Design for the modern era

Computer aided design (CAD) has grown quickly over the past decades. Where once pen, paper and the occasional slide-rule were all that an engineer would use when bringing a design to life, the complexities and challenges of modern design require a more capable solution.

SOLIDWORKS is as simple as it is powerful – a tool that beginners can quickly utilise and experts can master. Any company or individual can use this capable CAD software to design, engineer and test systems and products before ever sending them off for manufacturing.

In fact, there are nearly 3 million engineers and designers now use SOLIDWORKS across the globe – and the number is growing with every passing day. Here, we'll take a look at why professionals continue to choose SOLIDWORKS, as well as some of the useful downloadable whitepapers we have available.

Easy implementation

Acquiring a new piece of CAD software is often only the first step when it comes to improving design – it's necessary to quickly and properly implement the software effectively in order to see results in the shortest time possible. Failing to appropriately prepare for implementation could mean you struggle to utilise it effectively – resulting in reduced productivity and potential setbacks of days or even weeks. By implementation, this does not necessarily mean a lengthy setup and customization process, but to be clear of what objectives are to be achieved and the realistic resources directed to it, be it the appropriate training or hardware investment.

Read more in our free whitepaper: Four Tips for Successfully Implementing Your CAD System. In it, we outline the steps that companies have followed when deploying a new CAD system.

Effective vibration analysis

When designing a number of new products, systems and structures – especially those involving moving components – it's necessary to conduct vibration testing. Take a jet engine, for example. This is a piece of machinery that's going to be subjected to significant vibration over its operational lifetime. In the past, mechanical engineers would have had to conduct vibration testing on physical prototypes. This inadvertently involved very narrow fields of consideration as multiple prototypes would be required for the various scenario to be studied. Cost, both in terms of material and time, could also be an issue as prototypes required a measurable amount of both to manufacture, setup and physically test.

Vibration simulation is a powerful modern alternative – designers and engineers can identify the factors that influence the response of a system or object to a dynamic load directly within a computer model. Then, with this knowledge in hand, they can make improvements to the system before ever heading to the machine shop. It's an excellent way to reduce costs.

Read more in our free whitepaper: Streamlining Design with Real-World Vibration Analysis. In it, we discuss how you can improve the design process through use of the vibration analysis functionality in SOLIDWORKS.

Improved product design

Nowadays, customers expect the best when purchasing products. Whether it's a chair or a jetliner, there's no room for error or poor design. This is what drives engineers and designers to use CAD software systems like SOLIDWORKS – especially SOLIDWORKS Simulation. With this piece of software, it's possible to get to market more quickly, while simultaneously reducing mistakes and allowing for rapid course corrections.

Read more in our free whitepaper: Driving Better Product Design with SOLIDWORKS Simulation. In it, we explore how SOLIDWORKS Simulation can be used to easily improve the design process – and the end product.

A seamless design cycle

While sketching may appear to have faded from the limelight as the sole method of design, it still has a place in the studio and workshop. SOLIDWORKS accounts for this by making it easy to move through the design cycle while incorporating capabilities very much in line with traditional sketching methodologies. With the intuitive tools available as part of the SOLIDWORKS suite, users can dimension their sketches automatically as they draw to generate more accurate final designs. Dimensioned sketches can also be easily and accurately updated to reflect any changes in size, ensuring the designer always has the correct information all the time. 

Read more in our whitepaper: Implementation Guide: Sketching with Solidworks. In it, we explore how you can merge both the old and new, sketching and capable CAD software.

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Bridging 2D and 3D

The move away from 2D design continues in force, with CAD software and 3D design the way of the future. In the digital world of today, designers require 3D to enhance their designs and ensure communication is never an issue.

Read more in our whitepaper: Bridging the Worlds of 2D and 3D Cad Design. In it, we discuss the move from 2D to 3D, as well as why it's becoming important.

The need for highly accurate design has been growing – but so too is the need for rapid prototyping and the ability to rapidly create design iterations. The solution here is CAD software. Designers and engineers can create a design and then make changes without ever needing to manufacture a prototype. Once a model has been approved by all stakeholders, subject to tough simulations and given a the visualisation treatment to assess what it will eventually look like, it can be sent for production.

If you're interested in learning more about this new age of design, don't hesitate to get in touch with Dassault Systèmes today or download one of our whitepapers.