Machine Design

The wraps come off SolidWorks 2007

The latest version of Solid-Works 2007 sports more than 200 new capabilities, among them special facilities for managing the creation of model features.

To make products more contemporary and ergonomic, a free-form surfacing tool lets design teams simply "push and pull" control points to create stylish surfaces. This lets engineers create designs quicker than would be possible with traditional surfacing commands.

SolidWorks Intelligent Feature Technology, or Swift, will, for example, find the proper order in which to create features such as drafts and fillets. This heads off problems rebuilding models after revisions aren't done in a particular order.

Other Swift tools resolve dimensional and relational conflicts when sketching and remove conflicts that arise when adding or modifying mated parts.

A search capability lets users find parts and documents related to 3D design work that might be on their desktop, in shared files, in their PDM system, or even in their supply chain. The search works with new standard content, including that offered through the part-finding service 3D ContentCentral.

The program can simulate belts, chains, racks, pinions, and gear-assembly action. This lets designers watch complex mechanisms move.

A capability from the previous release called Design Checker, still ensures drawings meet defined standards of each user's organization. But it now corrects recognized errors. The software lets users save files to the Adobe 3D PDF format.

Lastly, a capability called ScanTo3D lets users extract design data from real-world artifacts — such as broken parts to be replaced or concept foam models — and move them into the CAD program. A wizard steps users through the scanning and data import, and through the completion of a fully defined 3D solid model.

SolidWorks Corp.,

TAGS: CAD Archive
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