SolidWorks 2004 Unleashes Designer, Engineer Creativity, Accelerating Key Design Functions by as Many as 15 Times


SolidWorks' largest release ever includes 250 new features in market-leading 3D mechanical design software


CONCORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 7, 2003-- SolidWorks Corporation today unveiled a new version of its market-leading 3D mechanical design software featuring more than 250 customer-requested enhancements, including performance that is 15 times faster than competing midrange software. By exponentially accelerating large assembly processing and automating hundreds of tedious tasks, SolidWorks(R) 2004 unleashes designer and engineer creativity to make better, more attractive, more marketable products in a fraction of the time competing software takes.

For instance, powerful drawing automation enhancements let designers create production-level drawings from large assemblies faster than ever. New lightweight drawings let users create assembly drawings without loading every component into memory. By simply dragging and dropping an assembly into a drawing, a user can generate 2D views of a 10,000-piece assembly in about 10 seconds. Many systems can't even create a drawing view of such a large assembly. SolidWorks 2004 also enables design engineers for the first time to generate a single bill of materials for multiple projects with numerous parts, quantities, and configurations, a key process in accelerating a design to manufacturing. Other important new drawing automation elements include auto ballooning, hole tables, and revision tracking tables. Timesaving, productivity-enhancing capabilities like these result in products that look, work, and sell better. No other software can match SolidWorks' performance, which annotates drawings 10 times faster than competing 2D offerings - yet another compelling reason for 2D software users to migrate to 3D software.

Simon Stone, a mechanical engineer for the UK-based Mech Innovation design firm, is a SolidWorks 2004 beta customer who has worked extensively with the software's consumer product design functions, including new Deform and section view capabilities. "Users will find these capabilities extremely useful," he said. "While it used to take up to 10 seconds to generate a single cutaway view in a complex model, I can now view them instantaneously as I dynamically scroll and rotate the plane forward and backward through the object. The Deform tool lets me instantly give complex models sleek new contours with the minimum of effort. SolidWorks 2004 is fast, fluid, flexible, and worth every penny."

Something for every user

SolidWorks 2004 also contains new advanced features developed specifically for machine designers, mold/tool/die makers, and consumer product engineers.

Machine design

New SolidWorks welding design, drawing automation, large assembly, and COSMOSXpress(TM) analysis software enhancements benefit machine designers, who typically work on assemblies with up to 30,000 parts.

-- Weldment environment: SolidWorks 2004 includes a revolutionary weldment environment that for the first time simulates how designers really work. Users can now design structures by sketching them in a part document instead of creating an assembly. Users can create weldment members from a set of predefined pipes, beams, tubes, and angle irons without configuring each weldment from scratch. SolidWorks 2004 also automates the creation of fillet weld beads, gussets, end caps, and cut lists. No other software matches this set of timesaving capabilities.
-- Lightweight sub-assemblies: SolidWorks 2004 users can work on assemblies with thousands of parts through its new memory management technology. This novel approach explains why SolidWorks can accelerate large assembly design processes by as much as 15 times over competing software.
-- COSMOSXpress: SolidWorks 2004 includes new features in COSMOSXpress, the only built-in analysis tool available for testing part designs quickly and easily within a 3D mechanical design system. Enhancements include a seamless integration with COSMOSWorks(TM), a standalone analysis software package for which SolidWorks is also announcing upgrades today (see related news release). Users can now perform initial analyses in COSMOSXpress and instantly switch to COSMOSWorks for higher-level analyses.

"SolidWorks has automated the mundane and tedious processes that in the past have stood between a designer's vision and what they hope to accomplish," said Joe Greco, a freelance CAD writer and analyst. "With SolidWorks 2004, designers and engineers can more quickly build creative, innovative designs that lead to brilliant new products. In addition, now they can more effectively model products and simulate entire systems, which in turn accelerates the design-to-production cycle."

Mold design

SolidWorks 2004 gives mold designers new tools to eliminate time-consuming tasks. A new core/cavity command automates the design of the two main mold parts. Users need only specify the size of the mold steel and SolidWorks does the rest. Undercut analysis saves designers time and money by automatically detecting potential problems in the mold long before production. The new shutoff surfaces command automatically locates and seals openings for core and cavity creation. A thickness analysis tool detects regions of a model that would restrict flow through the mold or weaken the finished product. New tools automatically create parting lines, parting surfaces, and efficient flash wells in a single command. No software moves mold makers from concept to mold creation more quickly.

Consumer product design

SolidWorks 2004 gives consumer product designers powerful new capabilities for creating the stylized shapes they need in fewer steps. The new Deform command, for example, lets industrial designers alter the shape of their 3D models simply by pointing, clicking, and dragging a point or curve. A user, for instance, can take a boxy telephone handset model and give it a stunning new look in seconds while preserving the original engineering intent. New surfacing capabilities provide a range of preconfigured trim options and automate the creation of draft and fillets. Loft connectors define how model profiles align, to prevent twisting.

With the new SolidWorks RealView feature, users can now create lifelike views of products in various stages of design using realistic materials and textures without leaving the design mode. Unlike competing products, RealView marries industrial designers' aesthetics with mechanical designers' functional concerns to deliver the most realistic, real-time rendering capability available within a 3D mechanical design system.

System enhancements

SolidWorks 2004 also includes a set of unique system enhancements that save time and liberate designers' creativity. For example, the new materials database lets users point and click to select material properties, including color, texture, cross hatch, and physical properties. A new Quick Tips feature walks users through common operations such as sketching, part creation, drawing, and assembly design so new users can start designing parts right away. A task scheduler automates non-design tasks, such as batch printing, data import, data export, and eDrawings publication to occur at users' convenience, such as overnight. SolidWorks can now operate in Microsoft(R) Windows(R) workstations using 3 GB of memory, allowing users to create larger designs faster than ever.

PDMWorks

SolidWorks has also enhanced its built-in product data management (PDM) software, PDMWorks(TM). New features include the ability to automatically bulk load thousands of SolidWorks or AutoCAD files - e.g., entire projects and databases - into a PDMWorks vault, complete with property and attribute mapping and configuration previews. An archive/restore command lets users archive old revisions, saving disk space and increasing performance, then recover them at any time with a point and click.

"SolidWorks 2004 is far and away our most comprehensive release ever," said Chris Garcia, SolidWorks' vice president of research and development. "We've never been able to put this much new functionality into a single release. SolidWorks 2004 embodies hundreds of customer requests for enhancements, and, as is quite apparent, our customers have spectacular ideas. These enhancements give designers and engineers a clearly defined opportunity to seize competitive advantage by spending less time on busy work and moving products more quickly to market."

SolidWorks 2004 is available immediately for purchase in 12 languages worldwide. It is available in three configurations. SolidWorks 2004 is the core modeling software in the company's 3D design product suites, SolidWorks Office and SolidWorks Office Professional.

About SolidWorks Corporation

SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software for mechanical design, analysis, and product data management. Founded in 1993, SolidWorks' mission is to unleash the power of 3D for everyone in product development and foster a collaborative user community. In seven years of delivering product, SolidWorks has shipped more than 250,000 total seats of software worldwide. SolidWorks has offices around the globe and sells, distributes, and supports its products through a worldwide reseller network. For the latest news, information, or a live online demonstration, visit the company's Web site ( www.solidworks.com ) or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).

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