Category Archives: Tech Tips

As hardware continues to change to adapt to new technologies, so must SOLIDWORKS.  32 bit operating systems suffer from a very big limitation.  The virtual address space usable by a 32 bit operating system is 4 GB of RAM. This means that the operating system is incapable of using more than 4 GB of RAM even if your computer had more RAM installed.  At the time 32 bit operating systems were created (over a decade ago) the idea of 4 GB of RAM was unthinkable.  At that time the common machine measured RAM in megabytes (MB).  Of course now you can purchase a new machine with over 40 GB of RAM so this limitation needed to be addressed.  This lead to the 64 bit operating system.  The modern 64 bit Windows operating system will support up to 8 TB of RAM, meaning it will support RAM upgrades for years to come.  What does all this mean to the average SOLIDWORKS user?   You will not be able to install SOLIDWORKS 2015 on a 32 bit computer.  This limitation in usable RAM and the aging nature of the 32 bit operating system means that as of SOLIDWORKS 2015 32 bit operating systems are no longer supported.


NOTE: 32 bit operating systems are still supported for the SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM client software.

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A new capability has been added to Nonlinear studies in SOLIDWORKS Simulation showing intermediate results.  Nonlinear study types typically take the longest to run and there is no easy way to look at intermediate results before completing the calculation.  With new studies created in 2015 you can now display intermediate results in your regular graphics area while the calculation takes place.  With this new ability, if you see some unintended results it is more efficient to decide to stop the calculation early and re-examine your setup or wait until the the calculation develops further.

To make sure that this capability is enabled by default open your Simulation options from the top Simulation dropdown menu > Options > Default Options Tab > Results, look for “Show intermediate results up to current iteration (when running)

Remember that any Simulation option change only effects newly created studies and does not update any already existing studies.

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Prior to the 2015 version of SOLIDWORKS Composer when you put a lot of text into a box you would need to click on the ellipsis button (…) to open the text window and press ‘enter’ to add carriage returns for additional lines of text.

Now in 2015 SolidWorks Composer they have given us the ability to grab an anchor at the top right-hand corner of the annotation to ‘Wrap’ the text to next line by changing the size of the label.
1. From the Author Tab > Annotations group > grab Label.
2. Place your annotation in the view port.
3. Change your ‘Text’ property to ‘String’
4. Type your text into the ‘Text string’ property without any carriage returns.
5. Check the ‘Enable’ for the ‘Wrap’ property
6. Grab the red anchor dot in the upper right-hand corner of the annotation and adjust the size of you Label.
This Enhancement came directly from the Enhancement Requests on for SOLIDWORKS Composer.
If you would like to submit your own Enhancement Request (ER), log on to your SolidWorks Customer Portal Account then click this link or click the Enhancement Request link on the welcome page of your Customer Portal Account.
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One of the big benefits to using a system like Enterprise PDM is the ability to parse through and manage many files and all their properties.  One feature introduced in Enterprise PDM 2014 is the ability to add User Defined Custom Columns to many of the common dialog boxes in Enterprise PDM.  This allows the user to add a column containing any variable to the Check In, Check Out, Copy Tree and Undo Check Out dialog boxes.  User Defined Custom Columns can also be added to the Contains and Where Used preview tabs in your local view.  This can be done by right clicking the table heading and selecting the “More” option.

This will bring up the “Choose Columns” dialog box where you can select from the list of variables.

After selecting from the list of variables, a new column using that variable will appear in that dialog box or preview tab.  The columns can be re-ordered using a simple drag and drop similar to the standard Windows Explorer interface.

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When you create a Static Simulation study and you want to fix a bracket to an immovable object by bolting to that immovable object you should use ‘Foundation Bolts’, this way you don’t have to model a stationary object and the bolts. The only prerequisite for Foundation Bolts is that you have a reference geometry plane to attach them to. Here are the steps to use Foundation Bolts:

1) Insert a Coincident Reference Geometry plane from the Insert menu > Reference Geometry > select Plane. Add the Reference Plane to the bottom of your bracket using Coincident or a distance whichever best represents your model. Most likely Coincident.

2) Right click over ‘Fixtures’ in the Simulation Study tree and select ‘Foundation Bolt’.

3) Pick the top edge of a single hole where your first bolt goes and also select the Reference Plane that you created back in step 1). Adjust the Nut Diameter and Nominal Shank Diameter if needed. Change Material, Strength Data and Pre-load as needed.

Hint: If you create your holes with Hole Series at the assembly level, SOLIDWORKS will prompt you if you would like “to add Bolt connectors to all holes in the Hole Series?”

4) Repeat step 3) for the remaining bolt hole locations. You can also copy the Foundation Bolt that is in your Fixtures folder and paste additional copies, changing the selected edge in the edit definition for each one. Each Foundation Bolt fixture needs to be attached to a different bolt hole edge. Copy/Paste will save time with all of the setting changes you may have made on the first Foundation Bolt but remember to change the edge selection.

5) The final step is to prevent your bracket from going through your foundation. If doing a Static study then you can add a contact set of a virtual wall between the bottom of your bracket and the plane you created back in step 1). If you are doing a non-linear then you would need to model a foundation and fix the geometry and add a contact set between the foundation and the bottom of your bracket.

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