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SolidWorks 2003 Demo

reprinted by permission of Ralph Grabowski, editor

September 24, 2002

Demo jocks Joe Dunne and Aaron Kelly showed us some of the 250-plus new features in SolidWorks 2003. The package will have 20 online tutorials. Click a command in the tutorial, and the associated icon flashes in SolidWorks. This teaches the user the location of the button.

Design tables link the drawing to a spreadsheet. Selecting a different design table changes the part, and vice versa. Dimensions are displayed in purple when they are linked to spreadsheet.

Selective regeneration of parts means shorter waits. A dialog box lists the time it takes for each feature to regen, so you can turn off the slowest parts. Other new features include:

  • Auto dimensioning

  • Shared sketches

  • Sketch colors

  • Fit spline

  • Sheet metal enhancements

  • Auto fillet applies whatever fillet radius is needed to round off edges

  • Untrim extends the surface of parts and optionally closed up holes.

SolidWorks was proud that this release implements six out of ten items on the SolidWorks user wish list. I wondered, Why only six? On the other hand, I have to wonder about some of the items I have read on user-generated wish lists. I don't hold much stock in those lists because users tend to be heads-down and unaware of the competition's features.

When a new release comes out, SolidWorks says 50% of customers upgrade within four months and 80% within nine. The SolidWorks 2003 pre-release is due out at the end of September; the ship date is, however, unknown.

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