As we enter 2018, we are fast approaching the SolidWorks 2018 update. We know you are probably wondering what impact this update will have on your life, so here we take a look at some of the key changes.

SolidWorks has designed the new update to ensure the software can cope with the demands of modern product development. The system includes an improved user interface, alongside a range of improved design tools, such as automated optimal shape design, based on preset functional and manufacturing criteria.

Enhanced user experience

The main difference users will notice is a touch screen, which enables them to take advantage of productivity tools on modern touch screen devices. This new freedom will allow users to draw freehand with a touchscreen pen, so that rough drawings can be turned into shapes while you are designing on the go. This new manufacturing process solution will give you everything you require to put quick designs into action.

Accurate designs

Many people have been waiting for this update for a while, as it takes the guess work out of designing. The update will automatically optimise a design, based on preset details about the weight, function and manufacturing processes. This is enabled because of improved simulation topology, which will heighten product performance and reduce the constraints people face during the manufacturing process. The days of struggling to bring together the manufacturing and design departments will be over, thanks to these new tools.

Data flexibility

The 2018 update will allow users to work easily with an increased range of file formats such as OBJ, STEP, IGES, ACIS and STL. The 3D Interconnect capabilities allow the software to automatically update the design based on new files, details of materials and custom properties, alongside reference axes. The update will also allow users to select faces from mesh data to turn the images into SolidWorks surfaces, which can be modified with the increased range of features.

Enhanced drawing capabilities

There are many improved drawing capabilities within the update, such as automatic hole callouts and layer support when crosshatching, which will save you time as you will no longer need to carry out unnecessary manual tasks. This new integrated approach will accelerate the product development process, so products are designed and manufactured in the simplest possible ways.

Tab and slot features

If you are looking to save time during the build process, the new tab and slot features will automate the parts ready for welding. The feature also ensures proper clearances are kept ready for manufacturing, which will ensure accuracy and reduced mistakes.

Enhanced project and process management

The new SolidWorks Manage system will allow users to manage processes, projects and data all within one easy to use package. This powerful new feature will help streamline time-consuming processes, especially within the SolidWorks PDM Professional package.

Convenience for businesses

The new online licensing allows businesses to manage their licenses on all machines, to save time and increase usability. The SolidWorks Login section allows individual users to customise their own content for their individual machines. The Admin Portal works alongside this login area and allows the individual users to choose which services and products they need for their machine.

We think these new design solutions will streamline the interactions between your design and manufacturing teams, resulting in accurate and timely product development. This is just a quick round up of some of the developments that we think will provide the most benefits to users. If you would like to find out more about the update and how it could improve your design process, please contact us.