Dassault Systemes Points Elbows to Sky, Launches SOLIDWORKS 2018

SOLIDWORKS 2018 is out!

SOLIDWORKS 2018 is out!

Well, props to the mom’s of 1,000,000+ designers and engineers who, for reasons unbeknownst to them, gave a collective high-five from the sheer excitement of their sons and daughters learning SOLIDWORKS 2018 was indeed released and now available.

SOLIDWORKS 2018

If you had to sum up SOLIDWORKS 2018 in one sentence, you would say, ‘SOLIDWORKS 2018 is a robo-ninja CAD-artillery mech with auto-deploy model-to-manufacturing melee battle action and the flexibility of jointless machine tool operator.” If that didn’t explain things sufficiently, you can say, “Look, SOLIDWORKS captures the whole scope from prototype to manufacturing with new mesh data manipulation, sheet metal features, generative design and topology studies, model-based definition and inspection capabilities, and more ways to capture it all with branching and merging in SOLIDWORKS PDM, process management in SOLIDWORKS Manage, and automated PDF creation.”

Here’s a quick introduction if you only have 2 minutes 35 seconds before the noodles on your stovetop start boiling (keep an eye on the mouse cursor):

Now, if that video answered none of your questions about the new features actually in SOLIDWORKS 2018, let take a look at some of the highlights.

Mesh Bodies

In SOLIDWORKS 2018 you can import mesh data, turn mesh surfaces into SolidWorks surfaces, and convert mesh data and solid bodies into Mesh Bodies. The Mesh bodies show up in a Graphic Bodies folder in the Feature Manager (below the Surface Bodies and Solid Bodies folders). Though you can’t work the mesh like a 3d poly editor, you can use other SolidWorks features on the mesh body.

Tab and Slot Feature for Sheet Metal

Huge. SOLIDWORKS 2018 has a new Tab and Slot (aka Mortise and Tenon) feature that creates both in one go. This is at the part level though, so you’ll still need to position a tab and a slots for separate parts (hint: drive both with a sketch). Still, this feature will save an enormous amount of time for tab and slot creation on single parts.

Assembly Features

SOLIDWORKS 2018 now allows you to rotate linear pattern instances. You can use the Alt-key to hide surface to select others geometry for mates and override mates that go all wonky. When you create exploded views you now have the option to add Smart Explode Lines with a lil’ click and a chuckle.

3D CAD Interoperability

You now have neutral file format import support, no need to translate STEP, IGES, ACIS, and JT. If you’re migrating to SolidWorks, your legacy data will come in with all that sweet meta data/custom properties and even reference geometry in some cases.

Touch Device Sketching

SOLIDWORKS meet hand, hand meet SOLIDWORKS. Wacom users will LOVE this as will those who can draw with a twitching finger reasonably well after five cups of coffee and 12 hours at work. The new Pen commands are available under the new Sketch Ink menu. You can select Pen color, size, trigger Auto Shape, or toggle Auto Sketch Entity, which turns it immediately into a sketch entity.

Read the rest at SolidSmack.com

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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