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SOLIDWORKS 2018 Debuts

Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp. has launched the 2018 edition of its SOLIDWORKS portfolio of 3D design and engineering applications. With this release, Dassault says, teams can collaborate concurrently to rapidly and cost-efficiently design a product or part, validate its function and manufacturability, manage its data and related processes, streamline and automate its fabrication as well as inspect it. With SOLIDWORKS 2018, any changes in design or manufacturing are reportedly easy to manage and automatically flow to all related models, programs, drawings and documentation due to intellectual property embedded early on in the design process.

The 2018 edition of the SOLIDWORKS portfolio of 3D engineering applications has launched. Dassault reports that this release sees new tools and enhancements ranging from the user interface to improved sheet metal design tools and from integrated CAM to support for touch-enabled devices. Image courtesy of Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp.

The 2018 edition of the SOLIDWORKS portfolio of 3D engineering applications has launched. Dassault reports that this release sees new tools and enhancements ranging from the user interface to improved sheet metal design tools and from integrated CAM to support for touch-enabled devices. Image courtesy of Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp.

Powered by Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE platform for engineering, SOLIDWORKS 2018 supports a complete design through manufacturing strategy with solutions that simplify the interactions between disciplines across the product development workflow. To that end, Dassault says that this release provides four new end-to-end process solutions that simplify the interactions between disciplines and across product development. These process solutions are as follows:

  • Design to Manufacturing, described as a complete solution to bring ideas to market;
  • Distributed Data Management for controlling data and documents across disciplines and departments;
  • Designer to Analyst, a collection of analysis tools for every step of the design process; and
  • Electrical Design and Internet of Things (IoT) for connecting smart devices to end users.
Among the enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2018 for working with assemblies are Adding Mates Between Hidden Surfaces, Misaligned Mates and Smart Explode Line Tool. Shown here is the Misaligned Mates capability. Image courtesy of Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp.

Among the enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2018 for working with assemblies are Adding Mates Between Hidden Surfaces, Misaligned Mates and Smart Explode Line Tool. Shown here is the Misaligned Mates capability. Image courtesy of Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp.

A key feature of SOLIDWORKS 2018 is the integration of SOLIDWORKS CAM. A new application accessible by every SOLIDWORKS subscription user, SOLIDWORKS CAM provides rules-based machining with knowledge capture to allow for the automation of manufacturing programming.

Powered by CAMWorks and integrated directly inside SOLIDWORKS, it offers such features as part and assembly machining, 2.5-axis milling, two-axis turning and tolerance-based machining that will eliminate hours of complex CNC (computer numerical control) programming. Dassault adds that SOLIDWORKS CAM can enable teams to execute new “build to order” strategies with custom parts that are designed and programmed automatically in seconds.

The integrated SOLIDWORKS CAM applications provides SOLIDWORKS 2018 users such capabilities as 2.5-axis milling, 2-axis turning, and tolerance-based machining. Image courtesy of Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp.

The integrated SOLIDWORKS CAM application provides SOLIDWORKS 2018 users such capabilities as 2.5-axis milling, 2-axis turning, and tolerance-based machining. Image courtesy of Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp.

Similarly, SOLIDWORKS Inspection can help save time by automating the manual inspection process. Dassault says that it can complete article inspection reports in minutes. Beginning with SOLIDWORKS 2018, you can create inspection documentation directly from 3D models with PMI (production manufacturing information) as well as from 2D drawings, PDFs and TIFFs. SOLIDWORKS Inspection is now integrated with SOLIDWORKS PDM.

SOLIDWORKS 2018 introduces features across most areas of operation, such as the user interface, model display, parts and features, sheet metal and simulation. Among the user interface enhancements is new support for pen- and touch-enabled devices that includes touch sketching. Mouse gestures have also been made easier to customize.

Topology optimization, available in SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium, enables users to study design iterations for a given optimization goal and geometric constraints. Image courtesy of Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp.

Topology optimization, available in SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium, enables users to study design iterations for a given optimization goal and geometric constraints. Image courtesy of Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp.

Model display improvements include offloaded rendering. This frees up your workstation by enabling you to send a rendering job to another machine running the PhotoView 360 Net Render Client. For parts and features, you now have the ability to create a box that completely encloses a model within a minimum volume.

Additionally, if repair attempts cannot resolve a corrupt file, SOLIDWORKS now prompts you with an option to extract geometry if the body data of the file is still intact. You can then use the extracted data to create a new model. New capabilities for working with assemblies include Adding Mates Between Hidden Surfaces, Misaligned Mates and Smart Explode Line Tool.

Sheet metal capabilities now offer a new Tab and Slot feature for creating tabs on one body and slots on another body to interlock the two bodies. Other enhancements include the ability to normalize all non-normal side walls in sheet metal models.

Among the SOLIDWORKS Simulation enhancements are mesh refinement for stress singularities and displacement control for nonlinear contact analyses. SOLIDWORKS will now send you an email notification when an analysis job is completed. Topology optimization is available in SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium.

Except for the Electrical Design and IoT process solution, all the end-to-end process solutions should be available in November, according to the SOLIDWORKS 2018 launch website. The same site indicates that the Electrical Design solution will be available in May 2018.

Throughout October and November, SOLIDWORKS resellers worldwide will host SOLIDWORKS 2018 launch events for their communities (link follows).

For more information on SOLIDWORKS 2018, click here.

Watch the SOLIDWORKS 2018 intro video.

See what SOLIDWORKS 2018 has for design to manufacture.

Watch an overview of SOLIDWORKS CAM.

Find a SOLIDWORKS 2018 reseller launch event near you.

Read DE Contributing Editor Pam Waterman’s “SOLIDWORKS 2018 Includes Design-for-3D-Printing Tools.”

See why DE‘s Editors selected SOLIDWORKS 2018 as their Pick of the Week.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@digitaleng.news.