Every month we try to find technical aspects of SolidWorks to share with users. Here are the top tips for March:

What’s New: SolidWorks 2014 Plastics – This CADcast wraps up our What’s New series with a look at the new features and enhancements to SolidWorks Plastics 2014.






Using multi-touch touchpads and monitors with SolidWorks – Learn how to customize SolidWorks using touch displays that are available with many new laptops and monitors.









Interference Detection in SolidWorks – This CADcast covers the powerful options found within the Interference Detection tool for SolidWorks assemblies.


Posted in Tech Tips |

Recently I’ve been working on a couple of extra projects using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Simulation in particular.

A little background about one of my projects: I’ve been wanting to go test my abilities at the bowling alley but didn’t particularly want to go throw numerous balls down the lane until I figure out what the best potential spin, ball size, and ball speed is as that can be a time-consuming and frustrating trial & error process. (Also, physically exhausting…you know how much those balls weigh?) So I decided to use my knowledge of SOLIDWORKS to bypass that process and decided to model up a bowling lane using a bowling ball and bowling pins that I downloaded from the SOLIDWORKS hosted website called 3D Content Central.

Once I had the parts I needed, I put them all together in an assembly at the expected location, then I moved over and started using the SOLIDWORKS Simulation tools to optimize my rotation, ball speed, and ball location iterations.

In any case, this project has surprisingly picked up a lot of interest with everyone I have talked to about it or shared it with! Even some of the corporate SOLIDWORKS guys have shown a strong interest and have added their own personal touches to this model as well.

To start this simulation, I first turned on the Motion Analysis Add-In within SOLIDWORKS, then I added solid body contacts to the pins, ball, and alley. After, I added an initial condition of rotation and velocity (speed) to the ball at the point where it leaves the bowler’s hand. From there, I let SOLIDWORKS Simulation calculate out the results and give me a really good idea of how I can show up at the bowling alley next week and look like a real pro! Anyone know of a good league to join in San Diego? I think I’m ready for my debut.

Click on the image to the right to see a quick video of the simulation. Hit us up on Facebook or Twitter with any cool projects you’re working on, we would love to see them.


Posted in SolidWorks Simulation | Tagged , |

SOLIDWORKS Electrical is a NEW product that you have probably seen us here at Digital Dimensions spending a lot of effort in both increasing awareness of the product and attempting to connect the dots between common electrical engineering questions. With that being said, I wanted to spend a couple minutes explaining this new SOLIDWORKS product.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical is really a very intuitive and easy-to-use bridge between the mechanical oriented engineers and the electrical oriented engineers. But how is this really possible when a majority of an electrical engineers’ work is done on a 2D level designing line diagrams to document connections, routes, wires, and cables? This is part of the conundrum that happened years ago when 3D CAD solutions where first introduced to mechanical engineers. Designers and engineers transitioned from static 2D tools like Draftsight, Visio, and sometimes just simple pen/paper schematics to computer aided design tools that actively work to expedite a tedious, timely, and error prone process. This new tool by SOLIDWORKS begins by helping Electrical Engineers turn over more accurate documentation to both the mechanical engineer and to the downstream manufacturing engineers. This is accomplished through the accurate and automatic BOM functionality, the innate capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Electrical to evaluate different aspects of the schematic design based on predetermined best practice rules, and the ability for the Electrical Engineer to quickly update their schematics without spending time recounting BOM items or reassigning/terminating what has previously been known as “dumb” lines.

Now you might be asking “sounds great for the Electrical Engineer but how does this help the Mechanical Engineer?” The answer is that everything the Electrical Engineer does in SOLIDWORKS Electrical is available for use by the Mechanical team. All those circuit breakers, relays, connectors, and other electrical components defined in the schematic are displayed in a concise list that offers feedback to the mechanical engineer informing them when the component has been inserted or assigned in their 3D models. In addition, for those familiar with routing, every connection between the individual components in the 2D schematic can be turned into 3D cable/wire representations with a simple click of a button.

All of this is merely scratching the surface of an incredibly powerful product that SOLIDWORKS is now providing. For more information on this product, please feel free to reach out to us at Digital Dimensions. We are also hosting a number of SOLIDWORKS Electrical focused webinars this month. You can register for those HERE.

Posted in SolidWorks Electrical |

If you’re aiming for certification or simply want to use SOLIDWORKS more effectively, training is essential to achieve your goals. Below are classes offered by Digital Dimensions in the coming months.

Online Training Classes:
Let us bring the classroom to you. These are live classes led by our certified instructors. Click on the topic to get a description or contact us for pricing and more information. See all available online courses DDi has to offer.

Course Topic
April 14-18       Online CAMWorks Mill Training     2pm – 4pm
April 16       Online SOLIDWORKS Costing Training     9:30am – 11:30am
May 12-16       Online Surface Modeling Training     9am – 11am
May 21       Online SOLIDWORKS File Management Training     9:30am – 11:30am
June 11       Online Large Assembly Management Training     9:30am – 11:30am
        see all upcoming online classes      

Classroom Training:
Learn from the best in our training classes. These SOLIDWORKS courses meet from 8:30AM - 5PM at our training centers. Click on the topic to get a description or contact us for pricing and more information.

Course Topic
April 14-15     Flow Simulation Training     San Diego
April 24-25     SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Training     San Diego
April 28-30; May 5-6     SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training     San Diego
      see all upcoming San Diego classes      
April 9-10     Flow Simulation Training     Phoenix
April 21-22     SOLIDWORKS Plastics Training     Phoenix
April 28-30; May 5-6     SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training     Phoenix
      see all upcoming Phoenix classes      
April 16-17     SOLIDWORKS Electrical Training     Tucson
May 12-16     SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training     Tucson
May 19-22     SOLIDWORKS Advanced Training     Tucson
      see all upcoming Tucson classes      
April 21-25     SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training     Fresno
May 27-30     SOLIDWORKS Advanced Training     Fresno
June 23-27     SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training     Fresno
      see all upcoming Fresno classes      

Digital Dimensions is here to ensure your success with SOLIDWORKS. If you have a request or are looking for additional education resources, please contact us at training@ddicad.com

Posted in On-line Training Classes, Training Classes |

As 2014 moves out of its first quarter, the SolidWorks product line is going to have some new products available for purchase.  Both SolidWorks Inspection and SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual will begin their rollouts into the market in April, further expanding their product portfolio.

On the technology front, many of the big players are gearing up for their developer’s conferences which usually comes with some interesting insights to what is in store for us consumers in the coming months.  Here are a few highlights:

SolidWorks Updates:
- SolidWorks 2014 SP3 (Early Visibility) is available for download
- SolidWorks World 2014 Proceedings site launches for video and presentation downloads!

Industry News:

TeamPlatform Drops Free Version:  TeamPlatform, a cloud based 3D CAD project management service, was acquired by 3D Systems last summer and is now discontinuing their free offering in mid-April.  The product has shifted to a pay-only service and offers excellent tools to manage projects that require 3D markup and collaboration all through a web browser.


Sunglass.io Disbands: Sunglass.io, a company formed out of MIT, had launched a web/mobile platform to help address challenges with distributed teams and their 3D Data.  The service offered 3D WebGL viewer, co-browsing, chat and even VOIP to connect teams around their 3D Data.  After 2 years of attempting to commercialize the product, they have recently shut down the service despite innovating in this collaborative space.


GrabCAD WorkBench Adds-into to SolidWorks: The 3D CAD Community, GrabCAD, has evolved from a sharing and engineering talent source to a full collaboration service with GrabCAD Workbench.  Workbench is integrating with many other cloud services but is also offering add-ins into other CAD platforms like SolidWorks.  This provides data sync with remote teams and performs collaboration and version control from within SolidWorks and and anyone through the browser.  Read more…


Automatic: Bringing Internet of Things to Your Car: The Internet of Things (IOT) is constantly inching closer to so many of the products we use everyday, including our cars.  Automatic has a dongle ($99) that plugs into your car’s data port (on most cars back to 1996) and talks to your smartphone via their free apps on iOS and Android.  I recently added one to my car and if you like getting data, this is the gadget for you.


Office for the iPad Finally Ships:  This past week Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, announced Microsoft Office for the iPad.  Although this was available before with an Office365 subscription (~$70/year), it is now free to download for use.  Sporting a newly optimized interface for the iPad, viewing Office documents is free.  However, editing or creating documents via the new app will still require the Office365 subscription.  Features include Word (w/ full formatting), Excel (w/ specialized numeric keypad) and PowerPoint (w/ virtual Laser pointer),


Lagoa Web-based Rendering: Lagoa, which is Portuguese for pond, is a cloud-based rendering startup that showed off their stuff at SolidWorks World 2014.  Lagoa, brings high end rendering to almost any 3D File all in the browser.  They specialize in complex materials like hair, physical lighting and a full scene design.  Co-editing, quick embedding and an open api to deliver interactive pages, makes this browser-based startup one to keep your eye on.


Windows 8.1 Update 1 Hits RTM:  Finally the next patch to hit Windows 8.1 has been released to manufacturing (RTM).  The final bits should show up in the Windows Store as an update around April 8th.  The update improves dual screen support and other non-touch (desktop) focused interfaces.  This will be the first major patch with Windows 8.1 since it shipped back in October 2013.


As many traditional desktop software markets start to push portions of their tools to the cloud, companies like Microsoft, Apple and even Dassault Systems are evaluating which problems are better solved by software as a service (SaaS).  Connectivity has become a non-issue, in most cases, and connection speeds are increasing by the year.   Spending less time on keeping your software up-to-date means more time getting work done.


Posted in Industry News |

NEW! Join us for a Lunch and Learn seminar at a Digital Dimensions office near you. These quick and informative events will showcase the SOLIDWORKS product line. You will discover different ways to utilize SOLIDWORKS to address common design problems and valuable information will be gained by users of all experience levels. Sessions are held from 11:45am to 1:15pm – and lunch is on us!

These FREE sessions will fill up fast, so reserve your spot in one or all in your area!

Lunch and Learn Topic          Location            Date
SOLIDWORKS Electrical       San Diego   April 18
SOLIDWORKS Electrical       Phoenix   April 18
SOLIDWORKS Electrical       Tucson   April 22
SOLIDWORKS Simulation       Tucson   May 8
SOLIDWORKS Simulation       Sacramento   May 15
SOLIDWORKS Simulation       Bakersfield College     May 21
SOLIDWORKS Simulation       Fresno   May 22
SOLIDWORKS Simulation       Phoenix   May 23
SOLIDWORKS Simulation       San Diego   May 23
SOLIDWORKS EPDM       Fresno   June 10
SOLIDWORKS EPDM       Tucson   June 18
SOLIDWORKS EPDM       San Diego   June 19
SOLIDWORKS EPDM       Sacramento   June 19
SOLIDWORKS EPDM       Phoenix   June 27






Posted in Events, Lunch and Learns |

Great Designs Start Here! During these FREE hands-on sessions, one of our certified engineers will teach you how to use each SolidWorks product. You will experience for yourself the ease of use and powerful capabilities that can improve your work experience.

San Diego       Date Time
SolidWorks Electrical Hands-on Test Drive       April 8 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SolidWorks Simulation Hands-on Test Drive       April 9 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SolidWorks Plastics Hands-on Test Drive       April 9 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
see all upcoming San Diego events          
SolidWorks Electrical Hands-on Test Drive       April 18 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
SolidWorks Open House – Flagstaff       April 25 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
SolidWorks Simulation Hands-on Test Drive       May 7 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
see all upcoming Phoenix events          
SolidWorks Hands-on Test Drive       April 22 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SolidWorks Composer Hands-on Test Drive       April 22 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
SolidWorks Hands-on Test Drive       May 8 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
see all upcoming Tucson events          
SolidWorks Hands-on Test Drive       April 15 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SolidWorks Composer Hands-on Test Drive       April 15 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
SolidWorks Simulation Hands-on Test Drive       April 16 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
see all upcoming Fresno events          
SolidWorks Open House       April 24 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Introduction to SolidWorks       April 25 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SolidWorks Composer Hands-on Test Drive       April 25 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
see all upcoming Sacramento events          



Posted in Events, Hands-on Test Drives |

Communicating product features that highlight the benefits of your product to a buyer is an important function of product marketing. The buyer’s first impression and clear understanding of your product’s purpose and advantages can influence their decision to purchase at your market price or not. Because of this, a common goal of product marketing is to create a lasting first impression with visual content that leave a buyer feeling intrigued by both your product and the marketing content you presented.

Within our Industry, product marketing has historically relied on the engineering team to create visual content from 3D CAD files or has taken photographs for web pages, sales presentations, trade show banners, and product brochures. However this strategy inhibits marketing’s creativity while creating additional work and data for engineering to manage, or requires a prototype to take photographs.

A better solution is empowering marketing with SolidWorks Composer to create unparalleled marketing content and sales presentations. SolidWorks Composer incorporates existing 3D SolidWorks and other 3D CAD design files to rapidly create high quality graphical assets, animations, parts lists, and 3D interactive stories. 3D communication and interactive animations created with SolidWorks Composer foster instant visual understanding of your product’s unique advantages. As Product Marketing teams evaluate new product configurations they can take ownership of marketing content and enable sales with new arrangements.

Helping customers, partners, and employees understand products better throughout the marketing and sales cycle is a key advantage of SolidWorks Composer. SolidWorks Composer also enables other departments to easily incorporate 3D graphics and interactive animations into a variety of other technical publications such as work instructions, product manuals, training and service manuals to communicate your products and processes clearly and concisely.

 If you would like to learn more about developing and delivery product marketing content, sign up for our next webinar on 3/21. https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/604285030

Posted in SolidWorks Composer | Tagged , , |

As I have continued to meet with all of our valued customers and prospective customers, I have come to realize that SolidWorks is used for so much more than simple part design and validation. One way that I’ve seen SolidWorks be utilized, that I’ve never expected, was for brewery design and tank placement.

Premier Stainless Brewery System

Our customer, Premier Stainless, utilizes SolidWorks to not only model their tanks and flange placements but to model the entire building in which the Brewery System will be installed. Premier Stainless then uses SolidWorks to add the tanks and the systems into place for fit, form, and function checking. Once the tank placement is verified, the building is rendered using SolidWorks PhotoView 360 and presented as a proposal to their customer. From that point, they are able to effectively collaborate with their customers and adjust the system to accommodate the end-users’ needs and requirements by adjusting both placement and function of the system.

This application of the SolidWorks package is a great demonstration of utilizing the innate capabilities for building a library of parts and assemblies, maximizing productivity and minimizing tedious busy work by capitalizing on the SolidWorks Routing feature and then clearly communicating the results with PhotoView 360.

If you have interest in seeing how these tank system designs move from the conceptual phase to reality, join us at our upcoming Brewery Tank System Design Webinar. This webinar will touch on using libraries to build out assemblies, inserting library features to add things like flange mounts, using SolidWorks Routing to link the tanks together and setting up PhotoView 360 for a photo-realistic image of the virtual model.

Webinar: Brewery Tank System Design with SolidWorks Premium

Time: Thursday, March 13: 11-12pm PST


Posted in DDi Customer Showcase | Tagged , , |

Below you’ll find the schedule for our upcoming SolidWorks classes and webinars. We are open to exploring group or onsite training options to meet your needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a request.

Classroom Training:
These are certified SolidWorks courses meeting from 8:30AM - 5PM at our training center. Click on the topic to get a description, or contact us for pricing and more information.

Course Topic
March 6-7; 13-14   SolidWorks Advanced Training     San Diego
April 2-4; 10-11   SolidWorks Essentials Training     San Diego
April 14-15   Flow Simulation Training     San Diego
April 16   Flow Simulation: Electronic Cooling Training     San Diego
    see all upcoming San Diego classes      
March 3-5; 10-11   SolidWorks Essentials Training     Phoenix
March 13-14; 20-21   SolidWorks Advanced Training     Phoenix
March 17-18   SolidWorks Simulation – Intro to FEA Training     Phoenix
March 19   SolidWorks Simulation Professional Training     Phoenix
    see all upcoming Phoenix classes      
March 24-28   SolidWorks Essentials Training     Tucson
May 12-16   SolidWorks Essentials Training     Tucson
May 19-22   SolidWorks Advanced Training     Tucson
    see all upcoming Tucson classes      
April 21-25   SolidWorks Essentials Training     Fresno
May 27-30   SolidWorks Advanced Training     Fresno
June 23-27   SolidWorks Essentials Training     Fresno
    see all upcoming Fresno classes      
March 24-28   SolidWorks Essentials Training     Sacramento
    see all upcoming Sacramento classes      


Product Webinars:
Pick up extra tips and tricks in these FREE webinars.

Course Topic
March 6 SolidWorks for Sheet Metal and Welded Structures 2-3PM PST
March 10 Validating your Composite Designs 2-3PM PDT
March 11 Track SolidWorks Changes with SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 10-11AM PDT
March 11 Create Product Manuals, Work Instructions and Marketing Content with SolidWorks Composer 2-3PM PDT
March 13 Brewery Tank System Design with SolidWorks Premium 11AM-12PM PDT
March 17 Simulate Plastics, Rubbers, Nitinol and other Nonlinear Materials 2-3PM PDT 
March 18 Electrical System Design using SolidWorks Electrical and SolidWorks Electrical 3D 2-3PM PDT

Posted in Training Classes, Webinars |