number of parts produced per build and helping to ultimately lower per-part costs.

Further reducing part costs is the fact that some binder jetting systems – particularly the Production System – use low-cost MIM powders, meaning customers can rely on established suppliers to deliver the volume and variety of metal powder needed to support volume production.

Laser-based systems, by comparison, have a limited materials menu. Because they only work with low-oxygen metal powders, their material costs can reach as high as $60 per kilogram, resulting in finished part costs that run into the hundreds of dollars per kilogram – far too costly for mass production.

Binder jet systems can recover and reuse loose powder — the Desktop Metal Production System can be recycled as much as 99 percent of unused powder — resulting in less waste and more cost efficiencies.

Strong Parts

With Desktop Metal-engineered powders and processing parameters, the Shop System is designed to be a turnkey binder jetting solution, allowing users to easily go from design to finished part.

Among the most important characteristics of those parts is the fact that binder jet parts are isotropic, or equally strong in all directions.

That hasn’t always been true for 3D printed parts. Because they’re built up layer-by-layer, some parts – depending on printing method – may be stronger in one direction than another. To compensate for the difference, designers were forced to reorient parts for printing to ensure mechanical stresses fell along their strongest axis.

Binder jet parts, by comparison, emerge from the furnace fully dense, meaning they’re equally strong in all directions, giving designers and engineers greater freedom to both design and print parts in the way that best suits their needs.

Razor clipper

Strong razor clipper part

Reduced Manufacturing Costs

Binder jetting also changes the cost equation when compared to traditional manufacturing, which have largely been dominated by labor and material costs.

Binder jetting, by comparison, uses less expensive materials, but has higher equipment costs, placing more emphasis on equipment and labor costs associated with depowdering.

Because they’re faster and more productive, binder jet systems can help drive down those equipment costs by allowing manufacturers to more quickly amortize the cost of equipment over larger production volumes. On the labor side, costs will be driven down as automation continues to develop.

By investing in binder jet systems, manufacturers can ultimately expect to see a variety of savings – the initial savings from lower material cost and production efficiency and speed, and later savings from reduction in labor cost.

Binder jetting’s impact, however, seems likely to reach beyond the manufacturing floor.

A key technology driving the emergence of Additive Manufacturing 2.0, today is poised at the edge of a revolution, one that will reshape how we manufacture many of the things we use everyday.

The post Additive Manufacturing 2.0 with Desktop Metal Binder Jetting Systems appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Desktop Metal at April 13, 2021 05:51 PM


Watch How Honey and Wax are Extracted From Honeycombs

honey extractor

It’s always good to learn something new every day, so I figure now’s a good time to talk about the birds and the bees. Well, actually, just the bees and how people extract their goods, to be precise.

Blake of Daddykirbs Farm posts tons of videos on how he and his family have become self-sufficient in their daily farm lives. From farming to taking care of livestock, his YouTube channel covers almost everything you could think about when it comes to homesteading.

In this particular video, he shows us how he extracts honey and beeswax from the frames of his man-made beehive:

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="433" loading="lazy" src="" title="Honey Harvest - Spinning Out 4 Gallons of Honey!" width="770"></iframe>

After removing the bees from their hive, Blake removes the multiple frames which store the bees’ honey and wax. He explains that the bees create these walls of honeycomb which hold the honey in place, and there are multiple ways of getting the sweet, sweet honey inside.

Normally Blake would crush and strain a few frames but thanks to a friend of his, he managed to get his hands on a honey extractor. This is also doubly good for the bees since it keeps the honeycombs intact, allowing the bees to use them again.

Breaking Wax Walls

honey extractor

But before he can even place his frames into the honey extractor, Blake has to first remove the wax walls on the front of the frames which keep the honey from flowing out. He chips off the walls of wax into a container with the aid of a knife and a fork, which he can then use later to form his lump of beeswax.

Spin Out That Liquid Gold!

honey extractor

Once the walls have been removed, Blake carefully places the frames so the open sides face the inside walls of the honey extractor. He then cranks the handle on the side of the machine to get the frames spinning.

This application of centrifugal force ejects the honey from the frames and splashes it all over the inner walls of the extractor. The honey then falls down to the bottom, where a sieve separates the liquid gold from all the other sediments which make it impure. The pure honey flows further down the extractor, where a spout allows it to be poured out into containers.

Blake explains you don’t have to spin the extractor fast, as this doesn’t speed up the extraction process in any way. Rather, you should conserve your energy and spin the handle slowly but steadily – this is thick honey you’re working with, after all.

Saving Wax

honey extractor

It would be a shame to just throw the wax out. Beeswax is a sought-after ingredient in beauty products, lip balm, and other things, after all.

Blake takes the container holding the wax walls he broke down earlier and sets it into a strainer. With the help of gravity, the excess honey will seep down into another container below while all the wax remains above.

honey extractor

With most of the honey removed, Blake crushes all the wax and places it into a milk carton. He then pops the milk carton into the oven, where he sets it at a low temperature – just enough for all the wax to melt.

Once the wax has solidified, he cuts open the carton and slices off the bottom portion of the hardened wax. This brown part is where all the sediments accumulate and you don’t want that in your hardened chunk of beeswax.

honey extractor

All in all, Blake managed to get around 4 gallons of honey from all his frames and a good slab of beeswax, as well. Is it worth cultivating bees for a whole year? That depends on how much he can sell the honey and wax for. No matter what he gets for it though, you can’t deny how satisfying it must be to produce your own honey.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 13, 2021 09:19 AM

April 12, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Adjusting SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Replication Performance

By default within a replicated SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional environment, 10 files are replicated per transfer to the target server(s) during scheduled replication.  If you’re experiencing bottlenecks or low bandwidth; it’s a good idea to reduce this number, or, if you have available bandwidth; the number of files can be increased to speed up replication.

This value can be adjusted at any time and is a useful tool for troubleshooting communication problems within a replicated environment.

How to adjust the number of files that are received per transfer to the target server

NOTE: Steps within this article involve editing the Windows Registry.  This process can severely damage the operation of installed programs and should only be done by someone that is familiar with working in the Windows Registry.

On the target server;

  • Open the registry editor and browse to the following key;
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\ArchiveServer

Adjusting replication performance - Navigate to Key

Navigate to Key

  • Create a new DWORD value named ReplicationThreads
    • RMB > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value

Adjusting replication performance - New DWORD


  • Select the new key ReplicationThreads
    • RMB > Modify

Adjusting replication performance - Replication Threads Modify

Replication Threads Modify

  • Edit the key as follows;
    • Base = Decimal
    • Value Data = Define the number of files to be received by the target server

Adjusting replication performance - Set The Value

Set The Value

The number of files set must be between 1 and 64

  • Hit OK and close the registry editor.

To incorporate the changes, a restart to the archive server service is required;

Restart the archive server services

Restart the archive server services

The post Adjusting SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Replication Performance appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Justin Williams at April 12, 2021 03:38 PM


How to fix Empty SOLIDWORKS Drawing Views

Are you seeing empty views when opening a SOLIDWORKS Drawing?  Where did the Views and Annotations go? In this tech tip I’ll describe the blank view problem and provide a solution.

SOLIDWORKS Drawing Blank Views

Never fun to see our drawing views displaying like this

Why are my Drawing Views empty?

If the urge to swear out loud is overpowering at this point, then we understand your pain.  What likely happened is that the referenced model(s) have been moved from their previous folder to another one, but the drawing wasn’t informed of this change, and so it opens with blank views because the referenced model is not where the drawing expects it to be.

If the drawing was open while the model was saved to the new location, then there wouldn’t be this issue…the drawing’s references would be updated.  Same as if the model were moved in Windows using right-click > SOLIDWORKS > Move > update where used.

Resolving the empty view Issue

  1. Close the drawing (no need to save)
  2. Select File > Open select the drawing, but do not open yet > References double-click the model  > browse to the model’s new location
    Find new File Location

    Double-click the model to browse to it’s new location

  3. The new folder path appears in green in the dialog box, to confirm the change press OK

The drawing should now open with all views populated, and all annotations present!

Drawing Views now populated!

Drawing Views now populated!

Content contributed by John Lee, CSWE; Javelin Technologies

Author information

Javelin Technologies
Javelin Technologies is a provider of technology solutions since 1997. We are experts in 3D design and have helped thousands of companies with solutions for mechanical design, electrical design and 3D printing. Large or small, we have the skills, experience, and services to propel your organization to new heights so you can aim high.

The post How to fix Empty SOLIDWORKS Drawing Views appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Javelin Technologies at April 12, 2021 03:00 PM


How to Make Your Designs Fly and/or Disappear

Just about a year ago, we heard from two exciting makers and YouTubers, Brad Thompson (Impact Props) and Eric Haddad (3DAeroventures), on how they were using 3DEXPERIENCE Works to grow their design-centric channels. They explained how they did this by using tools like SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD and 3D Sculptor (containing Sub-D capabilities) to design faster and more satisfyingly.

Back when I was a SOLIDWORKS user working on industry projects, I always used to wonder: “Hey, what happened to those cool people I saw on mainstage at World that one year?”

This blog is meant to give you an answer to that question about these two mainstage speakers. And yes, it’s also to appease my former self!

Impact Props

SOLIDWORKS Champion Brad Thompson is no stranger to making. He made his channel back in 2008 and originally launched his channel as a means to document the maker adventures of he and his friends back in college.

Since his days in college, he’s held engineering roles in industry. But the channel, as is the case with a lot of content creators, has remained active as a side endeavor apart from his day job. As Brad’s grown in his own career, his channel has taken many twists and turns as it continues to evolve in alignment with his interests. In fact, recently, he decided to make the jump to become a full-time creator!

Suffice to say: he’s all about doing new things. We saw this at 3DEXPERIENCE World last year, when he debuted this custom helmet designed using 3D Sculptor. As a SOLIDWORKS user in industry, he hadn’t come across a natural need to do Sub-D modeling at work. But for prop/helmet making? Natural fit!

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="641" src="" title="Making The SRT1 BARRACUDA [Concept Helmet]" width="1140"></iframe>

Most recently, Brad’s taken an interest in a concept he calls ‘Make and Destroy.’ The concept is simple. He makes really beautiful helmets, props, etc. and then… goodbye. His beautiful creations are purposely destroyed.

And if it weren’t bad enough that he inevitably destroys the helmet (seriously – I still don’t completely get why he’s doing this), he looped another SOLIDWORKS Champion into it this time around. Brad does amazing finishing work and while he has done a lot of 3D CAD design himself, he brought in Kirby Downey (well known to those of you who read the Tech Blog!) to take part.

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="641" src="" title="I DESTROYED Two Months Of Work... ON PURPOSE!? | Make &amp; Destroy" width="1140"></iframe>

I definitely recommend giving this video a watch. It’s shot beautifully, and Brad and Kirby’s artistry is on full display. What a way to introduce the element of finality into a project.


Eric Haddad of 3DAeroventures took us on a trip during 3DEXPERIENCE World last year, where he introduced us to how he got into making model airplanes. Much like SOLIDWORKS Influencer Program member Mike Patey, Eric has found an outlet for his passion for flight.

He uses a series of design tools to get his planes designed just right. On certain projects, he uses SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD all the way through. On others, he uses both SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD and 3D Sculptor to get the right curvature on the wing tips (as an example).

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="641" src="" title="3D Printed Aerial Video and FPV R/C Aircraft - Introducing the SportCam" width="1140"></iframe>

Well, he’s back! To kick off this year, Eric’s released a couple new videos on his more recent projects. In his most recent video, what’s ‘old’ is new again, as he shows off some X100 Infinity Wing design upgrades which improve the plane’s structural integrity and overall aerodynamics, while adding a landing gear and rudder functionality. We also get to see a brand new lift off dolly that prevents the need to hand launch!

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="641" src="" title="The Infinity Wing 3D Printed Aircraft Gets an Upgrade!" width="1140"></iframe>

Hmm, perhaps Eric might want to test out the landing gear assembly under different loading conditions. Kind of like Mike did with 3DEXPERIENCE Works Simulation not too long ago?

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

Ehh, nevermind. Maybe if we decide to blow up (read: enlarge, not explode like Brad) the X100 and make it flyable by a human pilot! We’ll have to ask Eric if that’s in the cards.

Be sure to subscribe to both Brad’s and Eric’s channels to keep up with their latest design adventures. And if you would like to sign up for alerts on when you can use SOLIDWORKS and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform at a maker level just like these guys later this year, you can do so by clicking here!


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 How to Make Your Designs Fly and/or Disappear appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Sean O'Neill at April 12, 2021 12:00 PM


How Much Pure Aluminum Can You Recover From 517 Soda Cans?

smelting aluminum cans

It’s always a good and fun idea to recycle when you can, especially when the process involves firing up a smelter and melting a couple of hundred aluminum cans.

TheGrowingStack is a YouTube channel whose goal is to melt and cast the largest pile of metal imaginable. While some pieces are turned into fine metalworks, others are just hunks of scrap waiting to be turned into something beautiful.

So just how do you go about smelting 517 aluminum soda cans?

smelting aluminum cans

There’s actually just very little to it. The only problem is how time-consuming the process is. After painstakingly crushing and counting all the cans, you can fire up the smelter.

You notice how a bit of slag is melted before adding the aluminum cans. This is to line the smelting pot and prevent it from wearing down over too much use. Once the slag has liquidized and lined the inside of the pot, let the melting of the cans begin!

smelting aluminum cans

Since there isn’t enough space in this tiny smelter to melt 517 aluminum cans in one go, a number of cans are pressed and smelted before adding more. Whenever the smelting pot gets full, the excess impurities are removed. The pure aluminum then gets poured into cast-iron molds where they harden into ingots.

smelting aluminum cans

Pop the ingots out, dump some more aluminum cans into the smelter, pour the pure aluminum out, rinse, and repeat. Thanks to the impurities in the aluminum cans, the smelting pot gets constantly lined with slag which prevents it from wearing down after being heated so many times. After what feels like an eternity, the last of the cans are melted down and turned into the final aluminum ingots.

smelting aluminum cans

What’s amazing is how all the ingots are still very hot even after they’ve had time to cool in the open air. This is evidenced by how easily they melt through chunks of ice like they were nothing.

smelting aluminum cans

Once the ingots have cooled down, it’s time for the inevitable weigh-in. In smelting 517 aluminum soda cans, you get *drum roll*… 10.75 pounds (which is also 4,874 grams) of pure aluminum in 15 ingots! Well, not a bad haul for 517 cans; plus you can sell the ingots off for a hefty sum for all your hard work. But seeing as this is TheGrowingStack, a single ingot is polished and expertly shaped before storing the whole pile with the rest of the channel’s metalworks.

To see how the other metal pieces in TheGrowingStack’s growing stack are made, check out the other videos on their YouTube channel.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 12, 2021 09:52 AM

April 10, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Minimize SOLIDWORKS Drawing save time when working with Shaded With Edges display style

New in SOLIDWORKS 2020 is the ability to open drawings in Detailing Mode (File > Open > select the drawing > Mode > Detailing > Open) for high performance when loading and saving, without loading model data.

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="281" loading="lazy" src="" title="What's New in SOLIDWORKS 2020 - Detailing Mode" width="500"></iframe>

However, when loading in Resolved mode with views whose Display Style is set to Shaded with Edges, you may have noticed longer save times in the drawing.  This is because that edge data from those views takes extra time to save when saving the data required to prepare for the next time you open in Detailing Mode.

Reduce drawing save time

To minimize the drawing save time, consider doing one of these options:

  • change the Display Style to Shaded (without edges), or
  • in SOLIDWORKS 2020 and 2021, disable System Options > Drawings > Performance > Include Detailing Mode data when saving
Include Detailing mode Data when saving

Include Detailing mode Data when saving

The drawing save time should now be dramatically improved.

The post Minimize SOLIDWORKS Drawing save time when working with Shaded With Edges display style appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by John Lee, CSWE at April 10, 2021 03:05 AM

April 09, 2021


Rocking Carousel Horse Tutorial

This SOLIDWORKS tutorial uses a single DXF file I created in vector software to create a full 3D design of a carousel themed rocking horse. The DXF I created is a 2D side view of the rocking horse, it includes all the profiles needed within one file to extrude, revolve, cut extrude or mirror features. The DXF file used in this tutorial is available to download here. Within this file you will also find the decals for the final model. 


The DXF file was brought into SOLIDWORKS as a reference sketch. It was then used to create individual features by selecting the chains of the sketch and converting the entities. Most parts were extruded mid plane or revolved, and all parts were kept as separate bodies. When I am creating designs like this, I ensure to keep all the bodies separate this is so I can see how many parts the wooden toy is made up of. It also makes it easier to export them for assemblies and creating a bill of materials in a SOLIDWORKS drawing.

The model has been designed as a concept design and so it doesn’t have any screws, if It was designed for production, then parts would need to have recesses for the wood to slot together and be screwed into place. Once all the bodies are in place, appearances were added to the model before I brought in decals. The main carousel horse decal was created to be projected onto multiple faces of the design including the other side of the horse. I often use projected decals as it is useful for designs with multiple faces, and parts that are the same on both sides. The projection mapping was also useful when it came to applying the pole decal. The stripes of the decal when projected from the front, wrap around the pole, and join up seamlessly creating almost a twisted pole effect.

As I mentioned in the description of the tutorial, I used a PNG decal for the pole. The reason I used a PNG over a jpeg was because the decal design was white stripes. Had I exported out the decal as a jpeg, the background would also be white, and you wouldn’t see the design. Also, had the background of the design been colored in with a contrasting color it would have covered up the gold appearance of the pole underneath. When you export the white striped decal as a PNG however, the background is transparent. So, when you are in SOLIDWORKS, you can tick use decal image alpha channel under image mask options, and this makes the background transparent. Allowing you to see both the decal stripes and the appearance of the pole, which in this case is gold. You can see the effect more clearly in the rendering. The renderings were produced in SOLIDWORKS VISUALIZE.

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe> 

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 Rocking Carousel Horse Tutorial appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Jade Crompton at April 09, 2021 03:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Are Windows Explorer toolbar buttons missing in your SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault View?

In the Windows Explorer SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault View, toolbar buttons can be used for quick access to various commands.

If toolbar buttons are missing inside your vault view, check to see if the SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault has been placed in “Offline Mode”. Only the “View File” button is available during “Offline Mode”.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Toolbar in Offline Mode

SOLIDWORKS PDM Toolbar in Offline Mode

Select Tools > Work Online to enable the buttons again.

Vault View Toolbar Buttons Redisplayed

Vault View Toolbar Buttons Redisplayed

The post Are Windows Explorer toolbar buttons missing in your SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault View? appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Nadeem Akhtar at April 09, 2021 01:04 PM


When 2D is Enough

Here I am writing about 2D on a 3D Blog. What’s up with that?  You and I both know there are still plenty of 2D CAD users out there, which can be mind-boggling to anyone who has fully embraced the world of 3D CAD.  Why would anyone settle for a 2D representation when they can have an identical virtual twin of their intended object?

With so much amazing technology available for designing in 3D (SOLIDWORKS), testing and validating your designs with simulation tools, and then 3D printing or manufacturing these same designs. So why would anyone resort to using 2D CAD?

And, yet they do.

There are many reasons that 2D CAD is still so prolific.  Many projects, including publicly procured projects, still require 2D deliverables.  Some industries are somewhat better suited for 2D over 3D, such as Electrical or Facility Management.  And last, but certainly not least, many companies are living happily ever after in their 2D world and have no desire to change.  The reasons are vast and varied – and the file format of choice is DWG.

It’s impossible to live in the CAD world without knowing about AutoCAD.  While getting close to celebrating its 40th birthday, it is still a fan favorite of many.  AutoCAD has just about all the bells and whistles a 2D CAD program could ask for (one could argue too many).  One area where a good portion of its adamant fans do not agree with, however, is the price.

Many argue that the price continues to go up while the number of new features appears to go down.  Gone are the days where you can outright buy your own copy of AutoCAD either, now everyone has been forced to a subscription model.  And, the icing on the cake: for those companies who have enjoyed the benefits of network licenses, this too is coming to an end.

No surprise that droves of previously content 2D CAD users are seeking an alternative to their beloved AutoCAD.  But who wants to learn an entirely new tool after all the precious time and effort that went into mastering AutoCAD?  Who wants to toss their coveted customizations and programming only to start all over again with another product?  Who wants to deal with possible file and library symbol incompatibility?  Nobody!

Enter DraftSight to the rescue.  DraftSight speaks AutoCAD, feels like AutoCAD (without “being” AutoCAD) so the learning curve is minimal.  DraftSight respects all the time and effort you put into your customization and programming routines making them easy to port over. And, your AutoCAD DWGs are going to get along splendidly with the DraftSight DWGs (so nobody needs to know!).  In fact, DraftSight saves back to more file formats than AutoCAD does as seen below.

All the file formats supported by DraftSight.

DraftSight actually recognizes the majority of the AutoCAD commands.   You simply type them in at the Command line (Hallelujah…there is a Command line), and they will automatically execute the corresponding DraftSight command.  DraftSight has a robust API and supports LISP so you don’t need to worry your pretty little head about all that time you spent getting your parentheses lined up.  And, guess what?  The DraftSight team is constantly adding new features with each release without changing the price or the pricing structure on you.

Do you want to buy a perpetual license of DraftSight (own your own)?  No problem.  Would you prefer Network Licensing?  Also no problem!  Would you like all of this for a FRACTION of the price of AutoCAD?  Absolutely no problem!  All of this can be yours with DraftSight!  And by the way, DraftSight fully supports 3D for those of you want it (so you are only confined to 2D by choice!)

P.S.  Did I mention that DraftSight has some cool tools that AutoCAD doesn’t have?  Think of it like the old fabulous Express Tools days.

Don’t take my word for it, however; you really need to experience it for yourself.  Nobody wants you to purchase a copy of DraftSight and then end up unhappy with your decision (I certainly don’t!).

You can download a copy of DraftSight and try it for free for 30 days – and that is exactly what you should do.  See how you feel using it, see if your customization ports across, see if the commands you use every day are working for you in a way that fits your comfort zone.  Do this when you have a month to really check it out.  And you don’t need a credit card so there is no fear of forgetting to terminate it like all those other “free” offers we are always getting!

Millions of people have already made the move to DraftSight from all kinds of industries, which should bring you some comfort.  It isn’t some fly-by-night product that could disappear tomorrow. It is a serious 2D CAD solution that is taking the market by storm.  Period.

So as I conclude this blog post on 2D CAD – I leave you with this.  While we do indeed live in a 3D World – there are many who are still thriving in 2D.  I say, thrive in whatever world you desire – but don’t spend extra money doing it!

Ready to learn more? Join Lynn Allen LIVE!

Technology Evangelist and AutoCAD expert Lynn Allen will host live webinars on Wednesday, April 14, 7 pm EDT, and Thursday, April 15, 11 am EDT as she explores DraftSight from the perspective of an AutoCAD user.

Join Us Live – Register!

From installation and exploring the familiar user interface to using key commands and features, Lynn will demonstrate how easy the transition to DraftSight can be. Join the webinar and see how you can maintain the same level of productivity for a fraction of the price with DraftSight!

Author information

Lynn Allen
Lynn Allen
In her 20+ year career as a Technology Evangelist, first for Autodesk and now at Dassault Systèmes, Lynn Allen has spoken to more than a half million professionals at events in over 50 countries. Her online presentations and videos have easily reached over five million individuals. Her passion and strength is connecting with users, helping them embrace change and shining a light on new technology. For over 20 years she wrote a column for Cadalyst magazine, and was the voice behind their popular videos –“Tips with Lynn Allen”. The author of three technology books - Lynn has over 21,000 followers on Twitter (Lynn_Allen) with over a quarter million impressions every month.

The post When 2D is Enough appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Lynn Allen at April 09, 2021 12:00 PM


Handful of Things That Can Survive Hydraulic Press

objects that survive a hydraulic press

I am sure you have asked yourself before if there is anything that can survive the force of a 100-ton hydraulic press. Well, this YouTube channel dedicated to crushing stuff using the said machine will satisfy that weird curiosity.

We’ve seen the Crazy Hidraulic Press channel crushing some interesting stuff, but ‘sometimes’ something survives under the foot of this powerful machine:

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The title of the video is a bit misleading, since not everything shown actually makes it out from under the hydraulic press alive.

Objects like anvils are expected to give a lot of resistance, thanks to their high density and large size. But what’s curious is that even some smaller objects can leave a literal lasting impression on the hydraulic press.

objects that survive a hydraulic press

Take a well-made ball bearing or a chunk of tungsten. Place these under the hydraulic press and watch as they get pressed into the pressure plates. There’s no way anything can get out of a 100-ton press unscathed, but this is a different story. Yes, it has received some damage but it has also left some marks on the machine’s surface!

objects that survive a hydraulic press

Bulletproof ceramic plates and railroad tracks crumble under just 90 tons of pressure, so it’s interesting to see Rupert’s drop take just as much punishment as these dense materials.

For those who don’t know, a Rupert’s drop is made by pouring molten glass into cold water. The glass solidifies, producing a droplet with a very dense bulbous head and a very fragile tail end.

objects that survive a hydraulic press

It wouldn’t be very interesting to pop the brittle tail end under the hydraulic press, but with the dense head underneath it, it becomes a party. It’s only after applying a generous amount of pressure that the Rupert’s drop shatters into a million tiny pieces.

objects that survive a hydraulic press

If you count them properly, only 5 items really survived the 100-ton hydraulic press. You have two different ball bearings (the smaller one being partially crushed), two anvils (the cheaper, China-made one was easily but not quite completely pressed), and a tiny piece of pure Tungsten. Considering they’ve been putting everything under the sun through their hydraulic press, I’m impressed that the number of objects which survived even made it past three.

If you’re looking to fulfill your crushing needs with a bit of ASMR, check out the Crazy Hidraulic Press Channel.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 09, 2021 10:24 AM

This Full Tang Knife is Made From Single Slab of High Carbon Steel

full tang knife

Normally when you make a knife, you have two main parts: the blade and the handle. The former is normally made out of some kind of metal while the latter is made from a separate material that provides a good grip like wood or rubber.

While full tang knives exist (meaning the metal covers the whole portion of the handle), only a few knives use metal as a handle material. The answer behind this lies in the characteristic of metal being smooth. Unlike wood, metals don’t provide good grip unless they are properly shaped and textured.

However, for the sake of our curiosity, let’s defy the stated fact above and see how reliable a knife made from a single slab could be.

Taking a knife model from designer Aslan Zhanabayev, YouTube creator Slavik Tely turns a 3/8 inch slab of high carbon steel into a full tang knife with no extra handle. That means no other metal, wood, or any other material other than the steel slab has been used to make this kitchen knife.

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As you would expect, a lot of cutting, sanding, and drilling is needed to turn this chunk of steel into a fine blade. Slavik starts by sketching the initial knife shape into the steel and cutting it using a band saw.

Right now, the blade measures 3/8ths of an inch thick (or 9.5 millimeters) and weighs 12.75 oz (.79 lbs). Both the weight and the thickness of the blade will be decreased as the metal is cut and shaped.

full tang knife

To help with the different cuts, some blue layout fluid is painted on the width of the steel. This allows for easy markings of the various measurements needed to trim this hunk of metal into a thin knife. Once all the lines have been drawn, the knife goes back to the band saw where the excess metal is cut and removed.

full tang knife

After sanding the now thinner knife on a belt sander, it’s time to shape the blade’s different parts. More layout fluid is applied to the side before taking the knife back to the belt sander to fashion out the cutting edge.

full tang knife

The knife’s heel can be fashioned with the spine and the cutting edge now well-defined. Instead of taking it back to the belt sander, Slavik uses a file to carefully shape out the lower rear part of the blade. You can see he also has a bit of scrap steel which he places along the spine of the knife to prevent it from accidentally getting filed down. Sand the whole thing afterward and the knife heel is good to go!

full tang knife

Carving out the knife handle requires a combination of all the techniques he has used up to this point. Upon marking the metal with layout fluid, the handle goes through heavy belt sanding and filing with multiple different files before being sanded down. Slavik also adds a small groove to the bottom of the heel for some extra pizazz before popping the knife into the forge to superheat it.

He leaves the knife to cool for a while before sharpening it a bit and popping it into his oven two times at 400°F for two hours. Afterward, it’s back to the belt sander for some final sanding before he engraves the knife with his signature logo.full tang knifeIt would be a shame to go through so much effort and have a dull knife to show for it, so Slavik gives the knife a good sharpening and tests it on a piece of paper. Satisfied, he shows it off to us before hiding it away in his kitchen drawer. After all that sanding, filing, and cutting, the finished knife now weighs 8 oz (.5 lbs).

The Slavik Tely YouTube channel is dedicated to making all sorts of sharp and deadly items – some can be used in the kitchen, others in real combat situations.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 09, 2021 09:45 AM

April 08, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Stratasys J55 prints outstanding colour gradients, clearly showing stress points on your FEA models

The Stratasys J55 printer brings expanded capabilities to the Polyjet desktop series of office friendly printers.

Learn more by reading TechTalk: Javelin’s Professional Services team impressed with Stratasys J55 3D printer for product development.

Gradient Colours on your 3D Prints

One of the most notable benefits of using the J55 is the ease of applying gradient colours to your prints. Colour application no longer needs to be complicated through external rendering software like Photoshop; you can integrate directly between SOLIDWORKS and GrabCAD Print in just a few easy steps.

Finite element analysis (FEA) is a common method of stress analysis that is easily done through SOLIDWORKS simulations. SOLIDWORKS gives a variety of results, most notably the max stress and the areas in which the max stress localizes. We use these indicators to refine our geometry and materials until we find a satisfactory solution.

As we all know, clear communication between technical and non-technical staff is essential to maintaining a cohesive work environment among multidisciplinary teams, especially when bringing a product to market through engineering, production, marketing, and sales. The Stratasys J55 integrates seamlessly with SOLIDWORKS to help bring FEA models to physical reality in a more meaningful way. Let’s take a closer look at how easily this is done.

FEA Simulation bracket

FEA Simulation bracket

FEA Simulation

First let’s set up a quick and easy FEA simulation in SOLIDWORKS. Here we have a bracket that is slightly asymmetrical and is loaded evenly on both sides, which should make for an interesting FEA result. In this case, we made simple constraints and loading types and chose a material that will allow reasonable stress.

simulation results on bracket

FEA simulation example

The simulation results are shown here. On the right, we see the scale of stresses we’re working with. On the left, we have a coloured map of the stress across the surface of our part.

Let’s now take this analysis one step further to see how easily the J55 printer integrates with SOLIDWORKS when exporting and printing this model, which will be used as a communication and learning tool.

Exporting model for 3D printing how to export a model for 3D printing

The easiest way to export a model like this is to right click on the result and choose “Save As.” This allows us to select the VRML file (*.wrl) option for saving.

Print with GrabCAD

Next, we can directly drop this file into GrabCAD print and select the J55 as our printer. The colour-mapped file drops right into the system with its coloured mesh map applied automatically.

Our next step is choosing an appropriate print orientation and parameters for printing.

preparing file for 3D printing

Model in GrabCAD Print

For this model, we will apply a matte finish, scale down to a handheld size, and begin printing.

Three hours later, we have our printed model. After a quick three-minute power wash, we have a usable model in hand.

This type of visual representation using colour gradients was not easy to do in the past; through integration with .wrl files through GrabCAD print and the J55’s full colour capabilities, it’s now possible with just a few clicks.

3D printed FEA model showing colour gradient 3D printed FEA model on SSYS J55

Download the Realism 3D Printing Guide to learn more about colour 3D printing with the Stratasys J55 3D printer 

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by Stefan Bullock at April 08, 2021 03:50 PM

April 07, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Numeric Keypad Numbers Different than Alphanumeric Keys in SOLIDWORKS!?!

That’s right! If you have a keyboard that has number keys on the side, it is important to note that they are a bit different than the numbers at the top of your keyboard. To be exact, they are different when it comes to the SOLIDWORKS keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard Keys- Courtesy of Microsoft Support Page: Using your keyboard

A SOLIDWORKS keyboard shortcut assigned with something like “Alt + 1” will not work if you use the number 1 key on the Numeric Keypad.

Why are they different?

The number keys are different because they are captured as a different keystroke within the shortcuts (see below).

Shortcut Syntax: Top of Keyboard Numbers vs Numeric Keypad Numbers

Shortcut Syntax: Top of Keyboard Numbers vs Numeric Keypad Numbers

We can see that the number 1 key from the Numeric Keypad is captured as “Num 1” while the top of the keyboard number one is captured as “1”. So now we might be asking ourselves a very important question…

Is this Good or Bad?

It’s definitely a good thing! Since the numbers are captured as different keys with the shortcuts, it means we can have that many more shortcuts we can assign!

More Keys = More Shortcuts!

What if we want a shortcut to work with the number key regardless of where pressed?

Although we can set a vast amount of shortcuts, I like to keep my number shortcuts the same regardless of where I click the number key. To achieve this we are simply going to add both variations of the shortcut for a command. One using number key at the top of your keyboard and one using the numeric keypad.

Assign both shortcuts to the same command

Assign both shortcuts to the same command

The post Numeric Keypad Numbers Different than Alphanumeric Keys in SOLIDWORKS!?! appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Prasadh Annalingam, CSWE at April 07, 2021 12:00 PM


Why Bother with Lean Manufacturing?

When a machine breaks down in a typical manufacturing company, temporary fixes are expected. The operation must keep moving production forward, so quick fixes are a business reality.

However, the bigger problem is when band-aid fixes become the norm, where band-aids are on top of other band-aids. When this becomes your company’s modus operandi, it might be time to consider a better way.

One key component of the Lean manufacturing methodology is breaking a problem down to completely understand it, gathering all the facts, and looking for patterns to identify a point of occurrence. Sometimes called the “five whys,” the methodology boils down to asking “why” enough times to reach a problem’s root cause. Solve a problem at the root and, bingo, a host of ancillary problems are solved simultaneously.

Lean manufacturing can be a win-win for everyone involved.

Customers win by consistently getting access to the highest quality products on the market. Manufacturers win by optimizing their operations, running more efficiently, producing less waste, and earning more profits. Employees win by learning and applying a problem-solving method that enables their company to compete at the highest levels, creating job security and employment longevity.

3 Core Goals of Lean Manufacturing

At the center of Lean manufacturing are process and production-monitoring techniques designed to identify, solve, and remove issues down to the machine level. Reducing waste via Lean manufacturing techniques opens up more time to develop, launch, and produce new products.

Lean manufacturing is also a proven shock absorber for any manufacturing business, enabling continued operation during fluctuations in market conditions. The three core strategic goals that often drive manufacturing success and provide a solid competitive edge include:

  • Investing in real-time process and production monitoring to produce the necessary data to solve problems
  • Reordering the flow of information to reduce lag time and lost productivity
  • Creating visibility based on real-time intelligence and knowledge

Resources, Time, Margins

Combining these three strengths helps lessen the effects of manufacturing disruptions and sets a solid foundation for removing the several types of waste defined below:

1)     Defective Products – Scrap, rework, customer returns, customer dissatisfaction

2)     Overproduction – Producing more or sooner than internal or external customer needs

3)     Waiting – People and machinery waiting for tooling, maintenance, or raw materials

4)     Non-utilized Talent – Not providing skilled workers with enough challenging work to keep them engaged and growing in their jobs

5)     Transportation – Moving materials or people over long distances

6)     Work-In-Process (WIP) Inventory – Process inventory causes extra handling, extra space, and extra cost

7)     Excess Motions – Any motion of people or machines that do not add value to the product or service

8)     Unneeded Processing – Unnecessary (non-value added) or inefficient processing

Being More Competitive

A Lean manufacturing strategy serves as a blueprint for process and quality improvements. It guides the defining, deploying, managing, and optimizing of Lean manufacturing goals, putting the customers and their needs at the heart of all improvement efforts.

Making customers and their needs the catalyst that drives the intensity to improve is the defining trait of all successful Lean manufacturing strategies. Manufacturers that dominate their industries ingrain quality into every step of the production process.

To remain competitive on price, quality, and customer service, manufacturers must continue to standardize Lean manufacturing initiatives. Lean manufacturing has become common practice across most manufacturing sectors because it removes inefficiencies from daily operations to deliver reliable results.

To learn more about Lean manufacturing and how technology, such as DELMIA / Works, can help you control costs and increase quality, contact your local reseller. You can also learn more on all SOLIDWORKS solutions for manufacturing and production by visiting this page.


Author information

Michael Buchli
Michael Buchli has 20 years of design and manufacturing experience throughout the Midwest ranging from Aerospace to recycling systems. A number of those years were spent learning and understanding workflows and processes to improve efficiency and productivity. From running CNC equipment to welding and painting Michael has been hands-on in all aspects of bringing products to market. Michael is also certified in many areas of mfg and a CSWP. He has also written the CAMWorks Handbook.

The post Why Bother with Lean Manufacturing? appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Michael Buchli at April 07, 2021 12:00 PM


The World’s Biggest Matchstick Creations at The Matchstick Marvels Museum

matchstick marvels

Creating matchstick art is a skill in and of itself. It takes a certain mix of patience and madness to glue thousands, if not millions, of matchsticks together to create something truly awe-inspiring which would make people wonder “Who has time to make all these?”

Matchstick Marvels is a Gladbrook, Iowa-based museum owned and operated by Patrick Acton. The place houses a number of his giant matchstick creations.

Pat has been making matchstick art for over 40 years now and what started as a hobby has now become his retirement plan, especially that his tenure as a professional career counselor is over.

matchstick marvels

Starting way back in 1977 as a college grad, Acton’s first creation was a 500-matchstick church built using Ohio Blue Tip matches, some glue, a knife, and some sandpaper. After 10 years of painstakingly cutting sulfur tips off of matches, Pat found out he could contact the matchstick company directly and purchase the matches without the flammable tips. So that’s what he just did.

matchstick marvels

Over the years, Pat has cultivated and improved his matchstick model-making process. Using pliers, he has realized that he can curve and crimp matchsticks to create models with more rounded sides. Once the curved matchsticks are glued and dried, he will lightly sand them to make them blend seamlessly with the rest of the model. (He actually learned this technique when his daughter asked him to build her a matchstick model of Pinocchio!)

Another trick he also uses is matchstick sheet-building. By gluing multiple matchsticks on a plexiglass table and peeling them off, Pat can create multiple matchstick sheets which he uses as a base for creating many of his giant matchstick models.

Even with all these tricks up his sleeve, not much has changed about Pat’s creation process. It’s still very much about taking one matchstick, gluing it, and moving on to the next.

matchstick marvels

Pat has made models of the International Space Station, the United States Capitol, and multiple battleships with rotating turrets. Nonetheless, his biggest creation by far is a steampunk train he calls “Plane Loco”. Made using 1,029,000 matchsticks and 35 gallons of wood glue, this giant train measures 20 feet long, 9 feet high, and 13 feet wide if you include the wings.

It took Pat 3,000 hours to design and make this fictional locomotive from scratch, using a 2-6-0 steam locomotive and Leonardo da Vinci’s Renaissance wing design as inspirations. The train was actually commissioned by Ripley’s Believe It or Not and now stands in their New York City museum.

As of today, Pat has completed 74 matchstick creations, all of which are catalogued on the Matchstick Marvels webpage. His most recent project, a replica of the Apollo 11, was completed last 2020 using 504,000 matchsticks.

matchstick marvels

Pat is currently in the process of completing his 75th project: a full-size matchstick model of NASA’s new Perseverance rover. This 10-foot long, 9-foot wide, 7-foot high model has been in the works since April of 2020 and will hopefully be displayed in the museum sometime this summer.

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Coolest Thing actually did a pretty cool interview with Pat Acton last year where he shows them around the museum and talks about his process for making giant matchstick art.

You can find more about Patrick Acton’s monstrous matchstick models at the Matchstick Marvels webpage. If you happen to be near the vicinity of Gladbrook, Iowa, you can also give the actual museum a visit. They’re open 7 days a week from 1-5 pm.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 07, 2021 09:05 AM

Ben’s Worx Tries Casting Ice in Resin

casting ice cube

We’ve seen some weird things cast in epoxy resin before, from a Godzilla bust to a McDonald’s cheeseburger, but never have we seen something as delicate as an ice cube encased in the permanent mixture.

There is a good reason behind this. Since epoxy casts have to be pressurized to remove the air bubbles inside the mixture, a fragile ice cube could melt or break inside the pressure pot. If you simply skip this process, your resin will look misted with all the bubbles inside – resulting in a cast that simply isn’t nice to look at.

Even with this complication, Ben from Ben’s Worx sets about casting a normal, everyday ice cube in resin. His solution? Pressurize the resin before adding the ice cube.

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Ben had two solutions before deciding on one – the first being to pressurize the resin before adding the ice and the second is to add a base layer of resin, add the ice cube, and then add a second layer or top of it.

casting ice cube

To start everything, Ben mixes his epoxy resin and adds a couple of drops of blue dye and pops it into his pressure pot. You’ll know the pressurization has done its job when you can’t see any air bubbles inside the resin.

Once the resin has been cleared of air, Ben has to patiently wait for it to cure.

casting ice cube

This is where things get tricky. Ben has to pop the ice cube into the resin at exactly the right moment. Too early and the resin may not be thick enough to hold the ice in the middle; too late and the ice won’t sink in at all.

A few seconds after he sees steam rise from the epoxy resin, Ben grabs his ice cube and drops it into the mixture. You can see the disruption of the resin causes a lot of air bubbles to form as the ice gets pushed deeper into the resin. Nevertheless, Ben trudges along and uses a wooden stick to push the ice into place.

casting ice cube

To make the finished product look nicer and easier to see through, Ben shapes his resin cast using his lathe before sanding and polishing it.

casting ice cube

Just as it was prior to sanding and polishing, you can see an abundance of air bubbles where Ben pushed the ice cube into the resin. This is why you want to leave the pressure pot for last when casting something in resin – so that the end result looks as clear as glass.

Still, he did manage to do what he set out to. The inside of the ice cube has already melted, creating this snow globe-like effect when you shake the epoxy.

I would very much like to see what would happen if Ben tried pouring the second layer of pressurized resin on top of the ice cube, thereby removing the need to push it down and creating more air bubbles in the process.

Ben’s YouTube channel, Ben’s Worx, is full of his pet projects. From woodworking to resin casting, Ben tries his hand at almost anything with always entertaining results.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 07, 2021 08:44 AM

April 06, 2021


Understanding 2D Cabinet Layouts in SOLIDWORKS Electrical – Part 1

As an engineer, you are on a never-ending quest to efficiently produce meaningful designs to generate amazing and profitable results. On your quest, you must be resourceful and you sometimes must use new methods to get where you’re going! There are also rules along the way to help you get where you’re going with much less hassle and strain…never starting land wars in Asia comes to mind.

An important tool for your quest as a SOLIDWORKS Electrical user is the 2D Cabinet layout feature. It’s no surprise the 2D cabinet layout tool in SOLIDWORKS Electrical is quite proficient at laying out your cabinet enclosures and is filled with ducts, rails, and all of your design components. But, recent versions of SOLIDWORKS Electrical have made the feature easier to use and also much more versatile. So much so, the “2D Cabinet” name of the feature can be a bit…misleading. Consider that we’ve helped customers use the feature for it’s namesake, but also top level assembly layouts where key components are labeled (sensors with their IO addresses, Motors, switches, etc.), or harness layouts can be efficiently represented using this drawing type as well!



First, the layout of your design parts can drive the wire cabling order based on their relative position. I don’t know about you, but the less time I spend manually ordering wires is a win! You can also get creative, using the space as a scalable area for laying out harnesses, placing tables, connection label information, or describing special relationships between design locations. But, before you dive into the possibilities, you need to know the background and settings that influence your results.



2D cabinet parts have their own Library section. You can use existing symbol geometry (copy, paste, and change symbol type) if you had a connection label or a line diagram symbol for which you can use the geometry.



As soon as you change the symbol type, that 2D cabinet symbol will ONLY be available in the 2D cabinet library manager.



Inserting parts into 2D cabinet layout can be as simple as right-clicking on your part in the 2D cabinet layout feature and inserting.



You can insert non-electrical parts directly to your location, such as enclosures, rails, ducts, and wire management accessories. Anything added with a part assigned in this way will show up on your final BOM reports as well!

On your quest, you may encounter “POUS,” or “parts of unusual size.” Conquering these buggers can seem intimidating at first as your parts can look scaled or warped. Both instances are by design, so fear not, the fix is not far away!



First, the layout will obey the scaling you’ve set for the 2D cabinet layout tool. You can change this setting on the fly, and the elements on the page will scale accordingly.



The second thing to check is if the 2D part dimensions are accurately defined as these dimensions will override the drawn symbol and scale it inappropriately. When you have made the changes to the dimensions, update the 2D symbol drawing. (As a side note, if these dimensions are correct, but no specific symbol has been applied to a particular part, inserting the 2D footprint can be represented by a simple box with the dimensions following the part size settings.)

Once your parts are properly proportioned and you’ve finished assembling your space, including your 2D electrical component footprints, you may also use the “Optimize Wire Cabling Order” command to reset your wire numbering order based on the proximity and location of the parts in your 2D layout drawing.

Not only will it re-order the wiring in your design, but it pays dividends in 3D as the routing algorithms will need fewer iterations to process the results. The larger the design, the more this benefit will have a positive impact.

Next time, with the background of the feature in hand, we will take a look at the specifics of filling up our library with the specific parts used on a day-to-day basis in your designs.

Contact Us

Did you like this list? There’s more where this comes from. Find other blogs covering SOLIDWORKS Electrical by Evan or more on our YouTube Tech Tip videos.

Have a question? We’re always available to talk over the phone, for you to leave a message, or for you to submit a request – just contact us.

About the Author

GSC’s Evan Stanek has over 10 years of experience as an Electrical Applications Engineer. Prior to GSC, he worked as an engineer in the broadcasting field designing panel layouts and schematics / installations for transmitter control systems, as well as network and control layouts for radio studios. Evan is a certified SOLIDWORKS Electrical Trainer and Electrical Applications Engineer (CSWE).




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 Understanding 2D Cabinet Layouts in SOLIDWORKS Electrical – Part 1 appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by GSC at April 06, 2021 03:00 PM

April 05, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Simulating screens and surfaces with Stratasys VeroUltra materials

In this use case, Stratasys VeroUltra materials are used to 3D print electronics with multiple opacities and surfaces.


Traditional, single-material prototyping is an expensive multi-step process with long lead times. And when you’re dealing with a prototype with multiple parts and surfaces, there is a higher risk of miscommunication over the appearance of the individual elements. Additionally, simulating an LED screen requires graphics to be adjusted for the chosen technology when applying it to the physical body.

Solution for prototyping electronics

Using Stratasys PolyJet™ 3D printing technology and VeroUltra family of opaque colour materials, this full CMF car key prototype can be created as a single assembly in a single print. The VeroUltra colors allowed for multiple opacities as well as create a color match and sharp screen simulation that are true to the original design intent. Detailed graphics embedded into the 3D print file also produced buttons that mimic the sharpness and brightness of in-mold-labeling.

3D printed electronic using VeroUltra Consumer electronics example on the J55


The ability to prototype a handheld electronic with a realistic final fit, form and appearance in a single print dramatically reduced production time from several weeks to a matter of days — streamlining the design validation process and accelerating time to market.

About VeroUltra

VeroUltra materials are available for the J55, Stratasys J7 and J8 series printers. The materials provide a smoother texture enabling high quality plastic appearance, ultra sharp graphics and high contrast print levels previously impossible to achieve. It is a game changer in the world of design – offering exceptionally high-quality, accurate colours for a wide range of applications including 3D printed electronics.

The post Simulating screens and surfaces with Stratasys VeroUltra materials appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Stratasys Ltd. at April 05, 2021 06:26 PM

How to filter the Windows Event Viewer Logs to help resolve problems

I won’t lie, this article is a bit self-serving as I hope it will be used to shrink the amount of information I have to review when I’m helping customers, but learning how to filter information in Windows Event Viewer logs will be helpful if you are trying to resolve a variety of system problems.

What is the Windows Event Viewer?

As defined by Wikipedia, Event Viewer is a component of Microsoft‘s Windows NT operating system that lets administrators and users view the event logs on a local or remote machine. Applications and operating-system components can use this centralized log service to report events that have taken place, such as a failure to start a component or to complete an action.”

When it comes to troubleshooting SOLIDWORKS PDM issues, the Event Viewer can be an invaluable tool. In fact, the SOLIDWORKS PDM Server log is largely derived from the Event Viewer.

Accessing the SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server Log

Accessing the SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server Log

The problem is that there can be, and usually there is, a lot of entries to review. This where filtering of the logs comes into play. But before we go there let’s first take a look at the Windows Event Viewer.

Accessing the Windows Event Viewer

The Event Viewer can be accessed in the Administrative Tools.

Accessing Event Viewer from Administrative Tools

Accessing Event Viewer from Administrative Tools

But I usually access it by entering ‘Event‘ in Windows Start.

There is a lot of information in the Windows Event Viewer, but from a PDM perspective, there are only three we are interested in. These are the Application, System and ConsioArchiveSeverLog.

Windows Event Viewer Focus

Windows Event Viewer Focus

Large Log Files

Even with only three logs to concern ourselves with, there is still a lot of information to process. As can be seen from the image below, entries can be added every few seconds, resulting in a very large log.

Sample Server Log

Generally, we are only interested in certain entries and this is where Filters come in.

Accessing Log Filters

Filtering the Event Viewer Log

As seen in the below image, the Event Viewer Log Filter has many options for filtering logs.

Windows Event Log Filters

Windows Event Log Filters

When I’m troubleshooting, I’m initially interested in Critical, Error and Warning Even Levels. Once I have a few target events in my scope, I will often filter by a time period to look at want other events are happening around that time. Even though those events are normally Information entries, the underlying process may be involved in generating the Critical, Error or Warning entry.

Once filtered, the log can be focused and easier to diagnose.

Filtered Log

Filtered Log

Double-clicking one of the log column headers, sorts the log by that column, for example by severity level.

Sorting Log by Double-Clicking Column Headers

The log can also be sorted from the View menu:

Sorting Log from View Pull-Down

Log entries can also be Grouped from the View menu:

Grouping Log Entries

Sharing the log

If you need to share the log, such as with your SOLIDWORKS reseller, you can save the filtered log.

Saving Filtered Log

If you regularly use certain filters, you can create Custom View that contains those filters. Custom Views can be created from the Action pull-down or the Actions panel.

Creating a Custom View

Now the next time your SOLIDWORKS PDM Support Technician asks for your Event logs, you can wow them with your Event Log Skills.

The post How to filter the Windows Event Viewer Logs to help resolve problems appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Joe Medeiros, CSWE at April 05, 2021 01:58 PM


3DEXPERIENCE Works is the Sound of SOLIDWORKS Getting Better

Many of us understand why people are so passionate about Apple products or why people line up at Starbucks. Neither company invented mobile communication or coffee shops, but both serve their customers in a way that consistently provides exceptional quality.

At SOLIDWORKS, we have put many years of development and effort into creating an exceptional user experience, removing friction between the creative process of design and the actual realization of a product. We do this in many ways but primarily by listening to customer feedback and then implementing their suggestions in upcoming releases—this is undoubtedly at the heart of the SOLIDWORKS culture.

The 3DEXPERIENCE® Works portfolio is the next evolution of the mission, which is to create extraordinary user experiences for SOLIDWORKS® users from design through manufacture.

More Capabilities for SOLIDWORKS Users

To begin with, 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS is SOLIDWORKS connected to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud. It’s that simple. Installing SOLIDWORKS is streamlined. Updates are more frequent and are pushed onto the platform helping your team to stay up to date with the latest enhancements. And, because 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS is part of the 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio, you now have direct access to a range of powerful tools—unavailable to SOLIDWORKS users until now—that can help you get projects done faster and more efficiently.

For example, the 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio gives SOLIDWORKS users immediate access to powerful subdivision modeling (Sub-D) capabilities. Most of us understand that organic shapes are challenging—and typically slower—to build with parametric modelers. With Sub-D modeling, you can streamline the conceptual design stage because you don’t have to set up all the sub-structure necessary in parametric modeling.

By leveraging the advanced Sub-D modeling capabilities within the 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio, you’ll be able to significantly increase the number of new design concepts that you produce in a day. On-the-fly changes are quick and easy. Getting final approval becomes faster and more efficient.

Design Through Manufacture

Engineers and designers can share designs easily via the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, allowing key stakeholders—including non-engineers—to give feedback throughout the product development phase to help reduce downstream delays.

Data management is already integrated into the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Capabilities such as revision control, product maturity, permission management, and more are automatically enabled when you make design changes to your cloud-connected SOLIDWORKS parts and assemblies on the platform. With all the data in the same place, everyone is up to date with access to a single source of truth. Therefore, data-driven decision-making is streamlined. And because you are accessing real-time data, there is no risk of being out of sync on model revisions or assembly configurations.

Simulation capabilities help you digitally validate your designs to gain insights into the performance, reliability, and safety of products at all stages of the development process. Simulation capabilities are extended for SOLIDWORKS users in the 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio with direct access to advanced Abaqus Finite Element Analysis (FEA) capabilities, including but not limited to:

  •         Advanced non-linear static, quasi-static, and dynamic analysis involving sliding contacts, large deformation, and hyper-elastic materials
  •         Advanced meshing with a wide range of element formulations and types including tetrahedrons, bricks, shells and beam elements
  •         Fatigue simulations including uniaxial, multiaxial and infinite, all with stress and strain life formulations, and a robust material durability library
  •         High-performance computing (HPC) to expand compute capability and accelerate computation time on powerful computers, on-premises or the cloud

Plus, the 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio also provides SOLIDWORKS users with direct access to a number of manufacturing tools, enabling streamlined communication between departments to identify and reduce manufacturability errors at any phase to help accelerate the release to production.

Who Appreciates 3DEXPERIENCE Works?

Engineering Leadership

3DEXPERIENCE Works enables organizations to unite multiple disciplines and stakeholders across multiple time zones to work together to help get a single product to market. Engineers can move from ideation through delivery in one integrated environment. The integrated product development and built-in collaboration tools provide instant visibility into what your teams are working on, enabling you to quickly make changes when things go wrong and reduce non-value-added work.

Business Leadership

How do you grow and maintain competitive advantage in a world where technology accelerates change and competition? 3DEXPERIENCE Works provides the ability to aggregate and share real-time information across the company. The tools allow you to monitor relevant key performance indicators to track brand awareness and competitive activity to maintain and grow customer loyalty, enabling you to quickly respond to changing market conditions or shifting buyer behavior.

IT Leadership

Changing technology and demands from company leaders can make it impossible to deliver all of the required solutions. The cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio provides the flexibility to add new capabilities from an integrated platform. With greater control and visibility into your investments, you can lower costs, reduce complexity, and increase return on investment, moving IT from a tactical utility to a strategic investment. If you take a minute to think about it, there is no longer a need to rely on dedicated in-house servers. Your IT team no longer needs to worry about server space, cooling issues, physical protection, or other concerns. Network infrastructure, storage, backups, and disaster recovery plans are handled for you. Plus, software updates, such as upgrades, service packs, and downloads happen automatically.


Your existence is dependent on getting to market quickly and finding the tools to support business growth. The scalable, cloud-based technology allows you to add new capabilities when needed, leveling the playing field for smaller companies competing with more established organizations.

One for All, All from One

The 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio combines the ease of use of SOLIDWORKS with best-of-breed applications connected to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The platform enables you to work concurrently and collaborate with your colleagues from any location. Whether you are a smaller company in a single location or a multisite international firm, product development teams must stay on the same page, including managers and executives, regardless of location.

Now you can more easily innovate and solve day-to-day product development problems as a team. The portfolio delivers top 3D modeling, simulation, data management, and manufacturing solutions in one collaborative environment.

Unite the people, applications, and real-time data from every aspect of your business for improved productivity, increased collaboration, and accelerated innovation. Connect your data to the platform through Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS or with 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS. Take your first step onto the product development platform of the future today by contacting your local reseller. You can also learn more about 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio by visiting this page and trying out our interactive infographic to learn what roles in the portfolio will help you get your job done faster and more efficiently.

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 <b>3D</b>EXPERIENCE Works is the Sound of SOLIDWORKS Getting Better appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at April 05, 2021 12:00 PM

April 02, 2021


Chocolate Egg Tutorial

For this tutorial, download the DXF file for the egg pattern here and see how you can wrap a simple eggshell with a geometric pattern. I created the DXF file in vector software, but you could easily create your own design in SOLIDWORKS. To create the egg, a simple profile was sketched and revolved. the egg was then split into two parts using the right plane as the split line. Only one side of the egg was kept and shelled out to a 2mm thickness.

A new plane had to be created off the right plane, and sit parallel to the egg face. The DXF file could then be imported into SOLIDWORKS onto the new plane, a few things to remember if you haven’t used DXF files before is that you can not import a DXF file while in an active sketch, you must only select the plane you want the DXF to import into. You can dictate where the DXF will import onto the plane by its location in your vector software, I tend to centre my DXF to the centre of my document before exporting into SOLIDWORKS. There are however further options in SOLIDWORKS when importing the file for inputting the exact location of the DXF. Another tip would be to ensure that you switch the units of imported data to the units the DXF sketch was exported in. For this design millimetres was used for the units. Finally, before you can wrap a sketch, ensure that the sketch you want to wrap onto a surface is closed.

Once the DXF was imported onto the new plane, I closed the sketch, selected wrap, and change the wrap method to wrap on a spline surface. This is a very clever tool in SOLIDWORKS, I have quite a complex pattern which can it can wrap easily along this egg-like shape. The design was wrapped with an emboss, and goes off the edge of the egg.

The wrap design was filled to soften the shapes and look like softer chocolate. The half shell was then mirrored over using mirror bodies, but merge result was unticked to keep both bodies separate. By doing this, I could save one of the half egg bodies into a new part from the solid bodies drop down. The reason for doing this is to create the assembly of the two chocolate egg halves, but also by saving the body into a new part, any changes made to the original egg part will apply to the half egg part too.

The parts were all assembled into an assembly before exporting into Visualize. If you follow the whole tutorial, you will see how I created a foil-like appearance using textures. The foil was created using a metal appearance, the metal then had a bump texture applied with moulded plastic. Then to add some brightness into the texture I added the splatter specular. I always enjoy experimenting in Visualize to see what appearances I can create with a few simple changes. There are so many different combinations to play around with.

Once I was happy with the render background and appearances, I wanted to add more eggs to the assembly. I didn’t need to change my original SOLIDWORKS assembly, I could do this within Visualize. So, I duplicated the whole egg parts and moved, scaled and rotated them into place. Appearances were also duplicated and applied to the new egg copies, the duplicated appearance colours could then be changed to create some more interesting renderings.


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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 Chocolate Egg Tutorial appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Jade Crompton at April 02, 2021 03:00 PM


How SOLIDWORKS Helped Design a Belly Racer: Part Two

In the first Belly Racer blog Paul Cameron was introduced. I came to know Paul through the Tucker Carioca project we were collaborating on. The Carioca is an ongoing project and I’ll be blogging about it sometime in the future.

Paul is an artist, a fabricator, furniture designer, creator of wooden bucks and just an all-around good guy. Paul has a business in the UK called Modular 105. I highly recommend you explore his website to see all the cool things Paul has designed and built. Here’s an example of his work on the Tucker Carioca.

As you can see one of Paul’s specialties is designing and manufacturing bucks for classic cars. The bottom pictures are the Tucker Carioca. The buck in the left picture is completed has been shipped to Rob Ida. Rob was the builder of the Tucker Torpedo and you can read those blogs here.

You might be asking yourself what the heck is a buck and what it is used for? As you can probably imagine from the pictures above the buck is used in the fabrication of the body. Without the buck, forming the body panels would be a blind process since there isn’t anything to compare the formed panel too. Symmetry would be next to impossible to achieve without a buck.

Designing a buck requires a 3D CAD model of the car body. This can be accomplished in a couple of different ways. The first is using laser scanning. And in the case of the Carioca 2D Paul created a 3D model of the Carioca body using 2D drawings of the four sides of the car as a guide. Then he used Sub-Divisional (Sub-D) modeling to create the 3D shape. Another option is surfacing modeling, but Sub-D is faster and has automatic C2 curvature control for the smooth transitions between surface faces.

The 3D CAD model is then cross sectioned along the length of the car body and across the width of the car body using 2D planes. The next step is to create an intersection curve of the body shape at each plane. The images below show the buck for the Tucker Carioca and how Paul used cross sections to design the buck. The Belly Racers body shape is simple compared to the Carioca but it too will require a buck in order to make sure the shape turns out as desired.

Paul has design criteria for the Belly Racer. One of the major criteria is to maintain an aircraft look and feel especially the chassis. Keep in mind the designs of World War II aircraft where minimum weight was a design criteria. To remove excess weight aircraft designers used “lightening” holes everywhere they could to remove as much unwanted weight as possible without compromising the structural integrity of the air frame. Here’s a good example of an air frame with hundreds of lightening holes. The holes also served another purpose. They allowed cables and tubes to be routed through the air frame easily.


The Belly Racers chassis takes on the same look and feel as an air frame as seen here in an early concept rendering Paul did.

In the next blog I’ll start to get into what we did to take the chassis from a concept to a formal design. Till then, cheers!

Author information

Mike Sabocheck
Mike Sabocheck is a Technical Sales Director with Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS. Mike has been with DS SOLIDWORKS for 21 years. Prior to SOLIDWORKS he worked for Xerox for 17 years and then for Intergraph. His specialties are applying SOLIDWORKS to different design and manufacturing processes.

The post How SOLIDWORKS Helped Design a Belly Racer: Part Two appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Mike Sabocheck at April 02, 2021 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to transfer your DraftSight Custom Settings between versions or computers

A common DraftSight question we receive is how to transfer custom DraftSight settings between installations?

This situation might crop up when upgrading versions, switching between computers, or cleanly uninstalling and reinstalling DraftSight.

Standard procedure is found by searching for “Migrating Preferences” in the DraftSight help.  The Help refers to the Migration Assistance shown below:

DraftSight Migration Assistance

DraftSight Migration Assistance

If the Migration Assistance doesn’t appear…

At the time this article was written, during testing, this dialog seems to spawn when the original folder does not match the upgraded version.  If this dialog does not appear, such as when migrating to a new computer, then you can try this:

  1. On the old computer, copy the folder C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\DraftSight\XX.X.XXXX   …where that last bit likely refers to year version, service pack, etc.  Some of that folder path may include hidden folders, so may need to type or paste in some of the path in order to access.
  2. On the new computer, after installing DraftSight:  move the new folder (if any) elsewhere as a backup.  Now paste in a copy of the source version folder from the previous step.
  3. Launch DraftSight.  It will look for the current version folder, but will see only the original one.  This discrepancy will spawn the Migrating Preferences dialogue.
  4. Make selections, particularly which year version and service pack from which to migrate.  Click OK and your settings will be migrated.  Note that a new folder is created, per the new year and service pack version.
  5. Inspect the user settings in the current version of DraftSight.  They should now be same as the version from which you migrated.

The post How to transfer your DraftSight Custom Settings between versions or computers appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by John Lee, CSWE at April 02, 2021 12:00 PM


Creating Easy Life Hack Items Using 3D Printer

3d printed life hacks

If you’ve recently just bought a new 3D printer, chances are your mind is going berserk thinking about the potentials your new toy has.

But hold your horses! Instead of printing something as large and complex as a 3D printer or, dare I say it, a house, you might want to start your new printer off with something smaller and simpler.

Kickasss 3D Prints has 5 simple objects you can make with a standard FDM printer and some plastic filament. While not as life-changing as printing a new house, these “life hacks” are accessories you just might find useful when doing everyday tasks:

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Toothpaste Squeezer

3d printed life hacks

If you’ve ever had trouble squeezing the remaining toothpaste from its tube, you know exactly what this tool is for.

The toothpaste squeezer is made of three parts – a tube to wrap the toothpaste container in, a small roller, and a cap to keep the roller in place. Pop the toothpaste container into the tube, wrap it around the roller, and watch as your toothpaste ejects from the spout.

You might want to ease up on the pressure there, as a lot of toothpaste tubes tend to spray their contents excessively at the slightest hint of force.

Earphone Holder

3d printed life hacks

Making this particular earphone holder requires you to print two covers with nubs on one end. These nubs fit into the holes of the third 3D-printed piece which you can wrap your earphones around.

Once you have your earphones wrapped, you can secure them in place with the covers to prevent them from getting tangled with all the knick-knacks in your bag!

Wrapping Paper Cutter

3d printed life hacks

This one is a little more complex as it needs the addition of a small blade inside. You want to print yourself a rather wide tube of plastic so it can fit different sizes of wrapping paper but once you’re done, all you have to do is buy yourself some X-acto blades and squeeze one into the crevice of the cutter.

Slide the cutter down the length of your wrapping paper and you’ll have cut it into accurate dimensions with no problems whatsoever.

Lip Balm Cap Keychain

3d printed life hacks

More an accessory than an actual life hack, printing yourself a lip balm cap keychain requires you to measure the dimensions of your ChapStick container and create a cap that fits it. Adding a small hole on the side of the cap allows you to add a keyring on it which in turn lets you keep your lip balm close to your keys.

Page Holder

3d printed life hacks

The last “life hack” is a 3D printed page holder, with a hole to fit your thumb into as you read a book single-handed like the sophisticated person you are.

To be honest, no one really reads books this way; it’s just a fun object to 3D print. But if you ever find yourself with one hand on a long commute, you can always bust this out and look snobbish as you read literature with one eye and glare at the smartphone-using masses with the other.

If you want to make these yourself, you can find the digital files in the video description. For more 3D printing goodness, you can check the Kickass 3D Prints YouTube channel.

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 02, 2021 08:02 AM

April 01, 2021

The Javelin Blog

Why you should use Restart (instead of Shut down) with SOLIDWORKS

When troubleshooting unwanted behavior on a computer, especially when running SOLIDWORKS, there are a couple of simple steps worth trying early in the process.  Restart SOLIDWORKS, and if that didn’t resolve it then restart/reboot the computer.

But beware…Restart may not mean what you think it means!  It certainly isn’t what it used to be.

Restart vs Shut Down

Shutting down the computer and then turning it back on, especially if the fast boot option is enabled in Windows 10 (which it likely is, by default) is not the same as Restart/reboot.  Sure, it’s way faster, but there is a reason for that:

Shut down writes the contents of memory to a file, which it then quickly reloads into memory when you turn the computer back on.

In human terms, it would be like taking a catnap when what you really needed was a lengthy sleep complete with plenty of REM cycles.  Nerds such as myself will likely relate this to the 2003 run of Battlestar Galactica (episode title “33”), or Star Trek: The Next Generation (episode title “Night Terrors”).  Not surprising that being unable to refresh the mind for many days in a row, as with humans, might lead to mistakes creeping into the software, manifesting as unwanted behavior.

Restart, on the other hand, clears the RAM and the processor cache.  Your computer would likely thank you, if it could.  🙂

Refresh computer memory (and SOLIDWORKS behavior) with Restart daily

Before trying Restart, you can find out how long it has been since this was last done, per our article for a SOLIDWORKS Rx Reboot Check.  While the SOLIDWORKS Rx utility confirms when was the last restart, it also tends to report that “a reboot is pending on your system” (and so does the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager), but you can ignore that if you know you are rebooting often enough.

So, how many days since your system was restarted/rebooted?  Was it more than twenty?  More than fifty?  Don’t worry; your secret is safe 😉  Say no more, mum’s the word, and all that rot….    Try restarting daily.  But, certainly it might be fun to start a new category for this in the Guinness Book of World Records… 😀

SOLIDWORKS Restart Best Practice

A recommended time to restart is at the end of each day because it always takes a few minutes, and may also trigger a Windows Update.  Another benefit is that the computer boots up at the end of it all, which makes it accessible for remote access when working from home, or by your IT.  If a Shut down is required, then the best solution is to do that after a restart.

The takeaway: use Start > Power > Restart.  For best results, perform daily

The post Why you should use Restart (instead of Shut down) with SOLIDWORKS appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by John Lee, CSWE at April 01, 2021 12:00 PM


Making Mug Using Apple Wood and Resin

apple log mug

It’s been a while since we’ve seen some good woodturning projects here on SolidSmack, so let’s take a look at something you can actually use: a coffee mug.

Using an apple log as the basis of the project, woodturner Matt Jordan starts his morning by carving out a container for his cup o’ Joe.

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The actual mug is made from an apple log with plenty of burl and bumps. Jordan carves from the outside going in to give the wood a uniform, cylindrical shape.

Turning Log Into Mug 

apple log mug

Once the log is carved down, he flips it over and hollows it out with multiple different drill bits to make the mug’s inner walls.

apple log mug

There’s still some tree bark and burl left on the outer walls, so Jordan chucks the log into a toaster to heat it up. This makes it easy for him to chisel and drill out the imperfections afterward to prepare it for a good resin casting later.

Can’t Go Wrong With Resin

apple log mug

Seeing as there’s a giant hole in the middle of the log, Jordan fits some turned scrap wood inside to keep the resin from filling the mug. He keeps enough space between the scrap and the mug for the resin to seep through before fitting a custom mold around the log and filling it with his metallic-looking resin mixture.

Back to Turning

After the resin has dried, it’s time to remove the log from the mold and get it back on the woodturner. Since a new layer of resin has formed around the wood, Jordan has to chip it away to attain a fine mix between wood and resin. He then starts carving out the final shape of the mug – increasing the diameter of the outer rim while making the bottom part smaller.

apple log mug

Once the outside is finished, he drills out the scrap wood in the center and finely shapes the inside of the mug. Sand the whole thing down and the mug is nearly complete!

The Mug Handle

apple log mug

It wouldn’t be a proper mug if it lacks a handle, so Jordan shapes one out on some extra apple log burl. He makes two wooden handle pieces and uses them as stencils to carve out a mold onto an extra piece of wood.

apple log mug

This mold is where he’ll place some soldered pewter which will serve as the center of the handle. Once the metal has cooled down, he removes it from the mold, files, and sands it down, and glues it to the two wooden handles he made.

apple log mug

With the handle complete, all he has to do is give it another sanding, file down the sharp edges, and drill some holes for wood screws to fit into the mug.

Adding Some Finish

apple log mug

With the main parts in hand, Jordan applies some pure tung oil finish to both the mug and the handle. Not only does this make the wood and resin shine, but it also makes it food-safe, waterproof, and toxic-free. Jordan mentions this finishing process takes five coats and about four weeks to fully cure, but the results are worth it considering the mug can hold hot drinks without falling apart.

apple log mug

All he needs to do now is screw on the handle, brew some coffee, and add it into his mug. Bam! Instant morning gratification!

Matt Jordan’s YouTube channel has tons of woodworking and woodturning content, though he specifies there is way more woodturning. If you like seeing different materials mixed with wood art, you should definitely peek at his channel!

by Carlos Zotomayor at April 01, 2021 08:53 AM

March 31, 2021


Interview: Adam Kenney on Becoming a Class-A Surface Modeler of Race Cars

Do you ever wonder how class-A surface modelers get their jobs putting the polish on race car CAD? We interviewed Adam Kenney, a pro, class-A surface modeler who’s worked on projects for Lotus and McLaren to find out!

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What Exactly IS Class-A Surfacing?

Adam tells us he is often mistaken for the industrial designer who creates basic, initial CAD forms. That’s not what he does with Class-A surfacing, however!

If we use a real-world analogy of, say, constructing a wooden canoe, Adam would not be bending planks of lumber to build the canoe. Instead, his job is to come in with the finest grit sandpaper imaginable and smooth the hull out to perfection.

Class-A surfacing involves minute corrections to CAD forms at the end of the design process. These perfect both the look and feel of a product.

Becoming a Class-A Surface Modeler

So, how did Adam get his first gig? Did he get a degree in mechanical engineering, and work for decades doing CAD work within automotive slowly getting promoted to hallowed class-A work?

Nope, Adam’s very first gig in automotive was for class-A surfacing. Before that role, Adam played around with several different careers and academic paths.

In college, he first studied computer programming, hoping to find a way into video game design. A lot of that work Adam found boring, because it didn’t relate to game design at all, so he quit. For a while after, he worked in various jobs and fields of study including construction and leasing cars. However, in between, he often taught himself new design programs and began building a portfolio of digital designs.

Who You Know, Not What You Know

Eventually, Adam Kenney’s brother convinced him to try to get into the automotive design industry. Adam’s brother was already in the field and saw a growing need for designers. His brother helped open a door for him to get noticed, but the hard work he put into his portfolio is what got him the first gig.

A leader at one of these companies saw Adam’s talent and self-motivation and offered him a low-paying job. There, he earned one of the biggest boons to getting hired in automotive: first-hand experience.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-147756" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_147756" style="width: 560px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-147756">Kenney shows us a concept car for Lotus he worked on.</figcaption></figure>

Contracting in Automotive

After that first job, which ended abruptly, Adam was a contractor working as-needed on specific projects. One project took him to Austria (Mahlzeit!), which was a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, Adam was immersed in a new culture and his daily grind involved awesome new sights, sounds, and cuisine. On the other hand, he had a family back in the United Kingdom and continually needed to bounce between countries during the contract.

Adam tells us that as a contractor, you never know when a project you’re in the middle of working on might get canceled. Even daily tasks, where he might be in charge of one small section of a car body, could change at a moment’s notice. It’s all in the nature of the work! The upside of this includes getting to have a hand in creating some of the most gorgeous race cars made.

The Tools of This Trade

As the “conduit” between automotive designers and automotive CAD engineers, Adam needs to speak a couple of different technical languages.

On one side, when working with engineers, he might need to import a model into CATIA. Adam isn’t a fluent designer in this program, but he needed to gain enough proficiency to inspect the CAD an engineer discussed in the same native environment. This is necessary to prevent communication mishaps.

On the other side of his role, Adam Kenney will also sometimes take a napkin sketch from a designer and turn that into a new slope of a feature. Ultimately, he takes communications made in other tools and does most of his magic in ICEM Surf.

How is Class-A Surfacing Work Done?

The reason why there needs to be a different software for class-A surfacing work compared to traditional CAD design is that it’s done in a totally different way! In his role, Adam would not apply 1 standard fillet function to multiple edges or work with solids to manipulate CAD. Instead, Adam plays with teeny, tiny, individual control points much of the time. It’s common to make adjustments on the scale of a fraction of a millimeter.

One of the tools to do this work highlights surfaces. It works similarly to if you took a shiny bit of fender and tilted it in direct sunlight to see if there were any dings in it. The software can make any “breaks” in the lines of a car body stand out with this highlighting.

Then, when those discontinuities show up, Adam goes to work painstakingly adjusting control points. Each point can affect the next in a line like dominos, and sometimes he can work on the same spot for days or even weeks before the seamless curves are finished.

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-147757" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_147757" style="width: 560px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-147757">Class-A skills apply to automotive interiors, too, as with this example from Adam Kenney of a previous work project.</figcaption></figure>

Other Applications of Automotive Surfacing Skills

Adam still has a deep love for video game design and other digital art, and luckily all that intimate experience with automotive CAD translates. Recently, he was able to advise video game designers and digital ad creators on tricks from his world to make their cars look more realistic. In the end, different types of digital renderings have a lot of similarities!

His eye for digital detail can translate to other uses, too. In consumer products, he can help CAD modelers think through design concepts before prototyping. Is that cord in a smart spot? Can that molding line be moved to an area where it won’t scrape the user’s hand?

<figure aria-describedby="caption-attachment-147760" class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_147760" style="width: 560px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-147760">During the interview, we tried to locate the specific public transit card reader that was so poorly designed that it made Adam Kenney and his class-A surface eye fill with rage.</figcaption></figure>

If a consumer electronics design is already mostly completed, he can use the same methods from automotive to make a product look and feel like it’s higher quality. Adam can suggest tweaks before a team moves to a hard mold to polish that housing design with the finest-grit of digital sandpaper.

Want Guidance from Adam Kenney? Book Him on!

If you’d like Adam Kenney to give you class-A-surface-level guidance, you can directly book an appointment with him on Odd Engineer at this link.

There’s no need to ask him about his availability! Just click the Schedule Appointment button, and book and pay for whatever available time and day works for you. If you need him to sign an NDA for your meeting, you can upload a signed copy when you book. You’ll then receive an email with a Zoom meeting link.

Then, just make sure you bring all your questions, CAD, and data to the video conference!

Full Interview with Adam Kenney on the Odd Engineer Podcast

Want to hear the long, unabbreviated version of this interview? Check out Odd Engineer’s podcast for advice and more details on Adam’s journey to becoming a class-A surface modeler of race cars.

by Erin McDermott at March 31, 2021 05:42 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to switch SOLIDWORKS PDM to Offline Mode using the Windows Registry

Working offline within SOLIDWORKS PDM is a great option if you want to bring work home on your laptop, or if there is maintenance being performed on the vault and there’s no access to the server. 

In a perfect world, you’ve remembered to switch into offline mode ahead of losing access, but if you’re forgetful and impatient (like myself), there is an option to make this switch within the registry, without having to wait for the delayed login prompt when the server can’t be found by the client

Work Offline in SOLIDWORKS PDM

Work Offline in SOLIDWORKS PDM

WARNING! – Only complete this change if you are comfortable with the Windows Registry.  Accidental changes to the registry can render your system inoperable, exercising extreme caution is required when making any registry edits.

  • Start Regedit.msc and navigate to;
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\Vaults\[vaultname]
Registry Editor

Registry Editor

  • RMB within this key > New > DWORD


  • Set the New Value Name as ‘Offline
    • and the Value Data as ‘1
Set the New Value Name as 'Offline'

Set the New Value Name as ‘Offline’

  • Then the PDM client will be instantly switched to offline mode, without having to wait for the login prompt;


NOTE: If you’ve used offline mode previously, the registry key may already exist.  In this scenario we can just switch the Value Data to ‘1

The post How to switch SOLIDWORKS PDM to Offline Mode using the Windows Registry appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Justin Williams at March 31, 2021 12:00 PM


Managing Standard Content and Creating a Culture of Reuse

How much time can you afford to lose when searching for standard components for reuse in your assemblies?

Let’s say that you are designing a lawnmower and you need to find a motor bracket. How will you find a standard component to reuse in your assembly? Do you search with keywords to find the part? Do you search in your in-house PDM vault? Or access an external component provider?

What if there is already a motor bracket that exactly fits your needs in your PDM vault, but you cannot find it using a traditional keyword search?

The Easy Way to Find Parts & Components

3DEXPERIENCE® Marketplace PartSupply is the most comprehensive, artificial intelligence-driven catalog of sourceable 3D components. Available free-of-charge to companies of all sizes, its more than 800 on-demand content providers from around the world comprise a one-stop-shop of tens for millions of qualified component configurations.

3DEXPERIENCE PartSupply makes it simple to:

  •         Access hundreds of catalogs containing millions of qualified supplier components
  •         Quickly search by filtering with component categories, semantic search, or search by 3D shape
  •         Easily compare similar configurations side-by-side
  •         Download 3D models into active design environments (for fast validation)

Let’s take a look at two roles on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform that will help you access and utilize 3D components for 3DEXPERIENCE PartSupply.

PartSupply Standard Components Manager

The Standard Components Manager enables you to manage your company’s catalog of components to help you build, manage, and maintain an in-house components library, thereby leveraging both internal parts and components from qualified suppliers.

Some of the benefits of this product include:

1)     Save time in the design phase by accessing parts directly from within SOLIDWORKS®.

2)     Reuse internal parts created in other projects. This will help reduce your duplicate parts and avoid introducing new duplicate parts into your company’s database.

3)     Enable product development or engineering departments to access the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace that contains more than 935 suppliers. You also can select the partners you have worked with previously or validate new partners for the future.

4)     Create a standard system using a combination of parts from the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace and from your own internal assets to give your product development or engineering departments quick and easy access to the right parts.

PartSupply Optimized Components Consumer

The Optimized Components Consumer allows designers and engineers to access standard parts easily from within their product development process. As a CAD engineer or a design engineer, you can search your company’s catalog of parts using various search methodologies to quickly find and reuse standard parts in your design.

PartSupply Optimized Components Consumer enables you to:

  •         Search and compare parts according to their CAD geometries using 3DShape search
  •         Search results based on the geometrically most similar 3D CAD parts
  •         Reuse parts created in other projects from your internal databases and PDM systems
  •         Save time in the design phase from within SOLIDWORKS or DraftSight design environments


Now you can have a single source of standard parts across your organization, all accessible from your SOLIDWORKS environment. You can search by shape, perform comparisons, and bookmark your favorite parts and suppliers.

You can manage massive amounts of diverse 2D/3D CAD part data across the enterprise and reduce duplicate parts at your organization, avoiding downstream costs. Plus, these applications empower your designers and engineers to quickly find standard parts from within the company’s in-house part data library or from external suppliers—with ease.

If you have additional questions about 3DEXPERIENCE® Marketplace PartSupply, contact your local reseller.

Author information

Vivek Allu
Vivek is a Computer Science graduate of Arizona state University. He works as the Product Manager for PartSupply and Sourcing and Standardization Sub-domain Roles in the 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS Portfolio with a focus to drive growth and manage retention for 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS Community worldwide.

The post Managing Standard Content and Creating a Culture of Reuse appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Vivek Allu at March 31, 2021 12:00 PM


Three Buff Dudes Make Simple Gym Setup Using Junk and Scrap

junk gym

I’ve seen wooden gyms before. I’ve even seen gym equipment repurposed into ATV wheels. But this is the first time I’ve seen a gym made completely from nothing but junk.

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="433" loading="lazy" src="" title="We Built an ENTIRE GYM from JUNK!" width="770"></iframe>

It’s been done countless times by many different people, but Hudson, Brandon, and Duke White of B.U.F.F. Dudes (Better Understanding of Food and Fitness) are three of the few who actually get into the creation process of their scrap-made gym.

The “gym” they created is a basic setup consisting of two weighted barbells, a couple of dumbbells, a squat rack, and a gym bench. It isn’t much, but what it lacks in variety it makes up for in simplicity and character.

So what junk makes up each of those pieces of gym equipment?


junk gym

The base of this heavy piece of gym equipment is made by fitting a rusted metal bar with metal plates. The inner plates serve as collars that stop the “weights” from moving when you’re pumping iron, which is a very important thing to have when the stuff you’re lifting doesn’t exactly follow safety regulations.

junk gym

Four giant tractor wheels serve as weighted plates, with two wheels on each side of the first barbell. Once the wheels are in place, Duke White adds the outer plates, which are just custom pieces of plywood fitted with bolts that go through the lug holes of the wheels. Just to make the entire thing more secure, he welds all the pieces in place.

They make a second barbell as well, only this time with one wheel on both sides of the metal bar.


junk gym

The smaller brother of the barbell, these dumbbells, are made by affixing some old brake rotors to short metal bars. Similar to how he connected the “weights” of the barbell, Duke uses custom plywood pieces to keep the brake rotors in place while adding bolts through the wheel hubs. Using some square metal pieces affixed to each side of the brake rotors, he welds everything into place, as well.

Squat Rack

junk gym

While you aren’t meant to lift it, the squat rack is an important piece of gym equipment as it provides you with extra support when lifting a barbell. This particular squat rack is made by welding what looks like an old roll cage with multiple pieces of cut pipe.

junk gym

To get the squat rack to support the barbells, Duke welds some flat bars which serve as risers that keep the barbell from rolling off.

junk gym

With two barbells, two dumbbells, and a squat rack completed, the trio can start pumping iron! As Brandon mentions, you have to be crazy to lift any of this stuff without any gloves on, as the scrap is so old and rusted you could get tetanus just by looking at it.

It’s a wonder the rusted metal can even hold the weight of four tractor tires without breaking into pieces. But thanks to Duke’s DIY know-how, it looks like all the equipment is holding for the moment.

junk gym

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more dangerous, they actually repurpose an old car seat as a workout bench and proceed to bench press the two-wheeled barbell. Even with the car seat belt on, you can see how this is just an accident waiting to happen since there is virtually no back support whatsoever.

Still, the setup works! If you have a death wish and don’t have the money for a gym subscription or proper equipment, you could try your hand at making this DIY junk gym. Otherwise, just stick to lifting real weights.

The B.U.F.F. Dudes are all about fitness and finding new and interesting ways to stay healthy. You can check out their webpage for their routines, blogs, and merch, or you can visit their YouTube channel where they get weird with all things fitness-related.

by Carlos Zotomayor at March 31, 2021 08:54 AM