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Save money? SolidWorks Sustainability, The real “Green” thing

Many people think that sustainability means healthy ecosystems and environments. They ain’t wrong, but few have realized that SolidWorks handed them a phenomenal function inside SolidWorks Sustainability that can help them save money(Another kind of green).

What Material is similar?…
Working years on the shop floor I know how materials can become the biggest pain in the neck. Some crazy engineer have decided this part should be made out of the weirdest material found to man. Price has gone up. Material is not available because a truck is stuck or a mine is shut down. Whatever!…The leading manager asks the question you for some reason should know on your fingertips. What material is similar?
Find Similar

“Find Similar” hidden inside SolidWorks Sustainability and SustainabilityXpress (Yes, more free stuff from SolidWorks) is your answer when looking for materials with similar properties. This tool will look right into your SolidWorks Material library and let you filter through all the material properties using cool in-depth conditions.
Tools->Sustainability(Xpress)->Find Similar->Set your criteria

Narrow it down

Select each material

You can quickly narrow down you search by selecting check boxes next to the materials and then click “Show only selected” above. That will filter down to the materials closest in properties and give you a nice overview with the Environmental dashboard. Giving you Carbon, Energy, air, water and my favorite, Material Financial Impact.

Conclusion…
If you are anything like me, we both thought it was kind of cute when SolidWorks got all “Green” and stuff, but brother this “Find Similar” tool is resulting in going green making you save time and money. What’s not to like?

Want to see a little more about SolidWorks Sustainability? check out this video that I recorded recently.

SolidWorks EPDM is CAM Friendly!

Know all the bells of “SolidWorks Enterprise Product Data Management”(aka EPDM)?
This long fancy title does come with a lot of functions. Data security, Project creation, Rev control and so much more…Misconception is that this product is expensive and only for huge companies…However…
Came across this little manufacturing problem:
“CAM programmer is starting out another wonderful day creating code for a later run on B-shift. Upon verifying, simulating and post processing the heck out of the part he ends up with the g-code for the CNC machine. He saves this over the network to a folder on the manufacturing computer for the B-shift Operator to grab and run later that night.
Right before day-shift ends however, the shop floor supervisor gets notified about a design change causing re-programming needed. He never gets the information send through the right channels, and the end result is the B-Shift Operator runs 5 runs of the now obsolete g-code at a “boat anchor” price of $3500 a piece. Ouch!!”
Check out this video on how EPDM could have made this process a lot easier to avoid:

Conclusion…

I think that SolidWorks EPDM has a huge potential on the shop floor from as seen in the video. Keeping data in its right place, but also things like eliminate drawings with multiple Rev’s circling around.
If you are not familiar with SolidWorks EPDM, this little video is one of my favorites when it comes to a quick overview.

SolidWorks Bounding Box, Best Underrated 2013 Feature

The most underrated new feature in SolidWorks 2013, “The 3D Boundary Box!”.

If you missed it, don’t worry. No one will blame you even if you attended your SolidWorks resellers 2013 Rollout or you studied the “What’s New 2013″ found under the help drop down.Reason is that this feature has been camouflaged as an Weldment feature, but it is so much more.

If you are like me, cut lists, square tubing and welding takes 2nd place compared to the smell of coolant and chips slamming against the Plexiglas. The new bounding box feature found under SolidWorks Weldments might not seem like worth taking a look at…Well, Wrong!

SolidWorks had all the reasons to present this feature as a weldment. The example introduced was a quick way to update the description field in a weldment cut lists with Length x With x Thickness of a giving part and this is defiantly a cool function.

However for me this feature came as the answer to a function I know many CAD/CAM User have asked for “Give me my stock size” Well, here it is. Check out this short video where we will dive into the most underrated feature of SolidWorks 2013.

Using CAMWorks Material Library will make your life easier

Ever had one of those things on your to-do list that you know you should have done something about a long time ago?


Material Library…
There is a lot of cool things you can spend time learning about in CAMWorks. The material library might not be on your top 5. However there is most likely not a option in CAMWorks that can earn your money back quicker than spending a little time teaching your CAM what data you want applied when setting that CNC in motion.
A list of benefit of spending the next 10min getting familiar with this function could look like this:

1. By limited time spend you can comfortably forget about feeds and speeds when programing your standard parts
2. In conjunction with CAMWorks philosophy, you can teach the Material library how your do things in your shop
3. Picking a Material to machine and the software recognize what machine and conditions you are up against and adjust the feeds and speed accordingly
4. So easy to adjust that it silly not to use
5. Less experienced CAM programmer can easily trust on the software giving them good data

So lets jump in and see what can be done with this CAMWorks feeds&speed tool.

Nesting Super Powers in SolidWorks with CAMWorks Nesting

CAMWorks is handing out a helping hand to the fabrication community!
1st. thing that stands out to me is how easy this add-on is to use.
You have just finished your stress full design process, and getting things to actually result in something that can be cut on the Laser, Waterjet or speed through the Wood router seems like an impossible task. Well, CAMWorks Nesting might just be the tool that is going to prevent you from another late night fighting stock sizes and layouts.
Information…
http://www.camworks.com/products/CAMWorksNesting.aspx
The following information is from the website above and the 20min. webinar CAMWorks provided.
Sooo, it is probably most important to inform that this is fully integrated into SolidWorks, but also supports IGES, STEP, ACIS and Parasolids.
You can nest smaller parts inside larger parts if material availability allows it. Choose grain direction and use customizable material libraries.
Did I say the how easy it is to use, 2 taps…
More Information…
Material type and thickness’ are automatically extracted from your SolidWorks part, Assembly or Sheet Metal part.
Your Nesting parameters are saved right inside your SolidWorks file.
You can even use DXF files for your custom sheet sizes (A chance to play with your free 2D software DraftSight http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/overview/)
Need more info but really no time?…
 I created a 4min. video trying to get you the information you need. Go Go Nesting!

Conclusion…
Unless you really enjoy move things around to make thing fits, and really are not concerned about the whole “Time is Money” I think you owe yourself to take a look at this product.

DFMXpress=Your FREE Design For Manufacturing Consulting inside SolidWorks

It will happen, one day you will receive a part that is nearly impossible to manufacture. Not because the part is on the “top secret out of space” difficult level, but because something as simple as an unexperienced engineer/designer did not realize that there is some physics rules that apply to make a design that actually can be manufactured in a very competitive industry.
DFMXpress…
SolidWorks has a nifty tool that pretty quickly can run an analysis on you part, and provide you with some feedback on some possible manufacturing street bumps, or should I say stop the design in its tracks before its manufacturability becomes too costly.
DFMXpress belongs to the Xpress family that you will find right at top of your Tools dropdown menu right inside SolidWorks.
Who should use this…
This tool is seamlessly integrated into SolidWorks, and will give you an opportunity to apply some basic sets of rules for drilling, milling, turning, sheetmetal and even give you a thickness analysis of a injected plastic parts. This tool was created, fed and raised for manufacturing!
So this tool should defiantly be on the list of CAM programers who gets designs handed to them, and/or if you are one of those young unexperienced engineer/designers…well, this can safe you from having one of those grumpy machinest yelling at you.
What is some of the things it does…
Figuring out how to use it could not be more simple. In SolidWorks go to your Tools dropdown-> Select DFMXpress and when it open in your left panel, Go to the settings tab, select your application, and set your parameters.
DFMXpress has parameters like…
  • Hole Depth to Diameter Ratio.
  • Mill Tool Depth to Diameter Ratio.
  • Minimum Corner Radius (Turn Part).
  • Minimum % Bore Relief (Turn Part).
  • Hole Diameter to Thickness Ratio (Sheet metal).
  • Recommended Bend Radius (Sheet metal).
Help…
What really rocks is that if your start looking in the DFMXpress help section you will find what for many has been hard earned advice.
Conclusion…
I think we sometimes forget some of these tools excist. Tools that could improve the bottom line should get a fair trial or the result can be loosing parts to the scrap bin.
This being the Xpress version there is a big brother with more options and strength. We will visit DFMPro later for review.

View your SolidWorks files on your Iphone or Android device.

The Glovius App might just have become my new favorite SolidWorks cloud toy.

SolidWorks announced last week that eDrawings is now available to be fired up on your Ipad through the Apple App store, but how about some 3D fun on your Iphone or Android smartphone?

The name is Glovius…(Need to be said in a deep voice)

Glovius runs on Ipad, Iphone and Android devices,.I have to make make it clear that this product is only a viewer, and therefor not as powerful as the eDrawing App. for the Ipad.


Start…
To upload models to your device, create a free account on Babel3D.com, pretty standard and easy signup. Then upload your 3D files and select “Mobile” as the output format.

Notice that it states that not all files can be uploaded as there is a size restriction on up to 50 MB.

The functions…

  • Pinch to zoom in
  • Use single finger drag to rotate
  • Use two finger drag to pan
  • Use thumb & index figure to roll
  • Double tap the screen to return to the model’s Home view.

Beside SolidWorks, this App also supports SketchUp, 3DS, OBJ, STEP, IGES, JT, CATIA V5, Pro/ENGINEER, NX, Autodesk Inventor & STL file formats.

Best part…

The coolest thing is that you get 10 free translations when you register at Babel3D.com. Subsequent translations are charged at $0.99 per file.

What else can I say, go ahead and play :-).

This is what you need…

Apple:Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 & iPhone 4S, iPad 1 & 2 and iPod Touch running iOS 4.3 or higher.

Android:Requires Android 2.2 and up. Extensively tested on Motorola Xoom, Google Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy S & Galaxy S II, Motorola Defy & Droid/Milestone.

Website:http://www.glovius.com/

How to add your custom strategy right into CAMWorks techdb


One of the awesome things about CAMWorks is that you can make it your own.
In this post we are going to do a step-by-step video on how you can create custom strategies, so you can easily throw your preferred toolpaths at your features. It is also talking about how you easily can control when CAMWorks is attacking hole diameters.

Be Prepared…
I always recommend that you do a backup of your technology database. As I stated in this video, How to save back your shop knowledge to CAMWorks TechDb I have never seen the database go corrupt, but I have made stupid alterations to my database that made a backup at hand priceless.

Get some strategy in…
Lets stuff some custom strategies and knowledge into that database, shall we?

SolidWorks World 2012…The final big stage.

Sitting back in the snow covered Upstate New York, it is time to wrap up the 4 day tour to SolidWorks World 2012 in San Diego California.

(Previous SolidWorks World 2012 posts SolidWorks World 2012…Hold up your rookie card ~ SolidWorks World 2012…Sunday: Partner Pavilion and Fabulous Tweetup ~ SolidWorks World 2012…The Midway:The boat and the conference)

Like I stated in my 1st post, I have never heard anyone complaining about that it is that time of year again. SolidWorks is defiantly more than capable to throw a awesome engineering event, and I can assure you that I will do my best to attend next years event in Orlando Florida.

The 3D Experience…
As I am tearing up my rookie card I have concluded that SolidWorks World is a 4 stage event.
1). SolidWorks gets to address a few thousand of their users, their reseller channel and the imported press. With CEO Bertrand Sicot, Dassault’s(The mother company)CEO Bernard Charlès and former SolidWorks CEO Jeff Ray all present at the event. My general take from this events general messages “We are looking out in the feature…”(The next generation CAD) “We will continuing developing…”(The current generation CAD).

2). Technical break-out sessions. I believe I read at one point that there was 150 sessions available for conference attendees. These sessions are presented by SolidWorks employees, reseller application engineers, SolidWorks bloggers and SolidWorks power users. The amount of tips & tricks and priceless SolidWorks knowledge a user can obtain here is simply magnificent.

3). Partner Pavilion. SolidWorks has a big trunk of products that runs inside or right along with SolidWorks. The partner pavilion gives attendees an opportunity to see how possible to enhance their business with these add-on’s. Here is a link for the partners from SolidWorks Partner Site

4). SolidWorks and their partners gets to throw their users some social get together and networking opportunities.

Wednesday, the final and most exciting…
The final day is when SolidWorks announces what is in the horizon for next years release. SolidWorks is not disappointing when it comes to adding new features to their product. Ricky Jordan has done a fantastic job covering this years SolidWorks World. His SolidWorks World 2013 Sneak Peek does an excellent job covering what SolidWorks is working on. rickyjordan.com on SolidWorks 2013 Sneak Peek

Picture worth a 1000 words, video then equals…
To wrap it all up I came across these fabulous videos created by the Solidbox team.