Every month we try to find small technical tips in the SOLIDWORKS products to share with users. Here are the top tips for September:

Isolate Changed Dimensions on Drawings – Learn how to set SOLIDWORKS to find changed dimensions on drawings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overview of SOLIDWORKS Composer Player – This CADcast provides a walk-through of the SOLIDWORKS Composer player.

 

 

 

 

 Using SOLIDWORKS Simulation to Save Custom Materials – Learn how to save custom materials in a custom material database for use in SOLIDWORKS Simulation.

 

 

 

 

Shift Select for Accurate Stock Definition in CAMWorks – Create stock definition based on WIP within CAMWorks for more accurate simulations.

Posted in DDi News, Tech Tips |

By now, you’ve probably heard the buzz (pun intended:  Mains Hum) surrounding SOLIDWORKS Electrical– either coming from us or maybe your buddy who has been using the software for awhile now– but you’re still left with some questions about how this tool can help simplify your every day processes. I wanted to write this blog to share some of my own insights into the product and to give you a look at how I use the tool.

Communication between engineers is always a challenge, even in the most hospitable environment. Usually, as engineers, we have some notion of how we believe things should progress or function and when someone has differing views, confusion runs rampant. For those of you that work in multi-discipline engineering teams, you can probably attest to communication difficulties that happen when trying to translate different deliverables from each team– whether it’s formatting issues or simply finding the right file– it’s a headache. Even mechanical engineers experienced with electrical schematics often have a hard time delivering designs that are easily compatible with what the Electrical Engineer needs, often they’re confusing, ambiguous, or just plain wrong. But this is where SOLIDWORKS Electrical can make everyone’s life just a little bit easier. SOLIDWORKS has long been known as a tool that made the Mechanical Engineers job easier and offered a process for improved quality toward an end product… Now with the introduction of SOLIDWORKS Electrical, it’s providing the same improvements for the Electrical Engineer while becoming more transparent with the project design process and offering a better form of collaboration and communication between Electrical and Mechanical teams.

As a ME, I’ve long been spoiled from the fact that my Bill of Materials are auto-populated. Every component I use gets inserted into my assemblies then shows up on a nice clean table with automatic counting completed. Unfortunately, a majority of Electrical Engineers utilize tools that still require them to perform time-consuming and inefficient counting on their finished schematics to fill in excel tables which they then refer to as the Bill of Materials. This process is extremely tedious and can lead to many costly errors. However, SOLIDWORKS Electrical fixes all this by automatically tracking the components used and inserting them into an automatically populated, detailed Bill of Materials.

That is just one of many functions within SOLIDWORKS Electrical, amounting to a huge savings in both time and money spent on asprin to alleviate your headache from counting and recounting similar symbols. Now to get away from a simple feature discussions we can broach workflow potential. Mechanically oriented teams often spend significant amounts of time trying to understand how components are oriented, placed, and connected; whether the time is spent parsing the schematics themselves or having an Electrical Engineer sit in a meeting to explain the intention. SOLIDWORKS Electrical helps to alleviate this pain by offering Mechanical Engineers the ability to quickly delve into the electrical aspects of the design with plenty of material to support them in the process of understanding how the project is intended to be completed.

There are a lot of ways that SOLIDWORKS Electrical can help your team and this is just my experience in how it has helped me. If you would like to get more information or request a quote, you can do that here or you can email me at brach@ddicad.com

Posted in SolidWorks Electrical, Uncategorized |

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 Electrical
   Tucson Aug. 26
   San Diego Aug. 29
   Phoenix Aug. 29
SOLIDWORKS Simulation
   Fresno Sept 16
   Sacramento Sept 18
   San Diego Sept 19
   Phoenix Sept 19
   Tucson Sept 24

 

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 Time
SOLIDWORKS Electrical Hands-on Test Drive 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
SOLIDWORKS Hands-on Test Drive 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
SOLIDWORKS Hands-on Test Drive 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
see all upcoming San Diego events
Phoenix
SOLIDWORKS Hands-on Test Drive 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SOLIDWORKS Simulation Hands-on Test Drive 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
see all upcoming Phoenix events
Tucson
SOLIDWORKS Hands-on Test Drive 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SOLIDWORKS Electrical Hands-on Test Drive 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
SOLIDWORKS Hands-on Test Drive 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
see all upcoming Tucson events
Fresno
SOLIDWORKS Hands-on Test Drive 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SOLIDWORKS Simulation Hands-on Test Drive 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
see all upcoming Fresno events
Sacramento
Introduction to SOLIDWORKS 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SOLIDWORKS Simulation Hands-on Test Drive 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
see all upcoming Sacramento events

Posted in DDi News, Hands-on Test Drives, Lunch and Learns, Uncategorized |

The main draw of SOLIDWORKS Electrical that I’ve found reinforced from the Engineering community is that Electrical and Mechanical teams can work more productively together thanks to the increased collaboration that comes from using the software. This is because SOLIDWORKS Electrical allows for the Electrical-Mechanical design process to become truly integrated by connecting electrical schematics and SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD with a common project database. This integrated process is very unique to SOLIDWORKS Electrical and has greatly improved how Electrical and Mechanical cross-functional teams collaborate in a way that was virtually impossible before SOLIDWORKS Electrical.

Everyone wins– EE’s win because they can rapidly layout their multi-line and single line schematics while building in the intelligence to make downstream processes easier and ME’s win because they can more accurately define the paths for power and control systems in real time because they are working tandem with the EE’s.

As components are specified and systems are schematically connected, they are instantly available to integrate within the SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD model. Real-time synchronization of the electrical schematic and 3D CAD model enables unification of the Bill of Materials (BOM) between the electrical system and the mechanical design, eliminating design errors and reducing wrong component orders.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical provides a range capabilities. Below are a few I find to be very helpful:

  • Delivers a complete documentation package including schematics, Bill of Materials, 3D models

  • Integrating electrical systems into SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD has improved communication

  • Intuitive and easy-to-use schematic creation tools

  • Industry standard electrical, hydraulic, and P&ID symbols

  • Symbol and manufactured part searching

  • Automatic and customizable wire numbering and device tagging

  • Automatic drawings for complex I/O devices like PLCs and high density connectors

  • Automatic terminal strip drawings

  • Automated reporting, including BOMs, wire and cable from/to lists

  • Design checks, such as voltage drop calculation, identification of short circuits, unused terminals, or even signal type mismatches
Posted in SolidWorks Electrical |

I’ve been attending the San Diego SOLIDWORKS User Group meetings for over five years now and I think it’s a great way to meet other users and find out how they use SOLIDWORKS in their industry.

The San Diego SOLIDWORKS User Group (SDSWUG) meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month and the next meeting is coming up soon on August 13th from 6:30pm-9:00pm. The location is at One Heart-One Mind, 11211 Sorrento Valley Road, Suite G, San Diego, CA 92121.






 

 

 

 

Agenda:

6:30-7:00   Registration, Pizza / Beverages, and welcome
7:00-7:30   Release and Blog Information/Questions, Open Discussion
7:30-9:00   Main Presentation

SOLIDWORKS User Group meetings are a place to gain knowledge and further insight within SOLIDWORKS and related products, socialize, and network.  People from all industries and skill levels can attend- from beginning to expert, SOLIDWORKS users and non-users- all are welcome. There are no fees and pizza and beverages will be served. In addition, there is a raffle at the end of the meeting.

At the last meeting on July 9th, Phil Sluder and the group answered several questions on Drawings and Weldments among other topics. The main presentation was on a SOLIDWORKS add-in called Power Surfacing from nPower. The tool allows for easier creation and manipulation of freeform/organic shapes using Subdivision(Sub-D) surface modeling. For more information on their product, please go to www.npowersoftware.com.

For further information on the San Diego SOLIDWORKS User Group, please go to sdswug.org. If you would like to present at an upcoming meeting, please contact Ed Pasqual at epasqual@yahoo.com.

For information about User Groups in other locations, you will find a full listing here. 

Upcoming presenters include:

August 13 – Utpal Kumar, SOLIDWORKS Application Define Manager will be presenting on Library Features

September 10 – Trevor Bailey, SD CADCAM, will be presenting on MasterCAM

Hope to see you all there!

Posted in SolidWorks User Group |

 

 

 

 

 

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 |