Design, validate, build and collaborate with the right CAD software

With the release of SOLIDWORKS 2016, designers and engineers in a nearly limitless number of industries can now easily design any number of products or components with a host of new features and enhancements.

Take aviation, for example. This CAD software can reduce the time required to develop new aircraft parts whilst ensuring that, through intensive simulation, there's no need to revisit parts before they're sent for manufacturing. Alternatively, look at Formula 1. By using CAD software, engineers will eventually be able to design new components on the track, without waiting weeks or months for them to be put together.

This article will take a look at four key facets of SOLIDWORKS 2016: design, validate, build and collaborate.

1) Design

This version of SOLIDWORKS, more than ever before, has been designed to help users focus on what they're creating, instead of having to struggle with outmoded user interface elements. All too often, CAD software can feature complex interfaces that only seasoned professionals can use. Now, it's easier to operate than ever before.

Naturally, much of the credit here goes to the interface redesign, with a focus on fewer clicks required to find the right tools and functions. What's more, support for higher-resolution displays means users can plug in larger monitors and see more detail. The same plug-in support is still featured as part of this version, allowing users to add additional systems as and when required.

2) Validate

Think about the traditional design process for a new product, whether it's a vehicle or even something as simple as a joint in a static piece of equipment. In most cases, it's necessary to manufacture a mock-up of the model prior to finalising the design. This could be for weather testing, stress testing or even just stakeholder approval.

What if, instead, models could be tested effectively and quickly within the CAD software itself?

Powerful simulation means designers and engineers can analyse potential problems in a component or model early in the design process. What's more, they're able to investigate potential errors and ensure functionality is working as intended. To address the problem of showcasing products to stakeholders, SOLIDWORKS features a suite of capable visualisation tools.

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3) Collaborate

The days of sharing files to collaborate on a model are coming to a close. Instead, SOLIDWORKS 2016 makes it an easy task to communicate and collaborate on a project across teams. This reduces the chance of communication issues arising, and projects are smoother from start to finish.

If required, however, SOLIDWORKS 2016 still makes it easy to export models and share them using traditional methods.

4) Build

Manufacturing has been made easier with this release of SOLIDWORKS, as users can now fast-track a design to the manufacturing stage. Furthermore, it's easy to create detailed outputs and even shorten the development time significantly.

This doesn't come at the expense of quality, however, as SOLIDWORKS 2016 can help users reduce the errors that commonly occur when creating new products.

The tools a designer or engineer uses to create complex components and machinery really do matter, as using the wrong software can lead to design flaws and even time-consuming redevelopment. Consider SOLIDWORKS 2016 for your next design project.