SOLIDWORKS 2021 Now Available

By on September 24th, 2020 in Software

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SOLIDWORKS 2021 Now Available
A complex 3D design made in SOLIDWORKS 2021 [Source: Dassault Systèmes]

Dassault Systèmes has released SOLIDWORKS 2021, the latest version of the powerful 3D CAD tool.

Dassault Systèmes tends to release a new version each year with improved features, and this year is no exception — in spite of the pandemic, which has delayed all manner of other products.

The focus of the 2021 update seems to be two-fold: ease-of-use and speed enhancements. The updates apparently attempt to address the “top ten” concerns cited by SOLIDWORKS users. Dassault Systèmes says the performance for handling larger assemblies has been improved by these changes:

  • Improved performance for occlusion culling and silhouette edge
  • Faster toggling between configurations
  • Improved performance in Open, Save, and Close of assemblies
  • Faster file saving to SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault.

There’s a long list of other improvements when designing parts in specific circumstances, for example:

  • Lightweight components can, if the user wishes, automatically resolve when a Feature Tree node is expanded, or
  • Chain patterns use distance along the path, or linear distance, for pattern spacing, making modeling of chain drive systems more realistic and more accurate.

Dassault Systèmes also spent time improving the large assembly drawing experience, which is something required by most designers. Dassault Systèmes explains:

“Creating drawings for a large, complex design can be as challenging as creating the assembly. Designers must create clear, concise documentation, which often means they must include fine details to avoid confusion associated with oversimplified drawing views. They need a way to capture the details without reducing performance.”

They’ve added a number of improvements to the drawing system in SOLIDWORKS 2021, mostly allowing editing of different features that previously were challenging to complete.

There’s also improvements in the ability to identify, isolate and fix poor quality mesh elements, which is something many Fabbaloo readers who use SOLIDWORKS can appreciate.

But I suspect the major benefit in SOLIDWORKS 2021 is its ability to connect with the rest of the Dassault Systèmes universe through their cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE system. This cloud allows designs to flow seamlessly to different tools that allow for a complete end-to-end product development lifecycle.

For example, a design can be shared with the SIMULIA system for complex simulation and analysis, and then returned to SOLIDWORKS for adjustments.

Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE system now includes a vast array of powerful software tools that fit almost every niche one could find in the manufacturing world, so it’s no surprise that it’s a very popular tool.


By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo 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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