SolidWorks 2011 Beta is coming…

July sees the start of the SolidWorks 2011 Beta! Don’t forget to sign up for notifications by adding Beta News to your Customer Centre profile.

With the Beta coming very soon it has made me think of the last release and which new functionality or tools I used and got the most out of.

From my previous posts you will see I am a fan of the mouse gestures… I think these had the biggest impact on me as I soon found myself using these in a natural way, I really missed them when I was using 3DVIA Composer and even started wishing that PowerPoint and Excel had support for them too. Here are a few tips to get the most out of Mouse Gestures:

  • Make the options common in all environments. This makes it easier to remember which directions do what.
  • Don't worry about empty directions. If it doesn't make sense to use the gestures for an option then don't use them. For the sketch environment I only use about half of the directions.
  • Go for 8 directions straight away… you don't need to remember and use them all straight away, once you have got used to a direction doing a certain command it is hard to change your automatic reactions.

Another tool that I have used quite a lot is the Assembly Visualisation tool. If you need to sort and view your assemblies by any property such as Mass or Material then Assembly Visualisation is the tool for you.

image Image (A) On the Evaluate tab you will see the Assembly Visualisation tool

imageImage (B) Assembly tree is sorted by Mass and colour coded to help understand the impact of mass in the design.

The assembly tree, although sorted differently is still available to interact with to open or edit any of the components.

The colours bar is editable, you can also filter the tree and graphics area to hone in on important areas of the design.

imageImage (C) Here the tree has been filtered by dragging the top rollback bar to show only the bought in components.

The Assembly tree and properties can also be saved out as text, Excel or in PDF format!

Now is a great time to take a look again at the 2010 What’s New PDF (found under the help menu) and refresh on some of the tools added last year while we look forward to a great 2011 Beta!

…I don’t think I mentioned that there are some great prizes this year for the best Beta testers!! Look out for notifications in July!


Matthew West

SolidWorks alumnus. I like plate reverb, Rat pedals, Thai curry, New Weird fiction, my kids, Vespas, Jazzmasters, my wife & Raiders of the Lost Ark. Not necessarily in that order.