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Users drive change in CAD upgrade

Many CAD software users have been there: sitting and waiting as large assemblies rotate like a bear wading through molasses, manually configuring the same dimensional preferences over and over, or even wishing there was a simpler way to generate multiple, slightly different variations of a part. Well known for its responsiveness to user requests, SolidWorks has released SolidWorks 2001Plus ($3995), a 3-D CAD package that has been enhanced almost entirely by suggestions from its customers, according to the company?s executive vp of R&D, Dave Corcoran.

High on many designers? wish lists is better transition between 2-D and 3-D data. A new folding feature allows users to place 2-D drawing projections over a 3-D model. Users can then rotate the model and the appropriate drawing will appear over the model.

The major enhancement to large assembly designs is the gift of time. Users can rotate assemblies five times faster than previous SolidWorks releases, and a new assembly mode enables the designer to define how many parts make up the average large assembly for his or her needs. These settings are stored, and the software then automatically adapts to this mode when the user designs assemblies, cutting out the step of determining specific settings for each assembly.

A number of drawing tools also are said to speed the design process. Split part (pictured) lets users split parts into separate, associative models, which are then automatically placed into an assembly. This feature enables users to quickly create multiple parts from a single part file. Another new drawing function, dimension favorites, saves specified dimensions and dimension styles that can be accessed enterprise-wide from a server.

Promoting improved productivity in its new release, SolidWorks is offering mate diagnostics in 2001Plus to identify problems between mates by highlighting design errors with a red flag. A second productivity tool called top-down configurations enables users to control sketch relations, equations, and feature end conditions, as well as view potential design variations.

SolidWorks Corp.
Concord, MA
(978) 371-5000
www.solidworks.com

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