Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. unveiled SolidWorks2009 Premium and SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009.
SolidWorks 2009 enhances what was already among the highest-performing products in the 3D CAD market. The new software reflects an intensive R&D effort focused directly on performance, which company research reveals is designers’ and engineers’ most valued CAD software trait.
The groundbreaking speed increase is calculated on documented productivity gains measured in the creation and modification of large assemblies and drawings using workflows adapted from real-world customer environments and data. Customer workflows were studied and tested to ensure that the overall design process was being improved, not just specific functions and tasks. More significantly, these performance gains were attained without new features and functions, meaning that users do not have to learn new techniques, settings, or functionality to take advantage of the power of SolidWorks 2009.
“With SolidWorks 2009, I’ve noticed a huge improvement in assembly and drawing performance, especially when working with large assemblies,” said Mike Baljak, SolidWorks CAD administrator, ATS Automation Tooling Systems. “SolidWorks 2009 will enable us to quickly open large layouts, make changes to the design, and update the associated drawing with ease, which will make our design process more efficient. This will ultimately help ATS get our SolidWorks-generated designs to manufacturing faster, shorten the design and build cycle, and enable our customers to get their products to market quicker than their competition.”
In addition to raw out-of-the-box performance, SolidWorks 2009 introduces SpeedPak, a new approach to large assembly handling that dramatically reduces the amount of computer memory needed while maintaining full graphic detail and associativity. As a result, users can build and work with massive assemblies and drawings with high performance and memory efficiency.
“Given that the point of software solutions is to automate tasks and the point of automation is to make common tasks happen faster, then a significant increase in performance will deeply benefit every designer and engineer,” said John MacKrell, senior analyst with CIMdata. “SpeedPak technology increases performance while decreasing resource consumption, providing a double benefit for designers, especially those who work with large assemblies.”
Performance improvements reflect just a few of more than 260 enhancements in SolidWorks 2009, nearly all of which directly satisfy customer requests submitted in surveys, user groups, customer visits, formal voice-of-the-customer analysis, and prospect/user studies. The product is the result of thousands of interviews, countless hours of customer research, usability testing, and the most thorough vetting by beta customers to date. The many improvements help product development organizations improve business performance, satisfy customers, design elegant products, and develop new users into power users.
And though speed improves productivity, nothing is more important than product quality. With improved workflow and verification capabilities, SolidWorks 2009 also helps designers and engineers develop better, higher-quality products. For example, SolidWorks 2009 includes a new Simulation Advisor that helps users analyze designs for hidden flaws, guiding them through every stage of a simulation.
Building on the integration of SolidWorks and SolidWorks Simulation software, new Simulation Sensors alert users when parts and assemblies deviate from user-defined limits. At any point in the design process, users can set goals like allowable stress, displacement, part weight, measurement, interference, or simulation data. No CAD software possesses this level of “set it and forget it” alerting capability.
SolidWorks 2009 adds a new quality capability, Assembly Clearance Verification, that lets designers and engineers specify keep-out areas around parts because of operating requirements like heat or electromagnetics.
SolidWorks 2009 also incorporates CircuitWorks software that enables designers and engineers to integrate electronic and mechanical designs like those required by the millions of electronic products developed every year.
Understanding that 2D is still vital in a 3D world, SolidWorks 2009 includes numerous drawing enhancements that directly benefit those many users whose final output is a manufacturing drawing. The new Title Block Wizard, for example, automates the creation, editing, and standardization of title block information. The SolidWorks 2009 Dimension
Jog capability enables users to make drawing details clearer and easier to interpret.
SolidWorks 2009 also simplifies plastics design. For example, users no longer have to resort to advanced modeling commands to create the ubiquitous lips and grooves used in snapping together molded parts. A new Lip and Groove command handles this automatically, saving multiple steps for every designer and shortening the learning curve.
Finally, for the third consecutive year, SolidWorks 2009 introduces a product based on SolidWorks Intelligent Feature Technology (SWIFT), which helps beginning CAD users achieve expert results. A new simple-to-use progressive rendering tool called PhotoView 360 lets users photorealistically render a scene while allowing the user to continue working on the same scene, unlike software that forces users to wait until scenes are complete.
“Designers and engineers want a great user experience, allowing them to focus on the product they are developing, not the software, and perform their work faster without compromise,” said Austin O’Malley, CTO of Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. “We listened hard to our customers, and the early SolidWorks 2009 feedback shows that we’ve successfully advanced this objective.”
In addition, SWIFT Instant 3D toolsets now allow dynamic editing throughout all stages of design, regardless of whether the user is working in a sketch, part, or assembly.
SolidWorks 2009 supplies single-window, fully associative integration with all of SolidWorks software products, including simulation, data management, and 3D content collaboration.
SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009
Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. also unveiled SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009. The new version of the product data management solution introduces deeper integration with SolidWorks 3D CAD software, expanded bill of material (BOM) functionality, and Item-Centric product data management.
SolidWorks Enterprise PDM is a software solution for secure organization-wide sharing, management, and reuse of product data, enabling organizations to more quickly create better products. It is especially suited to companies that span multiple geographic sites, desire the benefits of automated workflow, or require the rich database functionality provided by Microsoft SQL Server. Fully integrated with Microsoft Windows Explorer, SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009 can be deployed in a fraction of the time required by other enterprise PDM systems with little or no user training.
Because of the new, deeper integration with SolidWorks, users of SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009 can access a new array of PDM productivity capabilities directly from within their CAD interface, including “Change State” and “Where Used.” A new preview pane in the interface displays a part thumbnail with detailed version data, sparing users the need to open files or check properties. Users can compare any two documents in the SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009 vault directly from SolidWorks 2009. Another new integration feature is the ability to check out a read-only file on the fly simply by clicking “yes” when prompted. And when files are checked in, SolidWorks drawings are now automatically included with 3D modeled parts and assemblies.
DS SolidWorks has dramatically enhanced BOM functionality for efficiency, flexibility, and value beyond the engineering organization. For example, custom “drawing/assembly BOMs” that are created in SolidWorks CAD software are now passed intact to SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009, reducing rework. “Named” BOMs, which can be used beyond the engineering organization, are now associated with the SolidWorks assembly. This means that if a designer changes a part, the BOM is automatically updated. In addition, named BOMs can now be automatically exported to XML format for fast and accurate data transfer to enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
“The BOM enhancements in SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009 extend the value of PDM further across our organization to purchasing, marketing, finance, and beyond,” said Spencer Smith, mechanical design engineer, Pro Brand International, Inc. “Although the enhancements for designers and engineers make a big impact on our product quality, PDM isn’t just for engineers anymore.”
Although PDM is traditionally oriented around part and assembly files, new Item-Centric PDM provides a gateway between engineering and purchasing/finance/ERP systems, which are “item centric.” As such, they are concerned with all the items the organization must order for a product, not just the parts modeled in CAD. As part of the change, SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009 includes a new Item Explorer interface that offers manual item addition, drag-and-drop compatibility with non-SolidWorks CAD software, and XML-based ERP integration.
Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor
I saw both of these products (and others) launched in Barcelona, Spain a couple of weeks ago. It was quite a show.
If memory serves correctly, it was the first mutual stage appearance by Jeff Ray, CEO of SolidWorks and Bernard Charles, CEO of Dassault Systemes (and SolidWorks’ parent company). The symbolic staging signified a major rebranding of SolidWorks – from here on out to be known as Dassault Systemes SolidWorks. The more cohesive relationship will allow both corporate entities to share experience, ideas, and technology, according to Jeff Ray. He cited an interesting statistic that the company estimates that 50% of SolidWorks customers spend 70% of their time using SolidWorks products. He also said that Dassault/SolidWorks might expand the product lines into new markets, such as AEC. This deviates from its strictly mechanical design legacy, but might make sense if it doesn’t alienate the current customer base and dilute development and marketing efforts. Finally, with regard to design, Ray said that SolidWorks had not just a mission, but a cause.
Charles told an interesting story about Dassault offering $120 million for Solid Edge prior to its acquisition of SolidWorks, but couldn’t figure out how to sell the software. In 1997 Dassault acquired SolidWorks for $310 million – a lot of money for a company that was, at the time of acquisition, generating $7million in revenue.
With regard to the new branding scheme, Charles said that SolidWorks would join the other Dassault Systemes brands (CATIA, SIMULIA, ENOVIA, DELMIA, and 3DVia) as communities, and not just products.
Toward the end of the day, the new products were unveiled.
The highlights of SolidWorks 2009 included the following general categories:
- Performance enhancements – claiming up to a 65% time savings
- New workflows – improved data management and enhanced 2D interoperability
- Plastics features – lip and groove along a split line
- Sheet metal – compound angles, flat patterns, and rip tool
- SolidWorks Simulation (formerly known as COSMOS) – active design feedback and simulation advisor
- Enhanced ECAD interoperability – convert PCB data to 3D assemblies and harness/ribbon cable design
- Drawings – more customizable drawings and improved annotation
- BOMs – custom properties and ability to add BOM to a model
- Photorealistic rendering – PhotoView 360 (based on technology licensed from Luxology) employs high dynamic range imaging (HDRI) and progressive rendering.
We’ll be taking a much closer look at these and other new capabilities in SolidWorks 2009 when we receive the product for a hands-on look.
Not as much detail was provided on SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009, but it’s definitely for distributed design environments, providing secure access, promoting design reuse, along with an automated approval process. It can also connect to external systems, such as MRP and ERP from providers that include SAP, Oracle, and ENOVIA. It seemed like a pretty good fit for widely distributed companies with lots of seats of SolidWorks and design files.
A product that didn’t seem as good a fit for the typical SolidWorks user was 3DVia Composer for creating interactive technical publications with SolidWorks data and communicating design beyond the engineering department. It’s associative, meaning that documentation updates as models change and can output PDFs. It will be sold by both SolidWorks and CATIA resellers, which is fine, but the price is the sticking point – north of $10,000. I don’t know how many SolidWorks customers who will be interested in a complementary product whose cost is a multiple of the core design product and not a fraction of it. This will be an interesting one to follow.
I left this event with the impression that with this release and going forward, SolidWorks is more structured and disciplined with its software development efforts. This is a good thing, because it will result in products with not just more features heaped on, but more stable and reliable products. Based on what I saw demonstrated and experienced in a short hands-on session, the SolidWorks 2009 product line should be a good one for the company.
The Week’s Top 5
At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.
Mentor Graphics and PTC Deliver Industry's First Bi-Directional ECAD-MCAD Collaboration Capability
Mentor Graphics Corp. announced the industry’s first design collaboration capability between Electrical (ECAD) and Mechanical (MCAD) design solutions enabling team. Based on the ProSTEP iViP Association-approved electromechanical interchange standard whose development was initiated and driven by Mentor, Mentor Graphics’ ECAD-MCAD Collaborator product enables bi-directional, digital communication of incremental design changes and automates the review and approval processes between the respective domains. PTC is the first supplier of mechanical design solutions to adopt this standard and implement complementary collaboration capability. Together, PTC and Mentor offer the industry’s first end-to-end collaboration solution between MCAD and ECAD designers. These capabilities will replace paper-based methods and static file formats with standards-based processes and graphical visualization in the mechanical and electrical design domains.
Use of ANSYS Software by BMW Sauber F1 Team Commended by MITcon Manufacturing IT Awards
ANSYS announced that a strategy of the BMW Sauber F1 Team to increase the reliance on engineering simulation software from ANSYS for its demanding racing car design and development program has been recognized by judges of the MITcon Manufacturing IT Awards, held by Manufacturing Computer Solutions magazine. The annual awards recognize and reward the very best IT implementations and strategies in the manufacturing industry. An independent panel of judges “highly commended” the BMW Sauber F1 Team for its use of software from ANSYS in the awards’ Engineering Design and Development category. What differentiates the BMW Sauber F1 Team is that it chose to achieve competitive advantage over more established rivals by making a decisive move to increase its reliance on engineering simulation software from ANSYS by investing in performing simulations on its Intel Xeon dual- and quad-core processor-based supercomputer, rather than investing in a second wind tunnel as many other F1 teams have. The decision allowed the BMW Sauber F1 Team to run complex simulations to investigate and analyze performance.
Data Clean Up Tools for Pro/ENGINEER
Fishbowl Solutions released Data Clean Up Tools for PTC Pro/ENGINEER, Windchill PDMLink, and Windchill Pro/INTRALINK. Current and consolidated metadata ensures a faster and more accurate implementation, as well as a rapid return on investment for a company’s Windchill project. Fishbowl Solutions’ Data Clean Up Tools eliminates the need for users to manually update attributes, parameters, and life cycles in their current database’s metadata before migrating to Windchill Pro/INTRALINK or PDMLink. Data Clean Up Tools is an addition to the linkTools product suite, which addresses many Windchill implementation and migration challenges. Data Clean Up Tools can also be used after a migration to maintain clean and up-to-date metadata. With Data Clean Up Tools users can:
- Add a new attribute or parameter and set metadata values for migration.
- Change existing attribute or parameter values.
- Add a new attribute or parameter and map the value from an existing attribute or parameter.
- Delete an existing attribute or parameter.
- Designate an existing attribute or parameter.
- Undesignate an existing attribute or parameter.
- Set Life Cycles states for migration.
RuleDesigner Suite Available for SolidEdge with Synchronous Technology
ENGINEERING PLM Solutions’ RuleDesigner Suite is available for SolidEdge with ST. The RuleDesigner Suite is a set of PLM applications that, capturing the rules on how company define, design, produce and sell their products, allow CAD users to concentrate effort on design. RuleDesigner PDM simplifies and automates process and product configuration, attributes and part numbers definitions, vaulting, ECOs and all the repetitive and time consuming tasks, such as drawing, printing, file conversion, PDF creation and more. Based on the concept of capturing a company's know-how through rules, the RuleDesigner Suite can automate many of the activities that CAD users execute when they design new products. Users can access the RuleDesigner Suite directly from within the UI of SolidEdge. The modular packaging of RuleDesigner PDM allows companies of any size to benefit from its functionalities. Company standards can be defined and rules can be set to automate the attributes assignment in order to minimize user input and dramatically reduce the possibilities for mistakes. Part descriptions can be automatically generated by compounding other attributes, ensuring consistency and avoiding the duplication of components under different part-numbers.
Siemens PLM Software Delivers Expanded Functionality With Latest Release of No-Charge JT2Go Viewer
Siemens PLM Software announced the latest release of its no-charge 3D visualization solution, JT2Go. New robust functionality in JT2Go now enables users to work with digital models created in the JT format, a lightweight 3D data format for product visualization, collaboration, and CAD interoperability. Today's announcement, combined with the increasingly widespread usage of JT, will result in enhanced collaboration and cost savings for manufacturers and suppliers worldwide. The new release of JT2Go contains several additional features that were previously only available through a purchased license of the visualization component of Siemens PLM Software's Teamcenter digital lifecycle management software. These features provide a variety of significant benefits, including:
- Viewing Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) directly off the digital model, such as dimensions, tolerances and other manufacturing data, improves communication to the shop floor and enhances quality assurance.
- New sophisticated measurement tools make accurate dimensional information readily available to the end user.
- The ability to cross section JT models provides users with a better understanding of design details.
Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at Email Contact or 408.850.9230.
SolidWorks 2009 Delivers Dramatic Speed Increase Plus More Than 260 Customer-Driven Enhancements
Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. Unveils SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009
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