As we start the third quarter of 2014, SOLIDWORKS has made a few newsworthy announcements.  The biggest news is SOLIDWORKS 2015 Beta 2 is now available for those wanting to check out the new features and contribute to the new release. Also newsworthy, is the SOLIDWORKS World 2015 Call for Presentations.  If you have a topic you would like to present, and want a free pass to SOLIDWORKS World, submit your presentation before Oct 3rd.

SOLIDWORKS Updates:

SOLIDWORKS 2014 SP4.0 is available for download

SOLIDWORKS 2015 Beta 2 is available for download

SOLIDWORKS World 2015 call for presentations open

The technology industry had a number of new announcements after this summer’s recent developer conferences.  A few highlights are below…

Industry News: 

 

GrabCAD ends Free Workbench Plan:  Starting August 1st, GrabCAD will be eliminating the Free pricing tier for GrabCAD Workbench users.

 

 

Windows 9, code named “Threshold”, rumored to be released in Spring 2015:  For those considering skipping Windows 8 altogether and going straight to Windows 9, you may not have to wait that long.  One feature rumored to be returning is the famous “Start Menu” missing from Windows 8.

 

 

Apple’s Mac OS X Yosemite public beta officially available: Interested in testing the newest OS X release from Apple?  Apple is releasing the new version to the public for beta testing for the first time in years.  Offer limited to the first million people that sign up.

 

 

Google’s Little Box Challenge: Think you have what it takes to design a smaller power inverter?  Google and IEEE have teamed together to create the “Little Box Challenge“. A contest to see who can design the smallest, kW scale power inverter.  Winning design gets $1,000,000.

 

 

Amazon’s 3D Printing Store: Amazon recently announced a new “3D Printing Store” where users can browse from a list of 3d printed products and order.  In many situations, the orders can be customized and built “On Demand”.  Amazon isn’t actually printing anything themselves, companies like Mixee Labs, and Sculpteo are partnering with the retail giant to offer this service.

 

 

Posted in Industry News |

 

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.

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.

Date
 
 
Course Topic
 
 
Location
Aug 4-5 SOLIDWORKS Simulation – Intro to FEA Training San Diego
Aug 6 SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional Training San Diego
Aug 18-20; 25-26 SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training San Diego
see all upcoming San Diego classes
Aug 4-6; 11-12 SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training Phoenix
Aug 7-8 SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Training Phoenix
Aug 13-14 SOLIDWORKS Electrical – 2D Schematic Training Phoenix
Aug 15 SOLIDWORKS Electrical – 3D Training Phoenix
see all upcoming Phoenix classes
Aug 18-21 SOLIDWORKS Advanced Training Tucson
Sept 15-19 SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training Tucson
Nov 17-21 SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training Tucson
see all upcoming Tucson classes
Aug 11-15 SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training Fresno
Aug 25-28 SOLIDWORKS Advanced Training Fresno
Sept 8-9 SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Training Fresno
see all upcoming Fresno classes

 

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.

Date
 
 
 
Course Topic
 
 
Time
Aug 18 Online Large Assembly Best Practices Training 9am – 11am
Aug 22 Online Large Assembly Best Practices Training 9am – 11am
Aug 29 Online Large Assembly Best Practices Training 9am – 11am
see all upcoming online 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 |

This week is pretty special for us at Digital Dimensions— we celebrate the 30th anniversary of our founding on August 1.

“The first 30 years, loyal customers and dedicated employees have helped Digital Dimensions survive and grow,” said Pat Lindsay, Founder and CEO of Digital Dimensions.

From just one San Diego office in 1984 to five offices in 2014, Pat is proud of the company he has built and excited about where it’s going.

“The keys to our growth are customers that continue to trust us to deliver quality software solutions and the strong technical support and training provided by our experienced engineering staff,” said Lindsay. “These two keys are also the reasons we’re positioned to continue our growth over the next 30 years.”

DDi Founder & CEO Pat Lindsay and President Brian Findley

Digital Dimensions employs more than 40 people across California and Arizona, with offices and training locations in both states. DDi is ranked highly in many categories of SOLIDWORKS resellers in California and Arizona and consistently ranks amongst the highest of SOLIDWORKS VARs in the country when it comes to Subscription renewals and support— a testament to the customer service focus of the company.

Everyone at DDi congratulates the company on 30 great years and looks forward to another 30 years of providing next level services to our customers.

Posted in DDi News |

SOLIDWORKS Composer is a relatively new acquisition to the SOLIDWORKS family, a software set that you may have seen a few times but are still left with some questions. If that’s the case, you’re in luck as this month we are putting extra emphasis into teaching you all about SOLIDWORKS Composer.

Let’s look at how composer can be utilized– say you have spent a significant amount of time, energy, and resources detailing out your latest designs and concepts and walking through various design iterations in order to verify function of your designs. How do you move forward with the marketing material, generating pictures, assembly instructions, creating support documentation, and the plethora of other things that are required in order to cover all your bases? Most of the time, you have a couple of options. You can write that novel to accompany your components, risking product shipment delays, or you can use SOLIDWORKS Composer for a less eye-watering set of media.

Part of the goal of CAD-based engineering design is to fully capture every aspect of a design, including a large portion of the workload focused on developing CAD models which are fully representative of the finished product. You or your team dedicate massive amounts of effort into creating those designs and models but how do you capture your technical documentation? How do you build out your assembly documents? Does your company spend a significant chunk of time taking pictures during the assembly process? This can be a time and resource consuming task which essentially requires a blind run at the first article. SOLIDWORKS Composer is designed to speed up the process by allowing you to start these technical documents earlier by utilizing the CAD files and keeping up-to-date graphics attached as the project matures.

You no longer need to compromise your technical communication or product by relying on rough drawings to show your concepts or waiting until your design is finished to start creating product communication deliverables. With SOLIDWORKS Composer, you can quickly and easily create:

  • Detailed Views
  • High-resolution images
  • Technical illustrations
  • Interactive Animations
  • Interactive Bills of Materials (BOMs) and parts lists
  • and much more
SOLIDWORKS Composer is a great tool for both technical and nontechnical users. Everyone from engineers to marketing managers can benefit from having easier access to the items they need in order to create the best technical communication, product documentation, and marketing collateral they can.
Posted in SolidWorks Composer | Tagged |

 

SOLIDWORKS Inspection was publicly announced at SOLIDWORKS World 2014 – General Session, January 27, 2014, later released with SOLIDWORKS 2014 SP03 on April 14TH, 2014.

So what is SOLIDWORKS Inspection?

SOLIDWORKS Inspection is a First Article Inspection (FAI) and in-process inspection software that automates ballooned inspection drawings, recording inspection measurements, and publishing inspection reports (AS9102, PPAP, etc.) for quality control. There are two application interfaces, a stand-alone application with optical character recognition for capturing dimensional characteristics from PDFs or TIFFs files and a SOLIDWORKS add-in which automatically creates ballooned inspection drawings and reports from SOLIDWORKS drawings.

 

In addition to SOLIDWORKS Inspection, there are extended capabilities with SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional for recording and publishing measured values from within the standalone application. SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional fully embeds all inspection documentation including the ballooned drawings and recorded values. Measurements can be entered by manually typing them in, using a digital caliper, or importing CMM results. Recorded values and drawing dimensions are highlighted (Red/Green/Yellow) making it easy to identify which values are In Tolerance, Out of Tolerance, or Marginally within Tolerance. With SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional ballooned drawings and recorded measurements with pass/fail color highlighting can be published to PDFs, Excel reports, and as XML for quality system integration.  Below are my favorite SOLIDWORKS Inspection features followed by distinct capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Inspection and SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional:

My favorite features of SOLIDWORKS Inspection:

  • Embedded inspection documentation and recording tools
  • Automates ballooned inspection drawings, reports, recording measurements
  • Standard Inspection Packages: AS9102, PPAP, APQP, etc…
  • Highlight Pass/Fail dimensions (Green / Red / Yellow)
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for working with PDF and TIFF files
  • Compare drawing revisions

SOLIDWORKS Inspection features:

  • Create ballooned drawings and reports from SOLIDWORKS drawings, PDFs, or TIFF files
  • Includes both Stand-alone application and SOLIDWORKS add-in
  • SOLIDWORKS Inspection add-in balloons SOLIDWORKS drawings and create reports
  • When working with PDF and TIFF files, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) identifies dimensions, tolerances, notes, finish symbols, and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) symbols.
  • Export inspection reports to Excel using standard templates such as AS9102 or PPAP forms
  • Record measured values in excel reports with pass/fail/marginal conditional formatting
  • Template editor to customize Excel templates
  • Compare drawing revision to clearly identify drawing changes
  • Simple standalone and network licensing

SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional features:

  • Includes all capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Inspection
  • Extended capabilities for recording and publishing measured values
  • Embed ballooned drawing and recorded values into a project file
  • Manually record by typing inspection measurements
  • Directly enter measurements using digital calipers
  • Import measurements from any CMM: Calypso, PC-DMIS, MicroVu, Faro CAM2, etc…
  • Recorded measurements are highlighted green/red/yellow as Pass/Fail/Marginal
  • Dimensions are highlighted green/red/yellow as Pass/Fail/Marginal
  • Publish ballooned drawings as PDF with Pass/Fail/Marginal highlighting
  • Publish recorded values to Excel reports with Pass/Fail/Marginal highlighting
  • Publish recorded values to XML for quality system integration
If you’d like to know more about SOLIDWORKS Inspection click here to watch a short video or register for an upcoming webinar hosted by Digital Dimensions.

 

Webinars                Date    Time
SOLIDWORKS Inspection August 1 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PDT
SOLIDWORKS Inspection August 19 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM PDT
All Upcoming Webinars

 

Posted in SOLIDWORKS Inspection | Tagged |

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     Date
SOLIDWORKS Composer
   Fresno July 17
   Sacramento July 17
   Tucson July 24
   San Diego July 25
   Phoenix July 25
SOLIDWORKS Electrical
   Fresno Aug. 19
   Sacramento Aug. 21
   Tucson Aug. 26
   San Diego Aug. 29
   Phoenix Aug. 29

 

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 Hands-on Test Drive July 23 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SOLIDWORKS Composer Hands-on Test Drive July 23 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
SOLIDWORKS Electrical Hands-on Test Drive Aug. 27 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
see all upcoming San Diego events
Phoenix
SOLIDWORKS Hands-on Test Drive July 17 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SOLIDWORKS Composer Hands-on Test Drive July 17 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Arizona Technology Council Lunch and Learn Aug. 5 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
see all upcoming Phoenix events
Tucson
SOLIDWORKS Hands-on Test Drive July 24 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SOLIDWORKS Composer Hands-on Test Drive July 24 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
SOLIDWORKS Hands-on Test Drive Aug. 26 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
see all upcoming Tucson events
Fresno
SOLIDWORKS Hands-on Test Drive July 17 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SOLIDWORKS Composer Hands-on Test Drive July 17 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
SOLIDWORKS Hands-on Test Drive Aug. 19 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
see all upcoming Fresno events
Sacramento
Introduction to SOLIDWORKS July 17 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SOLIDWORKS Composer Hands-on Test Drive July 17 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Introduction to SOLIDWORKS Aug. 21 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
see all upcoming Sacramento events

 

 

Posted in Events, Hands-on Test Drives, Lunch and Learns |

SOLIDWORKS offers two product data management solutions that cover a wide array of tools. While most businesses will benefit the greatest from SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM, SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM provides basic product data management tools that are still steps above what you might have otherwise. Below is the PDM product matrix that breaks down the functionality of both. If you’re still unsure what you need or if you just want to talk through the options, DDi has skilled PDM specialists that can work with you and your company to help determine exactly what is needed.

Key Differences:

Both solutions provide data consolidation, a check-out process, revision control and a much easier way to find the exact file and revision you need. As an added value, Workgroup PDM is included with SOLIDWORKS Premium and SOLIDWORKS Professional licenses targeted for engineers that need a vault system to manage SOLIDWORKS revisions. You get the file management, SOLIDWORKS integration, one simple workflow, and search that comes with Enterprise PDM but in a much more condensed format.

One main difference is that Enterprise PDM’s windows explorer integration can securely manage and reuse design data, standard parts, libraries, toolbox parts, and templates. Another key difference in Enterprise PDM– you can create many configurable workflows to automate the engineering document release process with notifications, electronic signatures, file revision and status tags, and tasks like creating PDFs from drawings. Enterprise PDM gains back valuable time by allowing you to adapt, leverage and reuse existing designs instead of spending time looking for or recreating designs that already exist but you aren’t able to find in a reasonable time.

In an industry where time means more than just money, completing your engineering process on schedule and sharing the right file could mean the difference between success and failure. When much of your new product designs contain components from prior designs, or if you share CAD files and manage file revisions, it’s time to take a look at PDM. Whether you use Enterprise or Workgroup PDM, you can be assured that your data is secure and that no one can inadvertently alter, overwrite, or delete your work. Your engineering history is captured, and the right file is available.

Digital Dimensions provides process evaluations to support both Workgroup and Enterprise PDM and offers frequent webinars and training classes covering both.

To request more information about a Product Data Management solution or a data management process evaluation, please click here and a specialist will be in touch.

In addition to PDM, we also offer other SOLIDWORKS related webinars each month. To find an up-to-date listing, click here.

Posted in Product Data Management |

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.

Date
 
 
 
Course Topic
 
 
Time
June 11 Online SOLIDWORKS File Management Training 9:30am – 11:30am
June 16-20 Online CAMWorks Training 9am – 11am
June 16 Online SOLIDWORKS Costing Training 3pm – 5pm
July 7-11 Online Routing: Piping and Tubing Training 9am – 11am
July 23 Online Design Library Training 9:30am – 11:30am
Aug 4-8 Online Routing: Electrical Training 9am – 11am
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.

Date
 
 
Course Topic
 
 
Location
June 26-27 SOLIDWORKS Composer Training San Diego
July 9-11; 17-18 SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training San Diego
July 21-22; 28-29 SOLIDWORKS Advanced Training San Diego
see all upcoming San Diego classes
June 16-17 SOLIDWORKS Simulation – Intro to FEA Training Phoenix
June 18 SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional Training Phoenix
June 19-20 SOLIDWORKS Composer Training Phoenix
see all upcoming Phoenix classes
July 14-18 SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training Tucson
July 30-31 SOLIDWORKS Composer Training Tucson
Aug 18-21 SOLIDWORKS Advanced Training Tucson
see all upcoming Tucson classes
June 23-27 SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training Fresno
Aug 11-15 SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training Fresno
Aug 25-28 SOLIDWORKS Advanced 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 Uncategorized |

As Engineers and Designers and Tinkers and Problem Solvers, we can appreciate the humor in some very abstract solutions to daily problems. We can also (fortunately or unfortunately– you decide) get  a fairly detailed picture of the likelihood that our abstract solution may or may not work. Sort of like that one time you had a part, it was designed for a specific purpose in mind, but down the road someone decided it is perfect for their new project and……… it does not appear to be able to perform its new designated task with any reliability on visual inspection. How do we communicate this or understand the changes that need to occur in order to accommodate the new specification? The easy answer is to use SOLIDWORKS Simulation to verify the component behavior then quickly redesign or edit the design and verify the new behavior.

I have a couple of examples to point out here. I hope we have all seen a couple of these images in the past, as your friends and family got a hold of these chain emails or found them randomly posted on Facebook, often times asking if you where the one responsible for this picture and informing you that it fits completely with your at-home solutions! Lets review some of the more original solutions and what SOLIDWORKS Simulation has to say about them.

First, we have a car muffler held in place by a coat hanger. Interesting idea, right? What do you think the results have to say about this particular application?

What household item would you have used instead? Try testing it in SOLIDWORKS with the same application in mind!

 How about this application? A candle heating the water coming through a shower head? It would be really nice to eliminate that water heater in the garage, wouldn’t it?

How many candles would it take to sufficiently warm the water? What about other tools to heat the water, a blow torch for example? SOLIDWORKS Simulation can help answer all these questions.

Click this Image to see the SOLIDWORKS Simulation image

We can also use the SOLIDWORKS Simulation tools so we can understand how something we felt was unlikely to occur, occurred. In this example, who would have thought the car would take more damage than a bicycle during a collision? Costs: Bicycle Wheel – $50, Front Car Fender – $250/500 deductible.

As a last note, please remember to complete all submissions by Friday, June 6th for the Simulation Design Competition. The winner of the Kindle FIRE  will be announced and have their design featured in a webinar on June 18th. Show us your design muscles and be entered to win a cool prize!

Posted in Events, SolidWorks Simulation |
Last week I had the privilege to work the SOLIDWORKS Composer exhibit booth at the 2014 STC Summit and Expo with Brian Zias of SOLIDWORKS Corp. The Society for Technical Communication (STC) is a professional association including 81 chapters and 10 special interest groups from around the world dedicated to the advancement of technical communication. The STC Summit and Expo 2014, which began Sunday evening May 18 and continued until midday on May 21, offered over 80 educational sessions and a technology exhibit with more than 50 companies. The STC Summit was a great opportunity to network with technical communicators, to learn more about the technical communication profession and the technology used to author, publish, and translate documentation across a broad range of industries.

 

At our exhibit booth we had the opportunity to show and tell technical writers and illustrators how SOLIDWORKS Composer can reduce communication breakdown by creating more intuitive graphical pictures and 3D interactive instructions directly from 3D CAD files. To no surprise STC members creating hardware instructions were already familiar with SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD and SOLIDWORKS Composer, one in particular was STC Senior member Brian McCullough a Senior Technical Writer at Precor. Brian enthusiastically shared how SOLIDWORKS Composer improved his process and graphical content for Precor’s premier fitness equipment work instructions and product manuals. We were glad to hear his story of how the old process of using screen shots and pictures to create technical illustrations has been replaced by empowering the technical documentation team to create better technical illustrations from SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD files using SOLIDWORKS Composer .

SOLIDWORKS EXHIBIT

Posted in Events, SolidWorks Composer |