SolidWorks comes installed with many useful tools that some users never learn about. I will highlight two of those tools and show how they can be useful for a large corporation or a one man shop.
The first of these tools is the SolidWorks Performance Test. This is found in the Windows Start Menu->All Programs->SolidWorks 20XX (year version)->SolidWorks Tools->SolidWorks Performance Test. When that launches you will see instructions on running the performance test, reboot the machine and only run the performance test.
The performance test will typically takes 30 minutes to run. Once you have run the test you are able to report your score to SolidWorks and compare your results with other users. A one man shop can compare his machine with hundreds of other SolidWorks users’ machines, or a large company can make comparisons among its own machines.
The second tool that I want to look at is the CAD Admin Dashboard. SolidWorks launched this tool with the release of SolidWorks 2013. The CAD Admin Dashboard allows for a person/admin to log into the SolidWorks customer portal and find relevant information about all of the machines that are using SolidWorks with their company license.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to use the CAD Admin Dashboard. You must have an active subscription with SolidWorks. Each machine must allow performance feedback in order for SolidWorks to collect the information for the CAD Admin Dashboard. There are two ways to turn on performance feedback. The first way to do this is by selecting the option ‘Yes, I want to participate’ in the last step of the installation of SolidWorks when you are asked if you want to be part of the SolidWorks Customer Experience Program. Another way to do this is to go to Tools->Options->General and check the option “Help make SolidWorks products better by automatically sending your log files to DS SolidWorks Corporation”. The CAD Admin Dashboard is new for SolidWorks 2013 and that means that it will only show information for SolidWorks 2013, not previous releases.
I think that the CAD Admin Dashboard can be very useful for the CAD admin for a large company. The admin will be able to quickly see what might be causing a problem on a specific users machine by looking at all of the information in the CAD Admin Dashboard. I hope that one or both of these tools are able to help you.
Tyler Young is a Support Engineer at GoEngineer, a SolidWorks reseller with locations in California, Oklahoma, Texas, Idaho and Utah.