Archive for the ‘SOLIDWORKS’ Category
Thursday, May 7th, 2015
Do you recall a time when an Application Engineer first came to your business to demo SOLIDWORKS? You might remember seeing him or her click all over the screen, mashing buttons, moving parts and bringing up features with the slightest movement of their wrist.
It may seem like they were working magic but I’m here to clue you in on a secret. They didn’t have a special macro running in the background nor did they spend countless hours customizing the settings to tweak the shortcuts. Mostly, they used the default settings in SOLIDWORKS to make their workflow faster and more convenient. Just like any program based in the Windows operating system, there are quite a few commands that are common to any program (everyone knows about Ctrl-X, Ctrl-C, and Ctrl-V). But all programs have their own little quirks, and SOLIDWORKS is no exception.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015
Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that bring the most satisfaction. With over 200 enhancements that SOLIDWORKS makes with each release; small enhancements and sometimes entirely new tools, can go unnoticed. Such is the case with two particular enhancements found in SOLIDWORKS 2015.
The first enhancement I would like to bring to light, and quite possibly the easiest to overlook, is the addition of a year on the SOLIDWORKS icon. For those SOLIDWORKS junkies among us, and those who have multiple versions installed, this means that it’s no longer a best guess as to which SOLIDWORKS version you are opening. Maybe I am easy to please but I really like this 4 character enhancement to SOLIDWORKS 2015.
Thursday, March 5th, 2015
30 years ago, Computational Fluid Dynamics was a topic reserved for PhD analysts or research groups at Universities. Fast forward to 2015 and CFD is accessible on the laptop (or even some tablets) for any engineer with SOLIDWORKS CAD. When we classically think of CFD, applications such as air flow over airplane wings or water flowing through a pipe come to mind. While these quintessential studies were the foundation of the development efforts, we can also study many common everyday scenarios.
Earlier this week I was cooking some fish and vegetables (admittedly both were from a frozen bag). One of my main frustrations with the particular vegetable blend that I used was that the potatoes never come out quite right. Green beans…perfect! Fish fillets…perfect! Potatoes…cold in the middle.
Time to put on my engineering hat! The fish is sliced into thin fillets and the green beans are long and slender. Both of those geometries lend themselves to relatively high surface area to volume ratios when compared to the chunky potatoes. If only there was a way to figure out how long I should leave the baking sheet in the oven without forcing myself to eat fish for the next several weeks.
Friday, January 30th, 2015
The gap in work force skills in the United States today is becoming alarming. Our country and industries were built upon the hard work of our parents and grandparents. One of history’s largest generations is exiting the workplace in droves as the Baby-boomers retire. Over the next 10 years, there will be a huge hole left in our manufacturing and engineering industries. Many of the skills and knowledge that were taught to the baby boomers are no longer present in our education system – things have changed!
Monday, December 1st, 2014
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, Northrop Grumman—there is a good chance you recognize all of these names as aerospace and defense powerhouses.
If there is one common trend amongst all of these companies, it is their embracement of 3D printing (3DP) as a legitimate manufacturing tool. Alongside the automotive industry, aerospace and defense industries have been the driving forces behind 3DP’s revolutionary growth.
As it turns out the benefits of 3DP are quite universal so what works for large, multi-national corporations can also work for much smaller widget-makers and everyone in-between.
Monday, October 27th, 2014
In our younger, more impressionable years there seemed to be a mystique surrounding the neighborhood tree house. Whether it was in your backyard or that of your buddy’s, kids just seem to flock to that box. Some were just a collection of repurposed refuse while others were well-planned construction masterpieces. But they all seemed to be consistent in a couple of features; elevation and imagination.
Elevation: I am not sure if that aspect was overcompensation for the height-challenged youth or just because it was super cool to keep something off of the ground. Plus it gave us a reason to create stairs, rope pulls and the ever-coveted fire pole! The elevation also gave us a great way to increase our view of the world.
Imagination: Many kids have spent countless hours dreaming of different worlds. Some were playing knights defending castles of medieval times. Others piloted space ships who were exploring distant planets. Fire trucks, stage coaches and battlegrounds were all envisioned by its occupants. It’s amazing how those small boxes could invoke such an imaginative environment.
Monday, October 27th, 2014
This post contains spoilers so be sure to have watched our new 3D printed stop-motion short, SHeLvEd, before reading: SHeLvEd: GoEngineer YouTube
When I was first approached about creating a stop-motion film using 3D printed characters I immediately accepted. “It would be fun,” I thought “…and it will be easy.”
Well the very first thing I learned about filmmaking is that it is not easy. Before I even made it to the technically difficult parts, I was confronted with the surprisingly tough artistic challenges:
- What is the storyline?
- Who are the characters and what do they look like?
- How many explosions should we add?
- Is the ending happy, sad, confusing, a cliffhanger or all of the above?
Friday, September 19th, 2014
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.
Friday, September 12th, 2014
Glory comes in one form with data management – Automation.
In a huge corporate demonstration with executives looking on and a hundred thousand on the line, the only “oohs” and “aahs” you’ll hear are the ones connected to productivity gain. Everyone at that level loves to see labor intensive tasks that today, take several steps and possibly a dedicated human resource, reduced to a right click menu option.
For example, let’s take an EPDM admin that supports an engineering group. He may get a small pat on the back for building in the ever essential revision control… But, watch their eyes light up when automated emails and electronic signatures are brought online.
From the top of the organization to the end CAD user, automation is king. We’ve seen some really slick automation over the years and then we’ve seen some downright brilliance. Whether from our own implementation specialists or from customer administrators, the following examples are sure to please.