Shape Your World
Nathan is an Elite Application Engineer for GoEngineer who has worked for the SOLIDWORKS reseller channel since 2005. Prior to that, he designed rolling equipment where he gained extensive hands on experience with Large Assembly Best Practices, Sheet Metal, Weldments, PDM, and machining. He was … More »
Beyond The Concept
September 19th, 2014 by Nathan Dunn
Using SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual for the first time is like the first time you used an iPhone after having that state of the art flip phone. Stepping into the Single Modeling Environment (SME) is like seeing your favorite games, email, calendar, and music on the same screen for the first time. The SME allows you to switch from a multi body part to an assembly with the click of a single button without the interface really changing at all. As a long time CAD user with all of the preconceived notions of what a file or assembly structure should look like, I am not sure that I really grasp the intricacies of what this change in thought process can actually provide. I have tried to force myself to expand my thought process into how this would change my daily workflow, but feel as though I am just barley scratching the surface. It plays very well into the intuitive pillar; you don’t have to think about file structure as part of the design process. When you have spent so much time concerning yourself with sub assembly structure this is a concept that may take some time to fully understand.
Creating your first part in SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual is exciting. Navigating through the simplistic layout is easy and instinctual. Using commands that you will recognize with a SOLIDWORKS background and the ability to have a similar workflow if you desire. Here’s a teaser, within the first 1 minute I was able to create a threaded rod!
In the sketch environment there are many Easter eggs that are fun to uncover. Boolean sketch entities are a fantastic addition. The inherent motion that you are capable of creating in a simple 2D sketch will make moving mechanism design a breeze. After you create this intelligent moving sketch with very little effort, it is easy to convert the sketch into a multibody part for additional clarification. This is not intended to be a replacement for SOLIDWORKS so fully detailing the parts is not the objective. After you have proven your concept, the multibody part is easily converted to an assembly without changing interfaces. With the addition of PDS, you can even verify with a fully dynamically solved model with really cool charts and insights. One of the most interesting things to do is to create a mechanism that has motion in multiple axis and then trace the movement of a single vertex through the entire motion. If you would like to take it a step further, you can even sweep an entire body and see its movement through the motion analysis.
Finding parts and components is an easy task as well. The search bar at the top of the interface gives a window into your 3DSpace. A predictive search will intuitively return results in the 6W categories. Analytics furthers the experience by quickly presenting the appropriate product information. Transparent to the user is a powerful PDM that is keeping tabs on your important concepts and allowing it to be shared with your other team members.