2016 December Meeting Update
What’s Really New in SolidWorks 2017
We rounded out the year with a detailed presentation about What’s REALLY New in SolidWorks 2017. We took the time to strip out all the marketing and sales related fluff and focused on the cool new tools that we can ACTUALLY make use of…IF we decide to upgrade…
We can’t really list all of them here but we can narrow them down to the top 5:
#5 Advanced Hole
Creating Advanced Holes – The new Advanced Hole functionality lets you define your own hole types with combinations of counterbore, countersink, straight and tapered sections. In this way, you won’t have to create multiple holes just to get what you need.
It will be interesting to see how this new command plays into the existing Hole Wizard. One could only assume that the two tools will eventually become one.
#4 Shaded Contours
Using Shaded Sketch Contours in SOLIDWORKS 2017 lets you view closed sketch contours as shaded entities. This setting makes it easy to identify closed contours, move closed contours in a single step, quickly apply sketch relations or mirror the sketch entities, and quickly extrude closed contours.
By default, closed sketch contours are shaded. The shaded sketch entities can then be moved by simply clicking the shaded area and dragging it.
#3 Component Grouping
The Assembly tree for a large assembly file can turn into a very long list of components. In most cases many of the components are repeated such as bolts, nuts, washers, fittings, etc. Making folders and collecting the repeated components was the best technique to organize the components so they could be easily hidden or used in a configuration.
But now in SolidWorks 2017 you can automatically group the same components with the same configuration into a folder-like structure in the assembly tree. Grouping components will condense the length of the assembly tree and make it easier to find components, especially in large assemblies.
#2 Hide Configuration Name/Display State
One of my biggest pet peeves is the fact that the Feature Manager tree looks cluttered. Almost too much information. To top it all off, components display configuration name and display state. While I can turn this off globally, if 90% of my components only have one configuration (Default) and one display state. I don’t want to see all that junk.
With SolidWorks 2017, there is now an option to hide this information if there is only one configuration and one display state. Simply awesome!
#1 Customize Configuration Order
And last but not least my FAVORITE and MOST USEFUL enhancement for 2017. Sortable configurations.
I make a lot of configurations for my assemblies. We sue them quite a lot for create process/assembly steps. I like to see these steps IN ORDER. Unfortunately, previous versions of SolidWorks only sorted in alphanumeric order. This means I had to resort to naming my configurations 01 – xxxx, 02 – xxxxx, etc to get them in the proper order. It was a nightmare when I had to re-order them because I had to RENAME ALL MY CONFIGURATIONS…..
With SolidWorks 2017 they give you several configuration sorting options:
- Numeric – Sorts by ascending alpha or numeric value.
- Literal – Sorts by alphabetical order.
- Manual (Drag and Drop) – Let’s you drag and drop configurations in the configuration tree. As you drag up or down the tree, each configuration that you drag over is highlighted. The configuration that you are moving drops immediately below the currently highlighted item when you release the pointer.
- History-Based – Sorts by the date the configuration was created, from earliest created at the top of the list to most recently created at the bottom of the list.
This should end all my frustrations and help speed up my assembly drawing creation quite a bit. Now if they could only make EXPLODED VIEWS with SKETCHES easier, then I’d be really happy….(Sigh) One can only wish….
Special thanks to Anole Designs for hosting this event.
Anole Designs is a premier provider of design, rapid prototype, NPI and manufacturing solutions.
A very special thanks goes out to Larry Copponi of ProSource, our food sponsor for many of the events this year.