What’s New in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2017

Curious to know what the SOLIDWORKS Visualize R&D team has been cooking up in their lab since we launched Visualize back in February? Heard about the new SOLIDWORKS Visualize Boost and PowerBoost features and wonder what they heck they are? Don’t miss out on these awesome, time-saving features and make sure you upgrade to 2017 today.

SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2017 delivers a ton of new enhancements, productivity tools and increased stability, all of which instantly boost your workflows and accelerate your time from concept to consumer. The goals of the 2017 release are:

· Focus on the workflow from SOLIDWORKS CAD into Visualize
· Go totally plaid with “Ludicrous Speed” (kudos if you get the Space Balls reference)
· Show off detailed, internal components with ease
· Help guide the new Visualize user and diminish any learning curve

Here’s a breakdown of the top features in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2017.

Install and service Visualize products from the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager

While not the flashiest of new features, SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2017 products can be installed and licensed the exact same way as the rest of the SOLIDWORKS portfolio: right from the Installation Manager. This comes with the added benefit of SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2017 and beyond supporting floating licenses as well as offline activation. Although now part of the Installation Manager, the Visualize products will continue to be separate, standalone products.


Now you can import your SOLIDWORKS files directly into Visualize with the push of a single button. All flavors of SOLIDWORKS CAD can use this awesome new Visualize Add-in, streamlining your workflow from CAD into Visualize. Choose ‘Export Simple’ to have the fastest painting experience in Visualize, or choose ‘Export Advanced’ to enable CAD Live-Update and continuously monitor geometry changes. ‘Save Advanced’ allows you to save a Visualize file directly from your CAD data and send to another Visualize user in your company.

Import Motion Studies into SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional

Using this new Visualize Add-in for SOLIDWORKS CAD, now you can import your SOLIDWORKS animations and Motion Studies directly into Visualize Professional. Check out this SOLIDWORKS Tech blog post to see how to create photo-quality movies from your CAD animations. It’s super easy and the resulting content looks awesome! Here is one example:


New SOLIDWORKS Visualize Home Screen

To help diminish any learning curve using Visualize for the first time, we completely redesigned the new Home Screen with a ton of knowledge right at your fingertips. We introduced new tiles for recent projects, and you’ll notice a new tab at the top just for recent SOLIDWORKS CAD projects that you haven’t even opened up in Visualize yet. Conveniently displayed “Tip of the Day” and link to watch Visualize tutorials will make you a pro in no time. We also included links to What’s New and online help to get the best Visualize experience, and links to connect with the rest of the passionate Visualize Community.

SOLIDWORKS CAD Camera Navigation

Many of you are serious SOLIDWORKS users, and requested this feature, so new for Visualize 2017 we introduced the SOLIDWORKS Camera navigations for zoom, pan, and rotate, directly within Visualize. We also made it the default setting if you have SOLIDWORKS CAD already installed on your computer, now making it even easier to use SOLIDWORKS Visualize.

Fade Geometry Opacity and Animation Support

You can now literally tell a deeper story with your CAD data with this new feature in Visualize 2017. To help you showcase internal components of your design or engineering solution, Visualize 2017 now supports the ability to fade the opacity of desired parts, groups and models. You can even animate this opacity fading in Visualize Professional 2017! Check out this great example below:


Cut Planes and Cut Plane Animations

Another great way to showcase internal workings in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2017 is with the new Cut Planes feature. Use these Cut Planes to section your models and call more attention to internal details, or combine multiple Cut Planes to dissect your model even further. AND you can animate these as well in Visualize Professional 2017! Here’s another stunning example:


SOLIDWORKS Visualize Boost

Completely new for 2017, SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional features our network rendering solution, Visualize Boost—a new Add-on product that instantly increases render speed and productivity. Similar to a printer queue in your office, SOLIDWORKS Visualize Boost allows SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional users to send jobs to other machine(s), freeing up your machine to keep using Visualize, CAD, or other demanding applications.

One seat of Visualize Boost is included at no cost with each seat of SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional on active Subscription! This means if you have 10 seats of Visualize Professional on active Subs, then you receive 10 complimentary seats of Visualize Boost! That’s a huge render farm to crush all your Visualize render jobs.

To give you an idea, I wanted to create a 10 second long animation of an exploded view with fading the geometry. At 30 FPS (Frames Per Second), my 10 second long animations would be 300 still images to render. This job would have taken over 20 hours on my company-issued laptop. I installed my complimentary seat of Visualize Boost on another machine (with 2x NVIDIA M4000) and my time render time was reduced to less than 3 hours! Imagine the time savings in just the first week alone using Visualize Boost on this dedicated render machine.

This chart shows the relative performance gains from using varying NVIDIA graphics cards with Visualize Boost:

NEW Super-feature: PowerBoost

Redefine real-time raytracing and take live presentations to the next level. The holy grail of visualization has been found. PowerBoost works hand-in-hand with your SOLIDWORKS Visual Boost cluster or NVIDIA Quadro® VCA(s). Rather than sending offline jobs to your cluster, PowerBoost is a new render mode that uses this same render farm to stream the raytracing back to your SOLIDWORKS Visualize Viewport from anywhere – an industry first! Have the power of a multi-GPU machine right from your laptop or Microsoft Surface!

The biggest benefit of PowerBoost is the raw speed improvements you can directly see in your real-time Viewport. Let’s say you’re tweaking the roughness of a glass appearance, but it takes a couple minutes to properly res-up on your Viewport using the hardware inside your local laptop. This single PowerBoost button (see image below) uses all the hardware across your Visualize Boost network or NVIDIA Quadro VCA(s) and could shorten that wait time from minutes to seconds! Imagine all the time you could save while prepping your Visualize content using PowerBoost, rather than being limited to only your local hardware. Mind boggling, I know. Just don’t immediately tell your boss how PowerBoost exponentially increased your productivity overnight…let them think you’re a rendering magician for a while.

Check out these two SOLIDWORKS Visualize Forum links to better understand what’s new in Visualize 2017:
· A complete list of new features, functionality and improvements
· A deeper dive into the new top features for Visualize 2017

Need to update your SOLIDWORKS products to 2017 to take advantage of these amazing new features? No problem. Either simply launch the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager from the Start Menu and select ‘Check for Updates,’ or log into your SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal, click ‘Downloads and Updates’ and then select ‘2017’ from the dropdown on the webpage.

Don’t forget to follow SOLIDWORKS Visualize Product Manager @bhillner on twitter for product news and updates, and share your SOLIDWORKS Visualize creations on social media with #swvisualize and #gettinvizzy!

More Resources to get started with SOLIDWORKS Visualize:

New to SOLIDWORKS Visualize? No worries, we’ve got you covered.
WATCH A BRIEF WEBINAR OVERVIEW of SOLIDWORKS Visualize and its benefits by SOLIDWORKS Visualize Product Manager Brian Hillner.

WATCH THE TUTORIALS to master SOLIDWORKS Visualize in no time and impress your boss with photo-quality content.

UPGRADE TO SOLIDWORKS VISUALIZE PROFESSIONAL for an enhanced 3D visualization experience. Contact your reseller now!

Brian Hillner

Brian Hillner

Brian Hillner is a Senior Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS, responsible for Education and Early Engagement, and specializes in the intersection of business, technology & user experience. He focuses on creating customer-driven software products tailored for schools, educators and students to develop designers, engineers and dreamers of the future. Prior to joining the Education team, he was the Product Manager for SOLIDWORKS Visualize, eDrawings and the Extended Reality (XR) workflows.
Brian Hillner

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